News and Events at
Trinity Anglican Church
A traditional Anglican church with a heart for the world God lovesQ
News and Events at
Trinity Anglican Church
As a Parish on Purpose everything we do is about growth. Not merely for the sake of adding people to pews, but to expand the Kingdom of God and make an impact in our community and beyond. Only God brings real growth and that is our prayer.
On Sunday September 16th we were happy to receive 14 new members to the parish, including spouses and children (not all pictured left). Most of these have been with us for several months and all have become engaged in the life of the parish. They have also gone through our new members classes.
Our new members include Julie Heard and her son Avery. She has been our organist since last April and Her husband Bredin is stationed with the Air Force at Pease. Most people already know Brenda Anair who actually joined the church over a year ago but was officially received at this service. She is currently the vice president of the St. Anne’s guild and doing a great job! Brenda was joined by her daughter Angela Mastrella and her daughters Irie and Acadia. Angela is teaching the toddlers in Sunday School and recently created a wonderful learning space for them. Dave and Katie Balian live in Rochester. Katie’s father was an Episcopal Priest and she is helping to produce the bulletin. Dave is a social worker and at
one time ran a homeless shelter for families. Fr. Robert Philp and His wife Beth served in this diocese before moving south. They returned last spring and Fr. Philp assists in the liturgy.
We are currently running another new members class and the next New Members Reception Service is planned for November 18th. We hope to see you there to welcome another group of new members God is gifting to the church. Let us keep them in prayer.
Trinity Anglican Church is located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and many of our parishioners have "camps" at one lake or another. Summer at Trinity is typically quiet, with fewer programs running as people go away on vacation and enjoy their camps. But that does not mean that nothing is happening. Quite the opposite.
One May 6th we had a Cinco De Mayo Party with Taco's and a pinata. later on in June we had Geskus Photography come and take photos for our new directory.
We were poised to have a welcome service for our new members, but several events had us moving that date back.
Through May and June we had plenty of meetings to make things happen. A group met as a task force to discuss remodeling the Reredos (the area at and around the altar) for part of our 25th jubilee. We have presented a design to the vestry for a vote. We will move towards an English gothic style and it will be beautiful! We also started a task force to explore what it would take to start a Christian School. We believe that instilling our children with a classical Christian education will equip them for the world they will grow up in.
At the end of June Fr. Matt took a vacation. He rode his motorcycle to Nova Scotia and Cape Bretton Island and enjoyed the camping and winding roads for a week. Fr. Matt is an avid motorcyclist and likes to get away on the bike for fun and refreshment.
Of course there are the more typical things that always happen, despite the time of year - baptisms and funerals. While we have had more funerals that we wish this year we were overjoyed to baptize the Mastrella girls.
Now we are preparing for St. Luke's camp, which Fr. Mirabile directs each year. This year it will be at Beavers Crossing in Greenwich NY. This camp will run from August 5th through the 11th. This is always a lot of fun and this year the camp is better than ever!
As we move into August we are also preparing to get into full swing again come September. We are meeting with the Sunday School mothers to plan for the next Sunday School program. We want to ensure that the classes are fun, engaging, and meaningful for the children without becoming burdensome to the parents. We want our mom's to get a break and not have to take care of kids again on Sundays. Fortunately we have enough help to rotate the schedule.
At this time of year we also gear up for Reboot Combat Recovery. This year we will begin on September 6th and run through Nov. 29th. We look forward to this as we always make new friends and get to watch God move in people's lives in exciting and liberating ways. It is truly and awesome privilege.
There's lots more to come. Like our facebook page too.
Easter is always a wonderful holiday. The long lenten fasts are over and spring is in the air (unless it's on April 1st in New Hampshire, then...not so much). For those of us who follow a liturgical calendar, whose marking of time is ordered around the gospel, it ushers in a season of joy. "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us! Allelujah, allelujah!"
Our sanctuary was made beautiful, in honor of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, by our many active volunteers. Beautiful flowers adorned the altar and sanctuary. The ceremonies of lighting the Pascal Candle, and renewing the Baptismal waters, together with the asperges (sprinkling) - reminding people of their baptism, all contributed to a sense of awe and majesty. We had two services, both double their regular attendance and the second service maxing out our seating.
The theme of the Sermon was the "harrowing of hell", which is a term used to describe Christ plundering the place of the dead, leading captives free, overcoming death by his own death and resurrection. Fr. Mirabile said that there is no place deeper or darker than that Christ has not gone deeper still. There is nothing that He cannot save us from!
Between services we were visited by the Easter bunny and all the kids received an Easter basket filled with goodies. After the second service everyone stayed to visit with one another and enjoy some delicious treats that were prepared beforehand. And what better way to begin the Easter season but with friends and food. A joyous time had by all.
This unique experience is offered with contemplative music playing quietly in the background in a low-light candlelit atmosphere. Visitors may arrive at any interval, stay as long as they like, and leave at any time. Prayers for healing and grace will be made at the end of the services.
•Stations of the Cross; 6:00 – 6:30 pm
•Litany 6:30 – 7:00 pm
•Vespers 7:00 – 7:30 pm
Happy New Year! When you think of entering a new year you most often think of New Years resolutions. Why not let God make those resolutions for you? Why not ask God what he would like to accomplish in your life this year? What do you want to make better in 2018? What do you wish would improve? Why not enter the new year asking God for these very things.
As we enter the new year at Trinity we are asking similar questions. We are seeking God for what He wants to do in us in 2018. There will be lot's going on. This winter we will be offering Re4m Seminars on prayer, the Bible, and healing the soul. You'll want to stay tuned!
Trinity Anglican Church is engaged in very practical ways in our community. Here are two examples of how we are making a difference.
Trinity Anglican Thrift Shop is located downstairs and around the back of our church. The Thrift Shop is run by Marilyn Tucker and Maryann Digilio. Together with our other volunteers the shop takes in, organizes and sorts a huge amount of clothing and other items on a weekly basis. They work to ensure that only the best items are displayed. Some items come from donations. Others come from consignment. The result is that we provide good clothing very inexpensively, and we give away what doesn't sell is given away to Hope on Haven Hill, a ministry to unwed mothers in recovery. We also donate clothing to veterans and the elderly in the area. Some of the clothing we gave away in 2017 went on a tractor trailer to help those in Texas and Louisiana who suffered loss from hurricane Harvey.
When we talk about feeding those in need we can talk about the easy part and the fun part. Of course, like most churches, we collect food for the food bank. It's important and easy to overlook, but the fact is that these goods go to local ministries to feed people who are struggling to stay fed. That's the easy part. The fun part is when we prepare and serve food as one of the teams at the Rochester Community Kitchen downtown. In the past Diane Bailey has done the planning and cooking. Recently Fr. Mirabile has taking over this role for the time being. Being of Italian background it seemed the best thing to prepare was spaghetti and meat sauce, which he made the last two times and it was a big hit - even with the volunteers! We served food just before Christmas and had a huge turn out of volunteers.
Fr. Mirabile makes a point to get to know the people who come to the community Kitchen. Two of his favorite people are the twins, Sasha and Tamika. These two girls have shown amazing resilience considering their ever-changing living conditions. They are not alone. Many of the people who come to the Community Kitchen have tenuous living conditions. Some live in tents, others live in hotel rooms and others couch surf. There is currently no shelter accommodations in Rochester. The nearest shelter is in Portsmouth, and it is not necessarily a first choice among the homeless population. Recently SOS Recovery helped open up a warming center at the Rochester Community Center. Fr. Mirabile visited there on January 2nd. They need volunteers to help monitor the those who come to get warm and sleep. Presently plans are underway to make the warming center a more permanent resource for the homeless community. One man Fr. Mirabile spoke said, "Ware not homeless. We are houseless. We are home wherever we lay our heads. Our prayer is that we might be able to help provide resources to continue to address the "houseless" problem in Rochester.
In an epic event forty years after orthodox Anglicans first rejected departures from biblical foundations and historic Church Tradition, four of the largest traditional Anglican Church jurisdictions have come into full communion with each other. The historic agreement was signed in the presence of over 550 clergy and lay delegates by the leaders of the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), the Anglican Church in America (ACA), the Anglican Province of America (APA) and the Diocese of the Holy Cross (DHC) on October 6th 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, some forty years after orthodox Church representatives signed the Affirmation of Saint Louis, which called for the creation of the Continuing Anglican Church. In his address to the assembled delegates and bishops of the Anglican Joint Synods from around the world, Bishop Walter Grundorf noted at the closing Pontifical Mass that the "hopes of those who sought to maintain the Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in the Anglican Tradition have finally found the unity God intended."
The Anglican Joint Synods concordat establishes full communion among the Churches, known as “communio in sacris.” The signed Agreement states that each Church acknowledges the others to be orthodox and catholic Anglicans holding to the faith of the Undivided Catholic Church and the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Each Church recognizes in the other the same faith, sacraments, moral teaching, worship, and Apostolic Ministry of bishops, priests and deacons in Apostolic Succession. All members of the respective Churches are welcome to Holy Communion and parochial life within parishes of the Synods. The Churches pledge to pursue full institutional and organic union with each other in fulfillment of the Lord’s will that His Church be united, and pledge to seek unity with other Christians, including other Anglicans, insofar as such unity is consistent with the essentials of Catholic faith, order, and moral teaching.
Signing for the Churches were the Most Reverend Brian R. Marsh (ACA), the Most Reverend Mark D. Haverland (ACC), the Most Reverend Walter H. Grundorf (APA), and the Right Reverend Paul C. Hewett (DHC). The signing was met with a standing ovation by the assembled delegates. The action brings together the four largest Continuing Anglican Churches, each with numerous parishes throughout the United States and in many international locations. Anglicans are the third largest Christian community in the world after Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. The Continuing Church maintains apostolic, orthodox, sacramental, and evangelical Church practice and professes the three historic Creeds of Christendom. The Church holds to Holy Scripture as the inspired word of God and affirms that both the Word of God and His Holy Sacraments are necessary for our saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Credit: ACA http://anglicanchurchinamerica.org/JointSynods.shtml
The leaders of four Continuing Anglican Churches have announced plans for Joint Synods to meet in Atlanta, Georgia, the week of October 2nd to 6th. At the conclusion of the week it is the intention of the Churches to sign an agreement establishing full communion (communio in sacris) among the four bodies as well as a pledge to pursue in a determined and deliberate fashion increasingly full unity. The Churches also will discuss common plans for mission and evangelism. Each Church will hold its own mandatory business meetings and Synods, but the four will join together throughout for common worship and social occasions.
The four Churches and their episcopal leaders are the Anglican Church in American (Brian Marsh), the Anglican Catholic Church (Mark Haverland), the Anglican Province of America (Walter Grundorf), and the Diocese of the Holy Cross (Paul Hewett). The Joint Synods will meet at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia in north Atlanta.
The four Churches have grown increasingly close in recent years, and look to the Congress of Saint Louis (1977) and The Affirmation of St. Louis as common historical and theological touchstones. The Churches are united by commitments to credal orthodoxy; to traditional Anglican worship, rooted in the historic Books of Common Prayer; to the three-fold Apostolic ministry of male bishops, priests, and deacons; and to traditional morality in issues affecting the sanctity of life and human sexuality.
While all four Churches seek closer relations with other ecclesial bodies with Anglican backgrounds, they differ from most of them in a firm belief that innovations since the mid-1970s such as modernist liturgies and the purported ordination of women to Holy Orders constitute unacceptable developments that remove Anglicans from the central tradition of the Undivided Church of the first millennium.
The four Churches have about 300 congregations in the United States as well as larger memberships in Africa, South America, Oceania, Asia, and England.
Sermon for the 14th Sunday in Trinity
Gratitude and the Importance of returning
“15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.” Lk 17:15–16
As you know, I have been talking about worship for the last few weeks, and specifically, how worship – and I mean that in the broadest sense – is a therapy for the human condition. Worship is the single defining act that sets right the human person and reorders the soul.
Our gospel reading tells the story of ten lepers who cry out to Jesus, asking for mercy, begging Jesus that they be healed.
According to Old Testament law, whenever a person had a skin infection or rash they were to show themselves to the priest. He would inspect it, and according to certain criteria, could tell the person to separate himself for 7 days and then return. The priest would then reinspect the infection and decide if it was leprous or not. If it was leprosy the man would have to leave his family, his home, his job, his life, and live on the outskirts, away from society. To have leprosy was to be the sort of outcast that lost everything. The pain one felt was not the pain of the disease, but of ostracization.
For Jesus to tell them to “go, show yourselves to the priest” implied the sort of trust in His word that, when they got there, all would be well. The only reason to show yourself to a priest was so that he could see that the leprosy had gone so that he could readmit you to society. What was at stake was not merely the persons health, but their life, family, love. When these men begged Jesus for his intervention it was from a place of deep loss. You could imagine the doubt they might have ahd as they walked along the road, looking at each other and wondering when the “miracle” would happen.
We are told that as they went, they were cleansed. But only one returns to give thanks to Jesus. Only one. Perhaps the others are so full of joy at having their lives back that they forgot to return to give thanks. Maybe they were taken up in celebrations with family and friends. Maybe they were excited to be back at their trade again, amidst the din of the Bazaar as they sold their good as they did in the old days. But only one returns. Small wonder that he was a Samaritan.
The Samaritan returns praising God at the top of his lungs, falling at Jesus’ feet giving thanks. It is not merely that this man is healed, but he is made whole, saved, by returning. For the one thing that he had that the other nine did not, the one thing that could save his soul, leading to “shalom” – peace, well being, integration - was GRATITUDE.
Gratitude is the affirmation of the goodness or benefits that we have received. It is the feeling we have when we come to see that what we have been given is far greater than anything we have lost or anything we lack. It acknowledges that we have benefited from some outside good, from something beyond and above us, and that that good is more than what we are due. Gratitude makes a leper return to the Lord. It makes a prostitute wipe the feet of Jesus with her hair in the face of judgmental hypocrites. It makes a murderer fall off his horse, fall to his knees, and endure stoning, shipwrecks and beatings just so that he can repay the debt of mercy showed to him – because he knows he has been forgiven his murders.
Gratitude is at the heart of authentic worship. It has nothing to do with music, though good music helps. It has nothing to do with prayers, written or spontaneous. It has to do with a way of seeing reality, not as something that owes us anything, but as something that has gifted us with everything.
The Sociologist George Simmer calls gratitude the “moral memory of mankind”. Without it we have no grounds upon which to be moral. Without gratitude, nothing is a gift and everything is simply something to be consumed, used - and that is the sin of the garden of Eden – that the fruit was good for making one wise. And it brought death.
Gratitude, according to the psychologists who study it, is a relationship strengthening emotion because it affirms our connections to others and something bigger than ourselves. And it turns out that is healthy for human beings.
Gratitude elicits a deep desire to repay the undeserved or disproportional goodness given to us. It makes us want to “pay it forward”. In that way it strengthens the moral foundations of society. Without gratitude we use one another to serve our own ends and society becomes cruel.
Positive emotions wear away quickly. Gratitude, because it is participatory, because it drives us to return and give thanks, helps preserve positive feelings. It promotes wellbeing.
Gratitude blocks negative emotions. Resentment, envy, wrath, none of these can co-exist with gratitude. It cancels them out. Try it. You simply cannot hold bitterness and wrath in your heart while you have gratitude. And bitterness and wrath will most certainly cancel out gratitude, to our own miserable harm.
Gratitude makes us more resilient to stress. It strengthens social ties. It strengthens self-worth. Gratitude is a medicine for the soul.
There is something very counter-cultural about the sort of worship that begins with deep gratitude. It seems like a forgotten virtue. It is not self-fulfilling but, perhaps, self-emptying. It is not self-satisfying, but self-effacing.
Worship that begins with gratitude means that we do not return to “get” but to “give”. It means that we do not go to a church service to be a consumer, but, like a leper who has gotten his life back, we return to give thanks. Any time we treat worship like a consumer we short circuit gratitude and diminish our relationship to God. Indeed, we diminish and reduce God himself to our servant. When we come to God s consumers we trivialize God and elevate ourselves. Instead of self-effacing, it becomes self-elevating and God-diminishing.
I love music, and I am a drummer who has played in modern worship bands. I am not entirely opposed to it. But I have noted that there is a problem with modern music centered worship – it often treats the worship experience in a consumeristic way. What I mean by that is that it is designed to appeal to our culture and our preferences. It produces good feelings, but they are short lived. And because the focus is on a positive emotional encounter with God it eventually becomes self-centered and undercuts real gratitude. Instead of feeling fulfilled, in time we feel empty.
All worship demands that I return and be fully present to God with gratitude – every single time. And liturgical worship demands that more than modern forms, but in doing so it also fuels gratitude. it is not a quick emotional fix but a slow and deepening experience of the mystery of God that goes beyond our emotions and rational mind. In our spiritual immaturity we enter into the presence of God through the veil of the emotions, As we mature we commune with God through the veil of the intellectual powers (not intellectualism), and finally mystically.
Gratitude, awe and meaning are all interconnected and feed one another. Gratitude opens us up to awe and wonder - apprehending the mystery of God. It opens us up to the bigness of God and thereby shrinks our troubles and trials. You cannot think your trials are too great to bear when you have gratitude. Without gratitude, our trails are magnified and God becomes nothing more than a mouse living in the wall. Present, but powerless. Gratitude stands humbled at the bigness of creation and stands in awe at so great a God, one who is so lavish in goodness, as to shrink even the greatest trial and find us a way through it.
The miracle of the 10th leper is that he was healed and got his life back. But the greatest miracle is realizing that even your suffering is gift. It is to see the mercy of Christ passing by your sad way and thanking him while your skin is still white and your life is still far off, while your heart is still raw, and your eyes are still wet with tears. The real miracle of gratitude is to return and give thanks through our tears, knowing that God is greater than our suffering and will, in the end make all things right……..perhaps we just need to walk a little ways in our leprous condition with gratitude and our sorrows will be lifted.
September 2-17 Pastoral letter
September 1, 2017
Dear Trinity Family,
I hope that you’ve had a wonderful summer. It is a time to enjoy the weather - on the lake, on the beach, or just in your yard with company. As we turn towards the Fall and bid adieu to the summer we know the rhythm of life brings us back to a more dutiful pace.
The summer at Trinity kicked off with a wonderful parish picnic that was very well attended. We had lots of people helping in so many ways, from preparing food in advance and Butch’s grilling mastery, to setting up and breaking down. This was organized by none other than our Alice Snow and St. Anne’s guild, without whom we would have had way too much chicken left over! (Fr. Matt applying a little self-deprecation). On the heels of this event Bob Lovo hosted a “new and recent” members luncheon at his home in York. That was a real treat! We have also had many visitors during the course of the summer, with a few of them continuing to attend regularly.
St. Luke’s camp was held August 6-13 and was terrific. Our counselors were great, and we had some new ones - Dn. Gary Drinkwater from Church of the Transfiguration in ME, and our own Joyce McClusky. The teaching theme of the camp was “Keeping your faith against the odds” and we used Star Wars for the backdrop theme. We played some great games, like “Jedi Toe Training”, “the Force Trust walk”, and others. Besides that, the kids were taught the faith three times a day, did crafts, and enjoyed swimming in the lake at camp Ashmere. We do ask that you begin to think of next year’s camp now (yes, now) and plan to have your children or grandchildren attend.
Our church is going “from strength to strength” as we continue to our efforts to create a church that is healthy, inviting, and growing. You should know that as pastor, everything I do, every effort or initiative I put forward, is all geared towards creating a church that is spiritually healthy, dynamic and growing. Growth is not a matter of programs and plans. Authentic growth is the result of a people who love Christ and His church and serve others joyfully. We each have a duty to be faithful in prayer, worship and service because Christ dwells in such persons and His light shines through them and influences others.
To that end I hope that many of you plan on attending the next Re4m seminar, Joyful Surrender: Serving God with our time, talent, and treasure. I can already hear your thoughts, “Is he going to talk about money?!” Well, yes and no. I am going to talk about freedom, freedom from fear and worry. We are going to talk about the shalom (peace, wellbeing and salvation) of God and how, when we serve God with a joyful heart, it results in interior liberty that extends throughout our entire lives. This seminar will be held on Saturday, September 30th at 9:00am and will end at 12:30pm followed by lunch. I will teach the introduction and a very good friend of mine, the Rev. Jim King, from Portland, will be teaching on giving. You will enjoy his enthusiasm. I hope you plan to make it.
Other events are upcoming as well. We will be having an appreciation dinner for all those who volunteer in the Thrift Store. We will be holding New Members Classes on October 14th and 22nd. If you have not completed a class before, I think it is important for you to take this class. See me (Fr. Matt) about attending. We will be resuming mid-week Eucharistic services on Wednesdays at 9:00am beginning October 11th. We will be offering Reboot Combat Recovery again, beginning September 21st. Please keep this important ministry in your prayers. Men’s Breakfast will continue on the first Saturday of each month at 8:00am. We will continue to serve at the Rochester Community Kitchen. Finally, we will resume our Spiritual Formation Bible Study in October.
I was grateful for Joyce McClusky’s help with camp this year. This also gave us an opportunity to discuss Sunday School. Since the Wise family has moved and Julie will no longer be leading the effort Joyce has stepped up to the plate. I asked her to find a good curriculum for us and she has. We have a great new program that is flexible to our needs and Anglican in focus! We will be learning more about this soon, but Sunday School begins September 10th. We need to build a strong children’s program so that parents of young children will feel comfortable attending our church. This is an important step in that direction, and we need volunteers.
I recently met with Carlos, our choir master, to discuss kicking our music up to another level. I have a vision to position this church as a light of classical culture, music, virtue and education. It is not my intention to compete with modern churches whose attraction is “praise band” worship. Instead, I want to position our church as a unique and beautiful example of classical Christianity and culture. We are going in the opposite direction of our culture. To that end, we are going to do classical Anglican music and do it well. We are also going to innovate in ways that are consistent with sacred music and our Anglican heritage. That means that we are going to try new things from time to time. When we try something new, or you hear something that you have never heard before, please be gracious and open, and trust that we will maintain the sacred nature of Eucharistic worship. It is my hope and prayer to enrich the choir and our music program so that we attract great talent as well.
Finally, I want to mention the sticky issue of politics. As you know, our political climate is very divisive presently. Many in our parish have strong opinions in one direction or another. I wish to remind you that our bond is in the gift of the Spirit and the gospel of peace. We are God’s people first and our first commitment is to the gospel of Jesus Christ, not politics. The moral and ethical teachings of the church come before, and ought to influence, our politics – they are not separate. The net effect is that it should trouble both conservatives and progressives at times. Our Kingdom is not of this earth! I would ask that you do not assume that everyone standing around you at church holds the same views, and that, if politics come up, you are respectful and considerate towards your brother or sister. I don’t want anyone to feel that they are “out” because of a political opinion. This does not mean that we do not take a stand on certain issues. But when we do, let us do so with respect and love, “preserving the bonds of peace”, as St. Paul admonishes us.
As we go into the 2017-2018 year I anticipate wonderful things for our church. 2018 will be our Jubilee year, celebrating our 25th anniversary. Part of that celebration will be an exciting project to renew and beautify the reredos (the area behind and round the altar). We look forward to sharing those plans with you in the weeks and months to come.
Your Servant in Christ,
Fr. Matt Mirabile+