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This month's newsletter is available to you beginning on Reformation Sunday. Reformation Sunday is always the Sunday before All Saints Sunday. At this time of the year we begin to see change. The almost unbearable hot days of summer have finally come to an end, at least for this year. The leaves change color and begin to fall. By now most folks are back into their fall routines, just in time to contemplate the busy holiday season that will begin in a few weeks.

It seems fitting that we have Reformation Sunday and All Saints Sunday back to back in our liturgical calendar at this time of year, since both of these festivals remind us of change. Reformation reminds us of change in that the church should always be reforming in order to stay true to the gospel. We have a tendency to create and then proliferate traditions. The problem with traditions is that we begin to believe that they can never change or be abandoned. However, when traditions eclipse the saving power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they must be abandoned! This is what happened during the Reformation. Martin Luther realized that the church had placed traditions over the truth of the gospel. People were led to believe that they had to "work" or "buy" their way into Heaven. The church had lost the truth that salvation was free to all who believed in the saving power of Jesus.

All Saints Day is the festival in which we remember all the faithful who have died in the Lord and now live with Him in His eternal kingdom. On that day we remember them. We remember our family members. We remember the people who led and influenced us on our journey of faith. Many people will name one person who influenced them significantly. However, most of us recognize a long list of family, Sunday school teachers, church members and pastors who taught and encouraged us along the way. As a pastor, I still find encouragement from the living saints here at Trinity as we live out our faith and share in ministry together. As is our tradition, on this Sunday, we will pray for each of the members of Trinity who has entered the Church Triumphant since the last All Saints Sunday.

As we continue our theme on change, we have a big change to our annual meeting this year. Normally we have our meeting on the second Sunday of November starting at 3:00pm. Prior to the meeting we have a dinner prepared by our Social Concerns Committee. This year we are going to have only one service on that Sunday at 10:00am. followed by a brunch and then our meeting. I believe this change is necessary for several reasons. First, having all the congregation worship together at one service prior to the meeting should enhance our sense of unity as a congregation. Second, the bulk of our members attend the 10:00 service, thus our hope is that more people we be inclined to stay for the meeting. In addition, in our busy world, it is getting tougher to get people to come back to the church for activities later in the day, subsequently, having the meeting immediately after the service may help get more people to the meeting. Third, many of our older members no longer drive at night (or are not comfortable driving at night). Even though our meetings begin during the daylight, it is usually dark by the time we are finished. This may help to boost our attendance. My hope is that this change will bring more people out, involve more people and help to keep more people informed.

Grace and Peace,