In these times, God’s Spirit is empowering us for worship, witness and service in challenging, and unfamiliar ways, as we continue to seek to be faithful to Jesus’ call to love God by loving our neighbors and ourselves. (Okay, you got me; yes, Moses wrote it first (Lev.19.18)) Presiding Bishop Michael Curry spoke eloquently to this on the Today show; watch it here. In this newsletter, you’ll find reports about how we did this in May and about opportunities ahead of us in June. There’s a lot here; please read it all, including the Vestry highlights.
As strongly urged by our Bishops, we are continuing to offer worship only via livestream through June 20. At its June meeting, your Vestry will consider options for proceeding in Connecticut’s Phase 2. My hunch is that whatever we decide upon, we will continue to offer worship participation via livestream, and that our first in-person offering may be an outdoor service in the parish’s own backyard. Please send me any thoughts you have about these next-steps, and I’ll share them with the group developing options for the Vestry to consider.
We are also continuing to explore enhancements to our livestreaming. On June 7, I expect we will begin relying upon a hard-wired ethernet connection directly to the internet; this should diminish the impact of the Town’s broadcast tower next door on our signal. To make this connection, picture Mark Sullivan and me crawling with cable through the undercroft.
Our concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, its economic impact, and growing awareness of the racial disparities, now share headline space with police brutality against people of color, and now protestors. We are so far from the Beloved Community to which Jesus calls us! Whatever else may be true, George Floyd, Jose Soto, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McIntee, and the 75-year old peaceful protestor pushed to the ground in Buffalo, are all our neighbors. They deserved to be treated as neighbors, not as enemies.
Our Evening ECW is offering to share copies of White Fragility at no charge. Please read the notice below, and check out this interview with the author in the Washington Post. The Episcopal Church provides these resources for Living the Way of Love during the Pandemic. And Responding to Racial Violence. The latter is rather overwhelming; you might begin with Bishop Michael’s Word-to-the-Church, “When the Cameras are Gone, We’ll Still Be Here.”
The purple flags are gone from the Green and from the front of our buildings; this year they celebrated with our gratitude to first-responders and essential workers in medicine, law enforcement, grocery, pharmacy and hardware stores, delivery drivers and warehouse workers, etc. The next color is Orange. The Wear Orange movement remembers a young Chicago African American woman, Hadiya Pendleton who was killed by gun violence in 2013 just weeks after participating in a presidential inaugural parade, and invites us all to respond to another epidemic – that of gun violence, which has increased in domestic situations and suicide during the pandemic. www.WearOrange.org
I hope this finds you well, staying safe, saying your prayers, and washing your hands often!
In the faith, hope and love of Christ,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!