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March 9-24, 2015 Join Davidson College as it hosts a family-friendly festival, several lectures, and a series of other special events highlighting the joy and resiliency of Judaism in America.
*** Jewish Festival â€“ Tradition: Celebrating Jewish Community and Culture on March 15 Gender and Jewishness in Fiddler on the Roof from the 1960s to the present on March 22. In addition to the opportunities on campus, DavidsonLearns will be offering a course titled Fiddler â€“ Beyond the Music: Identity, then and now. All symposium events are free and open to the public. However, several events require registration. Please RSVP online by March 11, 2015 by emailing email@example.com or calling 704-894-2448.
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Topics TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH Volume 31, Number 3
March 2015 ...............................................
Staff, Vestry, & Officers Rector | The Reverend Brad Mullis Parish Administrator | Sarah Wilkinson Organist/Choirmaster | Sam Holt Preschool Director | Sherry George Senior Warden | Kim Dockery Junior Warden | Rob Hites Parish Life | Tommy Allison Outreach | Layton Getsinger Music & Worship | Jerrie Greene Finance | Nimocks Haigh Communications | James Hogan Young Family Ministry | Amy Lawton Pastoral Care | Carol Leach Newcomers & Evangelism | Bud Martin Youth | Scott Rankin Adult Ed | Chris Shoobridge Vestry Secretary | Susan Cardwell Treasurer | Jim Lawton Assistant Treasurer | Evie Caldwell ...............................................
Trinity Topics is a monthly publication of Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesville, NC. The views and opinions that appear in this publication are not necessarily those of the church, vestry, diocese, or The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. © 2015 Trinity Episcopal Church. ...............................................
CONTACT US 801 Henkel Road / PO Box 1103 Statesville, NC 28677-1103 (704) 872-6314 firstname.lastname@example.org
In This Issue FEATURES
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Time for a Tender Touch
Liked, Loved, & Shared
Trinity’s Vestry approves plans to bring new life to the Memorial Garden.
From the Editor
Coming Back into Focus
Around the Parish
Lent isn’t just about darkness and depravation. It’s a chance to re-center, too.
Milestones, Service Schedule
Helping You Keep a Holy Lent Morning and evening prayer and small groups under way throughout Lent.
12 Cover: What Makes a Marriage Christian?
The Task Force on the Study of Marriage has issued its recommendations for the 2015 General Convention.
17 Adult Ed: Video, Book Discussion Opportunities
Another season of Adult Ed gears up with something for everyone.
Submissions We welcome your submissions or ideas for articles or photos as well as your comments. Email email@example.com with your input. Back cover: The Davidson Jazz Ensemble plays as part of the Trinity Artist Series—one of the few times you’ll ever see a drum set at the altar.
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Liked, Loved, & Shared Each month we feature a few quotes, images, and comments shared on our social media channels, plus your letters, comments, and cards. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Food for Thought The Ever-Blurring Line Between Workweek and Weekend
Top: Heather Harwell shared this photo from her Sunday School class in February, when her students were learning about trust. Nobody got wet! Right: Susan Cardwell shared on Trinity Talks this humorous guide to reading the marks on Ash Wednesday.
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“In a world where parents ferry their children to and fro, chaperoning play dates and supervising music lessons; in a job market that provides more paid vacations and promotes staff yoga courses, what really constitutes ‘play’? Likewise, in an age when work e-mail is accessible at all hours of the night and web promotions and social media distractions are readily available during all hours of the day, what categories define the term we know as ‘work’? Jonathan Crary says in his book 24/7, our new normal seems to be the always-on paradigm of activity. The Bible speaks of this strange tension between work and play. In fact, the Bible shows that it has always been a problem for us, to know when to stop working. God’s creation ends with a rest from work. When God issues his ten decrees from Sinai, one of them is to “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” But Jesus, being the great sabbathbreaking ‘Lord of the Sabbath’, sees a different dynamic at play. He says to the Pharisees, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” It wasn’t just that people don’t rest, it was that even in rest people find ways to work out their own righteousness.” The above excerpt comes from the article “The Ever-Blurring Line Between Workweek and Weekend,” written by Ethan Richardson. It first appeared on Mockingbird.com’s website. Tell us what you think via email: email@example.com
FROM THE EDITOR
A Hard Look at Marriage and the Church
his month’s issue of Trinity Topics includes a long article that pulls excerpts from a number of reports generated by the Task Force on the Study of Marriage. The task force, which was created and charged by the national Episcopal Church, presented last December its findings and recommendations in advance of this summer’s General Convention. The group centered upon a few key questions: What makes a marriage Christian? What is the relationship between the church’s blessing of relationships and unions, be they among same or different gendered people? Is the blessing of a same-sex relationship the equivalent to that of a different-sex couple, and if so, should that liturgy be called marriage? The long conversations these questions produced has created a set of recommendations that could potentially position the Episcopal Church in a unique place in the protestant landscape. Among them are revisions to the Canons concerning marriage, including the removal of language specifically describing marriage as between a man and a woman and rewriting language to ask churches to conform to the laws of their state regarding marriage. The task force recommended preserving clergy’s rights to decline officiating over any marriage or blessing a marriage. Although I am certainly a man—and writer—of many opinions, I decided when taking the task of editing Topics that it wouldn’t be my place to editorialize or posture within these pages. And I am more than wary of presenting issues here
that strike overtly political chords among readers. Our political landscape these days is awfully divisive and counters much of what we want to accomplish as God’s church. The topic of marriage is inherently political, though, given that we reside in a state that has voted to amend our constitution so that it prohibits gay marriage—and watched as our judicial system has effectively negated that amendment. In late February, our state lawmakers passed legislation enabling local registers of deeds to decline presiding over gay marriages if they felt it would infringe upon their religious beliefs. And as the United States Supreme Court weighs the matter of gay marriage in a decision to settle all, this report to the Episcopal General Convention arrives at a time when the topic of marriage, the church, and our society is highly charged. We aren’t long removed from a time when the election of a gay Bishop became cause for schism within our larger church family. There will likely be a vigorous discussion this summer. There is an article missing from this edition of Topics, one that addresses what it’s like to be a gay Christian in today’s church. The article’s omission has more to do with my limited network of contacts (when I asked a couple of friends to consider authoring such an article, they politely declined) than anything, so at the risk of violating my own rule of not opining here, allow me to pose these questions: What do you think it’s like being a gay Christian in our commu-
nity? Would you feel welcome in church? At Trinity, I pray the answer is yes. Christ’s table is meant to be shared by those who seek Him, be they white or black, married or unmarried or divorced, gay or straight. I’ve had tears in my eyes before kneeling at the communion rail, knowing that at Trinity I could share the Lord’s Supper with someone next to me who might not be welcome at another church’s altar. That’s the beauty of what we do at Trinity, where we take seriously our commitment to love one another as Christ loved us—unconditionally. There are two (and often, many more) sides to every issue, and good, well-meaning Episcopalians across the country—and world—have presented their ideas as to why the Task Force on the Study of Marriage’s recommendations are wrong. God’s love is a big love. And Topics has plenty of room for your well-formed opinions. I invite you to submit them to me at any time, and I welcome the chance for Trinity to have its own conversation around this issue. The more we talk, and hear, and listen, and understand, the easier it will be for all of us to contribute, together, as we work to be God’s hands and feet. —James Hogan, editor ◊
Care to share your thoughts? Email your comments and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Around the Parish Outreach Reminders The Iredell Christian Ministries (ICM) continues to have an immense need for canned goods of all kinds, paper supplies for the household, housekeeping supplies, personal hygiene supplies, dried beans, pasta, etc. so please make it a habit to pick something up for this community ministry every single time you shop at the grocery store. Your donations can be deposited in the baskets in the narthex at any time. The collections are taken to ICM on the last Sunday of each month. Thanks to everyone for your loving kindness. As a reminder Trinity Annual Yard Sale is scheduled for the first weekend in May which will be May 2nd this year. As you go about your Spring cleaning think about donating those items that may no longer have utility in your life. Amy Lawton is chairing the event this year. More information will be disseminated in the coming weeks to remind everyone. In closing just a reminder to bring your aluminum cans to church for recycling and bring your cancelled stamps and place them in the plastic box in the narthex. —Layton Getsinger
Quick takes $941
A Big Total! Souper Sunday luncheon fundraiser nets $941 for Stop Hunger Now event. Clean-up Planned. Bring your garden tools and your strong backs for our spring Memorial Garden Cleanup Day on March 7. We will be cutting and trimming. No planting. Please bring tarps, saws , cutters , chainsaws, shovels and heavy digging tools. We have numerous plants to dig up and the hollies and camellias to trim back severely. 11am—2pm. We’re full. Garden plots are fully subscribed! If you’d like to get on the waiting list, please contact Dee Ham. Community Garden improvements. Cameron Rankin presented plans to the Vestry last month to add picnic tables, benches, and a vegetable washing station to Trinity’s Community Garden as part of his Eagle Scout project. The vestry unanimously approved Cameron’s request with appreciation for his hard work ahead. Palm Sunday cross workshop. Mark the date of Monday, March 2 for the making of palm crosses. Join with others at 7:00 at the church for the "learning how-to" and the making of palm crosses with a lot of good fellowship. Altar Guild meeting. Notice to Altar Guild members. Brad would like to meet briefly following the Palm Sunday service, March 29th. This meeting is in preparation for Altar Guild members' participation in the Maundy Thursday service. Easter Lilies. Sundays March 15- March 29, there will be forms in the church bulletins which members can fill out to order Easter Lilies for use in the church on Easter Sunday.
SAVE THE DATE! VBS starts July 20, 2015 6 | Topics March 2015
Stop Hunger Now lunch and event after church service
Memorial Garden workday, 11am-2pm
The Trinity Artist Series reception for the Davidson Jazz Ensemble was well attended.
From the Senior Warden Hello Everyone! I hope this issues of Topics finds you warm and enjoying some sunny weather! I'm very pleased to say our Wednesday Parish Suppers got off to a very good start on February 11th with a delicious spaghetti dinner enjoyed by 50 of our church family! It was a fun intergenerational gathering with children enjoying playtime together and others of us having good conversation around our meal tables. Many thanks to Carol Leach, Amy Lawton, and Tommy Allison for coordinating this supper. Please mark you calendar for future Wednesday Parish Suppers on March 22nd, April 22nd, May 20th, and June 10th. Our Trinity Artist Series offered a beautiful concert by the Davidson Jazz
Ensemble on February 15th. Many thanks to that committee for their continued diligence in bringing high quality offerings to our parish and community. Our Lenten offerings have begun with Evening Prayer daily at church, Lenten groups, and Morning Prayer out in the community. Please take advantage of these offerings and find a time to gather with fellow parishioners for meaningful Lenten practices. Thanks to all who are reading and hosting! Please continue to take note of monthly Vestry minutes as published here in Topics. We want to make sure you stay informed of the business activities of our church. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. —Kim Dockery, Senior Warden ◊
Children’s choir sings
Parish Supper; in the Parish Hall. Free; donations accepted
Stations of the Cross, with Alan Black, cello. Vestry meeting.
Palm Sunday Service; Altar Guild meeting
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Time for a Tender Touch Vestry approves plans to bring new life to Trinity’s Memorial Garden.
Meant to be a place of solemn reflection, Trinity’s Memorial Garden is in need of maintenance.
group of volunteers including several master gardeners have met several times to study the condition of the Memorial Garden and recommend improvements in planting material and garden layout to the Vestry. After meeting several times with landscape designer Jan Feimster they recommended they presented the following improvements to the Vestry. First, many of the shrubs are in poor health and need to be removed. Several are healthy but over-
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grown. The group recommended that the hollies along next to the windows be cut back. Two will be removed to provide more light for the camellia behind them. The two Sasanqua Camellias will be treated for scale and trimmed to a shape that will encourage healthy blooms. Plants in decline will be removed. Dead Ivy will be removed but living ivy plants will be left behind. Secondly, the group will meet with Jan Feimster to select plant materials that will thrive in the Memorial Garden’s environment. They are also studying the use of blue stone slate as a material for the area where grass has not successfully thrived. A low ground cover will be planted between the stones. The group will meet with
the Vestry with their recommendation on a planting plan. Finally, as a long range goal, the group is meeting with a designer of water features to determine if the water and electric service available to the Memorial Garden is sufficient to support a water feature. If resources are suitable the designer will give the group a price for designing and constructing such a feature, and they will discuss the installation of such a feature with the Vestry. Items 1 and 2 will be funded through volunteer hours and donations. A funding plan for the water feature will accompany the presentation. After hearing the recommendations of the Memorial Garden volunteers the Vestry unanimously moved to permit the first steps in maintenance of the garden. Lynn Lawton, who presented to the group, stressed that no soil or dirt from the garden will be removed whatsoever. The church will hold a volunteer work day at the Memorial Garden on March 7th to trim back and remove plant material from 11:00 to 1:00. Tarps for dragging plant materials to the curb would be of great help. —Rob Hites, Junior Warden ◊
REV. BRAD MULLIS
Coming Back into Focus Lent isn’t about dark and depravation. It’s a chance to re-center, too.
A fiery sunset frames the top of Trinity’s roofline.
ear Friends, “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the church, to the observance of a holy
we are to grow into the people God has made us to be. The wake-up call Lent offers is the good news of the gospel in Lent.” miniature: “Repent! Know that you are We are a week into Lent, a sea- made, loved, and redeemed by God. Go son in which we are invited to selfand enjoy the good life God has given examination and repentance by prayer, you!” The kicker of course is underfasting, self-denial, and reading and standing that what the culture calls the meditating on God’s holy Word. Selfgood life really isn’t, and that we are examination and repentance are yearcalled to something totally different, round, lifetime pursuits, but Lent is a higher, and better. time when we are called to them particThough Mardi Gras evolved as a ularly. They are difficult, but necessary if symbol of one last bit of revelry before trinitysvl.org | 9
the onset of a dark, dreary time, many of us in some way look forward to Lent. It offers a new beginning, a time consciously to examine those places where our lives have gotten out of control and how we can offer them to God to be made right again. Lent is a time to remember the gift of forgiveness and our need of it. Lent brings us back into focus. The distortions of looks, money, and class disappear. We see who we are, and are then freed to marvel anew at God and God’s love for us. How are you observing Lent? You may abstain from
” chocolate or other sweets. You may give up some other pleasure. Many folks take on a discipline in Lent, such as letterwriting or journal-keeping. May I offer some other suggestions even a week into Lent? Pray. If you do not pray regularly, do so. If you do pray regularly, alter your prayer discipline in some meaningful way during Lent. I am offering some meditations with a brief prayer suggestion each day on the church Facebook page, which you might find helpful. Do something to make your days quieter and simpler. That is to say, fast from something like TV or technology and take time to breathe. 10 | Topics March 2015
Almsgiving. Be particularly attentive to the needs of the poor this Lent, and let your money follow your heart. Consider attending the morning prayer services about town, the 12:15 Eucharist on Wednesdays and 5:30 Evening Prayer every time you can. Balance your personal devotions with corporate worship. If you and your family have not been here as much as usual lately, make it a priority to get to Sunday School and church. Hearing the lessons, singing the hymns, and praying as a community keeps you fo-
’ cused on where you’re headed—to Easter! I hope that this forty-day season of Lent is a time when we all grow. We are made in God’s image to grow into the full stature of Christ. I hope we take that purpose seriously. We grow when we read God’s Word and meditate on it. We grow when we pray regularly. We grow when we serve others in God’s name. We grow when we give sacrificially for the spread of God’s kingdom. We grow when we “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” Have a blessed Lent. — Brad Mullis ◊
Presented by the Trinity Artist Series. www.trinityartistseries.org
Altar Flowers Reminder Sunday, March 1 Lent-greenery Sunday, March 8 Lent-greenery Sunday, March 15 Lent-greenery Sunday, March 22 Lent-greenery, Cathy Marshall Palm Sunday, March 29, Sonny Shelton Maundy Thursday, April 2, Susan Fanjoy Easter Sunday, April 5, Dee and Barbee Ham
THE SEASON OF LENT
Helping You Keep a Holy Lent Morning and evening prayer, small group studies offer many ways for parish members to observe Lent.
oin us in this season of repentance and redemption. Lent is a journey of reflection and learning–a time to consider the road to the cross that Jesus walked, and a time for us to remember our part in this amazing story. Trinity Episcopal offers several ways for you to participate and keep lent.
Community Morning Prayer Trinity will offer Morning Prayer services out in our community on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays through Lent. We’ll say Morning Prayer with our friends in various parts around town. We will say prayer at Fifth Street Ministries, Starbucks, and Greg’s Barbecue. Mondays: Fifth Weekday Evening Prayer Street Ministries, 1400 5th St., Beginning Thursday, FebruStatesville, NC. Time: 9:15 am ary 19, we’ll offer Evening Prayer at Wednesdays: Starbucks 5pm in the sanctuary. Evening Prayer Coffee, 1501 E. Broad St., Statesville, is a simple service–a chance to quiet- NC. Time: 8:00 am ly pray and ask God to remember us Fridays: Greg’s BBQ, 707 Sullithrough the night. Led by volunteer van Rd., Statesville, NC. Time: 7:30am laypeople from our parish, Evening Prayer is a wonderfully meditative Weekly Lenten Groups way to end your day in a spirit of holiSimilar to small groups, Trininess. ty’s Lenten Groups meet weekly to
share fellowship, a simple meal, and discussion centered around a film study related to Lent. The group meeting will close with brief worship. There are two group offerings this year: Sundays: 5:00 – 6:45 p.m. at church in the parish hall; childcare provided. Movie Study: Blue Like Jazz Tuesdays: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the homes of Will and Susan Fanjoy and Jim and Re Johnston (alternating by week). Each of the groups meet for five weeks. Please sign up in the narthex as space on Tuesdays and Thursdays is limited. ◊
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he Task Force on the Study of Marriage is recommending that the 2015 meeting of General Convention authorize Episcopal Church clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages. The task force proposes the change in its just-released Blue Book report by way of a resolution that would revise Canon I.18 titled “Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony.” The revision removes, among many edits, the language that requires couples to “understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman.” Removing that and other gender-specific language from the canon, the report says, addresses the mandate in the group’s enabling resolution that it “address the pastoral need for priests to officiate at a civil marriage of a same-sex couple in states that authorize such.” Section 3 of Canon 18 would be rewritten to, in part, remove the requirement that the couple sign a declaration stating they “solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.” The revision would recast the requirement in the canon’s first section that clergy conform to both “the laws of the state” and “the laws of this Church” about marriage. The rewritten portion of that section would require that clergy conform to “the laws of the State governing the creation of the civil status of marriage, and also to these canons concerning the solemnization of marriage.” The clergy’s discretion to decline to solemnize any marriage is preserved and extended to include the choice to decline offering a blessing on a marriage, the task force said. Noting the rapidly changing social and legal landscape of marriage, the Task Force on the Study of Marriage says in its report that “this time of flux bears continuing discernment and attention by our Church.” Thus the group will ask convention to
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consider a resolution to continue the task force’s work into the 20162018 triennium as a way to “explore further those contemporary trends and norms” the current group has identified. Those trends and norms, the group’s report says, include “those who choose to remain single; unmarried persons in intimate relationships; couples who cohabitate either in preparation for, or as an alternative to, marriage; couples who desire a blessing from the Church but not marriage; parenting by single and/or unmarried persons; differing forms of family and household such as those including samesex parenting, adoption, and racial diversity; and differences in marriage patterns between ethnic and racial groups, and between provinces inside and outside the United States.” While doing its work this triennium, “the Task Force became highly aware of a growing contemporary reality in society and the Church that is redefining what many mean by ‘family’ or ‘household,’” the group says in its report, adding that “this changing reality is felt in our congregations.” Marriage “as a normative way of life” is being challenged, yet the group says it “did not have the time or resources to fully address this reality.” “More broadly, our Church has done very little to respond to it,” the task force says. The task force’s two resolutions, as well as other expected proposed resolutions on marriage, will be handled by a special legislative Committee on Marriage when the General Convention next meets June 25-July 3 in Salt Lake City.— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter of the Episcopal News Service. ◊
EXCERPT: from “A BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK FOR THINKING ABOUT MARRIAGE.”
ny discussion of Christian marriage is helpfully guided by asking the question, “What makes a marriage Christian?” What is it about this nearly universal human phenomenon, which exists in many forms and in many cultures and contexts, to which the Church feels confident in pointing as a sign of God’s action in the world? Up until relatively recently in church history, the answer to the question of “What makes a marriage Christian?” was relatively simple. In the apostolic period, attested by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 (the longest and most detailed reflection on marriage in Scripture), marriage was a social institution regarded with toleration rather than encouragement, and for which no liturgical ceremony was prescribed. A marriage was considered Christian if it took place between two baptized persons. A pagan couple, one of whom became baptized, was allowed to end the marriage if the pagan member did not wish to remain (vv. 12-15). One who was already baptized was not to marry a nonbeliever; Paul alludes to this discipline in verse 39, and it became a matter of church trinitysvl.org | 13
law fairly quickly, and remained so for centuries with varying degrees of enforcement or toleration, from excommunication or capital punishment in the early fourth century, to dispensation under current Roman Catholic regulations (see the current Code of Canon Law at 1086.2). The understanding became (and remains) that the bond and covenant of marriage is enacted by the couple themselves, and the function of the Church is to solemnize the event with a degree of formality, with the three aspects of testimony, blessing, and recording. The Church took on the civil responsibilities (and is still permitted so to do in many places, though not all) of ensuring that the marriage is attested by witnesses and recorded, and added its own function of imparting a blessing. Since the ministers of the rite are the couple themselves, the tradition in place since the apostolic era required that they both be baptized. This requirement came to be seen as less than absolute, and dispensations became available in the Roman Catholic tradition as early as 1669. In 1946 The Episcopal Church went a step further, when the canons were amended to permit marriage when one of the parties was not baptized. There was strong objec14 | Topics March 2015
tion to the introduction of this change, given the intensity of early and historic church opposition to such marriages. It brought into question the meaning of another part of the marriage canon that described marriage as being “entered into within the community of faith.” As many, if not most, marriages are not necessarily parish functions but involve the friends and family of the couple — many of whom may also not necessarily be baptized — this clause appears to be aspirational rather than absolute. In short, the old, easy definition of what made a marriage Christian came to be no longer applicable in all cases.
arriage, as an icon for and of the Church, reaffirms that we do not live for ourselves alone, or die for ourselves alone (Romans 14:7) — nor do we marry for ourselves alone, but as a sign and emulation of God’s grace and to God’s glory. The love of God for the world in the loving self-offering of Christ Jesus thus becomes a guiding and effective pattern in discerning how a marriage proclaims that it is a Christian marriage, an evangelical sign of that “wonderful and sacred mystery” that is Christ’s body, the Church.
Evangelical Christians offer a strong view on homosexuality.
The relationship of marriage to that larger body is emphasized in the liturgy through the requirement that marriage take place within at least a minimal assembly. As the BCP rubric notes, “marriage is a solemn and
public covenant” and there must be “at least two witnesses” (422). Couples do not make their vows privately, but before God, friends, family, and (ideally) God’s community, the Church. The marriage is a union celebrated
and blessed on behalf of the Church in the midst of this community that is, ideally, itself “one in Christ.” As marriage is an incarnational sign of Christ’s love for the Church, so it is also an expression and sign of Christian community: our life together in and as the Body of Christ. The old patristic tag (said of the Eucharist) “become what you behold” is a powerful reminder of the way in which a marriage both draws upon the love of God and the community and fosters it. So a marriage not only is blessed by the Church, but is a source of blessing for the Church. And this blessing does not stop at the end of the rite. The community witnesses to the couple by their presence at the marriage service and throughout their marriage journey in their support of the couple. The couple, in turn, witnesses to the community by how they live their lives together — showing Christ’s love to each other, the community, and the world. If marriage is a sacrament — and that has been a topic of considerable debate — it is certainly sacramental in this: it can both express and evoke in others the graces of loving, self-giving charity inherent in the vows.
Although marriage does not have “a like nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord’s Supper” because it lacks “any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God” (BCP, 872), the real grace of marriage lies not in the wedding ceremony, but in the life of the couple: as with the baptismal life, and the life of the Eucharistic community that is the Church, it is in the living of the vows, the putting into practice of the promises and commitments, that grace is revealed and shared.
hat does Christian marriage demand? The BCP marriage liturgy links the solemn vows with God. Seeing the image of God in your spouse, asking God's blessing upon your union: these liturgical acts and exhortations wrap these powerful promises in holy language. This same holy language is even echoed in the liturgy Thanksgiving for Adoption of a Child (BCP, 441) that allows the child, if old enough, to “take” his or her mother and/or father. The taking is mutual, and a family is the result, blessed and marked liturgically. When exploring how our
marriage vows help us understand what makes a marriage holy, a brief glance at some history is helpful. The current vows in the 1979 BCP continue to use phrases such as “to have and to hold.” This was originally intended to protect the rights to property and the “taking care of” the bride. Previous iterations included words about the dowry. Marriage as a contract that had to do with property, rights, and inheritance had little or no theological underpinning. However, as deeper reflection on the moral and theological virtues was undertaken, the Church took a higher view of the vows, while retaining some of the old language. Eventually, the promise of the bride to “obey” was removed, making the vows identical for both bride and groom. The vows evolved into holy language intent on sacred promises to each other made by the true ministers of the rite, focused on covenant terms that not only bind the couple together, but also remind us of God's covenant promises to God's people. What makes a marriage holy? For Christians, the solemn vows of fidelity and love until death are promised and made, and the gathered Church witnesses and blesses this new commitment. “From this day forward” the couple “takes” each other, creating a new reality in their union as one in heart, body, and mind. It is this relationship that has been imbued with the Holy Spirit through prayer and blessing in the Name of God, which points to what makes a marriage holy. ◊ This is only an excerpt from The Task Force’s full, 122-page report. You can access the full report online at generalconvention.org.
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LEFT: Souper Sunday attendees in a joyful mood. RIGHT: Bishop Michael Curry addresses a crowd at Davidson College
FOR THE RECORD
February Vestry Minutes February 22, 2015 Members present were James Hogan, Jerrie Greene, Amy Lawton, Chris Shoobridge, Nimocks Haigh, Bud Martin, Scott Rankin, Carol Leach, Kim Dockery, Rob Hites, Brad Mullis, Rector; and Susan Cardwell, Clerk. The meeting opened with prayer. There were two email motions made and approved since the last meeting. 1) The Trinity Artist Series requested permission to serve wine at the reception, in accordance with Diocesan guidelines, following the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble concert on February 15. 2) Senior Warden, Kim Dockery and Junior Warden, Rob Hites requested that $1200 from the Memorial Fund be used for office equipment improvements. The minutes from the December 2014 and January 2015 meetings were approved as read. Cameron Rankin came before the Vestry with a request for permission to begin the application 16 | Topics March 2015
process for his Eagle Scout project. The project would involve adding benches, a washing station and picnic tables to the community garden area. There will be no cost to the church. All funds will be raised privately. Kim Dockery made the motion, seconded by Amy Lawton. The vestry approved provided Cameron work in consultation with the Junior Warden and Dee Ham. Lynn Lawton of the Memorial Garden Committee reported on a three phase plan. She requested permission to proceed with phase 1 which is to remove some shrubs, prune, and move the bench out from the wall. The soil will not be disturbed. There is no cost involved for phase 1. Rob Hites made the motion, seconded by James Hogan. The motion passed. Finance: Nimocks Haigh moved, seconded by Jerrie Greene, to pass budget proposal 1 as the 2015 budget. The motion passed. James Hogan made a motion to change the name of the Children
and Youth Education line item to Young Families. Kim Dockery seconded. The motion passed. A review of the budgeting process will occur prior to the Every Member canvass this fall. Rector’s Report: Brad thanked all who helped getting the year off to a great start. He has started posting a daily Bible meditation on Facebook called Going Deeper. He will attend the Come to the Table conference at Elon University. Communications: James Hogan reports increased website traffic. The Vestry Goals for 2015 were reviewed and discussed. Senior Warden: Kim Dockery made a motion, seconded by Scott Rankin, requesting permission to serve beer and wine at the Sunday night Lenten group meeting at the church. The motion passed. The meeting closed with prayer. —Susan Cardwell ◊
FOR THE RECORD
Video, Book Discussions
dult education continues this month with a series of videos from the Nooma series. This is an outstanding series of videos from Robert Bell with understatement of ideas presented in a thought provoking manner and providing excellent discussion points. Please join us for this series. The Book Forum continues with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Please join us for either of these stimulating and through provoking area of personal growth. We also encourage a continuing attention to personal growth through the use of the Forward Day by Day booklet which provides an excellent basis for daily readings following the lectionary along with a very short reflection provided by anonymous but well credentialed writers. This works in perfectly with the short daily personal Lent is an excellent time in which to start such a daily practice of personal reflection and growth. An even easier way to find it is online on computer or mobile device. Search for Forward Day by Day. Please continue with the small Lenten groups. Another area for personal growth and an opportunity to get to know fellow church members a little better. Again you will be glad you did. —Chris Shoobridge ◊
Since we are just finalizing our 2015 Budget, this update will skip the usual financial tables and schedules. January Pledge receipts totaled $42,475 which far exceeds a pro rata budget allocation as we received significant prepayments of 2015 annual pledges in December 2014 and January 2015. These prepayments are most welcome as they do give us breathing room as we kick off the new year. Last year, January pledge receipts were $41,584. Plate collections were $766 in January 2015 vs $1,196 last year so we are off to a rather slow start in collections. Perhaps the “Stop Hunger Now” basket has created a diversion…definitely for a good cause! Please keep the collection plate a regular part of your giving. A little from a lot of folks adds up quickly. Expenses in total are in line with expectations. A couple of lines appear out of synch with 2014 which is likely due to bringing on and training new staff which led to a few 2014 bills being paid in 2015, inflating our January figures. Nothing major and we will better define these items as we go forward. Please stay tuned and next month we will publish the final 2015 Budget. — Nimocks Haigh ◊
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Mildred Johnson Longtime parish member passes away after extended illness.
ongtime Trinity member Mildred Johnson of Statesville, North Carolina passed on February 16, 2015. She was the daughter of the late James and Dorena Smith. She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Johnson, Sr. and a daughter, Julie J. Johnson. Mildred was a Registered Nurse, graduate of Unity High School and received her Diploma in Nursing from Columbia Hospital School of Nursing in Columbia, South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine. Mildred was a Past Commander of American Legion Post 217, Past Commander of Disabled Veterans Chapter 68 and Past President of” 55 and Alive” senior group of Bentley Center. She was an active participant in the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) at the local and state levels. She was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesville, North Carolina. Mildred is survived by three children: Gwendylon Johnson of Lanham, Maryland, Joseph Johnson Jr. (Robin) of Castro Valley, California and James Johnson (Valerie) of Charlotte, North Carolina, eight grandchildren, six great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and
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special friends. Interment services were conducted by Reverend Brad Mullis at Belmont Cemetery Veterans Section at Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. with Military Rites performed following the service. Trinity vestry member Chris Shoobridge, who attended Mrs. Johnson’s service wrote, “The temperature was in the mid 20s and we had had some snow and sleet as relatives and friends gathered for Mildred Johnson’s grave side funeral service. She served as a Captain in the Army Nurse Corp during the Korean Conflict and was a long time member of Trinity Church and will be greatly missed. Brad’s funeral service and the full military honors made for a very moving remembrance of Mildred.” ◊
Milestones BIRTHDAYS 3/25 3/1 3/3 3/4 3/5 3/7 3/8 3/10 3/11 3/12 3/13 3/16 3/17 3/18 3/19 3/21 3/22 3/23 3/24
Stuart Anne Griggs Joan French Walter Rogowski Caroline Beard Elliott Harwell Beth Lilly Tommy Allison Uriah Lilly Hilda Romano Sonny Shelton Zephyr Dearman Jonathan Dearman Joan Martin Bob Foster Amy Brier Inga Balatow Melodi Graves Phil Dulin DeNeale York Diane Kines Pam Haynes Julia Hogan
Doug Stobbe Susan Crouch Jennifer Griggs Stokes Haire Brandon Ostwalt Layton Getsinger
ANNIVERSARIES 3/5 3/25 3/31
David & Sandra Landry Gary & RaeMarie Clark Walter & Haydee Patterson
BIRTHS Amelia Rose Solberg was born January 9, 2015. She is the granddaughter of John and Carolyn Solberg.
DEATHS Lois Carn, 91, passed away on February 2 in Statesville. She was the sister of Lorene Ramsey. Delma Mayberry, 78, passed away on February 3 at the Gordon Hospice House. She was the sister of Ruby Eagle. Mildred Johnson passed away on February 16. See obituary on page 18.
Share your milestones with the church office or by emailing email@example.com
Service Schedule SUNDAY MARCH 1: Lector: Sam McDowell (8), Andrew Rutter Chalice: Roger Davidson (8), Arna Deter, Chris Shoobridge Greeter: Rowdy Armistead Oblation: Michele & Hailee Mitchell; Usher: Bill Balatow, Locke Allison, Thomas Clendenin; Acolyte Asst: Bill Balatow; Acolyte: Tessica Martin, Reid Balatow, Salem and Stokes Haire; Nursery: Margaret Johnson, Ellyn Mullis SUNDAY, MARCH 8: Lector: Sam McDowell (8), Hailee Mitchell; Chalice: Harriette Andrews ; Bill Balatow, Kaye Taliana Greeter: Lori Martin & Judy McDowell; Oblation: Pat Henley & Lisa McBroom; Usher: Sonny Rankin, Amy Brier, Dee Ham, Buddy Johnson; Acolyte Asst: Margaret Johnson; Acolyte: Aston Johnson, Sally Mullis, Ellison Johnson, Reed Hassler; Nursery: Kelly Hogan, Mary Carol Wagner
SUNDAY, MARCH 15: Lector: Cecil Haynes (8); Richard Hoshouser; Chalice: Sam McDowell; Betty Coltham, Arna Deter; Greeter: Jim & Lynn Lawton; Oblation: Walter & Haydee Patterson; Usher: Jim Rhyne, Evie Caldwell, Jim Lawton, Bud Martin; Acolyte Asst: John Deter; Acolyte: Buchanan Deter, Cameron Rankin, Christian York, Abigail Hart; Nursery: Rowdy Armistead & Michele Mitchell SUNDAY, MARCH 22: Lector Roger Davidson (8); Chalice: Roger Davidson (8); Greeter: Michele Mitchell & Joe Peters; Oblation: Joe and Laura Peters; Usher: Tommy Allison, David Alexander, Jonathan Dearman, Richard Tatum; Acolyte Asst: Anne Rhyne; Acolyte: Madison Peters, Meredith Dockery, Ali Warren, Ava Har-
well; Nursery: Ashley Alexander & Mary Carol Wagner SUNDAY, MARCH 29: Lector: Clay Crouch (8); Jim Rhyne; Chalice: Harriette Andrews (8), Kim Dockery, Anne Rhyne; Greeter: Walter and Haydee Patterson; Oblation: Don and Joan French; Usher: Sam McDowell, John Philip Dulin, Scott Rankiin; Acolyte Asst: Pat Henley; Acolytes: Samantha Holland, Quinn Payne, Carter Payne, Hailee Mitchell; Nursery: Katie Harknett and Mary Carol Wagner Altar Guild March 1-15: Joan French, Lula Cheatham, Martha Neely, Evie Caldwell, Lynn Sweeney, Tammy Neely March 16-31: Harriette Andrews, Lynn Lawton, Ginger Hester, Cathy Marshall
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P.O. Box 1103 Statesville, NC 28687
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The Task Force on the Study of Marriage has made its recommendations on how the Episcopal Church should approach marriage. Plus: Time for a...