Common sense steps to lower infection risks at Holy Communion and all church activities

Dear Companions on the Journey of Faith,

As the second wave of flu season continues, the increase in news reporting about COVD-19 coronavirus gives us an opportunity to make sure we are taking necessary steps to lower risk of infection as we gather for worship, fellowship, and ministry. The Episcopal Diocese of Newark have provided some common-sense guidelines. Click here to read.


Trinity Church Welcomes All through its "Big Red Doors" with Tibetan prayer flags flying in the wind. It would be hard to find a more diverse group of believers, used-to-be believers, and sort-of believers. Many of us were born into other religions and denominations, and have found ourselves to be part of the inclusiveness of God's love.

Palm Sunday - Beginning of Holy Week

On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection. The Gospels tell the story that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him by waving palm branches and covering his path with palm branches. Immediately following this great time of celebration in the ministry of Jesus, he begins his journey to the cross. For many Christian churches, Palm Sunday, often referred to as "Passion Sunday," marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday.


Passover- April 19 - 27

Passover or Pesach , is an important, biblically derived Jewish holiday. The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

Passover is a spring festival which during the existence of the Jerusalem Temple was connected to the offering of the "first-fruits of the barley", barley being the first grain to ripen and to be harvested in the Land of Israel.

Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven days (in Israel and for Reform Jews and other progressive Jews around the world who adhere to the Biblical commandment) or eight days for Orthodox, Hasidic, and most Conservative Jews In Judaism, a day commences at dusk and lasts until the following dusk, thus the first day of Passover only begins after dusk of the 14th of Nisan and ends at dusk of the 15th day of the month of Nisan. The rituals unique to the Passover celebrations commence with the Passover Seder when the 15th of Nisan has begun. In the Northern Hemisphere Passover takes place in spring as the Torah prescribes it: "in the month of [the] spring" (בחדש האביב Exodus 23:15). It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.

In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape from their slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born.

The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in these homes, hence the English name of the holiday.

When the Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise (leaven). In commemoration, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason Passover was called the feast of unleavened bread in the Torah or Old Testament. Thus matzo (flat unleavened bread) is eaten during Passover and it is a tradition of the holiday.

Historically, together with Shavuot ("Pentecost") and Sukkot ("Tabernacles"), Passover is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Shalosh Regalim) during which the entire population of the kingdom of Judah made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.

April 21 - Anselm

Anselm lived in an age when ignorance and raw power often went hand in hand. His life was spent in opposing these enslaving forces, especially in England. He was born of noble Christian parents in Burgundy and educated at the monasteries at St. Leger and Bec in Normandy. He joined the latter community and, after an impressive career as teacher and author, became its abbot. He first visited England at the invitation of William the Conqueror, by whom he was well-loved. His consecration as Archbishop of Canterbury met with overwhelming approval from the English people, who knew him as a wise and compassionate person. He spent years in this high office attempting to gain a lasting peace in a time of constant feuding. He championed the church"s independence from royal authority and was twice exiled by angry kings whose bidding he refused to do. Anslem was a theologian of the first order. He lectured in Rome, carried on intellectual correspondence with the most brilliant leaders of his day, and wrote a number of books that are still highly regarded among theologians. His most famous book, Cur Deus Homo, was the foremost work on the doctrine of the atonement to come out of the Middle Ages.

April 22 - Maria Gabriella Sagheddu (1914-1939) nun

Maria Gabriella Sagheddu, a Trappist who died on April 23, 1939 at the age of twenty-five, is also remembered today. Maria Sagheddu was born in Dorgali, Sardinia into a poor family of shepherds. She was a very bright child, but had to give up secondary school to help her widowed mother raise her brothers and sisters. She had little interest in religion, but everything changed for her at the age of eighteen. She found herself immersed in an intense life of prayer and began to dedicate herself to catechism and apostolic work, gradually recognizing her vocation to monastic life.

Leaving Sardinia, she entered the Trappist monastery of Grottaferrata, near Rome, at the age of twenty-one. Under the enlightened guidance of the abbess, Mother Pia, Maria discovered the spiritual ecumenism of Paul Couturier. She decided to follow the example of other sisters in her community and offer her life and sufferings for the cause of Christian unity.

After just a few months, Maria, who in the meantime had become Sr. Maria Gabriella, was diagnosed with tuberculosis. She spent the time she had left immersed in the prayer Jesus himself had prayed, when he asked his Father that those who believed in him might be one./p>

Although her story is similar in many ways to the stories of other witnesses who have had a passion for ecumenism, Maria's smallness and simplicity were immediately seen as important signs, showing the Christian denominations how they could walk together towards communion. Maria's life had a strong impact during the years in which the ecumenical movement was taking shape in the Catholic Church, and her story touched the hearts of Christians of every country and denomination.

Sr. Maria Gabriella was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1983, at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

April 22-Earth Day

is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries[1] are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries.This signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature's equipoise was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in recognition of his work. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.

April 23-St. George

On April 23, all Christian calendars commemorate George of Lydda, the most widely venerated Christian martyr. He was probably born in Cappadocia and was the son of Gerontius, a pagan of Persian ancestry, and Polycronia, a Christian. After beginning a military career, George became a fervent disciple of Christ and abandoned the army, giving all of his possessions to the poor. The surviving accounts of his martyrdom are so thoroughly mixed with legend that it is virtually impossible to reconstruct what actually happened. Even the date of his death is uncertain, although we know he was buried in the Palestinian city of Lydda, where a basilica was built in his honor in 350.

George's Passio was translated into all of the languages of the Eastern and Western churches, and was often embellished in the process. It is a tale filled with miracles, some of which are truly extravagant. In one of the most famous episodes, which was immortalized by countless iconographical variations and narrated by Jacob of Varrazze in his Golden Legend, George kills a dragon that had been terrorizing the city of Silene in Libya. This traditional episode made George a symbol of the struggle against the power of evil. He is the patron saint of England, and the number of churches dedicated to him worldwide is probably beyond estimation.

April 23 - Toyohiko Kagawa

was a Japanese Christian pacifist, Christian reformer, and labour activist. Kagawa wrote, spoke, and worked at length on ways to employ Christian principles in the ordering of society and in cooperatives. His vocation to help the poor led him to live among them. He established schools, hospitals, and churches. "I read in a book that a man called Christ went about doing good. It is very disconcerting to me that I am so easily satisfied with just going about."

April 24 - The thirteen Jewish martyrs of Troyes

In 1288, the Jewish residents of the French city of Troyes were accused of ritual homicide when a corpse was found in the house of Jewish nobleman Isaac Châtelain during Passover. The corpse had been left in Châtelain's house to make him appear guilty of a murder committed by others.

The Franciscan and Dominican friars who carried out the investigation accused the city's Jewish community, and a massacre appeared imminent. To save the entire community from catastrophe, thirteen Jews, most of whom were members of the Châtelain family, sacrificed themselves by confessing to a crime they had not committed. They were burned at the stake the same day.

Other Jewish communities had already been accused of committing ritual homicide in order to celebrate Passover with a human sacrificial offering. In 1171, this absurd and slanderous accusation had been made against the Jews of the city of Blois, who were all burned at the stake.


April 24 - Genocide Remembrance

During the night of April 23, 1915, mass arrests of Armenian politicians, church leaders, journalists, lawyers, and intellectuals took place in Constantinople, under the pretext that all of Turkey's Armenian residents were planning a revolt. These arrests marked the beginning of what would become history's second largest genocide in numerical terms, after the genocide of the Jews led by the Nazi regime.

Between 1915 and 1918, mass deportations and inhuman treatment resulted in the disappearance of 1,500,000 Armenians, who died on the road to exile or in the sands of Syria. Those who escaped death sought shelter in Middle Eastern refugee camps and on the far side of the first range of the Caucasus.

It is not easy to understand the intricate combination of faith, national identity, and political action in view of independence that resulted in the genocide of the Armenian people, but Armenians remember their brothers and sisters who died in the First World War as martyrs who were persecuted and despised because of their faith and their difference.

In any case, it is historically certain that very few Armenians denied the faith of their ancestors and converted to Islam in the hope of saving themselves from the Turks' destructive fury.

April 25 - Mark

Today the Eastern and Western churches celebrate the feast of Mark the Evangelist. John, also called Mark, was the cousin of Barnabas, and it was at his mother's house that the first Christians gathered to pray, according to Luke's testimony in the Acts of the Apostles (12.12). Around the year 44, Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Cyprus and Pamphylia on their first missionary journey. He later abandoned Paul, who sharply rebuked him for refusing to follow him. Later, Mark redeemed himself by remaining at Paul's side during his imprisonment in Rome. He was also a disciple of Peter, who calls Mark "my son" in his first letter, and he served as Peter's interpreter. At the request of the Christians of Rome, Mark wrote down Peter's preaching about what Jesus had said and done, and created the literary genre of the Gospel. According to some, Mark is the young man who ran away naked after Jesus' arrest.

The Coptic liturgy calls him "the witness of the sufferings of the only-begotten Son." In his Gospel, Mark fixes his gaze on the mystery of the suffering Servant in whom the Son of Man's glory is hidden, without ever hiding the failure of Jesus' own disciples to understand him during his lifetime.

The last years of Mark's life are partly shrouded in mystery. Eusebius reports that Mark went to Egypt, founded the church of Alexandria, and was martyred in Alexandria on an unknown date. According to tradition, Mark's body was transferred to Venice in 828. In 1968, Cardinal Urbani made a gift of one of his relics to the Pope of Alexandria, Cyril VI, a gesture that marked a renewal of dialogue between the Catholic and Coptic Churches after centuries of hostility and misunderstanding.

April 26 - Robert Hunt

a vicar in the Church of England, was chaplain of the expedition that founded the first successful English colony in the New World, at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

April 27 - Christina Rossetti

was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is famous for writing Goblin Market and Remember, and the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.

April 29 - Catherine of Siena

One tends to think of medieval women as silent and passive dwellers in homes and convents. This was far from the case with Catherine of Siena. She exercised great influence in matters of church and state, and hers was one of the keenest minds of her day. Her father was a merchant in the flourishing Italian town of Siena. In her youth she had some extraordinary religious experiences which caused concern among her family and friends. At sixteen she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic and gave herself entirely to contemplation and the service of the sick and poor. Her reputation as a counselor and mystic soon spread far and wide. In 1376 she made a journey to Avignon and boldly confronted Pope Gregory XI , who heeded her advice and thus averted schism and bloodshed. Catherine's famous book, the Dialogue, is most unusual and highly symbolic. We have four hundred letters written by her, addressed to bishops, kings, scholars, merchants, and obscure peasants. They are excellent literature and reflect a wide range of interests. Catherine spent countless months caring for the victims of plague. Again and again she was to be found in the courts of state, interceding for justice, mercy, and peace.

April 30 - Sarah Josepha Buell Hale

was an American writer and an influential editor. She is the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb". Hale famously campaigned for the creation of the American holiday known as Thanksgiving, and for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument.

The Liturgical Seasons

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** This prayer is offer for Victims of Violence throughout of the world. Victims of verbal, physical, emotional, of hunger and thirst,economic abuse,warfare (especially Ukraine, Venezuela, parts of Africa, South America Asia and the Middle East, terrorist action, the death penalty, suicide, shootings (in our cities and neighborhoods), and other guise of violence. May their souls rest in peace and their families experience the Comfort of God. The Church bells will toll on Wednesdays @ 6:10pm.

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