Back to school. In July these words make me wistful, a little sad that summer will come to an end. In August I’m in a panic. But come September my alarm turns to elation. It’s time to go back to school!

In my household we all go back to school. Emma will be a Senior in high school, preparing to apply to colleges, and Sam will be entering as a Freshman—his world is about to get a whole lot bigger. My wife Jacq will be back in the classroom at Princeton Theological Seminary, teaching, counseling students, serving on committees, and working on several writing projects. And I will be observing my first September at Holy Trinity, the start of a new season, a fresh start for us all, a season for growing in faith and commitment.

There is good energy in our church! Visit Holy Trinity and you will sense that the Spirit is moving among us and leading us in new directions. Over the summer, our Way of St. Paul team interviewed people in our church and preschool, as we listened and discerned what may be up into our world and in our lives. Some small experiments—big steps in faith—are soon to follow.

The Board of Calico Cat Preschool & Day Care Center—Holy Trinity’s ministry to families—is working with director Dominique Cappiello and her dedicated staff to provide loving care and excellence in education for our youngest neighbors and their families. Based in part on the findings of our Way of St. Paul team, we will be responding to the spiritual needs of our preschool children and families through some new initiatives to form faith in children and support families on weekdays during preschool hours.

Our Earth Care Committee is taking concrete steps to upgrade our energy efficiency and implement new conservations practices. We have applied for state funding to install new LED lighting and replace some of our inefficient air conditioning systems (read more inside this issue). There is a passionate desire in the parish to be leaders in the stewardship of the environment and model change for our community.

Calico Threads Thrift Store, Holy Trinity’s storefront ministry at 54 Ferry Street, will be celebrating its second anniversary during September. Visit on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 11 a.m. and worship with our dedicated volunteer staff and our neighbors who shop at the store. We will be giving thanks to God for all the many blessings that have come to us through the store, as we add to the number of our neighbors in Christ and enlarge our sense of neighborhood to include the downtown.

Our September worship will be full of blessings for people of all ages. Our choir under music director Br. Richard Thomas Biernacki will be seeking to recruit new voices and learn new music. Based on your constructive feedback, you may look for a new worship booklet in early October that brings together the best in our Episcopal and Anglican traditions.

As we start a new season of Sunday School (registration is on Sept. 13 and classes begin on Sept. 20) I am praying for our children and their families and for volunteers to come forward to support these vital ministries of Christian formation. Everything that we might want to achieve as a church, including both financial sustainability and effective service to our community, will come about only as we seek to grow in faith and commitment to the ministries of our church, and especially those that seek to form faith and deepen commitment in young people. I am grateful to Jennie Racek and Alicia Rodriguez for their continuing commitments to our youngest children and our youth, and for Cherie Spielman’s willingness to take the lead in teaching older children. Can you lend a helping hand?

What would you like to learn? How would you grow in Christian faith and service? What will be your involvement in Holy Trinity’s ministries? How may we count on you? What may God be saying to you? It’s time for us all to go back to school—and that’s what the Church is, a school for prayer, a community of love and care where faith is shared from one generation to another.

“Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20, 21).

Your neighbor in Christ,
Fr. Greg+

September 20th is a big Sunday at Holy Trinity!

Sunday School for all ages starts at 9:45 p.m. on September 20. Children in Pre-K through Grade 7 will meet in their classrooms in the Rectory. Youth Grades 8 through 12 will meet in the Rector’s study.

Fr. Greg invites parents and grandparents of Sunday School students to meet with him in the church at 9:45 a.m. for a conversation about parenting, Christian formation and finding faith in the home.

Blessing of backpacks: Students may bring a backpack or lunchbox for a blessing after they rejoin their families for the 10 a.m. service.

All are invited to coffee hour and to explore the Ministries Fair: Learn about a variety of volunteer opportunities and ways of becoming involved in the life of Holy Trinity and in service to the community.

And there will be a special election for Senior Warden. Balloting begins after the 8 a.m. service and continues again after the 10:00 a.m.

EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) meets 6-8 p.m. All are welcome!

 

Sunday School start

Maundy Thursday (April 2) 7:00 PM: includes the Holy Eucharist, with foot washing and the stripping of the altar.

Good Friday (April 3) Noon worship from the Book of Common Prayer, featuring the Passion Gospel, and the veneration of the Cross, and holy communion from the reserved Sacrament.

Tenebrae (April 3) 7:00 PM: a service led by the choir and featuring a reading of the Passion Gospel

Saturday Easter Vigil (April 4) 8:00 PM

Easter Day (April 5) Festive worship 10:00 AM

We warmly welcome all people!

The Wednesday Lenten series begins Feb. 25 and runs through March 25. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. with a light buffet supper and continues from 7 to 8 p.m. with a time of reading holy scripture and responding to questions based on the biblical texts. Discussions are designed to lead us into discernment about God’s presence in our lives and in our world and to increase our comfort with reading and interpreting the Bible as the lively and life-life-giving Word of God. The discussions are suitable for older children as well as adults (and participating in the Lenten series is part of the preparation for being Confirmed or Received into the Episcopal Church when Bishop Chip Stokes visits Holy Trinity on Saturday, May 2, at 4 p.m.). For more information please contact the Reverend Gregory Bezilla: gregbezilla@verizon.net. All are welcome–you don’t have to be a member!

 

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Wild beasts, angels, and a rainbow are part of the worship for this first Sunday in Lent. The Great Litany will be sung in procession at the beginning of the 10 a.m. service. All are welcome – please invite a neighbor.

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