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Trinity Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC
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One week ago, the unthinkable occurred in our nation’s capital: an angry, violent mob stormed the Capitol, attempting to prevent the Congress from carrying out its constitutional duty of counting and certifying the results of the Electoral College that had previously certified the election results of the November 3rd presidential election.

This violent act left five people dead, including a police officer, and injuring others. The images of the brutal violence of American citizens upon fellow citizens were both disturbing and disheartening. One of the things that has made our 232-year-old democracy successful and the envy of most of the world is our constitution of laws that regards all citizens as equal before the law and gives the people the right and privilege of electing our public leaders. Our time-honored tradition of a peaceful transfer of power based on the will of the majority of voters has insured the continuation of our democratic republic through wars, economic depressions, and other national hardships.

Whatever your political beliefs or allegiances, I hope you share my belief that, as Christians, our ultimate loyalty is not to any political leader, party, or ideology. When we became Christians and joined a Christian congregation, we publicly professed our belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. As we go through the next several days, as political events unfold in Washington and the president-elect takes his oath of office at the inauguration, let us pray for peace, order, justice, and good citizenship on the part of all our citizens.

Jesus called peacemakers blessed, taught his followers to turn the other cheek, and cautioned the disciple who resorted to violence when Jesus was about to be arrested with these words, “Put your sword away. Those who live by the sword will perish by the sword.” He also taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We are not sure why Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, but some believe that he belonged to the Zealots who advocated violent overthrow of Rome and was disappointed that Jesus did not take up arms and lead an insurrection. But the Prince of Peace came to save the world and establish God’s Kingdom of justice, righteousness, and love.

The Apostle Paul, at the end of the 12th chapter of his Letter to the Corinthians, wrote, “I will show you a still more excellent way.” Then he wrote the most beautiful and profound chapter on the power of love that the world has ever read. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things … So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” As our nation strives to restore order and civility and seeks justice for those who have broken the law and disturbed the peace, let us keep both Jesus’ words and life as a part of the equation.    

So, I invite you to join me in praying for our nation right now. Let us pray for God’s will to be done. May God bring peace and justice to our land. I hope to “see” you online for worship on Sunday. I will preach on Jesus’ Great Commandment: loving God and neighbor.
                                                                                   
Your pastor and friend in Christ,
David
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A special Zoom meeting of the congregation has been called for 12:00 noon on January 17 for the purpose of electing new elders and deacons in the class of 2023.  We will need a quorum of 25 to hold the election, so we hope many of you will try to attend. Here is the Zoom link for Sunday the 17th:
 
Meeting ID #7784286332
Link~ Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

We thank all the members of the class of 2020, especially for extending their terms for an extra six months due to the pandemic. They are elders (David Brown, Mike Lhtosky, Laura Piazza, and Amy Rhoades) and deacons (Robin Brown, Diane Catalano, and Betsy Moore). We are especially grateful for Jo Dunnigan serving as clerk of the session and Diane Catalano for serving as moderator of the deacons.

And hats off to the Nominating Committee for their due diligence under duress. Our current slate for 2023 includes Tom Carrigan, Lexi Everett, and Laura Piazza as elders; Kitty Barco and Amber Young are the candidates for deacons.
 
As David mentioned, he will teach a new Bible Study this winter on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, a very short but important letter that, with the Letter to the Romans, stands as the Protestant Reformation’s central belief: Justification by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. He will also cover the history of Paul’s life, conversion, and ministry. 

Please let David know via email if you would like to take the course; the class will meet from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. on Zoom on Wednesdays, January 20 through February 24.
Please know that Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office
2020 End of Year statements have been emailed. If you would prefer to also received a copy via the post, please let Virginia in the church office know (919-872-1142). If you have questions about your statement, please email Louise Taff.

Would you like to pick up your packet of offering envelopes for 2021? Virginia will set them outside of the church's entryway, contactless and sheltered from the weather. To pick up yours, email Virginia so she'll have time to set your box out for you. 
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