Missouri Synod Church in Downtown Memphis

News & Notes

A Tale of Two Sons 10/1/2017

Pastor Elkins expounds on the parable of the two sons–the one who says he will not work in the vineyard but later goes and works and the one who says he will work, but then never shows. Jesus shows the pharisees a whole new view of God, one that is still applicable to us today.

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Trinity’s Artwork Goes Viral!!!

Well, not exactly viral. But a banner I made for Trinity a few years ago now shows up on page one of Google’s search for the topic “reformation meme.” I have code written into the website that blocks Google from listing our images with their search results so Google had to find it somewhere else. It seems that a site called askideas.com also trolls the internet for artwork to steal and they seem to be the ones that took a shining to our Happy Reformation Day banner. Regardless, I am honored to have my artwork repurposed for someone else to use. I only wish they would use the new updated “500th anniversary” version instead.

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Pastoral Candidate Comes To Visit

  This past week, Trinity invited its second candidate for the office of Pastor to come and visit us. Once again, we got to share some hospitality and and get to know one another better. This time, it was Rev. Chad Kendall and his wife Stacie, who graced us with their presence. Rev. Kendall currently serves at Trinity Lutheran in Lowell  Indiana. Eight years prior, he was at Immanuel Lutheran Church Spirit Lake, Iowa. He has two sons, Isaac 18 and Samuel 15. His Master of Divinity degree is from Concordia – Fort Wayne. The Call Committee, led by its chairman Dave Chester, selected Rev. Kendall from over a dozen candidates as being the best match for the needs of Trinity. The original list was pared down to just three candidates who the committee felt met Trinity’s requirements. These three were then interviewed extensively by the Call Committee via an internet video connection. After imploring the Holy Spirit’s guidance and aid, the Call Committee voted unanimously to invite the Kendall’s to spend a weekend with us in Memphis so that we might get to know each other better. Saturday morning, the Kendall’s got a tour of Trinity and learned a bit of its history and a better understanding of its unique location. Later they met with the church staff. That afternoon, the Kendall’s were guests for lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse where  the Church Council, and the Board of Elders got to speak with them at length. Afterwards, they were taken to

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Trinity Picnic 2017

There have been a lot of changes to Trinity’s Annual Picnic over the years, but perhaps none as great as the ones put on place this year. Click here to see the slideshow from the event.

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Trinity’s Annual Picnic

Trinity's Annual Picnic

Each year Trinity hosts its Annual Picnic at the end of Summer giving members and friends a chance to join together in an informal setting for worship followed by a luncheon and games and prizes. For the last few years, the picnic was held at the Memphis Ornamental Metal Museum downtown,  however this year it will move to the Episcopalian Saint Columba Conference Center in Bartlett. (more)

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Empowerment Center, Including Lutheran Hope Center, Opens At Ferguson’s ‘Ground Zero’

Shoulder to shoulder under a huge tent, sitting on folding chairs and standing five deep in spots, some 400 people witnessed a symbolic — and even “historic” — event here July 26: the grand opening of the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center, a resource for hope and healing nearly three years after the violent protests that sparked a fresh look at racism nationwide.

The new, two-story facility — debt-free, thanks to corporate donations — stands on the grounds of the burned-out QuikTrip gas station that served as “ground zero” for authorities responding to weeks of unrest following the police shooting death of teenager Michael Brown Jr. on Aug. 9, 2014. (click for more)

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Call Committee Back To Work

The Call Committee, led by Dave Chester, is back again to the task of finding a new pastor for Trinity. Our former pastor, Josh Hatcher accepted a call to Trinity Lutheran in St. Louis and left in December. Mid-South District President, Roger Paavola has provided Trinity with a second slate of candidates, after few of the names on the first list met the committee’s criteria. Last month, the Committee brought in Rev. Neil Vanderbush and his wife from Texas for a visit and a series of interviews, however the process did not go as smoothly as one would have hoped. Rev. Vanderbush respectfully withdrew his name from consideration shortly after. “We are going to proceed a bit more slowly,” says chairman Chester. “I want to gather a many more names as we can so that we can have the best chance of finding a candidate that will be the best match. “We currently have eight names before us. Two of them are from the previous list, two are from member nominations, and four are additional names provided by Roger Paavola.” From this list, the committee selected five names for further study and to conduct interviews over the internet. On contacting each of the candidates, two of them have recently accepted calls to other congregations and had to be removed from our list. The remaining three are scheduled to be interviewed this coming week. The Call Committee will be meeting as a group to speak with them, asking questions as well as answering

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Bethesda: Enhancing Lives, Sharing Jesus

  In one of several Bethesda Lutheran Communities group homes nestled throughout Watertown, Wis. — and much like Bethesda homes in other areas across the country — Annie Egan and her housemates receive necessary medical care. All are nonverbal and in wheelchairs; some use feeding tubes. Such physical needs helped convince Cathy Egan to allow Annie, 38, to move to Bethesda when her daughter was 16. Back then, Cathy had no idea how much Annie would enjoy singing songs like “Jesus Loves Me.” She never envisioned six women — all considered low-functioning — taking part in their group home Bible study and how they “really respond” when the topic is Jesus. Integrating rather than segregating Bethesda programs empower people with developmental disabilities to live, play, work and worship in their local communities. (Bethesda Lutheran Communities)A century ago, families took their children by train to Bethesda, where the youngsters grew up with classes in reading, religion and penmanship. “We literally began as an orphanage, a home started by German Lutherans for families who didn’t know how to best care for their children,” said Mike Thirtle, president and CEO of Bethesda, a name from the Bible for the pool where the disabled came for healing (John 5:2-4). While its mission to “enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through services that share the Good News of Jesus” remains the same, the LCMS Recognized Service Organization (RSO) has changed dramatically. Bethesda’s many programs include working with congregations to enrich the

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US Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Trinity Lutheran Church – Columbia Mo.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling June 26 in the case of a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod church preschool, determining 7-2 that the state of Missouri’s barring of the church from a government aid program was unconstitutional. While the LCMS was not a party to the litigation, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys represented Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., in Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) v. Comer (formerly Pauley). The case came about after Trinity was invited to apply for the 2012 Playground Scrap Tire Surface Material Grant Program to resurface its playground with recycled tire products to be provided by the supposedly neutral state program. The grant program was offered to Missouri nonprofits as a means to recycle scrap tires, in an attempt to reduce the amount of tires in landfills and to foster children’s safety. “The government should treat children’s safety at religious schools the same as it does at nonreligious schools,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman in his statement after the ruling. “The Supreme Court’s decision today affirms that common-sense principle and the larger truth that government isn’t being neutral when it treats religious organizations worse than everyone else.” “The Supreme Court’s decision today demonstrates the support of the principle that the government cannot treat religious organizations differently than other organizations just because of what we believe,” echoed LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. “Despite this case being about a preschool playground, a seemingly mundane and simple matter, this is a very big win for

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Phil Schmidt Dies After Battle With Cancer

It is with deep sorrow that we announce that Trinity’s Pastor Emeritus, Phil Schmidt was called to his heavenly home Wednesday evening. Phil had been battling cancer. Phil came to Memphis with his wife Jean and their two small children, Missy (Caroline Schmidt) and Stephen in the 1980’s to serve as Trinity’s associate pastor. He also served for decades as the Chaplin for the Shelby County Courts and served as Circuit Councilor for the Mid-South District. Rather than be allowed to retire peacefully, Phil served time and again as vacancy pastor for area churches who were without pastoral care. Many young people know him today for his annual work with the Lutheran Summer Camp where he instructed children in various craft projects. We praise God for allowing Pastor Phil into our lives and thank Him for all of the blessings that were worked in our lives by means of this faithful servant. Service for Pastor Phil Schmidt will be on Wednesday, June 7th at 7:00 pm at Trinity. Visitation will be at 6:00 pm.

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Free Conference For Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Trinity’s Chairman of Social Ministry, Vernetta Eddleman, reminds us that The Mid South Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will be presenting their 6th Annual Caregiver Conference Tue, June 20, 2017 from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM CDT There will be presentations from local senior industry leaders dealing with Alzheimer’s and Dementia aimed at those who provide care and support for friends and loved ones suffering with these afflictions. Location for the Conference will be: Bartlett Station Municipal Center 5868 Stage Road Bartlett, TN 38134   The conference is free and includes a complimentary lunch, but you must register. Here is a link to the registration and directions to the event.   Additional information is available from Vernetta Eddleman

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Beautiful Savior in Olive Branch Joins MidSouth District

It is a fact of life that, while Lutherans number about 90 million members world wide, there are not that many to be found in the southern regions of the United States. Our friends of the Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian persuasions far out number us in both members and in numbers of congregations. As a result, a Lutheran congregation in, say, Olive Branch Mississippi might have to drive a good piece to find another LCMS congregation within their own Southern District which covers Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. A congregation so situated might have to drive a great many miles just to join in activities with another congregation in their circuit. With that in mind, we rejoice and welcome the newest congregation to in the Memphis Circuit of the Mid-South District, Beautiful Savior Lutheran in Olive Branch, Mississippi. While still officially within the Southern district, Beautiful Savior will now join with its fellow Lutherans in the Memphis area in circuit wide support and activities. The West Tennessee zone of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League will step over the state line to hold their Spring Zone Rally at Beautiful Savior April 29th. Directions to Beautiful Savior    

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