Who is Jesus?

Dear Friends,

After eight years at Trinity and nineteen years of ordained ministry, the time has finally come. I can't believe it!  A time of sabbatical, a time for sabbath rest and renewal.  As we enter this time, I want to share with you where I will be starting on my pilgrimage.  It is most clearly articulated in a book recently given to me by one of our members -- Jesus: A Pilgrimage, by James Martin, JS.  

The book begins with a fundamental and core question.  In fact, it's THE question.  "Jesus is walking with his friends to Caesarea Philippi, a town roughly twenty-five miles north of the Sea of Galilee.  The story comes midway through the Gospel of Mark.  Out of the blue Jesus asks, 'Who do people say that I am?'"  That is the question! Who is Jesus?  Who is Jesus for me?  Who is Jesus for Trinity Church?  Who is Jesus for the world?  How we understand and answer that question shapes and impacts everything. Everything we do. Everything we say. Everything we think. Everything we are.  Everything we hope to be.  

Sabbatical II

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

We wanted to write this week with more news and thoughts about the upcoming sabbatical and to answer some of the questions you all have asked. This is an exciting season for Trinity Church as we prepare for the sabbatical.

What is a sabbatical?
The word sabbatical has its roots in the biblical concept of Sabbath (“to rest” or “to cease”). The Sabbath is sacred time, during which God’s people rest from labor — for the sake of deepening our experience of God’s active presence in our lives. The Sabbath is time with God, without a lot of our usual distractions.

What will Paul’s sabbatical look like?  
For Paul and his family, the sabbatical will be a time of study, prayer, travel to holy sites, and important family time.  They will journey many places and we pray the physical journeys they take will be accompanied by a journey of the heart led by God’s whispers and nudgings.  It is a time for Paul to spend concentrating on aspects of his ministry, prayer life, and priestly vocation.  
What does our Trinity Church sabbatical look like?
For those of us who are staying here at Trinity, the sabbatical is also a time to “journey” with God; to discern about our lives together; our ministry as a community of faith, and to enjoy fellowship.


As the old saying goes,  “Time flies when you’re having fun!”  Well, the time has flown by in the blink of an eye.  Believe it or not, the Jeanes family arrived in Princeton in August of 2008.  Now in 2016, we just celebrated our 8th Easter together, as priest and people of Trinity Church.  It has been an exhilarating time of growth, ministry, life, and vitality.  Just to name a few of our accomplishments: The Turkey Trot, One Table Café, new ministry partnerships with GAIA, Cristosal, and Urban Promise, expanded Christian formation opportunities, renewed and strengthened pastoral care ministry, the addition of a 5pm Sunday “come as you are” Holy Eucharist, and a successful capital campaign resulting in a beautiful renovated Pierce-Bishop Hall and sanctuary, and I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some things! 
But, now the time has come for rest, reflection, and renewal.  In a few weeks, I will begin a season of sabbatical and will be away from Trinity from May through August.

The Easter Church

If you recall the Easter sermon, I said that the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is clear and undeniable evidence that“God is not done with us, not by a long shot.”  Jesus in breaking forth from the tomb says, “I may have died, but I’m not done!”  There is much work to be done and good news to be proclaimed.  To be the Easter Church, we are called to be “identifiable and recognizable” living sacraments of the Risen Lord.
"In a world marred by violence, the Servant Church is called upon to be a peace-maker. In a world marred by poverty, racism and many forms of prejudice, we are called to fight injustice. In a world marred by apathy, we are called to minister with compassion." 

Holy Saturday

Dear friends,

We are deep in the sacred and holy days of Christ's Passion. These days are a roller coaster of emotions, prayers, tears, and finally, wonder and joy, when we see the light of Easter dawning. On Thursday we washed each other's feet, as Christ did for the first disciples. Today, Good Friday, we gather at the foot of the cross where he is condemned and dies. Saturday afternoon we will smile and enjoy the sounds of happy children hunting for colorful, sweet-filled Easter eggs; and then we will light the New Fire at the Easter Vigil (7 pm) as we enter the dark church, hear afresh our story as God's people, renew our baptismal promises with those who will be baptized, and celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter. It is a solemn and introspective journey with a glorious destination -- Easter Resurrection. I look forward to greeting you these days and to sharing it all with you.

In the midst of all the worship services, Holy Saturday is easily missed. The noise of the crowds on Good Friday, shouting "Crucify him" are gone. The tomb has been sealed, and Jesus' friends and followers believe it is all over. He is dead, betrayed by those he loved. It is a still and silent morning on that Saturday, I imagine, as they wake to the reality that their beloved friend, teacher, and Lord is dead and buried. Hope has gone with him to the tomb.