October '23

18th Sunday after Pentecost

October 1

Worship today at 9:00, I hope to see you here.

The service will be posted online.

The Prayer of the Day:

God of love, 

giver of life, 

you know our frailties and failings. 

Give us your grace to overcome them, 

keep us from those things that harm us, 

and guide us in the way of salvation, 

through Jesus Christ, 

our Savior 

and Lord.


October 2

Let each of you look not to your own interests, 

but to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:4

Yesterday we heard these wonderful words from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. May you carry them with you today, and each day this week:

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God

as something to be exploited,

but emptied himself,

taking the form of a slave,

being born in human likeness.

And being found in human form,

he humbled himself

and became obedient to the point of death—

even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him

and gave him the name

that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bend,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

A friend and colleague believes these might well be the greatest verses to reflect on when we celebrate Christmas. The God who comes to you in Jesus Christ has emptied himself of his divine power, and entered into our frailties and challenges, our joys and sorrows, and he seeks to save you in the very midst of your life.

Thanks be to God, Pastor Phil

October 3

The statutes of the Lord are just 

and rejoice the heart;

the commandment of the Lord is clear 

and gives light to the eyes.

Psalm 19:8

On Sunday we will consider the 10 Commandments. Martin Luther (following the Jewish tradition) understood the Commandments to be a wonderful gift from God. 

God gave us the 10 Commandments so that we might live together in community and in justice. 

In the reading from Exodus, we will hear:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” (Ex. 20:2-3)

This command flows from God choosing us to be God’s people. It is the furthest thing from a burden. In fact, our God is so much more gracious and loving than any of our idols...

May you see some of the many gifts God has for you today.

Peace, Pastor Phil 

October 4

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

Exodus 20:3

I saw a book that had this interesting subtitle: “How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change”. That was not a church stewardship book, but that notion is reflected in many of the ways we talk about our stewardship. 

I was reminded of Mark Allan Powell writing that Christian stewardship is a matter of how we Acquire, Regard, Manage and Spend money. That spells “arms” which is helpful in remembering this idea. He says in his book he’d prefer the word “Use” rather than “Spend” but armu is not a word. 

Encountering that book title was a nice reminder of something I suspect we all know. Stewardship is much more than what we give to our Church or to charity. We know, but it is good to be reminded of this.

Mark Allan Powell touches on something we do not talk about much. How we regard money is very important. We do not want to make an idol of this necessary part of our lives…

I mentioned this on Sunday, I am so grateful to you for your generosity. I am glad to join with you in support of so many important ministries, like ELCA World Hunger, Lutheran Disaster Response, Lunch Together and numerous other wonderful people who seek to serve God’s people in need.

Perhaps this speaks to a regard for God’s call to love our neighbor, which might well be a faithful following of the 1st Commandment.

Blessings, Pastor Phil

October 5

“I am the Lord your God, 

who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 

out of the house of slavery; 

you shall have no other gods before me.…”

Exodus 20:2-3

In the Small Catechism Luther reframes the First Commandment with these words: “We are to fear, love, and trust God above anything else.”

While often people think that “sin” is things we do wrong, the biblical concept of sin is to practice idolatry. Luther wrote that trust of the heart “make both God and an idol.” He contended that whatever you turn to for ultimate meaning is your god. 

The various idols that distract us, such as money, meaning, security, etc. These gods are so very demanding, they drain us of life.

To follow the first command; to fear, love, and trust God above anything else is a faithfulness that gives life.

May you know today, that you are God’s beloved. 

Peace to you, Pastor Phil

October 6

God spoke all these words:

Exodus 20:1

Since we will be reflecting on the 10 Commandments on Sunday, we spent some time with Exodus 20 in our Wednesday noon class. As is often the case, I found our time with the 10 Commandments to be more life-giving and energizing than I expected. 

In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther took the commandments, and in many ways, restated them in a positive manner. His work with the command to “not bear false witness" is a great example of this…

8th Commandment. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean? We are to fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, or lie about our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain his actions in the kindest way.

Stating it this way, I think we can see that this is a wonderful way to look at the word and actions of those around us. I have a feeling this would be good for both the one’s whose actions we consider, and our relationships with one another.

Blessings to you today, Pastor Phil

October 7

But let justice roll down like waters,

and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5:24

A Prayer of the Day for this weekend…

Holy God,
you love justice and hate oppression;
you call us to righteousness and not to exploitation.
Give us generous and loving hearts,
and eyes to see the splendor of your reign,
that we may live in truth and honor,
and praise you for the transformation of our lives,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

19th Sunday after Pentecost

October 8

Worship today at 9:00 The service will be posted online.

The Prayer of the Day

Beloved God, 

from you come all things that are good. 

Lead us by the inspiration of your Spirit 

to know those things that are right, 

and by your merciful guidance, 

help us to do them, 

through Jesus Christ, 

our Savior and Lord. 


October 9

Let each of you look not to your own interests, 

but to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:4

I have mentioned quite often, a line by Old Testament professor Rolf Jacobson. He teaches at Luther Seminary, our school in St. Paul. He says that if he wrote a book on the Ten Commandments he would call it: “Your Neighbor’s Best Life Now.” While that can be a sort of funny poke at a best seller by a well known tv evangelist, it also invites real reflection. 

What are the Ten Commandments for? 

Are they a guide for you and me to earn God’s favor? Of course not? 

Are they, as some suggest, rules to follow to help you live successfully? 

Dr. Jacobson wants to suggest that the 10 Commandments help to shape a just society. They help form us into a people who treat our neighbors with love, and build a community where lives can flourish.

I like that.

May you know God’s guidance today.

Peace, Pastor Phil

October 10

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, 

sharper than any two-edged sword…

Hebrews 4:12a

It is interesting how Luther takes the Commandments, and sees there a positive call to a life with God. In the Sabbath command, Luther does not address which day to worship, or any day. He hears in this Word, a call to trust God’s word, listen to it and regard it’s wonderful promise. 

3rd Commandment. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

What does this mean?  We are to fear and love God so that we do not neglect his Word and the preaching of it, but regard it as holy and gladly hear and learn it.

May you gladly hear and learn God’s Word today.

Blessings, Pastor Phil

October 11

Of course, 

there is great gain in godliness 

combined with contentment

I Timothy 6:6

Of the 10 Commandments, I wonder if the command “you shall not covet” might sound the most odd to our ears these days. It almost seems as if a great deal of our economy, is fueled by coveting. Not only that, so much advertising seeks to inspire us to want this or that item so much we will rush out to buy the product as soon as we can. Saying anything in criticism of coveting seems out of place.

I like to joke about winning the Publishers Clearing House prize. It can be sort of fun to think about how millions coming my way could be spent in all sorts of interesting ways.

But I wonder. 

I wonder if wishing for millions isn’t something that might be a bit bad for us. I wonder if such thinking might steer us away from a good measure of gratitude for the blessings that have come our way.

The command against coveting might also serve us as a call to gratitude. In many ways, it is gratitude that makes life rich.

Paul’s words in I Timothy might say it best… 

“Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment”

Blessings to you today, Pastor Phil

October 12

O sing to the LORD a new song,

for he has done marvelous things.

Psalm 98:1

This past weekend we went to Luther College for Laura’s 40th reunion. It was an enjoyable trip with great time with both friends and family. On Sunday we attended worship at Luther, with excellent music provided by several choirs, and fine singing by those gathered and surrounded by the choirs. 

The Hymn of the Day was “O Christ, Your Heart Compassionate” which is hymn #722 in our ELW. 

The lyrics are beautiful poetry, and I thought I might include them in Connections…

Blessings to you today, Pastor Phil

Here is stanza one and two


1. O Christ, your heart, compassionate, Bore ev’ry human pain.

    Its beating was the pulse of God; Its breath, God’s vast domain.

    The heart of God, the heart of Christ, Combined in perfect rhyme

    To write God’s love in human deeds, Eternity in time.

    2. As once you welcomed those cast down And healed the sick, the blind,

        So may all bruised and broken lives Through us your help still find.

        Lord, join our hearts with those who weep That none may weep alone,

        And help us bear another’s pain As though it were our own.

Text: Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr., 1923-2007, © 2006, GIA Publications, Inc.

October 13

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;

break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

Psalm 98:4

Part of what I like about the hymn “O Christ, Your Heart Compassionate” is the poetic vision of God who creates and recreates us, and sends us out to love. This is a very incarnational vision of our lives with God.

Below are stanzas three and four.

I pray you know God creative call today, Pastor Phil


3. O Christ, create new hearts in us That beat in time with yours,

    That, joined by faith with your great heart, Become Love’s open doors.

    We are your body, risen Christ; Our hearts, our hands, we yield

    That through our life and ministry Your love may be revealed.

        4. O Love that made the distant stars Yet marks the sparrow’s fall,

        Whose arms, stretched wide upon a cross, Embrace and bear us all:

        Come, make your Church a servant Church That walks your servant ways,

        Whose deeds of love rise up to you, A sacrifice of praise!

Text: Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr., 1923-2007, © 2006, GIA Publications, Inc.

October 14

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king 

who gave a wedding banquet for his son.”

Matthew 22:2

Friends in Christ, we continue to pray for all who have been impacted by the terrible violence in Israel. 

A prayer based on our Gospel text for tomorrow.


Matthew 22:1-14

The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king

who gave a wedding feast for his son.

O Christ, your father prepared a banquet for us.

He set the table, killed the fattened calf,

He gave us the very finest wine

and he invited us to come,

each and every one,

every single

one, to



of plenty.

Oh Jesus,

what shall we wear?

Would you be our garment?

Let us put on your mind and your heart.

Then we can relish the morsels, savor the wine,

and taste your love, which is the most desired of all foods.

Let us help you nourish everyone we meet with all they will ever need.

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

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

15th Sunday after Pentecost

October 15

Worship at 9:00 this morning, I hope to see you.

The service will be posted online.


Lord of the feast, 

you have prepared a table before all peoples 

and poured out your life with abundance. 

Call us again to your banquet. 

Strengthen us by what is honorable, just, and pure, 

and transform us into a people of righteousness and peace, 

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. 


October 16

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

Psalm 122:6

I shared this prayer from The Church of Scotland during the Announcement of the Day yesterday.

As we grieve the violence and the loss of life, let us pray for all who work to bring peace. 

Blessings to you today, Pastor Phil

God of Justice,
bless those who work for peace through justice.
Strengthen their resolve in the face of seemingly endless violence.
Guide the leaders of the people of the Middle East to know your will and to support a just peace for all of your children. 

God of Love,
lifting up the holy land for all humankind,
breathe love and compassion into our prayers with a desire for nothing other than peace:
peace in our hearts,
peace for all creation, and
especially peace in the land that is called holy. 

God of Hope,
we lift up the city of Jerusalem,
distracted and divided,
yet still filled with promise as all the cities of the world.
Come again into our cities, places of worship,
Upper Rooms and Gethsemanes,
that we may be given sight to recognize you. 

God of Mercy,
even as we long to understand that which is often beyond our comprehension,
we lay before you the hearts, minds and bodies of all those suffering from conflict in Palestine and Israel and from the ongoing occupation.
Shower upon all the people of the Holy Land the spirit of justice and reconciliation. 

God of the Nations,
give to all our people the blessings of well-being, freedom, and harmony, and,
above all things, give us faith in you that we may be strengthened to care for all those in need until the coming of your son, our Saviour and Lord. 


“A Prayer for Peace in the Middle East,” courtesy of The Church of Scotland, Christian Aid, and the Scottish Episcopal Church, in partnership with the worldwide ACT Alliance.

October 17

May the LORD give strength to his people!

May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29:11

Father Steven Charleston was a professor of theology at Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary (now Luther Seminary) when I was a student there. Although I never had a class with him, I know he was held in high regard in his tenure there.

He later served as Bishop in the Alaska Diocese of the Episcopal Church, and then as the president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, having served 1999-2008.

Now retired, he often posts prayers and insights on his Facebook page, and he is a widely read author and spiritual leader.

Here is a prayer that was posted las week:

I pray for your peace in troubled lands, 

in places where people fear each day, 

in cities or villages under threat of danger. 

I pray your peace into the hearts of those who hate, 

into the minds of those who live in anger, 

of those who long for revenge. 

The hot winds of war sweep over so many lives, 

dear God, 

terror and cruelty following in their wake, 

I do not know what else to do, 

but stand here making my appeal to heaven. 

Peace I pray. 

Peace against all the odds, 

peace without compromise, 

peace strong and enduring, 

peace so children never worry as they go to sleep.

— Steven Charleston, Episcopal bishop and citizen of the Choctaw Nation

October 18

“Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, 

and to God the things that are God’s.””

Matthew 22:21

A number of times I’ve shared the daily devotion of Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes. I liked his reflection on Sunday’s Gospel story, Jesus answering the question “should we pay taxes to the emperor…?”

I have tried to replicate the format that Pastor SGH uses in his daily devotion…

As I consider his meditation on this, I like the insight that Jesus’ answer to his adversaries might be more complex than we realize…

Peace to you today, Pastor Phil

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

          Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s,
          and to God the things that are God’s.”
                    —Matthew 22.21
And you, made in God's image,
stamped with God's fingerprints,
the likeness of God‘s love,
give yourself, who are God's, to God.
Let God alone spend you.
Only God knows what you have been saved for.
But whatever it is, you will be well spent.
Release yourself into the hands of the Gracious One,
and trust.
You are worth much.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 19

And if you belong to Christ, 

then you are Abraham’s offspring, 

heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:29

I set this quote from Albert Schweitzer aside quite a while ago. It is an observation made following the terribly sad state of affairs following World War I. 

Wikipedia will tell you that Rev. Schweitzer (1875-1965) was a theologian, organist, musicologist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, Lutheran pastor, and physician.

Schweitzer contended that we must trust one another in order to live together in community. While our present discord does not match post WWI, his age of extremes might well remind us of the importance of civil society, and the call to live together in community:

We live in a time when the good faith of peoples 

is doubted more than ever before. 

Expressions throwing doubt on the trustworthiness of each other 

are bandied back and forth.… 

We cannot continue in this paralyzing mistrust. 

If we want to work our way out of the desperate situation 

in which we find ourselves, 

another spirit must enter into the people.… 

We must approach them in the spirit that we are human beings, all of us, 

and that we feel ourselves fitted to feel with each other; 

to think and will together in the same way. 

Albert Schweitzer

I am grateful to God for you and your good faith, and and am so glad we have been called to trust one another in faithfulness, as we seek to live our lives as God’s people in this world. Peace, Pastor Phil

October 20

God saw everything that he had made, 

and indeed, it was very good.

Genesis 1:31

I set this devotion aside this past summer and it seems fitting to share with you today, considering the weather promised by the weekend forecast…

Blessings to you on this beautiful day, Pastor Phil

Everything is Indeed Good - by Henri Nouwen

I just returned from a walk through the dark woods.

It was cool and windy, but everything spoke of you.

Everything: the clouds, the trees, the wet grass,

the valley with its distant lights, the sound of the wind.

They all spoke of your resurrection;

they all made me aware that everything is indeed good.

In you all is created good,

and by you all creation is renewed

and brought to an even greater glory

than it possessed at its beginning. 

O Lord, I know now that it is in silence,

in a quiet moment, in a forgotten corner that you will meet me,

call me by name and speak to me a word of peace.

It is in my stillest hour that you become the risen Lord to me.

Henri Nouwen

October 21

Then Jesus said to them, 

“Give therefore to the emperor 

the things that are the emperor’s, 

and to God 

the things that are God’s.”

Matthew 22:21

Blessings to you today.

Here is a prayer based on tomorrow’s powerful Gospel story… 

“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”

Did Caesar create the stars?
Hurl them to the ends of the universe?
Can he make blood course through our veins?
Or craft a hummingbird or a
Gerbera daisy?


his coins can’t buy
what we really

you are the one
whose face we seek.
The domain of love that
you give in grace and peace.

We are in your image.
Please take us
as your

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

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

The 21st Sunday after Pentecost

October 22

I hope to see you in worship today.

The service will be posted online

The Prayer of the Day

Creator of all, 

you have called us and chosen us to be your people. 

By the power of your Holy Spirit 

may we bear witness 

with joy and conviction 

to the good news of Jesus Christ. 


October 23

"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus..."

Philippians 2:5

I realize now that although I had this devotions set aside for today, I failed to send it. So here it is, a bit late today. 

Blessings to you, Pastor Phil

Who Are You Meant to Be? - From Daily Grace Devotions - September 2014 

Who am I, and what kind of person am I gifted to be? Most of us do not explicitly consider that question when we wake up in the morning with our first cup of coffee, and perhaps not as we go about the activities that consume our day. Nor is it likely that we ponder it in conversations with fiiends or co-workers. Nonetheless, whether the question is explicit or not, it is one that we answer nearly every moment of every day: in our choices, in our relationships, and in our approach to life. 

This message is adapted from "The Mind of Christ" written by Audrey West in the March 2004 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now called Gather) magazine.

October 24

While they were eating, 

Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, 

gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”

Matthew 26:26

The last time we celebrated communion, a funny thing happened. We had exactly the right amount of wafers on the paten (that’s the communion plate). Of course, only a few people noticed this, among them were me, the Altar Guild person who prepared everything for us on the 15th, and an Altar Guild person who received one of the last wafers.

(One might suggest that we should not be worrying about how many wafers are on the paten... Ha!)

One important insight of the early reformers was to note that in Holy Communion the promise of the Gospel is borne to us in the bread and wine. The presence of Christ in the sacrament does not rely on your faith, but on the faithfulness of God. (They formulated the maxim that faith receives the gift, it does not make the gift…) I like to say that some days we might come to Communion while thinking about all sorts of other things, and we lose sight of its meaning. Other times, we are struck by the profound gifts of the Gospel given in the bread and wine. Both of those times, we receive the same gift, Christ is fully present, with the same life giving Gospel, only sometimes we are more present to God…

Here is where I’m going with this. This coming Sunday 3 (or 4) of our 4th graders will receive First Communion. I wish we all could serve them on Sunday. Sometimes, when a child is welcome to the table for the first time, they take hold of that wafer with a reverence that reminds me of the wonder of God’s love poured out for all the world. It is a privilege and a joy to be there with them.

Please join me in prayers for our youth this week, peace to you, Pastor Phil

October 25

“As you go, proclaim the good news, 

‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’”

Matthew 10:7

I sometimes find it a bit off-putting when people act like the significant thing about living in the Gospel Good News of God’s love is that we get to go to heaven when we die. Like faith is this “thing” which bears this wonderful grand prize of life in heaven forever. 

Don’t get me wrong, we proclaim the wonderful gift of life with God, now and forever. At the same time, you are called to live in the Kingdom of of God right now, and this call shapes all we say and do.

I set this reflection by Dr. Mark Allan Powell aside a while ago. It is taken from a Bible Study he prepared for the Women of the ELCA.

Blessings to you today, Pastor Phil

Jesus’ Favorite Topic - Mark Allan Powell

What does Jesus talk about more than anything else? Try asking your friends (religious, spiritual, both or neither) and see what answers you get. Some (I hope) might say “love.” Others (I fear) might say “sin.” Once, I asked random patrons at a bar and someone guessed, “Carpentry?”

The statistical answer: “the kingdom of God.” There are 52 references to the kingdom in Matthew, 18 in Mark and, 41 in Luke and two in John. Jesus has a great deal to say about the kingdom of God: where it is found, when it will come, how it draws near, to whom it belongs.

In many Scripture passages, Jesus starts out talking about love, sin, prayer, money, marriage or children or something else. But before he is done, he makes some sort of reference to the kingdom of God. There’s a lot to learn about the kingdom. Hint: it doesn’t just refer to a place we hope to go to when we die. Still, there is one simple truth: What Jesus and others teach us about the kingdom of God is good news!

This message is excerpted from the Bible study “The kingdom of God: Beautiful feet” by Mark Allan Powell in the January/February 2022 Gather magazine.

October 26

I believe in God the Father almighty, 

creator of heaven and earth.

Apostles’ Creed

Sunday is Reformation Sunday, remember to wear red!

I have never known a congregation that does a better job of donning red attire for Reformation Day, it’s a fun tradition!

We have Confirmation of three of our 9th graders on Sunday, please keep Seger, Gracee and Deacon in your prayers.

All things considered, I think we should spend the next few days with Luther’s Small Catechism. 


I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has created me and all that exists. He has given me and still preserves my body and soul with all their powers. He provides me with food and clothing, home and family, daily work, and all I need from day to day. God also protects me in time of danger and guards me from every evil. All this he does out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I surely ought to thank and praise, serve and obey him.

This is most certainly true.

Indeed it is most certainly true! Blessings to you today, Pastor Phil

October 27

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.

Apostles’ Creed

On Sunday we will have Confirmation for Gracee Hogan, Deacon Webb and Seger Wyssmann. We will also have First Communion for our 4th graders.

Please keep them all in your prayers as we look ahead to Sunday. 

Here is Luther’s Small Catechism, the 2nd Article of the Creed.


What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ - true God, Son of the Father from eternity, and true man, born of the virgin Mary - is my Lord.

At great cost he has saved and redeemed me, a lost and condemned person. He has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil - not with silver or gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death.

All this he has done that I may be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules eternally. This is most certainly true.

Not only is this most certainly true, it is a blessing beyond measure! 

Peace, Pastor Phil

October 28

“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”

Apostles’ Creed

Tomorrow is Reformation Sunday and while 3 of our LOGOS youth will be confirmed, our 4th graders will also be celebrating their first Communion. I know I’ve mentioned that often the past few days, but I believe this is important for us to celebrate these young fellow Trinity members!

For devotions today, I share the 3rd article of the Creed from Luther’s Small Catechism.


What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and kept me in true faith. 

In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it united with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

In this Christian church day after day he fully forgives my sins and the sins of all believers. On the last day he will raise me and all the dead and give me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.

I have a suspicion that we would all do well to reflect on the words of The Small Catechism regularly.

Blessings to you today, I hope to see you in worship tomorrow, Pastor Phil

Reformation Sunday

Affirmation of Baptism

First Communion

October 29

I hope you can join us today as we celebrate a number of our youth, and we mark Reformation Sunday. 

Worship at 9:00 - the service will be posted online.

Blessings to you today!

The Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, gracious Lord, we thank you that your Holy Spirit renews the church in every age. Pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep them steadfast in your word, protect and comfort them in times of trial, defend them against all enemies of the gospel, and bestow on the church your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

October 30

But now thus says the LORD,

he who created you, O Jacob,

he who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1

Yesterday we shared the joy of a number of our youth, Confirmation for 3 high school freshmen, and First Communion for 5 4th graders. In the midst of seasons of joy, we have more mixed emotions as well. We wished the Hansens Godspeed as they have moved to Utah, and they returned so their 4th grader could share in this time with his classmates.

We have had a few other friends who have moved as well recently, and so I share this prayer of Farewell and Godspeed:

Blessings to you, Pastor Phil

Gracious God,

we thank you for the work and witness of your servants ,

who have enriched this congregation

and shared their gifts with us.

Now bless and preserve them at this time of transition.

Day by day, guide them and give them what is needed,

friends to cheer their way,

and a clear vision of that to which you are now calling them.

By your Holy Spirit

be present in their pilgrimage,

that they may travel

with the one who is the way, the truth, and the life,

Jesus Christ our Lord.


October 31

Reformation Day

All Hallow’s Eve

I pray that everyone is safe this evening as people celebrate Halloween. Of course, tomorrow is All Saints Day, and that is the reason for all this halloweeny nonsense and revelry. 

Pastor Thomas Weitzel wrote this “Litany of Commitment to God's Word” for a Reformation Sunday liturgy. We have used this litany in a number of ways. On this Reformation Day, All Hallow’s Eve, I invite you to join me in this Commitment to Gods’ Word…

Litany of Commitment to God's Word - Prayers for Forgiveness and Healing.


The Lord God in his goodness has seen fit to call us together as the Church of Jesus Christ in this place. In our history of being God's people of Trinity Lutheran Church, God has given us his word of creation, redemption and blessing. He has given us his word of healing, forgiveness and grace. He has given us his word of guidance and mission, and sent his Holy Spirit to empower us for that mission. And when we have strayed from his word, God has called us to return to him that we might continue to be blessed by his grace and favor. We are nothing without our God and his word of hope and promise.

Therefore, people of God, on this day I invite you to commit yourselves and your whole lives to God's holy word and to his loving purpose for you and for us as  Trinity Lutheran Church, so that our lives may be enriched and the work of our hands blessed and prospered.


Let us pray. Almighty God, by your holy word, all that we know has come into existence: our universe, our world, our lives, our loved ones, and all that we have and hold so dear. By your holy word, you sent forth your Son to bring us salvation through the cross of death and resurrection. By your holy word, you have called us together to be a Church of love and service in the world. By your holy word, we know that we live in grace and hope. Keep us ever close to your word, that it might be written upon our hearts.

   We commit our lives to your word, O God.

Help us to grow in faith and love toward you, so that we might always live in trust and hope.

   We commit our lives to your word, O God.

Center us in routines that keep us close to you, O Lord. Center us in weekly worship.

   We commit our lives to your word, O God.

 Center us in daily prayer.

   We commit our lives to your word, O God.

Center us in knowledge of holy scripture.

   We commit our lives to your word, O God.

Center us in the mission of the church.

   We commit our lives to your word, O God.

Center us in lives of thankful giving and loving for all the blessings which you have bestowed upon us.

   We commit our lives to your word, O God.

By your word, O Lord, guide our lives, forgive our sins, inspire our thoughts, shape our attitudes, lighten our darkness, grant us healing, give us eternal hope, and fill our hearts with joy, assuring us of your constant presence, until you bring us at last into the glories of your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.