Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit ... 
-- Acts 2:2-4
Good News from Church of the Good Shepherd, Watertown
June 2017
Dear Friends,
I have always loved the feast of Pentecost. The joy of the day is an amazing reminder that through the Resurrected Jesus we are given the gifts of the Holy Spirit: all of us!

The day of Pentecost also called Whitsunday has been celebrated as a separate and special feast of the church since the fourth century.  Pentecost is a Greek word referring to the fiftieth day after Easter.  In the Covenant with Israel the people celebrated the harvest fifty days after the celebration of Passover; it is from this heritage we derive the celebration of Pentecost fifty days after Easter.  It is very meaningful that on this day the first disciples experienced the powerful strength of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  Pentecost is the birthday of the church. It is the time when the first followers of Christ went into the world rejoicing in the Spirit.  This first community of followers was able with the power given them through the Holy Spirit to go out into the world with courage and confidence to continue the work of Christ. 

There are documents describing the celebration of Pentecost dating from the fourth century in Jerusalem.  On the fiftieth day after Easter there was a great procession through the town toward the site of the event of Pentecost commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit.  This ancient and wonderful celebration of the church continues to remind us of the power of the Holy Spirit in our own lives as we, too, go into the world in our daily lives at work, home, play and worship sharing the joy of the Resurrection by our love for God and one another.

Some customs of Christian communities around the world in celebration of this day are:

Early Church – all those who were baptized at the Easter Vigil would come to the Pentecost celebration
wearing the white robes of their baptism; thus, we have the common name for this day, Whitsunday.
Italy --  Red rose petals are scattered from the ceilings of churches to recall the descent of the Holy Spirit
as fiery tongues of passion, courage, knowledge and love.

France --Trumpets are blown during the service to recall the sound of the wind which accompanied the Holy Spirit during the descent from heaven.

Russia – The people carry bunches of flowers and green branches in their hands during the procession
and throughout the service commemorating new and abundant life in the world.  

Prayer Partners
Under Angelita Caceda's spirited and thoughtful
coordination, and with Deacon Ken Schmidt’s help and encouragement, the Prayer Partner ministry has steadily grown. Once again Good Shepherd will embark on a Prayer Partner Program (P3), that began on Trinity Sunday (the Sunday after Pentecost), running through the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6. Everyone participating in this program has a desire to pray and be prayed for; the intent is to be mindful and pray for each other on a daily basis. It’s a wonderful way to get to know another member of the parish and build a caring community. We now have 3 programs each year: during Lent, following Pentecost, and during Advent.

Thirty are participating in this program now: more are welcome!

Please contact Angelita or Deacon Ken for more information. 
Greetings from the Rev. Duncan Hilton!
Dear CGS,

Thank you for all your prayer and support during the formation process. It was a delight to celebrate my ordination to the diaconate on Saturday with so many of you in the parish hall. I’m especially grateful to members of my discernment committee and all the others who helped with planning, set up, and clean up.

I was excited to have been approved by the bishop to work at St. Michael’s Church in Brattleboro as their associate priest for discipleship and discernment. I was drawn to the church because of its strong contemplative prayer life, lay leadership and the chance to be close to family, woods and mountains. Having lived in Brattleboro for the last year while completing my postulant internship in Springfield MA I am not starting totally from scratch in the community. The position itself was also a draw; it is new and will afford me the chance to build on my gifts and experience as a trainer and organizer while also deepening my experience as a liturgist.

Please come and visit if you’re ever out this way.


On Saturday, June 3, Duncan was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate by Bishop Gayle Harris at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
Duncan's ordination
Vacation Garden School

Campers, junior counselors, counselors and volunteers eagerly await August 7 for 2017's Vacation Garden School! Our week will be filled with gardening, stories, crafts, snacks, songs and lots of fun. Each day is focused on a theme: water, soil, seed, animal and harvest. Together we learn how we can be good stewards of the Earth.

Do you enjoy kids, gardening, or just want to care for the Earth?
You can volunteer or donate a lunch!
Email Melanie if you are interested. 

Sanctuary Movement Re-emerges in Massachusetts
In February, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts posted (
“As nationwide uncertainty continues for immigrant communities, several parishes in the Diocese of Massachusetts are mobilizing to put in place networks to protect their neighbors, regardless of immigration status. Those taking action have a twofold mission: one, to build a network of sanctuary churches and sanctuary-supporter churches that can be deployed quickly if the federal government takes new steps targeting undocumented immigrants, and two, to take political action that may prevent the sanctuaries from ever being needed.”

Kate Gyllensvard and Charlie Kitts, who lead the CGS Social Justice effort, have been engaged with different aspects of the Sanctuary Movement both in the diocese and in the city.  Pat Ahearn, in response to this growing movement, recently organized a two-part series on 6/18 and 6/25 to inform the parish about the sanctuary movement. She asked Kate and the Rev. Frank Fornaro to be discussion leaders.

 “At its 2017 annual meeting, University Lutheran Church, in Harvard Square, by a vote of 52-0 with 4 abstentions, resolved to declare itself a Sanctuary Church to support members of area communities who are under threat of deportation. The church subsequently partnered with other Boston-area groups to form the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition. Current members are:
Cambridge Minyan
Congregation Eitz Chayim
First Church Cambridge
First Parish in Cambridge
Friends Meeting at Cambridge
Harvard Divinity School Student Led Interfaith and Secular Coalition (SLIC)
Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church
Old Cambridge Baptist Church (OCBC)
St. James’s Episcopal Church
University Lutheran Church

About a month ago, University Lutheran did become a host to a mother with two young children. The mother is threatened with deportation; the father and children would remain in the U.S., breaking apart the family. To effectively support such a family requires a large network of supporting parishes. On June 18, Sam Perlo-Freeman shared with Good Shepherd about the St. James’s decision process. He explained that a church can decide to be a supporting parish or team up with another parish. He also said that individuals from a church can work with another parish and he encouraged us to consider becoming a partner with them in this ministry in one way or another.
On the following Sunday, June 25, Kate gave a brief history of the Sanctuary Movement and Pastor Frank led the ~13 who gathered in a meditation on how Jesus would respond to this situation, having been a refugee himself in Egypt, as a child with his parents, and with his message of “radical welcome” as proclaimed in the gospel.

We have heard from our former parishioner Beverly Ellis that St. Paul’s Church, Newton Highlands, has also recently become a Sanctuary Church, with a large supporting network of a dozen, mostly nearby, faith groups. For more information, see
In the days ahead Good Shepherd will be considering what response we wish to take. Ask Kate, Charlie, Pat, or Frank for more information!
Our New Red Maple Tree!

By good fortune, when our new Red Maple tree arrived (from Waterloo, Wisconsin!), we were able to plant it just before a long period of cold and wet weather, ideal conditions for it to adapt to its new home. Our sexton Mike Dorsett did an outstanding job planting the tree, as can seen by its rapid growth! The location near the playground fence will allow it to provide refreshing shade to the children. As it takes hold, we look forward to removing the leaning tree by the street. The Red Maple is a native tree to New England with beautiful fall foliage; this variant will grow to the right size for this space.
Steve Steadman

Volunteers to help water the new tree through this summer would be greatly appreciated: see the signup sheet on the wall of opportunity.

Red Maple tree
Coming Up:
May 31 - July 9: River of Life - CT River Pilgrimage. The Episcopal dioceses of New England, the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the nonprofit Kairos Earth are organizing a 40-day river "pilgrimage" for spiritual renewal. Details here. Paddlers can sign up for a few days or a longer stretch. Kim Bryant is interested in gathering a few other CGSers to paddle for a few days in early July. Contact Kim if interested.

July 23: Last Sunday Service with the Rev. Frank Fornaro as Interim. This Sunday will mark the end of the sabbatical period for our rector the Rev. Amy McCreath, 

July 23: Common Cathedral,  Sunday  after church. Saturday we will make lots of sandwiches. Sunday we will take them and other food to Boston Common to share a meal and a service full of prayers and sons with an outdoor congregation of housed and unhoused folks. Please sign up to participate and/or make sandwiches. There is a signup sheet at the Wall of Opportunity. For more information ask Ken or Kate.

August 7-11: Vacation Garden School

Church of the Good Shepherd --  9 Russell Ave., Watertown MA 02472 -- 617-924-9420