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Trinity Tidings

The E Newsletter of Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek

September 2016

In This Issue
Rector's Report
Did You Know?
Vestry Notes
Centering Prayer
Parade of Lights
Food Bank Donations
Trinity Singers Rehearsals
Birthdays this month
Would You Like to Contribute to the Newsletter
Rector's Report for September 
During my mini-sabbatical, I had time to think about our small, rural church in the foothills of Amador County.  In a world that strives for bigger, better, faster, and more, and in a culture in which the mega-churches have become more influential, smaller churches can often be discounted.  Sometimes, members of smaller churches can forget the benefits and blessings of being part of a more intimate community.  So when I saw the book, Small Does Not Mean Struggling, I immediately ordered it from Amazon and read it during my sabbatical.  Here is what its author reminds us:
"Eighty percent of all Protestant churches in America have memberships of 125 or less.  Nearly 25% of all Protestant Churches have a weekly attendance of 35 or less.  Therefore, among Protestant churches in America, small congregations make up the largest block.  In light of these facts, it is difficult to understand why small churches are treated as the exception rather than the rule."
New Testament churches were often small, yet God powerfully used them.  Smaller churches may not have big budgets, elaborate programs, multiple staff members, or big numbers, but God can use them in special ways.  For instance, smaller churches usually have loving pastors, a desire to be faithful to God's Word, a commitment to discipleship, and a heart for serving the community.  Service and outreach, particularly when it comes to food and health, are two charisms of Trinity Church in Sutter Creek.  For our size, we probably do more outreach than most of the churches in our diocese.
Although "bigger, better, faster, and more" is a mantra that can causes envy and distress, below are some insights and benefits for us to contemplate in regards to being a small church:
-The small church is the natural and normal expression of the body of Christ.
-The small church is God's design as revealed in Scripture and throughout Christian history.
-The small church naturally rejects faddish and market-driven church formula programs.
-The small church is the foundation for mission support and denominational strength. [Trinity always has paid its fair share to the diocese regardless of our income.]
-The small church regards "health" and "growth" as functions of God's grace, and not a function of numbers of programs. 
-The small church is authentic rather than artificial.
-The small church can often only afford a part-time pastor, thus requiring strong lay leadership.
-It is difficult to find seminary grads wanting to be in a small church for any length of time because of the lack of resources.
-Pastors of small churches must base their ministry on the conviction that Jesus himself has called them and not on some myth of victory and success.
Because smaller churches have a fewer paid staff, lay leaders and volunteers are vital to the continued operation of the church organization.  This is an area where we at Trinity could improve.  Many of our older and devoted members have died or moved away.  We need our newer members to roll up their sleeves and pitch in.  So we are encouraging  everyone to volunteer for 2 hours per month!  Think about a ministry or outreach which reflects your passion, gifts, or interest and then ask a vestry member how you can be part of that ministry.  Know that offering only two hours per month can make all the difference in the world as to the future of our beloved church in the foothills of CA.
In a few months from now, all parishioners will be asked to pledge their time, talent, and treasure to the ministry and mission of God's church in this small corner of the world for 2017.  I hope you will be generous and say yes to the call.
"Almighty God, whose loving hand has given us all that we possess:  Grant us grace that we may honor you with our substance, and remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."  [BCP 827] 

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Karen Siegfriedt+

Photos of Activities at Trinity in August: 
Swim and Barbeque at the Lafferty's

 New Carpet in Parish Hall

One of the classes preparing for Confirmation

August Book Study
Did You Know? 
-Bible study on the Book of Acts continues on the first Sunday of each month at 9:40am.
-Trinity Travelers annual trip to Apple Hill is on Sept. 15. Everyone is invited to join on this fun outing. Meet in the church parking lot at 9:30am.
-September 25th: Bishop Barry Beisner is coming to Trinity Church to visit our congregation and to confirm and received many of our newcomers.  He will be at both services to meet and greet.  There will be a coffee hour following each of these services.  He will also meet with the vestry to hear about our parish community.  Please be sure to attend and invite your friends. We pray for those about to be confirmed and received by the Bishop this month: John & Patti Hanaway, Maureen Immer, Brian & Doris Scott, and Cindy & Roger Simpson.
-October 9 @10:00am:  Parish Picnic at Detert Park, Jackson. One Sunday service, one parish worshipping together, one great celebration of thanksgiving!  Hotdogs, hamburgers, and drink provided.  Bring a chair and a dish to share.  It is a time to meet and greet your vestry and other folks in our community of faith.  Invite your friends and relatives. 
-Nami Amador is offering a free 5-week course that teaches problem-solving skills and strategies, and offers practical and emotional support for people living with mental illness. Saturdays in October (beginning Oct. 1) 9am-1pm in the Mountain Room at Sutter Amador Hospital (200 Mission Blvd, Jackson). Call 223-1485 ext. 266 for more information.
Vestry Notes
The August 25th meeting began with Pastor Karen briefly describing her sabbatical experiences.  We then reviewed 2 chapters of the Vestry Resource Guide. 

The new communication system between Vestry members and parishioners was refined, and you will be hearing more about that.  David Hoos reviewed progress with our disaster preparedness plan as well as with the buildings and grounds, praising Beverly and Martin Hopper who gave our rose plants needed care.  Regarding the Charter for Compassion plans, Margaret Lewis reported progress on finding speakers of the Muslim faith for a presentation.  She also explained that the Missio-Engage team is focused on our established community outreach programs. 

Carol Holt, treasurer, reported that we are about $16,000 in arrears of pledges, and your Vestry discussed ideas for dealing with that shortfall.

We look forward to Bishop Barry Beisner's visit on Sept. 25, and our fun parish picnic on  Oct. 9.

Please pray for your Vestry members, who feel the responsibility of leading the Trinity parishioners on the path toward God's vision for us.
 Nancy Moore, Sr. Warden
A Beautiful Opportunity!
No-stress, a brief and flexible time commitment, and of enormous benefit to you and others:  Does this sound like the sort of church-involvement that might interest you?

I'd like to remind everyone about the Centering Prayer circle that meets in Jane's Hall every Wednesday at 9:30am.  We have just started up again after a summer break; it's a great time to check it out if you've ever been curious about this practice.

Prior knowledge is unnecessary.  Dress is anything (I've gone in gym clothes because that's the next stop).  You sign nothing, promise nothing except to be open to the experience, and come when it suits you.  If you have only 20 minutes, that's what you stay.  The routine starts with brief readings---always wonderful in my view---followed by 20 minutes silent sitting (after which you can tiptoe out if need be), brief walk around the periphery of the room to keep any body parts from falling asleep or stiffening up, and a second 20 minute silent sit. We then end with the Lord's Prayer and go.

And in that 45 minutes what has happened?  The idea is that by quieting our monkey minds we open up a space which God can fill. We're not asking for anything except perhaps support in opening that space.  For my part I spend most of the time re-focusing, with perhaps a minute or two of actual quiet. But the result is remarkable:  greater calm, clarity, energy, and a profound gratitude for the experience and the people with whom I've just shared it.

This is a non-denominational activity, by the way;  attendees so far are Catholic and Episcopalian, but I was told of a Buddhist who participated for awhile, so if your neighbors of whatever persuasion are also curious, bring them!

Questions?  Would love to chat with you. 296-7842  or

Parade of Lights- time to start thinking!
There will be an initial planning meeting for December's Parade of Lights on Saturday, Sept.17th, 12:00pm in Jane's Hall.  BYO sandwich and I'll bring a fruit salad.  We'll make it a working lunch.

Who should come? YOU, if you have ideas to share on how we present Trinity to the community, or would just like to be part of that process! I've contacted some folks who might be new to the event, and we have an enthusiastic core building.  We're eager to have your input as well. 

The Hoppers have some great ideas about our float itself---Martin envisions a replica of the church with "stained glass" windows, lit from within (which he knows how to do simply). Our community of riders could surround it. 

Do we also somehow represent, with signs or banners, what we contribute to the community? Could there be music? (We still have the back of David's truck, potentially, to fill....) You get the picture---the brainstorming should be really fun, and in the process we'll get to know each other a bit more and do some important thinking about Trinity's mission.

Do come! And RSVP, if we haven't already talked, so we have enough food and handouts, etc.

Martha 296-7842
"Taking our joy and energy out into our community and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with all whom we encounter," is the mission statement of the Missio:Engage! team.  To the team this translates into our motto:  Radical Hospitality.  Trinity's team, among others, started in 2012 as a diocesan sponsored approach to revitalizing congregations by expanding ministry in community.  Since that time, we have sponsored successful food drives, implementation of Needy Care bags, Back Pack 2 School Program collection, upgrades in welcoming and hospitality bags, and more.
The team currently consists of:  Carol Harper, David Hennings, Carol Holt, Janet Kendig, Noreen Lafferty, Margaret Lewis, Nancy Moore, Martha Robbins and Steph Sherman.  Typically, the team meets monthly after the second worship service to brainstorm, prioritize and plan events/projects.  We invite anyone wanting to deepen their outreach to attend and participate in our next meeting, Sunday, September 11 in the undercroft after the 10:30am church service.  Ask or email any member for more information.  
Food Bank Donations

The Food Bank's cart, in the sanctuary, yielded 244 lbs. of food in August. Total giving in 2016: 1,315 lbs. of food.


Trinity Singers Rehearsals
All are invited to join the Trinity Singers/Worship Team! Rehearsals are the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7PM. Bring your voices, your instruments, and a heart for worship and praise! For more information, please contact Carol Harper at 916-604-1872 or email Web site:
September Birthdays

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


 1st- Colin Kendig

 3rd- John Lafferty

 4th- Evan Kendig

 10th- Jan Lemos

 18th- Paul Lewis

    20th- Lynne Brumit

    22nd- Mary Krauthamel-Lane

    25th- Carolyn Hennings

    28th- Jennifer Putnam

    29th- Bob Blair

    29th- Bud Busch


If you are celebrating a birthday in September, but you don't see your name listed here, please contact our Parish Administrative Asst.

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.