March 17 St. Paul’s (Bantam) – Love Conquers All (John 17:24)
9:45am – 10:30am
This past Wednesday, a group gathered on the lawn in front of Saint Michael’s for a Church picnic. Topping the menu was homemade pizza, baked in ovens made from modified rubbish cans. A couple of passers-by stopped to join us on the way along their journey from somewhere to somewhere else. The food was delightful, and more-so also was the companionship!
There’s always a bit of time when we pause, stopping along the way to share some nurture, a slice, a smile, a kind word or two. These are the ingredients of prayer in action.
-Rev. Deacon Amy Reichman, St. Michael’s
The Rector Bevan’s cell phone rang as he was on his way home after a recent Open Pantry Saturday morning at St. Michael’s. He faithfully answered as he is known to do in case of an after-hours emergency or urgent matter.
As he pressed the accept call button on his phone, a strange and enthusiastic voice blurted out, “I just had to call you. I have to let you know how wonderful my experience was at the Food Pantry today, so much love and kindness. ”
This is a bitter-sweet condition, a confirmation that many of our neighbors continue to suffer food insecurity in Litchfield, in Bantam, in Torrington, and neighboring towns.
The good news is The Food Pantry continues to thrive – “Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, sharing groceries to help with the last week or so in each month.” April 2019 marks the beginning of our third year. As we approach spring and an Easter season, we are all richly blessed, both those who are rich and those who are not so rich…. join us.
-Rev. Deacon Amy Reichman, St. Michael’s _____________________________________________________
The Food Pantry at Saint Michael’s is open the 3rd Saturday of each month 10:30am-12:30pm. All Welcome! at the Community House: 23 South Street, Litchfield, across from the Post Office and next to the stone Church.
No proof of need is required. No identification is needed. Guests choose from many healthy and delicious options. We are entirely supported, managed, and staffed by community volunteers.
Non-perishable donations may be left on the side pews in the stone Church at anytime Fresh, frozen and refrigerated items are gratefully accepted by prior arrangement.
$$$ contributions are always welcomed. Checks may be payable to “Saint Michael’s”
with “Food Pantry” in the memo line.
Questions- The Church Office: 860-567-9465 email@example.com
What I like about Morning Prayer:
I like the use of three rites, each with its own language and structure. Rite 3, on Monday, is the most modern in language and structure. Rite 2, on Tuesday, is more traditional in structure but retains the modern language. Rite 1, on Thursday, uses the language of the King James Bible along with the traditional structure. A different rite each day keeps the service fresh.
I like both officiating and reading the service. Bevan usually officiates, but that function may be assumed by any of the worshipers present at the time. The other participants divide the reading of the assigned lessons among themselves.
I like the continuous contact with the Bible, especially the 150 Psalms, which we try to read in sequence in their entirety, one or more each day depending on their length. I like the minute of silence following the reading of each of the three lessons. It’s the kind of thing I miss when it’s omitted, as it is on Sundays. Silence gives us motive and time to reflect on the lesson that we have just heard.
I like meeting in the Choir. In Morning Prayer, we are technically the voice of the Church at prayer, even if only one person is present to read the service, and it’s easy to identify with that function in such a beautiful setting.
I like the deeper feeling of connection with the divine I sense during and after the service.
What I don’t like about Morning Prayer: That it’s only three days a week! Wednesday we have Bible class followed by Eucharist, which fills the gap appropriately. But Friday is an outlier – so far. I’d love to arrange a session on that day.
In many of the difficulties that I observe within our community, I see this phenomenon in play. We tend to assume we know the correct interpretation of others’ actions (or lack of action). It helps if we can think of several alternative narratives, before we reach conclusions about others’ behaviors. —Bevan
The Cornerstones of Our Emotions: The Stories We Tell Ourselves
by Barnes Boffey, Director of Training at The Aloha Foundation
This blog posts dedicated to the concepts of Success Counseling and how they may be used in everyday life.
My good friend Anthony has not been returning my calls, and as time goes by without hearing from him, I begin to create possible explanations of what might be going on. I start telling myself stories about what might be happening that cover a fairly wide range:
“I did something wrong. He’s mad at me and doesn’t want to talk to me. I wonder what I did?”
“It’s not me, he’s just busy, and he’s probably too swamped to call me back.”
“There’s been an accident or an illness. Oh, my God, I hope he’s OK.”
“What a jerk. I always call him back, but I guess I can’t expect the same.”
As we all know, the list can go on and on. We roll these stories around in our heads—and what we may or may not notice as we do is that a different emotion accompanies each story. There is not one emotion created by the incident; there are many possible emotions, depending on our interpretation of the event.
With “I did something wrong. He’s mad at me and doesn’t want to talk to me. I wonder what I did?” we feel nervous and perhaps a bit guilty. We may even dabble in shame.
With “It’s not me, he’s just busy, and he’s probably too swamped to call me back,” we feel concern and maybe even some compassion for his being so straight out.
“There’s been an accident or an illness. Oh, my God I hope he’s OK” is accompanied by emotions of worry and perhaps fear.
And finally, in telling ourselves, “What a jerk. I always call him back, but I guess I can’t expect the same,” we create emotions of anger, resentment, and disappointment.
Someone not returning our calls does in fact give us information about the world, but the emotions we feel (actually, that we create) are primarily influenced by our stories, not the reality of the situation. And yet, if someone asked us, “How does it make you feel when Anthony doesn’t call you back?” many of us might abandon the responsibility of creating our emotions and respond, “It really makes me angry when he does that.” We would blame the external event for our emotions rather than assume responsibility for having created our emotions internally.
Success Counseling encourages people to look at the stories they tell themselves about any situation and to decide if those stories would be the ones they would choose if they were being their best selves. It asks us to bring our stories into awareness and then choose which one/ones we think appropriate for the people we want to be in that situation.
My friendship with Anthony is an important one, and we have times of very good communication and times of spotty communication. I consider him a good and loyal friend. The question I would therefore hope I would ask myself is this: “If I were being the loyal and good friend to Anthony that I say I want to be, what story would I be telling myself when he doesn’t call me back right away?” My answer to myself would be: “Relax. Give him the benefit of the doubt, and stop making a big deal out of this.” I think that telling myself that story would help me feel caring, calm, and forgiving, and I would be much more able to choose a healthy course of action with those thoughts and emotions in place.
There is nothing easy about this process. We live in a world in which most people act as if their emotions have little to do with theirbehavior and almost entirely are the result of the behavior of others. We find ourselves saying, “If you would just stop doing X, then I wouldn’t have to be angry and upset.” The message is, “It’s not my fault how I feel; you are making me feel that way.” Believing that to be true locks everyone in a victim role that is very hard to escape, especially if we are not aware of it.
Our relationships can be filled with people who create the stories they tell themselves (thereby also creating their emotions) and then complain to us about how they are feeling, while relinquishing responsibility and asking for sympathy. In Success Counseling, we work to help people realize they can’t have it both ways and be empowered in realizing they have a great deal more control of how they are feeling in any situation than they might have believed. The loss of a story—an excuse—is definitely small compared to the gain of response-ability.
Over the next week, try to be aware of the stories you tell yourself in your work and in your relationships. See if you can be more mindful by asking the question, “If I were the person I say I want to be, what story would I be telling myself in this situation?”