Notes From Calvary


Liturgies this Sunday, December 9, 2018

Holy Eucharist, Rite I, at 8 AM
Holy Eucharist, Rite II & Christmas Pageant,  at 10 AM

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Dear Friends, 

On this Third Sunday of Advent, at the 10 am service we will get to hear the story of our Lord’s birth through the Christmas pageant brought to us by our Church School children. I remember reading to our girls, during this time of the year, the book by Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I love the book because it highlights for me the undeniable truth of God’s incarnation in the mess of our human lives as represented by the Herdmans in the story. It is the story of Imogene, Claude, Ralph, Leroy, Ollie, and Gladys, six completely unmanageable, ill-behaved children, to put it mildly. They land up in church for the first time in their lives after being told that the church offers free desserts! They had never heard the Christmas story and much to the horror of the whole church, the Herdman siblings land up taking on the most important roles in the Sunday School’s Christmas pageant. 

Here is something from the book:

“Yeh,” Gladys said. “Unto us a child is born!” she yelled at the shepherds. 

“Unto me!” Imogene yelled back at her. “Not them, me! I’m the one that had the baby!”

“No, no, no.” Mother sat down on a front pew. “That just means that Jesus belongs to everybody. Unto all of us a child is born. Now,” she sighed. “Let’s start again, and—”

“Why didn’t they let Mary name her own baby?” Imogene demanded. “What did that angel do, just walk up and say, ‘Name him Jesus’?” 

“Yes,” Mother said, because she was in a hurry to get finished. 

But Alice Wendleken had to open her big mouth. “I know what the angel said,” Alice piped up. “She said, ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God. Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’”

I could have hit her. 

“My God!” Imogene said. “He’d never get out of the first grade if he had to write all that!” 

I wonder sometimes, if my Jesus has indeed passed my first-grade mind? 

John the Baptist comes to us this Sunday in our reading challenging us to, “Bear fruits worthy of repentance.” Repentance is a very adult concept. To bear fruits worthy of repentance is what spiritual maturity looks like, for repentance is not so much about feeling sorry for our failings and getting hung up on confessions, it is the joyful journey of our return to God. 

In Christ, 

Ajung Sojwal
December 14, 2018

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




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 & Brothers at Calvary Church,

The third Sunday in Advent is known as 'Gaudete Sunday'. It is named so because the introit for the day's Mass reads as follows: 

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.

Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est.

Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione et obsecratione cum gratiarum actione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum.

Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

And in case your Latin chops are not what they once were, here's the translation:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.

Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand;

have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.

Lord, you have blessed your land;

you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

In former times the season of Advent was a penitential one, and behaviors and worship were appropriately restrained, much like the way we observe Lent today. In fact, Advent, like Lent, originally had forty days. To ease the burden and austerity of penitential living during Lent, there is a Sunday right in the middle, called Laetare Sunday, that is a joyous celebration, intentionally un-Lenten. And so it is with Advent; smack in the middle there is a Sunday in which restraint is abandoned and joy resounds. To set that Sunday apart from the other Sundays of Advent, the liturgical vestments and paraments are rose colored, not the otherwise purple or blue Advent colors. (I'm not sure if this tradition is observed at Calvary; I'll find out soon enough.) And of course, the Advent wreath candle for Gaudete Sunday is the rose candle, to match the vestments. (Did you know that's why there is one rose candle among the purples?) And I'll give you one guess what color the vestments are on Laetare Sunday during the otherwise purple Lent.

For this year's 'Joy Sunday', we have our amazing trebles singing again, this time with adults joining in for some lovely four- and five-part singing. And the Sunday's joy doesn't end there; in lieu of a sermon, we will revel in this year's Church School Pageant. Joy abounds! Gaudete! Rejoice!


Matthew Provost
December 14, 2018

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Save The Date!


January 6, 2019 from 5-6:15 p.m.

Organ Recital & Solemn Choral Evensong at Calvary Church

All are invited to an Organ Recital by Dr. Matthew Provost celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of our Richards, Fowkes & Co pipe organ dedication, followed by Solemn Choral Evensong to bless and dedicate new kneelers offered in thanksgiving for the ministries of The Rev. Dr. W. Alfred Tisdale, Jr. and The Rev. Alan Murchie, both of whom will attend. 

Reception to follow in the Parish Hall.




Mark your calendars!

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.



Baptismal Font Update

Thank you to all who have contributed to making our Baptismal Font more safe. It is now safer to move for the Altar Guild and Sexton as and when needed for special occasions. Please know that only the Altar Guild and Sexton can move the font to ensure safety for all.



Calvary Sunday Brunch Bunch

We had a lovely time with new friends who found us on our website (see above picture!).

Anyone who is on their own or without family are invited to gather for lunch at Breakwater @ 11:45 on Sunday, January 13, 2019. 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 Update!

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,

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
Keep Tuned!

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

Please stay tuned for our 2019 offerings!

Tuesday Evenings at 7 pm

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.

Lori Taylor