What sustains you? What are the practices that get you started, motivate you, and gives you the strength to do what needs to be done? The obvious first answer for most folks is the practical one to get started in the morning - Give me caffeine! But aside from those practical rituals to get started, where do you take inspiration, motivation, or determination?
Since this is the Lenten season, you can easily guess where I am going with this. Lent gives us a challenge to re-connect with God (for those who might have lost focus), or to deepen our relationship with God (for those who continue or maintain an ongoing relationship). The imitation of Christ's 40-day fast in the desert allows us a 40-day period to connect with practices that sustain our relationship with God and deepen our relationship with God and others around us, both near and far.
The daily practices that we pick up and maintain (daily prayers, reading scripture, centering prayer, fasting, and the like) are akin to the practices that we develop to maintain relationships with our own spouses, family, and dear ones. They need to have a degree of intentionality to them. We recognize that they are helpful, we arrange time and space to practice them, and we recognize that they are helpful and inspirational to us in other parts of our lives.
Over time, we begin to recognize that we are able to maintain some of those disciplines and practices as a regular part of our life. Thus, we are sustained throughout the year with our practices. Instead of giving up bad behaviours during Lent, we find that we can deepen the behaviours we are sustaining, and perhaps maintain them through the year itself (and might find the bad practices slipping away). We also recognize that our spiritual practices have an impact on our whole way of being. Mind, Body, and Spirit are interconnected so that making changes in one part of our lives can impact the others. When our bodies are sick, the mind and spirit can suffer as well. It is good to have integrated practices to attend to the whole of our being.
The ongoing practice of this leads into sustainability. Step by step we make progress in different parts of our lives and find we can sustain those practices regularly.
This dynamic in the spiritual life is familiar to me from my previous work as an engineer and rural developer. Working in developing countries it became obvious that outside interventions of technology and money were often counter-productive. Like many of our early Lenten practices, they might last for a season and then be neglected or abandoned. Small steps were often needed to bring a degree of sustainability to the project being worked on. Sustainability meant that everyone could have a role to play (as individuals and as part of the community).
Part of our work here at Trinity is to enter into a sustainable way of operating as a community. It involves all of us with our individually sustainable spiritual practices that become part of our collective practice of prayer and presence here in Amador County. As we feed our spirits, we will also engage our minds, learning different ways to be community and church, and that will have an impact on the physical (body) components of our community life as well.
May this Lent be a fruitful time for us all - individually and collectively - to engage in practices that feed our bodies, minds and spirits.
Pax et Bonum,
Did You Know?
-Lenten Soup Suppers: each Wednesday during Lent (March 4 thru April 1), from 5:30-7pm in Jane's Hall. Sign-up sheets in the back of the church.
-Mar. 8th: Tuna Sunday. Bring canned tuna to church in support of the food bank.
-Mar. 8th, 9:30am: Beginning to pray, in the undercroft.
-Mar. 15th, 9:30am: Lectionary based Bible study, in the undercroft.
-Mar. 22nd, 9:30am: Lectionary based Bible study, in the undercroft.
-Mar. 26th, 6pm: Vestry meeting in Jane's Hall.
-Mar. 28th, 8:30am-1pm: Church work day. You are invited to spend several hours with your friends and fellow parishioners helping to dust out the cobwebs and polish the glass so that Trinity Church shines bright for Easter. Refreshments provided.
-Tuesdays at 5-6pm: choir practice in the sanctuary.
-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.
-Thursdays 4-5:30pm: book study in Jane's Hall. Contact Martha Robbins, 296-7842 for more information.
-Every other Saturday 2-4pm: Mindfulness and Wisdom class in Jane's Hall.(March 14 and 28)
Pledge and Plate income for February was $7,806 and the year to date is $14,773.
Expenses for February were $8,436 and the year to date expenses are $19,850.
The year to date income is slightly higher than budget.
The year to date expenses are slightly lower than budget.
Lenten Soup Suppers
WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU . . .
YOU ARE INVITED to join us at Trinity Episcopal Church for Wednesday night SOUP SUPPERS program, discussion and fellowship, each Wednesday from March 4 through April 1; in the parish hall, the building in the back of the parking lot, from 5:30 to 7:00. If you would like to sign up to bring a pot of soup and loaf of bread, please sign up at the back of the church or call 267-0255. Trinity Church is located at 430 Hwy. 49, across from Walgreens. For more information call 267-0255 or go to trinitysuttercreek.org or on Facebook. See you there!
It's Flu Season
In the midst of the furor about the Corona Virus, it is easy to overlook the fact that this is still prime season for colds and the flu. It is worth paying attention to the dynamics of contagious disease and how we can respond at church to reduce the transmission of any diseases.
Some of you may have seen the diocesan email about this. I would like to expand on it a bit, partially from my own background attending the School of Public Health for my Master's degree work.
In all situations, the best practice to prevent any illness is to wash your hands frequently using proper technique: wet-lather-scrub-rinse-dry.
In addition to frequent and thorough hand washing, use hand sanitizer as needed.
At all times avoid touching your face: particularly eyes, nose, and mouth. This is how germs enter your body.
When you cough, do so into your bent elbow, not your hand.
If you are sick, or feel like you might be sick, stay home.
If you are vulnerable to illnesses, stay home.
The Kiss of Peace
As I announced last Sunday, there are alternate ways to exchange the Kiss of Peace with others at church that reduce or avoid bodily contact. Please be aware that, even if you want to offer a hug or a handshake, the other person may not want to receive it. The intention of the Kiss of Peace is to offer a symbol of recognition to others around us that we are at Peace and Reconciled with them. We are acknowledging their presence as a child of God and recognizing that they are vessels of the Divine.
When I was in Africa, it was a general custom to shake hands, however, when one party had dirty hands, they would touch wrist to wrist rather than shaking the hand.
A popular alternate these days is to touch elbows with the other person.
My favorite approach is widely used in some oriental culture. That is to hold your hands in a prayer position in front of your chest or face and bow toward the other. It is an acknowledgement of the presence of the divine in them.
We tried this last Sunday, with fairly good results. It struck me that we were back to the original intent of exchanging the Kiss of Peace and recognizing God's presence, rather than spending time for a deep hug and catching up on the week with just one or two people. That is suited for the social time in Jane's Hall after the service.
Studies continue to show that the most sanitary way to receive the wine from a common cup is to drink from the cup rather than intinction (dipping the bread in the wine). One reason for this is that the metal surfaces of the chalice (silver, gold, or stainless steel) have some germicidal properties to them naturally. Another is that the chalice bearer wipes the cup with a purificator and rotates the cup, reducing the contact with individual lips.
I know that some of you prefer intinction, so I offer the advice and caution to use hand sanitizer as you come into church (there is some at the back of the church (and the altar party uses some at the front of the church). Another is to be extremely cautious about only touching the bread to the wine and not putting your fingers in the wine.
In all cases, we should understand the underlying concept in our church that we are receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the form of Bread and Wine. While we are used to receiving in both species (Body and Blood) we receive the full measure of God's grace if we receive using only the Bread or the Wine. If you choose not to receive the wine, simply cross your arms over your chest as the chalice comes to you. The minister will acknowledge you by holding the chalice and saying the words in blessing.
Pax et Bonum
The Altar Guild relies on the generosity of parishioners to help supply the flowers for Sunday services. Typically, flowers run between $35 and $40 dollars each Sunday. When there are no donations, the flowers are paid for through the Altar Guild fund, however, we have limited resources. This fund is also used for altar supplies and items for the liturgy and worship service.
If you would like to sign up for flowers on the Flower Chart at the back of church, it would be welcome. Flowers can be designated for a birthday, anniversary, thanksgiving, or memorial. If you cannot afford the full amount, you can pay $20 toward flowers, as it would help defray the cost. More than one person can sign up for any given Sunday. Please leave checks in the little box in the back of the church, or you can put it in the offering plate, but be sure to designate "Altar Flowers" in the memo line.
While we are in Lent, there will be no altar flowers except the same simple arrangement above the altar each week. However, there will be Easter lilies at the Easter service, and we will resume having fresh flowers after the lilies are no longer being used. A special sign-up sheet will be used to designate offerings for Easter and will be on the wall by the Flower Chart for your use.
Poinsettias are purchased at Christmas to decorate the church and altar, and donations are gladly accepted for these also. A special sign-up sheet is used at that time.
If you have any suggestions or concerns regarding flowers or the Altar Guild, please contact Diane Christensen or Noreen Lafferty.
-March 29th, 6pm: Lions Club omelet dinner at the American Legion Hall, 11401 American Legion Dr., Sutter Creek. $15 donation.
-Open Art Studio space: M-F, 2-6pm at the Amador County Arts Council (617 South CA-49 in Jackson). Call 209-256-8166 for more info.
-Free financial literacy classes sponsored by ATCCA are offered every 3rd Thursday from 2-4pm at Kennedy Meadows Apts., 701 NY Ranch Rd. Call 223-1485 ext. 223 to register.
-The LGBTQ Questioning and Ally youth group meets 1st Fridays 3:30-5pm in Jackson. Call or text 209-981-4689 for the location.
-LGBTQ Peer Support Group meets the 3rd Friday of each month (5-6pm) at Sierra Wind, 10654 Argonaut Lane, Jackson. 223-1956
-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.
-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 February totaled 52 pounds.
The total for 2020 is 116 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 March!
16th- Roger Simpson
19th- Donna Matson
21st- Victoria Davis
27th- Julie Lemos
30th- Lyle Eidsmoe
30th- Lou Narito
If you are celebrating a birthday in March, 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, email@example.com 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