The Power of The Written Word

Listen to the sermon here

At the end of his life, Martin Luther, who sparked the Reformation exactly 500 years ago this October, summed up his legacy this way: “I did nothing: The Word did it all.” For Luther, the Word of God in Scripture (the Word is Jesus Himself; John 1:1) was the proverbial spark that blew up the powder keg and changed the course of history.* Lenin, the spark of the other October Revolution exactly 100 years ago this year also had a very high view of the written word. Only this time, it’s the writings of Marx and Engels. He claims he literally fell in love them.

As we reflect on our own attitude toward the Bible, have we come to this life-changing moment when we literally ‘fall in love’ with the Word and accept it as it truly is, the Word of God (1 Thess 2:13)? Once Luther “got it” he simply couldn’t put the book down. He wrote 55 volumes worth of materials, but still said in the end, “I did nothing: I left it to the Word.”

May it be so in our own lives.

*For a very recent take on Luther’s life, see Eric Metaxas’ book.

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Membership Classes – Fall 2017

At TCC, we place a high value on membership because we believe that it is an important part of spiritual growth.  Members agree to participate in and support the Church’s Mission and their commitments made in the Covenant and the Apostles’ Creed. While it is certainly possible to grow spiritually without being a member, there is a great benefit that comes from being a committed member of a local church.

There are three significant reasons for being a member at TCC:

Membership formally associates believers with the body of Christ. (Romans 12:4-5)

When we talk about church membership, we are not referring to membership like being a member of an exclusive group or club.  The word “member” in the New Testament is closely related to the medical word “member.”  The Apostle Paul describes the Church as the body of Christ, and in that body, every believer is a part.  Just as body parts are firmly connected, membership intentionally connects believers to the body of Christ.

Members vote, give, lead & serve according to their gifts in the work of the ministry of the church.

(1 Corinthians 12:4-27)
Where other clubs and organizations exist for members to be consumers, the Church was designed in such a way that members are contributors to providing God’s love and care to others.  At TCC, all of our committees and ministry leadership roles require membership because their role is specifically helping to shape the direction and the future of the church.

Membership ensures appropriate pastoral care for members.
(Acts 20:28-29)

Though church leaders and believers are called to care for everyone, membership at TCC identifies you as part of the community.  Members come under the responsibility of those who are called to pray, encourage, teach and counsel you in your spiritual growth.

Becoming A Member
Here is a summary of the steps for becoming a member:

 Complete two membership classes at TCC (approximately 60 mins each).
 Complete the Membership Application (approximately 30-45mins)
 Meet with a Deacon and Pastor (this is an informal conversation) to talk through your understanding of membership at TCC.
 Be received as a new member during one of our worship services.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact Kyle Smethurst (Student Ministries Pastor) at kylesmethurst@gmail.com

Membership Classes
Fall 2017
October 29th & November 5th
11AM

Click here to sign up today!

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Installation Service • Sunday October 15th at 3pm

 

 

Join us as we welcome Rev. Dr. Thomas Petter to be our Senior Pastor this Sunday, October 15th, 2017, at 3pm.

Participants include:

Kyle Smethurst, Pastor of Students and Outreach, TCC Wayland)
Rev. Allan Baldwin, Pastor of Visitation, TCC Wayland)
Rev. Dr. Ronald Smith, Youth With A Mission – Montana
Rev. Dr. Richard Lints, City Life Presbyterian Church, Chestnut Hill; Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Rev. Dr. Donna Petter, Director of the Hebrew Language Program; Associate Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Andrew James, Senior Minister, First Church Congregational Boxford
Jack Ohman, Chair of the Search Committee, TCC Wayland
Marty Bodley, Board Moderator, TCC Wayland
Rev. Steven Burkett, Area Representative, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference
Rev. Matthew Kaminski, First Church Congregational Boxford

Join us for this celebration! Reception to follow.

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Conversation with Pastor Pete James

In case you missed it, we had a great evening with Pastor Pete James, Senior Pastor of Vienna Presbyterian Church – a large church in the suburbs of Washington DC.

The conversation was rich. Pete’s wisdom and experience is invaluable to our church at this exciting time. We thank God for people like Pete who can share their experiences to help guide us and remind us that that it is God alone who brings growth.

Have a listen to the presentation here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9Pf7z2ENTj3SFFQbzgxbUJRMWM/view?usp=sharing

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Life Groups Test Drive

 

 

Are you sharing life or going it alone?

It’s true, New Englanders are known for our resilience and fierce independence. We like to do things on our own. But the Christian faith should not be one of the things we do by ourselves. Faith must be lived out within a community – the church – for it to flourish.

One thing we’ve been hearing more and more is that our church is becoming a warm and friendly community. People are drawn to our church because of the vibrant and welcoming community, and we know that this is very much due to the robust network of small groups (we call them “LIFE groups” here) at the church.

Our LIFE groups are the backbone of our church. These are the places members feel encouraged and cared for on a deeper level than is possible on Sunday mornings. They are the primary place people study the bible, pray together, and share the joys and sorrows of life. LIFE groups allow a safe and honest place where friends support each other through life’s difficult seasons: job loss, sickness, injuries, the death of loved ones, struggles with family, and many other trying times.

If you are not yet involved in a life group, we have an exciting opportunity coming up. Our first ever, “LIFE Groups Test Drive” is happening in November.

LIFE Groups Test Drive
Community Dinner and Study
November 5
4-6p
Childcare available

After this kickoff meal and study, groups will form and meet for two additional meetings in November. There is no long-term commitment, but a great place to try it out and we hope that new friendships would form and new LIFE groups would continue for many seasons to come.

Signup here and reserve your spot today!

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Pastor Tom’s Note: Heal us, O Lord!

 

Pastor Tom’s Note
“Heal Us, Lord”

Listen to the sermon here

In reflecting on the Las Vegas tragedy, Jeremiah 17:9 provides a sobering but apt imagery  of the problem: the human heart is deceitful (like treacherous terrain) and incurable.  “Who can understand it?!!” Jeremiah laments. How true! People’s actions sometimes can be so outside the realm of the rational.  But the prophet also conveys the absolute trust that God will (a “shall” of certainty) heal our sick hearts (Jer 17:14).   The healing will come to us through our trust in the Lord Jesus.

A healed heart also translates into a call to resist evil.   Jesus frames the call to action in the midst of tragedy (either man-made or natural; see Luke 13:1-5) in terms of repentance. Paul follows suit and views the manifestation of evil as an opportunity to “overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:21).  The (true) story of Telemachus serves as an inspiring witness how one person with a changed heart overturned the violent practice of gladiator games in the Roman Empire.  Through his courageous witness, true to Ezekiel’s promise (Ezekiel 36:26), hearts of stones turned into heart of flesh.

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Staying Power: How to Build Lasting Community in a Transient Culture. (Pastor Pete James comes to TCC)

Staying Power:
How to Build Lasting Community in a Transient Culture.

Conversation with Pastor Pete James at TCC. Wednesday, October 11, 7:30-8:30pm.

How do you build real and lasting community in a transient culture that is changing before our very eyes? Tomorrow night we welcome to TCC Pete James, senior minister of Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, VA. Pastor Pete has close to a 40-year experience as a minister in the same church, and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.   He is passionate about sharing Christ with others through preaching, discipleship, church planting, and mission work. Come and listen to Pete as he shares with us from his experience and wisdom! All are welcome, especially those who are passionate about building community in your ministry, small group, or church. If you are a LIFE group or ministry leader at TCC, we especially encourage you to attend!

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Pastor Kyle’s Note: Get out your magnifying glass!

My grandfather, Ben Smethurst, is a special man. During his prime he worked for the FBI as a detective and also for the House Committee of Investigations. Bampy was meticulous with details. He spent long hours building cases and combing through evidence. You should see his personal diaries, chalked full of details, not so much stories, but details about the life of his family. For as long as I’ve known Bampy, there was one object that probably summed him up nicely: a magnifying glass. On some of the tables in my grandparents’ house, you could find one. Not just small flimsy ones, but often times the ones with a little light bulb for reading in the dark and in old age. It wasn’t just that he had the magnifying glass – it was his mindset: Pay attention to detail.

If you and I have one hope of navigating this culture, competing ideologies and deceptive philosophies, myths, it’s through the genuine wisdom of God’s Word.
In Peter’s words, “We would do well to pay attention to it” (2 Peter 1:19).

We need to pay attention to the Scripture.

We pay too much attention to tweets. We pay too much attention to Facebook. We pay too much attention to fashion magazines. We pay too much attention to fantasy sports. We pay too much attention to our favorite newsfeed.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus warned his disciples to “beware” of the Pharisees and false prophets or teachers. Perhaps that’s an appropriate compliment to Peter’s charge, to “pay attention” to the Word of God, because of the world we live in. Not only do we need to give heed to the Scripture, but at the same time be on our guard on against enticing heresies like, the prosperity gospel or tolerant universalism.

Peter describes the prophetic word as a “light shining in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). Until Jesus returns, until the day dawns and the morning star rises, we’ve got to treasure the words of scripture and the content of the only hope this world has.

When you try to navigate a dark room you’ve never walked through before, your only hope is to find a light. And once you’ve found it, to turn it on – then you can see. The word of God is a light shining in the darkness.

And if we actually treasure that light, then there is no substitute for discipleship in the word. There is no replacement for spending time combing through the details, finding nourishment for our souls and organizing a Biblical worldview grounded in God’s word. It’s time to study. Not just read, but study it carefully and memorize it. Meditate on it.

Pick one verse to ponder on your ride to work. Read the rich stories of David and Goliath or the Parable of the Talents with your kids before they go to bed. Prioritize opportunities to discuss the word of God in Women’s Bible study, your LIFE group, or even with a friend over coffee.

It’s time to really pay attention to it. Get out your magnifying glass.

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LTA Orange Night

orange night.jpg

 

Come to LTA Orange Night!
October 22, 4-5:30 PM
Fun … Food … Prizes … Curriculum Info … Parent Resources … Family Dinner

4-5 PM
Parent meeting in gym
Infant – PK care for kids in PK wing
K-5 kids in room 204 for a movie
Older siblings welcome to join parents

5PM
Family Dinner in gym


2 combined influences
make a greater IMPACT than just 2 influences

Please RSVP here: https://trinitariancongregationalchurch.wufoo.com/forms/p185xv1k0yh82hj/

Pizza and beverages provided.

Families with last name A-H please bring a salad, and I-Z please bring a dessert.

 

Thanks and see you there!

Gail and Cheryl

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Pastor Tom’s Note: The Imperishables

Pastor Tom’s Note
“The Imperishables”

listen to the sermon here

Cataclysmic events such as the recent onslaught of hurricanes, floods and earthquakes are stark reminders that  “creation itself is in bondage to corruption” (Rom 8:21).  The word “corrupt” can also be translated “perishable,” as in decaying and disappearing  (see 1 Peter 1:18).  In response to these grim realities, here is the good news of the Gospel: the death and resurrection of Jesus makes that which is perishable imperishable.  This is why Peter’s optimism knows no bound: According to God’s great mercy, “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, unfading, kept in Heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).   In our efforts to make ourselves comfortable in our earthly inheritance (houses, countries, material goods), Peter has a different take on the adage “don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.”  In his own forthright way (he is the Galilean fisherman after all!), he is reminding us it’s no use to be ‘earthly good if we’re not heavenly minded.’  Our inheritance is kept in heaven, not on this decaying  and unpredictable earth.

Abraham had a great handle on this reality when he chose to give up a great piece of land, the Jordan valley, which at the time was like the Nile valley (the most fertile area in the entire ancient world). In fact, it felt like “the garden of the Lord” itself! Instead, he was prepared to give up these earthly goods to prefer his nephew Lot (see the story in Gen 13).  Yet, by letting go of the best of the land and taking the rugged highlands of Canaan (rocks and wooded areas), Abraham ‘chose wisely’ as it unleashed the outpouring of blessing upon him in a way that Abraham couldn’t even grasp: “I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth” (Gen 13:16).  It’s in our dying that life will come by faith in Jesus: an imperishable inheritance, safely kept in Heaven.

What about us today?  Where is our inheritance? Is it a treasured home, place or country?  Are we willing to let go of this earthly inheritance in order to gain an imperishable inheritance, kept in heaven?  The question actually gets more fundamental: have we in fact put our trust in Jesus for the present, which is so fragile, prone to decay? Are we ready to answer the call, we the “ungodly” (aka perishables, see Gen 13:13; 2 Peter 2:6; Rom 4:6) so that we might become  “partakers of the divine nature” (aka the imperishables, see 2 Peter 1:4)?  It’s time for us to become a little more heavenly minded and not so focused on this ‘good’ earth, which actually is passing away to give way for a “new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1).

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