October 2019: Reformation Sunday, RIC Forums, and work around the building.

Greetings Everyone

I know autumn officially began a few weeks ago back in September, and it didn’t feel like fall, but now it looks like it’s here for real with leaves turning from green to bright beautiful colors, and in fact they’re even starting to fall, which means…..uh oh…. raking season is coming soon, if not already here in some plaqces But in my mind it’s worth it, because on a crisp morning with crystal blue sky and bright sun shining on the trees as the leaves get bright orange/yellow/red, you can’t help but feel good, and grateful for all of God’s blessings.

Another sure sign that summer is way back in the rear-view mirror and we’re into the regular routines of school and work can be seen here at Holy Trinity where so many are doing so much. Members of the Thursday Work Group, Faith Formation Team and others pooled their talents to move the Wiggle Room to the room at the end of the hallway to the right of the kitchen. Further work will be done to change the former Wiggle Room into a gathering room for classes and meetings. The Faith Formation Team has been meeting and mapped out plans for the coming year, and plans are being made for future events such as the ski weekend, spring cleanup at Camp Calumet, and Confirmation retreat.

Closer at hand, October 27th is Reformation Sunday, when we will be confirming four of our young people during first service. In addition, it will be pledge Sunday, during which time we will be making our commitment to Holy Trinity for the coming year through our financial support. Be on the lookout for the Stewardship mailing that will be coming out shortly. Please prayerfully consider your financial commitment to Holy Trinity in 2020.

Forums centering on Holy Trinity exploring the possibility of becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation will continue this Sunday/Wednesday and next (13th and 16th, and the following week the 20th and 23rd) with the topic this Sunday/Wednesday being “What Would It Mean For Holy Trinity”. The following week Alice Kerr Laird will be leading a discussion about what the Bible says about same-sex relationships. I strongly urge everyone to attend all the sessions. If you miss one, see Mark Donahue and he will make available the recording so you can listen. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or raise points or concerns during these get togethers. If you’re hesitant to speak during the sessions, seek out one of the RIC Team members (Pastor, John Corgan, Steve Bauer, Jo Whiting, Cristina Dolcino, Matt Nania, or Glen Oswald) with your thoughts and ideas or for more information.

Enjoy the beautiful autumn days ahead.

Peace

Dave Smith

Congregation President

August 2019: "The Dog Days of August"

Greetings everyone!!

I hope your summer has been healthy, safe, and full of enjoyment in whatever activity/ies you’ve been taking part in. And now there is change on the horizon, as college students are returning to school / campus (good luck and best wishes to those college freshman who will be passing into a whole new chapter in their life journey), and younger kids are gearing up for another year at elementary or high school levels. And let’s not forget the teachers and other support staff involved in the educational process. To all, may the Lord bless you and guide you through the coming year as you face the various challenges that everyone will be faced with.

While summer typically sees a slower pace to our busy lives than during the rest of the year, there are activities at Holy Trinity that go on….. Dave Mercer and his Thursday Group continue getting together every week to take care of the many property maintenances that need to be kept up with, Church Council had their monthly meetings, a number of the congregation teams have been together for planning the coming fall/winter season, and the Alter Guild, choirs, musicians, and Pastor Tim work together to continue to insure we have opportunities to worship every week. Thanks be to God for those who provide for our worship services….. personally, for various reasons, I was unable to attend worship for a few consecutive weeks, and I sure missed it. I sometimes call it my weekly charge….. if I don’t get that weekly spiritual ‘fix’, things just don’t seem to be the same. So, thanks to everyone who keep our services going, especially during the summer months.

Probably the most visible event at Holy Trinity over the summer, beside worship service, was VBS. Several notes of thanks have been passed on to Heidi Morrison and her team of volunteers for organizing and staffing the recent VBS program, and I would like to add Congregational Council’s thanks and appreciation to all for such a great job. It was a joyful, enriching ROAR! for all, and everyone on Council greatly appreciates the efforts and work done by everyone.

Please make a note on your calendar that Holy Trinity’s return to the regular worship schedule of services will take place September 8th with Rally Day sandwiched between the 8:30 AM and 11:00 AM worship services. Looking a little further down the calendar, God’s Work Our Hands will be taking place October 6, when there will be a project between services and other projects for later in the day for anyone who would like to participate.

Lastly, as announced in an email blast yesterday from Pastor Tim, a Reconciling In Christ Team has been formed to openly enter into a process to determine whether Holy Trinity might become a Reconciled In Christ (RIC) congregation. The team has received Council’s support to carry out various steps centering around education and open conversation about the topic, to determine if the congregation should decide to declare we are a RIC congregation. The process outlined is not time-specific, and everyone will be encouraged to be part of this process, to learn and understand what it all involves.

So, as we enter the last days of hot humid August weather (I think it’s still referred to as “the dog days of August”?), stay cool, stay safe, and enjoy.

Peace and Understanding to all…. Dave Smith, Council President

June 2019: Graduates, Faith Formation teachers, and VBS help

Greetings everyone. Warmer temperatures are finally here and guess what next Friday is? Right …… its summertime!! June 21st. Longest day of the year!! Schools closing, vacation plans being made, and everyone getting ready to recreate in some way or another. Holy Trinity’s summer season got off to a great start last Sunday as we went to the single service format, had an incredibly uplifting service with a ‘full house’ of 180 and sky-high energy, followed by the semi-annual congregation meeting and topped off with the annual picnic.

Part of the worship service included recognition of Holy Trinity’s graduating high school and college students, the awarding of the Faith and Service Award, and recognition of teachers and others in carrying out the Faith Formation program over the past year. So…. congratulations to our post-secondary grads (Alex Bock, Maelyn Morrison, Katherine Clement, and Auderien Monareh), our high school grads (Juanita Sihotang, Robert Scammon, Abbe Laurence, Joshua Bororing, Victorya Liebel, and Brian Clement), and additional kudos to Juanita and Robert who were co-recipients of the 2019 Faith and Service Award. Congratulations to all from Council and the Congregation.

Speaking of the Faith and Service Award, last years recipient, Yosua Siagian, briefly spoke to the congregation about his first year of college experience. He was very impressive as he made his well-received comments.

And a BIG SHOUT OUT to our Faith Formation teaching staff (Lara Scammon, Jill Larson, Stephanie Goupil. Karen Berg, Krystal Small, Kristen Crawford), and Vicky Krick who provided snacks for the Jr/Sr High Class, (reminding us that it’s very important to feed their stomachs as well as their minds!), and to Heidi Morrison for an outstanding job in organizing and managing Holy Trinity’s Children / Youth Faith Formation program over the past year. Thank you to one and all.

One last THANK YOU TO Tommy Monareh for organizing and leading this year’s Church Picnic, and a THANK YOU to all those many others who contributed and worked, from bringing food, to helping set-up, cook, serve, clean-up, etc.

Looking ahead, planning for VBS is moving along, although the “Help Wanted” sign is still hanging out for assistance with food and with technology. VBS will take place July 28 thru August 1. It’s never too late to join the team and get involved, so if you’re interested in participating please let the church office, or Heidi Morrison, or Pastor Tim know.

Enjoy the summer, whether you go in the back yard pool, or go swim in a lake or the ocean, or go hiking, or sit in the shade reading a book…. whatever it is you do to relax, recreate, and re-charge your batteries……. Stay safe and enjoy!!

The Peace of the Lord be with you all.

Dave Smith

May 2019: Memorial Day Weekend, Church Picnic, and Pastor's Ordination Anniversary,

Well well well….at last …. Happy Spring everyone!!! It finally got here. Only four weeks before the official first day of summer, but it’s here none-the-less and I’ll definitely take it. Spring’s arrival is just in time, too, because, believe it or not, we’re heading into Memorial Day Weekend. As a little side-bar….. it wasn’t always a nice three-day weekend …. Up until about 50 years ago, well actually, 49 years ago, it was always on May 30th. Then a 1968 enacted law kicked in, and Memorial Day plus a couple of other national holidays were all moved to the three-day weekend format starting in 1971.

While the long Memorial Day Weekend has become known as the unofficial start of summer, here at Holy Trinity I always think of the start of summer as the day we move to the single service, which this year is in two weeks. June 9th. Mark your calendar. Church will start at 9:30, followed by the Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting led by yours truly, and then, the picnic. This year Tommy Monareh has graciously agreed to lead the picnic team, so please be on the lookout for announcements asking for assistance in setting up, cooking, bringing food, etc. etc. At this point in time, there doesn’t appear to be much on the meeting agenda other than an update on the financial reports, so we should be able to get to all that good food and fellowship relatively soon after worship. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!!

Please remember that the week before, on June 2nd, we’ll have a special coffee hour for Pastor Tim as he celebrates the 10th anniversary of his ordination. The actual date of his 10th ordination anniversary is May 31st. There’s a memory book in the gathering area where you can write a congratulatory message, a thank you or a memory of an activity or something you've shared with Pastor. The book will be there this Sunday and next as well. Please join Pastor for this special day.

Finally, I’d like to offer a few words about this holiday weekend coming up. Yes, it is nice that a good number of us will have a three-day weekend, and many will have family gatherings, barbeques, perhaps a day at the beach or a park, or some other activity. But for many others it may be a time of sadness remembering the loss of a loved one while in the service of our country, which is what the day is about. From my view, Memorial Day seems to have lost some of its meaning as a day to pause and give thanks for those women and men of our country’s armed forces. Please take a few moments in church on Sunday to say a prayer for those who gave of themselves, or Monday go to a nearby Memorial Day ceremony to show support for our troops and to thank those who have served and sacrificed.

Go in Peace

Dave Smith

Council President

April 2019: Christus ist auferstanden

Greetings Everybody….. Christ Is Risen!!! He is Risen Indeed!!! Alleluia!!! Or as Martin Luther might have said back in the day…. “Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaft auferstanden!”. Or something to that effect.

Even though Easter Sunday is now past, we’ll continue with the period of Easter over the next eight weeks or so, up to the day of Pentecost. But before the just completed season of Lent, and the Last Three Days (Maundy Thursday. Good Friday, and Easter) are too far in the rear-view mirror, everyone on the Congregation Council would like to thank the many, many folks who contributed so much to making this past Lenten Season so meaningful. From all those who worked to host the soup diners before the Wednesday evening Lenten services, the singers who led the Holden Vespers, the musicians, Bell Choir, singing choirs, Altar Guild members ….. I’d like to name names, but the list would be way too long. So to one and all, Thank You so much for your time and efforts.

Big thanks to Tom and Michelle Bernth for organizing and leading the Easter Sunday Breakfast. Tom and Michelle provided the great tasting ham, and all the ‘pot luck’ provided eats were great. Thanks to everyone, from those who helped set up Saturday afternoon, to those who helped clean up afterwards, and to everyone in between who served and provided the food. Two things Lutherans are great at….. praising the Lord and sharing food/eating. Perfect together!!

Congratulations to Brian and Matthew Clement, who will be receiving their Eagle Scout award on Saturday (the 27th). For those familiar with Scouting, it’s a long and at times difficult road moving through the six ranks up to Eagle. In fact, since it’s inception in the early 1900’s, less than 5% of Scouts have earned the award. So again, congratulations to Matthew and Brian, and kudo’s, too, to Mom and Dad, Lynne and Bruce, for all their encouragement and influence in helping their sons earn this prestigious award. Please mark your calendars for June 9th ….. that’ll be the day we go to single service at 9:30, followed by the Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting, which will be followed by the church picnic. (There we go….. eating again!!).

Finally, elsewhere in this Tidings, you’ll see a note about a Spring Fling. It’ll be an evening of fellowship at Cornerstone Brewery, which is on Brewery Lane (makes sense) in Portsmouth, on Thursday May 23rd from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

Enjoy Spring, stay safe.

Peace

Dave Smith

March 2019: Lenten Services, ELCA World Hunger update, and Dover Friendly Kitchen.

Greetings,

Well, we’re now well into the season of Lent, and I’m very glad Pastor mentioned in a recent sermon that Lent doesn’t have to be downbeat but rather just a time of reflection and preparation for the day we celebrate the rising of our Lord and Savior. While our music and Sunday service are a bit more solemn than the rest of the church year (no Alleluia’s, use dark color purple banners and vestments, etc), we can be hopeful and upbeat as Easter approaches …… after all, the daylight hours are starting to stretch out, most of the snow and ice is melted away, and although it’s getting into mud season, trees will soon be starting to show color and ….POW! …. Suddenly flowers and grass are going to start coming up.

We have three more weeks of Wednesday Lent services (6:30), preceded by a soup supper that begins at 5:30. The Holden Evening Prayer service that follows supper provides a great opportunity to experience a restful time to take a mid-week break from the normal hustle and bustle everyone experiences. Fellowship with a light meal followed by Holden Evening Prayer service….Perfect Together!!

Remember almost two months ago when Pastor challenged the congregation to donate money to World Hunger on Super Bowl Sunday for the ELCA World Hunger Big Game Synod Challenge?? And if HT raised over $1,000 he’d wear that pretty pink way-to-small Tom Brady football jersey at his Thursday morning coffee time? Several of you have been asking how that all turned out. Well, in one word…. SPECTACULAR! Holy Trinity raised a hair under $ 4,000, which contributed to New England Synod’s total of $6,000. With the Los Angeles Synod total of $3,000, and some general donations to neither synod of $1,500, a total of about $10,500 went to World Hunger!!! And yes, I personally witnessed Pastor Tim wearing his cute, five-sizes-too-small pink Tom Brady Jersey the following Thursday at Flight Coffee Café in Dover. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to this great program.

Dover Friendly Kitchen is one of several ministries Holy Trinity has been supporting for many many years. The Friendly Kitchen serves anyone who needs a meal every Tuesday and Thursday evening, which gives folks a good dinner along with good companionship a couple of times a week. One of our members has been leading Holy Trinity’s efforts in working with Dover Friendly Kitchen and this is her 25th year of doing this!! Although she is modest and humble about her involvement, I think it very appropriate to give A BIG SHOUT OUT to Bonnie Sanders for her dedication and service to this ministry for the past 25 years. Thank You Bonnie …. God’s Blessings for all you’ve been doing.

Enjoy the next few weeks as we move thru Lent.

Peace to all…. Dave Smith

February 2019: Lent, QCD, and the Re-Covanent

Greetings To All……

It’s the dreary season, where all the holidays are in a seemingly distant past, it’s cold outside and, we’ve had lots of days of snowing/sleeting/sometime almost raining (I think this is called “a wintery mix” by weather people) and it’s all just yuck!!

But as believing Christians always say, there is hope!!! Have you noticed that even on cloudy days, it’s still light out at 5:45 or a little beyond? And in the morning, if you’re an early riser like I am, around 5:45 the horizon is starting to lighten (to all you sleepers-till-seven, trust me….it is getting light out!!!). Which means Spring is coming …. only four weeks away… which means the most important day in our church year, Easter, is nearing.

To get to that glorious day when we celebrate the rising of our Lord and Savior, however, we have to go through the season of Lent, which this year begins with Ash Wednesday on March 6th. The following five Wednesday Lenten Services here at Holy Trinity will be preceded by the Soup Supper, each week hosted by a different team, including Church Council on March 13th. As in past years there will be a free will offering basket with proceeds this year going to the Tanzania Scholarship Fund.

A week ago this past Sunday, Council members of Imanuel Indonesian Church and Holy Trinity, on behalf of their respective congregations, re-signed the Covenant In Gospel, Community, and Mission. The original Covenant was signed in December 2013, and both Holy Trinity and Imanuel agreed to renew it in December, 2018. For various reasons the actual signing could not be done until a week ago last Sunday. So we’ve ‘officially’ re-affirmed our commitment to each other for another five years, including Holy Trinity’s prayers of support for Imanuel; sharing in Christmas and Holy Week worship services, VBS, the June church picnic, and other activities. The new Covenant will be posted in the Gathering Area once it’s re-framed.

This time of year also brings on the chore of tax filing, and I thought I’d pass on something for you to think about, called a qualified charitable deduction (QCD in IRS parlance). With the new tax reform coming into effect, many of us may no longer itemize, but rather use the standard deduction. This will lead to a loss of the itemized church donation deduction. The QCD allows you to transfer money from your IRA or SEP directly to Holy Trinity, without that money being added to your taxable income. The QCD would also count toward any required minimum distribution (RMD) you might have to take this year. There’s a lot of good articles and examples on various tax consultant websites, including the IRS site. If you want to use the QCD, you need to check with whomever your IRA is with for its rules and procedures.

And finally, cool news from AmazonSmile …. Purchases for the fourth quarter 2018 came in at $37. (actually $36.95) !!!! Thanks to all who are making their Amazon purchases thru AmazonSmile which results in .5% of purchase price going to Holy Trinity. For those who have not set up an AmazonSmile account, or don’t know how it all works, please see Mark Donahue, who can provide you with instructions on the procedure to enroll. Very simple, even for those of us technically challenged. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

Stay safe….stay warm…..and, in only three more weeks we turn our clocks ahead (March 9th)!!!

Peace,

Dave Smith

Council President

January 2018: Annual Meeting, Curch Budget, and the NE Synod Assembly

Greetings everyone!! Happy New Year!!

I hope you all had a wonderful, joyful Christmas season. Before it’s totally faded from memory, I want to thank everyone for the generous response to my letter on behalf of Church Council in early December, which gave you the opportunity to offer good wishes, thanks and support to all of our great staff here at Holy Trinity. Pastor Tim, Mark, Jon, Jonathan, Ken, Heidi, and Juanita were all very appreciative of the recognition shown to them, and I and all the Council members want to thank you, the congregation, for your generous response. Thank you very much, one and all, and “God Bless us, everyone”.

So now we’re into January …. On average the coldest month of the year, with long nights and short daylight time, and (hopefully) working on paying off all those lingering Christmas bills. And……we have the Annual Congregational meeting, which relative to that other stuff, makes it a good event!!.

This year, we’ll be holding the meeting between services on the 27th. At this point the primary topic will be the presentation and vote to accept the budget for the 2019 calendar year. The Nominating Committee will present names to fill the Secretary Position and Member at Large – Serve The Lord position. We will also be approving two members to attend the New England Assembly in June in Worcester, Ma.

There will be an Adult Forum discussion about the budget the week before, on January 20th, and I hope that everyone that is able, will attend. As with last years budget, our anticipated offerings for 2019 will be shy of our anticipated expenses, hence Council will be recommending a budget that will include use of some reserve funds and “In and Out” funds to fill the gap. Last year’s anticipated offerings were exceeded by an amount that was greater than actual expenses, so the need for dipping into the reserve funds did not materialize. I would hope we can be as blessed for a second year in a row. Linda Edwards, Treasurer, will have the budget paper available at the Forum.

Finally, the Council is looking for two congregation members to attend the NE Synod Assembly on June 7 & 8. If you’re interested, please speak to Pastor or any Council member, and we’ll give you the details. You will go as the two voting delegates of Holy Trinity, with the church paying all expenses. It takes place in Worcester, Ma. and runs Friday evening thru Saturday.

Please don’t forget the Annual Meeting between services on the 27th. There will not be any NFL action that weekend, so that should help clear your calendar a bit and allow time to attend!! Enjoy the rest of January. Stay warm.

Peace to All

Dave Smith, Council President

December 2018: Christmas Eve, Holden Evening Prayer, and January events

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Greetings everyone…… Hope you’re all enjoying this Holiday season as we move on to the day of the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For most of us this can be a great, joyous time of the year, but for others, not so good. We pray that the Holy Spirit might make its presence known and give them comfort, so they too can enjoy this peace that exceeds all human understanding.

Here at Holy Trinity, activities are ramping up as we approach Christmas Day …. Decorations are popping up, the sanctuary is looking festive, and a big wonderful growing pile of toys have been donated for the Toys for Tots drive. Last Sunday we had 17 of our children present a wonderful Christmas Pageant under the direction of Leslie Darling. A big THANK YOU to Leslie, the children and all those involved in helping to put the program together.

By the time you’ll be reading this message, there will only be one more Wednesday evening Holden Vesper Service remaining during Advent. If you haven’t attended yet, I strongly recommend you try next week…. I’ve found it to be a very good way to stop and take a few deep breaths during the week as I cram extra events and get togethers into an already active schedule.

Speaking of schedules, and getting back to business for a moment, please keep in mind the Annual Meeting that will take place January 27th between services. A discussion of the proposed budget will take place the week before (January 20th) during the adult forum. Also, on January 20th during second service we are planning on renewing our Covenant in Gospel, Community, and Mission with Imanuel Indonesian Church. Church Council approved the renewal of the current five-year Covenant, which expires at the end of this year. For those not familiar with this document, it’s hanging on the wall by the outside entrance into the gathering area.

As Christmas approaches, and we approach another new calendar year, I wish each and every one of you, and everyone in your family, a very very Merry Christmas and a new year of good health, joy, and contentment.

Blessings and Peace,

Dave Smith Council President