March 9, 2021
We give you thanks, most gracious God,
for the beauty of earth and sky and sea;
for the richness of mountains, plains and rivers;
for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers.
We praise you for these good gifts,
and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity.
Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and the glory of your Name, now and for ever. Amen.
Thanksgiving for the Beauty of the Earth,
Wonder of wonders! One of the great things about having the companionship of Jack-the-dog is that from time-to-time he insists that I go outside with him. We just returned inside delighted by what we experienced outside! All I needed was a light-weight jacket (no hat, gloves or boots!) and to open my eyes to the first signs of spring breaking through the soil -- crocus and snow-drops in bloom! They weren't blooming this time yesterday, or this morning, but they are glorious now! Jack romped around unimpeded by the small patches of snow and ice that remain, and the prayer above and the hymn below came to mind.
Let us pray for all who are commended to the parish's prayers:
All who are ill, including
Amy B, Carol U, Diane L, Jim R, Kevin and Danielle;
and all who are contending with Covid-19 disease;
for the medical caregivers who minister of God's healing gifts;
and for all facing financial hardship because of the pandemic.
May they all know the healing power of
Christ's presence and love.
And for all who have died,, including Grace and Connor;
and for the over 525,000 of our fellow citizens
claimed by the coronavirus.
Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord;
may light perpetual shine upon them.
Please also continue to pray for Kelly T, Jason, Peter, Dale, Buster, Jimmy C, Patrick and family, Felipe, Richard D, Alice M, Elizabeth Ann, Parker, Webb, Jill, Andrew E, Ed C, Pastor Bryan Meyers, Bob C, Sue S, George H, Alex & John H, Jeremy H, Shelly, Philippe, Kate, Frank, Jack, Judy & Ed S, Michael M, Richard D, Dave K, Brian A, Annie, John, Joan G., Lois C., Winnie Z, Bernie and family, Susie & Paul, Pam McG, Julie H, Murray E., Brooke & family, Kate S., Tracy M., Carl, Michael S, Joanne N-R, Madeline H, and Kelly G,
Also: Leslie P, Paul D, Susan S, Linda B, Charlie K, Anne C, Mark S, Angela G, Maria, Bob, Olivia, and Jo B.
Please also remember: St. Luke’s School & Church in Martel (Haiti)
To add names and concerns for Wednesday's and Sunday's intercessions, and this "Let Us Pray" letter, please send them to YFNR at firstname.lastname@example.org with any details you care to share. Names will move to the longer term list upon request.
Filling the Amistad House Pantry: Our Outreach team has devised a Lenten opportunity for us to that will assist New Haven's Amistad House's ministry of hospitality with folks who are unhoused, unsheltered and/or food insecure: We can "shop" via "Sign-Up Genius" here. Choose the items you wish to purchase and then send the appropriate funds to the Parish Office, or drop them off, or leave them on the altar. Your "purchases" will be ordered in bulk and delivered directly to Amistad House for us.
Our experiment continues -- keeping the side door, closest to the Guild Room, unlocked between 10a.m. and 3p.m. This provides an opportunity for a quiet moment of prayer in the church, likely alone, and to leave gifts on the altar, as well as to pick up a candle stub to light during prayers at home.
Our Lenten Discussion, "A River Through the Desert," continues Tuesdays and Sundays. We are taking advantage of a "Virtual Lenten Pilgrimage" from St. George's College in Jerusalem. Tuesday evening's gathering explores the image of water in the Bible. The College's Dean Richard Sewell leads the video and provides a discussion guide. Expect some photos from my Holy Land pilgrimages. Here's the link.
Wednesday's Order for Evening will commemorate brothers John and Charles Wesley, and include Wesley hymns. The livestream of the services will start before Noon and 7p.m. at www.facebook.com/cecguilford.
Thursday Bible Study continues March 11 at 9:30a.m. with the Hebrews approaching Mt. Sinai. Join the conversation via this new Zoom code. There are no prerequisites or homework!
On Sunday, our morning worship continues online with our own Holy Eucharist at 10a.m. Sunday's forecast is bouncing above and below our 45 degree threshold. If it's close, we'll be in the Garden on Sunday, March 14, at 1p.m.
Vaccinations: Earlier today (Tuesday), I attended a Zoom meeting with other clergy and our First Selectman. The Town is concerned about folks who are shut-in and may not have been able to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Matt Hoey asks that if you know of such a person, 55 and over, who needs assistance getting vaccinated, please have them call the Town's Senior Program Coordinator, Terry Buckley, at 203-453-8132 or email@example.com
Here's one stanza of the hymn I was humming after seeing the crocus and snow-drops in bloom:
For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
for the love that from our birth over and around us lies,
Christ our God, to thee we raise
these our hymns of grateful praise.
Hymn #416, in The Hymnal 1982
In the faith, hope and love of Christ,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Rector
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