Grace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from God our Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Though the mandates and guidelines have varied and the virus has taken its toll—damaging social, emotional, and physical health and routine, and challenging how we gather—God’s goodness and mercy have not changed. God is faithful; He supplies all our needs of body and soul. To God alone be glory! On those we have always depended and will continue to trust. And they will uphold us as we gradually reclaim the “normal practices” of the congregation.
On Tuesday, June 15th the State of California rescinded its previously mandated CoViD regulations. For Trinity, this means there will be no more capacity limits on attendance, no more required physical distancing, no more volume moderation of masked singing and chanting, no more record-keeping of attendees, no more contact-tracing, and no more quarantining of Bibles, hymnals, and other objects. For more information on it, please go to this web site: Safely reopening California.
What follows begins to unfold how this once again alters our practices. This is a lot of information, and many of you may have questions; you may contact the church council; we will do our best to answer your questions.
The following will go into full effect on Sunday, July 4th.
For the near future, Trinity will retain its two service schedule on Sunday, for we recognize that not all members and guests may be comfortable coming to church on Sunday because of the number of people.
9:00 a.m. Communion (and on Zoom)
10:15 a.m. Bible study (and on Zoom)
12:30 p.m. Communion
No longer is registration a requisite for services.
You may wear a face covering at any time, as your own comfort level dictates.
Persons that are fully vaccinated will not be required to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors.
Persons that are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear face coverings indoors per state law. A sign at our entries will remind our members and visitors of this regulation, which applies only to unvaccinated persons.
If you do not wear a face covering, we will assume that you are either fully vaccinated or are in the exempt category.
We will not ask you if you are vaccinated and will not screen you or visitors upon entry. You do not need your vaccination card and we will not ask for it.
The rope barriers have been removed.
You may sit farther away from people as space allows.
Communion distribution will return to normal.
I encourage you to return to the practice of using the chalice rather than the individual cups.
The evidence to this date suggests that the risk difference between individual cups and the common cup is very small, and the risk level is about the same.
You may stand at the communion rail rather than kneel. I do not believe kneeling poses any risk at this point, but there are lots of reasons a person may prefer to stand rather than kneel.
I encourage you to consider what your long-term practice has been and will be, and why.
Service Books and Bulletins
The congregation will use the hymnbook.
The large format online bulletin will be sent to all.
The offering pouches will remain at the nave doors.
You will not be ushered out at the end of the service. Visit as long as you like (or until the Bible study begins).
I am comfortable with greetings being back to normal.
Greet as you are comfortable.
Bible Classes and Sunday School
Bible classes are also free to meet and use the facilities as needed.
Please recognize that the experiences of each member have differed and therefore their comfort level and willingness to resume what might be called pre-pandemic practices will not be the same as yours. Be compassionate and kind toward each other; just because you are comfortable with hugging, shaking hands, etc., does not mean that everyone else is comfortable. Give members and guests space, and try to communicate with each other about your own comfort level.
Has all of this become tiresome? Yes. I thank our God that you have exercised patience and learned how to adapt. He is merciful, and we pray this will be near the end of Covid-19 for us.
Trinity will continue to care for her members as best as we can.
In His peace,
VBS 2021 Update
In the name of the Lord Jesus, we welcome Anna, Geri, and Stephen Gustafson as members of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Stephen was baptized shortly after birth and has maintained membership at LC-MS congregations his entire life. At a young age, he desired to serve as a pastor or in the military, ultimately deciding to serve in the military. Geri came to the faith later in life and began attending Resurrection Lutheran Church in Santa Clara. Instructed in the evangelical Lutheran confession, Geri was confirmed the year before her marriage to Stephen in 2003. Born in late 2010, Anna was baptized in the Spring of 2011 and currently attends Apostles Lutheran School in San Jose, where Geri also serves as the Transitional Kindergarten After-care Administrator. Stephen works at Applied Materials and continues to serve in the US Navy, where he has 23 years of active and reserve service. The Gustafsons reside in southwest San Jose with their three cats.
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Resources regarding the Equality Act
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
The Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, recently posted an article.
Lutheran Center for Religious Freedom
The Center provides input, education, advice, advocacy, and resources in the areas of life, marriage and religious liberty and seeks to engage in discussions in Washington, D.C., to establish partnerships and resources in our nation’s Capital for the sake of our churches, schools, universities, and seminaries.
Look under Resources, bottom item.
Minnesota South District of The LCMS
Here is the district's statement.
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Resources regarding Vaccines and COVID-19
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Peace be multiplied to you from God our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus
As this church year draws to its hopeful close, as the promise of the Lord's return shines brightly, consider these words of Augustine:
All the limbs and organ of the body, no longer subject to decay, the parts which we now see assigned to various essential functions, will then be freed from all such constraint, since full, secure, certain, and eternal felicity will have displaced necessity; and all those parts will contribute to the praise of God. For even those elements in the bodily harmony of which I have already spoken, the harmonies which, in our present state, are hidden, will then be hidden no longer. Dispersed internally and externally throughout the whole body, and combined with other great and marvelous things that will then be revealed, they will kindle our rational minds to the praise of the great Artist by the delight afforded by a beauty that satisfies reason.
I am not rash enough to attempt to describe what movements of such bodies will be in that life, for it is quite beyond my power of imagination. However, everything there will be lovely in its form, and lovely in motion and in rest, for anything that is not lovely will be excluded. And we may be sure that where the spirit wills there the body will straightway be: and the spirit will never will anything but what is to bring new beauty to the spirit and the body. …
The reward of virtue will be God Himself, who gave the virtue, together with the promise of Himself, the best and greatest of all possible promises. For what did He mean when He said in the words of the prophet, “I shall be their God, and they shall be My people?” Did He not mean: “I shall be the source of their satisfaction; I shall be everything that they can honorably desire: life, health, food, wealth, glory, honor, peace, and every blessing”? For that is also the interpretation of the Apostle’s words: “So that God may be all in all”. He will be the goal of our longings, and we shall see Him for ever; we shall love Him without surfeit; we shall praise Him without wearying. This will be the duty, the delight, the activity of all, shared by all who share the life of eternity.
City of God, 22:30
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Hearing the Word
October 4-10, 2020
The Sundays after St. Michael and All Angels highlight the war unseen to the human eye but known by faith; it is the battle that satan and every demonic force wage against us, using every weapon of the unseen world to corrupt and destroy faith and what can be seen to hasten decay and hurry death to the body. Yet the Lord, Jesus the Christ, has fought for us, and in Him we are more than conquerors. The word of forgiveness, heard by the ear in absolution and partaken of in the Communion, assures us of the triumph.
Outside Communion Service Notes
For the last two portions of the Trinity Season (after Michaelmas and after All Saints), Trinity uses Divine Service Setting 4; we continue that practice on Sunday. We will also gladly return to singing! (Masks, distance, etc. still apply.) Not only will we sing hymns but also portions of the liturgy; we will sing portions of the liturgy in the Service of the Word and sing two hymns (in order to accommodate the time issue).
Service of the Word on Zoom Notes
Because the outside service has returned to singing (only two hymns and only portions of the liturgy in the Service of the Word), the outside service might last longer than usual; however, the Zoom session will open before 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, October 4
For the remainder of the Trinity Season,
Divine Service Setting 4 will be used.
9:00 a.m. In-Person Holy Communion (not on Zoom)
10:00 a.m. Service of the Word (Zoom)
LSB 606 “I Lay My Sins on Jesus”
LSB 694 “Thee Will I Love My Strength, My Tower”
LSB 722 “Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me” (only Zoom)
Readings: Genesis 28:10-22; Ephesians 5:15-21; Matthew 9:1-8
Sermon: Matthew 9:1-8
“All Authority in Heaven and in the Realm of Man”
(about) 11:00 a.m. Study
1 Peter: 1 Peter 5:1-5a, 5b-11
Tuesday, October 6
Greek Readings: Revelation 1:1-8
Wednesday, October 7
Epistle Study: Ephesians 5:15-21
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September 16, 2020
by Pastor Michael Salemink
Pastor Salemink is the Executive Director of Mission and Ministry of Lutherans For Life. Between now and the national election, his brochure, in its entirety, will be included in this portion of the bulletin. This is an updated version of a 2012 article.
So, Chris tells Jamie, “I just couldn’t cast a vote for someone who supports abortion.” And Jamie says, “You know, Chris, abortion’s not the only voting issue. Other things matter to elections and politics too. Seems kind of narrow-minded for you to fixate on just that one.”
Have you ever heard a conversation like this? Have you ever had a conversation like this? Have you ever met someone like Chris or Jamie? Have you ever felt like Chris? Like Jamie?
Is abortion an election issue? No and Yes. No, abortion is never just an election issue. But yes, abortion is always at least an election issue. Here are ten reasons why:
Abortion isn’t just a political issue. Abortion has to do with facts and truth about the science of human life—embryos and fetuses are living human beings as much as you and me. Abortion deals with the physical and psychological welfare of the most vulnerable among us—it kills children and makes mothers suffer. Abortion executes the injustice of discriminating against one another—unborn babies face deprivation and dying based only on their age, appearance, experiences, environment, or abilities. And abortion involves moral assessments and enforcements—who has the right to life, who has the authority to take life, when may we limit one’s lifestyle because it infringes upon somebody else’s survival?
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July 24, 2020
The life of the Church, the same from age to age.
“Let us, then, preserve the unity of the body that we form in Christ Jesus, and let all give their neighbors the deference to which their particular gifts entitle them. Let the strong care for the weak and weak respect the strong. Let the wealthy assist the poor and the poor thank God for giving them someone to supply their needs. The wise should show wisdom not by eloquence but by good works; the humble should not proclaim their own humility, but leave others to do so; nor must the one who preserves chastity ever boast of it, but recognize that the ability to control desires has been given by another. ... Think of how we first came into being, of what we were at the first moment of our existence. Think of the dark tomb out of which our Creator brought us into His world where He had His gifts prepared for us even before we were born. All this we owe to Him and for everything we must give Him thanks. To Him be glory for ever and ever.”
Clement, Bishop of Rome
First letter to the Corinthians 36:1-2, 37-38
July 16, 2020
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
One life-giving Name put on us by the Father whose voice was heard at the Son’s own baptism and confirmed by the Presence of the Spirit—not a pillar of fire upon a tabernacle of animal skins but the fiery holiness upon the flesh and blood of Jesus. He baptizes us, claiming us as His treasured possession. What He joyfully created He also wonderfully redeems: we praise Him for we are fearfully and wonderfully recreated in true holiness and righteousness. We add nothing to it—for the water is His and the Word is His—but we receive everything. You are called God’s son, His heir; and this inheritance—you are co-heirs with Christ—has been guaranteed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Son have come to make their home with you. Aide from that, take up whatever external matters you wish, and let the choosing proceed! Buy a car, and if you no longer wish to work for the same software firm, look for another position. Your righteousness is not tied to seniority at a company or to the model of car you drive; since you are righteous in Christ, you are free to serve in your vocations, dependent on the Father to fill you with ability and desire to be faithful neighbors, husbands, wives, children, and the like. But in matters of God, to escape sin and be declared righteous, nothing that you choose helps. Rather, cling to the Son, listen to Him, and make sure that nothing tears you away from Him, be it a lucrative advancement in the company, the alluring messages of a world striving after its own gods, or whatever … plug your ears and keep a watch on your eyelids! For the Father points us only to His Son. Therefore we should keep His Word with great and fervent diligence and act in love according to it, and believe it with all our body and mind and strength, and shun and flee from all else … no matter how glorious and excellent it may seem.
For all the glory of man is like grass that withers under the summer sun, but the Word of God, having been raised from the grave, stands for ever.
based upon Martin Luther’s Fifth Sermon on Holy Baptism (Martin Luther on Holy Baptism, page 93)
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June 4, 2020
LCMS Black Caucus Regarding George Floyd
Dear Saints in Christ Jesus,
Is it hyperbole to say that every facet of American society is occupied with one of two issues: COVID-19 and its consequences (including government citizen response) and George Floyd, his tragic death and entrenched ethnic discrimination?
Whatever you may have read in the past week regarding Mr. Floyd, I appeal to your Christian fellowship and to common humanity to read this post.
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May 17, 2020
For Luther, the office we hold during the pandemic shapes our response to its course.
What is your “office”? Are you a pastor? A mother? A nurse? A political or economic leader in your community? A student? A doctor? What are the obligations of your office and are there competing obligations? For example, do you have a conflict between keeping your children safe as a parent and doing your job in a public space as an essential worker? How are you navigating these obligations?
Recent experiences with virtual communities have shown me that the cultures of trust we so desperately need will not occur independent of cyberspace.
Think about and share an experience in which you have received care, compassion, and faithful love through technology during this pandemic and quarantine. What might we learn about how to continue to use these tools for those who are in isolation after the quarantine ends?
With faith, we should hold the world in prayer. With reason we should follow the best guidance available about how our actions can prevent the pandemic's spread, socially isolating, and allowing vulnerable populations to shop at the early grocery stores hours, as an act of neighbor love.
Causes for anxiety will not go away and the experience of anxiety will not go away but neither will the grace of God for the power to say yes to Jesus command with a joy that anticipates the fullness of joy in God's future.
Luther suggested that faith can protect us from the poisons of despair and anxiety but noted that this will take more than a “milk faith.” Both citations call readers to the faith. How has your faith in God's love and goodness helped you cope with your fear, grief, and despair during this time? In response to the first quote, how has your faith in God also enabled you to trust your reason as you have made plans to cope with the pandemic and its effects?