As the Town of Guilford gathered for the Tree-Lighting on the Green last Friday, December 2, Christ Church opened our doors for the Chili Supper, ECW Cookie Sale, Youth Wreath Sale, and sFOURzando Piano Extravaganza! Together with our neighbors of other faith traditions, and none, we celebrated light in the midst of darkness. Our hospitality added to the evening’s brightness, and folks responded: The consensus was that more of our neighbors joined us this year.
Chili-Supper -- Thanks to all who baked cornbread, helped with set-up, serving and clean-up! Special thanks to chief organizer Jennifer Huebner, and chief chili chefs Ted Ervin and David Jones. Servers were kept busy by the steady arrival of guests, and the few left-overs were quickly snatched up!
Cookie Sale – The ECW reported the largest participation in their cookie sale, ever! Parishioners provided a record number of cookies (Thanks to all bakers!), and the last of them quickly sold on Sunday. This year's innovation -- suggesting Chili Supper patrons purchase their dessert from the ECW’s sale tables -- seemed to work!
Wreath Sale – fueled by enormous pizzas, our young people assembled some 46 beautiful wreaths the evening before the sale. Guided by Sue Shackford, and assisted with bow-making by Diane Link, and hot-gluing by Cindy Smith, the young folks' handiwork turned the Rectory garage into a sight to behold!
sFOURzando Piano Extravaganza – thanks to Vicky Reeve and friends for delighting an appreciative crowd with piano duets, trios and quartets all on the nave’s Steinway!
Proceeds from the Chili Supper and Concert exceeded $700, and will support Guilford Interfaith Volunteers’ Meals-on-Wheels program, and help make sure our neighbors who need one, receive a daily hot meal.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's inspiring -- and witty -- sermon for our 2016 Diocesan Convention is now available on-line. Both folks who missed the simulcast, and folks who experienced it, have been asking for the sermon; all can find it by clicking HERE. Bishop Michael's counsel for people in distress came from Isaiah 51: "Look to the Rock!" After this sermon, I dare say many of us can now quote the verse from memory:
"Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug."
Speaking of sermons and quotations to know by heart: In last Sunday's sermon, I quoted the one bit of inspiration I heard only twice amidst the recent dis-spiriting political campaign season. It is attributed to John Wesley, and generations of Methodists have known it by heart:
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can, in all the places you can,
at all the times you can, to all the people you can,
as long as ever you can.
This may at first appear to be encouraging works-righteousness -- that by our good works we earn God's love. Far from it; this is counsel for a "method" of life lived in gratitude for God's love. It is the sort of life Charles Dickens was trying to encourage through his novella, A Christmas Carol, during the Industrial Revolution -- another time of economic dis-location, inequality and distress for many.
In the spirit of Dickens, Wesley, and, I would boldly say, Jesus, please remember to shop for our MittenTree! We're decorating the tree with scarves, caps, and gloves, and collecting travel-sized toiletries -- including toothbrushes and tooth paste around its base. These gifts will go to the patrons of New Haven's Chapel on the Green.
Our reading and discussion of portions of A Christmas Carol will continue during the Rectory Forum this Sunday. All are welcome to join the conversation over coffee and tea in the rectory living room about 9a.m.-ish. I found a delightfully illustrated text for A Christmas Carol online HERE. Printed copies are available at the Forum.
In faith and hope,
p.s. A December issue of Glad Tidings Online is available HERE. Check it out for News from the Sunday School, Greetings from the ECW, Thanks for Consecration Sunday, an Update on the Evening ECW's Parish Hall Project Fundraising, a Report from an Adventure in Christ Church's historical records, and Vestry Meeting Highlights. There are some great pictures from parish events, and an early 20th century photograph of the church structure. Can anyone date it by the automobiles on the street?
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!