Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Sermon: Keeping the Story of Hope Alive!

Keeping the Story of Hope Alive!
Readings: Is. 65:17-25; Luke 24:1-12   Easter/C
By the Rev. Karen Faye Siegfriedt; Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek, CA  3/27/16


On the first day of the week, several women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body.  They found the tomb empty and were perplexed.  Suddenly, two men in dazzling clothes appeared and asked the women:  “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” As they shook in fear, they were reminded of Jesus’ words: “The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”  As they remembered those words, they left the tomb in a hurry to tell the apostles that Jesus had been raised from the dead.  But instead of rejoicing over this good news, the men didn’t believe the women’s story and accused them of telling an idle tale.  Actually, the Greek word used in the text is leros, a word usually reserved to describe a person suffering from delirium.


Sometimes, stores are too weird to be taken seriously and sometimes the tellers of the stories are even weirder, in which case we would dismiss them.   But those women who went to the tomb on Easter morning were not weirdos to be dismissed.  We are talking about Mary, the mother of James; Mary Magdalene who supported Jesus with time and money during his life; and Joanna and many of the other faithful women who were deeply devoted to Jesus.


Now I don’t know exactly why the apostles discounted the women’s testimony as being a delusionary tale but I do know that they had to see it for themselves before they would believe.  Historically, women have been labeled as giving way to hysteria, often discounted, even in a court of law.  Maybe the apostles thought there was another explanation for the empty tomb; one that made more sense like grave robbers stealing Jesus’ body.  Or maybe the story of the resurrection was just too great to behold.  I know for myself, when I hear something that seems too good to be true, I become critical, confirming in my own mind that it isn’t true.  Had I been told that story, I would have had my doubts too.  But then I remember that God’s ways are not always my ways and that now I see only in a mirror dimly.


After the first set of witnesses told their story, others began to experience the risen Christ. The risen Christ appeared and disappeared, like a body of light passing through locked doors, a palpable presence of God. The second set of witnesses did not believe in the resurrection because of the story of an empty tomb.  Rather they believed in the power of God to make things new because they had a personal experience of the risen Christ.  It was such a profound encounter tha it filled them with joy.  


And with this joy and hope, they put their own lives on the line and went out to spread the good news: The good news that with God, all things are possible; the good news that death is not the end of the story; the good news that the dark powers of the world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of the world could not and did not win out in the end.  


It is this story of hope that that we remember on Easter day.  The story of the resurrection is a story that is so incredible that it does not meet the common sense test.  It is a story filled with a truth that is too big and wondrous to fit into just one gospel account.  We who judge every occurrence with a scientific mind try to make God as knowable and dependable as breakfast cereal, refusing to admit that some things are beyond our human comprehension.  While the gospels are silent about the events that took place between the burial of Jesus’ body on Good Friday and the women’s visit to the tomb on Sunday morning, they are not silent about Jesus’ sustaining presence in the world.  For Christians, that sustaining presence continues today.  On that first Easter morning as the women discovered the empty tomb, terrified and cowering in the dirt, the good news was told, and a new heaven and a new earth began to emerge.  And in this vortex of tremendous energy, the presence of God descended upon the disciples and they began to break their own silence.


Instead of cowering in fear, hiding for their own lives, Jesus’ disciples were filled with a passion, a hope, and a courage that propelled them to go out into the world and witness to the good news of Christ.   This Christ was not a dead messiah or a political messiah or even a feel good messiah. This was a man of God who was willing to stand up to a violent world and preach a perennial truth:  a foundational truth based on compassion, peace, generosity, inclusivity, and the dignity of every human being.  Jesus was truly the way, the truth, and the life that would lead to a harmonious world.  


The resurrection is not some philosophical idea based on an idle tale.  It is an invitation to see life differently, a life filled with new possibilities that are not fully evident in the present moment.  Resurrection is a doorway where meals are shared, healing is offered, clean water is given, peace treaties are brokered, the poor are lifted up, and resources are more equally distributed.  And while Jesus was committed to this ministry two thousand years ago, it is no longer he who carries it forward but rather we, the body of Christ, witnesses of resurrection, who believe that out of the ashes of destruction, new life can and does appear.


So what stories do you tell and tend to focus on?  Are they idle tales or stories that just focus on judgment, punishment, death, and cynicism?  Are the stories you tell full of hope and new possibilities, brimming with the good news of Christ?  Whom do you listen to or dismiss when you hear news about what is going on in the world?  Are you stuck in a particular political position, refusing to hear the other side?  Or are you open to hearing news that might expand your understanding and soften your heart?  What credentials are you looking for to substantiate the stories you hear?  Are you looking for someone with an advanced degree, or an upright and moral character, or someone with a big heart?  


Oftentimes, we remain stuck in our ways of thinking, looking for the living among the dead as Luke mentions in today’s gospel.  “We too want to tend the corpses of long dead ideas and ideals.  We cling to former visions of ourselves and our churches as if they might come back to life as long as we hold on to them.  We grasp our loved ones too tightly, refusing to allow them to change, to become bigger, or smarter, or stronger.  We choose to stay with what we know in our hearts to be dead because it is safe and malleable.” {N. Pittman, FOTW} Yet the words of the two men in dazzling clothes in Luke’s gospel story, challenge us to stop hanging onto the dead and to move into new life.  They remind us that God dwells wherever new life bursts forth.


Sometimes, our lives have been so filled with disappointment and pain that we just can’t imagine good news and so we fret in front of the television, absorbing all those depressing stories highlighted by the media as if nothing good is going on in the world.  We might see a quick news brief of Pope Francis washing the feet of Muslim refugees while hour after hour, day after day, we are exposed to excruciating details of violence committed by ISIS.  I don’t know about you, but I am tired of listening to stories that offer little hope for a new world.  I am tired of hearing politicians bash each others wives or brag about punching people in the face. I grow weary of a fearful minority who refuses to educate themselves and are willing to elect a leader who is totally ill equipped to lead our country in the 21st century.  I become irritated at an ignorant and prejudiced populace, who believe that by scapegoating foreigners or people of other faiths, our country can become great again.


Maybe that is why I am eager to celebrate Easter year after year, to keep the story of hope alive. I yearn to hear stories of hope, where the dead are raised, the sick are healed, the poor are fed, the blind receive their vision; where joy becomes the norm and longevity is no longer cut short by war, starvation, and a lack of access to good medical care.  I have a passion for stories about the success of the millennium development goals, where extreme poverty has been cut in half, cheap and effective HIV tests are becoming available, and more people have access to clean water.  I long to see stories about Malala, a Pakistani girl who travels all over the world advocating education for girls even though the Taliban tried to kill her and has a high price on her head.  And I look forward to hearing more stories about how we Americans, along with the rest of the human race, can work to move beyond our own self-interest by striving for peace, justice, and the dignity of every human being.

Today’s gospel tells the story of hope, a story where life triumphs over death.  And while we may not fully understand the mystery of the resurrection, we need to give this story a chance.  2000 years ago, on the first day of the week in the city of Jerusalem, several women went out to the tomb. They heard the good news and broke their silence, which is after all what God asks of us. While the Bible reminds us of this story, it is up to us to keep the story alive. Alleluia Christ is risen.  The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Betrayal: A Good Friday Reflection

Betrayal:  A Good Friday Reflection
Reading: John 18:1-19:42
By the Rev. Karen Siegfriedt; Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek, CA  3/25/16


Betrayal!  It has happened to all of us.  The violation of trust, the exposure of a confidence, the breaking of a presumed agreement, or just being unfaithful in the guarding and maintaining of a friendship; these are all part and parcel of acts of betrayal. Betrayal often affects the victim with anger and confusion while leaving the betrayer with feelings of guilt or shame. That is why people often make up excuses or try to justify their actions of betrayal.  


While I was not there at Calvary on that dark day some 2000 years ago, today’s passion gospel along with the other gospels have motivated me to reflect on the act of betrayal; those committed by others and those of my own making.  Judas wasn’t the only one who betrayed Jesus and I am sure that he, like others, had their excuses. For him (and some of the others disciples who had high hopes that Jesus would rise to political power), they became very disappointed that he wouldn’t fight for the sovereignty of Israel.  Often, when we are sorely disappointed with a person, it becomes easier to abandon or betray them especially when they become weak or ineffective.  


On the other hand, Peter, who denied his teacher three times, was not the only one who failed to honor his friendship when the going got tough. From what I can surmise from the gospel accounts, there were many others who fled in fear when the soldiers came, choosing to abandon their teacher in order to protect their own lives.  So who actually ended up at the cross supporting Jesus and who stayed at the cross to persecute him?


The two main groups who stayed at the cross were the soldiers and the women.  John’s gospel says that several women (along with the beloved disciple) stood "near the cross", and that Jesus spoke to them. The women are identified as Jesus' mother Mary, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clophas, and Mary Magdalene. The disciple is identified only as "the disciple whom Jesus loved".  Other gospels claim that Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons were also there.  Seems like there were a lot of Mary’s standing around, willing to gaze upon their beloved until he breathed his last breath.  Would you have had the courage and the devotion to be one of them?


Also at the cross was Simon of Cyrene, an innocent man in the crowd, who was forced to carry the cross for Jesus when he became too weak to do so for himself.  In addition, there were two other men: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus whose lives were truly touched by the preaching and presence of Jesus.  After his death, they took Jesus’ body, wrapped it with spices in linen cloths and laid it in a tomb.  We can’t always predict who will support us in the long run and who will leave us when the going gets tough. Since both Nicodemus and Joseph only communicated with Jesus in secret while he was alive, you would not have expected them to show up in the end. Betrayal is sometimes like that.  You often can’t predict who, when, or why.


Then, of course, there were the persecutors of Jesus at the cross: the lowly soldiers who beat him, divided his garments, and nailed him to the cross.  There was the soldier who pierced his side and another who gave him sour wine to quench his thirst.  Then there were those who had demanded that Jesus be crucified.  This included the angry mob, the elders, and some of the priests.  Two criminals were also crucified along with Jesus as he slowly suffocated on the cross, all while his opponents derided and mocked him. Where do you think that you would have bee had you lived in Jerusalem at that time?  Would you have been at the cross weeping?  Perhap hiding out in fear?  Or would you be going about your business as usual?


Today, it is tempting to look away from the cross as if it were some unfortunate event in the past.  Many Christians no longer see a need to attend Good Friday services, viewing it as a quaint religious tradition having no real value in their lives today.  However, the cross is the inevitable result of the collision between God’s perfect love and our perpetual fear.  Here, heaven and earth meet in a gruesome instrument of torture and death, something that continues to exist in our modern day world as terrorists and opportunists inflict violence, prejudice, and hate on innocent bystanders.


Judas was not the only one who betrayed Jesus.  Christians all over the world continue to do so.  Jesus said that the way we treat the least of our brothers and sisters is how we treat him.  Whenever I ignore those who need my help, I am not being faithful to Christ but betraying my baptismal vows. Whenever I decide to scapegoat a foreigner or a person of another religious tradition, I am not being faithful but fearful.  Whenever I support violence to solve a conflict, I am taking the easy way out, and have turned my back on Jesus.  The events surrounding our little acts of betrayal are probably less dramatic than Judas’ or Peter’s but they are just as real.

And so we continue to pray:  God have mercy, Christ have mercy, God have mercy upon us.  And in response, if we truly listen to the divine voice, we hear:  “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

Monday, March 14, 2016

Love vs. Attachment: Respecting a Loved One’s Wishes

Love vs. Attachment: Respecting a Loved One’s Wishes
Reading: John 12:1-8 L5/C
By the Rev. Karen Faye Siegfriedt; Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek, CA 3/13/16
Six days before his death, “Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.” [John 12]
      A Stanford doctor tells the story of a recent patient in his 60’s who was dying of a brain tumor and whose wife was desperate to keep him alive.  “A gifted cook, the wife had always shown her love for her husband by serving him well-prepared meals.  As his tumor progressed, he became confused and developed swallowing difficulties.  He became unable to eat, so she asked that he be fitted with a feeding tube that would nourish him and allow her to spend more time with him, even though he had indicated he did not want to be tube-fed.  The tube, inserted in the nose and down the esophagus into the stomach, soon began to cause complications, sucking material from the patient’s stomach into his lungs, where it threatened to cause a fatal respiratory infection.
“The man was uncomfortable and tried to pull it out.  The wife designed a beautiful and innovative restraint that left his hands free but prevented him from removing the feeding tube.  The doctor gently refused to restrain the dying man and counseled the wife to let the tube be withdrawn.  The wife ultimately relented when reminded that her husband was a proud and dignified man who had told the doctor that he wanted to die gently.  He died peacefully that night.  This is a typical end-of-life tale, in which loving, well-intentioned family members opt for ineffective and burdensome treatments, rather than allow loved ones to pass away peacefully, as many patients say they would prefer.” [Stanford Medicine-Winter 2016]
In today’s gospel story, Jesus is having dinner at the home of Lazarus with his friends Martha and Mary.  He has set his face toward Jerusalem and will be crucified six days later.  In an earlier chapter, Jesus told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed.  But Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him saying, “God forbid it.’ Jesus becomes furious with Peter and reminds his disciples that those who want to follow him must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow him.” [Mt. 16: 21-24]
Now while many of us might think that Jesus has made a poor end-of life decision and try to dissuade or interfere with his conscious choice (like the disciples), Mary, a devout and loving friend does not.  Instead, she takes what she has and nurtures Jesus in his final days of life by massaging his feet with oil.  She doesn’t try to make him reconsider his end-of-life decision.  She doesn’t pout or get angry.  She simply comforts him by offering her presence, her love, and her gift of oil.  This is exactly what Jesus needed.  Jesus emphasizes his appreciation of Mary by telling Judas to leave her alone and stop complaining about using expensive oil needed to prepare him for his burial.
Sometimes we hurt the people we love by misguided good intent, especially when it comes to end-of-life decisions.  Some people are so attached to their loved ones that they make medical decision on their behalf that are not the best for the patient.  At other times, they refuse to admit to their loved ones’ frailty and pretend that all is well, thereby depriving the dying person of expressing his or her fears and final thoughts.
In his testimony about living a rule of life, Br. Keith Nelson distinguishes between love and attachment:  “As we look for ways that we can love more, love more deeply, all those with whom we share our life, there are certain practices that might help us to distinguish between love and attachment. From Scripture we learn that “God is love,” “we love because God first loved us,” and “as Christ has loved us, so we should love one another.”
So in our attempt to love fully, we need to remember first and foremost that we are loved by God.  All of the love that we give or receive is just God’s love.  It’s not our possession, it’s not our product. If we are attempting to manufacture [love] in our own strength, as something that is just ours…it is easy for our love to become attachment.  Attachment is essentially love without freedom, which is impossible.  Attachment blocks the primacy of God’s love, of which all human love is just a reflection, a conduit.
Br. Nelson suggests that we review all of the relationships in our life. “Those relationships in which we are conscious of cultivating love with a spouse, a friend, a family member, and just sit down and perhaps review internally how much freedom is there in this relationship. We might ask:  “How much am I getting stuck?  Might this person or this relationship sometimes become a substitute for the love of God? Or is this relationship like a window through which the love of God is passing?”   How attached might you be to that person? And is your freedom being limited or is the freedom of the person you are loving…being limited by your attachment? [SSJE Rule of Life, 3/4/16]
I wonder if anyone allowed Jesus to express his fears and concerns about his end-of-life decision.  Did his followers remain quiet, hoping the inevitable would never come?  Or were they just too attached and afraid of losing him to admit the difficult truth?  One thing I do know for sure is this: His friend Mary took the initiative to nurture him to the end.  She couldn’t prevent his death but she could be present with him with a loving gesture of care and humility.  This is what ultimately counts.
Today we are celebrating Health Ministries Sunday.  One of the things I admire about health ministry at Trinity is the generosity and love that so many of you offer to those who are sick or dying.  Our policy is not to try to change anyone’s mind, to deny their mortality, or to impose our will.  Instead, we simply show up with loving care and humility to offer those in need, a gesture of love.  A few weeks ago, one of our older parishioners, Jeanne Eidsmoe, fell and broke her hip.  Following the surgery, she was overtaken with pneumonia.  Joy and Bob Blair were not medical people who could cure either of her ailments, but what they did do is show up at Kit Carson with a prayer shawl in hand and spend time with Jeanne.  Eventually Jeanne died at the age of 92 on Feb. 28th.   Her prayer shawl was passed along to her daughter, a testimony of the love at Trinity Church, a community who like Mary, cares enough to show up and be present.
The Mission of Trinity Health Ministries is to help people care for one another and to live life more abundantly.  May God give us the grace to continue this special outreach of love.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Trinity Tidings - March 2016

New Header
Trinity Tidings
The E Newsletter of Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek

March 2016

In This Issue
Rector's Report
Did You Know?
Vestry Notes
Trinity Adventures!
ACOA Report
Care Packages
Lenten Soup Suppers
Food Bank Donations
Trinity Singers Rehearsals
Birthdays this month
Would You Like to Contribute to the Newsletter
Quick Links...
 
Dear Carol, 
 
  
Rector's Report for March   
 
Friendship:  St. Aelred was born in 1109 in England and gave up a privileged life to become a monk.  As abbot of the Cistercian house at Rievaulx, he emphasized friendship in his monastery, which was unusual at that time.  During this period of his life, he wrote his best known work, "Spiritual Friendship."  Aelred taught that friendship is both a gift from God and a creation of human effort.  While love is universal, freely given to all, friendship is a particular love between individuals of which the example is Jesus and John the Beloved disciple.

Aelred wrote:  "There are four qualities which characterize a friend: loyalty, right intention, discretion, and patience.  Right intention seeks for nothing other than God and natural good.  Discretion brings understanding of what is done on a friend's behalf, and ability to know when to correct faults.  Patience enables one to be justly rebuked, or to bear adversity on another's behalf.  Loyalty guards and protects friendship, in good or bitter times."

In today's society, where individualism is valued and social media has taken the place of personal interactions, it is becoming increasingly difficult to develop lasting friendships.  It has been said that if a person has 5 friends at church, then 95% of their pastoral needs will be met along with an excitement of being in community together.  To that end, I encourage all of you to spend time at coffee hour getting to know folks or inviting fellow parishioners to events.  Below are a few of our newcomers who would love to get to know you.  Seek them out and offer them a warm Trinity welcome.

Mary Rowen was born in Campbell California and raised in San Jose.  She worked at the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento and then Gilroy Police Department where she met and married her husband, Gary, twenty-five years ago.  Gary has been joining her at the Lenten Soup Suppers.  They moved to Amador County in 1999 where they raised two grandchildren. Mary was introduced to Trinity Church by her dear friend Rhonda and has grown to love our community and its people.  Mary attends the 10:30 service.

Meg Grace Newell recently moved to Jackson to be closer to family after 25 years in Minnesota.  She has two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Georgia, who live back east in Minneapolis and Nashville and two Airedale kids here in California, Winifred-Kate and Pi.  She has a background in law and comparative religions and has begun a new and exciting chapter in her life.  Meg attends both the 8:30 and 10:30 services.
 
Timothy Knox came to Trinity after being invited by Steve Christensen.  Tim continues to attend because we are a welcoming community.  He lives his life
by "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."  He has a passion for learning and is always open to "seeking to understand first, before seeking to be understood."  He is the first openly gay elected official in Amador County and has been with his partner, Dennis, for 15 years.  Tim attends the 8:30 service.
 
Jane Richter, a dedicated and long-time Episcopalian, comes to us from San Andreas.  She has a background in the field of education and attends the 10:30service.
 
Laurie and Don Leed have returned from the Bay Area and are now full-time residents of Volcano. Laurie retired from the tech industry and Don from law enforcement.  Being the daughter of Lys and Ted Marr, Laurie retained her connection to Trinity Church throughout the years.  We are delighted to welcome them back as members.  Laurie loves music and is an avid singer while both she and Don are docents at the CA State Railroad Museum.  They attend the 10:30service. 
 
Martin and Beverly Hopper were active members of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Saratoga for 25 years.   They first bought property in Amador 30 years ago.  After Martin retired from the City of Santa Clara about 8 years ago, they moved to Pine Grove full time.  Martin keeps busy working as a consultant for the electric power industry and Beverly is a long time community volunteer and rose expert.  She is currently working on a project to protect and preserve the heritage roses in the Plymouth Pioneer Cemetery.  Martin is an avid cook and loves doing crossword puzzles.  They have 2 grown children and two dogs, a pug and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  They attend the 10:30 service.
 
Glenn and Nedra Case just moved to Ione and are still unpacking boxes.  Glenn retired as an engineer from NASA and Nedra retired as an administrator from CA Corrections.  Nedra is Paul Dinger's mother and has explored many different spiritual traditions.  Glenn is an avid Episcopalian, having served on the vestry, studied EFM, and participated in many other ministries in the church.  They attend the 10:30 service.
 
Eric Marks lives in Amador City and has recently received a cochlear implant.  Still learning how to "hear," he is adjusting to the world of sound.  Eric usually attends the 8:30 service.

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor Karen Siegfriedt+

Photos of Activities at Trinity in February: 
Check out Ledger Dispatch article about Trinity
Ash Wednesday Services
Lenten Soup Suppers & Program on Spirituality
Did You Know? 
- Carol Harper is celebrating her 5th anniversary as music director at Trinity.
- On 2/5/16, Eric Wilson wrote an article for the Ledger Dispatch about Trinity.  If you missed it, you may find it on our website at: http://trinitysuttercreek.org/page/blog
- Wednesday Evening Lenten Soup Suppers continue, 6-8pm in Jane's Hall:  3/2 Christian Mysticism.  3/9 Benedictine Spirituality.  3/16 Franciscan Spirituality.
Holy Week is the most solemn occasion in the church's calendar.  Please attend as many services as possible to connect with Jesus' final journey.  Palm/PassionSunday (3/20), Maundy Thursday Dinner @ 6pm (3/24), Good Friday Service @noon (3/25), Easter Vigil @ 8pm (3/26), Easter Day Services @ 8:30 & 10:30am(3/27).  
Vestry Notes
The first meeting of the new 2016 Vestry was held at the Rectory on Feb. 26.  After we enjoyed a delicious dinner, Pastor Karen reviewed the major responsibilities of the Vestry members.  A new edition of the Vestry Resource Guide was distributed, and sections will be discussed at each meeting for the next few months. The Vestry then approved minutes of the previous January meetings and the Annual Meeting.  Pastor Karen gave an update of our Repair, Renew, Rejoice campaign, reviewing the remaining items for improvement.  Carol Holt explained and reviewed statistics for the required Parochial Report.  The meeting was adjourned with the Lord's Prayer.
     Parishioners are invited and encouraged to attend Vestry meetings. Please also share your concerns and appreciations with any Vestry member! The next meeting will be a brief one after the Maundy Thursday service.         
       Nancy Moore, Senior Warden   
Trinity Adventures
Let's have some fun times together!  Plans are being made for outings of various kinds to appeal to different interests:
* On Thursday, March 10, there will be a trip to Columbia State Park for a day of enjoying this historic town. Contact Dorean Davis or Shirley Tscharner for details.
*On Saturday, March 19, we will meet at church at 9:30am and carpool to New Hogan Lake for an easy to moderate 1 mile hike guided by Ann Marie Reber. Wear walking shoes, and bring a hat  and water. This will be followed by lunch at the Good Friends Chinese buffet in Valley Springs.
     Do you have an idea for an outing? Please contact Nancy Moore . Fun times ahead!
Amador Council on Aging Report
-AARP/IRS Tax Aid Program: anyone with a simple tax return can make an appointment for assistance at the Senior Center 223-0442 from 9am to 3pm. Trained volunteers will prepare your return and file it electronically.

 -Alzheimer Support Group: Gold Quartz Inn Assisted Living in Sutter Creek is offering a new evening support group on 2nd Wed of each month from 5:30 to 7pm. The first hr is open to the public with speakers followed by time for caregivers only.
 
-Sierra Wellness Recovery Center: is offering a wide variety of supports groups for persons alcohol & drug free. Some of these groups are: anger management, PTSD, creative coping, self advocacy & English lessons. They also have a "Labyrinth Project" which is a walking meditation that is a tool for stress relief and finding harmony. They have a movable labyrinth that can be used in workshops, etc. Call Marla Van der Meer @ Sierra Wellness ~ 223-1956.
 
-Code Red: the Sheriff Dept's calling system that replaces the "reverse 911". It calls landlines. Your "Cell" phone needs to be registered @ the Sheriff's Office website. 
Care Packages for the Homeless
There is great news!  All our 200 bags were given out by December 2015.  There is bad news!  All our 200 bags have been given out!  So, it is time to make more bags and since we ran out of bags before we ran out of year and those in need, we've increased our goal for this year to 250 bags.  The deadline to collect food and/or monetary donations for our Care Packages is 1pmMarch 9March 13 will be the date we assemble the bags between services.  This is a great project that the people of Trinity have done for the last few years and one greatly appreciated by all the recipients.  Below is the list of needed food and non-food items for the bags.  If you want to make a monetary donation, please note "For Care Packages" on the item line of your check.  Thank you all for your continued support of this project!

ITEMS FOR THE BAGS
 
There are two lists:  food items and non-food items.  Monetary donations are welcome as well - please note "For Care Packages" on the memo line of your check.

Food Items Basic Ideas:  Items that are easy to carry and eat, high in calories and protein, and need no refrigeration or cooking and with the longest shelf life possible.  Keep heavy items like canned goods to a minimum and remove any unnecessary packaging from foods to make them lighter.  (NOTE:  please mark on the item the expiration date if it is only on the larger container that is being discarded).

Foods to Include:  (Priority Items)
ItemPossible Variations
Peanut butterSmall plastic jar, peanut butter crackers - individual packs
Nuts and seedsSnack packs of different varieties of nuts/seeds, light weight containers of peanuts, sunflower seeds; packs of trail mix - varieties
Beef jerkySnack packs of dried meats
Canned chicken, chicken salad, tuna or tuna salad, Spam, Vienna Sausage, other Canned meatsSmall, light weight pull-top cans or snack sets with crackers
Granola or cereal barsSeveral varieties with higher protein
FruitsRaisins, other types of dried fruits - small boxes/bags; fruit leathers; small plastic containers of fruit/applesauce
Crush 'resistant' crackers/chipsPretzels, corn chips, banana chips, some varieties of 'heftier' crackers.  Small sizes.  Also, peanut butter and cracker or cheese and cracker snacks - individual packs
Bottled water or water bottleSmall sizes - easier to carry/reuse
Powdered drink mixes 
Chewing gum, hard candy, mints, cough dropsDon't want anything that will melt with higher temperatures
Gift cards to fast food placesMcDonalds, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc.
Other possibilities:  Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) - military food sets often sold at camping stores and sometimes Costco or similar; Back packing dehydrated food sets. 
 
Non-Food Items:  Again, ease of use and simple to carry around are important considerations.
Hand wipesIndividually wrapped and put in a non -food zip lock within the food bag.  (Those without fragrance best).
Kleenex, napkinsSmall individual packs
Plastic utensilsRestaurant style sets of knife, fork, spoon with napkin
Toothbrush, toothpasteSmall set
Information brochure on where to find food/services in Amador CountyInterfaith Food Bank, Break Bread with Friends, etc.
No 'preaching' but a card with some words of encouragement might be considered?? 
Socks 
Unscented soap 
Lenten Soup Suppers
A highly treasured Trinity tradition of yummy soup and spiritual nourishment. This year, our focus will be on exploring different spiritualities and practices, including Anglican, Benedictine, and Franciscan spiritualities as well as mysticism and prayer.Suppers include 5 Wednesdays:  February 17 & 24, March 2, 9 & 16, 6-8pm in Jane's Hall.  For each supper, 4 people will bring a large pot of soup and 1 loaf of bread, set up and clean up.  Check your calendar, choose a Wednesday, sign up & show up!  Sign-up sheets are on shelf of welcome center in the back of the church.
Food Bank Donations
The Food Bank's cart, in the sanctuary, yielded 114 lbs. of food in February. Total giving in 2016: 339 lbs. of food.

 Oops! The statistics presented in the 2015 annual report were incorrect. The Trinity congregation collected and gifted the Food Bank a total of 5,293 pounds of food in 2015! 
Apologies, Dave Hennings
Trinity Singers Rehearsals
Note: During Lent, rehearsals will be held the 1st & 3rdThursdays at 7pm due to the Wednesday soup suppers. Regular Wednesday schedule will resume on April 6th.

All are invited to join the Trinity Singers/Worship Team! Rehearsals are the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7PM. Bring your voices, your instruments, and a heart for worship and praise! For more information, please contact Carol Harper at 916-604-1872 or emailcarol@worshipattrinity.com. Web site: WorshipAtTrinity.com.
March Birthdays
The following members of our church family are celebrating birthdays in March!
     
17th- Gerry Moore
19th- Donna Matson
21st- Victoria Davis
   27th- Julie Lemos
   28th-Pastor Karen
  30th- Lyle Eidsmoe & 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,office@trinitysuttercreek.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
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