Checking in: September 19, 2020
The 2nd Annual Holy Friendship Gathering Outdoor Worship Service & Picnic took place on a farmstead in Preston this last Sunday.

The Rev. Kim Litsey, Priest in Charge in St. James’, Preston and Missional Priest in Grace, Yantic, offered worship with spiritual communion and parishioners from the partner parishes brought their own picnics to share. Deacon Ron Steed interviewed a few of the folks present to hear what they are praying for these days. Special thanks to him, and to Lori Sarkett of St. James, New London, who provided additional photos and the clip of the music by the Callithumpians (Bill Cournoyer on bodhran, Diane Cournoyer on fiddle, Peter Leibert button box and concertina, Mike Lafleur on Guitar).
For Future BLT's: I'd love to hear stories especially from parishes who have not yet been you know who you are? (I do). Please be in touch and we can talk what and how! Don't hide your light under a bushel basket!
If you do have a video in mind, please: use the landscape rather than the portrait format (eg horizontal rather than vertical) and please ask for a "File Request" from me to be able to easily load a HD 720 resolution video to a Dropbox link. (If that sounds complicated, it's not really!)
ALSO: ECCT's Digital Storyteller is glad to share your stories. Please send an email to to be considered. Please keep it under 600 words (a Word Doc preferred) and any photos or images you'd like included.
SE Region Convocation:
Moving beyond Complicity

October 3,
9 a.m. -11 a.m.
via ZOOM

Featuring Jenifer Frank, one of the authors of Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery. 

Your Region Leadership Team is pleased to host Jenifer Frank, one of the authors of Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery, for our SE Region Convocation on October 3, 2020, beginning at 9:00 a.m over Zoom. Please register here through Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link.

She will talk about the process of doing this research and writing about it, the response at the time, and how it changed her life. And we'll have time to talk about what all of this history has to do with us and racial injustices today. What's the next step we can take to help create a more just and equitable world, a Beloved Community?

The Rev. Stacey Kohl will be sharing a special video presentation reminding us of our baptismal vows. We need your help for this: please share photos of water in your life to this Dropbox link by September 25.
Being Disciples and Apostles: work on being Anti-Racist
Resources from the
Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation Ministry Network

To learn more about the season and Ministry Network of Racial Healing, Justice, & Reconciliation, visit our website here.
Kelli Ray Gibson, ECCT's Racial Justice Resource Coordinator, is proud to announce that ECCT is buying Black. In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, ECCT has partnered with the Connecticut based Key Book Store as our main provider for print and digital educational text. The Key Bookstore is a fully interactive bookstore experience. It engages readers through curation, activities, subscriptions, events, and community engagement. Their focus is to lead readers on a path to Self Mastery and the cultivation of connection on and offline with respect to the mission, “Divine liberation one page at a time”. 

Please be sure to check out the latest book recommendations on the ECCT RHJ&R resource page HERE, which will then direct you to The Key Bookstore for purchase options.
Interested in some great tips on how to build an effective anti-racist book study? Check out this information from

Virginia churches reckon with history in slave trade
Parishioners at Old Donation Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach were shocked — and dismayed — when their congregation’s records showed that their 383-year-old church once owned slaves. But when it comes to churches as slaveholders, Jennifer Oast, associate professor and chair of the history department at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, said the old church’s practice was not uncommon.
“Almost every institution in early Virginia owned slaves or made money from enslaved people,” she said. Churches were some of the first institutions in the colonies to own, use, sell — and abuse — the enslaved. It started with the Anglican Church, or Church of England, the first established church of the Virginia colony. But other denominations, including Catholics, Presbyterians and Lutherans, would later find ways to advocate benevolence and love while owning men, women and children.

Let’s Not Forget, Weathering Is Also Killing Black People
The term weathering refers to the way the constant stress of racism can lead to premature biological aging and worse health outcomes for Black people. When an individual faces repeated or chronic exposure to stress, this increased stress is higher cortisol levels from being in a constant state of fight-or-flight. Over time this chronic stress response can contribute to a vast array of negative health outcomes, from depression and migraines to hypertension and heart disease. Daily occurrences of microaggressions, residual effects of intergenerational trauma, and blatant acts of racism are all harmful to the health of people of color.

Kirk Herbstreit breaks down in tears during emotional message on racial injustice | College GameDay (

'Not everything is pretty here': Charleston tourism reckons with slavery and racism, Dartinia Hull, CNN, updated 31st August 2020

Created by Eunique Jones, Because of Them We Can weekly emails celebrate and amplify Black history and excellence.
Living as disciples and apostles:
seeking the welfare of our communities, country, and world
#VoteFaithfully Toolkit
Finally, in case you missed it, our election engagement toolkit has prayers, scripture, tips for advocacy, and action steps for casting your vote and helping others vote as well. Check it out in English and Spanish.
Today, September 19th, marks the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, by which women could finally vote in elections.

We give thanks for the capacity to take part in our country's life as voters, and celebrate the work that it has taken and continues to take to make sure that all can vote. In honor this day, Emma Palzere-Rae, parishioner in St. James', New London,
will take the stage (via Zoom) with three exciting events.

First, a live virtual performance of The Woodhull Project, her one-woman play which explores the life of Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States. We've been working hard to re-direct the play for Zoom and I'm really excited by the work the creative team is doing. You won't want to miss this (even if you've seen the play before)!

The play will be followed by two panel discussions. At 3:00 pm, Telling Women's Untold Stories through Theater; and at 4:00 pm, Artists as Activists. The event will conclude at 4:45 pm. Attendees can attend one, two, or all three events. The events are free, but registration is required to receive the link(s) to attend.

For more information and to register, visit: 

All programs are free, thanks to CT's Department of Economic Development/Office of the Arts and its Artists Respond program to support arts and our communities during COVID-19.
Living as disciples and apostles: Feeding the Hungry
Meal Site Leaders and Coordinators Needed

Many parishes in the Southeast Region participate in Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries (SSKP): as meal sites, as a pantry site, as providers of donations in all forms, as gardeners to offer fresh produce.

At this time, SSKP is in need of two meal site coordinators and several meal team leaders. The commitment for a site coordinator is approximately 10 hours spread out over the course of a month. The commitment for a meal team leader is approximately 4 hours one week per month. 

If you are interested in learning more about what these positions entail, please contact Jeff Ward at:
Living as Disciples and Apostles:
Hospitality for all
Urgent need
for rental properties

The rental market this tight right now. The Coalition on Housing & Homelessness has over 30 people that are looking for apartments. They have the financial resources and supports needed to be successful, but can't find an apartment at fair market rent. Your help is needed to connect us to property owners with apartments for rent. Please contact Ann Faust at (860) 346-8695 for further information..
Help Wanted! Homeless Hospitality Center,
 New London

Daytime Front Desk Receptionist
Answer phones, help guests with questions and take messages for guests and staff. The shifts are 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 12:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Help Center
Assist guests in resolving small issues to help them rebuild their lives. Work with them on resumes, job and housing applications, or financial aid for school, Assist guests in obtaining a driver’s license or CT ID, manage guest mail, and provide bus tickets when necessary.
A regular weekly commitment of a few hours is ideal. Shift hours are from 8:30am-12:30pm or 12:30pm-4:30pm

Contact the Volunteer Coordinator
Email Sara Ofner at
She can also be reached by phone at 860-439-1573, ext. 321
Middlesex Habitat for Humanity
is preparing its latest build in Westbrook, and is seeking volunteers to help out.

 In lieu of an Interfaith Build week, we have decided to host two full weekends in October (10.17-18 & 10.24-25). We will open a second site if there is a large response, and will not have a celebration. We discussed not holding it, as there are so many faith communities still not worshiping in person yet, however, we feel it is important to offer some dates for people of different faiths to build alongside each other. We will be sending out an invite the second week of September.

The new site at 382 Hammock Road North will hold open volunteer days throughout the build, which will occur on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. Below you will find instructions on how to register to volunteer and check for open volunteer days.
How to Register as a Volunteer:
1.    For new volunteers, click here to register.
2.    Complete all information that applies to you.
3.    Click complete application.
4.    Once you complete the application, you will be notified by email that your registration has been processed. Then you may sign up for a shift through the Volunteer Portal
Disciples and Apostles in Creation care and enjoyment
Events from the Inter-Religious Eco-Justice Network
Environment, Justice, Identity, and the 2020 Election - Sunday, Sept 20

Join us from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm for a webinar about the importance of intersectional environmentalism and its potential impact on the 2020 elections. Each presenter will share their unique perspective on the climate and justice crisis, and how we can work together to help the elections of 2020 become a turning point for the Earth and all her inhabitants.

Date: Sunday, Sept 20
Time: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Can We Align Our Diets for Good Nutrition & Sustainability?
- Thursday, October 1

Join us for a 90-minute webinar on how we can create a dietary plan that is sustainable and climate-friendly, while also providing good nutrition. Our presenter will be Rebecca Boehm, PhD, Economist with the Environment & Food Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Presenter: Rebecca Boehm, PhD, Union of Concerned Scientists

Date: Thursday, October 1
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Come save some trees and/or pick up litter at one of our favorite state parks 
Our fall invasive plant cleanups will be held on Saturday, September 26, 9:00-12:00 noon (rain date October 3) and Saturday, October 10(rain date 17) at Haddam Meadows State Park. The September event will be held in conjunction with the CT River Conservancy’s Source to Sea annual cleanup.
As required by the state and CT DEEP, those attending must register ahead of time. There will be a limit of 25 persons at each cleanup. Attendees shall remain six feet part, including family members, caretakers and household members. Masks shall be worn within six feet of those not in the same household.
Participants are asked to meet in the middle picnic area. Adults and youths, under 16 years of age accompanied by an adult, are encouraged to participate in removing oriental bittersweet and other invasives and/ or picking up litter. Please dress for the weather, wear waterproof boots, bring garden loppers or saw, insect repellent, sunscreen, water , snacks and first aid supplies. Snacks will not be provided. Do not bring pets. Volunteers with dump trucks and Haddam stickers are needed.
The event is being planned by CT DEEP Adopt -a -Park volunteers, Cherry Czuba, Mary Lou Heger, David Stiles and Jamie Burgess. Please register by emailing Cherry Czuba at
The Friends of Whalebone Cove (FoWC, Facebook page) have a few Paddle and Pull dates in Hadlyme's Selden Cove.

What do they paddle? canoes or kayaks. What do they pull? The invasive water chestnuts. If you can help on any of the followings for the "Paddle and Pulls" in Hadlyme’s Selden Cove, please contact

Tuesday 9/29 - 9AM (Rain Date: Wed. 9/30 - 10 AM)!"
Exploring Ecotheology: 
A Series on Christianity & Creation

September-October 2020
All Saints Episcopal Church,
San Leandro, CA
Facilitated by the
Rev. Justin R. Cannon, Rector

September 21, 2020 – 3:00pm Pacific Standard Time (6:00 pm for us!)
Biblical Foundations for Earthkeeping: Considering the Christian Story 
September 28, 2020 – 3:00pm Pacific Standard Time (6:00 pm for us!)
God’s Presence Fills All Creation: Critical Reflection & Dialogue
October 5, 2020 – 3:00pm Pacific Standard Time (6:00 pm for us!)
Creation Waits with Eager Longing!: Forming a Common Vision

Building Capacity as disciples and apostles:
our lives as leaders in parishes
Budget of Convention - on Zoom
- three dates

Join the Mission Finance & Operations team as they discuss how the 236th Annual 2021 Budget of Convention was shaped and will continue to serve God’s Mission in ECCT.

September 23, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
October 1, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m 
October 6, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Episcopal Warden Private Facebook Group
Safe Church Training Fall 2020: 
All ECCT Safe Church Training (SCT) includes an online course followed by a 3-hour live session on Zoom. New online courses are designed to reflect whether you have previously participated in SCT, whether you currently have oversight responsibilities for events, programs or others engaged in ministry, and ministerial roles. This training is grounded in our call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being. It offers an opportunity to increase and enhance our ability to live out our Baptismal Covenant within our communities of faith and in the world beyond.
There is no fee to attend. Parish leaders are responsible for tracking attendance of laity who need to participate in SCT as specified in Appendix A of ECCT's Model Safe Church Policies.
Registration for SCT is through Eventbrite. To register, click on one of the dates below for a live follow-up Zoom session. These sessions are limited to 20 participants and registration closes one week before the Zoom session or when capacity is reached, whichever comes first. Additional training sessions will be added as needed.

Being and forming disciples & apostles: in the home

Parenting in the Wilderness:
Monthly at 9:00 a.m.

ECCT invites you into a sacred space of compassion, grace, and fun, hoping to provide some support and fellowship to those of us struggling to make it all work, as we care for children. Gather with clergy and lay facilitators to hold one another up. Join the Zoom conversations here!

Please be sure your name in your Zoom “square” displays your name & your parish affiliation, so that we can safely be in conversation.

Upcoming leaders:
·   Margie Baker on September 10
·   Tracy Johnson Russell on October 8
·   Rebekah Hatch on November 12
Faith Formation Discussion Opportunities

Linnae Peterson, from the Diocese of New Hampshire, will lead weekly Zoom conversations in September on a variety of formation-related topics. The goals of these informal discussions are to better connect formation folks across the Province, to inspire each other with ideas and to share our resources. Discussion times and topics are as follows:

   September 22nd, 7:00 PM Creating and Equipping a Community of Teachers for Online Formation

The zoom link for each meeting will be the same, which can be found here.
For more information on each of these discussions, contact Province Coordinator Emily Keniston.
Fed by Word and Sacraments:
Midweek opportunities for worship and study
Daily Noonday prayer: St. James’, New London
St. Ann's, Old Lyme, 9:00 p.m. Compline

St. Stephen’s, East Haddam, 8:00 a.m.
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, 8:30 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. Ann's, Old Lyme, 4:00 p.m. Prayers for the Season of Creation (outdoors in Memorial Garden; bring a cushion.)

St. Stephen’s, East Haddam 8:00 a.m.

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)

St. John's, Essex, 8:30 p.m.: Compline

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
It's Coming! ECCT Annual Convention!

The World Cafe Conversations will take place October 14, 15, and 16 and will be free of charge.
If you're not familiar with World Cafe, you can find out what we considered last year on the ECCT Annual Convention page from 2019.

Convention Art Display: We Are the Body of Christ

We need your help producing a digital mosaic art installation as a part of this year's Convention. All we need is for you to submit an image of yourself--and hopefully get others from your congregation to do the same. Please send an image of yourself or, with their permission, another member of the ECCT to

Please send only JPEG, TIFF, or PNG files. Please be certain you have the rights to any image you send. Individual images will be very small, but there will be a lot of them, so lower resolution is preferable. Head shots are preferred to minimize cropping. Clergy are asked to send a shot in clerical collar. Full color images of Church buildings, interior or exterior, are also most welcome. There is no guarantee that any particular image will be included. Images of people will have top priority for inclusion.
Deadline October 2; please send to

And there's also the opportunity to be in the virtual choir at Annual Convention. Please contact Marianne Vogel of Christ Church Cathedral for more information. is your go-to website for Convention updates.

Digital Office Hours with Jasree and Alli! Every Thursday, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm. What a treat! Register here.
Speaking of being connected to the wider body of Christ...
Are you signed up for the ECCT eNews?

CLICK HERE to get it delivered to your inbox! The body of Christ extends beyond the Southeast Region- Imagine!