Trinity Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016 (full size gallery)

The Trinity is one of the great examples to the tendency of some Christians to see God as apathetic, a-historical, and unchanging in contrast to the passionate, evolving, and transitory world of time and space.

God is constantly doing something new, and God is constantly being revealed to us in new ways. God is still speaking through the acts of creation, which Wisdom (which also has at times been interpreted as the Holy Spirit in the New Testament) is part. 

The two events this week show God at work – A dominated by the Village Harvest outside and the Altarpiece work inside on Wednesday  

We fed 128 people this month, slightly less than last month with 508 pounds of produce (onions, sweet potatoes, colards), 334 pounds of mixed groceries (cereals, peanut butter, various canned foods) and 133 pounds of meat (hamburger, chicken, and pork), all for a total of 975 pounds of food. 128 people servedrepresents the second largest distribution since we started November, 2014. Thanks to Johnny and Cookie for going to get the food and Northern Neck Food Bank for being our main source.

Our lead conservator Cleo Mullins continued her work on the center section, with the cross and IHS. We have seen the cross as gold which was an actually a brass paint. The original was a darker shade of brown to make it look like wooden cross. The blue color above is the original color of the background rather than the dark brown as we have seen it. The slides show progress between work on Wed, May 18 and Thursday May 29.

On Sunday, "Weaving God’s Promises" had 7 at 10 – the lesson involved understanding the Trinity through the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer. There was a similar number for Godly Play. 

We had 39 in church with some visitors on a rainy Sunday. Most of the week has been that way and the last 3 weeks. The water provided some interesting views in the graveyard.

The sermon was divided into two to describe the Trinity and then apply it. The main point – "How we understand God matters immensely because our understanding of who God is shapes the way in which we make decisions in our lives."

The first section described the three in one – Trinity

A. "This transcendent understanding of God, which has been laid out in today’s psalm, puts us human beings in our rightful place—under God, a little lower than the angels So one of our jobs as Christians is to exalt God’s name in all the world—instead of ourselves."

B. "Because Jesus lived and died as one of us, and experienced suffering in conjunction with a brutal death, we know that God knows the immensity of our own sufferings, whether those sufferings be physical, or mental or spiritual. God knows the depth of our sorrows."

C. "The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, keeps us connected to Jesus, who said “I am the Way, the truth and the life.” And the Holy Spirit gives us the ability and the guidance we need to use our minds and hearts to discern God’s will in our lives and to receive fresh insights into God’s truth."

Then the sermon went into applying it.

"The fact that we believe in God the Father Almighty, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life shapes the daily decisions we make, both large and small and helps what we do to make a difference for good in this world.

"An example from the Holocaust Museum about a rescue effort for Jews that involved an entire region in France illustrates how our belief in our Triune God can shape our decision making.

"In fact, this example also a great illustration of today’s reading from Romans—God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us, and that hope does not disappoint us.

"The Holocaust Museum website explains that “from December 1940 to September 1944, the inhabitants of the French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon (population 5,000) and the villages on the surrounding plateau (population 24,000) provided refuge for an estimated 5,000 people. This number included an estimated 3,000–3,500 Jews who were fleeing from the Vichy authorities and the Germans

" Why did the people of this region put themselves at risk to help the Jews who were fleeing for their lives?

"The people who lived in Le Chambon and the surrounding villages were French Huguenots, Calvinist Protestants who had been persecuted themselves by the Catholic Church from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Even during those centuries, the people of this area had taken in refugees who were seeking shelter and safety.

"Their decision to do this was based on these three items". The sermon encourage us to use these in our decision making:

"A. How does the decision I am going to make put God first and show praise and glory to God?

"B. How does the choice I am going to make draw me into a closer relationship with God and with other people?

"C. And third, where is the Holy Spirit leading me? And what will be the intended and unintended consequences of the actions I am going to take?"

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