December 25

December 25

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

Angels announce with shouts of mirth, him who brings new life to earth. People, look east and sing today; Love, – the Lord, is on the way. 

UMH, 202
a sunrise

Sunrise announces every new day:  new beginnings, new hopes, new dreams. I have marveled at the bright red glow of sunrise over the ocean, the misty hazy sunrise in the mountains and, on one special morn, the kaleidoscope of changing colors as the sun rose over the Grand Canyon. People look east and witness the beginning of a new day,

Contemplate the sunrise on the first Christmas morning that signaled not only a new day but a grand new beginning.  God’s Son, the Christ, is now living among us. Eleanor Farjeon in the fifth verse of her mighty poem, “People Look East” tells us to “look East” and witness this exhilarating day with new hope brought by God’s Son on earth.  People look east to experience  Christ bringing new life to earth.

Yes, people of faith should look East every morning to see the glimmering glow of the sunrise and marvel at its beauty.  But in this beauty we should recognize that on such a morning over two thousand years ago, God’s Son came to the world and changed it forever.  People of faith are so blessed, are so strengthened, and are so loved by the presence of God on earth through his Son.  People look east every day and remember that Love the Lord is here!

Merry Christmas!

Sandy Berry

December 23

December 23

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

Isaiah 11:6
“The Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks image from

When I first looked at this painting, I immediately observed the children sitting amongst the animals, unafraid of the strong and fierce creatures, as well as the adults in the background taking notice of the event. As I read the scripture, I was drawn to the last few words which state: “and a little child will lead them.” The painting and scripture made me reflect on my experience as a child growing up at Trinity.

From an early age, I took part in Children’s Choir which included participating in the Children’s Christmas Pageant. I also was a member of “Joyful Noise,” the children’s hand chime program. I attended preschool at Trinity, went to weekly Sunday School classes, and always signed up for Vacation Bible School. Additionally, a cherished experience was serving in some capacity in the Children’s Worship Service each spring, and my favorite memory of that was having the opportunity to deliver a sermon.

Each of the experiences show how children are a major part of the congregation and worship experience at Trinity. I am also reminded of how in each of these events and experiences that

I had, there were adults and members of the congregation present, being led to church, worship, and faith experiences by the children of Trinity UMC. I am grateful for the many opportunities to grow in my faith as a child at Trinity, and I hope that in some small way as a child, I was able to lead people toward God.

Amelia Thompson

December 24

December 24

Thursday, December 24, 2020

…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them….“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:7 & 14
children dressed as shepherds and angels

Part of my morning routine is donning my athletic shoes and headphones and walking our neighborhood while listening to podcasts.  Recently I have stumbled onto Greg McKeon’s podcast on Essentialism.  As I understand it, this is an intentional life strategy aimed at focusing our time and energy on only what is essential.  It helps us let go of the other millions of distractions to concentrate on what really matters.

In Luke’s telling of the birth of Christ, he uses these principles of essentialism. There are many details Luke could have added to his story, but he tells of Jesus’ birth in one line.  What Luke understands as the core of the story is that God humbly chose to come into the world as a human baby, tenderly cared for by his displaced mother and identified from the beginning with the marginalized.  In this one verse is the essence of Christian Discipleship.  The love of and for the incarnate God and the centrality of connecting with the vulnerable.  Luke repeats this vital message again in Chapter 10, when he records Jesus’ distillation of the commandments into the essentials: Love God, Love your neighbor.

As we welcome the Christ child this year, may we strive for Peace by making this simple story essential in our homes, in our church, and in our daily lives.

Amy Lenow

December 22

December 22

Tuesday,  December 22, 2020

 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  

Matthew 1:20-21
“Angel Appears to Joseph” by Gaetano Gandolfi image from Pinterest


The fire of it lashes and sears my soul and fills my mouth with smoky burnt ash. The Ancient Law given freely as gift – and now yoke – compels me to send my beloved away from me, away from her people. Even away from ADONAI, the I AM? And yet, spreading beyond the paleness of her tear-stained face is a translucence which confuses me, an image of fluttering wings quickly passing as shadow. And in her eyes a fire far different from my soul-fire flares and flickers. Not of fear, no. But something else. Something pure, grace-feathered, holy….

Fear Not.

A whispering softens the hard edges of my sleep and fluttering wings shadow my fractured dreams. The swirling mists fade and reveal another Joseph, son of another Jacob, with dreams of his own, and an unbroken cacophony of prophetic voices through the Ages slowly merging into one, chanting: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid…”  A New Law emerges from its Ancient seed, a holy eruption bursting through boundaries of time and space and a disruption of all I have ever known, given freely as gift— and yes, yoke as well— compelling me to embrace my beloved, embrace our people. Even embrace fully, and finally, ADONAI, the I AM.

I begin the journey with a first step. One that is pure, grace-feathered, holy….

Will you walk with me?

Mark Leep

December 21

December 21

Monday, December 21, 2020

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.   

Luke 1:30-31
“The Annunciation” by Carl Blouch image from

Unprecedented, uncertain, unnatural, unfathomable – words that have us rethinking our lives during this unbelievable pandemic!  As we reflect during this season of Advent though, these words can also be applied to the many emotions Mary must have been feeling after her encounter with the angel sent from God. 

Unprecedented – An angel not only revealing herself to Mary, but sharing with her a message from God.

Uncertain – Mary thinking “is this really happening to me?”  

Unnatural – Poor Mary grappling with the idea of expecting a child that did not occur under normal conditions and already knowing his gender and name. 

Unfathomable – How will she relay this angel encounter and message to her beloved Joseph, let alone the rest of her family and friends?  Who would believe her?   

The birthing of a baby, both animal and human, is truly a miracle.  Those that have had the privilege of birthing a child and/or witnessing births know the range of emotions it stirs up – anticipation, waiting, worry, joy . . .  

With Mary, her emotions were probably so much more.  This was not just her child, this was a child she was bearing for all of mankind— the son of God— Jesus!   What a responsibility, but yet Mary rose to the occasion.  Her strong, unwavering, faith carried her through the nine months ahead and beyond.   

As we prepare for this wonderful season, may we remember Mary and how faith in God and His son helps us know we can get through anything – even a pandemic.  

Peggy Hart

December 19

December 19

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

John 1:9
a screenshot from a virtual choir hmyn

At first glance, this photo could suggest that I was on a conference call conducting a presentation and accidentally stepped on a LEGO left behind from my 6-year-old. My facial expression can easily be associated with one in excruciating pain. However, this is my “joyful noise” face.  The moment captured displays a person totally engulfed by gratefulness despite the current state of our nation during COVID and social unrest. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to spread love with our amazing choir. In this picture I see hope. I also see the many faces that I have missed over the last 9 months. Trinity is so much more than a church to my family. This church is our light. It has guided us, warmed our hearts and renewed our spirits in the darkest of times.

The Gospel according to John solidifies the importance of “light.” John 1:9 teaches us that, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” In so many ways this scripture alone can serve as a foundation for Advent. John is preparing the world for the coming of The Renewal, The Ultimate Guide, our Savior Jesus Christ. Every year we join with loved ones to celebrate this joyous occasion by taking part in a lifelong tradition.  Illuminations within the walls of our church shine bright and memories are created each year that carry us through the hard times. On Christmas Eve the white candle is lit last and symbolizes Jesus’ life in the simplest and purest way.  It is our faith and love that we share amongst our congregation that gives us light throughout the year and prepares for His return. 

Tae Lilly