September 2016 Trinity Tribune
On Saturday, August 13 the Trinity family, along with many of the Staunton community, gathered in the church for a memorial service for Ted Jordan. It was a traditional Prayer Book service, Rite II, with scripture readings and hymns and prayers. We shared Communion. The church was packed. The choir did an exceptional job leading the hymns, and singing three anthems that helped convey both the sadness of the occasion and the hope of the gospel. The 8:45 band led us in a hymn that was a favorite of Ted's. The stool Ted always used to play guitar was sitting with the band, empty now, a reminder of both absence and presence. It was a personal and moving service.
On Sunday, August 14 the Trinity family, again with many from the wider community, gathered for weekly Sunday worship. It was a traditional Prayer Book service, Rite I, with scripture readings and hymns and prayers. We shared Communion. The church was not so packed as the day before, but held more people than a typical summer Sunday. Musicians from the Staunton Music Festival joined us: four instrumentalists played a sonata for two bassoons as a voluntary, and five singers offered a William Byrd setting of the Mass music that was both performance and prayer. The singers later joined our own choir for beautiful anthems. The sense of artistry and the fact of devotion gave the liturgy a depth and power that was a true gift. It was a personally moving service.
Thinking back on these two services, I am struck once again by the capacity of our liturgy, how our liturgy is able to hold together so many different elements. These two services were similar in almost every respect: they shared the same structure, they followed the same basic outline, they celebrated the same sacrament. And yet they were very, very different, comprehending in their generous embrace both sorrow and joy, memory and hope, strangers and friends, concert-level musicianship and congregational songs of the heart, the feeling of loss and the faith that we are found.
It is hard to put into words the emotional sweep I felt in going from the first service to the second. Speaking to the choir before the Saturday service for Ted, I repeated something I heard from a rabbi at my writing workshop in Kenyon College last month: "when our hearts are broken, all we can do is sing." And they sang the liturgy for our broken hearts. And the next morning I spoke to them again and said: "Even after sorrow, when our hearts are so full of beauty that there are no words, all we can do is sing." And again they sang the liturgy to uplift our hearts. Such different music; and yet the same fundamental, foundational being-in-prayer-with-God animating them both.
I sometimes think of liturgy as a kind of reliable container into which we can pour whatever emotions or actions or experiences we most need to bring to God. The set form of the liturgy gives us, as it were, a solid foundation on which we can build whatever house of prayer we need for the moment. From time to time I've known people who say they find liturgy boring, or repetitious, or - even worse - contrary to "true" prayer, because all liturgy does is repeat the same words over and over, out of a book, and not from the pray-er's own heart. I've read theologians who theorize that liturgy is valuable because it transmits the tradition of the community, it's a form of historical memory, but it makes no real contribution to the present or commitment to the future. I understand their point; but I respectfully disagree. In my experience, the repetition of the liturgy does not prevent prayer but allows prayer: like a jazz musician who can improvise in the most unexpected and creative ways precisely because the chords and choruses of the song are set and known beforehand, so I feel my prayer freed and buoyed and carried along wherever I need it to go precisely because the form of the liturgy is set and known and shared. If I had to make my prayers up as I went along each time I prayed, I would probably spend so much time wondering what to do that I would never actually pray! It is the very set form of liturgy that sets us free to pray as our hearts need.
And that's what I found happening on that Saturday and Sunday. The liturgies, so similar in their basic form yet so different in their particular praying, gave us the freedom we needed to bring to God the real feelings we felt. They were reliable containers into which we could pour all the realities we brought with us. And on both mornings, the liturgical form was capacious enough to take all that we brought, and weave it together into prayer, and lift it all up to God - so that God could give it all back to us, transformed into grace and and encouragement and energy to live our lives in Spirit and joy.
The early Christians called their Eucharists "liturgies" because they believed prayer was not just good for them, but good for the world. In Hellenistic Greek, the word "liturgy (leitourgia)" was a combination of the word for "people" and the word for "work." It was commonly used to denote a "work for the people," as when, for instance, a wealthy citizen of a town gave the money to build an aqueduct to bring water to the whole populace, or when a patron supported the annual performance of the dramas. "Liturgies" were "public works." Christians in those days usually met in private, sometimes even in secret during times of persecution. Yet they still considered their sacraments to be "public works," because they believed that their prayers and blessings added some good to the world that hadn't been there before, and that the communities they prayed for benefited from that prayer even if they didn't know it.
I still believe our liturgies are "public works" in that sense. Whenever we make beauty, we add some good to the world that wasn't there before. Whenever we welcome a stranger or visitor, we add some good to the world that wasn't there before. Whenever we take up a sorrow or grief and help it to turn to hope, we add some good to the world that wasn't there before. Whenever we bless the bread and wine so that Jesus communes with us once more, we add some good to the world that wasn't there before. And God can use these goods, weaving from them better possibilities for the world to become. When we pour our personal prayers into this shared form, we co-create with God an energy of spirit that benefits the whole world, even if the world doesn't necessarily know it.
And that was also part of the capacity of our liturgy that Saturday and Sunday. On those days the Trinity family served the wider community. With the beauty of our church building. With the gift of music. With the memories of Ted and the hope of the gospel. And with liturgy, that gave us all a place and time and form to fill with our most personal prayer. It is one of the ways our church truly does "work for the people."
|Remembrances of Ted Jordan
From Ted's September 2015 article, "Old News"
Our culture seems to worship youth and on the surface seems ready to discard the old to the side of the curb. But the young are often restless and searching for something that they don't really understand even if they achieve it. At a certain point in life you finally can truthfully say that you are comfortable in your own skin even if it is a little wrinkled and sagging. At that point if you are going to be happy it is important that you are not carrying too many regrets with you along your way. It is likely that most of those regrets would be in the relationship part of life. We grow apart from people with whom we ought to be close over things that seem of immense importance when they occur but later in the light of time passed really aren't a big deal. But we hang on to them anyway too proud to go back and patch things up. It is a burden for many of us that diminishes our lives at a time when we should be happy and satisfied no longer consumed by the rat race of our earlier years.
I think that is the most valuable thing that I have learned in my first sixty five years of living.
Ted was always our man to go to when we needed help. Photo to the left shows him at our house when our basement stairwell wall caved in this past spring. -
Dick & Jan Coleman
Two years ago I helped for a day in Ted's vineyard for harvest. We were working through lunch. He stopped and fixed me a great sandwich and we had a good time talking about his vineyard and the process of wine. Dana and Ted have always been so kind to me. There's a hole in my heart that will be there for quite a while. I've never known a more lovely man. I will miss you Ted.
We were so fortunate to work with Ted on the kitchen renovation. It was our opportunity to get to know him. Of course we knew the Ted who sang in the choir and the Ted who wrote such amazing articles for the Tribune, but we never really talked with him or had the opportunity to form a friendship. He was the leader of the kitchen upgrades, and he was a professional. He put together a committee and asked for input. He listened to everyone and he cared. We do have to say that when Carter requested a pot filler for over the stove so we would not have to lift those heavy water- filled pots for cooking spaghetti, he laughed and by that laugh, let us know that there would be no pot-filler. We compromised though, and Ted installed a wonderful new sink and high faucet! He asked for ideas, concerns and needs and he listened and sought solutions for everyone.
Ted put his heart and muscles into the renovation. He wanted perfection for our kitchen and it is nearly there. We know he would be as pleased as we are. We love working in Ted's kitchen! We will miss our new friend and will long remember his smiling, peaceful being. -
Carter Hannah & Kathy Schneiderman
After our first trip to Honduras Ted knew where he wanted to focus some of his time and talents. He looked at the task, figured out what skills he would need and decided to teach himself Spanish. That fall he went back to Honduras to take a week long Spanish immersion class. His teacher was a fellow named Edgar Rojas. Ted became friends with Edgar and his wife Carolina. He helped them with the building of their house and Carolina's studies to get her professional teaching degree. Through Ted, a number of us became friends with Edgar, Carolina, and their son, Edgarcito. The relationship grew organically to include the school in San Rafael where Carolina teaches. When the secondary school found itself without support, Carolina and Edgar turned to their friends in the Trinity mission groups and so began the formal relationship that Trinity has with the Colegio San Rafael. We now pay the teachers, have helped build the Dennis Case classroom and Carolina is our on site administrator. Young people from nine different poor mountain communities have educational opportunities and real capacity to change their lives. All of this has happened because of Ted Jordan, his focus, his attention to detail, his goodness, and his life of Christian love. Ted was my good friend, and I miss him. -
|Submitted by Rick Chittum
Ted and I began playing music for the "Middle Service" sometime around late 1983 or early 1984. Not long after that we were joined by David Brown and our "duo" became a "trio". At that time, David was the only one who had any real knowledge of music, but what we lacked in knowledge we made up for in enthusiasm. In those days, we were affectionately referred to as "The Three Amigos", the "Trinity Trio" and even the "Yippee, Ki Yay Band" by certain members of the clergy. We even joked about showing up one Sunday wearing oversized Sombreros.
For years it was just the three of us. But when David moved to D.C., Cindy Hickman joined the group and helped to elevate our music to a higher level. She has been with us from then on. In the early 2000s, we were fortunate to have Bill Wellington and then Oakley Pearson join us to make the group a quintet. For years we would convene every Sunday for about an hour before the service to rehearse the music which Ted had dutifully selected beforehand. Ted, who had emerged as the undisputed "leader of the band," was our inspiration and our example of devotion to Trinity Church. I don't know what time Ted would arrive for our Sunday rehearsals because he was always already there when I showed up. Throughout our years together, I wondered where Ted got the energy and dedication to do so much for his Church. I guess I always will.
Ross and I admired Ted's calm demeanor. He was a man who truly walked the walk and talked the talk. -
Like many of us, some of my fondest memories of Ted were while we were in Honduras. I have been on four mission trips to Honduras and on my first trip, I believe it was Ted who introduced me to Salva Vida beer--Thank You! To me, Ted appeared to be a man of perpetual motion; constantly working when we were on site and seemingly tireless! I only saw him visibly angry once; something he was working on wasn't going as he wanted. He didn't yell, he didn't curse; he just walked away and started doing something else. I try to remember that lesson whenever I get angry. I didn't take many photos on my last trip to Honduras this past February, mostly of kids and scenery. But in the background of a couple of pictures, you can see Ted working; with the kids, with rock and cement, standing in a trench with Oakley. I will treasure these photos and of my memories of Ted, today and always.
A true devoted, passionate, servant. Another beautiful angel is in heaven. Ted will build magnificent mansions in heaven.
My memories of Ted span only some four years; still, they're very meaningful to me. My associations with him began when I joined the choir. It was hard to keep track of names at first, and for a while I wasn't quite sure who this Ted who was always doing something to keep things moving along, actually was. I got over that rather quickly.
Ted and Dana's home was the first one I was invited to, and I remember driving along Route 11 in Fort Defiance watching carefully for the turn into their driveway. I learned almost immediately that among his many occupations Ted was a vintner and also was deeply involved in ministry in Honduras. When I realized that my own travels in Central America had brought me within a few miles of Copan Ruinas, that was another connection for me.
Every few weeks I serve as an Eucharistic minister at the 8:45 service, and of course Ted has for years been one of the instrumentalists accompanying the hymns. He often contributed to the discussions which replace a more formalized sermon at the 8:45, and I always appreciated his thoughtful questions and insights. Vesting for the 11:00 service, Ted's conversation was usually less theological but no less interesting. I remember comments about the best grapes for cultivation in the Valley's ecosystem, reactions to the latest sports events in the area, and a myriad of observations about the various aspects of daily life at home and at church-things to be done, family, friends. Ted was solicitous of his parents. He organized a choir visit to sing for his convalescing father. And I know how deeply he and Dana both care for the grandchildren.
Praying for Ted over the last few weeks I decided early on that though I knew the outlook was very serious, I was not going to ask simply, "be with Ted, Dana, and the family." Instead I asked for complete healing. I knew that was a lot, but I wanted to be honest with God: that's what I wanted for Ted. Well, that's not what happened, of course. It didn't create a major crisis of faith for me. I still praise God for giving us the wonder that is Ted, and I still praise God simply for being God. But there was a responding ripple on the surface of my faith. Why would God, Who is Love, deny my request for prolonging the life of a friend? I still don't have anything resembling a complete answer to that. But it really, really helps me that when Jesus asked the Father to let the "cup pass" from him, the answer was "no," and Jesus Himself "became obedient to death." Ted was able to follow Jesus, even in death. Pray God, so shall we. -
Sometimes that which glitters is gold. Ted and his employee (and good friend) Scott were remodeling a house that had been recently purchased from an elderly parishioner whose husband had just died. The new owner wanted one of the bathrooms remodeled, and Ted and Scott were tearing down the walls. Just imagine their shock when they discovered in one of the walls a cache of gold South African Kreugerrands. Imagine their greater shock when they realized that the golden hoard was worth about $25,000. Ted knew by the dates on the coins that they had likely been stashed away in secret by the former owner's late husband, who probably was counting on the gold as a hedge against the recession of the 1970s or some such other calamity. Ted discussed the matter with the new owner, telling him, in essence, "You and I both know who this belongs to." Anyway, the widow got the gold, the client got a new bathroom, and Ted got another star in his crown.
As honest as Ted was, he occasionally ran afoul of the law. Several years ago, Ted let one of his boys talk him into bringing back some kind of green vegetable matter from Honduras, either cacao pods or unroasted coffee beans, I cannot remember which. Either way, it was blatantly illegal, and of course Ted knew it. He stashed the "contraband" into his checked bags, and all was well until we arrived at the Atlanta airport. There at the luggage kiosk we were all treated to a show by an adorably frisky U.S. Customs beagle, who would romp down the length of the kiosk conveyor belt, clambering over all the luggage and having a wonderful time. I mean, he was so cute; people were shooting videos. Somebody asked the handler what his dog was searching for, and was told, "illegal vegetable matter and food products." Uh-oh. Ted's face betrayed nothing, and he stared at some speck on the far wall. Busted! As the dog made its way to the far end of the kiosk, however, out pops Ted's luggage onto the conveyor. Saved by the belt! Ted reached for his bags and strode quietly through the customs checkpoint with the studied nonchalance of the professional smuggler. And yet I think I saw in his eyes, "Thank you, Lord. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Ted joined the Trinity choir just about the time that I was "drafted" by Gordon Page, probably in the
fall of 1988. Carol Taylor had just been hired as Trinity's organist and choir director, and I remember that the very first building project that Ted and I worked on together was the demolition of the choir room risers that probably dated back to the Carl Broman era, judging by the vast amount of dust we uncovered. Carol soon discovered that Ted had an unusually broad vocal range that defied "sorting out." He had the distinction of having sung over the years with the bass, tenor and alto sections; I think he enjoyed singing most with the altos, where he met Dana. Ted also was pretty humble about his natural singing ability, and he had the additional challenge of relearning otherwise familiar pieces whenever he was moved from one choir section to another. Wry humor always saved him; during one recent rehearsal he quietly confided to me that he was "more lost than usual" before he realized that he was missing several pages of music. My fondest memory of Ted in the choir, however, is the way that he worked with fellow chorister Andrew Lane, who suffered from muscular dystrophy. As Andrew's legs grew progressively weaker, he was no longer able to climb up the stairs into the choir loft in the sanctuary. Ted would gently pick Andrew up out of his wheelchair and climb the stairs with Andrew cradled in his arms. I like to imagine that Andrew returned the kindness several weeks ago, when Ted was cradled up to heaven.
The mathematician hands
Laying out the corners of the house
In calculated precision
With highest honors.
The carpenter hands
Swinging hammer, driving nail
Framing-up the fragrant pine
With strength and precision.
The caring hands planting vines
Hope for the future
Of generations to come
With love of family.
The rough farmer hands
Cutting the seed potato
Before Palm Sunday
With affection for the soil.
The calloused hands skillfully
Plucking music from strings
Song sung clear and true
With passion for worship.
The muscular hands slinging
Red mud from the Honduran trench
Sweat and grime given
With faith in a new church.
Hands of knowledge to fix and repair
Creation for a future
Making the complex simple
With cheerful giving.
Hands writing with easy prose
That kept our minds on
Increasing our vision
With constant witness of the Word.
The faithful hands
Lifted up to join with us
A table set with bread and wine
With love for the Sacrament.
The caring hands to greet us
Console us and relieve us
How we will remember you
With cheerful voices!
-John Boody August 2016
Notes from the Senior Warden
It's particularly difficult to write my monthly Trinity Tribune message this month, because I, like many of you, am still having difficulty accepting the fact that our dear friend Ted Jordan is no longer with us. I've thought a lot about Ted and the influence that he had upon the many lives that he touched, and I'd like to share a few of my musings with you.
I guess I first met Ted when I rejoined the Trinity choir somewhere in the 1980's. I didn't know him very well at that time, but he lived on Sears Hill and I would see him in the late afternoons on his daily run with his dog (and I've lost track of the many dogs he had throughout the years).
As I became more involved in the "life" of Trinity, be it in choir, working on our annual Stewardship campaign, as the Treasurer (when Ted was often the Junior Warden), on Vestry (often serving beside him), and then beginning in 2004 when we started our mission work in Honduras, I had a lot more opportunities to work beside Ted, share laughs and stories, and listen and learn from his experiences and ideas.
During the past several years I've often sat beside Ted on Thursday evenings at Evening Prayer, usually attended by just the two of us. You learn a lot from someone when you worship with them, particularly when we each would offer intercessions, prayers for others, aloud. You begin to see what is important to them. You appreciate what's going on in their world.
This is what I know about what was important to Ted, and maybe it is a good guide for what should be important to us as well. This are in no particular order, except the first one, which I believe was Ted's number one priority.
Family. Ted loved his family deeply, and was committed to supporting them and helping them in any way that he could. He was particularly concerned with the health of his parents, and we shared with each other how the "child" becomes the "parent" as their parents age and their health declines. Ted never shirked from that responsibility. He was also so proud of his boys, and very much in love with his grandchildren. His eyes sparkled as he would tell a story about what the kids had done or learned. He was equally supportive and proud of his step-children. And if Ted would leave choir early, or when he left the spaghetti supper after being in the kitchen for several hours, he would always go find Dana and give her a kiss before he left.
Work. Ted was an incredibly hard worker, and his work demanded that. During his 40+ years as a carpenter and contractor, he had acquired many hands-on skills, which he shared when doing paid work for his clients and/or volunteer work for the church or in Honduras. Ted took pride in his work and was always ready to correct something if the client wasn't satisfied. But he was also honest with you if something you wanted wasn't going to work. His reputation was stellar with both his clients and vendors; he paid his bills on time (Dana said he normally paid an invoice the day it hit his mailbox), and he expected others to treat him fairly as well.
Friendship. Ted was a friend to many, and I know that there were tears shed by many over his loss. I wanted to say that he was one of my best friends; and maybe he was, but maybe he was just such a GOOD friend that you wanted him to be your BEST friend. I just know that when you called him and asked a favor, or advice, he was always willing to help, and give you the time that you needed. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to give back to him all of the support that he offered to me.
Learning. Ted was intelligent, but he was also inquisitive, and was a "life-long learner." He didn't waste time on novels and reality TV (although he did enjoy several professional sports), but instead read interesting biographies and history books. When Ted, Dana and I went to Rome a few years ago, Ted purchased an English/Italian dictionary and kept it with him wherever we went. He had a good ear for foreign languages but wanted to be able to quickly translate an interesting word when he encountered it.
Service. If there is a picture with which you can define "servant leader," it would be a picture of Ted. Within the life of Trinity Church, you found Ted almost everywhere. In his earliest days of servanthood at Trinity, he was active in the annual Stewardship campaigns, and eventually began writing a monthly column for the newsletter. His monthly article usually involved some realization he had made about something within him - something that he wanted to change, or a new dimension in his personality that he was analyzing. I know I often squirmed as I read his article, because it caused me to think about aspects of my life or personality that also needed changing. He not only sang in the Adult choir (rehearsing every Thursday night), but he led the 8:45 musician group in selecting and playing music at that service. Most Sunday mornings he arrived at the church about 7:15 and didn't leave until 12:30 or after. His natural talents and vocation made him the obviously choice as our Junior Warden, and he served many terms in that position, mostly without complaint! In 2003, when several parishioners began exploring opportunities to undertake foreign mission work, Ted was right in the middle of the studying and planning, and since then, he, Dana, and Oakley Pearson have gone on all 17 mission trips to Honduras. Ted's construction knowledge and understanding of Spanish has been invaluable to the work we have begun in Honduras, and his loss is also felt deeply by our fellow Christians there. And on the first Tuesday of each month, Ted was in the Trinity kitchen by 3 PM, helping to cook for the spaghetti supper that supported the youth mission trips to Honduras.
God. Ted believed deeply in God and the promise he gave to us in the sacrifice of his son. Ted would usually choose a New Testament reading over an Old Testament reading during Evening prayer, and when I asked him why, Ted would say, "Well, it's what really matters. Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven." Ted loved Trinity Church and what it meant to our family, to our community, and to those we serve, and he was deeply committed to supporting our church.
So, what now? For me, it's time to take perspective of what's important to me, and to see if I can, in any way, help pick up the pieces that Ted was carrying during his life on earth. I have no doubt that his family will all support each other, but how can we support them? Beyond that, how can I be friends to others as Ted was to me? How can I continue learning in the manner that Ted did? How can I be a better servant? And how can I more fully worship God and be the Christian I need to be?
I encourage you to ask these questions of yourself. And then, please join me, beginning on September 8 at 6:30, to share in the Evening Prayer service that Ted so loved.
|Shirley Ruedy, Christian Formation Assistant
Welcome back! Hope you had a great summer!
Sunday School resumes September 18 at 10am with lots in store, and we hope to see you there. Registration forms are available online (www.trinitystaunton.org, hover over "Happenings" and choose "Registration for Sunday School & Choir")and in the church office. We will also have a table with forms and more information about our program at the Parish Picnic on September 11. Be sure to stop by. Here are the current Sunday School teachers and Youth Group leaders for the coming year:
- Godly Play (Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grade 1): Caroline Sheridan, Darlene Green, Krissy Jordan, Julie Jones, and Liza Lawson
- 2nd-5th Grade: Wendy Diment, Brooke Cason, Rick Cason, Pete Hickman, and Sue Read
- Junior High (6th-8th grades): Erik Boody and Richard Tankard
- Senior High (9th-12 grades): Susanna Larner and Dave Wallace
- Junior High Youth Group Leader: Sascha Wallace
- Senior High Youth Group Leaders: Graham and Leslie Tate
Sunday School Calendar 2016-2017
9/18 First day of Sunday School
10/2 no S.S. Blessing of the Animals
11/27 Advent Event
12/3 Speaking Parts ONLY Christmas Pageant Rehearsal
12/10 Saturday Christmas Pageant Rehearsal and Foster Child Wrapping Event
12/11 Christmas Pageant
12/25 no S.S.
1/1 no S.S.
4/9 Palm Sunday (no S.S.)
4/16 Easter (no S.S.) Egg Hunt 10:30am
5/14 Mother's Day/ Youth Sunday rehearsal
5/21 Youth Sunday (Sunday School ends until fall 2017)
New! In the works is a program for Adult Sunday School called the "Sunday Forum Series." In response to parishioners' requests, we are planning to invite a variety of outside speakers who will focus on topics related to living our faith. More information will be forthcoming.
"God works with the world as it is to call it to what it can be. A world that includes praying is different from a world that doesn't include praying. God can work with this to make the world a better place." This is the thesis of Marjorie Suchocki's book In God's Presence: Theological Reflections on Prayer. She argues that prayer is not just "asking God for things," but working with God to realize divine purposes in the world. Join Fr. Paul to study this book on Fridays at noon in the Senior High Classroom from September 23 through October 28. Bring a lunch and make it a brown-bag book bunch!
Women's Bible Study
The woman's Wednesday morning Bible study group will resume September 7 for a twelve week study on the book of Daniel presented by Beth Moore. Work study books can be obtained for $16.00. Class will meet in the Foster Room from 11:00 - 12:30. All are welcome.
Men's Bible Study
Want to understand more about the Bible? Trinity hosts a Men's Bible Study Wednesdays from 7:30 - 8:30 AM in the Foster Room. A dozen men, most but not all of Trinity, gather to read, study, and ponder the books of the Bible. We deepen our understanding of the New and Old Testament foundations of the Christian faith in a collegial and welcoming atmosphere. We men take turns leading the discussion and providing a sweet or savory snack.
We meet most weeks from September through May, resuming this year on Wednesday, 14 September. We will begin with the study of the Book of Daniel.
Want to know more? Ask Father Paul or Ray Firehock (886-5898).
In her book Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament, Episcopal priest Ellen F. Davis urges us to read the Old Testament with new eyes and receptiveness. She notes that some people turn to the Old Testament for prophesy concerning Jesus, straightforward history, and/or moral teachings, while others dismiss it as boring and "morally deficient." Her own approach is broader: searching "for what the Old Testament tells us about intimate life with God." It leads her to some remarkable - and sometimes debatable - observations.
Davis tackles challenging texts. God's demand that Abraham sacrifice his son Isaac is disturbing, but rather than a cruel God, the testing "shows us a God who is vulnerable, terribly and terrifyingly so, in the context of covenant relationship." God's testing of Abraham has real consequences for the Abrahamic covenant because God does not know what Abraham will do. In the author's view, human free will limits God's "omniscience." Thus God is making himself vulnerable, for the covenant depends at this point on this one man with whom God wants to start anew (after a long period of human alienation from God and rejection of Him).
The book of Job is usually approached as a questioning of God's justice, but Smith says it is also about human pain and speaking about and to God. If we follow carefully Job's spiritual movement, we will see that he moves "in and through pain," expanding his vision "beyond his own personal situation." As Smith puts it, he "gradually moves from fetal position to prophetic stance." She finds an "acute paradox" at the heart of the book: "Job rails against God, not as a skeptic, not as a stranger to God's justice, but precisely as a believer. It is the very depth of Job's commitment to God's ethical vision that makes his rage so fierce, and that will finally compel an answer from God."
Smith's observations on the book of Ecclesiastes are also provocative. She writes that there is so much more to the book than the oft-quoted "vanity, vanity, all is vanity" or that "there is nothing new under the sun." In fact, Smith herself is somewhat surprised by the book's effect on those who read carefully and receptively, from Martin Luther's admiration to a Viet Nam War chaplain who said Ecclesiastes was the only part of the Bible "his soldiers were willing to hear." Why would that be? Evans points out that "vanity" is only an approximate translation of the Hebrew, that the Hebrew also carries the meaning of "absurdity" and "mist, vapor, breath." For the Christian this nuanced meaning of "vanity" means that "the very fact that life passes quickly away exposes the absurdity of some of our most common behaviors": like ceaseless competition, overconsumption, and trying to make sense of everything life throws at us. The author of Ecclesiastes advises us instead to learn to live gratefully - and even joyfully - with life's paradoxes.
Hardly a book for casual reading, Getting Involved with God is worth the effort. Itaccomplishes what the author intends: to open a discussion "about getting, and staying involved with God" by reading the Bible as "relentlessly realistic about the world and our situation in it."
Hail and Farewell
This is my last "Formation Happenings" contribution. I have greatly enjoyed the work of "Assistant for Formation" this past year. I leave with renewed respect and thanksgiving for our Sunday School teachers and youth leaders and great admiration for our young people. Thank you all for your help and support. My future plans include preparation to become a deacon. Christian Formation oversight will now be in the very capable hands of our new Curate, Rev. Becky McDaniel. A very warm welcome!
|Laurie Clements, Parish Administrator
- We have received many wonderful memorial gifts in memory of Ted Jordan from family and friends. In addition to the memorial fund, a memorial was given in Ted's memory and designated to Noon Lunch and also the Honduras Adult Mission fund.
- A bequest of $4,000 was received from the estate of Michel White. Upon Finance Committee's recommendation, Vestry approved to deposit this gift into Trinity's DFMS account for investment.
- Address: Lynn Hogg
- 501 Oak Avenue, Apt 403
- Waynesboro, VA 22980
|Gen Bolena, Organist & Choirmaster
3rd Annual Choir Camp a Success: "Once in Royal David's City"
Twenty children celebrated the Nativity during Trinity's 3rd Annual Choir Camp held the last week of July. The most amazing part of camp was the children's enthusiastic singing! Each day included an hour and a half of choir rehearsal where the children sang rounds and prepared Christmas anthems, while working on creating a beautiful, open tone. A craft project yielded individual creative and unique Nativity scenes. They also played Choir Chimes and singing games. The week culminated with a highly successful and well-attended Sharing Session for parents and friends held in the church and was topped off with delicious ice cream sandwiches. Choir Camp was made possible by the generosity of time and financial assistance from several fabulous volunteers, all of whom are regular choristers in our Boys & Girls and adult choirs. Thank you!
Fall is a great time to join a choir and there are singing opportunities for all ages. All Trinity choristers will resume regular rehearsals within the first two weeks of September and the Trinity Choir will attend their annual choir retreat at Shrine Mont Conference Center in Orkney Springs October 14 - 16.
Children in grades K - 3 are invited to sing in the Children's Choir, directed by Gen Bolena and Constance Harrington; Children in grades 4 and up comprise the Boys and Girls Choir. Please email Gen Bolena for access to the online Registration Form for Children's and Boys & Girls Choirs.
Chorister Rehearsal Schedule
Children's Choir (K-2nd grades) Tuesdays 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., starts Sept. 13
Boys and Girls Choir (3rd grade and up) Tuesdays 4:45 - 6:00 p.m., starts Sept. 13
Trinity Choir (adults)
Thursdays 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.,
starts Sept. 1
Sunday Call: 9:45 a.m.
Upcoming Sundays at 5 Concerts
September 18 at 5pm: Masterpieces for Organ and Violin
Italian organist Alessio Giacobone and Three Notch'd Road founding member Fiona Hughes (photo below) collaborate to perform a program of solo and duo works by Bach.
September 25 at 5pm: Stella Maris: Music for Women's Voices
This intimate concert features rarely-performed Medieval and contemporary music for women's trio and quartet. The program includes anonymous works from the fourteenth century, as well as music by Hildegard von Bingen, Leonel Power, Maurice Duruflé, Gavin Bryars, Ivan Moody, and John Tavener. Featuring Judy Blooms, Lauren Hauser, Cindy Kirchner, and Megan Sharp; sopranos
|Carter Hannah, Noon Lunch Co-Coordinator
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.
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.
Dellarobia Turnbow is a 28-year-old discontented housewife living in a small town in rural Tennessee. On a hike, on which she is planning to meet a telephone repairman to begin an affair with him, the heroine finds that the valley behind their house is covered in millions of Monarch butterflies. As the news of her discovery spreads, she receives a visit from Ovid Byron, a university professor who studies the monarchs, and warns that although they are beautiful, they are a disturbing symptom of global climate change, displaced from their typical wintering location in Mexico, and that they may not survive the harsh Tennessee winter. Led by Anne Hanger.
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
|Save the Date: Harvest Breakfast & Gift Market
Remember that the 4th Annual Pancake Breakfast and Fair Trade Market will take place on NOVEMBER 12 from 8 - noon in Trinity's McCracken Hall.
Enjoy a fabulous homemade pancake breakfast and enjoy some pre-holiday shopping with fair trade merchandise from Ten Thousand Villages, which supports artisans and collective producers from all over the world.
Breakfast is served from 8 until 10:00 and after that you have the option of delicious scones served with cream and jam and a cup of tea or coffee.
Contact Margaret Pearson if you have questions and/or would like to join the volunteer crew. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
|You Can Help Someone, Something, & Yourself
Have you ever been stuck in a crack, between a rock and a hard place, got nowhere to go, no chance to get ahead, no chance to grow? Well that is exactly what is happening at 12 Madison Place. There are 10, 50, 100s of baby boxwoods, American and English, that would love to be given a chance to survive, a chance for a new life of giving beauty and oxygen to you and your environs. Please call me for details,
Nan Gregory 471-0301 and thank you!
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
email@example.com 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.
George Henry Bolena