Notes From Calvary


Liturgies this Sunday, October 14, 2018

Spoken Holy Eucharist, Rite I, at 8 AM
Holy Eucharist, Rite II,  at 10 AM

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Dear Friends, 

“For God all things are possible.”

This verse from the gospel of Mark was etched on the silver bracelet my friend gifted me. I have seen it on other pieces of Jewelry, on coffee mugs, posters and on many other things. This verse is invoked by many when faced with difficulties in life, and I believe, indeed, all things are possible with God. However, the context in which this was said by Jesus to the disciples tells me that God’s ability to do the impossible in this verse is not so much about making things happen for us, but rather it is to do with the change of a human heart toward God.

This Sunday’s gospel lesson tells us the story of a wealthy man asking Jesus what he must do to earn eternal life. The man is told by Jesus that he should sell everything he owns and give the money to the poor, at which point, we are told, the man went away very sad because he knew he could not do as Jesus told him. Jesus comments to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples are astounded at such a statement and they question Jesus how anyone can make it into the Kingdom of God. The disciples’ question came from a prevalent understanding that wealth is a clear sign of a person proved more worthy before God. 

Jesus answers the disciples, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Jesus is talking about God’s ability to change our relationship to money and possessions. He is not passing a judgment against the man or his wealth; instead, he is pointing to how wealth can become the dictating factor in our lives—the all-consuming project in life that becomes an end in and of itself. Jesus is more clear elsewhere about how wealth can become the object of our deepest devotion and worship, “You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matt.6:24). 

It is a lifelong journey with God to develop healthy relationships, including our relationship to money and possessions. We are reminded this week that God knows how difficult it is for us to loosen our grip on the things that we feel entitled to, but there is hope for us all as Jesus says, “For God all things are possible.” 

In Christ,
Ajung Sojwal
October 12, 2018

We look forward to seeing you here at Calvary on Sunday!  Abundant blessings & best wishes.

A Note From Our Junior Warden

Update on Lead Remediation for Chapel

I wanted to provide an update on where we are on the lead remediation efforts in the Chapel. All the interior remediation has been addressed.  Special thanks go to Howard Park and David Barbone who both performed the necessary repairs. Ledge light has reviewed our work and is satisfied the problem has been addressed.  Ledge Light is preparing a final report.  This is a big hurdle and necessary to make our Chapel safe for our children and the children of Calvary Nursery School.

There still remains the exterior work which will be a much larger undertaking. We are presently reviewing our options but don’t expect any work until next summer when the school is out again. You will notice some minor, temporary, repairs around the doorway.  This is intended to remove the immediate concern of chipping paint.   All should be careful not to allow any child to pick up any paint chips they may find around the building.  We will do everything to stay on top on this.

John Phelps
Junior Warden

Church Cleaning Day!

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All are invited on Saturday Oct 27th to help with the fall cleaning of the Calvary campus. The clean-up will be from 9:00 – 12:00 Saturday morning. Bring your rakes, gloves, hedge trimmers, etc. We don’t expect there to be too much so one morning should do it. This helps prepare our campus for winter and to keep our backyard clear for our church and nursery school children. Please join us and generate more fellowship amongst ourselves and the Calvary Nursery parents. Anyone with a truck to haul away debris is most welcomed. 

Any questions please call John Phelps at 860-514-9386

See you HERE!

"Be still and know that I am God!"

Psalm 46:10

A great offering for our community is here!

Curious? Would like to try? Love contemplative spiritual practices? 

Come to church 15 minutes early and join Alice Despard for a brief centering session with bells, simple chants, and a few minutes of silent meditation. During the month of October, Alice will be "holding a space” for a 10-minute contemplative practice in the parish hall from 9:45-9:55 am just before the service to help us move inwardly closer to God’s Presence and perhaps deepen our experience of Sunday morning worship in church. 

Drop in any October Sunday at 9:45 am 

and try out this bite-size contemplative practice!


Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

This week the last of my workweek puzzle pieces fell into place in that I have finally (whew!) set the start date for our handbell choir to resume regular rehearsals. We will work each week on Thursday mornings at 11. The ringers have been VERY patient as we all settle in to a new working rhythm. I look forward to all we'll ring together. Ring Out, Wild Bells!

Thank you to those of you who attended last Monday's Installation Service for officers of the New London CT Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. I was especially honored to be installed as dean in our church, my new church home. More than that, I was so grateful to our amazing Trebles who sang a stunning rendition of Stanford's 6th Bible Song. My colleagues were MOST impressed, as they should be, by our remarkably gifted children. We also had in attendance our Co-Senior Warden, Betsy Carr, who gave a lovely welcome address, AND our national AGO representative, Leslie Smith from Stamford to fill out the dais of dignitaries!

THIS Sunday, October 14 at 4 p.m. I will perform a benefit organ recital for the Connecticut Early Music Festival. I've selected masterpieces from Germany, Italy, Spain, and France that showcase the magnificent and varied colors of our pipe organ. I am SO happy that we at Calvary can partner with such a fine organization that works so hard to bring great music and culture to our area. CTEM Artistic Director, Ian Watson will provide verbal program notes, making the whole experience not only a feast for the ears, but for the intellect as well. It is my sincere hope that you will embrace this opportunity to support our friends at CTEM.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $75 and include a reception at Stonington Yacht Club. Please call to order your tickets asap, as seating is limited: 860-536-2726. For more info, visit the CTEM website

Matthew Provost
October 12, 2018

The Annual Calvary Frozen Turkey Drive

will be held on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018


Bring your frozen turkey to either the 8 am or 10 am service to be blessed before delivery to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center. Last year, Calvary parishioners donated 65 turkeys, just think of how many hungry people in our town that feeds! You can also drop monetary donations in the church office or in the offering plate on Sundays, just be sure to mark them for the Frozen Turkey Drive.

If you have any questions, please contact Lori or Jim Taylor at 

(860) 599-1715 or

Youth Group


Youth Group Service Project

The Calvary youth group plans to attend the church clean up and raking this Saturday, October 27 (or rain date: November 17). In addition, we will be cooking a meal for the WARM shelter on November 16 from 5-7 pm in the church kitchen. We have planned the menu and signed up for the date, Nov.21 to deliver the meal. 

All middle and high schoolers are invited to join us.

Contact Brenda Hultgren for additional information,

Calvary Church Ministry
of Spiritual Formation

Discovering a closer relationship with God

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

asks Mary Oliver... 

She is a past poet laureate who challenges us to be curious, to understand our purpose and to explore ideas that sometimes scare us a little. You are invited to join us in a year of spiritual exploration that we hope will lead us to a more intimate understanding of God. 

Our challenge as we start this ministry, is to understand the gifts of the spirit given for each of us to claim. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Check out Galations 5:22-23. The book we will read is “Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit” by Christopher J.H. Wright. It is not a book of “should”, but a book about barriers we hold up to fully realizing our potential and live by the indwelling Christ.

There will be 3 small groups who will meet once a week for the next 6 weeks. The group format is not about teaching “how to” but it is about sharing stories and hopes and barriers to fulfilling the promise of the fruits. 

We hope every one reads the book. They can be ordered on Amazon, Savoy or Bank Square Books. There will also be some available in the church office on September 18, 2018.

If you would like to join a small group please contact:

  • Tuesdays beginning September 25, 201 at 6:30 PM at the home of Julie and Steven Schaub, 234 River Road, Pawcatuck CT. Julie and Juliet Hodge will facilitate the group. RSVP Juliet at 860-235-5644 or

  • Wednesdays beginning September 26, 2018 at 5 PM in the Sacristry. Carole Barnard will facilitate the group. RSVP Carole Barnard at 860-9480 or

  • Thursdays beginning September 27, 2018 at 9 AM at the home of Karen McGee, 22 Diving Street in the Boro. RSVP Karen or 513-919-1542.

Ministry Team

Carole Barnard, Juliet Hodge, Julie Dowd Straub, Louise and Bill Hoffman, Bob Martin, Karen McGee and led by Rev. Ajung Sojwal.

Calvary Sunday Brunch Bunch is Back!


Calvary Sunday Brunch returning.

On Sunday, Oct. 14 anyone who is on their own or with out family are invited to gather for lunch at Breakwater @ 11:45 . No reservations necessary. Good food, good company and good conversation. This is being sponsored by the Prayer and Care Team.

Please contact Barbara Loftus @ or 
860.599.5732 for more details.
All are welcome.

Calvary Film Festival


As part of this year's Adult Christian Education program, Calvary Church is pleased to offer the following film, to be shown in the Parish Hall, free of charge.

This season's series of dramatic feature films and documentaries will explore many of the challenges facing society today: immigration, income inequality, and the inspiring true stories of powerful and courageous women who stood up to political and gender-based oppression.Group discussion will follow each showing. 

Tuesday Evening, October 16 at 7 pm.

Coming next week – Dolores. In the early 1960s, Dolores Huerta cofounded the first farm workers' union in America, yet after Cesar Chavez's death, she was forced out of the union's all-male leadership. This documentary charts her fight for workers' rights and gender equality.

Join us on October 16!


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Did you know that Tom Verde (see article about Calvary Film Festival) recently won an award from the Religion News Association?


The story was one of a package Tom submitted in the "News Analysis" category. The stories ran in the New York Times, Politico, and the Religion News Service. Here are the links:




And the Judge's Comments:

How old was Joseph? And why does it matter? The writer takes an offhand comment from a Roy Moore supporter about how Joseph was older than Mary and turns it into a riveting story about why Joseph's age has been a flashpoint throughout history and what it means for Christianity. The writer also takes on one of the most fraught issues of our times: whether guns should be allowed in places of worship and uses scripture to pointedly frame the debate.

Last Things

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The second printing of "Last Things" is available now in the church office. 

The booklet is a guide to help individuals and families exchange honest conversations about end of life desires and needs. It is both practical and spiritual. It is our hope that you will complete the pages at the end and share the information with your family, place a copy with your will and share with your church leaders. The booklet was written for Calvary Church members. If you have any suggestions or additions for the next printing please let us know. In the fall there will be a discussion of "Last Things".  It will be held after church in the Parish Hall. The booklet is in the church office, and we ask for a donation of $10 for the booklet to help defray expenses. 

Thank You


Thank you to all who have "joined the mission" to preserve the Stained Glasses of Calvary for posterity by purchasing the book Meditations on the Stained Glasses of Calvary. 

Jim and I report to the congregation that the amount of $5,237.73 has been donated to date to the window fund from the purchases of the book and associated donations. As already reported, one hundred percent of the proceeds from the book sale go to the church if bought through us - we absorb the state sales taxes. The church requested checks for the purchase of the book be made to Bette M. Collins to simplify its accounting. Accordingly, Jim and I set up a business account in the State of CT. Our donation tax advantages will also be calculated and donated to Calvary for the window fund. So thank you all. Bette MacGregor Collins, Author, Meditations on the Stained Glasses of Calvary.



Pawcatuck Neighbor Center's Food Pantry Update

The Food Pantry is currently in need of pineapple, soups (chicken, beef, and vegetable), jelly, Spam, clam chowder, pasta noodles, and spaghetti sauce in cans. 

Their Daily Living closet is always in need of dish soap and laundry detergent. Items can be brought to the PNC. They are always available to stop by and pick up food as well. 

Thank you so much for your constant support!!

Kind regards,
Susan Sedensky, Executive Director.

Blankets for the Homeless


Just a reminder:
We still collect blankets even during the summer!


Blankets continue to be needed by the Center, and we've had more donations. When sleeping outside, blankets are always a priceless gift no matter what the thermometer says. So far, we've received 46 blankets so keep us in mind as you clean closets, basements, and attics! Drop your donations in the back of the church or at the church office any time. If you have questions, just contact Phyllis in the office at 860-535-1181 or at Thank you for helping to keep someone more comfortable in the name of Christ.

Refreshment Hour


Refreshment Hour is a great Opportunity for Fellowship 

We are looking for volunteers to host this gathering.  All that is required is set-up, some snacks, coffee and tea. A sign-up sheet and take home instructions are located on the kitchen door in the Parish Hall or contact Evelynn Lyons at 860-535-3286 or at

Sunday Service from a Distance

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If you are unable to be physically present at worship:

You can listen to our second Sunday service from a distance. Here are directions: Participants should dial 1-857-957-1130 (toll free). Following the voice prompt, enter the access code of 215 866 948#.

Did You Know?

Calvary directories are published quarterly. 

There are copies available in the back of the church and in the office. As you leave church, take a look and if you notice a new color (new yellow copies are in the back of the church), please help yourself. It's helpful to be able to contact friends with phone numbers and email addresses when needed.   

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Whoever you are, from wherever you have come,
you are welcome here.