5106 North LaCrosse Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60630-2431

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8:00 a.m - Slovak Language
9:30 a.m. - English Language

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A Word From Pastor Joyce

Thank you!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the cards, gifts and good wishes for my retirement. Special thanks for the lovely charm bracelet selected by the worship & music committee and approved by the council as the official Trinity gift. I will wear it with pride and gratitude. For those of you not able to be present, the charms included:
• a guitar, symbolizing the contemporary worship service begun during my tenure;
• a watering can symbolizing the memorial prayer garden and its lovely flowers as well as the Trinity Acts of Christian Kindness, giving away water, seeds, and bulbs
• a cross with the words "God Bless You" on one side and "Trinity 2005-2007" on the other
• a box with a praying angel on each side symbolizing the prayer shawl ministry; inside the box is a teeny tiny paper (1.25 x 0.5 inches) on which is written: "Prayer Shawl Ministry Peace and Joy To You Pastor Joyce"
• a Bible symbolizing my strong emphasis on Bible study and experiencing the "living word" in daily life
Worshiping with you for the last time was bittersweet. The bitterness was the sadness that was present in all of our hearts. I saw the tears. I felt my own eyes tear up as well. The bitterness was also the fear of the unknown. What really lies ahead? On the other hand, the sweetness was the celebration of our life together for two years. It was a privilege to be able to share in your spiritual journey towards healing and wholeness and growth. The sweetness was also remembering with gratitude your willingness to actively participate in the "interim process work", the holy conversations. The sweetness was also remembering with gratitude (but also acknowledging the challenge) your willingness to try new things - especially "A Joyful Spirit" contemporary worship and Project T.A.C.K.

I have great hope for Trinity. I truly believe you have great potential. However, you must do your part - - - each and every one of you. With or without a pastoral leader to immediately fill the vacancy my retirement creates, you can and must continue the forward movement. NO backsliding allowed! Be the good stewards God has called you to be. Be the good disciples God has commissioned you to be. Dedicate yourselves to bringing Christ's message to all. Accept and embrace the challenge. Increase your support of the ministry. Support involves money as well as time and energy. Ideally you will increase your gifts of both money and time and energy. If you are unable to increase both, do increase one or the other. Maintaining the building is definitely important. However, equally important is developing, nurturing and then maintaining ministry. More of you need to move from the left to the right side of the graph - - - as was presented at the 2006 annual meeting. More of you need to embrace the true concept of Christ's church - - - that everything you do should be focused on mission. Worship, education and service opportunities should not be focused on the individual wants and desires of the members, but rather on the perceived needs of those outside the congregation, those not yet included in the Church of Jesus Christ. You may not yet have a pastor, but you have many many ministers. By virtue of your baptism, each and every one of you is a minister. You are the "priesthood of believers" with the "Great Commission" as your marching orders. Live your calling and mission.

Thank you again for the privilege of working with you, sharing in your mission, and growing with you.
May the Light of God shine on us
May it show us where to travel
May it lead us back if we should stray
May the Love of God live in us
May the warmth we feel within us
Show in all we do and say
May the Peace of God be with us
May it guide us and protect us
as we go our separate ways
May the Peace of God be with us
May the Love of God live in us
May the Light of God shine on us
today and everyday
("A Choral Benediction" by Don Besig)
Peace and joy,
Pastor Joyce

12/28/2007