One constant source of reflection, and amusement, for me is in the taking of the monastic vow of stability some 28 years ago. The traditional model of monastic stability meant making one monastery your home for life. The visible sign of that was the monastic cemetery as one's final resting place.
Amusement shows up in noting that, since making my first vows in the Order of the Holy Cross 28 years ago, and continuing them in the Community of Solitude, I have moved 14 times. Overall, I have moved 43 times so far in my life. That is not the picture of stability in most people's minds, at least on the surface.
While stability of place is very helpful for many people to enter more deeply into the life that is in front of them (having a career, raising a family), many can find themselves "wearied by the changes and chances of life", as we note in one of our Compline prayers. Finding stability of the heart amidst those changes is a challenge when so much else is changing.
One key element in staying focused is to maintain an element of gratitude and thanksgiving. Focusing on what is good and going well in life, makes for a different disposition than always focusing on what is changing or not going my way.
As we enter the month of November, there are a variety of events to help us look at thanksgiving and gratitude. The most obvious one to most of us is the National Holiday, known as Thanksgiving. As I have looked at prayer books from around the Anglican Communion, I am amused by the fact that The Episcopal Church, primarily located in the United States, only observes a Thanksgiving Day based on a national holiday, and that there is often a strong emphasis on the National Holiday in its observation. Other Provinces in the Anglican Communion have a local feast to observe a Harvest Thanksgiving, which will vary in date depending on one's latitude and hemisphere. For me, this has been a day to celebrate the abundance of the fruits of the earth and to celebrate family and friends.
On our church's calendar are the observations All Saints Day and All Souls Day (Commemoration of the Faithful Departed). All Saints Day grew as a remembrance of unnamed martyrs of the early church, who didn't have their own feast day. It has grown to be a remembrance of all sorts and conditions of saints, and celebrates a triumphal gathering around the throne of God, when all will be right with the world. All Souls Day commemorates the faithful departed, usually those near and dear to us, especially those who have died in the past year. I am grateful for my ancestors in the faith who have been stewards of God's creation, our common humanity, and the church and brought us to where we are today (warts and all).
I suspect that many in the congregation hope that the transition time is over for the parish, since the new priest is here. I hope that we will all be patient with ourselves and live into the transitions that are still ahead of us. Our stability will not be found in keeping things constant amidst the changes and chances of the world, but in recognizing that God is our stability, amidst those changes and chances. God is present in all times and places and continues that presence even as other things around us change.
Let us continue to offer thanks for all the blessing God has provided as we gather together to celebrate the divine presence in our daily lives.
Pax et Bonum
Did You Know?
-Nov. 1st, 10am: Trinity Outing to Lake Tabeau. Meet in the Trinity parking lot at 10am. Enjoy the lovely fall weather at Lake Tabeau! There are picnic tables and a walking trail for those who are so inclined. Or try outdoor sketching with Anne-Marie, materials will be provided. Remember to bring a lunch/ snack and water, a folding chair, a hat- whatever you need to make you comfortable. Questions? Ask Anne-Marie or Nancy.
-Nov. 9 & 10 is the Diocesan Convention.
-Nov. 11th is Tuna Sunday. Bring canned tuna to church to support the food bank.
-Nov. 14 at 11am is a social get together to work on your projects (knitting, needle work, sketching, etc.) or just come visit in Jane's Hall. Bring lunch or a snack, stay as long as you like. For more info. call Mary Mahoney 256-8120
-Bible Study continues the first and third Sunday of each month. This month it's on the 4th & 18th at 9:35am (between services) in the undercroft. Everyone is invited to join in.
-Book study continues this month, but due to Thanksgiving and a vestry meeting on Nov. 15, the group will only meet on the 1st, 8th, & 29th this month.
-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.
Believe it or not, the holiday season is quickly coming and it is time to plan for Project Thanks. Last year the Interfaith Food Bank had 822 families apply, and they anticipate many more this year. The Food Bank and others, our church included, provide a complete Thanksgiving meal to those who meet the criteria set by the Food Bank to receive this Thanksgiving feast.
While we can't help over 800 recipients, we do make a significant contribution to Project Thanks. Last year we served forty families, thanks to your donations of money and turkeys. After consulting with the Vestry, we have committed to provide forty boxes to families this year.
This is a fun and rewarding activity for everyone. Because it is hard for many parishioners to shop for the needed items, we have been asking for monetary donations and turkeys instead of non-perishable groceries. If you wish to purchase canned goods or stuffing, you can sign up to bring them as well as a turkey.
The Food Bank makes every effort to secure funds, donations and turkeys to provide everyone with a Thanksgiving dinner, and those families that have not been adopted by churches or other organizations receive their boxes directly from the Food Bank.
Please sign up to bring a turkey, organize, sort canned goods, bag produce, and/or work on distribution day. All excess donations are given to the Food Bank for distribution or to help purchase needed items. The sign-up sheet is located near the welcome center at the back of the church.
NOTE: If you are going to donate a turkey, it is vital that you sign-up or call Noreen Lafferty so your name can be added to the list. That way we will know exactly how many turkeys we have and do not have to scramble at the last minute to get donations or buy extra turkeys on Sunday. If you are donating nonperishable items, they need to be listed on the sign-up sheet so we can plan accurately what to purchase on Saturday. All donations other than turkeys must be brought to the church by Thursday, November 14th, and placed in the designated boxes so that an accurate count can be done prior to shopping on Saturday.
Volunteers are needed on Friday (16th) and Saturday (17th) to shop and to organize the canned goods and produce. We order the produce in bulk; however the onions, yams, apples and oranges all need to be bagged according to family size on Friday, November 16th, starting at 10:00 a.m. On Saturday, November 17th we will do the shopping for the nonperishable items and organize them for distribution on Sunday, November 18th. We will meet at 9:30 a.m. in Jane's Hall and organize canned goods and then go shopping. We organize by teams and stores, and purchase items on sale first. This process takes about four hours. On Sunday, November 18th, we all bring our frozen turkeys to church and leave them in the parish hall.
Come join the fun on November 18th at 9:30 am and help fill the boxes with canned goods and produce.
The magic continues after coffee hour with Thanksgiving boxes being distributed from 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed in the kitchen to fill orders for milk, butter, eggs and pie. Folks are also needed to help participants pick up their Thanksgiving boxes and carry them to their cars.
Thank you for your generosity and support of this project.
Noreen Lafferty, Chairperson
Episcopal Church in Action
The Episcopal Church meets in General Convention every three years. As the deputies and bishops consider a Christian response to events in the world around us, they pass resolutions which helps form teaching for the church and guide the Episcopal Church's Office of Governmental Affairs in their work informing Congress of the mind of the church. I have served as Deputy to General Convention from the dioceses of Nevada and San Joaquin and can attest to the prayer and deliberation that accompanies these various resolutions. Here at Trinity, we will periodically highlight some of the actions from General Convention, trusting that they will help with prayerful meditation on actions you can take to witness in our broken world. Paul+
Urge Congress to lift trade restrictions on Cuba
Dear Congregation of Trinity, Sutter Creek,
This summer, The Episcopal Church's 79th General Convention voted to re-admit the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba as a Diocese of The Episcopal Church. This monumental decision - passed unanimously by the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies - presents an opportunity for our churches to strengthen and rebuild our relationship and for Episcopalians to support and reconnect with the Cuban people. The Episcopal Diocese of Cuba, which separated from The Episcopal Church in 1966, is made up of 46 congregations and missions serving 10,000 members and the wider communities.
Following the Cuban revolution, the U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Cuba and put in place a series of embargoes on exports that have impacted Cuba for more than fifty years. Since 1991, The Episcopal Church has called for the United States government to lift the trade embargo against Cuba, to remove restrictions on travel between the United States and Cuba, and to restore full diplomatic relations between the two countries, reiterating this call in 2009, 2012, and 2015. Among other things, the embargo prohibits most imports and exports between the U.S. and Cuba (with a few exceptions), and restricts Americans from travelling as tourists to Cuba (except under 12 specific categories).
Office of Government Relations Policy Advisor Patricia Kisare visited Cuba in September together with ecumenical advocacy partners. The group was hosted by the Cuban Council of Churches, who worked hard to ensure the delegation was able to have a rich experience, learning about Cuban history, culture, and religious communities. The Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ, Methodist Church, Latin America Working Group, and Patricia representing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church met with government officials, church leaders from different denominations, and academics, and visited church ministries in different communities.
While U.S. presidents have authority to amend certain regulatory aspects of the embargo, full repeal of the embargo requires Congressional action. Take action today in support of the Cuba Trade Act!
Please copy and send the following letter to Congressman McClintock, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Kamala Harris.
Support H.R. 442/S. 472, Cuba Trade Act of 2017
As an Episcopalian and your constituent, I write today to ask for your support of the Cuba Trade Act of 2017-and to commit to supporting reinvigorating the relationship with Cuba under the next Congress. Introduced in both the House of Representatives (H.R. 442) and the Senate (S.472), this bipartisan bill seeks to repeal or amend current laws restricting trade with Cuba. Specifically, the legislation:
-Eliminates the prohibition on assistance to Cuba and the President's authority for the embargo on Cuba.
-Amends the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 by eliminating presidential authority to impose sanctions against Cuban trading partners, restrictions on transactions between U.S.-owned or controlled firms and Cuba, limitations on direct shipping between Cuban and U.S. ports, and restrictions on remittances.
-Amends the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 to eliminate the enforcement of an economic embargo of Cuban provisions and the prohibition on indirect financing of Cuba.
-Removes Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism subject to agricultural and medical export restrictions.
As a person of faith, I am concerned that current laws and restrictions have placed undue burden to our brothers and sisters in Cuba. We continue to hear from our church partners in Cuba about the ways in which the embargo and travel restrictions have caused a lot of hardship to Cuban families. The United Nations report that the embargo has cost the Cuban economy an estimated $130 billion! Furthermore, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that the embargo costs the U.S. economy approximately $1.2 billion annually!
The majority of Americans agree that it's time for our country to renew our relationship with Cuba. I urge you to support the Cuba Trade Act of 2017
Thank you for your consideration of this legislation. And thank you for your service.
Food Bank Donations
Food gifts for October totaled 43 pounds. The total for 2018 is at 1052 pounds.
Thank you for your generous support of this ministry.
Trinity Singers Rehearsals
All are invited to join the Trinity Singers/Worship Team! Rehearsals are Wednesdays at 5pm. Bring your voices, your instruments, and a heart for worship and praise! For more information, please contact Deena Holland at 209-296-6616 or email email@example.com.
The following members of our church family are celebrating birthdays in November!
4th- Deb Walker
6th- Roberta Ross
14th- Sandi Pietronave
18th- Bob Miller
24th- Jean Suggs
27th- Meredith Miller
If you are celebrating a birthday in November, 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