Pastor Jim’s Blog

We Gather Together

We Gather Together

Today’s Word from Karl Olsen... We Gather Together Hymn by Adrianus Valerius – 1597 Wilt heden nu treden “Nothing is more widely loved,” The New York Times remarked in 1956, “than the tradition of singing We Gather Together to begin Thanksgiving festivities.” Although...

read more
Thanksgiving The Year

Thanksgiving The Year

Today’s Word from Rev. Dave Bieniek... In past years, maybe even last year, we probably all have gathered with large groups of friends and families. Last year we had 18 around our tables! I wondered how long we would be able to continue to grow this event. How big...

read more
Wednesday is the New Sunday

Wednesday is the New Sunday

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim... Wednesday is the new Sunday. It is the new normal. The Sunday services are recorded on Wednesday morning. In the days prior, sermons are written and songs are rehearsed, flowers appear. Laura Canby walked into my office on Thursday...

read more
Church Together

Church Together

Today’s Word from Deacon Amy... I just wrapped up three days of online meetings with pastors, deacons and bishops from Region 1 of the ELCA which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. There were 50 people present in these Zoom calls – that’s a lot...

read more
A God Hole

A God Hole

Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd... “Three times O Lord have I called out to you, three times! How long will you keep me waiting?” Sounds kind of Biblical, don’t you think? And maybe a bit melodramatic. As far as I know it is not from the Bible, rather it is a line...

read more
Welcoming the Kindness of Strangers

Welcoming the Kindness of Strangers

Today’s Word from Kelsi Lindus... The power was out on Whidbey and, on the west side of the island, it was difficult to say why. Where I sat, the trees were unmoving beyond the window. Unable to finish our work, my mom and I decided instead to run an errand, and drove...

read more
Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling

Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling

Today’s Word from Trinity Keyboardist Sheila Weidendorf... This tender and much beloved hymn was composed – both tune and text – by Will Lamartine Thompson, (1847-1909). Thompson had composed many pieces for the commercial market but didn’t find a publisher to accept...

read more
An Open Heart is a Lotus Blossom

An Open Heart is a Lotus Blossom

Today’s Word from Rev. David Bieniek... As I wondered what to write this week, I came across this blog post from several years ago. It seemed the wisdom was still true today, so I offer it anew. Returning from a chaplains’ conference, I sat on the plane next to two...

read more
Make the Most of the Dash

Make the Most of the Dash

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim “A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hurries to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south, and goes around to the north, round and round goes the...

read more
Breathe

Breathe

Today’s Word from Deacon Amy Back in March, Laura Canby asked for people to submit photos of themselves with caring, inspiring, or hope-filled messages. My daughter, Ava, created a beautiful poster with the word “breathe” featured in a peaceful landscape. This poster...

read more
I See Youuuuuuu!

I See Youuuuuuu!

Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd... Vivian is two and a half. I love her. My granddaughter, she lives in Idaho, up in the mountains. I love her. Oh, you know that? Yes, I suppose I have mentioned her a time or two in these blogs. Is that a problem? Good. Anyway, she...

read more
Why We Celebrate Veterans’ Day

Why We Celebrate Veterans’ Day

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim... “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus (John 15:13) The greatest gift that we have in this world is life. Life comes to us as a gift; we have no part in our creation. We are not consulted on...

read more
Nearer, My God to Thee

Nearer, My God to Thee

Today’s Word from Trinity Keyboardist Sheila Weidendorf... 1 Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee! E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me, still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to thee; nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee! 2 Though like the wanderer,...

read more
A Dog’s Love

A Dog’s Love

Today’s Word from Reverend Dave... I’m a dog person. I always have been. I don’t have anything against cats. I don’t hate them or their humans. In fact, I have loved some really great cats in my life. But I am at heart a dog person. So cat people, please do not take...

read more
A Legacy of Faithfulness

A Legacy of Faithfulness

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim Jerry Valade died suddenly last Monday. Jerry and his parents, Laurier and Mabel, were immigrants coming to the land of opportunity on October 10, 1942. They crossed the U.S. border at Sweet Grass, Montana, and made their way to San Diego...

read more
Do Not Worry

Do Not Worry

Today’s Word from Deacon Amy... Everywhere I turn lately, I see and hear a lot of anxiety – people are worried about the ongoing pandemic and quarantine, people are concerned about the election and the lengthy counting process, and people are nervous over riots and...

read more
When Doubt is a Gift

When Doubt is a Gift

Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd... I am a visual and kinesthetic learner. That is, I learn by seeing and doing. Reading is not my primary learning modality. Actually, reading is the primary learning modality for only about 10% of the population. Don’t get me wrong,...

read more
Some Post-Election Guidance

Some Post-Election Guidance

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim... We have now checked off the 8th month of this Covid-19 pandemic. October is in the books and in just two short months we can kiss 2020 goodbye. Sadly, that will not cure all of our ills; the pandemic will not magically disappear, but...

read more
Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy

Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy

Today’s Word from Minister of Music Karl Olsen... Philip Paul Bliss, raised by his parents in a log cabin, but without much schooling except for his father’s music and mother’s lessons, left his Ashtabula, Ohio home in the 1830s at the age of 11, and worked on farms...

read more
For All the Saints

For All the Saints

Today’s Word from Reverend David Bieniek... Yesterday in the church year we celebrated All Saints Day. This is a time in the church year when we pause to remember those who have died in our families and our church communities, and to give thanks for the gifts they...

read more
Age Appropriate

Age Appropriate

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim... “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” Mid-October, time for my annual physical, the yearly trip across the water to the Everett Clinic to visit my medical doctor. My goal each year is to have the...

read more
Confirmation Sunday

Confirmation Sunday

Today’s Word from Deacon Amy... My oldest daughter, Ava, was confirmed along with nine of her classmates last Sunday. Actually, she was confirmed with three of her classmates. Three others had been confirmed earlier that morning, and three more a couple of weeks...

read more
The Underside of the Chair

The Underside of the Chair

Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...   Originally published in 1955, “Profiles in Courage,” written by John Kennedy, chronicles the stories of 8 United States Senators whose acts of bravery and integrity mirrored the best of American democracy. Given our current...

read more
A Message from Your Church Council

A Message from Your Church Council

Dear TLC Friends, 1 Corinthians 13:13 has a message for us: “Right now three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” For us, right now, love is an empty church. This is not easy for any of us to accept. We are reminded that Jesus did...

read more
Nearer, My God to Thee

Nearer, My God to Thee

Today’s Word from Trinity Keyboardist, Sheila Weidendorf 1 Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee! E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me, still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to thee; nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee! 2 Though like the wanderer, the...

read more
Mindfulness in a Cup of Coffee

Mindfulness in a Cup of Coffee

Today’s Word from Reverend Dave... Often in the morning, I will go in and pour a cup of coffee with cream and sweetener and take my first gulp before my eyes are even wide enough to see the sun outside, much less be mindful of what I am doing. But generally, as that...

read more
Love is Patient, Love is Kind, Love Wins in the End

Love is Patient, Love is Kind, Love Wins in the End

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim... I have been at this a long time. I have witnessed dark seasons of war, recession, and terrorism. I have stood at graveside nearly a thousand times, saying goodbye to strangers, family members, church friends and best friends. There have...

read more
It’s an Adventure!

It’s an Adventure!

Today’s Word from Deacon Amy... When I was growing up, any time I was worried or nervous about a new experience, my dad would tell me to think of it as an adventure. When I was nervous about going to camp in 5th grade – he turned it into an adventure. When I got my...

read more
Are We Winning Yet?

Are We Winning Yet?

Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd... I giggle every time I remember the moment. My friend Bob and his wife Mary (not their real names) were cruising down the highway. “Cruising” is a kind word for they were, to the consternation of Mary, traveling at a typical speed...

read more
We Can’t Go Back!

We Can’t Go Back!

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim... 31 years ago, today, I sat in my office at TLC and cried. It was an exciting and deeply emotional time for me and my family. We had spent four wonderful and formative years on Bainbridge Island while serving Bethany Lutheran Church. Our...

read more
This Is My Song

This Is My Song

Today's Word by Sheila Weidendorf, TLC Organist...This Is My SongTune:  FinlandiaComposer:  Jean SibeliusText:    Lloyd Stone, 1934Jean Christian Sibelius (186-1957) is often heralded as Finland’s greatest composer. Writing at the end of the 19th and into...

read more
Living One Day at a Time

Living One Day at a Time

Today’s Word from Reverend Dave Bieniek...Recently I was talking to my mother-in-law about our upcoming travels. She asked if we thought we would be able to travel next year. My response was simple, “Who knows? We just have to take it one day at a time.”...

read more
From a Distance

From a Distance

Today’s Word from Pastor Jim...“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.” ...We took our grandson, Cam, for a walk at bedtime last night. The clouds of October were taking leave in some other part of the...

read more
Down the Preschool Hall – and Out the Door!

Down the Preschool Hall – and Out the Door!

Today’s Word from Felicia Lindus... We weather the weather! We jumped right in to all of our weather adventures in the first week of preschool. The wind howled and the rain poured. The tent by the meadow went up, then down, and was put back up again. We found out that...

read more
God’s Humility

God’s Humility

Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...“The proud cannot know God because God is not proud, but infinitely humble. Remember, only like can know like! A combination of humility and patient seeking is the best spiritual practice of all.”     “The Universal...

read more
Masked People Helping Others

Masked People Helping Others

Today’s Word from Pastor Dennis Hanson... That pesky mask these days – wear it or not; violation of freedom or expression of caring for others. That mask, the sign of our times. As a kid I listened faithfully to the radio program called “The Lone Ranger,” the masked...

read more
The Hymnody of Trinity

The Hymnody of Trinity

Today’s Word from Karl Olsen, Minister of Music... Sheila and I have been writing about hymns and hymnody lately in these missives, and I thought it might serve us well to look at what that study is…so here is a definition of hymnody: From Merriam-Webster-- 1: hymn...

read more
“To the Trees!”

“To the Trees!”

Today's Word from Reverend Dave Bieniek... During the pandemic, we have gotten used to doing two things, both really well. Those things are going on hikes on the trails on Whidbey, and binge-watching TV shows that we have been wanting to see (and others we had no idea...

read more
The Best Advice for Daily Living

The Best Advice for Daily Living

Today's Word from Pastor Jim... The Best Advice for Daily Living Daily Word from Pastor Jim Last Sunday our sermon set its sights on the best advice of the Apostle Paul. Advice for daily living, advice for surviving the beautiful but difficult journey that we share as...

read more
Living in Love

Living in Love

Today's Word from Deacon Amy... “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39...

read more
Vacuum

Vacuum

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd... What’s God’s name? Larry? Freda Mae? Mohammed? Jesus? Most of us would just probably defer to “God,” yet God is not a name. So, what is God’s name? Probably not a question you ever thought of. As Christians we confess God was...

read more
How Much Does a Glass of Water Weigh?

How Much Does a Glass of Water Weigh?

Today's Word from Pastor Jim... Can you tell me how much a glass of water weighs? Go ahead and fill a glass half full or empty, depending on your outlook on life. Now hold it up high and see how much it weighs. Even our oldest and weakest readers will be able to hold...

read more
Wash, O God, Our Sons and Daughters

Wash, O God, Our Sons and Daughters

Today's Word from Trinity Keyboardist Sheila Weidendorf... The baptismal hymn, Wash, O God, Our Sons and Daughters*, comes to the modern hymnody from 18th century New England. William Billings—America’s first and foremost choral composer—published a new collection of...

read more
The View from my Window

The View from my Window

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek... One of the Facebook pages I like to follow is one where people post random pictures of views from their window. I have resisted putting any pictures up myself, but I do enjoy seeing what people see from their windows. Outside of...

read more
Beauty as a Shield

Beauty as a Shield

Today's Word from Laura Canby...“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything...

read more
Surprising Visitors

Surprising Visitors

Today's Word from Deacon Amy... In the past two weeks, I’ve come across two very surprising insects on our cozy little island. One that I’ve never even heard of, and one that I’ve never seen outside of a zoo or pet store. The first caught my family by surprise, hiding...

read more
Is it Personal or is it a Task?

Is it Personal or is it a Task?

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd... Okay, I admit it, I was/am an RBG fan. I know, it’s kind of ridiculous… a guy at my age, hanging on her every word, her very precise diction, her exquisite use of language. Her ability to use one word instead of three with such...

read more
Consult a Higher Power

Consult a Higher Power

Today's Word from Pastor Jim... We get lots of phone calls at TLC. This week we had someone call who wanted Robin to trim the limbs off some trees at their house. It seems that she was told that we do this sort of work for people, for free. Well, if we were going to...

read more
A Balm in Gilead

A Balm in Gilead

Today's Word from Trinity Keyboardist Sheila Weidendorf “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jeremiah 8:22) In the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, the people of Israel are in...

read more
I Wish You Wonder

I Wish You Wonder

Today's Word from Pastor Jim... “Think and wonder, wonder and think.” Dr. Seuss “I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” Gary Spence “Youth is the most wonderful thing in this world—and what a pity that is has to be wasted on children!”...

read more