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.

Lent

The word "Lent" originally meant "Springtime." Because the church season always fell at that time of year, the name came to apply to it as well. Even after the word "Lent" was no longer used for spring, it was still used by the church to describe the season before Easter.

The early church celebrated Lent only for a few days before Easter. Over the centuries, the length of the season grew until it was several weeks long. In the seventh century, the church set the period of Lent at forty days (excluding Sundays) in order to remind people of the duration of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. Sunday is always a celebration of Jesus' victory over sin and death. Even during Lent, Sunday is "a little Easter."

As a sign that this is also a period of penitence, many churches also remove items that are colorful or ornate, or they cover them over with cloths of a drab or purple color, both of which signify penitence. Some of the Sundays during Lent have a particular significance. The Fourth Sunday in Lent is kept in Britain as Mothering Sunday (commercially referred to as Mothers’ Day). This derives from the time when people would return to the original church which had planted their own (the ‘mother church’) for a great celebration, and is linked with servants in great houses being given this Sunday off to visit their families and show their appreciation to their mothers.The Fifth Sunday is Passion Sunday and the Sixth Palm Sunday, the Sunday which begins Holy Week. (Northumbia)


Commemorations

Purim - March 11 - is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire where a plot had been formed to destroy them. The story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther . Good deeds are performed at this time. It a feast about liberation.

Spring Equinox- March 20 - The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west. Spring begins with the vernal equinox on March 20 at 12:57 P.M. EDT.

The Annunciation - March 25 - The Feast of the Annunciation marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he told her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The date is close to the vernal equinox, as Christmas is to the winter solstice.

March 26- Richard AllenRichard Allen was a minister, educator, writer, and one of America's most active and influential black leaders. In 1794 he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the United States. He opened his first AME church in 1794 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Elected the first bishop of the AME Church in 1816, Allen focused on organizing a denomination where free blacks could worship without racial oppression and where slaves could find a measure of dignity. He worked to upgrade the social status of the black community, organizing Sabbath schools to teach literacy and promoting national organizations to develop political strategies.

March 30- Innocent of Alaska St Innocent of Alaska. also known as Saint Innocent Metropolitan of Moscow was a Russian Orthodox missionary priest, then the first Orthodox bishop and archbishop in the Americas, and finally the Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia. Remembered for his missionary work, scholarship, and leadership in Alaska and the Russian Far East during the 19th century, he is known for his abilities as a scholar, linguist, and administrator, as well as his great zeal for his work. As a missionary priest he took his wife and family with him. In these territories he learned several languages and dialects of the indigenous peoples. He wrote many of the earliest scholarly works about the native peoples of Alaska, including dictionaries and grammars for their languages for which he devised writing systems; also, he wrote religious works in, and translated parts of the Bible into, several of these languages.

March 31- John Donne. No man is an island" These oft-quoted words from John Donne are not only a terse statement of a universal truth, they also point to a perplexing dilemma in this great man's life. How could John Donne be reconciled to the baffling world in which he lived: an age struggling with change, shattered by "the new government" and even "the new religion"? He felt deeply his own responsibility to deal with these changes. He refused to retreat to an island. Donne went through a troubled and reckless youth, characterized by cavalier gaiety on the one hand and by deep-seated anxiety on the other. His elegant poetry and the brilliance of his personality gained him many influential friends, but little success otherwise. He married, but could hardly be said to have settled down. His charming wife bore him lovely children, but peace and satisfaction did not enter his life until he took his life to the Master. Finally, he plunged himself into the church's life with all the fervor of his cavalier days. He was ordained and, after serving as a royal chaplain and as rector of Sevenoaks, he became Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. There he preached many celebrated sermons. His hearers were astonished and many of their lives were profoundly changed. His works have continued to stimulate thinkers and writers into our own time.

April 1- April Fool's DayRelated image The custom of setting aside a day for the playing of harmless pranks upon one's neighbor is recognized everywhere.[1][dubious – discuss] Some precursors of April Fools' Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria.

In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392), the "Nun's Priest's Tale" is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon. Thus the passage originally meant 32 days after March, i.e. 2 May, the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean "32 March", i.e. April 1. In Chaucer's tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.

In 1508, French poet Eloy d'Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally "Fish of April"), a possible reference to the holiday. In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1. In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as "Fooles holy day", the first British reference. On April 1, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to "see the Lions washed".

In the Middle Ages, New Year's Day was celebrated on March 25 in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year's was a week-long holiday ending on April 1. Some writers suggest that April Fools' originated because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of January 1 as New Year's Day was common in France by the mid-16th century, and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.

In the Netherlands, the origin of April Fools' Day is often attributed to the Dutch victory at Brielle in 1572, where the Spanish Duke Álvarez de Toledo was defeated. "Op 1 april verloor Alva zijn bril." is a Dutch proverb, which can be translated to: "On the first of April, Alva lost his glasses." In this case, the glasses ("bril" in Dutch) serve as a metaphor for Brielle. This theory, however, provides no explanation for the international celebration of April Fools' Day.

April 1- Frederick Denison Maurice. In 1848 virtually all of Europe was aflame with revolution. Governments were violently overthrown in France, Germany, and Austria. The Establishment in England shuddered and reacted rather fearfully. At least one Christian theologian, F. D. Maurice, responded positively and set to work to apply Christian principles in the acute area of social reform. Maurice, along with John Ludlow and Charles Kingsley, organized the Christian Socialists. They publicized the use of Christian attitudes in solving social problems. They helped organize trade unions and promoted reform legislation. Their ideas and actions were unpopular with certain persons of the Establishment, and Maurice was forced to resign his post in theology at London's King's College. Undeterred, Maurice founded Working Men's College in London and pioneered in the field of education for working class people. He wrote and published many volumes, the most famous of which was entitled The Kingdom of Christ. Maurice laid the groundwork for much modern English theology. He forged contacts between the church and the reforming movements in the state and thereby helped prevent in England the antagonism which typified church-state relations in some countries as these reforming groups began to take the reins of government.

Passiontide

The last two weeks of Lent, when the readings and prayers of the liturgy focus on the Passion of Our Lord. The word "passion", in the Christian sense, does not mean an intense emotion; it refers to the historical events of Jesus' suffering and death.

April 3- Richard of Chichester. Richard of Chichester was a tireless student of theology, a man constant in devotion to the Lord, and one whose life was filled with unselfish service to others. Although he was born to a prosperous family, Richard was orphaned at an early age and soon impoverished by a negligent guardian. He entered Oxford unable to afford even a gown or a fire in winter. Yet he did very well in his studies and was eventually able to go on to further study at the University of Paris and at Bologna. He returned to England as a small-town parson, a role he always loved. However, his fame as a counselor and preacher soon spread far and wide. Against the wishes of King Henry III, Richard was consecrated Bishop of Chichester. The king denied him access to the cathedral and to the bishop's palace, so Richard spent two years wandering barefoot through his diocese, living very simply on the charity of his flock. When the quarrel with the king was finally settled and Richard moved into the palace, he lived there almost as a beggar, wearing a hair shirt, fasting often, and sleeping on the floor. He was an efficient administrator and a stern disciplinarian when the occasion called for it. Yet he entertained the poor lavishly and ultimately willed his episcopal estate to the poor, to hospitals, to widows, and orphans. The words of hymn 654 in The Hymnal 1982 are attributed to him. Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day.

April 4- Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in 1929, the grandson and son of Baptist preachers. After his education at Boston University, he became pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. There he confronted the entrenched racism that pervaded much of the United States at that time. In 1955 Rosa Parks famously refused to yield her seat on a bus to a white person. King joined with others in organizing the Montgomery bus boycott and became nationally prominent. In the following years, King traveled from city to city leading protests and demonstrations. King's preaching was extraordinary in its impact. People of all races responded to King's vision of a nation in which everyone would behold others as children of God, not defined by race. His last Sunday sermon was given in Washington National Cathedral on March 31, 1968. A few days later, he traveled to Memphis to take part in a sanitation workers' strike. While in Memphis, he was assassinated. King's relentless quest to share a vision for the kingdom of God was not just confined to race. He spoke about excess military expenditure and economic justice too. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," he said.

April 5- Pandita Mary Ramabai Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati 1858-1922. Ramabai was born on 23 April 1858. She was the daughter of the Sanskrit scholar Anant Shastri Dongre, and his second wife Lakshmibai Dongre. Anant Shastri Dongre taught both his second wife and his daughter the Sanskrit texts, even though the learning of Sanskrit and formal education was forbidden for women and lower castes people. When their parents died in the 1877 famine, Ramabai and her brother decided to continue their father's work. The siblings travelled all over India. Ramabai's fame as a lecturer reached Calcutta, where the pandits invited her to speak. In 1878, Calcutta University, conferred on her the title of Pandita, as well as the highest title of Saraswati in recognition of her interpretations of various Sanskrit works. The theistic reformer Keshab Chandra Sen gave her a copy of the Vedas, the most sacred of all Hindu literature, and encouraged her to read them. After the death of her brother in 1880, Ramabai married Bengali lawyer, Bipin Behari Medhvi. The groom was a Bengali Kayastha, and so the marriage was inter-caste, and inter-regional and therefore considered inappropriate for that age. They were married in a civil ceremony on 13 November 1880. The couple had a daughter whom they named Manorama. Ramabai resolved to spend her life attempting to better the status of women in India. She studied and discussed issues which surround Indian women, especially Hindu traditions. She spoke against the practice of child marriage and the resulting constraints on the lives of child widows. Husband and wife had planned to start a school for child widows, when Medhvi died in 1882.

After Medhvi's death, Ramabai moved to Pune where she founded Arya Mahila Samaj ( Translation: Arya Women's Society). The purpose of the society was to promote the cause of women's education and deliverance from the oppression of child marriage. When in 1882 a commission was appointed by Government of India to look into education, Ramabai gave evidence before it. In an address to Lord Ripon's Education Commission, she declared with fervor, "In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the educated men of this country are opposed to female education and the proper position of women. If they observe the slightest fault, they magnify the grain of mustard-seed into a mountain, and try to ruin the character of a woman." She suggested that teachers be trained and women school inspectors be appointed. Further, she said that as the situation in India was that women's conditions were such that women could only medically treat them, Indian women should be admitted to medical colleges. Ramabai's evidence created a great sensation and reached Queen Victoria. It bore fruit later in starting of the Women's Medical Movement by Lady Dufferin.

Ramabai was also a poet and scholar. During her life, Ramabai traveled widely. In order to learn more about the education of women and receive training for her lifelong battle to help unshackle the women in India, she visited most parts of India.She went to Britain (1883) to start medical training. However, during her stay she converted to Christianity. From Britain she traveled to United States to attend the graduation of the first female Indian doctor, Anandibai Joshi (1886–88). During this time she also translated textbooks and gave lectures throughout the United States and Canada. Her lectures in USA led to Ramabai associations being formed in all major American cities to raise funds for her causes. She also found time to write and get published one of her most important books, The High-Caste Hindu Woman. This was also the first book that she wrote in English. Ramabai dedicated this book to Dr. Anandibai Joshi, who died in February 1887, less than six months after returning to India from America. The High Caste Hindu Woman, which, according to her beliefs, "showed" the darkest aspects of the life of Hindu women, including child brides and child widows, sought to expose the oppression of women in Hindu-dominated British India. In 1896, during a severe famine Ramabai toured the villages of Maharashtra with a caravan of bullock carts and rescued thousands of outcast children, child widows, orphans, and other destitute women and brought them to the shelter of Mukti and Sharada Sadan. A learned woman knowing seven languages, she also translated the Bible into her mother tongue - Marathi - from the original Hebrew and Greek.

By 1900 there were 1,500 residents and over a hundred cattle in the Mukti mission and she was also involved in establishing a Church at Mukti. The Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission is still active today, providing housing, education, vocational training, and medical services, for many needy groups including widows, orphans, and the blind.

April 6- Daniel G. Wu. Ng Gee Ching, born in China, arrived as a child in Honolulu, Hawaii. Initially lukewarm toward Christianity, he agreed to assist deaconess Emma Drant, who taught him English in exchange for him teaching her Cantonese and assisting the Chinese community in Hawai'i. Inspired by Drant's faith, he converted to Christianity, and took "Daniel" as a colloquial name on his baptism as well as changed his surname to "Wu", which Americans not of Chinese descent could pronounce more easily.

When Drant moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1905 to assist the Chinese community by establishing the True Sunshine Episcopal mission in San Francisco, California, Wu initially remained in Hawaii. However, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (which with the resulting fires, killed 3,000 people and destroyed 80% of the city), he responded to her call for help with the mainland community. Chinese immigrants were especially hard hit, and many moved from Chinatown across the bay to Oakland, California where Drant and Wu established another church, which became known as the Church of Our Savior.

While helping to manage both missions (since Drant soon left for another assignment in the East), Wu also studied for the priesthood at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Upon his ordination in 1912, Wu became vicar of both missions, which thrived despite the racial discrimination and other hardships still faced by congregation members.

In 1913, after a three-year courtship, Wu married King Yoak Won (1890-1982), the granddaughter of immigrants from Toi San county in what became southern Guangdong Province, and whose father (by then deceased) had arrived during the California Gold Rush and worked to build railroads. They met in the church, as King Yoak Won (introduced to Christianity by a Chinese Methodist missionary and baptised in a Congregationalist church) was helping roll bandages for the army led by Sun Yat Sen. After a large ceremony conducted in Chinese and English in Grace Cathedral, the Wus eventually had four children.

Wu frequented the port of entry, making contact with newly arrived, many of them Cantonese people. He assisted their transition to their new home and culture, while helping them and their children maintain their Chinese identity and heritage. Wu and his wife King Yoak Won (and the two congregations) offered English and sewing classes for adults, as well as Chinese language classes for children. About 250 persons attended the daily classes at each school. In 1933, with the assistance of All Saints Church, Palo Alto, another Chinese Sunday school began, which in three years had grown from 15 to 45 children. King Yoak Won Wu also assisted immigrants through the Chinese YWCA, founded in 1916 and on whose board of directors she participated for many years.

April 7- Tikhon. Born as Vasily Ivanovich Belavin, Tikhon spent his early years with the church as a lay leader. Educated at St. Petersburg Theological Academy, he was an instructor of moral and dogmatic theology at Pskov Seminary. At age twenty-six, in 1891, Belavin took monastic vows and became known as Tikhon. He was ordained as bishop in 1897, becoming the Archbishop of the Aleutians and Alaska and head of the Russian Orthodox Church in America in 1898. In this role, he developed warm friendships with Episcopalians in the United States. Tikhon attended the ordination of the Bishop of Fond du Lac in 1900, and was prepared to take part in the laying on of hands, but the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops forbade this. Tikhon returned to Russia in 1907. Ten years later, he was elected Patriarch of Moscow, amidst a time of great political and social tumult. He condemned the killing of the Tsar and his family in 1918 and publicly opposed the nationalization of church property. In his later years, statements were issued in his name, renouncing his antigovernment positions. However, the authenticity of these statements is questioned, and the Russian Orthodox Church considers him to have remained loyal. Exhausted from his work and imprisoned for more than a year by the Soviets, Tikhon died on April 7, 1925, a martyr for his faith. One of his most widely acclaimed quotations captures his zeal and his hope. It our prayer this day. May God teach every one of us to strive for His truth, and for the good of the Holy Church, rather than something for our own sake. Amen.

April 9-Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A young Lutheran pastor was only twenty-four when he participated in his first public protest against Nazism and the complicity of the Christian churches in that regime's rise to power. He was one of the leaders of the Confessing Church, a Protestant group that resisted Hitler and the Nazi party. In 1935 he was the founder and dean of a seminary at Finkenwald, Germany, which served that church body. It was there that he wrote his two most famous published works: Life Together and The Cost of Discipleship. As the Nazi ring closed in upon him and the Confessing Church, he had an opportunity for asylum in the United States, which he declined. He was arrested and jailed in 1943, and from his cell in Berlin he helped plan an assassination of Adolf Hitler. The assassination failed and Bonhoeffer's involvement was discovered, and he was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp. But his life was spared, for reasons we do not know, and he was transferred to Schoenberg Prison. There he served as chaplain to fellow inmates until on a Sunday in 1945, immediately following divine services, he was summoned by the guards and taken by automobile to Flossenburg Prison, where he was summarily hanged. That was on April 9. Bonhoeffer was thirty-nine years old. The crumbling German Reich formally surrendered twenty-eight days later.


The Liturgical Seasons

Read more

** 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.

Web Design and Build by NetView Studio.com