Staying Connected as a Faith Community
Thursday, October 29, 2020
“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” –Psalm 34:1

Today we begin our culture’s month of thanksgiving by giving thanks for the lives of the saints now at rest. This week spend time thanking God for those who have helped form your faith and encouraged your discipleship walk.
Lives shaped by The Beatitudes

Today’s Gospel recalls Jesus’ sermon on the mount, commonly referred to as The Beatitudes. In his usual manner, Jesus surprised his followers by uttering godly, countercultural truth. In essence, his teaching that day laid the foundation for what it means to live a Christian life.

What does it mean to be merciful, pure in heart, meek, poor in spirit, mournful, to be a peacemaker, to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be willing to be persecuted for it? The Beatitudes are a guide that, when studied, reveal layers of meaning for us as believers. They challenge many of our basic human desires and behaviors. Of ultimate importance, they clearly reveal what God seeks to bless.

Aren’t we fortunate that our God is forgiving and full of grace as we strive to be transformed by these teachings? Our journey of formation requires change and opening our eyes to see God in action all around us. Included in this change is seeing God’s endless blessings poured out upon us and developing a posture of gratitude in return.

Being thankful changes us for the better. Being thankful changes our perspective on life and can profoundly impact our understanding of God’s generosity. Being thankful can shape us to be stewards of all God has entrusted to us. Being thankful softens our fears. Being thankful turns fear of scarcity into joyful gratitude for God’s abundance.

We remember the saints who have gone before us on this All Saints Day. Some were revered as saints of old. Some were modern day saints. Some were simple folks like you and me. One distinguishing characteristic of saints is that we can see how they embodied and lived Jesus’ teachings, these very Beatitudes. They generously gave of their lives so much so that we remember them today. We are confident they were blessed by God for their faithfulness. May we be thankful for their witness and see in them lives shaped by The Beatitudes and be willing to do the same.
Canon Mary MacGregor is a member of the board of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship. She has been deeply involved in congregational development for over 25 years, and served as Canon for Congregational Vitality and Mission Amplification for the Diocese of Texas.

Stewardship Tips & Reflections

·        How do The Beatitudes impact your understanding of God’s generosity?
·        How has that understanding changed you?
Stewardship Events

  • St. Mary’s Zoom Coffee hour after service on 11/8 at 11:30am. A different Zoom link will be sent. (Reminder - there will be no coffee hour at 9:30) 

  •  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. 

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

CLICK HERE to subscribe to St. Mary's YouTube Channel
Reimagined Seasonal Sharing

How Will You Help? Collection runs through Nov. 18th

  • Non-perishable food items can be dropped in the bin outside the office. All doantions will be given to MACC's Community Pantry.

  • $25 Gift Cards to either Stop & Shop or Walmart can be mailed to the church or dropped in the mailbox on the office porch. Those will be distributed to Bennet Academy families.

As always, monetary donations are welcomed with checks made out to St. Mary's Church with Seasonal Sharing in the memo line.

**In-person drop off can take place at the Thanksgiving Service on Nov 15th @2pm on the church lawn**
You Answered the Call!
We are very grateful to all who completed the Church Assessment Tool (CAT). A total of 97 questionnaires were received of 166 distributed—an extremely high return according to Holy Cow, the consulting group that administers the CAT. It is very clear—you care about St. Mary’s and you want leadership to know what matters most to you about the church and your faith life.

Now what?

The first step:
Presentation to the Vestry
On Saturday October 17, the Vestry participated in a Zoom presentation by The Rev. Dr. Richard W. Simpson, Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts. Rich is a trained interpreter of the CAT. During this session, Rich presented in detail the data analysis resulting from your responses.

Next steps:

Work Ahead for the Vestry
As you can imagine there is a significant amount of information for the Vestry to digest so they can understand what your responses are telling us about St. Mary’s. They will spend time in the weeks ahead examining, discussing, and reflecting on the report—listening to you—to determine the highest priorities for the months ahead.

Presentation to You
In normal times, a parish meeting would be held to present the results to the whole congregation with an opportunity for questions and discussion. We very much wish this could happen. However, since we are unable to meet in person at this time and a Zoom option is not available for everyone, we plan to provide a readable, comprehensive summary of the CAT findings to parishioners electronically and as a paper copy.

Thank you again for taking the time to participate in this important opportunity. Your voice does matter!

The CAT Team
Jo-Ann Swanson, Joy Dorin, Andrea Burr
***NEW TIME***
Contemplative Prayer Service

Sundays @ 2pm

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. As the weather gets cooler feel free to bring a blanket to keep warm with!

Virtual COFFEE HOUR begins at 9:30AM- join with the regular worship Zoom link below.

Sunday, November 1st at 10AM

CLICK HERE for the bulletin

Meeting Code

 Meeting ID: 823 2447 0555
Password: 0000

Join Zoom Meeting:

1 646 876 9923


Join fellow parishioners:

Monday: Karen A
Tuesday: Andrea
Wednesday: Deacon Karen
Friday: Sharon

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

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 856 0827 5573
Passcode: 41Park

To dial by telephone call +1 929 205 6099 

Meeting ID: 856 0827 5573
Passcode: 555650
On Monday, Nov. 2 @ 12 noon St. Mary's will mark this holy day with a brief 15 minute service of rememberance around the Memorial Garden. Please remember you mask and social distance standards.

Holding on to Hope
A National Service for Healing and Wholeness - Live from Washington National Cathedral - Sunday, November 1, 2020 @4pm

Wake us, O God, so that the sin of racism is purged from this land; break down the barriers that
oppress all people of color; strengthen our resolve to work personally for justice; deliver us from
complacency, indifference, and a return to the status quo; protect all who protest and all who are
commissioned to protect and to serve; heal our addiction to privilege and power; and lead us, by your
grace, to build your new community of love; we ask this in the name of Jesus, our brother.
Election Day is this Tuesday, November 3rd. Polls in Manchester are open 6am to 8pm. CLICK HERE for more information from Manchester's Registrar of Voters.
Taking Care of Yourself & Others

Shelter for the Heart and Mind
How can we keep walking forward, and even find renewal along the way, in this year of things blown apart? How can we hold to our sense of what is whole and true and undamaged, even in the face of loss? These are some of the questions Sharon Salzberg, a renowned teacher of meditation and Buddhist practices, has been taking up in virtual retreats this year, which have helped ground many — including Krista — on hard days. She teaches how to stay present to the world while learning kindness toward yourself. Join Krista Tippett with Sharon Salzberg — Shelter for the Heart and Mind - The On Being Project  CLICK HERE

State of CT Guidance for Halloween 2020:
The CT DPH recommends that everyone planning to participate in Halloween activities this year review the guidance recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DPH recommends that Connecticut residents avoid higher risk Halloween traditions and focus celebrations on the lower and moderate risk activities. For more information on the guidance CLICK HERE

Yoga for Food
Please join us at the Community Y on October 30th, November 20th, and December 18th from 6:00pm-7:30pm. Yoga for food is open to any age and skill level. All we request is for participants to bring a nonperishable food item. The class will be held on the basketball court in order for participants to be able to social distance safely. If you are interested, we are asking for participants to register ahead of time. This can be done on line, over the phone or come down to one of our Recreation Centers to sign up. 860-647-3084 or

The Manchester Road Race 2020
Registration for the Virtual Race is now open! The fee to register is $20. Registered runners will download a phone app with GPS capabilities to their smart phones. Participants can then run the 4.748-mile distance at any location of their choosing. The Virtual Race must be completed between 8:00am (EST) on Thursday, Nov 19 and 5:00pm (EST) on Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020.

Manchester Farmers Market
Final Market of 2020 is Saturday October 31st rain or shine, 8:00am-12:30pm.
Fresh local fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, honey etc. WIC Coupons accepted.
Location: Town parking lot at corner of Main St. and Forest St., Manchester.
Social Distancing practices will be followed, and masks are required.
Immortal, invisible, God only wise Hymn - Westminster Abbey Commonwealth Day Service 2020

Connecting with Coffee

Ann's Zoom Coffee Shop on Fridays @ 1pm

Join Zoom Meeting
or Dial +1 929 205 6099
Meeting ID: 873 0224 9184
Password: 958202


Coffee On The Curb” Continues

This way of connecting has been fun and you don't even have to tidy the house! Feel free to call Rev Ann at 304-951-7122 or email her at and she will swing by your home and chat outside (at a safe distance).

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.