The Rev. Paul Nancarrow
What are you doing for Easter this year?
It is not a question we ask all that often. Sometimes church people will ask each other "What are you giving up for Lent?" But we rarely turn it around and say "What are you lifting up for Easter?"
Someone told me once that the proper relationship between Lent and Easter is that we spend forty days preparing for fifty days of celebrating. It often seems as though we go through the season of Lent with great devotion, taking on extra disciplines of prayer and fasting and giving, reading and meditating on God's holy word, attending Wednesday evening programs; then we have our big festival on Easter Day, full of celebration and song and and spiritual joy; and then we go back to business as usual, resuming the routines that shaped our days before the Lenten disciplines ever began. But "Easter" is the name of a season, not just a day, and the season of Easter is fifty days long, lasting right up until the Feast of Pentecost, which in this calendar year falls on May 15. During those Fifty Days we continue our celebration of the good news of the Resurrection. And during those Fifty Days we are invited to practice the celebration that we preach, to read and meditate and pray about the joy of new life that is at the very center of our Christian being, and to live that joy in all our daily actions. And while it is true that no other Sunday in the season quite compares with the festivity of Easter Day, all the Sundays of Eastertide have an especially festive quality.
So what are you doing for Easter this year?
There is support for our ongoing celebration in the scripture lessons read on the Sundays of Easter. During Easter our first readings come not from the Hebrew Scriptures, but from the Book of Acts, as we remember how the apostles' witness to the Resurrection spread outward from Jerusalem to Rome in the early years of the Church. Luke, the author of Acts, understands the ministries of Peter, Paul, and the other apostles as extensions of the ministry of the Risen Christ; and so it is most appropriate to read this book in Eastertide. The readings from Acts encourage us to consider how the Good News of new life in Christ is proclaimed and embodied and made manifest in our life activities as well.
There is a pattern of celebration to our Sunday readings from the Gospels, too. The Second Sunday of Easter gives us the story of Thomas, who doubted the Lord's Resurrection until he saw for himself, and then became the first of all the disciples to call Jesus "my God." The Third Sunday of Easter tells how the Risen Jesus appeared to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee while they were fishing, fed them with bread and fish, and took Simon Peter aside to ask him three times, "Do you love me?" The Fourth Sunday of Easter, often known as "Good Shepherd Sunday," brings the story of how Jesus promises "My sheep hear my voice" and "No one will snatch them out of my hand." The gospels for the Fifth and Sixth Sundays come from Jesus' "farewell discourse" in John, in which Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment, "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another," and then promises the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Seventh Sunday of Easter, or Sunday after the Ascension, gives us a gospel taken from Jesus' "High Priestly Prayer" in John, where Jesus intercedes not only for his eyewitness disciples, but also "on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word" - that is, for all of us. And the following Sunday is Pentecost, the Fiftieth Day, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to inspire and strengthen and send forth the Church.
The whole fifty days together make a "week of weeks," a season unified in celebration of the Resurrection. Throughout this week of weeks, we are invited and urged and encouraged to let the true meaning and joy and scope of Easter sink into our minds and lift up our hearts and permeate our actions.
There are spiritual practices that are just right for Easter, just as there are disciplines that are appropriate to Lent. This Fifty Days, I encourage you to try practicing gratitude, holding moments of pure thanksgiving in your heart, grateful to God for the gift of life and new life.
This Fifty Days, try practicing generosity, giving out of the sheer abundance of life revealed in Jesus' Resurrection.
This Fifty Days, try practicing hope, assured that in even the most difficult social and communal and personal circumstances, God is planting seeds of new growth.
This Fifty Days, try practicing creativity, participating with God in the work of bringing new out of old, light out of dark, building-up out of what had been broken down.
As we celebrate the gift of new life together at Trinity, let us practice the Easter spirit in everything we do!
I first meet Edgar and Carolina Rodas in October of 2005 when I came to Honduras to do a week of Spanish immersion. I had decided that I needed to be able to at least speak a little Spanish if I was going to be of much use on our mission trips and there was a small school in Copan Ruinas that offered such programs. Since we had already done two mission trips where we stayed in that community it seemed like a good fit as I was familiar with the town. When I showed up at the school on a Monday morning there was no one around but eventually a few teachers wandered in. The owner who spoke very good English arrived and decided to test me to find out what I already knew (or didn't). Afterwards he called Edgar who he thought would be a good teacher for me during that week.
We quickly established a routine that would carry through the entire stay. We would work in the classroom, an outdoor garden, for a few hours on grammar and vocabulary. Then we would get into his pickup truck, fetch his then three year old son Edgarcito and drive to pick up his wife Carolina who was a teacher in a little school in the community of San Rafael. The first day we went I had no idea where we were headed and it is probably just as well. We started out of town on the cobblestone streets south across the Cashapa river. We then turned east along the river on a decent dirt road that was pretty flat. After a 1/2 mile or so the road turned south again away from the river and up into the mountains. Edgar told me that this road also led to a coffee plantation at San Rafael and so they fixed it every year during the coffee harvest. That was in December and this was October with a rainy season in between and it was quickly evident that this was one of the worst roads I had ever seen. It was steep and rutted and there were places where a wrong move would plunge you a couple of hundred feet down into the tropical forest. Momentum was a must to get up this mountain and so we blasted along with Edgarcito bouncing around untethered between us. . Maybe I betrayed my terror but Edgar slowed a little at one point and we lost our head of steam. We slowed and slowed until finally the tires were just spinning and there we were. He backed down a hundred feet or so (even more scary) and tried again with the same results.
Edgar got out and surveyed the situation. He backed up again and motioned me to come around to the back of the pick up. He opened it and I saw that he had several bags of sand over the wheels for ballast. He motioned me to get in and positioned me to lie on top of the sand. Thus I became the added ballast that allowed the needed traction to get us up that mountain to see for the first time the Morazon School where Carolina is now the director and Trinity supports by paying the salaries of its secondary school teachers, buying school supplies and internet, and even by building a much needed classroom.
That is how it seems to go in the Third World. There is a lot to life just as there is everywhere else, but there are so many things lacking that people can't ever seem to get a firm foothold that allows them to live anywhere but near or on the edge of the next setback. The roads are bad, the tires are bald, the gas is expensive, the pay is bad and uncertain, and there is no roadmap to help people navigate through it all. They move along slowly until they eventually lose traction and then they are stuck. A vehicle breaks down and they can't get to work. Someone gets sick and they can't afford a doctor. They lose a job and there is nothing to replace it. Their education which ended when they were too young is not enough to allow them to qualify for anything better than what they have which isn't much. The wolf is always at the door and the door is always wearing out. They lose traction and there is nothing to do but spin the wheels going nowhere fast.
Everyone isn't poor in Honduras. In fact there are some people that are very rich. They own all the land and all the major industry. They make money not because they are smart and efficient and always improving but because they have a vast supply of poor people who will work for almost nothing in any conditions. That is what allows them to compete in the world markets and makes them continue to get richer. There is no incentive for them to improve working conditions or to promote better education. That would take away the very thing that gives them an edge and they won't do it. That is why the middle class in countries such as Honduras is so small and not getting bigger very fast. The teachers, government workers and office workers do exist but they are few and don't earn much more than the very poor. That is not changing because the families that hold all of the power realize that their best interests are for things to stay just as they have forever.
But the information age is starting to make a dent in all of this. Even the poor have phones and access to some internet. They can finally see what is going on. Now they have to figure out what to do about it. One way is to make a secondary education the norm which it now is not. After the sixth grade it is not mandatory that localities provide public education and private education is expensive. That is why supporting the Collegio San Rafael by paying its teachers is such an important ministry for Trinity. Otherwise the kids from the eight remote communities that feed that school would simply not have a practical place to go.
Honduras is all about bad roads, bald tires and spinning your wheels. Yet sometimes improving things is just about getting and maintaining a little traction. It might take as little as a skinny gringo laying on top of some sandbags in the back of a beat up pickup to allow the journey up the long mountain road to continue.
Notes from the Senior Warden
In late February, I attended the annual convention of the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes held in Denver. Many years ago, Bob Holsinger, Dennis Case, Tricia McPherson, and I attended the CEEP convention, also in Denver, as representatives of a "Guest Parish." After that meeting, the Vestry voted to have Trinity join CEEP as a member.
CEEP members include Episcopal parishes who have an Endowment, generally with a minimum value of $1 million, who seek to learn from each other best practices in Endowment management and use. The current educational lineup at the annual convention has so much more to offer. Breakout sessions included topics within the following areas: Church Communication, Management, Digital Formation, Justice, Endowments and Foundations, Equipping Vestry Leadership, Evangelism, Resource Development, Stewardship, and Theology and Spiritual Practice. Oh yes, it was about so much more than Endowment Management! Within the two days I was at the Conference, there were 4 breakout sessions (about 90 minutes each), three keynote sessions, two "Lunch and Learn" sessions, an opening banquet with a presentation by the Church Pension Group, and an extraordinarily moving closing Eucharist at St. John's Cathedral.
Our opening keynote speaker was The Most Reverend Michael Curry, our presiding bishop. Having never heard him in person, I was anxious to sit near the front of the room to hear his speech (as were many of those in attendance.) He had us mesmerized as his voice rose and fell, drawing us to the edge of our seats to hear him in the more quiet parts. I watched, listened, and jotted notes on small cards. I share some of his thoughts with you here.
"At General Convention, we adopted goals of evangelism and racial reconciliation.....we have heard a clarion call to discipleship." "We are being called to the deeper level of where we already are......WE are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement!" "We cannot afford the hubris of self-centeredness. If it's not about love, it is NOT about God."
As I write this, Trinity members have been attending a Lenten Series during the past four weeks with members from Emmanuel, Faith Lutheran, Allen Chapel AME, Temple House of Israel, and the Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley. By all accounts, this has been one of the strongest Lenten Series ever, with up to 100 attendees each week, learning about common themes within our faiths. As I sat in Denver listening to Bishop Curry, Trinity members had just finished their first week of the Lenten series. I am very proud of what we do as a faith community, and hope to bring more ideas to the Vestry as a result of my conference attendance.
At the conclusion of his talk, Bishop Curry started quietly singing, and soon everyone in the room joined him....
There is a balm in Gilead,
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead,
To heal the sin-sick soul.
Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work's in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my hope again.
If you can't preach like Peter,
If you can't pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.
At its March meeting, the Vestry:
- Approved Rick Chittum and Stuart Cochran as Trustees of the parish.
- Elected Ernest Holley, Susanna Larner, Muffie Newell, and Bill Tate as delegates to Convocation and Convention, and Sally James, Sally Mueller, Katie Cathey, and Ted Cathey as alternates.
- Approved financial reports for the month of February, showing the parish to be in a healthy financial position two months into the year.
- Received news that Becky McDaniel, our soon-to-be-Curate, will be ordained a transitional Deacon at Christ Church, Blacksburg, on Saturday, May 14.
|Gen Bolena, Organist & Choirmaster
Carl Broman Series Presents: Timothy Olsen, organist - April 10 at 5pm
Timothy Olsen (pictured left), Professor of Organ at UNC School of the Arts and Salem College, and Cantor at Augsburg Lutheran Church in Winston-Salem, NC, will bring to life the three German baroque "B's": Bach, Buxtehude, and Böhm. Performing toccatas, chorale preludes, and sets of variations (including Bach's monumental Passacaglia in C minor), the many beautiful and brilliant colors of the Taylor & Boody organ will be featured. Nursery available.
Concert & Pentecost Evensong - May 15 at 5pm (NOTE DATE CHANGE)
Gen Bolena will perform a program of works that highlight the diversity of the organ. A festive Choral Evensong for Eastertide will follow, sung by the Trinity Choir, accompanied by assistant organist Louise Temple-Rosebrook.
|Carter Hannah, Noon Lunch Co-Coordinator
Every day at Noon Lunch, our hard working crews who prepare, serve and clean are greeted with grateful smiles and many thanks from the guests. It is hard to work there without knowing that you have helped so many people in our community. The word about the Trinity Noon Lunch program has spread and those in need know where to find a nourishing meal and local service information. McCracken Hall is bustling each mid day as our guests eat and talk and find a place of love, caring, friendship, prayer and often items they need from food to clothing to health care to voting help.
The verbal thank-you's from the guests are frequent and heart-felt. They thank you with their smiles and eagerness. They thank you with their requests for your meatloaf on your next cooking day. They thank you as they ask for help. They thank you as they calmly leave after you have prayed with them. They are grateful.
Recently we have had some remarkable thank you's. One guest comes into the kitchen and grabs a broom and dustpan and sweeps every inch of the floor. He does not say anything, he just works. One guest has offered many times to help in the kitchen. He will do anything from helping to wash dishes to taking out the trash or cleaning tables. Two guests have recently given money. One lady who is an artist had a show and sold 6 prints. She donated all of her earnings of $310.00 to the Noon Lunch program. Giving up her job, she came to Staunton to help her daughter and had nothing. Noon Lunch helped her and she was able to give back in a huge way. Amazing! Another guest came in and gave $50.00 to the program because though she is "still in a bad situation," she has a job and she praises God for that.
Trinity, your program is invaluable and it is working. We continue to need volunteers to help with pick-up from the Farmers' Market (April 2- Nov. 19) and we will need several teams to help with Noon Lunch this summer. Please contact Carter Hannah (540-241-8735) or Kathy Schneiderman (434-825-6477). Thank you.
|Friendship Day Women's Retreat
|Shirley Ruedy, Christian Formation Assistant
Sunday School and Youth
Stop Hunger Now Action
On March 19th, Trinity youth, in collaboration with Stuart Hall, Emmanuel, and St. John's in
esboro, packed 15,000 meals for "Stop Hunger Now." Our youth and their leaders thank you for your generous support of this worthy project. And we, in turn, thank Sascha Wallace, Leslie Tate, Graham Tate, and Brooke Cason for organizing and chaperoning the event for Trinity. The total Trinity contribution to the Stop Hunger Now project was $1982!
Parent Coordinator Needed for "Helping Hands"
Planning is well underway for Staunton's best summer day camp for children. Trinity is one of several downtown churches which organize the event for rising kindergarteners through rising fifth graders. Would you like to help as the coordinator representing Trinity? Volunteers are also needed. It could be one of the most important things you do this year! Last year's participants gave it rave reviews. This year's dates are August 1-5. The next organizational meeting will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, April 11th, at 2:00 pm. If you are interested in this opportunity or know someone who might be, please contact Shirley Ruedy at 886-9132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The spring round of "Trinity College" discussion groups, running from the week of April 3 through the week of May 8, has something for everyone, so mark your calendars and join us for good conversation and fellowship.
- Carrie Tucker will lead a discussion of NY Times #1 Bestseller, Daring Greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Dr. Brene Brown dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that vulnerability and love are the truest marks of courage. Learn how shame is ingrained in our culture, and how it affects our sense of belonging and worthiness. Daring Greatly is a practice and vision for a life defined by courage, compassion and connection. "Brene Brown encourages readers...to live whole, courageous lives." - NPR. Having your own copy of the book is best, but not a requirement for attending the discussions. The class will meet Thursdays, beginning April 7, from 10:30-11:30 am in the Foster Room.
- Anglican Chant and Psalm Singing 101: Do you enjoy listening to the psalms every Sunday but wish you felt more comfortable participating? This course will explore an abbreviated history of psalm singing and delve into the different chants we sing at Trinity. Participants will learn how to interpret psalm markings and gain confidence participating in psalm singing. Be aware that while we WILL sing in this course, note reading ability or even feeling like you have the ability to sing is not required! Course will meet in the choir room at a time agreeable to all participants. Contact Gen Bolena at email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
- Deborah Oldman-Brown will lead a discussion of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, a modern classic of Christian thought. The book focuses on the "Sermon on the Mount." In his analysis, Bonhoeffer explains his beliefs regarding following Christ. The Cost of Discipleship was originally published in 1937, during the rise of the Nazi regime, the background for Bonhoeffer's theology. Bonhoeffer died in the camps near the end of the war. We will study Bonhoeffer's life and share his beliefs about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. According to Bonhoeffer, "The will of God, to which the law gives expression, is that men should defeat their enemies by loving them." Also, "The community of the saints is not an 'ideal' community consisting of perfect and sinless men and women, where there is no need of further repentance. No, it is a community which proves that it is worthy of the gospel of forgiveness by constantly and sincerely proclaiming God's forgiveness. . . . Sanctification means driving out the world from the Church as well as separating the Church from the world. But the purpose of such discipline is not to establish a community of the perfect, but a community consisting of men who really live under the forgiving mercy of God." The class will meet from 7:00 - 8:30PM on Mondays from April 4th to May 9th in the Braxton Room. You can purchase the book through Amazon (Kindle or hard copy) or any book store.
- Constance Harrington will lead a discussion of Carmen Acevedo Butcher's St. Hildegard of Bingen: Doctor of the Church, whom the author describes as "a Benedictine abbess, artist, composer, dietician, naturalist, poet, traveling preacher, mystic, and political consultant." She invites the reader to "Meet the incomparable St. Hildegard recently proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. Nourishing, challenging and idea-bursting, her writings will stir and awaken your soul." Her sensuous imagery is far from the sedate work you might expect from a cloistered nun of the Middle Ages! And, it is matched by melodic lines that soar and plunge in ways never heard in the more familiar Gregorian Chant. Join Constance in exploring St. Hildegard's poetic texts and music, including the first ever morality play, Ordo Virtutum, or the Play of the Virtues. The group will listen to recordings and perhaps a few live performances and will also look at the great codex of her works found in the library of Wiesbaden, Germany, which has been digitized for exploration on line. The class will meet Monday afternoons from 1-2 pm in the Foster Room, beginning April 11th. Some classes may also be held in the sanctuary for listening to music in better acoustics or possibly staging a reading of the play.
Women's Bible Study
of Revelation, led by Toni Stallworth, will resume Wednesday, March 30th at 11:00 in the Foster Room.
Women's Bible Study
of The Gospel According to John will resume Wednesday, April 13th at 5:30 p.m., led by Shirley Ruedy. Bring your Bibles and come join us for exploration of this rich, powerful, and much beloved Gospel.
Men's Bible Study
meets each Wednesday morning from 7:30 to 8:30 AM in the Foster Room (except in the summer and during holy day weeks) to study the Bible to understand the roots of our faith and how our faith can inform us today. We are finishing Jesus's apocalyptic teachings and after a break for Easter Week will move on to a new and challenging topic. Open to all men of the community, not just Trinity men. Coffee and light refreshments. Interested? Ray Firehock coordinates (886-5898), or see Fr. Nancarrow.
will meet on Tuesday, April 26th at 7 p.m., in the Foster Room when John Lane will lead a discussion of The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. The Jackal -- a tall, blond Englishman with opaque, gray eyes. A killer at the top of his profession. A man unknown to any secret service in the world. An assassin with a contract to kill the world's most heavily guarded man. One man with a rifle who can change the course of history. One man whose mission is so secretive not even his employers know his name. And as the minutes count down to the final act of execution, it seems that there is no power on earth that can stop the Jackal.
On May 24 Novel Theology will discuss Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch ("Scout") returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past-a journey that can only be guided by one's own conscience. Led by Tom Tucker.
Frederick Buechner, an ordained Presbyterian minister and a highly-acclaimed religious writer, has told his rich life story in four autobiographies: The Sacred Journey (1982), Now and Then (1983), Telling Secrets (1991), and The Eyes of the Heart: Memoirs of the Lost and Found (1999). The first in the series, The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days, takes us from childhood to his decision to enter seminary.
Born in 1926, Buechner lived a privileged, if peripatetic life, until tragedy hit with his father's suicide when he was thirteen years old. (The suicide of his uncle occurred a few years later, leading Buechner to worry that this mental instability ran in the family.) He was also drafted to serve in the army during World War II but was disqualified for combat duty after what seems to have been a nervous breakdown during training. Teaching and a contract for his first novel followed his discharge.
What is most fascinating in this first autobiography is the way he receives his call to ministry. With complete candor, he shares what turns out to be a lengthy progress, full of twists and turns, small and apparently insignificant decisions, and ultimate mystery. I suspect that many spiritual vocations come about this way rather than the kind of "road to Damascus" experience of St. Paul.
In his introduction to The Sacred Journey, Buechner explains his approach: "It seemed to me then, and seems to me still, that if God speaks to us at all in this world, it is into our personal lives that he speaks. And further: More as a novelist than a theologian, more concretely than abstractly, I determined to try to describe my own life as evocatively and candidly as I could in the hope that such glimmers of theological truth as I believed I had glimpsed in it would shine through my description more or less on their own. Through his meticulous attention to detail, Buechner hopes to communicate to the reader "something of what I thought I heard God saying." It is Buechner's exploration of spirituality with the virtuosity of an excellent novelist that makes his work so compelling and hard to put down.
Buechner sees the world and our experience of it as incarnational. He encourages us to be open to signs and symbols of God's disclosure - and grace - in the events of everyday life and our experience of them. Not that the divine message is always clear; indeed, it is often elusive and mysterious. What is God saying to us through a bird's song or the suicide of a good man? The purpose of great art - and preaching - is to sharpen our senses and our ability to hear what God is saying, at least as much as our human condition allows.
Another great writer of our time, Reynolds Price, has called The Sacred Journey "a kind of detective autobiography." Buechner returns to memories of childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood in search of clues for understanding his purpose in life and where it is taking him. As he reminisces, he is surprised to discover what events and experiences that seemed insignificant at the time join together to form a rich spiritual narrative. His life - and ours-is not merely a journey through time but a sacred journey through which God reveals Himself.
As he explains near the end of this short but powerful book: What I found was what I had already half seen, or less than half, in many places over my twenty-seven years without ever clearly knowing what it was that I was seeing or even that I was seeing anything of great importance. Something in me recoils from using such language, but here at the end I am left with no other way of saying it than that what I found finally was Christ. Or was found.
|Ever & Karen Scholarship Fund
Several weeks ago the Trinity mission group traveled to Honduras, a world apart from Staunton. The new missioners on this trip may have expected touristy marimba music or dusty squalor. In fact, Honduras is interesting, uneven, and amazing.
That first evening, Brendan and I took a three wheeled motorcycle taxi, the ubiquitous vehicle of the developing world, a tuk tuk, to the nearby community of Nueva Esperanza and the home of Ever and Karen. Members of Trinity Church have been paying much of the cost for them to attend Mayatan Bilingual School. The family is paying for Helmy, their youngest son. Brendan and I were met with hugs and smiles. Brendan said he was looking forward to playing soccer with Ever, possibly at the small field just down from their house, near the church our mission group built. Ever suggested he could arrange a game for Saturday.
Friday evening, Paul and Lee joined Brendan and me for dinner at a local restaurant with most of the family, Leopoldina, Cruz, Ever, Karen, Nahin, and Helmy. We talked about Ever and Karen continuing their education after high school, maybe in Virginia, maybe at Blue Ridge Community College or even a university. Ever is a junior and Karen in the eighth grade. Helmy is in the first grade.
On Saturday, we were surprised the soccer game was not in Nueva Esperanza but in town, at a soccer field within a walled enclosure with artificial turf and bleachers. Ever brought friends from Nueva Esperanza and the Mayatan school. It was fast tough play. Soon the owner of the field arrived, then we realized that Cruz rented the field for half an hour but hadn't been able to pay for a full game. That was awkward. It seemed like a massive gesture on their part, an attempt to pay on the generosity they have received. I paid $10 for the second half.
Monday night, Brendan and I returned to Nueva Esperanza to talk about money and school. Karen and Ever are making good grades. Their older brother, Jose, a policeman, has been accepted to university where he plans to study mathematics. Nahin, the son who attends public school, is one of the best students in his school. His favorite subject, math.
Leopoldina, the mother, is selling Avon products but doesn't make much. She continues to make jewelry which we hope to sell in Staunton. Cruz, the father, works at a public school. Ever and Karen had jobs last summer but the family still had to sell their old car. Instead, Ever and Karen ride to school on a motorcycle or in a retired little red taxi that Cruz now rents from his brother. The little taxi needs new lights and a push to start but is inexpensive. They have borrowed money for the children's education
Cruz said he wants to sell their house. He hopes to build another house on land they own. He thinks he can build it for just $20,000, less than the value of their house, resulting in a larger house and additional money for school. Their current house is small, four rooms, built on a hill, with a view and a yard of fruit trees. We were sitting on a very pleasant front porch. Brendan perked up, worked on the math and considered his options. He speaks Spanish, loves soccer, wants to work with children and admires frugality. He thinks he could live in Honduras.
That's the big lesson. Brendan and those of us on the mission trip have options. We have choices. That night, Leopoldina revealed, "My family was very poor, as a child I was a very good student but could only go to the third grade. I want more for my children."
You can contribute to the education of Karen and Ever by sending a check to Trinity Church, marked Ever/Karen Scholarship fund. Thank you.
|Bible Study for Senior High youth in Downtown Staunton!
All senior high youth from Stuart Hall, Emmanuel and Trinity are welcome to attend a six week Bible study. We will meet Thursday evenings from 7 - 8 p.m. beginning April 7 running through May 12 at the new downtown Stuart Hall Admissions Office, located at the corner of Beverley and New Streets. Friends welcome. Bring a Bible if you have one but it is not necessary to bring one if you don't. Led by Emily Sproul and the Rev. Shelby Owen. Come join us and see where Scripture intersects with your life, and hear what God may be saying to you! For more info contact Shelby at
|African Team Ministries Sale
On Sundays April 24 and May 1, we will have items from African Team Ministries for sale. There are hand-carved wooden figures, as well as beadwork necklaces and earrings, and more! These sales help African families become more financially stable and independent. Please check the bulletin announcements in April for more information! (Below are photos from the previous year's sales.)
|NEW Trinity Windows Notecards for Sale
New Christmas notecard set is available for $10 in the office and on the sale table in the church. Each pack includes 12 envelopes, 6 Nativity window notecards, and 6 Magi window notecards. The cards are blank inside.