An Extraordinary Week!
Dear people of St. Paul's,
What an extraordinary 10 days it's been at St. Paul's. The Day School opened for our in-person program with 55 children, under the terrific leadership of Lisa Adorno and the enthusiastic guidance of our teachers. Many tears and much joy marked the first day of school. (click here to read about The Day School in The Greenwich Free Press.)
We were reminded that there was no place like home at Friday night's Movie in the Meadow as many gathered on a chilly evening to watch Dorothy and her friends journey to meet the "Wizard of Oz." Our Welcome Home Sunday service brought 70 people to the Meadow for Spiritual Communion with the lovely voices of Jane Rady and Amanda Goodman lifting our praises to God. Children returned to join Sunday School in the Courtyard, followed by the annual Blessing of the Backpacks. A safe, socially distanced coffee hour was hosted by our wardens, Holden Sibley and Christine O'Neill which was enjoyed by all as a time to catch-up after the summer. Under our new tent by the Carter wing, our timely, critically important ministry about racial reconciliation kicked-off during Discovery Hour as we launched the Episcopal Church's program Sacred Ground, an exploration of church, faith and racism.
The Meadow was filled with activities throughout the week- a Monday night AA meeting, the Riverside Garden Club Annual social gathering, Morning Meditation on Wednesday and Friday yoga - plus Day School students enjoyed our new reading area made of logs. Our own Ed Turner and his family, accompanied by David Johnson on the piano, offered an amazing sunset concert on Wednesday night with Broadway tunes meant to inspire and give hope. Reverend Eric organized the year's first Middle School Youth group gathering in the courtyard which ended with a contemplative compline service.
Our Thursday morning contactless Neighbor-to-Neighbor Food drive started up with two car loads of food delivered in two weeks. The food drive will continue at least until mid-October so please share the news with friends and neighbors.
Bible study, under the guidance of Ann Post, reconvened on zoom exploring the timely topic of finding God during the time of exile. Thursday evening prayer via zoom continues to offer comfort, hope and community for those who prefer to worship from the safety of their home. This week we opened the sanctuary for limited individual prayer time, by reservation only. The vestry and day school board both held their monthly meetings this week offering wise, thoughtful leadership as we discern what God is leading us to do in the time ahead.
The weekend ahead also proves to be eventful with a wedding in the courtyard and a baptism on Sunday morning at our 9:30 service in the Meadow. Beginning Friday night throughout the weekend, we will continue our tradition of interfaith engagement as Temple Sholom will offer five Rosh Hashanah services in our Meadow.
Even as our church building remains closed to congregational worship, the living Body of Christ, which is the congregation of St. Paul's, is open to thriving in new and meaningful ways. Our faith reminds us that new life appears in ways unexpected and transformational, building on past traditions while looking toward the future in hope. My deepest gratitude goes to the staff, countless volunteers and church leadership who with faithfulness and care help bring the Kingdom of God to Riverside.