• Chapel in Undercroft
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  • Christmas 2013
 

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Here you will find information concerning our church and its ministries. We hope you find your time spent here a blessing. Trinity is a warm and loving church, and we want you to feel welcome and we encourage you to contact us. 

At Trinity you will find an Anglo-Catholic fellowship that believes in the Power of the Holy Spirit with an emphasis on the healing ministry. We are part of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, and strive to maintain and teach the infallibility of HOLY SCRIPTURE. If you are living in, moving to, or visiting the Granville, N.Y. area  please join us for one of our services. Please call us at 518-642-2883

In the Mighty and Glorious name of Jesus

The Rev. Art Peters
Priest in charge

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Trinity Episcopal Church

35 E. Main St.
Granville, New York 12832
Phone 518-642-2883

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  • Homily: The Fourth Sunday in Lent Year A

    The Shepherds Psalm

     

    One of the challenges of our "new normal," is that we are temporarily forced to change the way we worship, at least on Saturday nights, and Sunday mornings when we normally meet together. We have been encouraged to go to other venues for worship and to be fed, Spiritually, in those places. That is the reason why I have written out and placed both on our website (TrinityGranvillie.com) and our Facebook page (trinity Church, Granville) what my thoughts for a homily would be.

     

    Anyone who has seen me preach knows two things about how I preach, 1) I very rarely use notes that I read directly from, 2) I do not stand still. So please understand, I prepare my sermons by reading, studying and praying about what God wishes me to say. I learned a long time ago to be "open to the Holy Spirit's involvement" in my messages. Quite often when I have written out my sermons, God has changed what He wishes me to say, so off I go depending totally on where He leads me. I do not tell you this to be braggadocios, but rather to explain why, this new normal is difficult for me to adhere to. So, praying diligently for guidance lets go forward into the message.

     

    The readings designated for The Fourth Sunday of Lent, year A, are: I Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:8-14 and The Gospel of John 9:1-41, and all four are fertile fields for homilies. Because it is familiar to people who will be reading this, and again referencing "the new normal" I would like to concentrate on Psalm 23. I believe that most everyone finds comfort in this Psalm, thus making it a place where we can feel the presence of God. Now some of you may immediately think I am taking the easiest route for this homily and I would disagree. This Psalm has had homilies, sermons, books, magazine articles, commentaries and movies written and performed about it, thus making it extremely familiar. So do I have some new, God given insight to share on Psalm 23? Probably not but I do have a new respect for shepherds in the field and for God's provision for HIS flock.

     

    Let's refresh our knowledge of the 23rd Psalm by reading it from the King James Version of the Bible: Psalm 23

    23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

    3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

    4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

    5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

    6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

     

     

    In February of 2020, just a little over a month ago, I was privileged to be able to travel to Jordan and Israel. It was a wonderful trip and a marvelous learning experience. Most of us when we read this psalm, have an idyllic picture of sheep grazing in lush green grass on a beautiful hillside with the shepherd standing watch. For a lot of the shepherds and shepherdesses, that we saw in Jordan and Israel, this picture is far from what they experience. The hills are dusty and scattered with tuffs of grass. The work is hard and dirty and in fact in Jordan, most of the shepherds are females. What we do see, though, as portrayed in this psalm, the Shepherd is standing watch.

     

    David's psalm does indeed give us a more idyllic picture of sheep in the field and I believe this is on purpose.

    The Lord is my Shepherd (protector, guide, provider), so I shall not (be in) want. What a wonderful picture this provides for us. The picture of JESUS holding a lamb in HIS arms surrounded by other sheep, how I see the Church, being cared for by God.

     

    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (places of food and comfort): he leadeth me beside the still waters (He takes out of the rough waters of uncertainty - something that we definitely need today.The outbreak of the Corona virus has changed the way we live our lives. We have been directed to not meet in groups, stores and businesses are closed, our hospitals and doctors offices are being pushed to capacity our government is putting new restrictions on our lives and yet... my SHEPHERD leads me beside still waters. My brothers and sisters, breathe, take a deep breath and know that oue GOD is still in charge.)

     

    He restoreth my soul (In HIS pasture He renews and strengthens me): He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake (He takes me where I/we need to go to remain righteous in HIM. Because we are HIS, He guides us on the pathways of life that lead us to HIM.) God does not want us straying off from HIM like some sheep who has a better idea where to go. HE leads us and we are to follow, HE calls us by name and we follow because HE is our SHEPHERD.

     

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, (What is the valley of the shadow of death? I think the psalmist understood that without our SHEPHERD, we are in that valley of shadows and without HIM, we have no hope of finding a way out.) I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; (With HIM as our guide, we should not be afraid, even of the corona virus.) thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. ( Of all six verses in this psalm, this part took me a long time to understand: How are a rod and staff comforting? The rod is a defense weapon that the SHEPHERD carries to protect HIS sheep {us}, indeed we are comforted by this. And HIS staff is the long rod with the "hook" and the end. This staff is used to gather us in when we stray off or get "stuck" in something from which we need extracting. Again this piece of wood becomes comforting because HE who wields its, knows for what purpose it is designed.)

     

    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: (In Jesus' parable of "Lazarus and the Rich Man," {Luke 16:19-31} we are told that there is a chasm between Heaven and Hell, that those on either side cannot cross. The indication is that the inhabitants can see each other. So the psalmist paints a similar picture, our SHEPHERD has prepared a table (feast) for us. A feast those not following our SHEPHERD, cannot participate in, only look at with pain and longing. This, I believe is a picture of what Hell might be. To see what the SHEPHERD has, prepared and that they cannot reach.) thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (In the Old Testament being anointed with oil, is essentially the same as receiving a blessing and/or a commissioning. So the psalmist is reaffirming his/our being blessed by our SHEPHERD and being commissioned to carry our overflowing cup of blessings so that others may see the cup from the SHEPHERD, partake of HIS overflowing goodness and follow HIM also)

     

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (In this last verse, we see the reward for following the SHEPHERD, goodness and mercy all the days of our life AND we will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. We should need no other encouragement that that, that we will dwell with our Shepherd forever.)

     

    So as we have taken a quick tour through the 23rd Psalm I hope it indeed has refreshed your thinking and appreciation for this Psalm. In this time of the "new normal" I encourage each of you to follow our Shepherd all the days of your lives. In JESUS we will find peace in these troubled times and HE will shepherd us through them.

     

    In closing let's take another bit of encouragement from the Psalms:

     

     

    Psalm 100 (KJV)

    100 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

    2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

    3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

    4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

    5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

     

    Psalm 121:1,2 (KJV)

    121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

    2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

    In these psalms I hope you find peace and encouragement. Even though we are not together, physically, we can be Spiritually. Indeed, lift up you eyes to the hill, see your help coming, the good SHEPHERD and make a joyfull noice of praise to HIM, not mater where you are!

    May the peace of God which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God Almighty, Father Son and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you always.

    Art+

  • Service update

    We will not be having our regularly scheduled services for the foreseeable future, but I urge you to continue to pray without ceasing, sing those hymns that you love, but your pastor/priest or choir director never chooses for Sunday Worship. Be proactive in giving GOD the praise He deserves, even in this troubling time. Lastly, GO OUTSIDE, take a deep breath of fresh air, remember a lot of folks right now can not enjoy this simple excersize because of illness or confinement. Praise GOD in ALL circumstances. Even these. Have a blessed day.

    Rev. Art Peters

  • Weekly Prayer Cycle

    This week please pray for these families and friends of Trinity Church: We remember and pray for: Betty ; Holly  + Gabe, Ryan  + Carter; Phil + Sherri ; Mark, Shirley, Jessica, Brittney + Ryan . “Lord Jesus, we ask your grace and protection on these your children, this week and always. Amen” We pray through The Trinity family prayer list approximately every 12 weeks.

     

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