Holy Smoke!

HolySmokeKettleDoes the smoke from your brisket or ribs ascend before the Lord like the incense of the evening sacrifice? Do you think you’ve got a heavenly pulled pork recipe? Do your wings inspire the weeping of angels? Do you just love a good ‘cue ? Then Holy Smoke is the event for you! Join us at Holy Trinity on October 1 for food, fellowship and maybe just a little bit of healthy competition at . . .

Holy Smoke!

Neighborhood BBQ Cook-Off
and Fund-Raiser
for the Church of the Holy Trinity
A Day of Celebration and Fellowship
October 1, 2015

Make a Donation
to Help us Continue our
Outreach and Ministry
and Enjoy:

  • Smokin’ Hot
    Live Music by the Oblates of Blues
    5-7pm
  • BBQ Judging and Sampling
    6-8pm

    Compete for the best ribs, pulled pork, brisket or chicken!

    Church of the Holy Trinity is located at
    915 N. Olive Street in South Bend

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Holy Trinity, Holy Smoke! —Part 3 of a Series on Vital Posts

Part 3 of Linda Buskirk’s series about Holy Trinity has come out in Vital Posts, a blog by the Episcopal Church Foundation to get the word out about signs of vitality around the church. You might be pleased to know that the article ends with this comment:

Holy Trinity is a blessing to its corner of God’s Kingdom. Its people have prayed and listened to God’s answer: serve and be in relationship with your neighbors. Please join me in giving thanks for Holy Trinity’s witness and praying that God will continue to bless their faithfulness in the years ahead.

Not too shabby for a congregation that just a few months ago had to seriously consider whether God was calling us to close our doors!  I am so proud to be your priest!

Are We Ready for Some Holy Smoke! at Holy Trinity?

Can you believe that Holy Smoke! is coming up tomorrow? HolySmokeKettleWord is getting out—pray that the number of BBQ Cookoff Entries is enough to meet the appetites of our guests! Hmmm. . . maybe I should have included roast quail among the categories. . . and then again, maybe not!

Continue to post about Holy Smoke! in your social networks and to talk about it to your family and friends. Now is the time to strike up a conversation with that neighbor whose BBQ fills your street with mouth-watering aromas! Now is the time to let your music-loving friends know that the Oblates of Blues will be playing from 1-3! Now is the acceptable time for showing folks that Holy Trinity knows how to welcome and nourish the body of Christ!

Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

Feast of St. Mary the Virgin

If you’ve seen one of the flyers for Holy Smoke! you may have noticed that our celebration includes “An Ecumenical Service of Prayer and Procession for the Feast of the Virgin Mary.” In case you’re wondering what that might look like, here are a few remarks about what we have in mind!

Coronation of the Virgin Mary by Diego Velasquez, 1645

Coronation of the Virgin Mary by Diego Velasquez, 1645

To begin with, the Episcopal Church holds that scripture contains “all things necessary to salvation.” What we mean by that is a refusal to consider any belief necessary that is not contained in scripture. While teachings from traditions other than scripture may be true, good and helpful, they are not necessary to salvation. With regard to Mary, we celebrate what we know of her from scripture. Although individuals among us may draw various conclusions about other aspects of Mary’s life, we don’t require anyone to share those conclusions.

August 15th is the day when we celebrate the end of Mary’s earthly ministry. Traditionally, we celebrate a saint on the day of the saint’s death. We do this to mark the day on which the saint entered into the fuller presence of God. We don’t know from scripture exactly how Mary did this, so the Episcopal Church does not require its members to hold any particular belief about it. What we know is that her ministry on Earth did end, and we presume that her Son was glad to receive her.

We share the date of our celebration with the rest of Christianity. Eastern Orthodox Christians call this day the Feast of the Dormition (sleeping), believing that Mary died a natural death, and that her body rested in the tomb for three days before being resurrected and taken up into heaven. Roman Catholics call this day the Feast of the Assumption, believing that Mary did not die a natural death but was taken bodily into heaven without dying. We all believe that Mary is in heaven and that she prays with us for the poor, the sick and the suffering.

Our focus will be on celebrating Mary’s release from the suffering she experienced in her life and on asking for her sympathy with those who likewise suffer. We will start our worship in front of the church. First we will go in procession around the outside of the church and then we will go around the inside. As we go, we will be singing a blues anthem, pausing after each verse to asking Mary to pray with us for the people of our neighborhood. Once we have gone inside, we will crown a statue of the Virgin Mary with flowers in celebration of the joy with which we presume she was received in heaven. After crowning the statue we with pray the Angelus. This prayer greets Mary with the words used by the Angel Gabriel in scripture when he announced that she was to bear the Son of God.

Our hope is that any Christian might be able to rejoice with us in this celebration of the faithful role Mary played in our salvation.

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.

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