Notes From Calvary

 

Liturgies this Sunday, December 30, 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 last weekend of 2018, I want us to be reminded of how far we have come as a church in trusting God's Spirit to lead us through the year. God has stood with us and been faithful in everything as He cannot be anything else other than faithful and good. I share with you a prayer, a blessing or a poem, however you want to read it as we move into a new year. 

Patient Trust by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.  
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of progress that it is made by passing through some states of instability –
And that it may take a very long time.


And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually – let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time 
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
Acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say that this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you., and accept the anxiety of 
Feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

In Christ, 

Ajung Sojwal
December 28, 2018

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


 
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Dear Sisters & Brothers at Calvary Church,

Merry Christmas!

Thank you all for the kind words of support and appreciation for the Advent & Christmas music. In this year of firsts, all seems to have come together beautifully for my first Calvary Christmas. So many hours of practice and rehearsing with our terrific choirs seem to have served their purpose in beautifying and gracing our celebration of Christ’s birth. A special Thank You to each and every one of our volunteer and professional musicians who make such a joyful noise! Without them, where would we be?

In the 1990s I lived in Germany, in a small city on the North Sea, called Norden. There I learned to appreciate the difference between Advent and Christmas, not in technical terms (that, I learned at University), but as cultural practice. Most German families have Advent wreaths at home, on the dining room or living room table, and evening meals or social times were accompanied by the magical light of the Advent wreath. And although the Christmas tree might have been erected before Christmas, it was neither trimmed nor lighted until Christmas Eve. What impressed me most was the feeling that Christmas actually began where it should, on Christmas Eve. What followed Christmas Eve was most enlightening; Christmas concerts and productions such as Handel’s Messiah or Bach’s Christmas Oratorio happened frequently after Christmas day, during the twelve days of Christmas. For many such places in Germany, people go home for Christmas; college students return, and young families travel to visit parents and grandparents. And during the twelve days, Germans are eagerly seeking cultural opportunities to heighten the celebration. Never once did I have the feeling that Christmas was over after Christmas dinner was done.

Since then, in my positions here in the U.S. and Canada, I have longed to recapture that spirit by placing the church’s main Christmas musical celebration during Christmastide. I’ve not succeeded. In America we have frontloaded our Christmas energy to such a degree that we are not willing to expend any further effort once Christmas Eve has passed. This year came close to those experiences in Germany in that our Holy Eucharist with Lessons & Carols came on Christmas Eve and not before. It is fitting to tell the story of Christ’s birth on Christmas Eve, to say, “This is the story of what tomorrow is all about.” But I’ve never truly enjoyed singing any of the ‘He Is Born Today’ hymns or anthems before Christmas Day. Technically Christmas Eve is still Advent, so it makes sense to read and sing about the impending nativity. But what of the truly exuberant, joyous musical pieces for Christmas Day, the ‘Hallelujahs’, the ‘He Is Born for Us THIS DAY’ hymns and anthems? Are they right for Advent or even Christmas Eve? Do they fit in with the late-night candle aura and the sweetness of the baby trope? There is a treasure trove of joyous Christmas music that is rarely heard because it is not in line with the tenderness and solemnity of the Eve; and once Christmas Day has arrived, we’ll hear no more of it—such a pity. Maybe someday, during Christmastide, we’ll attempt A Calvary Christmas to help keep the joy and blessings of Christmas alive throughout all the twelve days, and thus give those who are home or have come home for Christmas in Stonington a resounding, exhilarating musical Christmas extravaganza. Think about it . . .

I wish you a most Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Matthew Provost
December 27, 2018

 
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Save The Date!

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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!

Annual Parish Meeting: January 20, 2019
After the combined service at 9 am


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Thank you! Thank you!

COVENANT TO CARE:

Norma and Alice would like to thank everyone for their generosity again this year. The program had a total of 33 young foster people (16 boys and 17 girls) ranging in ages from 3 months to 18 years. There were 140 total requests. We are proud to say that we were able to satisfy all of these requests, which will make for a very Merry Christmas. In addition, we have a balance of $180.00 this year which will be used to purchase personal care items as well as baby items for the PNC. Once again, Calvary has not only stepped up to the plate but has hit a home run. Thank you all!


NEXT CALVARY SUNDAY BRUNCH BUNCH!

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Calvary Sunday Brunch Bunch

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

Next Brunch Bunch:

January 13 Brunch Bunch canceled......as Breakwater will be closed for cleaning and repairs on Jan. 13. Our next gathering will be on Sunday, February 10 @ 11:45..So if you are available and would like to join the gathering, please do. No reservations are needed.We enjoy good food, fellowship and conversation.

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 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


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. This is an opportunity to keep our faith journey ongoing. 

Three small groups  meet once a week for an hour and leadership is rotated.  Topics are determined by each group.  We just completed studying Gift of the Spirit by Christopher.  Our next books are  Mary Magdelene by Cynthia Bourgeault,  Into the Silent Land, the Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird and /or The Gifts of Years, Growing Older Gracefully by Joan Chittester.

You are invited to join a group. For more information please contact Karen McGee at mcgeecnm@yahoo.com

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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Tuesday Evenings at 7pm

As part of the Adult Christian Education program, Calvary Church offers carefully curated films to be shown in the Parish Hall (unless otherwise noted), free of charge.

January 8th at 7pm

The Breadwinner: In this animated tale based on Deborah Ellis' best-selling novel, life under Taliban rule in Afghanistan is already hard for 11-year-old Parvana, but with her father in jail, she's forced to don male clothing and become the family breadwinner. 

Please stay tuned for further 2019 offerings!


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