#13 Trinity Lutheran

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Last week, I attended the early morning worship service at Trinity Lutheran church located at 2315 North Parham Road. When I first arrived, I was greeted by 2 elder ladies who introduced themselves to me while directing me to the refreshment area of the church where they encouraged me to grab a cup of coffee and snack. I knew from my limited knowledge that Lutheran church’s are usually fairly traditional so I was surprised that they were allowing drinks and food into the service area but I certainly wouldn’t argue. I made my cup of coffee just as I liked it, cream no sugar, but before I could even take a sip I was tapped on the shoulder, "no coffee in the worship area" a gentleman beside me said. I laughed to myself and apologized for wasting it but quickly threw it out and joined the congregation. When the double doors opened, Pastor Michael Pottschmidt had just begun his sermon entitled "Praying to remain faithful to God." I quickly noticed that of the 40 people intently listening in the room, 20 of them who occupied the entire last two rows were mentally challenged.

I pulled up a chair directly in front of them and we all began to worship. The gentleman behind me who later introduced himself as James played with my ponytail as the Pastor gave his sermon. I don’t know if this is one of those things that you just don’t say but, the best part of the service were the mentally challenged people who attended. I can’t pretend like I didn’t notice they were there or it didn’t influence my experience at Trinity Lutheran. It did. I found myself thinking about their lives and about my perception of the disabled. While listening to the choir (which I’ll get to in a minute--these guys were awesome!) I thought about whether or not I had spent my life pitying these very same people. Did I think they were really given the shaft in life? Perhaps I did. I thought "awe, poor guy. I’m so blessed to NOT be like that" It’s funny but while worshipping with them, I found myself well...wanting to sit in their row. Not that I wished upon me mental illness, of course not. But I’ve spent years of my own life, and met so many other men and women who appear to have it all; a healthy mind, a healthy body, lucrative careers, but lacking souls. Lorraine who was sitting directly to my left lacked nothing. She sang at the top of her lungs to Jesus, proclaiming her love for Him with her arms opened wide toward heaven.

I decided from now on, I will have no pity for the disabled. Instead, I will save my pity for those of us who are intellectual giants but lack the wisdom that these Lutheran’s had. I may continue to thank God for my health when I’m reminded of how fortunate I am, but I will no longer think "awe, poor guy." Because on Sunday, I was reminded that there is nothing poor about them. These Lutherans were Rich with wisdom.

Now I have to take a minute to write about the choir. I just have to say, the WEAG’s better watch their backs...there’s another choir in town. With only 4 women and 2 men, these people were AMAZING. They sung their hearts out. One young woman, I swear could have given Mariah Carey a run for her money! It wasn’t too traditional (although that’s my preference) but it wasn’t too modern either. The songs were beautiful and moving. I think the WEAG’s need to think about doing some Lutheran recruitment if they want to continue being the best of the best!

If I could describe the entire experience with one word, I’d probably use the word "nice." It was a nice sermon, and a nice church and the experience was...well...nice. I probably wouldn’t make Trinity Lutheran my home but I would certainly recommend them to anyone wanting a nice group of people to worship with. If you were brought up Catholic but desire a church that’s a bit more laid back while still being traditional. You could be a Lutheran.

To learn more about Trinity Lutheran, visit their website at: http://trinityrichmond.net/

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