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

Posted in children | Leave a comment

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).

Posted in Pastor Tom's Note | Leave a comment

How to respond to all these disasters in our part of the world

If the needs feel overwhelming in our region of the world right now (and they are), the best thing we can do is pray, give, and if possible, go to help. Obadiah teaches us never to turn a blind eye to the needs of our neighbor. ~Pastor Tom
https://www.worldvision.org/
https://www.samaritanspurse.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Relational intelligence

Turning the World UPside Down-week1

Listen to the sermon here.

What’s your Relational IQ?  For Paul, this sort of  IQ is measured by a commitment to please God, rather than to please others (1 Thess 2:4).  He is authentic rather than ‘packaged.’ In quick succession in 1 Thess 2:1-6 he can claim he is no empty-shell or a fraud. He is not calculating, political or manipulating. He never pushes his own way around, greedy or wanting to be the center of attention. He is the opposite of a con artist!

Paul shows his high relational IQ in 1 Thess 2:8 : “We were ready [=well-pleased] to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but also our own selves, because you had become very dear [=beloved] to us.  This language of “well-pleased” and “beloved” sounds just like the words of God about Jesus in the Gospel, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17).  Paul is not aloof and distant in his relationships, but he is allowing people to get close to him.

Why? Because Paul follows/imitates God’s lead. Paul is deeply aware he is God’s beloved and the Father is well-pleased with him (see Jer 31:3). He is eager to emulate this love and he is inviting us to do the same (1 Cor 11:1).  In Christ, as His “beloved” with whom the Father is “well-pleased,” we too have been set free to please Him rather than others.  This is awesome news!

Because our love can never match God’s perfect and holy love, we will express our love to others in creative imitation,* just like Paul did with the Thessalonians (he worked both shifts during his brief visit there, Ps. 121:4).   The Lord has a path for each one of us to follow/mimic Him.  This last point has been driven very recently with the passing of Nabeel Qureshi . See a bit of his story here:

 

Questions: Do you struggle with the tyranny of pleasing others, rather than God? What do you do when, in the words of Ed Welch, People are Big and God is Small in your life? Are your relationships strictly transactional or are you willing to allow people to enter your own private world?  Take some time to ask the Lord to reveal the deep love of the Father to you. Do you believe that by faith in Jesus, you truly have become His beloved, with whom He is well-pleased?

 

*Thanks to my friend Jason Hood for leading me to this resource of creative imitation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Read the Bible with Pastor Tom

Read the Bible with Pastor Tom
Men’s Bible Study
Wednesdays @ 7:30p

Have you ever wanted to not just read the bible, but to learn how to read the bible, and how to study it really well? Our pastor Tom Petter is launching a new group for men to read the bible together. We will study and unpack the text before us as Tom draws out historical, archeological, linguistic, and theological themes, pointing us to God’s amazing work in the lives of ordinary people.

The life of David out of 1-2 Samuel and the Psalms offers a compelling drama of grace, mercy and tragedy, all of which belong to the history of redemption and the preparation for the coming of the Son of David. This bible study emphasizes principles of personal bible study and attention to some of the details of the narrative while at the same time keeping the big picture in mind and how the text applies to our lives.

Join us!

Posted in men's | 2 Comments

Turning the World Upside Down

Fall Preaching Series:
Turning the World Upside Down

Last Sunday we began a new sermon series examining the radical faith of 1st century Christians. In the midst of their own sense of hopelessness in trying times, the Early Church articulated a successful response to Rome’s heavy-handed cultural imposition.  The response cannot be one of cowering and retreat into isolation (the “Benedict Option”) but one of  relational engagement with one another and those around us.  God is reaching out to tell us we are beloved of God and born of an imperishable seed.  He is calling us to be different so that we will make a difference. This tremendous hope is anchored in the Gospel and rests in the power of the Word of God.  This fall, we invite you to come, explore and share this message of hope with others!

Part 1: Surprised by Hope

Listen to the sermon here

Take a look at Acts chapter 17. Notice this phrase – “They have turned the world upside down” – it is a phrase Paul’s opponents in Thessalonica used to refer to the impact the Gospel had on the city (Acts 17:6).  Ironically, the phrase is  part of a false accusation against Paul that he is somehow fomenting the overthrow of Caesar’s rule (Acts 17:7).  The strategy worked because Paul and Silas were driven out of town, effectively ending what had otherwise been a brief but successful outreach in an affluent and influential port city of the Roman World (Acts 17:10). But here lies the surprise: the Gospel doesn’t leave town with Paul. The new believers in the house churches continue to grow and thrive, filled with “steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3) in spite of “much” sufferings and persecutions (1 Thessalonians 1:6-10). So they are “turning the world upside down” after all, but not quite in the sense of Paul’s enemies!  The Thessalonian believers have “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” They have “received the Word with much affliction with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” Paul says this turn of event has  literally echoed  (“sounded forth” verse 8) throughout the whole of Greece.  Paul is overjoyed (and no doubt stunned) at their “steadfastness of hope”: These believers are not only hanging on for dear life to the faith, but growing in the most adverse circumstances.

In our times of tremendous pressures from our own dominant culture, we  can choose two postures. One of retreat into our own ‘monasteries’  focused only on introspection and our own spiritual disciplines with the hope that somehow the imposition of the dominant culture ‘out there’ won’t influence us. OR, we can allow God and His Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit to “transform” us (Romans 12:1-2) so that we might able to know His will  to carry out it out “on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Basilica of St Benedict in Norcia (before the earthquake)

Basilica of St Benedict in Norcia (after the earthquake – October 30, 2016)

In his influential book,  Rob Dreher’s “The Benedict Option” describes in vivid ways how the 14th century Basilica of St Benedict in Nursia (Umbria, Italy) was destroyed on October 30, 2016. (the result of a powerful series of earthquake in this region of central Italy).  In the words of one of the faithful Benedictine monks, “there is no place on this earth entirely safe from catastrophe.”  While we might be tempted to try it, the option to ‘opt out’ of the culture is never a good one.  God is calling us to a transformed identity, so that we might know His will and so that we might be His instruments to carry it out on earth as it is in heaven.  Just like the Thessalonians were able to surprise the Apostle Paul by their steadfastness of hope in Jesus and the joy of the Holy Spirit in “much affliction,” our own transformed lives will too “sound forth” and ech o around us.  And just like Paul, we too might find ourselves quite surprised how resilient and powerful the Gospel can be, even in the pressures and hardships of our own times!

For further reflection:

  • Do you believe the Gospel can not only survive but thrive and flourish in our lives and families in this dominant culture of ours where God and His Word are routinely ‘canceled out’?
  • In the midst of our own trying adversities, do we believe God can totally surprise us by the “steadfastness of hope” found in Jesus alone? Are we willing to be surprised by hope?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or reach out to a pastor and share your story with us!

Posted in Pastor Tom's Note | Leave a comment

The Teddy Sayonkon Foundation

Teddy Sayonkon Foundation
Scholarship Fund Raising Efforts Now Underway. Will You Help?

TCC member Teddy Sayonkon continues his mission work in Liberia, with an effort to raise funds for ten highly motivated children to attend a Christian school this year. Less than $500 per child will allow them to buy uniforms and attend school. Donating to support these children is a wonderful way to tangibly share the love of Christ!

“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1John 3:17-18

Previously nine students received scholarships and are shown in the photos to the left.

Donations of any amount can be made to the “Teddy Sayonkon Foundation (TSF).” The TSF now has a newly formed Board (Paul Church, Kevin Johnson, Debbie Wilson and Teddy Sayonkon) and they are working to make the foundation an official nonprofit organization and gain tax exempt status. (Unfortunately, contributions are not currently tax deductible.) Donations can be given to any Board member, or you can mail it to PO Box 215 North Billerica, MA 01862

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Ministry Council Night

Ministry Council, September 11, 2017
7-8:30P
Phillips Hall

Have you ever tried to run a 5k without stretching beforehand?
Perhaps you’re smart and you’ve avoided running races altogether. But from experience, we know that rolling out of bed and running a 5k is a recipe for disaster.

The “Ministry Year” is like a race. But it’s not a 5k…it’s a marathon.

On September 11th (7-8:30P), we need to gather together in prayer-filled preparation for ministry. In just 90 minutes, we will hear powerful testimonies, unveil the new church-wide vision, sing together and pray for one another. The stakes are too high for TCC’s lay and staff leaders to risk going through the motions of ministry programming. We are desperate for God to work in and through us in transformative, personal ways.

Here is the agenda for the evening:

1.     Refreshments
2.     A Worshiping church: Praise and worship
3.     Articulation of the vision and goals for 2017 (Tom)
4.     A Community Church: Connecting with one another (Adam)
5.     A Family Church: Children ministry as outreach to families (Gail)
6.     A Serving and Sending Church: Growing together through LIFE groups (Kyle)
7.     Prayer for one another and commissioning

It’s time to start stretching! See you in Phillips Hall at 7P on September 11th!

Expecting great things in Him,
Your Ministry team,
(Pastor Tom, Pastor Kyle, Debbie, Gail, Adam and Cheryl)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grief group begins September 19th

A new ministry group begins this fall, open to those both within and outside of the TCC community. The group’s purpose will be to support and encourage those grieving the death a loved one. This weekly grief support group will meet on Tuesday evenings at TCC for 12 weeks beginning September 19. The book ” Understanding Your Grief” by Alan Wolfelt will be used as a format for discussion (book cost is $12). If you or someone you know could benefit from journeying with others in their grief experience, please contact one of the co-leaders, Jane Stankiewicz: jlstanky@comcast.net, 508-314-0827 or Kathleen Barrett: bkbarrett@verizon.net, 508-308-4985.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mom and Me

Come join us at Mom and Me on Monday mornings, from 9:15-11 AM. We open our preschool rooms and gym to children and moms to connect and have fun. We start Oct. 16, and would love all moms of infants and preschoolers to join us.

Questions? Contact Gail Hughson – gail.hughson@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment