As we reopen….
Sunday, Pentecost V, July 5, 2020
We continue our Sunday morning celebrations of the Holy Eucharist at 9 AM on the lawn and on Facebook live. Fortunately so far, the weather has cooperated. As a reminder masks are required as is social distancing and no touching. Many have experienced it as a safe place. Sadly the virus is still with us and indications are that this will be the situation for the foreseeable future. We are learning that what we had hope would be a “momentary affliction” is becoming a way of life and we long for normalcy. In today’s world I am not sure what normalcy is. I know that we all are getting tired at the restrictions and would very much like more intimate contact with each other. For now this is the way of love—keeping us all as safe as we can be. I still believe that this too will pass I am just not sure when. It won’t always be like this.
Jennifer is in the Office on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We have Food Lion and Martins cards and will be happy to sell them to you on the porch or in the Office with you wearing a mask. Please call ahead.
GT is in the office most mornings. Evening Prayer continues on Zoom on Wednesdays.
The Chapel roof project has been approved by the vestry and has been submitted to the Town for review and approval.
Please don’t forget your prayers of thanksgiving, to remember the sick and grieving, our country, and one another. It does make a difference!
Please call or email if there is anything we can do for you.
‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.”
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’
At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In the past few weeks in the gospel readings including today’s gospel Jesus is seen calling to account those who hear but do not accept or like his “Good News.” Today we, too are also called to account to accept His Good News. Remember the story of Lot and Lot’s wife. Well in one of the previous gospel readings Jesus can be heard saying to those not receiving or accepting his Good News;“ I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom that for you.”
Jesus begins today’s gospel by asking “to what will I compare this generation? Is it like children sitting the marketplaces and essentially teasing each other and not listening to each other. By using children as an example Jesus is talking about revealing his Good News to those whose minds (like many children) are open and not already made up. I am reminded of and know of many who think “don’t confuse me with the facts my mind is already made up.” Learning is a continuous process. We are always taking in information (data), processing it, and drawing conclusions and making decisions; and sometimes taking actions based on these conclusions. As our journey through life continues our minds (that is our data banks) become cluttered with too much information – in today’s world we could reliably say overwhelmed. As a result we become resistant to change – any change – and in particular to new ideas. So I would suggest that when Jesus says “you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants” he is really implying that our minds must not be too cluttered and should be open to new knowledge. I would suggest that Christ is saying that to better understand His “good news” our minds should not be influenced by the past and the past data processing of our minds. We should be as children in a learning mode in understanding in listening to the “good news of God’s love and the love we should have for each other.
We are called to be the Church. Furthermore we are called to believe that being the Church is worth it. We’re not called to believe that being the Church is worth it, merely because we think so. We’re called to believe it, because God thinks so.
We’re called to proclaim God’s love in God’s world; to seek out God’s people. We’re called to seek out people who don’t know about God’s love for them; to proclaim the ultimate worth of each of God’s creatures. We’re called to make that proclamation out of our own experience; the experience of knowing our own ultimate worth as children of God.
Twenty one years ago (seems like yesterday) as one of my first priestly duties I had the privilege and honor of Baptizing two of my grandchildren; as it turned out in Mill creek by Hunter’s Meadow at Peterkin. In attendance were some early arrival campers, family, and friends including two of my Jewish friends. I literally stood in water up to my knees along with my two grandchildren. As a part of this service we, as we do in all baptisms, in community, we rehearsed the Baptismal Covenant. Let’s, for a moment, reflect on the final 5 questions that are an integral part of this covenant – and – I might add integral to our faith. I believe that these questions and our responses to them speaks directly to the issues I spoke of a few moments ago and to our faith.
Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
Sounds so easy doesn’t it. Well it is at one level. It’s the roadblocks talked about in today’s Gospel that get in the way. We have to be ever alert and not afraid to speak out about God’s love for us and our love for God and for each other. We must by our very actions set the example for others to follow. As we all know actions speak volumes. Words without actions are hollow and too speak volumes just not the volumes we had in mind.
Will you persevere in resisting evil and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
Sometimes I am not sure that I know or understand all that is evil. In fact I know I don’t. It is the sneaky evil that I worry about. Paul in today’s Epistle laments “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” He goes on to say “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand.” Like Paul We can and must pray to God for guidance and help. We have to always be on guard and alert to the subtleties of evil – A word, a look, gossip, a glance. The operative word to me is “persevere.” Because if we are not constantly on alert and watching our actions, words, and frankly our very thoughts we will not succeed is resisting evil. Ultimately it all comes down to choosing between good and evil, life and death. Those choices have always been available and we remain free to choose whichever we will.
Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
Here the key words are in my view – by word and example. We must not be afraid to talk to others about our beliefs and in particular God’s love for each of us and the effect of God’s love on our individual lives. How do we accomplish this? Well as has been said we all fools for Christ’s sake. How do we proclaim God’s word? By living it out in our daily lives. By not being afraid to answer questions on Christianity. By making sure that those we come in contact with in our daily living know that we believe the “Good News of God in Christ.” What about the word example? As Paul says we all have talents given to us by God. We are charged with using our talents in accomplishing God’s plan and work and setting the example for those observing us. Remember words without actions can at times sound very shallow and hollow.
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
To put it simply when we choose to serve and follow Jesus, what we gain is a new perspective. We instinctively know that we can not possibly think any more of others than we think of ourselves. For we mirror in others our true selves. What we think and feel about ourselves is reflected in how we deal with others. In serving Christ we must be aware of the question “What would He say or do?” One could say we must be selfish in Christ.
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
In some respects this is the most straightforward and at the same time is the most difficult question to deal with. Yes we can mouth words and actions from afar in localities and countries far removed from us and where respect and dignity is the obvious response. But what about the kid at school who is different? Or the kid that is set up by his “friends” for a bad experience? Or the people we know who “walk to the beat of their own drum?” Or that obnoxious person at work, or the one who is always trying to put as it were a knife in our back? Or the person we think is standing in the way of progress? We are all God’s children and we in love deal with persons on God’s level, not ours. We must remember that God loves all of us, even when we disappoint him. Can we do no less?
How do answer each of these questions? We respond, thoughtfully and with meaning saying after each question “I will with God’s help.”
As our spiritual journey continues and our faith in Christ and desire to serve him deepens, we will become more and more devoted disciples. Receiving and living daily the “Good News” we are enabled to live in the confusion of our world today, without falling victim to this confusion and disarray ourselves. As we follow Jesus, we are empowered to be the Church.
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Good morning Trinity Church!
Here are a few reminders and announcements for this week:
1. Please join us for worship on Sunday, July 5th at 9:00 am in the church yard. Please wear a mask and bring your own chairs.
2. Please join us for Morning Prayer each day at 8:00am on the porch. [except Monday, which is 8:30 AM]
3. Jennifer will be in the office on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. If you would like to stop by, she can meet you on the porch. Please wear a mask for in office meetings.
4. We are selling grocery cards to Food Lion, Martins, Sheetz and Home Depot. You may purchase these after worship or call the office for a time to stop by. A portion of these sales benefits Trinity and you receive the entire amount.
5. During the month of July, we will be collecting food items for Jefferson County Community Ministries. You may leave these items on the Parish House porch.
Items needed include: Canned ham, rice, canned potatoes, fruit cocktail, canned pasta, maple syrup, beef stew, sandwich baggies, fruit juice
Have a wonderful Independence Day weekend!
Wednesday Evening Prayer 7:00 July 1
Here is the link for the Trinity Church Evening Prayer Zoom Meeting held on Wednesdays at 7 pm.
We encourage everyone who would like to join us to log into the meeting beginning at 6:45 pm. The Service will begin at 7 pm.
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.
There will be an appointed Leader & Reader. We ask that participants mute their microphones while the Leader/Reader speak. If anyone would like to volunteer to read a section of the service, we can establish that before we begin. Possible sections would be: The Readings and/or the Psalm appointed for the day, The Song of Mary, The Song of Simeon, The Apostles Creed and/or The General Thanksgiving.
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 Zoom Evening Prayer
Time: Jul 1, 2020 06:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 937 5653 4630
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Email update from GT June 19, 2020
Attached is notice of virtual Peterkin Camp for this summer. As you know there are no in person camps. Also please remember that Sunday service will be in the yard beginning at 9 AM (weather permitting). You must bring your seating and masks are mandatory. Please maintain the appropriate social distance. We will also be on Facebook live and the usual service will be emailed after the 9 AM service.
Trinity Thrift Shop Reopening
104 S. Church Street, Shepherdstown
The Trinity Thrift Shop is now open Fridays 10:00 – 4:00 and Saturdays 10:00 – 1:00. We ask for everyone’s continued patience… As with other businesses, new “norm”:
Shop open Fridays 10:00 – 4:00 and Saturdays 10:00 – 1:00.
Masks and social distancing mandatory
Only 2 shoppers at a time
Line up to get in on bricked sidewalk along the ribboned fence
Suggest bringing own bags
No bathroom facilities at this time
Donation hours for back porch Thursdays starting at 1:00 p.m. through Sunday evening. We appreciate all the donations the Shepherdstown Community has provided to us. However, for the health of all, we must limit the hours. As a reminder, the Thrift Shop cannot accept toys, strollers, VCR tapes, furniture, other large items and electronics due to limited space/health and safety concerns. Tax receipts are available during business hours.
If anyone has questions about the Thrift Shop, please call (304) 876-6990.