Weekly Check-In 05/07/2020
Letter from your Region Missionary
Last night our Region Leadership Team gathered as we always do on the first Wednesday of the month to imagine how God might be calling us, even now, to live into God's mission in community. As we closed out our evening together our convener, Trish Leonard, member of St. Paul's in Southington, offered these words as our final prayer:

Be awkward, be brave, be kind (Brené Brown).
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble,
and keep on praying (Romans 12:12 NLT).

More perfect words could not have been spoke, combined in love and offered in grace. We are all stumbling around in the dark trying in earnest to hear God's call to us in a strange and foreign time. We trip, we fall, we lick at our wounds, we cry, we climb up and we try again. We strive in hope, we long for justice. We need healing.
The Rev. Erin Flinn
 NC Region Missionary
Mobile: 860-966-3742
Church, whatever that means right now, is messy -- but is raw and it is human and it is real . Gone are the days of perfection, if ever we were prefect. Perhaps for the first time we are giving ourselves space and permission and acceptance to be human, to offer our best, and acknowledge we might have to experience two or three takes before we get it right. I imagine that in this striving, and trying, and longing, God's heart is warmed -- perhaps few times before now have we wanted so deeply to love and to be loved by each other and by God -- not in our Sunday best but in our tired Monday sweat-shirts and jeans draped on weary bones. We are beautifully human , creatures created for love by God. Thank you God for showing us our awkward and beautiful selves with your tender eyes of compassion and trust. May we not forget this longing for you and each other as we let go of the way things were and look to the way things will be and can be. Help us, oh Lord, to be awkward, brave and kind. Show us what it means to fully human, to walk in the image of Christ. Amen.
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.

For a flyer you can post click here .
On May 2nd, Mayor Luke Bronin invited people within the Hartford boundaries to uses 3-1-1 for Covid-19 info and support. It is similar to 2-1-1 but region specific to the city of Hartford. More info on 3-1-1 here.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TRANSPORTATION AND NEED TO GET TESTED FOR COVID-19 and you live in Hartford, you can call 3-1-1 for a free ride to your testing appt. For ride info in English & Spanish.
Foodshare to Continue Food Distribution at Rentschler Field Through the Month

Foodshare is extending its emergency food distribution operation at Rentschler Field in East Hartford until the end of May as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Foodshare has been offering drive-thru distribution for three weeks and said that as the lines continue to grow, they provide food to approximately 1,200 households per day.... To read more click here.
DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS ONE OF THE GREATEST NEEDS IS FOOD SECURITY
The NC Region is served by 2 food banks; Foodshare for the northern tier and CT Food Bank in the southern tier. Consider supporting these organization, who also support many of our parish panties.

FOODSHARE
(Serving Hartford & Tolland Counties)
visit 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. 

FOR CT FOOD BANK:
(Serving Middlesex County and 5 others) visit ctfoodbank.org to learn more about locations or to donate
An invitation to pause and breath with a dance meditation offered by
S tarting August 1, this professional Christian ballet company and dance school
will rehearse and perform in three light-filled studios at Holy Trinity in Middletown.
Wherever you are DANCE and offer your prayer with your body to God.
Ministry with People who lack Housing & Food Security -   Monday, May 18 at 7 PM join Deacon Bonnie Matthews and leaders from around the NC Region to share and discuss Food Pantry Ministries, Soup Kitchens, Feeding Programs and Sheltering needs in our area. For Zoom info - email Bonnie at bmatthews228@comcast.net.
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.
The Sacred Healing Team continues to meet once a month to deepen our journey of discerning the inner work necessary to dismantle white supremacy and racial oppression in our context. We begin our time dwelling in the word and sharing a bit of our own story. Last month we reflected on Robin Diangelo's book White Fragility , and talked about not just how we could bring it to our own contexts and parish communities, but also how what we see in the book reveals our own sin and need for repentance. In June we will be reading and reflecting on Living into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America by Catherine Meeks. If you are interested in joining us on this journey , or potentially creating such a group at your local parish, please reach out to George Black or Erin Flinn
Good Shepherd, Hartford purchased a new grand piano for our sanctuary and we have switched to oil burning candles. As a result, we have a surplus Baldwin piano and some good beeswax candles, free to good home. The piano is quite serviceable but not up to performance quality. It comes with a dolly and can be rolled to our parking-lot for pick-up. The candles are various sizes. We also have glass candle followers available. We would prefer donating to a church, but will consider other placements. Contact Jack Hale at (860)371-8026 | Jack.hale@comcast.net
PET THERAPY -- How have the animals in your life helped you during this time of isolation? Email a picture of you pets to Erin for a future newsletter - here .
Reflection by Taffy Wilcox, resident of Seabury Retirement Community. What do I miss most about being in quarantine? My immediate response is, “my pastoral care”.

I live at Seabury with my two cocker spaniels, both of which are registered therapy animals. It gives me great satisfaction to share their love and attention with Seabury residents at all levels of care. Amani, my younger dog, ordinarily, works in a variety of settings in the community. Shukuru, the older dog, who is blind and deaf, is the perfect Hospice dog and provides a good snuggle for dog lovers at the end of life.
I am also the pastoral care advocate for a 94-year-old retired priest. We all miss being able to see her, and, I dare say, she misses us. Yesterday, we had the fortunate opportunity to Face Time with her. Some days, we run in a grassy area off the assisted living recreation room. Although only four people at a time are allowed, those who are sitting at the window enjoy watching Amani chase a tennis ball and Shukuru roll in the grass. Frankly, I am the primary benefactor of pet therapy during quarantine. My quiet early mornings are frequently peppered with tears and gloom. When the dogs greet me with their wiggling tails, I am quickly reminded that there is so much to be happy about. Also, their need for walks gets me outside to experience signs of new life. And finally, what could be better than having two warm soft bodies curled around me at night?
As part of our Cathedral's ongoing efforts of engaging the arts, the Ensemble-in-Residence, Cuatro Puntos, is hosting Cross- Atlantic Quarantine Sessions from April-June 29th. Next Session is May 11th. Sessions are being live-streamed on Facebook. You may also register via zoom in order to interact with the artists.
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. Recitals are posted on Music at the Red Door and Facebook for viewing live or afterward
New Each Week . The Rev. Margie Baker, Curate who oversees the children's ministry at St. John's, West Hartford is making videos for Children’s Chapel. You can find them on YouTube each Sunday . To view last week's Children's Chapel click here here is a worksheet to go with it.
Priscilla Hooper of St. James, West Hartford is offering  virtual KFC (Kids for Christ) program for young children, Sundays at 9 AM. If 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.
The NC Region Leadership Team seeks to create opportunities to unite parishes in the NC Region, find new ways to seek and serve Christ, see God in all persons, and love our neighbor as ourselves. If you would like to learn more, visit a RLT meeting, FIRST WEDS of the month (6/3, 7/1) on Zoom. To connect email Trish Leonard, our convener at  gmakhc@cox.net
Looking for a place to try online worship? For an ongoing list of ECCT Parishes hosting livestream services 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
Resources from ECCT
Covid-19, Health Disparities and Systemic Racism -
A Call to Action! TOMORROW, May 8 @ 10:30 AM
Join us for a robust conversation on the prevalence of racism and its many manifestations around health disparities, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will also address the history of white supremacy and civic involvement opportunities. Speakers will participate in a moderated panel discussion led by ECCT’s Racial Justice Resource Coordinator Kelli Ray Gibson.
Panelists include: Marquita Taylor, Ph.D., Odia Kane, the Rev. Tracy Johnson Russell, Anthony Ryan Hatch, Ph.D, Faith Crittenden, MPH, and Kirk Wesley. Kelli Ray Gibson, ECCT's Racial Justice Resource Coordinator will moderate. Space is limited and registration is required. A question and answer session with the panel will follow. Pre-submitted questions may be sent by Thursday, May 7 to kgibson@episcopalct.org . REGISTER HERE . 
Share a reflection on your COVID-19 experience with ECCT. We invite folks from all across ECCT to share a reflection on your COVID-19 experience with us. We are putting together a blog series with reflections from you, to share how folks are experiencing and living into this new normal. Where have you seen God during this time? What are you learning? What are you doing to care for yourself? We invite you to submit a reflection, no more than 600 words, along with a photo. The photo can be of you or something that goes with your reflection. Email your reflections storytelling@episcopalct.org 
Effective Leadership in Times of Anxiety and Pandemic, May 12 6:30 PM. This workshop will offer practical information to help leaders move forward faithfully, in the face of anxiety and pandemic. Topics include human responses in the cycle of disaster, how emotions spread from person to another, emotional hijacking, and ways leaders can set the emotional tone of a group.   Lay and ordained leaders are invited to join us to explore ways to lead in times of anxiety and crisis.   Facilitated by Canon for Mission Integrity and Training Robin Hammeal-Urban and Canon for Mission Leadership Lee Ann Tolzmann.  REGISTER HERE.
Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Request Form: Even in the midst of COVID-19, ECCT remains committed to the Season of Racial Healing, Justice, & Reconciliation. If you would like assistance in moving forward with this work in your parish please be in contact with our Racial Justice Resource Coordinator Kelli Gibson. For more information please fill out this form.
ECCT Digital Communications Office Hours! Thursdays , 1 PM - 2 PM. Everything Thursday, Jasree & Alli will offer online office hours via Zoom as physical distancing and quarantine continue due to COVID-19. Registration is required, you may sign up for multiple. This is informal, bring your specific questions regarding communications and media.
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.
STILL AVAILABLE - 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.
Communications for the North Central Region
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 * Check out the Region Calendar on the ECCT website.