Weekly Check-In 05/22/2020
Letter from your Region Missionary
Prayer is a funny thing - sometimes it comes so easily that it feels as if the words cascade out of my heart and into the hands of the Divine. Other times, prayer feels more like stumbling on stones with long, labored gaps between each thought. Often times prayer feels like singing in the garden or dancing in the kitchen. Prayer can be as simple as hands clasped in silence around a hot cup of tea. Lord, hear our prayer. Prayer can also be an attentive ear pressed against a phone listening to an old friend or new colleague as we lift their words to God through us. Sometimes prayer is ancient words bound together on vellum. Often times prayer is simply a deep longing to be connected to God, an aching in our heart for the peace that only God can provide. How do you prayer? How are you connecting with God?

One of the ways that I have been praying, of late, is to dwell in other people's words and visions. This week, I have been steeping my soul in the words of Julian of Norwich. Julian was a fourteenth-century anchoress and mystic, who lived most of her life in prayer and seclusion in an anchorite cell attached to a church in Norwich, England. In this time of social isolation, sickness, uncertainty, and holy longing, I have found Julian to be a spiritual companion. Julian writes:
The Rev. Erin Flinn
 NC Region Missionary
Mobile: 860-966-3742
In my mind I said to our Lord with great reverence, 'Ah, my good Lord, how could all be well, given the great harm that has been done to humankind by sin? ...Our good Lord answered all the questions and doubts I could put forward, saying most comfortingly as follows: 'I will make all things well, I shall make all things well, I may make all things well and I can make all things well; and you shall see for yourself that all things shall be well.' I take 'I may' for the words of the Father, I take 'I can' for the words of the Son and I take 'I will' for the words of the Holy Ghost; and where he says 'I shall', I take it for the unity of the Holy Trinity... And thus I understand the five sayings mentioned above... as a powerful and comforting pledge for all the works of our Lord which are to come; for just as the Holy Trinity made all thing from nothing, so the Holy Trinity shall make all well that is not well (ch 14 and 15 of Revelations of the Divine . Icon from pinterest ).
May Julian's words give you peace this week, and may her wisdom give you comfort -- for God promises that though we may be tormented, troubled or grieved, we will not be overcome for God who dwells in us will never abandon us (ch 22).

In the spirit of steeping in prayer, in addition to ways to be actively involved and connected in the Region community, in this newsletter you will also find short prayers for meditation, including a final prayer dedicated to our pets who have loved us through this time of trouble -- a nod to Julian as well, who is often featured in icons with her cat.
North Central Region Resources
We connect as a group and convene monthly to explore catalyst opportunities to help build capability within our Region.

Please register to attend the Zoom Meeting at bit.ly/OpenMeetNCRT
REUNION ABIERTA, 3 de JUNIO, de 6-8PM Somos un grupo unido que se reúne todos los meses para explorar oportunidades catalizadoras para ayudarnos a crear y desarrollar connexiones dentro de nuestra región.  Por favor regístrese para asistir a la reunión de Zoom bit.ly/OpenMeetNCRT
Engaging in Community Assistance
Trinity College Office of Spiritual & Religious Life is collaborating to provide meals for 20 families, twice a week, for 20 weeks. All meals are professional prepared by dining staff at Trinity and delivered to families by community volunteers, in partnership with local social services. Parishes and individuals in our region are invited to sponsor a meal for a family. 1 family meal = $18 (4-5 people)
$180 = 1 family, 1x/week, 10 weeks
$360 = 1 family, 1x/week, 20 weeks
$720 = 1 family, 2x/week, 20 weeks
Adopt/Furnish an Apartment. The Coalition on Housing + Homelessness is working hard to move families and individuals from temporary shelters and hotels into permanent housing. 35+ units are being prepared in Middletown, Meriden and Wallingford for June. In the past churches have "adopted" a housing unit and gotten it completely ready for a family to move in. If your parish is in the area and you would like to adopt an apartment, or learn more, reach out to Ann Faust at ann@growstrongct.org . For info about moving people from shelters to apartments during a pandemic click here .
Toilet Paper & Paper Towel Collection Every June, St. James's in West Hartford, collects toilet paper and paper towels. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, toilet paper and paper towels have become valuable items, and agencies are especially in need. Your contribution of rolls of toilet paper and paper towels will be distributed to individuals who come to the soup kitchens, food pantries, and to Hartford area shelters. We will collect items Every Thursday through the end of June between 10am-12pm. Please place you donations at the CLOISTER ENTRANCE to the church. More info here.
Racial Healing, Justice & Reconciliation
Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) offers great resources for understanding the 2020 Census and why it matters to us as Christians and what we can do to ensure an accurate count. The Episcopal Church is an official partner of the U.S. Census. The Church’s goal is to use our presence in thousands of communities to help ensure that everyone is counted. For EPPN Census resources & and a video from Bishop Curry click 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.
Opportunities to Gather
May 28 @ 5 PM - Join Bishop Douglas, Bishop Ahrens, our Region Missionary and our Region Leadership Team for a one hour conversation to explore together
what are we learning and what is God saying to us during the pandemic?

28 de Mayo, 5 PM - Acompañemos al Obispo Douglas y a la Obispo Ahrens, junto con la Misionera de la región y el Equipo de Liderazgo de la Región Norte Central en una conversación donde exploraremos juntos ¿qué estamos aprendiendo? y ¿qué nos está diciendo Dios en este tiempo de la pandemia?

Ministry with People who lack Housing & Food Security -   Monday, May 31 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.
Wardens Zoom Gathering - Tues. June 2 at 5:30 PM. Church wardens are being faced with even more challenges during the pandemic and the ongoing phases of future opening. How is God calling us to be leaders to our parishes? How are we responding to the ECCT and Center for Disease Control requirements? Let us gather as wardens to discuss and support each other in these times.  More info.
Getting Outside
Webinar, May 26 @ 3 PM - Good News Garden Movement. As the realities and repercussions of COVID-19 continue to unfold, one area we know will continue to be affected is our food supply... Our presenters believe that one thing that love could do right now is call a community of people with the ability to plant gardens of all sizes and kinds together – from small pots of herbs to hundreds of acres of corn – in order to share the love of Christ through word and action, food and labor. More info here.
Youth & Music Opportunities
New Each Week . The Rev. Margie Baker, is making videos for Children’s Chapel. You can find them on YouTube each Sunday . This week her cat helps out.
Virtual Kids for Christ program for young children, Sundays at 9 AM. For Zoom link and coloring pages email Priscilla Hooper education@stjameswh.org.
Our Cathedral's Ensemble-in-Residence, Cuatro Puntos, is hosting Cross- Atlantic Quarantine Sessions, Every Monday through June 29 on Facebook. Or Register via zoom to interact with the artists.
Pop-up concerts to benefit local charities offered by St. John's, West Hartford. Every Wednesday at Noon. Info at Music at the Red Door and on Facebook.
Region Resource Reminders
  • Looking for a place to try online worship? For an ongoing list of ECCT Parishes hosting livestream services click here

  • 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. For more info click here. 

  • 3-1-1 It is similar to 2-1-1 but region specific to the city of Hartford. More info here. If you need a ride 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 - (Serving Hartford & Tolland Counties) visit www.foodshare.org/coronavirus to learn more about locations or to donate. People who are in need of food can text FOODSHARE to 85511 to identify locations where food is being distributed near them. 

  • CT Food Bank - (Serving Middlesex County and 5 others) visit ctfoodbank.org to learn more about locations or to donate. 

  • NC Region Clergy are invited to a virtual coffee hour Every Tuesday @ 3 PM. For Zoom info please email me, Erin Flinn, at eflinn@episcopalct.org.
ECCT Resources
ECCT Canons Robin Hammeal-Urban and Lee Ann Tolzmann put together and hosted a wonderful zoom call for "Effective Leadership in times of Anxiety and Panic". You can access copies of the materials they shared including the feelings wheel (© Dr. Gloria Wilcox) here. I would encourage you to view these if you weren't able to attend. A separate video version of this material is coming soon -- Stay tuned!
The ECCT Young Adult Task Force has good news! At our last meeting we decided on one clear and simple course of action: focus our energies on creating a video, to be presented at Convention, that gives voice to the stories, perspectives, and ideas of young adult Episcopalians in Connecticut. If you are a young adult Episcopalian in CT, we invite you to share your story! Contact Erendira Jimenez ejimenez@episcopalct.org or John Kennedy johnmkennedy3@gmail.com.
ECCT Resource for COVID-19 are continually being updated, including:
  • Messages from our Bishops
  • Event updates
  • Financial Resources
  • Self-Care Resources
  • Digital Communications Resources
  • Worship Opportunities
  • And More...
CCT 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.
Closing Prayer, In honor of our pets
who are working so hard to care for us in this time.
Communications for the North Central Region
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