May '23

May 1

I shared this prayer in the sermon yesterday, and thought I would post it here in Trinity Connections. It is by Henri Nouwen…

Dear God,

I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!

Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?

Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?

Please help me

to gradually open my hands

and to discover

that I am not what I own,

but what you want to give me.

And what you want to give me is love -

unconditional, everlasting love.


- Henri Nouwen

Blessings to you today, Pastor Phil

May 2

I am about to do a new thing;

now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness

and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

I like these comments by Dr. Frederick Gaiser, retired Old Testament professor from Luther Seminary. He was asked to write about his favorite Bible verse, and his response was titled: “No Favorite, but Plenty of ‘Aha’ Moments”

“Over the years, I have been repeatedly drawn back to the second part of the book of Isaiah. Isaiah has more uses of the word “new” than any other book of the Bible, and none of those uses is trivial.

Just one case in point: Isa 43:16-21. Both the theological argument and the literary form never cease to excite. The argument, as I read it, goes like this, with God speaking to Israel: “Remember the exodus? Good! Now forget it, because I am going to do an entirely new thing.” Then Israel seems to ask in amazement, “Oh, entirely new? What will it look like?” to which God replies in effect, “Well, remember the exodus?” The old was a dry way in the sea, the new will be a wet way in the desert. Total surprise, yet not unrecognizable. Exodus (that is, liberating the oppressed) is what God is about.

In other words, there are no “good old days” in God’s history with the world. Israel’s outlook is always directed forward by God — not, to be sure, to some distant future “over the rainbow” but to God’s tomorrow and ours, which will always come with surprise but always with that hint of deja vu, that, although this is entirely new territory, we can sense we’ve been there before.”

Dr. Fred Gaiser

I like Dr. Gaiser's suggestion that when we are in new territory with God, there is a sense that it is a place we’ve already been.

May you be ever mindful of the new things God has in store for you!

Peace, Pastor Phil

May 3

But the angel said to the women, 

“Do not be afraid; 

I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 

He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. 

Come, see the place where he lay…”

Matthew 28:5-6

We are in the very middle of the 50 days of Easter. (I think today is day 25). Here is an Easter reflection I set aside last month. It is by John O'Donahue who was an Irish poet, author and priest.

"On this Easter morning, 

let us look again at the lives we have been so generously given 

and let us let fall away the useless baggage that we carry -- 

old pains, old habits, old ways of seeing and feeling -- 

and let us have the courage to begin again. 

Life is very short, 

and we are no sooner here than it is time to depart again, 

and we should use to the full the time that we still have.

We don't realize all the good we can do. 

A kind, encouraging word or helping hand 

can bring many a person through dark valleys in their lives. 

We weren't put here to make money or to acquire status or reputation. 

We were sent here to search for the light of Easter in our hearts, 

and when we find it we are meant to give it away generously.

May the spirit and light of this Easter morning 

…bless us all, 

watch over us and protect us on our journey, 

open us from the darkness into the light of peace 

and hope 

and transfiguration."

John O’Donohue - Excerpt from his books: Walking in Wonder (US/UK) / Corcomroe Abbey

Easter blessings to you, Pastor Phil

May 4

This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus

before the ages began,

but it has now been revealed

through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus,

who abolished death and brought life

and immortality to light

through the gospel.

II Timothy 1:9b-10

You probably know that today is Star Wars Day. 

As in,"May the 4th be with you” - rather than “May the force be with you.” ta da bum… (It’s dumb, I know, but I sorta like dumb humor, in case you didn’t know that.)

Over the years, I have seen some people try to talk about the Star Wars force as if we can find parallels to God and Jesus and our faith. 

I have a suspicion that might not bear much fruit. In the Star Wars construct, practitioners access and use the force to help them achieve their goals and conquer evil. 

In the Gospel Good News of Easter, God in Christ has brought life and immortality to light… God has gifted you with the victory of love, and the power you are granted by the Holy Spirit is the power to love and serve God’s world. 

And so, Happy Star Wars Day, May the 4th be with you, and thanks be to God for the wonderful gift of resurrection faith and life!

Pax, Pastor Phil

May 5

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;

and by night, but find no rest.

Yet you are holy,

enthroned on the praises of Israel.

In you our ancestors trusted;

they trusted, and you delivered them.

To you they cried, and were saved;

in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

Psalm 22:1-5

Bishop Laurie Jungling shared this in the Synod weekly newsletter the other day and offered a prayer for us to use today…

“In 2017, Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester from Montana introduced a resolution recognizing May 5, as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. It was in response to the murder of Hanna Harris on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and other abductions and killings of Native women across the United States. Indigenous women are four times more likely to experience violence than non-Indigenous women….

…today, on the Day of Awareness, we will remember that we are all children of God, and we are called to honor every life. Today we will honor the lives lost from our presence. Today we will pray for the families, friends and communities who remain behind wondering and grieving. Today we will call for justice on behalf of Indigenous peoples.”

Let us pray…

Our hearts are heavy as we come to you, God,

seeking your mercy and grace for the Indigenous women and girls

as well as all indigenous people

who have been taken from us too soon.

Provide the families and communities with comfort and peace.

Let us not forget that every person

has inherent dignity and worth

and that violence against Indigenous people

is an affront to that dignity

and give us the courage to continue to pray, advocate, and

work towards a world where every person feels safe and valued.

We pray for guidance and strength

as we fight for justice on their behalf.

We will not forget those who have lost their lives

or the love that remains in their wake.

Today, we honor their memory in prayer,

grateful for the hope you provide

in times of heartache and injustice.

Hear us as we offer our prayers and plea for justice.


[borrowed and paraphrased from MMIW Candlelight Prayer Vigil developed and written by Dr. Kelly Sherman-Conroy (Oglala Lakota)]

May God hear our prayers for our indigenous neighbors, and may God move us to work for justice for all. Pastor Phil

May 6

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Believe in God, believe also in me…”

John 14:1

Tomorrow Pastor Brenda Frelsi, Associate to the Bishop will be our preacher. I hope you will be able to join us.

I wrote the Pastor’s Corner article for the paper this weekend, it was in the Sheridan Press yesterday. In case you missed it, I will put it at the end of this post…

Here is a prayer based on our Gospel text for tomorrow…

Risen Christ,
you prepare a place for us,
in the home of the Mother-and-Father of us all.
Draw us more deeply into yourself,
through scripture read,
water splashed,
bread broken,
wine poured,
so that when our hearts are troubled,
we will know you more completely
as the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.

Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

5th Sunday of Easter

May 7

I hope to see you in worship today, 8:30 and 11:00. 

Our Associate to the Bishop, Pastor Brenda Frelsi will be our guest preacher, I am glad you will have an opportunity to meet her…

The service will be posted online.

The Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, 

your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. 

Give us grace to love one another, 

to follow in the way of his commandments, 

and to share his risen life with all the world, 

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 

one God, now and forever. 


May 8

Then the righteous will answer him, 

‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry 

and gave you food, or thirsty and 

gave you something to drink?

And the king will answer them, 

‘Truly I tell you, 

just as you did it to one of the least of these 

who are members of my family, 

you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:37, 40

I like this quote from 20th century catholic social activist Dorothy Day. I’m not sure where I ran across it, perhaps from one of the daily devotions I subscribe to. Wherever it came from, it is an interesting reflection on her trying to write her memoirs, and finding that thoughts of her life paled in comparison to contemplating the gift of living as one blessed by Jesus.

I try to remember this life that the Lord gave me; 

the other day I wrote down the words 

‘A life remembered,’ 

and I was going to try to make a summary for myself, 

write what mattered most - but I couldn’t do it. 

I just sat there and thought of our Lord, 

and His visit to us all those centuries ago, 

and I said to myself 

that my great luck was to have had Him on my mind 

for so long in my life!”

Dorothy Day - autobiographical recollections 

You, too, have been visited by our amazing Lord! 

Blessings, Pastor Phil

May 9

Praise the LORD!

Psalm 147:1

The words of the Psalmists can help t accompany our day with prayer and praise. Here is a Psalm for this beautiful day,

Psalm 147

Praise the LORD!

How good it is to sing praises to our God;

for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.

The LORD builds up Jerusalem;

he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

He heals the brokenhearted,

and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars;

he gives to all of them their names.

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;

his understanding is beyond measure.

The LORD lifts up the downtrodden;

he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;

make melody to our God on the lyre.

He covers the heavens with clouds,

prepares rain for the earth,

makes grass grow on the hills.

He gives to the animals their food,

and to the young ravens when they cry.

His delight is not in the strength of the horse,

nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;

but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,

in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!

Praise your God, O Zion!

For he strengthens the bars of your gates;

he blesses your children within you.

He grants peace within your borders;

he fills you with the finest of wheat.

He sends out his command to the earth;

his word runs swiftly.

He gives snow like wool;

he scatters frost like ashes.

He hurls down hail like crumbs—

who can stand before his cold?

He sends out his word, and melts them;

he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.

He declares his word to Jacob,

his statutes and ordinances to Israel.

He has not dealt thus with any other nation;

they do not know his ordinances.

Praise the LORD!

Blessings, Pastor Phil

May 10

Jesus said to his disciples, 

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 

And I will ask the Father, 

and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.

John 14:15-16

On Sunday we will hear from John14. Here Jesus speaks of the gift of the Holy Spirit as an Advocate. Like a good lawyer, the Holy Spirit will be sent to advocate for you, to speak on your behalf. 

One preacher whose preaching insights I like to read asks the question: “for whom does the Advocate advocate?”

This preacher wants to suggest that the Holy Spirit advocates for God. The Holy Spirit bears the Gospel to you, so that you might know the love of God in Jesus Christ.

I suspect that is not what the Gospel of John means here.

I also suspect that it is true, that this is what the Holy Spirit actually does. God intervenes and advocates for you, and also, the Holy Spirit advocates for God, and makes known God’s love poured out for you.

The Spirit is active, and I invite you to keep your eyes open and your heart tuned to the many ways of the Advocate.

Peace to you today, Pastor Phil

May 11

And I will ask the Father, 

and he will give you another Advocate, 

to be with you forever.

John 14:16

I wanted to share this devotional/poetic reflection from Steve Garnaas-Holmes - a retired United Methodist pastor who served churches for 40 years in Montana and New England. He used to write and perform with the Montana Logging & Ballet Company, a quartet that did music and comedy. 

His daily devotional often reflects on the text for Sunday.

I thought I would share this one from a few days ago.

Blessings to you, Pastor Phil

         God will give you another Advocate,
          to be with you forever. - John 14.16

We're familiar with the image of God as our Judge
(or, if we're honest, maybe even prosecutor),
but that's not how Jesus sees it.
The Holy Spirit is your Advocate— paraclete in Greek,
a person who accompanies you in a legal trial.
God is not your judge: God is your defense attorney.

God defends you against all society's judgments:
whether you're successful, good-looking, happy—
you know, normal.
And God defends you against all your own judgments:
whether you're good enough, lovable, forgivable—
you know, worthy.

God advocates for you.
God is on your side, not against you.
God's judgment is always in your favor,
not a verdict, but a promise:
“I favor you, now and always.”

All those charges against you—
not good enough, all that—
God has dismissed as spurious allegations.
Are you still hanging onto them?

God holds our souls in the light of love and says gently,
“I rest my case.”

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes  Unfolding Light

May 12

“…I will ask the Father, 

and he will give you another Advocate, 

to be with you forever. 

…You know him, 

because he abides with you, 

and he will be in you.”

John 14:16, 17b

I’ve shared this story before, in one context or another… 

There was a young boy - (I do not recall his name, but I know that later in life he won the Nobel Prize as a novelist) - who wanted to be like Saint Simeon Stylites. Simeon was a 5th century monk who spent the last years of his life sitting atop a high pillar, praying to God. 

In order to meditate like Simeon, this boy put a chair on top of the kitchen table, he put a box on top of the chair, and climbed aboard his home made pillar to pray. 

When his mother came into the kitchen, she demanded that he get down immediately. 

The boy obeyed, but not without lamenting, "It sure is hard to be a saint in this family!”

Sunday is Mother’s Day. While this is a day of celebration and joy for many of us, I have been quite aware, for some time now, that this is not always true for everyone.

For many, Mother’s Day is a time to be reminded of some who are not with us, or who never arrived. For others, Sunday will be both a time of joy as well as a time for tears.

Family can be a place of great complexity. In fact, we all, at one time or another, find our family to be a place where it seems nearly impossible to be a saint.

The Good News here is that Jesus sends the Advocate to be with you in times of difficulty and loss. Jesus sends the Advocate to bear forgiveness to those relationships that need it most. Jesus sends the Advocate, so that you might know of God’s abiding love for you and for all…

The gift of the Spirit is given so that each of you might live as Jesus' saints, even in your own family.

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

May 13

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.”

Matthew 14:16

A prayer based on the Gospel for tomorrow.


you comfort
and transform us
through your

breathe that
Spirit again.

Inspire us to learn new ways to
end violence and feed
starving children.

Help us listen
for the cry of the poor,
the earth, and the cries of

When we love you
in our neighbor,
let us find you


Adapted from Anne M. Osdieck Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck. All rights reserved. 

Permission is hereby granted to reproduce for personal or parish use.

6th Sunday of Easter 

May 14

A blessed Mother’s Day to you. 

Worship at 8:30 & 11:00. The service will be posted online.

We will have our Congregational Meeting between services next Sunday, May 21st.

The Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

May 15

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,

and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

I sometimes think that we should read the Psalms so that we might encounter phrases and lines that are good for prayer, and/or for meditation. I suspect that we could all spend a great deal of time reflecting on Psalm 34: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Not only does this ring with promise, for many of us, it names a reality that we have experienced all too often in our lives.

May you know the presence of God whenever you are brokenhearted, and my the Easter promise bear God’s hope to every corner of our lives.

Peace to you this week, Pastor Phil

May 16

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

Psalm 136 repeats the phrase: “for his steadfast love endures forever” dozens of times.

While this may not earn you a very good grade in your creative writing class, for a time of prayer and praise, it might be wise to take note, to look and see, to rejoice and to give thanks, for it is deeply true, God's steadfast love does endure.


Blessings, Pastor Phil

May 17

May 17

The grass withers, the flower fades, 

but the word of our God remains for ever.

Isaiah 40:8

This is from yesterday’s daily devotion from The Henri Nouwen Society. I set it aside for my own reference, and then decided to post it here on Trinity Connections…

The Word of God Remains Forever

The Word of God is powerful indeed. 

…many words from the Scriptures 

can reshape the inner self. 

When I take the words that strike me during a service 

into the day and slowly repeat them 

while reading or working, 

more or less chewing on them, 

they create new life. 

Sometimes when I wake up during the night 

I am still saying them, 

and they become like wings 

carrying me above the moods and turbulences 

of the days and weeks.

I like the idea of “chewing” on the word of God, and noting how it gives life. May you know God’s word of promise and resurrection today.

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

May 18

Even before a word is on my tongue,

O LORD, you know it completely.

Psalm 139:4

Here is another daily devotion from Henri Nouwen

Prayer is not introspection.

It is not a scrupulous, inward-looking analysis

of our own thoughts and feelings

but it is a careful attentiveness

to the Presence of Love personified inviting us to an encounter.

Prayer is the presentation of our thoughts —

reflective thoughts, as well as daydreams, and night dreams —

to the One who receives them,

sees them in the light of unconditional love,

and responds to them with divine compassion.

This context of thinking in the Presence,

of conversation and dialogue with Love,

is the joyful affirmation of our gentle Companion

on the journey with God who knows our minds and hearts,

our goodness and our beauty, our darkness and our light.

The Psalmist prays the prayer for us (Psalms 139:1–3; 23–24):

O Lord, you search me and you know me,

you know my resting and my rising,

you discern my purpose from afar.

You mark when I walk or lie down,

all my ways lie open to you. . . .

O search me, God, and know my heart.

O test me and know my thoughts.

See that I follow not the wrong path

and lead me in the path of life eternal

Blessings, Pastor Phil

May 19

I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

Psalm 122:1

I just heard a story that Arthur Brooks, professor and speaker and happiness guru tells… He was with a man who had been incarcerated, and that person received a text on his phone. His eyes filled with tears, and Arthur asked him what was the matter. 

The tears, the man explained, were because he had been so moved by the text. The text? It said, “can you come to work right away, I need you.” 

He told Dr. Brooks, “I’ve never been told that before. That I am needed.”

God has made a decision about you. God needs you to live in God’s grace and love, and to bear that love to all whom you can.

God has called you to be a part of the Trinity faith community, and we need you. I believe that, and I want to - in a non-guilt-tripping way - encourage you to come to worship when you can.

I hope to see you on Sunday, or Wednesday or any time, really.

We need you…

Peace to you this Friday, Pastor Phil

May 20

Remember these things, O Jacob,

and Israel, for you are my servant;

I formed you, you are my servant;

O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.

Isaiah 44:21

Thank you to Linda and Scott Renkly for transporting quilts and care kits to Billings so they could be shipped to Lutheran World Relief. A devotion from Daily Grace the other day talked about our quilt ministry, I will share it today…

Worship tomorrow at 8:30 & 11:00

We will have our Congregational Meeting to elect Council members between services.

Summer schedule begins May 28th.

The blessings of quilting from the Daily Grace devotion of WELCA

When my children were all in school, 

I started attending the quilting group at my church. 

Great fellowship is shared while tying knots and pinning binding. 

I heard a speaker once tell of visiting an ELCA mission abroad. 

When the local people heard the Lutherans were coming to visit, 

they ran to their dwellings 

and came out with their Lutheran World Relief quilts, 

yelling “Lutheran, Lutheran.” 

I love that!

Our quilting ministry has donated to 

…Lutheran World Relief, 

and other places. 

It feels so good to give the quilts.

We also gift our high school graduates with a …quilt 

[Trinity does this as well!]

We pray that it will remind them 

…that they are a beloved child of God.

This message is excerpted from “She gives them away” by Kristy Henricksen from the May 30, 2022, blog of the Women of the ELCA.

7th Sunday of Easter

May 21

We hope to see you at worship at the 8:30 or 11:00 service. We pray you will be able to join us for our Congregational Meeting between services.

Our Summer schedule begins a week from today, May 28th.

The Prayer of the Day

O God of glory, 

your Son Jesus Christ 

suffered for us 

and ascended to your right hand. 

Unite us with Christ 

and each other 

in suffering and in joy, 

that all the world may be drawn into your bountiful presence, 

through Jesus Christ, 

our Savior and Lord, 

who lives and reigns with you 

and the Holy Spirit, 

one God, 

now and forever. 


May 22

Cast all your anxiety on him, 

because he cares for you.

I Peter 5:7

The other day Joyce Lofgren shared a wonderful 90 second video with me. It tells a story about Lutheran World Relief quilts helping families in Tanzania. Take a look, click here.

We heard from 1 Peter yesterday. 

1 Peter 5:7 bears the life giving promise of God’s abiding care for you. In the midst of life’s challenges, it can be easy to forget about God’s great love for you. Memorizing a verse like this can speak the Gospel of God’s love to you when you need it most. 

(Every once in a while I think about our language for memorizing a Bible passage, or a song or something. That is to “learn it by heart.”)

I commend you to place these words in your heart this week.

“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”

Blessings, Pastor Phil

May 23

“…I will bless you, and make your name great, 

so that you will be a blessing.”

“…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 12: 2 and 3

A fun thing about my calling is that I cross paths with a lot of excellent writing. I liked this benediction suggested for a service of healing and though I probably will not use it on Sunday, I thought I could share it here. Perhaps consider these words a sending into the day, bearing God’s great love for you, and commissioned to share that love.

A blessed day to you, Pastor Phil


by Kathy Weaver Wenger

Go in the healing power of Christ, 

    humbly open to God’s touch upon you 

        and ready to be used by God 

            to bring healing to others.

From Leader, Summer 2010. ©2010 MennoMedia.

Together in Worship

May 24

“And remember, 

I am with you always, 

to the end of the age.””

Matthew 28:20

In our Noon Class today, we are continuing a conversation about God the Trinity. I really like this closing stanza of the hymn, “Holy God We Praise Your Name” hymn #414 in the ELW

Holy Father, holy Son, Holy Spirit, three we name you. 

Though in essence only one, Undivided God we claim you. 

And, adoring bend the knee while we own the mystery.

There is a great deal of mystery in the Trinity, and in life itself. Father, Son and Spirit is a way we name God, and our naming is so that we might hear God’s great love for us and for all the world. 

May you know this love today, Pastor Phil

May 25

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

“And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?”

Acts 2:4, 8

On Sunday we will mark Pentecost and we will also rejoice with Cierra and Devon as they graduate from High School. We will hear the traditional Pentecost Sunday reading from the 2nd chapter of Acts. 

The other day I read a devotion that offered an inviting way to think of this story. Rather than “speaking in tongues”, it offered the image of “listening in tongues.”

I like that, which may surprise, since I tend to talk more than listen…

Yet listening is key, isn’t it? 

What an image: Listening in tongues…

Listening for God in surprising places or unexpected people.

Listening in ways that helps the lost to know that they have been heard.

Listening so that we might join in the call for peace and justice.

Listening with the knowledge that God desires for you to hear of God’s great love for you so much, he sent his only begotten son…

May you listen well for the great Good News of the Gospel.

Blessings, Pastor Phil 

May 26

How manifold are your works, O LORD!

In wisdom you have made them all; 

the earth is full of your creatures.

Psalm 104:24

We encourage you to wear red for Pentecost Sunday. (Which is two days from now.) 

On Sunday we begin our Summer Schedule: ONE SUNDAY SERVICE at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m.

On Sunday we hear from Psalm 104. This is a hymn of praise of God for all God has made. 

Verses 25 and 26  proclaim: 

“Yonder is the sea, great and wide, 

with its swarms too many to number, living things both small and great.

There go the ships to and fro, 

and Leviathan, which you made for the sport of it.”

The Leviathan is a sea monster, a sign of chaos and destruction. Maybe something like the Kraken… God made even the Leviathan, and God delights in it. Even this great agent of destruction is rendered God’s plaything by the power of God whose creation provides food and life for all. 

Psalm 104 leads to this praise of God our creator:

“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being. May these words of mine please God. I will rejoice in the LORD. Bless the LORD, O my soul. Hallelujah!”

Blessings to you, Pastor Phil

May 27

Tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday. (You might want to wear red…) 

Summer Schedule: ONE SUNDAY SERVICE at 9:00 a.m. 

    Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m.

A prayer for Pentecost: 


Pentecostal God,
you infuse us with your Spirit,
urging us to vision and dream.
May the gift of your presence
find voice in our lives,
that our babbling 

may be transformed 

into discernment
and the flickering of many tongues
light an unquenchable fire 

of compassion 

and justice. 


Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.


May 28

Worship is at 9:00 this morning - it is Pentecost Sunday, wear red!

The service will be posted on the Trinity website,, click here.


O God, 

on this day you open the hearts of your faithful people 

by sending into us your Holy Spirit. 

Direct us by the light of that Spirit, 

that we may have a right judgment in all things 

and rejoice at all times in your peace, 

through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, 

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 

one God, 

now and forever. 


May 29

 “Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the LORD their God...”

Psalm 146:5

A blessed Memorial Day to you, Pastor Phil

A Memorial Day Prayer from our tradition:

Eternal God,

we give thanks for all those who have shown the greatest love

by laying down their lives for others.

We especially thank you

for those in our military throughout history

who have sacrificed their lives for their fellow citizens

and for us who came after.

As we remember their service,

keep us mindful of all those for whom this day is a burden,

and send your spirit of comfort to them.

Be present with all the women and men

who are serving in the military today.

Let them live for the peace known only from you.

Help us to be worthy of their legacy,

and keep us mindful of their service,

that in all things

we may live our lives in praise and thanksgiving to you;

through Jesus Christ,

our Savior and Lord.


From Evangelical Lutheran Worship Prayer Book for the Armed Services 

(Augsburg Fortress, 2013), p. 65.

May 30

Clap your hands, all you peoples;

shout to God with loud songs of joy.

For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome,

a great king over all the earth.

Psalm 47:1-2

I have been thinking about the hymn, This is my Song a good deal lately. It is hymn number 887 in our hymnal. I love the poetry of these words, and the accompanying tune, by Jean Sibelius is beautiful.

I include it as our devotion this day after Memorial Day.

Blessings to you, Pastor Phil

Click here to hear a nice performance of this hymn.

This Is My Song 

Tune: Finlandia by Jean Sibelius, 1865-1957

Lyrics: Lloyd Stone, 1912-1993; Georgia Harkness, 1891-1974, 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, my 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 cloverleaf and pine;

but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,

and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:

O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,

a song of peace for their land and for mine.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;

may peace abound where strife has raged so long;

that each may seek to love and build together,

a world united, righting every wrong;

a world united in its love for freedom,

proclaiming peace together in one song.

In the ELW, hymn #887 the 3rd stanza is a bit different, 

it is written by Georgia Harkness:

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 done.

May 31

Paul and Silas …came to Thessalonica

…they dragged Jason and some believers 

before the city authorities, shouting, 

“These people who have been turning the world upside down 

have come here also, and Jason has entertained them as guests. 

They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, 

saying that there is another king named Jesus.”

Acts 17:1, 6-7

In a nice reflection on how God works in the world, Pastor Anna Madsen suggests that we might want to consider the Holy Spirit as the “Holy Disruptor.” She invites us to consider that God may be the author of change, even change that seems unsettling and/or something other than a positive move in our world.

I think I like that, but I also suspect that I don’t ALWAYS like that. 

She says: "The Holy Spirit is about surprises, plot twists, sacred upheavals, divine mischief, and yes, a Holy Trickster who makes this world anew…”

I read a book that invited us to pray “surprise me God” at the beginning of each day. (The book was so-so; an intriguing idea taken in not-so-great directions.) But there is quite a lot to consider in the suggestion that God may well be present and at work in your life, not only when things go according to plan, but when there are disruptions and detours.

May you know God’s presence today, no matter where the road leads!

Pastor Phil