Friday, July 19, 2013

Depression Workshop

Hope for the Hurting
The church’s crucial role in the healing of the depressed.
Thursday evening, August 1, 2013, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Feel free to contact us for further information or directions.

 Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity
(803) 341-0075      
 Sweetwater Center, 160 Merovan Dr, North Augusta, SC 29860

There is no quick fix for depression. We can’t just tell those suffering among us to snap out of it and expect the pain to go away.  As God’s church, however, we can surround our brothers and sisters suffering from depression and be a source of strength, faith and hope when they are unable to attain to these things for themselves. We can help by combating the lies of distorted self-perception and affirming those truths most essential to an identity to be found in God who created them.
 Depression is not a journey to be taken alone.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A chance for Holy Trinity to make a lasting differencet among homeless families in our area

Family Promise of Augusta 

In May, Sarah McDonald came to Holy Trinity to tell us about Family Promise of Augusta.  She invited us to partner with them and with 30 or so other churches in the area to address family homelessness in the CSRA.  Family Promise of Augusta is committed to helping homeless families achieve lasting independence. They do this by providing safe shelter, meals, day care and support services for these families. They also partner with other programs designed to redress the underlying economic, social and behavioral causes of homelessness. 
The response from within the parish to become involved in this endeavor was uplifting.  A ministry group has come together headed by JoEllen Barbare to lead us into being a part of this community ministry.  Our first involvement is going to come on the Week of September 22.  Contact JoEllen about the details, and be praying about how the Lord is asking you to be involved.

There are no quick answers to the problem of homelessness for the families that are in this program.  It requires a two-pronged commitment involving the families as well as us who want to come alongside them in their journey to wholeness and independence. Family Promise offers a real opportunity in that it is a holistic approach. They are a national organization with a good track record in leading families toward stability and productivity. They focus on where the need is critical, and that is with families with children.  The goal is to break the cycle of poverty and dependency that very much plagues our society.  And for us, it gives us a chance at first-hand involvement in people's lives- people whose needs are great and whose situations to them are apparently hopeless.  Nothing is too hard for God.

Father Rob

A love offering for Bishop Abraham and the People of South Sudan

Dear Family and Friends of Holy Trinity:

This Wednesday evening (tomorrow, July 3) we will receive into our midst The Rt. Rev. Abraham Yel Nhial of the Church of South Sudan.  I have read his book and know something of the story he is going to share with us.  The Lord has sustained him and his people through some horrific circumstances, and he has a deep passion for his people and for wanting them to know they are not forsaken by the God who loves them and suffers with them.  He also wants to be sure that they are not forgotten by the rest of the Church or by the world.  I am humbled to have such a servant of the Lord among us. 

We will be taking up a love offering tomorrow night for the people of South Sudan and for Bishop Abraham’s ministry among them.  Prayerfully consider participating in this offering.  You can make your check out to Holy Trinity marked “Sudan” such that it will be listed as part of your tithes and offerings in the church books.

Let me mention that “coincidentally” meeting Bishop Abraham several months ago during our vestry retreat at Camp St. Christopher is clearly part of a new leading of the Lord for us this year.  The Lord planted this church family over four years ago. He has grown and prospered us.  He has taught us about “Being” the Body of Christ, about “Knowing” the mind of Christ, and now He is pointing us more resolutely toward “Doing” the work of Christ (The “Being, Knowing and Doing” of the Christian life).  Your leadership has sought to be as attentive as it could be to the Lord's leading.  The result has been our taking on two new outreach ministries, one a local (Family Promise of North Augusta), one global (The Work of the Anglican Church in the Horn of Africa). 

Do not miss Bishop Abraham’s presentation to us Wednesday evening (6:00 pm, supper provided).  I think this will be a watershed time for us as God speaks to us through this bishop of our church.
Father Rob


Your Children's and Grandchildren’s Spiritual Heritage

I am writing this article while on vacation at Kanuga, a church Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC.  In many ways I spiritually grew up in this place, and I continue to encounter God on each return visit.  I return year after year seeking his face, the touch of His hand and the sound of His voice.  I seem to always find it.  As I have shared with many of you at Holy Trinity, there is a particular place on the trail on the far side of the lake that I consider, as the Celtic Christians say, my Thin Place; that is, it is that place for me where the fabric between heaven and earth is drawn so thinly that it seems I can almost reach through and touch the face of God.  What happens instead, however, God always reaches through and touches me first.

This year among all the years has a special significance.  My son, his wonderful wife and my two extraordinarily perfect grandsons (a grandfather’s perspective) are here with Nancy and me this year.  It is a special time because I was coming here with my parents when I was my three-year-old grandson’s age.  Nancy and I summer after summer brought our children here. Now our son is bringing his children here.  This week at Kanuga thus represents four generations of Hartley’s who have been blessed by this place.  Kanuga in that sense has become part of my family’s spiritual inheritance. 

As I was walking to my Thin Place before Eucharist yesterday morning, it came to me how extraordinarily important it is that we indeed pass on to our children and grandchildren their spiritual inheritance.  I am not just talking about a spiritually significant place like this place; I am talking about something much more important.  I am talking about handing down the Faith to the next generations- telling them that Old, Old Story, introducing them to Jesus, witnessing to the blessings of the Christian life. This is their true spiritual inheritance.   Perhaps as you are reading this you are thinking that your spiritual heritage got short-circuited somewhere along the way, or never existed in your family to begin with, but it is not too late for you to make your Faith your children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance.                                                                  Father Rob