11/2 – This Week

Bishop Kee Sloan will be at Trinity Commons on Sunday for our 6pm service. While that news is exciting, many of us enjoy a chance to visit with Kee, it’s also really important. When I’m often asked, and I’m often asked, what the Episcopal Church is or is about the answer usually centers back to bishops. We are a church of bishops; the bishop is the leader or head of a diocese, around which you and I make up as members of parishes or, in our case, a student center. All of us, from whatever parish church you grew up or got confirmed as a part, gather together under the guidance and direction of a bishop. It’s what makes the church the community it is, what holds us together, whether we live in Birmingham, Montgomery, or Huntsville, is our worship, ritual, and tradition, all of which is guided by a bishop who unites us. This unity is important in an age where institutions are prone to being fractured when our demands to get our way can leave us divisive when it’s easier to walk away from people we disagree with or don’t like. The church, at its best, exists to remind us that we belong to God, not the other way around. We’re not the center of the universe, we’re not even the center of our own world, so when we gather with the bishop we can be reminded that what holds us together in prayer, ritual, and tradition is the one who comes to remind us of a larger connection, a wider circle, an embrace as large as the world. I hope you’ll come this Sunday to join us in prayer, ritual, and tradition; to hear what Bishop Kee has to say to us, and to find yourself in the long story of scripture that points us to realize that we still seek God and God always loves us.

Pasta Night – Tuesday, 11/13 @ 6 pm. On this cold, wet week we’ll enjoy Gnocchi with a Butter and Sage Sauce. It’s the perfect pasta for comfort on a week like this.

On Campus this Week

Tuesday – BSC
I’ll be hanging out in the front of the Caf around 9am. You’re invited to come join me, share anything that’s on your mind, or just say hey on your way to class. Our short Eucharist will take place in Yeilding Chapel at 11:45 am and I hope you’re able to make it this week. I’ll be in the Caf after the service for lunch, so you’re welcome to join me then too.

Wednesday – Samford
I’ll be hanging around inside Einstein’s around 9 am, ready to talk with you and hear all about your week. Then join us in Reid Chapel at Noon for our short Eucharist. This is a chance to join in prayer and worship, and you even get convo credit. I’ll be in the Caf after the service for lunch, so you’re welcome to join me then too.

Thursday – UAB
Come by and see me at the Hill Center. I’ll be hanging out at a table in the dining area near the doors to Univ. Blvd around 10 am.

As we go through this last week before Thanksgiving we hope to see you on campus and at Trinity Commons.

Pentecost 25 – Year B

Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

–Mark 12.41-44

  • Do you feel like your life is one you’re living in abundance (enjoying and in control) or surviving in poverty (managing and in crisis)?
  • Are you a person who gives to others or takes from others?
  • We often begin our service with a prayer to the God to whom “all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid;” what do you most try to hide from God?
  • Is this poor widow an example of discipleship? If so, what do this woman and her actions illustrate for you about your life?

Giving can be a difficult habit to begin, and one of the hardest things to give is time. I know from talking with many of you that time is in short supply, or perhaps we just struggle to manage our time well. Whether you feel overwhelmed by doing all you’re supposed to do, or whether you just can’t seem to get yourself going to do what you think you should do, I hope you’ll make some time to come join us on Sunday, to hear this story about a poor widow, to find yourself in the story, and give thanks for all God gives; then join us in prayer, song, and supper.  I hope you’ll come to Trinity Commons to join us this Sunday at 6pm for Eucharist and a delicious free supper thanks to our friend Kathryn Dorlon. It’s sure to be a good night, and we’ll all be richer when you’re there too.

11/5 – This Week

I admit I have moments when I get overwhelmed, sometimes I imagine how nice it would be to be far away from where I am and all that I have to do. I find myself, ever since childhood, standing and looking at a plane in the sky and wondering where it might be heading, and then wishing I were on it. It’s not always about a desire for escape but a longing for adventure and experience. It’s how I typically approach each week, who will I get to see this week, what things may happen, what unexpected situations will I find myself a part of. This week is one that I refer to as ‘social media week,’ it’s where I use our Facebook page to show the many people who support our ministry and Trinity Commons what I do each day, who I meet along the way, and invite them to feel like they’re a part of what we do. We need the support of other people, both by their donations to Trinity Commons to pay the power bill and to keep buying us pasta each Tuesday. But we also need their participation and prayers, we need them to see that what you and I do each week matters for them. This week I’m going to ask you to help me show who you are and what you do, so that like me standing and looking at a plane in the sky, they’ll see us and wish they could be with us too, going where we go and doing what we do. You and I have important lives, we may not always realize it when we’re busy or tired, but the work we do matters and there are many people who are eager to share in it. May this week be an opportunity for you to see your life as an invitation to share and experience the power of a community of love that is larger than you imagined, and then have the courage to be transformed by what you find in the presence of Jesus who calls you by name.

Tuesday will be another Pasta night; we’ll take a break from our usual Italian and try some pastas with Eastern flavors. For those of you who’ve been wanting something a little more Asian, we’re going to try Peanut Rice Noodles with Pork and Collard Greens. Intrigued? Come join us at Trinity Commons at 6pm for an adventure and we’ll give it a try.

On Campus this Week

Tuesday – BSC
I’ll be hanging out in the front of the Caf around 9am. You’re invited to come join me, share anything that’s on your mind, or just say hey on your way to class. Our short Eucharist will take place in Yeilding Chapel at 11:45 am and I hope you’re able to make it this week. I’ll be in the Caf after the service for lunch, so you’re welcome to join me then too.

Wednesday – Samford
I’ll be hanging around of Einstein’s (on the patio or inside in case of rain) around 9 am, ready to talk with you and hear all about your week. Then join us in Reid Chapel at Noon for our short Eucharist. I’ll be in the Caf after the service for lunch, so you’re welcome to join me then too.

Thursday – UAB
Come by and see me at the Hill Center. I’ll be hanging out at a table in the dining area near the doors to Univ. Blvd around 10 am.

I look forward to seeing you this week.

All Saints – Year B

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep.

–John 11.32-35

  • How important is it for you to be recognized for what you do for others? Are you easily hurt when you aren’t thanked or appreciated for others to see when you do something?
  • Have you ever made bargains with God, perhaps saying ‘if I do this then I expect you to do that?’ Is that how we often think of our relationships with the most important people in our lives?
  • Have you ever blamed or questioned God for not helping you in a moment when you needed God’s help, or even asked for God’s help?
  • Is it important to you that we know Jesus cried? What does it say to you that Jesus would cry at this moment of loss?

All Saints Sunday is, of course, a day to honor the saints of the past, you know, the big ones that we all know the names and deeds. But it’s also a time when we reflect on those relationships and people who were a part of our lives and aren’t with us anymore. It’s a day of recognition and it’s also a day or remembrance; that remembrance includes an awareness that this is our day and time, and it’s our chance to stand up, act, be accountable, and do our part for the work of the kingdom of God just like our ancestors did. I hope you’ll join us at Trinity Commons on Sunday at 6pm to recognize and remember that we’re saints of God too. We’ll have another delicious supper to enjoy after the service, and it’s always better when you’re there with us. I hope to see you on Sunday.

Pentecost 23 – Year B

When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”

–Mark 10.47-49

  • If you feel like you know who you are? How do you think other people see you?
  • What’s something you want so much that you’re willing to part with what you already have? What would that be?
  • When you think about Jesus what title would you give to him? Does it adequately reflect how you understand him?
  • Do you understand your faith as ‘insurance,’ something to keep you safe in difficult times or do you understand faith as an offering, something you give that benefits others and makes you cheerful in giving? How might Jesus invite you to think of your faith today?

Bartimaeus asks Jesus to change his identity, and Halloween is a time we like to do that if only for a night. Sometimes we pick costumes that reflect who we’d like to imagine we are or could be, sometimes our costumes reflect a part of ourselves that we have trouble showing others, and sometimes our costumes identify a part of ourselves that we try to hide or manage or ignore. Whatever your Halloween costume is this year I invite you to put it on and come join us Sunday night at 6pm. Every year, at this time, we make our Sunday Eucharist and supper a costume Eucharist and supper (aka Boocharist). It’s a way to acknowledge the delight and joy we take in gathering together, and gathering with Jesus who is all about making things new. What better way than to begin a new week of transformation than being together and sharing in the prayers and in a delicious dinner, no matter who we might think ourselves to be.

Welcome to a new school year

This Sunday, August 26, is our kickoff for a new school year. If you’re a college student in Birmingham and you’re looking for a community of friendly, silly, and genuine people looking to learn more about life together and life with Jesus then come check us out. Our Eucharist is each Sunday at 6pm followed by a free dinner. We hope to see you at Trinity Commons

Boocharist Sunday

The Eucharist is a celebration of God’s love for us, and God’s desire to be with us.  Every year we take the Sunday closest to Halloween and turn it into a time for you to come and celebrate wearing a costume.  Of course, you don’t have to wear a costume to come, but this is a good reminder that what we do is meant to be a joyful celebration rooted in our life together; and we’ll continue that at our 6pm Eucharist (or Boocharist) this Sunday.  Come join us, whether in costume or not, and stay for a delicious supper after the service.  The important thing is for you to join us because the celebration is incomplete without you (and your friends) there.


Help My Unbelief-Fall program

For six Thursdays this fall students are invited to join us as we explore belief and unbelief.  Mark 9.17-24 tells the story of an encounter by Jesus with the father who brings his son with a seizure for Jesus to cure.  Jesus tells the father “all things can be done for the one who believes,” to which the father says, “I believe; help my unbelief.”  We all struggle with belief and unbelief, moments where we need healing and moments where we don’t know where to turn.  For these six Thursdays from 4-5pm we’ll invite some people to come in and tell their story of belief and unbelief, healing and searching.  We invite you to join us too whether you come with belief or unbelief.

Sunday Supper is Back!

Students, come join us this Sunday, August 27, for Holy Eucharist at 6pm.  After the service we’ll all enjoy a free supper, thanks to our friends from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.  We’re excited to welcome back our students and to give a warm welcome to new students.  All students, no matter what, are welcome to join us each week.  We hope to see you to start a new school year with us.