by Sandy Wyman
There was a celebration of faith that transcended 150 years as the Gouverneur Trinity Episcopal Church observed its 150th anniversary on Sunday, September 25 with special remembrances of those who serve and continue to serve with faithful distinction.
The congregation welcomed The Right Reverend William H. Love, Bishop of Albany and The Reverend Robert L. Graham who served the church here from 1991-1995 as Celebrant and Co-Celebrant for the auspice occasion.
As the service began, there is the peaceful wonderful setting in this 150 year-old building that has been so graciously maintained in order to welcome all and pay homage to the faithful and our Lord God.
The Collect: O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
(In part) The First Reading, Amos 8:4-7, Janet Wakefield:
Alas for those who are at ease in Zion and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria, the notables of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel resorts.
With that notation from the Bible, everyone present began to realize what the Homily would carry for a message on this most auspice occasion.
The service of the Holy Eucharist-Rite Two continued (in part) with the Second Reading of 1 Timothy 2:1-8, Diane Dowe:
As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not be haughty, or to set their hops on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
The Gospel Reading: Luke 16:19-31 with The Reverend Greg Bailey (Deacon) who has served since (2007- present), first Deacon to serve at Trinity Church, ordained in 2006, then in 2007, appointed Deacon Vicar.
In part: There was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table, even the dogs would come and lick his sores.
The service continued on with prayers and song to enrich the occasion with words of comfort and praise to the Lord and hope of life eternal.
The Right Reverend William H. Love, Bishop of Albany in his Homily:
After expressing that he had so been looking forward to this glorious occasion and it was also expressed that he was honored to be with the Trinity Church celebrating its 150th birthday of continuous faith for the people of Gouverneur, the Bishop then began to reflect on the evil that the love of money can bring.
By any means, the Bishop went to add that material wealth should not enslave us.
“It is easy in the midst of the good things of this world, material things can control us, living a comfortable life. Forgetting who gave all of us the many blessings, minus the true meaning, caught up in the life of false idols.”
“What are we doing with what we have? Do we give thanks and benefit others? Are we to be faced with rich man’s wealth or the beggar at the gates of Heaven?”
Words for thought: What happens when we take that final breath?
“Not the things of this world, but the blessings of a relationship in eternity.”
His message rang loud and clear throughout the congregation present that good should come from the wealth of the world.
From the Book of Luke once again: The poor man diedand was carried away by angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades where he was being tormented, he looked up and Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.
With the message that a rich man cannot buy his way into eternal life, the service concluded being once again the faithful gathered to prayer.
The Bishop then presented Rev. Bailey with a proclamation from the Diocese of Albany heralding the 150thanniversary of the church.
With a special note of thanks, Rev. Bailey called Altar Guild members Kim Halpin, Norma Gale and Trudy Bailey to come forward where it was announced that Kim has served with distinction within the guild for over 40 years. She was presented with a gift and flowers for her dedication.
Wardens of Trinity Church are Kim Halpin (Senior Warden), Carol Breckenridge (Junior Warden), Trudy Bailey (Secretary) and Bonnie Reed (Treasurer).
Vestry members include Heather Shattuck and Stephen Tharaldsen.
Co-chairmen of the Building and Grounds Committee are Jamie Hance and Charles Halpin.
A luncheon followed the service and was enjoyed by all in attendance with a special blessing from the Bishop to the Rev. Bailey with the congregation offering words of praise for all the blessings that the Lord has to offer the faithful.
by Sandy Wyman