Newsletter: October/November 2020
"We Are Made to Love."
Anyone driving around these days will notice hearts displayed in windows, on doors and yard signs, all expressing gratitude to those whose work and service makes them more vulnerable to infection from corona virus. This group includes hospital staff, but also bus drivers, teachers and minimum waged store workers, dish washers and farm workers. We are learning that what we call "necessary workers" were not always thought to be necessary. While we have learned that no one is immune from infection, I am sure that those at greater risk would prefer the sign of everyone wearing a mask and keeping social distance added to the many hearts. I think a mask shows more awareness, respect and gratitude. It is amazing how behavior in the midst of a deadly pandemic is, for many, determined by politics. Health issues have become absorbed into today's highly charged political atmosphere.
Into this charged atmosphere comes an important but little acknowledged challenge from Pope Francis. "Fratelli Tutti", ("All brothers") is Francis' third Encyclical. An Encyclical is a letter addressed to all the bishops of the Roamn Catholic Church for instruction of the faithful. However, Francis offers these words as a "Social Encyclical'' addressed to the human family - "Fratelli Tutti".
In our day Francis' intention would have been better expresses if he had included "sisters" in the title, but Francis opted to borrow the title from Francis of Assisi, who, 800 years ago, used those words to address "his brothers and sisters and propose to them a way of life marked by the flavor of the Gospel". Pope Francis' hope is to promote a universal aspiration toward community and friendship. The plague of Covid-19 has demonstrated that "no one can face life in isolation", and the time has come to "dream, then, as a single human family" in which we are "brothers and sisters all".
We are reminded in this "age of so many distortions" that we are called to be the Good Samaritan. You remember that Jesus tells the story when asked "who is my neighbor?" The answer: Everyone who is in need. Francis says we " were made to love", and love is how the stature of a person is measured.
Those of us in this nation of immigrants can find strong words that challenge us about how we now treat immigrants. This struck me, personally, when I was reading the origins of the Know Nothing Party in this country. This political party grew as a reaction to Irish and German immigrants of the 1850's. Daniel McCormick and Mary Farrel, my great, great, great, great grandparents were part of that "unwashed, ignorant, papist army invading American" that inspired the Know Nothings to rise up to Keep America Great.
Issues such as human trafficking, abuse of women and hunger receive attention in the Encyclical. The Pope also condemns the death penalty and war. We live in an age where we must say no to war because war now has the power to destroy civilization. The enormous resources spent on weapons should be used in a worldwide plan to end hunger, to nurture life rather than threaten it.
Dialogue and friendship, freedom and kindness are values human beings can and must live by. In this Encyclical, Pope Francis tells us we are at a point when we must.
I must say I did not find anything new in these words of Pope Francis. However, they do sound unusual in this day. "Preach the word in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience", St. Paul advises Timothy (2 Timothy 4:2). Pope Francic has done that.
For All the Saints Who From Their Labors Rest
But also for those who think they have had enough rest these eight months of lockdown and quarantine. It is time to celebrate. Sunday, November 1st is the feast of All Saints' and as members of All Saints' it's time to hear and even see one another for a few minutes. For many weeks a group of members have been gathering virtually to celebrate Morning Prayer and chat a bit. We meet via ZOOM which can be accessed either through computer or by phone. Directions are below. We will celebrate Morning Prayer, so have your Book of Common Prayer ready. Afterwards, we will have some time to chat. Please plan to join the "other Saints" as we make our way through these challenging times.
How to Zoom:
By computer: go to www.zoom.us Click "Join a Meeting" and then enter ID 715 7763 1281
By Phone: Dial in 1 929 205 6099 When prompted dial 715-7763 1281 #
REMEMBER to set your clock back one hour as Daylight Savings Time ends November 1st. Enjoy an extra hour's sleep before our gathering.
Thanks to all of you who have continued to financially support All Saints'. Many Pledges continue to come in and , all things considered, the budget is in reasonably good shape. This in spite of the fact that our Tea and Silent Auction have been canceled. Your generosity and commitment are wonderful gifts.
If you are in the area, stop by and see the new siding on the north side of Church. We have been following a plan to replace one side every few years, since the product we use and the work are costly. Happy to say we have finished all sides. It looks beautiful.
Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may seek
not so much to be consoled, as to console,
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Happy Birthday wishes for October and November
Michele King - October 21st
Rev. Bruce Shipman - November 8th
Rosemary McDermott - November 23rd
Happy Anniversary wishes for October and November
Laurie and Ken Burke - October 29th
Charlene and Curtis Johnson - November 20th
Morning Prayer via Zoom
On Sundays until further notice,, All Saints Church will gather for a Morning Prayer service via Zoom at 10:00 a.m.
If you are interested in joining our regular Sunday on-line meetings, please email us at Ivorytonallsaints@gmail.com and request Sunday Morning Prayer login information.
Shoreline Soup Kitchen is in Need of Contributions
Many of our neighbors are in need of food in this crisis. Our local Soup Kitchens are in need of contributions to respond to this need.
If you wish to send a contribution, please send a check to the following address. In the "Memo: write All Saints' food drive.
Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries
P.O. Box 804
Essex, CT 06426
Letter from the Vicar
Dear Parishioners and Friends of All Saints',
At the current time, estimates for when we will resume meeting for Holy Eucharist are most uncertain. We are closed to protect each other. It is a gift we give one another. Please keep our commitment to join each other in Prayer each Sunday at 10. We will continue to post the readings and the sermon each week until we can meet at the church again. Please consider taking the time to call one another frequently.
Blue Bag Sunday
Blue Bag Sunday is suspended until regular church services resume. Information for how to donate directly to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen is located above.
Under normal circumstances, the third Sunday of the month is the official collection day at All Saints' Church, for donations to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen. Blue bags are located in the Parish Room, where non-parishable food items are collected. Even if you do not remember to get a bag, food and monetary donations are gladly accepted in any bag, on any day the church is open.
Care Packages for the New Horizons Women's Shelter
All Saints' Episcopal Church collects items for the New Horizons Women's Shelters of Clinton and Middletown. The organization is looking for donations of umbrellas, body washes, slippers, kitchen trash bags, aluminum foils, saran wraps, zip lock bags (all sizes), canned soups (that kids like), canned tunas, juice boxes, cereals, boxed mac & cheeses, snacks for kids lunches and toiletries. These items can be placed in the box labelled New Horizons in the Parish Room.
There is a box on top of the file cabinet in the Parish Room for empty ink cartridges. The donated cartridges are taken to Staples and the Church receives $2.00 for each cartridge and this money is used to purchase supplies.