Staying Connected as a Faith Community
Thursday, October 22, 2020
The following was shared during Zoom Worship this past Sunday by Mechelle Olόrtegui, Senior Warden of the St. Mary's Vestry and Mark Winzler, President of Concordia's Congregation Council:

Besides ourselves, all of us know people, whether family, friends, acquaintances, or co-workers who have been deeply impacted by these COVID-times which continue to cause stress and uncertainty. 
 
Parishioners in any church, yes, even in our two parishes, sometimes hold clergy to higher expectations than we hold one another. In light of that, we sometimes we forget that, as fellow children of God, clergy are not immune from the impact of these COVID times….especially as daily they serve God’s Church in new, different and unexpected ways since mid-March.
 
And so, today, corporately we pause to say a simple, but heartfelt “thanks” to Rector Ann Lovejoy Johnson and Pastor John Marschhausen for serving as our spiritual leaders particularly during these trying, uncertain and stressful times for all of us.
 
We pray:
Loving God, Thank you for being our shield and strength. You are a God of compassion and faithfulness. During this challenging time, please protect, nourish and sustain Rector Ann Lovejoy Johnson and Pastor John Marschhausen and other church leaders through the work of your Holy Spirit. May they find rest and encouragement in your loving care. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.  
 
Feel free to send a note (email) to Rev. Ann to express your own personal thanks for all she does to lead St. Mary's here in Manchester.


Click the link to today's Morning Devotions recorded in the Chapel.


Contemplative Prayer Service

Sundays @ 4 pm

Church Street lawn

Don't forget to bring your mask, chair and to maintain social distance as we come together for a time of prayer and fellowship and as the weather gets cooler feel free to bring a blanket to keep warm with!

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God,
serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
– 1 PETER 4:10
Dearly Beloved in Christ, 

“Growing Our Faith Through Prayer, Service & Generosity” is a fitting theme for this year’s stewardship campaign. What a “growing” year it’s been! The coronavirus pandemic has brought great disruptions, losses and anxieties, to be sure. But I believe it has led us to grow in new ways—making us stronger, more resilient and even more connected than before. Members of St. Mary’s have risen to the challenge and discovered new ways to use the gifts God has given them to serve God’s mission, our church and our community. Some examples of this:

  • Made fabric masks and distributed them free to parishioners and the community;
  • Participated in leadership training to further the grass roots social-justice efforts of the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA); 
  • Organized and contributed to drive-through food drives to stock community food pantries;
  • Created hand-knitted hats, scarves, mittens, blankets and prayer shawls and donated them to people in need; and
  • Created an art installation on the church lawn affirming our baptismal vow to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” 

We deeply appreciate everything parishioners are doing to serve our church and our community.

While we’ve been unable to gather in person, the usual focus on weekly worship has been spread throughout the week. We found ways to gather virtually, worship in different ways, pray for one another and reach out to the community. For example, we have:

  • Partnered with Concordia Lutheran Church for virtual Sunday worship services;
  • Offered virtual Compline or “Night Prayers” at least four nights weekly, led by a number of parishioners;
  • Livestreamed or recorded weekly Morning Devotions from the chapel, with help from our “Tech Team”
  • Begun a weekly Contemplative Prayer service, Sunday afternoons, held outside on the lawn (following all precautions); and 
  • Reached out regularly to parishioners through phone calls by vestry members and others, helping to stay connected during this unusual time.
 
Parishioners’ efforts to further St. Mary’s mission and to help one another are inspiring as we plan our work together for 2021. But we still have many questions to ask and answer. How are we formed and led into relationship with each other as we share our gifts with the world and especially the greater Manchester community? How will you discover and use the gifts God has given you? How will you hear the Gospel call to seek and serve Christ in all people, and respond with generosity? Are we open and committed to seriously serving in a new way? 

As vestry has reported to the parish for at least the last two years, our financial outlook is poor, and we are concerned about our sustainability. In the coming year, we will need to do serious soul-searching about our future—who we are, our mission, and more. But God’s work does not stop as we try to figure this out. We still need to carry on ministries and care for one another and our community, striving to show God’s love to all. And we can’t do it without you. 

We are the stewards of God’s manifold grace because we give to the world from what we have received. We are indeed “Growing Our Faith Through Prayer, Service & Generosity.”

Your stewardship committee will soon send you a packet with an appeal and your pledge card. I invite you to receive this with grace and prayer as you consider how you will share with God and God’s Church from what you have received.

In the spirit of generosity and love
The Rev. Ann Lovejoy Johnson
Rector
  • St. Mary’s Zoom Coffee hour after service on 11/8 at 11:30am. More details forthcoming.

  •  Early Thanksgiving Outdoor service on 11/15 at 2pm. Drop off your completed pledge certificate and stay for a short afternoon service. More details forthcoming. 
Personal Saints

This year on All Saints Day Sunday, November 1st, we will remember those who have died from Concordia and St. Mary's from the past year. We would also like to do a special slideshow. If you submit a photograph of those beloved ones who have passed from our care and keeping to God's (no matter how long ago they died), we will include it in our Personal Saints slideshow. This presentation will be set to music prepared by St. Mary's pianist Kelly Sharp. Please submit your photos to Rev. Ann at revalovejoy@gmail.com by TUES, OCTOBER 27.










Sunday, October 25th at 10AM (virtual coffee hour @9:30)



CLICK HERE for the bulletin


Permanent Meeting Code

 Meeting ID: 823 2447 0555
Password: 0000
   
Join Zoom Meeting:
or
Dial 1 646 876 9923
WEEK NIGHT COMPLINE

Join fellow parishioners:

Monday: Karen A
**Tuesday: Andrea (not held 10/27 due to vestry meeting)
Wednesday: Deacon Karen
Friday: Sharon

This short service from The Book of Common Prayer can be found in the BCP on page 127 or access the prayer book online at www.bcponline.org.


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 856 0827 5573
Passcode: 41Park

Dial +1 929 205 6099 

Meeting ID: 856 0827 5573
Passcode: 555650
Oustide Worship Opportunity

On Monday, November 2 @ 12 noon St. Mary's will mark All Souls Day with a brief 15 minute service of rememberance around the Memorial Garden. Please remember you mask and social distance standards.
Thanksgiving Seasonal Sharing Reimagined

After reaching out to our community partners we have decided to create a non-contact Seasonal Sharing this year. We are still supporting both MACC and Bennet Academy.

Beginning October 26th through November 18th

  • A drop-off bin will be outside the office for non-perishable food items. What is collected will be given to the MACC Community Panty.

  • We are also collecting $25 Gift Cards to either Walmart or Stop & Shop. Brittany Hall in the Family Resource Center will distribute those to Bennet families in need. Donations can be mailed or dropped in the office mailbox.

On Nov. 15th @2pm our Seasonal Sharing table will be set up at the Thanksgiving Worship Service for those who would like to donate in person.

Monetary Donations towards either collection are welcomed. Checks can be made out to St. Mary's with Seasonal Sharing in the memo line.
Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance
Click the video to learn why, a year ago, St. Mary's chose to be apart of this organized group of 1500+ people from 35 multi-faith congregations and allied institutions. CLICK HERE to read more about our work in the world.
The next large scale Action will be held virtually on November 12. There are three crucial issues up for action: repealing welfare liens, passing clean slate legislation, and declaring racism a public health crisis. We are asked to have a powerful turn out from each institution. This action will be successful with ORGANIZED PEOPLE. That's us!

Since this event is virtual there is no travel involved, you can Zoom in right from home. We need to have our headcount by the end of the week in order to make a short "roll call" video to upload in advance of the Action. If you are able to go, please reply below and Rev. Ann will contact you.
I am interested in going to the virtual GHIAA Action on Thurs, Nov. 12 @ 7:00 pm
Yes
No
ANTI RACISM WORK


As part of ABC's "Turning Point" series that explores social justice, Diane Sawyer looks at discrimination in housing.
Sacred Ground: A Region-Wide Anti-Racism Opportunity

Join with members of the NE Region, for a 10-session course to continue our anti-racism work. We are asking that participants be intentional about committing to this program, so that we can journey over sacred ground together in dedicated small groups.

We will be meeting 10 times, roughly every two weeks, from 6:30pm-8pm on Thursdays, via ZOOM. Participants will be given the ZOOM links before each class. The dates are as follows: 11/19, 12/3, 12/17, 1/7, 1/21, 2/4, 2/18, 3/4, and 4/8.

Because we want to keep the groups relatively small, we are limiting participation to 30 people. You can REGISTER HERE. Registration will close on October 25th. If you have any questions, please contact Maggie Breen, NE Region Missionary, at mbreen@episcopalct.org.
Taking Care of Yourself & Others
7 Steps to Stay COVID-Safe This Winter
CLICK HERE to read the article Rev. Ann shares with us as we head into a New England winter!

Silk City Coffee Hosts Diaper Collection
Silk City Coffee on Main St. is partnering with Gentle Love Diaper Pantry for the rest of October to collect diapers and wipes. There are bins to drop donations in the back of the shop! Stop by to support this local business and this youth-started diaper bank.
Ann's Zoom Coffee Shop Fridays @ 1pm

Join Zoom Meeting
CLICK HERE or Dial +1 929 205 6099
Meeting ID: 873 0224 9184
Password: 958202
Virtual Prayers of the People

CLICK HERE to view the list and to take a moment to lift these names up in your prayers. If you have people you wish to add please contact Rev. Ann.