Archive for April, 2009

Yesterday we were in contact with the local chapter of the Salvation Army. When we asked what Trinity could do to help with the current wildfire crisis, we were told that the two most immediate needs are non-perishable foods and monetary donations. The local office has served more than 1000 meals, not to only victims but to fire fighters, forestry commission workers, EMT’s and police officers. “Our cupboards are bare” say’s Donna Wright administrator for the Salvation Army. There is also concern about going into the upcoming hurricane season with so little food & supplies.

Please be as generous as you possibly can. You may make your checks out to Trinity with the memo line of Trinity Wildfire Relief Fund. There will be a collection box for canned goods set up in the hall just outside of the worship space.

much love,
Rob Sturdy

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Below is a sample clip of Iain’s sermon on the New Life in Jesus preached on 4-26-08. To watch the full sermon in video click here

Update on Trinity’s Response to the Wildfires

Posted: April 24, 2009 by limabean03 in Uncategorized

Friends in Christ,

Through phone, e-mail and this blog we have been shown support from friends all across North America as well as England.  Many thanks for your prayers and concerns.  I was taking a short cycle ride to clear my mind and crossing the waterway saw a stunning sight.  Large black plumes of smoke stretched across the sky for what looked like 10-15 miles in either direction.  Flying above the smoke were 3 Black Hawk helicopters carrying large buckets to douse the fire.  Once the Black Hawks had cleared a C-130 guided by a smaller white prop plane flew over the blaze dropping water over the tree line.  It was a humbling thing to know this fire has resisted our finest fire fighters and military personnel for three days now.

Trinity is still on the short list to become a shelter if the need arises, but it looks as if this is not Trinity’s role to play in this crisis as many people are finding shelter in hotels preferring to sleep in beds rather than cots.  As for those of you who have made your homes available I am tremendously thankful and will let you know if we will be honored to serve in this way.

As it is at the moment, I am waiting for the Red Cross and Salvation Army to call us back and give us specific instructions and specific needs for which we could contribute.  In addition to this, my wife and I are currently in the process of organizing two charitable fundraisers to contribute to the relief and rebuilding effort.  Stay tuned for more news on those fronts.  I am hoping to be able to make an announcement at Sunday morning services about the specific role Trinity will play in the coming weeks.  Until then, the TRINITY WILDFIRE RELIEF FUND serves as the best option for those of you that wish to make a contribution through Trinity.

Finally, I wish to thank my former pastor and former church, Steve Wood and St. Andrews Mt. Pleasant for pledging funds for the relief effort here in Horry County.  Knowing the passion for Jesus that characterizes St. Andrews it is of no surprise to me that they were first in line to pledge assistance in this crisis.

For contributions or volunteer sign up please see the post immediately below.

Continue to pray that the wind will die out, the humidity will rise, the fire will be extinguished and that lives and homes will be preserved.

much love in Jesus Christ,

Rob

Beloved in Christ,

As many of you will now know the communities west of the waterway and north of The Farm development have been ravaged by a massive wildfire that has destroyed near 100 homes and displaced many families.  As of 2:00 a.m. last night (4-23-09) the development at Barefoot Landing was evacuated.  Trinity, it’s staff and parishioners are by God’s grace o.k. for the time being.   Please continue to pray for the law enforcement, firefighters, and Red Cross folks.  Pray also that the Lord will calm the winds, prevent the fire from advancing any further and protect the homes of the many families in its path. 

I have offered to the Red Cross and the local relief efforts any and all of our facilities, staff, and volunteers. God has given us tremendous facilities that we are blessed to offer.  We are currently on the list of shelters and are waiting for the Red Cross to assess our facilities to see how many people we could host.  In addition to this I am encouraging you to open spare bedrooms and available space for displaced families.  You may never be called upon to offer this service, nevertheless if you are willing I would like to know.  If you are able to contribute in this way or any other way please click  here so that we can compile a list of what we might be able to offer. 

Many of you have called and asked what you could contribute to the relief effort.  To be honest it is too soon to tell.  Nevertheless, we have established a separate fund called “Trinity Wildfire Relief Fund” and are accepting checks which will be held until a clear relief effort emerges.  The Red Cross will be an obvious recipient of most (if not all) of these funds, however the money will be spent as your elected vestry determines.   

If the Red Cross determines the need of an additional shelter and Trinity is called upon I am confident that you will demonstrate the grace of Christ in extravagent gestures of service and generosity and will be prepared to serve at a moment’s notice.  As always, the clergy and staff are prepared to lead by example in this endeavor. 

For non-members of Trinity that are blog readers you can contribute to this effort by writting a check to:

Trinity Church
3000 N’ Kings Hwy
Myrtle Beach S.C.
29577

MEMO: Trinity Wildfire Relief Fund

You may call us for more info at 843-448-8426

Many Rich Blessings in Christ,

Rob Sturdy
Rector, Trinity Church Myrtle Beach

Our own diocesan Bishop, Mark Lawrence as well as former diocesan Ed Salmon have both endorsed this document with their signatures. While some commentators have rightly pointed out, that General Convention could be said (although the evidence is not conclusive) to have formed some dioceses, it cannot be said to have formed the Diocese of South Carolina. The Diocese of South Carolin pre-exists the Episcopal Church U.S.A. In fact, the Diocese of South Carolina was one of the original Diocese that called for the organization of the first general convention. The argument put forward in the following document states that individual dioceses use their autonomy to join the Episcopal Church therefore an individual diocese can still use its autonomy to determine its future course of action irrespective of the decisions of General Convention. It is important that you know, that neither the Standing Committee NOR the Bishop intend to use this autonomy to leave the Episcopal Church. Rather, they intend to use this autonomy to join the proposed Anglican Covenant even if the General Convention of the Episcopal Church chooses not to join the Anglican Covenant. I will be happy to take questions on this matter IN PERSON OR OVER THE PHONE ONLY. I will not answer any questions pertaining to this matter on the blog though as always you are encouraged to discuss. 

The Fundamental Structure of The Episcopal Church Is That of a Voluntary Association of Equal Dioceses

Given the constitutional reservation of authority within the diocese to the Bishop and Standing Committee, it is not surprising that the fundamental structure of our Church is that of a voluntary association of equal dioceses.

It is significant that the same term, “voluntary association,” has been used by both the founding father of The Episcopal Church to describe the organization he was so instrumental in forming and by the civil law to describe religious societies and other unincorporated voluntary organizations in general. Our Church’s primary architect was, of course, William White, and his blueprint was The Case of the Episcopal Churches in the United States Considered, published in 1782 as the Revolutionary War was nearing an end. As a result of American independence, many of the former Church of England parishes had become independent churches while others were still organized as state churches under the control of state legislatures. White’s concept, later accepted by others in the former colonies, was that the Anglican churches would first be organized into state churches and then the state churches would organize themselves nationally as a voluntary association of state churches (now called “dioceses”). Pursuant to this plan, White was one of the first two Americans consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1787 to serve in the Episcopal Churches. When The Episcopal Church eventually was duly organized in 1789, Bishop White and Bishop Samuel Seabury, consecrated by the Scottish Episcopal Church, sat as the first House of Bishops at the first General Convention.

Just as the thirteen states were the “independent and sovereign” constituents of the American confederation that existed when the church now known as The Episcopal Church was being formed, the state churches were the bodies that combined to constitute what was initially called the Protestant Episcopal Church. It was the dioceses, then co-extensive with the newly-independent states, that created our Church’s Constitution and General Convention. The constitutional mechanisms of governance they created preserved their status as equal members of a voluntary association of dioceses. As noted by the official commentary on our Constitution and canons, “Before their adherence to the Constitution united the Churches in the several states into a national body, each was completely independent.” It then describes that national body they created as “a federation of equal and independent Churches in the several states.”

As this brief summary of our founding history shows, the fundamental structure of The Episcopal Church from the outset has been that of a voluntary association of dioceses meeting together in a General Convention as equals.

Click here to read the whole thing

Arjun Appadurai: Faith Based Economy?

Posted: April 23, 2009 by limabean03 in Uncategorized

Most secularists contend that faith belongs to the realm beyond the realm of “neutral” reason. However, most (all?) secularists regularly fail to see the extent to which they allow faith to dictate the course and conditions of their day to day lives. Below is a provoking essay on the extent to which we’ve allowed the language of faith to be adopted in our view of the U.S. economy. Read the whole thing.

But now we are in a new Weberian moment, where Calvinist ideas of proof, certainty of election through the rationality of good works, and faith in the rightness of predestination, are not anymore the backbone of thrift, calculation and bourgeois risk-taking. Now faith is about something else. It is faith in capitalism itself, capitalism viewed as a transcendent means of organizing human affairs, of capitalism as a theodicy for the explanation of evil, lust, greed and theft in the economy, and of the meltdown as a supreme form of testing by suffering, which will weed out the weak of heart from those of true good faith. We must believe in capitalism, in the ways that the early Protestants were asked to believe in predestination. Not all are saved, but we must all act as if we might be saved, and by acting as if we might be among the saved, we enact our faith in capitalism, even if we might be among the doomed or damned. Such faith must be shown in our works, in our actions: we must continue to spend, to work hard, to invest, and, as George Bush long ago said, “to shop” as if our very lives depended on it. In other words, capitalism now needs our faith more than our faith needs capitalism.

Practically, what does this mean? It means austerity, chosen or imposed: less insane credit-card acquisitions, less whacky mortgage seeking, less obese cars, fewer happy miles on the road, fewer “business expenses” (unless of course we are senior AIG executives). It means leaving our money in the banks and having renewed faith in the FDIC, for if we race to our banks and take our money home in cash, we shall show our lack of faith in the banks, and the banks will suffer, and if the banks suffer, the world financial markets will suffer, and if the world financial markets suffer, the volcanoes will explode, the rivers will flood, the lightning shall strike, and all of us will be reduced to ashes, along with our melted credit cards, our worthless pension funds and our homes with negative equity.

But Faith, it turns out, is not enough. Capitalism, as a master-belief system, reasonably operates on faith. But markets, especially capitalist financial markets, need something more specific: Trust. And that is the second biggest Revelation of the last few weeks. We have a trade deficit, as we all know, but much worse is our “trust deficit.” No one trusts the (financial) other anymore, we are told, and without trust no one lends and without lending the plastic ceases to work and everyday life comes to a complete halt. This news will come as a shock to all of us on “Main Street,” who trust our friends, our neighbors, our leaders, our churches and our employers as much—or as little—as we did last year. No, trust is not a Main Street problem, it is a Wall Street problem. In other words, banks won’t lend to one another, and that problem in the high mountains of finance is melting down into the valleys and plains of our everyday lives.

to read the rest click here