Outreach/Human Concerns Ministries
THE GUILD OF THE BLACK MADONNA
The Guild of The Black Madonna is an organization of approximately 25 women over the age of 35 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. This group began at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, Minnesota in October 1976 at the request of The Rt. Rev. Chester L. Talton. The members were in their 20’s and 30’s, mostly employed young mothers, Mrs. Karen Talton being the mother of four young children herself. Rev. Talton asked the women to support one another spiritually and to nurture our young children.
The Guild chose its name during a time of great pride in who we were and with a reverence for Mary, the Blessed Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. A statue of great renown exists in Czestochowa, Poland, a beautiful Black Madonna is in San Juan, Puerto Rico and a third in France. Bishop Talton currently served the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, California.
The members of the Guild, now a combination of St. Philip and St. Thomas women, are still busy, after 35 years of serving the Twin City area as chair members, vestry members, Sunday School teachers, Altar Guild, Lay Readers and Chalice Bearers, Ushers, Coffee Sip participants, Bereavement Committee, Acolytes and Youth leaders, and is the chief community outreach service of the church.
The Guild of The Black Madonna served the St. Paul area with a food shelf for 20 years until the church building was sold. The Guild members bring suggestions to the meetings and projects are selected. The group has involved itself as follows:
Supports Loaves and Fishes
Feed My Starving Children
Holiday Stocking – For women who are forgotten
Forward Day By Day
Food Shelf for Thanksgiving Baskets
Ready for Success – ECS
Nicollet Square – Youth Housing
Episcopal Church Homes – Wish List
Santa Shoppe for children
A Family Place – Shelter Move-In Baskets
SPACC – Holiday requests
Youth Programs at our church
When possible (if the Guild has a fundraiser) the Guild makes a pledge to the church budget. Members also try to schedule an event for the members’ personal enrichment each year.
THE BLACK MADONNA
Tradition has it that Jesus Christ, in his youth, was taught the art of carpentry by his foster father, Joseph. Among the items built by the young Jesus was a small table made of Italian cypress, a yellowish wood found throughout the Mediterranean area and Western Asia. After his death on the Cross, the Blessed Mother moved to the home of St. John, “the Beloved Disciple,” and carried with her, among other things, the small cypress table.
A group of virgins who assisted the mother of Jesus persuaded the biblical historian, St. Luke, to paint “the image of the Mother of God” as she had appeared when she had held Jesus, as a babe, in her arms. St. Luke chose to etch this portrait on the cypress table the young Christ child had made. He darkened the yellowish wood to reflect the true complexion of the Virgin Mary and showed her with what is officially described as “blossoming lips.” This representation is today known as the “Black Madonna.”
After a circuitous journey from Egypt to Jerusalem, to Constantinople and through southeastern Europe the Black Madonna reached its current resting place in Czestochowa, Poland where it is in the safekeeping of the Pauline Fathers. She is regarded as “The Queen of Poland” by natives of that land.
Historians have affirmed that many of the madonnas of the earliest centuries of Christendom were shown as black but during the epoch known as the Renaissance, a period when Europeans revived the Greek and Roman ideals of beauty and indulged in a burst of creativity in the arts, it became popularly acceptable to redesign the picture of the mother of Jesus Christ and give her the physical look of Caucasians.
A Historical Note from Tarharka Publishing Company Eastport Post Office Box 3063 Annapolis, Maryland 21403 © Tarharka Publishing Company, 1979
Men’s Club at Holy Trinity: Fosters spiritual growth by meeting monthly, exchanging ideas, praying together, and providing a number of spiritual services and social activities in support of the church’s mission. The objectives of Men’s Club are to promote spiritual fellowship among men within Holy Trinity, reawaken and increase a sense of Christian stewardship among men, and encourage men to be proactive in the church. The Men’s Club provides scholarships to the youth when the need arises in support of the church’s youth ministry; all men of the church 21 years and older are welcome to join. The Men’s Club meets the first Saturday of every month at 9:30 am at the church. Any man who is interested should please contact Walter Brown at 952-934-2051
Loaves & Fishes: An ecumenical feeding program comprising Faith Lutheran, St. Christopher’s Episcopal, and Holy Trinity Episcopal Churches in response to the missional imperatives of our Lord “I was hungry and you give me no food” (Matt 25:42). The feeding takes place on the second Tuesday of every month at Faith Lutheran Church in Saint Paul. The memory of the late Eddris Pridgen is alive for her faithfulness to the Loaves and Fishes program. Those interested to serve should please contact Brenda Hill at 651-222-4318
Health Ministry: The Holy Trinity Health Ministry Team comprising dedicated church members coordinates healthy living projects for our church. In partnership with Ramsey County/St. Paul’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), the Team provides information and events that support and encourage healthy eating at our congregation in their efforts to improve good health. If interested in working or supporting this group, meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30pm at Epiphany. You can either contact Linda Finney or the church office at 651-228-0930.