Monday, December 3, 2018

Trinity Tidings - Dec 2018

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Trinity Tidings
The E Newsletter of Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek
 
 
December 2018

In This Issue
Priest-In-Charge's Report
An Advent Poem
Did You Know?
Senior Warden's Words
Las Posadas
Donate to disaster relief
Grant Me Your Sense of Timing
Food Bank Donations
Trinity Singers Rehearsals
Birthdays this month
Would You Like to Contribute to the Newsletter
 
Dear Carol, 
 
  
Priest-In-Charge's Report for December
 
 
Advent has been my favorite season of the year since childhood.   At my house, it was always a season of preparation and anticipation.  There were the usual childhood questions "Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?", but those seemed to have managed by the sense of preparation, rather than a sense of "let's celebrate early".  We weren't there yet. 
 
Preparations included the special projects of baking special foods, often given as presents to teachers and neighbours.  Preparations included a table liturgy, where the whole family would join in lighting the Advent candles, singing an Advent hymn, and having a scripture reading preparing for the coming of Christ.  The preparations helped with anticipation, both to make it stronger, and to make it more desirable. 
 
In a culture that promotes instant gratification, I appreciate that sense of preparation for delayed gratification more and more.  I appreciate the intentionality of being present to the moment and aware of what is happening.  It helps me to accept things the way they are, not as I would have them.  It helps me to avoid forcing the holiday into my image of how it used to be or how I want it to be.  
 
My own preparations and disciplines have changed over the years.  I retreat into the daily prayer offices with the antiphons, psalms, and readings as a way to prepare.  I avoid the crowds at the shopping malls (well, I avoid them all year when I can), with the constant blaring of Christmas songs to try and set a mood that is not evident on most faces.  I don't decorate until the fourth Sunday of Advent, to let Advent be full and then celebrate Christmas during the historic Christmas season from 25 December until the Epiphany at January 6.  From my time in Africa some 30 years ago, I try to catch the live performance of the Festival of Lessons and Carols at King's College Cambridge, which is broadcast worldwide on the BBC.  It marks the end of the college term for the students and faculty there, and is a good way to shift from Advent into Christmas for me.  We will use those lessons and carols on the Sunday after Christmas at Trinity. 
 
All of which is to invite us all to slow down and pay attention.  While most of us don't think of house cleaning as part of a celebration, the preparations are part of the celebration if we focus our minds on what is coming rather than the routine nature of the chore.  I wish you all a prayerful Advent.
 
Pax,
Paul +
An Advent Poem
Having reflected on the topic of Christ as Sovereign last Sunday, and looking at Advent's theme of the coming of Christ, I offer this poem for reflection.  It came to me via a Facebook post from a friend in Australia.   It was written several years ago by Steve Garnaas-Holmes, a pastor in the Methodist church.  Pastor Steve has a web site, www.unfoldinglight.net   Paul+
 
 The Second Coming
 
Renounce the hope
 that in the Second Coming
 Christ will act more like Caesar
 than Jesus of Nazareth.
God meant it the first time,
and it will be no different.
The cross is not God's B game.
God comes among us
not conquering but asking for love.
 
Christ lures us away from supremacy.
Christ is an outcast,
whomever we reject or despise
("so marred was his appearance")
to heal us of our resistance to love.
Christ is homeless, a refugee, a migrant.
Christ is black, queer, alien.
 
The only barrier between us and heaven
 is the limit of our love.
God comes as the Other
and asks us to love
and the Kingdom comes no sooner
than we see her and love her.
The Second Coming has come a million times
and we keep missing it. 
Did You Know?
-Dec. 1st, 9am-12pm is Advent Quiet Day in the church. 
-Dec. 1st at 12:30pm is a potluck holiday luncheon at Rollingwood Club House located off New York Ranch Rd. Bring a dish to share.
-Dec. 8th at 6pm is Las Posadas in Sutter Creek. (see article below)
-Dec. 9th is Tuna Sunday- bring canned tuna to church in support of the food bank.
-Dec. 12th at 11am- the sewing group will meet in Jane's Hall.
-Dec. 13th at 5:30pm, The Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner will be visiting Trinity Church to install Fr. Paul Colbert as the Priest-In-Charge.
-Dec. 15th at 6:30pm is the Parade of Lights in Sutter Creek.
-Dec. 23rd at 9:30am we'll have a single church service for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.
-Dec. 24th at 5:30pm will be the Christ Mass.
-Dec. 30th at 10am we'll have a single church service for Lessons & Carols.
-Bible Study continues the first and third Sunday of each month. This month it's on the 2nd & 16th at 9:35am (between services) in the undercroft. Everyone is invited to join in.
-Book study continues this month, but due to Christmas and the Bishop's visit on Dec. 13, the group will only meet on the 6th of this month. Book study will resume on Jan. 10, 2019.
-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.
Senior Warden's Words
As I sit to write this evening, I am overcome with gratitude. Advent is my favorite season in the liturgical year (although Lent is a close second) and I am feeling overwhelmingly grateful that I didn't miss it this year!

"Miss it?" You may ask. "It hasn't even begun yet!" Therein lies my gratitude - this time between Thanksgiving and Advent; a time between no longer and not yet - has been the perfect period to take a breath and begin to prepare body, mind and Spirit for the season ahead. So many years I don't even recognize that Advent has begun as I rush, full speed into Christmas, forgetting to take the time to recognize the gifts that come from a slow and intentional Advent season. Usually it is over just as I begin to settle into a routine. A routine that helps me to step back from the hurriedness and to keep my eyes focused on what is coming.

At a time in history when the world sometimes feels dark and it is easy to dismay, Advent invites us to peer into the darkness with the full knowledge that the light is headed our way. No matter what the year has held, the coming of the Christ child invites us to prepare for new life to be born.

One of the routines I enjoy during Advent is to reflect on the past year. This offers an opportunity to look for and celebrate the transformation in my life. Where had there been darkness that has since turned to light? When had I felt dismay only to later recognize where God had been at work in my life?  What new ideas, actions, or ministries are getting ready to be born my life?

The invitation to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child is an invitation to step back from the chaos that can sometimes come with the holidays and instead to prepare, intentionally, for our lives to be transformed.

What if you knew God was going to be born in your life in just a few short weeks? What would you be doing to prepare?  This is the time to begin! Serve your neighbor, open your heart, wait patiently, pray, allow yourself to be in stillness, and remember that the light always returns.
Las Posadas
On Saturday, Dec. 8, the 13th annual Las Posadas will take place along the streets of Sutter Creek.  It is a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter.  Fr. Paul has agreed to give the opening welcome!  Trinity has been asked to supply at least 4 shepherds, whose main job is providing atmosphere and a bit of gentle crowd control.  Costumes are provided.  We  need a cookie co-ordinator who solicits 15 dozen homemade cookies from our congregation and delivers them to the Methodist Church. Also, we need a volunteer to help clean up the Methodist hall after refreshments are served, so that the church is ready for services the next day.  Please tell Nancy Moore if you would like to help.
Donate to disaster relief
Please consider donating to Disaster Relief in our diocese -- 100% of your donation will go directly to assist victims in the first stage of the disaster and later during long term recovery. Donate now to disaster relief:
 
 
Want to send a check?  
Make checks out to EDNC, with "Disaster Relief" in the memo line
 
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California
350 University Avenue, Suite 280
Sacramento, CA 95825
Grant Me Your Sense of Timing
O God of all seasons and senses,
grant me your sense of timing
to submit gracefully
and rejoice quietly
in the turn of the seasons.
In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach me the lessons of waiting:
of the snow joining the mystery
of the hunkered-down seeds
growing in their sleep
watched over by gnarled-limbed, grandparent trees
resting from autumn's staggering energy;
of the silent, whirling earth
circling to race back home to the sun.
O God, grant me your sense of timing.
In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach me the lessons of endings:
children growing
friends leaving
jobs concluding
stages finishing
grieving over
grudges over
blaming over
excuses over.
O God, grant me your sense of timing.
In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach me the lessons of beginnings:
that such waitings and endings
may be a starting place,
of planting seeds
which bring to birth
what is ready to be born-
something right and just and different,
a new song,
a deeper relationship,
a fuller lover-
in the fullness of your time.
O God, grant me your sense of timing.
~Ted Loder
Food Bank Donations
Food gifts for November totaled 56 pounds. The total for 2018 is at 1065 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 deenaholland@hotmail.com.
December Birthdays
The following members of our church family are celebrating birthdays in December!
     
2nd- Bob Ross
3rd- Carol Davis
                               10th- Mary Mahoney
                               12th- Pam Afindios
  16th- Carolyn Strickler
  19th- Diane Christensen
  26th- Rhonda D'Agostini
  30th- Devin Christensen


   

If you are celebrating a birthday in December, but you don't see your name listed here, please contact our Parish Administrative Asst.
Would You Like to Contribute to the Newsletter?
If you have an article of interest to the congregation that you would like included in the newsletter, please email it to the office, 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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