17th Sunday after Pentecost: Saturday--Blessing of the Animals, Sunday--CROP Walk, Thursday--Holy Land Pilgrims' Report
Feast of St. Francis, October 4, 2019
As I write this to you from Sewanee, Tennessee, the heat wave has broken. It's possible to sit in the shade outside without fear of drying up and blowing away. Notwithstanding the record-breaking heat across the South, the alumni lectures were entirely worthwhile; The Rev. Emilie Townes, Dean of Vanderbilt's Divinity School, helped me -- and all who gathered -- understand that racial justice (i.e. naming and lamenting racial injustice) necessarily precedes racial healing and reconciliation. And it was a great blessing to catch up with many long-time colleagues and dear friends.
As noted above, today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, whose radical concern and care for all created beings extended from the human realm, to the rest of the animal kingdom, and to brother sun, sister moon, sister water and mother earth. We'll honor St. Francis, on Saturday, October 5, with a Blessing of the Animals on the Green. We'll gather at 11a.m. with our neighbors from First Congregational Church and St. George Catholic Church to share in brief prayers and readings from Scriptures and from St. Francis' own writings, before offering individual blessings to the pets gathered with us.
The witness of St. Francis reminds us that every created thing, creature and person shares in a dignity bestowed by their/our Creator.
We''ll be back on the Green on Sunday afternoon, October 6, for the beginning, and conclusion, of this year's CROP Walk. At 1p.m. we'll gather with friends and neighbors from Guilford and Madison to walk together "To End Hunger One Step at a Time." The Walk will step-off at 1:30p.m. As a ministry of Church World Service, CROP Walk raises fund to address hunger in places of critical need around the world, as well as addressing food insecurity among our local neighbors. You may register and/or donate in person on the Green, or register and donate online here. With this online option, you can support those of us who are walking without having to be present.
Guilford's CROP Walk is now a Memorial to Betsy & Clyde Work who were long-time community leaders in Guilford; the CROP Walk was especially dear to them. And so, some of us walk and donate to remember Betsy and Clyde, and to continue their good work.
On Thursday, October 10, Kay Claiborn and I will share photos and stories in a Pilgrims' Report from the Holy Land, beginning at 6:30p.m. We were among the 35 pilgrims who participated in the Episcopal Church in CT's Holy Land Pilgrimage. Over the course of 10 days in June 2019, we experienced the places where the Church remembers the life and witness of Jesus. In some places, such as in the Judean Desert and around the Sea of Galilee, our experience of the landscape was probably not that far removed from Jesus' own. In others, such as from the vantage of the Mount of Olives, we could see the walls of the Temple Mount that Jesus' saw, and feel the same rush of awe that 1st Century pilgrims experienced when they first beheld Jerusalem.
Being a pilgrim is different from being a tourist: We didn't just "see the sights;" we sought to enter into the centuries-long train of Jews, Christians and Muslims who have experienced a glimpse of the Holy in a Land that is called holy by all three of their traditions.
The Tag Sale's good news is actually amazing news: Last I heard, the net earnings of the Tag Sale had crossed the $6,000 line! This result represents the generous donations of goods to sell from many people in the parish and the larger community, the hard work and long hours of a committed Tag Sale Team, and the participation of more parishioners than I could count! I think it is fair to say that we were all inspired by the perseverance and vision of the Sale's chair, Elena Phillips! Thanks and congratulation!
There really isn't any "bad" news from the sale. But there's still some furniture in the Rectory garage available for a new home, clothing that is being and will be shared with other agencies, and shelves and goods going into storage in the attic for future sales -- including a Holiday Shop at the Chili Supper.
During the September 22nd Rectory Forum, the group decided they would like to start a longer version of the Holy Land Pilgrimage photo-show-and-tell. We will get that underway starting this Sunday morning, October 6. We'll begin over coffee and tea in the Rectory after the 8a.m. service.
In faith, hope, and love,
p.s. Thanks to Mark Sullivan and Sheward Hagerty for monitoring parish office e-mail and voice messages; building access, and the parish/rectory mail box while I was away for four days.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!