Newsletter, August 3
Rev Sheelagh’s Sabbatical Notes
Back to the beginnings…
Ironically, All Hallows’ Church in Bow (www.allhallowsbow.org) is a stone’s throw away from where I was a school inspector in the London Borough of Newham. I probably visited every school in the district back in the late nineties. As then, it is very multiracial, from conservative Muslims in full burka, to white East Enders coexisting somewhat harmoniously in an underserved community.Cris Rogers, an Anglican priest and his wife began a new church from a remnant of seven in a building that was going to be sold to become a mosque. Cris and his wife asked to give missional church a go as a church plant. Now the church community is thriving with a worshipping community of about 200 or so. Over the past five years, the community has worked to define its mission, engage with the community of largely Bangladeshi in their parish.
Their aim is to “gossip” the good news. They have found that the local faith communities respect them more if they are willing to speak of Jesus. This is again in common with my findings in Toronto. It seems that being explicitly Christian but not to pushy is what makes this catch alight. Cris said that this form of evangelism is authentic, emanating naturally from what the community of disciples is doing. Their mission is
“AHB is here to be an
Explosion of joy
By making Jesus known
Within our local community
To see lives transformed.”
In very many ways, what I gleaned from this ministry is that it is very much like the earliest Christian communities. Cris and his team have developed what he termed “new monastic.” See www.eden-network.org or Facebook.com/EdeninBow.
The Rectory and five other houses, are now mission houses. Young couples who have decided they have “had enough” with life values they experienced and want to live differently, covenant for five years to live in community with a common purpose to bring Christ to the neighborhood.
Each one has a paying day job, and they pool resources to manage community life. In addition, they commit to daily prayer and ministry functions within the AHB parish. What excites them is a desire to make a difference, a world change.
What does that look like? In practice it seems to be loving the communities around them. They have a community center Fern Street Ministries, funded by whatever they can get, which offers ESL, kids clubs, youth ministry, addiction and recovery ministries. It is not explicitly Christian, but they are! Christ is dropped into normal conversations, lightly and naturally.
All Hallows’ Bow offers two Sunday services. One is liturgical with Eucharist. Organ and guitar music. Preaching and creed. The other is more welcome, word, worship and witness. But, as Cris says this is more about Monday thru Saturday than Sunday worship.
Vibrant community activities center on prayer in action. A community prayer wall, the parish actively praying for the local community, offers of prayer in passing by the folks of the parish.
Other successful missional experiments have included outdoor events around the religious festivals e.g a lantern making workshop for the community during advent to celebrate light. A Pentecost Picnic in the local park. A silent disco attended by over 200 millennials.
All Hallows’ Bow’s mission is clear and its ministry is exciting. It is led by an inspiring team who operate out of the message of hope and love of Jesus Christ. What’s to lose.
|June 1 – Sep 1||June 1-Sep 1||Rev. Sheelagh’s Sabbatical|
|July 5 – August 19||7am-6pm||Preschool Summer Camp|
|August 14, Sunday||11am-12:30pm||Vestry Meeting|
|August 14, Sunday||11am||Grocery Gift Card Sunday|
|August 17, Wednesday||7:30pm-10pm||Finance Committee Meeting|
|August 23 – August 27||3:30pm-7:30pm||Drumming Camp|
|August 27, Saturday||7:30pm||Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival|
Serving at the Altar 8/7 & 8/14
|8am Preacher: Rev. K. Ballard|
8am Reader: C. Francis
|8am Preacher: Rev. C. McCloud|
8am Reader: M. Walker
|10am Preacher: Rev. D. Darves|
|10am Preacher: Rev. C. McCloud|
|Chalicist: J. Scharff||Chalicist: R. Riedel|
|Ushers: E. Maurer & TBD||Ushers: S. & S. Polanco|
|Altar Guild: N. Sieffert & J. Dorn||Altar Guild: M. Walker, A. Cole & D. Price|
|Coffee Hour: The Barakat Family||Coffee Hour: E. Foley|
|Altar Flowers: Open||Altar Flowers: Open|
If you have any dates or events that need adding to the St. Stephen’s Calendar please send them to Claire, and all articles and e-mails for the newsletter by NOON on Tuesday to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You.
We would like to thank those who participated and donated to St. John’s on 7/24. We helped serve 93 hungry and hopeful persons during their time of need. Our recent ritual of servicing our communities has been impactful and gladly am proud of what service you bring to the table.
The symbolism of consuming the bread and wine to explain the body and blood of Jesus Christ are the core of our faith and has been for thousands of years across broad range of cultures. Thus infers the sacrifice to redeem and help the world. You’ve done a small part and I pray that we continue to rid the world of suffering and hunger. Peace be with you.
Sam and Soraya Polanco
Thanks to all who so generously contributed to the Christmas in July collection for North Porch. This is the time of year when donations are especially needed and once again St. Stephen’s has made a difference in the lives of Moms and their infants.
DRUMMING CAMP IS COMING! – 8/23-8/27
Drumming camp is coming, and I want to share the details with you. The children will be coming to St. Stephen’s from Tuesday 8/23 to Saturday 8/27 from 3:30 – 7:30 pm. Here is a rough plan for the schedule:
- 3:30PM vans arrive, children have a hearty snack (granola bars and fruit), children have free play time on the grounds
- 4:00-5:00PM younger children drum and older children do arts and crafts (Drumming in parish hall)
- 5:00-6:00PM older children drum and younger children to arts and crafts (Drumming in parish hall)
- 6:00-6:30PM dinner (Meals in parish hall)
- 6:30-7:15PM outdoor sports and games
- 7:30PM vans leave to take the children home
We do not yet have a list of participating children, but once we have a clearer sense of the number of children and their ages we can make any necessary scheduling adjustments.
Reverend Sheelagh will not be at the helm this summer, but we have a core group of volunteers who will be present at the camp each evening.
- Yah-yah Kamate will serve as the drumming instructor
- Kim Williams will assist Yah-yah with the drummers
- Gary Jones, Fran Taber, and Susan Dinan will serve as co-directors with clearly defined responsibilities, so we will not be getting into one another’s way.
- Reverend Kathleen will provide her calming and inspired presence.
- Sara Ruth Dorn will manage dinner and snacks. She will need helpers each night. If you want to help with food pick-up, preparation, and/or service please let Sara Ruth know which evenings you are available (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday) and the times you can assist. She can be reached at 973-467-9847 or Fdorn231@aol.com.
- Gesine Ehlers will coordinate arts and crafts. If you want to assist in the arts room please let Susan Dinan know by responding to this message.
- Grace Savoia-Di Gregorio and Miles Ben-Egypt will serve as camp counselors, with Miles in charges of sports since he has experience as a soccer coach. Elizabeth Hawk will serve as a junior counselor.
Would you like to help with the camp? If you want to volunteer to work with the children, please let Susan Dinan know when you are available to do so, and what you would like to be involved in doing. If you would like to contribute money to the food fund, please let us know. If you would like to contribute food, please let Sara Ruth and Susan know so we can plan accordingly. We will be ordering food from local restaurants (Peter’s, Millburn Diner, and Pizzeta) again this summer, and we will ask ShopRite and Trader Joes for snack donations, but as you know these children come from food insecure homes, and it is nice to provide them with substantial snacks and meals.
Thank you for your support of our drummer!
Shakespeare In The Park – Saturday August 27
Anyone who is interested in participating in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival please note that the date of the event can be flexible based on participants’ needs and schedules. Please let me know if you are interested and provide your dates. However, tickets become less available as the days pass so if a group would like to get together we must decide by August 5. Thanks!!Theresa Scharff (908 686 5489)
Men Of St. Stephen’s Retreat
Calling all Men of St.Stephens! A retreat “just for men” is in the process of being planned in late Summer (September). We hope to use the Convent of St. John Baptist in Mendham for the day. Please consider spending some time alone and with other men of the parish for a day of spiritual renewal and growth. Contact Paul Boegershausen or Theresa Scharff for more information.
Coffee hosting and flowers
Please sign up with Susan Dinan for coffee hour. Please Let Eugene or Claire know if you would like to donate flowers, please consider taking ONE Sunday in memory of a loved one, or in thanksgiving for an event. Flowers are priced at $40, $50 or $60 for the two vases.
Gracious God, in you we live and move and have our being: We pray that you guide Rev. Sheelagh during this intentional Sabbath time. May she return to St. Stephen’s restored in body, mind and spirit. We also pray that you bless this parish and all who come here. May we carry out with joy the ministries to which we are called. May this also be a time of intentional prayer and reflection for us. By your Spirit, empower all to be strengthened by the gifts you give and to be renewed as servants of God. Amen.