This Sunday is the spring time change to Daylight Savings Time. Please set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night before you go to bed so you can be ready for Church in the morning. Thanks!
All the news at the moment surrounds the concerns that many people have about the new COVID-19 virus. Today I met with our local Long Hill Township health officer, Office of Emergency Management Officer Shane Daley, and other township officials. Their message was one of calm, getting accurate information from the CDC, and sensible practices like thorough handwashing.
Bishop Hughes has also issued guidelines for us as we gather for worship. Our Bishop’s instructions are found at the end of this e-letter. They will also be printed in our Sunday bulletin, along with a flyer of information from LHT Health Office. Please read these materials, follow what they say, and be reassured. If these guidelines need to be updated for any reason – either by the Bishop or by New Jersey or the CDC we will share that information and abide by those guidelines.
In the meantime, it is still Lent. When you come to Church, please note our Lenten altar arrangements. They have been made from locally-sourced materials, and are living branches. Standing in water they will leaf out slowly over time. The thorns along the stems are reminiscent of Jesus’ crown of thorns on the Cross. Please take a moment and go up to the altar to look at them up close, and contemplate the combination of suffering (thorns) and new life (leaves). ~ VGM+
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Here are this week’s announcements, especially:
- Sunday Forum: Praying with Icons (Christian Formation)
- Lenten Group: Signs of Life (Offerings for Lent)
- Scout Sunday (Worship)
- Simnel Cake Bake-off (Parish Life)
OFFERINGS FOR LENT
Evening Prayer, Mondays, 6:30 pm - 25 mins. of calm and connection at the end of your day. The service will also be live on the church's Facebook page.
Holy Eucharist & Healing Prayer, Thursdays, 7:00 am
Lenten Group – Signs of Life: Why Church Matters Mondays, 7:00-8:30 pm. The themes of Light, Water, Food, Shelter, and Community are signs and symbols at the heart of Christian worship. They will be the basis of each week with a short video, a brief written reflection, and discussion. A Signs of Life Reader is available (whether you come to the group or not). Please sign up for the sessions on the sheet in the Narthex.
Lent Daily Practices Calendar – pick up the brochure containing a thought or action for each day. This calendar combines emphases from Signs of Life and the Way of Love.
Forward Day by Day – the new quarter of our daily devotional is available in both pocket-size and large print.
Mid-Lent Simnel Cake Bake-Off: March 22 – The Fourth Sunday of Lent is a time when the church mood lightens and we relax our spiritual discipline for the day. Simnel Cake is a traditional British treat for this day. Bring your entries to Coffee Hour; the prize will be a reserved parking spot for Easter Day! Pick up your recipes and sign-up on the sheet in the Narthex.
Maundy Thursday Agapé Supper, April 9, 6:00 pm – this is a simple pot-luck meal before our worship at 7:30 pm. Mediterranean-themed dishes preferred/No dessert, please. We’ll be joined by our friends from the Christian Community. We gather and eat together, as Jesus and his disciples did. Look for the sign-up sheet in the Narthex.
Argyle Fish & Chips is back! Thursday, April 30. Save the date and be sure to invite your friends!
Sunday Forum – our next Sunday Forum will be on March 15 at 11:15 am. Sister Deborah Francis will give a presentation and discussion on praying with icons. Do plan to come and learn about this visual form of prayer.
Bible Study will meets on Wednesday, March 11 at 10:15 am in the Rath House, discussing Revelation, Chapter 22. New folks are always welcome. On 3/18 & 4/1 we’ll spend time learning about and reflecting on the traditional Seven Deadly Sins. In Easter season we’ll read and discuss “Phoebe: A Story” by Paula Gooder. The novel is an account of the woman who was a deacon in the first church in Rome which met in her house, and who may well have proclaimed and interpreted Paul’s Letter to the Romans for the first time. Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
During Lent at the 10 am service we follow the older Rite I form of our liturgy. At the end of the service the Dismissal will be given from the altar. The altar party will process out on the closing chant. The congregation is then invited to remain for a time of quiet personal prayer.
This Sunday, March 11 is Scout Sunday. All Scouts BSA, Cub Scouts and Girls Scouts and their leaders are invited to wear their uniforms and participate in the Scout Exercises during the 10 am service.
Save the Date, May 17 at 4:00 pm – Altar Window Concert. Our Parish Choir will present a concert to continue our fund-raising efforts to restore our Resurrection Window. Be sure to invite your friends and neighbors!
ShopRite Cards – buy a ShopRite gift card for your own groceries or as a gift for someone else. You pay face value and All Saints’ gets 5%. See Barbara Barbeau or call the Parish Office.
Family Promise - March 9 is our next date to serve at the homeless shelter program when it is hosted at Trinity House in Stirling. Please keep this important ministry and our volunteers in your prayers.
CONVENT CORNER@CSJB in MENDHAM
You’re invited to the Convent! If any All Saints parishioners would like to have a tour of the Convent, walk our outdoor labyrinth, stop by for noonday prayer or join us for lunch on a Sunday after church, please contact Sister Monica Clare at email@example.com. Since one of our primary ministries is hospitality, we always welcome visitors. And take a look at the Community of St. John Baptist website https://www.csjb.org/ .
3/9 Evening Prayer, Church, 6:30 pm (& on Facebook Live)
Signs of Life Lent Group Rath House, 7:00 pm
3/10 Finance Committee, Rath House, 7:30 pm
3/11 Bible Study, Rath House, 10:15 am
3/12 Eucharist & Healing Prayer, 7:00 am, Church
Junior Choir, 5:30 pm, Choir Room
Adult Choir, 7:30 pm, Choir Room
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org
Common Sense Health Guidelines as We Gather for Worship
~ following Bishop Carlye J. Hughes’ pastoral guidance
“In some ways the potential for an unknown illness can ignite an already heightened sense of anxiety that pervades the time we live in. I encourage you to remember that for centuries the faithful have gathered for prayer, breaking of the bread, learning, and fellowship. Though wars, epidemics, market crashes, disasters, and all manner of calamity. No matter what, God seems to meet us just where we are physically, mentally, and spiritually.” ~ Bishop Hughes
Below are steps we will take here at All Saints’ to lower risk of infection during this time.
- If you are sick, stay home until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever reducers).
- Use good hand washing practices & refrain from touching your face. Studies show that most people do not wash their hands long enough. The Center for Disease Control recommended hand washing guidelines are here: cdc.gov/handwashing. Soap and water for 20 seconds and drying hands with paper towel is sufficient. 20 seconds is as long as it takes to say the Lord’s Prayer!
- Cover your coughs and sneezes, use tissues, and then use hand sanitizer afterwards.
- Exchange the Peace with a small bow or brief wave and the words “Peace be with you”. No handshaking or hugging.
- At Communion, the consecrated bread will be distributed and the people serving Communion will use hand sanitizer before doing so.
- The chalice will be offered to drink from, but please do not intinct (dip) your wafer! This may seem counter-intuitive, but intinction runs the risk of people putting their fingers in the wine. That carries a higher risk of infection than sipping from the chalice. Numerous medical studies have shown that the alcohol in the fortified wine, combined with the silver of the chalice, greatly lowers any possibility of germs, especially as the rim of the chalice is wiped and turned for each person. Even though it is Lent, we will return to using the silver chalice for our services. If a person of normal health could get sick from the common cup, the clergy would be ill constantly!
- If you have a compromised immune system or are nervous about germs, please know that if you have received the consecrated bread, you have received Communion. If you are not going to drink the wine, when the LEM comes to you with the chalice listen to the words: “The Blood of Christ; the cup of salvation” and respond with “Amen” before leaving the altar rail.
- If these guidelines need to be further updated, we will let you know.