17 November 2018
Thanksgiving Day comes relatively early in November this year; so, please remember your contributions fo the Offering of Thanksgiving Foods! Your gift of non-perishable foods -- whether canned or boxed, or dry root vegetables, will extend Thanksgiving bounty to more of our neighbors served by the Guilford Food Bank. Please feel free to place your gifts in a convenient window sill. Our Sunday School families have already covered the Children's altar; let's see if we can match their generosity.
Later on Sunday, this year's Interfaith Thanks+Giving Service will draw us together with our Shoreline neighbors around the theme "Common Ground: Coming Together to Give Thanks. First Congregational Church of Guilfford will host the 4p.m. service. (Yes, 1st Church Is the big white building on Broad Street at the north end of the Green). Choirs drawn from Houses of Worship in Guilford and Madison will combine forces in shared anthems, as well as offering works that reflect particular musical traditions. Meghan Scanlon will offer words of thanks and encouragement from her perspective as executive director of the Women & Family Life Center.
Although this Interfaith service offers another opportunity to provide non-perishable foods for the Food Bank, after hearing from Meghan, you may want to consider a monetary gift for the Center. Checks may be made out to First Church, with W&FL in the memo line.
For Episcopalians, Thanksgiving Day is one of the two national holidays set as "Major Feast" days by the Prayer Book -- the other being Independence Day. So, we will gather together at 10a.m. to "ask the Lord's blessing, " to "raise the song of harvest home," and to acknowledge "all good gifts around us are sent from heaven above," as "now thank we all our God." (Points to those who can identify the traditional Thanksgiving hymn-sources for these lines.)
As has become my custom, in place of a sermon I will share an historic Thanksgiving Proclamation which seems particularly noteworthy. Washington National Cathedral's Veterans' Day bulletin included a brief portion of President Woodrow Wilson's 1918 Proclamation, issued five days after the end of World War I's hostilities. I was able to track down the entire text, and will share that on Thursday. But I also commend it to those of you who will be unable to attend our service here.
Although the most frequently quoted lines are in the first paragraph, I found Wilson's humble words in the second paragraph both moving, and applicable to our nation's current situation. We would all do well to "take [them] seriously to heart." You can find the whole proclamation here.
Thursday's weather moved the 2nd Annual Witness Stones Ceremony into the gymnasium of Adams Middle School, and it was great to see familiar faces on their home turf -- as well as other non-parents who wanted to support this undertaking. Besides learning about this year's honorees, Jouachim, Montros and Pompey, from the research of 8th grade historians, we also learned about a family descended from Montros and last year's honoree Phillis. Patricia Wilson Pheanious is a member of their sixth generation, You may recognize Mrs. Wilson Pheanious from the news: On November 6, she was elected to represent the 53rd House District in the Connecticut State Legislature; her election was called all the more remarkable given her district's rural character and white majority.
The Witness Stones for Montros and Phillis are installed next to each other in the walkway to the Savings Bank from the corner of Boston and Park Streets. However, their service predates the Redfield family homes that became the bank and the rectory. Montros and Phillis were held as slaves by Ruth & David Naughty whose property included the entire corner along Park Street from Boston Street to the Town Hall lot. My hunch is that the only structure remaining from the Naughtys' tenure is the 18th century one-room-with-loft-cottage which became part of the rectory when the latter was built in 1820. One wonders, who used the cottage in the 1700's?
During her Episcopal Visitation last month, Bishop Laura Ahrens mentioned an upcoming Holy Land Pilgrimage, June 9-19. The Pilgrimage will focus on the Palestine of Jesus with both Bishop Ahrens and Bishop Ian Douglas under the professional guidance of Canon Iyad Qumri -- a Palestinian Anglican. Information and forms are all now available on the ECCT website. I recommend the video to everyone -- even if you aren't interested in the Pilgrimage. I'm planning to participate, have been involved in the planning, and would be happy to respond to questions.
In the meantime, I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!.
In faith, hope and love,
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