The Fledgling--Week of August 7, 2020

From Mother Megan:

When I was in high school, I began telling my friends upon departure, "Have fun!  Don't die!"  It wasn't that I actually thought they might die; but I had had a tumultuous few years of losing several loved ones in a row, and this was my way of laughing at the darkness.  I figured I'd err on the safe side, and just in case anyone needed a reminder, they'd get it from me.  "Have fun!  Don't die."  

In Deuteronomy, before his death, we hear Moses sum up the law for the people of Israel thusly, "Today I set before you life and death.  Choose life, and flourish in the land."  Moses, it would appear, is also on the don't-die-if-you-can-help-it train.  The point of the law, he tells the people, is to not die.  If you can.  If it's all the same to you, Moses would just rather you not.  

Curiously, it would seem that the ethos of "Don't die" is not as widespread as TeenagedMegan thought.  From politicians, to corporate execs, to average people squeamish to wear masks, it would appear that any number of people in our country are more than willing to let a whole lot of people die--for the sake of intangible ideas and sometimes very tangible profits, and in the process of making their arguments, they often invoke God.  

Let me then clarify this again for you, beloved of St. John's, in case there be any lingering doubt.  Or in case there should come a moment, however brief, when you are tempted to believe otherwise.

God very much wants you to be alive.  God would really rather you be alive.  God, in fact, sent Jesus to be human, and to die--but only so that you, I, and every other creature under heaven, would not have to suffer and die.  God wants us to take care of one another and to live, in wholeness of life.  

And when we, like the ancient Israelites, are given the choice between that which leads to life, and that which leads to death, we should choose life.

If you have a submission to the Fledgling, send it to the office by Thursday morning for inclusion on Friday.  Bulletin announcements should be into the office by Wednesday morning.
  • If you know of someone who would like to receive the Fledgling, please send their email to the office. 

Prayer for the week

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Readings for the week (Track 2)

August Plan

Starting next week, we will be offering the opportunity for small, in-person gatherings for the Eucharist throughout August.  My hope is to give everyone the opportunity to have the sacrament at least once in this upcoming month.  (Because our infection rate is increasing again, and the colleges will reconvene soon, I want to ensure that we seize this chance before it slips away.)

Peg and Ed Coleman have generously offered their farm as a site for Sunday mornings.  We will also be holding midweek services on Wednesday evenings in the front yard of the church for those who cannot travel to Groton.  

A few things to keep in mind:
1. You MUST register beforehand and let us know that you're coming.  Attendence is capped at 25 for each service, including clergy, readers, and tech folks.  

2. You MUST wear a mask at all times.  We will have hand sanitizer for you.

3. We won't be singing or passing the Peace.  Everyone needs to stay 6 feet apart.

4. If you can, please bring your own camp chair or folding chair. (If you have more than one, and are able, bring more than one for those who cannot lug chairs around.) 

5. The service will last around 30 minutes.  We aren't able to make bathrooms available, so please plan accordingly.

All this will be sent out again in a separate email, along with sign-up links, directions to Peg and Ed's, and reminders of our guidelines.  So stay tuned!

I know it's not church as we are used to or church as we hope for.  But hopefully it will feel like a glimpse of light during these strange days.

Resources for Anti-Racism/Solidarity Work:

Rep. John Lewis wrote an essay which he requested be printed on the day of his funeral.  It can be found here.  (Prepare the tissues.) 
If you missed watching his funeral, you can catch up here. 

Want to learn more about how systemic racism has affected our lives in Tompkins County? There's a website for that! SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) has created a local website dedicated to compiling local statistics and history about race relations in Tompkins County.  So far, the site is in the early stages, but stay tuned! 

The Diocesan Summer Series will be featuring an Introduction to the Sacred Ground series on August 6th here. More on the film Sacred Ground can be found here.
Have you read any of Code Switch at They offer a series of thoughtful essays on race and race relations in the USA. Here's one on "Why now, white people?"
Sunday afternoon protests/rallies continue on the Ithaca Commons to call attention to the epidemic of police brutality and systemic racism in our country.  Every Sunday at 2pm at Bernie Milton Pavilion (bring water and wear a mask!)
 We will continue to post information on protests and ways to support in a timely fashion on the parish FB page.

Scaffolding Anti-Racism Resources, taking you on a journey are here.  (The resources on this list are sorted by what specific trope they respond to, and how accessible they might be for a person just beginning this journey.) 


Have you had coffee/tea/hot cider with Mtr Megan?  Send me an email and we'll set up Skype/Facetime and chat!  It's fun (I promise) and we can still meet while we're staying safe right now.
Special Schedule this week:

Daily Morning Prayer: 9:30am on FB Live and YouTube Live will return July 27th

Sunday Morning Worship: 10:30am on FB and YouTube 

Virtual Coffee hour Zoom at 11:30am

For Zoom log-in information, go to the Event listing on our Facebook page, or email Mtr Megan.  
9th Sunday after Pentecost Resources

 Bulletin is here

Online BCP is here. 

Stewardship Corner

We have a new Stewardship video for August!  Jerome Fung, our new Stewardship chair, speculates on what to do with a million dollars here. 



Education for Ministry (EfM)

It is time to begin planning for the new year of EfM (Education for Ministry). We will continue meeting online on Tuesday evenings until we are given clearance to begin meeting in-person later in the year. Note that this is the program that is sponsored through St John’s and is not the same as the Diocesan sponsored EfM online program mentored by Peg Colman. 

The St John’s EfM program will resume early in September, and will need at least six participants in order to move forward so I encourage you to consider joining us. Please feel free to contact Lloyd Hall, or 607.229.2900, with any questions you may have. Note that we do not yet know if there will be an opportunity to get help with the $385 cost for participants but we will explore that option for those who might need it.

This has been a life-giving experience for the group and we look forward to inviting new members!

We would like to take this time to formulate a picture directory with our newfangled cloud database!  To do this, send the office a photo of you and your family and we will compile them!  


Zoom Coffee Hour!

After the 10:30 service, stick around for a Zoom coffee hour! 
Click here at 11:30 am right after the 10:30 service.

You can also call in via a telephone: 
Meeting ID: 945 8397 0408
One tap mobile
+16468769923,,94583970408# US (New York)
+13126266799,,94583970408# US (Chicago)

 It will be lovely to see everyone's face again!

Good Things:

Places for Spiritual refreshment:
Forward Day by Day booklets of daily prayer for August September & October have arrived! Please email the office if you would like one mailed to you!

Join in singing w/ Cyber Choirs @ St. John’s Church! 
Contribute to our online services. Record at your convenience; no video, just audio. Instructions and materials are HERE
The Diocese of Central NY has a new Summer Series of workshops:
Looking for something new to do with excited kids? Church Publishing is giving away Summer Activity Packs here.  Do some fun activities with the kids, and learn about faith (with Legos.  I understand there are Legos involved.) 
The diocese has compiled a comprehensive list of formation and worship opportunities from around our diocese here.  There's something for everyone, in nearly every time imaginable!
Have you checked out Grow Christians recently?  It's a fantastic blog about parenting faithful kids and teens, and is updated daily.  It's here
Faith@Home is a resource put together by Forward Movement and Forma.  They send you an email every day with prayers, reflections, and activities designed for different age groups, and they have stepped up their work in this time.  Check it out here. 
Habits of Grace:Our Presiding Bishop is putting out weekly reflections during this time.  They are here.



How can I help?:
Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard needs volunteers! Contact Cora Yao for more information. You can sign up here

Women Swimmin' has moved online!  Find out more information here.  If you would like to join a St. John's team, contact Amber Massa or Gwen Freeman to sign up.  This is your chance to swim without getting wet!
LOAVES & FISHES needs volunteers! Click here to find out more or to sign up. 
Dignity Pantry Personal Care Items Needed Although Laundry Love remains closed for now, the Dignity Pantry is getting a lot of use. We currently need deodorant, toothpaste, tooth brushes, any kind of cleaning/ sanitizing wipe, mouthwash and sunscreen. Shampoos and lotions are always welcome as well. We are currently more than stocked on toilet paper, bar soap, paper towels and socks (Bombas just sent us 3,000. pairs of socks!)  When you are at the store, remember to look for buy one/ get one deals! 
E-mail AnnMarie at and we will arrange a convenient time for items to be dropped off. Thank you!

Lots of ways to support St. John's!

We've partnered with to offer the option of online giving for St. John's. Go to the website at, and look for the donate button in the upper right corner. It's safe, secure, and VERY convenient!


You can also download the app on the iTunes store or Google Play store to your smartphone, and search for St. John's Episcopal Church, and give that way.  It will even set up automatic payments so you never have to remember your checkbook again!


Help support St. John's while you shop! If you are shopping on Amazon, use our unique link and Amazon will return 0.05% of your purchase price to St. John's.


Mtr Megan's sermons
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