Meditation for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
October 4, 2020In preparation for Sunday I want to share one of the most famous stories about St. Francis of Assisi. Sunday will be the feast of St. Francis, the day when we traditionally asks God’s blessing on all animals, especially on our pets. Most importantly, we renew our relationship with all living beings and we make the commitment to see the goodness in others. We have been taught to recognize the wolf in sheep’s clothing. In these days, however, it is crucial that we recognize the sheep in wolf’s clothing.
St. Francis and the Wolf
Perhaps the most famous story of Francis is when he tamed a wolf that was terrorizing the people of Gubbio. While Francis was staying in that town he learned of a wolf so ravenous that it was not only killing and eating animals, but people, too. The people took up arms and went after it, but those who encountered the wolf perished at its sharp teeth. Villagers became afraid to leave the city walls. Francis had pity on the people and decided to go out and meet the wolf. He was desperately warned by the people, but he insisted that God would take care of him. A brave friar and several peasants accompanied Francis outside the city gate. But soon the peasants lost heart and said they would go no farther.
Francis and his companion began to walk on. Suddenly the wolf, jaws agape, charged out of the woods at the couple. Francis made the sign of the cross toward it. The power of God caused the wolf to slow down and to close its mouth. Then Francis called out to the creature: “Come to me, Brother Wolf. In the name of Christ, I order you not to hurt anyone.” At that moment the wolf lowered its head and lay down at Francis’ feet, meek as a lamb.
“Brother Wolf,” said Francis, “I want to make peace between you and the people of Gubbio. They will harm you no more and you must no longer harm them. All past crimes are to be forgiven.” The wolf showed its assent by moving its body and nodding its head. Then to the absolute surprise of the gathering crowd, Francis asked the wolf to make a pledge. As Francis extended his hand to receive the pledge, the wolf extended its front paw and placed it into the saint’s hand. Then Francis commanded the wolf to follow him into town to make a peace pact with the townspeople. The wolf meekly followed Francis.
By the time they got to the town square, everyone was there to witness the miracle. With the wolf at his side, Francis gave the town a sermon on the wondrous and fearful love of God, calling them to repent from all their sins. Then he offered the townspeople peace on behalf of the wolf. The townspeople promised in a loud voice to feed the wolf. Then Francis asked the wolf if he would live in peace under those terms. He bowed his head and twisted his body in a way that convinced everyone he accepted the pact. Then once again the wolf placed its paw in Francis’ hand as a sign of the pact.
From that day on the people kept the pact they had made. The wolf lived for two years among the townspeople, going from door to door for food. It hurt no one and no one hurt it. Even the dogs did not bark at it. When the wolf finally died of old age, the people of Gubbio were sad. The wolf’s peaceful ways had been a living symbol of the power and providence of the living God.
Most high and glorious God, come and enlighten the darkness of my heart.
Give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect love,
that everything I do may be in fulfilment of your holy will;
through Jesus Christ my Lord.
- St. Francis of Assisi
Sunday Schedule for the Months of October & November
8-8:30 am Outdoor service of Holy Communion in the parking lot
9 am Morning Prayer on Zoom
9:30 am Zoom Coffee Hour
9:45 am Zoom Sunday School meets
10–10:30 am Zoom Sunday School Class
10:30-11:30am Distribution of Holy Communion in the church
Sunday afternoon - Home Communion for those who cannot
come to the church
MORNING PRAYER via ZOOM
The 4-legged, finned, & winged members of your family are welcome
& we will bless them at the end of the service.
Ministers of the Liturgy
The Rev. Dr. Judith Lee
Allison Kee, Emily Kee, Anna Prevelige, Lauren Ruggiero,
Tessa Scrimgeour, Maddie Stochaj, Kim Stochaj, Landon Sweet
Musicians: Randolph Bloom, Mary Johnson, Jeff Lukas
When we hear the warbling of the mountain thrush in the blossoms or the voice of the frog in the water, we know that every living being has a song.
- Ki no Tsurayuki
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.
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.
Message from Rachel Carpenter: Sunday School begins on Sunday!
After the service, where our youth will read, our children and youth will meet in a separate Zoom room for discussion.
We have resumed regular office hours: Monday-Thursday, 10am-2pm.
Mother Judith is working remotely and can be reached by phone [716.949.8194] or email
Wednesday 10 am Morning Prayer & Fellowship on Zoom
Meeting ID: 831-6113-8171 Password: 497792 Telephone: 929-205-6099
Thursday 4:30 pm: Grab n Go Meals distributed at Trinity
Thursday 7:30 pm – Profile Committee on Zoom
Friday October 9nd Noon Lunch and Bible Study: Women of the Bible:
We will resume our Zoom Chats on Wednesdays at 7 pm beginning on October 14th.
We will resume Family Game Night and Bingo later in the fall. Watch for specific dates.
The sanctuary is open for private prayer while the office is open.
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:
October-November The Profile committee will hold parish meetings via Zoom to discuss future plans for new ministry with your next Rector. Mark your calendars.
Monday October 12th 7:30- 8:30 pm– Vestry
Tuesday October 20th – 7:30-8:30 pm the choir, altar guild, and liturgical ministers
Sunday October 25th 9:30-10:30 am – general
Wednesday October 28th – 10:30-11:30 am - general
Sunday November 1st -9:30 am – 10:30 am – Youth
October through December: Update website, hold Stewardship Campaign, discern new leadership
January The Profile Committee will present the Parish Profile to the Vestry for approval.
An updated timeline of the 3 "arcs" of the search process can be found on our website:
During this Time: Trinity in Stage 2:
Wednesdays @ 10 am: Morning Prayer & Fellowship via Zoom
Meeting ID: 831 6113 8171 Password: 497792 Telephone: 929-205-6099
Friday Bible Study & Discussion @ Noon - Women in the Bible
Topic for October 2nd - Hannah [we begin at 11:30am]
Topic for October 9th: Deborah & Judith
For the outline & schedule, Click here.
Meeting ID: 874 7495 2317 Password: 097331
Responding to Wildfires and Storm damage:
Episcopal Relief & Development continues to support Episcopal dioceses in western states as they assess needs created by the record-breaking wildfires. The fires have destroyed millions of acres of land, homes and property, causing evacuations in many areas and creating unhealthy air quality throughout several states. Contributions to the US Disaster Response Fund will help provide support to people recovering from the wildfires and other natural disasters.
Our Prayers Are Offered For:
Parish Members & Friends: Amy Hendrick; Jane; Mary Torian, Sharon Manoogian; Sal & Vas Ferreira; Laura Uretsky; Brad Gustavesen; Marcus Weiss, al Price, Erin Lewis; Liz Gienger; David Stochaj; Dave Clinkman; Somasundaram Ulaganayagi; Alan Smat; Farooq Kovelakunila; Dorothy Lutterbaugh; Beth & Terry; Esther McKenzie; 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; 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.
The Deceased: Mike Obrofta
Our Partner Dioceses: Kumasi and Asante-Mampong in Ghana
Those celebrating birthdays this week: Michael Mascoll; John LaFlamme; Andrea Black; Marla Baisley; Valerie Chambers; Gabrielle Peguero; William Nelson; Don Cooper; Amy Eastwood; Ryan Keach; Bryar Garrett; Nicholas Gallerane; Shirley Bonvino; Stephanie Frycki; Stephen Lukas; Axel Peguero; Betty Henneberry; Keigan Murphy; Peyton Hathaway; and Cynthia Kinne.
Pledges: Thank you to all of you who have been sending in your pledges. If you are behind, please try to catch up by early November in order to give the Vestry a baseline as they prepare the 2021 budgtet. 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.
A Message from the Presiding Bishop
"It is a Christian obligation to vote, and more than that, it is the church's responsibility to help get souls to the polls. Cast your vote, not on a partisan basis, not based on your biases, but vote your values. Vote the values of human dignity and equality. Vote the values of the rock on which this country was built. Vote."
-Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Click here to see Bishop Curry's full message.
A Pastoral Message from Bishop Doug Fisher
Click here to view.
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.