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Thursday Thoughts - November 20 2015

posted Nov 20, 2015, 5:14 AM by Nikki Roe

Thursday Thoughts – November 19, 2015

 

Some really good news!

In a week where there are been a lot of tragic and heart-breaking news – WE HAVE SOME VERY GOOD NEWS TO SHARE!  In the early hours of November 17, Nathan Alexander Smith arrived safely to the delight of his parents J.R. Smith and Diana Díaz, along with two excited siblings – Rex and Aravis!  He weighed in at 7 pounds plus and is 20 inches long.  What a wonderful addition to their family and to ours.  Congratulations!!!

 

The annual Kimball Avenue Interfaith Thanksgiving service will be Tuesday, November 24, at 7pm at the Kimball Avenue United Methodist Church.  I hope you will consider attending this service.  In the past, we have not participated in the service as a parish family.  Most of the time it’s just the two of us clergy have attended.  Also, we have been asked, along with all the other churches, to provide five dozen cookies for the reception afterwards.  Please let me know if you can bring two dozen cookies for that service. 

 

Have you looked at our website lately?  Please do.

Matt Harrison and Nikki Roe have been working on our website and it’s coming along well.  We need photos!  Do you have photos of Trinity activities that we might post on our website?  We need photos!! We are setting up a special file to which you can send photos. In the meantime, you can email them to suzanne@trinityepiscopalwaterloo.com

 

In addition to the family which St. Margaret’s and Chat and Sew adopt for Christmas through the Salvation Army, our Vestry approved our adopting a family through the Angel Tree network.  We are choosing a family in Waterloo, known to a vestry member to be in need of assistance and one parent is incarcerated.  More information will follow.

 

Next date to work at the Food Bank is Saturday, December 5, and the time is 9-11am.

 

Sunday, December 6 is the date for the Holiday Mini-Bazaar, from 9-12 noon in the Parish Hall.  Set-up will be Saturday, December 5th.  Baked goods, holiday and gift items will be for sale and there will be a Silent Auction as well.

 

A very important date – mark your calendars now!

We have received word from the Office of the Bishop that he has set the date for Mindy Valentine Davis’ ordination to the transitional diaconate.  It’s Saturday, December 12th, at 3pm in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Des Moines.  Ken Messer of St. John’s, Keokuk also will be ordained at that time. There will be conversations closer to the time about our responsibilities for the reception, etc. as well as how we might share in the travel to and from Des Moines.  For now, please mark your calendars!!

 

It’s almost Advent – and then comes Christmas!! Already!?! Would you like to give a poinsettia in memory or thanksgiving of a loved one?  The price is $11 each and they will be delivered to the church.  Please call the church office if you are buying a plant so we will know how many to count on and so we can get the names of loved ones to be remembered for the Christmas service sheets.

 

Saturday, December 19th from 9 to 11am – Altar Guild workshop – preparing for the Greening of the Church

 

Sunday, December 20 - Greening of the Church after the 10am service.  There is something for everyone to do, even the little ones.  This will be followed by our traditional chicken vegetable soup lunch.  Would you like to add to our traditional soup luncheon with a pot of soup too? It can be any recipe.  We need some volunteers to help with breads and treats, too.  Please let Kathleen Sallee know.

 

Chime Choir – there’s still room for you!!

Practice for the Chime Choir is after the 10am service and after you've had a chance to get a cup of coffee.  We're a diverse group with differing musical abilities - so all are welcome!

 

Our next meal for the Catholic Worker community is Monday, December 28th.  A signup sheet will be on the kiosk next week.

 

St. Margaret’s is preparing to Adopt-A-Family again this year.  They don’t have a family yet as we are still in the period of time where families can sign up. 

 

We have recently commemorated Veterans’ Day as a nation.  Weekly pray for two members of our congregation who are currently serving in the armed forces.  This Sunday there will be cards to be sent to them from the parish.  Please take a moment to sign the cards to Michael Roe, Jr, and Tommy Parker.  The cards will be on a table in the Parish Hall.  Many thanks.

 

Closing Thoughts . . .

This past week our world has been rocked by the attacks in Paris and the subsequent police raids.  With all the violence and the terror, there have emerged some stories of bravery and compassion.  We need to hear those too.

 

I do not have any wisdom to add, but rather a few words of caution.  We cannot simply call the violence and hatred a legitimate representation of Islam any more than we would want to call the Ku Klux Klan a representation of Christianity – which they claimed to be. 

 

While I was living in Cape Town South Africa I was privileged to represent the Archbishop on the committee and wider body called the Western Cape Religious Leaders’ Forum – encompassing a wider group of faiths and faith leaders than I had ever experienced – including many denominations of Christians, Jews, various traditions of Islam, Buddhists, Hindus, Bahá'í, African Traditional religions, and others. That was perhaps the richest part of my whole time in Southern Africa – a place of difference and respect like none I have ever experienced – with a common purpose to work together to make South Africa a better place for any and all of God’s children to live in.  No perfect, but keeping on keeping on.

We pray about loving our enemies because that’s what Jesus asked us to do.  But it gets much harder when the evil done by our enemies gets closer to home or consumes so much of our news channels.  Maureen Doherty sent me a statement written in September 2014 by more than 120 Muslim scholars from around the world.  It is “an open letter to ‘the fighters and followers’ of the Islamic State, denouncing them as un-Islamic by using the most Islamic of terms.”  It’s heavy going reading to those of us who are not well-acquainted with Islam, but it is a document which needs to be shared.  If you wish a copy, I’ll see that you get one.  And there is a challenging article written by Bishop Pierre Whalon, the Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.  He is based in Paris and he has written a piece about how do we love our enemies now.  There has also been an evening for peace and dialogue held at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Paris.  (If this work interests you, I would direct you to the website of the Episcopal News Service.  You can sign us to receive daily bulletins of what is happening on many topics of urgency.)  Somehow all of my thoughts, emotions and prejudices around these pressing issues remind me of a simple little poster I saw once – ‘Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.’  I can only pray that it is so.

 

We continue to pray for our sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Nzara, and especially for Bishop Samuel as he continues to head of the justice, peace and reconciliation work for the entire province comprised of Sudan and South Sudan.  Hearing the reality of Bishop Peni’s life in South Sudan today seems almost hard to believe, as compared to the situation when we visited there in February of this year.  He needs our special prayers.

 

We also continue to experience violence, especially gun violence, in our community, and we continue to pray and work for an end to the violence.

 

This coming Sunday is traditionally called Christ the King Sunday, and it is the last Sunday of this liturgical year.  The following Sunday will be the first Sunday in Advent -  a wonderful season which challenges us to be people of hope, peace, justice and through all of that, to experience the joy which God desperately wants for us.  May it be so.

 

In the peace and hope of Christ,

Suzanne


 

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Nikki Roe,
Nov 20, 2015, 5:14 AM
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