Apalachicola, Florida

May 24, 2024

The Uncommon Blessing

This past Monday I left for Louisiana to visit family and friends, a quick trip prior to the bishop’s visit on Trinity Sunday. A parishioner sent me a text that day which said, “I love the message you say at the end of our service about making haste to be kind…Would you mind sharing the whole message and its history either in the Bay View or with me?” At that very moment I was contemplating what to write about for this biweekly reflection, so I owe this parishioner a debt of gratitude. Thank you, Faye Jones!

The original blessing—or at least how I learned it—goes like this: “Friends, our time on Earth is short and we have not much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the road with us. So be quick to love and make haste to be kind; and remember that God is infinitely more concerned with your future than with your past.

I first heard this blessing from The Revs. De Freeman and Forbes Sirmon of St. James in Fairhope, AL. De heard Richard Rohr say it at a clergy retreat in Colorado and liked it. Forbes said the first part of the quote is attributed to the Swiss moral philosopher, Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), with the second part about the future and past from a priest he worked for while in seminary.

I admit that I didn’t begin at Trinity with a plan to tweak any prayer or blessing. One aspect I appreciate about being Episcopalian is the rich tradition of our prayer book. When I say the Opening Collect for Purity, or when we pray—together—The Nicene Creed and Confession of Sin, these words of faith unite us with millions of others around the globe and through the centuries in their conversations with God. I believe that’s a special bond, and I don’t take it lightly.

But as I began to know all of you more, pray in our beautiful church, and became familiar with the inhale and exhale of our faith community I found God wanted me to say more. I would call this our universal (common) prayers being localized to our unique (uncommon) lives. 

This doesn’t mean our parish is an island unto itself. The joys and struggles we face at Trinity are the same as what people in Nebraska, New York, or any other location face. What makes The Episcopal Church unique, however, is that as we share our common worship, we share our uncommon lives. That is a binding impossible to replicate at any other place and time.

I listened to your local breaths: of the desire for more time; of people learning deeply about themselves and their relationship with God; and of a palpable hope in the future in front of us that is informed—and not determined—by what led each of us here. As I gave it over to God, I trusted the Holy Spirit would dictate what I was to say. 

And now, when you hear me pronounce God’s blessing upon you, know that it comes from my heart and the impact each one of you has had on me: 

“Friends, our time on Earth is short. And we will never have the time we want, need, or think we deserve to know and be known by those hearts we meet along the way. But there is a balm to this thief of time. You can be quick to love and cherish. You can make haste to be kind and forgive. And you can remember that God is infinitely more concerned with your future, and who you are becoming, than with your past, and who you

have been."

Your lives have made that blessing all the richer as it comforts, encourages, and challenges. Thank you for the gift of you. Thank you for giving me and Travis a wonderful and life-giving first year at Trinity.

God’s Peace,

Stephen +


Welcome to Bishop Kendrick

and our new members

When our bishop, The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick, visits Trinity this Sunday (May 26) for our 10:30 am service, he will be welcoming six new parishioners officially into The Episcopal Church. This is called Reception and is designed for those who are coming to The Episcopal Church from other denominations and having already made a mature commitment to Christ there.

It is a wonderful ceremony that celebrates our Baptismal Covenant. Please join us in Benedict Hall on Sunday 9:30 am when Russell will meet with the candidates Brant Banks, Thomas Becknell, PJ Erwin, Ellen Loyd, Randy Loyd, and Bonnie Stewart. 

Bishop's Discretionary Fund. When the bishop visits, it is customary for our church to offer the undesignated offerings to the Bishop's Discretionary Fund for support of emergencies and non-budgeted ministries that arise in the course of the year. These offerings have made significant differences to people in need. The envelopes inserted into the service bulletin can be used to direct your offering for this purpose. If you write a check, please make it out to Trinity Episcopal Church with the memo line "Bishop's Discretionary Fund". Also, you can donate online through the Diocese website.

Tour of Homes Presents Proceeds

The Tour of Homes thanks everyone who helped make the 30th Historic Apalachicola Home and Garden Tour such an incredible success! After church on Pentecost Sunday, members of the Tour of Homes leadership presented checks totaling $57,000.

ABOVE: TOH leaders Kerry Petty (also a Vestry member), Jo Branch, and Kay Carson (far right) give a check for $51,300 to Senior Warden Rennie Edwards and The Rev. Stephen Pecot to assist in the care and maintenance of Trinity’s historic buildings. 

BELOW: Sabrina Fornes and Kathy Rushmore give monies totaling $5,700 to Outreach Ministry Chair Penny Marler, Chris Presnell (also a TOH leader), and Jason Carter to serve in meeting the needs of Franklin County. 

Vestry Approves Landscape Plan

We are grateful that an internationally recognized arborist, Rebecca Stafford, donated her services to work with the congregation to develop a landscape plan for Trinity. Everyone agreed that the landscaping at the church needed updating since much of the plant stock had declined. Rebecca, who worked with the City of Apalachicola on the recently adopted landscaping plan for Lafayette Park, met with several interested members of our church and developed a landscape plan for the Rectory, Parish Hall, and Church. 

The Vestry approved the plan and we are ready to proceed with the implementation. The cost is not a budgeted item so funds will need to be raised to pay for it. The estimated cost is $20,208, and the project will be done in phases. Unallocated memorial gifts in memory of several members have been approved by their families to jump start the project. Additionally several donations have already been made toward the effort -- $6,850 has been raised which is 34% of the project.  Donations can also be made electronically specifically for the Trinity Landscape Plan, at Trinity's Electronic Giving platform (select Landscape Plan Fund).

The first phase will be replanting the area in front of Benedict Hall and the Church, along with the bed on the west side of the church, on 6th Street. Plants were delivered this week and should be installed prior to the Bishop’s visit on May 26th. It is my hope that additional donations will be made so the project can be completed this Spring. The Landscape Plan and cost estimates will be available in Benedict Hall this weekend. 

I will be happy to meet with anyone who wants more details; drawings in black and white can be confusing to decipher. Our new plan will incorporate a lot of color, with an emphasis on native perennials and annuals.  

-- Rick Watson (850.591.4770) 

CPR and Defibrillators and Fire Extinguishers, Oh My! It has been several years since Trinity last hosted classes in some key life-saving tools available to everyone. Bonnie Stewart is teaming up with a local EMT to provide refresher courses in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillators (AED), and fire extinguisher use. Before we announce a date, we would like to determine interest. Contact the parish office by May 31 at 850-653-9550 or send an email to info@trinityapalachicola.org to let us know which refresher course you would like to take (CPR, AED, or FEX). Of course, you can take them all!

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. And don’t forget that we have Morning Prayer on Wednesdays at 8:15 am.

Formation Groups and Classes. The last Sunday School class until the Fall will be this Sunday, May 26 at 9:15 am in the Conference Room. Many thanks to Jason Carter for faithfully keeping this ministry strong! Sometime in June we will announce the next class of the Thursday School. Monday School is still on hiatus, and we hope to return soon.

Digital Giving Arrives at Trinity. The strength of Trinity is reflected in those who care, like you. Our church has held continuous services since its inception in 1836. As one of the oldest churches in the State of Florida, we continue to embrace this legacy. A key part of our mission is sharing faith, fellowship, and fostering community engagement from our historic church grounds. Generosity is a key component of our successful ministry. Now, 

you can share your generosity easily and safely through our secure Electronic Giving platform. 

Lunch Foyer Group Gathers for Shrimp & Conversation

The Lunch Foyer Group met recently at Bob & Susan Pruitt's house with Landy & Nancy Luther and Denise & Cliff Butler; Ralph & Susie Wagoner were unable to attend.

They enjoyed peel & eat shrimp, cole slaw, baked beans, marinated vegetables, cornbread, watermelon, and animated conversation.


Class 0f 2024 President & Valedictorian receives Trinity Outreach Award

The 4th Annual Trinity Outreach Award was given to Alexander Sterling on May 21, 2024. The award this year was given in honor of Susan Galloway, retired Franklin County educator. 

The award is a new laptop computer. Mr. Sterling, class of 2024 President and Valedictorian, will attend Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, majoring in Finance. His vocational goal is pastoral ministry.

Food Pantry Needs Hygiene Products

The Food Pantry of Franklin County urgently needs hygiene products 

for needy families. Trinity’s Outreach Committee is asking for donations 

of toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and 

bar soap for children and adults, disposable razors for men and women, feminine hygiene products, and diapers for adults and 

infants/toddlers through Sunday, June 30

You can bring supplies to the Food Wagon in the narthex or the church office. Thank you, as always, for your generosity.


Diocesan Cycle of Prayer. For churches and ministries: on May 26, pray for Trinity, Apalachicola, FL; and on June 2 pray for Church of the Redeemer, Mobile. For prisons: on May 26, pray for the prisoners, families, and staff of the Easterling Correctional Facility, Clio, AL; and on June 2 pray for the prisoners, families, and staff of the Elba Work Release, Elba, Alabama.


Hospitality Hour Schedule -- June - September, 2024

Readings for May 26, 2024, the First Sunday after Pentecost

Readings for June 2, 2024, the Second Sunday after Pentecost

Watch our Sunday sermons online:

Generosity is a key component of our successful ministry. You can share your generosity easily and safely through 

our secure Electronic Giving platform. 


Strategies to Help Urgent Situations Involving Persons

with Dementia -- Presented by FSU REACH

Holy Family Senior Center -- 203 7th Street, Apalachicola

Thursday, June 13 -- 11 am - 12 noon

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 June 5)

-- 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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