7th Week after Pentecost: Films for Racial Reconciliation; Local Support for Asylum-Seekers; Kitchen Update
July 27, 2019
Our South Central Region and the North Central Region are co-sponsoring "Sacred Healing: A Summer Film Series" on three Tuesday evenings beginning this week. Each evening will include a film and time for dialogue on themes of racial justice, healing. and reconciliation The dialogue will use materials from this year's Trinity Institute in NYC for the films Blindspotting, Do the Right Thing, and Traces of the Trade. The series will be offered in the air-conditioned parish hall of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Wallingford on July 30, August 6 and 13 from 5:30pm to 9p.m. Snacks and water will be available, but not supper. Registration is requested via Eventbrite here; there is no charge. I'm happy to drive; will be leaving the Rectory at 4:50p.m.
This film series is part of an concerted effort within the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to attend to Racial Healing, J,ustice and Reconciliation. The ministry network overseeing this effort is organizing a trip to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American Culture & History, November 16-17. Details are available here.
A local community group is organizing to host a Mexican family seeking asylum in the United States. They are already within the county, and have asylum-seeking status. Working with IRIS and First Congregational Church for services and funding fiduciaries, the Sponsorship Support Team is working to widen the circle of financial support and assistance to settle a family of five -- a mother and four children (girls 6 and 12, and boys 13 and 16) in New Haven close to the services they will need -- while their request for asylum works its way through the system. Details and contact information are available in a print-out on the Ushers' Table.
Unfortunately, the date for installing the new super-durable kitchen floor got bumped from last week to this week. When the boxes of tile were opened, the installers discovered that half were not usable. A replacement order is due early this week. Fingers crossed! Kay Clairborn and Diana Stovall are inviting those who share their passion for clean and well-ordered cabinets to join them in the kitchen at 9:30a.m., Thursday morning to install shelf-lining and to wash and restore the Coffee Hour supplies, carafes, service items, china and glassware to the newly-repainted cabinets.
The kitchen repainting and new flooring are being funded by designated-donations from several individuals, the morning 12-Step group "Joy of Living," and our own ECW, Thanks to all of them!
Donations are now being received on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings for the Tag Sale. Do you have some gently-used housewares looking for a new home? China, glassware, small kitchen items, sports equipment, children's toys and games are all welcome, Christmas decorations, CDs and DVDs, also, Furniture is not being received at this time. Also, no computers or other electronic items, please. As you consider items you might donate, please also consider donating your time to this all-parish effort. ChurchTagSale@gmail.com is communication central!
Wherever this week finds you, I hope that you are keeping cool and having a fine summer.
In faith, hope, and love,
Gratitude from Chapel on the Green in New Haven, and to Kitchen Donors; Tag Sale Donations Now Being Received
July 6, 2019
Last Saturday and Sunday were not your typically quiet summer weekend at Christ Church! On Saturday morning, while one group of volunteers were making sandwiches in the Parish Hall for the next day's Chapel-on-the-Green, Page Pelphrey's youth VBS volunteers were gathering in the driveway to ride together to JFK for their flight to the Dominican Republic. There was a lot of excitement, last minute errands for fogotten items, and finally the packing of an airport van with both personal luggage and even more luggage carrying all the supplies for mutliple Vacation Bible School offerings the next week. Finally, all was gathered and packed and the VBS crew was off!With our prayers! (They're scheduled to return late on Sunday.)
Similarly, the sandwiches were soon all made and stored in the refrigerator; Jennifer Huebner recruited some kind folks to bake the brownies at home, things were tidied up, washed and put away. And that was just in the morning.
Then in the afternoon, Bill Cuddy, Diane Kyle, Kathleen & David Jones, Jennifer Huebner and I, traveled to our Cathedral in Hartford to be part of the standing-room only crowd for Felix Rivera's ordination to the Sacred Order of Deacons. Felix was one of eight who were ordained; together, the newly ordained represented the diverse spectrum of ages and ethnicities within the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. The prayers were profound, the music stirring, the silences solemn, and the joy palpable. Oh, and the heat: it was hot!
Then on Sunday morning, we rejoiced as the Rev. Deacon Felix Rivera, wore his diaconal stole, proclaimed the Gospel, led the prayers, set the altar/table, and issued the dismissal. These are all signs of a deacon's ministry at the portals of the Church, leading us in ministries for those in need, and sending us out to respond to the sorrows of the world.
The Vestry kindly hosted a celebratory reception for Felix in the Parish Hall; a Sarum bow of thanks to them.
There were more tables to be set however! That afternoon James Brunnetti, Bill Cuddy, Caroline Herrick, Jennifer Huebner and I, gathered with neighbors from St. John's, North Guilford, to host Chapel-on-the-Green behind Trinity Church, New Haven. Fortunately, the rains held off mostly, and the Holy Spirit came along side me to adapt my morning sermon for this afternoon setting. Your gifts of sunscreen and lip balm were gratefully received by the fellowship gathered there; thank you for graciously responding to the summer rigors of life for those living on the margins of New Haven's plenty.
A quiet effort to address the torn and worn vinyl flooring in the Parish Hall kitchen will now allow us to replace the flooring and to repaint the walls and ceiling! Your Vestry has accepted donations from several individuals, the morning 12-Step group "Joy of Living," and our own ECW, to undertake the following work:
However and wherever,you may be spending this post-July 4th weekend, I hope you are safe and happy! I look forward to our worship on Sunday; our prayers and hymns will include those of dedication and gratitude for our nation and the freedoms we enjoy.
In faith, hope, and love,
p.s. the Outreach team wants to be sure you know about the "Lights for Liberty" opportunity on Friday, July 12. This is a way to express solidarity with and concern for asylum-seekers and detainees on our country's southern borders. The concept is to raise a "light for liberty" on Friday, July 12 on 9p.m. on your front lawn or where others are gathering. Details are available at www.lightsforliberty.org ; click on "Local Events" for gatherings in CT. In addition to those now listed there, I understand there'll be a gathering outside First & Summerfield Methodist Church on Elm & Church Streets in New Haven.
"Lights for Liberty" recalls Emma Lazarus's words inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, including:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
The wretched refuse of your teaming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Felix's Ordination; Hosting Chapel on the Green; Vacation Bible School Gratitude
June 29, 2019
"God-willing and the People consenting," Felix Rivera will be among those ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday, June 29. The service will begin in Christ Church Cathedral, (45 Church Street, Hartford, CT), at 3p.m. "The People consenting," noted above, quotes the question that one of our bishops will put to those assembled in the Cathedral: "Is it your will that N. be ordained a deacon?" So, it is important for those of us who have participated in Felix's internship, to respond, "It Is(!)," We will also be asked if we will support him in his ministry as a deacon, and we will have an opportunity to pray for him, and for his ministry as a deacon..
Felix is one of two candidates for ordination as a deacon; there are six other candidates for ordination to the "transitional" diaconate. This latter group have a call to the priesthood, but need to first serve as deacons for a period of time. So with eight scheduled ordinations, you can see that it would be a good idea to allow plenty of time to park and find a seat well before 3p.m. The Cathedral is located across Church Street from the Hartford Stage; parking should be available in the Stage's garage. The Cathedral does validate parking tickets.
On Sunday, June 30, we will celebrate with Felix as he lives into the liturgical roles of a deacon. These roles of intercessor, proclaiming the Gospel, setting the table, and sending us into the world, point to the deacon's ministry on the margins. Deacons stand between the fellowship of the Church, and the sorrows and needs of the larger community, and call us out to respond to those sorrows and needs.
We will continue the celebration in a reception for Felix in the Parish Hall, hosted by the Vestry.
"Hosting," "setting the table," and responding "to the sorrows and needs of the larger community," are all dimensions of our ministry with Chapel on the Green. We will be hosting this Sunday's service and lunch with our neighbors and friends from St. John's Church, North Guilford. Together, we'll set the table for the Great Thanksgiving, and then with food for lunch and for later. We will also share your gifts of sunscreen and lip balm to ease the rigors of life for those living on the margins of New Haven's plenty.
To get ready, we'll be making at least 70 sandwiches and baking a bunch of brownies on Saturday morning, June 29, beginning at 10a.m. in the Parish Hall. The makings are all ready to be assembled; if you'd rather drop off your own brownies those will be welcome, as well. On Sunday, June 30, we'll gather at 1p.m. to pack-up and carpool into New Haven to get ready for the service behind Trinity Church. If you can help prepare food on Saturday; that'd be great. If you can help serve on Sunday, that'd be great. If you can do both, that's doubly great! Thanks for all the ways you support this ministry.
Earlier today, June 28, we finished up a great week of Vacation Bible School. Through Bible stories, related crafts and songs, we learned anew about Daniel, Queen Esther, the Good Samaritan, the Ten People with Leprosy, and the Walk to Emmaus; We were invited to "Go beyond" what we can think or imagine with Faith, Boldness, Kindness, Thankfulness & Hope. Although the crafts have all been taken home, you can check-out the pictures and the graphics still hanging in the Parish Hall. See if you can make the connections between these good words and the stories.
Many thanks to Page Pelphrey and Donna LaFata for leading our VBS! They inspired a group to enact each day's story, found the materials for the crafts, and made sure we didn't run out of snacks.. Mark Sullivan led the music: you can ask the kids if "All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir"? . Our middle and high school helpers, Keelyn, Natalie and RT, were great at corraling the youngsters' energy, serving snacks, leading playtime, and providing one-to-one assistance as needed.. The additional theme-word was FUN!
As this week of Vacation Bible School progressed, Page was also packing up all your kind donations for a week of Vacation Bible School in the Dominican Republic. Page, Keelyn, and the rest of the Connecticut crew (plus one from Wyoming!) leave on Saturday from JFK. Let's be sure that our prayers go with them!
At Wednesday's Vestry Meeting, Junior Warden Alicia Baconoffered thanks to all those who helped make our parish grounds looks so sharp for our Pentecost picnic, including Jane & Gene Bishop, Marsha Brown, Sheward Hagerty and Annie Rae, Alicia's own efforts with the bed's fronting the Parish House are also worthy of praise!
Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday morning for sandwich making, Saturday afternoon for Felix's ordination, Sunday morning for his first services as a Deacon, and/or Saturday afternoon for Chapel-on-the-Green In New Haven! .
In faith, hope, and love,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!