I hope that you have been managing alright with the effects of this latest storm. I know that some of you lost power in the previous storm, and may still have not gotten it back. I also know that many of you have been checking on your neighbors or caring for family members who are without power. Thank you. The Parish House was without power until late Wednesday night. The Church lost in the snow, but it was restored late Thursday afternoon. If you need a place to warm up or charge your phones, feel free to use the downstairs of the Church; the side doors are always open (though it sometimes sticks!). I hope and pray that your power will be restored soon!
This weekend, please remember to set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday before you go to bed, as we move from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time.
From Wednesday, March 14 to Saturday, March 17 I will be away. I’ve been asked to represent the Diocese, along with two others, at a conference sponsored by the Presiding Bishop’s office: Evangelism Matters. It will be held at St. Paul’s Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. PB Curry’s two major initiatives are racial reconciliation and evangelism. He is a powerful and dynamic speaker, and I am looking forward to the conference. There will also be a variety of workshops and presenters. While I am away I will be posting updates to both the diocesan and parish Facebook pages. My colleagues and I will then be sharing what we have learned about Episcopal-style evangelism with others in the diocese, and of course with all of you! Please pray for our safe travel and for the Holy Spirit to be at work in this conference. Now for some practical items during my absence:
- Pastoral emergencies needing a priest will be covered by the Rev. Paul Olsson of St. Paul’s, Morris Plains, known to some of you. Paul’s cell number is 973-615-6211.
- The Wednesday morning Bible Study and the Thursday 7:00 am service is cancelled for the week.
- For general questions, call Parish Administrator Susie Harris in the office.
- For anything else that can’t wait until I get back, call the Wardens Tom Hackett and Roger Kosempel.
Take a look at the announcements below, especially:
- World War I French Battlefield Presentation (Fellowship & Fun)
- Labyrinth Walk (Lent)
- Epworth Youth Choir Concert (Fun & Fellowship)
This Sunday: World War I French Battlefields, March 11, 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. Randy Gaulke will present reflections on his 6 months as a tour guide for the World War I battlefields in the Meuse-Argonne forest in France, which saw the largest numbers of American troops in the war. Come to learn more about this part of our history, during the centennial of that great conflict. A light lunch will be provided.
This Sunday: Labyrinth Walk, Sunday, March 11, 3:00-5:00 pm in the Parish Hall. This is a time of prayerful walking meditation along the labyrinth (borrowed from the Community of St. John Baptist). Walk it at your own pace. There will be time for reflection and journaling. Drop in any time during the two hours. Bring your questions, your burdens, your prayer intentions for yourself and others. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
Epworth Youth Choir Tour Concert & Dinner, Tuesday, March 27, 7:00 pm in the Church. This middle school and high school choir from First United Methodist Church in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, will present a concert of traditional anthems. The second half of the program is a musical by Dean Wagner called “Keeping Vigil with Jesus.” This concert is a wonderful Lenten opportunity and will appeal to kids as well as adults. Parishioners are invited to have dinner with the choir at 5:30 pm. We will need some volunteers to shop, do some food prep, set up the meal (taco and salad bar), clean up afterwards, and visit with our guests – 35 students and 10 adult chaperones. Please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex if you can help or want to attend the meal.
The First Party of Easter follows the Easter Vigil on Saturday, March 31, in the Narthex. We need some simple refreshments to continue the best service of the year! Take a look at the sign-up sheet for what we need.
Easter Flowers & Music - If you would like to make a donation for Easter flowers or guest musicians in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving for a particular blessing, please use the envelopes found in the pew. Be sure to include the names of the people being remembered or honored; they will appear in all the Easter bulletins. The deadline for the names is March 19.
Celtic Worship with Irish music in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 18, at 5:00 pm, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 9 E Main St., Mendham, NJ. Sponsored by the parishes of St. Mark’s, St. Bernard’s, & All Saints’. Come for peaceful evening worship.
Maundy Thursday Agapé Meal, March 29, 6:00 pm. Agapé is the Greek word for God’s love – and the way we share it in community: holy hospitality. We’ll gather for a simple pot-luck meal, as Jesus and his disciples did, before our Maundy Thursday worship. We’ll be sharing this meal with the Christian (Catholic) Community in the Parish House Lower Room. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. Hope to see you there!
Foot Washing at Maundy Thursday Worship, March 29, 7:30 pm. This action is a symbol of the loving service to others that Jesus calls us to – basic, humble, prayerful, vulnerable. It is part of Maundy Thursday worship in churches all over the world. During the singing of a chant, the congregation is invited to come forward, have one foot washed, and then wash the foot of the person who comes after them. This care for one another is deeply moving. Wearing shoes and socks that are easily removable makes this easier.
Prayer Watch, anytime Maundy Thursday night, 8:30 pm to 12 am. Come and keep watch in the Church with Jesus for thirty minutes on the night of his trials in the Garden of Gethsemane (Altar of Repose with the Reserved Sacrament). Although this is a time for personal prayer and meditation, it is something done on the part of our whole parish community, even if you haven’t been able to attend worship earlier. The watch will conclude at midnight. Sign up for a half hour prayer time on the sheet in the Narthex.
Good Friday, March 30, 7:30 pm. At our Good Friday Liturgy this year we will have two guest musicians: Lydia Anthony and Kristen Sands, both of who have sung with us before. They will present the plainsong version of the Passion according to John, along with Director of Music Alison Siener Brown. They will also offer movements from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. We are very blessed to be able to have Kristen and Lydia with us.
Bible Study/Book Study – resumes Wednesday, March 21 at 10:15 am, in the Rath House. We are reading and discussing Inwardly Digest: The Prayer Book as Guide to a Spiritual Life, by Derek Olsen. Can’t come Wed. mornings? Pick up a copy and read it on your own. The books are in the Narthex and cost $20.
Pilgrim Study Group Mondays, 7-8:30 pm in the Rath House. This 6-week session is based on the theme Church & Kingdom. “What does it mean to live as a child of the kingdom of God and follow in the way of Christ each day as a member of the Church? How does it affect our life at work as well as at home? How is the Christian faith changing us and shaping us so that we become more like Jesus?” Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
The candidates for election as our next bishop have been announced. You can read more about them here: https://dioceseofnewark.org/content/standing-committee-announces-candidates-xi-bishop-opens-petition-process . We’ll also have a poster in the Narthex with the candidates’ photos, and packets of the website information for you to take if you prefer to read print.
On February 24th Hugh Wallace, Tom Day, and Mother Vicki attended a Going Local workshop at St, Michael’s, Wayne, this time focused on listening to one another tell a brief story of a “God incidence” in their lives. We also went through some exercises designed to get us talking and sharing with folks from other parishes who are all making the Going Local journey (to join God in the neighborhood). Here’s a link to an article about it: https://dioceseofnewark.org/content/gathering-shares-stories-journey-challenges-and-hope
SAVE THE DATE
Sunday, May 13 for Bishop Beckwith’s last visitation with us before his retirement.
3/10 Vestry Fellowship Dinner Chimney Rock Inn, 6:00 pm
3/12 Pilgrim Group Rath House, 7:00 pm
3/13 Finance Committee Rath House, 7:30 pm
3/15 Junior Choir Choir Room, 5:15 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room, 7:30 pm
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
Sharing Our Stories
What has God done for you? How has your faith supported you, strengthened you? When have you had answers to prayer, or healing, or spiritual experiences that you never told anyone else about? How have your grown in your understanding of God over time? As Christians, these are all things worth sharing with one another. When we hear what God has done for a brother or sister in Christ, our own faith is strengthened and enlivened. In some church traditions this happens in a formal, public way and is called “testifying” or “witnessing” – as in, bearing witness to the love and grace of God. But it is just as valuable to share your God stories with a trusted friend or small group, knowing they will receive your gift of faith with respect and encouragement. Whenever we put our experiences into words we can see and reflect on them more clearly; and we build up the Body of Christ, strengthening us all.
Lenten blessings, Vicki+