Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! We are coming up to the Fourth Sunday of Easter, traditionally known as Good Shepherd Sunday, because the Scripture readings are focused on the theme of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
Our 10 am service this week is a Family Service – no Sunday School, but there will be Nursery Care. We will also commission Randy Gaulke as an ambassador of peace and understanding as he prepares to leave for six months in France as a tour guide on the World War I battlefields.
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Here are this week’s announcements. Please see especially:
- Spring Grounds Clean-up (Stewardship)
- Children’s Eucharistic Instruction (Christian Formation)
- Food Ministry drivers needed (Helping Hands)
- Discussion group on The Beatitudes (Christian Formation)
- Summer Service Camp (Christian Formation)
Spring Grounds Clean-Up – This Sunday, May 7. All Saints’ has scheduled a Spring Cleanup Day. It will begin after the services at 9:00 and 11:00. Sunday is a busy day, but all that is requested is one hour or one task. A list of the projects to be done has been developed. Some are easy and “clean” and some will require more effort. We’ll be raking under shrubs, pulling ivy off the Church and Parish House, pruning, clearing up brush, and getting the church grounds cleaned up for the spring and summer. If you see a need you can even do your own project to improve the appearance of the church grounds. Please bring your own leaf blower, weed whacker, loping shears, pole saw, rake, or any other appropriate tools. One hour or one task is all we ask. The more workers, the more we can accomplish. ***If you are not available on Sunday but would like to help, then pick your own project to be done at a convenient time. Questions? Contact Tom Day.
Evening Prayer this Monday – 6:00 pm in the Church – a good time to stop in on your way home from work and have a peaceful half hour with God and others.
Easter Season is filled with days of special focus as we continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and the renewal of creation. Looking ahead we have:
- Rogation Sunday, 5/21 – 10:00 am, when we bless the Church grounds and gardens.
- Ascension Day, 5/25 – Thursday, 7:30 pm; this year we’ll use music and prayers from a variety of African countries where the Anglican tradition has taken root.
- Pentecost, 6/4 – the giving of the Holy Spirit. We’ll hear the Gospel in a number of different languages, and renew our Baptismal Covenant.
FUN & FUNDRAISERS
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.
We are looking for “a few good men” to host Coffee Hour on Mother’s Day, May 14. If you can help out, please speak to John McGrath. Thanks.
Prayer & a Party! We need some good Party People to be part of a Parish Life Brainstorming Session for our parish social events. Please put you name on the sheet in the Narthex if you can be a part of this group, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
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.
Summer Service Camp, June 26-30, 9:00-11:30 am. For kids age 7 and older. We’ll learn about different ways of serving in our community – feeding people, tending a “giving garden”, caring for the environment. We’ll have lots of hands-on projects, including two field trips. Cost is $40. For more info, registration, and questions about younger children, pick up a flyer in the Narthex.
Starts Monday - Pilgrim, a Course for the Christian Journey: The Beatitudes. Monday nights at 7:00 pm in the Rath House, starting 5/8 and running for 6 weeks. This discussion group is a great way to learn about these central teachings of Jesus, and how we can put them into practice in our lives. You are welcome to drop-in when you can or come every week. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex to order a book - $10 each.
Bible Study – Wed, 10:15 am, in the Rath House. This week, 5/10, we are reading Esther, chapter 2. You are invited to join us! Use one of our Bibles or bring your own.
Crossroads, our diocesan camp & retreat center (Episcopal/Lutheran) in Port Murray, NJ, has programs for kids’ summer camp, family camp, and some year round retreats and programs. New brochures are in the Narthex. Take a look! http://crossroadsretreat.com/
Our Twelve Baskets Food Pantry needs volunteer drivers on a Tuesday or Thursday morning, about once a month, on an as-needed basis – preferably someone with an SUV or larger car who can take 200 lbs of non-perishable food. We need to pick up the food we order from the Community FoodBank of NJ in Hillside, and transport it back to All Saints’. From there, we sort the food and deliver it to the various places it’s needed, including the food pantry we support in Dover. If you can assist with this, or have questions, please speak to Barbara Barbeau. Thanks!
Make Sleeping Mats for Homeless Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 pm in the Parish Hall. 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 Questions? Speak to Susie Harris.
AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Congratulations to our Long Hill FORCE Robotics teams who competed in the VEX IQ World Championships! The competition included 272 elementary school teams and 308 middle school teams from more than 30 countries. The Elementary School team, ranked 25th in their division and 76th worldwide for the skills and programming challenge. The Middle School team ranked of 67th in their division 97th worldwide for skills and programming. Last summer the team met here at All Saints’ to work on their skills and projects. Last month some of the students held a classical music concert in the church to raise funds for their travel to the competition.
The highlight of the event was the recognition bestowed upon Long Hill Coach Ilija Hadzic who received the VEX Mentor of the Year Award during the Opening Ceremonies. All Saints’ is glad to be able to support these students of our community!
DIOCESE OF NEWARK….AND BEYOND
Prayer for the Bishop’s Search - Gracious God, we, your people in the Diocese of Newark, give you thanks and praise for your work among us and through us, generation to generation. Lead us in the months ahead as we prayerfully search for our next Bishop. Raise up for us a steadfast steward who will embrace our broad and blessed diversity and uphold the apostolic heritage of your Church. Guide us to a faithful witness who speaks the Gospel truth in love and joy, and intimately knows your Word and world. Direct us, your disciples, in our discernment so our faith may increase and our works glorify your Name. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
5/8 Evening Prayer Church, 6:00 pm
5/8 Pilgrim Group Rath House, 7:00 pm
5/9 Finance Committee Rath House, 7:30 pm
5/10 Bible Study Rath House, 10:15 am
Plarn Sleeping Mats Parish House, 7:30 pm
5/11 Holy Eucharist Church, 7:00 am
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 III (aka Mystagogical Catechesis) – It is sometimes said that the celebration of the Eucharist follows a four-fold pattern: taking, blessing, breaking, and giving. The priest takes the bread and wine offered by the congregation; blesses the elements in the words of the Eucharistic prayer, and by the power of the Holy Spirit; breaks the bread and pours out the wine; and then gives the Body and Blood of Christ to the People.
This four-fold pattern doesn’t just provide a map to the actions of the priest and congregation. It also describes the symbolic meaning of Jesus’ work on our behalf. It also shapes our efforts in service to the world in Jesus’ Name. God takes those things we offer – bread and wine, financial resources, our prayer, our strength, our time and attention; “ourselves, our souls, and bodies.” God accepts our offerings, however meager they may seem to us, however grudgingly we give them. All of this gets focused in the offering at the altar. And then God blesses the gifts we have given for use in his name and on his behalf. God accepts that which we offer, and calls it good, and then uses our gifts in ways that we might not be able to envisage or imagine – but always for the blessing of the world God has made, and the people who inhabit it.
While the priest outwardly breaks the bread (the large Host, or a whole loaf) the self-sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is made present to us. Time and space and dimension melt away, and we know that Christ’s earthly life and body was broken for us. And yet, if the Bread is not broken, the People cannot be fed. And continuing that image, it is when we become vulnerable and aware of our own brokenness that we are most open to God, and most available to have the Light of Christ shine through us. Finally, the Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation are given, distributed, shared, among those who belong to the Body of Christ, the fellowship of believers, those who belong to the company of the baptized. We are given our daily bread; God sustains our life each day. And then we are called to give to others in ways large and small, as the Holy Spirit leads us.
All of this is embodied in each celebration of the Eucharistic, and every time one receives Communion. Our participation becomes not only a connection to Christ, a comfort and support, but also a formation in the pattern of Christ-like living: taking, blessing, breaking, giving. ~ VGM+
Here is a link to a new setting of the hymn text, “The King of love, my shepherd is.” The hymn (with different music) is in our Hymnal #345: https://youtu.be/Au3otElq6D4