Notes From Calvary


Liturgies this Sunday, November 18, 2018

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

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Dear Friends, 

The Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians begins with gratitude for the people and church in Corinth. He says, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind.” (1 Cor. 1:4-5). To feel gratitude is a good thing and we tell ourselves to be grateful always, but for gratitude to become transformative, it needs to be expressed. 

For a long time, I felt a bit of discomfort when people thanked me for something or the other. I felt it was undeserved and that it focuses too much attention on me. However, it dawned on me at some point that my inability to embrace the gratitude of others toward me was more a reflection on my inability to be grateful in every situation and to all people. Gratitude, I believe, is fundamentally linked to humility. Gratitude is the antidote to our innate selfishness, and I don’t mean thanking people as in, it is just good manners to say, “thank you” and “please.” Gratitude is more than good manners, it is not taking anyone and anything for granted. Gratitude is releasing ourselves from the corrosive gunk of entitlement. It is coming to understand that everything is absolute grace from God. It is about being transformed into what scripture says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3). 

There is a story on TED talk that tells of a community in California that changed dramatically when a couple of people took on a community project to make possible for everyone to express thank you to each other. They picked one person in the community each day to send a thank you card to. And, they provided free thank you cards in their shop for anyone to pick up so to find someone each day in the community to thank for something specific. They found that people became happier, people began engaging in the community more, people became more generous with everything and the list goes on. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving celebrations, let’s create a great opportunity for the Holy Spirit to move in a new way in our community—in the coming days and months let’s take the time to pick people in our community of Calvary to thank for something specific. There are many people who make things happen in our church community, which we cannot do or have not done but are being done that makes it a joyful place to come and worship. Be it things around the altar, the music, the campus, answering phones, sitting, discussing and planning at meetings to take care of things, or it could be that friendly hug you received when you were feeling lousy, maybe someone’s reading of the scripture touched you in a special way one Sunday. When we take an inventory of the people to be thankful for and all that they do and express to them how they have touched our lives, I know we will be changed with gratitude as it is meant to change us.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

In Christ, 

Ajung Sojwal

November 16, 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 & Brother at Calvary Church,This week much work went into steering the Calvary Music School in a new direction. The CMS Board’s aim is to align the school’s mission more closely with that of Calvary Church. For centuries the Christian Church has been a beacon and catalyst in the creation of great art. Think of the great painters and composers of the Renaissance, for example; all patronized by the Church. And many of humanity’s great artist were educated and formed by church institutions. So, it is fitting that a church should be home to a school of music. It is my hope that with the ongoing support of our church and civic communities, CMS can continue to offer excellent instruction while reimagining ways in which that engagement can be woven more tightly into parish life.

In service to that goal, the CMS Board is putting forward a business model that includes the following:

Mission Statement - Through superlative professional instruction in music, Calvary Music School strives to nurture individuals and communities alike as an outreach of Calvary Church, Episcopal.

Faculty - Our exceptional faculty hold degrees from North American and European music schools and conservatories including: Bremen University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Hartt School of MusicManhattan School of Music, McGill University, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, andYale School of Music. Many have performed across the United States and internationally. In addition to teaching, our faculty perform locally in a variety of classical, jazz, and pop ensembles including the United States Coast Guard Band and the New Haven and Eastern Connecticut symphony orchestras.

Musical Styles - While we teach all kinds of music, sacred music lies at the core of our outreach mission, with, to name but a few: voice lessons intended ideally to support, among others, the Calvary Adult & Treble choirs; piano lessons; and organ lessons on our magnificent Richards, Fowkes & Co. pipe organ.

Soon there will be more news to share about the music school. For now, it is my hope that this time of transition can be seen as an invaluable opportunity to revisit and revise past approaches while reviving the energy that made the school possible in the first place.

Stay tuned!

Matthew Provost

November 16, 2018

P. S. PLEASE, plan to attend our yearly Stonington Ecumenical Thanksgiving Worship on Sunday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. at United Church. There will be MUCH delightful music from our combined choirs!

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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!

November 25, 2018

Advent Wreath Making after the 10 a.m. 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.


or call 860.912.4144 (mobile).

December 1st, 2018

Advent Retreat Listening to God in Community from 2-4:30 p.m.

  Retreat will be led by Ajung & Milind Sojwal.

Advent Healing Service 5 pm

RSVP for retreat and Healing Prayer Service: or

call 917 533-2959

December 8th, 2018

The Stonington Madrigal Singers.

Carols from the Old and New Worlds,  7 p.m.

December 9th, 2018

Church Christmas Tree Decorating following the 10 a.m. service Church School children and church family event

December 16th, 2018

 Christmas Pageant at the 10 a.m. service

December 24th, 2018

 Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion

5 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.

December 25th, 2018

Christmas Day Eucharist at 9 a.m.



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



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,


Frozen Asset Warm Body and Soul!

Thanks to the many prompt and generous responses, the Frozen Asset Ministry now enjoys a rich variety of soups and entrees to share with parishioners. In the Parish Hall Cupboard, pre-labeled containers have also been resupplied. Three cheers to our Calvary Cooks, and to those who receive their heart-warming contributions all best wishes for heath of body and spirit.

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


A trip to Hartford for the 

Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival 

Asylum Hill Congregational Church

A medieval celebration of Epiphany through music, dancing, pageantry and live animals. The event recalls the Christmas entertainment provided by the Lord Mayor of London, where these festivities originated in the late 15th century and continue to this day. 

Matinee Performance, 3:30-5:00 pm

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Transportation (minibus) departs Calvary at 1:45 p.m.

Cost: $75

Fee covers price of admission plus transportation, and is NON-refundable

Space is limited, so please book soon!

RSVP by November 30, 2018 to Tom Verde at writah@gmail.comor call 860-599-4570

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

This Tuesday: November 20Rabbit-Proof Fence: Australia’s aboriginal integration program of the 1930s broke countless hearts, among them, those of young Molly, Gracie, and Daisy who were torn from their families and placed in an abusive orphanage. Without food or water, the girls resolve to make the 1,500-mile trek home. Meanwhile, a well-intentioned tracker is trying to return the girls to the authorities.

Join us on November 20!

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.