A Happy Father's Day to all men committed to the nature and care of children! In my family, there were usually "Happy Father's Day" cards not only for my father and grandfathers, but also our two uncles who were very engaged in the life of my generation. They lived nearby and did not have children of their own; so my brother and I got most of their attention and were the envy of our 15 cousins.
Some years after my paternal grandmother's death, my grandfather remarried, and my step-grandmother started organizing our Father's Day celebrations. If the weather was good, we played croquet and lawn darts; Granddad was ruthless at croquet. Inside, we'd play Scrabble and Dominoes; Granddad & Rita were very serious about Dominoes; they had a double-twelve set, and would beat us all handily.
May this Father's Day brings you happy celebrations and warm memories. In Sunday's prayers, we will give thanks for all who have been fathers to us, Sadly, some memories may call on us to forgive others, as we have been forgiven. That's part of our routine ritual of prayer, as well. Another part of our routine, is a lovely coffee hour honoring all our dads.
Thanks to all who made last Sunday's worship and picnic such grand celebrations. On Saturday, a crew did an amazing job of cleaning up our backyards. Thanks to all who turned out, and a special thanks to Ryan from LaFata Excavations who made many trips, hauling off mounds of yard debris.
On Sunday, the Choir invited us to participate in the final chorus of their offertory anthem, and Mark Rehnstrom taught us the refrain to his communion anthem. The rafters barely stayed in place!
We honored and thanked our Sunday School teachers and mentors, and gave thanks for the children in their care. Just as they all brighten our lives; so they received plants with bright red flowers.
The ECW honored Katherine Frydenborg and Elliot Wilcox with their "Pearl of Great Price" Award -- recognizing their many years of service to the life of our parish and our larger community.
After worship, we adjourned to the backyard for a totally splendid Parish Picnic. Thanks to all who helped with set-up, serving and clean-up; and thanks to all who provided such an amazing array of side dishes, salads and desserts! Special thanks go to InReach Chair Susan Leonard and her chief sidekick Tony Leonard! (They made multiple trips to the store to be sure we had everything we might need!) Special thanks also to grillmasters Richard Marvin and David Oshana.
We have a lot to celebrate again this coming Sunday; I hope to see you in worship!
In faith, hope and love,
p.s.: About Romans 13 As many of your know, I've been engaged in Yale Divinity School's Summer Study these past two weeks. This week it was "Biblical Values" all morning, and "The Letter to the Romans," all afternoon. So, you might well imagine how intrigued I was when I read an Associated Press on-line report, that the Attorney General of the United States had quoted scripture in a speech about immigration. Was he speaking about the responsibility of the powerful to protect the weak and vulnerable? Ezekiel, for example, condemns the leaders of Israel:
"You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured,
you have not brought back the strayed,
you have not sought the lost,
but with force and harshness you have ruled them."(34.4)
Or, since he was speaking about migrating people, perhaps, he had quoted Leviticus:
"The alien who resides with you
shall be to you as the citizen among you;
you shall love the alien as yourself,
for you were aliens in the land of Egypt:
I am the Lord your God."(19:34)
But no, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, offered a paraphrase of the opening verses of Romans 13: "I would cite to you the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order." Not bad as a paraphrase goes, but it certainly fails to explain how the administration's policy to separate migrating children from their parents, in his words, "protect[s] the weak and lawful."
The Attorney General seems to have ignored the rest of the chapter: In verse 10 Paul writes, "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." In verse 11, Paul sees the coming end of the current age -- and of the Empire, "Besides this, you know what time it is, ... For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first became believers[.]" I find it odd for the Attorney General to equate our country to a doomed empire. Indeed, to my thinking, Romans 13, taken as a whole, offers no defense for the Administration's policy regarding migrating children.
On Saturday, June 9: a Yard clean-up beginning at 9 a.m. Although our sexton Sheward is doing a fine job keeping the grass well-trimmed, the beds could use some attention! As you may recall, the Bible begins and ends in well-tended gardens. Our goal is not biblical perfection, but help clearing away some of the weeds. Come by as you are able, and do what you can; feel free to bring your gloves and favorite weeding tools with you.
Also on Saturday, June 9: Kayla Bryan's Senior Violin Recital, 7 p.m. Kayla and some musician/friends have prepared works for violin, piano and cello by a variety of composers. One of the joys of life at Christ Church is the gift of music from our young virtuosos. There will be a free-will offering for the Cove Center for Grieving Children.
Sunday morning, June 10 will include celebrations and recognitions as our Sunday School concludes its academic year, and our Choir concludes their season in the balcony. The ECW will honor two long-serving parishioners with their "Pearl of Great Price" award. Our latest group of confirmands will be introduced and take some leadership roles in worship. We will give thanks for, and to, the Choir for their inspiring music this season; you won't want to miss what they preparing for this Sunday!
We will also give thanks for our Sunday School teachers and mentors, and for the children in their care. Although this Sunday will conclude their academic year and Sunday morning gatherings until September, Vacation Bible School is on the horizon. "Shipwrecked -- Rescued by Jesus" is the theme for five mornings of fun, Bible stories, songs, and, oh yes, snacks -- July 8-13.
Following the 10 a.m. service, our celebrations will move to the Annual Parish Picnic in our, by then well-tended, backyard. The InReach Committee is seeing to the hamburgers and hot dogs, beverages and paper goods; please bring a side-dish or dessert to share. I'm sure they would also welcome your help with setting up before, serving during, and cleaning up afterwards.
At the picnic we will also get to see the progress Mark and his crew of scouts have made on his Eagle Scout project: New picnic tables and places to put them.
We have a lot to celebrate in the coming days; I hope to see you on Sunday!
In faith, hope and love,
p.s.: A Correction from last week -- "Whitsunday" was the nickname for Pentecost (not Trinity Sunday) from the days when those being confirmed wore white to their confirmations. Sundays were counted from Whitsunday, i.e. Pentecost; now we count them "after Pentecost."
This comes to you following an only slightly dampened Middle School Overnight at Camp Incarnation. Eight of us played, prayed, made s'mores at a campfire, visited the farm, worked together on a Ropes Course, and enjoyed waterfront activities together. We were also the happy beneficiaries of being bumped into a fully-furnished cottage and joining other guests in the dining hall for breakfast and lunch. Delicious!
Middle School leader Page Pelphrey was fully prepared with indoor activities for the soggy-weather forecast, but the thunderstorms didn't arrive there until lunchtime, and for that we were all grateful.
Purple, orange and green are the colors we're seeing in these last days of spring. We supported Project Purple Week again this year with purple flags flying around the parish sign and at the entrance to the driveway. Placing the flags in these high-visibility spots signals the parish's support of freedom from substance abuse. This is one of our baptismal renunciations -- renouncing "evil powers that corrupt and destroy the creatures of God." Those evil powers are cunning and crafty however; so, our baptismal promises include the assurance that whenever we fall under their sway, we can change course, "and return to the Lord."
This is also why we are pleased to host all the 12-Step groups that meet in our Parish House every day of the week but Sunday. It is no secret that Episcopalians were among the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, and that they adapted Anglican/Benedictine spiritual disciplines to frame the steps.
The Orange ribbons on the doors reflect our concern for honoring and "respecting the dignity of every human being," as part of our baptismal promise to "strive for justice and peace among all people..." In particular, Orange is the color of safety vests, including the ones worn by hunters; hunters' vests signal that the creatures wearing them are not to be shot. We seek communities in which all God's children can leave in peace and safety.
Some of our neighbors who feel especially called to the work of preventing gun violence will be hosting a gathering on the Green following worship on Sunday. They would be happy to welcome you. We can thank the Rev. Mary Anne Osborn for our orange ribbons.
The color green is now everywhere outdoors. Indeed, where there was once bare soil and brown twigs, there's now an abundance of green seeking to takeover the backyard! If you would like to help clear away some of those weedy greens, there will be a yard clean-up next Saturday morning beginning at 9 a.m. Come by as you are able, and do what you can.
We haven't seen our green altar hangings and paraments since early February and the beginning of Lent. Now they return for the long season following the red of Pentecost, and the white of Trinity Sunday. The degree of Sunday's heat and humidity will determine whether or not our lovely new green chasuble also makes a return appearance. In any case, the season of steady growth is with us again.
Those of you who want the straight scoop from the Episcopal Church's General Convention -- set for July 5-13 in Austin, TX -- will want to register for the newsletter prepared by the Episcopal Church in CT's own Karin Hamilton, Canon for Mission Communication. You can do that here. Be sure to click on "General Convention 2018' among the available newsletters.
For those who wonder what a "General Convention" is, and also for those who think they do, I heartily recommend a clever illustrated introduction for the 78th General Convention held in Salt Lake City in 2015. You can find it here.
In the meantime, I hope to see you on Sunday!
In faith, hope and love,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!