HTLC News Email, February 17, 2018

Hi, Everyone:  Sorry this is late, but I’ve been sick. So just the facts:

This Sunday, February 18th is the 1st Sunday of Lent and Fill the Food Barrel Sunday.  There will be a Spaghetti Feed Meeting at 12:15 after the second service.

The office will be closed on Monday for Presidents’ Day.

The Daytimers’ Luncheon is this Wednesday the 21st at 11:30 am.  All are invited.

Midweek Lenten Services start this Wednesday, February 21st at 6:30 pm and continue each Wednesday through March 21st.  They are short (30 minutes or less) and include Meditative Taize music and a short drama on the theme “Encounters Before the Dawn”.

Next Sunday is WELCA Bold Women’s Sunday.

Peace and Blessings,

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

HTLC News Email, February 9, 2018

Hi, Everyone:

The most important thing to remember about This Sunday, February 11th, is that there is a SINGLE WORSHIP SERVICE AT 10 AM followed by the ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING (sorry to yell at you with capital letters, but I wanted to make sure you heard).  It’s also Transfiguration Sunday (when Jesus’ clothes go bright and Peter goes dim) and Scrip Sunday.  There will be no Sunday School, Parenting Forum or Adult Forum.  Please come to the Annual Meeting, sign in, and have a snack.  It’s important we have a quorum, your thoughts, and your vote!

This coming Wednesday, February 14th, is Ash Wednesday which kicks off the season of Lent.  We will have a worship service at 7 pm which includes the imposition of ashes (but you don’t have to get your forehead smudged if it’s too much of an imposition).  Instrumental rehearsals will be bumped to 6 pm throughout Lent and choir rehearsal to 6:30 pm just this week.

Midweek Lenten Services will begin February 21st and run through March 21st.  These short (about a half hour) meditative services will begin at 6:30 pm and include Taize music and a set of short dramas entitled “Encounters Before the Dawn.”  Other Lutheran churches in the area have been invited to join in.  Those who have come to these services in the past have really enjoyed them.  Come and experience them for yourself!

The Spaghetti Feed will be coming up before you know it, so be prepared by coming to the Spaghetti Feed Meeting at 12:15 pm on Sunday, February 18th.  All help will be appreciated as we plan for this annual fundraising event that will take place on April 14th (and now that you know the date, it can’t possibly come up before you know it!).

If you picked up a Souper Bowl of Caring receipt last week for your donations, you may have noticed they had last year’s date on them.  To avoid angry taxpersons, please pick up an updated receipt at the Media Table this week.

Bold Women’s Day is coming up on Sunday, February 25th.  This is an annual WELCA celebration of Lutheran women acting boldly on their faith.  We will be featuring women in the service, so all you gals be bold and sign up as worship assistants!

See you in church!

Posted in HTLC News

HTLC News Email, February 02, 2018

Happy Groundhog Day, Everyone!  I saw my shadow this morning, so I predict there will be 6 weeks of Lent coming up.

This Sunday, February 4th, is the 5th Sunday of Epiphany and Nacho Name Tag Sunday.  It’s also Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday.  Timed to coincide with the Super Bowl, this national youth effort to feed those in need has been going on since 1990.  Our youth will be collecting money and non-perishable food (like soup!) to be distributed to local charities.  As usual, we are marking the event with a Soup Potluck between the services at about 10 am.  Cooks, start your crock pots!  And everybody be sure to wear your sports-themed best!  No Sunday School, Adult Forum or Parenting Forum this Sunday.

If you want to get a jump-start on all that eating, come to Game Night tonight (Feb 2nd) at 6:30 pm in the Activity Room.  You can bring food and games, but we usually have plenty of those.  What we really need is YOU!

R&R Circle will be meeting this Wednesday, February 7th at 10 am in the Activity Room.  Who knows what those gals will get up to!

Next Sunday, February 11th, is yet another chance to eat at the Annual Congregational Meeting at 11:15 am following the Single Service at 10 am.  Find out about all the great stuff that happened this past year, and have your say about all the great things to come for HTLC.  There will be no Sunday School, Adult Forum, or Parenting Forum that Sunday either.

If you weren’t here last Sunday to pick up your 2017 Giving Statement, don’t worry:  all the ones that didn’t get picked up got mailed out this week so you can get started on your taxes (or procrastinate like me – we even get an extra day to put it off this year!).

As I mentioned earlier, Lent is coming up starting with Ash Wednesday on February 14th.  Worship will be at 7 pm.  Yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day, but you can still go out to dinner afterward.  You’ll have the added bonus of feeling superior to the other dining couples with those matching ash smudges on your foreheads.

There will be a short Spaghetti Feed Meeting on Feb 18th at 12:15 pm following the second service.  The Spaghetti Feed is scheduled to take place on April 14th.  All help is appreciated in planning and executing this annual fundraising event with the emphasis on fun.  (See what I did there?  FUNdraising!  Ha!)

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

HTLC News Email, January 26, 2018

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, January 28th, is the 4th Sunday of Epiphany and Lutheran Loose Change Sunday.  Rev. Dr. Diane Bowers will be filling in for Pastor Tim this Sunday while he is attending the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Convention in Houston, TX.  Who is Rev. Dr. Diane Bowers, I hear you say?  Well, I’m glad you asked because I have her bio right here:  “Diane Bowers is an ordained pastor in the Sierra Pacific Synod, a theologian, writer and teacher.  Born in Africa to Lutheran missionary parents, she has a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology and a particular love for the Reformation.  Her current interest is in developing alternative models for shrinking congregations. She is an adjunct instructor at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and lives in Berkeley with her husband Hans-Christian.  Together they spend too much time on Facebook, discuss politics, ride trains, and share a mutual love of California wine, food, architecture and landscape.”  Should be fascinating, don’t miss it!  (not that PT isn’t fascinating…)

Also this Sunday is RIC Sunday.  Each year, the last Sunday in January is designated as a day that RIC congregations celebrate what it means to welcome all, including the LGBTQ community. As we have recently become an RIC congregation, this is our first year to celebrate it!  We have a special liturgy during services and treats provided by the RIC Task Force (no masquerade ball, alas!).  For more information on Reconciling In Christ please visit https://www.reconcilingworks.org/.

Tonight is Family Movie Night and potluck.  Popcorn starts around 6:30 pm in the Activity Room, movie about 7 pm.  The film tonight is one of them Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  Bring your eyepatch if you want to see it in 1-D!  (Yes, Randy, I know 1-D would just be a point and you would still see it in 2-D.  It’s a joke!  Like this one:  What did Johnny Depp have to pay to get his ears pierced for the movie?  A buck an ear!  [Get it?  Bucc-an-eer!  Thanks, Dixie Cups!]).

Next Sunday, Feb  4th is the Souper Bowl of Caring (along with that other similarly-named trademarked event).  Please bring cans of soup or other non-perishables as well as extra money, and the youth will collect it all in their big soup pots after each service (well, maybe not the cans of soup – that would be pretty heavy).  The money and food will go to local charities.  We will also have our usual Soup Potluck between services to celebrate.  Sign-ups to bring soup are on the Media Table.  Wear your sports-themed best!

Your 2017 Giving Statements are available on the Media Table.  Please pick them up this Sunday so I don’t have to spend the extra stamps (and time – really, I’m just lazy) to mail them all out.

Don’t forget:  only two weeks to the Annual Congregational Meeting on February 11th at 11:15 pm after the single service at 10 am.  We need everybody’s input, ideas, and votes (and stomachs – you know, for the food).

Susie Faries is in need of a room to rent in the area for a few weeks.  Her dog Lily is undergoing cancer treatments locally, and she’s been driving back and forth from the Sacramento area.  If you are able to help, please call her at (510) 207-2414.

And the award for parenthetical remark of the week goes to… Family Movie Night for length and nested parentheses!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

HTLC News email, January 19, 2018

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, January 21st, is the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany and Fill the Food Barrel Sunday.

The Daytimers’ Luncheon is this Tuesday, January 23rd, at 11:30 am in the Activity Room.  As always, all are welcome to partake of this potluck feast.  This month the theme is soup, to warm you up during these cold months.  Come to Bible Study at 10 am to warm your soul as well!  And speaking of soup…

The Souper Bowl of Caring takes place on Sunday, February 4th.  This is a nation-wide youth event to collect money and food for local charities during the weekend of the Super Bowl (or as I call it, the Super Bowl of Apathy).  You are encouraged to bring cans of soup or other non-perishables as well as money, and the youth will collect it all in their big soup pots after each service.  We will also have our usual Soup Potluck between services to celebrate.  Sign-ups to bring soup are on the Media Table (okay Daytimers, no fair making a double batch to cover both events.  Flex those culinary muscles!).

As you’ll see in the Financial Update in this week’s insert, you blew away our deficit last month with your boundless generosity!  Well done!  (especially to those few whose generosity was very boundless – you know who you are, even if I don’t)  Of course, as I’m sure you’ll hear at the Annual Meeting (Feb 11th after the single 10 am service), it will take a little more effort from all of us throughout the year to keep this from being an annual panic. (You don’t want us to have pledge weeks like PBS, where PT gives his favorite sermon over and over until you give!)  Thanks to all of you for doing what you can.

Presiding ELCA Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton’s letter in response to reports of racist comments by President Trump is available on the Media Table in case you’d like to read it (she’s officially “disappointed and disturbed”).

Next Friday (the 26th) is Family Movie Night in the Activity Room at about 6:30 pm.  I hear it may be a pirate movie (better not be rated aarrrrr!).

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

HTLC News email, January 12, 2018

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, January 14th, is the 2nd Sunday of Epiphany and Scrip Sunday.  There will be a Council Meeting at 12:15 pm.  Judi McDowell  and Dave McCallum’s wedding will be at 4:30 pm, and HTLC members are invited!  If you are planning to attend, please RSVP by following this link:  https://www.theknot.com/us/judi-and-dave and clicking on RSVP (plus you’ll get to see a really cute picture of them!).

The church office will be closed on Monday for Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday (observed), which wins the award for the longest-named holiday on my wall calendar.  All Lutherans must observe this holiday since it contains the name Martin Luther (at least that’s what you can tell your boss).

The Daytimers’ Luncheon, which usually occurs on the third Tuesday of the month, is postponed this month to the following week, January 23rd, at 11:30 am in the Activity Room.  All are invited!  (Guess I’ll just have to salivate for an extra week.)

Yesterday, I sent out the official 30-day notice of the Annual Congregational Meeting on February 11th.  Those of you who do not have an email on file with us (and are therefore probably not reading this) will receive your notice by snail mail.  Plus, it is posted on bulletin boards at the church.  If you don’t come and have your say, you’re not allowed to complain.  (That’s the main reason I go – so I can complain the rest of the year.  Well, that and there’s food to be had.)

If you’re not going to Judi & Dave’s wedding, there’s still Holy Redeemer’s Discussion Forum on January 14th at 4:30 pm.  They will be showing the National Geographic documentary “Gender Revolution” followed by a discussion at 6:30 pm. The documentary explores the rapidly evolving complexities of gender identity and is hosted by Katie Couric (no word on food availability at this event – but you still might want to risk it!)  Holy Redeemer is at 35660 Cedar Blvd Newark, CA 94560, (510) 793-1911.

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in Uncategorized

HTLC News email, January 05, 2017

Happy New Year, Everyone!

This Sunday, January 7th, is the 1st Sunday of Epiphany and Nacho Name Tag Sunday (so much for the diet resolution).  We’re back to our normal two-service schedule at 8:45 and 11 am with Sunday School at 10am and Adult and Parenting Forums at 10:15 am.

Tonight, Friday the 5th, is the first Friday of the month (and the new year) which means it’s Game Night!  Come join us at 6:30 pm in the Activity Room.  We eat, talk, play games (or not), and generally get silly.  Bring any food or games you enjoy, or just come without – we usually have plenty of both.  What we need is plenty of people!

January 9th sees the return of Tuesday Bible Study at 10 am in the Activity Room.  I hear an awful lot of laughter wafting into the office from there on Tuesdays, so I can only assume they are either an innately fun bunch of people, or they are constantly studying the funny bits of the Bible (and there are so many!).  You should join them.

Judi McDowell and Dave McCallum would like to extend an invitation to Holy Trinity members to attend their wedding.  Judi and Dave’s wedding will be on Sunday, January 14th at 4:30 pm, with reception to follow. Congratulations!

Here are some of the highlights of what was given for Marielle’s Winter Relief Project last month:

  • 120 pairs of socks
  • 125 pairs of underwear
  • 70 undershirts
  • 14 Razors and shaving cream
  • 8 blankets and/or sleeping bags
  • 8 tarps
  • 8 flashlights
  • Numerous hats/scarves, bike locks, and rain ponchos
  • 42 (!) Notes of encouragement to people that received these gifts.

Great job, Everybody!

Just a heads-up: The Annual Congregational Meeting is coming earlier this year on February 11th in order to more closely coincide with our fiscal year.  There will be a single service at 10 am that Sunday followed by the meeting. And yes, there will be food. Anyone who has something for the Annual Report, the sooner I get it, the better.  (I’m looking at you, council members!)

News from Holy Redeemer:  On January 14th at 4:30 pm, as part of their monthly discussion forum, Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church in Newark will be showing the National Geographic documentary “Gender Revolution” followed by a discussion at 6:30 pm. This documentary explores the rapidly evolving complexities of gender identity and is hosted by Katie Couric. Holy Redeemer is at 35660 Cedar Blvd Newark, CA 94560, (510) 793-1911.

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, December 29, 2017

Merry Christmas, Everyone!  Yes, it’s only the fifth day of Christmas, so technically you still have a week to send out your Christmas cards before they become Epiphany cards. (If they depict the wise men, you have even longer!)

This Sunday, December 31st, is the 1st Sunday of Christmas (and New Year’s Eve).  There will be a single service at 10 am which is going to be our annual Service of Carols.  Any carols you didn’t get to sing on Christmas Eve will probably show up here.  After the service we will have the usual Christmas Brunch Potluck (as I said, it’s still Christmas).  Feel free to bring your favorite nativity scene or other Christmas tchotchke for decoration so others can ooh and ah over it (yes, I know I used a Yiddish term for a Christmas item – so sue me!).  Next week we will return to our normal two-service schedule with Sunday School, Adult Forum, and Parenting Forum at their usual times.

There will be no Tuesday Morning Bible Study this week.  Bible Study will resume on January 10th at 10 am.  However, there will be an R&R Circle meeting on Wednesday, January 3rd at 10 am with lunch to follow.

For those of you who donated to the Adopt an Angel program in November and plan to claim it on your taxes, there are thank-you slips with the tax ID number on the Media Table. Thank you for your generosity!

And while we’re thanking people, thanks to all who helped out with Christmas Eve services – ushers, acolytes, readers, communion assistants, altar guild, and  musicians. Special thanks to Meg Ehmann who decorated the narthex and altar, and Carmen Blair who organized the poinsettias.  It took all of you to make such a lovely worship experience.

On that note, I have a suggestion for a New Year’s Resolution:  Become more involved in Holy Trinity!  Here are some ideas:

  • Be a worship helper (as listed in the above paragraph) – it’s easy, and you’re there anyway! (see Mike Di Paola for ushering, Carmen for everything else)
  • Join Choir, Praise Band, or Instrumental Group – use those God-given musical talents! (see me or Terri)
  • Help beautify the grounds – mow, prune, leaf-blow, weed, repair – it’s all done by currently over-worked volunteers! (see John Williams or Dave Barron)
  • Come to Game Night, Movie Night, Daytimers, Parenting Forum or organize your own event.  Meet your fellow fun-loving Lutherans!
  • Sign up to bring flowers for the church – beautify that sanctuary! (sign-up is in the narthex hallway)
  • Come to Tuesday Bible Study or Adult Forum – explore your faith!
  • Run for Church Council – help direct HTLC’s future!

These things, and many more, are all done by volunteers – and they could use your help.  All of us together are the church, and all of us together can make a difference!  OK, guilt trip’s over, everybody off.

Have a continuing Merry Christmas and a ridiculously wonderful New Year!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, December 22, 2017

Hi, Everyone.

This Sunday, December 24th, is the 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve!  As a result there are three, count ‘em, three services on that day.  There is a single morning service at 10 am that includes the choir’s Reformation-500-themed Christmas Sermon-in-Song and other special music.  In the evening, we have 5 pm and 9 pm Christmas Eve services with candle lighting, special music and that warm, fuzzy feeling you get at this time of year (and no, we are not handing out puppies!).  Between the evening services, Randy and Vicky Kuhlmann are inviting all y’all (I’m told that is the correct plural of “y’all”) over to their house for the annual Inter-Service Nosh with this year’s theme of Southern Texas BBQ.  Directions to their place are on the Media Table.  Don’t forget, if you signed up to bring poinsettias, please get them to the Activity Room by noon on Sunday for decorating the church for Christmas Eve.

Here is the list of stuff that’s NOT happening:

  • No Family Movie Night 12/22
  • No Sunday School 12/24 & 12/31
  • No Adult Forum 12/24 & 12/31
  • No Parenting Forum 12/24 & 12/31
  • No Tuesday Bible Study 12/26 & 01/02
  • No Instrumental Group rehearsal 12/27
  • No Choir rehearsal 12/27
  • No Praise Band rehearsal 12/27

Sunday December 31st (New Year’s Eve), we will again be having a single Sunday Morning Service at 10 am (8:45 service people can sleep in so they can stay up late!).  It will be our annual Service of Carols (lesson, sing, lesson, sing, communion, sing – you get the idea).  Following the service will be the Christmas Brunch Potluck.  Sign up to bring your tasty specialty at the Media Table.  You are encouraged to bring your favorite decorations, too (manger scenes, nutcrackers, disco-ball snowmen, etc.).

Thanks to all who organized and participated in last week’s Sunday School Christmas Pageant (soon to begin its Broadway run).  It was fabulous!  Special thanks to author Kathleen Keating – you rock! (in a subdued Lutheran sort of way).

Well, I guess that’s it.  I got you a short email for Christmas!  Merry Christmas, all y’all!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, December 15, 2017

Hi, Everyone.

This Sunday, December 17th, is the 3rd Sunday of Advent and Fill the Food Barrel Sunday. The much-anticipated Sunday School Christmas Pageant will take place at 10 am between the services (no Sunday School, Parenting Forum or Adult Forum).  So if you usually come to the 8:45 am service, plan on sticking around, and if you usually come to the 11 am service, plan on coming early to see our kids be as cute as they can be (which is pretty darn cute!).  Cast call time is 9:30 am for those of you with little ones participating.  This means both services have been shortened to allow time for the pageant – another incentive to come!  In the interest of time, there will be no Community Announcements at either service, so read carefully!

First, here is a list of stuff that’s NOT happening in the next couple of weeks:

  • No Sunday School 12/17, 12/24 & 12/31
  • No Adult Forum 12/17, 12/24 & 12/31
  • No Parenting Forum 12/17, 12/24 & 12/31
  • No Tuesday Bible Study 12/19, 12/26 & 01/02
  • No Daytimers’ Luncheon 12/19
  • No Family Movie Night 12/22
  • No Instrumental Group rehearsal 12/27
  • No Choir rehearsal 12/27
  • No Praise Band rehearsal 12/20 & 12/27

Next Sunday, December 24th, is Christmas Eve (yes, it’s time to panic).  We will have a single Sunday Morning Service at 10 am.  Don’t blow this one off just because you’re busy and are coming to church in the evening anyway, because we’re having the Choir Sermon-in-Song and I’ll be deeply hurt if no one shows up (or deeply relieved, depending on how rehearsal goes).  It being the Reformation 500 year and all, the Sermon songs will have lyrics by Martin Luther.  Plus, you completists (like me) don’t want to miss the lighting of the fourth advent candle before the lighting of the Christ Candle in the evening – it just wouldn’t be right!  The Christmas Eve Services will be at 5 pm and 9 pm, with the annual Inter-Service Nosh (my latest made-up term!) occurring at Randy and Vicky’s house between the services (yum!).

Sunday December 31st (New Year’s Eve), we will again be having a single Sunday Morning Service at 10 am.  It will be our annual Service of Carols (lots of singing, not much sermonizing).  Come and ask for forgiveness in advance for what you’re going to do that evening!  Following the service will be the Christmas Brunch Potluck (diets don’t officially start until the next day).  Sign-ups for bringing food to the potluck are on the Media Table.  Bring your manger scenes for decoration, too – Bethany’s have all moved to Colorado (and you thought the Wise Men went to Bethlehem!).

This Sunday (the 17th) is the last week to sign up to bring poinsettias for decorating the church on Christmas Eve.  The plants can be given in memory or in honor of someone special and can be any color you choose: red, white, pink – we’re inclusive!  Please deliver the plants to church by noon on Dec 24th. The sign-up sheet is on the Media Table.

Many thanks to all who participated in last month’s Adopt an Angel program.  We had 90 tags representing foster children’s wishes. Every wish was fulfilled and many gave more. The total number of gifts was over 110, and we gave 6 bicycles, $300 in gift cards and $450 cash!  Great job!

In other great news, the Daytimers raised $1,225 over the past year for our Good Samaritan fund.  Each month on the third Tuesday, they have a potluck after Bible Study and take up a collection.  The money is used for those who show up at our door in immediate need – member or not.  Everyone is invited to these potlucks, but you won’t have to wait for the next one, it will be next month’s Cause of the Month!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News