Apalachicola, Florida
February 19, 2021
So Rend Your Heart and
Not Your Garments....
Dear Beloved in the Lord,

Oh God, I hurt! Oh God, why? Oh God, do you even exist? I am in more pain than I have ever known in my life. I have sinned. I have never suffered like this… and what do I do now?

Have you ever felt like that? I imagine every human being has dealt with those feelings and emotions. And when, where, and to whom do we turn? As we hear from 2 Corinthians on Ash Wednesday, “See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!” Yes, now is the time!

Anytime we are cut or are wounded we are oftentimes told that the wound may need air and light to heal. There are times when the wounded soul needs to be exposed to the antiseptic of air and The Light. We may need to open up and talk about our spiritual/emotional lives. Lent is here and therefore we are called to take the next 40 days (not including Sundays) and spend some time in prayer, fasting, repentance, and healing.

Sometimes keeping things inside can make them worse than they are. We all have so much going on inside at one time: the past, the present, the future; not to mention our relationships with the dozens of people in our lives. And don’t forget our children and grandchildren! The weight of all of this can wear us down, hold us back, and make us feel as if we are ready to burst. I’ve seen it, done it, and been there!

And yet seeking that healing can be frightening. It can seem like weakness; it may open us up to criticism, fear, and guilt. Not all of us want to face our pain, fear, anger, shame, or guilt attached to our deepest feelings and thoughts. Yet when what is going on inside prevents us from becoming who God is calling us to be, we are invited to talk about it. Remember, it is love that casts out fear.

Personally, I speak with a spiritual director and a therapist, so I don’t work out my neuroses in the pulpit or at the altar. I air out my soul, my heart, and my brain, as I am invited into a deeper relationship with them and our God. On Ash Wednesday, in the name of The Church, I invited you to the observance of a Holy Lent. That invitation may include visiting with trusted friends and sharing with them our yearning to continue on our personal journeys toward wholeness this Lent. This invitation to a Holy Lent encourages us to also be that light and balm to your friends and loved ones.

During Lent, we are invited to “rend your heart and not your garments,” that is to purge our souls: air them out, fill them with the Light of Christ. Find a priest you can trust (I am available). Find a friend you can trust. Find someone with whom you can bare your soul. Remember you are not looking for an answer: you are looking for healing and release. If you can’t find a living person or don’t want one, come into this house of prayer and talk to the living God.

The Church in its wisdom invites us to be honest with ourselves and with God during this season of Lent, so that come the Paschal Feast, we will rejoice, and our alleluias won’t ring hollow. Finally, be kind to yourself this Lent. Resist the devil’s temptation to “remain strong”; and, don’t be surprised if and when you accept that invitation into that trusting relationship and dialogue, our God will offer you love, grace, forgiveness, and peace.

Again, inviting you to the observance of a Holy Lent,
I am your servant and God's...

Eric+
Readings for February 21, 2021, the First Sunday in Lent
Readings for February 29, 2021, the Second Sunday in Lent
AROUND THE CHURCH
Seen Around Trinity
This Week
The church interior painting project is progressing nicely, as the painters complete their fourth week of work. Expected completion date is the first week in March.

Eric is enjoying the company of McSweedo, a new, temporary resident of the Rectory. The pup, belongs to Martha Harris' daughter, Rose.

A COVID-adapted Ash Wednesday at Trinity included distribution of individual bags of ashes and a video service. Nearly 60 people, of which a dozen were visitors to the area, stopped by the Rectory to receive ashes and a blessing.
Happy Birthday, Everyone -- In the last edition of the Bay View, Eric said he wanted to know your birthday and anniversary. Here's a quick and easy way to respond: just send your name and birthday/anniversary dates to info@trinityapalachicola.org. Thanks!
Your Vestry at Work - February Meeting
On Sunday, May 23 -- Pentecost Sunday -- we will welcome
The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick, Bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, to Trinity. If you wish to be confirmed or received into
the Episcopal Church at this time, please let Eric know.
OUR GREATER COMMUNITY
Protect Yourself from Phone & Online Scams
Nearly every day most of us receive emails and phone calls that may not seem legitimate - looking for money, personal information, gift cards, or offers for bogus services. Here are some tips for avoiding these scams:

  • Don’t respond: If you’re not completely sure of the source of the call, email or text, then hang up the phone, don’t click on the link in the email, and don’t reply to the text message.
  • Don’t trust caller ID or answer phone calls from unknown numbers: If you recognize the caller ID but the call seems suspicious, hang up the phone. Phone numbers can be easily spoofed to appear to be from a legitimate caller. A common trick is to use your area code, so you think it is someone you know.
  • Don’t give out your information: Never provide any personally identifiable information unless you’re absolutely certain the person and reason are legitimate. Banks, utilities, Social Security, the IRS, and other reputable organizations will never ask you to send you personal information such as an account number, Social Security number or Tax ID over text, email, or online.
  • Research and validate: If the individual or organization seems suspicious, make sure the request being made is legitimate by calling the organization through an official number from their website, or consulting with a trusted family member or friend.

Don't be intimidated; keep yourself and your money safe!
Services at 5 pm Saturday & 10 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