Live Concert! Spirituals and Gospel Music, Influence and Celebration of African American Music at Christ Church, Greenwich

Live Concert! Spirituals and Gospel Music, Influence and Celebration of African American Music at Christ Church, Greenwich

Out of the pain and suffering of being enslaved and losing their homelands came the miracle of the glorious music of the American Spiritual. As they worked and worshiped they sang their stories through ‘coded’ lyrics featuring appropriations of stories from the religion of their enslavers, of freedom trains, promised lands, and deep rivers.

An accomplished, recorded pianist and composer and Chair of Jazz Studies at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, Pete Malinverni has had a career in inspirational settings including 18 years as the Minister of Music at Devoe Baptist Church, pianist and conductor at Westchester Reform Temple and Music Director at the Pound Ridge Community Church. Mr. Malinverni will discuss this musical history and perform a program of songs with some of his SUNY Purchase students.

Economics of Racism: A SW/NW Region Event

What happens when one takes a look at Racism, specifically racism in the housing markets through the lens of Economics? For one thing, one gets at the root cause of the wealth gap between white and black families. The location of the neighborhood in which you grew up has a powerful influence on the trajectory of your life. In addition, there will be surprise revelations about an economist, who was honored by The Episcopal Church who profoundly impacted where we live in this country, depending on our race. After the presentation, there will be time for questions, which will hopefully include, “where do we, as faithful Christians, go from here?”.

Rich Stein, who will be presenting his research, is the Senior Warden at St. Stephen’s, Ridgefield and has his A.B. in Economics from The University of Chicago and his Master’s from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Sunday February 27, @6:30-8pm via Zoom. Please register using the following link:
https://episcopalct.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIvce6prTIqHdGF8N6DLfngZvXRJqfN-GLP.

Poor People’s Campaign Assembly–Planning Conversation

The Rev. Canon Ranjit K. Mathews and the Rev. Whitney Altopp are leading an effort to help the people of Connecticut get to the Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington on June 18, 2022. Want to explore how you can help make this idea a reality? Ranjit and Whitney will lay out the steps to help us get there at an informational and idea sharing meeting on February 1, via Zoom, at 6p.m. Many hands make light work. Early planning makes easier planning.

Join the Zoom Call

To Be Political

by the Rev. Canon Ranjit K. Mathews

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. displays the poster to be used during his Poor People’s Campaign on March 4, 1968. (Horace Cort / AP)

One of many teachings that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared through his life is that as baptized followers of Jesus, our ministry will inevitably be political. He didn’t necessarily name this; but he certainly embodied it.

As Episcopalians, however, it is important that we name politics and that as followers of Jesus, we will have to be political to move into the work that Jesus told us to do, in his name.

Episcopalians find the word “politics” within Church settings difficult because when we hear the word, we think of electoral partisanship. And of course, Churches should never be sites of political partisanship. However, by the very nature of following Jesus and how he called us to live:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

we will be political. And like renowned Rabbi Danya Ruttenburg says, “my tradition has policy implications.”

This is but one of the many ways, we can learn from the life of Dr. King.

If we are not able to acknowledge the deeply political dimension of the Gospel, we end up making the Dr. King holiday an idol we worship, celebrating the man, but evading the call to embody the work of Christ.

The reality is the holiday has become a national and even an ecclesial idol, a chance for a majority of the United States and people of faith to talk about a so called “post-racial society, pontificate in a book club about racial justice,” but stopping from taking the next collective step forward as a society to challenge systemic injustice. The holiday has become an opiate to embodied justice work.

Jesus never called us to worship him; but to follow him. It is always time to talk, ponder, and stretch our own moral imagination to the life of Dr. King; but we should not stop there. Our communal reality calls us to embody, to live a life that is radiant with justice. What we profess on a Sunday morning needs to live on, on a Monday.

In what ways can you take another step forward in embodying the Gospel? In a culture of silence, speak the Truth in Love. Do some research on the Poor People’s Campaign. There are endless opportunities and I invite you to take the next right step.

MLK Day Collects & Prayers

Collects from The Book of Common Prayer

Contemporary

Holy Women, Holy Men:
Martin Luther King, Jr.
(pg. 307)

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer: For Social Justice (pg. 260)

Almighty God, who hast created us in thine own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Traditional

Holy Women, Holy Men:
Martin Luther King, Jr. (pg. 307)

Almighty God, who by the hand of Moses thy servant didst lead thy people out of slavery, and didst make them free at last: Grant that thy Church, following the example of thy prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of thy love, and may strive to secure for all thy children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer: For Social Justice (pg. 209)

Almighty God, who hast created us in thine own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayers from The Book of Common Prayer

For Social Justice (pg. 823)

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Poor and the Neglected (pg. 826)

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Oppressed (pg. 826)

Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanksgiving For the Diversity of Races and Cultures (pg. 840)

O God, who created all peoples in your image, we thank you for the wonderful diversity of races and cultures in this world. Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of fellowship, and show us your presence in those who differ most from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.