Randy’s Message

An Archived Note from our prior Interim Reverend-

December 9, 2015

Dear Members and Friends of Trinity,
Last Sunday we sang our Advent Liturgy. It sounds like people are
getting it and many have said they really like it. Following Worship we
all met to hear the results of the Stewardship Ministry and the
recommendation of the Vestry. We received $10,000 new money in pledges
for 2016. We are very close to our goal of financially supporting a 3/4
time Rector. The announcement was made that if/because we can support a
3/4 time Rector, the Diocese will give us $25,000 a year for five years,
so we can call a full-time Rector. What great news; what a generous
spirit in our congregation! Thanks to all. Now, all we have to do is
fulfill our pledges for this year.
This Sunday is the Joyful Sunday, formerly known as Jubilate Sunday. In
the midst of the darkness and death, we embrace the joy of the coming
and present birth of Christ in our life. This Sunday we will again sing
the Advent Liturgy with both flute and violin accompaniment, choir,
cantor, and congregation lifting up our voices to proclaim hope.
FOLLOWING WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY, we will go to Davis House for a “House
Blessing” and the consecration of the Living Room. This will be a chance
for all to see the amazing work that has been done. We are blessed. This
will be a meaningful but brief service of prayer and dedication.
We continue to collect coats, jackets, hats and mittens for the
Cupboard. Please place them in the baskets brought forward at our
offering.
Next Tuesday, December 15 we will again serve a hot meal to the
residents of Hillside Village and an evening meal in Morrill Hall for
the community. Come join us at 4pm to prepare the meal at 6pm. We need
three dozen un-frosted cupcakes. I hope our cookie bakers can make a
dozen.

Remember our Christmas Eve Worship Services: 4pm Family Eucharist
Service with our children serving in the worship and I will tell a
special Native American Story. At 11pm we will share our traditional
Candlelight Eucharist.

“Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, and few there are who find
it”. So says Jesus about entering the Kingdom of God. Our passport for
entry into the Kingdom of God is our Baptism and confession of faith in
the resurrected Christ. We claim no saintly perfection. We only receive
the claim upon us through the cross of Jesus. When we are polarized and
the great divide is between us, Jesus steps into the breach.His arms on
the cross touch both sides. He connects, reconciles, and bridges the
gap. A house divided cannot stand.

Who is in and who is out? We live in divisive times. People are drawing
lines, all over the place. The proverbial “line in the sand” keeps
moving; someone shuffles their feet and obliterates where the line was
and now a new one is drawn. It is like the the line judge in football
game placing the ball in the wrong place; but that’s just what drives me
crazy. First downs are hard to come by when credit is not given the
runner and the ball is placed short of the first down. But that’s just
me.

In 1935, Rev. Martin Niemoller, a German Lutheran Pastor, was
anti-communist and was initially supportive of Hitler, until he realized
what was unfolding and he became anti-Nazi and worked against
anti-semitism. He changed his mind when he saw what was happening. As a
part of the Confessing Church of Germany, his was one of the early
voices against the forces of the Nazi regime. He was Dietrich
Bonhoeffer’s pastor, best friend, and colleague. In 1937, Niemoller was
sent to two concentration camps and ending up at Dachau. He was released
by the allies.
After his release he gave many speeches about his experience and a
famous poem, quote, has been repeated for decades. There are several
versions because he did not write his speeches down and quotes varied.
But below is what is most well known as to what he said and meant:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–Because I
was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak
out–Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–Because I was not
a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”
This speaks for itself.
Prayers Ascending as we seek to overcome fear and rest in the promise of
our Prince of Peace. May the promise of Christ be fulfilled in our
hearing.
Peace,
Rev. Randy Wilburn, Interim Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Ware, MA