Missouri Synod Church in Downtown Memphis
Church Office (901) 525-1056

News & Notes

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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A New Season…at Trinity

How do you feel now that Christmas is over?  One mother says that she is always sorry when Christmas is over because she knows that after her family has hung up their stockings on Christmas Eve it will be a whole year before any one of them will hang up anything again! Most of us are sad to see Christmas pass.  For myself, it’s probably the most enjoyable time of the year.  That’s true, first of all, because of the wonderful celebration of Christ’s coming to the world in human form and all that means for us, but also because it is a special time of the year to reflect on the blessings of the previous year and the promise of the new year to come. As I reflect back on this past year, I am amazed (and perhaps you are as well) that I am the Interim Pastor here at Trinity.  If someone had predicted this a year ago, I would have inquired about the medication they were taking! Now I am excited about getting to know you and your ministry and to work together in exploring new possibilities for the future. As the calendar turns from 2017 to 2018, it is a great time to dream big dreams and plan boldly, and to trust God to “do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of” (Eph. 3:20b ERV).  Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty vivid imagination, and I can think

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Schedule of Services for the Christmas Season

The Christmas Season is one of the busiest times. Here is our schedule of special services to help you with your planning. Don’t forget the special Advent Services each Wednesday evening proceeded by a super served by one of Trinity’s boards.

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Advent Services 2017

While the retail world would have us think that Christmas began the day after Thanksgiving, the Church follows a different calendar. The new Church Year begins with the season of Advent (beginning this year December 3rd,) four weeks in which to prepare spiritually for Christ’s coming; four weeks in which to get ready not only for Christmas 2017, but to welcome Christ into our hearts and to prepare for the day when He will return in glory. Each Wednesday evening in Advent, Trinity will offer midweek worship focusing on The Songs of Advent. Join us as we look in on Zechariah and Elizabeth, on Mary, and on Simeon and see how they prepared for and welcomed Christ into their lives and hearts. A light supper will be served at 6:00 p.m., and the service will begin at 7:00 p.m. Come, and bring a friend. Wednesday, December 6: “A Parent’s Song: Zechariah and Elizabeth” Wednesday, December 13: “A Young Woman’s Song: Mary” Wednesday, December 20: “An Old Man’s Song: Simeon”

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Sad News

It was just learned this evening that our dear brother Jason Seek passed away. Those of us who knew Jason and his family are saddened by his sudden death.  May almighty and merciful God send His comfort to Jason’s family and friends and welcome him into His heavenly kingdom.  May all of us be strengthened and comforted with the hope of the resurrection in Jesus Christ.

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Trinity Hires Terry Tieman to Serve as Interim Pastor

At the November Church Council meeting, it was decided to hire Rev. Terry Tieman to serve part time as Trinity’s pastor until such time as the Congregation is able to secure a new full time pastor. We welcome Rev. Dr. Tieman as Trinity’s new part time pastor. Rev. Tieman has lived and ministered in Memphis for the past 23 years, so he knows the area and culture very well.  Prior to his service in Memphis as the Director of Missions for the Mid-South District, Pastor Tieman served for 12 years as a parish pastor, overseeing the planting of 2 churches and the growth of 4.  Finally, he has extensive experience at Immanuel, Memphis, with past assignments as Vacancy Pastor and Director of Discipleship & Assimilation. He is currently serving (part-time) as the Executive Director of Transforming Churches Network, Rev. Terry Tieman has formed a network of over 1,000 churches across the United States and Canada that have operated as a National Learning Community for over 10 years.  This network of judicatories, congregations, pastors, and lay leaders has provided a rich learning environment for a broad spectrum of congregational ministry, especially in the areas of outreach, discipleship, leadership, and church transformation.  With this cumulative knowledge and experience under his belt, Rev. Tieman is well positioned to lead local ministry at Trinity, Memphis, as a part-time pastor. His duties at Trinity (while we are in our Call Process) will include, but not be limited to, the following: Worship & Preaching:  Pastor Tieman

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Letter of Introduction from Terry Tieman

Dear Members & Friends of Trinity: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:3-4) Okay, I’m certainly no Apostle Paul, but I hope to serve you in much the same way that Paul served the Galatians. That is, to empower you to give a practical and vigorous defense of the essential truth that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ and to live out that faith in your daily lives, sharing it with your friends and neighbors in word and deed. To that end, I will be preaching, teaching, equipping, and training much like a regular pastor. EXCEPT that I will be doing it in 1-2 days per week! Of course, that means that you will ALL need to be fully engaged in ministry as the “priesthood of all believers,” according to your time and talents. As the full-time Executive Director of Transforming Churches Network, I will be continuing my regular duties with that organization, but I will do everything I can to insure that your ministry needs are met until you call a new pastor. Also, please be aware that Rev. Mark Goble will continue to lead you in the call process as your official Vacancy Pastor. I will be sharing more in the weeks to come. Until

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Rev. Chad Kendall Declines Trinity’s Call

On Sunday, Oct. 1, the voters of Trinity Lutheran Church voted to issue a Divine Call to Rev. Chad Kendall to serve as their pastor. Rev. Kendall is currently serving as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lowell. Rev. Kendall and his wife Stacie visited with Trinity Memphis the prior weekend so that they and Trinity Memphis could get to know one another better. Last week, Rev. Kendall informed congregation president Dave Chester, that it was with heavy heart that he was reluctantly declining the Call. Since visiting Memphis and the people of Trinity with his wife Stacie, she came down with a serious case of Lyme Disease. Packing up all of your belongings, selling your house and moving to a new community is an enormous stress in the best of conditions, but is nearly impossible when afflicted with such an ailment. Trinity will begin the call process once again, but Mr. Chester has informed Rev. Kendall that his name will be on the new call list as well as we continue to keep tabs on Mrs. Kendall’s health. Once again we ask for everyone’s prayers as we continue our search for a new pastor, and we request prayers for Stacie Kendall as well, asking God to restore her to good health.

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LCMS Disaster Response

LCMS Disaster Response visited northern California Oct. 16-18 to meet with officials of the Synod’s California-Nevada-Hawaii (CNH) District as well as with parish pastors based in areas affected by the catastrophic wildfires. Working in collaboration with the district, Disaster Response will assist in conducting an early assessment and devising an action plan to help meet immediate needs in the stricken communities. Just before traveling to California, LCMS Disaster Response leaders returned from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. While there, they focused their efforts on visiting the city of Mayaguez and its surrounding areas. Mayaguez is home to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, served by LCMS Missionary Rev. Matthew Ruesch. LCMS World Relief and Human Care, through its Disaster Response arm, will support the congregational members of Prince of Peace and reach out to neighboring communities. The initial response will include the provision of food, water and diapers. The general disaster relief fund enables LCMS Disaster Response to provide immediate, robust disaster relief for unexpected calamities like these that could occur in the months and years ahead. To Give Online: visitlcms.org/disaster By Text: Text – Text LCMSDISASTERS to 41444. You can still give for specific disaster relief efforts by visiting  lcms.org/disaster. Gifts are tax- deductible as allowed by law.  

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