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I realize that we are quickly approaching the long slow days of the summer months. School will be out soon, or is already out for the year, and many of our families will be traveling to all sorts of destinations this summer. I am excited to be taking my family to Family Camp at Procter Conference Center for a weekend this summer. We’ll sing songs together, play fun games with our family and other Episcopalians, celebrate Holy Eucharist together in a fun camp setting, and remember that our faith community is much bigger than any one local parish. In other words, it’ll be a fantastic weekend.
June 18th through the 23rd several from our parish will be going to Staten Island on a mission trip to help with Hurricane Sandy recovery and rebuilding efforts through Episcopal Relief& Development and the Diocese of New York. A mission trip is a great way to learn that we are blessed, we are transformed as we share God’s love with others. That is, mission trips remind us that our Christian faith is about putting the love of God into action, and that in so doing, our lives are touched in a powerful way. Please pray for our mission trip team.
Later in the summer I’ll be taking my family to Hilton Head Island, and I can’t wait! Don’t get me wrong. I try to live each day to the fullest, enjoying whatever ministry opportunities come my way, but I am ready for some time dedicated completely to relaxing and resting with my wife and two adorable boys.
Ascension & Holy Trinity is a busy busy faith community, and I mean that in a good way. We have many community organizations using our parish space, and we have many church ministries housed out of our parish. Summer schedules adjust, but my point is that the life of the church continues on. Please make every effort to continue deepening your faith in Jesus through active engagement in your faith community. It’ll be a joy for my family to worship together while at Hilton Head Island. I may come back with some different ideas for Ascension & Holy Trinity, and so might you when you attend worship away from home.
If you are new to our faith community I encourage you to give us a try. Join us for Sunday morning worship. Typically, our worship is at 8am and 10am on Sundays and 10am on Wednesdays. Beginning June 15th we’ll adjust our schedule to 8:30am outdoor service and 10am indoor service.
When trying out a new church give it a few Sundays. Every priest has an “off” Sunday when things aren’t clicking. Further, I know I’ll be away a few Sundays over the summer, and I would be upset if I didn’t get the chance to meet you. Summer can be a great time to check out churches, but also remember that the Chancel Choir gets the summer to rest, and there will be Sundays when supply clergy will lead worship.
Remember that all are welcome to an amazing worship experience at Ascension & Holy Trinity in Wyoming, Ohio. Our worship doesn’t end after the conclusion of the Sunday services. The real work of ministry begins after the Dismissal as we are sent into the world to take God’s love and compassion to the ends of the earth. All are welcome to join your sisters and brothers in Christ at Ascension & Holy Trinity on this great adventure we call faith.
In God's Grace,
Eric L. Miller+
Rector, Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Earlier this year between ten and fifteen of us met over several weeks to discuss Marcus Borg’s book “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time.” Many of us agreed with Borg’s conclusion that throughout scripture, biblical voices consistently echoed three convictions:
God (the Sacred) is real, and knowable as a Mystery beyond all language.
Our lives are made “whole” and “right” by living in a conscious relationship with God. It is about a covenant, a relationship.
The God of the Bible is full of compassion and passionate about (social) justice. Compassion without justice is to focus on charity and kind deeds, but risks ignoring the injustice which is creating the need for compassion. Justice without compassion emphasizes politics and public morality, but becomes out of touch with the individual lives which suffer under injustice.
Our faith challenged us to explore issues of social justice to a greater depth, with a view to finding the voice and taking the actions that would be effective in moving us towards a more just society. We anticipate a challenging, engaging and fulfilling journey, and we invite you to join us, along with your friends!
Four areas of social justice were selected as initial candidates for exploration: Immigration; Living Wages; Affordable Housing; and Voting: The Voice of the People. As an introduction to each of these topics, we plan to arrange one meeting for each, to include subject matter experts.
We shall have the opportunity to gain a beginning understanding of each issue. We shall pursue a faith-based process with the intention of reaching a shared view of the nature of any injustice. We shall listen to expert opinion about the ways by which a faith based community such as ours might contribute to a move towards greater justice.
As follow up, those drawn to one or more of the issues will follow up in small groups to determine next steps.
The schedule of initial meetings will be announced shortly, though we anticipate the first, on Immigration, to be in the evening of Monday, September 29. If you have any questions about this initiative, please contact Don Schmidt (513-607-2669; email@example.com) or Maurice Bason (513-200-7840; firstname.lastname@example.org)July 23, 2014