We come again to the season of Advent and preparing for the coming of Christ. We each have our own family traditions of what is meaningful as we prepare. And then we learn to make adjustments as times and circumstances change; birth of children, children leaving home, moving to a new home, a new marriage and new family. The list goes on. I came from a family that kept Advent and did not decorate for Christmas until after the afternoon of the fourth Sunday of Advent. For awhile, I put the tree (more of a bush really) up on Christmas Eve as I listened to the Festival of Lessons and Carols live on the BBC. Now, I negotiate for delay with my wife who started decorating her Methodist church yesterday. We will probably get the tree up the Fourth Sunday of Advent and let the kids do most of the decorating on Monday and Tuesday as they arrive for the week.
The big aspect of preparation is recognizing that it is preparing for an event and not the event itself. With our culture of instant gratification and streaming videos (preferably without any lag time for buffering), it is easy to get caught up in doing too much and not taking time to reflect. Part of this becomes an aspect of learning how to say "NO" to many of the demands around us. We don't have to be part of everything that surrounds us. On the secular front, I try to avoid the busyness of consumer Christmas and the shopping malls where at all possible (actually, I try to avoid them at other times of the year, but especially at this time of year). I try to be even more deliberate about praying the daily offices, with the readings that help prepare for the coming of Christ in various ways. This is along with the inclusion of time for centering prayer. This year, I am planning to join in a wider movement of folks who are reading a chapter of the Gospel of Luke every day. With 24 days of Advent and 24 chapters to the Gospel According to Luke, it makes for reasonable sized chunks of reading.
In the overall scheme of things, this season of waiting and preparation is good discipline for the rest of the year and our prayer disciplines Advent is a short enough season that we can develop new habits and ways of being as we celebrate Christmas. That way, the new habits can carry us into the new calendar year and become part of our routines.
At the heart of all of this discipline comes a question - What are you waiting for? I pray that for all of us, we are truly waiting for Christ's presence that we can carry into the world. Perhaps we get to the point of recognizing that we do not need to wait, since He is already present with us. May we carry that Light of Christ in to the darkness of our broken world.
Pax et Bonum,
Did You Know?
-Dec. 8th: Tuna Sunday. Bring canned tuna to church in support of the food bank.
-Dec. 8th, 9:30am: Beginning to pray, in the undercroft.
-Dec. 15th, 9:30am: Lectionary based Bible study, in the undercroft.
-Dec. 21st, 9am-12pm: Advent Quiet Day in the church.
-Dec. 24th, 4pm: Christmas Eve Christ Mass
-Dec. 29th, 3:30pm: Hanukkah celebration in Jane's Hall.
-Dec. 29th, 5pm: Taize service in the church.
-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.
Las Posadas 2019
On Saturday, December 7, the 14th annual Las Posadas Candlelight Walk will take place in Sutter Creek. Trinity, Creekside Methodist, and St. Katherine Drexel churches co-sponsor this meaningful event. We gather on Spanish Street near the Immaculate Conception church, receive candles and programs, and process behind "Mary and Joseph" who seek shelter but are rejected along the way. We hear a narration of the Christmas story (our Steve Christensen will be one of the 2 narrators) and sing carols as we follow. Mary and Joseph finally find shelter in a manger in front of Creekside Methodist. We then all pour into the welcoming church hall and enjoy warm cider and homemade cookies as we visit with others.
Each year, duties for each sponsoring church rotate. This year, Trinity is responsible for:
A cookie co-ordinator, who calls bakers and solicits a total of 15 dozen cookies. The Co-ordinator then sees that the cookies are delivered to Creekside Methodist.
At least 4 shepherds, preferably MORE! Shepherds walk alongside Mary on her mule, and Joseph, seeing that bystanders stay a safe distance away. Costumes are provided!
A Mother Shepherdess who walks along with any children in the procession OR welcomes children at Creekside and invites them to be seated on the bleachers or the ground near the stable. This person can be at the church to greet children and not process. Costume provided.
At least 4 people to man the candlestands. This involves a quick setup, then handing out candles to people. It's a joyous job at a joyous time!
If you can assist in any of these jobs, please call me at 267-5182, 770-1382, or email me at email@example.com. Thank you!
A Note on Stewardship
As you receive this newsletter, several of the members of our church have already pledged of their time and talent, as well as their treasure, to the church. THANK YOU. Pledging is a part of making our commitment to God's work in the world, especially here at Trinity Church. Pledging, or committing, is part of the overall element of the larger category of Stewardship - how do we take care of the gifts entrusted to us in the part of God's kingdom.
One of the ways in which the Vestry is looking at the topic of Stewardship is through the concept of Holy Currencies. We are in the process of planning a Vestry retreat with the Rev. Ray Hess, who has done work in this area and will help us become more familiar with the different currencies needed to keep a church operating in a healthy manner. Mary Krauthamel-Lane writes elsewhere in our newsletter about what the Vestry is and does. I hope that you will take her request to heart and prayerfully consider offering your time and talents to serving on the Vestry and joining us as we learn to keep the all the Holy Currencies flowing here at Trinity.
Pax et Bonum,
The Vestry- What it does and its importance
Different denominations handle their work locally by different means. In the Episcopal church, it is through the vestry. The vestry responsibilities include:
Acting as the board of directors/trustees for the legal entity of the church
Overseeing the program, property, and finances of the parish
Representing the church at the local and diocesan level
The vestry usually meets on a monthly basis to deal with these matters. At Trinity, we have nine members of the vestry, each serving a three-year term. We rotate the membership so that we elect three new members each year at the annual meeting (coming up on January 26, 2020). At this coming annual meeting, however, we will need to elect three people for a three-year term, and also need to elect two people to fill out vacant terms (a one-year and a two-year term).
The requirements for serving on a vestry include: being a baptized member of the congregation, being a giver of record, and being active in the congregation for the previous six months. If you have any questions concerning membership in the church, please contact Fr. Paul.
Above all, the congregation needs your gifts of love and creativity in service to the vestry and the church as a whole.
Outgoing Vestry Member
-Dec. 7th, 6pm: Las Posadas in Sutter Creek
-Dec. 12th, 9:30-11:30am: A community focus group on Housing and Homelessness in Amador County which will lead to the county's plan to end homelessness. A first step in accessing funding to build permanent housing. Come lend your input about priorities and solutions. Amador Health & Human Services, 10877 Conductor Blvd. Jackson.
-Now thru Dec. 25th, M-F 2-6pm: Safe Space art show. An art show celebrating the courage and beauty of rural queer communities. By highlighting the experiences of the marginalized and disenfranchised, "Safe Space" serves to bring new opportunities for understanding the value of diversity in our rural community. AMADOR COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL 617 South CA-Hwy 49 Jackson, CA (In the Mother Lode Plaza) (209) 256-8166
-Story Time at the Amador County Library is Thursdays at 10:30am. Contact the library for more details. 209-223-6400
-Upcountry Veterans free monthly lunch is the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 11:30am-1:30pm at Pioneer Veterans' Hall, 25100 Buckhorn Ridge Rd. Contact Lori (209-418-9695) for more details.
-Dementia/Alzheimer's Support Group meets the second Monday of each month (5:30-7pm) at Gold Quartz Inn in Sutter Creek- for information contact Susan at 257-1377. They also meet the third Wednesday of each month (2-3:30pm) at Amador Residential Care in Jackson- for information contact Sheri at 223-4444.
-Dad & me: for dads, uncles, grandpas, etc. and children 0-5 years old. This is a chance for a free, fun outing together (like visiting a fire station or garden center). "Dad & me" events are held the 4th Saturday every month. Call 257-1092 to reserve a spot in the next event. Space is limited.
-Amador SPEAKS (suicide prevention/education) is putting together a Suicide Prevention Coalition and is seeking members of the community to participate. Meetings will be held the 3rd Thursday of each month at 3:30pm in Conference Room E at the Health and Human Services Building (10877 Conductor Blvd., Sutter Creek). Contact Vanessa Compton at 223-6315 for more information.
-NAMI Connection is a free recovery support group for adults with mental illness regardless of diagnosis. They meet on Thursdays at 10:30am-12pm at Sierra Wind and at 1-2:30pm at the Senior Center in Jackson. Call 209-223-1485 x266 for more information.
All are invited to join the Trinity Singers! Choir practice happens each Tuesday at 5pm in the church. Bring your voices, your instruments and a heart for worship and praise! For more information please contact Mary Yount at 209-267-5461.
Food Bank Donations
Food gifts for November totaled 298 pounds (including Project Thanks).
The total for 2019 is 1246 pounds of food collected in the food cart.
Thank you for your generous support of this ministry.
The following members of our church family are celebrating birthdays in December!
2nd- Bob Ross
3rd- Carol Davis
10th- Mary Mahoney
12th- Pam Afindios
16th- Carolyn Strickler
19th- Diane Christensen
26th- Rhonda D'Agostini
30th- Devin Christensen
If you are celebrating a birthday in December, 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