Summer 2017 Courageous Conversations events

July Gathering

Monday, July 31 from 7:00 PM to 9:00PM

Church of Our Saviour at 453 Adams Street, Milton

Read “Waking Up White” by Debbie Irving and then come to the book discussion on July 31. According to Ms. Irving “Waking Up White is the book I wish someone had handed me decades ago. My hope is that by sharing my sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As I unpack my own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, I reveal how each of these well-intention mindsets actually perpetuated my ill-conceived ideas about race. I also explain why and how I’ve changed the way I talk about racism, work in racially mixed groups, and understand the racial justice movement as a whole”. Light refreshments will be provided.

August Gathering

Tuesday, August 15 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Parkway Methodist Church at 158 Blue Hills Parkway, Milton

Join neighbors and friends for jazz music performed by Milton High School Jazz Ensemble “False Lighting”. The concert will be held in the church outdoor courtyard so bring picnic blankets and/or chairs. If it rains we will move indoors. Please bring a dessert or non-alcoholic beverage to share with fellow attendees.

May 2017 Parish News and Reflection

I am an Episcopal priest. I am a woman. I have often had this conversion:

So…do I call you ‘Father Rachael’?

No, I’m not a man.

Hmm …

Technically, it is ‘Mother Rachael’ … but you can just call me Rev Rachael.

15 months after ordination, I became a ‘mother’ of a more normal sort. There was no substitute title this time.

Like most new parents, my husband and I discovered quickly that we were in over our heads. We both have congregations to pastor, family was nowhere near, and we had a little tiny child to care for. How could I “mother” a church AND a child?

When my son was one week old, we went to the church to introduce him to my congregation. As soon as we entered the doors we were met with cheers. Parents surrounded me and asked to me to share my birth story—they knew how healing it could be. Someone brought us a snack, others took our baby and passed him around.  At one point I looked around, not knowing where my son was and was moved when I saw him in the arms of a visitor I had just met. Mothering is full of unexpected surprises and the joy of new relationships.

Our faith community is an powerful extended family—especially when ours is so far way. Members of this community provided meals for us in the weeks after. They share wisdom and give helpful parenting advice when we need it. They watch my son while I attend meetings, or simply need a moment to rest. The other children of our church act as the siblings and cousins to my son. Every Sunday when I look out into the congregation my heart is full when I see him in the arms of various parishioners while I lead worship.

Being a parent has changed not only the way I serve my congregation but also how I live alongside them. I have come to value ever more deeply the role our faith communities play in our lives. The Church or Temple is a place of worship, but it is also a place of community. Since becoming a parent I have come to understanding the importance of living life together, even when other commitments make it difficult.

When I became “Mother Rachael” I learned that I could not lead a congregation on my own. The same is true as “mom.” We cannot parent alone. We need one another. We need a community—a village—to help care for our precious children. Faith communities serve as extended families, bringing us together across life experiences and other boundaries. Whether we are taking care of young children or elderly parents, whether we have experienced the loss of a loved one through death or broken relationships, or are empty nesters looking to connect, being a part of a faith community enriches our lives. Being a part of community shows us that we are all interconnected as one family.

— Rev. Rachael

 

April Parish News and Reflection

You can read the April parish newsletter here.

Dear Family and Friends of Church of Our Saviour:

As I write this letter the skies are grey and snow is falling. Despite the calendar assuring us it is Spring, Winter still casts its long shadow. Yet, if we look hard, the signs of change are breaking in. Tulips, daffodils, and crocus are poking their heads out of the snow. If we look hard, the trees have buds just waiting to wave in the new season.

This is the story of nature, and in this blessed season of Lent and Eastertide, this is the story of our God—life from death, light from darkness, and hope from despair. This pattern woven into the fabric of creation is seen most beautifully and dramatically in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection illuminates a reality often veiled by the course of daily life. Hate will not win. Separation will not stand. Death is not the final word. Hope is not in vain.

More than a system of holidays, beliefs, or rituals, the Christian faith is about proclaiming the Hope of Resurrection in the face of our darkest despair. We have been brought from death to life by the power of Christ’s Resurrection. In joy and sorrow, in health and sickness, in confidence and fear, in peace and division, this hope lives on.

God invites each of us to be messengers of hope. When we feed the hungry, pray for our enemies, accept people without condition, and love one another, we let the hope that is in us break through the icy ground welcoming God’s future of peace and unconquerable love.

I warmly invite you to celebrate the eternal hope of the Resurrection this Easter Morning, and through the special services of Holy Week. I also invite you to consider giving generously to our Easter Memorial Flower Donations and Festival Days Offering, assisting Church of Our Saviour to continue living out the reality of the Resurrection as we devote ourselves to the work Jesus started.

 

With joy and love,

The Reverend Rachael Pettengill-Rasure

March 2017 News and Reflection

You can view the March parish newsletter here.

Hello COS Family,

I came back to the church around this time last year after being away for over ten years, and it was a little peculiar for me. I would imagine that  Lent is an interesting time to visit a church for the first time – the liturgy is more penitential, the hymns are somber, and there’s less decor. But at the same time, Christian spirituality seems to reach its peak during Lent. It’s the time when we are  most reflective of the burden of sin in our lives and the redemptive gift of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection.

I had already been used to this shift in environs from my childhood growing up in the Roman Catholic Church. Back then, Lent meant giving up chocolate and soda for six weeks – which as an adult I may find silly, but it was a sacrifice for my eight or nine year old self. This year, I’m being thoughtful  about what I want to sacrifice and focus on in Lent, and not just give something up simply because I have to. I am committing to being more disciplined about my prayer life, more intentional about my time, and digging deep into the work of dismantling my internalized racism.

This may seem like a tall order for six weeks, but there’s no better time to start than now!

In faith,

Ricky
Life Together Fellow

Lent 2017 at COS

Lent at COS

Book Study Schedule:

1. March 2nd – Diane & Art (host), Lori & Dave (meal)
2. March 9th – Rachael & Matt (host), René (meal)
3. March 16th – Rebecca & Tricia
4. March 23rd – Fleeka & Michael
5. March 30th – Karen (host), Betsy (meal)
6. April 6th – Kate & Medhi

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Commissioning Our Marchers

Several COS parishioners will be marching in the upcoming Women’s March on Washington and Boston Women’s March. After our service today, we held a brief service of commissioning to bless them and pray  for them and these upcoming protests. Below is the text used.

Leader A: Will those who will be marching in Washington and Boston please stand and join hands?

The people do so.

Leader B: You who are members of this congregation have discerned a call to march for justice. You have been moved by the Spirit to protest and denounce bigotry in the name of Christ. Do you accept this call?

People: We do.

The people will respond to each of the following petitions with “Strengthen us, O God.”

Leader A: We pray, in the name of Our Lord, that the fires of your inner strength be stoked for this journey, for God has given you “a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline”.

Leader B: We pray that you would join with all those gathering from every part of the land in mass prophetic witness and raise your voices against all forms of hatred and prejudice.

Leader A: We pray that as you may find yourself wearied by the journey, that you may find sustenance and rest, and that the Holy Spirit may comfort you in times of doubt.

Leader B: We pray for you, that amid tension, fear, and hostility, you may carry out this work you are called to do in grace and in safety and return to your homes and to this church in good health, full of the spirit of God.

Leader A & B: We bless you, servants of justice.