SEEDS.... August 14 , 2019
Parish Fair Wrap Up
Another Parish Fair is in the books and THIS ONE WAS FABULOUS!! Together we raised over $14,000.00! Thanks go to everyone who helped in every way from baking a cake to heading the whole operation. Without YOU we would not have been able to do it!
What Happens With ALL That Fair Money?

Did you know that the annual Parish Fair income goes to fund our outreach ministries? Last year our congregation supported local, national and international non-profits spreading the kindness of Christ Trinity all around the world! From the Berkshire Immigrant Center to the Mampong Babies' Home, and from Greenagers to ELCA Disaster Relief, more than 20 organizations received more than $11,000 from our congregation last year! THAT is what happens with our income from the Fair! Isn't that wonderful?

Want to see more of the Parish Fair? SEE MORE PICTURES BELOW!

Our plan for passing on the remaining books has fallen through and we need the Parish Hall cleared out before Sunday! Can you take a box or two... or 7 to a book drop or Good Will? There is a bookdrop by the Senior Center and one up by the Walmart in Pittsfield. Please help us get ready for Sunday!
Appalachian Trail Ministry Finishes Second Year

As this first week in a month unfolds without our AT ministry, there are mixed emotions of both sadness and deep gratitude. Mostly, our hearts sing with joy for all of you. Pastor Erik and I are so grateful for your participation this year in what was a most rewarding sixteen days of welcomed relief to those traveling through our neighborhood!  

Your dedication, donations and gracious presence, combined with your warm and compassionate hospitality made lasting impressions on the 170+ hikers that passed through our midst. In some instances perhaps it even changed lives. So many stories of gratitude!

To give thanks for your service, God's presence and blessing, and the Larkin family's gracious gift of the corner of their hay field, a final gathering under this year's tent is planned for Saturday, August 17th at 4pm . No grilling! Wine, beer and soft drinks will pair with antipasti, cheese and assorted bread and crackers, and of course, wonderful stories from the 2019 season.

May the blessings you offered be the blessing you come to know. And may they be rich and abiding.

Summer peace,
Pastor Jill and Pastor Erik
Solar-bration and Dedication August 18th
We are up and running with our Solar System and on August 18th after the 10 a.m. service we will dedicate the system and celebrate with an extra special coffee hour! Huge thanks to the families who put us on this path and we hope EVERYONE will join in the dedication on August 18th.

In the mean time, check out our system in Real Time to see how our system in producing and some interesting facts like how much carbon we are saving and how many trees would have to be planted if we weren't a solar church to offset that carbon. Check it out by clicking on this link: Solar Edge Monitoring
ELCA Churchwide Triennial Assembly
The ELCA, holds a churchwide assembly every three years. This body creates the policy for the entire church body and elects those national positions for service.

Bishop Jim Hazelwood sent out this summary of the important votes and actions which include:

·   Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was reelected for a second six-year term on the first ballot.
·   A declaration of apology to our siblings of African descent, which was received by the African Descent Lutheran Association with thanks and a call for accountability and living into the words shared.
·   Approved resolution declaring the ELCA is a “sanctuary church body,” encouraging participation in the ELCA AMMPARO initiative for migrant children, discernment of care for our immigrant neighbors in our context, and the promise of forthcoming resources for this work.
·   Approved support for the World Council of Church’s Thursdays in Black , awareness movement for a world without rape and violence. 
·   Voted to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance, in honor and remembrance of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9.
·   Approved a declaration for inter-religious commitment, reaffirming ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
·   Approved the recommendations from a strategic taskforce which has been studying how to work toward authentic diversity in our church.
·   Approved memorials: affirming but not “endorsing” the Poor People’s Campaign, care for immigrants and refugees, and other statements.
·   Adopted a new social statement, “Faith, Sexism, and Justice: a Lutheran Call to Action,” and its implementing resolutions. 
·   Deacon Sue Rothmeyer was elected Churchwide Secretary, a full-time position which acts as executive administrator and leader on all constitutional matters and interpretation.
·   Constitutional change for Deacons (rostered ministers of word and service) to be ordained, from the previous practice of consecration.
·   Celebrated the milestones of 50 years of women's ordination, 40 years since the first woman of color was ordained, and 10 years since full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ clergy.
In other Assembly News, the Assembly voted to designate the ELCA as a "sanctuary churchbody" and that has led to some media which you may see in the next few days. Below is a letter written by an ELCA pastor to his congregation in Georgia. It clearly explains both what "sanctuary churchbody" really means and how it has been misrepresented by at least one particular news outlet. Therefore I commend it to you and will not reinvent the wheel he created! If you have questions, please let me know. - Erik +

Dear friends in Christ,
In the middle of last week, the Churchwide Assembly voted to designate the ELCA a "sanctuary churchbody." Over the next several days, news organizations picked up the story; the coverage was mostly vague.
When I returned home from worship this afternoon, I learned that Fox News aired a short panel discussion on the Churchwide Assembly's decision. I assume that this piece will make the usual social media rounds over the coming days, and I write to you today in hopes of addressing any concerns that might be raised by the segment.
After repeated viewings of the panel, I can state definitively that Fox News misreported the facts both about the ELCA's position and about undocumented immigrants. Fox News did not have a representative from the ELCA on the panel and implied that ELCA congregations would simply ignore US law. This is not true. One of their guests also implied that undocumented migrants carry disease and pose a public health risk. This is also not true.
The ELCA's designation as a "sanctuary churchbody" means that our denomination will continue to support refugees as they are resettled in the US through our partnership with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, provide legal assistance to immigrants pursuing their legally-protected right to seek asylum, and ensuring that undocumented immigrants are aware of their rights under US law. Moreover, it means that the ELCA will continue to advocate for just and humane treatment of detained immigrants, such as calling for adequate housing at detainment centers and accompanying minors through immigration court as part of  the ELCA's AMMPARO program . Congregations that have the resources to do so may provide food, shelter, and financial assistance to migrants in need. Finally, it also means that the ELCA will speak out against xenophobia, racism, and fear-mongering against all people.
You may notice that these are long-standing ELCA practices. As I have mentioned many times before, ours is an immigrant faith: transplanted from Europe into the US and Caribbean by wandering Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes. These immigrant communities maintained their customs in this new country and shaped the ELCA as it is today. After World War II, one in six Lutherans was either displaced or a refugee. And over the years, our faith has become more diverse, made up of Lutherans from Central and South America, Africa, India, the Middle East, and every corner of the map. On a typical Sunday, Lutherans in the ELCA worship in more than thirty different languages. Because we are the spiritual heirs to a wandering Aramean, roving Germans and Danes, and displaced Christians from across the globe, our denomination has long been committed to welcoming the stranger. We do so in the belief that what we do unto the least of these, our sisters and brothers, we do unto Christ himself.
The Churchwide Assembly's actions, then, re-commit us to this long tradition.
If you have further questions or concerns about what it means to be a "sanctuary churchbody," please do not hesitate to ask me directly. I will gladly set aside time in my week to meet with you in person for extended conversation.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Andrew Lewis
Fair-ly Wonderful Pictures!!!
A memorial service for
Jaye Meyer
will be held at noon on August 18th
in the chapel of
The Fountains at Millbrook
79 Flint Rd, Millbrook, NY 12545

Pastor Erik will officiate.
This photo of Jaye was taken here at Christ Trinity on her 102nd birthday!

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

Our worship services are Sundays at 8:00 & 10:00

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