The Grace of Transformation

transformation“It’s time to accept the unchangeable past,  to embrace the priceless present, and to have faith in the promise of tomorrow.”

-Beth Moore

Greetings, my Trinity UMC Family!

I am writing this on the heels of an utterly honest and probing conversation with a remarkable twenty-something-year-old woman wrestling with the unimaginable challenge of a relentless and aggressive cancer.  This brave young woman shared the dreams that once gave her hope and strength – dreams of “climbing, unhindered, the professional ladder”, of meeting and wedding “the absolute love of [her] life”, of reconciling with her only surviving parent.  She couldn’t see anything else, didn’t want anything more…until, that is, she received the diagnosis that forced her to reevaluate everything.

I referred to this young woman as “brave” because of her un-common wisdom and strength:  “I never know what’s going to happen from day to day, even from moment to moment.  But I do know that I don’t want to waste whatever time God gives me looking back and wishing things were different.  This is now my path – chosen or not – and my Lord is still keeping His promises to me, especially in the midst of this struggle.”  She went on to give witness to her Savior’s bestowing of daily patience, and provision, and peace.  “As I continue to walk my path, I also continue to be informed and transformed by my great God and truest Friend!”

We always hope that God will lift us above and sweep us far beyond our troubles and tribulations.  Sometimes God does precisely that.  But at other times – in fact, most times, our Savior chooses to walk with us through our trials and challenges that we may discover and be marvelously transformed by new and unimagined dimensions of our Savior’s power, love and grace.

See you on Sunday!  And don’t forget to invite/bring someone with you to join us in worshipping the One who is true Life!

This weekend in WORSHIP... We will consider the issue of “UNFINISHED BUSINESS”.  Sometimes fear or haste prevent us from experiencing closure, from being able to “turn the page” and move forward in our relationships and lives.  We hope to see you on Sunday, as the Word of God teaches and empowers us.

The 2017 CONFIRMATION CLASS has begun… Many thanks to Jacki Bogolia, our Director of Christian Education, and to the parents who have chosen to walk with our young people on what is a quite special part of their spiritual journeys.  Please remember to keep us all in your prayers!

The Pastor’s Bible Study Class… continues with a focus on “THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT”.   Jesus Christ preached with the authority of the promised coming King, and in this momentous sermon, the Lord taught about the wonder of spiritual transformation, about how the Holy Spirit works in supernatural and life-giving ways in believers’ hearts and minds and communities.  I encourage you to join us on Sundays, from 9:15 until 10 a.m., in this challenging and renewing journey.  I’m confident you’ll find it to be a great blessing in your life!

I also encourage you to be especially attentive to all of the upcoming activities at Trinity UMC.  Thank you for your continued support of the church with your talents, resources, and prayers.  We need and faithfully using all that God has blessed you to share!

Are you interested in uniting with Trinity UMC, in Mount Prospect?  The process for joining begins with participating in an upcoming “Coffee With the Pastor” session, where you’ll learn a bit of the stories of The United Methodist Church and Trinity UMC, mp, and be introduced to some of our staff and leaders, along with learning about the expectations of membership.  To register your interest, please contact me, directly, at (847) 621-9160, or use the Sign Up sheet, located in the church office.

— Pastor Colleen

The Blessing of Pentecost

“And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit
and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
(Acts 2:4)

pentecostObserved 50 days after Passover, Pentecost was known as the Festival of First Harvest.  It was one of three major annual festivals when Jews of many nations gathered in celebration.  After Jesus’ promised – and supernatural – resurrection, our resurrected Savior taught and encouraged His followers for a full forty days, before ascending back to the heavenly realm.  Then ten days after His Ascension, the promised return of our Lord’s Holy Spirit was revealed, as He descended upon His disciples gathered in Jerusalem.

Finally, out of hiding, Peter preached with wisdom and boldness before an international crowd!  Starting on that blessed day, baptism of the Holy Spirit became available for anyone open to His inward, spiritual transformation.  Starting on that day, the world was, indeed, forever changed.  Starting on that day, a massive and worldwide making of Christian believers began and continues to this day.

The blessing of Pentecost was and remains the presence and power of God’s Holy Spirit within and with every believer.  Many fear the consequences of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and empower their lives — the inability to continue to think and act as they always have.  And while it is true that God’s Spirit always expects and calls us to that which is beyond our human understanding and ability, it is also true that God is faithful in bestowing the power and faithfulness in doing Christ’s work in the world, that we may individually and together proclaim and embody God’s love and grace in our world.  Thanks be to God!


Greetings Trinity Family!

As I recall all that has happened, along with all that is about to unfold at Trinity UMC, I am both thankful for the many ways we are being blessed and excited about how God is leading us in being Christ’s blessing to others.  Special thanks to Rick & Judy Benzinger who were instrumental in coordinating our annual Rummage Sale!

Many thanks to all who helped in the receiving, sorting, and sale of the generous amount of donations we received.  The giving of your time and energies was essential to the success of this event!   And we thank those whose purchases also served to make this event so successful; greeting and meeting family and friends was great!

Electronic giving is almost here!  Research has shown that offering the electronic giving option has proved beneficial by making it easier for many to financially support the church’s ministry.  More information will follow, however, I offer many thanks to Jerry Askeland, our Committee on Finance Chair, for all of his efforts toward making electronic giving a reality at Trinity UMC!

Beginning in July 2016, “SPREADING THE JOY” will be a new addition to this publication.  Within the course of our daily lives, there is much that causes us concern and dulls our recognition of the Lord’s mercies and grace yet in our lives.  Therefore, I am inviting you to share a moment when the Spirit of God has brought celebration and joy into your heart and life.  Your submission may be edited and should be emailed to Martin, at [email protected].

A Pictorial Church Directory is being planned.  Many thanks to Jere Teed for, again, volunteering to coordinate this fun event!  More details to come.

Two books I’m currently reading are: “America’s Original Sin” by Jim Wallis and “Talking in the Dark”, by Steve Harper.  I recommend both!  What are you reading?  Send to:  [email protected].
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Colleen

The worst is never the last

praymore“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done… His peace will guard your hearts and minds  as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6, 7b

Greetings, my Trinity UMC family!  My two-week vacation, which I spent in the loving company and care of family and friends in Texas, began on March 28th.  It was a time blessed by rest and acceptance, by joy and laughter, and by the kind of peace-filled contemplation which serves to nurture and nourish the spirit and soul.  In that time, in that place, I felt God’s set-tling and strengthening Presence gently yet faithfully reminding of and granting newness and life.

As I shared in my April 17th sermon, when I had begun my journey back to Mount Prospect, whilst inching forward in the security line, I saw what looked like an oversized sparrow com-fortably grooming itself, surrounded by passengers waiting to board, in one of the gate areas.  “Do many birds make their way into this airport?” I asked the agent inspecting my laptop.  She looked up at me and smiled.  “That bird has been in this airport for over a year.  When we first saw it, it was just a small sparrow.  But since nobody can catch it, it has tripled in size!  With food, shelter, and none of its’ usual predators, it now seems happy to stay.”

How often we, too, find ourselves in unfamiliar and even threatening places.  Life with all of its conflicts, contradictions and outright threats defiantly confronts most of us, every day.  And there are times when we not only yearn for, but actively seek escape…only to eventually realize the unexpected, God-given blessings of our circumstances.  My spiritual journey with my Savior has taught me, over the years, that we are never really able to see what shall be.  And that realization, experienced again and again, has also taught the lesson that the Spirit of the Risen Christ, who does know what shall be, ensures our continued provision and victory.

The Word of God invites – implores – us to cease our fretting, in order to pray with faith and trust.  Allowing the Holy Spirit to simply settle us in our Savior’s presence enables us to receive what only God can provide.  Within and with those of us who know and trust Him, the God of our salvation grants us confidence, strength and peace as our Good Shepherd always leads us safely along His Way.  We continue in this 2016 Easter season blessed with the knowing that only God has the last word!  Christ is risen!  Christ is risen, indeed!

See you on Sunday!  And please invite/bring someone with you to join us in worship.

Much gratitude to God and many thanks to the Rev. Dr. Mosby and Tyrone Mitchell, Sr. for the sharing of their ministries during my vacation.  The Rev. Dr. Mosby is a longtime colleague and servant of God.  Having heard nothing but praise for her presence and gifts, I pray for God’s continued blessings in her life and ministry.  Additionally, my brother in Christ, Ty Mitchell, Sr., along with the choirs of Trinity proved to be blessings to the Trinity UMC Family as they shared their musical ministries to the glory of God.  Thanks to and for all!

On April 17, we celebrated and prayed for our youth who attended the 4th Annual “Hide and Seek:  Straight Talk About God” Confirmation Retreat, conducted again at the Stronghold Castle in Oregon, IL this weekend.  Christ’s Church continues from generation to generation.  Thus, I give thanks for the young people committed to preparing for their life-long journeys with Christ, the Lord and for their families and the friends committed to walking with them.

On April 17, at the Pastor’s Bible Study Class, we began a new course of study:  “THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT”.  Jesus Christ preached with the authority of the promised coming King, and in this momentous sermon, the Lord taught about the wonder of spiritual transformation, about how the Holy Spirit works in supernatural and life-giving ways in believers’ hearts and minds and communities.  I encourage you to join us in this challenging and renewing journey – I believe it will be a great blessing to us all.

I also encourage you to be especially attentive to all of the upcoming activities at Trinity UMC.  Remember to support the church with your talents, resources, and prayers.  We need all that God has blessed you to share!

Reverend Colleen Norman

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