Before launching into the "headline" topics, I want to express my thanks to all of you who participated so graciously in bidding farewell to our seminarian-internStephen Douglas last Sunday. You took time to express your gratitude to him personally during the Coffee Hour hosted by participants in the Rectory Forum and Tuesday Suppers. Special thanks to them, and thanks also to all who contributed so generously to a "fare-forward voyager" purse for Stephen! As of yesterday, gifts to the purse covered the $750 amount "guess-timated" for the check we presented on Sunday. Even after this weekend's graduation ceremonies, his upcoming Baltic pilgrimage with the Institute for Sacred Music (his program focused on creative writing) and his upcoming chaplaincy in NYC, we will know where to find him; so any additional gifts will also make their way to Stephen.
Thanks to the great group who responded to Junior Warden Susan Shackford's invitation to continue theSpring Yard Clean-up. You all made the church yard look cared for -- because you do! If you missed out, I'm sure Sue can find a project just for you.
Thanks also to those who prepared cookies and brownies to support Raise-the-Roof's Build-on-the-Green! There may be a few items leftover for Coffee Hour tomorrow. The reverberation of hammers pounding nails has just stopped; and the walls assembled for use in constructing a Habitat-for-Humanity home in New Haven are about to be trucked away.
At this week's Vestry and Planning Team meetings, both groups reviewed all the work from the fall HymnSing, fall and winter Home Gatherings, and our May 1 Fellowship Supper. You can expect to hear soon about next steps in our "God's Call to Us -- Now & Into the Future"planning process. Look for announcements about gatherings to widen the planning circles around areas of challenge and opportunity in service to our "neighborhood," with youth and families with young children, in fund-raising, and fellowship.
You don't have to wait long to continue the conversation about Music with Children & Youth; please join the discussion this Sunday following the10a.m. service. Please grab Coffee Hour refreshments and join Music Director Mark Sullivan and me in the church, to bounce around some ideas. Since it is about them and their music, young people are especially invited!
One of the fun things I get to do each Spring is spend an evening at the MIddle School overnight at Camp Incarnation. This year Page Pelphrey's sixth-eighth grade Middle School group is all female. So this Friday evening I joined ten young women and three chaperone/mothers to look at the story of Hannah and her not-always-supportive peers, to share communion, and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers; also on their agenda -- the ropes course, fun "girl-stuff" about hair and skin-care, etc., and s'mores, of course! Thanks to Page, Lisa Ste. Marie and Danielle Walczyk for making this event possible. All arrived safely back in Guilford as I send this.
It's not too late to send a photo, permission to publish, and current contact information for our new print (and secure on-line) Parish Photo Directory. Don't worry if you have misplaced the form; just send a photo with a note that it may be included in the directory, and your current contact information including email address(es) to CEC.ChurchDirectory@gmail.com. Need a photo? A favorite "selfie," professional photo, or one taken by a friend will do. Junior Warden Sue Shackford is offering to be just that friend!
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday -- a Sunday when visiting clergy and seminarians are often invited to preach! Although that rascal Stephen Douglas is busy graduating and last year's preacher, Susan Flanders, is unavailable, we will get this sorted.
In faith and hope,
p.s. The May/June issue of GTO: Glad Tidings Online is now available by clicking here. It includes details about parish leadership in June and July while I am on study-leave and vacation. Also, Vestry Highlights, lots of news from our Episcopal Church Women, and a buildings and grounds up-date from the Junior Warden. There are pictures and a report from the Connecticut ECW Annual Meeting (fine sermon and great talk about women in the Bible, plus a delicious lunch!), and a link to the renderings for the improvements to the Parish Hall proposed by the Evening ECW.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!