January 2019 Newsletter (PDF)
Happy and Blessed Epiphany
Epiphany is the season of growing light. Even though we are in the clutch of winter the days are getting longer. We know that the tilt of the earth will bring us light, warmth and new life. It is a time for us to anticipate seeds and bulbs that have been buried to bud and grow. We have carefully planted the bulbs in good soil with just the right amount of fertilizer but it is a reoccurring miracle when they actually sprout.
We also plant seeds of ministries in hope that they will bud and grown into vital programs and activities. Sometimes the preparation can go on for years and when they take root it can seem like a miracle. One long cultivated seed that is sprouting is an opportunity for community dialogues with the Lynn Police Department. ECCO (Essex Country Community Organization) has been working to improve relations with the Lynn Police Department and the Lynn community, especially with people of color. The Lynn PD has invited teams of community members to participate in their officer training programs this winter and spring. They are planning on having one-on-one conversations between officers and community members about experiences and feeling coming out of interactions with the police. Please see the letter from Pastor Bernadette Hickman-Maynard below for details of this breakthrough.
The challenge for us at St. Stephen’s is to respond to help bring these tender shoots into budding flowers. Along with other congregations in Lynn, we are being asked to build a team of 12-15 individuals who will participate in these discussions. They will be taking place on Wednesday mornings from mid January to May. Most participants will only need to commit to one or two Wednesdays. ECCO will provide training. We will be providing more information in the coming weeks. If you are interested or have questions, please contact me.
We have an opportunity to put our faith into action. I hope we will be able to respond to this growing light, turning our prayers into real change.
Tom Barrington, Interim Priest