Staying Connected as a Faith Community
Weekly e-newsletters will continue thoughout the Fall. We have over 30 archived communications that can be accessed on the church website. These are also shared on our Facebook page. Please watch your inbox for the newsletters to keep upto date with everything that is happening at church! If you have questions or would like to add pictures or info please contact Jr. Warden Sarah Tierinni at sarah.i.brown23@gmail.com.



Click the link to today's Morning Devotions recorded in the Chapel
A big thank you!

We are very grateful to all who completed the Church Assessment Tool (CAT). Thank you for taking the time to participate in this important opportunity. Your voice does matter! Your responses will help guide the future of St. Mary’s.

Holy Cow, the consulting group administering the CAT, is currently compiling the responses and analyzing the data now that the window has closed for completing the questionnaire. We will keep you updated as to when and how the final report will be presented to the parish.

Again, many thanks!

The CAT Team
Jo-Ann Swanson, Joy Dorin, Andrea Burr
St. Mary's Day Celebration a success!
This past Sunday afternoon over 40 St Mary's paishioners, friends from Concordia and the Cannon family joined together in our first in-person worship service since March. We gathered safely and shared in readings, poems, beautiful music recorded by Kelly Sharp, a joyful homily and prayers of rememberance. Thanks to Edith, Beth, Andrea and Joy who gathered us in a safe and welcoming setting. CLICK HERE to view a few photos from the afternoon.
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CLICK HERE to view the Facebook Live stream of the service including a lovely homily in memory of Dotti Cannon.

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













Sunday, October 11th at 10AM




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 continues this Fall....


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 www.bcponline.org.


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LINK & PASSCODE

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

Mark you Calendars: All Souls Day
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.
CLICK HERE to read the October Happenings
Reimagined Seasonal Sharing Ministry

The Seasonal Sharing team is currently brainstorming new ways of continuing our holiday outreach into the Manchester community. We have reached out to our community partners at Bennet Academy and at MACC to see what their current needs are and how we can safely work together to serve our neighbors at Thanksgiving and Christmas. More information will be shared in the weekly newsletter when we solidify a plan.
ANTI RACISM WORK
TAKE TIME TO LISTEN AND LEARN



On Thursday, October 15th @ 5PM join the Presiding Bishop and Dr. Catherine Meeks for conversation regarding the work of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing.



CLICK HERE to register for the event

Take a moment to watch this video, which helps to explain how systematic racism within the housing department has created and perputuated massive disparities between those residing in cities and suburbs.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4

When we consider the interests of others something beautiful happens: Our own interests seem less important, our wants fewer, and relationships flourish. Only by aligning our wills and lives with Christ may we grow into the fullness of life God desires and intends for us.

Steward your new community

Like a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon to new life as a butterfly, we can steward our congregations and communities to awaken from Covid-19 to a more excellent reality that brims with faith, hope and love.

Covid-19’s hardship, deprivation and grief have inspired an outpouring of kindness, generosity, selflessness, neighborliness and courageous service. Suffering has given us a glimpse of what our communities can and should be, following Christ’s two principal commands: love God and love one another.

Our stewardship opportunity and challenge is clear: Can we cultivate this renewed spirit of loving neighborliness as a “new normal”? As our community’s central, defining ethos?

The last several months have taught us much:
·        Life is precious. Everyone counts. No exceptions.
·        We suffer together. Shared pain creates strong bonds.
·        Serving brings fulfillment. Many sacrifice joyfully.
·        We need each other. We can’t go it alone.
·        We miss each other. We require human interaction.
·        Personal contact is sublime. Nothing beats face-to-face.
·        We are grateful. Thank God for what we have.
·        We are wiser. We know what’s important.

Covid-19 is receding, though slowly. Much pain lies ahead. Before it’s through, the virus will claim more of our friends and loved ones. Many families will suffer economically.

But the virus is also teaching us anew how to be loving neighbors. As Covid-19 abates, we can deepen these lessons and steward our communities to live more closely aligned with God’s purposes, to discover life abundant with joy, connection, fulfillment and generosity. With God’s help, our congregations and communities can emerge from our Covid-19 cocoon to a more excellent reality, centered in faith, hope and love.

--Rob Blezard
Copyright © 2020, Rev. Robert Blezard. Pastor Blezard serves as an assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod, ELCA, and works as content editor for www.stewardshipoflife.org

As we are in the season of Stewardship, some options to consider:

1.  Consider Online Giving through your Bank
Make your life easy and checkless – consider setting up recurring auto payments online through your bank. Set up St. Mary’s like you would any other bill. You can send your payments weekly, monthly, or one time. If you have questions, reach out to Mechelle for instruction on how she sets up giving to St. Mary's with her bank. 

2. Consider Distributions from your IRA
For many members over 70 ½ who have a traditional IRA, this may be the only way they can experience a tax benefit for your giving to St. Mary's. Please speak with your financial advisor for more details.  
Mental Illness Awareness Week

NAMI Manchester wants you to know that October 4th through 10th is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) ---This year’s theme is “What People with Mental Illness Want You to Know.” Throughout the week, read personal stories on NAMI’s blog on what those with lived experience have to say about some of the conditions and symptoms of mental illness that are most misunderstood. Read their stories at:
REFLECTIONS FROM REV. ANN

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes."
 
Here’s some news we can use: How can combat our looming dread of a dark winter lockdown. Let's take a lesson from the people living in the Arctic Circle whose wellbeing barely changed across the year. Other than a dip of disturbed sleep without the daily rhythm of the sun, they reported no increase in mental distress during the winter. 
 
CLICK HERE to read the Guardian article on Self and wellbeing, September 26, 2020.
 
Researcher, Kari Leibowitz, wanted to understand how the citizens of Tromso, the Norwegian city 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, coped with the long "polar night." Imagine seeing only three hours or less of indirect sunlight shining up from the horizon each day during the darkest periods of the polar night. The secret may be a particular "mindset" that arms them against the stresses of the long darkness. 
 
Even without the shadow of a global pandemic, we often view winter as a cruel season. Faced with the prospect of another lockdown, in some countries, residents are stocking up on fire pits and patio heaters. What a terrific idea! Consumerism aside, what might we learn about the psychological resilience of this Norwegian community?
 
Over the decades research has shown that "the mental framing of stressful events can powerfully influence the way we are affected by them." "People who see stressful events as "challenges", with an opportunity to learn and adapt, tend to cope much better than those who focus on the threatening aspects - like the possibility of failure, embarrassment or illness." The differences in mindset influence mood, physiological responses, and recovery time, and can have long-lasting impacts. Even though our circumstances may drive our appraisal of a situation, it is sometimes possible to change our perspective consciously. For example, when people afraid of public speaking repeated "I am excited" it reduced their anxious feelings, in an experiment. 
 
Leibowitz designed a "wintertime mindset scale" to try and explain the resilience of the Tromso residents, and sure enough the participants' answers predicted their wellbeing. The more they saw winter as an exciting time with lots of things to enjoy, the better they fared, with higher levels of overall mental health. Her studies found that this actually increased with latitude. She says, "In other words, the positive wintertime mindset is most common where it's most needed." 
 
Just knowing that a "mindset" exists can be tremendously powerful because you have control over your mindset. This may be the secret recipe for the winter blues. But can it apply to a global pandemic? Can it apply to our changing churches? Leibowitz agrees that mindset cannot cure everything and we should not ignore our emotions. We could, though, try adopting the positive wintertime mindset, and it might make a second lockdown a little less daunting. For example, we might recognize it is a good time for baking, letter writing, day hikes, or reading. Also, we might consider what worked for us during the first lockdown, and be more realistic in our expectations. We could adopt the Norwegian saying, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes."
 
We have the capacity to control our responses to whatever we face, be it a lockdown or the changing seasons. We can decide what "mindset" we will have. We can live the words we teach our children: "This is hard, and you can do it." Both are true; we can do hard things. When we take charge of our mindset, we may find hidden reserves of strength, resilience and fortitude to see us through what lies ahead. 
 
As people of faith, we trust that God is giving us everything we need to live as God's people in this time. This is our "I am excited" mantra to reduce our anxious feelings. This is a Christian living mindset! We must repeat this to ourselves often. We must pray our way into believing this is genuinely so, we have what we need to participate in God's mission. Are you ready to adopt a positive attitude, a new wintertime mindset at St. Mary's? 
Taking Care of Yourself & Others


Napping is good for your health
CLICK HERE to read a self-care article that Rev. Ann would like to share

Free COVID Testing Continues...
On Oct. 22 the Manchester Health Department, in partnership with First Choice Health Centers, will be offering a series of free mobile COVID testing events. For full details CLICK HERE

FREE JOB training and FREE Financial Coaching
Lost your job due to the COVID-19 Pandemic? Collecting Unemployment? You can Start a New Career!
Learn more by visiting the town's website or CLICK HERE

Water Conservation Advisory
The Town of Manchester Water Department is issuing a Water Conservation Advisory to all citizens, businesses, institutions, and users of the potable water supply because the levels of the Town’s reservoirs have dropped to 62 % of capacity due to the lack of precipitation.

November 3rd General Election Information
The Manchester Town Clerk’s Office and Registrar of Voters are working to provide the Manchester community with the latest information on voting registration, security, and processes to ensure all eligible voters who wish to vote this year are able to do so safely and securely. For more information CLICK HERE

 Fall Movie Series Continues
Remember the Titans at Market Field, 153 Spruce Street on Friday, 10/09/20. All Ages, No Fee. Come and enjoy our fall outdoor movie series at dusk. Social distancing protocols enforced. Sponsored by the office of Neighborhoods and Families.

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.

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Calling all Letter Writers
A request from parishioner Lanie Turner whose son Dave Dickson in Georgia has an employee who has just been deployed. His Army Reserve unit has been called up and sent to Kuwait. Dave reached out to Lanie asking if we - the church folks - could send him letters and cards. (It’s an American address taking regular postage). Imagine being away from home right now and all the uncertainties of serving overseas. When writing, reference who you are, so you won’t be a stranger. There are no strangers in God’s eyes. May we see like God... and write a letter!

SPC Darriun Bedell
168th ECC
APO, AE 09330

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Our Prayer for St Mary’s

Ever-present God, we thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit as it moves and guides us here at St. Mary’s. We pray that you will reveal and help us to understand your mission. Inspire us in our love for each other and direct our actions as we move into relationships within our community. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen