Connections June

Trinity Connections

Pastor Phil Wold cell - 307-763-1115

6th Sunday After Pentecost


A blessed July 4th to you!

Worship this morning at 9:00, in the sanctuary. Wednesday evening worship is at 7:00, outdoors weather permitting.

I hope to see you in worship. Blessings, Pastor Phil

Today’s service will be posted online

The Prayer of the Day for today:

God of the covenant,

in our baptism you call us

to proclaim the coming of your kingdom.

Give us the courage you gave the apostles,

that we may faithfully witness

to your love and peace

in every circumstance of life,

in the name of Jesus Christ,

our Savior and Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for our nation:

From the ELW resource The Prayer Book for the Armed Services

Holy Trinity, one God,

you show us the splendor of diversity

and the beauty of unity in your own divine life.

Make us,

who came from many nations with many languages,

a united people

that delights in our many different gifts.

Defend our liberties,

and give those whom we have entrusted with authority the spirit of wisdom,

that there might be justice and peace in our land.

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ,

our sovereign and our Savior.


July 3

"For dominion belongs to the LORD,

and he rules over the nations."

Psalm 22:28

Tomorrow is Independence Day. We celebrate our country, and give thanks for the many gifts and privileges that are ours by virtue of being Americans. These gifts also impart a responsibility, and I give thanks that Trinity seeks to be citizens of our community, the world community and the Kingdom of God. We truly are blessed to be a blessing.

The hymn “This Is My Song” (#887 in the ELW) is set to the beautiful tune Finlandia. The poetry invites us to give thanks for our nation, and I think it invites us to see that our patriotism does not separate us from those who live elsewhere, but that we share an inheritance from God, wherever we may call home.

Peace to you this holiday weekend. Pastor Phil

This is My Song - Lloyd Stone, Georgia Harkness (st. 3)

This is my song, O God of all the nations

A song of peace for lands afar and mine

This is my home, the country where my heart is

Here are my hopes and dreams, my holy shrine

But other hearts in other lands are beating

With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean

And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine

But other lands have sunlight, too, and clover

And skies are everywhere as blue as mine

So hear my song, O God of all the nations

A song of peace for their land and for mine

This is my prayer, O God of all earth’s kingdoms,

Your kingdom come; on earth your will be done.

O God, be lifted up till all shall serve you,

And hearts united learn to live as one.

So hear my prayer, O God of all the nations;

myself I give you; let your will be one

July 2

"My grace is sufficient for you,

for power is made perfect in weakness."

II Corinthians 12:9

This weekend many of us may well be traveling for holiday gatherings. Psalm 121 is in the section of the book of Psalms that is called “The Songs of Ascents”. These Psalms that were used as the faithful made their pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

A teacher of mine called Psalm 121 - “A Psalm for sojourners.”

May these words guide you in all your “travels” today.

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

I lift up my eyes to the hills—

from where will my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,

who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.

He who keeps Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;

the LORD is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;

he will keep your life.

The LORD will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time on and forevermore.

July 1

"My grace is sufficient for you,

for power is made perfect in weakness."

II Corinthians 12:9

Yesterday marked my 15th year as pastor here at Trinity. Again, thank you to those who provided a cake for us to celebrate this past Sunday.

It has been a great joy for me to be your pastor. Trinity has been a gift to our entire family, and we are so very grateful for our good fortune in being called to join you in 2006.

Trinity truly is a wonderful community of faith. Of course, we should not boast too much. Our giftedness is not an accomplishment - it is gift.

I like to mention the Old Lutheran dot com motto “The Center of Lutheran Pride” (but not too proud)


On Sunday we will hear from Second Corinthians, where Paul addresses the congregation in Corinth. There, as he defends himself, and upholds his credentials a bit, he also shares about a “thorn in the flesh”. Rather than remove this affliction, he says God gave him the message: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

In the midst of whatever weakness we bear, may we continue to know the sure and certain hope of God’s faithfulness.

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

June 30

This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:6-7

One of the joys of my calling, is that I get to learn so many of the stories of your lives.

Last night I got to be part of an excellent Stewardship meeting. At one point, we broke into small groups and talked about how we developed our attitudes toward money.

The conversation was illuminating.

Later, as we reflected on this in the larger group, one person remarked that it was a bit daunting to share these stories. Perhaps that was because these stories about money, were about more than money, they were about our lives.

When we are invited to give an offering to our Church, our generous response is an act of worship. It is a giving of ourselves.

The direction I want to go here, is this: Your story - the story and stories of your life - are united to the story of Jesus, who gave himself for you. Your story includes the infinite love of God, who has called and redeemed you and sent you into this day.

May you know well, that God is with you today, and working through you, to make God’s loving grace present in your world.

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

June 29

I thank my God every time I remember you,

constantly praying with joy

in every one of my prayers for all of you,

because of your sharing in the gospel

from the first day until now.

Philippians 1:3-5

“The Church is the gathering or assembly of all believers wherever the Gospel is preached in its purity and the Holy Sacraments are administered according to the Gospel.” This is from the Lutheran Confessions - Article 7 of The Augsburg Confession.

When we speak of the Church - we speak of the gathering of God’s people in Christ, of a community of believers. We need community. One of the great joys following the pandemic has been the ability to once again, gather together.

I am praying for each and every one of you, and hope that as we come back together, we might have a renewed sense of the importance of this gathering of saints.

May your Fourth of July gatherings be a time of renewal of connections, and joy in one another.

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

June 28

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

and do not return there until they have watered the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

The rain the past couple of days is so very welcome, I hardly notice that it has put a damper on some of our plans.

It is interesting how our life circumstance shapes our noticing. When drought is threatening, we begin to look at the weather forecast and hope for rain.

I suspect that drought can help us to remember that all we have - all we are - every single good - is a gift from God.

May God continue to shower us with every good thing, and as we venture ahead to the fourth of July, may we be filled with gratitude, may we give thanks for our country, pray for our leaders, and seek to be good neighbors and faithful citizens.

Peace to you this week, Pastor Phil

June 26

I will exalt you, O LORD, because you have lifted me up

and have not let my enemies triumph over me.

Psalm 30:1

I have preached on a Psalm only a few times. The Psalms strike me as gifts that are more for contemplation than preaching.

I suspect that one of the best gifts the Psalms bear to us is that their poetry can help to give voice to our own prayers.

Tomorrow in worship we proclaim Psalm 30. This is a beautiful Psalm of praise, that engages disappointment and promise.

This line might be good for us all to know by heart:

“Weeping spends the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

We all experience times of weeping, and the ancient words of this Psalm promise that our tears do not tell the entire story. Like God’s wrath, weeping is short, God’s favor lasts a lifetime.

May these words of praise accompany you today, and always.

Peace to you, Pastor Phil


I will exalt you, O LORD, because you have lifted me up

and have not let my enemies triumph over me.

O LORD my God, I cried out to you,

and you restored me to health.

You brought me up, O LORD, from the dead;

you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.

Sing praise to the LORD, all you faithful;

give thanks in holy remembrance.

God's wrath is short; God's favor lasts a lifetime.

Weeping spends the night, but joy comes in the morning.

While I felt secure, I said, "I shall never be disturbed.

You, LORD, with your favor, made me as strong as the mountains."

Then you hid your face, and I was filled with fear.

I cried to you, O LORD; I pleaded with my Lord, saying,

"What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me; O LORD, be my helper.”

You have turned my wailing into dancing;

you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;

O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

June 25

Praise the LORD!

Praise the LORD from the heavens;

praise him in the heights!

…Wild animals and all cattle,

creeping things and flying birds!

Psalm 148:1, 10

The other day I saw a robin perched on a wire, reflecting the morning sunlight. The red of the robin almost looked like fire.

There is amazing beauty all around us. Most every robin has that capacity to reflect the light that way, and we tend to take them for granted.

We could scold ourselves for not noticing the wonders all around us, or we could - without guilt and shame, but with delighted wonder - remind one another to take note of the gifts we have all around us.

While noting the gifts, let me remind you of this:

You, too, are a wonderful gift.

You, too, can reflect the light of Christ in wonderful ways!

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

Today - Friday - there are a few folks getting together on Friday mornings at 9:00 or so to do some yard work and other tasks on the Church grounds. All are welcome!

Sunday in-person worship at 9:00 a.m.

June 24

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.

2 Corinthians 8:1-2

I sometimes listen to a daily prayer podcast called pray-as-you-go. ( It provides a simple meditation each day, from the Ignatian spiritual tradition. On the web site it says: “Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.”

Last week, the scripture text that was shared was from 2 Corinthians 8. One of the questions offered was this: “How does this idea of giving money in order to become more closely united to others make you feel?”

That was striking to me. I have not thought of our giving as a bridge to unity with those whom we are helping. I suspect that one could benefit from considering our giving from this vantage point.

I believe that Trinity can be very proud of our generosity. (Thank you to those who help to serve on our weeks we provide for Lunch Together!) I am grateful that we as a congregation are leaders in our Synod in giving to ELCA World Hunger.

Consider this - our giving is more than aid to those in need. It is a way for us to be more closely united - to those in need - and, I believe, to one another.

A few days ago I quoted from I Corinthians 1:4: “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus.”

Trinity’s generosity is a deep source of gratitude.

Thank you, Pastor Phil

June 23

For as all die in Adam,

so all will be made alive in Christ.

I Corinthians 15:22

I cannot stop thinking about some podcasts I’ve listened to over the last few weeks. Some guys I enjoy, sharing how they fell out of faith. A “deconstruction” they called it.

This deconstruction seemed to be grounded in a failure of scripture to live up to the parameters that they had been taught was the foundation for believing them…

A theology professor said that the reason to study theology, is that bad theology hurts people. We’ve all see the truth of that, haven’t we?

The foundation of your faith is Jesus.

Not some theory about Jesus, or about the word of God, nor even some theory about the cross.


That’s it. That’s good theology.

The one who was born in Bethlehem, lived and taught and healed and loved, and then suffered, died and rose again. Will Willimon (Methodist preacher, professor and bishop) described Jesus this way: as one - “who lived briefly, died violently, rose unexpectedly.”

You have been united to this one, and he now lives in you.

Good news for life.

Peace to you, Phil

June 22

This is the day that the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Is there anything more wonderful than a beautiful June day in Sheridan? The longest day of the year was sure a wonderful one here. WOW!

Of course, for a rancher or gardener who desperately needs water for their fields, it was another disappointing day.

So many things depend on your perspective…

I knew a pastor who joked that the only time he prayed about the weather was on the Sunday of the Church picnic. (He could be a bit of a curmudgeon, and he was suggesting that then he prayed for rain, since he disliked such events in the great outdoors.)

I really like this phrase from the prayers of the Church in the Holden Evening Prayer service:

“Grant weather that nourishes all of creation.”


Our prayers about the weather might be quite multi-faceted as we note how important the weather is to so many of our lives.

May God grant weather the nourishes us all, may God watch over those who rely on the weather, may God grant weather that helps to make the forests more resistant to fire and more…

Enjoy these beautiful days, and may we rejoice in the goodness of God.

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

June 21

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,

but you are citizens with the saints

and also members of the household of God…

Ephesians 2:19

Today is the summer solstice. The longest day of the year.

There are some retailers who are making today into some sort of online shopping event.


It might be more fitting to go on a picnic, but shopping is always an option, isn’t it?

I think often of a comment I heard from Dr. Martha Stortz - (Dr. Stortz teaches at Augsburg College in MN. She is a theologian and ethicist who speaks passionately about life lived in the light of the Gospel.) - I’m sure I’ve shared it a number of times…

In speaking about how materialism harms us and our communities, she said: “we’ve been rendered consumers in an economy, rather than citizens in a society.”

That touches on many, many aspects of our Christian life, doesn’t it?

Consumers have a single focus, themselves, and how to feed their wants and needs.

Christian citizenship grants us different concerns and an outward focus. We are centered in God’s love, called to live out forgiveness and to give ourselves in care for others.

A blessed longest day of the year, may you find opportunities for citizenship!

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

June 20

4th Sunday After Pentecost


Worship with Holy Communion this morning at 9:00, in the sanctuary.

Wednesday evening worship is at 7:00, outdoors weather permitting.

I hope to see you in worship.

Blessings, Pastor Phil

Today’s service will be posted on this web site.

The Prayer of the Day for today:

O God of creation,

eternal majesty,

you preside over land and sea,

sunshine and storm.

By your strength pilot us,

by your power preserve us,

by your wisdom instruct us,

and by your hand protect us,

through Jesus Christ,

our Savior and Lord.


June 19

Here is a prayer inspired by our Gospel reading for tomorrow…

Loving Through the Storm

(inspired by Mark 4:35-41)

The worst storms, Jesus, are the ones caused

by our fear,

when we grow afraid of losing our power,

or we grow suspicious of the power of others,

when we refuse to acknowledge your mysterious authority;

Yet, it's in the storm that we find our capacity to love.

In releasing our weak claim to power

and opening to your reign,

we discover a new way of seeing ourselves -

as called and useful and beloved -

and the other, whoever they may be -

as dignified and precious and beloved.

Here in the storm, Jesus, we need you, and we need each other,

and the love you give us to share,

leads us through sacrifice and self-giving

to peace and calm,

if only we will loose our hold on fear.


— written by John van de Laar. Posted on his website

Previous devotions are posted in the Connections Archive