Bishop Beckwith talking with the CHI kids
The preparations were extensive for the Bishop’s visit. Tablecloths washed and ironed, food bought and prepared, requested documents assembled and mailed to the diocese, meetings to plan the service and construct the bulletin, email blasts… And when all was ready, it snowed! A hasty call to the Bishop assured us that he could make it despite our warning that we could possibly have half a choir and half a congregation.
And show up he did. He talked about our relationship with God and how we must say, “Yes” to the need for help in the world. He taught us a new phrase, “othering”, meaning the separation between “us” and “others” and how prevalent that notion is in the world today. He gathered the children and spoke to them about what a Bishop is all about and then met with the congregation during coffee hour asking us how Holy Innocents is blessed. During his meeting with the Vestry and Rev. Anne afterward, he asked four questions: 1. When are we at our best; 2. What is the purpose of CHI; 3. What are our challenges; and 4. What can the Bishop/diocese do for CHI.
Despite the non-cooperation by the weather, it was a wonderful and productive visit and gave us a renewed appreciation for our Bishop and our diocese.
Talking with parishioners in the undercroft
Rev. Anne & Officer Brad Squires
“Coffee with Cops” was organized by the West Orange Community Services Unit and held at Whole Foods on February 11th. Rev. Anne, Paul and Julie spent quite a bit of time with Officer Squires, both offering support for the police and learning about volunteer programs in West Orange. The W.O. police are in need of volunteers to help with an after school tutoring program held at the Watchung sub-station just across the street from Washington School at Tory Corner.
We also learned about the Jr. Police Academy for high school kids held the week after school lets out. There are a number of field trips including fishing in Crystal Lake and baseball games. About 90 kids participate each summer and sign up on a first come, first served basis. The officers start promoting the academy at West Orange schools in early March.