Calvary is a special place with great preaching, wonderful music, an active laity, and a friendly and mission-focused congregation …
“As a place of tolerance and acceptance of others; the friendliness, love and support of our congregation ensures we will continue to remain an open and affirming place for everyone.”Vision 2020 excerpt
This August 2014 marked the one year anniversary of our partnership with St. Paul Parish in Manikara Archdeaconary, Diocese of Ibba. We began conversations with Bp. Wilson Kamani who supported the idea and selected one of his remote parishes, St. Paul, because they haven’t had any outside contacts or support. “It is a committed and innovated Episcopal Parish” that includes a four room primary school along with a day care center. Like many areas, they have their share of illnesses due to lack of fresh safe drinking water. Education is a primary goal for this parish of English speaking Christians.
Over this past year we have developed over a dozen one on one prayer partners and were asked to help name the first baby born to Frank’s prayer partner, Seth and his wife since our partnership began. It was a girl and one of her names is Virginia. We have shared many pictures and stories about our activities and customs through this partnership.
As Calvary moves forward with “Mission Beyond Our Borders,” we are striving to collect the funds needed to provide our brothers and sisters with safe drinking water for their health and safety.
Ibba is far south in South Sudan and they have not been involved in any of the conflicts we read about. This is an agriculture area and they raise crops to feed themselves with some left over to sell. A borehole with related filtration system could cost $13,000, so it isn’t an easy task we have before us. This fresh water borehole will serve 4,200 Christians equaling a cost of about $3 per person.
We are selling shares of stock in this borehole at $25 a share – an excellent gift for birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. To date we have collected over $1,600 and are exploring opportunities for grants including a Diocesan Mustard Seed Grant.
You may donate with cash or check (made out to Calvary Church – memo notation for St Paul, well, S. Sudan), whatever!
Look for our water bucket for donations at the parish Picnic, enjoy some fresh cold water, and vote for your favorite slogan. Entries to date are:
- Frank Baxter, Chairperson
Calvary Mission Committee
[This article originally appeared in the September 2014 edition of our parish newsletter, Calvary Life].
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20
Last week I was going through files to clean-up, clear” out, and reorganize papers and articles that; at some point, I thought were worth keeping. A number of them finally went the way of the trash can, but I did find some treasures.
I found a lovely little booklet, “Lo, I.am with you always,” that had been put together before computers were available for everyone. I could tell by the uneven type and the quality of the copy. It had been compiled by a friend of mine at a time when a beloved friend of hers was dying from cancer. I had just recently been ordained and my experience was limited. I had lost my own mother to cancer four years before. How helpful this would have been for me then.
In her introduction to the booklet she said, “Although God did not heal [my friend] physically, He truly healed her spiritually, for she knew that no matter what happened she would never be alone.”
The little booklet is full of re-assuring words from scripture and short reflections from well-known persons involved in the healing ministry. The Bible, spiritual reflections that bring hope, and beloved friends to support and uphold us during difficult times are gifts we don’t always appreciate. They are always there for us, but we don’t usually take advantage of their availability until we are desperate.
Recently, I read that a study was done which concluded that reading the Bible contributed to one’s overall sense of well-being. It was.one of those articles that I skimmed but have now forgotten just where I had seen it. However, the reality resonates with my own experience: Our denomination participated in a challenge to read the Bible in a year. For those who participated it was an interesting experience. Not many were completely successful, but all o£ us read more than we would have had we not accepted the challenge. Having the affirmations from scripture, and in their context, are valuable tools to have before the crisis arrives. Make good friends with the Bible. You will never regret it.
Articles and books by healing ministers such as Henri Nouwen, Emily Gardiner Neal, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Merton, [all mentioned in my friends booklet] and many others, are treasures to read now and invaluable to return to when the going gets tough. Whether we are the care-givers or care-receivers, we are helping to spread God’s love in a very needy world.
Thank you my dear friend, Jane. Your booklet reminded me of these three very important things I need today – not just in the time of crisis! God’s word, words of comfort and affirmation, and those beloved bearers of God’s presence for me.
The Rev. Deborah W. Rutter
Rector, Calvary Episcopal Church
[This posting originally appeared on the Religion page of The Warren Sentinel of August 14, 2014]
Third Sunday of Advent
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28
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Second Sunday of Advent
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
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First Sunday of Advent
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18
1 Corinthians 1:3-9