Summer is coming to a close, with Labor Day this weekend. I hope you and those you love have had a refreshing and renewing summer. John and I enjoyed our time off and away, but we’re also glad to be back home. Thank you to all of you who made sure the life of All Saints’ parish went on in my absence, as it always does. I spoke with the Rev. Sheelagh Clarke (our Sunday supply priest) earlier this week, and she told me how especially good you all are at hospitality and making her feel welcome – and letting her feel “safe” to sing the parts of the Eucharistic Prayer at the 10 am service which she hasn’t done in a long time! This was another example of true hospitality, which is always about making room for the guest or newcomer or stranger, and being open to the gifts they bring, as well as being willing to share ours. Good job, everyone!
The fall program year begins on Welcome Sunday, September 9. All the details are below. Please take a look at the e-letter, and I hope to see you all this Sunday or the next! ~ VGM+
Here are the week’s announcements. In particular please see:
- Welcome Sunday Picnic Sign-ups (Parish Life)
- Rummage Collection this Week (Fun & Fundraising)
- Sunday School, Bible Study, Way of Love for Families (Christian Formation)
- Choirs for Adults and Children (Worship)
- Blessing of the Backpacks (Worship)
Rummage Sale collection schedule for this COMING week: Sun (9/2) Noon-2 pm; Tues (9/4) 6-8 pm (and during the day if you call the office ahead); Thurs (9/6) 10 am-2 pm & 6-8 pm. Please bring your clean, working items. And tell your friends and neighbors. We still have plenty of volunteer opportunities for sorting, pricing, and working on the day! Check the poster in the narthex to see how you can help. Questions? Speak to Kimberly Celeste.
Choirs for Adults and Children are a wonderful way to offer your time and voice to God and our Christian community, and to get to know others in our parish. Rehearsals are on Thursdays – Junior Choir at 5:15 pm and Adult Choir at 7:30 pm in the Choir Room in the Undercroft, and start Sept. 6, this Thursday. Anyone who enjoys singing is welcome and wanted! For more information, speak to Alison Siener Brown.
Mid-Week Worship – a simple service of Communion and Healing Prayer on Thursdays at 7 am, starting Sept. 6. A light breakfast is available afterwards.
Blessing of the Backpacks for students and teachers on Sept. 9. As the new school year starts, bring your backpack (or briefcase!) to church to be blessed, and to receive a backpack prayer tag!
Welcome Sunday Picnic, next week, Sept. 9 at 11:15 am. Come greet your fellow Saints after the summer; invite a friend! We’ll provide hot dogs, rolls, and soft drinks. You bring a salad, side dish, or dessert. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex to let us know you are coming or end an email to the Parish Office. Looking forward to seeing you there!
CHRISTIAN FORMATION & SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Sunday School for children in PreK through Middle School begins next week. Children and babies are always welcome in worship, but we also have a staffed nursery in the Undercroft of the Church for parents who prefer this option. Note – this weekend the nursery will not be staffed, but it will be 9/9.
Bible Study starts Wed., Sept 12 (this is a date change) at 10:15 am in the Rath House. We will be reading and discussing the Gospel of Mark. This is a great way to start Bible reading – the shortest version of Jesus’ life and teaching. No experience is needed or expected, only a desire to learn, ask questions, laugh, and grow with others. Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
Narnia Book Club Comes to All Saints’ Oct. 7: Bring your imagination, creativity, and curiosity to faith in Jesus as a child, an adult, or a family in this home-based effort. We’ll read C.S. Lewis’ book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and have opportunities for conversation and activities. The brochure with full information will be ready next week in our Narnia Corner at the rear of the church!
The Way of Love: Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life. This is the outline for a Rule of Life for Episcopalians (and anyone else!) There are materials and resources on the table in the Narthex to take home. You are invited think and pray about how you might like to shape this to make it your own, within each of the seven categories. There are also materials for The Way of Love for Families. This fall we’ll have opportunity to gather and learn more about how to put some of these things into practice.
Forward Day-by-Day – the daily devotional (Learn and Pray in The Way of Love categories) for the quarter Aug-October is here in both pocket-sized and large print. They are on the big table in the Narthex. Take one with you!
Reminder from the Finance Committee – Over the summer while you have been traveling and on vacation, our regular parish expenses have continued, and our cash flow has dipped a bit, as it does every summer. Please make sure your financial contributions are up-to-date. If you have a question about your donation, please speak with Barbara Barbeau. All of your support is needed and appreciated. Thank you.
Buildings and Grounds – over the summer we repaired a leak in the flat roof over the sacristy (area next to the altar), installed a protective window shade between the organ and the window facing the street, and refinished the Parish Hall floor. We will also be installing emergency egress lighting for the Church and the Parish House, as required by state fire code, in the next few weeks. All these projects help keep our buildings and our people safe ad in good repair. Thank you to the Vestry for working on these items.
AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Musikgarten: Early Childhood Music Classes – for babies & toddlers; preschoolers; and young elementary group piano lessons. Taught here at All Saints’ by our director of Music Alison Siener Brown, under the auspices of Music in the Somerset Hills. Classes star the first week in October. For information speak to Alison or check the website http://musicsh.org/musikgarten/.
Bishop-elect Carlye Hughes and her husband David Smedley have moved into the Bishop’s Residence in South Orange, and she has begun working with the diocesan staff at Episcopal House in Newark, even while Bishop Mark is handing off his responsibilities. Plans for the consecration and celebration on Sept. 22 at NJPAC are in place. If you have been in touch with Suzanne Kosempel or are part of the choir for the day, you have a ticket (required by NJPAC) and a seat on the bus (for non-choir parishioners). If you are still interested in attending but have not yet registered, there may still be individual seats available by registering here: https://dioceseofnewark.org/form/consecration-tickets-general-public.
9/3 Labor Day Parish Office Closed
9/6 Eucharist & Healing Prayer Church, 7:00 am
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.
Listening to the Spirit – very often we get so caught up in our daily work and schedule we forget to slow down and listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to us. Or we think we can only do that in Church. Or we think we don’t know how to listen to God, or that the Spirit speaks to us in a “stained glass” voice that only “holy” people understand. In truth, God speaks to us in very ordinary, everyday ways through our own experiences, as well as through the words and actions of other people. This is not instead of the Spirit speaking through the words of Scripture or the liturgy, but in addition to it. After all, how would it be if you could only hear from God once a week on Sundays?! God is much more generous and communicative than that!
A really good way of listening to the Holy Spirit (and it’s a skill that we can learn and get better at) is to reflect on a time or moment – not the most important one – that you felt God’s presence (or strength or comfort or guidance or energy) in some way, and then share that experience with one other person in your own words. Then invite them to share their experience with you – not to compare or judge, but to give thanks for the varied ways that God shows his love and care for us.
So this Sunday there will be a Conversation Question for Refreshment Time: Think of a time over the summer when you were aware of or noticed God’s goodness; what was that like? Ask someone at refreshments today what their experience was; then share yours with them.