Meditation for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
July 26, 2020
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches. [Matthew 13:31-32]
I love this image of the mustard tree, the beautifully lush shelter for birds that grows from “the smallest of seeds.” We often think of the mustard bush as a weed that will grow under any conditions. However, mustard seeds were planted along the border of vegetable gardens in order to distract birds by providing a place where they could build nests. The mustard seed was not just an image of wildness, of a divine energy and purpose undeterred by barren ground or hostile climate. It was also an image of abundance, in particular a life-giving abundance that doesn’t merely bring individual comfort but also provides safety for others. This vividly colorful image captures the wonder of this.
Like any good teacher, Jesus uses several different images to describe the realm of God, knowing that each will resonate differently with different listeners: a mustard seed, yeast, a treasure discovered in a field, a pearl more precious than any others, a net that catches fish without sorting them. Even with their differences all these images show God surprising us with an unexpected gift discovered in the course of ordinary life.
We can take comfort in this promise for our own lives, especially during this time when clarity and comfort elude all of us. Jesus teach us that a small, priceless gift is hidden in plain sight. And we are inspired, as a community of faith, to be the unexpected gift discovered by people who may have given up on seeking. While we understandably spend a lot of time wondering when we will once again gather for worship and share Holy Communion, Jesus’ parables remind us that our mission remains unchanged and necessary: Sharing the Grace of God, the Light of Christ, and the Power of the Holy Spirit through worship, ministry, and fellowship. Even in our own spiritual and emotional hunger, we are mustard seed, yeast, hidden treasure, net. We are not called to be all things to all people. We are called to feed, shelter, find, and gather ordinary people in ordinary ways.
A Prayer for the Journey
God, set me on the path again.
Turn me to the rising sun when I need to be inspired.
Turn me to wilderness when I need to be lost.
Turn me toward the business of the world when I need to work.
Turn me toward the mountain when I need to be refreshed.
Then turn me toward the sunset when I need rest. Amen by Becca Stevens
Ministers of the Liturgy
The Rev. Dr. Judith Lee
James Jones, Justin Varteresian, Margaret Myatt, Douglas Lloyd
Musicians: Randy Bloom, Jeff Lukas
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:39]
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.
A Message from Rachel Carpenter:
This week, we will focus on the Fruit of the Spirit PEACE!
Check out the Douglas Talks video and then try the Cosmic Yoga youtube channel! As always, email me a pic or video to earn points!
Have a great week!!
Next Steps: Moving Forward
Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve:
Bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others;
that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in his Name
to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy;
for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
New Rector Search: Next Steps:
Search Committee Appointed: The Vestry has appointed the following people to the Search Committee: Pam Hennessy (Chair); Katherine Cote, Jim Donohoe, Steve Howe, Touie Jackson, Mary Johnson, Hilary Stafford, and Lucille Clinkman (Vestry Liaison). They will be commission during the service on Sunday, August 9th.
The Holy Cow Survey - 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. The questions provide a profile of Trinity in your demographics and your views of Scripture, liturgy, mission, qualities of a Rector, parish life, and theology. The final summary shows where Trinity fits in the spectrum of Episcopal churches across the country. It is very, very important that as many people as possible take the survey. Each adult member of every household should complete a survey. It takes about half an hour. to complete. Your responses are anonymous.
For link to to the online survey click here.
Today we will mail hard copies of the survey to those members who are not comfortable working online. We will also pair each person who has received a hard copy with someone who will work with you to complete the survey, and then someone will enter the data onto the website. Your written responses will remain anonymous.
The Survey must be completed by August 17th.
Holy Cow Consulting compiles the results and sends them to Canon Simpson, who will review the results with the Vestry, Search Committee, and Profile Committee on September 12th.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the parish meetings. 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:
The church is now open for private prayer for 3 hours each week:
Tuesday evening 6:30-7:30pm
Thursday morning 10am-11am
Sunday morning 11am-noon
We will adjust these hours in the coming weeks, depending on interest and need.
Each person will be asked to sanitize their hands and to wear a mask upon entering the church from the back door. (We will provide both as needed.) Seating will be designated according to safe distancing, and you will be asked to bring your own prayer book. The church building and the bathrooms will not be open.
The sanctuary, offices, and Lane Chapel room have been cleaned and sanitized.
We will continue with Morning Prayer on Sundays and Wednesdays via ZOOM.
On August 10th, the Vestry will review a revised Building Use Agreement with Addenda that include a liability waiver, a checklist of safety protocols, and a health questionnaire. When those documents have been approved, we will submit a proposal for opening our building to community groups and opening our office to the public. Pending a peer review, those steps will take place at the beginning of September.
Parish Zoom Events: Summer Schedule:
ZOOM Bingo on Sundays at 3 pm & Game Night on Tuesdays @ 7 - We'll resume in September
Zoom-Chats: Mondays @ 7am & Wednesdays @ 8 pm: every other week:
Mondays:July 27 & August 10; Wednesdays: August 5 & 19
Wednesdays @ 10 am: Morning Prayer & Fellowship via ZOOM - We'll continue weekly
Meeting ID: 831 6113 8171 Password: 497792
Fridays @ Noon: Lunch & Bible Study: The Gospel of Matthew - We'll continue weekly through the month of July.
Meeting ID: 874 7495 2317 Password: 097331
This Friday we will continue our discussion of the Gospel of Matthew through Chapter 24.
Sacred Ground:A Film-based Dialogue Series on Race and Faith
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; groups of 4-10 participants will meet every other week, beginning in September. Mary Johnson and Mother Judith will lead the program for Trinity and we have invited members of other churches to participate with us. To learn more see https://episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground and watch for more information about how to register with either Mary or Mother Judith.
We distributed 45 meals on June 25th and donated 5 meals to the Food Pantry. We will distribute meals prepared by Oliva's from the parking lot at Trinity on July 30th and August 27th. In addition, we will distribute meals to the staff of Cornerstone Assisted Living in July and 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.
At their August meeting the Vestry will make a decision on how to continue the Community Meal program in the fall, pending peer review by the Dean and the Bishop. Meanwhile, we continue our strong partnership with the Food Pantry and with other local churches and community organizations.
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: Cami Carter; Alana Phoenix-Laliberte; Jill Henderson; Patty Souder; Rose Marie Moore; David Stochaj; McKenze Cahill; David Gillis; Ruth Warner; Arlene Person; Sharon Manoogian; Sal & Vas Ferreira; 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, Wayne Morey.
Our Partner Dioceses: Kumasi and Asante-Mampong in Ghana
Those celebrating birthdays this week: Katie Gallerane; Jessica Peguero; Derek Gatchell; Angus Scrimgeour; Jennifer Kane; Sejal Abraham; Evan McCall; Len Baird; Cindi Scrimgeour; Michael Ibrahim, Jr.; Riley Person; Sharon Manoogian; Robert Kleinfield; Barbara Dutko; Timothy Murray; Andy Spencer; Sal Morese, Jr.; Anne Smith; Cathy Harrison; Alex Papasodero; and Ava Cortese.
Pledges: Thank you to all of you who have been sending in your pledges. 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/
Habits of Grace: An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry
A new video meditation will be posted on Mondays through July. Click here to view the latest.
Mission Matters: News from the Episcopal Diocese of Western MA latest issue can be found here.