Dear Grace and St Peter’s,
Happy Earth Day to all!
I hope this note finds you in good health and good spirits. And, on this 50th Earth Day, as I said on Easter Sunday, I hope that, amidst the challenges and stresses of these strange times, you have been able to appreciate the burgeoning beauties of spring—trees flowering and leafing; daffodils, tulips and forsythia blooming; robins eagerly scanning the ground for their next meal. This afternoon I saw a hawk fly over Willow Street in New Haven, clutching a good sized silver fish in its talons. Last week, I saw a red fox lumbering down Ridge Road. As some have suggested, nature seems to quickly fill in the quiet spaces that we open for it. Perhaps this is another sign of the way that new life all but inevitably springs forth from apparent desolation.
At Grace and St Peter’s new life is springing forth, as well. Our Faith Study Group is planning to re-create itself on Zoom (if you have not yet received a note from Gretchen Pritchard about this and would like to participate, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org). And Jonathan Westphal invites all of us to join him in the mystical communion of Compline-at-a-distance every evening at 8:00 pm. Here’s his note to us:
Hello everyone, If anyone would like to join me and do the same, I will be lighting a candle in my own home and reading through the Compline Service at p. 127 of the Book of Common Prayer, at 8:00 every evening. Gathering in a mystical union at a time together in the darkness of this time might be helpful, as we can’t meet in a place. Jonathan Westphal
As well, we will be continuing with our peripatetic 9:00 am Sunday morning worship (followed immediately, this week, by virtual coffee hour) from various locations in Hamden. This week, in recognition of Earth Day, we will again hold our service in a local park, Zooming from Edgerton Park or East Rock Park near the Eli Whitney museum.
This moveable feast of praise and prayer provides a great opportunity to reach out into the community, to meet new people (at an appropriate distance, of course), and to remind ourselves that our ministry is not limited to members of our parish but is for and with all the people of Hamden and beyond.
Finally, I offer a closing Earth Day word from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov:
Love all God’s creation, both the whole and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If you love each thing you will perceive the mystery of God in all; and when once you perceive this, you will thenceforward grow every day to a fuller understanding of it: until you come at last to love the whole world with a love that will then be all-embracing and universal.
As always, I keep you in my prayers and wish you good health, patience and peace.