Apologies and challenges
February 4, 2021
Dear Saints of Trinity,
Let me apologize for not having a letter for you last week. I normally try and write the first draft of the letter on Mondays. However, a week ago Monday I attended a required clergy class on Racism, Cultural Competency, and Leadership. You’ll hear a bit more about it in the message for this Sunday.
First, let me deal with a bit of it in this letter. Normally, February at Trinity is filled with spirituals, songs coming out of the time of slavery, often written by Black, most often African American authors who sought to respond with music, to a time of enormous abuse and violence. Given the events of this past year, I’ve asked that we not focus on Spirituals this year. The reason is that, for those whose ancestors suffered through those terrible times, many have stated clearly that those of us who are white simply cannot understand, cannot fathom, and cannot, with any integrity sing those songs in a way that honors the writers. The depth of emotion; the enormity of the pain, the sheer amount of abuse suffered by those who lived it, set alongside those who have come through multiple generations following those days, cannot and should not sing about what they do not understand.
The passions around all of this are deeply felt. The pain, particularly in the midst of what we are seeing in the country today, has become like an open wound. I want to honor their wishes. In as much as I love singing the Spirituals, I cannot in good conscience have us doing what we’ve done in the past.
Each of us is surrounded by challenges. If we allow ourselves, we each continue to find potential areas of growth. Each of us, if we are open to it, have opportunities to shift our attitudes. Each of us have opportunities to stretch ourselves in ways that can offer healing. What I’ve mentioned above around the singing of Spirituals is but one example. Here is another. For the past two weeks, I’ve talked about the Beatitudes. I shared the original meaning of the word “Blessed.” The visual image I talked about was the act of kneeling. I utilized the kneeling rail last Wednesday for the recording. I talked about the need for each of us to kneel as we enter into this time. Never once did I talk about those who can’t physically kneel.
So, I want to apologize to those who may have been hurt by that, especially coming from your pastor, and particularly a pastor who should know better. Not all of us can physically kneel. So let me offer an alternative. The posture of humility does not need to be physical. It can be, and maybe should be an attitude based on something more emotional. It is the attitude we have before our Creator. We bow our heads when we pray. We can humble ourselves when sitting in our favorite chair, in a wheelchair, or on our walker. Friends, you don’t need to kneel in order to be humble, any more than we have to kneel to pray. For some of us, maybe many of us, kneeling is simply physically impossible. It is one more example of gaining a new understanding of sensitivity.
It is my hope that we all recognize that we have areas in need of growth; areas that can help us understand more fully both the pain and the wonderment we can bring to relationships.
We are a church, and as such we are people who are willing to grow in love, in service, in faith, and in relationships. We’re a gathering of diverse beliefs, and yet accepting of one another unlike any other gathering I know of. Why? Because we are focused on a Savior and guide who has shown us how to live, how to love, and how to be…together.
Some Concerns that we have:
- For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. Prayers for those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
- For all those who are ill from the covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for all the first responders/essential workers.
- For peace in our country.
- For smooth delivery of the vaccine.
- For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.
Even though you can’t be with those having birthdays this week, emails or phone calls are appreciated.
Parking Lot service is taking a break for winter
We thank you for your continued support of our ministries here at Trinity and ask that you mail your contributions in to the church. Make sure to use our Post Office Box 3697 instead of our street address.
Reminder – Communion this Sunday
To participate, have your elements (bread and juice or wine) available.
Help needed to power-wash the parking lot
Pastor Brad will be leading volunteers this Sunday and Monday, February 7 and 8, beginning at 10:30 AM. Please bring a hose and power-washer if you have one. Help turning on hose bibs is also needed. Any questions, contact Pastor Brad at 425-628-1250.
Peninsula Singers Virtual Cabaret
— is still up for viewing. Because of COVID-19, the choir cannot meet to sing or perform, and we need some basic donations in order to keep alive until the restrictions are lifted, and people are allowed to sing and perform again, as well as award some scholarships. The show is hosted by Jerry Wright and runs for just under 45 minutes. It is very good, and can be accessed from the Peninsula Singers website: peninsulasingers.org or on Facebook: Peninsula Singers | Facebook. Donations by mail can be sent to: Peninsula Singers, 325 E. Washington Street # 135, Sequim, WA 98382. God bless you for helping us weather the Covid storm!
For Sequim area residents ages 65+ and their spouse/partner or household member who lives with them (regardless of age). This is a drive-through process. People stay in their cars. Check-in is here at TUMC in the parking lot. After completing the paperwork, people are directed to Carrie Blake Park where they will receive their vaccination. You may register online Thursday, Feb.4, Wednesdays, March 3, 17, and 31 at http://vaccine.clallam.net/register or call 360-681-3447.
Hospitality volunteers needed for front door sign-ins
Another 6 to 10 people are needed. We are planning two shifts for each day (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays). The first shift will be from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and the 2nd shift from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please contact Jan Kreidler if you would like additional information at 360-681-5027 or email@example.com if you can help.
Access to the Church during the COVID-19 Vaccinations
Blake Ave is now open, but as you approach the church, you will be stopped by a Volunteer Police person. Simply let them know you are trying to get to the church for a meeting, they will wave you on by. Turn into the north entrance, drive by the skate park, and then go around the back of the church building. There will be parking available. This is on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays before 9 am and until 2 pm.
Save the Date for a Lenten Study
“You Are Never Alone,” by Max Lucado. This class will meet on Tuesdays from 1:00-2:00 p.m. for 6 weeks starting February 23 and ending March 30, 2021.
God’s presence and power are nearer than we think. Through studying the miracles of Jesus as told in the Gospel of John we find Jesus right here with us. We are stronger than we think because God is nearer than we know. We can learn to trust in the miracle of God’s presence and power. For more information and to sign up for this class, contact Kathleen Charters by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 240.463.7598.
Noisy Can Offering update
Thank you for your “Noisy Can” donations of $972.50 which go to support Katherine Parker, a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC who serves as a Health and Community Transformation Advisor with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). For the past several years, TUMC has supported (and continues to support) Katherine via a Covenant Relationship, sending $1,000 annually towards her salary.
Sequim Food Distribution
As food needs continue to increase, the food distributions continue at least through March. The dates for the next two months are: Feb. 10 & 24, and March 10 & 24. Hours for the volunteers are 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. If you would like to help with the food distributions, contact Jan Kreidler (360-681-5027 or email@example.com).
Another opportunity to serve: CERT
CERT is in need of volunteers to train and help staff one of their two portable kitchens in the event of a natural disaster. This kitchen would be set up in the eastern part of Clallam County. If you are interested, contact Jan Kreidler at 360-681-5027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trinity United Methodist Church office hours are 9 am-2 pm Monday through Friday. However, due to limited access to the building during this phase of opening, we are keeping the doors locked. There is a doorbell to the right of the main door (by the office) that you need to ring to alert the office and you will be let in. It is best to call ahead so we are aware that you are coming. Thanks so much for your patience and remember when in the building to be sure and wear your mask!