The Tower

P.S. to Sunday news:

Book Club canceled until further notice.

Morning Prayer will be held on the Fellowship Hall porch if temperature above 40 degrees.

Sunday, November 22, 2020 – For Last Pentecost

Dear Friends,

Unfortunately, as the cases continue to rise, we are still in red on the map.  Until it all abates, we will continue our Sunday morning Facebook live and these emails.  Oh, to be able to be together!  Remember that we are available to you by phone, email, etc.  I miss you.  Let us know if we can be helpful to you.

On Monday, the workers started to replace the Chapel roof.  It looks like it will take a couple of weeks before it is completed, but it is great to see it started.  

Thanksgiving will be different for many of us this year, but the time to be grateful is so important.  It is perhaps more important now that we are grieving the loss of so much of which we are accustomed.  Still, we are all so richly blessed.  Recalling those many blessings really helps to refocus us and remind us of the joy of life.

Next Sunday begins the season of Advent.  It, too, will be different this year.  We have put some Christian Ed. Materials on the porch for pick up and some Advent Wreath forms and candles for your use.  If you would like to have the children’s material mailed or emailed, just let us know.  It seems that Advent this year will allow us some special opportunity to think about and prepare for the reality and truth of the Incarnation of Jesus at Christmas.  Let us make good use of the time and space we have to welcome Jesus anew and afresh.

GT

The Lessons:

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Ephesians 1:15-23

Matthew 25:31-46

A Homily

Today is the last Sunday in the season of Pentecost, also called the Feast of Christ the King.  There is no way to miss the note of judgement in today’s Gospel. That judgement note can also be found other places.  In our Creed for example we proclaim that Jesus will “come again to judge the living and the dead”. It is an often-overlooked part of our faith or one that is often so emphasized that some spend their days counting sheep and goats.    That note of judgment seems almost always to be an aspect of Kingship, of the one who has dominion.  In our modern world one of the British sovereign’s role is to be the “font of justice.” Laws are all promulgated in the name of the Crown.  Even some now independent countries who were once British subjects like Tobago, Trinidad and others include as part of their laws and constitutions the right of people to “royal appeal” upon conviction of any major crime. 

Today we celebrate Jesus as our monarch, as the One who has ultimate dominion.  What a monarch He is! He is not far off but in the very midst of His subjects.  Note how Ezekiel describes Him.  He knows, searches, rescues, feeds, and waters His sheep.  He brings them to only the best.  He leads and shepherds, not from a place of fear, but from a place of intimate knowledge in the very heart of the flock.  Look, too, at how Paul describes Jesus in Ephesians this morning.  Jesus fills all in all.  He died for us.  He is ruler of all.  He wants us to know hope and the riches of His glory.  Our King it seems is as the hymn says, the “King of love” and all He says and does is from that point of view, the view of unconditional, immeasurable love with which He seeks you and me. 

So, what then do we make of the Gospel this morning? Some, it would seem are accursed, sent to the eternal fires.  Some get eternal life.  It is tempting for us to see the parable as a prescription and a warning as to how to avoid being like the goats in the story and to use the parable as a way to distinguish ourselves from others (to sit around separating the sheep and goats among us).  In fact, one person spoke of the story as just that.  Speaking of Jesus, he says, “the King’s decision is based on how we have treated the Lazarus’ among us”.  That would mean that you and I want to amass lots of acts of compassion like feeding, clothing, visiting in order to get to Heaven.  Evidently, in that reading of the parable, we must do enough acts of Christian kindness to get to be some place God doesn’t want us.  How wrong can a reading of the parable be!  Both Ezekiel and Paul state how sorely God in Jesus wants us.  Would He really erect all those hoops for us to jump through?

So, what do we make of it then?  One important key to the parable is that neither group knows what they have done.  Both the sheep and the goats ask the same question; “Lord, when did we see you. . . ?  Note, too, that parables are descriptions of the Kingdom, rarely if ever prescriptions. 

Jesus doesn’t want us to do good works to prove that we are worthy to be with Him.  No, he wants us to be with Him.   Period.  He wants us to live in His Kingdom of love here and now, to respond in love, to love now and always, and from that response to live the new life He gives us.  When that is true, from that response and life will automatically proceed acts of compassion, mercy, and love.  If, to use the imagery of today, our allegiance, our trust, is in our King Jesus, and as a result it is Him we try to please, and obey, to adore as He adores us, to long for Him as He longs for us, our life in His Kingdom, as His sheep who know His voice and follow where He leads, has already begun.  We have indeed been judged by Him, by His Love and found worthy to be His.  Acts of love and compassion cannot help but follow.  They are simply what people of the Kingdom of God, people who have Jesus as their King, do. 

Allow yourself this morning to awash, alive, in love with Jesus our King, embrace Him, enjoy His rule and reign, respond in love to love and the Kingdom is yours as well.

AMEN

Some Prayers:

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all
things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of
lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided
and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together
under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, you have created each person with many and varied

gifts and joined our lives together as members of the Episcopal

Diocese of West Virginia.  Look graciously upon us as we search for

our eighth Bishop, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care

for your people and equip us for our ministries.  Give us minds to discern

your will, courage to follow where you lead, and hearts to love as you command,

to the glory of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen

Christ we rise today
Knowing that you alone
Know our hearts
You alone can change
Our sadness into joy
Forgive us our shortcomings
Teach us patience
Teach us kindness
Help us to forgive
Those who have injured us
And keep us from injuring others
Keep our way lighted
With your steadfast love

Amen.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us
through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole
human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which
infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us;
unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in
your good time, all nations and races may serve you in
harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us,
in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront
one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work
together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty:
Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works;
that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve
thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all
things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and
rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be
our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee,
to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou
art
 God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This is another day, O Lord.  I know not what it will bring

forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.  If I

am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.  If I am to sit still,

help me to sit quietly.  If I am to lie low, help me to do it

patiently.  And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. 

Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit

of Jesus.  Amen.

O God, whose fatherly care reacheth to the uttermost parts
of the earth: We humbly beseech thee graciously to behold
and bless those whom we love, now absent from us. Defend
them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both
they and we, drawing nearer to thee, may be bound together
by thy love in the communion of thy Holy Spirit, and in the
fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

And now unto God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you His peace this day and forever more. 

Amen. 

THURSDAY, NOV 19, 2020 — TRINITY CHURCH NEWS

Worship has been canceled for this Sunday, November 22nd as directed by the Bishop.

Unfortunately, Jefferson County has been labeled “red” due to increases in Covid-19 cases in our area.
GT, Frank, Dave and Lora will still stream a LIVE service on Facebook for you to participate that way.

Please join us Sunday at 10:00am from the comfort of your home.

For now, in person worship will be decided on a weekly basis. Updates will be emailed each Thursday
as well as posted our website, Facebook page and answering machine.

As next week is Thanksgiving, we will send you an update on Thanksgiving & Sunday services on Tuesday, Nov. 24th.

Altar Flowers for Sunday, November 22nd are given to the glory of God by Bob and Tia McMillan in loving memory of their parents: 
Esther and Harry Campbell and Owen and Kathryn McMillan.

It’s Time to Order from Trinity’s Christmas Scrip Program. The order form is attached to this email.
This is a great way to get your Christmas shopping done and support the church at the same time.
The monies we receive help to pay our utility bills.  

All orders must be received by Tuesday, November 24th here in the office.

You may mail this form and your check to our PO Box 308, Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Bring your order form and check to the office and place it in the white mailbox by the front doors.

You can also call or email the office with your order but we cannot process it until funds are received.

We are hopeful that this timeline will allow cards to be delivered to the church about December 14.

However, as we all know things are uncertain these days so please keep that in mind when ordering.

Thank you for supporting Trinity Church!

Advent Materials: We have prepared packets with Advent materials for families. There are also Advent children’s books, an “Advent at Home” service, candles and wreaths.

These will be available for pick up on the Parish House front porch starting today so may stop by at your convenience. The first Sunday of Advent is November 29th.
The packet materials are also attached as a .pdf to this email. If you would like we can also mail packets to you.  Thank you to Annette  & Chrissy van Hilst and Mary Lee Blue for gathering these materials.

Evening Prayer Service over Zoom will continue on Wednesdays. An invitation is sent to everyone on email. Let us know if you need it.

The Shepherdstown Shares Food Pantry is open to 25443 residents or workers who need food assistance.
We are open on Mondays from 12:30-3:30pm and Saturdays from 3:00-6:00pm and located in the Trinity Church Chapel.

Free parking for clients is available in the alley (next to Trinity Episcopal Church during those times.

The organization has received enough freezers, refrigerators, and shelves for now. Please tell everyone to wear a mask.

Thank you for your support!Download all attachments as a zip file

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 – Zoom Prayer Service

Dear Friends, Trinity Church is inviting you to a 7:00 pm Zoom Evening Prayer meeting on Wednesday, November 18.   Log in begins at 6:45 pm.  Follow the link below. The Service is Daily Evening Prayer, Rite Two, found on Page 115 of the Book of Common Prayer.  Please contact the office if you need a Prayer Book. We welcome participants to read a section of the service.  Possible sections are: The Psalm and/or Readings appointed for the day, The Song of Mary,  and/or The Song of Simeon.   The Readings appointed for this Wednesday evening are: Psalm 119:121-144, BCP 773; James 3:13-4:12; and Luke 17:11-19.    There will be time after Evening Prayer to chat & catch up with friends.   We hope you will join us!
—————————————
Trinity Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Trinity Church’s Evening Prayer Zoom Meeting
Time: Nov 18, 2020 06:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 921 5921 5110
Passcode: 486189
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Sunday, November 15, 2020 – Pentecost XXIV

Dear Friends,

The virus seems to be back at us with a vengeance.  We missed your physical presence with us this morning at Church.  Hopefully, you will avail yourselves of our online service.  I am grateful to Frank and Lora and Dave who helped today.  The Vestry met on Tuesday evening.  Plans we made for our Annual Meeting and we began conversation about Christmas.  It is hard because we do not know what the restrictions will be then, but we are working on it.  We will also have available packets for children for Advent.  You will be hearing more about that this week.  Good news is that the Shares Food Pantry is up and running and to date after only three times open has served over 70 families. 

Early on I talked of the four words that I have found so important through all of this: patience, gratitude, generosity, and humility.  I have found myself returning to them often this week.   This pandemic will not last forever and we all want to be here when it is over so please, follow the CDC guidelines, keep in touch, and take care of yourselves and each other.  Remember in your prayers all the sick, those who are caring for them, the frightened, the lonely and all of those whose lives have been turned upside down.  And don’t ever forget to be grateful.  We have each other and so much else.  Let us know if we can be of any help to you.

GT

The Lessons

Judges 4: 1-7

I Thessalonians 5:1-11

Matthew 25 14-30

A Homily

The parable this morning is a familiar one.  It is, like almost all the parables Jesus tells, a parable of the Kingdom of God, what the Kingdom to which we belong is like.  In this parable Jesus used excessive amounts to indicate the awesomeness of God’s gifts to us.  One talent (a measure of silver or gold) is the equivalent of 15 years wages for the average worker, a tremendous sum. 

The truth of the parable, the reality of the Kingdom of God, is that all is given, entrusted to us.  Further, it is entrusted to us commensurate with the King’s knowledge of the receiver.  You and I are given talents, gifts, a share of God’s Kingdom as well.  Our share has been entrusted to us as God has seen fit in order to continually bring the reality of His love and life where we are in our day and time.

Jesus is clear on the issue.  That being the case what do they, what do we do with what we have been given?  Accountability is important, not just to God, but even more to the quality of our lives.  It is not a threat, simply a statement of fact.    What we do, who we are matters to God, not because of reward and punishment but because in the marvelous economy of the Kingdom each one is important.  Each action has an eternal consequence.  It is not just about what we can see, but also about who and what we shape and affect.  The late Sid Sanders, once Bishop of East Carolina, was asked about prayer.  Did it work?  How does it work?  He said that each time we prayed for someone we sent a little bit of love their way and love changes things and, more importantly, us.  The point is clear.  How we are, what we do, how we use or do not use the talents, the pieces of the Kingdom entrusted to us matters and matters in a wondrous, unseen, eternal way. 

In the story, two of the three made it big.  They doubled what had been given to them.  One didn’t.  He hid away his talent in fear of the King’s return.  I know what that is like.  Perhaps you do too.  It is always scary to move out of my “comfort zone”.  I never sought, for example, to be a televangelist, but here I am.  The world we live in gives plenty of reasons to be afraid.  But note, the two who took a risk and multiplied their talents, who used them to make more, entered into the joy of their master.  The other, paralyzed by his fear, rejected any possibility of ongoing service to the King. 

There is a clear sense in the parable of relationship.  The talents of the Kingdom are always expressions of the love of God, the hallmark of the Gospel and of the Kingdom of God.  And the truth about love and relationship is that it is always risky.  It always is a matter of putting ourselves on the line.  That, I think, is why Jesus tells us over and over in the Gospel to not be afraid and reassures us with the reality of His presence.  Love casts out fear.  He wants us to use the love, the pieces of the Kingdom He has given us to bring love, joy, peace, healing, and reconciliation to His world.  

It is not an easy task, this love stuff, but then it never was.  When the parable was written the loss of the master’s money resulted in death.  Loving is always risky.  It always was and always will be.  But it is the only way to Life, the only way to “enter into the joy of our master.”  One author offered this description of the Kingdom Life to which we are called: “We are simply asked to make gentle our bruised world, to tame its savageness, to be compassionate of all including oneself.  Then, with the time left over to repeat the ancient tale and go the way of God’s foolish ones.”

What pieces of the Kingdom of God have been put in your heart, your soul?  What risky work of love has been entrusted to you, to be offered to the glory of God and His Kingdom?  What keeps you from using it?

It is risky business, this Kingdom of God, this loving.  It means we put ourselves on the line for the sake of the Kingdom of God in a world that is not usually too receptive.  It means loving when it seems crazy, forgiving when it is undeserved and unmerited, pointing to the beauty and presence of God in all even when it is hard to see.    But it is the only way we too can enter into the joy of our master. 

AMEN

Some Prayers

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for
our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn,
and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever
hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have
given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, you have created each person with many and varied

gifts and joined our lives together as members of the Episcopal

Diocese of West Virginia.  Look graciously upon us as we search for

our eighth Bishop, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care

for your people and equip us for our ministries.  Give us minds to discern

your will, courage to follow where you lead, and hearts to love as you command,

to the glory of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen

Christ we rise today
Knowing that you alone
Know our hearts
You alone can change
Our sadness into joy
Forgive us our shortcomings
Teach us patience
Teach us kindness
Help us to forgive
Those who have injured us
And keep us from injuring others
Keep our way lighted
With your steadfast love

Amen.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us
through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole
human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which
infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us;
unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in
your good time, all nations and races may serve you in
harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us,
in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront
one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work
together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty:
Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works;
that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve
thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all
things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and
rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be
our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee,
to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou
art
 God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This is another day, O Lord.  I know not what it will bring

forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.  If I

am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.  If I am to sit still,

help me to sit quietly.  If I am to lie low, help me to do it

patiently.  And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. 

Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit

of Jesus.  Amen.

O God, whose fatherly care reacheth to the uttermost parts
of the earth: We humbly beseech thee graciously to behold
and bless those whom we love, now absent from us. Defend
them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both
they and we, drawing nearer to thee, may be bound together
by thy love in the communion of thy Holy Spirit, and in the
fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

And now unto God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you His peace this day and forever more. 

Amen. 

Thursday, Nov 12, 2020 – Trinity Church News


  • Worship has been canceled for this Sunday, November 15th as directed by the Bishop.
    Unfortunately, Jefferson County has been labeled “red” due to increases in Covid-19 cases in our area.
    GT, Frank, Dave and Lora will still stream a LIVE service on Facebook for you to participate that way.Please join us Sunday at 10:00am from the comfort of your home.For now, in person worship will be decided on a weekly basis. Updates will be emailed each Thursday
    as well as posted our website, Facebook page and answering machine.
  •  It’s Time to Order from Trinity’s Christmas Scrip Program. The order form is attached to this email.
    This is a great way to get your Christmas shopping done and support the church at the same time.

  • The monies we receive help to pay our utility bills.  All orders must be received by Tuesday, November 24th here in the office.You may mail this form and your check to our PO Box 308, Shepherdstown, WV 25443Bring your order form and check to the office and place it in the white mailbox by the front doors. You can also call or email the office with your order but we cannot process it until funds are received. We are hopeful that this timeline will allow cards to be delivered to the church about December 14. However, as we all know things are uncertain these days so please keep that in mind when ordering. Thank you for supporting Trinity Church! 
  • On-line Auction to raise funds Good Shepherd Caregivers:   Closes today at 8:00pm! Please check out the wonderful baked goods are other treasures available.Be sure to click on the discussion tab and bid directly in the comment section under each item. https://www.facebook.com/events/769280807260201/?active_tab=discussion We will continue to offer an Evening Prayer Service over Zoom on Wednesdays. An invitation is sent to everyone on email. Let us know if you need it. The Shepherdstown Shares Food Pantry is open to 25443 residents or workers who need food assistance.
    We are open on Mondays from 12:30-3:30, and Saturdays from 3:00-6:00. Free parking for clients is available in the alley behind Trinity Chapel (next to Trinity Episcopal Church) during those times.The organization has received enough freezers, refrigerators, and shelves for now. Please tell everyone to wear a mask.Thank you for your support!  

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 – Zoom Evening Prayer

Dear Friends,

Trinity Church is inviting you to a 7:00 pm Zoom Evening Prayer meeting on Wednesday, November 11.   Log in begins at 6:45 pm.  Follow the link below. 

The Service is Daily Evening Prayer, Rite Two, found on Page 115 of the Book of Common Prayer.  Please contact the office if you need a Prayer Book. 

We welcome participants to read a section of the service.  Possible sections are: The Psalm and/or Readings appointed for the day, The Song of Mary,  and/or The Song of Simeon.  

The Readings appointed for this Wednesday evening are: Psalm 81, BCP Page 704; Joel 2:12-19; and Luke 15:1-10.   

There will be time after Evening Prayer to chat & catch up with friends.   We hope you will join us!

—————————————


Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 912 2863 6979
Passcode: 271484
One tap mobile
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