A New Faith Forming Ecosystem

At Good Shepherd Trinity, we are being asked the same questions over and over – “Who are you going to change into- because you NEED to change and cannot be the same”. But what does that mean? What can we do that is different?

Vibrant Faith has some suggestions on how to focus on what is needed to grow and change the church.  This month, they  are introducing a 5 part series of articles on “A New Faith Forming Ecosystem”.  We know that having everyone separate, doing separate things, has not grown the church. We know we want to be all together – we decided to join congregations together, we decided to have one service – we WANT to do things together. It is the “how” that we are unsure of.

Part 2 about the New Ecosystem is Intergenerational Relationships.

Throughout the Biblical tradition there is a pervasive sense that all generations—from the youngest to the oldest—were typically present when faith communities gathered for worship,  learning the tradition, reading the Bible, celebrating rituals, praying, serving those in need, and supporting each other.

Congregations need to be intentionally intergenerational—making it a priority to foster intergenerational relationships, faith sharing, and storytelling; to incorporate all generations in worship; to develop service projects that involve all ages; and to engage all generations in learning together.

– John Roberto – Vibrant Faith

We have several generations of people at church each week – we are ahead of the game on that. We know each other’s names and a bit about each other – check #2. How can we take that to the next step – learning, serving, and praising together?

 

For the full article, click here: Faith Ecosystem Part 2: Intergenerational Relationships

For the first article, click here: A New Faith Formation Ecosystem

 

Today was my last Sunday…

Today was my last Sunday at Good Shepherd Trinity. I am officially done later this week. During my tenure as the pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran and then at Good Shepherd Trinity, I have been blessed to journey with so many amazing people who are deeply faithful, awesomely creative, and incredibly insightful. I have learned so much over these many years, and have come to love the people who have shaped and challenged me. It was hard to take in the significance of all the good bye hugs I received today. The finality of this part of my ministry being over hit me as I took off my robe and stole, in the quiet of my office, with the sounds of the bustling morning echoing in my head. Such a simple act, yet in that moment, it was so clear that one chapter is ending and a new one is beginning. Transitions are precious times of letting go, taking risks, and stepping forward down a new path, with adventures yet untold waiting to be discovered. I am so grateful that I do not journey alone. I give thanks to God for life and breath this evening, for miracles great and small, for healing and reconciliation, and for never giving up on us.

To leave a note for Pastor Kristin, you can go to this post on facebook

Holy Week and Easter locations

With Pastor Kristin going to a new position during Lent, Good Shepherd Trinity is blessed to have partner churches to share our Holy Week joys and tears with this year. We will be traveling throughout our EPiC partner churches on the road to Easter Morning back at GST.

Palm Sundaypalms – March 29

10:30am at Spirit of Peace Lutheran

We join our friends at Spirit of Peace for the fourth year in a row – this year at their home. Come for worship at 10:30 and stay for a potluck lunch.

 

soulfoodseder_fullsize_story1Maundy Thursday – April 2

6:00pm at Capitol Drive Lutheran for a traditional Maundy Thursday worship

6:00pm at Body and Soul Healing Arts Center for a Soul Food Seder

 

Good Friday – April 3 – a Nonviolent Atonement worshipnonviolent atonement

7:00pm at Spirit of Peace Lutheran with our EPiC partners. Nonviolent Atonement is not a traditional way of witnessing Good Friday.

So, how does this all relate to a nonviolent atonement? Instead of painting a picture of God requiring violence to pay for sin, the participatory theory paints a picture of God who redeems us by fully entering into the human life situation. This theory implies that divine redemption does not occur by denying the reality of our practical condition or current life situation but by recognizing and acting on the truth that Christ’s love and redeeming presence is available in whatever situation we are in. And, as representatives of Christ, it calls us to share in his redemptive activity by actively sharing in the life-situation of others, particularly the poor and anyone who suffers.

Full article on Non-Violent Atonement here.

Easter Vigil – April 4

Candle-Shapes-candles-14113302-1280-800  8:30am-4:00pm at Bethel-Bethany United Church of Christ

Come during the day for a quiet, contemplative time of prayer, reflecting on how Jesus’ life and story has made a difference in your life, and how you can make a difference in someone else’s.

6pm-9pm at Capitol Drive Lutheran Church firepit

Gather around the fire, hear the stories, sing the songs, share the meal, and celebrate the whole creation and rebirth through Jesus.

Story at the Crossroads

How does My storyStory at the Crossroads

connect to Your story

and embrace God’s story

to become Our story?

 

Our stories meet at the crossroads when I tell you “my” story, when I hear and relate to “your” story, when we connect to “God’s” story, and when all combine to become “Our” story. We invite you to come and be a part of building our story of faith that we take to the world and live out in our actions and words on a daily basis.

Join us on Wednesday evenings in Lent as we travel together to each EPiC church for a soup dinner and worship. Soup dinner will be served starting at 6pm, worship and conversation at 7:00pm.

Offering collections each week will go to support Sojourner Family Peace Center. Established in 1975, the mission of Sojourner Family Peace Center is to transform lives impacted by domestic violence.

Come and be a part of Stories at the Crossroads this Lent–

Feb 25—”Sharing My Story” – here at CDLC

Join us at Capitol Drive Lutheran Church, (5305 W. Capitol Dr.) for our first Lenten worship. We take time during this service to know our own story—who am I? What are my deep values? What’s my purpose in life? Then we will share our  stories with each other, celebrating our joined communities.

 

Mar 4 – “Connecting Your Story” – at Good Shepherd Trinity

Stories flow in many ways. Some are linear, other circular, an still others are more like a spiral. Yet all stories connect in some way to other stories. This evening at Good Shepherd Trinity Lutheran Presbyterian Church, (3302 N. Sherman Blvd) will be about exploring the interconnections of your story.

 

March 11 – “Celebrating God’s Story” – at Albright United Methodist

We meet at Albright United Methodist Church (56th and Capitol) to explore the historical roots of United Methodism’s commitment to diversity and social change. Through Word and Song, we remember God’s call “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God” For more than 167 years, Albright and her predecessors have struggled to answer the call to do justice. Let’s celebrate the common heritage and reflect on God’s story lived through our EPiC communities.

 

March 18 – “Living Our Stories” – at Spirit of Peace Lutheran

We continue at Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church, (55th and Lloyd) where we will discover many ancient rituals and spiritual practices that help us live our lives of faith, alone and with each other.

 

March 25 – “Singing the Stories” – at Bethel-Bethany UCC

We close our series at Bethel-Bethany United Church of Christ, (54th and Locust). We will share songs from our different faith traditions that help us to tell our story and share God’s story with others.

 

 

Thank you Karen…

Karen Jill Stabelfeldt (Younger) passed away peacefully on January 29, 2015. Memorial service will be held on Sunday, February 1st at Good Shepherd Trinity Church, 3302 North Sherman Blvd, Milwaukee WI 53216. 12:00 – 3:00 pm visitation; 3:00 pm memorial service.

Beloved wife of Kimm, loving mother of Danika (Lee) Rzentkowski, Brett (Ellen Lukaszewicz), and Derek (Shealeen Kennedy); proud grandmother of Joseph, William, Henry, James, Stella, Maia, and Luke.

Karen was a talented musician, playing the organ at Good Shepherd Trinity Church and conducting the bell choir at Community United Methodist Church. She loved teaching children Montessori lessons at various schools, and helped to foster five children on behalf of Heal the Children of Wisconsin. Karen was very involved in Christian Education at several churches, and a trainer for Children in Worship workshops. Her spirit and knowledge will live on through the many people she has touched.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorials suggested to Good Shepherd Trinity Church.

 

Tutoring at Townsend

A Terrific Opportunity Right Across the Street

Our church has had a long relationship with Townsend School – right across the street. Each one of us now has the opportunity to help the “kids in our neighborhood” by volunteering to tutor at Townsend. Townsend is part of the Milwaukee Public School system and is a K8 school – kindergarten through eighth grade. They are particularly in need of individuals to tutor reading in the lower grades. Ideally, it would be good if individuals could tutor 3 times per week for about l-l/2 hours. But life is not ideal and they certainly would be happy with someone who could not give that amount of time. Folks could tutor individually or with a partner. And the only expertise and experience you need is being able to read, loving children, and passing a criminal background check. I have been tutoring at Townsend for a number of years in 2nd grade reading.

I have experienced numerous mornings when it is cold and snowing and I just want to “stay at home” (because that is what retirees are supposed to be able to do) but I realize it is my day for tutoring. So I moan and groan to myself a bit, then get dressed, hit the road and am never disappointed that I made it to school. The kids are always happy to see you, they are ready to learn, and I realize that over the years I have learned as much from them as they have from me – and not just in reading. These kids often come from difficult home situations. You, at some point, realize that often you can have a profound effect on these children by just being there for them. Yes, there are a few days when the kids can be rather rambunctious and a bit trying but the good days far outnumber the more difficult ones. So won’t you please think about and then act on becoming a tutor at Townsend. Mrs. Guyton is the volunteer coordinator at the school and is wonderful to work with.

Please contact me for more information or contact Mrs. Guyton directly at 874-5909. She is at the school from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. each day. – Karen Olsen

Holy Currencies

The GST combined council is in conversation with the Rev. Dr. Eric Law, author of “Holy Currencies: Six Blessings for Wholeness WheelSustainable Missional Ministries”, about leading Good Shepherd Trinity through a series of 16 workshops where we put into practice what is talked about in the “Holy Currencies” book. By the end of the series, our congregation will have a mission statement, mission goals, and a concrete plan for implementing those goals.

We will need a team of 6-12 people to create the group that works with the Kaleidoscope Institute staff and Dr. Law. If you are interested in this, please speak with a Combined Council member. The congregation will have four parts to do in the process as well, and will be given regular updates on the team’s progress. In the meantime, WE DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE END TO “DO SOMETHING”! We can start implementing some of the ideas we have had for quite some time, like the Townsend St tutoring or community meals. Also, you can prepare for this series by reading the book. The more people who read the book, the more prepared the congregation will be for these workshops. Books are available for purchase in the church office for $15.00/each. Several copies will be available ‘on loan’ from the church office for members to ‘check out’ and return when done reading. Contact Ahleo or Pastor Kristin to sign out a copy.

This is an exciting, intensive step that will give us a clearer direction to move our congregation forward in sharing the love of Christ to all. – Lisa Quinn, Combined Council

Book Launching – Getting Honest

Good Shepherd Trinity Church announces a BOOK LAUNCHING CELEBRATION for Volina Cross-Dukes on December 14, 2014 – 1:00 – 3:00 P.M.unnamed  Her book: “Getting Honest: A Memoir of a Spiritual Journey,” is one of perseverance, resilience, inspiration and hope, following the domestic violence experienced in her life.  The church is located at 3302 N. Sherman Boulevard – use the North Entrance. details 

I Give Thanks to my God for you…

“I give thanks to my God for you because…”

How would you finish that sentence?

The Apostle Paul is thankful for the early church disciples in the city of Corinth. He is thankful because he knows that God’s grace is among them, and Christ has enriched them, and they have what they need to proclaim the good news about Jesus as they wait for him to be revealed to them.

Interesting to note, this gratitude comes at the start of a long letter to address major conflict within the community of faith in Corinth. Paul, getting ready to admonish and teach the Corinthians, starts from a place of gratitude. Pointing out to the church members that they are not lacking in any spiritual gift for the life and work before them. They have already in their midst what they need. Just listen, remember, and live in the grace of God, and the way forward will become clear in Christ.

Sometimes, the best way to address what appears as an insurmountable task or conflict, is to start with eyes of gratitude. Look at the struggle and ask yourself, for what in this are you thankful? What are the strengths in the situation, person, and context that will allow transformation and clarity to happen? Too often we only see the negative and the shortcomings, and therefore cannot see the way through to resolution, restoration, renewal, and/or reconciliation. According to Paul, even a group as conflicted as the Corinthians have the spiritual gifts they need right in their midst.

I give thanks to my God always for you be-cause of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in Christ, in speech and knowledge of every kind — just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you — so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Corinthians 1:3-9

During Thanksgiving and Christmas, when you encounter a conflict or struggle, I invite you to consider the question, “For what are you thankful in this moment?” What are the strengths that God has already given you that can be used to address the situation? How can a grateful heart, mind and spirit, connect you to the wisdom of Jesus and the path forward?

When you are feeling unsure about yourself or your situation, ask yourself, “What are the strengths that I am grateful for today? What can I leverage to help me see differently and therefore move into a new way of addressing the situation?”

Paul reminds us that we have already been given every spiritual gift that we need in Christ Jesus to live faithfully as his disciples. Therefore, trust in that grace, love and hope. Look for it daily. Appreciate it regularly.

As you gather with family and friends this holiday season, I pray for safe travels, blessed conversation, joyful connection and healing space. May you be and see, the hands and feet of Jesus present in our midst.

Praying for peace and grace to abound…before you, beside you, behind you, below you, above you, all around you, and within you.

Pastor Kristin