January 10th, 2021
Confirmation is online January 13 (8th grade). Confirmation moves to in person starting on January 20th (7th grade)
ALL reports for the ‘Annual Report’ are due Wed., January 13th so the ‘Report’ can be distributed two weeks before the Annual Meeting which is Sunday, February 7, 2021. The annual meeting will take place in the parking lot following worship.
First Communion Class will be offered in-person on Sunday, January 31st at 6pm for youth in 3rd grade and above. If you are uncomfortable attending class or you can’t make that day, please contact Pastor Brad at 715-702-2755 to schedule an individual class.
First Communion Sunday is Sunday, February 21st at 9am worship.
Volunteers needed to remove snow from the church sidewalks. A snowblower is provided by the church. Sign up sheet in the Narthex or follow the link below to sign up.
Don’t forget that you can support Trinity through the GivePlus app OR using the donate form on our website. Download the free app, search for Trinity Lutheran Boyceville, and go from there!
2021 Offering Envelopes are available. You can pick them up on the table in the Narthex or have an usher grab them for you.
MUSINGS FROM PASTOR BRAD
On Wednesday, January 6th, as blood gushed from my nose due to a nosebleed, I saw the news of the United States Capitol under siege. As I tried to stop the bleeding in my nose, I watched video of people scaling walls, smashing windows, overrunning police and trashing the seat of our democracy. As I watched the violence and destruction, my heart hurt, just as it had earlier in the year as I watched the destruction of businesses and the looting during the George Floyd riots. But, I must admit, as tears came down my cheeks, that this was something more. This was the center of our democracy. This was happening while our elected leaders were doing their constitutional duty. At that moment, I felt like I was watching the death of our nation and the democracy we all hold dear. And so I wept. And I grieved.
I’m used to grief. As a pastor, I have to deal with grief on a very regular basis, not only being there for people in the midst of their loss but also having to deal with that same loss for myself. I’ve grieved the loss of my Dad at 16 and my mother at 30. I’ve grieved the loss of relationships and personal disappointments. And I’ve learned one thing for all of it: grief doesn’t ever really end. The losses in life, the profound ones, stay with you for the rest of your life. It has been 26 years since my Dad died, yet I still find times where I grieve that loss. The pain of grief stays with you. One of the fallacy’s we tell ourselves, and sometimes others, is that we will “eventually get over it.” When you love something with everything you have and it goes away, you don’t “get over it.” Rather, you learn to live with it, to cope with it, to understand it, at least in my opinion. Frankly, to me, the feeling of grief that sticks around even years or decades later reminds me of how important that thing was in my life and that it meant something. I have a feeling that the events of January 6th, 2021, are going to stay with me forever.
But the other thing I have learned is that what, in the end, is most important is what you do with your grief. Do you allow it to consume you to the point where you are in a black hole of despair and never get out of it? Does it make you look at your life and the world differently? Does it change your perspective on what is important? Does it move you in a new direction that makes a positive difference in your life or the lives of others? When my Dad died, it showed me the importance of appreciating things in life and drove me to see that there is nothing more important than the love of God in Jesus Christ. Other losses have helped me to make positive changes in my life and to see the simple pleasures of life. And in every case, while I grieved I ended up seeing that I was not alone. God was there. My friends and family were there. I never would have recovered from the loss of my Mom if it hadn’t been for Amy’s love and support. The losses in life often show us just how much we are loved and how much we have in life.
As I woke up on January 7th, I had the same feeling in my heart as I did on September 12th, 2001. I had the feeling that our country will never be the same. The question now is what we do. Will we continue to look at each other with such hatred? Will we continue to not listen to each other? Will we continue to work so hard to prove our side is “right” that we keep our eyes closed to what is happening around us? Will we work so hard to “win” that we destroy the very fiber of this country? Or ourselves?
It starts with us. It doesn’t start with our elected leaders or the leaders of the various political parties. It doesn’t start with news networks, social media platforms, or celebrities. It starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with us remembering the commandment to love one another. It starts with small things, like conversations with those that we disagree with. It starts with thinking before posting and looking with compassion upon all we meet. It starts with reminding each other that we all suffer loss in life, loss that devastates us, loss that changes us, loss that can threaten to consume us in anger and hatred and pain. It starts with us being there for each other and lifting the other up.
Though I have grieved mightily in my life, I have never given up hope, even in the worst of times. I have hope because Jesus is with me. I have hope because I have seen in other people the incredible capacity to lift me up when I couldn’t lift myself up. I have hope because I believe in love over hate, compassion over anger, and mercy over judgement. I have hope in you. I have hope that our country will rise above what occurred on January 6th, 2021. And I have hope because the light of the world, Jesus Christ, shines even in the blackest of darkness. We grief, but we do not give up. May the Lord be with us, with our country, and with the entire world. Amen.