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St.Mark's
Episcopal Church

A poem by Dr. Barbara Campbell, Connecticut's Diocesan Poet

 

St Marks shield

Yes, We Moved!

by Barbara A. Campbell

Connecticut’s Diocesan Poet

April 2019

            Between January 2019 and April 22, 2019, St. Mark’s, New Britain moved out of our church buildings, rented the buildings to another ministry with the option to buy, sold the rectory, moved within the New Britain to South Congregational Church which houses four other congregations continuing God’s ministries with the people of the city.

 

People asking for food

   at the new location in January

also received hand knit scarves and a card saying

   “Thank you for finding

     the new St. Mark’s Food Pantry.”

Peace Missionary Ministries,

presenting at our Adult Forum,

   started with,

“How can we work together?”

 

 As we get to know each other

   whether it’s someone returning

   the water mug I left in the Chapel,

   or someone using our copy machine because it scans,

we are greeted with smiles and kind words.

United Church of Christ, American Baptist, 

Episcopal, non-denominational, various races,

agreed on openness, living together.

 

What are we learning?

This is our 4th within the city move

   in 183 years.

Yes, we have multiple appointments for the altar.

The basics work really well.

South Church hangings 

   for lectern and pulpit

   look just fine.

 

The Chapel’s center aisle

   lined with Easter flowers,

   a heavenly walk

      forward in beauty and hope

      as we proclaim

         “The Lord is risen indeed!”

 

How do we put our faith into action

   further downtown –

across from the entertainment venue

   (that used to be a Methodist Church),

on Arch St. where the homeless shelter

   we helped sponsor years ago is thriving,

across from Police Headquarters,

and the grocery store

and the YWCA

and bail bondsmen?

 

On dealing with people coming into the building,

   South Church Safety Council sets the standard -

de-escalating a problem,

dealing with trauma - 

city ministry situations

we have faced before.

 

The Whiffenpoofs of Yale

   sang in the sanctuary.

There is a woman Whiffenpoof!  

   Even Yale can change!

Their music carefully then knit

   into the Prayer Shawl I’m making, 

   would the Music Series at South Church

   consider inviting

   Episcopal Steel Drums

   also from New Haven?

 

It’s different

   worshiping in a church building

   we don’t own –

   and also aren’t solely responsible for.

 

It’s different – and welcome

   five Sundays a year

   having a joint service with all the congregations

   and presenting the Episcopal voice.

 

It’s different and welcome

   for St. Mark’s services to be visited

   by friends from the other congregations,

      and to visit in return.

 

It’s different

   having had one bell to ring –

   and now getting to do a field trip

   up the tower to watch

   the carillon being played!

 

It’s different AND

   we are no longer on automatic pilot,

   thinking we are here in the liturgical calendar,

   therefore we “always” do…

We are beginning to see differently.

We feel relationships differently.

We might grow more deeply

   into our connection with Christ

   so God’s work will be addressed

   more directly – 

   AND 

   we so pray.

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Open to God's love, serving our neighbor"