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The Fledgling--Week of September 4, 2020

From Mother Megan:

The Daily Office recently has appeared to be channeling pure 2020 energy.  We had some out-there stories from Judges, and now we're deep in the depths of Job.  

Job, as you can tell if you've been watching Morning Prayer, is one of my favorites.  Just from the standpoint of sheer, poetic beauty, Job is hard to beat.  (A lot of the phrases that are translated into English appear much clearer than they are.  The Hebrew is so obscure that most translations will vary widely.  The writer appears to have been inventing and then deconstructing language in order to give semantic force to the power of Job's feelings.)

A professor I had in undergrad once argued that Job is possibly the last book you'd want to read if you were personally suffering a crisis, because it's so dismal and dark.  I actually take the opposite view.  The power of Job, for me, is his clear-eyed honesty about human suffering.  

Suffering, after all, frequently feels like the product of a whimsical deity who just decided to bet on the outcome.  It sometimes feels like the ordered universe that once existed has flown out the window, and the platitudes that once held up have evaporated, just when you need them most.  The companions who try to comfort you also must contend with their own fear about your fate.  And Job is unsparing in his rage, his frustration, his sorrow--all the emotions we run when we suffer.  It's all here, and it's all aimed at God.  

The magic, for me, of this book is that it exists within the canon of Scripture.  While Job is held out elsewhere in Scripture as an icon of patient suffering, reading the actual book shows that....he's really not.  His relationship to God is intimate enough that he spends 40 chapters yelling at God, and saying some pretty horrible things.  

As American Christians, many of us have been given the idea that God is not to be questioned or even addressed with anger or sorrow.  And yet, in Job, after a 40 chapter meltdown, God appears in response to Job's outburst, and proclaims Job as "one who has spoken truthfully of me." Their relationship has not suffered at all.

God, I wager, wants to hear our anger, our frustration.  God wants to hear our sorrow, our lament.  God wants to hear our most Job-like feelings, because otherwise, what sort of relationship do we have, really?  The God who created the universe and the Leviathan for the sport of it can certainly deal with our frustration and grief about the pandemic.  

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 us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



Readings for the week (Track 2)

One More Ride! Robin Steuteville rides 102 miles in the 22nd Annual Ride for Life, raising funds for the Southern Tier AIDS Program.  Now in its 38th year, STAP has expanded to offer opiod overdose prevention along with HIV testing, needle exchange, and home health management.  Click HERE to support Robin’s full circuit ride around Cayuga Lake before she returns to college!


 
Thank you so much!
Thank you everyone for coming out to our in-person worship services and especially to Peg and Ed for hosting us out in Groton.  
We will continue to hold small, distanced Eucharists in the front yard of St. John's on Wednesday evenings at 6pm, as long as our case load stays low, and the weather holds.  You will still need to sign up through the link we sent out earlier. 
Sundays will return to being online experiences.

God willing, we can find a way to all be together in worship, in person soon!

Resources for Anti-Racism/Solidarity Work:
 


Bystander Training:  Have you ever witnessed someone being harassed because of their gender/ethnicity/language/orientation and wished you could do something about it?  There's actually a lot you can do!  Sign up for a free Bystander Training with Hollaback--a non-profit dedicated to teaching people how to intervene in situations where other people are being harmed.  Learn how to use your privilege for good!


VOTING: Gov. Cuomo recently signed an executive order allowing worry about the corona virus to be an acceptable reason for receiving an absentee ballot.  The application for such a ballot is here. Early voting will start soon, if you'd like to vote in person.  Find out where to vote near you here.  

VOTING PART 2: Because of the pandemic, there is a shortage of poll workers.  Is this an area where you could help?  Find out how to volunteer 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! 


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.) 


 
 

 
We have recently learned that Clare Hardesty, our former Sexton, has entered a nursing home in Upstate NY. I'm sure he'd be happy to hear from members of St. John's who remember his years with us, as he always considered St. John's "his church". Thanks Pat Clark for the heads up!
Clare Hardesty
St. Joseph’s Home 
950 Linden St. 
Ogdensburg, NY  13669
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.
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 

Wednesday Evening Eucharist: 6pm in the Churchyard (please sign up ahead of time.) 
 

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.  
 
14th 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, dalehall217@hotmail.com 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.
https://zoom.us/j/94583970408

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! office@stjohnsithaca.org.

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 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?:
 
Mutual Aid Tompkins County has been meeting immediate needs for our neighbors, and keeping the little blue boxes stocked with food around town.  They are in need of donations so if you have something extra to give, now's the time.  They can be found here.

Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard needs volunteers! Contact Cora Yao for more information. You can sign up here

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 office@stjohnsithaca.org 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 Tithe.ly to offer the option of online giving for St. John's. Go to the website at stjohnsithaca.org, and look for the donate button in the upper right corner. It's safe, secure, and VERY convenient!

***

You can also download the Tithe.ly 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!

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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. https://smile.amazon.com/ch/15-0615665


 



 
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