Your Weekly News & Updates
A Note from Pastor Zehnder
Dear Trinity Family,  There are significant events, marked by the Christian Church Year, which have/are rolling our way with speed: December 28, December 31, and January 1. The 28th of December is named "The Holy Innocents - Martyrs." The second is New Year's Eve, and the third, "The Circumcision of Jesus.

On December 28 we pause for serious reflection on the death of the little Bethlehem boy babies slaughtered by Herod (Monster) King when he heard about the new-born King of the Jews from the Magi! They are noted as the first martyrs whose lives were ended because they were associated with the Lord Jesus. So tragic, so poignantly sad.

New Year's Eve is more of a secular marker, but important for us, who have been called to "mark our days" as God's people while on our pilgrimage to the Heavenly Jerusalem.

We remember that every Jewish baby was to be circumcised according to the Law, eight days after his birth. Eight days from December 25 takes us to January 1, the day of the Circumcision of Jesus.

At our worship services on December 31 and January 1, we will bring these events together and delve into them and discover the rich message of God's love and eternal care for us, even in the midst of suffering and tragedy. Looking forward to that with you.

What do you think the Church is for? Some think we are a group that does religious "stuff" and produces "programs" to enhance our spiritual core. And while there is some truth in that, there is however, a greater purpose, and that is not to "produce" but to bow in humility before the God of heaven and earth, and "listen to Him!" (Matthew 3 and Matthew 17, for instance).

In this New Year we rededicate ourselves to this: to a more than casual "now and then" worship service attendance. (Hebrews 10:25). We will read God's Word each day and let it soak into the very core of our being. We will not take the Sacraments for granted, but be washed in the waters of our Baptism daily, and take every opportunity to receive the Body and Blood of Christ for our spiritual Life and earthly welfare!

A New Year of growth in God's Word will do more to strengthen this Trinity and her people, more than anything we might "do."

We are praying for a Senior Pastor fervently, and that one will come at God's due time. (Special Voters meeting on January 8th at 12:30 to address this).  In the meantime we place this New Year and every moment in it in God's good hands. We are in those Hands as well. So all is well!

"Foundations: Life from a Lutheran Perspective" commences on Saturday, January 14 at 4:00 pm. Looking for many members to come and give support to this endeavor to hear God's Word. Exponential growth is not out of the question!   trz

Foundations: Life from a Lutheran Perspective
An Invitation to You

I came across an unsigned but memorable devotion entitled "Ride with God Every Day!" Here is an excerpt:

"You probably learned how to ride a bike as a kid. You overcame your fear, learned how to balance, and away you went. And even if you didn't ride again for years, after getting back on the bike, it soon came back to you. Too many times we think of our relationship with God in this way. 'It doesn't matter that we return to the Bible on a regular basis', we say. 'We've learned it. We know the rules! We can jump back on the bike any time we want.' But, when it comes to knowing and obeying God, another expressions is a bit more accurate: 'Out of sight, out of mind.' Our ability to obey God is not a physical instinct in our muscles like riding a bike that is quickly relearned. When God's words aren't constantly before our eyes, other instincts will usually take their place..."

On Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 4 PM we will commence a six week study/review called "Foundations." These sessions serve as a way for people to get to know about the truths of Scripture and an avenue for formal membership at Trinity. However, this will also offer an excellent way for each of us to go back to the Word of God and the Catechism of the Church and review, and even re-learn the "foundations" upon which we stand.

These sessions will cover the Six Chief Parts of Christian Doctrine as found in Luther's Small Catechism. Because Holy Scripture will be our main Source, we will be empowered by the Word and encouraged in our Faith. God knows we need such encouragement in these days when the Faith of the Church is being trampled on and ridiculed by so many in these "post-Christian days."

Another great benefit will be the close and warm fellowship that we will experience. Thus bound together more firmly we will move into the future that the Lord Jesus gives us in this new 2017.

How wonderful it would be if we could come together in this way. Please. The sessions will begin at 4 PM and conclude each Saturday at 5:20 PM.

Pastor Z.

Sunday School, Bible Classes and Youth Group
No meetings on Sunday January 1 -- See you in 2017, on January 8th!

New Sunday Bible Study: Gospel truths about Church membership: Peace, Purity and Unity
Most of us know from Scripture, and even intuitively, that pastors are to be about 5 primary things:
1)      Clearly & effectively teaching the Gospel to equip the saints for ministry
2)      Prepare & lead the next generation
3)      Shepherd families
4)      Vision & engage in Church missions & planting
5)      Serve at God's pleasure wherever He leads

But...what about members of the church, the people who are THE church?  What is really expected of us, and how should we respond? This has become increasingly more confused over the last several generations.  We are bombarded with and significantly influenced by the secular world more and more. Scriptural teachings have become watered down, perverted and unheeded throughout Christendom.  Much of the Church has become polarized, divided and unloving.  It too often is failing to accomplish its mission effectively, and worse it is damaging people...its own people.  Jesus told us people would know who we were by how we loved each other.  Yet, too much of our energy is spent on internal issues which severely hamper, and even derail, our efforts to engage in effective ministry.  More and more of our pastor's, leaders' and members' time is spent on conflict and disunity.  We need to be better.  We must be better.  We have to be accountable.  It is past time to review and recommit Scriptural principles to our efforts.  Let us make the time now to work on our peace, purity and unity, together!
Trinity is on the precipice of its resurgence and possess an opportunity for tremendous community impact for the Gospel. 

This study is intended to remind us of God's teaching about our relationships within His Church and to help us encourage, admonish and love each other in a way that honors our Savior and accomplishes His work.  Let's make this well attended.  Invite someone who hasn't been coming for a while.

Begins January 8, 2017 and continues for 13 weeks. This group will meet at 9:30 am on Sundays in Fellowship Hall and will be led by Gregg Yawman.

Confirmation Class
Pastor Zehnder will be assisting Tim Norris and others in the teaching of the Confirmands. That will start in January, two Sundays a month at the 9:30 am time. Again, dear brother Pastor Schaefer will step in at those 9:30 am services as needed. Parents of Confirmands, please note this and help your son or daughter be present!

Special Voters Meeting, January 8  12:30
To vote on a Senior Pastor Call - Please plan to attend!

Epiphany Cantata on January 8 at 8am and 11am Worship
The Parish Choir is preparing its Epiphany Cantata, Song of Emmanuel , which will be sung at the 8am and 11am traditional services on January 8.  Rehearsals for the cantata will be held as follows:
  • Wednesday, January 4, 7:00 - 8:30pm
  • Saturday, January 7, 9:30 - 11:00am
Comfort Dog Ministry - Informational Meeting
(Note:date Change) The Dogs & Donuts meetings is now scheduled for Saturday, January 14th at 10am in the first floor conference room of the Magnolia building. SASHA Comfort Dog will be joining us for this meeting!  During this meeting we'll share an overview of the next steps in planning to get a comfort Dog Ministry established at Trinity, and all the volunteer roles available to Trinity members.  Please RSVP to Chanda in advance @ TLC@TrinityDowntown.com so we can plan for adequate space (and donuts).

Servant Saturday, January 28th -- Save the Date
Trinity's first "Servant Saturday" is scheduled for Saturday, January 28, 2017.  This is a morning set aside to reach out into the community and lend a helping hand to others. YOU will have an opportunity to volunteer from 9am to 12pm, at one of the following:
  • Orlando Union Rescue Mission Bargain Thrift Store: sorting, displaying donated items to sell.
  • Grand Ave. Primary School in Parramore: helping indoors or outdoors with special projects for this primary school
  • Coalition for the Homeless: preparing bag lunches for 150 families, serving, cleaning up.
Look for sign-up opportunities in early January, and get your name in before our 15 slots for each place, are filled.   After our morning of volunteering, we will reassemble at Trinity for lunch and sharing. Sounds like a grand opportunity, doesn't it?  For more information contact Gladys Dittmer at odittmer892@gmail.com or 407-488-1919 x101.

Midweek Prayer Requests
If you have an urgent prayer request that can't wait until you fill out a yellow prayer card during worship, please submit it via email to Pray@TrinityDowntown.com .  While submitting a yellow card during worship is still the preferred way to share prayer requests, sometimes a prayer need can't wait until Sunday.  Your prayer request (first name and basic details of the prayer requested) will be shared with a team of committed weekday prayer warriors and will also be added to Trinity's regular printed prayer list for the congregation.  All prayers are kept on the printed list for a period of three weeks, so please resubmit long term prayer needs regularly so that they stay on the printed list. Thank you.

Important Dates

December 31  New Year's Eve Worship 6pm
January 1 Worship at Regular times 8/9:30/11am
January 8  Epiphany Cantata at 8am and 11am
January 8  Special Voters Meeting, 12:30 Sanctuary
January 14  Dogs & Donuts Meeting
January 14  Foundations Class Begins
January 22-29  National Lutheran Schools Week
January 28 Servant Saturday

Facebook Post December 30:  
Resolutions that Glorify God
 

Are you thinking through your New Year Resolutions? How do you decide? This year, we'd like to encourage you to think BIG! Consider resolutions with Kingdom goals in mind: attack the sin in your life, practice daily gratitude, commit to a regular practice of prayer, intentionally build relationships, care for one another well and connect with people in need, commit to reading from the Bible daily, invite someone to church once a month.... the opportunities are endless. What will you commit to this year that will glorify God, strengthen you for witness and service, bless those around you, and allow you and live a life that reflects the brillance of the mercy and grace God has given to all of us?!! 

Share your ideas on Trinity's FB page at https://www.facebook.com/TrinityDowntownOrlando/
Trinity Downtown | The Ministries of Trinity Lutheran Church & School 
407-488-1919 | TLC@TrinityDowntown.com