Is there someone in your life whom you love and cannot safely talk to anymore?
“Conversations with others across difference is not just a nice thing to do. It is a spiritual practice of love in action. It’s how we reknit the fabric of our democracy and the human family of God.” —Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Inspired by the Latin phrase on the Seal of the United States of America- E Pluribus Unum (from many, one) - the newly launching “From Many, One” Campaign sponsored by the Episcopal Church, is designed to be simple and transformative while offering a faithful perspective and practice for knitting us into a more perfect union.It is geared toward individual people talking to other individuals. Starting January 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), The National Episcopal Church will give us resources to speak with our neighbors to engage in the spiritual practice of listening and honest conversation across the many differences that separate us, starting with four simple questions:
What do you love?
What have you lost?
Where does it hurt?
What do you dream?
Inspired by the Latin phrase on the Seal of the United States of America – E Pluribus (“from many”) Unum (“one”) – the campaign is designed to offer a faithful perspective and time-tested practice for knitting deeply divided communities into a diverse, more perfect union. In a cultural moment shadowed by pandemic, fractious politics, and deep division within families, communities, and nations, Episcopalians can partner in simple ways to celebrate difference, listen with deep curiosity, and promote healing.
Participants will be encouraged to follow these steps:
Watch videos of people modeling The Four Questions
Sign up and set a conversation(s) goal
Have the conversation(s)
Pray for your partner
Contribute to the “From Many, One” story space with insights, video/audio highlights, a poem, prayer or image inspired by your conversation(s)
Check out partner efforts like Braver Angels: With Malice Toward None, Civil Discourse Course, Sacred Ground, and The People’s Inauguration
Join the Easter campaign celebration with a special online worship and sharing time
If interested in this spiritual practice, please log onto the above link to register for more information as it is distributed.
If you would like to join this campaign first with someone in our faith community with whom you feel safe, before launching out into the world with this spiritual practice, please contact Marya for potential partners. I look forward to joining you in prayer and love in action!
Important Worship Update Our vestry has voted to change in-person worship to 8:30 am going forward, beginning January 17th.
Additionally, we will follow our tradition of one service on the day of our Annual Meeting, January 31, 2021. Our worship will be held at 10:00 am on Zoom. When our worship concludes, we will take a five minute break and then commence our Annual Meeting, using the same link.
Annual Meeting Our annual meeting on January 31 will be held directly after worship on Zoom. The same link will be used.
Please join us for prayer and praise of God during worship, and plan to join us, after a 5 minute break, while staying on your screen.
During our Annual Meeting, we will review 2020 together, and vote on officers, representatives of ASNS to the Diocese and our 2021 budget. We will do this through a polling system that Zoom offers.
The Budget for the annual meeting will be available by January 22, so that folks can review it. Please email the office for your own hard copy or pick one up! The Annual Meeting booklet will be available by January 29, via an FYI link, and you can arrange to pick up a hard copy of the report, by calling Michelle. We will make 20 hard copies for pick-up.
The aim of our Bible study is to focus our attention on scripture, giving a space to reflect, question and grow. Please join us for an hour each week, as we read the lessons for the upcoming Sunday worship, and share our faith. Hearing scripture during Sunday worship is a whole new experience! If you’d like a study guide, please contact the parish office.
Stewardship 2021 Pledge Drive
So far, we have received pledges totaling $174,737. You can see a copy of the stewardship letter here. Or download a pledge card or an automatic deposit form. If you intend to pledge, it would help us immensely, as we create our 2021 budget, to be voted on at the Annual Meeting on January 31, if you would complete one of the above-underlined forms, and return it as soon as possible. Thank you so much for your support!
Pledge Envelopes are available for 2021. If you haven't received yours in the mail, please stop by the conference room to pick it up, or email the office to arrange pickup.
Or, if you'd like to make your giving really easy this year, fill out an automatic deposit form and mail it in!
Fundraising & Bldg Usage was $34,396below expectation
Actual Operating Expenses were $25,493less than expected.
Our Final 2020 Deficit is$25,187 which is just $424 higherthan our budgeted YTD expectation of a $24,763deficit.
* We are in receipt of $42,980 in non-operational Gov’t funds from a PPP SBA loan. This amount has more than offset our 2020 deficit and resulted in a $17,793 surplus.
Unfortunately, Pledge expectations for 2021 have dramatically dropped due to the death of several parishioners and that several other parishioners, who have not yet renewed a pledge commitment for 2021.
The church office is open on Thursdays; other weekdays, the Parish Administrator works remotely.
All COVID safety guidelines will be enforced, including registration of visitors for contact tracing; masks and social distancing will be required.
Please note that all Zoom links are also available on our website!
Phase 2 of the Governor’s plan is projected to start in February, at the earliest. The order to receive the vaccine in this phase will be individuals with two or more listed medical conditions (comorbidities), certain critical education and other workers, all adults over 65, and individuals with one comorbidity (for a list of comorbidity conditions go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html). Phase 3 of the Governor’s Plan is projected to start in April, and includes all other residents.
Beginning in January, the Rev. Chris Visminas, Interim Pastoral Associate at St. Paul’s, Natick, is offering an inquirer's class on Zoom. The class will have three parts – Bible introduction, history, and spiritual life – and each part will be four weeks long. The three parts are not dependent on each other, and each will be a combination of discussion and information. For more information please contact the Rev. Chris Visminas.
I want for a moment to share a word as we draw towards the end of this week – a week in which we have been shaken, infuriated, and appalled.
We are shaken by the violence and hatred that played out before us at our nation’s Capitol. We are infuriated by the incendiary, reckless, and seditious rhetoric of leaders, including a sitting President of our nation, in stoking that violence and hatred. And we are appalled by the larger realities of turmoil and bitter division in our nation which this week’s events do not allow us to deny.
Bishop Gayle Harris, in remarks at an ordination she was conducting on Wednesday evening, reminded us of Abraham Lincoln’s famous application of the words from Matthew’s gospel: A house divided against itself shall not stand. [Matthew 12:25] This house, our nation, is bitterly divided, and as Bishop Harris said Wednesday, “We cannot continue in this way, cannot continue with the violence, hatred, and demonization of one another, which is certainly not of Christ.”
To continue reading or to watch a video of Bishop Gates' message, click here.