Checking in: June 6, 2020

Photo: Joe & Erin Flinn

This week's BLT comes from the Rev. Diana Rogers, Provisional Priest-in-Charge, Church of the Holy Advent, Clinton: the gift of water
A community of Theological Imagination
From Rachel: I think one of the ways to exercise our theological imagination is to read and hear stories that speak to a way of life other than the one that we personally have experienced. So often in our culture, in our world, there is the sense that "If it didn't happen to me, it didn't happen." Imagination invites us to consider the world, and God, from the perspective of another person, another culture. By that gift, God draws us to imagine other ways of seeing God's hand in the world around us.
Surely these days invite us to consider what others -- those of different races, creeds and experiences -- have to teach us about who God is, and what God cares about. I'm excited about offering this "Southeast Region Read" as a way of exercising our theological imaginations together.

Join Rachel Thomas and Ron Steed for the "Southeast Region Read" starting July 7th & into September on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.. The book is "Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery ". There is a wealth of information relevant to New England's active participation in slavery, including the tremendous impact of the Ivoryton ivory trade on people in Africa. 
The book is authored by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank, journalists from The Hartford Courant . If you think SECT kept a distance from the issue of slavery, this book will be an eye opener! And we'll be invited to consider how this deep history affects our present even now.
Contact Rachel or Ron if you're interested. We'll be meeting over zoom, though we may plan a field trip or two as the summer progresses.
Being Disciples and Apostles: work on being Anti-Racist
Suzy Burke, Co-Convener of the ECCT Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation, forwarded this link to Oprah Winfrey’s two-night special Where Do We Go from Here . Oprah is speaking directly with Black thought leaders, activists and artists about systematic racism and the current state of America. Featured guests include: Stacey Abrams, Charles M. Blow, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Ava DuVernay, Jennifer Eberhardt, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram Kendi, David Oyelowo, Rashad Robinson and Bishop William J. Barber II.

In addition, St. Luke's Church & Trinity on the Green in New Haven invite us to celebrate Juneteenth with them.
Wednesday, June 17th, 7 pm: 
Power, Protest, Social Change: Faithfully Responding to Systemic Racism and Inequity   
Featuring Charles Blow, Dr. Angela Dillard, and The Rt. Rev. Rob Wright, along with Professor Ivy Forsythe-Brown, we are hosting another webinar to explore these and other connected issues. Link to register
Wednesday, June 24th, 7 pm:
Art and Pandemic: A Conversation with artists, community leaders, and writers about COVID-19
All Art, Nina Simone famously said, "reflects the times.” Whether by design or default, COVID-19 challenges the way art is made, the issues it takes up, the community it gathers, and the public it engages. Bringing together a writer, an artist, and a leader of arts organizations, we will look at the emerging duties and opportunities that artists face now and in the future. Link to register: 

Reimagining Policing | A 3-Part Series beginning June 18, 6:30 p.m.

Session 1
To Protect and Serve
The role of policing was imagined once. Yet the horrors of the ongoing War on Drugs, mass incarceration, and the police brutality that resulted in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other black and brown men, women and children, require us as people of faith and good will to use our collective energy to reimagine the role of policing today. The status quo is no longer an option. Let’s dream together to find a better way. Panelists will first cover the history, policy, and practice of policing, then we will have breakout sessions to hear from you. We invite you to bring your ideas and dreams to this engaging discussion as we work, by faith, to reimagine policing.
Session 2: When the Hype is Over
Eventually, the anger will subside, but will your energy die down with it? We invite you to a candid conversation where we will discuss actionable steps and viable solutions to end police brutality.
Session 3: The Colors of COVID: The Media and Your News Feed


June is National Rivers Month , and American Rivers is teaming up with NRS and Orvis for Just Add Water , a campaign to break down barriers and elevate the importance of racial and ethnic diversity in the outdoors.
We’re following documentary film producer and outdoor enthusiast Faith Briggs, and avid kayaker, former river guide and all-around outdoorsman Adam Edwards, as they share their adventures and lead conversations about making the outdoors safe and accessible for all.
Being Disciples and apostles: Paying attention to food insecurity
Invitation to pray at the summer solstice:
Connecting to the body of Christ, as disciples in the care of creation
Join Rachel Thomas and others in a livestream of guided meditation and prayers at the summer solstice. June 20, 5:40 pm. Find a place outside where you can put your barefeet (!) on the ground, and join us on Facebook live @SoutheastRegionECCT
Being disciples and apostles:
good news for the poor includes economic justice

  • The Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington will be the largest digital gathering of poor, dispossessed and impacted people, faith leaders, and people of conscience on June 20, 2020.
  • The increasing urgency of a broad movement led by the poor and most impacted is more apparent every day. Now is the time to organize towards collective action to enact a moral agenda for the nation. As our ranks grow in the coming months due to COVID-19 and the ongoing crisis of poverty, building a platform for the plight, fight, and insight of the poor is even more urgent
  • We are marshalling our collective voices to demonstrate the power of our communities. We demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism by implementing our Moral Agenda.
  • This 2 hour program will be broadcast on Saturday, June 20th at 10:00am EST and 6:00pm EST and again on Sunday, June 21st at 6:00pm EST. Visit to tune in. 

For more information, visit their website .
Being Disciples and Apostles: sheltering those without housing
The current pandemic has had disproportionate effects on many marginalized communities, included the un-housed population in Connecticut. However, service providers and advocates have been working hard to keep people who are homeless safe and healthy, despite difficult conditions and novel challenges. They have been resourceful, compassionate, and diligent in the face of this pandemic.

We would like to share some of what has been happening behind the scenes at the New London Homeless Hospitality Center as well as across the state. Join us on Sunday, June 14th at 1pm for a Zoom webinar featuring Cathy Zall, executive director of the Homeless Hospitality Center. Learn more about how advocates have been responding to this crisis, and how you can help, even as restrictions are beginning to ease throughout the state.

To participate in this webinar,  please register here   . The webinar is free and open to all, but you must register in advance. We hope many of you can join us for this informative and important event.
Forming disciples and apostles: Learning, sharing, caring
It’s happening! Vacation Bible School Musical Theater over ZOOM .  
Many thanks to Laurie Burke, of All Saints, Ivoryton, who directed the first year of this venture last year and spent a long time figuring out how to do it creatively and safely this year. 
The sessions will be held on line from July 6th to July 31st, weekday mornings, on line. Participants will spend that time rehearsing group and solo singing, choreographed movement, acting and other fun activities that revolve around specific Bible Stories. Using what is covered during the sessions, they will then independently submit recordings of themselves performing from the comfort of their own homes. These recordings will be compiled into a Christian Musical Theater video production to be released sometime after July 31, 2020 
Participants will need: a) WiFi, b) Access to two of the following: Mobile phone, Tablet or PC with video and audio recording capabilities. (When recording they will need to play the demo tape from YouTube on one device and record with the second device. (A TV that can play YouTube and works with headphones of some type may also fit the bill) c) earphones, earbuds or headphones. d) a tripod or something to properly hold and aim the video recording device .
Production, coaching, study help always wanted and appreciated! 
Grades 2 – 8 th . Please email Laurie at with questions and to request an application. The cost is $50 for the first child in each family; $20 for each additional child.   

Friday, June 26
9:30 a.m.

Bishop's Book Discussion at Camp Washington - Online!

Join Bishop Ahrens and others across ECCT in a conversation about Kaitlin B. Curtice's book, Native.

Liz Harris Cannonball Road Race in Preston in on!
The race was established in 1992 in an effort to support Youth Programs offered by St. James Episcopal Church in Preston, following the untimely death of Liz Harris. Ms. Harris was known as “Aunt Liz” to hundreds of Children in the Preston community, and a faithful member of St.James’. The Program has raised around $186,000.00, used as scholarships for children to go to camp.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 29 th running of the event will be a little different this year. On June 18 th staring at 6:30 until 7:00 pm, we will be holding a “Car Parade” which will still benefit the “Kids to Camp” program. The “Car Parade” will Thank and honor pandemic front line responders, over 1,000 volunteers, the late Liz Harris (Auntie Liz), Father David L. Cannon and Race directors Tim and Kris-Anne Kane. At 6:30 PM, participants will meet at the Liz Harris Softball Field at the Preston Community Park. At 6:45 Autos will proceed to Route 2A south end of School House Rd. Preston. Autos will proceed in single file and stop near old school grounds to wait for 7:00 pm traditional race Cannon to sound off its BOOM, signaling autos to begin blowing their horns as they exit School House Road at the Route 2 north end and return home safe.
or to our Facebook page: St. James Episcopal Church. A donation may also be sent to St. James Church, 95 Route 2A, Preston, CT 06365; ATTN: LHCB on the envelope and checks can be made out to LHCB ST. James Church. Thank you!
Fed by Word and Sacraments:
Midweek opportunities for worship and study

Daily Noonday praye r:  St. James’, New London
St. Ann's, Old Lyme, 9:00 p.m. Compline

St. Stephen’s, East Haddam , 8:00 a.m. and noonday; 
St. Ann's, Old Lyme, 10:00 a.m. Morning Prayer via Zoom
St. James’, New London , 10:00 a.m. Bible study via zoom – details at
St. Andrew's, Madison , 7:00 p.m. Compline
St. John’s, Essex;   9:00 a.m  Link to YouTube channel at
Grace, Old Saybrook: 10:00 a.m. Healing prayers
St.Mark’s, Mystic, 11:00 a.m.  St. Mark’s Live - a grab bag of classes and conversations

St. Stephen’s, East Haddam 8:00 a.m. and noonday.

St. James’, New London , 10:00 a.m.  Fellowship, sharing, visiting time.

Grace, Old Saybrook , 7:00 - 8:30 p.m . : Zoom bible study of John's Gospel on 1st and 3rd Thursdays. Contact for zoom link.

St. James', Preston and Grace, Yantic, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Dwelling in the Word and Compline Join Zoom Meeting ;
password 246835 Meeting ID: 662 330 272
One tap mobile +16465588656,,662330272# US (New York)

Deacon Ron Steed is hosting a weekly, guided healing-prayer meditation on Fridays at 8:00 am on zoom."I lead you into a safe and quiet space with silence and storytelling, then guide us through some healing prayer for whoever is on your heart.We should finish in about 30 minutes with a little time for reflection." Contact Ron for the link. 
Connected to the Wider Body of Christ
Here's is a link to the "Living with COVID-19: Protocols and Directions" document developed as CT began to enter Phase 1 of opening up some public spaces.
Remember to check out all the great resources on the COVID-19 page at . You'll find resources on:
  • Finances
  • Digital and Online Communication
  • Self-Care
  • Recordings of Bishops and Wardens zooms
  • Listing of Livestream worship
  • Materials presented by Robin Hameal Urban and Lee Ann Tolzmann on Effective Leadership during Anxiety & Pandemic

Digital Office Hours with Jasree and Alli! Every Thursday, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm. What a treat! Register here .

Faithful Futures:
Virtual Worship and Gatherings in the Time of COVID-19

The Rev. Adam Thomas was one of the techies featured on this helpful panel.
And thanks to the wonders of technology, you can benefit.

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