Please remember to set your clocks back one hour to Eastern Standard Time this Saturday evening! As much as I'm going to miss that hour of daylight before 5:30 p.m., I will welcome getting up in the not-so-dark before 7 a.m. Of course, the hours of daylight will continue to shrink until we reach the shortest day of the year on December 21.
Amidst this growing darkness, we will celebrate our abiding fellowship with the Saints in Light this Sunday, November 5. We did observe All Saints' Day on November 1, with our Recollection of All the Faithful Departed. Many thanks to all who participated in this quiet service of prayer and remembrance; I personally found the sharing quite moving.
On All Saints' Sunday, our celebration moves into a more celebratory mode, as we sing the great festal hymns of the day at the later service. During both services, we will name those who moved to the other end of the great messanic banquet table during the past year, and we will claim our table fellowship with them, "and all the company of heaven," in the Great Thanksgiving.
It's not too late to add a name to our list of friends and family members who died within the past year (or so). You can respond to this e-letter or leave a voice mail message; please be clear about the preferred pronunciation.
Although there was no mention of it, Thursday's Inaugural Dedication of the Witness Stones Project happened on All Souls' Day, November 2 -- which the Prayer Book now calls a Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. I saw some familiar faces among the faculty and entire 8th grade student body , plus community leaders and members, who gathered on the Green to name, remember and honor the contributions of Moses, Phillis and Candace in building the town of Guilford. The students had done primary research, and reported the circumstances of their enslavement, the services they performed, and what could be discovered about their family life and personal stories.
Instead of being remembered with plaques on homes and other buildings, Moses is honored with a brass-topped Witness Stone in front of the Town Hall, Phillis, in the corner walkway to the Savings Bank, and Candace, in the front walk to the Hyland House. They are also among the Faithful Departed in whose fellowship we abide.
Of course, as a favorite hymn reminds us, "... the world is bright with the joyous saints who love to do Jesus' will." This past summer, Derek & Katherine Stefanovsky met and served with the saints of God in Malawi. When Derek & Katherine visited in August, shortly after their return, I heard that you wanted to hear more about their experience; so, they'll return this Sunday and speak during Coffee Hour. Derek, a seminarian at Yale/Berkely, and Katherine, a medical student at Quinnipiac, have stories to tell about ministering God's healing love through the Anglican Church and a research hospital in Malawi. Photos from their summer of service, will help illustrate their report.
The Sunday School continues to follow Moses and the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings. The Middle School group and the High School group will each ponder the question for their separate discussions -- Is God male? Wonder if their answers will agree? Wars have been fought over less weighty questions!
I look forward to sharing a fulsome celebration of All Salnts' Sunday with you!
In faith and hope,
p.s. Estimate of Giving Cards continue to come into the parish office; and there are some yet to be received. If you have misplaced yours, or otherwise need a fresh one, please reply to this e-letter or leave a voice mail message at 203-453-2279. Many thanks to all of you who have responded to date! In a parish like ours, every Estimate of Giving is important.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!