This Sunday, May 21, we will officially welcome folks who have begun worshiping with us during the recent past. Our Newcomers' Committee sent invitations to all those for whom they had addresses. Newcomers will be welcomed during the 10 a.m. service and honored during a special Coffee Hour to follow.
Special thanks for organizing this welcome and reception go to Committee co-leaders Diana Stovall, Annie Rae, and Mardee Moore plus Kay Claiborn (who is unable to attend due to travel).
As you may recall during years past, we had a lively connection with, and were kept up-to-date on the renewal of, Holy Trinity Primary School in Port au Prince. With the death of the priest who maintained that connection, the retirement of Bishop Jim Curry, and subsequent weather and staffing challenges, it became increasingly difficult to be confident that the proceeds of our Sunday School's Haiti Fundraisers would reach the designated beneficiary. Thanks to an introduction at the CT Episcopal Church Women's Annual Meeting, we learned of an exciting project to build an Episcopal school and church in the small rural community of Matel in Haiti. By re-designating the fundraiser proceeds for the School and Church project in Matel, we could again have that confidence; this project is collaboratively organized by six parishes in the Diocese of New York, a Matel family who donated ten acres of land for the project, and the local Episcopal community there.
Because of the uncertainties noted above, the proceeds of the 2016 and 2017 Sunday School Fundraisers were still on deposit here. However, re-designating the beneficiary for funds already raised requires lots of consultation. The information about the Matel school and church project was shared first with our Sunday School teachers, who responded enthusiastically; then the proposal to re-designate went to our Finance Committee who had some good questions; finally the proposal, with responses to Finance's questions, went to the Vestry; and at their meeting this week, the Vestry gave their endorsement. Next week, a check for $1,468 will be on its way to the "New York Haiti Project," as it is currently known. (With our participation, they may have to change the name!) The Rev. Sam Owen, pastor of the Haitian Congregation of the Good Samaritan in the Bronx wrote, "Your [Sunday School's] contribution will be used in part to pay for the clearing of the land for the school, and the rest will go into building the foundation. We are so grateful for your support."
Because of our financial participation, we will also be able to have a new personal connection. We can expect to meet Fr. Owen this fall and hear about this summer's three-day Mission, "With God we will do valiant deeds" (Psalm 60), and the dedication of the Project's grain mill. By next March's fundraiser, we may be able to celebrate the opening of the first simple three-room schoolhouse. Perhaps in the future, some of us might consider going to Matel to participate in a mission. Watch this space for access to documents regarding the New York Haiti Project.
Thanks to the leadership of our ECW, the church was filled with roses on Mother's Day! It was quite a sight to behold, and a beautiful testimony of gratitude for the ways we have experienced God's love through the women who were honored and remembered. Special thanks go to chief organizer Diane Link, and her helpers Marsha Brown and Cindy Smith.
Last Sunday also marked the conclusion of seminarian Andrew Doss' internship with us. If you weren't here you missed Andrew's moving sermon, the Rectory Forum's final "Stump the Seminarian" with special treats, and a lovely "Fare-Forward, Voyager!" Coffee Hour organized by Tuesday Supper participants. At the Coffee Hour, Andrew received a "purse" reflecting contributions received and anticipated. Wow, did we underestimate! This week Andrew will receive the balance, for a purse totaling $1,700! Thanks to your generosity -- plus that of his home parish and a generous friend -- Andrew's Colombia adventure expenses, including transportation, food, housing and personal items, are well-covered. Thank you all so much!
Easter blessings continue,
p.s. If you were concerned about the status of Holy Trinity Primary School, Fr. Owen reports that it remains one of Haiti's leading schools, even while continuing to operate in very make-shift quarters.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!