Meditation for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Creation Season
September 20, 2020
For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace. [Isaiah 55:12]
Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal. [Arundhati Roy]
The words that we hear from the prophet Isaiah this week were addressed to people in exile. This passage ends the middle section of Isaiah (Chapters 40-55), often called “Second Isaiah”, or the “exilic section.” The theme of this section is the righteous faithfulness of God when all semblance of order seems to have disappeared, when there seems to be no possibility of ever feeling “at home” in the world, when one’s only reference point is an idealized image of the past. To a people whose deepest longing was for a future that was exactly like what they remembered, the Lord says: My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways . . . for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts [Isaiah 55:8-9]. At the same time God promises new life, just as the dawn follows night, harvest follows planting, and spring follows winter.
These words are balm to our hearts today. They are both humbling and assuring: to believe in God is to be assured that good will come out of the most dire circumstances; at the same time, to believe is enter into a mystery that we will never understand. The only thing predictable about God is that we will never understand God’s ways and that God’s ways will always be life-giving.
To believe in God is to let go of the expectation that God will do what we want.
To believe in God is to trust in the depths of our being that God will do what we hope.
Notice that God does not promise that exile will end with a return to the world as they knew it. God promises a new life. Just as today’s dawn is different from yesterday’s and the trees and flowers of every spring are not the same as what has blossomed in the past, so the future will be genuinely new. Although the time of exile is a time to mourn what is lost; it is also a time to prepare for a life we have never experienced.
And so during this season of “exile” from the sacraments let us prepare for a life we have never known, for an abundance and joy and sense of relatedness that we were not capable of before the pandemic. Let us take advantage of this “portal” to become a more authentic witnesses to the Christ within and among us.
Isaiah promises us that God will respond to our heart’s hunger, to our longing for peace and a sense of belonging. Our hunger will itself lead us on the path to joy and well-being.
At the same time, the words of Isaiah call for a trust that requires tremendous courage. For to open our hearts to the real presence of God we must allow ourselves to feel the depth of our own longing and to acknowledge the times when we have mistaken junk food for the nourishment of God’s grace, when we have misplaced our trust and been betrayed. It means letting go of our personal conviction of what God should do. It means seeing each other anew. It means allowing ourselves to change.
Bind us to you, O Lord, even when we are tempted to fall away, so we might witness to your faithfulness in your Spirit's power. Amen. -from Common Prayer
MORNING PRAYER via ZOOM
Vestry Forum following the Service
Ministers of the Liturgy
The Rev. Dr. Judith Lee
Members of the Vestry:
Ginny Starkis & Susan Edmondson, Wardens
Edla Ann Bloom, Lucille Clinkman, Steve Ketcham, Lisa Ruggiero, Gayle Riscutti, Peach Warren
Musicians: Randolph Bloom, Mary Johnson, Jeff Lukas
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
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.
A Message from Rachel Carpenter:
Sunday School will be on Zoom this year, at 9 am on Sundays. Our first official day will be October 4th, when we will have a family service and Blessing of our Pets. Watch for more information.
The office will be open for regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10am-2pm.
Thursday 4:15 - Grab-n-Go meals distributed at Trinity
Friday noon - Bible Study & Discussion: Women in the Bible on Zoom
September 14, 2020
Proposal for Outdoor service of Holy Communion on Sundays in October & November
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:
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 3 "arcs" of the search process can be found on our website: https://www.trinitychurchmilford.org
Entering Stage 2:
Wednesdays @ 10 am: Morning Prayer & Fellowship via ZOOM - We'll continue weekly
Meeting ID: 831 6113 8171 Password: 497792
We will begin preparing take-out meals from our kitchen on the last Thursday of each month beginning on September 24th.
Friday Bible Study & Discussion @ Noon -
Topic: Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel Women in the Bible.Week Two:
Reading: Genesis Chapters 24-31, 33, 49
For the outline & schedule, Click here.
Meeting ID: 874 7495 2317 Password: 097331
Sacred Ground: A Film-Based Dialogue Series on Race & Faith
Beginning NEXT Sunday: September 27 [5-6:30 pm] & Tuesday September 29 [7-8:30 pm]
For a copy of the schedule, click here.
Registration Deadline: THIS SUNDAY September 20
How to Register: Email either Mother Judith (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Johnson (email@example.com) stating whether you are registering for the Sunday session (5-6:30 pm) or the Tuesday sessions (7-8:30)
The programs requires the purchase of 2 books:
Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited Beacon Press, 1949;1976
Debby Irving, Waking Up White [2014; Elephant Room Press]
Mary Johnson and Mother Judith will lead the program for Trinity and our group will include members of other congregations. To learn more see https://episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground.
Responding to Wildfires in the Western United States
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.
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. We have been giving 70 meals each week. We will prepare takeout meals in our kitchen on the last Thursday of every month beginning on September 24th. We are seeking grant funding and donations to continue the program through next spring. To contribute to this project, please send your check payable to Trinity Church with Community Dinners on the memo line.
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 Blom Family; Erin Lewis; Liz Gienger; David Stochaj; Dave Clinkman; Somasundaram Ulaganayagi; Alan Smat; Farooq Kovelakunila; Dorothy Lutterbaugh; Rachel Hagen; Marco Weiss; Marilyn Stasio; Al Price; Natalie Bottomley; David Gillis; Bob Hicks; Mary Torian, Bob Bloomburg; Sharon Manoogian; Sal & Vas Ferreira; Brad Gustavesen; Elizabeth Klisiewicz; Mike Obrofta; 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: Marie Blom
Our Partner Dioceses: Kumasi and Asante-Mampong in Ghana
Those celebrating birthdays this week: Candia Cuddy; James Uthoff; John McCarthy; Everett Adams; Jenessa Lobisser; Michael Meurant; Nicole Aguiar; Evelyn Yaroshefski; Alice Corman; Logan Vendetti; MaryJo Bentley; Laurie Bond; Allison Johnson; Jacob Noble; Liam Shields; Weston Montag; Brenda Lutfy and Mary-Ellen Yaroshefski.
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.
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.
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.