This letter is almost always sent well before Sunday evening! And, I usually give us all a week off from this letter to the parish while on winter break. This year however, t think you'll want to know about the following -- even after Sunday worship.
We have been praying for Mother Anne Richards for some months. First, we offered prayers for God's healing; then we prayed for God's compassion and mercy after she entered hospice care; now, we pray for her repose, and for consolation for her husband, +Richard Grein, her sons Jeff and Matthew, and her extended family including all who knew and loved her. Anne+ died on Thursday in the Bronx, New York. According to my sources, services have yet to be announced.
In July 2016, Anne+ spent three weeks with Christ Church, leading Sunday worship and Bible study with the Vestry. offering counsel, enjoying your hospitality, and staying in the Rectory while she tried to finish some writing. Anne's impact on the parish during those three brief weeks cannot be overstated. It was Anne+ who recommended the Consecration Sunday stewardship education program.
In one of her sermons, Anne+ commended nine words to you. These nine words form three brief prayers that can make all the difference in our lives: Lord, have mercy. Thee, I adore. Into thy hands. So, now it's our turn to do what she taught us. To commend her into the merciful hands of Jesus, her savior and ours.
May light perpetual shine upon her.
To honor Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, Guilford's Witness Stones Project in collaboration with the Guilford Human Rights Advocates will co-host a screening of the film "Selma" on Thursday, January 18th in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. You are invited this showing at 7 pm in the Whitfield Room of the Guilford Community Center. I found this film very gripping, and recommend it highly.
It also occurs to me, that you might want to read Dr. King's final Sunday sermon, which he preached at Washington National Cathedral on March 31, 1968. Fifty years ago Dr. King talked about "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution." Much has changed since he spoke these words from the Cathedral's massive Canterbury pulpit. However, the revolution to claim freedom for all God's children continues, and his principles seem keenly pertinent in our own day. You can find the sermon here.
Many thanks to all who participated in our Epiphany Celebration Evensong and Supper last Sunday. I trust all felt amply rewarded for coming out on such a bitterly cold evening. The Sunday School's anthems got us off to a great start; their tableau of the Epiphany story was as dear as could be; our Acolytes and reader were all spot on; the Church twinkled in candle-light; and the Choir wrapped up our prayers in stirring fashion. Thanks to all who provided so many delightful appetizers and desserts, and to all who helped with set-up and clean-up. Special thanks to my chief assistants Sue Shackford and Sheward Hagerty! From my vantage, it seemed like folks had a terrific time!
I trust you all had a fine Sunday morning with the Rev. Patricia Hames! I appreciated being able to worship with All Saints' Church, Beverly Hills this morning as they said farewell to their rector. The Rev. Steve Huber and I are friends and former colleagues from our days in Washington, D.C. Tomorrow, we start packing. I'll need to come home for a rest. God, and the TSA willing, I will see you next Sunday.
In faith and hope,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Rector
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!