Meditation for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
August 9, 2020
Take heart, it is I; have no fear. [Matthew 14:27]
This Sunday we read the story of Jesus walking on water. He has asked his disciples to sail across the lake where he will meet them after he has bid farewell to the crowds who have come to him for healing. However, the winds rise and hinder their journey so Jesus walks on water from the shore to meet the boat. He invites Peter to come to him and Peter begins to walk on water toward Jesus; however, he suddenly becomes afraid and begins to sink, whereupon Jesus reaches out and lifts him up.
On this Sunday fifteen years ago I began ministry at my first parish: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Burt, NY. This gospel has thus always had special meaning for me as the starting point for my ministry. In these fifteen years I have frequently been challenged to “get out of the boat,” to risk looking foolish, to face my reluctance to trust and my tendency to second-guess myself. I have sailed through rough waters against the wind on many a dark night, and more times than I can count I have found peace and direction in Jesus’ words, Take heart . . . have no fear. [Matthew 14:27]
On that day, preaching to my congregation for the first time, I said, God is smiling upon us today with the story of Jesus walking on water as we begin our ministry together. And this week I feel the same way: God is smiling on us with the story of Jesus walking on the water as we commission your Search Committee.
God is smiling with encouragement: Think about what’s possible!
God is smiling with bemusement: Don’t be brash or overconfident!
God is smiling with compassion: Do not be afraid!
We often think of our faith as the boat where we are safe and secure. In all the storms and winds of the world, with all that pushes us this way and that, we find shelter in our faith. We cling to the conviction that it is enough to do what God has told us to do, just as Jesus’ disciples are sailing their boat to the far shore as Jesus has asked them to do. But in this story we learn that our faith does not protect us from long dark nights and storms of the heart and mind. On the contrary, our faith calls us out of the safety of our “boat”—our habits, our assumptions, our modest goals. “Come,” says Jesus. “Be bold! Trust me!” Faith is an alternative to fear. Faith means doing what we could not imagine we were capable of doing: even walking on water.
According to today’s gospel, faith may feel more like walking on stormy, whirling waves than sailing on calm waters. Like Peter, we may flounder. Acting in faith may not be graceful: We may be awkward and we may lose our composure. At the same time, when we act in faith we do not act alone. That’s the paradox of faith: In faith we discover both unforeseen strength and our absolute dependence upon God.
As we begin this new stage in your journey toward new ministry, it is good to remember that we may well be called to sail through the night, that what seems like an obvious goal may not be and that what seems like a hindrance may be an opportunity to learn a crucial lesson. You do not need to prove that you can walk on water; nor are you looking for a priest who can. This story is about trust, not power; it is about collaboration, not self-sufficiency. Jesus does not promise that faith will give Peter power. He promises that faith will allow for trust--trust that God is with us and trust that God’s Spirit will guide us through any storm no matter how dark the night.
Lord of heaven and earth,
whose Son came eating and drinking, bringing to light the rivalry that tears the world apart:
May we share his feast and friendship and lay our burdens in his liberating arms;
through Jesus Christ, Wisdom's child. Amen.
-from Prayers for an Inclusive Church
Commissioning of the Search Committee
Pam Hennessy (Chair)
Katherine Côté, Jim Donohoe, Stephen Howe, Toussaint Jackson,
Mary Johnson, Hilary Stafford, Lucille Clinkman (Vestry Liaison)
Ministers of the Liturgy
The Rev. Dr. Judith Lee
Members of the Search Committee:
Pam Hennessy, Jim Donohoe, Stephen Howe, Touie Jackson,
Mary Johnson, Hilary Stafford, Lucille Clinkman (Vestry Liaison)
Musicians: Randolph Bloom, Jeff Lukas
The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart.” [Deuteronomy 30:14]
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.
On the Sundays in August, videotaped sermons by Bishop Fisher, Canon Simpson, and Canon Ix are available on our website.
Mother Judith's videotaped reflections will resume in September.
A Message from Rachel Carpenter:
HI all! This week, we are focusing on the fruit of the spirit, KINDNESS!!
Check out our weekly Douglas Talks video followed by a video by "Kid President". After watching the videos, do at least one random act of kindness this week. Take a picture or email me what you did for a point towards the end of the summer prize!!
Emily Kee is our leader right now!! Way to go Emily!!
September Newsletter Deadline:
This Saturday August 15th
Please send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
The Holy Cow Survey - THE LAST WEEK 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.
We have mailed hard copies of the survey to those members who may not be 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.
hard copies must be returned to the church by this Thursday August 13th. The online 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
On Monday, 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: August 10; Wednesdays: August 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: We will begin again on Friday, September 18th.
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 members of other churches will 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 will distribute meals prepared by Oliva's from the parking lot at Trinity on August 27th. In addition, we will arrange for delivery of meals to 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: the Clark Family; David Gillis; Mary Torian, Bob Bloomburg; Brad Gustavesen; Arlene Person; Sharon Manoogian; Sal & Vas Ferreira; Cami Carter; Alana Phoenix-Laliberte; Jill Henderson; Patty Souder; Rose Marie Moore; David Stochaj; McKenze Cahill; 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: Harry Clark
Our Partner Dioceses: Kumasi and Asante-Mampong in Ghana
Those celebrating birthdays this week: Wayne Morey; Brian Kelly; William Jones; Marion Benard; William Bentley; Andrew Sholudko; Anthony Gulbankian; Barbara Chambers; Jessie Smith; Benjamin Fletcher; Lucille Clinkman; Dwight Kee; Alexander Bedrosian; Thana Reed; Joe Gatchell; Sarah O’Connell; Michael Palinkas; Mattina Cole; Laurel Pirelli; Drake Meurant; Samuel Corman; & Alexander Menges.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 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.