As we approach Lent next week, I am thinking about intentionally finding quiet places to sit for a few minutes every day, to come into God’s presence and pray. This prayer may be of help to you, as it is to me, especially as we face more time in pandemic isolation, without our usual routines with our family, friends and colleagues:
When creation is overcome by the chaos from which it springs, peace be with you.
When the sweet darkness of sleep never comes, peace be with you.
When the light of the day overwhelms you, peace be with you.
In the broken heart and risen body of Christ, peace be with you.
About 10 years ago, I held a daily practice of writing to God. I was becoming a single mom, and feeling very vulnerable. It was a place of solace for me, where all my worries, resentments and fears could be held safely in God’s embrace. Last week, a parishioner wrote to me and told me about a friend whose sister died suddenly. Her writing reminded me of my own previous scribbles to God. She wrote to her friend: Don’t underestimate grief.
Hug those you love tighter.
Grab joy in the moments they appear.
Take time for your own inner self to heal.
I thanked her for her words, and told her I wanted to add one line at the end: Practice believing and knowing that God is near you, always.
Click here to continue reading how I found my quiet time in my letter to God this week.
This litany is an intercessory prayer, including petitions said by the leader, with responses by the congregation (Voice of the People). Nearly every general area of prayer is addressed, including prayers for the church, the world, the government, and the poor. These petitions are prefaced by asking God to deliver us from affliction: evil, sin, heresy, schism, natural disasters, political disasters, violence and death. It is used in Anglican worship, probably most frequently during the season of Lent, because of its penitential nature. It was first published in the Book of Common Prayer in 1544, and prepared by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.
12:00 p.m. The Cathedral Church of St. Paul's livestream of the Ash Wednesday Worship Service
A bulletin for the service will be available on the Cathedral's website Worship page.
7:00 p.m. All Saints' Ash Wednesday Worship Service
Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81059627291 Meeting ID: 810 5962 7291 Phone 929-205-6099
This year, in accordance with current safety protocols, those participating from home are invited to impose ashes upon themselves. You can create your own ashes, use the visual of ashes, or request that individually packaged ashes be sent to you by emailing your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 10.
All are invited to send the names of friends, loved ones and parishioners who are struggling with Covid, or who have died of Covid, to be read aloud during the service. Please send names to email@example.com
Sung Great Litany available throughout Lent
Brett Johnson, our seminarian and professional musician, and Allen Hill, new parishioner and the director of the Protestant Choir at Brooksby Village, have partnered to offer us a way to pray, by singing us through the Great Litany, which is the first prayer composed in the English language for use in public worship. In many churches, it is chanted in procession around the perimeter of the worship space. Brett and Allen will be singing without procession! The Sung Great Litany is available here: https://youtu.be/a82tFHFbvnY
* YTD Pledge Remittances are $1,817below expectation
Fundraising & Bldg Usage is just $65below expectation
Actual Operating Expenses are $146more than expected.
Our YTD Deficit is $7,512 which is $1,070 higher than our budgeted YTD expectation of a $6,442 Deficit.
Note: Timely pledge remittances help us to better manage our cash flow to meet ongoing expenses.
Pet lovers: celebrate Valentine's Day a few days late this year by joining author Peter Bogyo on Zoom, Sunday, February 21, at 4:15, as he offers samples from his delightful (yes, DELIGHTFUL!) book of ... ahem ... dog obituaries, "A Dog's Life." The reading is hosted by All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore's Perfect Paws Pet Ministry, whose monthly service at 5 p.m. will immediately follow the special event. All are invited to attend by joining theZoom meeting (Meeting ID: 990 855 545 / Password: Saintfranc)
Read more here!
There is an opening for the sanctuary lamp on February 28. Contact Barbara Hooper.
The floors will be waxed in the preschool bathrooms, Parish Hall and the kitchen February 19-21. Please avoid walking in or through those areas for that time period.
If you're new, or if you didn't show up in our weekly birthday prayers this year, please email the office and provide BIRTH DATES for you (and your household). We will add you to our birthday prayers the week of your birthday!
Important Worship Update Our vestry voted to change in-person worship to 8:30 am going forward, which began on January 17th.
The Town of Danvers is seeking people who might be willing to help seniors with snow shoveling and/or plowing. They are inundated with requests for assistance in this area, especially with the frequency of snow storms as of late. Any questions can be directed to Cathy Andre, Volunteer Coordinator at 978-762-0208.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Need help scheduling your vaccines? Olivia Adams, an Arlington, MA software engineer has created a website showing open vaccine slots in your area. It's easy to use and is updated every 5 minutes: https://www.macovidvaccines.com/
She has also started a GoFundMe campaign in order to help facilitate the vaccine campaign on a national level.
Danvers Interfaith Partnership Youth Program
Dear Youth and Families,
This time last year, we were making final plans for our Youth Overnight with City Reach, Boston. Cars were overloaded with food and clothing donations, and we joined eleven other youth groups for a great experience with the City Reach Team. We certainly have all been through a lot since then and so have those in Boston suffering from isolation, housing insecurity and homelessness. Common Cathedral and the City Reach Team have found creative ways to meet the needs of so many through ongoing donations and care packages. While we will not be able to travel in for an overnight at St. Paul's this winter, we can show our support by sending a care package from Danvers.
I hope you'll participate and share details with your family, friends and church. Click on the link for my message or see the attached flyer. https://vimeo.com/505799526
Thinking of you all, and looking forward to spring, when we can meet in person again.
peace this day,
Maple Street Congregational Church
for the Danvers Interfaith Partnership Youth Group
Adult Formation: Lenten Resources 2021 Living Compass: Living Well Through Lent 2021: Listening With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind. Booklets are available at no cost and the booklet is also available as a download. More information is here and a flier is available here. Episcopal Relief & Development: “As Lent approaches this year, we lament.” Lenten meditations booklet and more information available here. Virginia Theological Seminary Stations of the Cross, a 30-minute video production of the liturgy with music, and paired with new images of the stations by artist Margaret Parker. More information here.
“Lent and the Longing for God” – an online retreat facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on March 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Registration and more information are found here. There is no cost for the retreat. It is being made available to the people of the dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts.
This Lent, the annual preaching series at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston aims to lift up the voices of leaders who are fairly new to the greater Boston area, or who have come to see the area anew.
The series takes place online via Zoom on Thursdays, February 18-March 25, at 12 p.m., featuring a brief service of noonday prayer with guest sermon, followed by conversation with the preacher and other attendees.
All are welcome and registration is required here.
Feb. 18: The Rev. Morgan S. Allen--Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston
Feb. 25: The Rev. Gregory G. Perez--Priest-in-Charge, St. Stephen's Memorial Episcopal Church, Lynn
March 4: Ms. Omalara Fatiregun-Cheng--Fellow and doctoral student, Harvard Graduate School of Education (invited)
March 11: Mr. James Rutenbeck--Filmmaker, Lost Nation Pictures, "A Reckoning in Boston"
March 18: The Rev. Kate Bast--Rector, Trinity Episcopal Parish, Melrose
March 25: Dr. Sujin Pak--Dean of the Boston University School of Theology
This online retreat is co-sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, and open to the people of both.