March 23, 2019
Ten years ago, in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Christ Church Sunday School held its first benefit for Haiti. the children painted bird houses that were then sold at auction. That was the spring before I arrived, and everyone I met connected to Christ Church was talking about what a great experience this had been. I've seen the photos: those were some amazing bird houses! That started a tradition of a Sunday School fundraiser for Haiti in March each year.
Over the years, the initial goal of supporting relief efforts gave way to supporting children's education, and auctioning the children's craft handiwork gave way to a free-will offering for a pancake breakfast. Several years ago, a group of us were intrigued when we met the Rev. Sam Owen of the New York Haiti Project(NYHP) at an Annual Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women of Connecticut. Fr. Sam had founded this project to work with the people of the little village of Martel to realize their goal -- a school and church for the village. After conversation with him, and sharing the NYHP story with our Sunday School leadership, we joined this effort. Over the past four years, the school has opened, built a three-classroom building which also opens for Sunday worship, took the name St. Luke's School & Church, and also built a granary as an income-source for the School.
This Sunday, March 24, we will be honored to welcome the Rev. Sam Owen as our preacher for the 10a.m. service and speaker at the breakfast. Fr. Sam is bringing a photo presentation to illustrate his talk about St. Luke's current offerings and growth, as well as the challenges facing the people of Haiti. Under the leadership of director Laurie Varley, our Sunday School will be serving Kodiak Flapjacks and turkey sausage, with milk, orange juice, as well as coffee and tea. A tall green vase will again welcome your generous donations!
Last Saturday morning, we awoke to the horrible news about the hateful shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Such a mass-shooting is by definition a sacrilege - a violation of God's image and likeness. But for it to happen in a city which bears the name of "Christ's Assembly" just compounds the desecration. My clergy colleagues in Guildford and Madison have responded with one voice. You can find our joint statement here.
Spring Training is one of the great offerings of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. On a Spring Saturday, April 27th this year, Episcopalians from across Connecticut gather for workshops on an amazing range of topics. Because we're Episcopalians, we begin and end in prayer and song, 9a.m.-4p.m. This year's categories include Christian Formation, Communication, Parish governance, planning and operations, Pastoral Care, Social Justice & Racial Reconciliation, Spiritual Practices, and Worship; you can find the catalog here. Choose as many as three. Registration and more information are available here. Early registration for $15 ends March 31st and includes lunch! We can carpool to Berlin High School, about 50 minutes away.
But first, I look forward to worship, pancakes, sausage, and learning the latest about St. Luke's from Fr. Sam this Sunday morning.
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!