Saturday collection 4/11/09

Here is our weekly collection plate, offering a few of the good things that Episcopalians and their congregations have done that made the news this past week. And other news fit to print.

Settlement money given to shelter:

A former student of the Elkhorn Indian Residential School, set up by an Anglican missionary in 1888, has donated $50,000 – $40,000 of which was his entire settlement from the revised residential schools agreement – to an inner city homeless shelter in Winnipeg. … “The generous gifts we have seen of settlement payments, from some residential school survivors, is a window into the true heart of this matter and the people involved,” said National Anglican Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald. “There is a remarkable spirit of reconciliation flowing through so many of the survivors, as these acts of kindness attest.


Schools set aside rivalries to help community

Students from area private schools are setting aside rivalries and joining forces again to help the community through thousands of hours of volunteer work. The “Four as One” project starts today and continues through Thursday. During the week, students from All Saints Episcopal School, Bishop T.K. Gorman Catholic School, The Brook Hill School and Grace Community School will disperse to agencies such as The Salvation Army, East Texas Food Bank and Goodwill to perform community service.


Sisters go green

If you see the devoutly green sisters from the Community of the Holy Spirit down on their knees prayin’ to Madonna (not that one), give ’em a holy high five. These Episcopalian nuns have been buying local, organic food; composting; and hosting a Freecycle-type share program for years, but this month, they’ve got something else under their organic cotton habits – a new eco convent in Harlem. Sister Faith Margaret takes us there…. more here


Way of the Cross online:

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Casper, WY, recorded a narrative for the Stations of the Cross. The text is from the view of the bystanders, written by Deacon Joanna Depue, of The Geranium Farm. With art from Sr. Claire Joy of the Community of the Holy Spirit the Way of the Cross has been used by EfM Online groups for worship during their live seminar sessions and by those wishing a time of meditation. Follow the Way of the Cross here.


Poking around the Crypt

A funerary archeologist is exploring and cataloging the contents of the crypt beneath Christ Episcopal Church, Boston, also known as Old North Church. Old North Church is the place where Robert Newman hung his lanterns in 1776 to alert Paul Revere and the other riders which way the British were sending their troops to confiscate arms at Lexington and Concord. It also an active Episcopal congregation in the north of Boston.

The Old North Church in Boston, where two lanterns signaled the departure of British regulars to Lexington, has been immortalized for what happened atop its 277-year-old Medford bricks. But far below, in a dark and dusty crypt where the public rarely visits, the stories of hundreds of early Bostonians have long lay dormant and forgotten.

But now, thanks to the Old North Foundation and the groundbreaking work of a funerary archeologist, those stories are beginning to be resurrected along with a new appreciation of the daily life of young Boston’s bustling North End.

Armed with a flashlight, a notebook, and a determination to ignore the shadows and eerie creaking around her, Jane Lyden Rousseau is spending hundreds of hours analyzing the condition and configuration of the crypt. Above ground, she pores over centuries-old ledgers to determine who is buried beneath Boston’s oldest standing church, why they were interred there, and what can be learned about early American burial rites.

“It’s amazing to see how much you can learn about life by studying death,” said Rousseau, who is a curatorial assistant at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University.

Read the rest here.

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