Notes From Calvary

 

Liturgies this Sunday, December 9, 2018

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

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Dear Friends, 

As we enter into the second week in Advent, we will spend our next two Sundays chewing on what John the Baptist proclaims as the preparation for God’s Messiah to come. Apart from Jesus, John the Baptist is probably the most theologically significant person in the gospels. Like Jesus, his birth was foretold through a divine proclamation. There is no doubt that John is a key figure in the salvation history of God. John is the one called by God to prepares the way for the coming Messiah. In many ways, his message and ministry marked the coming together of the law and the prophets and it also heralded the in-breaking of God’s long awaited Kingdom. John’s ministry was true transition work from the old to the new. I believe, the nature of John’s call and ministry encourages us in our current context of transition to realize just how important it is to engage in the transition work as we wait upon God to clarify his call for Calvary Church in the next phase of our spiritual journey.

Since God ordained for a transition figure to take up the very important work of preparation for his Messiah to come, surely, we must believe and trust in a God-ordained transition time for us too. I, as your interim priest, is merely the facilitator for all the work of transition that you have been doing and will do in the coming months. This is nothing less than the holy work of God that we are privileged to participate in. John’s call to repentance is in many ways a call to take the necessary spiritual inventory of our lives so that we can be ready to joyfully come alongside God’s own work in and through Calvary Church in the coming years. 

In this second week of Advent, let’s take time to see where and how we are engaging meaningfully in the work of preparing our lives to receive who God will send to us as our next rector. Let us open ourselves to God’s vision for us, which is far more marvelous than we can ever hope for ourselves. 

In Christ, 
Ajung Sojwal
December 7, 2018

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


COVENANT TO CARE

CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!!

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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.


 
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Dear Sisters & Brother at Calvary Church,

So, what is a Christmas carol anyway? Well, the Christmas part is clear enough. But carol? Are they just hymns like Hark! the Herald Angels Sing? Or songs like Jingle Bells? Technically, no; but many Christmas hymns and secular songs are today thought of as carols. And when we go to Lessons & Carols, are we really hearing just carols when the choir sings? Sometimes, but what is often listed in a program as carol is often an anthem, not a carol.

The story of the carol begins in the middle ages with folk dance accompanied by singing; that practice later was conscripted by the church and used as liturgical procession music. Once the church took hold of the tunes, they were Latinized, sung only by clergy. It wasn't until the protestant Reformation that the practice was wrestled away from the church, after which carols found their way back into popular singing practice complete with new words in the vernacular. But mainly what we know as a carol is the product of 19th-century revival and adaptation of medieval culture. Quite frankly, most everything about our contemporary Christmas practices stems from 19th century romanticism. I digress.

If you'd like to deepen your knowledge and experience carols more fully, please plan on attending The Stonington Madrigal Singers concert tomorrow evening (Dec. 8) at 7 p.m. (see ad below) This is a wonderful opportunity for many reasons: first, the ensemble is presenting carols from the old and new worlds. Their director, our own Bob Guarino, has chosen a splendid array of carols of many makes and models. Second, this terrific group of volunteers is OUR very own madrigal choir. Many are Calvary parishioners. They are an ensemble in the Calvary Music School program, and as such, they are a part of the Calvary family. I hope we will do all we can to support their tremendous efforts and artistry. Last but not least, this yearly event has become tradition, and traditions are fading away at an astonishing rate. You likely have your traditions, and I have mine. But maybe you're like me just a bit and bemoan the loss of so many community traditions of the past. Well, here's a fine home-grown tradition, alive and well, waiting for us to take part. Please, won't you join me tomorrow night in reveling in the glorious sound of carols right here at Calvary, our church home, with artists from our church and music school family? Spread the word . . . Invite friends . . .

Cheers!

Matthew Provost
December 7, 2018

 
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COMING SOON!

ADVENT & CHRISTMAS EVENTS

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Mark your calendars!

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

 Holy Eucharist & Service of Lessons and Carols
5 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.

December 25th, 2018

Christmas Day Eucharist at 9 a.m.


The Stonington Madrigal Singers

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NEXT CALVARY SUNDAY BRUNCH BUNCH!

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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 @ barbloftus@aol.com or 

860.599.5732 for more details.

All are welcome.


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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, brendahultgren@gmail.com


 
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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

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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 evelynnlyons@hotmail.com.


Calvary Film Festival

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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: The Man Who Invented Christmas: With his most recent books having little success, Victorian novelist Charles Dickens finds himself obliged to self-publish his masterful fable “A Christmas Carol” -- which he hopes will revive his sagging career. Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce co-star in this fanciful take on the creation of a Christmas classic.

Join us on December 11!


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

 
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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

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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

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Just a reminder:
BLANKETS FOR THE HOMELESS HOSPITALITY CENTER
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 calvchurch@aol.com. 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.

 
Lori Taylor