HE PORTAL IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC The Sixth Sunday of Easter - May 9, 2021
A MESSAGE FROM OUR LEADERS: The Rev. Sandra L. Cosman
Dear St. John’s,
This morning marks the midpoint of the first half of the time set apart for our sabbatical. It has been a surreal experience being apart from parish ministry for the first time in almost 13 years and has offered a new way of experiencing this calling. I do feel blessed. Among the things that have occupied my time are:
· The Yale School of Organization & Management – Women’s Leadership Certificate Program – This program has called me to use muscles that the Church does not usually require. Written assignments with deadlines and grading are something that I have not experienced in two decades. Interacting and networking with powerful women around the world has been new and exciting. I am looking intentionally at being a leader for us as a parish and as an officer of the Diocese. This time has been affirming and challenging.
· Real Estate Principles and Practices – a six week program leading to Real Estate Licensing in Connecticut – At first blush this might seem removed from my calling as a priest. In reality, the changing landscape of religion in our society is leading local churches to address issues of sustainability and the right use of our resources. II Corinthians tells us, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” We need to be faithful stewards. If there is no longer a need for worship space, then we need to use these gifts for purposes that God would ordain. Isaiah asks us, “ Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicatorshall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”
· The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond Undoing Racism Community Organizing Workshop – I was blessed to join the Bishops and Canons and the Core Leadership Team of the ECCT Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Ministry Network for this three day intensive program. This was a process that challenged me to look at myself and my role in the structures of power and privilege that hinder social equity. Resolution 7, passed by the 2020 ECCT Annual Convention, resolved that, “that all clergy; all paid staff; all governing lay leaders of Parishes, Worshipping Communities, and Intentional Episcopal Communities; and those elected and/or appointed to any diocesan-wide office, complete an anti-racism training program.” St. John’s will take on this work not because we hope to maintain our status as a parish in good standing, but because it is the right thing for us to do.
· The Bishop Transition Committee Selection Process – as Secretary of the Diocese and Mission Council it was my duty and privilege to facilitate the selection of the group of Episcopalians from across ECCT who will prayerfully discern a slate of priests to be considered for election as the next Bishop Diocesan of Connecticut. That work is now complete and on May 6th the BTC will begin the work that will lead us to an Electing Convention on May 21, 2022, and the Consecration of a New Bishop on October 8, 2022. This has been holy work and has been an opportunity for me to ponder anew the BCP words spoken to me by Bishop Ahrens so many years ago: “Now you are called to work as pastor, priest, and teacher, together with your bishop and fellow presbyters, and to take your share in the councils of the Church. As a priest, it will be your task to proclaim by word and deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to fashion your life in accordance with its precepts. You are to love and serve the people among whom you work, caring alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor. You are to preach, to declare God's forgiveness to penitent sinners, to pronounce God's blessing, to share in the administration of Holy Baptism and in the celebration of the mysteries of Christ's Body and Blood, and to perform the other ministrations entrusted to you. In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ's people from the riches of his grace, and strengthen them to glorify God in this life and in the life to come.”
In the coming three weeks, I will look again at the plans for this sabbatical time and review what “has been done and what has been left undone” and endeavor to use the time wisely. I am holding you in prayer during this time apart and trust that God is blessing you abundantly. Faithfully,
The Rev. Sandra L. Cosman Rector
MAY 9, 2021 - SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY
Officiant/Preacher - Father Nagy Verger (Helper) - Gordon Ross Lector - Maureen Prelli Intercessor - Phil Prelli Congregational Response - Nancy Butler & Michelle Piekos Altar Guild - Candy Flaherty & Peg Budny Camera - Michelle Piekos
St. John's Lay Weeders needed for The Gill Memorial Garden this summer. Please email or contact the office with any dates that you are able to volunteer or stop by the church and sign up. The sign up sheet will be in the narthex. Thank you so much!!!
Little Free Pantry We appreciate all food donations that people graciously donated. We cannot at this time accept clothing, boots, etc., other than food. If you have clothing, boots, etc., please feel free to contact Diane Hayes to make an appointment to bring to The ValleyThrift Shop in Winsted, CT. Thank you.
VIRTUAL CALENDAR - THIS WEEK SUNDAY - 9am Worship on FBLive. SUNDAY - Garden Worship will resume in the Spring. TUESDAY - 9am Staff Meeting on Zoom; Trivia every 3rd Tuesday of the month on Zoom with Michelle Piekos, Next Trivia will be May 18th WEDNESDAY - 8:30am - Bishops, Clergy, & Wardens on Zoom THURSDAY - 10:30am Dwelling on Zoom; 6:30pm Evening Worship on FBLive, ALL DAY/ EVERY DAY - Little Free Pantry and Sanctuary Open
SUPPORT MEETINGS Alcoholics Anonymous - www.ct-aa.org Speak to a recovering alcoholic toll free, 24/7, 1-866-steps12 (1-866-783-7712)
NARTHEX LOCK BOX For your convenience, there is now a lock box located in the Narthex for the deposit of checks, contributions, and confidential communications. The box will be checked weekly. Thank you for your continued support of St. John's!
BIRTHDAY AND ANNIVERSARY LISTS ARE BEING UPDATED We are working to update our listing of birthdays and anniversaries for members of our parish family. Please email the important dates for you and your family to email@example.com. Thanks!
AA AND ALANON UPDATE Our regularly scheduled meetings have moved online until further notice. Please use the AA.org website for contact information. We are glad to have welcomed these groups to our parish home and look forward to welcoming them back when the stay-at-home order is lifted.
PRAYER REQUESTS If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with the coronavirus or any other health concern, the St. John's community would like to pray to you. Please forward your prayer requests to our prayer list steward, Anne Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
TOWER BELL RINGING OPPORTUNITIES The New Hartford community is ringing bells nightly at 6pm to remind us that we are not alone and that we can still be together and make our presence known. If you would like to ring St. John's tower bell, please visit St. John's Facebook page, look for the bell ringing post, and add your name and the date you will toll the bell in the comments following the post. Thanks!
ACCESSING OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR NON-FB MEMBERS Good News for non-Facebook Users Who Wish it Attend the Service in Real Time Live-streamed Facebook services can be watched in real time by non-Facebook users. Here is how I was able to do it on my computer. Some variations may be required on your computers or smartphones. Start on St. John’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Stjohnspinemeadow (The top and bottom of page want you to sign in or create new account — but the page content is visible). Move the cursor over to the left and look for “Videos” Click on it (i.e., “Videos”) The page will update to show a list of videos. Look for one that says “Live.” Most likely our clocks are not aligned, meaning the video may not have started yet. Therefore, my suggestion is that you periodically continue to click on “Videos” until the “Live” one shows up. When it finally shows up, double-click on it. This will start showing the live video. It seems that there is a short delay in the resulting video. I’m not sure if it eventually ‘corrects’, but, at least you are pretty much "in the moment” during the celebration. (Thanks to the folks at St. John's in Vernon for this clear explanation!)
RINGING OF THE STEEPLE BELL/COMMUNITY RINGING Nightly @ 6pm at the church Sign up on Facebook for message Mother Cosman
Please check your email regularly for changes and additions.
WORSHIP IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC Until the Stay at Home Order has been lifted by the Governor and it has been deemed safe for us to gather for worship, we will worship together using Facebook Live. St. John's Facebook Page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/stjohnspinemeadow We gather online for worship Sundays at 9 am and Thursday at 6:30 pm Please join us to worship God and support each other.
STAYING IN TOUCH The isolation, anxiety, and fear of the coronavirus pandemic strains everyone. Please know that Mother Cosman is here for us during this time apart via phone call, Zoom conference, email, or Facebook Messenger. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you or someone you know and love needs assistance of any kind. During this time, please reach out to your friends and neighbors and offer a listening ear.
DWELLING IN THE WORD ONLINE Our Thursday morning Dwelling in the Word Group comes together from 10:30 am to 11:30 am to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Gospel reading for the coming Sunday. All are welcome to join us. There is no preparation necessary to attend the group and there is no homework. In this time of isolation, it is critically important that we reach out to each other. Join us for an Dwelling in the Word Online via Zoom or conference call: https://zoom.us/j/93207727562 Meeting ID: 932 0772 7562 If you cannot join us online, you may join us by phone at 1(646)558-8656 and entering the meeting code 9493034183#
ST. JOHN'S PRAYER LIST Among the most important ways we care for each other is by holding each other in prayer. Prayer concerns should be sent to Anne Hall at email@example.com. Watch for the Prayer List in your email and join us in praying for each other.
ST. JOHN'S MAILING ADDRESS We are checking our mail regularly. To contact St. John's or to make a pledge payment or donation by mail please use this address: St. John's Episcopal Church PO Box 27 Pine Meadow, CT 06061
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St. John's worship space is always open for prayer and meditation
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office @reddoors.com P.O. Box 27, Pine Meadow, CT 06061 Google Maps: 51 Church St. 2, New Hartford, CT 06057