Dear Friends,

"I am somebody"

That's the theme of this week's Making Your Mark Art Camp at St. Andrew's. The leaders have been helping the kids explore their somebodiness in mask work, abstract painting, collage, song, paper-making, Handz bridge-like card game, physical recreation, storytelling, drumming, watercolors, and more.

If that sounds like a lot, it is! The gifts of so many have been gathered lovingly around "our kids" from Hopkinton and environs. As you can see from the masks above, the individual creativity and storytelling of each child has truly been welcomed and given space to grow, and there is so much good fruit.

The theme draws on words lifted up by a poem from civil rights activist the Rev. William H. Borders, Sr. In his poem "I am somebody" he lifts up the value of the individual, even, and especially, when that person's dignity may be embattled. While we have given kids the space to create, we have been thoughtful to help them know that they are valued not for what they create, but that their value is inherent in who created them.

That's a lesson that each of us, of every age, can benefit from hearing again.

God bless everyone who has given of themselves for the camp this week, and for all of you who create this space where a camp of such love has arisen. May we celebrate it, and in turn be sent our in diginity and love by these children who have come in our door.

All are invited to their Art Opening in the Great HAll, tomorrow, Friday the 12th, from 4-5pm.

The Rev. Border's poem, as made famous by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who proclaimed it from Wattstax to Sesame Street, is in full below. And I can't recommend highly enough that you hear it from Jesse Jackson himself in the video link!

I am - Somebody!

I am - Somebody!

I may be poor, But I am - Somebody.

I may be young, But I am - Somebody.

I may be on welfare, But I am - Somebody.

I may be small, But I am - Somebody.

I may have made mistakes, But I am - Somebody.

My clothes are different,

My face is different,

My hair is different,

But I am - Somebody.

I am

Black,

Brown,

or White.

I speak a different language

But I must be respected,

protected,

never rejected.

I am

God's child!

I am – Somebody.

In Peace,

Reed

Dear Friends,

Following our celebration of Trinity Sunday, we move into not just summer in New England, but the Sundays of the Church Year known as "ordinary time." Ordinary, or "ordered" in that the Sundays are not part of some high season, and so they basically just get numbered all through (with a couple exceptions) until we get back to Advent!

For example, this Sunday is "the second Sunday after Pentecost". So ordinary!

But, if you've spent a few minutes noticing about how life is, I would guess that many important, even life changing events have happened in your own "ordinary" times.

Our Emmaus story (hint, it's at the top of this page and every Sunday bulletin) is about just such a time.; two disciples walking on the road, talking about life and God, when Jesus sidles alongside them, and soon the day becomes extra ordinary.

Some part of this is from Jesus, and some part is from the disciples asking Jesus to share with them, asking him to stay with them, asking him to eat with them.

Beginning this Sunday, our Prayers of the People are some that I composed while praying with this Emmaus story. They are, hopefully, prayers for ordinary times when we are nonetheless living alongside an extra ordinary God.

There are many forms of Prayers of the People provided for us in the Prayer Book, and I find them lovely. But we are also invited by the Prayer Book to craft our own. All in the hope of doing that part that is ours to do; inviting Jesus to walk with us, stay with us, eat with us. I write today with an invitation to join me in the crafting.

If you are praying the prayers this Sunday, or the Sunday after, and the Spirit expands them or adapts them within your heart, would you be bold to share with me? Together, we can update the prayers for the coming week. And so on, again and again as we go.

The Prayers of the People are intrinsically alive. I'm curious to experiment with them becoming more so, or differently alive, this summer.

If you'd care for an imaginative reference, you can always find the Book of Common Prayer forms online at bcponline.org (go to "Holy Eucharist" then "Prayers of the People"). Or just scribble on your bulletin and show me over lemonade in the Garden!

And may these prayers, and all our prayers, rise up "like incense" as the psalmist says, to our loving and listening God.

In Peace,

Reed

Dear Friends,

I share with thanksgiving the following inspiring announcement of Making your Mark Camp, from Lucy Crichton. Along with her deeper reflection that reminds me of the profound power of this time we share with 'our kids'. Thank you, Lucy, and thanks to all our Making Your Mark leaders!

........................................................................................

Making Your Mark Arts Camp is Coming Soon!

St. Andrew’s will again be hosting 24 campers from July 8-12. This is our seventh year, and you may remember that it takes a village to create the week of fun for the 24 campers, the teen counselors and volunteers. The theme this year is, “I am Somebody.”

I first heard the call and response of “I am Somebody” in the fall of 1970 in a gymnasium at Kent State University. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was the speaker at an event that welcomed the students back to campus. 

On May 4th of that year, I was working on a project that was housed in the central office of the Campus Bus Service. I was not a student, but my husband was in graduate school at KSU.

That day, a fellow worker came back from the college green and reported that the national guard had fired on students who were protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, expanding the Viet Nam War. Four students died that day. That afternoon, the bus service became the hub, evacuating all the students from the campus. The school virtually closed, no final exams, no way to process the loss of life, no means to grieve together.

Jesse Jackson’s call and response of “I am Somebody” helped to bring together a broken community, affirming the potential and beauty of each person. There is a video on YouTube of the young Jesse Jackson on Sesame Street doing the call and response. You may want to watch it, and perhaps it will help you see why his words have stayed with me all of these years.

Jackson’s voice rang out with profound and simple clarity, expressing in another way the essence of our baptismal covenant.  We are called to serve Christ in all persons, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to strive for justice and peace, respecting the dignity of every human being.

Through art, the campers will have an opportunity to explore their own sense of self using a variety of materials, with the help of many artists and volunteers.

Perhaps you are somebody who is already committed to being involved. Thank you!

Maybe you are somebody who would like to step forward now?

1. We are collecting clean, smooth fist-sized rocks for a painting project. Please drop them off in the atrium.

2. We need help moving drums from Abbot-Downing School in Concord and possibly a few more from Hopkinton High, and this entails having a truck or large van, as well as some muscle power. If you can help please contact Ann Junkin, 496-1276.

3. After church this Sunday we need help clearing the larger atrium of furniture to make space for camp activity. Please come and spend a few minutes helping us.

4. We will be setting up the Great Room and other spaces for camp after church on Sunday, July 7th. Many hands make light work.

  5. We appreciate cookies and fruit for snacks. Please contact Judy McPhail at 491-0460 if you can help with this.

All parishioners, please come to the reception that begins at 4:15 on Friday, July 12. You will have a chance to experience the wonder of kids’ creativity and their joy in being a part of Making Your Mark, 2019.

Dear Friends,

I know that, on a technological level, this won't be for everyone, but I want to share with you a "podcast" that begins airing this Sunday, Pentecost. It's The Way of Love with our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. A podcast is nothing more than a little radio segment that's been packaged up for you to listen to whenever you want. You can click the link to hear the introductory podcast for The Way of Love, and can either subscribe or just check back on Sunday to catch more.

These are reflections on faith and spirituality from the leader of the Episcopal Church, whom you might have seen preaching at the latest royal wedding. He's down to earth, tells stories from his own life, and knows how to really let scripture breathe and come alive as he shares what he has discovered within it.

Whether of not you're into podcasts, you may like to know that "people of the Way" is the first name given in scripture to the distinctive followers of Jesus Christ. It's still a good name for us to claim again today. We've been lifting it up at St. Andrew's with our "on the way" distillation of the Emmaus Road story; Walking Together, Recognizing Jesus, Practicing Resurrection.

Being on the way owns the fact that we're headed somewhere particular, and also acknowledges that we have more to learn. Also, if we're "on the way" then welcoming others to join us becomes easier. No one is early, or late. If you're on the way, then you're on the way. And that's that. There's no pressure for me to pretend perfection, just the steady invitation for me to keep walking and becoming more, and to share with those walking alongside me.

And being on the way of Love, well, that makes all the difference. Because there are plenty of other ways to go in life. (Jesus often contrasted his way of Love pointedly with the ways of Legalism and of Empire that surrounded him. The ways of Consumerism, Bullying, and Cotton-in-the-Ears are other popular ways I see today.)

For some good companionship going farther along our chosen way, the Way of Love, check out Bishop Curry's podcast; at home, in the car, or wherever you're headed.

In Peace,

Reed