January 14, 2021
Saints of Trinity,
As I’ve sat and watched the news in the past week, something hit me. It hit me hard. I grew up with Walter Cronkite, a man who saw his job as reporting the news. I remember Huntley and Brinkley as they took their spots each evening, and as they too reported the news. Walter Cronkite seldom shared his opinions. He seldom showed emotion. There were times when the emotions would sneak through, times like when President Kennedy was shot, but more often than not, his role in this country was simply to report. I’ve realized just how much things have changed.
Like some of you, I’ve sought to hear multiple perspectives, particularly since the election. I’ve listened and watched Rachel Maddow, Tucker Carlson, Anderson Cooper, Neil Cavuto, Chris Cuomo, George Stephanopoulos, Norah O’Donnell, and others. Here is the realization. I realized after the events of last Wednesday, the storming of the Capital, I’m not sure I see the news anymore. I’m not sure I’ve seen the reporting of the news for a very long time now. What I now see are emotional editorials that focus on current events. I was watching CNN only to realize that Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo were inciting emotional epithets as critical of the other side as what I heard on Fox with Tucker Carlson. In times like these, I’m just not sure any of it is helpful, particularly in a country that seems already overwhelmed with division.
I share this out of concern for you, Saints of Trinity; particularly your emotional and spiritual health. We’re already dealing with the fears surrounding the growing Coronavirus numbers, the shifts and changes that have minimized our ability to relate to one another, so much now influences our opportunities to see and share with each other. I watch as tensions rise. I watch as desperation becomes heightened. And yes, I’m worried, and sure I’m worried about the country, the transition, and the violence. At the same time, I’ve seen and experienced what watching too much news does to my own soul. I shared with Dorothy just yesterday, a feeling of a kind of malaise; and it’s not just the weather.
In my virtual appointment with my doctor, he asked if I wanted him to up my antidepressant dosage. Nope, I said. I’d rather work out, sweat, hike, walk, ride, whatever it takes to push myself toward greater health. And part of that is turning off the news, or at last, deciding how much is enough. Here’s what I’m recommending, and this comes from a close friend who is a psychologist. Like our eating habits, each of us needs to seek to control our news-watching habits. Watch only an hour of a news show. If you need more news, read the paper. It is often more objective. Not always, but at least here the stories are more local. Walk, run, bike, kayak, canoe, hike, go play in the snow, have tea with a friend while on the phone, FaceTime, Zoom, whatever it takes to renew those important relationships with family and friends. Just turn off the television.
Over the next twelve weeks, I’ll be inviting you into a time of study. I’ll be exploring the Beatitudes from the 5th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. I want to invite you to fully participate. As you hear the weekly messages, do some Bible study, take some notes, formulate some questions, prayerfully consider how what I’m saying relates to you and your situation. It is my goal every week to give you food for thought, even questions to ponder; to offer you significant opportunities to take on and take in the lessons each week.
Take some time to simply sit quietly without the sound of the television. Listen to the rain and wind. Experience it. Look up to the mountains, and by the way, the Psalmist is correct, we can find strength when we take the time to look to the hills. Ultimately remember that God has us; surrounds us, loves us, encourages us, and forms us if we allow that to happen. So, in the midst of this crazy, disturbing, challenging time, let’s do some soul work. If we do that, the rest of life will fall into place. I love you and am praying for you.
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.
COVID-19 Vaccinations Available
For Sequim area residents ages 70 and over. 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. This takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 9 am to 3 pm. However, people line up very early since this is a first-come, first-served process.
Access to the Church during the COVID-19 Vaccinations
You may come into the church from the north driveway (next to the skateboard park) and drive around the back of the church to the parking lot. Blake Avenue is blocked from the church to Washington Street so you will need to reach this driveway from the north. This is on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays before 9am and until 2pm. If you are stopped by the police, let them know that you have business at the church and are not here to get a vaccination.
— to assist Covid vaccination volunteers with snacks and lunches in the fellowship hall on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 9am to Noon and Noon to 3 pm. If you’d like to help, contact Gay Lyn Lillagore, 360-582-6192 or email@example.com.
Noisy Can Offering for Katherine Parker – January 31
Katherine is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC and serves as a Health and Community Transformation Advisor with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). For several years Trinity UMC has supported (and continues to support) Katherine via a Covenant Relationship, which means we annually send $1,000 towards her salary. (Any funds donated above and beyond her salary will be used to help provide medical care for COVID-19 patients in Nepal.) Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted. Checks may be issued to TUMC, indicating January NCO in the memo section.
Update on Sequim Food Distribution
At our briefing before the December 23 distribution, there were two announcements: 1) Between June 3rd and the end of December, the Sequim Food Bank distributed 350,000 tons of food (equal to about 500,000 meals). 2) There still is a great need. The food distributions will continue in 2021 on these dates: Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and 24, and Mar. 10 & 24. Hours for the volunteers are 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. If you would like to help, contact Jan Kreidler (360-681-5027 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Another opportunity to serve: CERT
CERT has contacted Trinity UMC to ask if any of us would be interested in volunteering to “staff” one of CERT’s two field/portable kitchens in the event of a natural disaster. This kitchen would be deployed in eastern Clallam County, where food would be provided and served. Training would be required. If you are interested, contact Jan Kreidler at 360-681-5027 or email@example.com.
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!
Note: The church is closed Monday January 15 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.