Checking in: July 4, 2020

Photo: Joe & Erin Flinn
This week's BLT comes from the Rev. Anita Schell, Provisional Priest in Charge in St. Ann's, Old Lyme. She talks from the Memorial Garden at St. Ann's: opening a window to creation; following a very helpful list of guidelines for time in quarantine.
For this Fourth of July
You're invited to join our Bishops at 9:00 a.m. for
A Special Liturgy Affirming Our Commitment to Racial Justice
Independence Day, July 4th - 9 a.m.
no registration required
And perhaps you'll take the time to list to this 17 minutes of Ossie Davis presenting the great oration of Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" delivered in 1852 to the ladies of the Rochester Anti-Slavery Sewing Society.
A community of Theological Imagination
The latest in The Rev. Stacey Kohl's series on Lament.
On the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, 2020--When we are encountered with death, our only option is to lament; the lament of the funeral dirge.  “The story we would all honestly rather forget.”

Have a look to consider the theological imagination embedded in our history as Christians in this country, as well as in our present time. What kind of community are we shaping now?

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.
Please register over Eventbrite .
Contact Rachel or Ron if you have any questions. 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
Resources from the
Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation Ministry Network
If you don’t know how to respond to those (mostly white) folks who don’t understand why people are still talking about racism when slavery ended 150 years ago, the civil rights movement was 60 years ago, racial discrimination is illegal, and we’ve had a black president, you’ll find this 17 minute video useful.
Phil Vischer carefully narrates the history of race in America over the last 100 years and shares abundant data that explain why the average black household has 1/10th the wealth of the average white household. To quote from the video: “This didn't happen by accident, it happened by policy. We, the majority culture, told them where they could live and where they couldn't. Then we moved most of the jobs to the places we told them they couldn't live. When the predictable explosion of unemployment and poverty resulted in a predictable increase in drug use and crime, we criminalized the problem. We built $19 billion of new jails and sold grenade launchers to the police. As a result, a white boy born in America today has a 1 in 23 chance of going to prison in his lifetime. For a black boy, it's 1 in 4.” 
From Juneteenth to the Tulsa massacre : What isn't taught in classrooms has a profound impact.
The Episcopal Church Foundation just released the latest Vestry Papers, which includes writings about Racial Justice and Reconciliation from Canon Stephanie Spellers, Dean Kelly Brown Douglas, Catherine Meeks, and more.

Faithful Futures - Racial Justice in CT: Police Accountability, Legislative Advocacy, and the Role of the Church
Thursday July 9, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
more details to follow
Building Capacity as disciples and apostles:

Worship Leader Training: How to lead Morning Prayer

Saturday, July 11, 2020, 9:00 a.m. EST
Designed to be led by clergy or laity, Morning Prayer may be offered by lay leaders in a parish on those occasions when a priest cannot be present to preside at the Eucharist. In this workshop led by Bishop Diocesan Ian T. Douglas, participants will experience the beauty of Morning Prayer and learn how to lead it.

The training must be attended by the parishioner and the Ecclesiastical Authority of the parish (either clergy or Senior Warden where there is no clergy.) The Ecclesiastical Authority will need to certify that the parishioner has participated in the training.
Building Capacity:
Bishop Ahrens' Book Group

Next meeting is July 24 at 9:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Note from Rachel:
This is a great book that brought an older person like me up to date on the language of intersectionality that was not a part of my college education years ago. In the process of doing that, Dr. Kendi shares his personal story as well as his helpful appreciation of the complexities of wanting to be Anti-Racist (as opposed to just "not a racist." )

Building our Capacity for Resilience
Being and forming disciples & apostles: in the home
Parenting in the Wilderness: A Sacred Space for Connection & Fun

9am, Noon or 8:30pm the 2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month
Begins Thursday, June 25

Word on the street is that parenting and providing care for children of all ages has been a bit more (ahem) challenging in the last few months. While many of us have reached our Zoom limits, ECCT invites you into a sacred space of compassion and grace, hoping to provide some support and fellowship to those of us struggling to make it all work, as we care for children. We hope to have a little fun together, too. Each meeting, we’ll gather together with clergy and lay facilitators to hold one another up.

Please be sure your name in your Zoom “square” displays your name & your parish affiliation, so that we can safely be in conversation.
Disciples and Apostles in Creation care and enjoyment

The CT River Conservancy is looking for someone in the Essex area with motorized boat who would be available for a couple of hours around sunrise to help monitor test sites in the CT River.

The staff member would be masked and gloved, and respect the distance possible depending on boat size. This is needed every other week ; if you’re willing to take even a few weeks, that would help. If you’re interested, please contact: Kelsey Wentling ( )
In case you didn't see it, here's a link to an ECCT Guest Blog post by Judy Benson of St. James', New London.
Hiking, waterfalls, and grace navigating racial justice these days
Connecting to the Wider Body of Christ
A sub-heading could be, "Responding to Fundraising Challenges during COVID 19"
The Great EpisGOpal Race/Walk Fundraiser!

Any distance. Anywhere. Any mode. Any time. 
Run, walk, bike, skate, scooter. 
Do it your way.
and raise money for Episcopal ministries responding to needs created by COVID-19 all across the larger Church!
Entrance fee is $15, or free for those who raise $50 in pledges. Learn more about the race here , including how to register as an individual or form a team (optional).
Even though it's organized by the churchwide Episcopal Church Women's outreach organization, folks of any gender can participate!
This at-your-own-time-and-pace "race" benefits the Episcopal Church Women United Thank Offering (UTO) granting program, which has chosen COVID-19 response as their theme for this grant cycle.

The United Thank Offering is the mission and outreach arm of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) at the churchwide level . You may remember the blue cardboard boxes for collecting coins in thanksgiving for daily blessings. This is the 2020 update to that campaign! 
“Not only Doors but hearts are open Today”
submitted by Philip Ludlow of
St. James, Preston
This week St. James Parish in Preston, sounded off a loud noise that could be heard throughout the region.
Brave members of this small community refused to cancel the 29 th Annual Liz Harris Cannonball road race and created an Auto Parade to raise money for their cause. Over the past years, this road race team, with the help of nearly 1,000 volunteers, has raised over $186,000.00 to send “Kid’s to Camp”. So in 2020, the idea of an Auto Parade fit the pandemic restriction requirements very well. The Parade, which honored Father David L. Cannon co-founder, the Harris Family and Race Directors Tim and Kris-Anne Kane, was made up of over 30 Preston Autos, Preston Fire Truck, Preston Ambulance and three State Trooper vehicles.
The Parade sent a loud voice through the community as cars with horns blasting and roadside spectators cheering proceeded to the old Preston school grounds to hear the traditional black powder cannon BOOM for the 29 th time.
During these trying times of the pandemic, the planning team didn’t want to ask local businesses, either closed or struggling with COVID-19 shutdowns, for donations. This cheerful group of volunteers raised over $1,500.00 through private donations for their “Kid’s to Camp” program.  Kudos to them all! 
Fed by Word and Sacraments:
Midweek opportunities for worship and study

Weekly: Check out the series on Lament produced each week by the Rev. Stacey Kohl of Christ Episcopal Church, Norwich:

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
Register here or watch it live on the EPPN's Facebook Page

Official copies of four resolutions from the recent Executive Council meeting can be found below. These resolutions speak to current realities in our Church and society. They commend the good work already happening and encourage dioceses, congregations, and individuals to take action in additional ways.
For your information, all of the resolutions from the June meeting can be accessed here:
Here's is a link to the "Living with COVID-19: Protocols and Directions" document developed as CT began to enter Phase 1, as well as now moving into Phase 3 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 .

Are you signed up for the ECCT eNews? CLICK HERE to get it delivered to your inbox! It's full of helpful information .