St. Patrick's Breastplate

St. Patrick's Breastplate

At Holy Trinity, we joyfully receive communion each week - singing as we do so. It is a time of joy and reverence, celebration and awe, because Christ was given for us and to us.

Here is a beautiful arrangement of this month's communion hymn, "St. Patrick's Breastplate."

"Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger."

Drunk Drivers & King Saul: Cautionary Tales

Drunk Drivers & King Saul: Cautionary Tales

A selection from the sermon by Pastor Brian Phillips (on July 2nd, 2017)

It was upon a beautiful, sunlit morning that I kissed my wife and kids, got in my trusty Honda Civic, and set out down the country roads of Stanly County, heading to my office – later than I had intended. Some five minutes from the office, traffic slowed to adjust to the city speed limits, going from 55 mph to 35 mph.

Yet, the very large, red Ford work van behind me didn’t get the memo and proceeded to plow into the back of me, skidding me off the road into the gravel, and sending my bumper and various car parts scattering along Highway 73. The van hit me so hard that it took him a good hundred yards or so to stop, back up, and return to the scene.

The firemen and paramedics got there first, and all told me to stay still in my car until they could get me on the ambulance for a physical. While I was on the ambulance, the police arrived and the patrolman walked to the ambulance to talk with me first. At that very moment, when the policeman stepped to the ambulance, that the driver of the red van turned battering ram, made a break for it. He drove away from the scene, with his front end busted, bumper half off and occasionally scraping the road.

I will not repeat the stunned policeman’s words from the pulpit, but he was not happy. He called for back up, jumped in his cruiser, and peeled away, with promises to return.

While on the ambulance, I commented to the paramedics that, had it not been 10-o’clock in the morning, I would have thought the man who hit me was drunk! He had been driving erratically all the way down the road. The paramedics looked at one another with knowing glances and one replied, “Oh, it doesn’t matter what time it is.”

Well, they were right. The policeman returned, still quite frustrated, to report that they caught the man and that he was three sheets to the wind, as they say, and that he and his dog decided to go on a drunken joy ride that ended at my back bumper. That would be one of the early ones in a series of bad decisions that included drinking too much in the first place, using a smashed up van as a getaway car, and choosing a getaway route that put you directly in front of the Sheriff’s department.             

Bad decisions have a way of spiraling – one leads to another. You tell a lie, then have to tell another lie to cover for that one, and on and on. You sin in some way, and you think you get away with it, so it becomes easier to do it again. Over the course of 1st Samuel (which we were in before the Feasts of Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost), King Saul makes one bad decision after another. And he commits one more sin after another to cover it up.  

Saul's life is a cautionary tale on many levels. From his seemingly endless plunge into greater wickedness, let us learn to keep short accounts with God, praying that God would subdue our sins and deliver us from evil.

"Of Course I Forgive You"

"Of Course I Forgive You"

From the exhortation by Pastor Brian Phillips on Sunday, June 11th

1st John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” There are some promises in Scripture that become so familiar, some verses that become so comfortable, that we forget just how truly astounding they are. If we “confess” our sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive us? To us, that sometimes seems too easy. Isn’t there something else we must do?

Yet, there it is. A promise.

My children have taught me just how true this is. I can’t speak for your house, but in our house, we have sinners living there. So, rarely does a day go by when one of us does not have to ask forgiveness for something we have done. I am impatient, or inattentive, or short, or I raise my voice – and I have to ask my children or my wife to forgive me.

Mind you, my children have been raised up hearing this verse – 1st John 1:9 – recited to them nearly every time they get “reminders” for some wrong they have done. And those same children, when wronged by me, and I ask their forgiveness, reply, “Of course I forgive you.” Without fail.

Their forgiveness to me is so sure, so faithful, that it has taught me greater trust in God’s forgiveness. If my own children can offer forgiveness so freely, how much more does God forgive me when I confess my sins to Him? Still further, if my children can forgive me so quickly and freely, and if a perfectly holy God can forgive my sins so faithfully, how could I dare withhold forgiveness from those wrong me?

Let us be like little children, who are wise enough to trust and live out the promises of God. Let us forgive and seek forgiveness as they do.

Let us confess our sins to the Lord…  

Helping Little Ears

Helping Little Ears

By Pastor Brian Phillips

What is the most important part of a worship service? Is there one aspect of the liturgy that stands out from the rest?

Not too many years ago, I believe I would have said, "The sermon." As a pastor, that answer would surprise almost no one. After all, I spend more time preparing that aspect of the liturgy than any other part. Writing a sermon takes far more time than delivering it - even on my most "long-winded" Sunday mornings. And delivering a sermon takes far more time than any other aspect of the liturgy - even on my most "short-winded" Sunday mornings. 

But, that is not my answer today, and has not been for quite a while. So, what is the "high point" of the liturgy? That is hard to say because the liturgy is a conversation between God and His people. He speaks, and we respond. So, claiming one part of the liturgy misses that the liturgy is a conversation, and thus it cannot be so neatly divided. Rather, it comes as a whole, with each movement connected to the previous and the next. 

Thus, the sermon is not the "high point" of the liturgy, but it is one of the many tools God has given to equip and teach His people. It is also a time of intense work - study, preparation, and delivery by the pastor; focus and attentiveness by the congregation.

This can be particularly challenging for little ones, who are a great number in our congregation! It is also one of the few aspects of the liturgy that changes each week. Children so quickly memorize responses, prayers, confessions, and creeds, but the sermon cannot be memorized. It is new each week.

So, to help these little ears in their great task, I venture to offer a word or phrase to listen for in each week's sermon. These will be sent out to the congregation in the Midweek Update and posted in our church Facebook page. Make sure to look for them, then pass them along to your children, asking them what they learned about that word or phrase in the sermon.

Vespers & Bible Study for May

Vespers & Bible Study for May

On Wednesday, May 3rd, we will continue the series, "Saints & Sinners: Stories from Church History", with a study of Charlemagne - King of the Franks and eventual Holy Roman Emperor.  

Charlemagne was known as a fierce warrior, and a powerful man, but he was also devoted to education, committed to protecting the Church, and concerned for the poor and needy of his kingdom 

Join us as we explore the life, work, and lingering questions of Charlemagne!

Where: Holy Trinity Reformed Church (3747 Trinity Church Road, Concord, NC)
When: 6:00 pm (dinner) & 6:45 pm (Vespers & Bible Study)

Christ Is the Garden

Christ Is the Garden

By Brian Phillips

Excerpt from the sermon on April 23rd, 2017 (Second Sunday of Easter) 
Also posted by The CiRCE Institute

In John 20, Mary Magdalene goes to Jesus’ tomb twice. The first time, she goes to anoint the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1), only to find the stone rolled back. Assuming that the enemies of Jesus had moved the body as one last insult, Mary ran to find the disciples, bringing Peter and John back with her.

Peter and John ran to the tomb, John arriving first, and there is something to this beyond St. John just wanting to point out his blazing speed. Remember the last time Peter had seen Jesus? It was after denying he even knew Jesus. Upon the third denial, Luke 22:61 says, “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Perhaps those eyes slowed Peter’s feet?

The disciples both entered the tomb and found the folded grave clothes. They believed Mary’s report, but did not yet understand that Jesus had risen, so they went home. Mary, however, went back to the tomb. She “saw Jesus standing, but she did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away’” (John 20:14-15).

Mary assumed Jesus was the gardener because He had been buried in a garden. John 19:41-42 says, “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.” Jesus was crucified, died, and rose again in a garden.

Jesus was also betrayed in a garden. John 18 tells us that Judas betrayed Jesus “across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden” – the Garden of Gethsemane. Later, in the same chapter, Peter denies that he had been with Jesus “in the garden” (John 18:26).

Gardens have particular significance in Scripture. Genesis 2:8 begins, “And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers…The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”

Adam was given two sets of tasks. As the king over creation, Adam was to subdue and have dominion, bringing the creation into order for the glory and pleasure of God (by naming the animals, for example). As a priest, Adam was to “work” and “keep” the Garden – both words used for priestly service. It was in the Garden that Adam met with God. In other words, the Garden of Eden was a temple, a house of meeting and worship.

But, Adam failed in both his kingly and priestly duties. He failed to keep the Garden, allowing the Tempter to come in, to deceive his wife, and to take part in that deception as well. Rather than working and keeping the Garden, he submitted himself to the Garden’s one forbidden fruit. Rather than serving the God of that temple, he contented himself with the fruit (much like the Pharisees and money-changers who preferred the physical Temple in Jerusalem to Christ the Temple who dwelt among them). 

Because Adam failed, he was exiled from the Garden, removed from the temple. In 3:23 – “therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.  He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” Man could not enter that garden temple again. But, then Christ came. He alone could enter the garden temple, because He was the garden temple.

Adam betrayed God in the Garden, he was sentenced to death in the Garden, he was separated from God in the Garden, and then exiled from the Garden. Jesus was betrayed in a garden, killed in a garden, buried in a garden, but He rose again and left the garden – not in exile as Adam did, but in the triumph of resurrection. The first Adam lost the Garden, but the second Adam kept it and took dominion over it, a faithful King and High Priest.    

Coats & Palm Branches

Coats & Palm Branches

Reflections on Palm Sunday, Holy Week, & Eternal Rest
Also posted for The CiRCE Institute

By Brian Phillips

Yesterday, the Church celebrated Palm Sunday, the commemoration of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, and the beginning of Holy Week – the final days of Christ on earth before His crucifixion. The event is recorded in all four Gospels – Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:29-38, and John 12:12-15 – and the event shares connections and echoes with several other passages as well.

Here is the Triumphal Entry as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel:

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Mark tells us that the owners asked the disciples just what they were doing with the donkey and colt.  Mark 11:5-6 say, “And some of those standing there said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’  And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go.” This is similar to the response the soldiers gave in John 18. Jesus was about to be arrested, and in order to stop it, Peter tried to kill the high priest’s servant (it seems more likely that Malchus would duck than that Peter would aim for an ear). Yet, even after Peter’s attack, when Jesus told the soldiers to let His disciples go, they did (John 18:8). These are tremendous displays of Christ’s sovereign control over the circumstances.

As Jesus and the disciples prepared to enter Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover, they came near Bethphage (a town not mentioned in any other context) to find a donkey and a colt (which had not been ridden by any other man – Mark 11:2, Luke 19:30).     

The disciples spread their cloaks or outer coats over the back of the colt and Jesus rides into Jerusalem as the humble King (Zechariah 9:9). The crowds responded by spreading their cloaks along the road in front of Jesus, while others cut down palm branches and spread them out on the road as well.

These two items – cloaks and palm branches – carry significance. Spreading garments out for someone to walk on was more than an act of chivalry (i.e., spreading your coat over puddle so a lady does not soil her feet). It is connected with Christ’s Triumphal Entry in that it is a show of deference and honor, but spreading garments out before someone was an act of submission paid to royalty.

The only other time this is done in Scripture (that I could find) is in 2nd Kings 9:13 – “Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, ‘Jehu is king.’” And, while we initially think of Jehu as a particularly violent king, we dare not miss that it was he who destroyed Jezebel – the wife of Ahab who led Israel astray and tried to kill Elijah. Was not Christ riding into Jerusalem to do the same?

The people also cut down branches to lay before Jesus. Only John specifies that these were “palm branches” (John 12:13), which is interesting given what he writes in Revelation 7:9-10 (a book which I increasingly think was greatly connected with his gospel) – “After this I looked and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”  

John portrays the Triumphal Entry in Jerusalem as a picture of what happens in the heavenly Jerusalem – with multitudes, palm branches, and shouts to the Lord.

But, the palm branches also call us back to the Feast of Booths – a feast designated to remind Israel of God’s guidance out of Egypt. And, in every observance of the Feast of Booths, the people would “take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days” (Leviticus 23:40).

At the Triumphal Entry, Christ was celebrated as the one who would bring His people out of the captivity and slavery of sin (the spiritual Egypt, if you will). Jesus was welcomed by the same sign of palm branches and shouts of rejoicing, and a new Feast of Booths was initiated. This new Feast of Booths also lasted seven days.

Remember that the Jews counted part of a day as a whole. This is why Christ was crucified on Good Friday, rose again on Sunday, yet it is regarded as three days. The new Feast of Booths lasted seven days, from the Triumphal Entry to Saturday – the day after Good Friday. But, what happened on the Eighth Day? In the Feast of Booths, “the eighth day shall be a solemn rest” (Leviticus 23:39). In the new Feast of Booths, Christ rose from the grave, securing eternal rest for His people.  

Vespers & Bible Study for April

Vespers & Bible Study for April

On Wednesday, April 5th, we will continue the series, "Saints & Sinners: Stories from Church History", with a study of Pope Gregory I, also known as Gregory the Great.  

Gregory turned away from a life of comfort and wealth for the monastery, eventually being appointed as Pope against his will! He was a skilled theologian, hymn writer, and preacher, and was greatly concerned for the training of pastors and missionaries. And, he did it all in the midst of one of Rome's most trying times. 

Join us as we explore the life and work of Gregory the Great!

Where: Holy Trinity Reformed Church (3747 Trinity Church Road, Concord, NC)
When: 6:00 pm (dinner) & 6:45 pm (Vespers & Bible Study)

New Literature Guide by Pastor Phillips!

New Literature Guide by Pastor Phillips!

From the Canon Press website:

Worldview Guide for Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
by Dr. Brian Phillips

"The Worldview Guides from the Canon Classics Literature Series provide an aesthetic and thematic Christian perspective on the most definitive and daunting works of Western Literature. Each Worldview Guide presents the big picture (both the good and the bad) without neglecting the details. Each Worldview Guide is a friendly literary coach -- and a treasure map, and a compass, and a key -- to help teachers, parents, and students appreciate, critique, and begin to master the classics. 

The bite-size WGs are divided into these ten sections (with some variation due to genre): Introduction, The World Around, About the Author, What Other Notables Said, Setting, Characters, & Argument, Worldview Analysis, Quotables, 21 Significant Questions & Answers, and Further Discussion & Review. A free classics test and answer key are also available online."

Meet St. Patrick

Meet St. Patrick

by Brian Phillips

This was first delivered as an exhortation at Holy Trinity & first posted by The CiRCE Institute.

Patrick was kidnapped, and sold into slavery on the pagan island of Ireland. Later, when he managed to return to Rome, he was converted to Christianity and God called him to return to Ireland as a missionary. To the dismay of his friends and family, Patrick went, eventually being named bishop of Ireland.

Patrick would get into some trouble as a bishop because he insisted on trying evangelize the pagan Irish (quite a dangerous business) instead of simply shepherding the Christians who were already there in Ireland. We know that from one of the few writings of his we have remaining.

There is a hymn, known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate, which is attributed to him and it has become a favorite in our church. The third verse:

“I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead
His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need,
The wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The Word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard.

And the eighth verse:

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

This beautiful hymn reminds us, powerfully, of our complete and utter dependence upon God for all things – a truth Patrick doubtless needed to remember in his ministry in Ireland. 

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on Friday (March 17), so remember the man who devoted himself to serve his enemies, a man who helped plant a Christian culture in of a decidedly pagan one, a man who loved the Lord enough to do what he was called to do, day in and day out, in the midst of great difficulty. 

He labored for 40 years in Ireland, faithfully proclaiming Christ, and many came to embrace the faith. Near the end of his life of constant hardship, Patrick was asked if it had all been worth it. He replied, “The greatest gift in my life has been to know and love God; to serve Him is my highest joy.”

For more on St. Patrick, take a listen to Episode 8 of The Commons, in which I interview Dr. Jonathan Rogers, author of Saint Patrick (Christian Encounter Series).

The Love of St. Valentine

The Love of St. Valentine

by Brian Phillips

St. Valentine was a priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II.  According to tradition, Valentine, having been imprisoned and beaten, was beheaded on February 14, about 269 A.D., along the Flaminian Way.  Now, that’s nowhere near a “romantic” tale, but his martyrdom was connected with an enduring and biblical kind of love.

Valentine undercut an edict of Emperor Claudius.  Wanting to more easily recruit soldiers for his army, Claudius had tried to weaken family ties by forbidding marriage.  Valentine, ignoring the order, secretly married young couples.  When these activities were uncovered, it led to his arrest.

Furthermore, while in prison, Valentine continued to express his concern and love for his congregation.  Being deprived of books, it is said that he would pluck leaves from the tree branches that grew near the window of his cell, and would write notes to the church, primarily encouraging them to obey the two great commandments – to love the Lord and love one another.  His last note arrived on the morning of his death and ended with the words “Your Valentine.”

In 496, February 14th was named as a holiday in his honor.  By this time Christianity had long been legalized in the empire, and many pagan celebrations were being replaced with Christianized celebrations.  One of them was a Roman festival named Lupercalia, which was a pagan celebration of love. This holiday, some claim, was replaced by St. Valentine’s Day with its more innocent customs of sending notes and gifts and other expressions of affection.  Perhaps that is true.

While many skeptically say that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a greeting card conspiracy, it serves to remind us that love is more than mere sentimentalism or overflowing emotions. It is a commitment that pledges my life for yours.  And that is something to celebrate.

Vespers & Bible Study for February

Vespers & Bible Study for February

On Wednesday, February 1st, we will continue the series, "Saints & Sinners: Stories from Church History", with a study of St. Augustine and his mother, Monica.  

St. Augustine's conversion story is particularly inspiring because of the heroic role his devout mother played.  Following his conversion, Augustine would become an influential bishop and defender of the faith, as well as the author of two of Western literature's most significant works. 

Join us as we explore the life and work of St. Augustine, as well as the powerful influence of his godly, praying mother, Monica!

Where: Holy Trinity Reformed Church (3747 Trinity Church Road, Concord, NC)
When: 6:00 pm (dinner) & 6:45 pm (Vespers & Bible Study)

Dependent Creatures

Dependent Creatures

From Pastor Phillips's exhortation on Sunday, January 29th

In Psalm 51:12, David prays, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” This is a significant part of David’s prayer of repentance because here he acknowledges his need to be restored and upheld by God. Like our first parents, we are tempted to believe that we can be self-sufficient, or independent.

But, we are created to need others. A baby is born needing his parents and others to care for him – food, diapers, sleep, protection, teaching, nurture, affection, etc. And, no matter what we tell ourselves later on, we can never be truly independent and self-sufficient without doing great damage to our souls. We need other people.

Of course, more than that, we were created to know God. We are created in His image, made for His glory, destined for eternity somewhere. We are given souls that will never die. And when we live instead for our selves and our sins, our souls feel it.

It is God’s loving and severe mercy that brings us again to a place of dependence, a place where we recognize our need to be restored and upheld. We are dependent on Him, and that is not shameful. It is as it should be. We are made in God’s image - to know Him, to love Him, to dwell in union with Him through Christ.

Let us, then, confess our sins to the Lord…   

Defending Ourselves or Pleading Guilty?

Defending Ourselves or Pleading Guilty?

From the exhortation given by Pastor Brian Phillips on Sunday, January 8th, 2017.

Psalm 51:1 says, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”

David’s great psalm of repentance, written after his sin with Bathsheba, is characterized by brutal honesty. In no way does David try to sugarcoat his guilt, or excuse his sin. Rather, he begins directly and openly – “Have mercy on me, O God…”

This is an important matter for us to remember because, too often, we can be tempted to come to God as our own defense attorney, rather than as people confessing that we are guilty. And, we must learn to practice this kind of spiritual honesty, not just with “big sins” (as we may like to categorize them), but with every sin. After all, most of our lives are affected, not by the major things but by the little things we struggle with day after day.

Paul Tripp wrote, “The character of a life isn’t set in ten big moments. The character of a life is set in ten thousand little moments of everyday life. It’s the themes of struggles that emerge from those little moments that reveal what’s really going on in our hearts.”

Let us, then, honestly confess our sins to the Lord…   

Services Cancelled

Services Cancelled

Holy Trinity's Sunday services for Sunday, January 8th, 2016 are cancelled due to snow.  We look forward to seeing you next Sunday.  In the meantime, stay safe, stay warm, and enjoy the snow!

Vespers & Bible Study for January

Vespers & Bible Study for January

On Wednesday, January 4th, we will continue the series, "Saints & Sinners: Stories from Church History," with a study of St. Wenceslaus - most commonly known for the song, "Good King Wenceslaus." 

Sadly, the story of Wenceslaus is generally unknown, and even the details behind the familiar Christmas carol bearing his name are unfamiliar to most.  But his story is inspiring, challenging, and closely connected to Epiphany (which is celebrated this week - January 6th).  Join us as we remember our brother, "Good King Wenceslaus."      

Where: Holy Trinity Reformed Church (3747 Trinity Church Road, Concord, NC)
When: 6:00 pm (dinner) & 6:45 pm (Vespers & Bible Study)

Conference Audio Now Available!

Conference Audio Now Available!


We're very excited to bring you these five talks from our LIFELONG Conference, delivered on September 2016, in Concord, NC.


Speakers and Titles:

  • Karen Kern - A Habit Is the Way We Wear Our Days
  • Brian Phillips - Well-Read: The Importance of Imaginative Reading
  • Andrew Kern - What is Learning & Why Does It Matter
  • Matt Bianco - Overcoming the Tyranny of the Blank Page
  • Andrew Kern - The Courage to Think: Speaking & Listening as a Family

Learning does not keep office hours. It does not begin with a bell, or cease with the end of a class period. Rather, learning is a lifelong journey that includes math lessons and dinner conversation, Latin verbs and nature walks. Join us as we consider what it means to cultivate lifelong learning in our homes.

Join Us for Christmas Eve!

Join Us for Christmas Eve!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6


Join us this Christmas Eve for our combined worship service with Trinity Lutheran Church, as we celebrate the end of Advent and the arrival of Christmas!  The service begins at 4:00 pm and will include singing, prayers, a homily, and the sacrament of communion.

When: 4:00 pm on Christmas Eve
Where: Holy Trinity Reformed Church - 3747 Trinity Church Rd., Concord, NC


Advent Readings - Week 4

Advent Readings - Week 4

The Advent season is a season of preparation – of prayer, contemplation, fasting, and spiritual renewal.  It is a time in which the people of God, by God’s grace, make straight His paths in their hearts.  Rather than simply being an extension of the Christmas celebration, Advent prepares us to more truly and fully celebrate Christ’s birth. 

To help us observe Advent, here is a collection of Scripture readings for each day of the season, drawn from the Book of Common Prayer.  The readings for week four are taken from Psalms, Isaiah, Luke, and John.      

The readings may be done in one sitting, or divided into morning, noon, and evening.  Contemplate each reading in light of the coming Christmas season – as a means of preparation for the birth of Christ.

Sunday, December 18th – Fourth Sunday of Advent
Psalm 24
Isaiah 42:1-12
John 3:16-21

Monday, December 19th
Psalm 61
Isaiah 11:1-9
John 5:30-47  

Tuesday, December 20th
Psalm 66
Isaiah 11:10-16
Luke 1:5-25

Wednesday, December 21th
Psalm 72
Isaiah 28:9-22
Luke 1:26-38

Thursday, December 22th
Psalm 80
Isaiah 29:13-24
Luke 1:39-48

Friday, December 23th
Psalm 93
Isaiah 33:17-22
Luke 1:57-66

Saturday, December 24th
Psalm 45
Isaiah 35:1-10
Luke 1:67-80

Advent Readings - Week 3

Advent Readings - Week 3

The Advent season is a season of preparation – of prayer, contemplation, fasting, and spiritual renewal.  It is a time in which the people of God, by God’s grace, make straight His paths in their hearts.  Rather than simply being an extension of the Christmas celebration, Advent prepares us to more truly and fully celebrate Christ’s birth. 

To help us observe Advent, here is a collection of Scripture readings for each day of the season, drawn from the Book of Common Prayer.  The readings for week three are taken from Psalms, Isaiah, Luke, Mark, and Matthew.      

The readings may be done in one sitting, or divided into morning, noon, and evening.  Contemplate each reading in light of the coming Christmas season – as a means of preparation for the birth of Christ.

Sunday, December 11th – Third Sunday of Advent
Psalm 103
Isaiah 13:6-13
John 3:22-30

Monday, December 12th
Psalm 44
Isaiah 8:16-9:1
Luke 22:39-53  

Tuesday, December 13th
Psalm 45
Isaiah 9:1-7
Luke 22:54-69

Wednesday, December 14th
Psalm 119:49-72
Isaiah 9:8-17
Mark 1:1-8

Thursday, December 15th
Psalm 50
Isaiah 9:18-10:4
Matthew 3:1-12

Friday, December 16th
Psalm 51
Isaiah 10:5-19
Matthew 11:2-15

Saturday, December 17th
Psalm 55
Isaiah 10:20-27
Luke 3:1-9