Our citizens have been challenged to engage in what may feel like an insurmountable hurdle to soften our tribal camps and take our rhetoric down a notch.
Our President, Joe Biden, in his inaugural address said, "Let’s begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. Disagreement must not lead to disunion. We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural vs. urban, conservative vs. liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts."
Karin Armstrong, author, teacher, historian and theologian, believes that compassion is in our best interest because our families, nation and world will not survive without it. Jesus boldly proclaims that we are called to love one another. This is not the kind of love we refer to today…."I love that ice cream or I love that TV show."
In the ancient world, and in the book of Leviticus, love was a term used in international treaties. Two kings that may have been enemies promised to “love one another.” This did not mean that they would fall into one another’s arms and become best friends, but that they would look after each other’s best interests. Yes, love has us looking after each other’s best interests. Let’s proceed together with compassion, by "opening our souls instead of hardening our hearts" as we try to be a light to others, and make their lives easier.
Important Worship Update Our vestry voted to change in-person worship to 8:30 am going forward, which began on January 17th.
Additionally, on January 31, 2021, there will be only ONE service, which will be the 10:00 Zoom service. This will be followed by our Annual Meeting via 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.
Slate for Election at Zoom Annual Meeting
The Nominating Committee is pleased to present to our congregation, slates for election to the Vestry and Deanery, as well as delegates to Diocesan Convention and Episcopal City Mission. After an extensive search for candidates, from as far away as Alexandria VA, the result was a pool of talented and qualified disciples. The Committee is grateful to all whose names were submitted for consideration. We believe that the nominees before you represent an exceptional group of leaders, who will govern with wisdom and faithfulness. We commend them to you for election at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 31, 2021 after the 10 am service.
, Vestry members at large (2x3 year, 1x1 year term) Chuck Orphanos, 3 year term Michele Winkler Gettings, 3 year term Bruce Manning, 1 year term Officers Gail Arnold, Warden 1 year term Sue Spencer, Warden 1 year term Lisa Palmer Treasurer 1 year term Erika Bianchi, Clerk 1 year term
Deanery (5 members) Jan Briggs Diane Manning
Diocesan Convention Leslie Blake Lisa Palmer Alt: Carol Bouffard
Episcopal City Mission Delegates John Gettings
There are openings for altar flowers on February 7, and for the sanctuary lamp on February 28. Contact Barbara Hooper.
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 $175,517. 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, if you would complete one of the above-underlined forms and return it as soon as possible. We will vote on our 2021 budget at the Annual Meeting on January 31. 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!
“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?
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!
Email Spoofing is a popular choice among cyber criminals!
Members at All Saints and your rector have recently had their emails hacked. If someone from All Saints, or your friend group, or a business you patronize, asks you for a favor in an email, or asks for passwords or other personal information, either delete the email, or call or text the sender to verify that the email is legitimate……Here is a short video to confirm this wisdom! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RklLYDyJgQ
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!
Resources for Conversation
If you are interested in a having a constructive conversation post-election...this resource has been crafted from years of work engaging in some of the most difficult conversations, and will help you use powerful tools to have a more connected, meaningful, and constructive conversation—useful for everything from one-on-one conversations to formal dialogues. Shared with us by Bob Stains, who spent 22 years with The Public Conversations Project (now Essential Partners) What Happens Next? EP Offering 4 Weeks of Post-Election Support | Essential Partners
Resources for this Time of Disruption
As we make our way through this pandemic, we remain physically distant from one another, for love's sake. Here are some resources to support individuals and congregations through this time.
Guidance from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts here
Earth Stewards, the working group associated with the Danvers Interfaith Partnership, encourages us to join Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute online Wednesday January 27th at 7:30 pm for "Making Ocean Conservation Work". This is one of the programs in WHOI's Ocean Encounters series, and will "explore how scientists, communities, and NGOs are joining forces to inform policy and together create workable, sustainable strategies for critical ocean ecosystems." It's free! Register below to learn about how to protect the Lungs of the Planet.
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.