January 2017 Trinity Tribune

In This Issue:
The Mission of Communion
The Rev. Paul Nancarrow
Most of the month of January belongs to the liturgical "Season after Epiphany," or, as I like to use the old-fashioned name, Epiphanytide. During Epiphanytide our Sunday gospel readings focus on the early ministry of Jesus: his baptism, his first preaching, his first miracles, his calling of the first disciples. One of the themes to which the church turns its attention in Epiphanytide, following the cue of these gospel readings, is the theme of
mission. God sent Jesus into ministry in the world in order to show forth God's Word; how does God send the church into ministry in the world in order to show forth Jesus today?
 
I think we can best understand the mission of the church if we think of it in connection with another central Christian experience: the experience of communion. As I understand them, the two are inextricably linked. All too often, however, we can fall into thinking of them as diametrically opposed - or at least as having little to do with each other. Communion, we may think, is what the church does "in-house": it is that sense of togetherness and connection and mutuality that members of the church have with each other and with God when they gather to do churchy things. Mission, on the other hand, is about the church going out of its house, going out into the world, and especially to those parts of the world where there is no church yet, where there is no togetherness and connection and mutuality in Christ, where we have to come to grips with all that is not churchy and may not want to be. To our ordinary thinking, mission and communion may seem like they are headed in completely opposite directions.
 
But I believe that mission and communion belong together. And we can see them as belonging together when we think of them as both rooted and grounded and beginning with God - not as projects of the church, but as characteristics of God. What does it mean to say that communion and mission are truths about God, and that God generously and lovingly allows the church to share in those truths?
 
In the first place, communion is at the heart of God's own life. God the Holy Trinity lives as the communion of three Persons in one Being. The fundamental relationship of the three divine Persons creates the condition of the possibility of all other sorts of relationships throughout all Creation. In turn, the intention or mission of God (missio Dei, as it is often called in theological writings) is to draw all Creation into that communion. The love of the three Persons is generative and inclusive, and the Three wish all sorts and conditions of creatures to have their own unique share of that love. God's goal, God's purpose, God's mission is to draw all Creation into communion.
 
Within the earthly creation, the church is an agent of God's mission for communion - as many theologians of mission put it these days, it's not that the church of God has a mission in the world, but that the God of mission has a church in the world. God is the first and foremost missionary. In turn, the church's primary mission workers are the laity dispersed in the world.
 
And if the church's primary work is to be an agent of communion, and if the church's primary workers are lay persons, it follows that the primary work of the laity is to be agents of communion in their own unique and particular times and places and circumstances. Whether it be to create partnership in their office or their neighborhood; whether it be to foster fellowship in family or community organizations; whether it be to pray, silently or aloud, in sacred and secular moments both; whether it be to break down barriers in society and create conditions of genuinely reconciled diversity; whether it be to advocate for justice and peace in political and economic arenas; whether it be to care for the earth and promote ecological flourishing - in all their daily works, the laity dispersed in the world are called to be coworkers in and with the Triune God to bring about communion, and that is their primary mission. Especially in times and places where communion seems in very short supply, it is the main work of the laity to build up communion wherever they are.
 
And supporting the mission of the laity is the primary mission of the institutional church. And that is something a lot of institutional churches just plain have backwards. We often think it is the role of the parishioners to support the parish. In truth the work of the parish is to support the mission of the parishioners!
 
The function of the church gathered, the church considered as a community and an institution, is to create genuine experiences of communion for its members, so that they are energized to go forth and participate in God's creation of communion in the world. The church creates experiences of communion gathered around font and altar, as liturgy helps members know and feel the mystery of God's presence in common actions. The church provides experiences of communion gathered around scripture, as shared study and reflection helps members connect the revelation of our common story with the practical details of their daily lives. The church provides experiences of communion gathered for prayer and contemplation, as shared silence and attentiveness help members be drawn into the inner life of God. The church provides experiences of communion gathered for discernment, as shared insight and order help each member recognize where the Spirit is active in her or his life, and where the Spirit is activating him or her for mission. The church teaches practices that help its members grow in spiritual maturity and generosity, deepening both their inner and outer work of communion, and extending that work ever further into their Monday-through-Saturday lives and activities in the world. The mission of the church is to equip, encourage, support, and challenge the missions of its members - the participation of its members in the communion-creating mission of the Triune God.
 
So as we begin a new year, as we enter the church's season of Epiphanytide, take a moment to reflect on your mission, your share in God's mission. Where will you create communion in the relationships and realities of your life? What opportunities is God calling you to share in the divine work of love and light? And how can Trinity Church support, encourage, and inspire you in your mission in God? 


Notes from the (recently retired) Senior Warden
Lee Beam, Senior Warden
Wow, 2016 seemed to fly by VERY quickly.  I have been honored to serve as your Senior Warden during the past year.  The year kicked off with our Vestry retreat in early February, and then I attended the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes in late February.  I was energized by both of these meetings and came away with a lot of new ideas.  Unfortunately, I didn't find (or make) the time to act on all of the ideas, but that's ok:  I can work on them in 2017!
 
By the time you read this, 2016 will be at its end; Christmas will have been celebrated at Trinity, a new Senior Warden will be in place, and seven new Vestry members will be preparing to serve as Trinity's leadership board.  I hope all members of Trinity will share with the Vestry your ideas, hopes, and dreams for how we can do more, do better, do different things as we serve our community and the world, and bring the news of Jesus Christ to those around us.
 
Our curate, Becky McDaniel, has now been ordained as a priest, and she will be able to celebrate the Eucharist for us!  Becky will also be attending a conference in 2017 to learn about new and expanded curriculums for Youth Christian Education.  The Consortium meeting will be in Alexandria this year, and we hope that Trinity will send two or more people to attend and bring new ideas back to our church.  Members of the Trinity Choir will be heading to England in August for our 4th England "tour," although this year we will be the choir in residence at Christ Church Oxford for a week. And Fr. Paul will be on sabbatical during the latter part of 2017, taking time to study, reflect, read, write, and become re-energized for his work at Trinity.
 
Thank you for your support of Trinity.  Thank you for your volunteering in so many different ways.  Thank you for being part of the wonderful, caring community that is Trinity Church.  I look forward to seeing you often in 2017.  And thank you again for allowing me to serve as your Senior Warden this year.

Office Closed
The office will be closed December 24 and will reopen on Monday, January 2.
Altar Guild: Christmas
Sally Lovejoy, Altar Guild Co-Chair
Altar Guild members are asked to come help remove most of the flowers on  Sunday, January 1st, offering them to the congregation.

Holy Eucharist Planned for Feast of the Epiphany
The Rev. Paul Nancarrow
The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated on January 6, 2014, at 5:30pm in the St Columba Chapel. Epiphany, like Christmas, is a fixed date in the calendar, always falling on January 6. Some years January 6 is a Sunday, and then the Holy Day is observed at all the Sunday Eucharists. Most years the feast falls on a weekday. Even on a weekday, however, The Epiphany is a major feast of Our Lord, and is properly celebrated with the Eucharist. All are welcome to the Epiphany Eucharist on January 6.

Administrator Notes
Laurie Clements, Parish Administrator
Closing Out the Year for 2016 Giving
It is getting to be close to the end of the year. That means I will be busy closing the financial records for the end of the year. If you want to contribute to Trinity and have it recorded in your 2016 Giving Statement, all contributions must be turned into the office by Tuesday, December 27th, so there can be time for final deposit and posting. Thank you for your consideration. Your contributions and gifts to Trinity are very much appreciated!
 
Gifts
  • Memorial gifts were given to Trinity in loving memory of Dick Cunningham, Jen Fuller, and Ted Jordan.
  • Thank you to friends of Virginia Warrick for donating a monetary gift to Trinity in her honor for the Christmas season.

Upcoming Music Events
Gen Bolena, Organist & Choirmaster
Playing of the Merry Organ... Sweet Singing in the Choir: January 1 at 5pm
Trinity's 4th annual Christmas Concert will feature Benjamin Britten's beloved Ceremony of Carols, sung by Trinity choristers and accompanied by harpist Rachel Hall. Other music will include favorite carols for all to sing and instrumental carol arrangements for harp and organ. 
 
There will be no special concert in February.
 
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.


What Keeps You Up At Night?
Bizzy Lane
Is the theme for a new Adult Sunday School program being offered in coordination with the current Sunday School schedule. There will be speakers on a variety of topics which affect most of our lives, from local to global, with an emphasis on viewing these issues in the larger context of how our faith can inform our daily living.
 
Beginning on January 8th we will meet in the Parish Hall from 10:00 am to 10:45. Grab a cup of coffee and join in!  Watch for more information in weekly bulletins.

Novel Theology
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.
 
January 24 - We Need New Names by Noviolet Bulawayo: A coming-of-age story which tells the life of a young girl named Darling, first as a 10-year-old in Zimbabwe, navigating a world of chaos and degradation with her friends, and later as a teenager in the Midwestern United States, where a better future seems about to unfold when she goes to join an aunt working there.
Led by Nancy Armstrong.

February 28 - The Vegetarian 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.
Women's Bible Study
Toni Stallworth
The Women's Bible Study will resume at 11am on Wednesday, January 11 in the Foster Room.
Men's Bible Study
Ray Firehock
The Men's Bible study will resume on Wednesday, January 4 at 7:30am in the Foster Room. All men of the parish are welcome to join this study of the Epistle to the Romans.
Trinity College: Contemplative Vision
Anne Hanger
Wednesdays, January 18, 25 & February 1, 4-5 p.m in the Gooch Room (second floor) . Juliet Benner's Contemplative Vision: A Guide to Christian Art and Prayer  challenges the reader to see how God unveils himself in Scripture as seen through the eyes and hands of gifted artists. Each week we will examine a different painting along with the scripture it relates to and learn how to expand our ability to use physical seeing as a doorway to spiritual seeing. We will focus on the text of the book's second section, Transforming Vision. Discussion questions will be enhanced with some background material on the artists, their work and the creative process. Purchase of the book is optional. Led by Anne Hanger. 
Thank You from Hospitality
Sally Mueller
I was reminded of the Bible story of the fishes and loaves during the beginning of December. Trinity held two very substantial community and regional wide receptions within six days of each other. I confess, I was anxious that our congregation would meet the challenge of providing sufficient food for two such events in a row! Almost miraculously, the tea sandwiches, deviled eggs, cheese balls, crackers, cookies, and other delicious foods started arriving and multiplying in quantity such that all in attendance at both the Advent Lessons and Carols reception and the reception following the celebration of Becky's Ordination had more than enough to satisfy their appetites.
       
So many people stepped up to help in so many other ways as well. From set up, flower arrangement, phone calls, food preparation and presentation, serving wine or punch, clearing the tables, washing, drying and putting away the dishes, and taking the tablecloths home to be laundered, all was accomplished. With so many helping hands, the work seemed almost effortless. Everyone was so gracious and responsive to requests for help. On behalf of the Hospitality Committee, a very heartfelt THANK YOU!    
Trinity Cares
Muffie Newell
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 4newell@comcast.net or 255-3152.
Honduras News
Margaret Pearson
Twelve of us will set off on February 7th for the 18th Honduras Mission trip.  We ask that you keep us in your prayers.  We will be doing both some construction and working at the secondary school in San Rafael.   If you haven't already responded to the fund raising letter sent in December, please consider a contribution to this ongoing mission of Trinity.  If you would like more information about our work you may contact Oakley Pearson, mepjop@verizon.net.
Giving New Life to Our Church Nursery
Gen Bolena, Organist & Choirmaster
Thank you to all those who have purchased items from our Nursery Wishlist at Pufferbellies! Your contributions are very much appreciated!
 
Our church nursery is the first place that many of our young families see when they visit Trinity Church. It is vital that parents, caregivers and children feel welcome, safe and comfortable in the nursery. The toys, books and other playthings in our nursery have been well loved and used for many, many years. To that end, the Christian Education Committee is working to update and freshen up this important space for the smallest people in our church community.
 
How can you help? A wishlist has been created at Pufferbellies Toys & Books on Johnson Street with specific recommendations for new toys and books. We hope you will consider purchasing a specific gift for our church nursery or donating funds to be used for other larger items in the nursery. (For example, we hope to replace the old, plastic kitchen set with a sturdy, made in America wood kitchen set that will last for many, many years.) Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Calendar
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.
Birthdays
1
Dolores Curry
Shirley Owens
 
2
Tom Bell
Kathy Frazier
Mary Blair Tankard
 
4
Joie Tankard
 
6
Sheri Bang
Liza Lawson
Chloe Widener
 
7
Mary Schwaner
Timothy Spencer
Bill Tate
 
8
Abigail Bang
 
10
Christian Einselen
 
13
Darlene Green
 
14
Winona Emerson
Fuji Lawson
 
15
Patty Arnold
 
16
Sophia Wellington
 
17
Billy Bobbitt
Martha Flanders
Carolyn Herring
 
18
Brooke Cason
 
19
Elizabeth Shreckhise
 
20
Diane Fechtel
Joe Leigh
Liza Newell
Elly Reed
 
21
Lucy Stisser
 
22
Fran Wray
 
23
Carie Buckley
Hunter Otteni
 
24
Carter Lockridge
 
27
Lilchy Huffman
Mike Moore
 
28
Taine McPherson

29
Sarah Lockhart
 
30
Wendy Dodge
James Mayson
William Robson
 
31
Noah Vanhoy