Remember last Sunday's story about the Ascension of Jesus, when he was taken up into a cloud? For Jews who knew their tradition, that cloud reminded them of the pillar of cloud that led the Hebrew people through their Wilderness wanderings. Flame was another feature of that pillar of cloud. The pillar of cloud and flame signified God's abiding presence with God's people; the paschal candle (the very large candle by the baptismal font and pulpit) continues this recollection. On the Day of Pentecost, God's presence was signified by gusts of flame that flickered over all the disciplesj who gathered in an Upper Room in Jerusalem. So, bright red is the official color for Pentecost!
Please remember to wear red this Sunday as a sign of the Holy Spirit's abiding presence with us.
Our Sunday School provides another lively sign of the Holy Spirit's abiding presence with us! So, this Pentecost Sunday we will give thanks for a spirited year of growing in the knowledge and love of Jesus; and, we will give special thanks for all of our Sunday School teachers and youth mentors -- Donna LaFata, Becky Patino, Stephanie Hutchison, Marybeth Clarke, Richard Marvin, Page Pelphrey and Alex Diana. We will also give thanks for Laurie Varley's first year of creative leadership to our Sunday School program.
Sometimes the Spirit speaks to us powerfully through music. And on Pentecost, our youth string ensemble will again hold forth from the balcony, and the Sunday School may have a song to share. Special thanks to ensemble director Suky Bryan, and Music Director Mark Sullivan.
Sunday's Pentecost celebration will continue in our parish backyard following the 10a.m.service, with our annual Parish Picnic! Hamburgers and hot dogs (meat and buns) will be served up by grill-master David Jones and his helpers; beverages, papergoods and plasticware will also be provided. You are invited to help by...
Another sign of the Spirit at work among us, is our Sunday School's new participation in the New York Haiti Project -- or as we refer to it in our Sunday intercessions, the "Episcopal School and Church Project for Matel, Haiti." We have just received a lovely thank-you letter for the Sunday School's initial gift: "Your contribution will go toward the building of St. Luke's Episcopal School and Church ... We expect to break ground in the next two months." It appears the School and the Church now have a patron saint -- St. Luke! We are in great company!
Although red is the color for Pentecost, orange is the color for today. Orange warns that a human being is present: "So, Don't Shoot!" In Gun Violence Prevention events across the country, people will be wearing orange. This evening, from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight, orange light will illumine the west front of Washington National Cathedral. Details of that vigil are available here.
"River of Life: Connecticut River Pilgrimage 2017" began this past Tuesday at the river's source in the northernmost reaches of New Hampshire. Over the course of 40 days, pilgrims will paddle their way south on a spiritual adventure including public events. Bishop Ian Douglas and his wife, plan to participate in the southern portions of the pilgrimage. We are also invited to participate as "Pilgrims in Prayer." You can access the pilgrimage website here.
May the Spirit's love and power enfold us all!
p.s.: Another upcoming "red" occasion" is the Regional Confirmation Service which Christ Church will host on Saturday, June 17, at 10 a.m. With candidates coming from eight parishes across southern CT, please consider helping as an usher, with the Altar Guild, and/or the reception following.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!