Missouri Synod Church in Downtown Memphis

News & Notes

Service Project Sunday was a Success!

We wanted to extend a big THANK YOU to all our volunteers who helped with Service Project Sunday this past Sunday (April 8th). We had a group who passed out Homeless Survival Kits to homeless people around the area and ran out of bags pretty quickly. The ladies of our Naomi Circle packed them all in assembly line style and we are truly grateful for their help and support. Another team went outside around Trinity and the jail to pick up trash and make our immediate community a little bit cleaner. Thank you so much to those who helped brighten up the area! A third group went over to Tom Lee Park and Mud Island Park to pass out water bottles to anyone they came in contact with. Thank you for participating in a small act of kindness to our neighbors. Yet another team stayed behind at Trinity to prepare lunch for all our hard workers. Thank you for your support, too! To everyone who helped out:  You planted seeds of hope around a cause you care about. You stepped up, took the lead, and challenged others to take action. And together, you made a positive change. That’s not just awesome–it’s awe-inspiring! Thank you for sharing your God-given gifts to make the world a better place. You are truly a blessing… to your family, your friends–and the countless people you’ve touched through your generosity.  

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“God Connects” – new study!

"God Connects" - new study!

God, are You there? Everyone, at some point, asks this question. It can come at moments of sterile reflection or in times of deep despair. “God, if You are there, why don’t You show Yourself to me?” In this confusing world where authenticity is so elusive, it seems like we cannot connect to God. We could not connect to God, but the good news is that God connects with us. He has been doing this from the beginning in amazing ways. The most direct way God connected to us is when He became one of us in Jesus Christ. When Jesus was on this earth, He was the very revelation of God as He taught and healed and loved. Then to restore our connection to God, which had been shattered because of sin, on the cross, Jesus willingly paid the penalty for our sins—in His own death! This is the most authentic, startling and determined love the world could have ever imagined. Now God connects to us by revealing Himself in the Bible. This God-given book has an amazing story. It tells of God’s constant and compassionate work to restore our relationship with Him. God Connects wants to share that story with you. God Connects is a course that tells this unique, unequaled story. Whether you do not believe in Christ as Savior or want to deepen your faith in Him, as you delve into God Connects you will explore what the Bible says about this remarkably loving God, and

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Service Project Sunday

In the book, Irresistible Evangelism, by Steve Sjogren, a working definition of kindness is suggested as “demonstrating God’s love by offering to do humble acts of service, in Christ’s name, with no strings attached.” (Irresistible Evangelism p.91) The authors go on to say, We’ll never shine brightly in the kingdom of God until we can sign up for activities that bring us no immediate, tangible, specific gain. We need to learn the lesson Jesus taught in Luke 6:35 about giving without expecting to get anything back, not even gratitude. The only reward we need is knowing that we’re acting like sons of the Most High. The watching world will never be genuinely interested in our message as long as we come across as self-seeking promoters of our little piece of the kingdom. However, the world hungers for generosity in Christ’s name when those expressing it don’t care who gets the credit. If we don’t take seriously the phrases In Christ’s name and with no strings attached, we’re just using a manipulative marketing strategy. (Irresistible Evangelism p.94) When we serve another, with no strings attached, we are operating in a way that is counter-cultural. Doing something for nothing is unheard of these days. A posture of a servant can easily be drowned out by the “me, my, and mine” slogans of Madison Avenue. But let’s remember…it is the kindness of God that has drawn us into a saving relationship with Him. Through His kindness, God has rescued us from the kingdom

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Olive Wood Crosses

This Sunday (Palm Sunday) we will be passing out 2 (or more) olive wood crosses to everyone who attends worship.  The idea is to keep one for yourself and to give the other to a friend, coworker, neighbor, or even a stranger.  Of course, giving someone an olive wood cross also gives you a wonderful opportunity to tell that person about the meaning of the cross and invite him/her to join you in Easter worship at Trinity! What makes this even more special is the unique origin of these crosses.  Here is a little background information about these olive wood crosses: Carved from Olive Trees grown in Israel around Bethlehem. In a shop on Manger Square beside the Church of the Nativity built over the historical site where Jesus Christ was born. By two native Christians that have been doing so for nearly 30 years. Over 1.8 million crosses now in circulation. Distributed through a ministry in Connecticut run by Laird and Ann Mortimer for the past 30 years. They have visited the shop in Bethlehem many times and are good friends with the owners and carvers. You can order your own supply if you want. Pick up one of the postcards in the entryway at church for instructions on how to do so. They are not expensive in dollars (100 for $40 delivered) but priceless in their meaning and effect on the giver and the recipient. How many crosses can you hand out this week?  With how many people

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Did You Know The Easter Bunny Is A Lutheran?

Did You Know The Easter Bunny Is A Lutheran?

Among the things introduced to America by early Lutherans is Saint Nicklaus, Christmas Trees, Hot Dogs, Easter Eggs, Easter Baskets, and the Easter Bunny.

Actually the Easter Rabbit started out in German folklore as the Easter Hare.

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Let’s Go Prayer Walking

Let's Go Prayer Walking

What is Prayer Walking?  Praying while walking (or driving).  Can be done in groups or alone.  Walkers pray for various needs in the community. They can pray silently or aloud as they walk, whichever they feel most comfortable with. Allow the following words that start with “P” to be your prayer guide. Pray for People Pray for Pain Pray for Problems Pray for Places When will we start?  This Sunday, March 4, beginning at 9:15 am and lasting 1 hour.  We will assemble in the Fellowship Hall at Trinity for a brief training orientation and assignments, prayer walk for 20-30 minutes and then return to Trinity for debriefing and an opportunity to put together your own personal prayer walking plan, prior to our regular worship service. What if I am not able to walk far?  You can prayer drive or pray at church while the group goes out into the community. In hundreds of cities across the globe, ordinary believers are prayer walking through the streets of their communities. They pray while walking, with eyes open for the spiritual awakening God is bringing. There is no set pattern or proven formula. Prayer walkers have set out with every imaginable style. There’s nothing magical about praying while walking. God’s Spirit is simply helping us to pray in the midst of the very settings in which we expect Him to answer our prayers. We instinctively draw near to those for whom we pray. Getting up close to the community focuses our prayer.

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Motivation for Mission

What is the mission of the church?  What kind of impact can your church and your life have on your community?  What does the Bible say about a local church’s calling to influence a lost world? Motivation for Mission is a new five-week study to help our congregation focus on our purpose as individuals and as a church. It seeks to answer the question, “Why are we here?” This study covers the following: Why is the Church on Earth? Lost In America Change? You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me The Search The Power of a Team The series begins this Sunday, February 18 and concludes March 18.  If you like to talk in class, this is a great group for you, because it is totally interactive! We will meet in the Fellowship Hall @ 9:15 a.m. on Sundays. God does not want anyone to perish, and God is looking for people who share his heart for those who are perishing.  This study lays a strong foundation for each of us to minister to people who need the Gospel.  It will help launch us on a great adventure that will change the world around us. Get ready to impact people with God’s love! Pastor Tieman

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LCMS’s Only Historically Black College Slated To Close

Concordia College in Selma Alabama, the Missouri Synod’s only historically Black college, is slated to close its doors at the end of this semester. This is according to Concordia’s Chief Transition Officer, Dr. James Lyons, who was brought on board last May to help the troubled college. “For the past two and a half years probably, there has been what I call this closure cloud sort of hanging over the college,” Lyons said Monday. “Are we going to close? Aren’t we? When I arrived eight months ago, I had students ask me, ‘Are we really going close? We hear this every semester.’” Lyons is quoted as saying in the Selma Times Journal. The article goes on to say, “Lyons was brought in when the school was looking to find new ownership. Lyons said an investor was lined up and even made a substantial contribution to the school, but the deal fell through. “It was so bad that when I arrived in May, I made contact with a donor that had not sent us money because the word was that the college had already closed,” Lyons said. “I spoke with the donor and said no, we’re open. I’m here. Here’s the mailing address. But that’s how bad it has gotten.” You can read the entire Selma Times Journal article here.

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Life Cycles and Church Vision

Life Cycles and Church Vision

Like people, all churches have a life cycle, including Trinity. It can be graphed as a bell-shaped curve starting with birth, growing toward maturity and declining through retirement to eventual death.  Also, like people, a church’s life cycle typically takes place over a period of 75-100 years. Some congregations close earlier and a few (like Trinity) have exceptionally good genes for longevity, but the point is that no congregation lasts indefinitely. The good news for churches, though, is that unlike people; churches can have more than one life cycle.  Undoubtedly, Trinity has had more than one life cycle.  The transformation that took place when the congregation transitioned from German to English as its primary worship language would be a good example.  Another would be when Trinity decided to “stay downtown for good”, rather than move to the suburbs.  In some ways, a new life cycle constitutes a “new beginning” or “starting over” for a congregation. With regard to the human aging process, all that we can really do is to live our lives as healthily as we can and hope to delay our demise as long as possible. With congregations, a proactive approach can result in much more than mere longevity. Proactive congregations can start a whole new life cycle.  In fact, that’s my plan (and prayer) for Trinity! So where is Trinity on its current life cycle?  To find out, come this Sunday to my Bible Class in the Fellowship Hall @ 9:15 am.  We will be asking everyone

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Heading off starvation in South Sudan

In South Sudan, a severe food crisis fueled by severe drought and deadly civil war has left the country on the brink of famine. The conditions are exacerbated by extreme poverty, weak infrastructure and lack of access to basic services, including health care.

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People of Passion

People of Passion

As we continue exploring “A New Season for our Church” at Trinity, we are entering a time of preparing and visioning.  To help our entire church family to gather around the dream of connecting many new people to God through faith in Jesus, we are starting a new group called “People of Passion.”* Who are people of passion?  They are baptized believers in Jesus who: Love Him (and want other people to know and love Jesus the way they do.) Have strong feelings for Trinity Lutheran Church – a deep desire for our church family to be everything God wants us to be. Have compassion and love for the people in our community and neighborhoods (especially those who don’t know Jesus and His love for them.) You do not need to be a “person of position” – a board member or elected leader or church worker.  You could be, but you’ll probably have more time, energy and passion for mission activities if you aren’t already committed to other meetings, etc. We are praying for at least 12 “People of Passion” to emerge to work with Pastor Tieman and the Board of Outreach.  We will meet approximately twice a month for the next six months, beginning around the first of March.  This will not be a Bible study group, but instead, a Bible-doin’ group.  We will learn and practice things like prayer-walking; community surveying; service projects; crafting a personal testimony; planning outreach events, etc. If you are interested in being a

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Mission Impossible?

  Your mission should you choose to accept it… God’s Word is very clear about His mission for the church.  Shortly before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told His followers to, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  (Matthew 28:19-20a) In essence, these are Jesus’ marching orders to the church and they haven’t changed in 2,000 years.  The message from headquarters is clear and precise:  Go and make disciples!  The question isn’t, “what is our mission” but rather “will we accept the mission”? Unfortunately, many in the church today think that making disciples isn’t their responsibility.  They rationalize by saying (or thinking), “that’s the pastor’s job” or “I’m not gifted in evangelism” or “I don’t have enough training” or                            fill in the blank with your own excuse.  Personally, I think the biggest reason we don’t take Jesus’ command to make disciples more seriously is because we are afraid!  We are afraid of rejection; we are afraid that people will say ‘no’; or worse, they will say ‘yes’ and then what do we do? In each episode of the Mission Impossible movies, Ethan Hunt is always given a very difficult assignment with the caveat: your mission should you choose to accept it…Of course, he always accepts it and then finds some kind of miraculous, spine-tingling way to accomplish the mission. What about you?   Will

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