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Trinity Tidings

The E Newsletter of Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek

September 2013

In This Issue
Rector's Report
Senior Warden's Report
Missio:Engage! at Trinity Sutter Creek
The Ministry Fair
Library at Trinity
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   Karen Sept Rector's Report 


"Christians are made, not born." So said Tertullian, the father of Latin Christianity (2nd C).  Christian formation has always been part and parcel of the Christian life as a means of learning how to become a disciple of Christ.  Since it does not come 'naturally' to live a life of sacrificial love, we need to be intentionally formed as Christians.  Christian formation is vital to a healthy spiritual life and has been undertaken throughout the centuries in a variety of ways such as:  Active membership in a Christian Community, healthy parental example and oversight, personal conversion experiences, retreats, study, practicing the spiritual disciplines, godly living, and acts of service and compassion. 


In past years, three particular Christian formation practices have stood out at Trinity and made a difference in the lives of our parishioners.  These include the Cursillo Movement, Education for Ministry (EFM), and Mission Trips for the youth.  In previous times, there seemed to be more enthusiasm and commitment among parishioners at Trinity about engaging in serious Christian formation.  For instance, some folks at Trinity would commit to studying for four years to learn about our faith while others became dedicated lay teachers to oversee the EFM program.  Some generously offered their time and talent by serving on Cursillo teams while others would sign up for a Cursillo weekend to strengthen their faith walk.  Being fully engaged in spiritual formation enlivens a Christian community, attracts others to join, and strengthens our own relationship with the Holy.


But what happens when the surrounding culture offers us so many other choices and keeps us so busy that we are too tired or too preoccupied to spend time in Christian Formation?  Sadly, when we put aside formation practices, our spiritual life loses its luster.  What usually follows is boredom, apathy, and disinterest in our relationship with God and our church community.  Everyone loses out.


So it was a real honor to lead a book study this month with folks who desire to deepen their relationship with God and speak about issues that are near and dear to their heart.  During the month of August, a dozen folks from Trinity met together to discuss the book, A Proof of Heaven by Alexander Eben.  The discussion was authentic and I came away inspired by members of our congregation.  A Proof of Heaven is the story of neurosurgeon who was an agnostic and wanted to experience God.  Yet his allegiance only to the scientific worldview made him skeptical about issues of faith and God.  After a severe brain infection, he had a near death experience during which he experienced the love and the mystery of God in a profound way.  It changed his life forever.


In his book, Dr. Eben claims that our brain is constantly filtering out information and sensory perception, selecting those frequencies that will help us to physically survive.  This prevents overload.    Unfortunately, because of our attachment to the physical world and our skepticism regarding the spiritual realm, many folks have developed strong filters and are unable or unwilling to pick up the frequencies of the spiritual reality, thereby denying themselves of a profound experience of God's love and presence. 


Eben claims that we do not need to wait for life after death to fully experience God.  Here is what he says:  "We (each of us) are intricately, irremovably connected to the larger universe.  It is our true home, and thinking that this physical world is all that matters is like shutting oneself up in a small closet and imagining that there is nothing else out beyond it...The other vastly grander universe isn't far away at all.  It is right here.  However, we are unaware of it because we are for the most part, closed to its frequencies."


Christian Formation is one of the ways we learn how to attune our mind, body, and soul to those spiritual frequencies (i.e. God is with us).  As we come together as a community of faith, we can better learn how to tune into those spiritual frequencies.  Regular worship, prayer, silence, meditation, confession, celebration, fasting, acts of service, gratitude, and study are some of the Spiritual disciplines that open us up to the spiritual frequencies that can re-invigorate our spiritual lives.  My prayer for our faith community is that each one of us will re-commit to our baptismal vows to "continue in the apostle's teachings and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers."  Here are just a few of the Christian formation opportunities at Trinity:


*Sunday Worship

*Sunday School for children

*Wednesday meditation group

*Women's book study

*Monthly Ultreya (Cursillo) gatherings

*Bible Challenge and review

*Bible Challenge potluck and teaching (10/5)

*Pre-Advent Retreat (11/23)

*Pre-Lenten Retreat

*Lenten Program

*Ad Hoc Book Studies


On June 15, 2014, the bishop will be visiting Trinity Church to confirm and receive folks into the Anglican Communion.  If you are interested in this, please let me know as we will put aside some special time for specific Christian Formation.


Grace and Peace be with you,

Pastor Karen Siegfriedt+




Book Study
Baptismal Font



Did You Know?


-Ken & Rhoda Immer have a fabulous Futon for sale for $200.00. They will be moving in September.  Call them if interested.


-Marge O'Neill is moving to San Luis Obispo and is looking for a loving home for her two "inside" cats. Prefer that they stay together: Koko-- 6 yr old male Siamese (takes medicine); Samantha-5 year old female gray domestic short hair.  If interested, call Marge @ 209-245-4251.


- Trinity Annual Dinner:  Mark your calendars for September 21st 5:00-7:00pm.  We will have a  a special dinner and talent show in the church sanctuary.  There will be plenty of fun, fellowship, and music to enhance the bonds of friendship and community.  A mailing will come soon regarding this festive occasion.



Senior Warden's Report


Board Briefs - Vestry Meeting, August 27, 2013 ................


The Vestry meeting was opened with a prayer led by Pastor Karen.


The minutes of the July 25, 2013 Vestry Meeting were approved.


Meditation:  Pastor Karen shared a story about a monastery that was declining in membership and strength and was searching for a way to renew their order.  The desired changes occurred when they started seeing the Messiah in each other and showing a new level of respect to all.  Vestry members discussed the story and their insights on this approach to spirituality and community.


Rector's Report:  Pastor Karen provided an update on the people who are leaving Trinity due to moves and other life changes.  Pastor Karen also said the Bishop will be visiting Trinity Sutter Creek on June 15, 2014, which is Trinity Sunday.


Old Business:   There was no old business.


New Business:  The Vestry approved the 2013-14 Vestry Stewardship Statement as revised. The Vestry also discussed plans for the church dinner and talent show on September 21st.  Vestry members will be calling members of the congregation to extend personal invitations to the dinner.  Vestry members also discussed the fall Stewardship Campaign.


A summary of the results of the Missio-Engage flames activity was shared with Vestry members.


Following discussion of the Sunday program layout, the Vestry agreed to have a spiritual picture or symbol on the front of the program, with the listing of the components of the service on the inside.


Reports from Vestry Action Plan Groups:


Charter for Compassion - Pastor Karen reported on the recent meeting of this group and the next steps planned to clarify the message for the community.

Facilities and Grounds - John Lafferty reported that while the scaffolding is available as part of the music system upgrade, the work on the windows will also be completed.  John shared two different suggested color schemes for the painting of the outside of the building.  This item will be brought back to the Vestry for further discussion.

Ministry Organization - Nick Robinson-Berry and Marge O'Neill presented a summary of the extensive work they have completed as part of their review of the various ministries.  They will also include an organizational chart as part of their final report.  As Marge will be moving October 1st, Nick asked if other Vestry members would be interested in helping with this project.


Financial Report - Carol Holt distributed the July Financial Report and answered questions regarding financial activities. 


The next Vestry meeting will be on September 26th, 7:00 P.M., in Jane's Hall.


Sarah Hart

Senior Warden

Missio:Engage! at Trinity Sutter Creek


Missio:Engage!  at Trinity Sutter Creek is moving toward the completion of the first year of existence with a good track record of ideas, implementation and enthusiasm, so far!  We are especially happy with the Food Collection Project at Safeway in July as we were able to give a substantial amount of food and money to the Interfaith Food Bank to help feed the hungry in our county.


The mission of the team's work is "Radical Hospitality: Taking our joy and energy out into our community and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with all we encounter."  The team is hopeful that this reflects the Mission of Trinity Sutter Creek as a whole because this is what has been expressed by members of the congregation several times over the past year.  We pray at each meeting, ". . . We give heartfelt thanks for the opportunity to serve and participate in your Grace-filled ministry in our Trinity parish and our community. . ."


We have a wonderful team leader, Ken Pitsenbarger, who has adroitly shepherded the Missio team during the past year.  He has inspired us all with his capable, calm leadership style, and he has led the way in productive and inspiring meetings.  

Ken Pitsenbarger


Now, as we are entering into the second year, with our two-year calendar developed and ideas for future implementation, along with some experience with the 90-day Micro-Strategy planning WE NEED SOME NEW TEAM MEMBERS to join us!  We have some important leaders, for example, MaryAnn Lester, Missio team member, who have been very important to the ministries of Trinity who will be moving away in the very near future.  We will miss those leaders who are moving into new phases of their lives, and bless them in all their endeavors and adventures.


This creates space for others who have been "holding back" from deepening their commitment to the "Radical Hospitality" goals of taking the Good News to others in the community, to STEP UP and become God's instruments at Trinity and in Amador County.  To become a Missio:Engage! team member requires a two year commitment to the work of the team,  averaging four hours per week.  The Sunday meetings consist of the team working together as well as watching/listening to a Webinar which includes parishes from around the U.S., led by Fr. Thomas Brackett, discussing and reflecting on bringing love and support to whomever and wherever -- moving forward into the 21st century and with approaches and re-creating of "the church" in new ways.


Please prayerfully consider if God is nudging you toward participating in this challenging ministry.  For more information, contact one of the Missio team members:  Pastor Karen, Ken Pitsenbarger, David Hennings, Carol Holt, Janet Kendig, Noreen Lafferty, Nancy Moore and Steph Sherman. (We can add you to the list, too, if you are ready!)


Submitted by:  Janet Kendig, Missio:Engage! team member 


The Ministry Fair



Trinity Church in Sutter Creek is inviting everyone to the upcoming MINISTRY FAIR, on Sunday, September 29, after *each* service during the coffee hours.  There will be ministry leaders who will be available to discuss the various ministries of Trinity Episcopal and how you can fit in. 


Maybe you have thought about becoming involved in a particular way and just need some of your questions answered.  This is your opportunity!  Sometimes people reach a "comfort zone" which can end up being limiting.  This is a chance to find a new challenge and step up for God in our church and community. 


There will be the opportunity to sign up and "try out" one or more new ministries to see if they are a good "fit" for you.  There are those who are happy to "train" and encourage you, so you will be supported in your choices.


Some of the ministries are:  Altar Guild, Hospitality Team, Lectors, Prayer Station Partners, Eucharistic Ministers, Child Care, Sunday School, Vestry, Missio:Engage! team, Health Cabinet, Choir, counters, coffee hour contributions, and more!


So, whether you attend the 8:30 or 10:30 service, please plan to come to the MINISTRY FAIR after your service, to discuss your ministry with someone new, or to find a new ministry to expand your participation in an exciting new way!




Submitted by:  Janet Kendig



September Birthdays

The following members of our church family are celebrating birthdays in September!


1st - Colin Kendig

2nd - Lys Marr

3rd - John Lafferty

4th - Sarah Hart, Evan Kendig

10th - Jan Lemos

18th - Paul Lewis

18th - Betty Saterlie

18th - Thala Wolin

22nd - Mary Krauthamel-Lane

25th - Carolyn Hennings

26th - Lois Loomis

28th -Jenifer Putnam

28th - Pat Rutherford

29th - Bob Blair

29th - Bud Busch


If you are celebrating a birthday in September, but you don't see your name listed here, please write down your name and birthday or contact our Parish Office Manager, Tony Holt

Library at Trinity

Did you know that Trinity has a parish library? Located in the back of the church, our library has three bookcases of books on a variety of subjects relating to Christian life and studies, including Bible study, theology, self-help, and more. Our two trained librarians, Diane Christensen and John Lafferty, invite you to stop by and browse for a book to take home. To check out a book, simply write your name and the date on the check-out card found in the front of the book, and leave it on the desk. 


Would You Like to Contribute to the Newsletter?
If you have an article of interest to the congregation that you would like included in the newsletter, please email it to the office, by the 20th of the month. It will be included in the next month's newsletter.