Tyler's Preaching & Digital Sunday School:
I promise you that I invited Tyler Jarvis to preach this Sunday without any thought to the appointed readings; given other commitments, it just worked out he was available to preach this Sunday and seemed happy to do so. When I did look at the readings, I realized he was taking on one of the most challenging texts in the Bible! Our Jewish friends call this story, "The Binding of Isaac."
Be sure to check out Tyler's video introduction to Digital Sunday School. According to Tyler, God was changing the world with this story. He asks some great questions to get us to fully enter the story, and to think about what God is up to in the world today. I commend this week's Digital Sunday School to all ages. The coloring pages could be a great meditation for adults, as well as fun for kids. This week's Digital Sunday School arrived in my inbox at 12:25pm on Friday.
Gratitude for Youth Mission Challenge & Response to Food Drive for Life Haven Shelter:
The great response of our young people to the Youth Mission Challenge, and of the rest of the parish to the Food Drive for the Life Haven Shelter, still has me bursting with pride. The Food Drive was fully subscribed on Sunday, and commitments were fulfilled on Monday! You provided groceries for women with small children and pregnant women without secure housing, served by New Haven's Life Haven Shelter. Thank you so much!
Over the course of three days our young people, from rising 9th graders to returning collegians, prepared "Welcome Home" baskets for New Reach families setting up housekeeping, worked in Amistad House's Community Garden, and prepared 300 sandwiches, baked brownies, assembled and served sack lunches to folks who depend on the Community Soup Kitchen out of Christ Church, New Haven. All while wearing masks and maintaining appropriate distances.
Along the way, we had some fun, learned about these agencies, the work they do, and the people they serve. The leadership of Jen McShane and Page Pelphrey was essential to these challenges. Thanks to them and all who participated!
Tag Sale Donations Suspended:
Our Tag Sale leadership has announced the suspension of receipt of donations for the time being. Current circumstances make scheduling volunteers uncertain at this time. So, please put your donations aside at home for now.
Guilford High School Mascot Discussion:
Based on what I saw and learned this week, I think we have good reason to be proud of the work of our Board of Education on the issue of Guilford High School's mascot. The informational Board Meeting on June 22nd with three scholars, offered me all sorts of instructive insights into what I learned to call, "Native Mascotry." I missed the open hearing on June 25th due to another meeting; you can find both via this link.
For us, as Christians formed by our Baptismal Covenant (BCP, p.305), it comes down to serving Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves; and striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being. Given the scholars' presentations, it seems to me that the current mascot fails on every count.
The scholars also helpfully reminded me of the difference between "intent" and "impact." This is Guilford, and I think it is reasonably safe to assume that those who adopted the native mascot in 1944-45 had only the best of intentions. There's no need to make them "wrong," or to dismiss or demean all the fun and honorable memories attached to the mascot. At the same time, given what is now known, we can recognize its damaging impact and respond accordingly.
July 4th & Worship in July:
Our Bishops, +Ian Douglas and +Laura Ahrens, are inviting the people of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to join them in a brief online service of prayer and reflection on the Fourth of July at 9:00 am "as we dedicate ourselves to pursuing genuine freedom and independence for all Americans." More details will be forthcoming.
The next day, we will begin what our Bishops might call "a one-month Sunday Worship 'try-on.'" We will offer an in-person, outdoor, Morning Prayer service at 9a.m. beginning July 5, in addition to continuing the 10a.m. Eucharist with Spiritual Communion. Our Worship Options Group will monitor state and diocesan recommendations and requirements, as well as our own experience, and make recommendations to the Vestry regarding worship in August.
The July Sunday Morning Prayer services will be in the parish's backyard, accessed by the double gates from the Town Hall parking lot; worshipers will be asked to wear a mask, bring a folding lawn chair, and maintain physical distance. A limited number of chairs will be available Household groups may use a picnic table. These will be "said" services lasting about 30 minutes.
Continuing improvements to the livestream broadcast of our services are now on-order. Once installed, this equipment will sharpen our signal, and allow us to livestream on YouTube, as well as Facebook.
Copies of Robin D'Angelo's White Fragility are still available on the shelf in the Rectory's entry hall 10a.m.-5p.m., courtesy of our Evening ECW. Reading this book is one answer to the question, What can I do to address white supremacy and anti-black racism?
ECW's Drive for Guilford Food Bank:
Our ECW ladies have a keen eye for bargains. When they learned that the Guilford Food Bank could turn a $10 gift into $100 retail value of food, they saw that as too good a deal to pass up. So, they've had a "Pandemic Food Bank" project announced in the weekly letter that Diane Link sends to the ECW's mailing list. If you have questions or want to receive this newsletter, you can reach Diane at (203) 458-1806. If you'd like to participate, contributions may be sent directly to ECW treasurer, Rhoda Whitman, 21 Aberdeen Way, Durham, CT 06422. They are also offering the opportunity for donations to be made in memory of someone who has died, regardless of the cause. They have a card to send to the family of the deceased with the donors' name included.
ECW Gift CardHolders are still available!
ECW's popular gift cardholders, especially for graduation and birthdays, as well as all-occasions, are still available. Please call Diane at the number above to place your order; be sure and tell her about your graduate's school and school colors, or your special occasion. They are still $1.00 each plus $.50 postage per card.
Please continue sending me the people and concerns you would like included in Sunday's Prayers of the People. This request is the online version of the form on which you would note petitions, intercessions and thanksgivings, as you entered the church for worship. Please reply to this message by 8a.m. Sunday morning.
Our intercessions, remembrances and thanksgivings will be sent out on Monday with any particulars you'd like to share; so, please be specific about what you're sharing with me, and what you'd like to share with the entire parish.
Virtual Coffee Hour:
Please join us for Coffee Hour via Zoom this Sunday June 28 at 11:30a.m. by clicking the link here.
You can also participate by phone at 11:30a.m. Sunday by dialing 646.558.8656. You'll be asked for the Meeting ID 870 0445 4526, and Password: 160097.
Wednesday Evening Prayers:
Our livestream mid-week evening service of prayer and music continue on Wednesday evenings at 7p.m. This Wednesday, July 1, is the Commemoration of the Rev. Pauli Murray, activist, attorney, educator, priest and namesake of a new college at Yale University. Our readings, hymns and prayers will celebrate her witness. An online bulletin will be available Wednesday morning.
Thursday Bible Study meets 9:30-10:30a.m. via Zoom. We have begun our study in Genesis of Jacob's story. To join our online conversation, click here. Participation by telephone is also possible; I'll send the connection number on request.
Thanks to all who are mailing in your offerings!
Although we are not meeting together in-person, the life of the parish continues online, in prayer, worship, education and service -- and in all the ways that support and maintain our common life. So, as you are able, in your current financial situation, please continue your financial support of our common life by sending your offerings to Christ Church, PO Box 574, Guilford, CT 06437. Your offering will be presented at the altar; it will be physically present, even while you remain safely at home.
In the faith, hope and love of Christ,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!