This Sunday’s 10 am service will be Morning Prayer, because it is the fifth Sunday of the month. The 8 am service will be Holy Eucharist, as usual.
A brief description of Mother Vicki’s retreat time this last week comes at the end of this e-letter. It was good to have some time for reflection and prayer.
This week’s announcements are below. Please take a look:
- Intergenerational Faith Formation/ Gospel Box (Christian Formation)
- Chili Cook-off and Game Night (Prayer & a Party)
- Easter Flowers & Music (Worship)
- Holy Week Events (Lent & Holy Week)
PRAYER & A PARTY
THIS WEEK: Sunday Night Supper: Chili Cook-Off & Game Night – March 31, 5 pm-7 pm in the Parish House Lower Room. Bring your best chili, cornbread, and favorite board game! This is for adults, as well as families – an intergenerational event!.A great time to have some fun and relaxation with your fellow parishioners. March 31st this year is Mid-Lent, our Sunday of Refreshment in our Lenten journey.
Bible Study this week. We’ll meet on Wed. 4/3 at 10:15 am in the Rath House. We’ll be talking about the second half of Mark, Chapter 14. Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
Narnia Book Club discussion of “The Magician’s Nephew” meets during coffee hour The Narnia insert has a passage from the chapters we are reading, as well as a reflection question. Even if you don’t come to the group, take the insert home and think about the question. For more information, speak to Alison Siener Brown.
Intergenerational Faith Formation – here is the passage and question for next Sunday. The full set of readings can always be found by going to www.thelectionarypage.net and clicking on the date on the calendar.
Next Sunday’s Gospel Box
March 31, Lent 4 – Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Jesus tells a story about a man with two sons to show us what God is like. Who do you imagine yourself to be in this story: the older son; the younger son; the father; the servant; someone else?
April 7, Lent 5 – John 12:1-8
Mary of Bethany (not Mary Magdalene) pours expensive ointment over Jesus’ feet and others criticize her. Have you ever done anything for the love of God for which you have received criticism or misunderstanding?
Easter Flowers & Music – at Easter our church is decorated beautifully, and our music is enhanced and supported by guest musicians. If you would like to make a donation for Easter flowers or guest musicians in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving for God’s blessings, please use the envelopes found in the pew. Include the names of the people being remembered or honored; they will appear in all the Easter bulletins. The deadline for names is April 8.
LENT & HOLY WEEK
Maundy Thursday Agapé Meal, April 18, 6:00 pm - Agapé is the Greek word for God’s love. 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, April 18, 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). This is a time for personal prayer and meditation and is also done behalf of our whole parish community. Even if you can’t come to the service, this prayer time is for you. Sign up for a half hour prayer time on the sheet in the Narthex.
Private Confession and Spiritual Conversation may be arranged by calling the Rector at 908-647-0067.
Spiritual Direction is also available with Sister Monica Clare or Sister Deborah Francis who worship with us. To speak with either of the Sisters, call the Convent of St. John Baptist: 973-543-4641.
ShopRite Cards– everyone needs groceries! You may purchase ShopRite cards as a gift or for yourself on Sundays during Coffee House or at the parish office. You pay face value and 5% goes to All Saints’ ministries. Purchase with check or cash. Please speak to Barbara Barbeau.
Save the Date: May 2 for Argyle Spring Fish ‘n Chips! More info coming soon. Speak to Jackie Sullivan to help out.
3/30 Narnia Discussion Parish Hall 11:15 am
Sunday Night Supper PH Lower Room 5:00 pm
4/3 Bible Study Rath House 10:15 am
4/4 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.
What Happens on a Retreat? The intention of a retreat is to take time away from our usual activities and responsibilities to spend time with God in prayer, to rest, to have time for reflection, and to listen to the Holy Spirit’s direction in whatever ways those nudges and prods come for you.
This past week twenty-nine priests and deacons from our diocese, along with our Bishop Carlye Hughes, gathered at Holy Cross Monastery (Episcopal) in West Park, NY, across the Hudson River and a little north from Poughkeepsie. We each had our own rooms, shared meals in the dining room, and were invited to worship with the Brothers. They follow a modern monastic schedule of praying together five times a day: Matins (Morning Prayer) at 7 am, Eucharist at 9 am, Diurnum (Noon Day Prayer) at 12 noon, Vespers (Evening Prayer) at 5 pm, and Compline (Night Prayer) at 8 pm. One particular treat at Holy Cross is their proximity to the culinary Institute of America; the monastery has a CIA-trained chef, so our meals were delicious!
We had four different reflections, led by Brother Robert, using the Great Vigil of Easter as the theme. That liturgy, held on Easter Eve, has four parts to it: 1) the Service of Light – lighting the New Fire and the Paschal Candle, the procession into the darkened Church, and the singing of the Exsultet; 2) the Service of the Word – readings from the Hebrew Scriptures, psalms or hymns, and collects tracing the story of our salvation; 3) the Service of Baptism or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows; 4) the Service of the Table/Celebration of the Eucharist. And we quickly realized that symbols of these four aspects of the Vigil correspond to the four elements of fire (New Fire, Paschal Candle), wind (the Word of God), water (Baptism), earth (Table/Altar, the bread and wine growing from the earth).
Brother Robert reminded us that the primary themes in the Easter Vigil of dying (Christ’s passion, suffering, Passover/Pascha) and rising (Christ’s passage to new life, our own passing from death to life and from sin to grace) are the very core of our faith and life as Christians. The symbols of Fire/Light, Word, Water, and Table/Altar, and the way they are woven together speak more profoundly to God’s truth of death and resurrection than any theory can. Brother Robert encouraged us to ponder the ways each of these symbols connect with our lives of faith and with our ministries. And these connections are not just for clergy, but for all Christians. We are all set on fire by the love of God and illuminated by the light of Christ; we all find our personal story in God’s large story of sin, grace, and salvation; we all have been washed in the waters of baptism, and drowned in the River Jordan, rising with Jesus; we all are fed with the Body and Blood of Christ at the table of the Lord. The Great Vigil of Easter holds together the complete pattern of our Christian life and discipleship.
And any good retreat will have time for reading, sleeping, walking outdoors, writing, and meditating – and there was sufficient time for all of that.
II am grateful to have had these few days. Holy Cross is a beautiful, restorative place. Take a look at their website: https://holycrossmonastery.com/ Visitors are always welcome.