Meditation for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
August 16, 2020
“Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘“Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.’ [Matthew 15:27-28]
"We must have hindsight, insight, and foresight. That is complete sight. It's not an 'I' sight, it's a 'we' sight." [Ruby Sales]
This is an extraordinarily timely gospel for this weekend. It shows us Jesus in a moment of learning: A Canaanite woman calls out to Jesus asking that her daughter be healed. Jesus at first rejects her, saying that he has been sent to the people of Israel, and—in repulsively harsh language—dismisses her plea: “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” Her response shows that her persistence is grounded in faith and not in a sense of entitlement. ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus responds, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.
This story takes place after Jesus has fed 5,000 people with just a few loaves and fishes; he has walked on water and responded to hundreds of requests for healing; he has challenged the strict religious rules on defilement. He has just arrived in Tyre and Sidon, a wealthy region where a lot of the grain supply from the country was bought up and stored, leaving the peasants and farmers with only a subsistence living; hence, the disciples’ resentment and defensiveness. The word “Canaanite” was code word for enemies and unbelievers; but at the same time by naming her as “Canaanite” Matthew makes this a more complex episode than Mark does. (It is the only time this word is used in the New Testament; the same story in the Gospel of Mark names her a Syro-Phoenecian woman.) On the one hand the Canaanite woman is everything that the followers of Jesus despise: She is a woman. She is not a Jew. She is probably wealthy. However, at the same time,by naming her Matthew evokes the three Canaanite women who are in Jesus’ lineage: Rahab, Tamar, and Ruth. Thus, Matthew reminds his audience that Jesus and this despised stranger share the same foremothers.
The woman herself is desperate and yet she refuses to be shamed, convinced that only Jesus can heal her daughter. She knows that no one will believe her when she proclaims her faith.. It’s very possible that she is a woman who is used to getting her way, accustomed to being the one who grants favors to people who kneel before her, a woman accustomed to eating delicacies and rich food—not leftover crumbs. What it must have cost her to come to an itinerant teacher, to have to shout out and compete with peasants for his attention! What it must have cost her to kneel before him after he has ignored her and his disciples have urged him to dismiss her! What it must have cost her to admit that she would accept even the “crumbs” of God.
She holds Jesus accountable for his own teachings. And Jesus listens.
The Canaanite woman teaches us to pray with a trust that does not reflect any sense of entitlement and with fierce passion. She teaches us that the vulnerability awakened in us every day can also bring an unexpected strength that will bring the healing we so desperately seek.
In You through whom
all things speak,
use me please
to sing your song.
-from Bedside Prayers
Ministers of the Liturgy
The Rev. Dr. Judith Lee
Members of the Vestry:
Ginny Starkis, Susan Edmondson (wardens)
Lucille Clinkman, Steve Ketcham
Musicians: Randolph Bloom, Jeff Lukas
After the service, we will discuss recent Vestry decisions and the next steps in preparing for the search for a new rector.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-- what is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:1-2]
Meeting ID: 822-5682-7302 Password: 546896
If you cannot access through your computer, you may participate by telephone.
For the Morning Prayer leaflet, click here.
For the Weekly Announcements click here.
On the Sundays in August, videotaped sermons by Bishop Fisher, Canon Simpson, and Canon Ix are available on our website.
Mother Judith's videotaped reflections will resume in September.
September Newsletter Deadline:
This Saturday August 15th
Please send your submission to email@example.com
Forward Day by Day Booklets are now available at the church.
Please let Mother Judith know if you would like a copy.
A Death in the Extended Parish Family:
Nicholas J. Blazensky, Jr.
May 24, 1932 – August 6, 2020
I am saddened to announce that the father of Lauren Lukas died on August 6th. Our prayers are with Lauren, Jeff, and their family.
Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding, deal graciously with Nicholas’ family and friends in their grief. Surround them with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness, and strength to meet the days to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. May Nicholas’ soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Mr. Blazensky’s obituary can be found at https://www.buckler-johnston.com/tributes
Next Steps: Moving Forward
God of the living word,
give us faith to receive your message,
the wisdom to know what it means,
and the courage to put it into practice.
-from A New Zealand Prayer Book
New Rector Search: Next Steps:
The Holy Cow Survey - MUST BE COMPLETED BY MONDAY AUGUST 17th. The Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT), also called the Holy Cow Survey because it is designed by Holy Cow Consulting, is the first official step in your preparation for new ministry. Your responses are anonymous.
For link to to the online survey click here.
Please contact Ginny Starkis if you have a hard copy to be returned to the church.
Canon Simpson will meet with the Search Committee, the Profile Committee, and the Vestry on Saturday September 12th to review the survey results. An updated timeline of the 2 "arcs" of the search process can be found on our website: https://www.trinitychurchmilford.org/
Thank you to everyone who participated in the parish meetings in June. For a summary of those conversations, including a summary of the Youth conversations, click here.
May God continue to inspire us, bless us, and guide us.
Entering Stage 2:
We will suspend the hours for the church to be open for private prayer until September. We will begin with new hours during the week of September 27th.
On Monday, the Vestry approved a new Building Use Policy and a Building Use Agreement and that includes a liability waiver, a checklist of safety protocols, and a health questionnaire. We are in the process of preparingl a proposal for opening our building to community groups and small parish groups, and opening our office to the public. Pending a peer review, those steps will take place at the beginning of September.
Our parish Zoom Chats, Family Game Night, and Bingo will resume in September. The schedule will be announced in the newsletter.
Wednesdays @ 10 am: Morning Prayer & Fellowship via ZOOM - We'll continue weekly
Meeting ID: 831 6113 8171 Password: 497792
Training to lead Morning Prayer - The diocese is offering a webinar in how to lead Morning Prayer; Thursday September 3rd at 7 pm. Please check with Mother Judith if you are interested. To learn more and to register, click here.
A Film-Based Dialogue Series on Race & Faith
Beginning on September 26th:
Sacred Ground is a film- and readings-based series on race, grounded in faith. Small groups will walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity. This program designed by the Episcopal Church has 10 sessions. We have scheduled the first 5 sessions; we will hold two opportunities for each session every other week: Sundays at 5 pm and Tuesdays at 7 pm, September 26th – November 22. Mary Johnson and Mother Judith will lead the program for Trinity and our group will include emembers of other congregations. To learn more see https://episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground. Please contact either Mary or Mother Judith to register.
We will distribute meals prepared by Oliva's from the parking lot at Trinity on August 27th. In addition, we will arrange for delivery of meals to Whitcomb House in August. Your generosity has made it possible for us to continue feeding about 100 people each month during the pandemic, in addition to supporting our local restaurants. If you can volunteer to help with setting up and taking down the tables, distributing meals, and bring leftover meals to the Food Pantry, in July or August, please contact Glen Peterson. We will certify Community Service credit.
This week a Public Health Inspector will visit our kitchen with the volunteer team to review what will be required by the state mandates for restaurants. Next month, the volunteer team will present a proposal to the Vestry to begin preparing takeout meals in September or October. We have applied for a grant to continue the program of purchasing meals from local restaurants for our neighbors and frontline workers through December 2020.
To contribute to this project, please send your check payable to Trinity Church with Community Dinners on the memo line or donate directly to Hopedale Unitarian Parish, who is managing the funds for this project, by going to https://hopedaleunitarian.org and pressing the Donate button.
Please send Magee the names of people you would like to be on the Prayer List. Our policy has been to remove names after 4 weeks, but we want to be sure we follow the wishes of families and friends.
Our Prayers Are Offered For:
Parish Members & Friends: the Blazensky & Lukas Families; David Stochaj; Rose Marie Moore; David Gillis; Mary Torian, Bob Bloomburg; Brad Gustavesen; Arlene Person; Sharon Manoogian; Sal & Vas Ferreira; Cami Carter; Alana Phoenix-Laliberte; Jill Henderson; Patty Souder; Sandra Arbogast; Len Baird; Judy Shea; Robin Rowe; Skye Bayleigh Plaisted; Alex; Alisha Starkis Weddeke; Chrissy & Mark; Thomas Scano; the Canali Family; Heidi Donnelly; Sherel & Lou Frere; Craig Silverman; Justin Perkin; Dr. Stephen Janko; Tom Childs; Nancy Sharoogian; Bob Mezzadri; all those serving in the military and the Peace Corps, especially Avary DeRagon; Dan Consigli; Drew Beauchamp; Charles; Laura; Elena; Brendan Wood; Danielle & Joel Marsh; Tom Bento; Joel Joudrey; Justin Woessner; Chris Ketcham and their families.
Homebound Parishioners: Betty Henneberry; Verna Parente, and Wayne Morey.
Deceased: Nicholas J. Blazensky, Jr.
Our Partner Dioceses: Kumasi and Asante-Mampong in Ghana
Those celebrating birthdays this week: Alexander Menges; Sandy Krol; Steven Masse; Scott Harrison; Colleen Shaw; Grace Prevelige; Felicity Ferreira; Kenneth George; Nathan George; Johanna Cornwell; James Menges; Veronica Lynch; Leyani Piacente-Perez; Zaya Hall; Malichai Carpenter; Rick Nelson; Andrew Eastwood; Tom Cortese; David Carr; Erin Hynes; Mia Carr; Touie Jackson; Dean Harrison; Chris Lloyd; Amanda Ellis; and Penelope Woods.
Pledges: Thank you to all of you who have been sending in your pledges. There has been a slight drop in our pledge income this month. This is understandable for the summer, but please do not let your contribution lapse. Our deposits are being made on a different schedule these days, so there may be a delay in seeing the record of your payment. Some of you are facing financial stress: if so, please give what you can; if not, please give a bit extra to support those who cannot.
Please note: Unscrupulous people have contacted parishioners claiming to be Mother Judith and asking for money. Mother Judith's only email addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and her phone number is (716) 949-8194 . She never asks for money! Please do not respond to any other email addresses or phone numbers. If you have a question about whether a request is REALLY from Mother Judith, please contact her first at these email addresses/phone number before sending any money. Thanks.
How to keep up with Trinity news: All notices, videos, and links can be found at www.trinitychurchmilford.org and on the Trinity Church-Milford Facebook page.
Our diocesan website offers links to online worship in our diocese. https://www.diocesewma.org/
Worship from the National Cathedral is available online every Sunday at 11:15 am. https://cathedral.org/
The Episcopal Church offers valuable resources for spiritual renewal. https://episcopalchurch.org/
Mission Matters: News from the Episcopal Diocese of Western MA latest issue can be found here.