Here are the announcements and the information for Sunday’s worship.
For our offertory this week the combined choirs (adults and children) have recorded a virtual choir anthem that you will all want to hear. It’s an “Alleluia” – on this last Sunday before alleluias are omitted from our worship during Lent.
Our choirs meet for rehearsal and fellowship every week on Zoom. And then each singer individually records his or her part on an audio file which Alison edits together, along with the accompaniment and the visual portion of the video. All of this is a very different set of skills than singing together in a live ensemble. We are so blessed that our choirs and Director of Music have learned how to do this and have offered their hearts and voices to enrich our worship during this pandemic time. Thank you, all!
- Last Sunday after Epiphany Worship
- Narnia Book Group
- Parish Office News
- Ash Wednesday
- Christian Practices
- Lenten Book Group
- Year-in-Review Meeting
Sunday Worship – Last Sunday after the Epiphany Feb. 7th –10 am
Service of the Word, followed by Coffee Hour.
The bulletin is on the home page and you may send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Zoom credentials.
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Ash Wednesday Worship will be held on Zoom this Wednesday, February 17 at 7:30 pm. The link and service leaflet will be sent Monday. The most important aspect of Ash Wednesday is the start of our spiritual preparation for Easter. What about ashes? Small containers of blessed ashes may be picked up in the church Bell Tower. You may impose ashes on yourself or on other members of your household during the service. But please note - ashes are optional in the liturgy, and always have been. If you can’t attend the service on-line you can pray the service on your own with the service leaflet or in the Prayer Book. “The Invitation to a Holy Lent” on page 264 is good for reading and meditating on at the start of this season of spiritual preparation.
Parish Office News – All Saints’ has signed-up with a church management software program called Breeze. This allows us to have a database of our parishioners and visitors, which we did not have before. It is also a donor management program which tracks pledges and donations and creates easily-produced giving statements. Breeze also has some communications and scheduling features that we are starting to use for different ministry and volunteer reminders. If you get an e-mail from All Saints’ and it has the extension @breezechms.com, please don’t ignore it! In fact, please set your e-mail program to recognize messages from Breeze. You’ll be hearing more about this new tool for our parish ministry as we get more adept at it.
Narnia Book Group: The Silver Chair - this group will meet on Zoom Sunday afternoons at 4:00 pm starting on 2/21 and continuing for eight sessions (skipping Easter Day). The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis is the fourth book in The Chronicles of Narnia series. The group is open to anyone; you don’t have to have read the previous Narnia books, or been part of the group before. To sign up, please email Mother Vicki at email@example.com.
Bible Study is on Wednesdays at 10:15 am. This week we’ll start our Lenten series. We’ll look at the Gospel reading for the Sunday to come (either from Mark or John) and at the Collect (theme prayer) for the day and the way they connect with each other. To participate in this Zoom class or if you have questions, please e-mail Mother Vicki.
Lenten Book Study – “Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubled Times” by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The book is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format. Wednesdays at 7:00 pm, starting Feb 24. This study is being shared by St. Peter’s, Livingston, St. Paul’s, Chatham, St. Gregory’s, Parsippany, and All Saints’. The clergy of these different churches will take turns facilitating the discussion each week. At the first session we’ll discuss the Introduction and Chapters 1 & 2. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
Parish Meeting: Year in Review - Feb 21, 10:45 am (during coffee hour time.) Join us to hear presentations from our Vestry and other ministry leaders. This is not an official Annual Meeting. NJ state statutes govern Episcopal churches in legal matters. Our diocesan Chancellor’s reading of the statute is that we can’t have an official Annual Meeting unless we are able to meet in person. But we can gather on Zoom and hear updates about our ministries and finances from 2020. Please join us for worship and this Year in Review meeting on Feb. 21.
+ + + + + + + The Parish Office is generally staffed Mondays and Thursdays but with limited contact for the public. Please call ahead if you need to do in-person parish business.
Parish Schedule this Week
Sunday Worship & Coffee Hour – 10:00 am; Zoom, posted later to YouTube and our website
Compline - daily, 9:30 pm; Facebook Live
Vestry - Tue, 7:15 pm; Zoom
Bible Study - Wed, 10:15 pm; Zoom
Ash Wednesday Service – Wed, 7:30 pm; Zoom
Office Angels - Thu, 11:00 am; Zoom
Junior Choir – Thu, 5:30 pm; Zoom
Adult Choir - Thu, 7:30 pm; Zoom
Parish Office - Mon & Thu, 10:00 am-5:00 pm (usual hours).
Please call ahead if you need to do in-person parish business.
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Christian Practices: Love
Sunday is St. Valentine’s Day, a day we focus on our love for others – especially those we love romantically, or those in our family. But when we think about God’s love, Christian love, it takes us in a different direction.
In the New Testament there is a particular word for God’s love that is different from other words for love in Greek. It is agapē – unconditional, sacrificial love that involves an attitude of heart and will, even more than it does emotion. It’s God’s love that is self-giving, because that is God’s nature. The deepest and truest expression of God’s love was Jesus’ sacrifice of himself for us on the Cross.
In the Gospel of John Jesus told the disciples that non-believers will know that they are his disciples by the love they have for one another (John 13:35). Some of you may know the 1960s hymn “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love.” (https://youtu.be/3EBShVUTH0U)It’s a very simple song, but it states the message clearly: everything we do as Christians is to be infused with God’s love for us, our love for God and one another, and God’s love for the world through us. That is the way the world will recognize that we are Christ-followers.
Loving in God’s way is not about being nice, but it is about kindness and compassion. It is about caring for the good of the other, the neighbor, the stranger, as much as it is about caring for the good of people we like or are close to. God’s love is strong and can sometimes lead us into places of confrontation and controversy – not for their own sake, but for truth and integrity and human dignity.
Bishop Curry’s book “Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubled Times” explores what it means to be practitioners of God’s love in the midst of turmoil. Whether you read the book and join in the discussion of it (see above) or take it in on your own, I hope you will think and pray about how you can learn to love more deeply, truly, and in a Christ-like way. Lent is a good time to do this.