28 October 2018
Today is Consecration Sunday! Today, we'll be invited, at both the 8am and 10a.m. services to prayerfully consider the portion of our income that God is asking us to give for God's work in the world through Christ Church in 2019. This is a spiritual question. The Rev. Scott Lee, a wise friend and valued colleague, will be on hand to help us through our prayers and reflections.
After completing our Estimate of Giving Cards, and placing them on the altar, we are all invited to the Celebration Lunch in the Parish Hall. Although this is a catered meal, Diana Stovall's team spent much of yesterday decorating the Parish Hall for today's lunch. I'm sure you will join me in thanking them for such splendid preparations!
Thanks to all of you who made reservations! This may be our largest Celebration lunch ever. We received reservations for 91 adults and ten children! Speaking of the children, Sunday School Director Laurie Varley will have a kid-friendly lunch and childcare/activities for younger children.
I hope yesterday's winds and driving rains did little or no damage to your home and garden, or to your route to participate in this morning's worship and celebration. Given the range of possibilities in the forecast, an abundance of caution seemed appropriate, and so yesterday's Halloween Howler was cancelled. I apologize for any inconvenience that cancellation may have caused. Perhaps I'll see you in costume during this afternoon's "Spooktacular Trunk-or-Treat," 2-4p.m., or on Halloween afternoon before dark.
On Saturday afternoon, when Bishop Douglas took the microphone at the Annual Convention of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, to share the heartbreaking news from Pittsburgh, his announcement and prayer was met with tears and stunned silence. That members of the Tree of Life synagogue should be so savagely attacked, with such deadly force, while they were at worship, poses a haunting irony. Genesis tells us that God planted the tree of life in the midst of the garden(2:9); the shooter entered a latter-day garden and chopped down a tree of life. Such appalling arrogance in the face of God's Providence! May God have mercy on the shooter.
And may God sustain our Jewish friends and neighbors, and us, in the face of such unvarnished evil. This would be a good time to check in with them, and to let them know that you/we care about their well-being. There will be a Prayer Vigil at 5p.m. today at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge, CT. This is an interfaith event; the sponsors are offering an opportunity to stand together across religious, racial, ethnic, and ideological lines to denounce hate.
The Prayer Book offers us The Supplication for times of national disaster, war and "national anxiety." These are such times! So, in addition to praying for the victims, survivors and first-responders, the Supplication will conclude the Prayers of the People this morning.
This life is a messy assortment of grief and sorrow, gratitude and celebration. I am grateful to share it with you.
In faith, hope and love,
p.s. Friday's Service of Thanksgiving and Committal for Matthew Shepherd within Washington National Cathedral, was another tearful occasion of grief and sorrow, gratitude and celebration. Made me proud to be an Episcopalian and a member of the National Cathedral Society. The service, and its service bulletin, are available here.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!