November 23 , 2019
Let's see how much food we can gather around the Children's Altar and in the window sills this Sunday! It's time for our Ingathering of Thanksgiving foods for the Guilford Food Pantry. Root vegetables, canned and boxed items and grocery gift cards will all be welcomed this Sunday and Monday morning. They'll be delivered on Monday afternoon. Let's help be sure that all our neighbors can enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving.
In the Church's calendar, the Sundays around Thanksgiving are typically the Last Sunday after Pentecost and the First Sunday of Advent, the last and first Sundays respectively of the Church Year. Although we celebrate the Great Thanksgiving, also known as the Eucharist, every Sunday, there isn't a "Thanksgiving Sunday" where we transfer the weekday celebration to the nearest Sunday. However, here in Guilford and Madison, the Interfaith Community gathers at dusk. on the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day for our annual service devoted to gratitude.
This year's Interfaith Service of Thanksgiving will be hosted by First Congregational Church of Madison at 4p.m. this Sunday, November 24. Choirs from Houses of Worship in our two town will combine to offer several anthems, and we'll hear perspectives on gratitude from our various traditions. We'll put our gratitude into action by offering foods and/or funds for our two Food Pantries.
On Thanksgiving Day itself, November 28, we'll gather at 10a.m. to celebrate our national Day of Thanksgiving with all the great hymns of the day. Because this is one of few federal holidays on the Church's calendar, a past presidential proclamation will take the place of the sermon. That gives me time to prepare a reception to welcome you to the Rectory for refreshments to tide you over until your big meal of the day.
Whatever your favorite Thanksgiving foods maybe, we all look forward to chili, cookies (and wreaths) eight days later. Our Tree-Lighting Chili Supper will be Friday, December 6, from 5-7p.m. Please be in touch with Jennifer Huebner about how you might help host; she's the lady with the aluminum pans for cornbread that you bake at home! Also be sure to invite your family and friends to come out of the cold to enjoy a warm -- even spicy hot if they prefer -- meal. Proceeds from the supper support the Meals-on-Wheels ministry of Guilford Interfaith Volunteers, delivering hot meals to our homebound neighbors.
For dessert, there'll be the cookies from the ECW's Cookie Saletables. The ECW depends upon all of us to bake up batches of our favorite holiday cookies for them to sell. Please bring them to the parish hall anytime prior to 5p.m. on the 6th. The ECW and the Evening ECW have both come up with some clever hand-made gift items that will also delight your holiday guests. The funds raised by the Cookie Sale provide for the scholarships the ECW awards to graduating high school seniors.
Of course, if chili and cookies are in the Parish Hall, then there'll be Wreaths for sale in the Rectory garage. Pre-orders for the wreaths began last Sunday, and will continue on the 24th and December 1st during Coffee Hour. Although this project helps fund special youth activities, such as transportation for NYC mini-pilgrimages and the Ropes Course at the Middle School overnight, youth-of-all-ages are invited to help decorate the wreaths on Thursday, December 5 from 4-6p.m. in the Parish Hall. Please see Sue Shackford for details.
Many thanks to all who participated and all who provided the leadership for our Celebration Sunday observance and 275th Anniversary Celebration luncheon. Our Guest Leader, the Rev.Mary Anne Osborn's story about the bag of cookies and poem about bridge-building were truly inspiring. Just as others built a bridge (i.e. parish) for a future they would not see, so God calls us to build bridges for each other and for the future. Last Sunday, we received 59 Estimate-of-Giving cards for our 2020 bridge-building, I mean, operating budget. On Monday, letters with Estimate-of-giving.cards were mailed to those who couldn't be present. Please return those as soon as you are able; if somehow you have not received a Card, they're available on the Ushers' Table and in the Parish Office.
After offering our Cards on the altar, we moved directly into the Parish Hall for our Celebration lunch. Diana Stovall's crew had creatively prepared the Parish Hall for us to celebrate Christ Church's 275 years of worship and witness to the love of God in Guilford. Around the room Pat Daunic's splendid history timeline provided us insights about what was going in Guilford and the world in parallel with what was happening at Christ Church. During dessert, we became the "authorities" on the 11 panels, and shared insights and questions from each one. The timeline remains up for all to see and enjoy.
There'll be a gathering in the Guild Room during Coffee Hour this Sunday, November 24, to continue the conversation that the timeline inspires. What questions remain? Where might we look for answers? Join Pat Daunic to help complete the timeline.
Please join me in thanking Mary Anne, Diana and Pat, and their helpers for all they did to make Consecration Sunday and our 275th Celebration Lunch so inspiring! Thanks also to Page Pelphrey, Richard Formica and Jennifer Huebner for their Sunday talks, to Carol Iovanna and her crews who did all the multiple mailings, and to Senior Warden Rose Robinson who was the chief organizer of it all!
Another name for this Sunday, Christ the King, comes from the Collect and readings appointed for the day. This means we'll get to sing about "crown him with many crowns": and Martin Luther's version of the psalm, "A mighty fortress is our God." I look forward to sharing Christ the King Sunday with you.
In faith, hope, and love,
p.s. If you haven't seen Jen McShane's new documentary Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops yet, I'll share what I've heard some are doing -- beginning a free trial period with HBO, viewing Ernie & Joe via the On Demand feature, and then cancelling their subscription.. You will be glad you watched this buddy story about two San Antonio Texas police officers who successfully de-escalate tense situations with people in acute mental distress, and get them into treatment instead of jail or emergency rooms ill-equipped for mental crises.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!