January 26, 2020
Our Sunday School Open House is this Sunday! We want to celebrate our programs' new beginning with Tyler Jarvis, our new Director for Children & Youth Ministries. If neighbors or family members have wondered aloud about our program for pre-K through 8th graders, be sure to let them know about this Sunday's events.
The Open House will begin this Sunday, January 26, with a Meet & Greet with Tyler at 9:30a.m. in the Parish Hall with Tyler. This is for parents, youngsters and all interested folk. As the 10a.m. service begins, the Sunday School's morning will continue with three gatherings (to which parents are invited). In our new program, there'll be nursery care for our youngest, a gathering for pre-K to 4th graders, and a Middle Schoolers gathering with Tyler. This Sunday, Sunday School and Youth gatherings will end a bit earlier than usual so children and youth may join the congregation in the nave at 10:30a.m.; we'll also adjust the order of service a bit so that Tyler can preach a Children's Sermon, which the adults are invited to overhear. We will then move on to the Peace and Eucharist. The Coffee Hour will be hosted by Sunday School families and provide an additional opportunity for the whole parish to get acquainted with Tyler.
There's a great photo of Tyler with some of our Sunday School children in this week's Shoreline Times. You can see it here. There are smiles all around the table; those smiles reflect the reception that Tyler has received from all who have met him. Whether you have children in the program or not, please do take this opportunity to meet Tyler and to hear from him.
Tyler will also meet with our Youth Confirmation Group on Monday, January 27th from 7-8p.m. in the Rectory. Jennifer Huebner and I also get to join this gathering typically of young folk in 9th and 10th grade; in part, we're there to represent the support and commitment of the rest of the parish for these young folk as they consider confirming the promises made for, and with them, at Baptism. At Confirmation, they will also receive the strengthening of the Holy Spirit with one of our Bishops.
Registration is now open for the South Central Region Youth Ministry Event that Region Missionary George Black announced during his visit earlier this month. Titled "Opening the Doors of Faith: Re-Imagining Youth Ministry," participants will be invited to "share, dream and commit to a new vision for youth ministry," including consideration for youth beyond those within our parish walls. We'll gather on the western side of our Region at St. Peter's Church in Milford, on Saturday, February 1, from 9a.m. to noon.. Adults who are interested in Youth Ministry are encouraged to participate; please register here.
Thursday morning Bible Study, and the Rectory Forum are engaged in an Introduction to the Book of Common Prayer. By paying attention to the opening pages of the Prayer Book, one can see that from the earliest days of the Episcopal Church, our worship has been shaped in conventions of bishops, clergy and laity, in response to Scripture and the traditions of the undivided Church. The other key factor In the American context: a newly independent country needed a Church in continuity with the Church of England, that was also independent.. Your questions, whether general or detailed, will help shape what we discuss; no other preparation required. Join the roughly parallel conversations over coffee and tea on Thursdays at 9:30a.m. and Sundays at about 9:10a.m. in the Rectory.
I look forward to joining you this Sunday in officially welcoming Tyler Jarvis and celebrating our Sunday School program.
In faith and hope,
2nd Sunday after the Epiphany: Tyler: "Person of the Week", Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, Following Up
January 19, 2020
Wow, did you see the terrific interview with Tyler Jarvis, our new Director for Children & Youth Ministries, in this week's Guilford Courier? Tyler is their Person-of-the-Week; so yes, that's his photo on the top of the front page, and the article begins on page two. In case you don't receive the Courier, you can find the article here.
The subtext of the article is to invite folks to our Sunday School Open House on Sunday, January 26. It will begin with a Meet & Greet at 9:30a.m. in the Parish Hall, continue with Sunday School and Youth Gatherings (to which parents are invited) at 10a.m. These will end a bit earlier than usual so children and youth may join the congregation in the nave for a Children's Sermon, which Tyler will preach. at about 10:30a.m. We will then move on to the Eucharist. The Coffee Hour will be hosted by Sunday School families and provide an additional opportunity for the whole parish to get acquainted with Tyler.
In the article, Tyler says, " I just want them to hear there is a space you can come exactly as you are; .... We primarily want you to feel welcome and safe and loved." This certainly squares with my own experience, and the insight from one of my mentors that Sunday School and Youth Programs may well be the only non-competitive space in a young person's life. Everyone is welcome, and accepted for who they are as a beloved child of God. And, to paraphrase Tyler, it takes a whole parish of engaged adult folks to raise up younger members as active participants.
So, we'll be celebrating our new beginnings with Sunday School, Youth Program and Tyler next Sunday, January 26th; however, this Sunday, January 19th, Sunday School and youth program will not meet. The next day is this year's national observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Parish Office will also be closed on Monday. A celebration of Dr. King's life and witness, hosted by the Southern Connecticut Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians, will be offered at the Church of the Holy Spirit in West Haven at noon on Monday.
The Collect for the Commemoration of Dr. King recalls themes from his life and witness:
Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant
you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last:
Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet,
Martin Luther King,
may resist oppression in the name of your love,
and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.
Thanks to all who helped welcome George Black, our South Central Region Missionary, last Sunday. We were treated to a fine sermon and engaging conversations during both the Rectory Forum and Coffee Hour. During the course of the conversations, George announced a Region Convocation on ministry with Youth and Young Adults to be held from 9a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 1, at St. Peter's Church in Milford. All who are interested in Youth Ministry are encouraged to participate.
Thursday morning Bible Study, and the Rectory Forum are engaged in an Introduction to the Book of Common Prayer. This may seem an odd topic for Bible Study, but the Prayer Book does serve, in part, as our shared commentary on the Bible. Your questions, whether general or detailed, will help shape what we discuss; no other preparation required. Join the roughly parallel conversations over coffee and tea on Thursdays at 9:30a.m. and Sundays at about 9:10a.m. in the Rectory.
I look forward to whatever weather tomorrow brings and joining you for worship, conversation and the InReach Meeting.
In faith and hope,
2nd Sunday of Christmas: Sunday School Reconvenes, Twelfth Night Evensong, Rector's Roast Beef Supper
January 5, 2020
The Three Kings still seemed so far away on Christmas, and even the First Sunday of Christmas, but the days of Christmas are speeding by, and the kings will arrive on Monday! Which, according to the way the Church and the Bible keep time, means Epiphany begins with Twelfth Night on Sunday at dusk! So, we'll keep Sunday morning as the Second Sunday after Christmas with another story from Matthew about the travails of Joseph and Mary. (Hint: He has another dream in which an angel appears to him; this time with a warning!) And then, beginning Sunday evening at 4p.m., we'll tell Matthew's Epiphany story of the Kings arriving at the Home of the Holy Family to present their gifts to our newborn King..
Our Sunday School and Youth Program will reconvene in the morning with new Director Tyler Jarvis. The Sunday School will focus on the Epiphany Story; they'll decide who gets to reprise the King's Story while we sing the King's song at Evensong. The middle schoolers will meet with Tyler to begin, well, from, "The Beginning," i.e. Genesis. There are "New Year! New Program!" flyers to share, as well as invitations to the Sunday School's Open House to officially welcome Tyler on Sunday, January 26.
While I don't expect young children to notice these things, adult hearers of the Epiphany Story may notice some discrepancies between the Biblical account and how we celebrate the Epiphany. Matthew describes the visitors to the Holy Family as "Magi" which usually becomes "Wise Men" in English; since Matthew does say they came "from the East," the Church recognizes them as "the kings of Tarshish, ... Arabia and Saba" which Psalm 72 says will bring gifts to the "King's Son." Also, Matthew doesn't actually say how many Magi offered gifts, but does say that they brought three iconic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh -- thus recognizing Jesus "as King, and God, and Sacrifice" in the words of "their" song.
You see, the Evensong readings do come together to shape our perception of who these wise visitors from the East were, why they made the trip, and what their gifts represent. There won't be a sermon at the Evensong to make these connections; but they'll all be there in word and in song. The Choir will offer a lovely anthem; and, we'll sing the carols that tell the Epiphany Story.
Following the Evensong, we'll adjourn to the Parish Hall for theRector's Roast Beef Supper, with smashed potatoes, and Caesar salad, plus a special item for children. And yes, you can help: There'll be a sign-up sheet to help with set-up, serving, and clean-up. Please feel free to bring an appetizer or a dessert to share.
Thursday morning Bible Study resumes this week, and the Rectory Forum next Sunday, with an Introduction to the Book of Common Prayer. This may seem an odd topic for Bible Study, but the Prayer Book does serve, in part, as our shared commentary on the Bible. Your questions, whether general or detailed, will help shape what we discuss; no other preparation required. Join the conversation over coffee and tea beginning Thursday, January 10 at 9:30a.m. and Sunday, January 12 at about 9:10a.m. in the Rectory.
Thanks again to one and all for your generous Christmas Outreach giving for the Mitten Tree and Angels-Under-the-Balcony; and to the Memorials & Thanksgivings, and the end-of-the-year appeal included in my Christmas letter! You covered the Mitten Tree two times with scarves, gloves, mittens, socks and caps for our neighbors served by New Haven's Chapel-on-the-Green And, you were "Angels-Under-the-Balcony" with your contributions for the Town's Heating Assistance Program. Your Christmas Memorials & Thanksgivings underwrote the special music and flowers that have delighted us throughout Christmastide, and your end-of-the-year gifts provided a year-end bonus to our 2019 finances.
And now the new calendar year of 2020 has begun, and I lookforward to sharing our continuing celebrations with you! Happy New Year!
In faith and hope,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!