June 2017 Newsletter - Addition




June 1, 2017

Dear friends in Christ,

As I write this a few days before Pentecost, I am mindful that Jesus, in his charge to his Apostles as he parted from them at his Ascension back to heaven was; "Go. . . Make disciples. . . Baptize. . . Teach. . . And remember I am with you always."  We Episcopalians have a lot to learn, and UN-learn from that short teaching from Jesus at the end of the Gospel of Matthew, as we worship, baptize, and teach, all within the comfort and seclusion of our church buildings.  We should remember on Pentecost, that one thing the Apostles did was to GO.  They did not go back to their place of refuge in the upper room.  They went out into the wide world.  We know they went to places like Asia Minor, Africa, India, and possibly as far as possibly Scotland.  And within that first generation of Apostles, Paul traveled throughout the western edge of the Mediterranean, to Greece, Italy, and possibly as far west as Spain.  Their work of spreading their faith to others "Turned the world upside down," as one historian wrote of them.

Many of you may have noticed in these recent years, that your parish leaders have been attempting to discern possibilities for bringing things we do here at Holy Trinity out of our buildings, and more into the world which surrounds us.  For some of those things, we have come out to meet our neighbors for Drive-in Prayer.  We invite our fellow workers in ministries in our community to our Saturday evening service and Parish Picnic in mid-July.  Our Vestry is trying to envision using part of our grounds for a community garden, inviting people from our neighborhood to come and raise food for themselves and for hungry people in this town.  And, of course we have partnered with so many volunteers from all across Enfield to provide people with no warm place to sleep on winter nights, to open our church hall, so that no one will need to freeze in the winter.

We are beginning to come out of our shell (our church on Hazard Avenue) and to emerge into our call from Jesus to "Go. . ."  It is an exciting thing.  This weekend about 30 of us are accepting a challenge to go back to Camp Pinnacle in upstate New York, for a mission trip to renovate several old cabins which are in various states of disrepair.  We learned of this need at our Alpha Weekend Away, back in late April.  This mission trip came together arising from discernment by our Vestry that we needed to find a good purpose, a need to address.  That purpose came to light for us, as a result of this year's Alpha Course, and now many of us have joined the cause.

My main purpose for writing about this is to remind us that God is always calling Christians and Christian Church communities into God's Mission.  In a day and age when we are seeing strength in numbers and vitality in the Church declining alarmingly, remember, God will always have the Church God needs, for God's Mission to be fulfilled.  We have only to decide that we will make ourselves available to follow the call to participate in God's Mission.  When we do that we will discover what Christians always have known:  There is plenty of faithful human strength and vitality for the work, and overflowing divine resource to enable the work of God's Mission.

May God's many blessings be yours as we celebrate the Day of Pentecost in our work and at our services this coming weekend, and always.

Fr. Peter