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.

Easter

The great 50 Days of Easter ends on the Feast of Pentecost. There is no Confession of Sin. The privilege of standing, not kneeling, during the Great Thanksgiving of the 50 Days dates back to the Council of Nicaea. No fasting or abstinence.

May 1 - May Day

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane, most commonly held on April 30. The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice was Midsummer.

As Europe became Christianised, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration. A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of several days on which St. Walburga, credited with bringing Christianity to Germany, is celebrated. The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors' doorsteps.

May 1 - St. Philip and St. James

The apostle Philip was from Bethsaida and was one of the Twelve. He is mentioned in all four gospels and figures prominently in two episodes in the Lord's ministry. In the first, the Feeding of the Five Thousand, Philip's very practical nature shows through (see John 6:5-14). The other episode is the gospel lesson for this feast (see John 14:6-14). He should not be confused with Philip, Deacon and Evangelist, who is mentioned in the fifth and eighth chapters of the Book of Acts. James the Less, son of Alphaeus, was one of the Twelve also. He should not be confused with either James, the son of Zebedee (see July 25), or James, the Lord's brother (see October 23). His agnomen "the less" may imply a small stature or youthfulness. He is mentioned only four times in Holy Scripture, and then briefly or in a list, so we know very little about him.

May 1 - Yom Ha-Sho'ah

the full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah“– literally the “Day of (Remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.” It is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the seventh day of Passover, and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers).


May 4 - Star Wars Day

is considered a holiday by some Star Wars fans to celebrate the franchise's film series, books, and culture. The date was chosen for the easy pun on the catchphrase "May the Force be with you"— "May the Fourth be with you". Even though the holiday was not actually created or declared by Lucasfilm, many Star Wars fans across the world choose to celebrate the holiday.

May 4- International Firefighters Day / St. Florian

is observed on May 4. It was instituted after proposal emailed out across the world on January 4, 1999 due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia. May 4 used to be a traditional Firefighters' Day in many European countries, because it is the day of Saint Florian, patron saint of firefighters.

St. Florian was born around 250 AD in the ancient Roman city of Aelium Cetium, present-day Sankt Pölten, Austria. He joined the Roman army and advanced in the ranks, rising to commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing and leading firefighting brigades. Florian organized and trained an elite group of soldiers whose sole duty was to fight fires.

During the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians, reports reached Rome that St. Florian was not enforcing the proscriptions against Christians in his territory. Aquilinus was sent to investigate these reports. When Aquilinus ordered Florian to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods in accordance with Roman religion, Florian refused. Florian was sentenced to be burned at the stake. Standing on the funeral pyre, Florian is reputed to have challenged the Roman soldiers to light the fire, saying "If you do, I will climb to heaven on the flames." Apprehensive of his words, The soldiers did not burn Florian, but executed him by him drowning in the Enns River with a millstone tied around his neck.

On IFFD, every person in the emergency service career gets recognized; Hazardous Materials Specialists, Fire Prevention Specialists, paid firefighters, volunteer fire fighters, wild land fire fighters, heavy equipment operators/mechanics, Emergency Medical Technicians, and many more. Some of these jobs may seem insignificant; however, without all sectors of the emergency department services working together one would not hold up without the other; therefore, resulting in International Fire Fighters Day to be a time to celebrate everyone who serves in the emergency service.

May 4-St. Monica

also known as Monica of Hippo, was an early Christian saint and the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. She is remembered and honored in most Christian denominations, albeit on different feast days, for her outstanding Christian virtues, particularly the suffering caused by her husband's adultery, and her prayerful life dedicated to the reformation of her son, who wrote extensively of her pious acts and life with her in his Confessions. Popular Christian legends recall Saint Monica weeping every night for her son Augustine. The city of Santa Monica, California, is named after Monica. A legend states that in the 18th century Father Juan Crespí named a local dripping spring Las Lagrimas de Santa Monica ("Saint Monica’s Tears") (today known as the Serra Springs) that was reminiscent of the tears that Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety. Patron saint of Difficult marriages, disappointing children, victims of adultery or unfaithfulness, and victims of (verbal) abuse.

May 5 - June 4: Ramadan

Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان‎ ) is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, during which, for a period of thirty days, Muslims abstain from eating, and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Muslims do this because it is a pillar of Islam, and obligatory for everyone. In other words, God decreed this entire month holy for Muslims so that they can increase their remembrance of life after death. Muslims also abstain from all bad deeds and habits, like smoking, swearing, backbiting, and disrespectfulness. Muslims reflect upon themselves, their religion, and the characteristics of God. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Fasting and abstaining from bad habits teaches Muslims self control, humility, and generosity. Ramadan is a time for charity, family, and good deeds. Muslims fast because they believe it is vital for spiritual health. Unlike the fast of Ashurah, the fasts of Ramadan are declared mandatory by God because like salah (praying towards Mecca), fasting helps Muslims maintain spiritual and physical health.

The month of Ramadan begins when the new moon of Ramadan is sighted and ends when the new moon of Sha'ban is sighted. Muslims also believe that devils are chained up during Ramadan. Ramadan comes from the word ramadaa, which means 'sunbaked' in Arabic. This is perhaps a reference to the pangs of hunger Muslims feel when fasting.

May 5- Cinco de Mayo

commemorating not Mexico’s Independence Day, as is often mistakenly thought, but rather the unlikely victory of an outmatched Mexican fighting force over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. France went on to win the larger conflict, occupying Mexico for a few years - but the earlier battle became a point of Mexican pride and a symbol of resistance against colonial aggression. In the 1960s, Mexican-Americans activists claimed the day in the context of the Civil Rights Movement. And in the 1980s, beer companies heavily commercialized the holiday in the United States, coming under criticism for promoting racial stereotypes along the way. Many today call for a recovery of Cinco de Mayo’s roots in anticolonial resistance, civil rights, and social justice.

Søren Kierkegaard

May 5 is also the birthday of Danish theologian and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, born in Copenhagen in 1813. Largely unknown outside of Denmark during his own time, his work was rediscovered in the twentieth century, and has widely influenced not only theology and philosophy, but also psychology, literature, and literary criticism. Here’s a taste of Kierkegaard’s lively, provocative, often ironic style: “The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?

“Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

May 8- Julian of Norwich

Dame Julian, or Lady Julian, so named from her gentle birth, was born in 1342. She claimed to be a simple, unlettered person; but though she was not learned, she was by no means uneducated. She knew her Bible and the teaching of the church, and she could express herself in vigorous English. It is possible, though there is no proof, that she became a Benedictine nun. On May 8, 1373, at the age of thirty, she received a series of "Sixteen Shewings" that are recorded in the first version of her Revelations of Divine Love. These visions came in response to prayers for "three gifts from God": to have the mind of Christ's Passion, a bodily sickness, and the gift of three wounds"of contrition, compassion, and a "willful longing toward God. Some twenty years later her Revelations were expanded as a result of "inward teaching."

Gary Snyder

May 8 is the birthday of American poet Gary Snyder. A practicing Buddhist and environmental activist, Snyder spent several years living on a small island in the East China Sea, mediating daily. He then spent more than a decade in Japan studying Buddhism, living in monasteries and, because those monasteries had no books, at times renting a nearby apartment to catch up on reading and writing. Asked what Buddhism has taught him about poetry, he put it this way: “Changing the filter, wiping noses, going to meetings, picking up around the house, washing dishes, checking the dipstick - don’t let yourself think these are distracting you from your more serious pursuits.”

Phillis Wheatley

May 8 is also believed to be the birthday of poet Phillis Wheatley, born in West Africa in 1753. Kidnapped at the age of eight and put on a slave ship, the Phillis, she was sold to a prominent tailor in Boston, John Wheatley, and was manumitted in 1778 - two years after George Washington invited her to his headquarters to meet her, so impressed was he with her poetry. She rarely wrote about herself or her life as a slave - with the notable exception of “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” a poem in which Wheatley pointedly admonishes “Christians” that “Negroes,” too, may “join th’ angelic train.”

May 11-17 - The Ice Saints

is a name given to St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatius in Flemish, French, Dutch, Hungarian, German, Austrian, Polish, Swiss and Croatian folklore. They are so named because their feast days fall on the days of May 11, May 12, and May 13 respectively. In Poland and the Czech Republic, the Ice Saints are St. Pancras, St. Servatus and St. Boniface of Tarsus (i.e., May 12 to May 14). To the Poles, the trio are known collectively as zimni ogrodnicy (cold gardeners), and are followed by zimna Zośka (cold Sophias) on the feast day of St. Sophia which falls on May 15. In Czech, the three saints are collectively referred to as “ledoví muži” (ice-men or icy men), and Sophia is known as “Žofie, ledová žena” (Sophia, the ice-woman). The period from May 12 to May 15 was noted to bring a brief spell of colder weather in many years, including the last nightly frosts of the spring, in the Northern Hemisphere.

May 11- Lilat al-Barat

According to Islamic tradition, on this night, Muhammad had been prostrating in prayer for so long, that his wife Aisha feared that he was dead. She moved his thumb, and when she saw that he moved his thumb back to its original position, she lay in bed, reassured of his health. After he was done praying, Muhammad explained to his wife that Shab-e-Barat is a holy night during which God forgives the believers and releases countless people from hell.

Bob Marley

May 11 is the anniversary of Bob Marley’s death in 1981. Marley’s lyrics are often shaped by his Rastafarian theology, and his songs - both political and romantic - are peppered with references to “Jah” (the Rasta word for God).

Diamond Sutra

May 11 is also the day in 868 that the Diamond Sutra was published, the world’s oldest printed book (a scroll, actually) bearing a publication date. It’s a collection of Buddhist teachings (“sutra” means “teachings”) with the full title, “The Diamond that Cuts Through Illusions.” In 1900, a Taoist monk discovered it in a sealed cave along the Silk Road, where ancient monks had collected holy scriptures of various religions from travelers and pilgrims passing by.

May 12 - Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a day dedicated to honoring and recognizing the sacrifices and accomplishments of mothers. Mothers are recognized by family and friends; regardless of whether they are biological or perceived maternal figures. It is a day to honor and respect mothers for their many sacrifices; a day to show them how important they are to us. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation recognizing the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

May 12- National Law Enforcement

Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week is an observance in the United States that pays tribute to the local, state, and Federal peace officers who have died in the line of duty.

May 13- Frances Perkins

Born in Boston in 1880 with roots in Maine, Frances Perkins studied at Mount Holyoke College and completed as master's degree in economics and sociology at Columbia University. While working as a young woman in Chicago, she was drawn to the Episcopal Church and confirmed in 1905. At age thirty-one, while working for the Factory Investigation Commission in New York City, she witnessed the Triangle Shirtwaist fire that resulted in the death of 146 primarily young women. Perkins often said later, "The New Deal was born on March 25, 1911. That experience galvanized her career as an advocate for workers. At a time when few women enjoyed a professional career after marriage and children, Perkins was spurred on by the emergence of her husband's mental illness and his inability to earn an income. In 1918, New York Governor Al Smith invited her serve in his administration and, with the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt to governor in 1928, she was named Commissioner of Labor. When he was elected president in 1932, Roosevelt asked Perkins to serve as his Secretary of Labor, the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet. Throughout her twelve years as Secretary she took a monthly retreat with the All Saints' Sisters of the Poor, with whom she was a lay associate. Roosevelt called her "the cornerstone of his administration" for her tireless work in establishing the Social Security Act of 1935 and other labor reforms of the New Deal. "I came to Washington to serve God, FDR, and millions of forgotten, plain, common workingmen," she said. Her theology of generosity informed her professional life and, in turn, transformed the lives of millions of Americans. Perkins remained active in teaching, social justice advocacy, and in the mission of the Episcopal Church until her death in 1965.

May 15- St. Isidore the Farmer

Isidore was born in Madrid, in about the year 1070, of poor but very devout parents, and was christened Isidore from the name of their patron, St. Isidore of Seville. Isidore spent his life as a hired hand in the service of the wealthy Madrilenian landowner Juan de Vargas on a farm in the city's vicinity. He shared what he had, even his meals, with the poor. Juan de Vargas would later make him bailiff of his entire estate of Lower Caramanca.

It was said that he stood two meters (6.5 feet) tall. He is patron saint of agriculture, farmers and day labors.


May 16- Martyrs of the Sudan

Persecution of Christians can be traced historically based on the biblical account of Jesus from the first century of the Christian era to the present day. Early Christians were persecuted for their faith at the hands of both Jews from whose religion Christianity arose and the Romans who controlled many of the land across which early Christianity was distributed. Early in the fourth century, the religion was legalized by the Edict of Milan, and it eventually became the State church of the Roman Empire.

Christian missionaries as well as converts to Christianity have been the targets of persecution ever since the emergence of Christianity, sometimes to the point of being martyred for their faith.

Schisms of the Middle Ages and especially the Protestant Reformation, sometimes provoked severe conflicts between Christian denominations to the point of persecuting each other.

In the 20th century, Christians have been persecuted by various groups, including the Islamic Ottoman Empire in the form of the Armenian Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide and the Greek Genocide, as well as atheistic states such as the Soviet Union and North Korea. During World War II members of some Christian churches were persecuted in Nazi Germany for resisting Nazi ideology.

In more recent times the persecution of Christians has increased in India according to International Christian Concern.[ The Christian missionary organization Open Doors (UK) estimates 100 million Christians face persecution, particularly in Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

May 20- Armed Forces Day

It is a day to pay tribute to men and women who serve the United States’ armed forces. Armed Forces Day is a day to recognize members of the Armed Forces that are currently serving. In 1947, the Armed Forces of the US were united under one department which was renamed the Department of Defense in 1949. President Harry S. Truman supported the creation of a day for the nation to unite in support and recognition or our military members and their families. On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced that Armed Forces Day would take the place of other individual branch celebrations, and all branches of the military would be honored this single day. Armed Forces Day takes place on the third Saturday in May.

May 14- Lag B'Omer

The Omer (Hebrew: ל״ג בעומר‎‎‎‎) refers to the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. Lag B'Omer is the thirty-third day of counting of the Omer and falls on the lunar date of 18th Iyar (May). The counting of the Omer starts on the second day of Passover and culminates on the day before Shavuot (Pentecost).

May 23 - Nicholaus Copernicus

was a Renaissance-era mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe.

Johanne Kepler

was a German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. Kepler is a key figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution. He is best known for his laws of planetary motion, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation.



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May 25 - Bede, the Venerable, Priest, and Monk of Jarrow

When the monks of Jarrow sang, “Lord, leave us not as orphans,” it is said that Bede would often weep. As a child he was left orphaned in a dark, hostile, and dangerous land. He was cared for and reared by kindly monks. When he was but a youngster, plague struck the monastery, almost wiping it out. The only surviving souls were Bede and the old abbot. Bede naturally had a strong sense of the importance of community, of the fine line between life and death, and of our utter dependence upon the Creator.

He rarely ventured outside the walls of Jarrow monastery, yet his knowledge of theology, geography, and language was worthy of the most sophisticated of his time in Western Europe. He wrote a number of excellent books on various subjects, but he is best remembered for his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. This work has justly earned for him the title “Father of English History.” Unlike some of the careless historians of his day, he was meticulous in listing his authorities and sources. He took care to separate known fact from hearsay, but his descriptions are lively and dramatic. Bede thought of himself as a teacher, and he seems to have built most of his teaching around the Divine Offices which the monks read daily. It is altogether fitting that he was pronounced a “Doctor of the Church” by Pope Leo XIII. Bede"s remains rest in Durham.

May 26 - Augustine, First Archbishop of Canterbury

Augustine and a group of monks were sent to Britain by Pope Gregory (see March 12) in 597. Three centuries prior to this, Christianity had been introduced to the British Isles during the Roman occupation (see June 22 and March 1 and 17). However, when the Roman forces withdrew, the pagan Anglo-Saxons invaded the isles and forced the Christians to flee into the hills and forests of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, or to face a tenuous existence in England. Augustine found that his task was not only to convert the Anglo-Saxons but also to re-establish contacts between the British (or Celtic) and Roman churches. Now, Augustine seems to have been a rather timid and reticent fellow who had accepted this assignment with something less than enthusiasm. He did not speak the Anglo-Saxon tongue and was terrified at the prospect of confronting these notorious savages. He was relieved and delighted upon landing in Britain to find that the Anglo-Saxon queen, Bertha, was already a Christian and that the king was not unfriendly. The latter, King Ethelbert, eventually was converted and in time most of his subjects followed suit. Augustine established his cathedral at Canterbury in Kent. This was destined to become the most important bishopric in England and the mother diocese of the Anglican Communion. Archbishops of Canterbury are still said to hold the Chair of Augustine.

May 27 - Bertha and Ethelbert, Queen and King of Kent

Bertha was a Frankish princess, the daughter of Charibert I and his wife Ingoberga, granddaughter of the reigning King Chlothar I and great-granddaughter of Clovis I and Saint Clotilde. Her father died in 567, her mother in 589. Bertha had been raised near Tours. Her marriage to the pagan Æthelberht of Kent, in 580 AD, was on condition that she be allowed to practice her religion. She brought her chaplain, Liudhard, with her to England. A former Roman church was restored for Bertha just outside the City of Canterbury, and dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. It was the private chapel of Queen Bertha before Augustine arrived from Rome.

Pope Gregory the Great sent a Mission led by Augustine of Canterbury, to restore Christianity to England in 596. The Mission's favourable reception upon arrival in 597 AD owed much to the influence of Bertha. Without her support and Æthelberht's good will, monastic settlements and the cathedral would likely have been developed elsewhere. In 601, Pope Gregory addressed a letter to Bertha, in which he complimented her highly on her faith and knowledge of letters.

John Calvin- May 28

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was an influential French theologian, pastor and reformer during the Protestant Reformation. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions erupted in widespread deadly violence against Protestant Christians in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where in 1536 he published the first edition of the Institutes.

Joan of Arc (Jeanne D'Arc)- May 30

Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) was born in France in 1412, in the midst of the Hundred Years' War when France and England were locked in an epic struggle over who should govern portions of what is now France. The daughter of a farmer from the village of Domrémy, Joan had no formal schooling and could not write her name without someone guiding her hand, but made her mark on history and the church.

At age twelve or thirteen, Joan began to experience visions. She heard the voices of Saint Michael the Archangel (see September 29), Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and others, telling her to raise the siege at Orleans and have the Dauphin crowned king of France. Based on a successful prediction of a reversal in battle, Joan gained credibility with the court and with military leaders. Soon the Dauphin was leading armies to victory based on her mystical visions, and after a stunning victory at Orleans, he was crowned Charles VII at Reims cathedral. But after a defeat at Compiègne, Joan was captured by the Burgundian troops, sold to the English, and tried at Rouen on charges of sorcery and heresy. She was found guilty and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was just nineteen years old. The French eventually won the war, and Joan's conviction was annulled by the church in 1456. Joan of Arc came to be regarded as a French heroine, honored for her courage, steadfast faith, and unwavering commitment to her country.


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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