This Week at Holy Trinity, September 08, 2017

Hi, Everyone:

I’m baaaaack!  Miss me?  This Sunday, September 10th is the 14th Sunday after Pentecost, Scrip Sunday, and Rally Day – which means we return to our two-service schedule, Sunday School starts up again at 10 am, and Adult Forum starts at 10:15 am with a six-week study about science and faith led by Dean Sieglaff (Parenting Forum will begin next Sunday at 10:15 am). There will be a Council Meeting at 12:15 pm for strategizing, and it’s also God’s Work Our Hands Sunday, so wear your t-shirts if you got ‘em and they’re not too dirty from…

Church Work Day! Yes, tomorrow (Saturday Sept 9) is the day we will clean up our campus inside and out for the fall season.  The uniform of the day is the orangey-yellow “God’s Work Our Hands” t-shirts.  Failing that wardrobe, you could wear the freebie Thrivent “live generously” t-shirts, or anything else that you don’t care if it gets dirty.  The fun starts at 9 am, and there will be treats.  If you can’t make it, there’ll be a list of things we didn’t get to that I’m sure you’d love to do at your own convenience!

We are changing our Cause of the Month to help those affected by the hurricanes through Lutheran Disaster Response. Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response designated for “Hurricane Response – United States” will be used entirely (100%) for this disaster until the response is complete. You can give to the Cause of the Month which is designated for hurricane relief, use the forms on the Media Table, or go to https://community.elca.org/ushurricanerelief. Together, we can help provide immediate and long-lasting support.

Tuesday Bible Study will start up again on September 12th, the first Tuesday after Rally Day. Come to learn, join in the lively discussions, and, on the third Tuesday of each month, stay for the Daytimers’ Luncheon!

There will be a WELCA Meeting (Women of ELCA) at 10:30 am this Wednesday, September 13th.  I’m told this is a different week than usual, so don’t come last week.

Achtung! Next Sunday there will be an Oktoberfest Meeting following the second service (about 12:15 pm).  Bring your best ideas and willingness to help in order to make this year’s Oktoberfest uber-fun!

Since the approval of the Welcome Statement on August 27th (46 yes, 6 no and 1 abstention), we have been accepted onto the RIC roster and we are now on their website map! This Sunday’s treats will be provided by the RIC committee in celebration. We will have another celebration when we actually get our certificate, because you just can’t have too many celebrations!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, August 18 through September 1, 2017

Hi, Everybody:

I will be gone the next couple of weeks, which means this email blast will have to last you until I’m back.  So don’t immediately send it to the trash can as usual, but save it for the valuable information (and inherent literary value) that it contains.  Also, I will be out of the office, so please call before coming to the church to make sure someone is here to help you (Pastor Tim is often out visiting people, running errands, or doing church yardwork).  I will be back the Tuesday after Labor Day.

This Sunday, August 20th, is the 11th Sunday after Pentecost and Fill the Food Barrel Sunday.  And, of course, we’ll be having our highly-anticipated Hawaiian-themed service and Lu-Wow! potluck.  Dress up in your most outrageous tropical clothing and, if you wish, bring a side, salad or dessert.  Now, before you complain about the picture of a suckling pig on the bulletin cover this Sunday, I’ll have you know that it is actually a photo of a pig-shaped cake I got off the internet.  No animals were harmed in the production of the bulletin cover! (I can’t say the same about the potluck food, though)  A Worship Committee Meeting will take place at 12:30 pm, when we are all overstuffed and sleepy from the LuWow.  There is also going to be a Welcome Statement Straw Poll this Sunday.  This unofficial poll is recommended by the RIC process, and is only to gauge how we’re doing before the real vote next week.  Which leads us to…

the Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, August 27th after the service.  We will be voting on whether or not to adopt the Welcoming Statement crafted by the RIC Committee, with changes made according to some of your suggestions (thank you!).  Here is the revised version:

“We extend a heartfelt embrace to all who are seeking God’s love and grace. We welcome all because God welcomes all, regardless of race or culture, Deaf or hearing, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or relationship status. We welcome all without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, varying intellects and abilities, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us. We invite you, wherever you are in your faith journey, to join us in caring, sharing, and serving God through our unity in Christ. Welcome.”

Believe it or not, this is still shorter than most of the RIC-compliant Welcome Statements out there!  Remember, this statement is meant to help people find us and show the world what an open and welcoming church we already are!  (I’m sorry, did that influence you?  Good!  I’m not going to be here to vote!)

There are a couple of handouts Pastor Tim has made available on the Media Table which you should be aware of.  One is a particularly heartfelt Message from Bishop Mark W. Holmerud in response to the events in Charlottesville and hate groups in general.  The other is the ELCA Social Statement on Race, Ethnicity, and Culture.  Adopted in 1993, this document shows just where the ELCA officially stands as a church on these issues.

Next Friday, August 25th is the fourth Friday of the month, which means it will be time for Family Movie Night!  Join us at 6:30 PM in the Activity Room for food, friends, and a fun film.

Saturday, September 9th from 9 am to 12 pm will be a Church Work Day (3 hours makes a day?).  Help prepare Holland Hall for Sunday School and spruce up the rest of the church campus.  The camaraderie and snacks make it hardly seem like work at all!  If you absolutely can’t make it, don’t worry – there will be a list of projects you can work on at a more convenient time (you’ll have to provide your own snacks and camaraderie).

Sunday September 10th is Rally Day, when we go back to two services at 8:45 am (21st Century Traditional) and 11 am (Service of Living Praise). Sunday School (10 am) and Adult Forum (10:15 am) also start up again that day. And depending on how the vote goes, we may also be celebrating becoming an RIC church! Parenting Forum (10:15 am) will begin on the 17th, the following week.

In the spirit of cooperation (cross-advertising?) between the local ELCA churches, I’m letting you know that everybody is invited to a Community BBQ tomorrow (Sat. Aug. 18) at Good Shephard, 4221 Carol Ave, Fremont.  Now don’t “pig out” too much (Ha!) before the LuWow the next day!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, August 11, 2017

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, August 13th, is the 10th Sunday after Pentecost and Scrip Sunday.  Last week Jesus fed 15,000 (revised estimates by Pastor Tim).  This week Jesus walks on water and saves Peter from drowning.  What will that guy do next, save the world?  (oh yeah… that’s right!)  After service there will be a Lu-Wow! Planning Meeting.  Everyone interested in helping out with this fun event please attend.

Speaking of Lu-Wow!, it’s coming up next Sunday, August 20th.  Be sure to wear your wildest Hawaiian –style attire to church for the festivities following the service (unfortunately, my grass skirt got ruined in the wash – but that coconut bra survives anything!).  It’s a potluck, so dig out that poi-flavored jello recipe (the one with bits of Spam in it), and get ready for a hula-baloo!

This Tuesday at 11:30 am (following a Bible Study at 10:30 am), will be the Daytimer’s Luncheon. Everyone is invited, so come to both, or just for the food.  (Of course you could come to the Bible Study and not stay for the food, but we both know that’s not happening!)

There will be a Celebration of Life for Dorothy Sutter, Terry MacFarlane’s mother, on Monday, August 14th at 2 pm.  It will take place at St. Jude the Apostle Episcopal Church, 20920 McClellan Road, Cupertino CA 95014.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude’s Dorothy Sutter Memorial to benefit the choir and music program.  Contact Terri MacFarlane at 510-402-9161 if you have questions.

I will be out of the office for a couple of weeks starting on August 21st.  If you have information for the bulletin insert for August 27th or September 3rd, please get it to me early this coming week so I can print them ahead of time.  Also, it would be a good idea to call the office before coming over during the weeks of the 21st and 28th to make sure somebody is there to help you.

Don’t forget about the Special Congregational Meeting to vote on the Welcome Statement following the service on August 27th.  Also, we will be returning to our two-service schedule on Rally Day, September 10thSunday School also returns that day, so please see Marta Wicke if you are able be a teacher or helper.  There is also a Church Work Day planned for September 9th, so stay tuned for more information.

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, August 04, 2017

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, August 6th, is the 9th Sunday after Pentecost and Nacho Name Tag Sunday.  There is also a Council Meeting at 11:15 am.  Oh, and Jesus feeds 5,000 people (I bet there would be even more people if he’d fed them nachos instead of bread and fish!).

Tonight, August 4th, is Game Night.  Hopefully it won’t be so hot tonight!  Feel free to bring your favorite games and food (breaded fish sticks might be appropriate), and be prepared to have fun, unless you’re a sore loser (it’s not the heat – it’s the humility!).

This Sunday is the last day for feedback on the Welcome Statement draft.  We’ve gotten some great suggestions already.  We’ve also had some responses that seem to suggest we need to reiterate why we are doing this.  Here’s the gist:

  1. Reconciling in Christ (RIC) is an ELCA-recognized organization that publishes a directory of LGBTQ-friendly Lutheran churches.
  2. To get on this roster, a church needs to approve, through a congregational vote, a Welcoming Statement that specifically mentions the LGBTQ community.

That’s pretty much it.  Now, once you mention the LGBTQ community, it’s hard not to mention other marginalized groups in the Welcome Statement as well.  Striking a balance between inclusivity and brevity is difficult, which is why we need your help!  Please give us your suggestions by filling out the lilac-colored forms on the Media Table and placing them in the rainbow-ribboned basket (subtle!), or by filling out the online form at https://goo.gl/zT5sh3.  We appreciate your input.  The official Congregational vote will be after service on August 27th.

Only two weeks until Lu-Wow!  Yes, the goofy Hawaiian-themed potluck is back on August 20th.  Start thinking about what to bring, and start ironing those grass skirts!

The end of summer break is fast approaching and Sunday School is just a month away!  If you are interested in helping as a teacher or volunteer this year, please let Marta Wicke know.  Sunday School is a great way to share our faith and harness some of the energy in our youth (and adults).

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, July 28, 2017

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, July 30th, is the 8th Sunday after Pentecost and Sundae Sunday.  Stay after church and indulge in ice cream and toppings!  Also, since it’s the fifth Sunday of the month, it’s Stewardship Sunday.  Now, lately we’ve been getting to hear the fascinating Faith Stories of some of our members on fifth Sundays.  This Sunday, because of the upcoming congregational vote on the Welcome Statement, the Reconciling In Christ Committee was asked to give some of their perspectives on the RIC process, and what it has meant to them.  I’ll be speaking along with Collin Thormoto and Cheryl Hall (I’ll be the one with the deer-in-the-headlights look).

Speaking of the Welcome Statement, This is your official 30 day notice that a special Congregational Meeting is set for August 27th following the service.  We will be voting on the proposed Welcome Statement. Please attend and vote; no absentee or proxy votes are allowed by our constitution.

Speaking again of the Welcome Statement, we need your suggestions for improvements on the current draft of the Welcome Statement by filling out a Welcome Statement Feedback Form.  You may use the lilac-colored sheets available at the media table and place them in the basket, or go online at https://goo.gl/zT5sh3. Both forms include the text of the draft. Let us know any suggestions for improvement by August 6th.  There.  RIC stuff is done.  Moving on…

Tonight, July 28th, is Movie Night!  The movie will be the modern classic “Lego Batman.”  Start gathering around 6:30 pm in the Activity Room, bring your favorite munchies, sit back (as much as you can on folding chairs) and enjoy the show!

The end of summer break is fast approaching and Sunday School is just a month away!  If you are interested in helping as a teacher or volunteer this year, please let Marta Wicke know.  Sunday School is a great way to share our faith and harness some of the energy in our youth (and adults).

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, July 21, 2017

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, July 23rd, is the 7th Sunday after Pentecost and Luther Loose Change Sunday, We’ll be having the baptism Sinjin Schurz, and welcoming the Schurz family.  There will also be an Oktoberfest Meeting at 11:15 for some early planning.

Tomorrow, Saturday July 22nd, is June Bello’s Memorial at 2 pm.  Come and remember and share.  There will be a buffet (with a menu planned by June herself!) in Holland Hall following the service, where there will be more time to share memories of June with each other.

Got a couple of hours? Susie Faries needs help (no, not that kind of help!).  She needs to move items from her current rental into storage as soon as possible. Her time is very flexible, so if you can help, please let her know. Email: susiefaries@mac.com, phone: 510-207-2414.

Last week, the RIC (Reconciling in Christ) Committee met and drafted a Welcome Statement.  Now it’s your turn to give us feedback!  Here is the Welcome Statement as it stands:

“We extend a heartfelt embrace to all who are seeking God’s love and grace. We welcome all because God welcomes all, regardless of race or culture, Deaf or hearing, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or relationship status. We welcome all without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us. We invite you to join us in caring, sharing, and serving God through our unity in Christ.”

There will be forms available this Sunday for you to give us your ideas (anonymously or not) about any changes you think would improve the statement.  You can also give us feedback online at https://goo.gl/zT5sh3.  All feedback is due by August 6th so that the RIC Committee will have a chance to revise the statement before the congregational vote on whether to approve it.  The vote will take place at a special Congregational Meeting on August 27th.

Next Friday, July 28th, is Movie Night.  The movie will be “Lego Batman.”  Start gathering around 6:30 pm, bring your favorite munchies, and enjoy the show!

Next Sunday, July 30th, is Sundae Sunday!  We’ll be serving ice cream and toppings to cool you down after the non-air-conditioned service.

It’s not too late to turn in your hymn request slips for Favorite Hymn Sundays coming up in August.  Forms are available on the Media Table.  Just fill one out and put it in Carmen’s box, and we’ll do our best to include it in an upcoming service.

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, July 14, 2017

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, July 16th, is the 6th Sunday after Pentecost, Fill the Food Barrel Sunday, and Vacation Bible School Sunday.  We will get to hear all about the songs, lessons and  crafts the kids learned this past week.  Come and see the church decorated as a “Mighty Fortress” and stay after the service for a Fortress Feast.  Thanks to all who helped out this past week – you’re amazing!  There will also be an RIC meeting at 11:15 to draft a welcoming statement.  This statement will be submitted to the congregation in the following weeks for input.

The monthly Daytimers’ Luncheon will take place this Tuesday, July 18th, and you are invited! The luncheon occurs at 11:30 am, preceded by a Bible Study at 10:30 am.  Come for both, or just the food – it’s up to you.  Only God is allowed to judge.

June Bello’s Memorial is next Saturday, July 22nd, at 2 pm.  She had it planned to the last detail, so it should be quite the extravaganza.  Come and help us celebrate the life of this remarkable woman.

Other upcoming events are Movie Night on Friday, July 28th (movie TBD), Sundae Sunday on July 30th (mmm… ice cream!), Favorite Hymn Sundays in August (request forms are still available on the Media Table), and the 2nd annual Lu-Wow! on August 20th (roasted pig?  Soo-weet!).  There is no date yet for Vern VanDusen’s memorial.

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, July 07,2017

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, July 9th, is the 5th Sunday after Pentecost and Scrip Sunday.  There will be a Council Strategic Planning Meeting at 11:15 am.

First, the sad news.  For those who haven’t heard, Vern VanDusen passed away on Tuesday.  His memorial will be sometime next week, but no details have been set yet.  July seems to be the month for memorial services.  Berniece Petersen’s gravesite service was just yesterday, and June Bello’s memorial will be on the 22nd.  We will deeply feel the loss of all of them, but are glad we got to know them and celebrate their lives.

In the midst of sorrow will be the joy of Vacation Bible School.  It starts Monday (yes, in three days!) and runs through Friday, 6 pm to 8:30 pm.  It’s free, and open to all kids from pre-K to those entering 6th grade – including (or especially) non-HTLC children.  Opportunities abound for volunteering (just ask Terri MacFarlane), and we could use cardboard boxes suitable for building the “Walls of Jericho”.  Registration forms are available on the Media Table in the narthex and are also downloadable from www.holytrinityfremont.org.

Game Night is tonight at 6:30 pm in the Activity Room.  There will be lots of games to be played and food to be eaten, so come on by!

Other upcoming events are Favorite Hymn Sundays (fill out those request forms!), a Sundae Sunday on July 30th ( National Hot Fudge Sunday Day is July 25th, which is not a Sunday), and the 2nd annual Lu-Wow! on August 20th (fair warning:  I’ve already dusted off my ukulele).

Take care this week!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, June 30, 2017

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, July 2nd, is the 4th Sunday after Pentecost and, of course, 4th of July weekend.  And, being the first Sunday of the month, we will be celebrating our country’s birth with that most American of foods:  Nachos!  PT (Pastor Tim) will be attending the Western States Youth Gathering at California Lutheran University this weekend.  Thank you to Karen Narveson for delivering the Message this Sunday, and Carmen Blair for her leadership.  Be sure to come and show them your support.  (Yes, this means PT hasn’t had to preach a sermon in 3 out of 4 weeks, and no, PT does not stand for “Part-Time”)

Congratulations to our Graduates:  Patrick DiCero, Rebecca DiPaola, Shawn Lullo, and Maria Oirkha.  These are the ones I have received forms for.  (I’m sorry, for which I have received forms. Where did I graduate from? [I mean, from where did I graduate?])  If there are any others that I missed, congratulations to you, too.  We are so proud of you all!  Be sure to look for their achievements in the bulletin insert this Sunday in the section that looks like a phony scroll – suitable for cutting out and framing (if you have really bad taste in décor).

Vacation Bible School is almost upon us (July 10-14).  It’s free, and not just for HTLC kids.  So tell all your friends (at least the ones with children).  Registration forms are available on the Media Table in the narthex, and downloadable online at www.holytrinityfremont.org under “Of Special Note”.  There will be a lot of opportunities for volunteers, so be sure to contact Terri MacFarlane if you are able to help out.  The following Sunday (July 16th) we will have a special VBS-themed service, where we will learn about all the fun they had the previous week.  (Wait a minute – does this mean PT gets out of yet another sermon?!)

Don’t forget about Favorite Hymn Sundays coming up in August.  Be sure to fill out a Favorite Hymn Request Form, available in Sunday’s bulletin and on the Media Table, and put it in the offering tray (not in lieu of actual money) or in Carmen’s mailbox near the office.  Remember:  Carmen, Leilani and I are not above putting in our own picks if response is low, and who knows what arcane hymns we might pick!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News

This Week at Holy Trinity, June 23, 2017

Hi, Everyone:

This Sunday, June 25th, is the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost and Luther Loose Change Sunday.  Our last Reconciling in Christ Informational Cottage Meeting will follow the service at about 11:15, conveniently timed to coincide with the SF Pride Parade (and almost as fun!).  Even if you didn’t sign up, please come and learn about what it takes to be a welcoming congregation to the LGBTQ community, why a welcome statement (which the congregation will vote on) is needed, and the next steps in the RIC process. A light lunch will be served, and child care will be provided.

Unfortunately, Family Movie Night is cancelled for tonight.  If you didn’t read this and you end up locked outside of the Activity Room tonight, just play Movie Title Charades. (or go to a movie theater where there’s actual air conditioning!)

Favorite Hymn Sundays are coming up in August (and beyond, if we get a good response).  Just write down a favorite hymn or Praise Band song, with favorite verses if you have any, on one of the slips available in Sunday’s bulletin or on the Media Table.  Completed forms can be placed in the offering plate or in Carmen’s box.  No anonymous submissions, please.  If we don’t get a good response, we might just pick a hymn at random and attribute it to you. (How about LBW 137:  “Christians, to the Paschal Victim” – a three-pager with the immortal words “Speak, Mary, declaring What you saw when wayfaring”?)

We’d like to officially congratulate all of our Graduates by listing them in the bulletin insert.  If you or someone you know is graduating this year from High School, College, University, Advance Degree, or Certificate Program (or any similar achievement), please fill out one of the lovely orange forms located on the Media Table in the narthex and put it in the Parish Life Coordinator’s box by June 28th (the day before I print the insert – treat it as seriously as you would a scholarship application deadline).

Vacation Bible School (a.k.a. VBS) is coming up July 10-14.  In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the theme is “Mighty Fortress.”  (everybody sing:  “A Migh-ty For-or-tress, o-oh my God!  It’s just two weeks ‘til vee-ee bee ess!”)  Ask Terri MacFarlane how you can help out, and see the Media Table or holytrinityfremont.org for registration forms for your kids.  Spread the word – it’s free, and not just for HTLC kids!

See you in church!

Keith Hillesland

Posted in HTLC News