Lenten Prayer Gatherings
Thursday Evenings in Lent
6:00 – 7:00 PM in the Sanctuary
We invite you to gather for mid-week opportunities for prayer during the reflective season of Lent. We will alternate between meditative Centering Prayer and a simple service of Holy Eucharist with Healing Prayer offered.
Centering Prayer is an opportunity to listen quietly for God; your leader will guide those who attend – no prior experience needed. As part of the Eucharist, Healing Prayer is offered for any who wish for a confidential prayer with the Priest, with a blessing with holy oil.
We will gather from 6:00 - 7:00 PM on Thursday evenings in the Sanctuary. Come as you are. Stay and sing with the Choir if you’d like as their rehearsal is at 7:00 PM!
Thursday February 22 - Centering Prayer
Thursday February 29 - Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayer
Thursday March 7 - Centering Prayer
Thursday March 14 - Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayer
Thursday March 21 - Centering Prayer
Ash Wednesday is our threshold into the season of Lent. With Christians around the world, we follow the ancient practice of wearing dust and ashes on our foreheads, a sign of our mortality, of our human limitations and failings. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day, a powerful reminder of our need for God’s all-encompassing love for us.
Together, let us meditate on God’s love for us on Ash Wednesday!
We will offer the liturgy for Ash Wednesday and the Imposition of Ashes at our lovely, historic Sanctuary at 7:00 PM. There will be lovely music as well. Ash Wednesday is one of my favorite liturgies. “Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting.” Let us prayerfully enter this new season.
Peace be with you, Rev. Andrea
Invitation to Trinity Episcopal Church’s 292nd Annual MeetingSunday, January 28th – Worship at 9:30 AM, Breakfast and Meeting at 10:45 AM
Beloved Ones of Trinity Church,
Our festivities on Sunday, January 28th will begin in the Sanctuary with the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist. Immediately following worship, we invite you to gather for Breakfast in the hall beneath the Sanctuary, as we celebrate our many ministries in our 292nd Annual Parish Meeting.
We will raise our voices in song, pray, share reports, thank our lay leaders and elect new ones. We do have two very special announcements to share! We will conclude our time by commissioning our leaders. Thank you in advance for our Breakfast and hospitality ministries!
As we anticipate this gathering, our Book of Common Prayer offers us this prayer ‘For the Parish:’
Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
See you on Sunday!
“10 Christmastide Resolutions for 2024”
John 1: 1-18
Rev. Andrea Castner Wyatt
Trinity Episcopal Church, Newtown CT
December 31, 2023, First Sunday After Christmas
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The beginning, the Prologue, to John’s gospel. We were given the exact same passage to reflect on
together almost a week ago, on Christmas morning. Our Lectionary insists: it is still Christmas,
according to tradition. We must keep Christmastide.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Monday morning, Christmas morning, I did preach on this text; wrestling with John’s ancient Greek
philosophy, still basking in the glow of our marvelous Christmas Eve. Almost a week later, how odd: the
exact same scripture reading.
I don’t know about you, but I am not in the same place as a week ago!
My girls packed up and went back to their lives. I felt that familiar emptiness when the full house returns
to being the empty nest. Leftovers. Laundry. Medical appointments. Some of you may have taken
down the Christmas tree, sweeping up dry needles.
It has been SO gloomy and damp. But here, this morning, it is still Christmas. We are reminded to keep
“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s
only son, full of grace and truth.”
Christmastide can last all week! Epiphany is not until next Saturday! The song tells us: there are 12
days of Christmas, not just one.
In culture around us, Christmas is already packed away. New Year’s Eve tonight! Perhaps some of you
are off to Times Square! We are surrounded by memories of the year now ending, predictions for the
year to come.
Perhaps we face 2024 with curiosity! A new calendar, a clean slate … it’s like a writer with a fresh sheet
of paper or a painter with a blank canvas waiting to be filled … a new year full of possibilities and hope,
breaking old patterns, creating new opportunities.
Maybe there are joyful events to contemplate – weddings, graduations, adventures.
Or, perhaps we peer around the corner of the year with dread. Ooh, an election year. Maybe:
challenges with health or family or work. As we wrap up the hottest year ever in recorded human history,
what will the weather pattern we are in – ‘El Nino’ – what will this mean for 2024?
Whether we face a New Year with joy, with curiosity, or dread: tonight, it is upon us, this great turning of
the year. This morning, Christian tradition reminds us to face into a new year bathed in the light of
Christmastide - still very much with us. We need this reminder.
Our Collect this morning: “Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word:
Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives.”
So … how? How can we keep the light of incarnation - enkindled in our hearts - shining brightly in our
lives? How might we equip ourselves to be bearers of light as we travel forth into 2024?
Some make resolutions to eat less sugar, spend less money; how might we resolve to shine forth more
We can draw from the deep well of our faith. We can travel into 2024 drawing on powerful resources of
Spirit, that can keep us empowered, help us shine the light of Christ - no matter what we encounter. So
…10 Christmastide resolutions!
Resolution #1. Stay grounded in God, in prayer. Whatever spiritual practice works for you, just do it.
Christian Centering Prayer. Buddhist meditation. Yoga; whatever. And when you stop doing it; don’t
beat yourself up, just start again.
#2. Stay rooted in community. We learned, in pandemic isolation, how much we need community. Don’t
forget those hard-won lessons. Reach out. Novelist E M Forster writes, in Howards’ End: “Only
Connect!” None of us can sustain our ministries, our activism alone; we cannot thrive in isolation.
Resolution #3. Swim against the tide of increasing division. Talk to people who are different from you,
listen to their stories, witness their circumstances. Reach out beyond your comfort zone. Don’t give in to
the temptation to demonize ‘the other,’ whoever that other is.
Resolution #4. Be realistic; but stay hopeful! Not one of us is singlehandedly going to save the world.
But we CAN have an impact in our own local circles of influence. Think of our lives, our activism as
concentric circles. They do ripple outward.
#5. Don’t try and do it alone. Learn to ask for help. I’m not good at this one. Be humble enough to
hand off your cross when it gets too heavy. Know your limitations. And keep someone next to you that
you trust who can pick up your cross and carry it for you.
#6. Learn resilience. We are vulnerable people. There are times of when it is simply too much. There
are times when we need to step back and heal; be patient with ourselves, with each other. But we can
learn to trust that we will come back, and maybe even stronger, wiser.
Resolution #7. Keep the Gospel in the center. Keep Christ’s Gospel of radical inclusion, of healing, of
liberation at the heart of your action, and it will have integrity. See his Incarnation everywhere.
#8. Stay flexible. Stay limber. Be ready to act at a moment’s notice. Be ready to make connections and
change course. We never know when an amazing opportunity may come along to participate in God’s
Resolution #9. Know you are loved. Remember you are God’s beloved! Knowing we are loved simply
for being who and what we are can help us face just about anything.
And Resolution #10: Stay joyful. Because, ultimately, it’s not about us and our efforts, It’s about God.
God’s Spirit can and will and does break into human history in ways that continue to confound and
Incarnation can and will and does happen in ways beyond our wildest imagining.
In this season of Christmastide, as we move into Epiphany, remember: Transformation happens, and
Light shines! God is a lot bigger and a lot more mysterious than our limited human senses can fathom.
“Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light,
enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives.” Amen.
Dear Beloved of Trinity Church: no, it’s not yet Halloween, but we are looking ahead to a special day in our Church calendar. On Sunday, November 5th , we will celebrate All Saints Sunday at our 9:30 AM service of Holy Eucharist.
We have two Invitations for you! First, please send any names you would like us to read aloud on that Sunday to our Church Office as soon as possible.
Secondly, we also invite you to bring photos of your Saints, your loved ones, to place in the nooks and crannies around our historic Sanctuary. Now, these can be loved ones among your family or friends that you remember with love. Or, they can be images of the saints of Christian history.
Oh, the stories such pictures tell! When they are with us in our historic Sanctuary, they are a visible reminder of an invisible truth: the communion of saints surrounding and upholding us, always.
All Saints Day - a day when we glimpse eternity. We remember our own saints: those who taught us courage and honesty, how to love and do justice, walk humbly with God. Good and faithful folk who, in their own way, built the Kingdom of God on earth.
All Saints Day. We remember those saints of Christian history who exhibited unusual courage, extravagant generosity, and peace in the face of adversity. We remember those who gave even their very lives.
Send us a name, bring in a photo! We will find that they are here, with us! They are in us, among us, between us … all around us. Invite a family member or friend to pray with us on All Saints Sunday.
Blessing of the Animals Sunday, October 1st 2023 @ 1PM In celebration of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
On Sunday, October 1st , you might just see St. Francis, who so loved all of God’s creatures, at Trinity Episcopal Church! 1:00 PM, at the Labyrinth/Gazebo, behind the Church.
You will see some interesting critters. Meow, cluck, woof … moo??
We invite you to bring your beloved pet/s – or barnyard friends, for a special Blessing of the Animals as we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.
Bring your puppy, kitty, turtle, chicken, llama, hamster, etc. Anybody have a goat?? Come join us at the Gazebo/Labyrinth area behind Trinity Church – hang around for conversation.
If you are unable to load up your llama or hamster, we invite you to share in this Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; and
where there is sadness, joy.
O, God, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying
that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
An Invitation for all Newcomers and Visitors at Trinity Church …
New friends - we value the gift of your presence among us, and we’d love to get to know you.
Please stay after worship on Sunday, September 17th for conversation and treats. Come to the Library, meet with Rev. Andrea and other newcomers, and learn more about the Trinity parish family. How has God’s Spirit brought you here at this time?
Bring your questions about Trinity Church and your hopes for what spiritual community can mean in 2023.
RSVP or questions to Rev. Andrea. If you’d like to be added to our weekly E News, contact us at: email@example.com or call at 203-426-9070.
It’s September! Oh, my! We welcome our families back to worship and Church School
… and we are so excited to Bless our Backpacks in this ‘Back to School’ season. Adults, too, may be going to the office, or beginning new adventures.
So … Kids and Adults alike … bring your backpack, laptop bag, tote bag – whatever! - to Church for a special blessing! We will pile them up during the Worship service and pray for all of us to enjoy new learning and growing this fall.
Remember, the Spirit of God is with us everywhere we go, and we can share the love of Jesus with everyone we meet.
Beloved ones, our life together at Trinity Church is beginning to take on aspects of Summer Sabbath - and we celebrate this!! Church School and Choir are entering a time of rest, and some are beginning to travel.
But for those of us who are in town … a special invitation! Immediately following worship on Sunday, June 25th we are invited to process down the driveway (or the elevator) to our newly-renovated elevator door entrance.
We will bless our now fully-accessible entrance with prayer. This door now operates with a push-button for those using wheelchairs or walkers. The door is also linked with our electronic key-fob system, and will be programmed to be open at the same time as the glass doors at the rear of the building.
Join us for a brief ceremonial but informal blessing. Trinity has had an elevator for decades … but the door has never been fully accessible until now. This is indeed something to celebrate!
We are invited to come back in for conversation at 11:00 AM with Trinity’s Creation Care Team about current environmental initiatives – all are welcome.
I am glad to be back in the office this week. I am so grateful for your prayers as I recover from surgery. Chuck and I are both thankful for your many expressions of support. Trinity has been blessed with lay sermons from Vestry members Patrick Corrigan and Lisa Mages, and clergy support from the Rev. Alan Dennis and the Rev. Salin Low. We are well launched into the season of Pentecost.
And what a week for re-entry! We look forward to an amazing concert on Saturday evening, June 10th at 7:30 PM. The Connecticut Choral Society will present John Rutter’s Mass of the Children; your donations will benefit Newtown Youth and Family Services.
With gratitude, we also anticipate our final day of Church School on Sunday, June 11th with appreciation of our many volunteers in our formation programs for children and youth. Come - enjoy some special music offered by the children of our Church School.
As Frances Chamberlain prepares for summer sabbath with her family, we celebrate her magnificent accomplishments this past year. ‘Miss Frances’ has tenderly nurtured a brand new program for children - with such creativity, and with love. What a year we have had! We rejoice in her many gifts, and wish her blessings until late August.
We pray for all those affected by wildfires, and by wildfire smoke. Stay safe this week! See you soon.
The Rev. andrea castner wyatt
The Rev. Andrea Castner Wyatt is honored to accept the call of Trinity Episcopal Church to serve and lead as Rector. She looks forward with joy to walking with the people of Trinity Church, and to discovering with you what Jesus is up to in Newtown, CT. Contact Rev. Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 203-426-9070.