3 Epiphany: Soup for Chapel-on-the-Green; Mitten Tree Bounty! About Loving One's Neighbor When It Is Difficult
January 26, 2019
This is being written as gallons of soup cools; this hearty vegetable-beef soup was made this morning from scratch for the Chapel-on-the-Green in New Haven. We are hosting tomorrow's 2p.m. worship service and lunch together with our Guilford neighbors from St. John's Church. Our contingent will gather at 1p.m on Sunday, January 27,. to carpool to New Haven with our re-heated soup, and other lunch goodies.
A warm thank-you to all who provided gloves, mittens and other items on the Mitten Tree. As of Saturday morning, we had received 100 pair of (mostly men's) gloves and mittens. I've heard stories that some of you (thank you Jen M, Rose R and Winnie S) invited friends and colleagues -- and even a merchant -- to join our Mitten Tree challenge. The response has been truly awesome. If you have gloves to bring with you on Sunday, please do so; they will be gratefully received!
A special thank-you to our soup-makers and brownie chefs including Hailey H and her friend Ava, and Hannah T, Megan M, and those of "riper years" (as the earlier prayer books put it) Cindy F, Jennifer H, Kay C, Mary Anne O, Rose R, Winnie S, and YFNR; together they did all that cooking and had the kitchen clean and everything put away between 10a.m. and noon! A special shout-out to Pat K on whose recipe and shopping list we depended!
Since this Sunday, January 27 is what passes for a "typical" Sunday for Christ Church, Children's Chapel, Sunday School and the (6th-9th grade) Youth Program will meet at their usual times and places this Sunday.
The Rectory Forum will pay attention to the second sermon in Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's new book, The Power of Love. This was the opening sermon for last summer's General Convention; in it, Bishop Michael set out the seven aspects of "The Way of Love" -- dimensions of the "Way" to follow Jesus.
The Power of Love, and "The Way of Love" are all dimensions of what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called the "Beloved Community," the community of those reconciled to God and one another. When asked how to love those who are not loveable, Bishop Michael says it takes practice. And it takes training to put the seven helpful practices which he recommends to use: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, & Rest. (We will be spending more time with these practices during Lent..) In response, Bishop Michael also quotes Dr King's disciplines for those who were preparing to engage in non-violent actions:
Thanks to all who were able to safely gather for worship last Sunday; we were perhaps a little less than half our usual number. We gave thanks for all who made it safe for us to travel, remembered before God those who were at home, heard a fine sermon from Felix Rivera, and enjoyed a lovely ad hoc Coffee Hour following the 10a.m. service. I will say, that from my perspective, the music at 10 was particularly lovely; there seemed a special spirit to both the choral and congregational singing. I look forward to this Sunday with you!
In faith, hope, and love,
p.s. If you missed out on making soup, or baking brownies this Saturday, you'll have a second chance next Saturday! We'll be making the same soup to accompany our Annual Parish Meeting. We'll get underway in the Parish Hall Kitchen at 10a.m. on Saturday; help serving or cleaning-up on Sunday will also be appreciated.
2 Epiphany: The Weather Forecast? Mitten Tree In-Gathering Continues! New Communications Director
January 19, 2019
The folks charged with keeping us anxious about the weather -- and thereby increasing their ratings, have had a good week. As the forecasts changed, the severity of the expected storm also increased, and then turned from snow, to the range from snow to sleet, to freezing rain. According to one forecast, heavy rain is now expected to dominate all morning long.
In any case, you are the expert for how safe it is to travel from your home. If road conditions are difficult around town, then the Guilford Public Schools will close their buildings to weekend activities. If school buildings are closed, that will be announced in a scroll on the www.guilfordschools.org website.
As it happens, Sunday School was not planning to meet this week because of Monday's Presidents' Day holiday. Tbere will be childcare in the nursery if the staff believe they can travel to the Green safely.
The Rectory will be open for coffee and tea between the services; and depending on participation, we may begin the Rectory Forum discussion of the second sermon in Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's new book, The Power of Love. This was the opening sermon for last summer's General Convention; in it, Bishop Michael set out the seven aspects of "The Way of Love" -- dimensions of the "Way" to follow Jesus.
Since YFNR and his dog live across the driveway from the church buildings, Worship will be offered at both 8a.m. and 10a.m. as usual.
However, the Newcomers' Brunch scheduled for the Rectory has been postponed to Sunday, April 7. The Coffee Hour following the 10a.m. service will likely be even more swell as a result!.
Yes, the Mitten Tree is still up, and is receiving a new "crop" of (mostly) men's gloves and mittens. Our Outreach Group has challenged us to provide 100-120 pairs of mittens/gloves for the regular worshipers at the Chapel-on-the-Green in New Haven on Sunday, January 27. The Tree has acquired quite a crop, but we're no where near the goal of 100-120 pairs..
In addition to the gloves/mittens, our hosting duties include providing a hearty soup for 100-120 people. The Outreach folks decided to prepare a hearty and hot vegetable/beef soup in our kitchen on Saturday, January 26, beginning at 10a.m.; we will borrow large thermal containers from Trinity, New Haven, to keep the soup warm and for serving. We learned this week that we will be joined by a crew from St. John's Church of North Guilford, and they will make the sandwiches. You are invited to sign-up to help with the Saturday soup prep, and/or Sunday serving/hosting via Sign-Up Genius here. This sign-up is pitched for middle and high school students, but all ages are welcome.
I am grateful to our new Communications Director Donna LaFata for creating this Sign-Up. I had tried to create a Sign-Up on this platform last year, and I totally failed at it. Donna's work is initially focused on communicating Faith Formation activities within the parish and the larger Guilford community. Her efforts promoting the Nativity Pageant resulted in the new angels and shepherds whom we saw among the children telling the story. The first edition of Youth News, about activities and events for Christ Church children and youth, is now available. You can find it here. It contains more information about the Chapel-on-the-Green, Rhythms of Grace, and a calendar of upcoming events especially for children and youth. Please join me in welcoming Donna to this new role in the life of the parish, and in thanking the anonymous donor who is funding the position for a year.
In faith, hope, and love,
p.s. Thanks to the Outreach Team for hosting last Sunday's Coffee Hour and the talks on local immigration action by Glenn Formica and Gini King. I've been to several such conversations, but much of what they had to say was totally new to me! That probably explained why folks hung on every word for so long!
I Epiphany:Local Immigration News at Coffee Hour; Mitten Tree In-Gathering Continues! Rhythms of Grace Worship moves to 4p.m.
January 12, 2019
After hearing parishioner Glenn Formica, and First Church member Gini King, talk about their local work with migrating families and individuals, several Outreach group members arranged for them to speak to us this Sunday, January 13 during the Coffee Hour. The Outreach folks are also providing south-of-the-border refreshments! Glenn's specialty is immigration law, and Gini's activist "retirement" -- following ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ -- stems from the biblical call to care for the "stranger" in our midst, "for you were aliens in the land of Egypt (Lev. 19:34, one among many citations). Here's an opportunity to hear from folks we know, about the immigration situation locally and what some folks are doing about it.
Thanks to the ever faithful Marsha Brown, most of the Christmas decorations were put away this week: however, it is not an oversight that the Mitten Tree is still up, and is receiving a new "crop" of men's gloves (mostly). The first "crop," that totally covered the tree, were "harvested" just before Christmas to the Chapel-on-the-Green in New Haven. Our Outreach Group has another challenge to put before us: As part of hosting the Chapel-on-the-Green service on January 27, to provide another 100-120 pairs of mittens or gloves for the regular worshipers.
For the food potion of our hosting duties, we consulted with those who have experience of hosting during winter weather. After those conversations, the Outreach folks decided to prepare a hearty, hot soup in our kitchen on Saturday, January 26, beginning at 10a.m.; we will borrow large thermal containers from Trinity, New Haven, to keep the soup warm and for serving. We will also be making sandwiches for "take away;" just not as many. You are invited to sign-up to help on the Saturday and/or Sunday dates via Sign-Up genius here. This sign-up is pitched for middle and high school students, but all ages are welcome.
Since January 13 is the Second Sunday of the month, Rhythms of Grace will gather this Sunday for our monthly offering of an engaging, hands-on worship experience. Rhythms of Grace will gather one hour earlier -- at 4p.m. beginning this Sunday. So, we will gather and go home before the sun sets! The playfulness of Rhythms of Graces makes this service especially appropriate for families and individuals who may have had busy weekends. This Sunday, being the First Sunday after the Epiphany, all services, including Rhythms of Grace, will tell the story of Jesus' Baptism. To whom does the heavenly voice say, "You are ... Beloved; with you I am well pleased"?
Thanks so much to everyone who by their helpfulness and participation made our Christmas and Epiphany celebrations so inspiring, and, dare I say, fun! From bulletin compilers and folders -- about 500 bulletins for Christmas alone, to the parents who got their angels, shepherds and friendly animals to practices and the Nativity Pageant itself, from the Altar Guild -- laboring behind the scenes, to the terrific clean-up crew for the Epiphany's Roast Beef Dinner, you all made it happen. I'm not quite ready to let go of all that yet, but I look forward to what's up for us this Sunday, during the rest of the season after the Epiphany, and beyond.
In faith, hope, and love,
p.s. after last Sunday's sermon, some of you asked for a link to the Rev. Barbara Crafton's "Almost Daily E-mo." Here's how to subscribe. Here's a link to the Wikipedia image of Gentile da Fabriano's "Adoration of the Magi" which she brought to our collective attention.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!