Meditation for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecos
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1:1]
Since early March we have been reminded every day that we share bonds with each other we may have ignored. We have been reminded every day that we pose a potential threat to each other, that our very breathing the same air or touching the same surfaces may cause each other harm. We have learned to express our love by keeping our distance and smiling at each other with our eyes. At the same time, we see churches around us opening for worship and we hear popular evangelical preachers proclaim that if we love and trust God we need not fear infection from the virus. To believe is to rebel against common sense and caution, they say.
So this year Creation Season can be particularly meaningful. It begins with this passage from the Gospel of John proclaiming that God is present in the physical universe. Christ the Word is the incarnation of God. The Word is the Logos, the inherent order in the breathtakingly complex, diverse, unpredictable—and sacred-- universe.
This statement is the foundation for all that we do. Each branch of Christianity places a different emphasis on the teachings of our tradition: At the center of some is the exalted Christ, of others it is Jesus our brother; at the center of some is God’s judgement, of others God’s mercy; at the center of some is the individual relationship with God, of others it is the relationship expressed in community. At the center of the Anglican tradition is the Incarnate God manifested in love shared in community.
These different approaches are not mutually exclusive, of course, but they help to explain our different approaches to matters of church and politics. Our caution against public worship is based upon our incarnational theology as taught in the Gospels: Our social bonds are sacred because they reveal an Incarnate God; we live and act in solidarity with the most vulnerable because that is where God’s presence is often obscured; to love our enemies is to respect and guard against the dangers they pose; the Life we share will thrive only if we care for each other.
What came into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. Our Life begins and ends in being faithful to the vision of beauty, order, and vitality called forth by the opening lines of John’s Gospel. Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, who founded the Greenbelt Movement in 1977, reminds us of the wonderful diversity of creatures with whom we share this Life:
We need to rediscover our common experience with other creatures on Earth, and recognize that we have gone through an evolutionary process with them. They may not look like us, with their wings and scales and fur. We may not like some; others like mosquitoes we may detest. But they are part of the process of life beginning and being sustained on this planet. An apt analogy is Noah in Genesis, who found a pair of each species and two by two placed them into his ark, mosquitoes and reptiles among them. Noah was not commanded to pick only those that were useful to him; he shelter them all. God recognize that they are part of us; they needed the chance to survive as well. And in giving them this chance, God gave us a chance too. Now we must give that chance back to ourselves, and replenish the earth.
quoted in God’s Good Earth, ed. Anne and Jeffrey Rowthorn, pp.332-333]
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
The Teachers in our Congregation:
Rachel Carpenter, Dave Clinkman, Katherine Côté, Pam Hennessy,
Pat Keppler, Ann Marie Lockwood, Leigh Martin, Brigid Mullen-Richards
Musicians: Randolph Bloom, Jeff Lukas
People from every corner of creation, celebrate with all creatures on earth!
Young and old across the planet, rejoice in the day that God has made.
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.
11AM - Backpack Blessing in the Parking Lot
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 will meet at the church parking lot for our Backpack Blessing.
Family activities will be posted on our website on the Sundays in September. We will return to virtual Sunday School on October 4th with Blessing of our pets: Sunday School will be virtual for the foreseeable future.
The office will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day. We will resume regular office hours beginning on Tuesday. Magee will be in the office on Tuesday through Thursday 10am-2pm.
Friday September 11th 12:30 ROMEOs on Zoom. Pleace contact Dave Clinkman. Here is the link: tttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83952173496?pwd=SGowSDFaanpMOFFOK3RtTDNkdE51dz09
Meeting ID: 839-5217-3496 Password: 700828 Phone: 929-205-6099
Saturday September 12th :
9am – noon on Zoom: Canon Simpson will meet with the Vestry, Search, and Profile Committees to review the results of the CAT Holy Cow survey
4:30 pm Celebration and Blessing of the Marriage of Joan Frances Brodeur & Matthew James Rich. Joan’s and Matt’s family will be in attendance for this brief ceremony at the church
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:
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 office for regular hours on Tuesday.
We will re-open the church for private prayer during the week of September 20th.
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, and we are awaiting the Diocesan Peer Review.
Our parish Zoom Chats, Family Game Night, and Bingo will resume in October in order to give all of us a chance to settle in to the new school year.
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 24th at 7 pm. Please check with Mother Judith if you are interested. To learn more and to register, click here.
Friday Bible Study & Discussion @ Noon - Begins September 18th.
Our topic will be Women in the Bible. Click here for the outline & schedule
A Film-Based Dialogue Series on Race & Faith Beginning on September 26th
For a copy of the schedule click here.
Registration Deadline: September 20th
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 schedule is listed below. You will be sent a password that will give you access to the online videos and reading materials.
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]
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 24th . 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.
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 Vidmar-Gearhart Family; 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; Liz Gienger; Cathy Poch; Samantha Guzman; Pat & Amy O’Connor; Amuthavalli Ulaganayagi; Patty Souder; David Stochaj; Rose Marie Moore; 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.
The Deceased: The Rev. Mary Burton Vidmar-Gearhart
Our Partner Dioceses: Kumasi and Asante-Mampong in Ghana
Those celebrating birthdays this week: Catherine Spooner; Adeline Ferreira; Milo Hiser; Lawrence Poch; Tracey Jackson; Drew Allen; Sonia Stingo; Gregory Poch; Michaela Kerxhalli-Kleinfield; Adrian Carleton; Karen Kuligowski; Alexa Spencer; Kevin Keppler; Andrea Roda; Kathryn Pekkala; Gavin McGuinness; Leigh Martin; Kara Jewett; James Tracy; Anne Ketcham; Melissa Nylander; Connor Harrison; & Collin Cameron.
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
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.