Checking in: August 1, 2020

Photo: Joe & Erin Flinn
This week's BLT comes from Sallie Boody of St. Mary's, Fenwick.

St. Mary's is a summer chapel is a little-known part of ECCT located in the Fenwick Borough of Old Saybrook. Sallie and her husband Robert are usually active there during the summers, while often being a part of St. Paul's,Westbrook and All Saints, Ivoryton during the winter. She talks about the history of the chapel, its location, and knowing God in this time of the chapel being closed due to the Coronavirus.
A community of Theological Imagination
A crucial invitation for our time is to consider how what we hear from Jesus and say we believe influences how we act in the world around us. This means considering the political implications of following Jesus.
On the July 1 Zoom call with Clergy and Wardens, Bishop Douglas offered these helpful, brief words to guide us in thinking about the difference between being political and being partisan. Have a listen. (Thanks to Alli and Jasree for the tech support!)
Christian Discipleship & The Problem of Racism

Explore the connection between Christian discipleship and the problem of racism with an eye toward our collective and individual commitments to change these structures by aligning them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This free, public seminar is offered by  St. Chrysostom's Church  in Chicago, in partnership with  Bexley Seabury Seminary . To register,  sign up here .
On Tuesday, July 28 at 6pm, the Rev. Dr. Reggie Williams, professor of Christian ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, will be the inaugural speaker in a series of webinars that will help us break free from ideologies that hinder our Christian discipleship. Tuesday, August 25, the Rev. Dr. Jason Fout, Associate Professor of Anglican Theology at Bexley Seabury, will share his experience and theological take on the history and sin of racism. Tuesday September 29, Dr. Williams will moderate a panel conversation with faculty of Bexley Seabury Seminary, and Tuesday October 27, Dr. Williams will conclude the series with practical next steps. We recommend you read his book Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and An Ethic of Resistance and/or   this excerpt .
Panelists Include:
·     Jason Fout - Associate Professor of Anglican Theology, Bexley Seabury; Chicago, Illinois
·     Nicholas Pearce - Professor, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Founder and CEO, The Vocati Group, Assistant Pastor, Chicago’s historic Apostolic Church of God; Chicago, Illinois
·     Reggie Williams - Professor of Christian Ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary; Chicago, Illinois
Please register here:
Being Disciples and Apostles: work on being Anti-Racist
Resources from the
Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation Ministry Network - This website invites all people of faith - lay and ordained individuals, parishes, dioceses, community leaders, businesses, etc. - to sign their names and make a covenant to move beyond "talking" about change to engaging in real transformative work. 

To learn more about the season and Ministry Network of Racial Healing, Justice, & Reconciliation, visit our website here .
Being Disciples and Apostles:
living the Gospel call today, locally
Note from Rachel:
I am hearing from people who are reading and reflecting on white privilege in new ways and who want to be working to dismantle the structures that elevate whiteness at the expense of black and brown people. While I do not presume to be an authority on how to do this, I have been drawn to my need to be led by others who are black and brown, and who are (and have been) engaged in the world of dismantling racist structures in our country. With that in mind, I offer the following links to organizations you may want to learn more about and become a part of, to support their gospel work.
The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

In the coming year, our ranks will increase as we broaden our efforts and stretch the banner of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival even wider. We rise together because:
1.   We rise to demand that  the 140 million poor and low-income people in our nation  — from every race, creed, color, sexuality and place — are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda. 
2.   We rise not as left or right, Democrat or Republican, but as a moral fusion movement to build power, build moral activism, build voter participation, and we won’t be silent any more!
3.    We rise  to change the moral narrative  and demand that the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy/militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism all be ended. 
4.   We rise to challenge the lie of scarcity in the midst of abundance.
5.   We rise to lift the voices and faces of poor and low-income Americans and their moral allies with a new vision of love, justice, and truth for America that says poverty can be abolished and change can come.
You can find out more and read their platform here:
This is a CT - based group that is working in the same direction as the Poor Peoples' Campaign. They have been lobbying especially for police accountability. Here is what they are about:

Moral Monday CT gathers voices in the struggle for freedom and justice for black and brown people.
We are rooted in the social justice and civil rights movement. We are a statewide Connecticut-based coalition of individuals and organizations brought together by the power of the Movement for Black Lives. Moral Monday CT was founded by  Bishop John Selders  and  Lady Pamela Selders
National Partner organizations include:  Repairers of the Breach Black Lives Matter , the  Fellowship of Reconciliation Ferguson Action Deep Abiding Love Project  and others
One of my thoughts has been to get a group together to make our way through this list and talk about our experiences as we do so. If you're interested, please email me.
Living as Disciples and Apostles:
following our carpenter Lord,
hoping that all people have a place to lay their heads
Middlesex Habitat for Humanity is preparing its latest build in Westbrook, and is seeking volunteers to help out.
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

If you are already a registered MHFH volunteer click here to sign up for a shift  through the  Volunteer Portal . You will then be prompted to sign in using your registered email and first name. Once you sign in you may sign up for a shift .
Building Capacity as disciples and apostles:
our lives as leaders in parishes
New Episcopal Warden Private Facebook Group

Here is a new group created for Wardens across the Church. Started locally here in ECCT, this space provides an opportunity to share questions, thoughts, ideas, and more. I encourage our wardens to join on Facebook if you are able.

our lives as stewards of God's gifts

TENS - The Episcopal Network for Stewardship
Workshops happening in July and August

Reserve your spot on Eventbrite for these workshops by clicking the link attached to the name of the workshop. More information and free resources membership to TENS available at .

· August 15 1:00 p.m. EST Creating Virtual Community for Stewardship  - learn more about how to create meaningful small groups and pastoral teams virtually. 
  August 29 1:00 p.m. EST  How to use the TENS 2020 Materials for your Stewardship Campaign  - Walk through this year's resources to maximize their usefulness. 
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 a 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 (
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, 9:00-1 2:00 noon (raindate October 3 )and Saturday, October 10(raindate 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
Envious of the New London Pollinator Pathway? Here's your opportunity to work with others to build one in the Haddam, Essex, Deep River, Chester, Old Saybrook Area. Pollinator Pathway East has a Facebook group, and is looking for people to expand the pathway. Look for the group to join and learn more! If you're not on Facebook, contact Rachel and she'll connect you with the leader.
Fed by Word and Sacraments:
Midweek opportunities for worship and study
Weekly: Check out the series on Daily Prayer 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
It's Coming! ECCT Annual Convention!
A hearty group of people has been working diligently for a year to provide the Episcopal Church in Connecticut with a great Annual Convention. Their work deepened in demands when COVID-19 meant that it would all be virtual.
For their work, we receive the gift of a virtual convention.This means that even more people can participate, especially in the World Cafe Conversations that 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. You are also invited to submit a question for your fellow Episcopalians to consider. The form to do so is found here. is your go-to website for Convention updates.
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 .

Correction from the SE Region BRIDGE of July 22: Saint Ann's is the preferred way of referring to this parish in Old Lyme, rather than "St."

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