Survey for Diocesan Profile

I just took a moment to look over the survey for those unable to attend the diocesan listening sessions. Because these are questions that ask for some reflection, I am going to post them here so that you can do that reflection before you go to the survey site:

  1. What experiences in your parish do you value most? How have you changed as a result of these experiences?
  2. In what ways has the diocese been a blessing to you or your parish?
  3. When Jesus comes to Northern Indiana, what one thing do you want Christ to see in the Episcopal Church?
  4. What opportunities and challenges face the diocese and bishop in the next five years?
  5. What else would you like us to know?

Note that your responses to these questions will help the search committee create a diocesan profile. Folks thinking about whether to put their (friends’/colleagues’) names in as candidates will read through this profile to get an idea of who we are, what we value, and whether we’re the kind of folks they would like to shepherd through the next several years.

Later on in the process, we will get an opportunity to ask the candidates where they stand on various issues that are important to us. This survey is as close as the candidates will get to asking us about what we find important.  Please take the time to participate, either in person, online, or by mailing in one of the paper forms in the parish hall.

Deanery Days after General Convention

As in the past, meetings have been scheduled in each deanery later this summer to discuss the recent General Convention.

The schedule is as follows:

Sunday, August 30th: 3:00 PM (EDT)
at St. Michael & All Angels, South Bend

Sunday, September 20th: 3:00 PM (EDT)
at Grace, Fort Wayne

Wednesday, September 23rd: 7:00 PM (CDT)
at St. Andrew’s, Valparaiso

At each meeting, the Bishop will be present as well as members of our diocesan deputation. Bishop Little has also written this pastoral letter about General Convention.

Online Survey for those Unable to Attend Listening Sessions

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

An important part of searching for a new Bishop is to listen to the People of God. To that end we have set up several locations and sessions where we can gather. We realize that not all can re-arrange their schedules in order to be at the Listening Sessions. Therefore, we have set up a way that you can review, reflect and answer the same questions that are being considered at the Listening Sessions. Please go to the link noted below and simply follow the instructions to complete the survey.

This survey will be available until August 2, 2015.

We thank for your time and continued prayers.

The Search Committee for the Eight Bishop of Northern Indiana

Crossing Boundaries

In this weekend’s New York Times, Daryl Cameron, Michael Inzlicht, William A. Cunningham have an opinion piece on empathy and why it can be dangerous to think of empathy as something over which we have no control, something that just happens or doesn’t. If we have no control over empathy, the argument goes, and we “just happen” to feel more empathy for people who are like us, we will have to set empathy aside if we are going to behave well towards people who are different from us. Cameron, Inzlicht and Cunningham respond:

While we concede that the exercise of empathy is, in practice, often far too limited in scope, we dispute the idea that this shortcoming is inherent, a permanent flaw in the emotion itself. Inspired by a competing body of recent research, we believe that empathy is a choice that we make whether to extend ourselves to others. The “limits” to our empathy are merely apparent, and can change, sometimes drastically, depending on what we want to feel.

In terms of our practice here at Holy Trinity, we have to choose to “reach across all boundaries” before we will “just feel like it.” When we promise “to seek and serve Christ in every human being,” we are committing ourselves to a course of action. Cameron, Inzlicht and Cunningham go on:

Likewise, in another recent study, the psychologists Karina Schumann, Jamil Zaki and Carol S. Dweck found that when people learned that empathy was a skill that could be improved — as opposed to a fixed personality trait — they engaged in more effort to experience empathy for racial groups other than their own. Empathy for people unlike us can be expanded, it seems, just by modifying our views about empathy.

In other words, if we have faith, if we trust God to help us to love our neighbor as ourselves (even when we don’t spontaneously feel like it), we will have the courage to do those works—sitting down for a shared meal and conversation, greeting strangers—that will help us develop empathy. Then, the next time, we will be more likely to spontaneously feel like reaching out. Faith and works go hand in hand!

Take some baby steps. Find someone who is different from you in some way and reach out. Don’t be surprised and hurt if they don’t receive you warmly. After all, you are as different from them as they are from you, and they might not feel like responding positively.  They may even have very good reason to suspect your motives. So remind yourself that getting a positive response is not the point. Your empathy is the issue, not theirs.

Replacing the Roof

Rappelling up to the peak

Rappelling up to the peak

If you have gone down either Olive or Prast this week, you will have noticed work beginning on our roof. Thanks to John Zanka’s dilligence and the premiums we have been paying over the years to the Church Insurance Company of Vermont, we will be getting the roof replaced on both the church and the parish hall at essentially no (additional) expense to ourselves.  I stood around watching the crew at work the other day (yes, I was the sidewalk supervisor—one of the perks of being a priest), so I can tell you that the way they rappel up and down that steep roof is really amazing!

Where have all the shingles gone. . .long time passing?

Where have all the shingles gone. . .long time passing?

Friends with better eyes than mine noticed that there is a word—catracho—nail gunned into the tar paper covering on the Olive Street side of the church. They looked it up (yes, they are quite as geeky as I am—that’s why we are friends!), and tell me that it is a word that means “Honduran Immigrant” or “son of a Honduran immigrant.” How appropriate that the rood of a church built for Hungarian Immigrants should be replaced by Honduran immigrants! If you zoom into the picture I took to show that the old shingles were gone for the church building (1 day’s work—these guys are fast!) you can see the word there. The Urban Dictionary assures me that the term is not derogatory and that it can apply to things like music and food as well as to people.

The big red dumpster (there's another around the back!)

The big red dumpster (there’s another around the back!)

When you arrive for church on Sunday, you will notice a big red dumpster in front of the front doors—I assure you that we are still open for business! There’s another one around the back, and though they are doing a great job of cleaning up after each day’s work, I advise you not to be walking barefoot through the grass for a few weeks!

Holy Smoke!

 HolySmokeKettleNeighborhood Cook-Off and Fund-Raiser for the Church of the Holy Trinity

A Day of Celebration and Fellowship

August 15, 2015

 Make a Donation

to Help us Continue our Outreach and Ministry

  • BBQ Cookoff
    • Compete for the best pork/beef ribs, pulled pork, brisket or chicken!
    • to enter your culinary creation, click here!
    • Cook on or off site all day
    • BBQ Judging and Sampling 6:30-8:30pm with music provided by DJ Larry Williams
  •  Smokin’ Hot Live Music

by the Oblates of Blues 1-3pm

  •  Safe House 4-6pm  

Practice safe ways to escape from a burning building, with interactive demos by the SBFD

  • Selma, Lord, Selma 8:45pm Tell a new generation the story with this family-friendly film about the Hot Summer of Selma in 1965