Wow, what a weekend! The Friends-of-the-Library's Booksale already underway, Saturday's All-Parish Tag Sale organized by our Evening ECW, and Sunday's Episcopal Visitation, and "Opening the Doors" Celebration with Bishop Ian Douglas! As I finish this letter, I can hear the Tag Sale chatter in the driveway and Parish House. All sorts of attractive and lightly used housewares, plus some truly beautiful furniture and rugs are available for new homes. With the Guilford Civic Women's apple crisp being warmed in the kitchen, the place smells terrific,tool! Be sure to include a stop here on your Saturday rounds, and remind your friends, as well. The Tag Sale concludes at 2 p.m.
Yesterday I happened across this bit of Guilford and Christ Church history: The Rt. Rev. Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop of Connecticut (and first Anglican bishop in the infant United States), made the first Episcopal Visitation to Christ Church in July 1786. Two hundred twenty-nine years later, Seabury's successor, the 15th Bishop of Connecticut,
the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas will make his first official Visitation to Christ Church this Sunday. For an Episcopal parish, having one of our bishops with us, is an epiphany of the fullness of our identity. Through our bishops, we are visibly connected to our history, to our fellow Connecticut Episcopalians, and to Christ sending us to proclaim the Good News of God's Mission of restoration and reconciliation.
While Bishop Douglas is with us on Sunday, he will:
greet worshipers at the conclusion of our 8a.m. service;
have a Q&A with the Rectory Forum at 9a.m.;
preach and celebrate the 10a.m. Holy Eucharist;
focus on our Sunday School children when they join the congregation at the Peace; and,
help us Celebrate our "Opening the Doors" Campaign. I hope you are also planning to celebrate all that we have accomplished through our "Opening the Doors" Campaign! We
have been at this for almost three years to the day, and on Sunday we can celebrate: doors that work, look inviting, and open to our renewed Sunday School, Parish Hall, Guild Room, and Rectory interiors; more efficient, cost-effective and quiet heating systems,
fresh paint protecting and brightening the Church's trim, and the Chancel and Parish House exteriors; and, last, but far from least, we can celebrate paying off the last of what was once nearly $200K of debt incurred to rescue the integrity of the rectory foundation and exterior. Our one outstanding loan has a balance just over $9K with a fund of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. So, we will hand the Bishop a check for that amount, and we will be debt-free!
That is quite a bit for one day. However, our bishops also want to meet with parish vestries during their visitations; so there'll be a second part to this Visitation when Bishop Douglas returns to meet with the Christ Church Vestry on Wednesday at 6:30p.m. Among other things, he will lead a conversation about a portion of a new book, Cultivating the
Missional Church, by Randolph Ferebee.
With all that's happening this weekend, please note what is coming up in the weeks ahead beginning with next Saturday's Blessing of the Animals in Honor of St. Francis, and next Sunday's CROP Walk to benefit local and international hunger ministries.
In faith and hope,
p.s.: Speaking of Bishop Douglas, he and Bishop Eugene Sutton of Maryland, have joined forces to create an on-line "Big Class: A Christian Response to Gun Violence." You can read a full course description and FAQs, plus register for the class here. The four-session class will be available on-line through September 28 at no charge. Depending upon your interest, we could also arrange to watch and take the "class" locally later.
p.p.s: Which reminds me, ... our Seminarian-Intern Stephen Douglas (no relation to the Bishop) begins the Tuesday Supper edition of conversation about the Psalms this Tuesday, September 29 at 6p.m. Stephen's interests are both literary and spiritual -- how do we react to these ancient texts, and how might they inspire our prayers?
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!