I do hope this finds you all safe and warm! We do have a busy calendar this weekend, but winter weather may intervene. As I write this Saturday morning, the roads and sidewalks around the Green are clear and damp, but you know best the conditions in your neighborhoods. Please do be careful! As a reminder, our schedule of activities follows the Guilford Public Schools: when GPS facilities are open for activities, we typically proceed with ours; when their facilities are closed or opening delayed, our morning programs follow suit. However, Sunday worship always proceeds at 8 and 10 a.m., even if it is just YFNR offering Morning Prayer by himself. At this writing, I fully expect worship and education programs and the following to proceed as scheduled:
Family Fun Night -- an evening of fun, music, dancing and crafts sponsored by the Evening ECW with help from our Sunday School. We received personal invitations during worship on the last two Sundays. Please bring an appetizer or dessert to share and a donation of canned food for the Food Bank. Saturday, February 11, 6-8 p.m.
Youth & Parents' Meeting -- An opportunity for parents and junior and senior high youth, and other interested folk, to talk about our programs for youth. Possible topics: former Nursery a new Youth Room? Upcoming events of possible interest, e.g. dance event on March 5, documentary film showing and conversation on April 23; and about preparing for Confirmation -- goals, expectations and dates. Sunday, February 12, during Coffee Hour. N.B.: Confirmation Conversations begin, Monday, February 13, 7-8 p.m., in the Rectory.
An Imam, a Rabbi & a Minister ... sounds like the set-up for a joke. Actually, these are the panelists for Sunday's discussion, "Muslims, Jews and Christians Living Together in Turbulent Times." The Imam for the Muslim community at Yale, the Rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, and a minister for First Congregational Church of Guilford will lead a community conversation, open to all, at 7 p.m. this Sunday, February 12. Knowing these folks as I do, I'm sure there will be some good humor.
Perhaps you heard evangelist Franklin Graham's defense of the President's Executive Order on immigration and refugee travel; in defending the ban, Graham is quoted as saying, "That's not a Bible Issue." To which Yale Divinity School's Joel Baden, professor of Hebrew Bible, replied, "He could not be more wrong." This, in an opinion piece in Friday's Washington Post, which you can find here, and at greater length in a lecture on January 31st at Yale, which you can watch here. Building on last Sunday's conversation, Graham's statement and Baden's response, will be the subject of Sunday's Rectory Forum.
Thursday's snow storm was something to behold! For much of the day, I sat by a window transfixed by all that surging white-ness. The power flickered once, the phone hardly rang, and all was quiet until the storm finally passed over and our intrepid sexton, Sheward Hagerty, got the snowblower out to clear the sidewalks. Watching with slack-jawed wonder, I was reminded of these lines from the Prayer Book's Canticle, "A Song of Creation:"
"Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold,
drops of dew and flakes of snow.
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord,
praise him and highly exalt him for ever."
This "Song," drawn from the Apochrypha's "Song of the Three Young Men," is the response of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to their deliverance from Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace. We have the young men's invitation to all Creation --including us -- to join them in praising God in both Rite II (BCP, pp.88-90) and Rite I (pp.47-49).
O ye servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord,
praise him and magnify him for ever.
In faith and hope,
p.s.: Thanks to all who participated in last Sunday's Annual Parish Meeting! It was one of the most well-attended of my seven Annual Meetings with you; and folks seemed to get really engaged in the conversations about the Parish's Financial Vitality, Inreach -- service within the parish, Outreach -- service in the larger community, and Programming for Families with Youth and Young Children. A special Sarum bow to those who helped with the set-up -- Katherine Frydenborg, Kasha Kingsbury and Susan Leonard; those who helped with food preparation and serving -- Pat Daunic, Rose Robinson, Sue Shackford among others; and all those who helped with clean-up -- especially Dennis Burke, Jeff Ohleander, and David Oshana. The Hamilton book and ticket were a total surprise, and I am so very grateful!
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!