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The Taper (monthly newsletter)

Greetings from Rev. Meredith Crigler

 

The people of Trinity, Baytown have been in my prayers   regularly since I first met your search committee. I was struck by your passion for being present and helping your community, the way in which you are empowered for ministry, and your vision and hope for growth. My husband Tim and I look forward to our first      Sunday together with you on February 11th. 

Right around the corner is Lent, a season which I deeply value for its focus on  repentance, renewal, and shifting our attention more and more toward God. There is something powerful about the church around the world joining together to         re-center our lives and our communal life on Christ. Lent is not so much as time to focus on ourselves-- our failings, mistakes, and the ways we fall short-- as it is a time to focus on following Jesus. And beginning or reinvigorating certain spiritual disciplines can be beautiful tools that aid in drawing us closer to God and listening for the Spirit in our lives—- what a wonderful time to begin our spiritual journey           together. 

Thus I invite you to begin to ponder what will be your      spiritual disciplines this Lent. 

Faithfully, 

Meredith+


 

Remembering Hurricane Harvey

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

   And after the earthquake a fire: but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”

 (1 Kings 19: 11-13)

“Sunday, 27 August 2017: Due to arrival of Hurricane Harvey, Sunday’s worship service and Rally Day Celebration is canceled, as most Trinity parishioners are unable to safely drive to the church.” Here begins The Storm, now known as Harvey, and Trinity’s response to its neighbors and        community.

   As the relentless rains continued throughout the day and night of that Sunday, Monday morning dawned with many people trapped in their homes by high water, most awaiting rescue by any means available: monster truck, dump truck, fishing boat, air boat; and any port in the storm was the goal of the day.

   Trinity opened its doors as a shelter on that fateful Monday  morning. Trinity’s staff first notified the local Office of Emergency Management to inform them that Trinity would be an official  shelter, and evacuees from the storm’s waters began arriving. Wet, cold, frightened people were brought to Trinity by school bus,   monster trucks, dump trucks; anyway they could get out of the flood waters, the community came to Trinity. And all, all, were welcome. Even pets!

   And as evacuees arrived at Trinity, so did volunteers and  donations. Trinity parishioners and people who had never been to Trinity came to help. Complete strangers or parishioners, every    volunteer just wanted to help. And the donations began to flood in as well! Clothing, food, bedding, beds, medical supplies, drinking water, pet kennels and pet food, anything needed to help make people feel safe and cared for was in full supply.

   The complete outpouring of brotherly love was absolutely overwhelming! No    color, race, gender, ethnicity, denomination, or political affiliation was present. Just love was present, and love guided and ruled the day!

   Hot food was prepared by volunteers throughout the next several days for the evacuees and       anyone else who was hungry. The church and its volunteers also prepared breakfast in the mornings for first responders: Firemen, policemen and EMT’s, many from faraway places here to lend a helping hand found a safe place where they could eat, relax, and plan the day’s work; the work of neighbor helping neighbor.

   That was the sign that stood at the entrance to the Whispering Pines subdivision, “Neighbor  helping Neighbor.” With great assistance from volunteer coordinators here at the church, many Trinity parishioners began to go out to stricken neighborhoods in the community to help fellow  parishioners and strangers “muck out” homes. “Muck out” is a new term to most of us: “Muck out” means, in most cases, to drag out, rather unceremoniously at that, all furniture, carpet, cabinets, appliances, food, clothing, pictures, photographs, nick knacks, drapery and walls; in most cases everything that the homeowners owned inside their homes. Everything! Yes, muck out is now a dirty term, a foul term in our lexicon, both figuratively and literally!

   But throughout all this tragedy, throughout all the suffering, there was, and is, a silver ray of goodness. The goodness is the unconditional love shown by everyone who helped, and in the hearts and faces of those receiving help. God was not in the storm, but God was and is surely in the recovery! God was in the boats, in the   monster trucks, in the first responders, in the volunteers, in the muck out crews, in the people who sat on lawns and peeled apart flooded photographs of lives lived, in the people who loved and prayed for and mourned, in the sun that finally rose and ended the rain: God showed His love, His strength, His guidance, His light. God was and is here, now and forever.  He did not abandon us, but He did save us! All of us, those directly affected by the storm and those who were called to help, all were and are showing the world who God really is: Love! That’s all there is to it, God is Love, and God is here!

   Too many to name, the people who call Trinity home helped live out the Gospel. In your work, in your prayers, in your love, you stepped up to the plate and said, “Here I am, Lord, tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” You loved and were loved. And that’s what it’s all about. God is Love, and you loved.

   We still have a hard row to hoe with the rebuilding of homes and shattered lives. But we have seen Love in action, and Love will sustain us all.

Blessings,

Your Trinity Staff.

 

 

The Rt. Rev. Curry’s Visit

Trinity’s staff, Robert Jordan and the Luallin’s visited with Bishop Curry, Bishop Doyle,  Bishop Harrison and several members of their staff and staff from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.        Discussions focused on how Hurricane Harvey effected Trinity and the community and how   Trinity stepped up during the storm and provided shelter, food and ministry.

 

 

1st pic- Bishop Curry listning to Lois sharing their story and how Hurricane Harvey effected them. 2nd Pic- Bishop Curry and Rev. Ray Wilson. 

 

February Birthdays

1         Flora Alsobrook, Godfrey Simon

2         Vince Davis

4        Ty Zeno

5         Mike Killebrew

6        Rhonda Chandler

7          Cameron LaBorde, Cathy Strong

8          Ina Williams

13     Cova Davis, Wiley Davis, Kelly Rymer

14     Hunter Waldie

15     Pat Minsterman, Gene Nolen, Marlee Burns

16     Susan Glenn, Tristan Goodwin

20    Billy Fininis

21     Susan Hazelwood

22     Gennie Ernst, Barbara Watkins

24     Kat Green, Jenny Rutherford

25-     Laura Stephenson

26 –     Lauren Schultz

27     Marie Butler, Phil Chandler, Jordyn LaBorde, Micki Rios

29     Dale Minsterman

 

February Anniversaries

9 Jaime and Clair Rios

10-Dustin & Felicia Lege’

14-Chris & Kelly Rymer