February 12, 2020

The mission of Trinity Church is to share Christ's love and grace in a vibrant community whose joyful spirit empowers people to do God's work.

Did you know the issue of pew rent led to Trinity’s founding in the 1870’s partly over the issue of pew rent? Our Trinity forebears believed parishioners should not have to pay to find a seat or participate in the governance of the church. That’s what A History of Trinity Episcopal Church 1877-2001 tells us.

We don’t believe in the now-discontinued Anglican practice of pew rent because we know that God wants us, every one of us, in the pews whenever we can be.

But we do have a responsibility for “pew gratitude” or maybe “pew honor” and I hope we feel that every day, not just on Sunday.

When we do things in accordance with our Christian beliefs, we are showing gratitude to God for the gift of an accepting pew at Trinity.

We honor God’s word when we do these things:

  • Raise our children to be oriented to Christian teachings and give them a rudimentary road map to living a productive and worthy life.
  • Follow our own consciences as we decide how to participate in various aspects of Trinity’s ministry.
  • Show respect for our fellow parishioners, recognizing that young children have a need to move and older folks require relative quiet in order to hear.
  • Step up in a time of need at Trinity (oh, yeah, that was last week’s newsletter, wasn’t it?)
  • Tolerate differences among each other, both within and beyond the metaphorical walls of Trinity, respecting differences in beliefs even when we don’t agree with them.
  • Give financially as we are able to support the life of the parish, the diocese, and the world beyond.
  • Try out new ways of worship and service and relating to each other as a parish.

These are just a few ways we have traded our pew rent for a deep gratitude that we do indeed have a parish full of pews open to anyone and everyone.

I heard of a church service in another denomination recently where a long-time parishioner walked out because someone, a stranger, was sitting in “their pew”. I can’t imagine that happening at Trinity, though we do tend to sit in the same places near the same people every Sunday, and that’s comfortable. Probably we all know the feeling of walking into an unfamiliar church and wondering where to sit so we don’t usurp someone else’s usual place.

Let’s share our pews – paying forward our “pew gratitude” to as many folks as possible in this time of discernment.

Claire Curcio , Senior Warden
Trinity Discernment Prayer

O Everlasting, Omniscient, and Loving God
We confess that our daily worries and concerns often blind us to your voice and guidance in our lives. We thank You for this time of change, may it be an opportunity to grow together more closely as followers of your son Jesus Christ as we work to discern your path forward for our congregation. We pray that You will watch over the Bishop, diocesan transitional ministry team, the parish clergy, members of our vestry, and the other leaders of our church as they lead us on a new path for our parish. We pray for the members of the discernment committee as they endeavor to do Your holy work in calling a new rector for Trinity. We pray for all the members of our parish family during this time of transition that we come closer to You and feel your presence in our hearts. AMEN.

We obtained insightful comments from the small group discussions on Sunday. Sessions will conclude this Sunday, February 16, and will help us identify what our church needs are at present, and what gifts our new rector will need in order to help us address these concerns.

Please visit the page devoted to Seeking a New Shepherd on Trinity's website to see a word cloud visual of the things that our parish values most about Trinity (per the survey) and an overview of the discernment process. 

Earlier, we shared the quantitative results from the survey. The overall parish survey results, including summaries of the comments, can be accessed here . A hard copy of the results is currently available in the church office, and will be available in Cafe Trinity the next couple of Sundays.

It’s time to begin signing up for this year’s Lenten Series! Our Lenten Series begins Wednesday, March 4, with dinner at 5:30 p.m. Suggested donation for dinner is $5/person or $15/family. We will begin the different series at 6:15 p.m. and finish for the evening by 7:30 p.m. Please sign up early so that we can be ready for you! The sign-up sheets are on the church door. There will be three offerings this year:           

Signs of Life: Why Church Matters  This series of weekly discussions is based on materials prepared by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist and Lifelong Learning at the Virginia Theological Seminary. Each discussion focuses on one of the central themes of Christian worship: Light, Water, Food, Shelter, and Community. Harry Dickinson and Rosemary Arneson will lead the weekly discussions. To hear more about what the series will involve, we invite you to watch Br. James Koester's introduction here . More information, include the Signs of Life reader, can be found here .
Lectio Divina Groups  - Lent is one of the holiest seasons of the liturgical year. Let’s share some reflective time together this Lent in a small group using the Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina, or “Divine Reading.” Together we will read scripture, pray, meditate and open ourselves to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.  We will let the Spirit guide us as each of us is drawn to a particular word or phrase within the text. Listening to each other’s reflections will give the words of the text new life and meaning. The Evening Lectio Divina Group will be facilitated by Tom Rotella and will meet at 6:15 p.m. in the sanctuary. This group will be limited to the first eight people who sign up. The Morning Lectio Divina Group , facilitated by Robin Barrett, will meet on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. in the Lounge. There is nothing you need to bring but an open heart.
Journeying with Jesus   This program for children and youth is a Bible study which allows the children to reflect on Bible stories about Jesus’ life through various art forms including building with Lego pieces, sculpting, painting, and arts and crafts. Participants will learn about a different Bible story each week and have time for prayer and reflection as they work with different media. This program is most appropriate for ages 4 through middle school.

Do you know why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? Click here to find out!

Come join your Trinity family for food and fellowship at the SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKE DINNER on February 25th from 5:30-7pm in Barber Hall.  
Chicken and sausage gumbo will top off this Fat Tuesday's celebration along with all you can eat buttermilk pancakes, butcher cut bacon, sausage, dessert and beverages.  

All proceeds support Trinity’s Brotherhood of St. Andrew outreach activities.  

Saturday, February 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Trinity, Fredericksburg

Learn how carelessness for creation affects the most vulnerable and how we can be advocates for change. You can find more information and register for the workshop here .
Lent begins Wednesday, February 26th. LENTEN MEDITATION GUIDES are available on the table in the church entryway. There are several to choose from. Please choose one that you feel will enrich your devotional time during this penitential season. 

Another tool to help you observe Lent is “LENT IN A BAG". These are bags containing several items to be used as symbols to focus individual or family meditations and reflections during the season of Lent. Questions intended to start conversation and scripture verses are included. The bags are available on the table in the church entryway.

February 16 is the last Sunday to sign up for PRAYER PARTNERS FOR LENT - Make a commitment to pray for another Trinitarian daily as someone else prays for you. Sign up is easy - simply print your first and last name on the slips of paper in the pews and drop your name into the Prayer Partner basket as it is passed around during all three services. Families can participate as a household or as an individual family member. You will receive the name of your Prayer Partner in the mail. Prayer partners will be revealed some time after Easter.

  The CAREGIVERS' SUPPORT GROUP will meet tomorrow, Thursday, February 13th, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. in the Health Ministries Room of Trinity. Men and women who are caregivers for a disabled or ill child or adult are invited to attend the meeting. Call Randall (540-207-0600), Claire (540-479-6988), or Brenda (540-226-2628) for more information.
GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP: Our monthly Grief Support Grief meets again on Monday, February 17 in the Health Ministries Room, Rm. 14, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. This month we will review the normal stages of grieving along with accompanying feelings and behaviors. Contact either Randall Clingenpeel o r Ruth Brancolini for additional information.

The HEALTH MINISTRY COMMITTEE will hold its regular monthly meeting in the Health Ministries Room on Tuesday, February 18th, at 1:30 pm.
The 2020 REBUILDING TOGETHER—FREDERICKSBURG (RTF) planning sessions are beginning and applications being reviewed for possible support. Over the years, Trinity has stepped up and provided outstanding help in this worthwhile effort. Although the notional work weekend is the last weekend in April (this year, April 25), the work schedule is fully dependent on the volunteers' availability. Please seriously consider signing up to help out. Sign-up lists will be put up in Barber Hall and on the church door soon. Please sign up as soon as possible so we know how many projects and what kind of projects we will be able to support. If you have any questions, please contact Geoff Pomroy by e-mail or on his home phone (540.659.9434).
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CLUB 45’s next event is a Game Day on Sunday, February 16th from 11:30 – 1:30 p.m. We will have lunch together and play our favorite games. Bring a game for us all to play. If you have any questions, please contact Sam Burton .

Registration for the Diocese of Virginia’s SHRINE MONT SUMMER CAMPS has begun! There are ten different camps offered; from art camp, and music and drama camp to sports camp and explorers’ camp. All Shrine Mont camps offer a mixture of fun, team building and spiritual development. 
Scholarships are available. See the posters and flyers on the youth bulletin board or go here to find a description of the camps offered and to register. If you have any questions, contact Paris Ball in the diocesan office of Christian Formation for more details.

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DIOCESAN VISIONING TOUR - Take part in our Diocesan Visioning Tour with Bishop Goff and Bishop Brooke-Davidson. The questions we'll discuss will be publicized before the sessions so that participants will have a chance to give them some thought, and so that people who can't attend might have a chance to submit their thoughts.
Visioning Tour Dates and Locations
  • Saturday, February 15, 1:30 p.m. - Good Shepherd, Burke
  • Saturday, February 29, 10:00 a.m. - St. Peter's, Arlington
Click here to register.


LENT 2020: A Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Repentance Leading to Action
An Invitation from Presiding Bishop Curry to Turn and Pray on Behalf our Nation can be found here.
Wednesday, February 12
9:30 am Staff Meeting (Rm 14)
1:00 pm Trinity GEMS (O'Charleys)
6:30 pm Executive Committee (R)
7:00 pm Vestry Meeting (L)

Thursday, February 13
9:45 am Fresh Start (all rooms)
10:00 am Caregivers' Support Group (Rm 14)

Friday, February 14

Saturday, February 15

Sunday, February 16
8:30 am 9:15 Song Leaders' Rehearsal (CR)
9:00 am Small Group Discussions (L)
10:15 am Small Group Discussions (L)

Monday, February 17
3:00 pm Drop-In Grief Support Group (Rm 14)
6:00 pm Yoga

Tuesday, February 18
12:00 pm Knaughty Knitters (L)
(The House)
5:30 pm Tuesday Night Outreach (J13)
Wednesday, February 19
6:30 pm Daughters of the King (L)

Thursday, February 20

Friday, February 21

Saturday, February 22
8:00 am Brotherhood of St. Andrew (K/BH)
10:00 am Creation Care and Advocacy Conference (all rooms)

Sunday, February 23
9:15 am Family Eucharist w/Young People's Communion Celebration
10:15 am Reception for Young People's Communion (BH)
(540) 373-2996