The Guilford Performing Arts Festival opens today, Thursday, October 12! There'll be all sorts of performances all over Town! At 7 p.m. this evening, Christ Church will host the Guilford High School Voices and the Jazz Ensemble. The Voices are always amazing (be sure to look for familiar, Christ Church, faces), and, in my experience, even folks who are indifferent to jazz, are delighted by the Jazz Ensemble.
If you're in the mood for something more macabre at 7 p.m. this evening, our own Julie Harris will be singing about fall, ghosts and goblins with selections from the American song book, accompanied by Stephen Roane, in The Marketplace at the Guilford Food Center.
On Saturday, "Another Octave," an ensemble drawn from the Connecticut Women's Chorus will perform choral standards from Broadway to Gospel, from jazz to pop, at 4 p.m. in the Christ Church nave.
Our Sunday Formation programs for all ages resume Sunday, October 15, following last Sunday's break.
The Rectory Forum continues to discuss The Misunderstood Jew: The Church & the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus, after the 8 a.m. service in the rectory over coffee and tea.
Children's Chapel Time with Sunday School Director Laurie Varley begins at 9:30 a.m. at the foot of the Sunday School steps.
Sunday School for Kindergarten through 5th grade begins at 10 a.m. and concludes with Music Time with Music Director Mark Sullivan; the Sunday School then joins the 10 a.m. congregation at the Peace.
The Middle School Group meets at 10 a.m. with Page Pelphrey in their own space (the former Nursery);
The HIgh School Group is moving to the former Middle School Room to meet at 10 a.m. with our seminary-intern Graham Marsh; High Schoolers can even "sneak in" through the back yard gates and the back door! (But you didn't hear it from me!)
Middle and High School Groups also join the 10 a.m. congregation at the Peace.
Consecration Sunday is approaching! Please plan to participate in worship on Sunday, October 22, to hear a special Consecration Sunday message from our guest leader, the Rev. Patricia Hames, and to join in the Celebration luncheon following the 10 a.m. service. This is a catered lunch for parishioners of all ages; so please help the organizers, by letting them know for how many adults and children they need to prepare. You can do that -- and avoid a telephone call -- by returning a reservation card.
Our Sunday morning and Tuesday evening discussions of The Misunderstood Jew, have moved through a long introduction and two chapters-- with more detail than some of us thought necessary -- to make two important points:
1) Jesus was a Jew, born to Jewish parents and circumcised on the eighth day, Jesus spoke like a Jew, ate like a Jew, dressed like a Jew ("fringes of his garment" being mistranslated as "hem), told parables like a Jew (admittedly taking this storytelling method to new heights), and prayed like a Jew (the Lord's Prayer is a thoroughly Jewish prayer). This may come as a bit of a shock to those of us who worship in front of stained glass window depicting Jesus as thoroughly northern European in dress and appearance.
2) In the generation following Pentecost, three Jewish men led the transition of a Jewish sect into the early Christian community composed mostly of non-Jewish people, i.e. Gentiles -- people of the (other) nations. Those men were Peter, Paul and James: Peter led the proclamation of the Gospel among Jews -- many of whom took the Gospel with them to synagogues throughout the Roman Empire. Paul led the mission to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles -- people of the other nations, taking the Gospel far beyond Judea to Asia Minor (Turkey), Macedonia, Greece and to Rome. James the Just, the brother of our Lord and leader of the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem and Judea, chaired the council that decided that Gentiles were not required to become Jews. i.e. to obey all that was expected of pious observant Jews, to become members of the community that followed Jesus.
When we read the Bible, it is important to remember that, "we are reading someone else's mail." We are reading literature in translation across languages and cultures. Although the New Testament may appear to be anti-Jewish, these passages actually invite us to read more deeply and thoughtfully. And that's what we'll be investigating in Chapter Three.
May God's love and mystery continue to enfold us all,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!