Apalachicola, Florida

April 12, 2024

The Canopy of This World

Recently a tree service removed one of the larger live oak limbs near the church. This was done to increase the light reaching the Memorial Garden to promote growth and vigor of the shrubs and perennials there. I couldn’t help but involve myself in the limb selection. Most of you know by now I was a private forestry consultant before priesthood. But even before that, I conducted forest ecology research in Georgia, focusing on light and regeneration in longleaf pine savannas.

What difference will one limb make, you may ask. There’s plenty of light in the garden, you may counter. Well, you might be surprised at how a little manipulation of a tree’s canopy can create significant changes as sunlight travels to the ground. There’s light quantity, but there’s also light quality.

Plants use light for photosynthesis, specifically solar radiation found in a narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum. This band includes wavelengths that are 400-700 nanometers wide (0.0004-0.0007 millimeters). Our eyes detect this as visible light: remember ROYGBIV? 

But plants also depend upon light beyond what is visible for germination, growing, and responding to competition. As light is filtered through a canopy, each wavelength is redistributed and attenuated. You know that decrease in light under a very dense canopy? Or the pinhole effects under a tree during a solar eclipse, which you may have caught this past Monday? That’s a change in light quality, and it significantly impacts plant development. If you want to see just how nerdy your priest is, look at this science article I wrote 20 years ago on this very subject.

What does this possibly have to do with being a Christian, you may ask. In a word: everything. Consider the Word of God as direct sunlight. What happens as it is filtered through the canopy of our world? It is filtered through millions of devotionals, books, and formation classes but also diluted by strife, evil, disaster, and doubt. It is redistributed as Bible translations and sermons but also attenuated by our experiences. Suddenly, the charge to love others as ourselves becomes what we can (or will) do in our human spaces. And there we are, one leaf in the forest of the world, receiving the filtered, diluted, redistributed, and attenuated Word of God. 

What to do? Is there any hope here? How do I go straight to the source and bathe in the direct sunlight of God’s Word? You do it through prayer, by speaking your heart to God openly, honestly, and regularly. You do it by sharing your witness of the light of Christ with everyone else. And you do it by learning from others who experience life from a different wavelength. 

Because if you are one leaf in a forest, you are in one place with

conditions only you know. But together, we may know the full

spectrum of the light of Christ. Gathering as God’s creation,

we then experience all the light we need to promote our own

growth and vigor within the canopy of this world.

God’s Peace,

Stephen +


Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation Classes Beginning April 14

The upcoming visitation on May 26 by our bishop, The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick, means the season for Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation is upon us. This is also known as Catechism Class, Christian

Formation, The Episcopal Way, and other names.

It is an opportunity for you, as a baptized Christian, to express a mature commitment to Christ in front of the congregation and with the laying on of hands by the bishop.

What’s the difference between the three types, you ask? If you never made this commitment as an adult, then you would be Confirmed. If you made this commitment in another denomination, then you would be Received. And if you wish to “renew your vows” that you made when confirmed or received, then you would take part in Reaffirmation.

This will be a short series of classes running Sundays at 4 pm from April 14-May 12 (in the parish office conference room). The study material will be provided; all you have to do is attend. Contact Stephen for more information.

What’s a

Jumble Sale?

Our Jumble Sale – that begins at 9 am on May 4 – borrows the name from British church bazaars. With items not as elegantly displayed as the ones in our auction tents (hence the word jumble), there are still treasures to be found. All items, ranging in price from $1 to $25, will be marked. The Jumble Sale is perfect for the buyer who loves bargains and for those with creative minds in search of items to repurpose. Whatever kind of buyer you are, you won’t leave empty handed!

Be a Tour Greeter! There are a few Greeter volunteer spots remaining. If you’re interested in welcoming visitors to one of our fabulous homes for a two-hour shift, and receiving a tour ticket for your efforts, please contact Bella Rudo at (908) 447-7107

or greeters@trinityapalachicola.org.

Easter at Trinity - 2024

Worshippers welcomed the dawn over Lafayette Park on Easter Sunday, as Dodie Alber & Randy Mims offered a musical reflection. Children Flowered the Cross and enjoyed an egg hunt, as Stephen welcomed the Easter Bunny, and our Bunny assistants provided a table of kid-friendly snacks.

Wednesday Compline. If you love the Order for Compline from our Book of Common Prayer and want to participate from the comfort of your home, you are in luck! On Wednesdays at 8 pm Eastern, Trinity is pleased to host an online Compline via Facebook Live. Each week, Father Stephen will welcome a different guest as a co-officiant or reader from around our diocese and The Episcopal Church. And if you need in-person worship during the week, don’t forget that we have Morning Prayer on Wednesdays at 8:15 am.

Formation Groups and Classes. Jason Carter is continuing the chronological study of the Gospels on Sundays at 9:15 am in the Parish Conference Room. All are welcome. The Monday and Thursday classes are on break but will start again soon.


Join the Penny's Worth Crew!

If you enjoy bargain shopping, meeting new neighbors, or retail merchandising, Penny's Worth has an opportunity for you. A community outreach ministry of Trinity, Penny's Worth offers gently-used clothing and household items at great prices. And you can be part of this meaningful ministry by offering your skills and service for a few hours each week.

Call Dot Hill at 850-653-9297 to learn more about how you can participate, and find a schedule and tasks - such as sorting, pricing, stocking, or ringing up sales - that match your time and talents!


Worship in the Woods April 21. Held on Sunday, April 21, from 2:30 pm to 5 pm CT at Saloom Properties (2835 Bookers Mill Rd, Evergreen, AL), Worship in the Woods is a diocesan-wide gathering hosted by the churches of Convocation IV. We will celebrate God's creation with a special Stations of the Resurrection, followed by Eucharist and fun fellowship. You can see last year’s photos here. Bring your own picnic lunch and lawn chair or blanket. Wear closed-toe shoes and sunscreen. Bring your water bottles; water provided. If you are interested, please contact the church office.

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer. For churches and ministries: on April 14, pray for Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile; and on April 21 pray for Christ Church Parish, Pensacola and the Commission on the Integrity of Creation. For prisons: on April 14, pray for the prisoners, families, and staff of the Northwest Florida Reception Center & Annex, Chipley, FL; and on April 21 pray for the prisoners, families, and staff of the Okaloosa Correctional Institution, Crestview, FL.


George & Bella Rudo viewed the total eclipse in Ohio while Karen Kessel snapped this total eclipse moment from Hillsboro, Texas.


Readings for April 14, the Third Sunday of Easter

Readings for April 21, the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Watch our Sunday sermons online:


Your Bay View: Trinity's bi-weekly e-newsletter, the Bay View, reaches members and friends every other Friday, sharing news and inspiration for and about our parish. Please send information and announcements, as well as photographs, to info@trinityapalachicola.org or call the church office at 850-653-9550. The deadline for submission is noon on Wednesday of each publication week. (next deadline is April 24)

-- Kay Carson, Editor

Worship Service at 10:30 am Sunday

Morning Prayer at 8:15 am Wednesday

Church address: 79 6th Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320

Office address: 76 5th Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320

Mailing address: PO Box 667, Apalachicola, Florida 32329

Phone number: (850) 653-9550

Email: info@trinityapalachicola.org

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