Welcome

Whether you are moving to the Grand Rapids area or moving towards a new relationship with God – or both! – and looking for a community of encouragement and acceptance, we welcome you to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Wyoming, Michigan.

You are Welcome at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

This week’s services, gatherings, and events:

Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2020:
Virtual Prayer Service 10:00 AM on ZOOM
Please see the article below for ZOOM information.

Sunday, November 29, 2020  The First Sunday of Advent

Holy Eucharist 10:00 a.m. Live Streaming and more.
Please see article below for more information.

COVID INFORMATION:

We continue to gather virtually on Sunday morning due to the current extremely high Covid category. Kent County remains in the critical or Red category as does most of Michigan. Large gatherings of people, with social distancing of 6 feet or more and face coverings are discouraged.
Our building and church office will remain closed. However, Fr. Don and Maggie will be available to return calls and emails. Fr. Don and Maggie are available on Zoom, and stay tuned for a Zoom Office Hours announcement. We will get through this. We will get through this easier and with less traumatic illness when we all take reasonable common sense precautions.

Keep praying!

Don+

Technology challenged?  If you are having any difficulty getting on Facebook or Zoom for these services, please email or call the office. Maggie, our office administrator, will be happy to help you work through any challenges.

New Sunday Information, and New Technology

Fr.D
rector@holytrinitywyoming.org

With God’s help on the first Sunday of Advent (November 29, 2020) we will begin new ways to bring our parish family together. The actions we are taking are not intended to reshape precedent for how do we gather together as a church family and accomplish liturgical ministry in the future. We will follow the guidance of our State and our Diocese. The following are ways we can creatively respond to our current situation.

We should begin new live streaming with new equipment. The picture and sound should be much better. We should be able to include pre-recorded material. For example, this Sunday one of our youth will light their home Advent Wreath and talk about Hope. There should be a new link to watch the service live, so please check back with us on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. I use the word “should” for good reason. We will not have all of our equipment set-up until Saturday. If everything does not come together, we will continue with our current system.

Beginning this Sunday: we WILL celebrate the Holy Eucharist live, and continue during the Sundays of Advent, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Each service will be live-streamed. At the time you would normally walk to the communion rail to receive the sacrament we will pause the service for 20 minutes and you will be invited to DRIVE to our parking lot. Upon arriving, please park and I will walk to your car and bring you (and everyone in your car) communion. You will be asked to stick your hands out the nearest window. You will be able to join in for the closing prayer and blessing by tuning-in to our parking-lot FM radio station which should be at 88.7 on your FM dial.

Our tiny radio station broadcasts with less than 1 watt of power and covers and area about the size of our parking lot. The station is permitted to operate without a license. The chances of hearing the station beyond the parking lot are quite slim.

My thanks for the ideas and support of our Worship Committee and our Vestry. My thanks to those who have contributed making it possible to have the little radio transmitter and a second camera. My expectation is that our live streaming will continue long after Mr. COVID has gone away. If you would be interested in running a camera or bring our video director from time-to-time, please send me a note.

Big Questions

During the first three Sundays of Advent, I will be hosting a brief ZOOM course centered on some pretty big questions relating to being an Episcopalian/Christian in 2020.

The course will be held at 9:00-9:45 (on ZOOM). Due to Covid restrictions, I will only be conducting this course online in a webinar format (see below).

November 29: “Does God Really have a plan for me?”
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/91511273782?pwd=NlJnSGkybVBzazBuaHJGSys5OU0xdz09
Meeting ID: 915 1127 3782
Passcode: HTEC


December 6: “What if I truly disagree with Jesus?”

December 13: “Should I pray? Does it make a difference?”

The webinar format allows me to see you all, but your video picture will not be shared with the group nor will you be able or distracted by seeing each other. If you wish to ask a question, you can do so by the “chat” function on ZOOM or with your permission I can share the screen with you.

Please join me beginning the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Don+

That was no Nun (From Fr. Don)

While walking into a gas station I observe a man dressed as a nun pumping gas.  The mister sister needed a shave and did not have his wimple placed properly, which would be a big deal if indeed we were discussing a nun nun.

Obviously, this was no nun, or was it just odd.

I noted with a chuckle that an announcer on NPR following the funeral of Justice Ginsberg reported the iconic jurist’s name as Ruth Gator Binsberg.  As a former radio announcer who is guilty of many a blooper, I could not help but wonder if anyone was unkind enough to bring the mistake to his attention.  For an announcer at that level to utter such a malapropism is odd.

Maybe you will agree with me in thinking that 2020 is an “odd” even year.  Everything about this year seems topsy-turvey.  I will stop at this point with the inferences as I am not sure what might happen next.

We are nearing the last turn on the political races, our constant virus companion is not leaving town anytime soon, school is being conducted at home while church services are being conducted in parking-lots.  Standing in-line is almost normal if only you could tell which line you were in thanks to social distancing.  A friend recently confessed that she was not planning on dining out for a while.  I inquired if that was due to the virus and she replied, “oh no, I cannot catch up on gossip with people seated so far away from one another.”

It is all just odd.  Very odd.

Many of you may remember the “Twilight Zone” and the crazy situations where people would be in a world similar but not.  One episode has stuck with me, causing an occasional nightmare, where this average Dad walks into his home after a long day at work and no one recognizes him.  The lady of the home, who he knows as his wife, calls the police, and screams that he is an intruder.

Finding a stability and consistency in this “odd” time is a pursuit worthy of both our emotional and spiritual health.  Allow me to make two suggestions as much for myself as for you:

a)        This is not the time to make major decisions.  Unless you were planning something before the odd time, maybe wait until such time as we are living in a more reasonable reality.

b)        Find peace, not in a world which does not make much sense, but in God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  God’s love for you, for all of us is a reality that is beyond any human craziness that we could ever imagine.

Until our new 2020 glasses help us to see rather than assisting us in falling, until our 2020 shoes make it easier to walk rather than stumble, until we are not shocked when the sun rises in the west… let us all lean on each other, love each other and praise God for all that we have been given.

See you (live or virtual) in Church,

Don+

Good News Garden

The GOOD NEWS GARDEN has come to an end for the 2020 season.   

The garden was successful by all measurable standards:
(1) the FOOD PANTRY loved our produce each week and always wanted more; their needs are greater this year than ever before so even our little garden made a difference for the people they serve.
(2) Our volunteer workers made the garden successful – every person’s contribution made the tasks lighter for everyone else; no one was ever over-whelmed with too much work to do.
(3) By God’s grace and bounty the vegetables from the Good News Garden was always plentiful, bountiful, beautiful and wholesome! A healthy combination from Holy Trinity Episcopal Church members.

Harvesting tomatoes for food pantries at Holy Trinity Episcopal Wyoming, Wyoming.
Nourishing food for many people from our garden.

Thank you to whole congregation of Holy Trinity for making this, our first year, a bountiful year.

Please let Rich Dykstra or (Debbie Murphy) know what other hopes, dreams or plans you would like to see for our THE COMMONS.

How would you like to see our church  continue its use of the our COMMONS?

Would you like to repeat the GOOD NEWS GARDEN next year for the benefit of the FOOD PANTRY?
Do you have other ideas? Your input is important! (And thank you for speaking up).

From Fr. Don

We may be Outdoors
We may be Indoors
We will be on-line
We will praise God
We will be together.

 

This xxxx virus has taken a lot from us and from our world.  There is a great deal of sadness caused by something that cannot be seen without the assistance of significant magnification.  We all know people who have or have had the virus, and many of us know folks who have died because of it.  We know businesses, and some churches that have had to close and others that may not make it through this season. There is enough sadness to go around.

Holy Trinity is a parish of great perseverance.  This coming Sunday we will worship together either outside (it sounds like it will be a nice morning), inside or online.

With great sincerity, no one, especially not me, is telling you to come to church. Your decision is yours and yours alone. You must decide for yourself about the risk factors in coming to church outside, inside, or watching from home.  In the same way, your relationship with God is yours and yours alone.  You are the only person who knows and understands that relationship and no church, or cleric, or friend or relative should tell you that your relationship with God does not measure-up to theirs.

With that thought comes another, especially as we approach our national election, and our nerves may be on overload.  We are all God’s children, and we are all loved no matter our politics.

Being an only-child, I may not fully understand what it is like to live in a home with siblings.  I think of my brothers and sisters in Christ in that way.  We are all created by one God in the image of God, we are all loved equally and unconditionally by God.  There is no doubt that God is, at times, delighted and disappointed with God’s children, but God’s love does not waiver. We may judge others, sometimes correctly and sometimes incorrectly but we must understand that God’s love for those we love and those we have difficulty loving is not in question; God’s love is forever.

Let us gather, in one way or another. Let us remind each other that we are all God’s children and that there is a place at the table for all of us. Let us take the precautions necessary to guard ourselves and protect others as best we can and let us make the decisions we need to make as commanded to by Christ, to love one another. Let us mask-up and wave at each other from a good distance. Let us wash our hands at least five times more than we think is necessary. Let us call and communicate with each other and let us be together in prayer and in love for one another.

 

Don+

On the way to the Eagle

The finished ga ga pit. Picture by Beth Smith

Magnus Smith, eldest Son of Owen and Beth Smith is on his way to the honor of being an Eagle Scout.  Magnus, a 17 year-old Senior at Byron Center High School who, with help from his troop and others, recently completed a full renovation of the parish’s playground adding a “ga-ga pit.”

Ga Ga is known as a nicer and more friendly version of dodgeball and is played in an octagonal pit or space.  The pits can include soft surfaces or be set-up in a parking-lot or gym.  There can be any number of players.

A new slide was installed to the playground and the structure was painted bright colors to encourage welcome.  The playground is located so that people know Holy Trinity is a welcoming church, especially for kids (and those who are kids at heart).

As part of the requirements to become an Eagle Scout, Magnus was “in-charge” of the project down to the last detail, including raising funds, purchase of supplies and assigning tasks.

After the final paperwork and interviews, Magnus will have completed all the challenges toward becoming an Eagle Scout.  Eagle Scouts were first recognized in 1911 and have included Gerald Ford, Neil Armstrong and more recently Stephen Spielberg and Michael Bloomberg.

When not involved in Scouting, Magnus is a member of the marching band where he plays the sousaphone; is interested in technology and is an active teen with many friends.

Thank you Magnus, and our thanks to all the Scouts and Adult leaders who assisted on this worthwhile project.

The finished playground. Pictures by Beth Smith