March 2017 Trinity Tribune

In This Issue:
Committees? Yes, Committees
The Rev. Paul Nancarrow
There is an old joke that says a camel is a horse designed by a committee.
For a lot of people, the very word "committee" conjures up impressions of something boring, tedious, never-ending, and a great waste of energy. A total time-suck, as I've heard it said. I've said it myself.
Which of course makes it hard to recruit people to be on church committees. Their reputation precedes them.
And that's a shame, really, because committees don't have to be time-sucks at all. All a committee is, is a group of people to whom a task or work has been committed - hence the name - and going forth with a work that has been committed to you is a pretty basic description of Christian discipleship. Jesus has a mission in the world, and he has, through the Spirit, committed roles in that mission to us. And we come together in the church to assist and encourage and support each other in doing the work committed to us to do. Parish committees are one kind of grouping of people that helps us carry out our mission tasks. And when the mission is kept front and center, there is no reason for the grouping to become boring, tedious, or inefficient.
At its retreat day in February, the Vestry revamped its list of standing committees. We looked at the committees we already have, asked which ones have clear missions and tasks, and agreed on which committees should remain. We also looked at missions or tasks that are not well-served by the current committee structure, and thought of new groupings that might better commit to this work. This is the list we've come up with to support the parish's life and work in 2017.
Administration and Finance .  This committee oversees all the financial aspects of the parish's life: budget, endowments, incomes, and expenditures. It meets monthly to review the parish financial statements and refer them to the Vestry for final approval. The Parish Treasurer is ex officio the chair of this committee.
Property . Another committee whose name says it all, this group looks after the buildings and grounds, maintenance and improvements, long-term needs and immediate repairs. Subgroups work on appointments and decorations for the buildings, and plantings for the grounds. The Junior Warden is chair of this committee ex officio.
Stewardship . This committee has principal responsibility for planning the annual pledge drive. They also consider year-round stewardship education, and environmental stewardship such as recycling and battery collection.
Memorials . I asked the Vestry to form this new committee this year, to assist with the ways in which we memorialize important gifts and people in the parish. The committee will consider bequests received, as well as use of memorial monies and naming opportunities.
Grants . Each year the Vestry designates a certain amount in the budget - in recent years it has been $20,000 - to give away to local, regional, and international agencies in the form of grants. This committee reviews grant applications and decides on the amounts awarded to each agency. It usually completes its annual work by April.
Youth and Children's Ministries . This new committee picks up and extends the work of the former Christian Education Committee. It will seek to coordinate all kinds of ministry and formation opportunities for children and youth - from Sunday morning classes and activities to youth groups to service projects to home-based learning and family faith formation. It will seek out ways beyond just Sunday mornings to help our younger members grow in their understanding and action in faith.
Adult Christian Formation . Another committee that is new this year, this group will coordinate the new Sunday morning series "What Keeps You Up At Night?" along with Gospel du Jour, Trinity College, Novel Theology, quiet days, retreats, and the whole gamut of offerings for adults to deepen their faith.
Hospitality and Events . Trinity offers many opportunities for socializing and fellowship: picnics, receptions, special events - we've even taken a stab at Sunday morning coffee hour from time to time! This committee coordinates these efforts, acting as a "hub" for people who gather to do one event at a time. Being on this committee doesn't mean being committed to do every event!
Membership Engagement . This is really a temporary name for a group that will be looking at various ways to encourage people to be involved in the life of Trinity Church. The former Membership Development Committee did wonderful work in improving how Trinity welcomes visitors and new members. This new committee will build on that work, thinking about how to help people participate in the many aspects of Trinity's mission.
Worship . This group acts as a committee of advice to the Rector and Organist/Choirmaster in planning, conducting, and evaluating the liturgies that make up the worship life of the parish. It meets seasonally, before Advent/Christmas, Lent, Holy Week and Easter, and Pentecost.
Each of these committees has two or more Vestry members; but the Vestry members are not the only members! And they are not necessarily the chairs or conveners of each group. Each committee thrives - or not - on the commitments made by parishioners to take part in its work.
Do you see something on this list that connects with your gifts, skills, talents, interests, or calling? Watch the Parish Calendar for committee meeting times and places, and look at for more information. 

Strangers in a Strange Land
Lundy Pentz, Senior Warden
We hear a lot of talk these days about whether America is a "Christian country" in some sense, and what that might mean.  Often this seems to involve some resistance to the idea of the separation of church and state.  As we move into Lent, however, it seems appropriate to consider another, much less widely intended meaning of the phrase "Christian country."  (Long ago, in that other great democracy, Athens, a wise man asked whether "democratic behavior" meant "the kind of behavior people living in democracies tend to engage in" or "the kind of behavior that will tend to preserve a democracy.")  I wonder what it would be like to live in a society in which most people made a serious effort to voluntarily base their own behavior on the teachings of the Bible.  This would show up in a lot of ways for most of us; for instance, in property ownership (the Law of Jubilees made everyone a temporary "renter" of land which reverted to the original owners every 50 years, driving all property values down as the 50
th year approached) and in our economics (the lending of money at interest is pretty strongly denounced).  And of course the radical demands of the Gospels on our behavior would make for some profound changes.  (Peter Marshal once preached a sermon imagining a man who took Luke 14.13 seriously and really invited not his friends but the poor who could not reciprocate to a dinner party.)  
Just now, however, I am thinking of our relationships with those the Bible calls "strangers."  How we treat these "strangers" is, apparently, a very big issue.  Leviticus, laying down the ancient Jewish law code, makes it very clear that the "stranger" rests on the Sabbath and gets the holy days off and is included in the system of sacrifices and expiation.  Numbers reinforces the idea that there is to be the same law, the same rights for the "stranger" as for the Israelites.  Deuteronomy specifies that the tithe (10 percent of all their produce) is to be presented to the Levites, the strangers and widows and orphans "so that they may eat their fill within your towns" (Deut. 26.12).  And we are all familiar with the many injunctions of the prophets against those who "oppress the stranger."  Of course, the fact that they had to remind people of this shows that people don't just naturally tend to be nice to strangers.  But the reason for doing this is given very clearly - in Leviticus 19:33 - "when a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the stranger. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the stranger as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."  Even Abraham, wandering in response to God's call and weeping for the death of Sarah his wife, comes to the Hittites among whom he is living and begs for a burying place for her, saying "I am a stranger and an alien residing among you."  (Gen. 23.3)  The Hebrew word ger is used in many of these places and is variously translated as "alien," "sojourner," and "stranger."  Some writers claim that these were Jews from other lands residing temporarily in Israel, but that can hardly have been how Abraham was using the word.
The New Testament does not let us off the hook on this score, either.  The author of Hebrews famously warns us "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that, some have entertained angels without knowing it."  (This is probably a reference to Genesis 19.1 and following, when Lot insists on inviting the two angels God has sent to Sodom and Gomorrah to stay to dinner and spend the night.)  This is, as Ephesians points out, in part because "you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God."  That is, like Abraham, we remember what it is like to be weeping in a strange land and asking for help from the locals.  But in case we need any incentive to act as becomes people in this condition, we have the truly terrifying words in Matthew 25 about the Last Judgement and Christ welcoming those who, not recognizing him, welcomed him as a stranger - and turning away those who did not give him that welcome.  And the Greek word used for "stranger" is xenos - as in the term "xenophobia" we have all been hearing so much lately.  Since travel was so difficult in the ancient world, most of these strangers weren't relocating for fun; they were what we today would call refugees, turned out of their home countries by famine or war. 
My wife's mother's family emigrated to America in the early years of the twentieth century from Czechoslovakia, fleeing foreign oppression and hoping for better jobs as well, and they told the story of some of their compatriots turning out a few years later to throw rocks at the newly emigrated Italians whom they resented as "foreigners" coming to "their" country.  My own ancestors were highly illegal aliens as they were the mercenary troops George III hired to fight on his side in the Revolution.  Many changed the spelling of their name when they settled down in the new country to hide their Hessian origins, but in time they were accepted and blended in.  What face do we present today to the "stranger" in America, I wonder?  And what can we, as citizens and neighbors, do to better embody the Scriptural teachings about the stranger?  How can we better welcome the strangers among us?  After all, we're strangers here ourselves - we've just had a little more time to settle in.

Holy Week Schedule
Palm Sunday - April 9
7:45am and 11:00am Holy Eucharist
No Sunday School
Palm Parade: 10:15am
Maundy Thursday - April 13
7:30pm Maundy Thursday Service
8:30pm Maundy Thursday All Night Vigil through
Friday, April 14 at noon.
Good Friday - April 14
11:00am Way of the Cross
12:00pm Good Friday Service
12:00pm Office Closes
Holy Saturday - April 15
9:00am Holy Saturday Service
8:00pm Easter Vigil - begins at Emmanuel and
processes to Trinity
10:00pm Easter Agape Feast
Easter Day - April 16
7:45am, 8:45am, 11:00am Holy Eucharist
10:00am No Sunday School
10:30am Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Monday - April 17
Office Closed

Altar Guild Members
Altar Guild members please come to the Maundy Thursday service (April 13), 7:30pm, to assist as the clergy clear the altar at the end of the service. Also, please come to decorate for Easter, on Good Friday, April 14, at 3 pm.
Send in Your Memorials for Easter Flowers
Deidre Jones, Parish Communications
Before Easter, the Altar Guild collects Flower Memorials Gifts to purchase the flower decorations for the Easter services and to fund raise for the altar guild ministry. Memorials may be given in memory or as a thank offering. There is no set monetary fee. Each person gives out of the generosity of their heart. If you would like to make a donation, please use the enclosed envelope or submit your memorial via our online form.
Please return your gift to the Trinity office no later than Monday, April 3.

Maundy Thursday All-Night Vigil Signups
Deidre Jones, Parish Communications
Please remember to sign up for the all-night vigil for Maundy Thursday (April 13). A signup sheet will be at the back of the church beginning on Sunday, March 5.
Administrator Notes
Laurie Clements, Parish Administrator
A thank you note was received from Jennifer Kirkland of Cat's Cradle
"On behalf of Cat's Cradle, thanks so much to Trinity for coordinating and lending the 50 folding chairs for our musical cabaret fundraiser. We so appreciated this assistance. The event was very successful and we raised $2,600 for our lifesaving programs!"
A thank you note was received from Tom & Leslie Mack coordinators of the Shenandoah Preservation Ball
"We would like to thank you all for allowing us to use McCracken Hall for our Preservation Ball on January 21st. Laurie and Deidre were always very helpful with the planning of the event. Constance and Jim (Harrington) were wonderful "monitors" during the event itself. Constance and Jim also filled in when we needed extra dancers to complete a set, how versatile!!  Our caterer LOVED your kitchen... the dancers LOVED the wooden floor... and everyone seemed to enjoy the beauty and comfort of the hall. Thanks again!"

Upcoming Music Events
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
Rhonda 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 (Update)?
John Lane
What Keeps You Up at Night  (Adult Sunday School Class) has been quite interesting and successful so far. In January, we heard from Roger Watson, David Fritz, and Mike Tripp of The Newsleader on various issues of covering the news. On Jan 29, Eric Laser MD recounted his personal story of the life-changing experience of almost dying. February began with attorneys Glendon Gill and Susan Read on "What Keeps Your Lawyer Up at Night": planning for future disability and death. Next was an intergenerational cookie decorating (and eating). Rounding out February were Jim Manchester and Sally Mueller on "What to Expect When Illness Comes," followed by Laura Gonzalez MD on "Medical Issues of Aging." Each session has included lively discussion-and coffee. Come join us, Sundays at 10 in McCracken Hall.
March 5: Sharon DeBoever (Dept. of Social Services) will present a "Family and Friends Guide" on how to relate most effectively to loved ones beginning to show signs of Alzheimer's. Presentation, discussion, and Q&A.
March 12, 19 & 26: Professors Emeriti Ken Keller & Lundy Pentz: "Church & State"

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.
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.
April 25 -  The Left Hand of Darkness  by Ursula K. Le Guin: A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary's mission to Winter, an unknown alien world whose inhabitants can choose-and change-their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture he encounters. Exploring questions of psychology, society, and human emotion in an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of science fiction. Led by David Gray.

Joyful News
Carter Hannah, Noon Lunch Co-Coordinator
Noon Lunch is full of good news this month.  Our kitchen work calendar is full for the next three months!  With many thanks to our newest volunteer, Jennifer Roe, who has assembled a team to work on some of those months when we have extra serving days. She will be cooking her first meal in March-thank you Jennifer and your cooking team.
Many of you are so generous with your donations of canned goods (which we always need), with your monetary gifts,  with your work feeding guests, record keeping, check-in, cleaning up our messes, writing thank you notes. picking up from the donating grocery stores, buying milk, responding to numerous requests from us and our guests, and praying with and for our guests.
In the past, we have told you of the many verbal "thank-yous" and of some of the written and cash gifts we have received from guests.  Recently, we had a guest give us $2,500.00.  That's correct, two thousand five hundred dollars!  This guest received an inheritance and wanted to-pay-back for the many meals consumed over the past years.  We are hoping to work with this guest to put some of this money towards a special fund, but for now it has been directed by the guest that we use it "for meals."
What love, what generosity, what gratitude, what an amazing thoughtful gift!  We are joyful and thankful for you all and for our mission and for our guests.

Trinity Historical Highlight
Lilchy Huffman
The Cross, Flower Vases, and Retable

The Briscoe Donaghe Tams Memorials
January 14, 1889
Briscoe Donaghe Tams was the 4th child and 2nd son of William Henry and Marie Antoinette Smith Tams. Born in Staunton on February 28, 1862, Briscoe was baptized at Trinity on November 13, 1864 and Confirmed on March 11, 1883. Sadly, Briscoe died on January 14, 1889 having never married. He was 26 years, 10 months and 17 days old when he died. His father owned Pews # 71, 73, and 75. Upon his death in 1873, the pews went to his oldest son, William Purviance Tams whose nameplate is on the outside of the pews. William, a banker in Staunton, was one of the Founders of Gypsy Hill Park. The Retable behind the Altar, the Cross, Flower Vases, and the Missal Stand are all given in Memory of Briscoe.

Missal Stand

Flower Vase


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John Boody
Nan Gregory
Nathaniel Reed
Fran Davis
Emily Reed
Katie Cathey
Thurston Robinson
Victoria Temple
Coalter Hollberg
Tommie Duke
Michelle Frank
Ben Green
Carol Moore
Wick Vellines
Katharine Jacobson
Anne Moody
Katie Lockridge
Claire Fiechtl
Kay Watkins
River Lawson
Chaucile Snyder
Doris Goode
Lundy Pentz
James Robertson
Lee Cochran
Lee Nancarrow
Mary Sue Kivlighan
Carol Shannon
John Stisser
Darian Loebe-Sponaugle
Austin Rehfield
David Arnold
Laurie Hardwick
Rick Chittum
Gus Hollberg