A Message from Rev. Bob
Hello Grace and St Peter’s,
This Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost, the day 50 days after Easter when we celebrate the wind swept arrival of the Holy Spirit among Jesus’ first disciples, the day when the Spirit led those disciples into the multilingual public square to preach the Good News of God’s immeasurable love and Jesus’ definitive victory over death, the day, it is said, when the Church was born. It seems appropriate on this day and this week for us, as members of that same Church, to give thanks for the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit as we have wandered through unfamiliar, unusual, even upsetting territories these past fourteen months. From York Hill, to the side yard at St John’s, North Haven, to furtive e-glimpses of our own sanctuary, to the limited confines of our home computer screens, we have been led, sustained and refreshed by that Spirit. All along our way, we have been reminded of God’s steadfast love for us and been encouraged to faithfully live out our love for God, for one another, and for our neighbors in the wider community—a commission we have faithfully and commendably fulfilled.
Now, the Holy Spirit blows again—only now, like Odysseus finally given divine permission to return to his home in Ithaca, the divine wind is blowing us back to our own campus. As of Sunday, June 6th, God willing, we will begin in-person worship at Grace and St Peter’s Church (2927 Dixwell Avenue in case you have forgotten). Whether this worship takes place in our sanctuary or out of doors in the rectory backyard will depend on covid-19 infection rates in the Town of Hamden at that time. Equally, the various permutations of masks, social distancing, the sharing of Communion (even, we hope, quiet singing), etc. will be determined and communicated as June 6th draws nearer. At the same time, and indefinitely, we will continue to broadcast our services on zoom and/or facebook for those who are not able to attend worship in-person.
I am also pleased to announce, as I did two Sundays ago, that George Black, our former South Central Regional Missionary, will be joining us for the next few Jesus’ Kingship of Kinship conversations. Those of you who joined us last time know that George is a highly knowledgeable and passionate man. His presence at our conversations will be both enlightening and challenging. Please join us for these discussions. We will learn much about racial justice, community transformation and ourselves.
Lastly, in the coming days, perhaps next week, the Grace and St Peter’s wardens and I will be sending out a brief survey. Given that we have had this extended period away from our “normal” practices, we thought it would be worth taking a moment of everyone’s time to ask which parts of our community life—particularly in the context of, but not limited to, Sunday morning liturgy—seem essential to us and which parts, if any, we would just as soon not take up again. Thank you to everyone for filling out that survey when it arrives.
G&SP Pentecost Celebration Video
(the Hebrew word for Spirit)
Including the voices (and some of the faces) of more than a dozen different members of the parish, our video proclaims the Pentecost story and the Good News of Jesus's victory over death in ten different languages, along with a gallery of photos, video clips, words, music and art celebrating the gifts and work of the Spirit in our journey as Jesus' disciples during this challenging year. The video is scheduled to be released on Sunday, with a time to be determined.
With thanks to everyone who contributed, we were able to raise $1850 for scholarship/book awards. Two scholarships were provided, in the amounts of $1000 and $850. Great work Grace and St Peter's!
Jesus's Kinship of Kingship Conversation
Monday, May 24th
7pm Casual Conversation
7:15 Focused Discussion
A zoom link to be sent by email prior to the meeting, please join us!
(and remember, Faith Study Group meets this Tuesday!)
Hamden Black History Committee
Next Sunday, May 30th 10am
5th Sundays Across ECCT
In place of our regular Sunday service with St. John's, please join us (via facebook and Youtube) for a service streamed from St. Paul's, Fairfield. This service, is the second "Fifth Sunday Across ECCT" offering. To learn more, you may view a video by Dean Lina Howell and Rev Curtis Farr.
Dean Lina Howell and the Rev. Curtis Farr invite you to make plans to join St. Paul's, Fairfield, on ECCT's YouTube Channel and Facebook page on Sunday, May 30 at 10 a.m. to worship together.
Advocacy Alert: Your Voice is Needed Today!
People experiencing homelessness need you to call your legislators. It will take two minutes, you don’t need to know ANYTHING special, and it absolutely matters.
You have the opportunity to tell your legislators that financial support for agencies providing housing services is imperative to ending homelessness. Here’s what is at stake: the governor’s plan for spending BILLIONS of American Rescue Plan Act funds includes ZERO dollars to support services or housing for people experiencing homelessness. It has money for kids experiencing homelessness through schools, it would create 200 units of affordable housing for families, and there are hundreds of millions of dollars in rent relief for landlords. BUT it would do nothing to maintain the awesome work we’ve done throughout COVID that’s moved over 500 people into permanent housing, fund the winter emergency shelters we usually run on scraps or help us pay our staff a living wage. Ending homelessness isn’t low on the governor’s priority list; it isn’t even ON the list.
So, we need you to call your state legislators and the governor - all you need to say is:
“My names is X, I live in town Y, and I support Columbus House. Ending homelessness is important to me and I want my legislator to include funding for homeless services in the American Rescue Plan Act budget.”
They will say thank you and you can hang up. Two sentences! Done!
To find your legislators and their phone numbers:
Margaret Middleton, CEO
April Vestry Minutes
Recently approved by the Vestry, you may read the minutes HERE
Looking for Summer Camp Counselors!
Click here to read employment opportunities
Dinner For A Dollar
Last Friday, Jessica Kott, with the help of Francesca Rallo served a meal of macaroni and tuna salad, with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. A choice of chocolate cupcakes or cinnamon rolls were served for dessert.
FAITH STUDY GROUP
Meeting Tuesday, May 25th
Starting in May, the Faith Study Group is returning to its accustomed meeting schedule, i.e. the SECOND and FOURTH TUESDAY of every month. We continue to meet via Zoom, beginning with casual conversation at around 6:30, and moving to focused discussion at 7:00 pm.
In its leisurely journey through the book Manna and Mercy by Daniel Erlander, the group is now exploring the story of the Early Church as represented in the Bible by the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Paul. The tension in these writings, between the vision of God’s holy people sharing the unbounded grace of God’s abundant love through the resurrection of Jesus, and the tendency of humans to fall into distrust, jealousy and greed, strikes very close to our own world and our own lives! This conversation has also begun meshing in exciting ways with the conversations going on in our other online adult series, on “Jesus’s Kingship of Kinship.”
The Faith Study Group is open to all. There is no “homework” or advance reading for the meetings, and no question is too basic or too complicated. Regular or occasional participation are both welcome.
If you would like to find out more, or if you’re interested in joining in the Faith Study Group and would like a copy of the book, please contact Gretchen Pritchard at 203-624-2520 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also let Gretchen know if you’d like to be on the Faith Study Group e-mailing list to receive reminders of the meetings and the Zoom log-in invitation.
We pray for our ministries at Arden House and Whitney Manor. We pray for our Friday night dinner ministry. We pray for the ministry of Christian Community Action in New Haven, and the families they serve. We pray for our own parish of Grace and St. Peter's.
We pray for those in need of healing:
Andy, Frank, Sharon, Dan, Glenn, Peter, Mary, Mac, Alice, Bernadette, Marge, Sandi, Micki, Matthew, Peter, Nancy, Judy, John, Chukky, Elsie, Joan, Charles, Fiona, Marion, Dan, Debbie, Ellen, Nicole, Cassie, Phillip, Anthony, Mary-Anne, Margaret, Gwennie, Christy, James, Pat L., Ed, Alicia, Sean, Diane, Debbie, Esther, Candice, and Verna. We hold in our hearts all those who mourn.
Joining the Episcopal Church of Connecticut in the cycle of prayer, we pray for: We pray for St. Paul & St. James, New Haven; St. Thomas’, New Haven; Trinity, New Haven; and St. James, New London. We also pray for environmental ministry networks, eco‐justice work; and community gardens.