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Trinity Tidings

The E Newsletter of Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek

December 2013

In This Issue
Rector's Report
Missio Engage
Reflections on the 2013 Diocesan Convention
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Karen Sept Rector's Report 


On November 1, 2010, I began my tenure as rector of Trinity Church.  It has been a delight to be your pastor for these past three years.  I enjoyed celebrating this anniversary (on All Saints Day) with a delicious cake at coffee hour, many cards, and a special blessing from the congregation. 


Gratitude List:  I am grateful for all of you who come together each Sunday to worship, to enhance the bonds of friendship, and to reach out to others in need.  I am grateful for those who are diligently working to become a more visible and active force in the larger community.  I am grateful for those who put aside time to strengthen their spiritual lives through the bible challenge, attending retreats and studies, and by participating in a meditation or prayer group.  I am grateful for those who work on the building and grounds, the leadership of this parish, and those who offer their gifts in the many ministries here at Trinity.  I am grateful for my home in Jackson, for Steph who helps me in my ministry, and for the beauty of the hills in Amador County.  For these and all the gifts I have received, I give God thanks.


Wish List:  I wish more folks would attend Sunday services every week and if they are away, would attend a church wherever they are. It is important to me that we all come together each week.  When one is missing, we all miss out!  I wish we had more folks willing to rise up to a leadership position so that our parish will thrive into the future.  I wish more people would stay for coffee hour each Sunday in order to meet new folks and build up the community.  I wish there were more economic opportunities for full time jobs here in Amador County.  I wish there were a dialysis unit, a chemotherapy clinic, and a cardiac-rehab facility in this county so folks would not have to drive so far to be treated.  But most of all, I wish more people within Amador Country would realize the "pearl" that Trinity is and join us as we move forward on our journey towards wholeness in Christ Jesus.


This past month has been a full month of activities.  There was a special outing to Murphys by the women of Trinity.  That evening, five delegates from our parish went to the diocesan convention and enjoyed meeting delegates from other churches.  It is a lot of fun to go away for a few days together, eating, schmoozing, and learning about all of the good things that are happening in our diocese.  This year at the convention, the preaching was exceptional! 


In the Episcopal Church, it is the diocese- not the individual church that is the basic unit.  This means that our ministry extends beyond ourselves into the diocese.  We do this by contributing time, talent, and treasure to the greater Episcopal community.  In 2014, bishop Beisner will be visiting our church on Trinity Sunday, June 15th.  If you would like to be confirmed or received into the Anglican Communion at that time, please let me know.


The Charter for Compassion was launched during the Sunday services with the showing of two short films at the end of each service.  Over 50 folks signed onto the Charter that day.  Thirty people gathered for the pre-Advent retreat which nourished our souls and made our hearts glad.  Many thanks to Margaret, Lily, Gini, and Patsy for offering their reflections.  On the last Sunday of the month, we celebrated the feast of Christ the King, offered special gifts at the Thanksgiving liturgy, and financed and put together 61 Thanksgiving baskets for the needy in Amador County.  It was a great outpouring of generosity and a wonderful community event.  Special thanks goes to Elizabeth Snell who organized the effort.


So what is in store for this coming month?  Advent and Christmas!  Advent is the season that precedes Christmas.  The word Advent means the 'coming.'  As we approach the season of Advent, we need to ask: Who or what is coming?  It is an important question that will put our expectations of Christmas in perspective.  So what do you hope will come into your life this Advent-Christmas season?  Peace of mind?  Peace in your heart?  Peace on earth?  Forgiveness?  A more loving relationship?  Freedom from worry?  Healing of the mind?  The Spirit of Christ?  A blessed celebration?  Advent is that time of preparation for Christmas, so that we have rooms to joyfully give thanks to God for the Word made Flesh in Jesus Christ. 


As part of the Advent celebrations, the women of Trinity are having a special pre-Christmas luncheon at the Ione Country Club on December 7th at 11:30.  Joy Blair is in charge of tickets.  At 5:45pm on that same day, we are meeting in front of the Catholic Church in Sutter Creek for the candlelight walk known as Las Posadas.  This is an ecumenical event that Trinity sponsors with three other churches in the community.  We will hear the story of the Holy Family's trek to Bethlehem, sing carols, and end up at the manger scene in front of the Methodist Church.  I hope all of you will come out for this event. 


On Tuesday, December 24th, we will have two Christmas Eve services:  One at 3:00pm and one at 10:00pm.  Please bring your friends and family to worship on this important holy day of the year.  "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; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy  Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.  {BCP 213}



Did You Know?

-          The vestry meeting was delayed until December 5th.  The vestry is thinking about having the outside of the church painted.  More to come.

-          The missio:engage team is exploring the cost of having a large sign built outside the church as a way of bringing attention to the church and spreading the gospel message.

-          Christmas Eve services are at 3:00pm and 10:00pm

-          On January 1, 2014, from 12noon-3PM, there will be an open house for all parishioners and friends at the Rectory (rector's house) on 835 Argonaut Drive, Jackson, CA.  Drop in for a ham sandwich and some hot cider.



3 Years as Rector!
Trinity Women's Outing to Murphys
Diocesan Convention
Pre-Advent Retreat
Project Thanks @ Trinity
61 Thanksgiving Baskets

Missio Engage


The Trinity Missio team met twice during the month of November to plan a number of events as well as to assess what seems to be working well, what could use improvement and what those improvements might be.  While we lost a member, Mary Ann Lester, we gained a wonderful new member to our team - Martha Robbins.  Welcome aboard, Martha!


Missio team members assisted the Pre-Advent Retreat by setting up, providing refreshments and cleaning up afterwards. 


Trinity will be present at both the Jackson Holiday Open House and Sutter Creek Christmas with a table set up that includes donation jar for the Interfaith Food Bank, Trinity brochures and information on the Charter for Compassion.  In Sutter Creek, information on Las Posadas which is supported by Trinity and will be held Saturday, December 7 is also included.  Anyone who would like to join the team is invited to do so.  Just show up!  Our next regular meeting is on Sunday, December 15, from 12:30 to 2:00 in the Sunday School room, to discuss the Charter of Compassion in the community.  You're invited!


There are other plans for outreach into 2014.  Please let us know of suggestions you have for making our Trinity an even more inviting, caring, light-filled place to experience God's grace.  You can contact any of the members of the team to discuss or email:  Ken Pitsenbarger, team leader; Carol Holt; Noreen Lafferty; Nancy Moore; David Hennings; Martha Robbins; Steph Sherman, Janet Kendig and Pastor Karen.


God's richest blessings of peace, love and joy to all of you during the Advent and Christmas Season from the Trinity Missio:Engage! team.  



Reflections on the 2013 Diocesan Convention 


To be inspired at a diocesan convention was a real gift.  Both Bishop Curry and Bishop Beisner delivered excellent presentations.  Bishop Curry encouraged us to be witnesses to Christ in the world and not worry about numbers and church statistics.  He also called us to be the human family of God in the world and not simply a human being going through the motions.  When we view others as part of our human family, then the human condition can raise to new heights where everyone's basic needs are served.  Bishop Beisner echoed his sentiments and encouraged us all to remain faithful and be the church in the world even though the secular world does not always see the importance of the church in its life.  Of course, one of the best gifts of being at convention is having extra time with our Trinity delegates. Many thanks to Noreen, Margaret, Carol, and Janet for their time, talent, and fellowship.


- Pastor Karen Siegfriedt+


Trinity Cathedral was filled with the Holy Spirit when Bishop Michael Curry, from North Carolina, spoke; calling us to be a witness in the world, to quit worrying about our numbers in church, and to go out into the world and let "Our Light Shine."  For everyone who missed this joyous occasion, hopefully you can see it on the web. 

We had a very full two days, we voted on the resolutions put forth this year, and witnessed the church's good works as reported by the Rev. Lucretia Jevne from Episcopal Community Services. It was rewarding to see how many lives our apportionment touches in the world. So now when I am tempted to think we send the diocese too much in assessments, I am reminded that it is not nearly enough to bring hope to a suffering world. I was reminded that stewardship is a way of life that comes as a gift from God, and changes the way we see things. It is a discipline that is motivated by faith and a deep understanding that all things come from God, and through God all things are possible, so how can we not share our abundance with the world and each other.
I was also moved by the address given by The Rev. Canon Lura Kaval, Canon to the Bishop of Honduras. She spoke of their work there and how they are making an impact in that country and hope to be self-sustaining in 2019. It was very inspiring to hear.


-- Noreen Lafferty, delegate


The Diocesan Convention began on Thursday night with a very inspiring service at our cathedral in Sacramento.  It is wonderful to see the bishop, priests, deacons, guests and delegations from throughout the diocese which extends to the Oregon border, the coast and Nevada border.  While there is work involved in attending the convocation ahead of time to become familiar with the issues and resolutions, it is also a blessed time of reuniting with others from other parishes and making new friends within the extended family of the Episcopal Church of Northern California.  It is a wonderful reminder that we are not alone; we are a part of a larger church family sharing concerns, love and support in our faith journeys.  The love and friendship is quite palpable and the whole experience expands my gratitude at being a part of this wonderful growing and thriving entity called the Episcopal Church.  And, in fact, our numbers are growing in Northern California.  Good news!  Next year the Diocesan Convention will be in Santa Rosa.


-- Janet Kendig, delegate




December Birthdays

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


2nd - Bob Ross

12th - Pam Afindios

19th - Diane Christensen

29th - Rhoda Immer

30th - Devin Christensen


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

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.