Blog (Page 26)

An Upside-Down Christmas Party

Each year, our youth used to get together for an annual Christmas party. There would be games and activities, food, and of course: a gift exchange using the “white elephant” format where you can either pick presents from the middle or steal someone else’s gift. The exchange was always a lot of fun, but the gifts slowly devolved into gift cards and snack products. It’s hard to give good gifts when you don’t know who will end up with the…

Worship Preview: Give More – Simple Blessing

We continue our Advent Conspiracy this week with Give More – Simple Blessing. When you give of yourself to others, you become a blessing to them. Changing how we celebrate Christmas starts with simple acts of blessing, as we Give More of our selves this year. We also get to hear our Preschool kids sing during the Contemporary service. (Worship Schedule, Series Page) Readings (Click to read or listen) Old Testament: 1 Kings 17:7–16 New Testament: Acts 10:1–4 Gospel: Mark 6:33–44…

A Life of Joyful Abandon

Last weekend my husband and I were spectators at a nearby bowling alley for the “Saturday Special Bowling League.” This is a league for special needs adults, and we were invited by our developmentally disabled neighbor, we’ll call him Joe, who is an avid bowler. When I say we were invited, what I really mean is that we were cajoled, coaxed, encouraged, begged, and reminded repeatedly to come and see Joe bowl. “Hey Buddy,” Joe would say. “You are my…

Simple Living

It’s hard to believe, but I have been in Buffalo for nine years now. It’s the longest I’ve lived in one city since leaving for college in 1995. Prior to moving here in November 2005, I had lived in Texas for 5 years, then 1.5 years in Cleveland. It effectively meant that we moved twice in under two years. What I’ve learned about myself through the moving process then and twice since we got to Buffalo is that I have…

Worship Preview: Spend Less – Simple Living

“I’m busy.” “I’m exhausted.” “I could use a break right now.” Have you ever responded like this when someone who asked how you were doing during the Christmas season? It seems to be a time when we are overcommitted in our schedule and finances. But what if Christmas were different? What if there was space to breathe? Come find out how to make that happen as we continue the Advent Conspiracy and look at how we can “Spend Less” through…

Inclining Your Heart to God in the Everyday

When I was a teenager, my brother graduated from college. His first job was at a law firm, helping refugees who had fled their own countries to be granted asylum in the United States. These people were perhaps victims of torture, or in grave danger for political or religious reasons. When my brother graduated, my parents gave him a framed calligraphy print of Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require…

Simple Worship

Several years ago I had an opportunity to chart how I was using my time. Throughout the day, I would record what I did in 15-minute increments. At the end of the 2-week period, I totaled up all the time spent on various projects and areas of ministry. It was an interesting process. It led to an even more interesting discovery. I found I was doing a lot, but accomplishing little. Have you ever felt that way? You’re working hard,…

God Is Moving at the University at Buffalo

What do a former prisoner, aliens, healthy food, and Thanksgiving all have in common? They were all the topics of conversation in the past month at our new outreach on the University at Buffalo campus called Lifetree Café!  First Trinity has hosted a Lifetree Café for about a year and half here at 1570 Niagara Falls Boulevard which has been a blessing to many in our congregation and community. Starting last spring we dreamed of a second location, ideally targeted…

Worship Preview: Simple Worship

This weekend marks the start of the Advent season. We are excited to bring back the Advent Conspiracy. You can find our more about the series here. We kick the series off with the first tenant of the Advent Conspiracy: Worship Fully. Worshiping God with all your heart starts with understanding that worship is bigger than one hour at church each week. It means living a life of “simple worship,” stripping away all the distractions in our life so we…

40 Days of Love Recap

We just concluded our All Church Study for 2014: “40 Days of Love” (October 11 – November 17). It was a great six weeks where 156 people dug into God’s Word together around the topic of love. You can read the full report, here. All Church Studies are here to stay for a while. There’s something great that God does when His people are all focusing in the same direction. One significant change we made this year was assigning people…