Sunday, September 7, 2008

my church... Holy Trinity in Lansdale

I turn my head to the left often in Church because this is what I see. Today we toasted our past, present and future as we ate lunch together. We have hope and it reminded me of how earlier in church we sang this hymn that I feel is our theme song these past couple years...

Shout To The North

Men of faith rise up and sing
Of the great and glorious King
You are strong when you feel week
In your brokenness complete

Shout to the North and the South
Sing to the East and the West
Jesus is saviour to all
Lord of Heaven and earth

Rise up women of the truth
Stand and sing to broken hearts
Who can know the healing power
Of our awesome King of love?


We've been through fire, we've been through rain
We've been refined by the power of Your name
We've fallen deeper in love with You
You've burned the truth on our lips


Rise up church with broken wings
Fill this place with songs again
Of our God who reigns on high
By His grace again we'll fly


Listen to it by the man who was moved to compose it... Robin Mark

and finally I have been reflecting on Matthew 28: 16-20 this past week, and that is because a wonderful small group of friends are willing to show up when I ask for messages, like the one printed below, to be sent to the congregation... all are invited.


The adult study group will gather on Mondays this year at 6:30 pm. I recently received a copy of A Well-Built Faith by Joe Paprocki. A book published by Loyola Press, a Jesuit press in Chicago. The very same press that published My Life With The Saints by James Martin, S.J.

A Well-Built Faith is designed for Catholics, who teach catechism classes, but in reading it I saw how it could promote some interesting discussion. We are a varied group of folk, who have arrived at Holy Trinity at this time in our journey. It will give us a chance to explore what we have in common with each other and with Catholics (some diferences will surely arise... I am sure some Lutheran thoughts still arise in my brain). One change for this year will be that we will meet every other week, not specific weeks of the month as we did last year.

The book ends each chapter with three items, which will center our class. A Bible passage given for further reflection on the theme (I have extended some to include complete passages), a prayer which will end our time together, and a section Paprocki calls, "So What--- What difference does it make that Catholics believe in...?" I will use this section to pose a question to lead us into a time of personal reflection. All are welcomed to attend. Again we will gather at 6:30 in the office area.

Here is the schedule for the first 6 weeks:

September 8th--- Matthew 28: 16-20 How Did You Become A Christian?

September 22nd--- Exodus 3: 1-6 How has God been revealed to you?

October 6th--- 2 Timothy: 3: 14-17 How has the tradition of your church shaped you?

October 20th --- Matthew 3: 13-17 What Does the Holy Trinity mean to you?

November 3rd --- Romans 8: 31-39 How has Jesus, in his conquering death, strenghtened your faith?

Novemeber 17th--- Revelation 21: 1- 8 Perhaps the greatest mystery... How has your journey shaped your view of life after death? plus some thoughts on Mary.


  1. I'm so excited to hear that you are using my book, A Well-Built Faith for your adult faith discussion group. I'd love to hear how things progress. Keep your eyes open for a Leader's Guide for A Well-Built Faith which will be available within the month from Loyola Press! -Joe Paprocki

  2. uh, wayne? that first line should read "men of faith, rise up and SING," not "SIN" -- altho' i concede i was in the hall, getting ready for the rally day lunch when it was sung on sunday so it's possible that we've taken a turn that i hadn't expected!

    it is one of my favorite hymns because it does, indeed, speak of our past, our present and our future and that's what i was trying to honor on sunday in my toast to our parish. i particularly resonant with the line "in our brokenness, complete." there's a whole sermon in that one line alone, i suspect.

    i'd be interested in your hearing reflections when you turn your head to the left and see the sun coming thru the stained glass of the baptismal window. do you know that once, many years and a different holy trinity congregation ago, i had a parishioner tell me that she "hated that window" and almost left the parish when it was installed. i said that i thought it was a beautiful and powerful image but that i was glad she hadn't left the parish over it. i don't believe BOTH of those statements were true, however.

    looking forward to tonight! should be thought-provoking -- as always.
    (and joe? wayne may not need a leader's guide as much as a "herding cats" manual for this group! as the story goes: "have you ever tried to herd cats? it simply can't be done. you get one or two under control and the rest go their own way." yeah. we're like that.)

  3. Giggles-- thanks for coming here and there

    Joe--- it led to a good discussion, ended with your prayer (chapter 1) and all agreed was not bad for a Catholic ;')

    Csmith--- glad I could get you to the point that you were acting like an introvert... thinking before you spoke ;') my work on the planet is done! as far as rising up and sinning--- what a cool imperfection. as for herding cats--- don't even try. My job on these nights is to provide seeds for discussion. cool that TomO showed up, I think that had to be one of the first times he came since the group switched to nights.

  4. morning, wayne. last night was wonderful. i thought it was a terrific group dynamic and a quite diverse set of opinions. made for some spirited and fun discussion.

    i'm going to order the book today or tomorrow: my roman catholic bias may be uber-strong but there's always more to learn as we go on this journey and i'm open for that!

  5. know , last night for me was an AHA! night.... I have not been confirmed (I know, shock, based on my family roots!) because of my doubt.... I had always (yes always) assumed that my doubt was "bad" and something for which I should be ashamed....and that you cannot have doubt and faith at the same time. I have not shared that belief with many people, my dad being one of them, because of that "shame...." I think I learned last night that I can let that go! Whew! It's been a heavy burden. OK, then!

  6. I like the song, Wayne, and each week of the study group menu looks interesting. As a fellow reborn into the holy-roller side of things, though, I'll be looking forward to a synopsis of week #3's discussion. Just kidding. I enjoy hearing everybody's perspective of spiritual matter.....

  7. Csmith and giggles-- I am glad you also felt the night went well.

    Jim-- I will most likely do a reflection on the themes as they come along. This might be a tougher crowd than the youth you work with ;')

  8. Wish I lived in Lansdale. Sounds like a group I'd love to connect with.

  9. Beryl-- they are a blessing in my life and if it wasn't for being exhausted I would accept an invitation to hang out with some of them tonight


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