April 6, 2021
Let Us Pray + Thanks so much! +
"Love is the Way" Discussion
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the spendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.
A General Thanksgiving,
The thanks above, begin a series of thanksgivings that we offered at the conclusion of last Sunday's Mid-Day Prayers in the Parish Hall. The following petitions express gratitude for the communities of love where we know God's love for us, and "for accomplishments that satisfy and delight us," as well as "failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence upon [God] alone." Apparently, the Holy Spirit knew about the secret plans for both services that Sunday, because I couldn't have chosen a more apt prayer if I had tried.
As it happened, I was taken totally by surprise by Sunday's second celebration of our ten-plus years together as Parish and Pastor! I had absolutely no clue that this was coming; you all did a superb job of keeping me in the dark! I have enjoyed looking through the photo book, and inspecting the framed photo collages, and have begun enjoying your gracious and too-kind greetings and appreciations. Words fail to express my gratitude; so, I fall back on this prayer of gratitude for all that you and God have done for me.
Nonetheless, I do want to note special admiration for the clever rascals who appear to have been ringleaders in Sunday's celebrations -- Susan Leonard, Kate Haggans, Donna LaFata, the Rev. Mary Anne Osborn, and their unnamed co-conspirators
Let us pray for all who are commended to the parish's prayers:
All who are ill, including
Jack, Alphonse, Maryanne M, Alex M, Sonny P, Virginia,
Amy B,Jim R, Kevin and Danielle;
and all who are contending with Covid-19 disease;
for the medical caregivers who minister of God's healing gifts;
and for all facing financial hardship because of the pandemic.
May they all know the healing power of
Christ's presence and love.
And for all who have died, including Prince Philip,
those who perished in this week's violent confrontations;
and for the over 563,000 of our fellow citizens
claimed by the coronavirus.
Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord;
may light perpetual shine upon them.
Look with favor, O Lord, upon
Joshua Brause and Paul Whitman,
as they celebrate their birthdays.
May they continue to grow in grace and wisdom.
Please also continue to pray for Carol U, Diane L, Jason, Peter, Dale, Buster, Jimmy C, Patrick and family, Felipe, Richard D, Alice M, Elizabeth Ann, Parker, Webb, Jill, Andrew E, Ed C, Pastor Bryan Meyers, Bob C, Sue S, George H, Alex & John H, Jeremy H, Shelly, Philippe, Kate, Frank, Jack, Judy & Ed S, Michael M, Richard D, Dave K, Brian A, Annie, John, Joan G., Lois C., Winnie Z, Bernie and family, Susie & Paul, Pam McG, Julie H, Murray E., Brooke & family, Kate S., Tracy M., Carl, Michael S, Joanne N-R, Madeline H, and Kelly G,
Also: Leslie P, Paul D, Susan S, Linda B, Charlie K, Anne C, Mark S, Angela G, Maria, Bob, Olivia, and Jo B.
Please also remember: St. Luke’s School & Church in Martel (Haiti)
To add names and concerns for Wednesday's and Sunday's intercessions, and this "Let Us Pray" letter, please send them to YFNR at firstname.lastname@example.org with any details you care to share. Names will move to the longer term list upon request.
Our Tuesday evening discussion of Love is the Way: Holding onto Hope in Troubling Times, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's latest book, continues this evening, April 13, at 7p.m. Here's the link for Tuesday evenings. Although it helps to have the book available in hard copy or on another device, that's not required.
This Tuesday and Sunday, we'll return to his quotation from a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
Earth's crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around and pluck blackberries.
Our discussion proceeds in parallel tracks on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings. Look for Sundays' link in the announcements on Saturday.
Wednesday's Order for Evening will introduce us to Zenaida, Philonella and Hermione, early saints of the Eastern Church, who are revered for their medical insights and as "unmercenary physicians." That they are remembered as physicians and not as nurses, seems a miracle to me! Our prayers will include a Litany for Healing. The livestream of the service will start before 7p.m. via www.facebook.com/cecguilford.
Thursday Bible Study continues April 8 at 9:30a.m. as we finish up with the Israelites' wanderings in the Book of Exodus; the narrative picks up again in the Book of Numbers. Join the conversation via this Eastertide Zoom code. There are no prerequisites or homework!
Thanks to all who shared in our continuing Easter celebrations either via livestream or in-person in the Parish Hall on April 11. Given the imminent rainfall, Mid-day Prayers moved into the Parish Hall with all the windows wide open and the heat turned off. There were almost 30 of us, at appropriate distances, and with masks. This Sunday's forecast makes a return to the Garden seem likely for Mid-Day prayers.
Because Guilford remains solidly in a Connecticut "red zone," our indoor "heated" services will continue to be livestreamed viafacebook.com/cecguilford .
However, do remember that the church is accessible via the driveway door between 10a.m. and 3p.m. daily for quiet time, likely alone, in the intoxicating scent of Easter lilies. While you're there, pick up Easter pansies and a lily from the chancel to share with someone.
Sunday Lectors: Thanks to Gabrielle Johnson for recording the Epistle for Sunday's 10a.m. service. If you would like to offer a reading for an upcoming Sunday, please let me know. You can make a video recording on your phone and send it as an Mp4 file via Dropbox.
Spring Training for the Episcopal Church in Connecticut continues through Saturday, April 17. You can find all the details here regarding the workshops that range from nuts-and-bolts concerns to worship and spiritual practices. The workshops are 90 minutes long. Saturday morning's two-hour plenary session will be devoted to the challenges of "Parish Life after COVID." I'm registered.
Here are three more petitions from A General Thanksgiving:
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends,
and for the loving care which surrounds us on everyside.
We thank you for setting us at tasks
which demand our best efforts,
and for leadling us to tasks that satisfy and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence up you alone. ...
BCP, p. 836
In the faith, hope and love of Christ,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Rector
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!