Dear Friends in Christ,
This past Thursday we had our B-B-Q with the Bishop. Despite the rain and heat and needing to be indoors we had over 25 parishioners attend! In addition to Bishop Mark, Nina Nicholson (diocesan Director of Communications) and Kathy Seabrook (our Going Local Guiding Team coach/companion) joined. We played some ice breaker/getting-to-know-you games, had some casual conversation, ate a wide range of very delicious food from our talented All Saints’ cooks, and spent some time reflecting in pairs on the Biblical story of Paul being led to Philippi and meeting Lydia who became the first Christian convert on European soil (the passage is printed out at the end of this post). Thank you to Vestry members Susan LeVan and Barbara Barbeau for their hard work and organization.
Before the close of the evening, Bishop Mark had some very encouraging words for us about the way All Saints’ is continuing to grow in our openness and connection to our surrounding community, and for the ways we are seeking to discern and follow what God is doing there. He made the point that when he (and many of us) were growing up in the Episcopal Church “if you painted the doors red, the music was half-way decent, and the sermons didn’t last longer than 15 minutes, the Church would be full”; but that those days for have been gone for quite some time now, and are not coming back. However, the time and place we are now in requires a greater faithfulness, trust, and creativity to be the Church and to do God’s work.
In a phone conversation with me this morning, the Bishop was full of enthusiasm for his visit with us, and was particularly glad to hear parishioners’ reflections during the Dwelling in the Word sharing, and the way All Saints’ folk have such a lively interaction with one another. We are grateful for Bishop Mark’s visit, and look forward to his return in May for his formal visitation. ~ VGM+
Here are this week’s announcements. Please see especially:
- Bishop Search Profile Survey (Diocesan News)
- Wednesday Walkabout (Around the Neighborhood)
- Rummage Drop-off (Fun & Fundraising)
- Property News (Stewardship)
- Summer Choir (Worship)
PARISH LIFE EVENTS
We had a small but enthusiastic group at last Sunday’s parish Baseball Outing. It was a good game (Patriots won 2-1) and we had a lot of fun. Thanks to those who came out!
Summer Refreshments are available after the 10 am service on the Parish House lawn. Please join us! Here is Sunday’s Coffee Hour Conversation Question: Remembering the Parable of the Sower in today’s Gospel, what makes the good soil in your life?Share your answer with a parishioner, or someone at home.
FUN & FUNDRAISERS
RUMMAGE DROP-OFF Aug. 6: The First Sunday of Rummage Collection - 11:30 am-2:00 pm in the Parish Hall
What do we take? Dishes, linens, costumes, boutique, furniture, yard & garden, tools, small appliances, toys...anything clean and usable. What can’t we take? Tires, cribs, clothing, shoes, books for grownups, tube TVs, & large entertainment consoles. What help do we need? Sorting and pricing in August and September.
The sale is September 23. This is an event you want to be part of – our largest community event of the year, as well as our biggest fundraiser! There is a poster in the Narthex with all of the various ways to help – we need all hands on deck. For more info speak to Kimberly Celeste.
Son/Sun Party, Sunday, July 30 - Please join us after 10 am worship for a Super Sunny Summer-themed Refreshment Hour! On 8/21 a total solar eclipse will be visible in the United States for the first time since 1979! In New Jersey a 75% partial eclipse will be visible. In order to view the eclipse safely, you will need ISO certified eye protection: Eclipse glasses. They will be available at the Son/Sun Party for a donation to the piano fund. Get a pair for everyone in your family! Hosted by Alison Siener Brown and Afsaneh Thursfield.
Sponsor-a-Hymn. Dedicate a hymn in honor of a birthday, anniversary, baptismal anniversary, graduation, or other special event. Cost is $35 per Sunday for one hymn, and your dedication will be printed in the bulletin, and the person being remembered will be included in the prayers. All proceeds go to our New Piano for the Choir Room Fund. Please speak to Director of Music Alison Siener Brown for details. Thanks!
AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Wednesday Walkabouts - We are asking questions and learning more about the neighborhoods where we live, work, play, and pray., by taking walks with our fellow parishioners and then sharing our observations at dinner afterwards. Our next walk is Wednesday, July 19 at River Walk in Basking Ridge at 6:30 pm, with dinner at LingLing. These ‘Walkabouts’ are an experiment of our Going Local Guiding Team. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. Questions? Ask our Guiding Team: Hugh Wallace, Afsaneh Thursfield, Pam Lewis, or Jane Hayden.
Check Out Our Community Garden in the Parking Lot – parishioners, members of the Christian Community, and neighbors all have plots. What is growing? Tomatos, peppers, marigolds, scarlet runner beans, sweet potatos, cucumbers, roses, red raspberries, impatiens…and a whole lot of TLC and good conversation. Stop by and take a look!
Property Update – The safety pruning and removal of two trees around the Church and parking lot is coming soon. The Vestry is getting estmates to replace the stormwater drainage between the Church and the Rath House that is causing undergrouond erosion and sinking. We’ll have more updates as we go along. All the work being done this summer is to address safety issues on our property. Please thank our hard-working Vestry! Speak to Roger Kosempel, Linda Kestler, or Steve Kowalik for more information.
Summer Pledges/Contributions During the summer as folks travel and are not in church on Sunday, so miss out on their pledges and contributions. Our expenses continue, however. If you are going out of town please mail in your check, or drop it by the Parish Office. Every little bit helps. Thank you so much!
Last Thursday Morning Eucharist for the summer is this Thursday, 7/20. We’ll resume on 9/6.
Summer Choir - our next Sunday to sing is August 6. Meet in the choir room at 9:15 am to learn a simple anthem then help lead worship at 10:00. We’ll sing a setting of the tune Noel Nouvelet with the text "At the Name of Jesus.” Music and recordings are available ahead of time. Anyone who enjoys singing is welcome! Please talk to Alison Siener Brown for more information.
Summer Hymn Sings - We are starting our 10 am service every Sunday during the summer with an informal hymn sing. Come a few minutes early, find the number of your favorite hymn in the hymnal, and we'll sing the first verse! We'll do four or five every week...a different flavor to our worship. And Alison has now posted on the main Nave door a list of all the favorites we have sung so far. See if you share a favorite with anyone else.
Gentle Yoga Class in July and August, taught by Lori Vigliotti. Thursdays, 2 pm, July 20 and 27; Aug. 3, 10 17. Price is $15 per session payable on the day to Lori. This is for both men and women, and combines chair yoga with meditation! Each week is completely different. Invite your friends. For information speak to Louise Easton from the Christian Community, or call the Parish Office.
Autism-Friendly Summer Bible Camp at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chatham, August 21-25; ages 4-14. for children on the spectrum. For more information see: http://stpaulschatham.org/content/its-my-turn-vacation-bible-camp.
And in September....
- Welcome Sunday Picnic – 9/10
- Sunday School – 9/10
- Bible Study – 9/6, starting with First Corinthians
- Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey, Year 2 – 9/11
As you may know, our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith, plans to retire in September 2018 and has called for the election of a new Bishop of Newark. One of the first steps toward electing a new bishop is to create a profile of our diocese and to consider how God is at work among us leading us toward that election.
You are invited to take an online survey to share your thoughts as the Search & Nominating Committee begins working on our diocesan profile. The survey takes 15-20 minutes. Please give prayerful consideration to sharing your thoughts as our diocese discerns who will be our next bishop. The Committee requests all surveys to be completed by Wednesday, August 16th. Thank you!
7/19 Wednesday Walkabout River Walk in Basking Ridge, 6:30 pm
7/20 Holy Eucharist Church, 7:00 am
Gentle Yoga Parish House, 2:00 pm
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
“6 Paul and Timothy went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, since the holy spirit had forbidden them to speak the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the spirit of Jesus didn’t allow them to do so. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 Then a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man from Macedonia was standing there, pleading with him, and saying, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us!’ 10 When he saw the vision, at once we set about finding a way to get across to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the good news to them.
11 So we sailed away from Troas and made a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day to Neapolis. 12 From there we went on to Philippi, a Roman colony which is the chief city of the district of Macedonia. We stayed in this city for some days.
13 On the sabbath day we went outside the gate to a place by a river where we reckoned there was a place of prayer, and there we sat down. Some women had gathered, and we spoke to them. 14 There was a woman called Lydia, a godfearer, who was a seller of purple from Thyatira. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying. 15 She was baptized, with all her household. ‘If you have judged me faithful to the Lord,’ she begged us, ‘please come and stay at my home.’ So she persuaded us.”
Questions for reflection: Have you ever felt like your way forward in life was being blocked – even if you were intending something good and worthwhile? Were you able to see that perhaps God was directing you to something else, even if you didn’t know what it was right away? When have you been eager to hear what someone else has said about God?
This is a recording of the Gospel song, “Children go where I send you,” by jazz singer Nina Simone: https://youtu.be/W6VGwBKU7Fw