Meditation for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
August 30, 2020
Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God if Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my title for all generations. [Exodus 3:15]
On Sunday we will hear the story of the burning bush, a story so familiar that we may have stopped listening to it. Most of us cannot remember not knowing this story, even if different images from it may stand out at different times. We watch Moses suddenly mesmerized by the sight of the bush that is on fire but not being destroyed; we imagine the voice of a God as disturbing as it is comforting, a God who is unfathomably faithful and at the same time ever surprising. We share Moses’ speechless astonishment that the God he has heard about since he was a boy is indeed real, and present, and ready to act. With Moses, we ask “Who am I?”
This story teaches us that “Someday” is today. Today—not some idealized tomorrow—we are called to put aside our fear and our complacency. Today we are called to remember that our history and our hope stretch from Abraham to beyond our youngest grandchild. Today we are called to pay attention to the bush burning beside our path.
In reflecting on this week’s Scripture, I returned to some advice from Phillips Brooks, the Rector of Trinity Church in Boston and Bishop of Massachusetts in the 19th century (perhaps best known for writing the lyrics to “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”: Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.
Living God, you accept our stumbling faith,
our misplaced answers, our false horizons,
and through them build a way of peace:
empower us to bind the wounds of the world and loose the debts of oppression,
that all may confess the grace that is your work alone.
-from Prayers for an Inclusive Church
MORNING PRAYER via ZOOM
Ministers of the Liturgy
The Rev. Dr. Judith Lee
James Jones, Douglas Lloyd, Peach Warren
Musicians: Randolph Bloom, Jeff Lukas
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. . . . Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. [Romans 12:9-10, 13]
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.
Forward Day by Day Booklets are now available at the church.
Please call the Church Office or let Mother Judith know if you would like a copy.
A Message from Rachel Carpenter:
This week, we are focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit, Faithfulness. Please take a peak at the Douglas Talks video and activity! Email me a fact that you learned or a pic/video of you doing the activity and you will get a point towards a prize at the end of the summer! Have fun!!
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 Boo
New Rector Search: Next Steps:
Saturday September 12th - Canon Simpson will meet with the Search Committee, the Profile Committee, and the Vestry on o review the survey results.
September 20th – Discussion after the service about the results of the Holy Cow Survey and the Vestry meeting.
October-November The Profile committee will hold parish meetings via Zoom to discuss future plans for new ministry with your next Rector.
January The Profile Committee will present the parish profile to the Vestry for approval.
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 re-open the church open for private prayer during the week of September 20th.
On August 10th, the Vestry approved a new Building Use Policy and a Building Use Agreement that includes a liability waiver, a checklist of safety protocols, and a health questionnaire. We have received diocesan approval for opening the building to small groups and to opening the office 4 days/week. Mother Judith is now reviewing our new Building Use Agreement with leaders of the community groups who have met in our building and we hope to resume our regular schedule of meetings by the end of September.
The Public Health Inspector visited our kitchen and advised us on the protocols necessary to prepare takeout meals for our neighbors. The Vestry has approved a a proposal to resume preparing Community Meals in our kitchen on the last Thursday of September, which will be presented for diocesan Peer Review next week.
In September we will announce a new schedule for our parish Zoom Chats, Family Game Night, and Bingo. Because so many of us are attending to the uncertainties of the new school year, we will wait to begin Trinity's program year in late September or early October.
Outdoor Backpack Blessings: Sunday September 6th - 11 am. Rain or Shine. Families may gather in Trinity parking lot at designated spots, and may remain in their cars for they prefer.. In case of rain this will become a drive-by event. We will have our regular Sunday Morning Prayer on Zoom at 9 am .
Return to virtual Sunday School & Blessing of our pets: October 4th. Sunday School will be virtual for the foreseeable future.
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 arranged for delivery of meals to Whitcomb House and distributed meals prepared by Oliva's from the parking lot at Trinity on August 27th. 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.
We have received a grant from the Milford Community Health Network (CHNA) to distribute meals prepared at local restaurants every week, September through November. Please contact Glen Peterson or Mother Judith if you are able to volunteer.
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 Tarrant Family & Friends; Bob Hicks; Mary Torian, Bob Bloomburg; Sharon Manoogian; Sal & Vas Ferreira; Brad Gustavesen; Elizabeth Klisiewicz; Matt & Lois Roth; Liz Gienger; Cathy Poch; Samantha Guzman; Pat & Amy O’Connor; Amuthavalli Ulaganayagi; Patty Souder; David Stochaj; Rose Marie Moore; David Gillis; Mary Torian, Jean Conway; Lisa Wilson; 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: The Right Reverend John Thomas Tarrant
Our Partner Dioceses: Kumasi and Asante-Mampong in Ghana
Those celebrating birthdays this week: Robert Littleton, Jr.; Jesse Schoaf; Ethan Warren; Anthony Ruggiero; Marty Ploof, Jr.; Matt McGuinness; Alexandra McCall; Sandie Keegan; Carla Long; Dave Clinkman; Jacob Leverock; Sadie Manoogian; Rodney Ford; Dawn Hawkins; Ed Chambers; Doug Lanzillo; Patrick Najarian; Catherine Spooner; Adeline Ferreira; and Milo Hiser.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 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.