It is hard to believe that February is upon us. Ordinary time has a habit of passing quickly as we return to the more mundane routines of our lives and get back in the swing of things that we consider normal - the way things are. Interspersed in all of that routine have been a couple of events that are less routine, the annual meeting (well, ... annually) and preparation for electing a new bishop (hopefully much less frequently). They have taken up time and energy that are a break from the ordinary, but that helps highlight the value of paying attention to the ordinary.
This month of February finds us continuing in Ordinary Time - the season after the Epiphany. Ash Wednesday won't be until the 6th of March. As we look at this time, I have a few reflections that I call:
E-words for E-piscopalians. And I am not talking here about e-mail or e-bay.
The first word is Epiphany. As you have heard in church, the word refers to "Manifestation" or revelation. In the Christian sense, it refers to the revealing of God in Christ, specifically to the magi, but also through the Baptism of Christ (when the voice from heaven proclaimed Jesus as a beloved Son), the first recorded miracle of transforming water into wine at the Wedding Feast of Cana (where his followers believed in his powers), through various healings and miracles, and through the Transfiguration (where his face and garments were transfigured as he was talking with prophets Moses and Elijah). We all have our own epiphany moments in our lives, whether we recognize them or not. Some are moments where we come to recognize that the divine has broken into our mundane lives and we catch a glimpse of God's presence revealed to us. We are less likely to recognize when we are instruments of epiphany to others - something in our speech or actions helps others to recognize the divine presence.
The second word is Enthusiasm. Certainly this is a word that is related to excitement, and traditionally, Episcopalians have not been know for demonstrating enthusiasm in Sunday liturgy. We tend to leave that to others. At root, from the Greek, the word means "of God's substance". To be enthusiastic is to be filled with God. In the same way that we need to reclaim the Scriptures from those who misuse it, we need to reclaim enthusiasm as part of the Christian life.
The third word is Evangelism (No - don't look away now, stay with me!). We tend to associate evangelism with folks going door to door, or standing on the street corner with big, black floppy bibles. At root, the word refers to Good News, the gospel. Indeed, Gospel is an English word derived from Good (God) News, where the romance languages use variations of <evangelico> for the word Gospel. We refer to the gospel writers as Evangelists, those telling the Good News.
So, what is Good News in your life? What fills you with the Joy of God? What are you willing to reveal of that Good News to others? That becomes a way to frame sharing our stories with our friends and neighbours. We are willing to talk about that great new restaurant that we found, why not talk about our relationships with God and how we are nourished in the relationship with our church community.
Pax et Bonum,
Did You Know?
- Feb. 4th, 5:30pm: New book study begins. See article below.
- Feb. 10th: Tuna Sunday. Bring canned tuna to church in support of the food bank.
-Feb. 13th, 10:30am: Sewing/Social group meets in Jane's Hall. You don't have to sew or do needle work to come by and visit. Everyone is welcomed.
-Feb. 13th, 12pm: Valentine's luncheon in Jane's Hall. Open to all but please RSVP to Mary Mahoney at 256-8120 so we will have enough food.
-Feb. 28th, 11am: Farewell luncheon for Dorean Davis in Jane's Hall. Come wish Dorean well as she gets ready to move away. Cards are welcome, no gifts. Contact Shirley Tscharner 296-4946 for information.
-The Centering Prayer group meets each Wednesday at 9:30-10:30am in Jane's Hall. Everyone is welcome to join this meditative practice. If you have questions about Centering Prayer, contact Martha Robbins, 296-7842.
Annual Meeting summary
At the annual meeting this year, we tried something new. We opened the meeting before the Eucharist and took some nominations for positions on the Vestry and Delegates to Diocesan Convention. We then celebrated the Eucharist and returned to the meeting, with the final blessing and dismissal from the Eucharist being the blessing and dismissal from the meeting.
In the course of the meeting, we elected three members to Vestry: Lynne Brumit, Diane Christensen, and Roberta Ross. Many thanks to these folks for their willingness to serve. And, thanks to others who prayerfully considered whether this was the right time to serve. I hope that others whose names were mentioned will consider service in other ways this year and consider service on the Vestry in years to come.
We also elected Steve Christensen, Laurie Jo Leed, and Carol Holt to be the delegates to our Diocesan Convention. In the event that any of them are not able to attend, the alternates are available to take their place. The alternates are: Janet Kendig, Mary Krauthamel-Lane, and Gerry Moore. Again, thanks for your willingness to serve.
At the Vestry meeting following the Annual Meeting, we named or elected officers. The Senior Warden this year will be Noreen Lafferty, with Martin Hooper continuing as Junior Warden. Laurie Jo Leed will continue as Clerk of Vestry and Carol Holt will continue as Treasurer.
The Vestry agreed to hold meetings on the Fourth Sunday of each month, beginning around 12.30 pm. This offers us all a chance to be part of the fellowship following the main church service, and will, perhaps, allow more people to stay and attend the Vestry meetings.
New Book Study Begins
The next book study will be starting Monday Feb 4th (5:30pm in Jane's Hall). We will be discussing Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World, by John Dorhauer.
It's an easy-reading, practical book that takes on a subject close to all our hearts: What is to become of the church that is central to our lives, that we view as important to a moral society, but that few of our children find relevant? The author reaches some conclusions that may sound hard and sad, but his bottom line is anything but hopeless--in fact you may find it exciting.
Hope you'll join in. Our study format is shared discussion; your questions and observations will determine the direction and speed of our coverage. I estimate we'll be 4-5 weeks in the process, and we'll meet every Monday except February 25th.
Please be in touch with any questions, or if you'd like help getting a book quickly (I can prime order if that helps anyone). If you know you're onboard, please let me know. If you can't make all the sessions, no problem. If you'd like to just drop by, listen in and see if you're interested, that's fine, too!
P.S. This might be the perfect opportunity to invite your friend who is spiritually seeking, but church-phobic, to join us. ALL are welcome!
Make a connection, help save a life. Suicide is preventable. Anyone can make a difference. Join us on Feb. 12 from 4-7pm for a free half-day SafeTalk training.
Learn how to ask people about suicide directly. Connect them to life-saving resources. Keep them safe until those resources take over.
The training will take place at Amador County Behavioral Health. Check-in begins at 3:45pm. For more information or to register, call 209-223-6249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Bank Donations
Food gifts for January totaled 126 pounds.
The total for 2018 was 1232 pounds of food collected in the food cart.
Thank you for your generous support of this ministry.
Trinity Singers Rehearsals
All are invited to join the Trinity Singers/Worship Team! Rehearsals are Wednesdays at 5pm. Bring your voices, your instruments, and a heart for worship and praise! For more information, please contact Deena Holland at 209-296-6616 or email email@example.com.
The following members of our church family are celebrating birthdays in February!
14th- Julie Mathis
17th- Jeri Miller
26th- Barbara Wells
27th- Shannan Yount
If you are celebrating a birthday in February, but you don't see your name listed here, please contact our Parish Administrative Asst.
Would You Like to Contribute to the Newsletter?
If you have an article of interest to the congregation that you would like included in the newsletter, please email it to the office, firstname.lastname@example.org by the 20th of the month. It will be included in the next month's newsletter.
Trinity Episcopal Church, 430 N Hwy 49, Sutter Creek, CA 95685