Oct 18, 2009 Proper 24 (29)

Incumbent: The Rev’d Sherman Hesselgrave
Music Director: Becca Whitla
Coordinators: Marilyn Ferrel and Lee Creal
Guest Homilist: Bradley Mulder

Welcome to the Church of the Holy Trinity. We are delighted to have
you with us this morning. Holy Trinity is an accessible,
justice-seeking, and queer-positive community in the heart of downtown
Toronto. Our services are planned and led by lay people – volunteers
from our community. Communion is celebrated by our Incumbent or one of
our non-stipendiary priests who are members of the community. We try
to use language in our worship which includes us all, and we encourage
the extensive participation of each person in the worship and life of
the Church. At the Peace we move about freely, greeting one another.
During the offertory hymn we will move to create a circle around the
altar for the Prayers of the People and Communion – all are welcome to
share in communion (the Eucharist) as they feel comfortable. Please
fill out the Newcomers Form in the bulletin if you wish to be
contacted. 10 Trinity Square, Tor, M5G 1B1
Tel:(416) 598-4521
www.holytrinitytoronto.org
THE GATHERING OF THE COMMUNITY

Welcome
Opening Musical Meditation
Hymn (All rise, in body or spirit):

Grreeting:
All: May the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion
of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

The Collect for Purity
All: All loving God to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and
from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by
the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily praise your holy name; through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Kyrie: Kyrie eleison, Criste eleison, Kyrie eleison.
(Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy

Confession:
One: For the absolution and remission of our sins and offenses, let us
pray to God. Silence
One: God in your mercy:
All: Hear our prayer.
One: We are a forgiven people: God’s spirit is free among us.
All: Thanks be to God.

The Exchange of Peace
It is our custom to move about to exchange the peace.
One: The Peace of Christ be always with you:
All: And also with you.

Announcements: Members of the community share important news
Prayer after announcements
All: Grant, O God, that in these activities and events we may do your
will with strength, wisdom, and compassion, for the good of your reign
of justice and peace. Amen

PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD

Collect for the Day
One: Let us pray…
All: Most High, your Anointed One offered himself freely as witness
against our violence, our acts of oppression, and our sin. Enlighten
us with true faith and humble obedience that seeks to serve others in
your name. AMEN. Silence

The First Reading: Isaiah 53:4-8 Reader: Chris Lind
Reader: A Reading from…
After the reading
Reader: Hear what the Spirit says to God’s people
All: Thanks be to God

Response to the Reading Please join in on the refrain.

Voices that Challenge

Second Reading: “Addicted Brain” from “Close to Addiction”
by Nancy MacDonald – an outline of Dr. Gabor Mate’s approach. Dr.
Gabor Mate worls at the safe injection site in Vancouver’s downtown
east side. Reader: Carol Clarke
After the reading
Reader: Hear what the Spirit says to the Churches
All: Thanks be to God

Hymn: “Voices that Challenge” (see refrain on previous page)
The collection will be received during the singing of this hymn.
All rise, in body or spirit for the hymn and Gospel.

Holy Gospel: Matthew 25:34-41 Reader: Len Desroches
Reader: May God be with you
All: And also with you
Reader: The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to…
All: Glory to Christ our Saviour
After the reading
Reader: The Gospel of Christ
All: Praise to Christ our Saviour Silence

Homily Bradley Mulder

LITURGY OF THE BREAD AND CUP
We will gather in a circle around the altar to share the gifts of
bread and wine and other offerings, the symbols of our common life.
All are welcome. You may also stay seated and , if you wish, communion
will be brought to you.

Offertory Hymn: “Jesus Christ is Waiting”
©1988 WGRG, Iona Community, tune: Noel Nouvelet
Jesus Christ is waiting, waiting in the streets;
No one is his neighbour, all alone he eats.
Listen, O Jesus, I am lonely too.
Make me, friend or stranger, fit to wait on you

Jesus Christ is raging, raging in the streets,
Where injustice spirals and real hope retreats.
Listen, O Jesus, I am angry too.
In the Kingdom’s causes let me rage with you.

Jesus Christ is healing, healing in the streets;
Curing those who suffer, touching those he greets.
Listen, O Jesus, I have pity too.
Let my care be active, healing just like you.

Jesus Christ is dancing, dancing in the streets,
Where each sign of hatred, He, with love, defeats.
Listen, O Jesus, I should triumph too.
On suspicion’s graveyard let me dance with you.

Jesus Christ is calling, calling in the streets,
“Who will join my journey? I will guide their feet.”
Listen, O Jesus, Let my fears be few.
Walk one step before me; I will follow you.

Prayers of the People: In our prayers today, we remember: in the
Anglican Cycle: The Gulf, Pakistan; and in the Diocesan Cycle: Durham
and Northumberland Deanery and the San Esteban congregation here at
Holy Trinity. The community now offers its prayers, both spoken and
unspoken. Please keep your prayers brief.

The Great Thanksgiving
Please do not dip the bread into the wine. The bread and wine will be
passed around the circle, but if you prefer you may receive at the
gluten-free station at the altar.

Communion Anthem:
God is Passionate Life, p. 45 in the green book

Glory to God: Glory to God, whose power, working in us, can do
infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God, from
generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever
and ever. AMEN.

Dismissal: p. 36 in the green booklet
Please join us after the service for soup at the back of the church.
This is an opportunity to engage in conversation
with our guest homilist.

Parish Vestry Weekend Countdown

In two weeks, Saturday and Sunday, October 24 and 25, as many of us as
possible will gather to discuss what we want for our community in the
future. The Planning Team has been asking over the summer, ‘what is
the one question that, if we could answer it, would make the most
difference to our life together?’

Lunch will be provided both days, and there will be a Children’s
Program. Sign up today in church or call the office at 416-598-4521
x222. Please plan to be there, to make sure your voice and wishes for
the future of Holy Trinity are heard.

Planning Team: Chris Lind, Nola Crewe, Sue Crowe Connolly, Nancy
Whitla, Carole Clark, Jean Robinson, or Sherman Hesselgrave.
The Holy Trinity Choir will be meeting on Thursday evenings from Oct
29 – Dec.5, between 7 and 8:30 p.m. All welcome.

Upcoming readings: Oct 25: Job 42:1-6, 10-17 or Jeremiah 31:7-9 Psalm
34:1-8, (19-22) or Psalm 126; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52
Nov 1 (All Saints): Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9 or Isaiah 25:6-9;
Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44
Visitors are warmly welcome at Holy Trinity.

Homeless memorial remembers those who died on the streets

By John Bonnar, Rabble.ca | August 15, 2009

They held candles, bowed their heads and observed a moment of silence for the men, women and children who died of homelessness in Toronto.

“This month we have no new names that must be added,” said the minister.

“Not that we know of anyway,” said one of the mourners.

“We pray this month we were spared more deaths,” added the minister.

On the second Tuesday of the month, they gather outside the Church of the Holy Trinity to mourn the dead. The Homeless Memorial, a small wooden structure near the steps to the entrance, contains over 600 names of those who have lived and died on the streets.

… read the whole article.

Community is Letting Go of Fear

Mike Harris, in repealing the Employment Equity Act, said: only those viewed as
competitive deserve a job.  On the other hand, in lowering the welfare rates,
he said only those who had a job deserved an adequate income.  At the same he
changed the Tenant Protection Act so that people without a job or without
adequate income could be evicted for not paying their rent.  Mike Harris was
violent. He forced people to live and die on the street.  However Mike Harris
is not seen as violent.  He is seen as upholding the values of our survival of
the fittest economy.

Victims of violence, myself included, usually respond to violence with
violence.  Many of the victims of Mike Harris’ policies feel powerless,
helpless defeated, devalued and thrown away.  Some escape their subsistence
lives by using suicidal addiction of drugs and alcohol

I am afraid of people who are drunk.  I perceive their behaviour as being out
of control.  I fear I might be physically hurt.  I am vulnerable. But how much
of this fear is real, and how much of it is my projection, I do not know: it
depends on the individual.  I want to run away.  I want to exclude
“them”.  Yet. I know in my bones the violence of exclusion.  I know what
it is like to be a label, seen only as part of an unwanted group—a
‘them’.   I know what it is like to be treated according to another
persons idea of who I am, rather then who I actually am as an individual
person.  I know what it’s like to be left on the periphery of a community,
ignored and excluded. (Fortunately, you at Holy Trinity have gotten to know me
as a person)

Our scripture today is about inclusion.  We read about an Eunuch, someone
rejected, despised and outcast by the early Christian Community..  He wants to
be baptized:  he wants to belong.

Jean Vanier describes the needs of an alcoholic in his book “Be Not
Afraid.”  I shall name the alcoholic John
{John} “is told that he needs to stop drinking: it’s bad for his
health.  But he doesn’t need to be told that—he’s been vomiting all
day…What he wants is to find someone who will give him the force, the
motivation, the thirst for life….He needs strength, he needs to be attached to
someone who will give him life and courage, the peace and the love,. which will
help him…not to take drugs, not to drink, not to be depressed”  [95]

Sara Miles, in her book “Takes this Bread” talks about the challenge of
setting up a food pantry at St. Gregory’s, San Francisco,  Initially, the food
pantry was for people living in nearby housing project. But to her astonishment
it ended up a food pantry run by the people who used the food pantry.

“Just as St. Gregory’s encouraged laypeople to serve as deacons in its
liturgies, at the pantry, the people I thought of as “pantry deacons”—our
volunteers—weren’t a select or professional group….[More and more] were
unofficial; visitors who came to get groceries and then stuck around to help.
They were more often misfits; jobless or homeless or [psychiatric survivors} or
just really poor.  They’d stand in line for weeks, then one day they would
ask if we needed a hand..  The next week, they’d show up early, and the next,
they’d be redesigning our system, explaining to me how things could work
better.  Little by little, these new volunteers were beginning to run the
pantry.

Sara soon found that more and more her role was to listen:   When someone
steals, acts out, loses there temper, there is generally a reason.   Listening
involves being present;  Putting aside one’s own concerns and being present
to the story on another person.  It means imaging what it feels like to live
the story of another person.  Not Easy..

Sara describes her experience of listening:

So I’d sit down with people and let them talk: I’d listen and put my hands
on them at some point.

…I get people like Ed, a fiftyish white guy with long hair who’d frequently
flop down on the curb, begging for help.  One of our most insane and drug addicted visitors, he’d sob and
rant. In no particular sequence, about the secret lessons of First Corinthians,
his imaginary machine gun, his father and the immanence of the Day of
Judgment, the evils of the VA hospital, and his present need for healing
prayer.  I’d sit down on the sidewalk with him and wipe his nose. “Oh
God,’ he’d say. “I can’t go on like this. Help me, help me.:  I was
sort of fond of Ed, despite his hysteria, so I pat his stringy arm and murmur
until he calmed down a bit, then fetch a snack, make a sign of the cross on his
dirty forehead, and send him on his way with a few bags of food. (131)

As people bond together becoming community, support comes from people
unexpectedly. Sara describes;

…I was outside, trying to chat with Christa, the lady with bright pink hair.
I could hear one of our meanest drunks shouting and being nasty to people at the
end of the line.  I went over and asked if he wanted food.  “Hell yeah,”
he snarled.  I could tell he wanted really badly to hit me.
An enormous black guy started to come over, protectively.
“I’m Dave,” he said…his voice was amused and gentle. “You need
help.”  I told Dave no, it was Okay, and walked the drunk away from the line,
telling him I’d get him some food.  When I came back out with the groceries,
the drunk was sitting down on the curb and he’d yanked up a handful of pansies
from our garden and was holding them out to me roots and all.  “Here, he
slurred, ‘for you. I like you  These are for you.  [135-138]

Sara writes about the bonding of community

…Traditionally, Lent was a time of preparation for the death and rebirth of
our baptism….At St. Gregory’s, and especially at the food pantry,   Lent
was embodied in my experience with others.  I could feel it as more then a
metaphor:  Together at the pantry, we really were turning into a people…
We were dying to our individual selves and becoming a
body.  It had sore places and unhealed scars: it wasn’t perfect, but it was
beautiful.  It was Christ body or…a church..  {169-170}

Sara talks about the change in Teddy one of the food pantry users and volunteers

Teddy said he’d hit bottom two years before he walked through our doors.
“I’d been up for seven days straight on meth’ he told me…and finally
crashed under the bridge where I had a little encampment.  When I woke up,
there were rats crawling on me.  That was the moment when something inside me
said, Get out of here and start getting help…
“But,” Teddy went on. “I came here for food, and
then I thought I could volunteer, and volunteering changed me.  After all those
years of being a drug addict, living on the streets, this gave me tht sense that
there was the possibility of happiness again.  Now every time I give out food
and make contact and am able to smile at somebody, even if I can’t speak their
language, I’m just really touched—I’m being fed by it. [214-215]

Teddy still had relapses and fights and weeks of almost unmanageable anxiety,
but being one of the people in charge of the pantry had become what he called a
kind of spiritual practice.  He looked at me earnestly.  ‘It’s very easy
for me to try to control people,” he said.  “But when I’m not sarcastic
or arrogant or egotistical,  I see that the qualities in people that frustrate
me are really about me.  It’s not just about feeding people who come to the
pantry with food.  It’s about nourishing them with love.
[246]

Sara sums up the experience of the food pantry:

“This was the hunger that first drew me to the Table at St. Gregory’s.  It
was the same hunger that drew parents to the pantry to get groceries and brought
them back to blurt out
Help or thank you or some other real word.  It was the hunger of the
volunteers, with their yearning for jokes, lunch, company and work to do.  It
was the hunger of everyone who gave us dollar bills, cans of hominy, apples from
their backyard, huge checks… It was a hunger that had to do with the bodies of
strangers, with offering everything we had, giving away control and receiving
what we needed to live.  Communion.  I wanted communion

On Thursday, as I was leaving Holy Trinity, a man held the door for me.  I
recognized him as one of the people living on the square.  I’m sorry I
don’t know his name.  I asked him;’ How are you doing?”  This is the
House of the Lord, “ he replied, “I am safe here.”

Marilyn Ferrel

The organ as metaphor

I imagine each of us has a different story of how we came to love organ music. Two things did it for me as a missionary kid growing up at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro: a 7-inch extended play 45-rpm recording of Thurston Dart playing some of Handel’s Aylesford pieces*, and a one-manual, 6-stop Walcker tracker organ that arrived in crates, a gift to our local church, from the Leipzig Missionary Society. My Dad, who had a bit of an engineering background, got the job of putting it together, and I, with some guidance from my piano teacher, got to play for services.

Three decades later, as the Chair of the Liturgy and Music Commission of the diocese where I served before moving to Toronto, I watched more and more congregations moving away from organ music, and for a variety of reasons: Fewer and fewer people could play the organ (at one point I read a frightening remark that there were more organ builders than organ majors—not a sustainable situation); for others, the organ represented the past, and signified an aesthetic with severe limitations. The expense of a pipe organ was another barrier, and in more than one situation, I was called in to mediate conversations between church members who felt it was immoral to be spending so much money on an organ, money that should better be given to the poor. In every instance, I tried to help people understand that both/and had a few advantages over either/or.

There is a reason, I have come to believe, that the organ became the archetypical musical instrument of the church—quite apart from all the glorious music that has been written for it. As the all-time champion of wind instruments, the organ is the perfect metaphor for the relationship between God and the Church. You probably have heard that, in both Hebrew and Greek (the principal languages of the Bible), the words for Spirit, wind, and breath are the same: in Hebrew it’s ruah; in Greek, pneuma. The wind that makes the pipes of an organ sound, and the breath that enables us to sing, are both like the Spirit of God, that blows where it will, breathing life into us and empowering us to do the things God has given us to do.

The Valley of Dry Bones reading, which we usually hear at the Easter Eve service, suggested itself, because all summer, the pipes and parts of this great instrument lay strewn about the church like so many bones, bleached by the sun, as they waited their turn to be reassembled so that, when the wind was turned on again—naturally, it blew a fuse the first time—the breath of life would course through the organ’s winding.

In its nearly 40 years of life, this instrument has comforted mourners at funerals, brought joy to hundreds of baptisms and wedding parties, and of course, helped a congregation to raise its voice in praise to God each week. In the decades to come, it will bring joy and comfort and inspiration to thousands of listeners and worshippers, and for this we give glory to God, and gratitude to the Rathgeb family and to the congregation of Deer Park United Church for the vision to bring this fine instrument to life so that we might all enjoy its beauty and power for generations to come.

* Recorded on “one of the largest and most beautiful of the 17th
century English organs still remaining.” [1958] St. John’s Church,
Wolverhampton

“Fan into a flame the gift that God gave you”

Our affections and beliefs are wiser than we; the best that is in us is better than we can understand; for it is grounded beyond experience, and guides us, blindfold but safe, from one age on to another.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson wrote these words in the dedication of a collection of his youthful writings and his Ethical Papers. I had picked up the book at a yard sale years ago, but finally got around to reading it this week, and when I read the passage above I flashed on Paul’s words to Timothy: “fan into a flame the gift that God gave you…” (2 Tim. 1:6)

As we looked around this week and watched the financial markets reel and tumble, I’m sure I was not the only one wondering how on earth, with all the Ivy-League brain-power on Wall Street, no one saw this scenario coming. The blinding ability of greed, perhaps.

I see a more hopeful scenario as we look to the future at Holy Trinity. In the three months I’ve been in Toronto, I have seen glimpses of the goodness and gifts that reside in the members of this community, and the future they envision is not powered by self-interest, but by a deep and rich desire to live out the gospel values, engaging the brokenness of the world with compassion. May God’s Spirit continue to blow on our embers and fan us into a roaring flame.

loving justice in the heart of our city