Notes From Calvary


Liturgies this Sunday, November 25, 2018

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

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Dear Friends, 

Christ the King Sunday is here!

On this feast day, we celebrate the full authority of Christ as King and Lord of the universe. Officially called The Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, it is celebrated on the final Sunday of Ordinary Time. 

Pope Pius XI instituted The Feast of Christ the King in 1925, to be celebrated throughout the universal church. This Feast came about at a time when the Church felt that the authority of Christ was increasingly being threatened by the rise of secularism in Europe. The hope of Pope Pius was that the institution of the feast would help nations see the Church’s right to freedom and immunity from the state; that the leaders and nations would give respect to Christ; and that the faithful would be strengthened and find courage to claim that Christ should reign in their hearts, minds, wills and bodies. 

Today, the same mistrust of religious authority exists; many feel the mistrust has gotten stronger. I personally feel that it is not a bad thing to mistrust and question religious authority. My faith and belief in Christ is hopefully not about “religion” or representing an institution, instead I would like to see it as a relationship with Christ, the one whose humility and service is beautifully proclaimed in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. I want to be reminded this Feast day that Jesus willingly, “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and become obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:7,8). Jesus was clear in saying, “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).

God knows, more than we can ever fathom, the oppressive nature of human kings or rulers. And, contrary to how secular reign is perceived and executed, Jesus connected his role as king or Christ (anointed one) to humble service, and commanded his followers to be servants as well. Scripture also tells us that the work of the Christ is inherently tied to his suffering and death. Jesus’ teachings point to a kingdom of justice defined by radical love, mercy, peace, and forgiveness. When we celebrate Christ as King, we are not celebrating an oppressive ruler, but one willing to die for humanity, whose “loving-kindness endures forever.” Christ the king gives us true freedom to be ourselves, free to approach him without pre-requisites, to worship and seek God from the true depths of our souls. In Christ alone are we all seen as worthy, for Christ died and rose for us while we were still sinners. 

Let us remember this Sunday that Christ radically redefined and transformed the concept of kingship.

In Christ, 

Ajung Sojwal
November 23, 2018

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

A Note From Our Junior Warden


Thanks to all who showed up on Saturday November 17th for the Calvary Fall Clean Up day.  We had upwards of 30 volunteers show up for what ended up being a very successful day.  Special thanks goes out to the Calvary Nursery School parents and children who participated and were a huge help.  We were able to knock off everything on Alice’s List and then some. 

It was a great day of sharing and stewardship and showed that Calvary is strong with volunteerism.  





Covenant to Care Christmas Presents

Calvary church will be providing Christmas gifts to needy children again this year. Norma Chandonnait will head up the project; she will be in the courtyard (weather permitting) or in the Parish Hall on Sunday November 25, December 2 and 9, following both the 8 am and the 10 am services with wish list from the children. You may take an entire list, share a list or donate money (checks payable to Calvary Church with memo: “Covenant to care”). 

Gifts should be purchased and delivered to Norma at 925 Stonington Road, Pawcatuck, CT or Calvary Church office no later than December 14.

If you need items picked up, please call Norma at 860-599-2931.



Dear Sisters & Brother at Calvary Church,

What to sing . . . hmmm . . .

This Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical year. The new year will begin next week with the first Sunday of Advent, the music for which usually reflects appropriately the introspection of our four weeks of preparation. So, it is fitting that on the last Sunday of the year we celebrate Christ the King with pomp and splendor. Our hymns this week honor Christ with coronation (Diademata) and elevation (Crucifer). Our three anthems sing God’s praise (Psalm 150) and express our deeply felt thanks for all God has provided (M. How & J. Rutter), they might even be interpreted as an oblique reflection of the Thanksgiving holiday we’ve all just enjoyed.

Two weeks ago, I wrote a bit about hymnody and our need to expand our collective repertoire. Lengthy debate about the difference between a hymn and a spiritual song is futile because the lines are too blurry and distinctions not helpful. Allow me to leave you with two factors to consider when pondering hymns:

1) Does the hymn by its nature facilitate and encourage communal, active singing? Hymns with metered poetry, in which each verse fits nicely against the tune ease and accommodate togetherness as we sing. We can be on the same page more easily when the tune is clear and the words fit snugly. The antithesis is the suppression of participation by way of verse writing that requires a different text underlay and melodic rhythm for each verse. Such hymns are easy to spot when we see them. Their printing looks like an engineering schematic, replete with tiny notes and rhythms interspersed between larger ones, and jagged text underlay such that the eye can not readily scan. How are parishioners meant to unravel all of that intricate and confusing notation? Such barriers should be anathema, but in the pursuit of marrying the sacred song with so-called popular styles, some hymn writers have grown comfortable with the practice of stuffing poorly crafted poetry into the space occupied by a catchy tune. So, ease of hymn singing is not enhanced by adopting popular fashions in an attempt to make hymns more accessible; rather, the tried and true, centuries-old practice of metered poetry and tunes has stood the test of time for a reason. It works.

2) Church is a special place, a place not like the outside world, an escape from the cares and concerns of daily life. Does a hymn feel like it belongs in that special place, or is it better suited to the outside world? This is a very thorny  topic, admittedly. But I maintain that the best church hymns serve as a vehicle, a catalyst for us to attempt an approach to the otherworldly, not the worldly, the divine rather than the profane. Whether we speak of the hymns in the Gregorian chant tradition, the metered psalmody and hymnody of the Protestant Reformation, the great Lutheran chorales, or the soaring 19th& 20th-century British hymns of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, we are speaking of music that is little or not at all represented by profane analogies outside of church. And yes, there are examples of profane melodies used as hymn tunes, but that fact doesn’t diminish the intention of hymnodists to cultivate a practice for, of, and uniquely crafted to suit that sacred space and experience. When we sing hymns at home or even gathered in a field, we are aiming as a community to bring the sacred to that place, not vice versa. If we bring too much of the worldly style into sacred hymnody, we stand to lose that which makes church and worship special in the first place, the otherworldliness.

It is crucial to note that we are discussing here communal church singing. The conversation of appropriateness takes an entirely different course when we talk of non-communal sacred singing: choir anthems, solo arias, and even contemporary praise songs which are mostly sung at congregations. Any style of music has potential to serve the worship experience as a means, per se, of sacred expression. But with hymnody we are dealing with a practice meant to be shared and executed by all; an active form of worship diametrically opposed to the passive appreciation of concerted music.


Matthew Provost

November 23, 2018

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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, December 9. 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 Update!

The Youth Group gathered this week to work together to prepare a meal for the Warm Center. Not only did they experience the satisfaction of helping others they also got to share fellowship and fun learning to cook as a group. 

Special thank to Beth Harrison, our Youth Group Leader, for spearheading our first Outreach and sending them all home with all their fingers intact!

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

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: Amazing Grace. Based on actual events, this historical drama tells the story of William Wilberforce, an 18th-century English politician who launched an aggressive campaign to abolish British slavery, despite staunch opposition. 

Join us on November 27!

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.