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The Newsletter of Trinity Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio
Stewardship is realizing that we truly own nothing and yet we have the power to change EVERYTHING.
liturgy & events
Northwest Ohio Chapter, American Harp Society MAEVE GILCHRIST Wednesday, November 4 7p Singer and harpist, Maeve Gilchrist, has been credited as an innovator on the Celtic harp, fusing chromatic improvisation with the traditional folk music of her native Scotland. She will appearing with Scottish Jazz Awards recipient Aidan O’Donnell on bass in an evening of riveting, compelling Celtic music. Free Admission
Perrysburg Symphony Chorale A HANDEL CELEBRATION Friday, November 20 7p Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day Coronation Anthems Two exquisite celebratory works for chorus and orchestra from the hand of the foremost composer in London during the 17th century. Tickets: $10 / $8
Canterbury Choir THE “O” ANTIPHONS OF ADVENT Sunday, December 6 7p Trinity’s annual lessons and carols celebrating the coming Messiah through music, word, ritual and symbol. Free Admission
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1—ALL SAINTS’ Isaiah 25:6-9; Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44
10a Parish Eucharist
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8—PROPER 27 Psalm 146; 1 Kings 17:8-16; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22—PROPER 29 Psalm 132:1-13, (14-19); 2 Samuel 23:1-7; Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37
10a Parish Eucharist
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29—ADVENT 1 Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
10a Parish Eucharist
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15—PROPER 28 1 Samuel 1:4-20; Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25; Mark 13:1-8
10a Parish Eucharist
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6—ADVENT 2 Baruch 5:1-9; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6
10a Parish Eucharist
10a Parish Eucharist
LOVE GOD. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. REPEAT. ~~ LOVE GOD. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. REPEAT. ~~ LOVE G 2
from the rector
The Butterfly Effect
I have always believed in, and been fascinated and scared by, the concept of the “butterfly effect.” It is the notion that the movement of a butterfly’s wings change the atmosphere ever so slightly, but that one slight movement may contribute to a storm on the other side of the world. I could be paranoid and always keep it in negative terms such as that, but it’s more helpful in my life to keep it positive. If one person speaks one word of truth or peace or encouragement, where may that effect go? That concept speaks to me about whole-life stewardship—stewardship not just of money, but of words, time, body, talents, and everything else that is a gift from God. Clearly, in many (okay, ALL) of those areas, I have a looooong way to go. For me to be aware of my words and actions and the effects they may have on people across the hall and across the world will be a lifetime goal. I will never be there perfectly, but I can strive for better awareness. In her essay Faith-Based Stewardship, priest and author Linda Grenz says, Stewardship is the intentional use of all the resources and gifts God has given us to restore people to unity with God and each other in Christ and to further the reign of God on earth. It is definitely about money but it is also about our time, our relationships with our families, friends, neighbors and strangers in the street, our homes and possessions, our relationship with God’s creation and the use of the earth’s resources, and much more. Being a good steward means being aware of the fact that God has given us all that we have and developing the practices of thankfulness and generosity. God’s grace—God’s unearned, undeserved and unconditional love for us—invites, even demands a life of thankfulness and praise.
This is the time of year when we launch our stewardship campaign at Trinity. We ask you to prayerfully consider giving of the first fruits, so to speak, to help Trinity continue its mission. I also ask you to take some time this fall to look at other areas of your life and the implications of stewardship there. Try one area—time. Turn off the TV or the computer or the iPhone for ten minutes once a day. Spend those ten minutes quietly thanking God for the gifts you have been given, and asking for clarity on how to tend to them better. The change in life may be very small at first, but that small amount of thanksgiving, breathed into the life of the world, may set off a storm of goodness beyond anything we could possibly ask or imagine.
Celebrating God’s Generosity on Nov. 22
Starting with this issue of Topics, we ask you to prayerfully consider your pledge for Trinity’s ongoing ministries for 2010. A stewardship packet will be arriving at your home very soon. Please read the material it contains as well as this issue of Topics thoroughly. We will celebrate God’s generosity and our Thanksgiving with the ingathering of pledge cards on Sunday, November 22, the Feast of Christ the King. If you have been a part of Trinity’s Feast of Friends on Maundy Thursday, this will look familiar. We will have our usual Sunday morning liturgy, only we’ll be seated at tables in the nave. We’ll sing familiar Thanksgiving hymns (and maybe a new one or two), celebrate communion, and continue the celebration with a potluck. Turkey, ham, and beverages will be provided. On November 22, we ask that you bring three things to church with you: A dish to share. Rather than divvy up the alphabet, bring something you are known for—after all, we’ll be celebrating the particular gifts and talents God gave each of us! A regular size (not extra large or warehouse size) bottle or box of laundry detergent or bars/bottles of bath soap for Food for Thought’s mobile pantry Your completed pledge card Finally, we’ll prepare for the start of the new church year by beginning the greening of the church, since Advent starts the following Sunday!
Flu Facts Diocesan Convention
The 193rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Ohio will meet on November 13-14 at Trinity Commons in Cleveland. On Friday, November 13, convention delegates will spend the afternoon doing community service projects. All convention business will be conducted on Saturday, November 14.. Trinity’s delegates to Convention are Darl Crawford, Becky Roth, and Jim Zechman. Some people may have concerns about the spread of the flu in public gatherings like Sunday worship. The most important advice: be sensible and responsible. If you or a family member is feeling ill or experiencing flu-like symptoms (a fever of 100 degrees or more, plus a cough or sore throat), you serve God’s kingdom and the Trinity community best by staying home and contacting your health care provider. The single most effective way to protect yourself and others from spreading any virus is to wash your hands frequently using soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. There are bottles of hand sanitizer on the communion rail. Much current information holds that intinction (dipping the bread in the wine at communion) spreads bacteria as readily as drinking from the common cup, as it allows so many hands near the chalice and the intincted bread has been handled by the communicant. Remember that the sacrament is complete in either form alone. Find more flu facts at www.flu.gov.
November 1 .. ...........Katherine Lavalette November 4 .. ...........Josephine Dresser November 8 .. ...........Phyllis Hatton November 13 ...........Sally Mason ........................ ...........James Petlow November 18 ...........Scott Peck November 24 ...........Cathy Schultz November 27 ...........Patricia Bechtel November 28 ...........Isabella Salander
Blanket Blitz 2009
Many days + many hands + many yards of fleece yielded over 500 blankets as Trinity and countless friends from all over northwest Ohio came together to “Blanket Toledo with Love.” The blankets were blessed and sent out to help warm a cold world on Sunday, Oct. 25.
Sept YTD Budget
Sept YTD Actual
Trinity's September financial outlook shows that the savings we had in our Diocesan Assessment and Loan Interest Payment offset the substantial amount we're behind in pledge payments, $23,366. But we will not have that same situation in October. Our Diocesan Assessment will closely match the budgeted figure. If pledge payments continue to lag, we'll find that our YTD Actual Deficit will exceed the Budgeted Deficit. I look forward to your help so that October will look better than my forecast! Respectfully submitted, Jane Bueche Parish Accountant
Revenue Plate Offering Pledge Payments Combined Investment Income Other Operating Income Total Revenues Expenditures Personnel Buildings & Grounds Operations Diocesan Assessment Local Outreach Programs 146,257 109,426 23,025 31,137 4,125 21,048 25,200 360,218 (58,718) 143,338 122,706 17,853 19,729 4,326 14,018 8,590 330,561 (52,770) (2,919) 13,280 (5,172) (11,408) 201 (7,030) (16,610) (29,657) (5,948) 4,500 101,250 195,000 750 301,500 3,138 77,884 196,473 295 277,790 (1,362) (23,366) 1,473 (455) (23,710)
The financial health of our community is a shared responsibility, and we welcome your questions or comments. Contact Jane Bueche, Parish Accountant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loan Interest Payment Total Expenditures Net Surplus/(Deficit)
In anticipation of this month’s Diocesan Convention, Bishop Hollingsworth is asking you to "give the shirt off your back, or at least the T-shirts off your shelf." The bishop is urging everyone in the diocese to gather up all the T-shirts that are no longer essential to your wardrobe, launder and fold them, and deliver them to your convention delegates (Darl Crawford, Becky Roth, and Jim Zechman) to bring to the Convention Eucharist on Saturday morning, Nov. 14. "If your home is anything like mine," he said, "the accumulated number of T-shirts from past events, travels, sports teams, and causes that are not regularly worn constitutes a valuable amount of clothing from which others can surely benefit. Let's see how many T-shirts we can give away!" Let’s see how many T-shirts Trinity can contribute! Bring your shirt donations to church on or before November 10.
Stewart Academy Fall Collection
Shop now for hats, scarves, gloves and mittens for the students at Stewart Academy for Girls. Any color is welcome— the brighter the better! Bring them to church to be blessed on Sunday, Nov. 15, so they can be distributed before the weather gets any colder!
Head to My Brother’s Place for Thanksgiving Dinner
Make your reservation through Nov. 20 for My Brother's Place Family Thanksgiving Dinner! Bring your family and friends and enjoy a traditional holiday home-cooked meal served family style. A small dinner is $11.95 per person, $6.95 for children 10 and under, for turkey (white, dark or mixed) and 4 sides. A medium dinner is $15.95 per person, $10.95 for children 10 and under, for turkey and 6 sides. A large dinner is $19.95 per person, $14.95 for children 10 and under, for turkey and 11 sides. Drinks (coffee, iced tea, assorted Pepsi products) are included. Side dishes are: mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, sweet corn, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, broccoli rice casserole, roasted green beans, mac and cheese, cranberry sauce, rolls and butter, and dessert. Dessert choices include pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, apple pie, apple crumb pie, and cherry pie. Reservation hours are from 12-6pm. Call Elizabeth Sorge at 419.350.2505 by Nov. 20 to reserve your table.
Christmas Angels 2009
This year we will be sponsoring eight families plus one single woman. The families include a total of twelve girls, ages 6 months to 17, and seven boys, ages 4 to 15. We are only sponsoring 28 people (down from 50 last year), in part because many other local individuals and groups like to provide support for those in need at the holidays. Wish/need information cards will be available on Nov. 1, allowing plenty of time to buy and wrap gifts. The gifts should be new items, especially for children. Larger household items in “like new” condition are acceptable. A dollar limit of $25 per item is recommended. Some clients ask for gift cards, allowing them to make their own gift selections. Bring the wrapped gifts to church on Sunday, Dec. 13 to be blessed. Distribution will take place during that week.
Update: Emanuel Children's Home Nursery
The nursery facility at Emanuel Children’s Home is complete! Now all that’s needed are the caretakers. Although the building has space for ten cribs, the Home plans to start small, opening their arms to three abandoned infants soon after the first of the year (an average of six newborns are abandoned every month in San Pedro Sula, the city where the Children’s Home is located.) The modest start reflects the cost of paying additional staff dedicated to infant care. A successful fundraiser in Pennsylvania in October generated funds to cover six months of wages. We’ll hear more about ways to provide support for the nursery in the coming months. In the meantime, please pray for Emanuel Children’s Home as they step out in faith to help even more children.
New life, new mission for an old favorite: My Brother’s Place to open anew November 16
You won’t believe how it looks...or tastes!
Cater Me owner Elizabeth Sorge and her family and friends have transformed the second floor into a bright and warm gathering space including many touches of “Old Trinity.” Come taste an incredible mix of comfort food and dishes from Toledo’s international heritage. Lunch will be served 11-2 Monday-Friday. Monday, November 9—Friday, November 13: Soft opening (Family and Friends) Sunday, November 15: “House Blessing” party right after church (11:30) Monday, November 16: Grand Opening (Open to the Public) Thursday, November 26: Family Thanksgiving Dinner by reservation only (Deadline for reservations: Friday, November 20) Saturday, November 28: Special Hours for Downtown Holiday Parade
Toledo’s New Street Paper
Toledo Streets is a just-published monthly street paper founded to help unhoused and poor Toledoans to have their voices heard as contributors while earning money as vendors. Around 20 other U.S. cities have street papers (including Cincinnati and Columbus). Toledo Streets is currently created by volunteers who donate their time and talent to create a newspaper covering a variety of issues, but with a focus on homelessness and poverty. Vendors are individuals who are currently or previously unhoused. After attending a vendor orientation and signing a Code of Conduct, they receive a temporary badge and five free papers to sell. After those five papers, these vendors purchase each paper for 25 cents and sell it for $1. After a month of selling the papers, they receive a badge with their name and photo. Watch for Toledo Streets for sale in downtown Toledo. Be sure to buy your paper from a badged Toledo Streets vendor only. 7
The Church Health Team hosted a series of Kitchen Table meetings in the last half of September. These small group gatherings around town gave our community a chance to talk and reflect together about what passionate spirituality is, and why it’s the part of our life together that needs the most nurturing. The next step in the NCD process is for the Health Team to pray, study and discuss this opportunity further, in order to develop a preliminary action plan for growing and developing our passionate spirituality. That proposed plan is being drafted now, and it will be shared with the community for your review and feedback before it’s finalized and implemented. In the meantime, if you have any further thoughts about encountering God in daily life or adopting spiritual practices that support your journey, please talk with one of the Church Health Team members listed on this page. We’ll be exploring ways to nurture our spirituality throughout the next year. Please pray regularly for Trinity’s vitality and for our involvement in the NCD process. Our NCD prayer is printed below.
The Church Health Team
The role of Trinity’s Church Health Team is to help the community move through the Natural Church Development process, nurturing our minimum factor and thereby increasing the health and vitality of the parish. The Team, which was chosen by the rector and vestry officers, is responsible for creating a plan with a timeline, and then guiding the community through its work. Trinity’s Church Health Team members are Todd Alcroft, Don Barnes, Jane Bueche, Liddy Hoster, Mike Lowrey, Becky Roth, Karen Wabeke, and Joni Zechman.
Anne Lamott on prayer:
I try to listen for God’s voice inside me, but my sense of discernment tends to be ever so slightly muddled. When Gods wants to get my attention, She clears Her throat a number of times, trying to get me to look up, or inward – and then if I don’t pay attention, She rolls Her eyes, makes a low growling sound, and starts kicking me under the table with her foot. From Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, pg. 21
The essence of God Trinity’s NCD Prayer
Merciful Creator, we invite you to be with us here and now. As we embrace Natural Church Development, keep us mindful of our purpose in this work – to empower your people, grow and strengthen your church, and glorify your name. Fill us with your Spirit of Wisdom and Truth as we humbly examine ourselves and our community. Help us to embrace new opportunities for growth and improvement. Renew our energy, guide our work, and lead us to new life in you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
What is the essence of God? We try to describe God in qualities found in our human experience. We begin to think that God possesses such qualities as goodness and love, just as a human being might be described by eye color or height. But to say "God is good" is not to describe goodness as one of God's qualities, but to say that the good we see in our world points to God. God is good. When one person loves another without thought of reward, God lives in that gift of love. Each time we help each other see, walk, or heal, we have manifested the love of God. These are not descriptions of God; they are God at work. Unconditional love is not simply part of the goodness of God. Love is the "Godness" of God. From Forward Day by Day
REAL KIDS, REAL FAI TH
by Karen-Marie Yust Jossey-Bass. 240 pp. $23.95
Practices for Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives
In this book, Karen-Marie Yust offers insights into how we can create an environment in which our children have the opportunity to develop a real and deep spirituality. She reminds us that faith is a gift from God that transforms us, and that there are simple ways to help children create a rich and meaningful faith life. This is an easy to read book, clearly written and based on solid research. Yust contends that our children belong to two cultures: our everyday community (schools, networks of family and friends) and our religious community (family spiritual practices, local congregation and wider church events). She suggests ways in which parents can help children negotiate the overlaps and tensions between these two worlds so that children can become genuinely ‘bilingual’. Providing children with a religious language assists them in naming God’s presence in their lives, and gives them a greater opportunity to have a rich faith life, to explore concepts, imagery and symbols, and to connect with God throughout their growing years. The book contains plenty of examples of ways to provide children with tools to develop a religious language and spiritual understanding, like having a mix of popular and sacred music in your CD collection, having religious art in your home (that you talk about), and reading stories that have biblical content. Yust also writes about ways to pray with children. Children are often underestimated in this area of their faith life, and Yust provides useful concepts and words, along with the reassurance that children can listen for God in silence. Examples of centering prayer, meditation, intercession, thanksgiving, and using art as prayer are given, reminding us that prayer draws people of any age into closer relationship with the divine. Karen-Marie Yust teaches at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. She is the mother of three children and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She conducts workshops on children and spirituality around the world.
Finding God in the midst of domestic chaos
Flexibility may be the ultimate spiritual virtue. Because if we wait until things calm down in our lives before seeking to forge a fruitful relationship with the divine, it will never happen. God’s voice and presence is everywhere, even in the midst of the chaos that so often defines our lives. Eventually I realized that through the chaos of having young children, God opened my eyes to new possibilities and new ways of experiencing the divine. Finding God in the midst of domestic chaos was a revelation that relationship with God can be a very messy affair. And that’s okay. God is just as present in our lives when we walk around the block in pajamas at 2:00 a.m. with a crying baby as in a reflective ten minutes of silence before a worship service. The trick is balance. And recognizing that there is no ordinary time; it is all blessed by God... I once saw a bumper sticker that read, THERE IS NO SECULAR WORLD. I’m not big on bumper sticker theology—HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS and the like—but this proclamation said it all. There is no secular world. It is all sacred because God pervades everything. The divine presence weaves its way throughout our daily lives... We often see snippets of the truth on the highways and byways of life, just as we do in the midst of domestic chaos. We simply need to open our eyes to the possibilities. From What Size are God’s Shoes? Kids, Chaos, and the Spiritual Life by Tim Schenck 9
So we send you this funky blue envelope once or twice a year . Or you have a little blue cardboard box on your desk or dresser, and can’t remember how or when it got there. It can still do plenty of good. It’s for the Episcopal Church’s UTO--United Thank Offering--which has been around for 130 years, and awards grants around the county and throughout the world. In 2008, it gave out over $2,400,000. Some examples of the good it does: In the Diocese of San Diego, UTO awarded $28,616 to Neighborhood Healthcare in Pauma Valley to support affordable, accessible care for more than 1,600 women and children each year who lack health insurance coverage. In Sri Lanka, in the Diocese of Colombo, the UTO awarded $50,000 to fund a van and advocacy work with tea plantation workers, including income generation, vocational training skills, family support and HIV/AIDS awareness and education. Smells just like our mission statement, doesn’t it? Here’s what to do with the fresh envelope (enclosed) or the dusty blue box that gives you a vague sense of guilt when you look at it: Option 1: Between now and Nov. 8, at the end of each day, remember the blessings of the day. Put a dollar in the envelope/box for every blessing. On Nov. 8, bring the envelope to church. Get a new envelope and start over. Option 2: You’ve had that blue box around for quite some time. What grade were you in back then— 3rd grade? College sophomore? Estimate the number of years, then put a ten or a twenty in the box for every year it's been sitting there. On Nov. 8, transfer that money to the envelope, and bring it to church. Then go to Option 1. Option 3: On Nov. 8, write out an extra check to Trinity and put UTO in the memo line. Whatever you give, we’ll send it to United Thank Offering, who will send it back out to the world. And somewhere out there, lots of people will be so grateful.
Converting spoken prayer to doing prayer may start with the need to accompany words by moving the body: bowing again and again while reading Torah, my kneeling and standing in church, a nun bending to light votive candles, an elderly couple raising their hands and arms during praise, or your walking through the dark, ferny woods as you recite the Jesus prayer. You may already be doing prayer. Perhaps all you need to do is notice what you do and dedicate that time to God. Sometimes doing prayer is intentional, but at other times, you realize during or even after your activity that you have entered into new communication with God. Maybe you take a walk every day in a place that declares God’s presence. Every time you acknowledge Creation, you have prayed. Zen Buddhists believe in a strict policy of “mindfulness,” in which walking while thinking, taking pictures, or listening to a CD is unheard of. When you walk, you pay attention to walking. And although the concepts of Zen Buddhism originated in the East, they are not so different from those of Western mystics. Once a novice found St. Teresa of Avila devouring a partridge, holding the roasted carcass in her hands and ripping the meat off with her teeth. “Well,” she told the horrified novice, “when I pray, I pray. When I eat partridge, I eat partridge.”
From “Doing Prayer” in Beyond Words: 15 Ways of Doing Prayer by Kristen Johnson Ingram
Kroger Community Rewards Can Reward Trinity
Now you can earn money for Trinity while doing your grocery shopping. If you have a Kroger Plus Card, all you need to do is link your card to Trinity Episcopal Church, and you’ll automatically start earning contributions to our parish every time you shop. Kroger will write a check to the church each quarter. At www.krogercommunity rewards.com, you’ll find detailed stepby-step instructions about how to sign up. You’ll need Trinity’s organization number, which is 84767. Within 7-10 business days of successfully registering your Plus Card, you will see this note at the bottom of your Kroger receipts: “At your request, Kroger is donating to Trinity Episcopal Church.” You can earn reward dollars on almost everything, every time you shop. However, a few items are excluded: alcohol, tobacco, postage stamps, Kroger gift cards, Michigan bottle deposits, lottery tickets, fuel, fuel center purchases and sales tax. Please take advantage of this simple way to let Trinity benefit from the trips you already make to the grocery. If you have questions, or need help linking your Kroger Plus card to Trinity’s account, contact Jane Bueche.
Prayer for Renewed Hope and
I desire to help create a new context for human work and wealth, in which all people might prosper, in which all poverty might disappear, in which all of us might achieve as You would have us achieve, and give to others as You would have us give. Let the illusions that hold us back, dear God, as individuals and as a society, now disappear. Let me have new energy. Let me have a new sense of purpose. Let me know that I am on this earth to serve. Let me not feel guilty about the expression of my power. Let me no longer play small, regardless of other people's reactions to me when I play big. I am willing to receive an expanded set of options that You, dear God, might work miracles in my life, that You might cast out all negative and limited conditions of this world. May I receive a future unlike the past, for myself and others. For I now open my mind to possibilities I have not dreamed of, to forces of life I have not allowed in, and to realms of you I have hardly imagined. I let go. I release everything that blocks me in this endeavor, from my past, from my present, and from my future. May I awaken from the dream of my inadequate self. Amen.
around the kingdom
(Editor’s note: Remember the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs]? Goal 3 is to promote gender equality and empower women. If you never do anything else to support the Millennium Development Goals, read this book. Its stories and ideas, and your loving heart, will do the rest.)
HALF THE SKY
by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn Knopf. 294 pp. $27.95 From two fiercely moral voices, this book an informative and inspiring call to arms against our era's most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn take us on an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teen sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. They also show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from the brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. These stories are electrifying and have the effect of breaking down this enormous problem into segments the reader can focus on. Suddenly, these horrendous problems begin to seem solvable. Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the best strategy for fighting extreme poverty lies in unleashing women's potential. They make clear how many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. The book is superbly written, and hopeful despite the heavy subject matter. Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen. In recognition of their work chronicling human rights issues in the developing world, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn will receive the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement at a ceremony on Nov. 8 in Dayton, Ohio.
What in God’s Name are They Saying?
“Last week the Vatican invited Anglicans who are, as The New York Times put it, ‘uncomfortable with female priests and openly gay bishops’ to reunite with the Roman Catholic Church. If a secular institution, Wal-Mart or Microsoft for example, made a similar offer — Tired of leadership positions being open to women and gay employees? Join us! — it would be slammed for appealing to bigotry. “
“If souls are not transformed and the world is not healed, the congregation fails no matter what the treasurer reports.”
Dan Hotchkiss, Alban Institute
— Randy Cohen, author of The Ethicist column in the New York Times, from his Times blog, “The Moral of the Story” on Oct. 27, 2009
“There’s just nothing like a common dislike of us gays to mend a 475-year old religious rift.”
— from the blog “Slap Upside the Head” (www.slap upsidethehead.com) on Oct. 21, 2009
It is Right to Give God Thanks and Praise
I've scratched the ears of dogs, laughed at the ballet of cats. I've heard the cry and gurgle of the newborn, played with children, rocked with grandmothers, learned from hundreds of teachers, some of them homeless, poor, and uneducated. I've been enlarged ten times squared by writers from Shakespeare to Toni Morrison, and countless other storytellers, some in delis and diners, taverns and buses, churches, curb sides and prison cells. What's enough? Countless times I've watched the sun rise like God's tender mercy to gently lift the dark blanket from the earth, and countless more times I've watched the sun set in such a splendiferous farewell that it must reflect the fringe on God's robe. I've seen the sky define blue and endless. I've watched rivers run to the sea, full as life runs to God. I've felt the sea roll in on the eternal note of mystery and assurance. I have tasted bread and wine, hog dogs and caviar, somehow in the alchemy of need and gift and joy, all made holy as God's own overflowing banquet. I've been loved and forgiven beyond all deserving, and all breath to tell of it, by family and friends and God. I've been shaken, changed, and blessed a thousand times — and still — by the prophets, and by Christ. I've felt the touch of God, each time before I realized that's what it was. I've been shrunk and stretched at the same time by the scatter of stars and found North in one of them. I've experienced the loneliness of freedom and being human and having hard choices. I've known the thrill of small triumphs, the instruction of painful defeats, and so the amazement of being part of the incredible human pilgrimage from Adam and Eve to the twenty-first century. I've shared in the cantankerous yet remarkable family of faith called the church. I'm conscious of being conscious and alive. And all that's just for starters. How much does it take to praise God? I have a couple of trips around the Milky Way past enough for that, no matter if I never receive another thing. So I best get on with it . . . and praise God that I can. from The Haunt of Grace: Responses to the Mystery of God's Presence by Ted Loder
The essence of our being
A nineteenth-century teacher in the Celtic world, Alexander Scott, used the analogy of royal garments. Apparently in his day, royal garments were woven through with a costly thread, a thread of gold. And if somehow the golden thread were taken out of the garment, the whole garment would unravel. So it is, he said, with the image of God woven into the fabric of our being. If it were taken out of us, we would unravel. We would cease to be. So the image of God is not simply a characteristic of who we are, which may or may not be there… The image of God is the essence of our being. It is the core of the human soul. We are sacred not because we have been baptized or because we belong to one faith tradition over another. We are sacred because we have been born. But what does it mean to be made in the image of God? In part, it is to say that wisdom is deep within us, 14 deeper than the ignorance of what we have done or become. It is to say that the passion of God for what is just and right is deep within, deeper than any apathy or participation in wrong that has crippled us. To be made in the image of God is to say that creativity is at the core of our being, deeper than any barrenness that has dominated our lives and relationships. And above all else, it is to say that love and the desire to give ourselves away to one another in love is at the heart of who we are, deeper than any fear or hatred that holds us hostage. Deep within us is a longing for union, for our genesis is in the One from whom all things have come. Our home is in the Garden, and deep within us is the yearning to hear its song again.
From Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation by J. Philip Newell, found at www.episcopalcafe.com/thesoul/
around the kingdom around the kingdom
Harvest of the Heart
Stewardship is a critical way in which Trinity ministers to us individually. It serves us by disrupting our lives but clarifying our values and daily decisions. In many faith communities, stewardship has become so wedded to budgeting that many now see annual pledges as "dues," a requirement of belonging, guided by an attitude of "How much do I have to give?" and "Do I like what you do with my money?" A better approach, both for transforming our lives and for sustaining the life of the Trinity community, is to recall the true foundation of Christian stewardship: gratefully serving God by serving others. Some key principles: Gratitude for the harvest Even though the ancient Biblical context was an agricultural economy's actual harvest, the same principle applies today. Whether our work is farming or finance, real estate or retail sales, we apply skills that God made possible in us, to do work in a "field" that we didn't create, and to earn a "harvest" that is more about God's grace than our responsible behavior. The proper attitude toward that harvest is gratitude. Giving from the harvest The ancient He br ew concept was a simple one: measure the harvest, and give the first fruits of it back to God in thanksgiving, especially the first tenth. In our language, this means giving "off the top" as an obligation to be met first, not after expenses and taxes. "Harvest Giving" is different from "charitable giving." First fruits are different from last fruits, the leftover abundance that remains after other obligations have been satisfied. We don't measure our satisfaction with how our first fruits are used; we measure the harvest. Both express generosity, but the does, or their feelings of loyalty, pride or personal recognition. In harvest giving, however, the measure is the harvest itself, and gifts from the harvest are given away in pure gratitude, for the benefit of others. Joining the mission work Christian stewardship adds an important element to harvest giving: personal engagement. Jesus sent his disciples out to serve. Their call was to love others, to care for "the least of these," to "die to self," to give away their lives. This was an intensely personal and sacrificial process.
David J. Nightingale
differences between harvest giving/stewardship and charitable giving are profound. Giving to the "temple" for its mission to others Harvest gifts were to be laid before the priests in the temple, for them to use in caring for widows and orphans. In this collaborative mode, the faith community pooled its resources to care for the vulnerable and troubled. In a membership-dues approach, givers assess how much they benefit from the institution's work. In charitable giving, givers asses their pleasure in what the institution
In our times, this means giving away not only our tithe of the harvest goods, but our tithe of time. We each have abilities that will benefit others. Each of us can make a difference, can collaborate with God to make the world more loving and more just. This is our true calling.
(Note: This article was adapted from several stewardship articles at The Church Wellness Project, www.church wellness.com.)
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One Trinity Plaza
Trinity Episcopal Church
Toledo, Ohio 43604-1585 Phone: 419.243.1231 Fax: 419.243.0920 Email: email@example.com
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Elizabeth M. Hoster, Rector Wayne F. Anthony, Associate for Music and the Arts Susan Lowrey, Associate for Community Life Virginia Shafer, Executive Secretary Jane Bueche, Parish Accountant Bridget Blanchard, Organist
SUNDAYS 10:00 am, Holy Eucharist HOLY DAYS as announced
Jeff Albright, senior warden; Jason Rahe, junior warden; Karen Wabeke, clerk; Solveig Barnes, Lucia Cooper, Jane Gomersall-Zohn, Jennifer Siebold, Sherre Owens Smith, Jim Zechman.
Remember those for whom our prayers have been requested: Sam Bish, Joshua Cowan, Leslie Currier, Caroline Daman, the John DeRaedt Family, safety for Eileen and Ana, Tom Garrity, Marie Harkey, Herb Landis, Tracy Lewis, Susan Lowrey, David C. Nelson, Nancy Paulas, the Schneider family, Jessica Snyder, and Mary Winsor; the children and staff of Emanuel Children’s Home, especially David and Estrella; the vestry and wardens; the Church Health Team; those on death row; all victims of war and violence; our new ministry with Food for Thought and Cater Me. Prayers for those who have died:
Mon thru Fri, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Phone 419.243.1231 Fax 419.243.0920 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2230 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2499 800.551.4815 216.771.4815 The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., Bishop Ordinary
Episcopal Diocese of Ohio
vision & mission
Trinity is called to be a progressive, inclusive, creative urban faith community. We will practice radical hospitality. We will be engaged in the life of our city. We will stand with those in need: the poor, the sick, the friendless, the marginalized. We will actively invite all to experience and celebrate God’s living presence. We will journey together toward a Christ-centered life, pursuing personal ministries that connect us to God, to one another, and to the world around us.
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