Dear Friends and Members of First Trinity Lutheran Church:

COVID 19: Worship attendance seems to be increasing as the number of vaccinated individuals goes up and the number of new cases of coronavirus goes down.  The Elders decided to open all the pews for seating as this actually allows us to social distance better when we have more people.  That decision was made before the new CDC pronouncements about masks.  We will be talking about the new guidelines and doing what we can to encourage people to come out to hear the Word and receive the sacrament as we make our environment as safe and comfortable as we can.

Our Council will meet on Monday, May 24 at 6:30 pm.  Items for TELCO can be emailed to melanienapfelash@gmail.com.

The Men’s Club will meet Tuesday, May 18 at 6 pm.  We will be “grillin’ burgers ‘n dogs” in the Pavilion, weather permitting, or in the Fellowship Hall if it’s inclement.  I really want to encourage all the men of the congregation to attend if possible.  Ever wonder, “Why are so many men uncomfortable in churches these days?  Why don’t more men attend church now like they did in the past?  What can be do to encourage men to ‘stand in the gap?’” I will be sharing a brief talk on Men in the Church dealing with what it means to be a churchman today and how we can do that.  We also hope to do some planning for events, projects, fundraisers, and the like.  It’s great fun and fellowship.  We hope you can be there.  All men are welcome!

New Adult Class:  I will be leading a study of Luther’s Small Catechism beginning June 6 and running through the month of July on Sundays at 9-10 am in the Dorcas Room.  This course is intended to be for people who want to be, or are considering becoming, new members of our congregation.  We also want to invite all our adult members to attend as a refresher course on Lutheran doctrine.  If you would like more information, or to RSVP, please contact me.  (I will try to contact those folks who worship or attend Sunday School here regularly but may not have officially become members previously.)  Everyone is invited to participate.

The School of Prayer

Last week we looked at a way of composing prayers using the ACTS method.  This week we will look at another common prayer form called the “Collect.”  “Collect” here meaning a type of prayer,” is pronounced with a short “o” and the accent on the first syllable, as opposed to “collect,” meaning “to gather,” which is pronounced with the “o” in most reduced form and the accent on the second syllable.  Despite the difference in pronunciation, as we will see, the words are related.

There is a Collect of the Day in our regular Sunday Divine Service.  The origins of this prayer form in worship can be traced back at least to the 5th century A.D.  It received its name Collect because there is supposed to be a five to ten second pause between the invitation “Let us pray” and the actual beginning of the prayer for the worshippers to “collect” their thoughts before God.  Perhaps I should try to be more intentional in observing that time of silence in our worship.  Although we modern people are often uncomfortable with silence, silence in prayer and liturgy could be a “growing edge” for us. The Collect of the Day also seems to me to collect, to bring together, the major themes and prayer concerns of a particular day’s readings and liturgy into one concise statement presented to God in prayer.

The Collect has three parts:

(1)    Invocation

(2)   Petition

(3)   Adoration

The Invocation (I) as the name suggests, invokes God’s listening presence.  We address our prayers to God the Father.  We call upon Him by remembering and stating back to Him His mighty acts and the characteristics of Himself He has revealed to us, often referencing Holy Scriptures that are appropriate to the theme of our worship or our occasion for prayer.

The Petition (P) tells God what we want, what we desire Him to do for us.  A unique feature of the Collect is that is usually also tells God the desired effect(s) of His action as well, which is most often the spread of the Gospel and the magnifying of the Lord’s glory.

The Adoration (A) concludes the prayer with a statement of praise ascribing glory to God in the Trinity and/or a pleading of our cause to God in Jesus’ name in the faith that the Father will hear us and respond for the sake of His Son.

Here are some examples of Collects with the parts identified:

For Christmas Eve – (I) Almighty God, You made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light.  (P) Grant that we here on earth may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and on the last day wake to the brightness of His glory; (A) through Your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

For the Mission of the Church – (I) Lord God of our salvation, it is Your will that all people might come to You through Your Son Jesus Christ.  (P) Inspire our witness to Him, that all may know the power of His forgiveness and the hope of His resurrection.  (A) We pray in His holy name.  Amen

 

As I did last week with the ACTS prayer method, I would like to invite you to try writing some Collects now.  You may want to focus on a specific biblical text, or day of the church year, or your own special prayer concern.  What do you know about God from the Bible that applies to your situation?  What do you want God to do for you?  What will the effect of God’s action be (that is, why should He do it)?  How can you praise God?

Again, I encourage you to pray your Collects, and I am always happy to take a look at them if you like.

Holy Humor: Three pastors were talking about how they get paid.  One said, “I draw a circle of the floor of the nave and throw the offering up in the air. Whatever lands in the circle is God’s, everything else is mine.”  The second one said, “I do something similar.  I draw a line on the floor and throw the offering up in the air. Whatever falls on the right side is God’s, what’s on the left is mine.”  The third one said, “I do something like that too.  I throw the offering up in the air and I figure God will take what He wants while it’s up there… “