The work in the lower level of the Parish House is coming along. Half of the walls and all of the trim in the main room are painted. Progress has been slower than we would like – we hit a snag with the need for a permit for framing out the closet for the water heater, and then our contractor had a family event that took him out of town for several days. In the meantime, our plumber has been attending to some pipes in the kitchen, and will be installing the new water heater shortly. Our goal is for the work will be completed by the time of the Bishop’s visit on March 25, when he can dedicate our new kitchen, bathroom and meeting room.
On a sad note, we’ve had word from Marcie Teele that Audrey Israel has died. Some of you will remember that Audrey was active at All Saints’ with her husband Leon many years ago. She was particularly active in the Greens Sale and social events. She was 99 years old when she died. Here is a link to her obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?n=audrey-israel&pid=155784696. There will be a service of remembrance at Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main Street, Chatham, NJ on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11am. Please remember Audrey and her family in your prayers.
And here is the link to the diocesan website, full of news and information about our diocese. You can also sign up to get The Voice e-newsletter on-line (as the diocese will no longer be printing this publication).: www.dioceseofnewark.org .
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“Souper Bowl” Sunday--We packed Suzanne Traub’s car to overflowing with the donations of food and a check for $251 for Food for Friends! Thank you to all who contributed, and thanks to our Rite-13 class and their teacher, Joyce Kulzer.
This Wednesday, February 15 there will be no Eucharist or Bible Study. The Rector will be attending a diocesan clergy day.
Women’s Book Group meets this Wednesday at 7:30 pm in the Rath House. We’ll be discussing The Dirty Life by Kristen Kimball. Then we’ll choose our next book. Come for good conversation and fellowship.
Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras — Our kitchen is still under construction so we will not have the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper this year…it’s on sabbatical until next year! However, we WILL celebrate the Last Sunday after Epiphany at Coffee Hour on February 19th - Mardi Gras beads for all! Come and party!
Lenten Meditation Booklets from Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) are available for your daily prayer and reflection. They can be picked up on the table in the Narthex. The meditations touch on the connection between faith and real-life questions and concerns about life in our global world. Copies of Forward Day by Day for the next three months are also available.
Our knitters have been busy!In the past year, we sent 75 scarves & hats to Seamen’s Church Institute, which gives the items to merchant marines who are the crew of tankers and cargo ships that carry goods and merchandise all over the world – away from their families for months at a time. Thanks to all who knit, your donations so appreciated. If you would like to learn to knit, let us know, we’d be happy to teach you. We also have yarn and instructions. This is an outreach ministry that you can do on your own time – men and kids can knit, too! If you are interested, please speak to Janet Mansfield.
Ash Wednesday Services will be celebrated on February 22 will be at 9:30 am and 7:30 pm. There will be Imposition of Ashes and Eucharist at both services. The evening service will include hymns and choral music. Please make time to mark this important day as we start the Lent in preparation for Easter.
Wednesday Lenten Bible/Study Group meets Weds.at10:15 am. (starting Feb. 22) We’ll read and discuss a play The Cup of Trembling, based on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and leader in the resistance movement against the Nazi government in World War II. We’ll connect to Scriptural themes of courage, guidance, and making hard decisions.
Lenten Arts Workshop for Kids – Saturday, February 25, 9:30-11 am. Songs, Bible story, games, craft project – create a banner to hang in the bell tower throughout Lent. For ages Pre-K – Grade 6 (and older kids can help!). Bring a friend, and sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
The Visual Arts Ministry group will have its first meeting on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 pm in the Rath House. We’ll talks about plans for our congregation and our community, and ways we can deepen our faith through imagery and art. You don’t have to be an artist to be part of this group – everyone is invited. If you have questions, please speak to Nancy Mink.
Taizé services for Lent! Wednesdays at 7 pm, starting February 29. Half an hour of candlelight, chanting, silence, and resting in the presence of God. Taizé (pronounced tay-zay) is an ecumenical monastic community in southern France that has developed a simple, moving and distinctive style of worship that is used by churches and Christian communities throughout the world. Taizé’s mission is reconciliation between individuals, people and God – a good theme for Lent. Come try it out.
Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)Homeless Shelter is now called Family Promise of Morris County – same program, same people being helped! All Saints’ next night to serve at the Family Promise Shelter (at the Shrine of St. Joseph) is Friday, March 2nd. If you can shop, cook, serve, or stay overnight, please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. Thanks!
Scout Sunday @ All Saints’ is March 4 this year! All Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, their leaders and their families are invited to attend the 10 am service - in uniform – and participate in the Scout Exercises. All Saints’ sponsors both BSA Troop 56 and Cub Scout Pack 56, hosts the Girl Scout Leaders of Long Hill Township, and provides meeting space for a number of Cub dens and Girl Scout troops.
Bishop Mark Beckwith will be making his parish visitation with us on Sunday, March 25 at the 10 am service. Please plan to be here when Bishop Beckwith will preach, celebrate the Eucharist, lead an Adult Forum, meet with the Vestry, and learn from us all the good things that are happening at All Saints’!
StewardshipAre you a “first-fruits” giver? It means that your gift to God is the first check you write each week or each month, out of gratitude and thanksgiving: “4The first fruits of your grain, your wine, and your oil, as well as the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give God.” Deuteronomy 18:4
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Praying for Others
I feel quite free to make a mess of my personal prayer life; but when someone says, “Please pray for me,” they are not just saying “Let’s have lunch sometime.” They are issuing an invitation into the depths of their lives and their humanity-and often with some urgency. They are publicly exposing their vulnerability, sorrow, and fear. Something about their life is so out-of-control that they call upon the likes of me for help. I warn them: sometimes the people I’ve prayed for have died. It’s a risk.
There’s also the risk that instead of praying for them, I’ll just worry about them. And worry is not a substitute for prayer. Worry is a starting place, but not a staying place…
So when people ask for my prayers, I take a deep breath, put the choke chain on worry, and walk, leash in hand, into that place called prayer…. [When I ask others to pray for me] their task is to fill the universe with good thoughts, to wrap me in God’s love, to give me hope, and to intercede for my healing. I want them to reconnect my hands and heart with God’s when I’m too fraught with fear or sadness to do it by myself.
- Sybil MacBeth, Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God.