January 22, 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.

Because we live in a part of the state that suffers horrendous traffic jams, we all know how frustrating and anxiety-ridden it is to find ourselves immobilized in our vehicles for long periods of time. When traffic begins to slow, we turn to our GPS for help.
In some ways Trinity is caught in a metaphorical traffic jam. There are so many parishes in our Diocese in one stage or another of transition, the path to the resolution is congested. There are simply not enough interim rectors available to fill the vacant spots right now. In other words, the traditional lanes aren’t clear for travel. And the longer the delay, the more our parish may feel adrift after saying goodbye to a trusted pastor who had been with us for many years.
So we get creative in a traffic jam. We look at our GPS and estimate the time before the traffic clears. For us at Trinity, that means applauding the work of the Discernment Team as they conscientiously follow the steps to get us where we need to be. We don’t cheat by running up the shoulder of the interstate, but instead follow the traffic flow that lead us where we need to go. Sometimes we speed up, sometimes we slow down again.
Often we look at our GPS and try to figure out an alternate route. For Trinity, that’s looking at employment of a long-term supply priest. We are currently in conversation with the Diocese about that avenue. Sometimes our parish detour takes us in uncharted directions. For example, we have changed the hours and number of days the office is open. We have become dependent on a variety of priests instead of one on Sunday mornings, and if we see a familiar face, we breathe a sigh of relief.
Along the way in a traffic jam, we may encounter unexpected acts of kindness. Someone lets us change lanes so we can make our way to an exit. We thank our Sirius radio or audible books for keeping us entertained. If we have others in the car, we may find some good conversation, if we can keep our frustration under control. Not only is Trinity now in a time of transition, it may seem to us the whole world is, and our country’s politics in particular. Nevertheless, Trinitarians continue to speak politely and respectfully to each other, even when we know we have markedly different views. Our acts of kindness continue.
Sometimes our GPS detours us to unfamiliar places. A few weeks ago Selby and I traveled through parts of Stafford County we didn’t even know existed as we tried to drive anywhere other than I-95 or Route 1. As disconcerting as that was, it also became a bit of an adventure, and we passed several previously unknown places we’d like to return to for birdwatching this spring. At Trinity our detour has led us to priests we didn’t know whom we have enjoyed. We’ve tried some new ways of doing things such as having Vestry members do announcements.
So what’s our GPS? Well, obviously, the answer to that is God and the trust we place in God, surely the most dependable GPS imaginable, even if the route laid out for us seems unlikely or uncomfortable or at times unclear. On an earthly level, our GPS is our Vestry and the Executive Committee; our staff members; and our many church leaders who have taken on extra duties during this time of transition.
It seems to me the Discernment Committee is the essence of order in our traffic jam. They lead the way, keep the faith and the letter of the rules, and will shepherd us to answers as they turn the messiness of surveys, focus groups, LOTS of parishioners’ advice, and procedures into a coherent Parish Profile to lead us to our candidate for rector, our destination.
None of us has ever been stuck permanently in a traffic jam, even though it seems like we may have spent an eternity there. And our parish won’t be in a state of transition forever, either. Our progress may feel slow at times; we may have to look for some detours; but we will get to our destination, with God’s help.
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.

On February 2, 9, and 16, Trinity's Discernment Committee will be facilitating small group discussions after the 8 am services and after the 9:15 am services. The purpose of these small group sessions is to explore more deeply the things that make Trinity so special to us all, as well as areas where we would like to grow and what direction we would like our church to head in the future. We are not looking to solve these problems, as that is not the purpose of the discernment committee. We are looking to identify what our church needs are at present, and what gifts our new rector will need in order to help us address these concerns. To ensure active participation by all in attendance during our allotted time, we are limiting each session to eight (8) participants. Sign-up sheets will be posted on the church door on Sunday. Here are the questions we would like to address:

1. Please tell us about an experience of conflict within our church and how it was addressed. We are looking not for interpersonal conflicts, but conflict regarding the direction or priorities of the parish.
2. What do you think God has in mind for Trinity and for our parish family in the years to come?

And, if time permits, we may address one or more of these questions:
3. How do we serve God here?
4. Are there things we should be doing to serve God that we haven't figured out yet?

5. What is our practice of stewardship and how does it shape the life of our worshiping community?
Trinity families that live in the 22405 ZIP CODE AREA are invited to an Open House at The Richardson's residence (85 Ringgold Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22405) on Sunday, January 26 from 12:30 - 3:00 p.m. Baked ham, rolls, dessert, and drinks will be provided. If you would like, please bring a side dish or finger food to share. We hope you will join your church neighbors in fellowship and friendship as we begin the New Year!

Can you provide a home-cooked meal for our CAMPUS MINISTRY students? Classes have begun and we still need meals for January 28, March 17, and April 7. Pending new students this spring, there are no dietary restrictions. The House has plenty of utensils, plates, napkins, etc. The ideal time for drop-off is between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. A sign-up sheet is on the church door or you may call the office (540) 373-2996.

The Health Ministry Committee will be doing BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS between services on Sunday, February 2nd. Do something good for yourself and stop by the Health Ministries Room to have your blood pressure checked.

Injured? Need a bandaid? If so, you can find FIRST AID KITS attached to a cabinet in the kitchen, on a bulletin board in the Health Ministries Room, or in drawers in the Lounge and Outreach Room in Jamison Hall. Please use if necessary.
The GEMS will meet on February 12th, at 1:00 P.M., at O’Charley’s Restaurant for lunch celebrating Valentine’s Day. Please contact Sug Clingenpeel (540-840-6255) or Joan Rice (540-755-2353) by February 8th , to make reservations.

It’s that time of the year again! The PROGRESSIVE KISS AND TELL DINNER on our luxury bus is scheduled for Sunday, February 23rd. We have room for 40 Trinitarians and singles are certainly welcome. We will meet at 4:00 O’Clock at Tapa Rio (1101 Sophia St). This is where we began our great night last year. The cost remains unchanged at $55.00/person. The restaurants this year are Tapa Rio, Amy’s Café, Dark Star Saloon and Café, Juan More Taco, and The Old Silk Mill. If you haven’t been on a dinner with us for the last 7 years, ask someone who has! We have great food and a great chance for camaraderie. Please sign up on the front door of the church and either send me a check to Bruce Adkins, 6 Bainbridge Lane, Fredericksburg, Va. 22407, or pay me at Church. Join us for food and fellowship in grand style!
GOOD NEWS! BLESSINGS IN A BACKPACK has been serving the weekend food needs of 75 elementary school children at Rocky Run since September 2019. The donations received during the BIB campaign were approximately $9,000., so Trinity can support 10 more children beginning February 5th.  The money is used to purchase food packs, in addition to macaroni and cheese or chicken noodle soup. The children really look forward to receiving their weekly bag of food.  As of February 2020, the good news is, Trinity will supply food for 85 Children .  Donations are accepted throughout the year. If additional donations are received the number of children supported will be reevaluated and adjusted accordingly. Just remember to include on the memo line of your check BIB or Blessings in a Backpack. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the BIB Ministry through monetary donations and/or volunteerism. Without your help this Ministry would not be possible. Susan McSpadden - BIB Coordinator 540-899-0696
PROTECT YOURSELF! Many Media Services are advising viewers and readers to WRITE THE FULL YEAR, 2020, ON ALL CHECKS AND LEGAL DOCUMENTS. This precludes the possibility of scammers trying to modify the date to their advantage. Why? This year's abbreviation is easily changeable and could be used against you. The concern is that scammers could easily manipulate a document dated "1/1/20" into "1/1/2000" or even "1/1/2021. Writing out the full date could possibly protect you and prevent legal issues on paperwork. See link here from USA Today for more information. 

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The JUNIOR AND SENIOR YOUTH GROUPS will visit an “escape room” on Sunday, January 26th. We will meet at Rush Hour Live Escape Games behind Sears at Spotsylvania Towne Centre at 1:30 PM and will be done by 2:45 PM. The cost for each youth is $18.00. If you are planning to come or have any questions, please contact Sam Burton . A permission slip may be found here .

The EPISCOPAL YOUTH EVENT - EYE is a triennial event for youth from the entire Episcopal Church (pronounced E-Y-E). Over 1000 people (high school students, their adult mentors, and Bishops from around the church) come together and live on a college campus for a little under a week. Time is spent in worship, large group presentations, small group discussions on the presentations (youth lead), workshops on a variety of topics, and a lot of time hanging out and meeting people from around the world. This year EYE will be held July 7-11 on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.  Click here for more information on this amazing opportunity for high school students. 

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During her Pastoral Address at our Diocesan Convention last month, Bishop Goff articulated her vision for our Diocese for the next few years. She added that, "If the vision belongs to the bishops alone, it will never be ours. So let's continue this address as a conversation. I invite the people of the Diocese to come together in a series of vision gathering during the season of Epiphany." You may call the Diocese to register, (804) 346-2373.
This is your invitation to 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

  • Thursday, January 23, 7:00 p.m. - Aquia Church, Stafford
  • Thursday, January 30, 6:30 p.m. - St. Paul's, Ivy
  • Saturday, February 8, 1:00 p.m. - Calvary, Front Royal
  • 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.
Wednesday, January 22

Thursday, January 23
7:00 pm Fredericksburg Region Meeting (BH)

Friday, January 24

Saturday, January 25
8:00 am Brotherhood of St. Andrew (K/BH)
10:00 am Conversation w/Bishops on Race &
Reconciliation (BH)

Sunday, January 26
12:30 pm 22405 Open House (Richardson's)
1:30 pm Youth Groups (Rush House Live Escape)

Monday, January 27
6:00 pm Yoga

Tuesday, January 28
12:00 pm Knaughty Knitters (L)
(The House)
Wednesday, January 29
9:30 am Staff Meeting (Rm 14)

Thursday, January 30

Friday, January 31

Saturday, February 1
2:00 pm Memorial Service - Maloney
5:00 pm 1st Saturday Eucharist

Sunday, February 2
9:00 am Small Group Discussions (L)
10:15 am Small Group Discussions (L)
(540) 373-2996