Lenten and Easter Offerings may be presented during any of the Holy Week or Easter Liturgies and will be divided equally between local and global concerns. Your gifts will help fight the injustice of human trafficking both at home through Covenant House and abroad through International Justice Mission. Please keep these needy recipients in your prayers as you consider making your Easter Special Offering gift.
The Mission and Outreach Commission invites all Trinity families and adults to worship and serve bag lunches with those who are homeless and in need at Chapel on the Green in New Haven. We participate in an outdoor Eucharist service on the New Haven Green twice a year. Trinity's Spring visit will be on Sunday, April 17, 2016. Please join us the day before, Saturday April 16th at 10:00 am in the undercroft to make the sandwiches. Then on Sunday we will meet in the Trinity parking lot at 12:15pm and carpool to New Haven to be there at 1:15pm for the outdoor communion and the serving of the bagged lunches to the homeless. We should be back to Trinity at 4:pm. We will post a sign-up sheet in the undercroft. Please sign up so we'll know how much help we'll have on hand.
Questions? Contact Martha Dayton at 203-264-6124 or 828-234-5037.
“Living out our faith by working with other faith communities to help a refugee family begin a new life, regain hope and contribute to the vitality of the greater Newtown community.”
VESTRY GIVES GO AHEAD
Trinity’s What Can One Person Do group, with the full support and encouragement of the Vestry, is pleased to announce the launch of a new inter-faith refugee resettlement ministry in partnership with Newtown Congregational Church, and potentially other local faith communities in the greater Newtown area. This ministry would work with an organization called IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services) to resettle a refugee family in the greater Newtown area in the coming months.
While exploring this ministry, Trinity’s WCOPD group was stunned to learn that currently there are 60 million displaced persons in our world, with 20 million of them considered refugees since they had to leave their homes due to war, persecution, or unsafe living conditions. Of the 20 million refugees in our world, 4.5 million are from Syria alone. Currently, the US accepts about 70,000 displaced persons per year, with about 500 persons per year being placed in Connecticut. In light of the current unprecedented immigrant crisis, IRIS has been asked to double the number of displaced persons that it will resettle in Connecticut this year. They are reaching out to congregations like Trinity to step up and lend a hand to one of these refugee families.
WHY WE SUPPORT REFUGEES
There are many reasons the WCOPD group feels compelled to launch this Inter-Faith Refugee Resettlement Ministry at Trinity. One of the strongest reasons is that there are numerous passages in our Scriptures urging us to have compassion for the “stranger” and “alien” among us:
The LORD your God is the God of all gods and Lord of all lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who doesn’t play favorites and doesn’t take bribes. He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19 CEB)
When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34 ESV)
IRIS IS AN OUTGROWTH OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN CONNECTICUT
One of the aspects of this ministry that provides the WCOPD group with a good deal of confidence is that our inter-faith will be working with IRIS, an organization that has been resettling refugees here in Connecticut for many years. IRIS is a program of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut and is the local affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries and the Immigration and Refugee Program of Church World Service. IRIS resettles approximately 200 refugees each year from Afghanistan, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Sudan and other countries.
HOW WE WILL SUPPORT THE FAMILY
Our inter-faith group will be responsible to raise $3,000 - $6,000 (this amount will be divided between the faith communities in our group) to provide up to 6 months of rental assistance, and to develop a strong, well-organized committee of approximately 10 people able and willing to devote 4 hours each per week for first 2-3 months after family’s arrival. Here are some of the types of support that will be provided by our group:
Our WCOPD group will be on the lookout for members of Trinity who have experience in some of the areas to lend us their expertise! Please contact Rick Chamiec-Case at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
WHAT COMES NEXT
For our next steps, our interfaith group will be filling out and submitting a lengthy, multipage application form/strengths assessment which IRIS will use to vet our group and make sure we are a good match for this type of ministry. If IRIS accepts our application, our group will engage in a day-long orientation training sponsored by IRIS, and work with IRIS’s co-sponsorship coordinator to conduct community research to ensure we would have access to the resources needed to support a family in the greater Newtown area. Once our group has been adequately training and prepared to IRIS’s satisfaction, we would be placed on a “ready to go” list to await an assignment of a family, which would likely be several months out at the least.
PRESENTATION TO THE PARISH ON SUNDAY MAY 1ST
To learn more about this ministry and possible ways you could plug into the work that lies ahead, please plan to attend a presentation scheduled for Sunday, May 1st at 9:00 am in the Undercroft. Our WCOPD group will also be speaking during the 10:00 am that Sunday morning (also May 1st) to share with you our vision of the vital link between our Christian faith and this ministry to help a refugee family begin a new life, regain hope and contribute to the vitality of the greater Newtown community. You can also view the material presented to the Vestry at its March 16 meeting in the video below. We look forward to seeing where this ministry leads!
WATCH THE PRESENTATION TO VESTRY
By Gordon Strother
Flashing even a stray ray or two through the clouds, our sunsets here can be special. Yet we cannot see them directly. We could suit up, venture out, and attempt to peer uphill through the currently bare trunks and branches to the west. We might spy through those branches a hint of your backyard variety peachy, pearly, rosy sunset, but what fun is that? We're situated in an enormous teacup. This image has huge holes, Partner, (it's closer to a vast saucer, for instance) but float with me. We're clinging below the cup's south rim, watching our shadow creep out over Lake Zoar's waters; the surrounding high hills comprise the cup's inside. And those hills are drenched in bright sun.
North light is the artist's friend, I've been told. At this time of year, the tans, light pinks, rusty browns, brown browns, and occasional dusty greens on those hills are dandy enough to my eye, but at this time of day – I'm painting as fast as I can. They come alive, glowing and mellowing by the second. The reflections in the lake (why crank your neck skyward?) reveal clouds you hadn't noticed before, growing pink on the darkening blue water. No—in a blink, they're apricot. Too late—now they’re rose. And if you crane to the right, the northeast, through the panes of our lookout post here, you'll catch Great Southbury Hill catching fire. Smoldering, anyway. What a sight.
Now, Partner, we may explain the diurnal rolling of our island home – good night, dear Sun; see you in the morning – or note the motes in our troposphere and the spheres beyond, or speak of refractions and reflections. And we might analyze Uncle Frank's mustache. Phooey. The glory of our refracted, reflected, second hand sunset (besides its glory) is that it is a metaphor for the hand that strew those motes beyond counting and shaped all spheres far beyond our tropopause. For now, said Paul, we see in a mirror dimly (1 Cor. 13:12). This a prayer of gratitude.
Isolated from Opportunity: The Impact of Criminal Records
on Individuals, Families, and Communities
Presented by Attorney Daniel Bowes
Saturday, March 26, 2016
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
The Racial Justice group at Trinity Episcopal Church-Newtown is pleased to announce a workshop on Saturday, March 26th, 2016 from 2 pm – 4 pm entitled “Isolated from Opportunity: The Impact of Criminal Records on Individuals, Families, and Communities in Modern American.” This session will be presented by Attorney Daniel Bowes, an Equal Justice Works Fellow with the Justice Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
In this training, Attorney Bowes will explore the legion of civil disabilities triggered by criminal convictions and the destructive impact of these "collateral consequences" on individuals, families, and communities, including the disproportionate impact on individuals and communities of color. Potential policy reforms and advocacy efforts will also be discussed.
Attorney Bowes is a graduate of Duke University and the New York University School of Law. He previously served as supervising attorney of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Second Chance Employment and Housing Project. Attorney Bowes serves as vice-chair of Our Children’s Place, a nonprofit agency committed to the well-being of the 30,000 children in North Carolina with an incarcerated parent.
We look forward to seeing you at this third event we’ve hosted over the past year here at Trinity as we continue to pursue a conversation on racial equality, justice and reconciliation here in our community and beyond!
By Gordon Strother
I had a “should have” moment last week, and it bothers me still. On a cold, windy Monday, I retrieved the large sign I had whipped together three years ago and drove forth once again. Destination? As before, the overflowing sidewalk before the headquarters building of the NSSF (National Sport Shooters [sheep's clothing for Gun Merchants] Foundation, the powerful association of arms manufacturers, and shadowy manipulator of Congress and the NRA). My sign, like each of the grand array of big signs, little signs, crude, elaborate, black, white, multi-colored, was unique. I doubt if any of the drivers passing by, honking, flashing thumbs up, could read one word, but they knew the sentiment and honked. In Sharpie Marker red and black, my sign spread out “R-I-G-H-T-S-?” across its four foot span followed by “Our Boys and Girls lost ALL of theirs, Sandy Hook Grieves.” Those Sharpie marks carefully “said,” on poster board in our quiet basement, more or less what I “should have.” I did pray when I drew them.
There were so many supporters and sign sporters that nearly half of us had flowed across to the opposite side of Wasserman's, where my sign and I struggled with the North Wind. And where we could see facing us a sprinkling of NRA signs and a dozen or so identical signs that read “NSSF blah blah something.” We were not totally as one, and when the police herded us across the street, we and “they” became co-joined, bumping shoulders and signs. How easily, across the street with my united, multi-signed comrades, had I dodged this moment. Now what?
A lady from Seymour named Patty and I had landed in a nest of NSSF sign wavers. A guy behind us said, “You're in the safest place in Newtown. Every one of us is carrying.” Patty muttered, “I don't feel so safe.” The big fellow next to her took over, a lieutenant colonel sort in mufti. He certainly had a strong voice and an endless store of marvelous statistics. How he went on. “Eighty three percent of Newtowners support the goals of the NRA” (or some such number or “fact”). “The NRA has spent so many hundreds of thousands (or millions?) of dollars on gun safety; you know how much you all have invested? Zero!” He cited half the amendments to the Constitution to prove that he was on close terms with the lot, not just the Second. He was a passionate true believer. I should have said . . . what?
Words? They'd have bounced like rubber bullets off a clanking tank. We're taught to resist evil and to love our enemies. Dang. What kind of a witness was I? I knew what to do, but how, especially when my very warm head, North Wind or not, was smoking with snappy responses? Fortunately, I suppose, Mr. Light Colonel just kept on talking. Patty's Christian smile seemed to soften his volume as she, spotting some friends, freed herself and departed. Moments later, when the North Wind (the Holy Spirit?) exhaled right through my down jacket and tried to rip that sign from my grip, I grunted, not too convincingly, “I love you,” and headed for my car. Oh well, self examination season approaches; perhaps a good Lenten wrestle with Monday's questions? I should. I should.
Sorry this is late, Partner. The Church printer has been down for two weeks. Make haste to be kind.
By Karen Gardner
On January 19th, seven Trinity members, Karen and Bob Gardner, Judy LaCroix, George Rockwell, Jean Maurice Calmels, George Duncan, and Mark Benedict traveled to Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury where we prepared and served a meal consisting of meat loaf, roasted potatoes, mixed vegetables, fruit cocktail and assorted donated desserts to over 100 guests.
For several years this group, along with others from Trinity, most notably Martha Dayton, have been serving the needy by providing them with a warm, home-cooked meal on the third Tuesday of the month.
The next scheduled visit is February 16th. Everyone is welcome to join in this ministry.
Most of the meal is prepared at Trinity the night before and then brought to Dorothy Day by 1:00 p.m. The meal is served between 3:15 and 4:45. Most of the volunteers are back to Trinity by 6:00.
by Gordon Strother
Here's a vision. We, our Trinity family, are the confident-appearing circus athlete standing on the grounded end of a see-saw. Swinging above the other end is our marvelous Visioning Team, an athlete like us (well, us too, sort of; it's my vision), jazzily attired and appearing just as confident. If all goes well, if the timing is just right, if we've trained well for this moment, jazzily attired will sail off the swing, land gracefully on the empty end, and hurl us heavenward in our beautiful Episcopal colors. I don't know about you, Partner, but I think we're all a little scared. Where will we land? It's a teeter-totter image to start with, and now it is fading in the gray mists that dampen our form fitting sweats these early January mornings.
Does your landing point look like mine, Partner? I very much cherish our traditions: the music; the Book of Common Prayer,our guide; the seasons of our calendar. But will these be impediments for those we might be calling to join our family? For our new brothers and sisters from El Salvador? For those black neighbors and those poor of all shades seeking a spiritual home, who, if we land just right, might come forward from their shyly chosen back pews to which our daring leap had drawn them, to uninhibitedly join us in our happy Peace fests? For those of the demographic multitude through which I, and perhaps you, Partner, once so confidentially strutted: those twenties, those thirties and up, skeptical, scornful of religion and particularly of one calling itself Christian? For forty years I was one such smart feller, and my heart goes out to those poor blockheads. My sons live and move within that demographic crowd, so my heart quickens for them in particular. But for all who may hesitate to join our family, my inner voice yells, “Jump! There's room for you.” May all impediments be spanned. Together may we enjoy one beautiful landing.
They need us. We need them. The guy in the jazzy pants is signaling. He's floating through the air with the greatest of ease. The bass drummer and the guy with the sousaphone are striking up Entrance of the Gladiators. And here we go! Rising heavenward in our beautiful Episcopal colors. Pray for our Visioning Team. Pray for us and for all of God's children. Happy New Year.
Our caring does not end at our church doors. God calls us to reach out to our community and the world. At Trinity we cultivate a culture that encourages members to regularly engage with, listen to, walk with, learn from, and develop relationships with those around us representing different racial and ethnic groups and social classes as we discern how to better prepare for and witness the Kingdom of God in the larger community.
We invite you to check these pages often for news on activities and insight from parishioners as we move forward on this journey.
Why is the Trinity Bell Ringing?
Parishioner Gordon Strother, as part of a ministry created by deathpenalty.org, tolls the bell at 6pm for two minutes on the evenings of a scheduled execution anywhere in the United States. Gordon has participated in this ministry for over 12 years.