Alison_s Stewardship Address 2017

Week of October 12

Thursday October 12

7:15pm: Anthem Choir Rehearsal

Saturday October 14

9:00am to Noon: Finance Committee Meeting

Sunday October 15

8:00am: HE

9:15am: Anthem Choir Warmup

10:00am:HE with Church School

Nursery Available

Undies Sunday Collection for Lowell Transitional Living Center

11:30am: One-to-One Refresher Training

11:30am: Youth Choir Rehearsal

Tuesday October 17

10:00am: Staff Meeting

7:30pm: Shawl Ministry

Wednesday October 18

AUCTION DONATIONS DUE

7:30am: HE with Healing Prayers

8:00am: Potluck Breakfast

1:30pm: Rector Drop-in Hours

7:30pm: Hop, Skip and Jump Bible Study – Reading assignment below

Saturday October 21

All Day – Set up for Mission/Ministries Fair

9:30am to 11:30am: Lessons and Carols Rehearsal

11:30am to 12:30pm: Voices Rising Rehearsal

Sunday October 22

STEWARDSHIP KICKOFF

8:00am: HE

9:15am: Youth Choir Warmup

10:00am: New Eu(charist) for All Ages

Church School attends services

Nursery Available

Dialogue with Crystal McCarthy, Development Assistant from the Lowell Transitional Living Center at both services

Mission/Ministries Fair after both services

Undies Sunday Collection for Lowell Transitional Living Center

11:30am: Youth Choir Rehearsal

11:45am: Adult Formation – Worship as a sign and foretaste of heaven

1:30pm: CROP Walk

Alison_s Stewardship Address 2017

Weekly Word from the Fold – Oct 12

WEEKLY WORD FROM THE FOLD

Taking the Knee in Various Ways

As a boy chorister trained in an English parish church, I took the knee whenever I approached the tabernacle where the Reserved Sacrament was kept. I did this well before I had any intellectual understanding as to why I was doing it. I just copied what the other boys did. It was, however, a habit that shaped my disposition towards sacred and holy things. So, today at CGS I take the knee on High Day and Holidays when the sacrament has been consecrated. It’s a reflexive nod toward my restrained English catholic training. As a priest at the altar I am seeking to embody the synthesis of the infinite with the finite, the eternal with the concrete here and how.

I also take the knee when blessing children and offering them the host. I seek to honor them by getting down to their level and in order to avoid “lauding it over them.” At home I am constantly taking the knee when cleaning up after the baby. I’m trying to save my lower back while getting the job done. So, at church and at home I take the knee as a sign of reverence and because I have gotten used to getting down low out of respect to others I am in relationship with.

In contrast, as a naturalized American I stand for the National Anthem at Fenway Park with my cap in hand. While still a Brit on a Green Card, I had gotten into that habit as a frequent visitor to the ballpark. Looking back I wasn’t standing up out of respect for the Flag. It wasn’t my flag to respect. I chose to stand because I felt it was necessary to participate in something bigger than myself. In contrast an Irish friend of mine didn’t stand on such an occasion and I was made anxious by his radical stance. Being British I never want to cause a scene in public! He made it clear to me that he was exercising his freedom to remain seated.

As the role of sitting, kneeling and standing for the National Anthem at sports events is debated, I find myself conflicted. On the one hand, I want to uphold the right of any individual to exercise their human freedom to kneel for the National Anthem, if there is a vital reason for doing so. On the other hand, I want to make a claim that patriotism is vital for our collective well-being, as we join in a unified transcendent affirmation of our sense of Nationhood. What I am looking for and can’t find at this critical hour is the synthesis of national pride and unity with a concrete desire to stand with the African American victims of police violence. Such is the level of distortion as actions and words are taken out of context and re-contextualized for political gain.

So, I take the knee out of humility of not knowing where comfort and resolution is to be found. I also take the knee as I recognize that within our church community members with whom I have a relationship, are taking various stances on this particular issue. My persistent hope is that we as a nation continue to seek a solution to both uphold the safety of our police officers and the most vulnerable and at-risk members of our communities. My spiritual desire is that the State and the churches continue to hold up the ideals of national unity and the peaceable kingdom that Jesus points towards in Holy Scripture.

See you Sunday,

Gareth