Checking in: February 13, 2021
St. Ann's in Old Lyme has been holding weekly worship outdoors in their Memorial Garden since September 1st, using liturgies from God's Good Earth, compiled by Anne and the Rt. Rev. Jeffery Rowthorn. They share their experiences and a glimpse of their worship in this BLT.
Fed by Word and Sacraments
The liturgical season teaches us about life following Jesus
This Sunday, February 13, the last Sunday After the Epiphany:
The Episcopal Church's Absalom Jones Offering to Support HBCUs
In honor of Black History Month and Blessed Absalom Jones, the first African American priest in The Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has invited Episcopalians everywhere to deepen our participation in Christ’s ministry of reconciliation by engaging with and supporting Episcopal Historically Black Colleges and Universities, known as HBCUs.
Congregations and individuals are urged to dedicate the offering from their observance of the Feast of Absalom Jones (February 13) to support the two Episcopal HBCUs: St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, N.C., and Voorhees College in Denmark, S.C. Learn more in this Sunday's bulletin insert from The Episcopal Church.
Learn more about our Episcopal HBCUs and how your gift helps support the work of racial justice and reconciliation. Give online or text GIVEHBCU to 41444.
Also, this Sunday is World Mission Sunday:
Resources for World Mission Sunday and Beyond

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry invites the church to observe World Mission Sunday on February 14, the Last Sunday after the Epiphany. In a video message, Bishop Curry urges us to focus on the global impact of the Baptismal Covenant’s call to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305), and raise awareness of the many ways in which The Episcopal Church participates in God’s mission around the world.
Valentines' Day Pastoral Care in St. John's, Essex
Christian Formation Director Becky Honan created materials for families and individuals to create Valentines Day Cards over Zoom and send them to parishioners and loved ones.
Ash Wednesday:
Recommendations and Guidance
On February 17 we will observe Ash Wednesday, thus beginning our preparations for Holy Week with the Lenten season of penitence and fasting. Our bishops, along with ECCT Liturgical Commission co-chairs, the Rev. Stephanie Johnson and the Rev. Tuesday Rupp, have offered up guidance and recommendations for Ash Wednesday, and the imposition of ashes in particular, in our current context.
Included in this document is a very interesting history of the imposition of ashes, written by the Rt. Rev Neil Alexander, “A Note on Ash Wednesday and the Imposition of Ashes in a Time of Pandemic.” Alexander is Professor of Liturgy and Quintard Professor at Sewanee and Bishop emeritus of Atlanta..
Ash Wednesday in the SE Region: Fed by word and sacraments, with a bit of theological imagination as well

Our thanks to Faithe Emerich, Director of Youth and Education Ministry in St. John's, Niantic, for putting together these resources for Ash Wednesday observance at home:
Faithe Emerich
A community of Theological Imagination
Learn to Bake as a Spiritual Practice
Interested in learning to integrate bread baking into your busy schedule? 
Curious how to use your baking as a form of prayer?
Join baker and theologian Kendall Vanderslice for a virtual Bread Baking as a Spiritual Practice workshop!
Each 2-hour workshop guides you through the basic principles of bread baking as well as embodied, contemplative prayer. They are designed to be interactive, so you'll receive a list of ingredients before the event in order to bake along. But if you prefer to simply observe, you can treat it as a demonstration too!
Being Disciples and Apostles: Learning, Praying and Working to become the Beloved Community

Sat. Feb. 27, 2021 11 AM EST
ECCT Racial Healing, Justice & Reconciliation
Ministry Network Gathering
Our guest speaker this quarter will be our ECCT archivist, Greg Farr, who will lead an orientation session on historical research search. Additionally, Greg will provide a template/checklist to assist us in fulfilling the work of historical research mandated by our ECCT Annual Convention (Resolution #7). 

Note: If you are interested in Greg's presentation as well as in the following event, please know that Greg will also be presenting at the Faithful Futures on March 4th, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

There's a great resource for looking at the complicity of the Episcopal Church in slavery, including a timeline, here.

St. Mark's, New Canaan offers this video as a look at what they have discovered in their parish history.

The Black Church: This is our story, this is our song. 

This program is hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. Premiering February 16 & 17 on PBS at 9:00 PM.
The program is hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr and premiers February 16 & 17 on PBS at 9:00 PM. This moving four-hour, two-part series from executive producer, host and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, all the way down to its bedrock role as the site of African American survival and grace, organizing and resilience, thriving and testifying, autonomy and freedom, solidarity and speaking truth to power. The documentary reveals how Black people have worshiped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from Africa to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own, but a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was found in their ancestors’ enslavement across the Middle Passage.” 
Building Capacity as Faithful Leaders: Hope in times of Anxiety

Saturday, February 27 from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Are you growing weary of life in “COVID-time?” Would you benefit from a Lenten Retreat?
Join our bishops and laity from across ECCT for a day of spiritual refreshment and learning. Living in the midst of chronic anxiety impacts all of us; our relationships with our children, spouses/partners, family, friends, colleagues, and faith communities. Together we will learn about the predictable ways humans react to chronic anxiety from Dr. David Olsen, a nationally recognized expert on the impact of anxiety on families and churches. We will also explore patterns of behavior that can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Interspersed throughout the day our chaplains from the Bethany House of Prayer will offer opportunities for reflection, meditation, and prayer. 
Note: This is a free event open to all laity in ECCT; preregistration is required in order to receive the Zoom link. Register Here

If you are 65 to 74 years old, you can book your appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the state’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line (877-918-2224) as well as with some independent vaccine providers. You may also be able to book an appointment through the state’s online central system or VAMS.

Being Disciples and Apostles: Caring for Creation
Creation Care Grants from The Episcopal Church
Application deadline March 26, 2021
Creation Care Grant applications are now being accepted by The Episcopal Church through March 26, 2021. Recognizing that much has changed in our world this past year and that much work needs to be done, in this grant round the Task Force seeks to support long-term ministries that focus on addressing the inequitable and systemic impacts of environmental racism and support regional and local collaborative ecojustice projects.
Next walk scheduled for February 22, 2021: location to be determined. Please email Rachel if you're interested in joining along.
In the News...sharing God's grace in the neighborhood
The Rev. Dana Stivers, has recently taken a call to St. Giles Episcopal Church in Jefferson, Maine. She'll still be working at the Incarnation Center a bit, but has moved to Maine. We will miss her! And prayers for great grace in her new life.

St. James', Preston, decided to forgo their traditional Lenten Fish and Chips dinners this year due to the pandemic. We know this is a difficult decision for them; and there are many, far and wide, who look forward to them every year. Here's an article that talks about their decision (and lets people know what's happening.)

St. James' in New London received a grant from the United Way for their food pantry. Read about their grant and others received in this article.
Building Capacity as Disciples and Apostles:
Faithfully living with others in Community

Safe Church Training Winter 2021
All ECCT Safe Church Training (SCT) includes an online course followed by a 3-hour live session on Zoom. 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.

The Commons Companion
Announcing "The Commons Companion" Resource for Parish Leaders
Now available on ECCT's website
ECCT Finance and Operations Team worked ardently over the last several months re-designing and expanding the former "Treasurers Newsletter." The newly designed resource "The Commons Companion" will serve to facilitate parish leaders in the following areas including; best practices, finance and human resources, clergy compensation, administration, and much more
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: