Apalachicola, Florida
October 1, 2021

I Hold You Up in Light, Love, & Leadership
Dear Friends in Christ,
The year 2020 was remarkable. That’s a funny word because it can imply both good and bad. Last year was a bit of both. It’s been more like 18 months. Now we find ourselves kind of back where we were a year ago with the latest rise in new cases of COVID.

We have weathered the storm of COVID. Not too many cases within our Trinity community and no spread from within. We record one of our services almost every Sunday. It is primitive, to say the least. There are no plans to stop our posting on YouTube.

We’ve kept up our outreach efforts with the food bank and the Priest’s Discretionary Fund. We’ve tried to have you give us the dates of your birth and anniversaries so that I may perform both public or private birthday and anniversary blessings, celebrating our milestones in community.

Through it all, you have amazed me with your faithful and timely contributions. Pledges have been kept up; some special gifts have also been given. I am blessed to serve you who are so very faithful in all that you do.

As we start our third year together, it is once again time to do financial planning for 2022. October is Stewardship month. We’ll figure the budget in October and November and have it all in place before the first of the year. I am grateful for the leadership of the Vestry to make these changes in our schedule and their willingness to take the lead in them. In the last 18 months we were fortunate to receive $42,000 from the federal Payroll Protection Plan; however, that program no longer exists and, in the upcoming year, we will not receive federal assistance.

Every pledge campaign begins with Gratitude, and that is how I want to begin my message to you this year. I am inspired by your generosity – by the grand acts that you have accomplished this year; by the single acts of love and kindness; and, by the unseen work you have done in the service of God and our church community. The first week we began to support the Afghan refugees, we raised $2,800.00. Throughout September we raised over $5,000.00 for those refugees. Thank you, I cannot say it enough.

Our pledge campaign this year focuses on our gifts; not just on the things we wrap with paper and bows, and not the things we put in envelopes or give from our bank accounts, but all the gifts that we give throughout the year. We frequently talk about the three-legged stool of Time, Talent, and Treasure when we discuss our gifts, without really focusing on the power of each of those elements. I am grateful and aware of the ways in which you have given all three, and today I want to focus on your time.

Time, they say, is the greatest gift because it is a gift that we can’t replace. When we give of our treasure or our talent, they come from renewable streams to some extent. But time, once given, can’t be taken back; reclaimed. Therefore, I am inspired by the ways that you give of your time to this community. Whether these gifts of time are measured in hours spent running a ministry, participating in our services, volunteering in the community, or in minutes spent on the phone, or in person, reaching out to each other, taking care of each other, this community is generous with its time!

In his timeless work, The Little Prince, Saint-Exupery says, of the prince’s tending of his beloved rose, “It is the time you have spent on your rose, that makes your rose so important.” Our church is that rose, tended gently and blessed abundantly by the effort, love, prayer, and time you give to us.

In this season where we uphold our gifts, I hold you up in light, love, and leadership. Over the coming weeks you will be hearing more about our gifts from our leadership, in our liturgy, and in our common life together. You are a gift, each of you, and you are gifts to each other and to a world.
There are butterflies scattered throughout this newsletter to reflect the theme of this year’s stewardship campaign. The theme and image for Every Perfect Gift are wrapped in the metaphor of the butterfly and chrysalis. Of all the metaphors of gift that could be used, why did we decide on this one?

To the ancient Greeks, the butterfly represented the image of rebirth and freedom. The word they used for butterfly was psyche, and if you are thinking that sounds familiar, you are correct! It also means spirit. The humble and beautiful butterfly contains the philosophical and spiritual idea of the soul breaking free from its shell – free to discover, to inspire, to create, to communicate, to share.

These are also spiritual gifts. Gifts that when we free ourselves to serve in the world we need and share with others; and they are gifts of our stewardship. As we share our time, talent, and treasure with our church and with the world, we unleash those same gifts in our communities: discovery, inspiration, creativity, communication, sharing. Through the ministries that are enabled by our gifts, the inspiration we show to our neighbors to unlock their generosity in the world, and the stories we tell about ourselves and our experiences, we participate with God in an abundant vision for the world. Every perfect gift comes from God above.

Our annual commitment campaign will take place during the months of October and November. It is my prayer that you will hear from Trinity’s family members every week during the announcements about why Trinity is important to them and why they commit to regular giving. You will receive your pledge envelopes the first week of October, and ingathering Sunday will be All Saints Sunday.

Finally, my friends, I just want to thank you for your faithfulness these last
two years and pray you will continue your generous support to one of the
most important institutions in Apalachicola – Trinity – our spiritual home.
Know that you are loved by me and our God.

My Health: These last two years have been devastating to my health. Two weeks ago, as you know, I was hospitalized with an inflamed gall bladder and pancreas, respiratory distress, and was close to kidney failure.
I am to see four different specialists in the weeks ahead, all in Tallahassee. I thank you for your concern, flowers, prayers, calls and texts. As I grow stronger (I hope) I will keep you informed as to my progress. Again, thanks to all of you for expressions of love.
Readings for October 3, 2021, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Readings for October 10, 2021, the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Blessing of the Animals This Sunday

October 4 is Saint Francis Day, the day on which we usually bless our animals. This year, this Sunday in fact, you are invited to bring your pets with you to church (on a leash or in a crate) so that Eric may bless them.

Saint Francis always celebrated the gift of creation, and we will too this Sunday; so, bring those four-footed family members to church with you so that they may receive their annual blessing.
Friends Honor Life & Legacy of Kathy Willis
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of Kathy Willis, a group of her friends gathered to honor her life and legacy with a brick in Trinity's Memorial Garden. Following a brief prayer service, Kathy's brick was placed next to two of her dearest friends, Susan Clementson and Hollis Vail.

Participating in the memorial service were (below) Penny Marler, Marlene Seaborn, Kay Carson, Myrtis Wynn, Martha Harris, Patti McCartney, and Marlene's pup, Scout. (Not pictured are Dolores Croom and Susie Wagoner.)
New Indoor Mask Guidance
from Bishop Kendrick
Last week Bishop Kendrick lifted our mask mandate. Beginning this week, although I strongly encourage wearing a mask while inside the church, you may participate in worship unmasked. Other restrictions remain in place, including limiting the length of the service, contact tracing, and remaining socially distant.

With the mandate removed and cooler weather ahead, I have been thinking of returning to outdoor worship at 10:30. I would truly love your input. While I could make this decision unilaterally, I respect your input. I have heard varying points of view regarding both sides of this issue, and I would appreciate hearing from more of you. Once I hear from you and make a decision, a special email notice will be sent out informing you of what we will do in the near future. Thank you so much.
-- Eric+
October 1, 2021

First Lector & Psalm - Brooks Jones
Second Lector - Candace Springer
Prayers of the People - Patti McCartney
Altar Guild - T McLain
Flower Guild - Aglaia Dolan

October 10, 2021

First Lector & Psalm - Dee Crusoe
Second Lector - Tom Edwards
Prayers of the People - Rennie Edwards
Altar Guild - T McLain
Flower Guild - Dee Crusoe
Worship Services at 8 & 10:30 am Sunday, Eastern time

Church address: 79 6th Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320
Office address: 76 5th Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320
Mailing address: PO Box 667, Apalachicola, Florida 32329

Phone number: (850) 653-9550