SEEDS October 14, 2020
Sunday, October 18th worship
The photo above was taken just a few hours ago. We are very grateful for such a gorgeous day in Sheffield.

You will find our very special worship service on Facebook Live and YouTube.

The prelude planned for this Sunday is Tempo di Minuetto by Fritz Kreisler with Donald Sosin on piano and Jorge Avila, violin. Trudy Weaver Miller and John-Arthur Miller will join our instrumentalists in the offertory, We Sing to You, O God, music by John Ireland.

The links for both our service and the bulletin are found on our website.

If you are having trouble getting connected, please email us or call us on Monday or Wednesday. 413-229-8811 We will do everything we can to help.
Are we at this intersection?
The Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles accounts were written after the return of the Babylonian exiles to Jerusalem. The Ezra / Nehemiah writings give us a glimpse of life in Jerusalem, where there was considerable conflict between the ‘returnees’ and the ‘stayers.’ Who was a real Jew? Whose family owned what land? What constituted restoration for the returnees? How were the people to feed themselves in a famine?

Who got to participate in rebuilding the temple? The returnees felt they were the true Israelites, the pure community and when the ‘stayers’ offered to help rebuild the temple, said “you have no part with us in building a house to our God’ (Ezra 4:3). The purity of the people had been defiled by intermarriage with the locals (gentiles). Claiming to have broken faith with God, they determined to undo this practice, (Ezra 10:3) in a draconian solution.  After a rainy open-air assembly, a decree is issued banishing all ‘foreign’ women and their children. Within a period of months, all the Jewish men had obtained a divorce and the ‘foreign’ women and children were sent away. Because this is not their story, we do not know where they went or what happened to them.  

Our check-in and discussion of this material led us to the idea of ‘doom scrolling’ an obsessive attention to a twitter feed, capturing history moment by moment. As the Jews found themselves in a country torn apart, so we too find ourselves at the intersection of ‘doom’ and ‘gloom.’  

COLLECT
God, as we are in the midst of doom and gloom,
we believe we will never be able to survive without you. 
We thank you for your constancy. 
We confess we are broken and cannot see you beyond the dark clouds. 
We pray for a signpost of hope
to remind us that you will carry us through it. 
AMEN.

Karen Byers, Mentor
The Alphabet Soup of Giving
Giving and Pledging using a QCD in 2020

Many of you have been contributing to the church from the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) of your retirement account in the form of a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). For many of you this has become a great way to support Christ Trinity and lower your taxable income at the same time. However, like so many things in 2020, things are different this year. 

In normal years, if you are age 72 or older, IRS rules require you to take RMDs each year from your tax-deferred retirement accounts. The CARES act has temporarily waived RMDs for all types of retirement plans (including IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457(b)s, and inherited IRA plans) for calendar year 2020. This includes the first RMD, which individuals may have delayed from 2019 until April 1, 2020.

However, even though an RMD is not required in 2020, a QCD is still allowed. A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from one’s IRA, payable directly to a qualified charity. A QCD given this year, like in normal years, will still be excluded from your taxable income. This is not the case with a regular withdrawal from an IRA, even if one uses the money to make a charitable contribution later on. 

The bottom line is that even though an RMD is not required this year, making your pledge to the church with a QCD is still allowed and retains the same tax advantages as a "normal" year. As always, please consult your retirement plan and tax professionals for the very best information for your personal situation.  
A national service of Healing and Wholeness

The National Cathedral
to host interfaith prayer service
on November 1.

Holding Onto Hope
Presiding Bishop Curry &
Fr. James Martin

As the United States struggles through a time of turbulence and tension, Washington National Cathedral will host a national interfaith prayer service on Sunday, Nov. 1 – two days before Election Day – featuring Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and other spiritual leaders. The service, titled “Holding Onto Hope: A national service for healing and wholeness,” will be livestreamed on The Episcopal Church’s Facebook page in English and Spanish from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. Read more
Action Team Grants
Hey Thrivent Members! Have you used your Action Team Grants this year yet? We've done some pretty creative projects with previous Thrivent monies. We've got some interesting ideas - like creating a welcome station for bicyclists, with perhaps a picnic table! It's been a strange year and a bunch of the things we "normally" use those grants for have not happened. So, if you have not used yours yet, think about what you could do for your community, church, etc. with $250 free dollars! If you are willing to apply but need ideas, let us know! If you have ideas but aren't a Thrivent Member, let us know your ideas and we'll match you up! - Pastor Erik +
Where will our outreach monies go?
It's up to you!
Members will have an opportunity to determine what causes we are going to sponsor. In years past we have passed out play money to let everyone join in the fun and expedite the process. That will not be possible this year, but you still will have a voice in the distribution. In the weeks ahead, we will outline how you get involved from the comfort of your living room.
Daily Devotional links and Prayers of the People
If you would like Prayers of Intercession included in Sunday's bulletin, we are very happy to do that. In order to assure that your loved ones are included, please email us each week by 9:30 on Monday morning.
David and Bruce want you to know that due to COVID-19 Howden Farm is not selling pumpkins this year, but all the normal harvest activities will be back in 2021.

Christ Trinity Church 413-229-8811
180 Main Street
PO Box 127
Sheffield, MA 01257

Our virtual worship services are Sundays at 10:00

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You can find us on Instagram at CTCSheffieldMA

Find some recent services on our YouTube channel

Questions you may have about us will probably be answered at: