Meditation for the Feast of Pentecost May 31, 2020
And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. [Acts 2.2-4]
As some of you may know, we have a home in Boulder, Colorado where we used to spend every summer. Pearl Street, the main road in downtown Boulder, is a pedestrian walkway, lined with stores and restaurants, and with children’s play areas scattered in the center of the mile-long stretch. It is a great spot for street entertainers, and one of the most popular was a juggler and acrobat who was also a fire-eater. At the end of his act, he would light five torches, and after a few juggling tricks he would slowly take each torch to his mouth and swallow its fire.
I think this what we are called to be on Pentecost: Fire swallowers. We are not called merely to stand quietly while small flames flicker above our heads. It is not enough merely to listen in confusion that becomes awe as disparate voices blend in an unlikely harmony. On the contrary, we are called to swallow those flames, to open our bodies and our hearts and our minds to receive the burning and purifying fire of God so that we shine God’s light—dazzling and clarifying, awakening joy and wonder wherever we go.
This is especially important at this time, when the violent wind feels more like loss and earthshaking change than inspiration. All of us know someone who has died in the past two months. Over 100,000 people have died from the coronavirus. Over 30% of our population face unemployment. Our children are restless, with nowhere to go. Our young people face collapsing guideposts rather than the open roads that we promised would reward their hard work. We long for the touch, the hug, the shared meal that once brought the assurance of friendship. Only fire swallowers can bring to light the Spirit-filled bonds that will be our compass, as they have always been.
The fire of the Holy Spirit is not a fanciful image from long ago. It is here, now, shining within us and all around us: a refining fire for those who are complacent, a hearth fire for those who are lonely, a beacon for those who are lost. We can trust that we will be understood by people we ourselves might not understand. We need not fear that we will make mistakes or cause injury by our stumbling. The promise of Pentecost is the promise that, having swallowed the Fire of the Holy Spirit, we will bring peace into a future that is at this moment unimaginable. We are the Body of Christ. We are the Breath of God. We are the Flames of God. Earthbound . . . and with wings.
Diocese-wide Virtual Pentecost Celebration: May 31st 10 am There will be no Sunday service at Trinity or meditation for this weekend. The Diocesan service will be our shared worship this week. Our own Peach Warren and Wayne & Beth Stochaj are participating in the virtual choir. The access information can be found here.
Sunday School this week: 10 am on Sunday via zoom. Contact Rachel Carpenter for the access information. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responding to the coronavirus pandemic at Trinity Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Zoom Sunday worship at Trinity begins at 9 am on Sunday June 7th. We will have Morning Prayer followed by a virtual coffee hour. On June 7th we will recognize and honor the Sunday School students and Rachel Carpenter for the fabulous job she has done this year. We will send access information next week.
In-person worship is suspended at least through July 1st. This does not mean that we will begin in-person worship in July: There are many factors to be considered in order to make our sanctuary and our building safe for meetings and worship. We ask that you complete a survey that will be sent out this week so that your Vestry will know what is important to you. Click here for a copy of the survey for your review.
Vestry Meetings: June 1st and 8th - Strategies for moving forward.
The Bishops of the Dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts issued a joint Letter with guidelines for our churches. Click here to read the guidelines.
Zoom-Chats: Mondays @ 7am & Wednesdays @ 8 pm A time tor conversation about what's working and what's not, and including a meditation led by Cindi Scrimgeour. Go to zoom.us and in the upper right corner click “Join a Meeting” Mondays: Meeting ID: 413315567 Password: 715478 Wednesdays: Meeting ID: 474316522 Password: 744170 Sarah Prevelige will host the meeting via zoom. Please contact her for information on how to join the meeting email@example.com.
Game Night: Tuesdays @ 7pm We will be playing FIBBAGE + new online games every week. Meeting ID: 823 3526 2364 Password: 067862 Sarah Prevelige is the host. Please contact Sarah if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fridays @ Noon: Lunch & Bible Study Meeting ID: 834-5246-9212 Password: 516264 Telephone: This Friday we will end our discussion of the Gospel of Thomas. Beginning in June we will discuss the Gospel of Matthew. We will have a Challenge competition every Friday. Watch for more information.
First Fridays @ 12:30 - ROMEOS Join the men of the parish for virtual lunch and conversation. Contact Dave Clinkman for more information. email@example.com Meeting ID: 839-5217-3496 Password: 70828 Telephone: 929-205-6099 Magee will be in the office on Monday and Thursday to do essential work. Mother Judith is working remotely and is available by email and by phone, and she is checking phone messages regularly. Please note: A member of the parish received a message from someone claiming to be Mother Judith and asking for money. Please note her phone number: 716-949-8194 and confirm with her if you receive an unexpected or unexplained text or email
Profile and Search Committees: Inviting Applications On July 13th, the Vestry will appoint members of the Profile and Search Committees. It seems like a very long time since we invited applications, so we are asking again. We have a new story to tell now, and perhaps new priorities. Please consider whether you are called to serve on one of these committees. Canon Simpson will meet with the Committees and Vestry on September 12th. the work of the Profile Committee will take place in the fall; the work of the Search Committee will take place in the winter and early spring. Please contact Ginny Starkis or Susan Edmondson if you are interested in learning more. Click here for a copy of the Application
Community Dinners Thursday May 28th Grab n Go Meals 4:30- 6 pm We will distribute meals prepared by Oliva's from the parking lot at Trinity on the last Thursday of the month throughout the summer: June 25th, July 30th, and August 27th. 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 June, July, or August, please contact Glen Peterson. We will certify Community Service credit. We plan to continue arranging for meals to be delivered to our frontline workers once a month, and to distribute meals from Trinity monthly. Our purpose is to support our local small restaurants and frontline workers as well as to provide for our neighbors. We continue our strong partnership with the Food Pantry and with other local churches and community organizations. Please contact Glen Peterson if you are able to help in any way.
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 let Mother Judith know if you would like to participate in distributing meals.
Prayer List 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 prayer list is included in the weekly announcements .
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. How to keep up with Trinity news: All notices, videos, and links can be found at www.trinitychurchmilford.org 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/ Third season of The Way of Love with Bishop Michael Curry podcast began on May 5th. Click here. Habits of Grace: An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry A new video meditation will be posted on Mondays through May. Click here to view the latest.
Mission Matters: News from the Episcopal Diocese of Western MA latest issue can be found here.