Weekly Check-In 04/22/2020
Letter from your Region Missionary
Dear Friends in Christ,
 
This week I have been wondering what it means to be the Body of Christ at a time when many of us are called to remain in our homes and it feels complicated to be Christ's hands and feet in the world, to say the least.
 
We know from this past week's Gospel ( John 20:19-31 ) that walls and closed doors, even locks, cannot keep our Risen Lord from entering into our lives. Likewise, those same walls and doors cannot prevent the love of Christ that dwells in each of us from flowing back out into the world. We just have to get a little creative!
 
And you all are doing just that! Together, as the Body of Christ, you are partaking in countless different worship opportunities and bible studies across the region. You are connecting for virtual coffee hours, teas, and happy hours. You are taking dance classes online, and teaching people how to play instruments over zoom. You are hosting online game nights, and dinner parties.

You are reaching out to your neighbors, and bringing by supplies. You are taking grocery orders for those who are shut-in and dropping off boxes on doorsteps. You are donating food and money to pantries and shelters. You are posting resources on your church doors for anyone who walks by in need. You are hosting pop-up concerts from your basement to raise money for local panties and soup kitchens.
The Rev. Erin Flinn
 NC Region Missionary eflinn@episcopalct.org
Mobile: 860-966-3742
You are sewing masks, knitting prayer shawls, and stringing prayer beads. You are praying over the newspaper and sharing meditations. You are reaching out and asking, how can I help? You are writing letters to people in nursing homes, whom you may have never met before. You are teaching your children and others through all kinds of activities, in person and online. You are walking in nature and marveling at its beauty. You are planting gardens, with extra veg to share. You are caring for your families, your friends, and yourselves. You are doing so much, and it may feel like so little – but those little things matter right now more than ever, and those little things all add up.
 
Are you finding other creative ways to reach out, connect, or help? Send me an email or call me 860-966-3742, I would love to hear your ideas and stories. No idea is too small.
Resources from the North Central Region
Consider posting 2-1-1 information on your parish door. 2-1-1 is a one-stop connection to the local services folks in your community may need, from utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention and much more. It is especially helpful for folks in need of shelter. For more info click here.
Through Friday 4/24 Foodshare will distribute free food at Rentschler Field, East Hartford from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm. More info click here. ( PDF flyer here)
Dear Friends, 
 
During the COVID-19 crisis one of the greatest needs is Food Security. As many people are experiencing a lack of income they are finding themselves in need of assistance to feed their families. CT is in an unprecedented need for food.  You may be asking what can I do?   The NC Region is serviced by 2 Food Banks; Foodshare for the northern tier and CT Food Bank in the southern Tier. 

Foodshare : In the last month Foodshare has distributed food to 69 Food Pantries and locations and has spent over $225,000.00 dollars of food to 69 locations. Click here www.foodshare.org/coronavirus to learn more about locations or to donate. You may advise people who are in need to text FOODSHARE to 85511 to identify locations where food is being distributed near them. 
 
CT Food Bank: Connecticut Food Bank works through a network of community-based programs, such as soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters to provide nutritious food to people in need, but we know we need to do more. Last year Connecticut Food Bank distributed enough food to prepare nearly 22.5 million meals to people in need in six counties Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham. The need is greater now. Click here ctfoodbank.org to learn more about locations or to donate. 
 
While both of these non-profit agencies are funded through major contributors and philanthropists, the need for food is greater now than ever. The most effective way you may be able to assist those who are experiencing a lack of food security at this time is to donate to one of the agencies which serve your community and have food pantries in many of your parishes.

Faithfully,  
Deacon Bonnie Matthews

Join Bonnie Matthews and others from around the Region on Monday, April 27th at 7:00 PM to share and discuss Food Pantry Ministries, Soup Kitchens, Feeding Programs and sheltering needs in our area. For the Zoom Meeting ID - email Bonnie at bmatthews228@comcast.net .
Thank you...
We also want to recognize NC Region parishes who are still running food panties and soup kitchens: Trinity, Collinsville; Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford; Grace, Hartford; St. Monica's, Hartford; St. Andrew's, Meriden; St. Mark's, New Britain; St. James, West Hartford and many others who are continuing to support local efforts to ensure that food is available to all those in need. Thank you! If your pantry is still open please let Bonnie Matthews know at bmatthews228@comcast.net.
Town Libraries Offer More Than Books local libraries can be a great sources for local information. For example, Russell Library in Middletown has great resources for Covid-19 under both how you can help & where you can get help. Check you local library, too!
CT is now requiring that masks be worn in public. If you want to make extra masks and donate them - Trinity, Collinsville is still collecting them. As is Hartford Healthcare - please check their website for specific instructions and requirements . You can also find communities in CT that have asked for masks here.
Wednesday pop-up instrumental recitals, 12:15 p.m. Various musicians will present short musical programs from their own homes, benefitting local charities helping our most vulnerable neighbors affected by COVID-19. This week join Scott Lamleim on organ from his home. Next Wed. (3/29) St. John’s Organ Artist-in-residence Christa Rakich will perform from her home studio. Recitals are posted on YouTube for viewing live or afterward.
Priscilla Hooper of St. James, West Hartford is offering  virtual KFC (Kids for Christ) program for young children, Sundays at 9 AM. If you and your family would like to join, email Priscilla for the zoom link and coloring pages to print at education@stjameswh.org. Best suited for ages 3 to 10.
NC Region Warden's Zoom Gathering. Tuesday, April 28 @ 5:30 PM - This is an opportunity for Wardens to gather on Zoom for an informal conversation to ask questions, reflect, and share ideas. We are all in this together! For Zoom info visit: www.episcopalct.org/northcentral
NC Region Clergy are invited to a virtual coffee hour Every Tuesday @ 3 PM. This is an informal space for clergy colleagues from across our Region to connect with each other, pray and converse. For Zoom info please email me, Erin Flinn, at eflinn@episcopalct.org.
Backyard Scavenger Hunt For Earth Day - . You may want to have some crayons, a couple of pieces of paper, and a small bag. But don’t worry if you don’t – your eyes and ears are all you really need. Check off items... and have fun! Thank you St. Paul's, Southington for sharing this wonderful resource put together by VTS for our kiddos.
Holy Hikes With The Psalms - Another excellent Earth Day resource put together by VTS. Thank you to Katy Forline of Epiphany, Durham for sending this along.

For more great resources visit Buildingfaith.org a collection of "resources for disciples of all ages."
Looking for a place to try online worship? For an ongoing list of ECCT Parishes hosting Livestream service click here and look for "Parish Livestream Services" in the menu bar on the left. Don't see your community? Send an email to ecctcommunications@episcopalct.org
Blue question marks
Learning the Tips & Tricks of Online worship can be overwhelming. Here are some great, short how-to videos offered by Sarah Stonesifer Boylan, Digital Missioner for Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary. VTS is also offering online office hours and lots more resources to help with all things digital ministry, and more!
Resources from ECCT
Self-Care: Here are some resources for you and your family to care for yourselves through this uncertain time. Some resources include: links to free virtual museum tours, yoga and other movement practices, online AA meetings, Facebook baking group, breathing exercises, online singing, worship at home, and more. Click here.
COVID-19 Financial Resources:  Resources from ECCT regarding parish financial relief, as well as resources from the Church Pension Group (CPG), various Government resources like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and information on the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, are available on the ECCT webpage.
ZOOM Call for Clergy & Wardens with the Bishops Every Wednesday at 8:30 AM. Clergy and wardens are welcome to join a conversation with our Bishops to discuss resources during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom info on ECCT Home Page. Can't make morning meetings? Recordings are available on the ECCT webpage.
See all updates, event statuses, and resources involving ECCT and the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) virus here:

 https://www.episcopalct.org/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/ This page will be continually updated as new information becomes available.
In Honor of Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22
Communications for the North Central Region
* Subscribe to this Quarterly to have stories from the Region delivered straight to your inbox at www.episcopalct.org/enewsletters

* Join the NC Region Facebook Group , a community bulletin board for the region. This is your place to share parish/community events, photos, videos and more.

* Like and follow the NC Region Facebook Page . This is where the Leadership Team will post news of upcoming Region events, gatherings, conversations, resources, etc.

* If you want to know what your Region Missionary is up to, follow her Facebook Page .

 * Check out the Region Calendar on the ECCT website.