Notes From Calvary


Liturgies this Sunday, November 11, 2018

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

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Dear Friends, 

This past Thursday evening I got together with the Transition Prayer Team to come up with a fitting prayer for the whole parish as we prepare to receive God’s chosen servant among us. It was a joyful meeting of sharing each other’s views on prayer and a humbling one to realize we come alongside God himself as we pray for the process of calling a new rector for Calvary. You have been waiting patiently through the many changes that have taken place these past few months. Change is good for the most part and it is indicative of life itself. As we mature in our Christian walk, we hope our vision will be broadened, and our desires perfected to hunger for things that are righteous and glorifying of our loving God. The changes and growth we hope to see in the community of Calvary church is an endeavor undertaken neither in our own strength nor the strength of one person who will come as the new rector. The new birth that we hope for is not the work of humankind. We cannot make the new birth happen, God alone makes it happen within us as we, in faith, surrender ourselves to Him and trust that He always wants the best for us. 

No doubt, there's an element of uncertainty, maybe even fear, at the prospect of a change. Fear that our beloved way of worship will change, fear that our circle will be broken, fear of relinquishing past loyalties, fear of becoming redundant, and many other fears that we cannot even name, but this is the nature of waiting for the oncoming new. Yet, this is also the God-given opportunity to exercise our faith in him. Be assured that God is always for us, and in the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Contrary to popular usage of applying the verse to individual lives, this promise from God was given to “the people” of Israel through the prophet. It was not meant to be embraced as an individual promise from God to Jeremiah removed from the context of community. I am very confident that the community of Calvary church will rise-up to the occasion of a new vision, a new way of being the Body of Christ, and a new way of being hospitable to growth in whatever way God calls you to be in the coming years. I want you to always remember that there is no such thing as a self-discovering Christian; the will and purpose of God for you is to be discerned and discovered in community. And toward this end, I urge you to work toward building a deeper sense of community at Calvary, each taking the initiative to encourage each other and pray faithfully to hear What God might be saying to us. 

In Christ, 

Ajung Sojwal

November 9, 2018

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

A Note From Our Junior Warden

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Church Cleaning Day Postponed!

Rain date: Saturday, November 17

Due to inclement weather, the fall cleaning of the Calvary campus is postponed to November 17th. 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. 

Apple cider, coffee, bagels and cream cheese will be provided!

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

See you HERE!


Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

Are you singing on Sundays? This is a question church musicians always ponder, especially when they begin new positions: Are the parishioners singing the hymns, the service music, the psalm? Seated at the organ, immersed in its majestic sound, and with a magnificent choir seated nearby, it’s quite difficult to gauge just how much the congregation is singing. My sense is that there is robust participation, particularly and understandably when one of the hymns on offer is a well-known old favorite, and one is comforted and transported by the hymn’s familiarity. That distinct experience of familiarity is of great value and lies at the very heart of that which makes the Christian hymn singing practice one of humanity’s great achievements.

But, that’s not all there is to the matter. Just like holy scripture, prayer, and homilies, hymns can challenge us in unexpected ways. We must remember that a hymn is first and foremost a poem. And because of that, hymns ought to be chosen mainly for the appropriateness of their text. Episcopal church musicians have an invaluable resource entitled The Episcopal Musician’s Handbook in which hymn suggestions are offered for each liturgical celebration of the church year according to the hymns’ alignment with prescribed scripture. If music were no concern, one could simply take five minutes and choose hymns from that list. Ah, were it only that simple.

Music matters! And therefore one must take careful consideration of the other half of the hymn’s identity, the notes. How many secular songs do you know? 100? 500? It’s more likely that the number is not as high as you’d expect, if it were possible to count them. The average hymnal has between 600 & 800 hymns in it and roughly the same number of distinct tunes. That’s a staggering amount, and no parishioner could be expected to know them all. The main question is; are you willing to engage with all that the hymnal has to offer? Are you open to all the poetry that glorious book presents? Are you open to all the music?

Well it’s tricky. There are hymns I avoid because of the poetry, and quite frankly, there are many tunes in the hymnal that I don’t care for, and I avoid them. Fortunately, most hymns (poems) have meter (you know, the little number chains beneath the hymn that tell you how many syllable there are and how they’re distributed within a stanza) so if one doesn’t like the given tune, one can chose another with the same meter—this practice was de rigueur for centuries until churches began printing music in their hymnals, a bad idea. And the reverse it also true, one might love a tune but not the words; so switch out the words with another poem that fits, et voilà.

I digress. My point is that one ought remain open to the potential joy an unknown hymn might bring. It takes time to learn new tunes, understandably. But, at Calvary we are blessed by such splendid choral singers who will lead us as we broaden our horizons and try to learn lesser-known hymns. I will tread lightly, I promise. But I pray that our hearts and minds remain open to the full breadth of our glorious Christian hymn tradition.

Please note that I use the word 'hymn', not 'song'. Is there a difference? Yes and no, but mostly yes. That’s another story for another time.


Matthew Provost

November 9, 2018

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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



Mark your calendars!

When: November 25th, 2018 after 10 am worship service

Where: Calvary Church Parish Hall

Who: All of us!

What: Coming together to make our Advent wreaths.

Team leader/organizer: Lucia T Johnstone

Please contact Lucia T Johnstone for further information on how to prepare for our wreath making event.

860.912.4144 (mobile)



Listening to God In Community

All are invited!

When: December 1st, 2018

Time: 2-4:30 pm Retreat

Healing Prayer Service: 5 pm

Retreat will be led by Ajung and Milind Sojwal

RSVP for Retreat and Healing Prayer Service: or 917.533.2959

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Also Featuring:


Presenting: Peter Kasamba 

A trained teacher specializing in fine arts, is a graduate of Makerere University, Uganda. Peter is Chairman for Teammates for Life, a free Lance artist, involved in painting, sculpture, architectural concept developing and book illustration. He is also founder and music trainer of the Anglican Youth Fellowship band; writing, recording and performing gospel music for the last 33 years. The AYF band visits the USA, UK, Israel and many countries across the African continent.Peter’s recent visit to Mystic, CT, inspired him to paint memorable locations he visited. 



Calvary Sunday Brunch Bunch

Anyone who is on their own or without family are invited to gather for lunch at Breakwater @ 11:45 on Sunday, November 18. 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.

Youth Group


Youth Group Upcoming Events!

There are several things happening all at once, and I hope the middle school and high school aged kids of Calvary can lend a hand!

  • On Friday November 16, we will meet up in the Parish Hall Kitchen from 5-7 PM to prepare a meal for the WARM shelter.

  • On Saturday November 17, beginning at 9AM the parish will work together to clean up the yard. Bring your work gloves and rakes!

  • On Sunday, November 18, the Thanksgiving turkey drive ends and the Taylors need a few hands to help deliver the frozen turkeys from Calvary to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center. 

The Youth Group is a new formation to offer kids more opportunities for service, fellowship, and christian education. All kids are invited to participate in whatever aspect of this group appeals to them. They are welcome at any time at any event! Please let me know if you will be able to help with any of the above projects.

Thank you!

Contact Brenda Hultgren for additional information,


Share Our Soups!


Frozen Assets serves soups and entrées to parishioners just when they need a savory sample of support. Containers with lids (labeled, just add a few details) are in the tall cupboard in the parish hall.

Please contact Peggy Vermilya

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. 

Three small groups met once a week for 6 weeks to study the fruit of the Spirit. We have stories to share of our journey together and we are now ready to explore more ways of deepening our spiritual formation in community. 

Please keep tuned to further events of the Ministry for Spiritual Formation.

Ministry Team

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



Refreshment Hour is a great Opportunity for Fellowship 

Thank you to all who signed up for the refreshment hour. There are still Sundays when you can volunteer 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

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 Evenings at 7 pm

Tuesday, Nov. 13:

Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and its Oscar-winning film adaptation both had a deep influence on American culture and racial perspectives. This pensive documentary studies the author's life and the controversy her work inspired.

Join us on November 13!

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 $6000 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 Neighborhood Center


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.

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.