Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Updates and Happenings

Well, with the publishing of the Montana Diocese Newsletter, this seems like a good time to update September happenings for Holy Trinity.

First, we will have visiting priest Karen King here during September and October.  We haven't yet finalized our schedule, but she will be presiding over Eucharist services most Sundays in September and October, with the time of the service being 10:00 a.m. to accommodate those who are out of town to get here on time.

Our Compline services will continue on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.

Next, the first full week in September begins two regular Bible studies:

Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. will be The Great Courses "Old Testament".  At the link will be more details about the course.

Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., we will meet at 'R' Place on Hwy. 2 in Troy for those who would like to listen to the Bible out loud.  We'll be starting in Genesis.  It's your regular, old-fashioned, let's talk about the verses, what they mean to us, where they fit in history, etc. type of study.

Rev. Karen King has also offered to do a short study on the Book of Ruth while she's here.  Details on that will follow, but if you're interested, please let Angel know.

Please take some time to read the Diocese newsletter - it's full of news on upcoming events throughout the fall.  And let us know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!  We look forward to seeing you all!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Compline Services

Beginning August 9, and continuing every Tuesday and Saturday thereafter, there will be a Compline service at 7:00 p.m.

The Compline is the last of the four services in the Daily Office.  It comes from the night prayers said before bed at the end of the monastic round of daily prayer. Compline is a simple office including a confession of sins, one or more psalms, a short reading from scripture, versicles and responses, the Lord's Prayer, collects which ask for God's protection during the night to come, and the canticle Nunc dimittis. A hymn for the evening may follow the short reading from scripture. The collects may be followed by a time of silence, along with free intercessions and thanksgivings.

Below is a Compline service done at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle, Washington.  It's a bit longer than most Compline services because they have a men's choir devoted to performing the prayers and songs sung.  So, if you can't attend an evening, please enjoy the podcast, and end your day with praise to the Father.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Growth and Events

Our little town of Troy has about 960 people in it, and 10 Christian churches.

Now, strictly on the basis of math, if we use the 70.6% of people in the US claiming Christianity (2014 surveys), that would indicate approximately 677 people in our town would also claim Christianity.

Making the wild (and likely horribly wrong) assumption that each of those people attend church,  Episcopalians have a national percentage of 1.5% (including Anglicans) of people who espouse Christianity.

Therefore, Holy Trinity should have an average of 10 plus a little, and we actually do have that, on paper.  Our attendance is a little lower, given snow birds and illnesses.

So, in an effort to improve our averages, and have Troy be above the national average, we are planning events and outreach to help the people of Troy learn about the Episcopal Church and hopefully, improve our numbers.  As our Presiding Bishop has said, we are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.  Our job is to reach out and provide services that the community needs, to build up hearts and hands, to build community.  And we can do that in a variety of ways - service, education and fellowship.

We'll have more information as the dates get closer, but:

Holy Trinity has a sanctuary that is open 24/7.  We all watched the movie "War Room" (and if you haven't seen it, it's worth a watch!), and thought about the fact that many people don't have a spare closet or space that they may be able to devote to their prayer life.  So, we would like to offer the sanctuary as a Community Prayer Room to anyone who would like a quiet space for prayers and talking with God.  We'll have Bibles, pencils and scrap paper available for you.  Any prayers that you'd like to have some help praying for, you're welcome to pin to the board and people using the prayer room are asked to pray for those concerns if they feel so moved.  We do ask that you stay in the sanctuary itself, as there are groups that use the church in the meeting hall side at various times of day, and we would appreciate that they not be disturbed.

On August 27, 2016, at 1:00 p.m., we will have a workshop on Kitchen Medicine - what you can use in your cabinets, refrigerator and freezer (along with potentially your yard) to help with fairly typical household ailments/emergency treatment until you can get to a doctor.  If you have particular problems, diseases, etc. you'd like to discuss, just send us an email.  We'll be sure to include something.

On September 17, 2016, at 1:00 p.m., we will be having an Unbirthday Party, complete with odd hats, scarves, dress up, etc. for the kids, a showing of Disney's Alice in Wonderland, and a high tea - replete with a variety of types of tea, and finger foods.

Closer to Christmas, we will probably have some craft station workshops, with a variety of things that can be made and used or given as gifts.

God willing, our little Episcopal Church will grow over time.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday - Message from the Presiding Bishop

While I'm still working on getting the Lent blogs caught up, time does continue to march on, so we're sharing the Presiding Bishop's message for this Easter.  May it be a blessing to you!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lent: Relationship With God's Creation - Soil

The worksheet for this section of the program talks about your relationship with God's creation.  We'll begin with the first video which talks about what's in the soil, both in a literal and metaphorical sense.

So, print out the worksheet twice, and fill in what you have currently.  Then fill in what your idea is, and figure out a rule to get you there.  What type of soil do you want in your heart?

Lent: Love or Attachment

The video on this topic is probably one of the more deeply philosophical concepts the Brothers at SSJE have addressed, so it may take you a time or two through it to determine where this might fit in your life.

Usually, we hear about love as being a specific type or another, generally reverting back to the various Greek words for love:
Agape, or love for everyone
Eros, or sexual passion
Philia, or deep friendship
Ludus, or playful love
Pragma, or longstanding love
Philautia, or love of the self
This discussion today, however, posits that all love comes from God, and that we should focus on that, so that we don't form an attachment to the love we might individually generate, thereby diminishing the connection that could otherwise be full with the presence of God.  Is this a monastic idea or one that we need to seriously consider for ourselves?  And where might it fit into your rule of life?  Take a look. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lent: Getting to Yes

Saying that two letter word can be so tough at times.  Br. Luke hits it directly on the head in this video.  How many times do we agree to do things, because, as people know, if you need something done, ask a busy person.  And often behind every busy person is an inability to say "no."

However, this exercise is about building a Rule of Life, about finding things that are good for us, healthy for us, that make us better able to serve God and serve others.  And sometimes, saying "no" will allow us to be in a better frame of mind, in better health, and in a better spiritual place to then be able to say "yes".

Setting boundaries, learning that you don't have to try to please everyone all the time - these are very difficult lessons for some people.  Here's a collection of articles that might be able to help.

Look at your schedule.  Look at some of the things you already know are good for you - are some of the things in your schedule interfering with your ability to do the things that are good for you?  Things like exercise, preparing healthy meals, getting enough sleep, etc.  Where do you need to say no?  And what do you need to clear away so that you can say a health "yes" to?