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!