It's Day 12 since the power went out following Superstorm Sandy. I know that many of you have gotten power back slowly. As of Friday night there are others of you who still do not have power. This has been a very trying time. I have been impressed with the way everyone at All Saints' I've talked to has been coping, but I'm praying for a complete return of power for everyone soon!
Having said that, none of our buildings here at Church have power yet, nor does the neighborhood behind us, nor does the neighborhood across Basking Ridge Road down to the swamp. JCP&L's projected deadline for return of power for all customers is late night Sunday. Given the experience we've all had, I'm not very sanguine about that deadline. And after Wednesday night's snow the town snowplows on Church Road caught a downed electrical line leading to the Rath House and ripped the electrical box off the wall. So before power can be run to that building the box will have to be replaced by a licensed electrician.
What does all this mean for this coming Sunday?
It means that we'll do as we did last week: we'll have worship at both 8 and 10 am as usual. The weather will be warming up, but still plan on dressing warmly (and casually). There will be no Sunday School (due to lack of daylight in classrooms and heat) and no Rite-13 or J2A. The 10 am service will have one reading before the Gospel, and the sermon will be an interactive, inter-generational homily (accessible for kids and adults). Coffee hour after 10 am will be held in the Narthex.
Then on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm the Adult Choir and I will be joining the choirs and clergy of the other four Conover parishes at St. Mark's in Basking Ridge for a Veteran's Day Evensong. It will include readings from a number of different historical sources in our nation's history, and appropriate music and hymns. This is a wonderful way to give thanks for the service of all our veterans. The service is particularly timely, since we received word last week that Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Kantor, a 22 year-old Navy Seal from Gillette, was killed in action recently. Although not a member of All Saints', Matt was a member of our Cub Scout Pack 56 when he was in elementary school. I hope that you will consider joining us for the Evensong - either in addition to Sunday morning or instead of it. No matter what, please remember Matt and his family in your prayers.
And in news of the wider world, you may have heard that a new Archbishop of Canterbury has been appointed (bishops in England are appointed by the Crown, rather than elected by the lay and clergy members of the Church). Archbishop Rowan Williams announced in May that he was going to resign at the end of December and become Master (i.e. Dean) of Magdalen College, Cambridge. His successor is the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, currently Bishop of Durham. Before his ordination in 1992 he was an executive with an oil company, with extensive experience in Africa. He is known to be skilled in reconciliation, and in the relationship between religion and finance. Our own Presiding Bishop has issued the following statement about Bishop Welby's appointment:
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori
on the appointment of the new Archbishop of Canterbury
I am delighted to hear of Bishop Welby’s appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury. He brings knowledge of the immense challenges of the world in which the Anglican Communion seeks to partner in the service of God’s mission to heal and reconcile. He has experience of churches in several parts of the Communion, which should serve him well. The bishops of The Episcopal Church have met him and shared fruitful conversation, worship, and learning with him during a House of Bishops meeting earlier this year. We also welcomed him to our General Convention in 2009.
I give thanks for his appointment and his willingness to accept this work, in which I know his gifts of reconciliation and discernment will be abundantly tested. May God bless his ministry, shelter his family, and bring comfort in the midst of difficult and lonely discernment and decisions.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
A Collect for Guidance
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our
being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by
your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our
life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are
ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ~ Book of Common Prayer, page 100