Dear members of the Trinity community,
This past week has been one of incredible ups and downs. We can sense and see around us the evidence that the Omicron surge is rapidly dissipating, and that spring might bring with it a release from many of the worries we carry for ourselves, our loved ones, and for so many.
This past Saturday we gathered both in person and online to celebrate the Institution and Induction of Fr. Phil Jackson as our rector — a celebration filled with joy and hope, purpose and possibility; and a reminder of what can be when we listen for the promptings of the Spirit.
And then there is Ukraine — proof that the unbridled pursuit of power and possessions only ends in corruption and disaster. It’s almost too much. And if we were on our own, it actually might be. But we are not alone. Even as we face this great tragedy, with uncertainty and I expect no small amount of fear, we find assurance in the unceasing love of Jesus Christ who showed us the way of peace and justice, and who proclaimed, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” We find blessed assurance in the certainty that God’s desire for peace and justice does not change; God’s unceasing love for all of God’s children does not change; God does not change.
Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York, and Pope Francis have invited us to embrace Ash Wednesday as a global day of prayer and fasting for peace. I urge you to join us in this effort, that we might open ourselves to the suffering of the Ukrainian people and pray for the end of this war.
Here is the prayer that we prayed in church on Sunday, sent from the Archbishops:
God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment, and compassion
to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
As we enter this season of penitence and reflection, may we commit ourselves to the hard work of peace, may we know peace in our hearts and minds and in our world, and may we stand fiercely against the violence in our world without returning it in kind.
My prayers remain with you all.
The Rev. Michael A. Bird, Vicar