I've become convinced we have a comma out of place in the Lord's Prayer.
I know, I know: that sounds like the height of arrogance. Jesus himself gave us this prayer. People much smarter than me have worked much harder than me much longer that I have even been alive to come up with a good rendering of this central Christian prayer. From the original Greek of Matthew's and Luke's gospels, to the first Latin translations, to scribal copying for centuries, to English translators from 1549 until today - a lot of work has gone into putting this prayer into English in a way that both represents the original text and is readable and singable with beauty and devotion in our current tongue. The prayer is a little masterpiece of both inspiration and translation. So I really shouldn't presume to quibble.
But I still think we have a comma out of place.
Every time we say the prayer, we ask God that "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
I'm pretty sure we ought to be praying "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
Because I am pretty sure that the meaning of this petition is that earth is the place that needs to have God's will made manifest, earth is the place that really needs God's will to be done. We take it for granted that God's will is done in heaven. I would even argue that the definition of "heaven" is "where God's will is done." Heaven is not so much a place above the sky, or a metaphysical plane of being, as it is that condition of existence where the gap between what God wants and what actually happens has been reduced to zero. Heaven is the condition of goodwill, and giving and receiving in freedom and mutuality, and love that does not end. Heaven is the condition where God's will for right-relationships and creativity and abundant life is done, without hindrance or hesitation or loss. So we don't really need to pray that God's will be done in heaven.
Earth, however, is a different matter. There is much in this world, many situations and occasions and circumstances in our experience of this life, that resist God's will. Where the Bible teaches us God's will is for justice, we often find injustice instead. Where God's will is for peace, we often find conflict instead. Where God's will is for mutuality and compassion, we often find competition and inequality instead. Where God's will is for love, we often find hatred instead. Where God's will is for life, we often find death instead. The list could go on. There is so much in our experience of life on earth that opposes God's will, that stands over against the good will of God with the evil effects of corruption and greed and un-love. Whether we are looking at social structures or into our own hearts, we perceive the gap between what God wants and what actually happens, and we are compelled to pray "Thy will be done on earth!"
And if we pray that God's will be done on earth, then we must also recognize that we have a role in doing it. C.S. Lewis, in his book Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer, writes "'Thy will be done.' But a great deal of it is to be done by God's creatures; including me. The petition, then, is not merely that I may patiently suffer God's will but also that I may vigorously do it ... Taken this way, I find the words have a more regular daily application ... there are always duties to be done; usually, for me, neglected duties to be caught up with. 'Thy will be done - by me - now' brings one back to brass tacks" (pages 25-26).
God's will for our earth is, as it has always been, for peace and justice, right-relationships for well-being, communion, compassion, and love. There are times when the doing of God's will seems relatively easy, when peace and goodwill seem to form spontaneously among people and groups. There are other times when the doing of God's will seems more challenging, when it seems that fear and resentment, anger and demand, partisanship and me-first-ism, are the first responses people make to each other and our problems. Today is a time when many people in our society feel anxiety and worry; many are concerned about the growth of polarization and fragmentation between parties and groups; many are worried that hard-won rights and respect and efforts toward equality will be eroded. To many, this seems like a time when peace and justice and goodwill seem especially threatened.
And that means that we are called even more to pray. We are called to pray, "Thy will be done on earth." And we are called to offer ourselves to God as agents of that prayer, as instruments the Holy Spirit of God may inspire and activate to do God's will in daily application and in duties to be done. We are called even more to let our prayer become the occasion through which God empowers us to act out right-relationships and mutuality and giving-and-receiving and freedom of generosity in all the places God puts us.
I invite you to pray with me to God, "Thy will be done on earth - by us - now - as it already is in heaven." Amen.
Ash Wednesday is March 1, 2017
Services at Trinity:
10:30am and 7:30pm
Services at Emmanuel:
7:30am and a service with Stuart Hall at 12:00pm, all are welcome
The office will be closed on
Monday, February 20
in honor of Presidents Day.
The office will be closed on Monday, February 28 for an in service day.
|Laurie Clements, Parish Administrator
Tax year contributions statements
In January, all contributors will receive a statement of contributions for the entire 2016 calendar year. These statements are available through your Realm account if you have signed up for it. Otherwise a paper copy will be mailed to you. This is the statement you should retain for use with your 2016 income tax return. It will list all contributions, whether pledge payments or for other programs. If you have any questions regarding your statement or find that there has been an error in the posting of your contributions, please contact Laurie Clements at the church office by phone, 886-9132, or email,
. Thank you to all those who have pledged support to Trinity this past year.
Thank You to Our Volunteers
Thank you to the many faithful volunteers who serve in our office and our programs throughout the year, but special thanks to my faithful counters: Clair Bell, Carol Brown, Lynn Hogg, Lilchy Huffman, and Sandra McNeill. Your consistent, patient, and cheerful help is very much appreciated!
Automatic offering withdrawals
This past year we have been able to begin receiving online payments for contributions. To make things easier for you, remember we can also handle the automatic transfer of your scheduled pledge payments for you by an ACH debit to your checking or savings account each month. Check with Laurie in the church office for details.
Everyone has received their pledge offering envelopes. If you have made a pledge for 2017, we still have envelopes available. Our money counters and myself find it is so much easier to help record contributions by envelope numbers. Let me know if you would like a box.
Memorial gifts have been received this past month in loving memory of Chuck Jones, Jen Fuller, Dick Cunningham, and Ted Jordan.
|Gen Bolena, Organist & Choirmaster
Choristers met on a blustery Sunday afternoon in January to celebrate the Feast of Epiphany. During the three hour celebration, a truncated version of our popular summer Choir Camp, choristers learned a two part arrangement of
Brightest and Best
by Malcolm Archer, decorated crowns, made beaded star ornaments and ate a delicious, homemade cake called
La galette des rois
, French for "The cake of the kings." The cake was made from puff pastry and almond paste and is a tradition in French bakeries on Epiphany. Choristers also touched and smelled frankincense and myrrh, had a stately procession, and learned more about the three Magi. A great time was had by children and adult helpers alike.
|Gen Bolena, Organist & Choirmaster
Scarlatti & Tansman with Choral Evensong: March 5 at 5pm
Guitarist Chris Wyton will perform works by Dowland, D. Scarlatti, Tansman and York. Chris, grandson of Carl Broman, teaches privately in the D.C. Metro area. His concert will be followed by Choral Evensong, sung by the Trinity Choir.
Carl Broman Series: April 23 at 5pm
Sider Edgington, organist, will perform music from 17th century Germany, including Bach's Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C major and Buxtehude's Passacaglia in c minor. These pieces will juxtapose with more modern works by Anton Heiller, Rachel Laurin, and William Albright.
What Keeps You Up At Night?
The Sunday adult class is off to a great start with interesting presentations and lively discussion. In January, those present learned about the change in newspaper publishing, editing, and photography thanks to Trinitarian Roger Watson, David Fritz, and Mike Tripp. Beginning in February, Sundays will include Caring for the Chronically Ill, Hospice, Medical Decision-Making, Wills, Changes in the Church, etc. Please check the Sunday bulletin and weekly email blasts for speakers and dates. Come and bring your friends.
brings Trinity member Eric Laser MD: "Make every moment count because it may be your last. I was in the best shape of my life right up to the point I (nearly) died...."
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 Han Kang: A book about Yeong-Hye, a woman who decides one day to stop eating meat. She gives no reason for her abrupt decision, just tells her husband Mr. Cheong that she had a dream. She doesn't go into the details to explain herself to her baffled husband, for whom she has no real affection, but readers know that the dream was filled with violence and aggression. The Vegetarian starts with a dream and ends with Yeong-Hye being checked
into a mental hospital.
Led by Patricia Devitt.
March 28 - The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars
by Dava Sobel (Non-Fiction): "The author soars higher than ever before...[continuing] her streak of luminous science writing with this fascinating, witty, and most elegant history...The Glass Universe is a feast for those eager to absorb forgotten stories of resolute American women who expanded human knowledge." (Booklist). Led by Sally James.
|Getting Together with Friends
Do you enjoy entertaining, planning parties, getting together with friends? If you answered "yes", you should consider joining the Hospitality Committee at Trinity.
To be clear, the Hospitality Committee is not responsible for planning and executing every social event at Trinity, but rather to recruit volunteers to lead and coordinate other volunteers who will jointly plan and carry out that plan for a reception, picnic, or pot luck. We provide the framework, checklist of things to organize, many supplies, and a budget for each event. Individual members of the H. C. may choose to lead or volunteer for an event if desired.
Committee members also give consideration to any new activity or social idea that congregants may suggest to enrich our parish life. The committee meets about once every two months, usually on a Sunday, immediately following the 11:00 service.
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
-- Mother Teresa
These words capture the devotion to our church community given by the group of women and men who form Trinity Cares. The members are charged with providing the good care neighbors give by lending a hand in an emergency, running an errand, providing a hot meal, providing transportation to church or to a doctor's appointment, and touching base with someone by card, phone, or visit.
The group began its journey in November 2012 with 30 members and is still touching lives in many small ways. Not only are our parishioners being cared for by the members of Trinity Cares, but the lives of Trinity Cares members are being touched by our parishioners.
If you are interested in becoming a part of Trinity Cares, please call Muffie Newell
|Trinity Historical Highlight
Every Sunday, at the 7:45 service, 2 collection plates are put out and we put our offering in. At the later services, the Ushers come up, get the plates and walk down the aisle to pass them for our offering. Did you know we have 6 of these plates, all of which are Memorials and were given in 1929 and the Large Receiving Plate for the collection plates is dated 1903?
Two plates are engraved:
To The Glory of God and in Loving Memory of
Anne Woodward Young
James Hamilton & Mary F. Woodward
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God"
Two plates are engraved:
To The Glory of God and In Loving Memory of
J. Harry Worthington
From His Wife
Carrie Crowle Worthington
John Henry Worthington was born March 13, 1857. He married Carrie Crowl on April 30th, 1900. He died February 28, 1924. His family owned Worthington Hardware in downtown Staunton which is still operating today.
The last two plates are engraved:
To The Glory of God and in Loving Memory of
Caroline Virginia Drury Crowle
wife of John D. Crowle
died September Fourteenth 1892
From Her Daughter
Carrie Crowle Worthington
The Collection Plates Receiving Plate (pictured above) is Bronze and Brass and has the IHS in the Middle. The wording around the rim is "Which Love Ye Have Shown For His Name Sake" On the back is engraved:
Given Memory of Cpt. F.B. Berkeley -
(April 12, 1903)
Capt Frances Brooke Berkeley was born September 5, 1835 a son of Dr. Edmund Berkeley and Mary Randolph Spotswood Brooke Berkeley. He attended military school in Maryland and was a US Army Paymaster's clerk for Imboden's Regiment, Dept. of Northern Virginia Partisan Rangers, C.S.A. He served during The Civil War enlisting in Nov. 1861 as a Private. He was discharged in April 1862. In August 1862, he commissioned into 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry and served as Inspector and Mustering Officer. In January, 1863, he was promoted to Captain, Asst Adjutant General.
After the War, he lived in Baltimore as an express agent but came back to Staunton where he was a druggist. He married Susan Jane "Jennie" Baird (1853-1892) before 1872 when their first of nine children was born.
He served on the Vestry for many years and usually served as the Junior Warden, a position he held at the time of his death. He died October 5, 1898. Berkeley Place is named for his family.
The Newtown Neighborhood Association extends an invitation to Trinity members to NNA's annual Winter Soup Social on February 26 in McCracken Hall from 5 to 8 p.m. Please bring a salad or dessert to share!