Missouri Synod Church in Downtown Memphis

News & Notes

Rethinking Evangelism in America, pt. 1

Rethinking Evangelism in America, pt. 1

by Robert Schmidt The first worship service I conducted in Africa, I baptized over fifty and confirmed another thirty. We did a preaching, teaching, reaching mission in some unreached areas and the initial house calls turned into proclamations of the Gospel with fifty to one hundred people listening in at every house call. Evangelism services brought in hundreds of villagers and in giving out tracts so many people surrounded me I wished I had at least twelve helpers for the distribution. Needlessly to say, evangelism in America is not like that, at least in most Lutheran churches. Christmas homilies told us to be like the shepherds and make known what they had seen to tell others about Jesus. Jesus is our Savior; he died on the cross and was raised from the dead, for our salvation. Well…. yes, of course….but America is not Bethlehem at the beginning of Anno Domini, nor is it Africa in the 60′s. People have heard the story, maybe they have not believed it, digested it, or applied it to their lives, but they have heard it. So what is the “good news?” Whom Are We Addressing? In the preparation of foreign missionaries at mission school, some time is spent in acquainting new missionaries with the people they will be talking to. Heading off to India, missionaries need to know something about Hinduism and Islam. Going to Africa or New Guinea, you will have to understand something about animism. For China and Japan, is it Buddhism,

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The 8 Most Dangerous Christian Prayers… #5 Ruined my Life

There are different forms of Christian prayer, but whether you have a set prayer time or seek to communicate with God throughout the day (or some combination of both), here are 10 Christian prayers that are extremely dangerous to pray. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray them … we should! It just means that when we pray them, we should watch out! Read the rest of this article by Jeremy Myers on his Till He Comes website.

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What language did Jesus speak? The pope and Israel’s prime minister disagree.

Last week, on his tour of the Holy Land, Pope Francis met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. During their discussion, a disagreement of sorts emerged as to what language Jesus spoke. This article in the Washington Post gives the details.

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Gangway to Galilee – Trinity VBS is underway!

This year’s Vacation Bible Study is entitled Gangway to Galilee. It is based on the theme: Jesus Gives Amazing Grace. Participants are figuratively journeying around the Sea of Galilee to learn about God’s life-giving Word. Teams are joining in many activities as they engage in Bible learning as they read, see, and interact with the Bible lessons. Each lesson will have a nautical theme, center on one of the bible stories about Jesus on and around the Sea of Galilee. Diane Johnston and crew have worked hard to make this a truly exciting and memorable experience for everyone. Trinity Vacation Bible Study is being held each Sunday during the regular Sunday School time.

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Choir Selection from Maundy Thursday

For those of you who may not have been fortunate enough to hear the choral selection from Maundy Thursday’s service, we present it here for your enjoyment and inspiration. (Click the white triangle to the far left on the player bar to begin play)

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Trinity Brewers Softball!

Trinity Brewers Softball!

For the first time in years, Trinity is fielding a softball team to play in our Memphis-area Lutheran softball league! Games will be held on Sunday afternoons at Immanuel Lutheran Church (6319 Raleigh Lagrange Road). If you’re interested in joining our team, email Coach Jakob Holz at jholz@shipyard.com. Or if you’d just prefer an afternoon of fun and fellowship, bring a lawn chair out to Immanuel and support the team. League play begins April 6th, and we’ll be posting game times on our parish calendar as they become available. Go Brewers!

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This Week

Listen to this weeks sermon by Dr. Morrison

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Abortion and the Gospel

I recently had the opportunity to hear a presentation by a well-known prolife speaker on abortion. The argument against abortion, he said, lay in the answer to the question “Is the fetus a human being or not?” In meticulous fashion he presented his case which in substance said that if you can prove to an abortion proponent or a woman considering abortion that the fetus is a human being you have won your argument. Winning means that the proponent will give up his case or a woman considering abortion will not submit to an abortion. This article is reprinted from The Lutheran Witness. Perhaps it is that I spent twenty years as hospital chaplain counseling, among others, women in their decision making that I find this argument overstated. Of all the women I counseled who were considering abortion I never had one tell me she did not believe the fetus within her was a human being. In fact, she would have thought it naive of me that I would even press the point. She would have said, “Of course, it is human, but I don’t want to be pregnant.” In the non-Lutheran presentation referred to above, what struck me was the overbearance of Law and the absence of Gospel. Hammering away with rational explanation, the speaker concluded with an in-your-face video hideously depicting torn fetal body parts, all of which shattered any further reasonable discussion of the issue. Lutheran theology claims, and rightly so, that Law doesn’t transform people, the

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The Kenya Micro Loan Project

Deaconesses are “tireless workers, carrying out God’s mercy and compassion for people throughout Kenya,” says the Rev. David Chuchu, the ELCK Diakonia Compassionate Ministry (DCM) project coordinator. But deaconesses also struggle with many of the same financial strains that affect the people they serve. Today, small-business training and a micro-loan project made possible with help from an LCMS Mercy Grant encourage deaconesses who pursue their own entrepreneurial projects. Messiah Lutheran Church, Danville, and Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Rocklin, both in California, have also provided financial support. The goal is to help the women “gain confidence, financial independence and a sense of pride in their work, both as a businesswoman and as a deaconess,” Chuchu says. “This will, in turn, allow them greater freedom to serve others through the love and mercy of Christ.” Deaconess leaders completed project training last year in Kisumu. Grace Jobita, a micro-loan consultant, taught business components; the Rev. Dr. Arthur Just, professor, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Deaconess Pamela Boehle-Silva, RN, of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, led theological insights and made home visits. Now the trained deaconesses are shepherding groups in dioceses of the LCMS partner church in Kenya, helping others form savings groups and apply for micro-loans to start businesses. Entrepreneurial pursuits include brick making, dairy farming, importing shoes and raising rice and vegetables. The project is open to all ELCK deaconesses. Long-range plans are for ELCK pastors, evangelists and congregations to also participate. Mary Khainga, a deaconess trainer in the Central Diocese,

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Christian Care Network

Trinity Lutheran Church is in the process of developing a “Care Network” to aid our congregants, especially those with transportation issues. At the very top of the list will be those who need special assistance getting to church, Bible study, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, etc.  The Care Network will also offer assistance whenever possible for routine home maintenance and minor repair, and anticipates that the more routine “chores” might be handled by our youth group as in-congregation servant events. The proposed Care Network will consist of members who feel motivated to serve in this aspect of ministry, initially coordinated by Deacon Morrison.  All congregants will be asked to fill out a Care Network Form to ascertain their willingness, strengths, and hours of availability. We will then divide the Greater Memphis Area into flexible geographical areas (or “Wards”), with a volunteer “Ward Captain” in each area. Requests for any type of assistance would then be funneled through the Ward Captain. Under this system, no more than two or three phone calls should ever be needed to meet the needs of our congregants. All members of the congregation will be asked to take part in whatever capacity they can. Why a “network” and not a committee? One of the goals of the Care Network is to avoid as much administrative overhead as possible; our model is simply people helping people by putting them in touch with the person or persons who can help them in a simple, direct, and timely manner.  Once up

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Worship Services Designed To Reach Out

Trinity Lutheran Church has recently launched three separate but related outreach programs aimed at all those in need of God’s loving touch. The first,  Gather In The Garden,  consists of short worship services  held  in Trinity’s Meditation Garden and is designed for those who have lost loved ones through domestic violence.  During this service of prayer and meditation, Trinity’s bell tolls once for each victim as the names of those lost are read aloud. The second service of outreach is our new Liturgy of Wholeness and Healing to be held several times throughout the church year. This service offers the opportunity for those who so desire to be anointed with oil as prescribed in James 5:14:  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  Time is also set aside for participants to place their individual petitions before the Lord.   This non-liturgical worship service takes place in a more casual setting aimed at making both traditional Lutherans and non-Lutherans comfortable.  The next Liturgy of Wholeness and Healing is scheduled for January, 2013. The third new outreach service brings us back to the Meditation Garden, this time at 12:15 pm every Thursday for Prayer in the Garden. This unique service consists of scripture readings, prayers, and a short meditation. It is designed primarily as a “spiritual break”  for those who work in the Downtown area. All of these services

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Feed My Sheep Sunday

Trinity received a thank you letter from Estella Mayhue-Greer from the Mid-South Food Bank thanking us for the 85 lbs of food we collected on September 9th!  What a tremendous blessing!  We’re gearing up for our next Feed My Sheep Sunday on October 14th, so be on the lookout for donation bags in the Narthex….

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