Our Acolytes, with their youth and adult helpers, will be Washing Cars this Saturday! Please bring your cars to the Little Red Barn at Bishop's Orchard Farm Market between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. August 26 for a thorough washing. Our Acolytes will be aided by other youth, some parent volunteers, and all will be under the detail-oriented eye of Acolyte Director Sue Shackford.
The now annual "Acolytes Washing Cars" event supports our Acolytes and other middle and high school youth activities. We are counting down the days to the National Acolyte Festival in Washington, D.C. over the long Columbus Day weekend in October. The funds we raise will help with travel expenses for our Acolytes and their chaperones. So, please tell your friends and neighbors about this great opportunity to get their cars sparkling clean!
Familiar folks will be leading worship on Sundays, August 27 and September 3. On the 27th, please welcome Fr. Kent Smith, our neighbor and friend, for his second Sunday with us this summer. Kent+ brings with him both his academic insights as a professor of Chinese history, and his pastoral experience as the rector of Christ Church in Redding, CT. In retirement, Kent & Margaret have become well-established as active residents of Guilford and regular participants in the life of Christ Church in New Haven. Perhaps someone might offer to lead the Birthday Prayer for Kent+ on Sunday; he recently celebrated a milestone birthday.
On Sunday, September 3, we will have the opportunity for both the Holy Eucharist and Morning Prayer. The Rev. Page Rogers will be our celebrant and preacher for the Holy Eucharist at 8 a.m., and our own Juliana Harris will lead Morning Prayer at 10 a.m. This will harken to a time when participating in Morning Prayer, the Eucharist and then Evening Prayer was fairly standard among Episcopalians. The commandment to "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy," was thus followed in a more thorough-going way. So, yes, you can, and might want to, experience both the Eucharist and Morning Prayer on the 3rd.
For Christ Church folk, the Rev. Page Rogers' most significant credential may be that our own Suzanne Rogers is Page's mother! However, there is more to her story: Page+ was among the first women ordained in Connecticut; she just celebrated 35 years as a priest on June 10th of this year. Page+ took seriously the priestly charge to take her place in “the councils of the Church;” over the years she served as chairman of the Commission on Ministry, Committee on Constitution & Canons, Executive Council, and the Insurance Board; all that in addition to her principal ministry as a parish priest, including service as rector of St. John’s Church, Niantic, and more recently assisting with St. Ann’s Church, Old Lyme.
Our Christ Church Choir will begin their "fall" rehearsals with a pot luck supper (main course provided) on Wednesday. August. 30, at 6:30 p.m., after which we will preview some of our music for the upcoming ‘year.’ Family, friends, and all other interested parties are welcome! Have you ever wondered about singing with our Choir? This would be a great occasion to check it out!
Welcome Back Sunday will be September 10th! We will welcome one another, and the Sunday School, and the Choir back to their/our usual places and activities, and enjoy our now traditional Welcome Back Sunday Picnic. We will also have a chance to start getting acquainted with Graham Marsh, our new seminary-intern. Makings for pulled pork sandwiches, plus cole slaw, beverages and paper goods will be provided. Please consider bringing a side dish or dessert, and how else you might help with set-up, serving or clean-up.
May God's love and mystery continue to enfold us all,
p.s. Yes, I saw the Eclipse, and it was totally awesome! My uncle's ranch in Eastern Oregon was close to the centerline for Totality. Don't worry, we all had the necessary special glasses to watch as the moon blocked the sun. Although the sky grew dark,and we could hear the hooting of a nearby owl, the ground was illuminated as if by the most intensely focused moonlight. We had to take our "glasses" off to see the corona of light when the eclipse was at 100%, and then the so-called "Diamond Ring" as a bright spot of sunlight appeared on the corona. Even when we had to put our "glasses" back on, we continued sit there in total awe.
Our preachers for the next two Sundays will bring particular and fresh experiences and insights to their preaching. Derek Stefanovsky returned earlier this week from a summer "intensive internship" with a cathedral and related secondary school in Malawi. My hunch is that in Derek's experience "intensive" now has a new meaning! Derek is a rising "middler" second-year (seminarian) at Berkeley Divinity School -- the Episcopal seminary within Yale Divinity School.
Derek and his new bride left for Malawi in June shortly after their wedding in May. Derek's wife, a medical student, had a research project at a nearby hospital in Malawi. So, they both have stories to tell about the challenges of ministering God's healing love under difficult circumstances. Derek will preach at both services on August 13; parishioner David Jones will officiate (lead) these services of Morning Prayer.
On August 20, the Rev. Lynda Tyson will celebrate and preach. Lynda+ coordinates the Annand Center for Spiritual Formation within the Berkeley Divinity School; the Center seeks to help all YDS students discover, and try on, forms of prayer and other spiritual practices for spiritual growth. Lynda is herself a trained spiritual director and maintains a limited practice from her home in Madison.
Most Sundays Lynda serves as "Associate Clergy" at St. Thomas' Church in New Haven where her husband Charlie, sings in the choir. Within the Episcopal Church in CT, Lynda also serves as a Transition Consultant for parishes preparing to call new clergy. Between all these dimensions of ministry, Lynda gets to see the Holy Spirit at work -- or attempting to work -- in ever-changing ways. Lynda and Charlie joined us for worship on July 23.
Every week Washington National Cathedral holds one of the United States in prayer; this week was Connecticut's turn. As part of the observance. the Cathedral posts images of Connecticut's representation within the building's fabric; you can find that here. The Cathedral also shares ... A Prayer for Connecticut, from former Dean Francis Sayre's 1972 collection of prayers, "For All the States:"
Have in Thy keeping, O God, the strong hills and homely rocks of Connecticut, and the undaunted folk who live among them. As by mighty glacier Thou didst shape and furnish the land, so by grace and labor did Thy servants clear in, meting the bounds with boulders, and measuring themselves against the stern beauty of Thy handiwork. Thus molded to Thy majesty, may Thy people ever rejoice in the bounty of their valleys, the refreshment of the sea, and Thy changing glory at each season of the year. Bless their towns and government; bless their commerce; bless their rest; that in their turn they may endow their progeny with that hard and humble hope which is ever learned of Thee; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
So, "undaunted folk" carry on in the glory of summer and "humble hope."
May God's love and power continue to enfold us all,
p.s. Thanks for the 20 backpacks, plus other school supplies, donated to Guilford Social Services' Back-to-School Program. They were received with great gratitude! Guilford's children all deserve a good start to the next school year. Thanks for helping make it so!
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!