Whoever you are, wherever you are in your spiritual journey,
you are welcome at St. John’s Church on Fishers Island.
In addition to the full 2015 Summer Schedule below, there are some special events worth noting:
Bible and Theological Study – Fridays, St. John’s Rectory 2:00 beginning June 26 – Aug. 14
Beach Vespers – Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. South Beach (next to Hay Harbor Golf Course) beginning on July 9
Family Sunday with Blessing of Pets – Sunday, July 19
Hymn Sing & Annual Meeting – Sunday, July 26
Island Concert Series at St. John’s Church – The Copley Singers, Sunday, August 2, 5:00 p.m.
Visiting Choir – St. James, West Hartford, August 18-23. The choir will be singing at the services on Sunday, August 23
All are welcome to attend the Seasonal Bible Study and Book Group, vespers services, organ recitals, guest preachers, and more.
We join our prayers with the people of Charleston, South Carolina and the A.M.E. Emanuel Church.
A Prayer in Parched Places:
Gracious God, you are the fountain of mercy and the wellspring of justice. Yet this week, we feel the absence of this holy water, we feel the hurt and pain caused by senseless violence, we feel the shame of our nation that looks on yet another act of injustice and the waste of human life. Comfort the families of those nine lives taken in your sanctuary. Be with them in their grief and mourning. Receive the souls of the nine into your embrace where they might live and learn and love you in your heavenly home. But more than that, O God, come to this earth, this place ravaged by heartache and torn by injustice and discrimination. Come to this place, to this earth, and strengthen us to make it a place where your water flows more quickly. Let your “justice roll like a river and your righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”(Amos 5:24). Come to this place, this earth, empower, embolden, ignite, enkindle the spark of your presence that as instruments of peace, we may be grounded to do what needs to be done. Amen.
~ The Rev. Michael Spencer, Rector
This past week, I returned from a CREDO retreat where I had the opportunity to live and learn with other priests. As I write this note, I am feeling deeply grateful for lessons learned, conversations enjoyed, and rest embraced. I feel so encouraged by the faith, hope, and love of the Church in the world and the promise of helping to bring a better world into being. I am also mindful of the deep spiritual truth that the way to go is not up, but down….the inward journey down into the depths of the ground of our being…often to the place we do not wish to go. The moment of deep tragedy at the Emanuel Church – another in a line of multiple tragedies this year in which the deep wound of racial violence and discrimination has been touched again and again – is a call to look within, to dig down into our identity as people and as a nation, a journey to discover the truth of who we really are and to set that truth free. This involves saying yes in a way we may not have before. The wisdom of Parker Palmer has been very important for me this week in thinking about this and about the self, identity, vocation, community, and the future:
“If we are to live our lives fully and well, we must learn to embrace the opposites, to live in a creative tension between our limits and our potentials. We must honor our limitations in ways that do not distort our nature, and we must trust and use our gifts in ways that fulfill the potentials God gave us. We must take the no of the way that closes and find the guidance it has to offer – and take the yes of the way that opens and respond with the yes of our lives.” (Let Your Life Speak)
“In the human world, abundance does not happen automatically, it is created when we have the sense to choose community, to come together to celebrate and share our common store. Whether the scarce resource is money or love or power or words, the true law of life is that we generate more of whatever seems scarce by trusting its supply and passing it around. Authentic abundance does not lie in secured stockpiles of food or cash or influence or affection but in belonging to a community where we can give those goods to others who need them – and receive them from others when we are in need.” (Let Your Life Speak)