March 11, 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.


The news today is overloaded with one topic: coronavirus. And since this is a newsletter, well hey, let’s have our go at it, too.

Do you feel like you’re living in George Orwell’s 1984 or Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here?
The difference is we can’t flip to the last page and see how it turned out.

Here’s what we know. The authorities recommend that we quit sneezing and coughing on each other. We’re polite people and we already don’t do that. But there are a couple of areas where we’re making temporary changes.

The Bishop Saturday night advised parishes that we should avoid drinking from the common cup. Accordingly, Rev. Bambi Willis consecrated a small amount of wine Sunday but at communion time, we did not drink from the cup as we usually do but rather shared it from a distance. We each received a wafer and/or a blessing as we knelt at the communion rail in our usual fashion. We were in communion with God and with each other, as we are at every other Trinity service.

Our other main point of physical contact is the Passing of the Peace. Again, Bambi reminded us there are several ways to do that – shaking hands, hugging, waving, kissing, verbally greeting. If the person you are greeting backs off from the method you usually share, please respect that – return a fist bump, an elbow bump (I have a vision of a sort of parish square dance do-se-do on that last one), or simply nod and smile at each other. One parishioner suggested we all flash the V peace sign to one another. And if you both want to hug, then hug. The idea here is prudence and respect for other parishioner’s wishes.

If you look at what the health authorities call the “vulnerable population”, far too many of us fall into that category. The various precautions suggested by the Diocese last week make very good sense for flu season, anyway.

Another way we need to take extra precaution is ensuring that our parishioners who are ill are tended. If your zip code coordinator asks you to prepare food because someone’s ill, please make every effort to do so. If you know someone who lives alone without nearby family, give that person a call a little more often. One parishioner who volunteers at an assisted living facility reminds us to check on our parishioners in those shelters who may receive few visitors. If you hear of a parishioner in need, as always, notify the Trinity office and Denise will disseminate the word to the designated coordinators of help. You may see fewer hospital visits from shepherds and more phone calls or written contact, especially if/when hospitals tighten visitor regulations.

I’m reminded of the joke about the man on the roof in a flood who turns down rides from three separate passing rescue boats, saying, “God will save me.” He finally cries aloud to God, “When are you going to save me?” and God shouts back, “I already sent you three boats!”

Let’s do recognize our boats as they float by during this emerging health situation. And we actually do know the ending to the as-yet-unwritten novel 2020 : at the end of the story, God is still with us.

Are we in panic? Of course not; we’re stoic Episcopalians. We have good sense, good hygiene, good leaders who advise us, and strong faith. Are we a little uneasy? Certainly, especially if we listen to the news, which we might want to do a little less often.

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.


Our Lenten Series continues this evening 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.

The recently-formed Library Committee is requesting donations of religious and spiritual books and audio/visual material for the soon-to-be-opened Trinity library.

Work is nearing completion on the new lending and research library located in an area adjacent to the Ida Beck Chapel. Library material will be available for loan except for a few reference works reserved for on-site use. Donations are requested to complete the start-up collection.

The library collection is targeted to a church audience. Included will be fiction and non-fiction works for adults and young people with content relating to religion, spirituality, or Trinity programs and volunteerism. Donations will be thankfully accepted with the understanding they may be held in reserve for future use as books are rotated on the shelves or re-donated to a charitable source if they do not meet the content guidelines or are not in useable condition.

The Library Committee asks for books and audio/visual donations to be left in the library space where bookcases have been installed and newly-acquired furnishings placed. All items should be left in a box, bag, or other container.

The library will open when the collection is finalized and all processing and loan procedures are in place, with a target date set for not later than early/mid spring. Books and audio/visual material will be loaned on the honor system to clergy, parishioners, and visitors whenever the church is open and the space is not in use for other purposes. The library will also serve as an information center for Trinity groups and programs.   

Anyone interest in learning more about the library or serving on the committee may do so by contacting members of the founding Library Committee, Selby McCash, Tom Rotella, Robin Barrett, and Beth Schroeder, or by leaving a note with contact information with contributions or on the library desk. Thank you for helping make the library a welcomed resource for Trinity.

A personal message from Bishop Susan Goff can be found here .

A message from Bishop Susan Goff regarding coronavirus can be found here .

* * * * * *

Here is a sample prayer for your PRAYER PARTNER: Lord, you do the work; you build the bridge. Let (name) know that all he or she needs to do is walk across it.   If (name) gets lost Lord, show him or her the way.

Micah Ecumenical Ministries’ network of churches will host NOONDAY WORSHIP SERVICES throughout the Lenten season. Services will be held in a different church each week, with a pastor from another Micah congregation delivering the message. Lunch will follow at each worship site and an offering will be collected to benefit Micah. The full schedule can be found here.

LENTEN MEDITATION GUIDES AND MITE BOXES are available on the table in the narthex. The mite box offering will go to Episcopal Relief and Development. Their campaign this year is called One Thousand Days of Love. To learn more about it please visit www.episcopal Love .

The CAREGIVERS' SUPPORT GROUP will meet Thursday, March 12, from 10 - 11:30 a.m. in the Health Ministries room (Rm. 14) for our monthly meeting. 

March’s GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP will meet on Monday, March 16, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:30 P.M. in the Health Ministries Room, Rm. 14. Concerns or questions may be directed to either Ruth Brancolini or Randall Clingenpeel . Share experience and obtain support in a flexible group format. Discussion and reflection on the impact of loss, coping, & meaning-making follows a brief opening by the leaders.

The HEALTH MINISTRY COMMITTEE will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 17th, at 1:30 pm in the Health Ministries room. 

VESTRY MEETING HIGHLIGHTS – The February Vestry meeting included the following items: The final December Treasurer’s report was accepted with the allocation of the investment gains. The January Treasurer’s report noted that several Trinitarians had prepaid their 2020 giving, so year-to-date giving is above budget, but will balance out over the year. Expenses were near budget. A job description for the minister of music was approved. A list of tasks for a part-time sexton was presented. The parochial report was approved. The Vestry approved adding Bambi Willis to the Rector’s Discretionary checking account. The outgoing members of the Vestry were elected as the Nominating Committee for the Annual Meeting on April 26. Sug Clingenpeel was elected delegate and Rosemary Arneson alternate to the Annual Convention in November. The Vestry designated the Lenten mite box offering to Episcopal Relief & Development and the Easter offering to support Rise Against Hunger. Senior Warden Claire Curcio reported there was a good response to her newsletter article asking for volunteers. 

The TRINITY ANNUAL MEETING will be held on Sunday, April 26, between the 9:15 and the 11 AM services. We will elect Vestry members and briefly review the business of the church. If you are interested in and willing to be nominated for the Vestry, please notify one of the Nominating Committee members -- Rosemary Arneson, Mike Frye, Dave Henderson, or Barry Holliday – or discuss with any member of the Vestry. ANNUAL REPORTS to be included in the Annual Meeting publication are due to Denise by Wednesday, April 1. Please contact a member of the Executive Committee – Claire Curcio, Barry Holliday, Val Folden, Harry Dickinson, or Mike Gannon – if you have questions. 

* * * * * *

HAVE YOU FILLED A BUCKET TODAY? The Sunday school children and youth are “filling buckets” during Lent (and hopefully always) with acts of kindness and respect. We all carry invisible buckets whose purpose is to hold our good thoughts and feelings. We fill each other’s buckets by being kind and helpful to one another. Won’t you be a bucket filler too?

CLUB 45 UPDATE! CLUB 45’s trip to Splitsville bowling alley this Sunday has been canceled. Instead Club 45 will meet in Jamison Hall, right after Sunday School, at 11:30. We will have lunch, watch a movie, and have a discussion. If you have any questions, please contact Sam .  

PARENTS OF CLUB 45ers - If your child is interested in attending the 4 th and 5 th grade PYM Retreat at Shrine Mont April 17 – 19 please contact Sam Burton as soon as possible at . The cost to you is only around $75.00 for your child. If you would like to attend with your child, contact Sam , more chaperones are always needed. If you are a chaperone your fees will be covered.

PARENTS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH- if your child is interested in attending the 6-8 grade PYM retreat at Shrine Mont May 8 – 10 please get your registration form and check for $60.00 (made out to Trinity Church) to Sam Burton by April 5. The retreat is a weekend gathering of 6-8 graders from churches all over the Diocese of Virginia. It is held at Shrine Mont, which is the diocesan camp and conference center in Orkney Springs, VA. Youth will listen to a motivational speaker, meet in small groups to discuss matters of faith, play games, sing songs, worship, and have a wonderful time meeting youth their age from other Episcopal churches in our diocese. The retreat is an awesome experience for the youth, both in their faith and in the connections made with other Episcopal youth. A registration form may be found here . If you have any questions, please contact Sam Burton for more information.

Information about Shrine Mont Camps, EYE, and SUMMA Theological Debate Society can be found here .

Wednesday, March 11
10:30 am Lectio Divina Group (L)
12:00 pm Holy Eucharist w/ Laying on of Hands
12:30 pm Trinity GEMS (K/BH)
5:30 pm Lenten Dinner & Series

Thursday, March 12
9:45 am Fresh Start (all rooms)
10:00 am Caregivers' Support Group (Rm 14)
6:30 pm Executive Committee (R)
7:00 pm Vestry Meeting (L)

Friday, March 13

Saturday, March 14
8:00 am Brotherhood of St. Andrew (K/BH)
9:15 am Pastoral Care Committee (L)
10:00 am Baptism Class - First (L)

Sunday, March 15
8:30 am 9:15 Song Leaders' Rehearsal (CR)

Monday, March 16
3:00 pm Drop-In Grief Support Group (Rm 14)
6:00 pm Yoga

Tuesday, March 17
12:00 pm Knaughty Knitters (L)
1:30 pm Health Ministry Meeting (Rm 14)
(The House)
Wednesday, March 18
9:30 am Staff Meeting (Rm 14)
10:30 am Lectio Divina Group (L)
12:00 pm Holy Eucharist w/ Laying on of Hands
5 :30 pm Lenten Dinner & Series

Thursday, March 19
10:00 am Dean's Meeting with Bishops (L)

Friday, March 20

Saturday, March 21
8:00 am Diocesan Discernment Facilitators

Sunday, March 22
(540) 373-2996