July 2016 Trinity Tribune
Doing the Work of Jesus Together
Doing justice to our experiences in Haiti would require a book. The cliché is that the country is poor but the people are happy. That's only slightly more than half true. I've been in other poor countries, but I've never seen poverty like this. The teachers in Boudin Jean Pierre are literally not paid, and not everybody smiles. I saw some pretty serious-even somber-faces among even the students. From some I never succeeded in coaxing a smile. It's telling that the priests try to have their children born in the States so that they're American citizens. Not everyone is able to do that; an hour or so ago I got a call from a young man I met (I have no idea how he got my telephone number) who wants help getting a scholarship for education in Haiti. The long and short of it is that many Haitians have an urgent desire to better their lives. There's good reason for the Haitian diaspora in the States.
Yet Haiti is a beautiful country with so much (unfulfilled) potential. One crucial means to unlocking that potential is education, and the churches are working hard to provide it. The partnerships we have already formed to help them find Haitian ways to meet Haitian needs seem to be working, but much more work and many more partnerships are needed. Sunday afternoon we walked down the road from Paroisse St. Mathias in Cherident to visit Papa Luc's coffin-making shop. We spent only moments climbing around the small space, then the others headed on, but I'd walked far enough and headed back. Immediately a girl of perhaps seven who was happening by put a forefinger on a copper bracelet I wear. "C'est africain," I told her, "je l'ai acheté en Afrique." I was certain she spoke only Creole, but I hoped maybe she could understand a bit of the French. She didn't reply; she just put her hand in mine. I wasn't quite sure what it was all about, but I grasped her hand as hard as she was gripping mine. We walked in absolute silence for a quarter-mile. Together we carefully avoided passing motorcycles. Then, still without saying a word, she let go and walked across the road, disappearing along a path toward her house. An old man I took to be her grandfather was standing by the side of the road. He was obviously glad to see her, and as we shook hands he seemed grateful that I'd "shepherded" his granddaughter on her trip home. Perhaps that's a good image for our partnerships in Haiti: Haitian Christians and American Christians holding hands as we walk the road home, doing the work of Jesus together.
There are days when I seriously wonder if I am fast on my way to becoming just another grumpy old man. Let's face it, there is no shortage of that commodity in today's world and adding myself to that burgeoning supply would not benefit anyone. The "old" part of this equation is somewhat inevitable so it is the "grumpy" part that has some doubt. But recent trends indicate that if things keep progressing as they have that grumpy too will be a surety and this bothers me. I come from a family that has consistently produced different manifestations of the grumpy old man stereotype so I certainly have had enough role models, but honestly becoming one myself is something I have wanted to avoid my entire adult life. And yet perhaps there is something in my very genome that makes that impossible.
I think the first part of becoming something like that is allowing all sorts of small annoyances to bother you. The very fact that you consider something an "annoyance" presupposes that it does in fact bother you. So there you go, I guess I am on a fast track to becoming that grumpy old man. But could it be that some portion of my being bothered is justified? Maybe I should analyze the data. Maybe I should make a list. Upon considering the construction of such a list I quickly realize that it might be a rather long one. So I will give a go to writing out the things that get under my skin, the things that mift me. My personal miftology.
Let's say we start with driving. Every day I see people driving too fast and too slow. I see people who are distracted by phones and texting and fellow travelers. I see people being way too aggressive, but I also see people who are way too timid. They follow too close and pass at inappropriate places. They seem determined to discover my blind spot and then drive there for miles and miles. They cruise in the passing lane speeding up when you try to get by and then immediately slowing down when you abandon that idea. Who taught these people to drive? Why can't they drive correctly the way I think they should? As I review my first list of things that make me crabby I slowly realize where the real root of the problem might be and I have to admit it makes me uncomfortable.
I mean I just listed a whole paragraph of gripes about how other people drive and I really don't spend that much of my life driving. What about things that bother me that happen in stores or gas stations or in public buildings or walking down the street (or in church or in trains or in shops or at tea)? I mean let's just face the fact that I have acquired to ability to be cranky just about anywhere at any time. When I frame it that way it becomes quite apparent where is the real trouble. As Pogo used to say "We have met the enemy and it is us" or in my case just "me."
Framing this part of my reality in that way leaves me with a clear choice. I can continue to wallow in and add to my personal "miftology" or I can do something to prevent it from spreading and to actually lessen the things that seem to get so easily under my skin. Doing that requires a good deal of self-control and maybe even more self-awareness. Thinking negative thoughts is certainly habit forming and habits that are formed over many years can be very hard to break. On the other hand continuing the spiral toward perpetual petulance would be the easy way out but when seriously considered not all that appealing.
The world these days seems full enough of angry people, people who are always looking for the bad in everything and feel like everyone else is out to get them. In our country this has led to the almost total dis-function of our federal elected government, with zero trust for anyone who might dare to think different than you and zero tolerance to go along with the lack of trust. It all adds up to lots of unhappiness and very little of value getting done. So while there are plenty of role models to show me the way to grumpy old manhood trying to avoid that path is something that certainly merits the work it will take.
So it is all on me, a very sobering thought. I mean I already have plenty to do and now I have to undertake a program of self-improvement too. That seems a bit much. It would be much easier if everyone else would just get their own act together so I didn't have so many things to complain about. But then that simply leads down the road of my own personal miftology, a road I have already determined I don't want to travel. So it really is all on me, and so be it. Let the games begin.
Bishop's Discretionary Fund
Dear People of Trinity Church,
Thank you for the gift of $792 to The Bishop's Discretionary Fund. This money, accumulated week after week, is used by me to assist those with a variety of pastoral needs and to strengthen the ministry of our diocesan family.
Yours in Christ Jesus, The Right Rev. Mark A. Bourlakas
Notes from the Senior Warden
During the summer, the Trinity Adult Choir suspends their weekly Thursday night practices, usually from the first of June through the end of August. Choirs on summer Sundays at the 10:00 services are considered a "pick-up choir;" whoever is in town and wishes to sing comes to the choir loft at 9:00 and rehearses for about 40 minutes. Generally, Gen picks a piece or two that we've sung before, have less complicated harmonies, and can be sung by a smaller group. Guest musicians sometimes volunteer to play, or small groups of trios or duets perform an anthem. It's been this way for years, and gives the choir (and their director) a well-deserved break. Some choir members even enjoy the opportunity to sit with their family in the congregation and enjoy the service (and music) from a different perspective.
Before this summer, Gen asked for volunteers who would like to play in a hand bell choir. Trinity has a wonderful 4 octave set of White Chapel handbells, purchased in 1982 with a portion of a bequest received in 1978 from Ann M. Catlett. In the intervening 34 years, the handbells have not been played regularly in Trinity; sometimes a solo bell or two have been used as accompaniment to a choral piece, but rarely have we played a piece with JUST bells and no voices.
Gen wanted to recruit about 11 players so we could use 3 octaves of the bells. Of course, this meant that she also had to find appropriate music (hopefully not too difficult for this mostly novice choir), teach us how to read bell music (not as easy as you think), play the bells, observe dynamics, etc. All the things that we have done for years with our voices. But now, with our hands ringing bells.
Happily, Gen found eleven volunteers, including a couple extras to serve as substitutes, and on June 2 the rehearsals began. We had five weeks to learn ONE piece to be played on July 3: a very lovely patriotic piece which would be perfect for Independence Day weekend.
I won't bore you with the details of rehearsals, laughter, the outbursts of "shoot, I missed my note," and all the other things that occurred over the past two months as our bell choir learned the music and how to play together. What I will share is how humbling I found this experience.
I have sung in the Trinity choir since early childhood. I sang in
my junior high and senior high choirs. I've always sung. I think I read music pretty well, considering that I never once played a music instrument. (Okay, we are not counting the recorders in 4th grade as music instruments!) Having to read the bell music, identify that a certain note was MY note to play, determining which hand that bell is in and playing it at the appropriate moment for the appropriate length of time was sometimes just beyond my ability. I went home after the first night almost in tears, and with blisters
on my right thumb. I couldn't do this! I should quit now, so Gen could find another player. But I came back each week, as did my fellow bellringers, and we learned. We got better. We stilllaughed and cringed at our mistakes, but it slowly began to sound like music.
I always say that it's a good day when you learn something new. I like to learn new things; but I also like to be good at the things I do. And I'm not "good" at ringing handbells right now; but I'm better than I was on June 2. And I hope to be better the next time we play. I'll keep trying, because that's what we do. We just try to do better each day. Isn't that what God wants us to do?
By the way, if you see the following people, thank them for accepting Gen's challenge to play some bells this summer! Stay tuned, we're scheduled again on January 1 during "The Playing of the Merry Organ."
Kristin Reichert, Lilchy Huffman, Kay Buchanan, Judy Mosedale, Beverly Frank, Louise Temple, Cindy Hickman, Lucy Ivey, Fritz Rosebrook, Aaron Reichert and Ryan Bolena.
Novel Theology meets throughout the year on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7pm in the Foster Room. Everyone and anyone is invited to attend. The only rule is you must read the book for that month. Come and bring your friends and acquaintances. We have lively discussions.
by Philip Roth.
As the American century draws to an uneasy close, Philip Roth gives us a novel of unqualified greatness that is an elegy for all our century's promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss. Roth's protagonist is Swede Levov, a legendary athlete at his Newark high school, who grows up in the booming postwar years to marry a former Miss New Jersey, inherit his father's glove factory, and move into a stone house in the idyllic hamlet of Old Rimrock. And then one day in 1968, Swede's beautiful American luck deserts him. Led by Carol Kipp.
Sep 27-Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.
Rushdie's 1980 Booker Prize-winning
: two children born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947-the moment at which India became an independent nation-are switched in the hospital. The infant scion of a wealthy Muslim family is sent to be raised in a Hindu tenement, while the legitimate heir to such squalor ends up establishing squatters' rights to his unlucky hospital mate's luxurious bassinet. Switched babies are standard fare for a Hindi film, and one can't help but feel that Rushdie's world-view-and certainly his sense of the fantastical-has been shaped by the films of his childhood. But whereas the movies, while entertaining, are markedly mediocre,
is a masterpiece, brilliant written, wildly unpredictable, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.
Led by Nancy Armstrong.
|Carter Hannah, Noon Lunch Co-Coordinator
This summer has been an intense one for Noon Lunch. For weeks we served 50+ guests and then last week we were down to the 30's and some days even lower. It is always interesting for the lead cooks to determine how many meals to prepare, but somehow, they all work it out and every weekday this Church welcomes many of the most needy in the area and feeds them a wonderful, nutritious meal.
For the second summer, we have been the grateful recipients of pounds of produce and breads from the Staunton Farmers' Market. Our guests have eaten wonderful salads full of local lettuces, kale, carrots, sugar snap peas, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. They have also enjoyed cooked greens, squash, Swiss Chard, onions, and broccoli. They will have sandwiches made from home made wholesome breads and they have loved several homemade cakes and cookies. When you visit the market, please thank them for donating to Trinity Noon Lunch. We could still use your help with picking up if you have the time on a Saturday between now and November.
Our cooking teams come from 15 churches or groups besides Trinity. We have 5 teams from Trinity. The team leaders for the Trinity teams are Lilchy Huffman, Carrie Tucker, John and Ruth Ward, Hunter Moss, and Ann Murray. There are also many members of Trinity who work in those groups. Bob Boyle and Lynn Manka man the check-in daily so that we know who and how many guests are there each day. Lynn Manka writes our thank you notes.
Sally Rogers writes all the weekly and monthly reports for the Food Bank. Moira Coleman-Leigh makes sure that we never run out of milk, margarine, and other necessities. Bev Stone and Maureen Gray help with picking up donations from Food Lion and Kroger. Carrie Tucker, Janet Boody, Maureen Gray and Lucy Ivey help with pick-up from the Farmers' Market. Our office staff interacts with the guests daily answering questions, finding help or goods for them, and giving constant praise and encouragement. Deidre Jones offers prayer with the guests on a weekly basis. It takes many people to keep this program going and hopefully I have not forgotten any one! It takes us all to make Noon Lunch the special program that it is. It takes all of Trinity who bring in donations of food and money. Thank you everyone for your work and for your support.
We could really use one more team to work occasionally, planning, preparing and cleaning up. We would train you and call you in to work as substitutes. Please contact Carter (
) or Kathy (email@example.com) if you are interested.
|Louise Temple-Rosebrook, Assistant Organist
Ever been to India? You probably think of great food, right? You would be correct, if you like spicy! I will be there for an educational collaboration at a Science & Technology University just north of Delhi for two months, starting on August 15. I have visited there before, and one of their faculty members was here working with me at JMU two years ago and visited Trinity several times. So, I am comfortable there-as much as is possible in a very different culture where I don't speak the language. But a trip like this comes with its challenges, as you can imagine, and I'm writing to request your prayers for my journey and work during this time.
The Anglican Church
is a union of independent
Anglican churches that came into being after independence
These and other Christian churches are alive and well, although they constitute a small minority of religious people in the Indian population. You may have heard of violence and discrimination against Christians there, particularly those of the lower castes. Because of the privileged status of Indians who are attending university, I will be in no danger, of course. I was able to visit several Anglican churches during my previous visits, so I will be able to worship occasionally at an English-speaking service. Pipe organs were plentiful during the years of British occupation, but most have fallen into disrepair and disuse. However, there are a few, and of course I located them in previous visits and hope to see, hear, and play one or two while I'm there.
I certainly will miss my work with Gen and the choir, and the familiar liturgy of the word and table. The music at Trinity, the opportunity to serve you, and my church family are very important to me, and I will look forward to getting back to my role there in October.
|Educating Ever, Karen, and Helmy: School Starts Soon, Ever's Senior Year & Karen in High School
We are at the start of another school year. Just a few weeks ago, Ever had surgery for appendicitis but is recovering well. This was another expense for the family but they are managing.
All three students performed well in school last year. Ever is looking forward to his Senior year and Karen will be entering the 9th grade at Mayatan Bilingual School. Helmy, their younger brother continues at Mayatan with the help of teachers at the school where their father is custodian/handyman/guard. The middle brother, Nahin, continues in public school.
We finished last year with a little over $100. A payment of $2400 will be due in August and $600per month after that. Costs have gone up because Karen is in high school. The family has requested $200 in August for Helmy's fees.
The family is struggling. Karen and Ever have summer jobs and their father works as a farm laborer during the summer. Ever writes regularly that his father is very worried about money. They borrowed from the bank to pay fees and tuition for Helmy. They sold their car and they have been trying to sell their house.
We hope you are encouraged by Ever and Karen's progress and will continue your support. If you would like more information, grade reports etc, contact Julian (also known as Pete) Hickman at 540-241-3753. If you would like to help, send your check to Trinity Church, marked Ever and Karen Scholarship Fund.
|Do You Work with Children at Trinity?
|Laurie Clements, Parish Administrator
For those of us working with children here at Trinity, it is very important that we take the "Safeguarding God's Children" course. We offer them periodically at Trinity, and our friends at Emmanuel help us by sponsoring a few of them also. Susan Peyton will host this course on August 14th at 12noon. Anyone interested in taking this workshop, email Laurie Clements at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to keep our records accurate on everyone's participation. The requirement for this workshop is that the participants must take this class every two years.
|Online Directory & Database
|Deidre Jones, Parish Communications
We have a new database system called REALM. This system is much more user friendly than our previous system. All of your Trinity information, email address, birthday, giving history, etc., will be there just as it was in the previous online system you just have to sign in and create a new account to get it. We apologize for this inconvenience but promise it is worth it! If you have not received an email invitation from Realm (which I sent out on July 26) please contact the office. Once you make the initial login you may return to realm at any time through the Trinity website: www.trinitystaunton.org, hover over members and choose "Realm Login." If you have any trouble, please contact the office at 886-9132. Also note that online giving will be made available soon!
Directory Email Update:
Louise Temple-Rosebrook: email@example.com
Honduras Benefit, Mystery Dinner at Trinity
Trinity Episcopal Church
invites you to an evening of
Chinese Chicanery and Chicken Soong
Virginia mystery author Brad Parks
Sat., October 8
5 - 8 p.m.
214 W. Beverley St.,
McCracken Hall, Staunton
Clues, puzzles, observation and keen wits will guide your table's crime investigation. BYOB!
Dinner prepared by Margaret Pearson
and Trinity volunteers.
Tickets are $25 per person.
Payment deadline: Oct. 3. For reservations (tables seat 6) contact Carrie Tucker at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 540.230.0787.
Please mail (P.O. Box 208, Staunton 24402) or drop off checks written to Trinity Episcopal Church with a memo of "Mystery Dinner."
Proceeds benefit Trinity's secondary school project in San Rafael, Copan, Honduras.
If you open the following link, you will see our Trinity Church calendar. You may wish to bookmark this page as it will automatically update with any changes.
Wayt Timberlake III
Chuck Jones Jr.
John Stathos, Jr.
Misa Kobayashi Stuart