Holy Trinity celebrates the Day of Pentecost on Sunday, May 15, with one grand festival service of Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. You are warmly invited to attend – and to invite your friends and neighbors: all who are baptized in any church may fully participate in the Holy Communion. And it’s a great opportunity to bring children to worship.

 

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All are warmly invited to worship on Ascension Day. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Spotswood) and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will worship together at Holy Trinity in South River on Thursday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m.

Ascension Day is the fortieth day of Easter season and commemorates the ascension of Jesus Christ as proclaimed in the holy scriptures and the creeds of the church (“he ascended into heaven”). Worship will be outdoors (if the weather permits). All Christians and the spiritually curious are welcome at this ecumenical event. All who are baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ may full participate in the Holy Communion.

Also on May 5, Morning Prayer for Ascension Day will be read at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Holy Trinity. All are welcome!

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Ready for a culinary and spiritual adventure? Holy Trinity’s test kitchen is serving up “Dinner Church” which will blend Holy Eucharist, with Bible study and the family dinner table. Dinner Church is adapted from St. Lydia’s in Brooklyn and resembles the Jewish Shabbat and Passover tables. Dinner Church  features these elements:

  • A beautifully set table, with fresh cut flowers, a profusion of lighted candles, lace table cloths, cloth napkins, ceramic plates, glass cups, and meal utensils.
  • A home cooked meal passed family style.
  • The bread that we break and share will be from an artisanal loaf. The fruit of the vine that we will bless  and drink in our cups will be non-alcoholic (we will taste non-alcoholic wines and organic grape juices).
  • Holy Eucharist and Bible study are woven into the meal in a manner modeled on early Christian worship practices
  • A brief homily will seek to encourage table conversation and discussion based on holy scripture
  • We’ll sing easy-to-learn songs of faith
  • It’s appropriate for the the entire family

Dinner Church will be offered on Thursdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.  Next dates: April 28 and May 12. Please let Father Greg know that you plan to attend so that we may set a place for you at the table.

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All are warmly invited to meet on Thursdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m., beginning March 31. The evenings begin with a fellowship meal and then move into small group discussions. The Easter edition of Becoming the Story We Tell includes a new set of reflection questions keyed to the upcoming Sunday Resurrection Gospel. These discussions are appropriate for youth and older children.

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Holy Trinity is trying something new – a Good Friday of Compassion.

As Jesus is the compassion of God, so we seek to come close to Jesus through our compassion for our neighbors.

On March 25, at Noon, the Good Friday of Compassion begins with a simple rite of communion from the reserved Sacrament and a commissioning for service to the community. Holy Trinity invites you to participate in a number of activities appropriate for people of all ages:

  • Making Easter cards for distribution to the older adults residing in older adult housing facilities in South River (there are two buildings and 160 units) – a great opportunity for children and people of all ages. Materials and supervision will be provided at church.
  • Distributing door hanger invitations to Easter Day to 100 homes in the neighborhood – young adults will take the lead.
  • Eucharistic visits and compassionate phone calls to people in homes and hospitals
  • Prayers and blessings at Calico Threads Thrift Store, 54 Ferry Street, at 4 p.m.

The Day of Compassion ends at 6 p.m. with the rite for Good Friday from the Book of Common Prayer, which includes the Passion Gospel, solemn collects, veneration of the cross, and sacred music by the choir.

Please contact the Rector for more information: TheRector@HolyTrinitySR.org

All are invited to participate in Holy Week 2016 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church:

March 20: Palm Sunday: One grand service at 10 a.m. Palm Procession from the Parish Hall to the Church for a celebration of the Holy Eucharist and dramatized reading of the Passion Gospel with the youth of the Parish. (There will be no 8 a.m. service on this day.)

March 23: Wednesday in Holy Week: 7 p.m. Ecumenical Service of Tenebrae in the Taizé Tradition, with ministers and choristers of Holy Trinity, at the First Reformed Church of South River, 40 Thomas St. Sponsored by the South River Council of Congregations.

March 24: Maundy Thursday Morning Prayer: 11:00 a.m. in the chapel.

March 24: Lenten Fish Fry: 5:30-6:30 p.m. The Men of Holy Trinity host a fellowship meal to strengthen us for the Three Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter (which begins with the Great Vigil on Saturday — see below). Purchase tickets in advance.

March 24: Maundy Thursday: 7:00 p.m. The Lord’s Supper, with foot washing, sacred music, and the stripping and washing of the altar.

The Watch over the reserved Sacrament begins at the end of worship and continues until 12 p.m. on Good Friday. Sign up sheet for the Watch in the back of the church.

March 25: Good Friday: 9 a.m. Morning Prayer at the Altar of repose. (The church will be open for prayer, beginning at 8 a.m.)

March 25: Good Friday: 12 p.m. Communion from the reserved Sacrament and commissioning for Good Friday of compassionate community service. This is an especially family-friendly service.

12-6 p.m. Day of Compassionate Service to the community. Click here for the details.

March 25: Good Friday: 6:00 p.m. Solemn Liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer, with Passion Gospel, veneration of the Cross, and sacred music.

March 26: The Great Vigil of Easter: 8 p.m. The first proclamation of the Resurrection Gospel, renewal of Baptismal Vows, and candlelight celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Incense will be used in this service.

March 27: Easter Sunday: 10 a.m. Festive celebration of the Holy Eucharist, with the flowering of the cross and Easter anthem by the children’s choir. Easter egg hunt after worship. (There will be no 8 a.m. service on this day.)

Ash Wednesday is February 10, 2016.

Services at Holy Trinity: 12 p.m. & 7 p.m.

 

Lent: Is this your opportunity?

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The season of Lent is a gift intended especially for those who are turning to the way of Christ in some new way:

It may be that your Christian faith has only been a family tradition – until now. If this is the moment for you or your household to become intentional about following the way of Christ, Lent is for you.

It may be that your faith has been a private affair – until now. If you are ready to make common cause with other disciples of Jesus, Lent is for you.

It may be that Christ has always seemed a distant figure to you – until now. If this is the moment for you to deepen your relationship with Christ, Lent is for you.

If you would like to know how to take advantage of this opportunity, please talk to the Rector of Holy Trinity who will help you in mapping your own course through Lent.

And remember that we will all walk the path with you.

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Save Wednesday evenings in Lent and Easter for 

Becoming the Story We Tell.

Each Wednesday, 6:30-8:00 p.m., gather in the informal setting of the Parish Hall of Holy Trinity for a simple supper and small group discussion for youth and adults. A supervised children’s table provides age-appropriate activities. It all begins on February 17th.

 

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What is Lent?

Lent is an old English word that means spring. As spring is a season of the renewal of the earth, when seeds are planted, trees bud, plants flower, birds nest, the days lengthen—so people seek to renew their lives for a season (forty days plus Sundays) through worship, prayer, self-denial, reading the Scriptures, study of theological, reflection on their lives, service to their neighbors.

There are many possible ways to grow spiritually and renew one’s relationship with God. A place to begin is in a community of faith, where people gather regularly with a similar intention. The local church is a gathering of people who seek to renew their lives spiritually. It’s where one may find companionship and guidance, with people who are both like and different from us, who share our vulnerabilities and contribute their strengths.

The marks of Christian community are faith in Jesus Christ, a commitment to regularly gathering with other seekers, curiosity, and certain qualities: a lively mind, a compassionate heart, an encouraging spirit, authenticity, humility, gentleness, a sense of humor, the courage to act for another’s sake. That’s just a starter list! God helps us in Lent to discern the ways we need to grow and heal, and graces us with the gifts we need when we seek to follow Christ. In Lent stirs in us the desire to become strong and whole people, who may live in peace and to love even people who are hard to love.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. The worship of the day is simple. It starts with the imposition of ashes, which are smudged in the shape of a cross on the forehead. For a brief time the entire congregation bears this graphic mark of their humble identity as creatures of a good God. All are equal before God—both beautiful and broken. Bearing this visible mark in public is an experience of vulnerability. It sets us free from all pretense and posturing. Seeing the ashen cross on another enables us to more fully recognize and embrace our common humanity and respond with compassion to our neighbors. One may feel free. One may describe the day as grounding and life giving.

Lent leads to Easter. The forty days of Lent bring us into the fulness of the fifty days of Easter—a celebration of the mystery of the Resurrection: God raising Jesus Christ from death, and empowering Christ’s followers to a new life of compassion. All that we do in Lent, all that we give up, all our efforts, even our failures and disappointments, lead us to the joy of Easter.

In Easter we welcome new people into the community of faith: we become living members of the Body of Christ, the Church. In our Easter worship we will have the opportunity to renew the Baptismal Covenant, a set of promises, which shape the Christian life. Though our baptism may have been many years ago as an infant, and though our identity as a Christian may not have meant much to us up to this point, in the celebration of Holy Baptism everyone who is present may make a fresh start.

Easter Sunday is March 27, 2016.

Is it time for Holy Baptism?

imagesEaster Eve, a candlelit service,

is a beautiful and awe-inspiring occasion for celebrating the mystery of the sacrament,

the rite of initiation into the Body of Christ, the Church.

Other days are available throughout the year.

All people of all ages and all religious backgrounds are eligible to receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Please speak with the Rector of Holy Trinity to set the day and begin your preparation. You may contact Father Greg in the church office, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; and on Sundays after worship: 8 & 10 a.m.