Checking in: Welcome, Epiphany!
This is being re-sent with a link to Allison Fresher's BLT that should actually work -- worth the extra email in your inbox!
St. John's in Essex has had a group participating in the spiritual practices of Joining Jesus in a New Missional Age (JJMA). Parishioner Allison Fresher describes one of their recent experiments of connecting with each other and their neighborhood during this time of pandemic isolation.
Our Presiding Bishop released a powerful Word to the Church: Where do we go from Here on January 8th in light of the disruptive and dangerous events at our nation's Capitol this Wednesday. Have a listen, please!

Celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany in Yantic and Preston
From Phil Ludlow
During these trying times it was wonderful to gather (with Masks) and unite as one as members from Grace Church Yantic and St. James Preston rejoiced the Coming of the Kings after our Lord's birth. AMEN 
Troop 75 Life Scouts Michael Peck and Max Wotring conducted an official Flag burning ceremony under the direction of Scout Master Bob Peck. The Rev. Kim Litsey, Warden Mary Bawza and Deacon Ron Steed said prayers as Mike LaFleur and Peter Leibert played live music for everyone to enjoy. It was so nice to be together again as about 25 parish members and Scouts gathered near the fire to rejoice. We thank the Preston Poquetanuck Fire Company for keeping us safe during the tree burning.
Calling those interested
in "Sacred Ground"
Are you interested in having a discussion about racism
and faith as a region?

Sacred Ground is a film and reading based 10-week course put together by the Episcopal Church to explore different dimensions race and faith and the call to become beloved community. Participants will be expected to watch approximately 90 minutes of film before each class as well as read approximately 35 pages before each class. Materials will be provided to you in advance. We would also ask that you commit to attend each session. Sessions will be facilitated by Kelli Ray Gibson, ECCT’s Racial Justice Resource Coordinator, and the Rev. Rachel Thomas.
If you’re interested, please contact Rachel by the end of day, Tuesday, January 12. Space is limited to 20 people.
At this point our plan is to meet the following Sundays from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.: 1/24, 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/11, 4/25, 5/2, 5/16, 5/30
You may find out more about the Sacred Ground series here:
Being Disciples and Apostles:
Resources for racial healing and justice
REPARATIONS NOW TOOL KIT, The Movement For Black Lives includes a wealth of resources including key words and concepts and data highlighting how institutional racism has significantly disadvantaged Black people in the United States for centuries. downloadable toolkit about reparations

For those who weren’t able to join us on our pilgrimage to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. in September, 2019 or those who would like to visit it again while it’s closed, here’s a link to their virtual exhibits: National Museum of African American History and Culture. Enjoy!

YOU CAN’T JUST JUMP TO HOPE, Interview with Bishop Michael Curry, Sight Magazine
Although this interview focuses on healing after the 2020 election, the same principles apply to our efforts to bridge the racial divide.
ECCT’s Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation Network in conjunction with ECCT’s Office of Mission Communications and Media is sponsoring a Sunday meditation series to cap our initial two-year Season of Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation. This is a series of pre-recorded meditations by both clergy and lay members of the ECCT and allies. The series launched on October 11 and will run through February 7th with a meditation offered by Bishop Ian Douglas.

Here's a link to the new offering from the Rev. Rebekah Hatch
Being Disciples and Apostles: Feeding the Hungry

Update from Lord's Pantry, St. James', New London

The numbers continue to grow for the Lord's Pantry's contributions to the community. December saw the largest numbers of people and meals served of any month since the Covid-19 restrictions went into place in March. Here are the numbers for this month and for the year in total:
Children: 425; Adults: 387; Seniors: 85 Total People: 874 Total Meals: 21,528

Total for the year:
Children: 1,863; Adults: 1,904; Seniors: 505; Total People: 4,272; Total Meals: 102,528

Thanks to all who have gathered, packed and readied the food for this work; to all who donated their time and funding to make this program possible; and especially to the staff and leadership at St. James who have gone above all expectations in, as Chuck Sharp has said, "an amazing testament of sharing God’s Love and feeding those in our community."
Tell Me Something Good! In this episode, Dylan Mello, Region Missionary for the
Episcopal Church in Connecticut chats with hosts Marcus and Jerusalem about the
Make a Meal, Make a Difference ministry that was born from a Zoom cooking show. Hear about ministries to address food insecurity in the Northwest Region of CT.
Being Disciples and Apostles: Clothing the Naked
Babies, that is!
St. Andrew's Madison held a "Race to the Bottom" during Advent to benefit Bare Necessities, a non-profit based in Clinton:

The “Race to the Bottom” project netted 6,301 diapers and 664 baby wipes for Clinton-based Bare Necessities.
The not-for-profit organization provides diapers and wipes to Shoreline communities through food pantries, social service agencies and other community service organizations. Here's a link to an article about them in the New Haven Register.

Meanwhile on the other end of the SE Region of ECCT, St. Mark's Mystic collected diapers and supplies for the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center.
Being Disciples and Apostles: Caring for Creation
Register on Eventbrite for the Community Garden Catch up and Start up
Saturday, January 16th, 10:00 a.m. -- Noon
Monday, January 11, join us at noon at Haley Farm State Park, 24 Haley Farm Road, Groton. Please bring a prayer or poem to share, and a mask to wear! And let Rachel know if you plan on coming, so we can keep everyone in the weather update loop!
From our friends in the Inter-Religious Eco-Justice Network

Join national best-selling author Doug Tallamy for this amazing webinar on how you can save the planet from your own back yard.

Date: Thursday, January 14
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Your computer
Cost: FREE (but donations gratefully accepted!)

Join us for an in-depth conversation with national leaders, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, founder of Hip Hop Caucus, and Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, a leading climate scientist, on climate change: where we are, where we are going, and what we can do about it. Moderated by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman and presented in conjunction with the Hartford Seminary

Date: Thursday, February 4
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Your computer
Cost: FREE (but donations gratefully accepted!)

Connecting to the Wider Body of Christ:
confessions and opportunities

OK, I grew up hearing my mom sing, "Because we need a little Christmas" throughout the year -- not just during the 12 days. And I married someone who tends to sing carols year 'round. So I confess that I am tempted this year, to follow their patterns and include here links to various offerings in the SE Region over Christmastide. Keep them on hand in case you "need a little Christmas" - a little reminder of God with us in miraculous ways -- during 2021. --- Rachel
Expanding our capability as disciples & apostles:
sharing our parish life with the wider church
Parochial Report Orientation
Tues, Jan 26, 2021 10:00 AM EST
Wed, Feb 3, 2021 6:30 PM EST
Thurs Feb 11, 2021 3:30 PM
Please join Rosanna Rosado, Canon for Mission Finance and Operations, and her team to review requirements and best practices for submitting accurate and complete parochial reports for the year 2020.

Come Prepared with your draft Income Statements and Balance Sheets.
Fed by Word and Sacraments:
Here's a list of webpages for the parishes of the SE Region
so that you can find current worship information
For Zoom connections and passwords, please check each parish's web site, listed below. Because things change!
Parish Websites for the SE Region

Calvary Church, Stonington:
St. Mark's, Mystic:
St. James', New London:
St. David's, Gales Ferry:
Christ Church, Norwich:
St. John's, Niantic:
St. Ann's, Old Lyme:
St. Stephen's, East Haddam:
St. John's, Essex:
Grace, Old Saybrook:
Holy Advent, Clinton:
St.Andrew's, Madison: