Dear Friends in Christ,
A very happy Easter to you! Easter is not just a day, or even a week, but an entire season – eight weeks long – in which we celebrate the joy and the mystery of our Risen Lord and our own redemption and renewal. It is completely appropriate to keep saying “Happy Easter” to folks all the way until Pentecost, this year on June 4. Of course, you may get an odd look from people who think Easter was over and done with last Sunday. But, at the very least, continuing to offer other Christians a joyful Easter greeting is a way to keep this vital reality in the forefront of our minds. Lent lasts 40 days, but Easter lasts 50! Keep celebrating!
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Here are this week’s announcements. Please see especially:
- Argyle Fish & Chips (Fun & Fundraisers)
- Children’s Eucharistic Instruction (Christian Formation)
- E-mail Changes (Communications)
FUN & FUNDRAISERS
Spring Fish & Chips by Argyle of Kearny, this Thursday, April 27 – 5:30-7:30 pm. This is our spring fund-raiser, and we’ll need a variety of help: setting up tables, decorating, selling tickets, making up plates, serving, working the door, making desserts & drinks, clean-up. There is a sign-up poster in the Narthex. Take a flyer and give it to your neighbors! Tickets will be on sale after Church this Sunday: $18 for adults/$9 for kids. Jackie Sullivan is the person to see with questions or to volunteer.
Cookbooks for Mother’s Day – our parish cookbook “All Saints’ Can Cook!” makes great Mother’s Day gifts. Cost is $15. Please speak to Janice Lettieri or stop by the Parish Office to buy one.
Parish Life refers to the social events and parties that we have here at All Saints’, just because we enjoy being together and spending time with one another. We are looking to evaluate and refresh some of our current events and explore some new ones – all ideas are welcome! If you are interested in being part of a Parish Life Brainstorming Session (and would be willing to help with at least one of the events we decide on) please send an e-mail to email@example.com. When we have the names of interested people then we can send around an email to find a time to meet. Thanks; remember, All Saints’ informal tag line is “Prayer and a Party”!
Make Sleeping Mats for Homeless Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 pm in the Lower Room of the Parish House. We make “plarn” (plastic bag yarn) out of used grocery and newspaper bags, and then crochet a 3’ x 6’ mat out of it. Friends and neighbors are invited to be part of the effort and fellowship. Here’s an interesting phone message related to our Plarn efforts that we received in the parish office: “Bill Gilroy a student at Stevens Institute called and asked if we would like some Plarn balls. His group decided to make plarn balls for their service project after seeing a video on Facebook of a group. https://www.facebook.com/jrodecap/videos/vb.508551462/10153899874191463/?type=2&theater. Unfortunately, they wanted to donate them locally in UNION CITY—which they later realized was in Tennessee, not NJ! Having lots of plarn and no recipient--- they searched around and found that we were Plarning and gave us a call! We saved them a trip to Millington --- our friend, Josephine Infante-Meehan was in Hoboken and was willing to meet Bill and picked up 2 huge bags of Plarn! The group plans to make more for us. You just never know... life is fun that way.” Questions? Speak to Susie Harris.
Evening Prayer, Mondays, 6 pm in the Church resumes this week, April 24.
Thursday Eucharist and Healing Prayer, 7:00 am, followed by an optional light breakfast in the Rath House.
Both of these times are great mid-week opportunities to stop in, slow down and connect with God and other parishioners!
Thank you to our Choirs, Bell ringers, Altar guild, Acolytes, LEMs and Lectors, Ushers, and Office Volunteers for making our Holy Week and Easer services so beautiful and moving!
Children’s Eucharistic Instruction – May 8, 15, 22. Second Graders are invited to participate in this Communion Class with Mother Vicki on three Monday afternoons from 4-5:15 pm in the Rath House. This is an important milestone in children’s Christian education. On Pentecost (June 4) the kids in this class will be recognized for having been through this instruction. For some of them this will be their first Communion; for others, they will be learning more about this practice of faith they have already been doing. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to register or ask questions. If you want your child to participate but the time of the class is not good for you, please be in touch and we can try to work something else out.
Pilgrim, a Course for the Christian Journey: The Commandments. This is our current segment of the Pilgrim Course. It meets Monday nights at 7:00 pm in the Rath House. This discussion group is a great way to learn about the Ten Commandments, Jesus’ teaching about them, and putting our faith into daily action. You are welcome to drop-in when you can or come every week.
Bible Study – Wed, 10:15 am, in the Rath House. This week, 4/26, we’ll spend time looking at the Apocrypha – the “extra” books that come between the Old and New Testaments. You are invited to join us!
Email Changes – Verizon is getting out of the e-mail business. That means the addresses for the allsaints_rector account and the allsaints_admin account will change from Verizon to Hotmail. The Rector account has already been set up and is fully functional. Please send email messages to Vicki+ at email@example.com. The Admin account for Susie is coming soon. The general parish mailbox continues to be firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for making the change!
Connect with us on Facebook at “All Saints' Episcopal/Anglican Church, Millington.” And sign up for our weekly parish e-letter “This Week @All Saints’” by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
A big Thank You to Eagle Scout Candidate Zachary Londono for his Eagle project – beautifying the patio area next to the Parish House. He and his crew put in a brick walkway from the recycling and trash sheds to the sidewalk so we can more easily roll out the trash bins, and reversed the order of the bins so the recycling is more tucked away. He included some brick pads for barbecue grills, and filled in the whole area with pea gravel. Looks good!
Parish House Lower Room Carpeting – parishioner Sean Ragiel recently installed reclaimed carpet squares from his business, Carpet Cycle, on the floor of the Lower Room. It looks great, is much quieter and warmer, and the tiles can be switched out when needed. Thank you, Sean and your team!
Spring Grounds Clean-Up – Sunday, May 7 after the 10 am service. Wear your gardening clothes to church, bring a rake, clippers, gloves, etc. We’ll be raking under shrubs, pruning, clearing up brush, and getting the church grounds cleaned up for the spring and summer. Put your name on the sign -up sheet in the Narthex. Questions? Speak to Tom Day.
4/24 Evening Prayer Church, 6:00 pm
Pilgrim Group Rath House, 7:00 pm
4/25 Vestry Chimney Rock Inn, 6:30 pm
4/26 Bible Study Rath House, 10:15 am
4/27 Holy Eucharist Church, 7:00 am
Fish & Chips Parish Hall, 5:30-7:30 pm
Small Saints’ & Jr Choirs 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.
Eucharistic Learning & Formation (aka Mystagogical Catechesis) – in the early centuries of the Church when most of those being baptized were adult converts to Christianity, it was the practice for those who were learning the faith and preparing for baptism at Easter, to be present with the worshiping community up until the start of the Eucharistic prayer. At that point the catechumens (learners, inquirers) would go out to another room to receive instruction from the deacons. When the time came for baptism at the Easter Vigil, after three years of preparation – like an apprenticeship – the new Christian would be baptized by full immersion, and then given a new white robe to wear, signifying New Life in Christ. The alb that I wear under the Eucharistic chasuble is a descendant of that baptismal robe – like a christening gown for adults! It signifies that I stand at the altar first as a baptized person, and second as a priest.
After the baptism took place the new Christian would be led into the assembly of the faithful, taking his or her place for the first time at a full celebration of the Eucharist, hearing the words and chants of the prayer, and receiving Communion for the first time. In the weeks after baptism, the catechumens’ instruction continued – this time on the subject of mystagogical catechesis, learning not only the words, but the meaning and theology of the mystery of the Eucharist and living a life of faith in Christ. This about took place during the Easter season.
Easter is a good time for all of us to engage in a little mystagogical catechesis – learning more (both theologically and devotionally) about this central act of worship and mystery of our faith – especially as it applies to our daily life of following Jesus. A good place to start is to take out the Book of Common Prayer and read through the four Eucharistic Prayers of Rite II. They are found on the following pages: Prayer A, page 361; Prayer B, page 367; Prayer C, page 369; Prayer D, page 372. You can also do the same for the Rite I Prayers on pages 333, and 340. Say them out loud to yourself. Are there images or phrases that stand out to you? Resonate with you? Puzzle you? You might want to jot these down, use these particular words for prayer and meditation. Talk about your insights and your wonderings with someone close to you – family, parishioners, or others. How do these words describe the reality of Jesus giving himself for us and to us?
I’ll have more to say about this in the weeks ahead, but this is a good starting point. And remember, the Eucharist and Christian life is a mystery in the sense that we will never understand it fully, never come to the end of our exploration of it, and yet, through the consecrated bread and wine the Real Presence of Christ is given to us, so that we may become more like him. ~ VGM+
Here is a link to the early American composer William Billing’s “Easter Anthem” sung by the Hastings College Choir: https://youtu.be/pyRhy6NjINA . And another version sung in true Sacred Harp style at a Sacred Harp singing in Ireland: https://youtu.be/mWsBOsr_l5s
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!