Weekly Notes from Father Brian Murphy


  • september 12, 20018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    Our Bishop visit for this weekend has been cancelled.

    As you may be following, Hurricane Florence is making her way toward the Carolinas. Bishop Steve and Sally Breedlove live in the Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina; therefore, they need to remain home both due to travel delays and the need to take care of their home.

    Please be in prayer for everyone who lives in this area of the country, for emergency first responders, and for government officials to be safe and act with wisdom and hospitality towards one another.

    We will still have our Family Table following church on Sunday. I can’t wait! See the HOME page for what to bring and please plan to join us.

    The 4th-6th graders will be staying in the auditorium for the entire service. Activity sheets will be provided. All other children will be dismissed for Sunday School as planned.

    Speaking of Children’s ministry; we are still in need of a teacher and a couple of helpers for the upcoming school year. Contact Amy Willers (awillers@apostlesct.org) if you can help us out.

    Although I am disappointed that we will not see Bishop Steve and Sally this weekend, I look forward to coming together in Eucharistic Worship and fellowship as we celebrate all that God is and has done for us.

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • september 5, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    Bishop Steve will be with us on Sunday, September 16. He will be preaching and celebrating confirmations in the morning service and will join us for our family table following. Our times with Bishop Steve are always meaningful. I hope you can join us.

    Recently, Bishop Steve was interviewed on why engaging our neighbors with questions is important. He says, “One of the biggest questions people are asking us is, ‘How do I get free of myself?’ They want to know how to keep from defaulting to it being ‘all about me.’ People want to know how to address the dark side, the fears within them.


    It’s a great interview and helps us continue thinking about the radically ordinary hospitality that Paul envisions in 1 Corinthians.

    Read the entire interview here.

    As you’re thinking about engaging your neighbors, reach out to someone and invite them to join us at the Bonfire on the Beach coming up in a few weeks. The details are below.

    Peace,
    Brian+

  • august 29, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    A couple of weeks ago Apostles Reads discussed a book by Amy Sherman entitled Kingdom Calling; Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good. It would be hard to sum up the book in a few sentences; however, this excerpt is a good start.


    God the Father continues his creative, sustaining and redeeming work through our human labor. This gives our work great dignity and purpose. Vocational stewardship starts with celebrating the work itself and recognizing that God cares about it and is accomplishing his purposes through it.

    How may this view of labor give new hope, energy, and purpose to your job?


    In preparation for our upcoming collective pause from work, we will be celebrating our labor this Sunday during Prayers of the People by recognizing each one in their efforts at home and in the workplace.

    I’m looking forward to it! See you there.

    Peace,
    Brian+

  • august 22, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

     

    It has been a full summer for Church of the Apostles. Many of us have been away. Some have had guests come to visit. For the staff, it has been a season of rest and refreshment as well as dreaming and planning. In these last few weeks of summer, we have plans to spend time together as a church family. It is time to gather as a community for worship, fellowship, food, and fun.

     

    • Compline – our monthly prayer service is tomorrow, 7:15pm. Come pray with us.
    • Annual Church Picnic - immediately following our worship service this Sunday, August 26. Dress casually for church and meet us at Owen Fish Park, 1443 Stratfield Rd, Fairfield for the afternoon.
    • Mr. Barker Visits Sunday School – all grades will be released from the service this Sunday. Audrey & David’s grandfather will tell us about his recent trip to Rwanda.
    • A Special Art Lesson -  Adiel Dominguez will lead our children in a special art lesson on Sunday, September 2!
    • Youth Group – every other Saturday night at the church office.
    • Bishop Breedlove’s Annual Visit – plan to be at church early to spend time with the Bishop before the service on Sunday, September 16. More details to come.
    • Bonfire on the Beach – Friday, September 21. Save the date!

    Look for the details for each event on our Home page.

     

    Plan on attending, expect to be blessed, encourage others to join in. May the Lord be lifted up and glorified as His people gather in His Name!

     

    Blessings,

    Jan+

  • august 8, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    Tamara and I would like to extend an invitation to the mothers with adult children in our congregation to join us for 6 Wednesday evenings of prayer and listening this fall. 


    Transitional seasons of life are often a mixed bag of celebration and disorientation; both tend to open us to opportunities for both reflection and growth. One transitional life stage represented broadly at Church of the Apostles is the season of releasing children into adulthood, sometimes known as the season of "empty nest".

     

    How might we be able to encourage each other in this season of motherhood if we listened to God together for the ways He wants to lead, guide, and orient us to His call on our lives as mothers of adult children?

     

    This fall, we're going to explore that question together with six gatherings of sharing and listening prayer. Our goal will not be to pray for our children (necessarily) but to pray for ourselves to be encouraged in what can sometimes be a season of unspoken concerns and burdens.

     

    Join us September 5 & 19, October 3, 17 & 31, and November 14 from 6:30p – 8:00p at Karen Hutton’s in Trumbull, CT. Please rsvp to Jan Buchanan.


    We are greatly looking forward to this time with each other and with the Lord.


    Blessings.

    Jan+

  • august 1, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    Over the last several weeks during our Sunday Eucharistic celebrations we have been considering Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. I am very grateful for men and women who have done the godly work of thinking and praying through Scripture.

    Last week I mentioned a book by Richard B. Hays entitled The Moral Vision of the New Testament. Hays suggests three “focal images as guidelines for reflection about the New Testament canon.” I have found these images to be very helpful. Each is rich with theological thought, so boiling them down to a few sentences is tricky. However, I pray that they will encourage you nonetheless.

    1. Community (1 Corinthians 1:2-3, Romans 12:1-2):
    “The church is a countercultural community of discipleship, and this community is the primary addressee of God’s imperatives. The biblical story focuses on God’s design for forming a covenant people. Thus, the primary sphere of moral concern is not the character of the individual but the corporate obedience of the church.”

    2. Cross (1 Corinthians 2:2, Philippians 3:10, 2 Corinthians 4:11):
    “Jesus’ death on the cross is the paradigm for faithfulness to God in this world… Jesus’ death is consistently interpreted in the New Testament as an act of self-giving love, and the community is consistently called to take up the cross and follow the way that his death defines.”

    3. New Creation (1 Corinthians 15, Romans 8:22-23)
    “The church embodies the power of the resurrection in the midst of a not-yet-redeemed world. In the present time, new creation already appears, but only proleptically [in a state of anticipation]; consequently, we hang in suspense between Jesus’ resurrection and parousia [second coming].”

    I look forward to continuing our sermon series through 1 Corinthians this Sunday. See you there!

    Peace,
    Brian+

  • july 25, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    One of my favorite messages of Scripture is Psalm 126, especially the first three verses: “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.”

    Will you join me this Saturday, July 28, and pray for God to give Church of the Apostles a permanent place? Will you ask God to fill our mouths with laughter, our tongues with shouts of joy for all that he has done for our church? Will you dream together of where God wants to set our feet permanently?


    In May we fasted one meal and prayed for God to enlarge our hearts to love the things that he loves in Fairfield County and Southwest Connecticut. In June we fasted from media for a day and asked God to bring us together in his love and for the sake of others. This was strategic as we cannot joyfully pray and dream for what God has for us if we are not unified together in his love for our community and neighbors.

    Building on that, I am asking that everyone who calls Church of the Apostles home set aside one hour this Saturday and pray that God will give us a permanent place. You choose the hour that best works for your family.

    I am also welcoming you to dream and ask God for the kind of place you desire. Ask him to find us a place in a neighborhood that you love. Ask him to give us specific architectural designs that are meaningful to you. Our Good Father is big enough and kind enough to hear various joyful dreams from various thankful people. He’ll know what to do.

    Peace,
    Brian+

  • july 11, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    Our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nigeria are facing persecution. Our communion, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), and our Diocese, Christ Our Hope (ADHOPE), have asked us all to pray.

    Please join those around the world praying for the Church in Nigeria. Because we are told to love our enemies, we also pray for God to miraculously change the hearts of the persecutors, the Fulani and Muslim Tribesmen. And we pray for greater unity and support in the Church around the world.

    Click here for specific ways to pray for the Church in Nigeria.

    As you pray for the Church and the world, continue to pray for Mitchell and the CHS team on mission in India; for Hands Offering Hope led by Amy and Adiel, in Chiquila, Mexico; for June, Dawn, and Pria as they re-enter life here in Fairfield County after being on mission in the DR; and for Rebecca, Amelia, and Harrison who arrived home late last night after being on mission in the Appalachian region of Tennessee. 

    We look forward to getting reports from everyone during Sunday services later in the summer.

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • july 4, 2018

    Church of the Apostles,


    A church that remains playful by engaging in general fun and silliness is a church that will stay vibrant in mission, compassionate in ministry, and solid in unity.

    When we have fun together we gain perspective about the world around us, which helps us practice the presence of Christ rather than anxiously overreacting to life. Silliness fosters a wide scope of responses to all circumstances and is critical for apology and forgiveness to form in our character.

    With that said, let’s have a picnic in the park. Please join us at 4 pm on Friday, July 20 at Owen Fish Park in Fairfield. We will have a couple of grills fired up and ready to go when you arrive. Bring meat to grill, any drinks that you like, and a dish to share. Paper products, plastic cutlery, and a couple of drink coolers of lemonade and tea will be provided for you.

    While you’re enjoying July 4th festivities with your family and friends mark your calendar and plan to come and enjoy food, fun, fellowship. You can watch or play in a pick-up softball game. There is a great playscape for the kids and plenty of shade to relax in, so bring your lawn chairs. I hope to see you there!


    
Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • june 26, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,



    In May, Fr. Brian called the body of believers at Church of the Apostles to three days of prayer & fasting during the season of Pentecost for a permanent place of worship. Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 27 is the second of these days, and we are calling you to fast from all forms of media for the whole day. 


    Since the call for tomorrow is to fast from all media, we are sending this note to you this evening. If we sent it at our normally scheduled time (Wednesdays at 6:00am), you wouldn't see it...because you will be fasting from all media! 

     

    During the day, pray with us, that through the planning and execution of finding a permanent home, Church of the Apostles becomes unified in our worship, fellowship, and witness.  


    The third day of prayer & fasting will be Saturday, July 28, and on Thursday, August 23 we will come together as one body to pray for a permanent home for Apostles at 7:15pm at the church offices.

     

    Along with these specific days, we ask that you be in continued prayer for those we have sent out for mission this summer.

    • June, Dawn, and Pria Williams are ministering in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Please pray for protection for health and for safe traveling between the two countries, as well as the dispersing of the darkness that is so very present there. This team returns to the states on July 15. Watch their video here.
    • Mitchell Modarelli is traveling to India this Thursday to serve for 3 weeks. He asked for us to pray for sustained energy for himself and the team as the temperatures will be in the 100's while they are there. Also, Mitchell asked for the boldness and courage to share his story of faith to those he will be serving. 

    May the Lord be present with each of us in these times of prayer, meditation, and fasting.


    Blessings,

    Jan+

  • june 13, 2018


    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    There is lots happening in the life of our Apostles' family in the next several weeks. Let me highlight this weekend's events:


    Saturday, June 16

    Adiel Dominguez will be baptized.

    This will be a full Eucharistic Worship Service held at the Wolff home in Easton. Plan on joining us for this joyful event.  

    *The service begins at 2:00pm 

    *Please bring a lawn/beach chair

    *Parking will be on the street in front of the house and on the side street


    Sunday, June 17

    Ice Cream, Baby Bottles & Our Regional Service

    10:00am Worship Service at Roger Ludlowe

    *Ice cream truck afterwards outside the cafeteria

    *Suggested donation of $3-$5 each; no more than $20 per family

     

    4:00pm Worship Service at Newtown Meetinghouse

    *Ice cream sundae bar afterwards in the parish hall

    *Ice cream provided - please bring a topping to share!


    **Hopeline Baby Bottles will be collected at both services**


    Click here for details on other upcoming events.


    Blessings,

    Jan+

  • June 6, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    Paul writes that because of God’s grace through Christ those who are called his children can be “guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:1-9). However, many Christians, let alone those who do not know God through Christ, struggle with guilt and shame everyday.

    Our Bishop’s wife, Sally Breedlove, recently wrote a blog post where she posed the question, “Is the Gospel big enough to face down our personal shame, and that of our entire culture?”

    The answer is of course “yes”, but this yes is only evident when two things are present. One, “Speaking the Gospel of mercy to a shame-filled culture demands facing our own internal shame.” Two, “Assurances of being guilt free have to be accompanied by being welcomed in.”

    I encourage you to click here to read more from Sally.

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • may 29, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 30 is our first of three days during Ordinary Time (the days of Pentecost) when we will fast and pray for God to give us a permanent place in Fairfield County.

    I am asking that we each choose to fast one meal of the day on Wednesday and use that time to pray that God will increase our love for Fairfield County and southwest Connecticut.

    I pray this many mornings. “Enlarge our hearts, O Lord, to love the things that you love.” God is at work actively loving those who live, work, go to school, govern, and raise families in Fairfield County and southwest Connecticut. For Church of the Apostles to be the active presence of Christ in this community our hearts must be enlarged to love this place as he loves this place.

    Here are some practical ways to pray tomorrow:

    • Pray for our co-workers, neighbors, classmates, and their families. You may know some of the stories of those you work, live and study alongside. Others may be a mystery. Pray for those you know and pray that God will give you courage to get to know those who are still strangers.
    • Pray for the schools in our neighborhoods. Pray for the teachers, administration, and students as the school year winds down. Pray against bullying, harassment, and abuse while praying for mercy, kindness, and learning to prevail.
    • Pray for those who work at your three favorite restaurants in Fairfield County. Pray for those who own and manage the restaurants as well as those who prepare, serve, and clean up the food. Pray that God will bless all patrons with a sense of his presence as they eat and drink of his goodness.
    • Pray for the police, firefighters and first responders, those who govern, and those who work to make the municipalities that we live in function. Pray that each individual will have a sense that he or she is serving the public good and that those who govern would work for the well-being and justice of every citizen.

    These will help us get started. The Holy Spirit will advocate for us and direct our prayers as he sees fit.

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • may 23, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    Blessings for a wonderful week and a powerful beginning to Pentecost.

    This week’s note is a bit of a hodgepodge of important announcement that include:

    • A summer missions trip to Chiquilá, Mexico with Hands Offering Hope. There is an informational meeting scheduled for this Sunday (5.27) after Church.
    • An upcoming Baptismal Service on Saturday, June 16 at 2 pm at the home of Paul and Carol Wolff’s home. Contact Jane if you would like to be baptized and please plan to join us for the service.
    • An opportunity to be confirmed in September when Bishop Steve visits our parish.
    • A schedule for prayer for a permanent place for Apostles.
    • A reminder of our new seating arrangement for Sunday morning services.

    Wow! That’s a lot. Keep reading to get more details about all of these.

    Summer Missions Trip to Chiquilá, Mexico with Hands Offering Hope
    During our visit to Chiquilá, the team will demonstrate the love of Christ by leading high school students in community service, proclaiming the love of Christ by praying for and with kids and through Gospel conversations with students, and preparing for our concluding graduation event on August 11th.
        Fast facts:

    • We are welcoming up to 6 volunteers ages 16 and up to join us for this event. (Attendees below the age of 16 must be accompanied by a family member.)
    • The team will leave on Sunday morning, August 5th.
    • It is a very affordable trip and donations for the trip are tax deductible, making it possible to raise support form your friends, family, and church.
    • Plan to stay after church for a few minutes next week (Sunday, May 27) for an informational meeting about he trip or contact Amy Dominguez (amycaroldominguez@gmail.com)

    Immersion Baptismal Service
    Church of the Apostles will celebrate an immersion baptism on Saturday, June 16 at 2 pm at Paul and Carol Wolff’s home. If you are interested in being baptized, please contact Jane Jackson (jjackson@apostlesct.org). Please plan to join us for the service as we welcome brothers and sisters into the family of God and a deepened faith through baptism.

    Confirmation Service in September
    Bishop Steve will be visiting Church of the Apostles on Sunday September 16 and celebrating on Sunday morning with a Confirmation Service. Through confirmation we receive the laying on of hands from our Bishop and a prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Through confirmation we confirm our baptismal vows. If you were baptized as an infant, this is an opportunity to present yourself publicly and voluntarily, as a follower of Christ in the company of his people, or renew your vows if you were baptized as a believer. If you are interested in being confirmed in September, please contact Jane (jjackson@apostlesct.org).

    A Schedule for Prayer and Fasting for a Permanent Place
    As your friend and pastor I am calling for three days of prayer and fasting during the season of Pentecost on…

    • Wednesday, May 30: Fast one meal for the day and use that time to pray that God will increase our love for Fairfield County and SW Connecticut.
    • Wednesday, June 27: Fast from media all day and pray that through the planning and execution of finding a permanent home, Church of the Apostles becomes unified in our worship, fellowship, and witness.
    • Saturday, July 28: Wake up at 6 a.m. and pray for one hour together as households and ask God to give us a permanent place.

    On Thursday, August 23 at 7:15 at the church offices we will come together and pray for a permanent place.

    A New Seating Arrangement for Sunday Mornings
    Beginning this Sunday morning in an effort to literally bring us closer together, I have instructed the set-up team to rope off the mezzanine section of this room. We will not be sitting in that section of the auditorium any longer. In addition, I am asking that most everyone not sit in the last 4 rows of the room reserving those seats for…

    • those in our community who have a physical condition or health concern that requires them to sit close to the doors,
    • families and caregivers of those whose health requires proximity to the doors,
    • and families with infants and toddlers who need to step to the back of the room on those occasions when proactive parenting requires some space.

    If you were not in church last Sunday you can listen to the sermon here. This will give you more context, vision, and direction for this decision.

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • may 9, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    Anglican priest and author The Rev. Greg Goebel writes the following:

    Ascension Day is forty days after Easter. After Jesus’ rises again, he spends forty days with the disciples, and then “while he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.” (Luke 24).

    Wait, what?

    Imagine the roller coaster ride the disciples went through, from their disappointment at the death of Jesus, to their elation at his resurrection – only to see him ascend and leave.

    Ascension Day helps us live in that moment. Jesus really did leave. In a very important and powerful sense, he is absent.

    Read more from Greg here.

    We hope that you will join us this Thursday at 7:15 pm at the church offices for an Ascension Day Eucharistic celebration.

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • april 25, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    Recently, I attended the Northeast Regional Retreat for our Diocese, Christ Our Hope at St John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Southampton, PA. Church of the Apostles has a long and sweet relationship with the people of St John’s. In fact, the clergy of St John’s played an important role in the early days of our formation as a community of believers here in Fairfield.

     

    On our church website, on the page “Our Brief History” you can read:

     

    Church of the Apostles began in the late fall of 2001, when a handful of people met together in a living room to consider starting a new church in Fairfield, CT. For the next year and a half, a core team formed and weekly gatherings began. The Lord blessed these early days. He gave us a love for worship, a desire to hear from the Bible, a heart for prayer and mission and being filled by the Holy Spirit to impact the world.

     

    During the time from ‘late fall of 2001’ until we called our first rector, The Rt Rev Thaddeus Barnum, in the spring of 2004, clergy from other Anglican churches in our region came to this ‘handful of people’ to bring us Communion, to preach the Word, and to encourage us. We were a group of lay people gathering weekly for study and prayer, and having clergy come transformed our time into Anglican worship services that fed us, deepened our faith, and began to shape us as an Anglican church. Of all the priests that came to care for us, most of the time it was the clergy from St John’s – Phil Lyman, who was rector at that time, Mark Rudolph, who is rector currently, and Ken Cook, associate rector for 30 years – who drove up many early Sunday mornings to be with us.

     

    As I sat at this retreat listening to Mark and Ken share the history of St John’s as they welcomed us into their church home, the Lord stirred in me an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all that these men had done for us, for Apostles. They gave us their time, treasure, and talent. They were faithful and steadfast brothers in Christ who came alongside us and walked us through those early years. We have been blessed by the Lord through these men and the body of believers at St John’s, who willingly shared their leadership team with us.

     

    Why tell you this part of our history? So that I can tell you this: I had the opportunity to give a report on Church of the Apostles – how we are, what we’re up to in ministry, and what prayer needs we have. Before I did that I first gave thanks. I publicly thanked Phil, Mark, & Ken for what they did for us and how their good care, love and time is bearing good fruit for the kingdom in Fairfield, Connecticut to this day. May we continue to stand strong in the legacy with which we have been gifted, and continue the kingdom work of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.


    Blessings,

    Jan+

  • May 2, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    The Nicene Creed states, “He ascended into heaven; and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”

    Eucharistic Rite II from the Book of Common Prayer states, “We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.”

    Each Sunday we affirm our faith by saying these two statements together. In addition the Church Calendar reserves one Thursday each year (approximately 40 days after Easter) to pause and consider the Ascension, yet many of us have never celebrated the beauty, power, and tension of Christ’s return to the Father.

    Why is the Ascension important enough to Christians that we recognize it each week and reserve a special to day to observe it?

    I invite you to join us on Thursday, May 10 at 7:15 p.m. at the church office to consider and celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ with a Eucharistic service. I hope to see you there.

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • april 11, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    I want to invite you to subscribe to our Diocesan eNewsletter to hear all the exciting things going on around our Diocese. Below is Bishop Steve Breedlove's Easter letter to us from the April 2 eNewsletter.


    Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!
     
    This week we declare our confidence in the resurrection of Jesus. "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins . . . but in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:17, 20). The joy of Easter rings in our worship and in our hearts for another year.


    But is this where resurrection confidence ends? No. If Jesus is the firstfruits, then he points toward a full harvest of resurrection. All those who are in Christ are headed for the New Creation where we, too, will be raised from death to life immortal. We look forward to a new, glorified body, fit for eternity, endless beauty, wonder, worship, love, purpose, and joy.
     
    Christ is raised from the dead: we will be raised from the dead. Eternal hope is ours.


    Read the full article here.


    In Peace & Hope,

    Brian+

  • april 4, 2018

    Photo credit: Resurrection by Josef Žáček

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    He is risen!

    As I sit in the quiet of the morning and reflect on Holy Week, the memories of God’s goodness to us are washing over me.

    I was blessed by all the services beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating in the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. The greatest blessing is having shared these services with all of you.

    Thank you for all of the hospitality, service, and love that you shared with our guests, our hosts at Stepney Baptist and Calvary Church, and with one another.

    As we look forward to the season of Eastertide, l pray that your faith in the risen Christ will be strengthened, and I encourage us all to engage with the with joy of the resurrection by being together as a church family in worship, discipleship, serving, and playfulness.

    Plan to attend the remaining six Sunday Eucharistic services during Eastertide. We will be considering the light and love of Christ as written in the Epistle of 1 John. Plan to participate in one of the great offerings that are coming up at Apostles. Check out the information on our Home page.

    I look forward to walking in the light and love of resurrection together!

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • march 28, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    Tomorrow and Friday evenings we will join Stepney Baptist Church in Monroe, CT for our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services (7:00pm). Thursday evening will be an evening of readings, songs, foot-washing, and contemplation. We will celebrate the Eucharist together before departing in peace and silence.  Friday evening we will read together The Passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Mark. There will be no Eucharist at this service, and we will again leave in peace and silence.


    It is our prayer that you will fully enter into this sacred time of remembering. Plan on joining us for all the Holy Week events listed below:


    Maundy Thursday. March 29, 7:00pm, Stepney Baptist Church, Monroe
    Good Friday Afternoon. March 30, Noon-3:00pm, Calvary Church, Trumbull
    Good Friday Evening.
    March 30, 7:00pm, Stepney Baptist Church, Monroe

    Holy Saturday Brunch. March 31, 11:00am, Dominguez home, Trumbull

    Easter Sunday. April 1, 10:00am, Roger Ludlowe, Fairfield


    Blessed Holy Week to each of you.


    In Peace & Hope,

    Brian+

  • march 14, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    Jeremy Bryan of Christ Redeemer in Milwaukee wrote a piece for the Telos Collective blog entitled, A Tribe Called Rest: A New and Surprising OS for 21st Century Mission where he suggests that resting as a way, not a day, could energize mission and engage our culture.

    Jeremy writes, “As Christians, our lives often mirror our frenetic culture. We are so busy scrambling to do God’s work that we end up  missing opportunities. What if we rediscovered Sabbath as a hallmark of our identity—and one of the most potent counter-cultural forces in our world today?”

    Read more from Jeremy here.

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+

  • March 7, 2018

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    This past Sunday, Fr. Brian spent some time in the sermon casting vision for Church of the Apostles for 2018 and beyond. As he was discussing Sunday worship, he made this statement: “A place of worship matters to God. The physical place of worship matters to God.”

     

    What came to my mind instantly was the conversation between God and Moses regarding the Tabernacle. That conversation starts in Exodus 25, after telling Moses to gather contributions of gold, silver, bronze, all kinds of cloths, linens, and precious stone, The Lord said this: “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.” And then in the following chapters, as the work begins, the Lord repeatedly says, “And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.” There are exact measurements, exact designs, exact placement of each item - why? Because our God is a holy God who must be approached reverently; because His desire is to be with His people; and because a place of worship matters to God.

     

    Part of the 2018 vision for Apostles will be to develop a plan for a permanent place of worship. In Fairfield County, in Southwest Connecticut, a permanent place of worship demonstrates to the community that we are a church of Jesus Christ that will be here for generations; that you can count on us; that you can trust us; that you can come and worship God with us for years to come.

     

    Step 1 of this plan is to pray. On Tuesday, March 13, we are calling Church of the Apostles to a Day of Prayer, to ask God to give us a permanent place.

     

    Would you pray with us? Come to the Cross with us, come with hands open – laying down worry, laying down selfish ambition, and daring to hope – come and ask: Father God, would you give us a permanent place to worship?

     

    All for His glory,

    Jan+

     

    Listen to Fr. Brian’s message here.

  • february 28, 2017

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    “An art work can be a doxology in itself.” (Francis A. Schaeffer, Art & the Bible)

    I am excited to introduce 8 Minutes Max: a casual gathering for artists & makers to present original or classic works-in-progress within eight minutes or less and an opportunity for those of us who value art and beauty to come enjoy original work.


    The goal for 8MM is to give artists and makers a safe space to try out something new even if i is still in progress – a stanza and some ideas for what comes next, a melody that still needs words, a half-completed painting, an unglazed piece of pottery, or a series of photographs still needing touch-up.



    You say you don’t create original work, but interpret the work of the great ones?? You think the world is ready to hear your performance of Debussy, Dante or Dylan?? We'll give you space to share classic as well as original work. (Our definition of “classic” is an art medium that is at least 30 years old.)



    Whether you plan to perform your own creation or the work of another artist, all we ask is that the work is presented in 8 minutes or less.



    Collaborations are encouraged!



    We provide an audience that is for you. You provide the work that still needs to play around a bit before it’s ready to straighten up and fly right.

    The first event will be on Saturday, March 24 6:00p-8:00p. Email Tamara to sign up for a slot. Invite your friends and family to participate or just show up to enjoy the evening. I hope to see you there!

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+


    PS This Sunday is our annual parish meeting. Please plan to join us for both the worship service last 10 a.m. and the meeting to follow.

  • february 14, 2017

    This week’s note is a guest post by Tamara Murphy at A Sacramental Life

    Dear Church of the Apostles,

    Why Lent?

    No season of the liturgical year has been more formative in my healing journey than Lent.  While, my religious background trained me well in the reality of sin, death, and crucifixion, it did not provide much in the way of liturgical or devotional practices for lament, grief, and confession.

    In my experience, this dissonance between teaching and practice fostered a sentimental approach to Jesus' life, death and resurrection, which produced Christians stunted in their ability to experience or empathize with suffering. In this view, the cross becomes a photo-shopped decoration hanging in the background of a Church resistant to the invitations of the Suffering Servant who longs to save us in our suffering, and make us completely new in resurrection.


    Of course, personal and global suffering permeate every day of our lives in one way or another. We live in a broken body on a broken earth, and the Church calendar doesn't intend for us to ignore the entire spectrum of human suffering and joy based on the liturgical season.  Instead, the cycle of fasting and feasting, celebration and lament provides practice, piece by piece, to form us wholly as Christians.  Through each season, we meditate specific portions of Scripture year after year to learn the whole story of God and His people, and not just the portions with which we are most comfortable.  

    When we celebrate the liturgical seasons, we grow not only in our knowledge of Scripture, but we learn also how to embody its life-giving truth. In the wisdom of our Church fathers and mothers - themselves informed by the collective memory of millenia of Jewish feasts and fasts initiated by the Creator - each liturgical season marks itself with daily, physical practices.  

    We are not disembodied spirits just gritting our teeth until we are released from these bodies, like an unwanted overcoat, when we die.  Nor are we merely defined by the physical matter that just happen to contain a spiritual being for those who care about those things.  In the accounts of the Incarnated Christ we read through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, we discover year after year a Christ, God made Man, who is not either body or spirit, but both body and spirit. During Lent, Eastertide and Pentecost, we set up camp for longer periods of time in each essential part of our being: body and spirit.  

    Lent is a 40 day lesson in what it means to be bodies cursed by death and decay.  If you've ever received the cross-shaped ash on your forehead, you've heard the pastoral reminder of a very real, and very sad state in which we find ourselves: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.


    From Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, we follow the account of Christ as he makes His way to the Cross. In Epiphany, we encounter the light of divinity dwelling on Christ, inviting us to join Him as the light of the world. In Lent, we recognize and mourn the curse of sin and death that has separated man from God, even as we are invited to carry our cross and follow Christ on the road of suffering.  We grow in humility and gratitude with the Lenten practice of remembering that once we were alienated from God and lived as people with no hope, and we seek mercy for those still living in that state.


    There's so much joy to be found in humility.  If you haven't ever fully entered into the practice of Lent, would you consider joining me this year?  May I encourage you that this doesn't need to be (and probably shouldn't) be complicated.  

    Blessings,
    Tamara

  • february 7, 2017

    Dear Church of the Apostles,


    Next Wednesday, February 14 is Ash Wednesday. We will gather together at 7p.m. at Roger Ludlowe Middle School to begin the Season of Lent by celebrating the Eucharist and receiving ashes with the words, “From dust you have come and to dust you shall return.”

    Below are two quotes that have helped me contemplate and articulate the importance of Ash Wednesday and Lent. 


    By Tamara Murphy at A Sacramental Life:
    "From Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, we follow the account of Christ as he makes His way to the Cross. We recognize and mourn the curse of sin and death that has separated man from God, even as we are invited to carry our cross and follow Christ on the road of suffering.  We grow in humility and gratitude with the Lenten practice of remembering that once we were alienated from God and lived as people with no hope, and we seek mercy for those still living in that state."

    By The Rev. Lee Nelson at Anglican Pastor:
    "So, it needs to be said that Lent is about dying. But it also needs to be said that Lent is about asking God to bring about new life in us. We are a people who have died with the Lord Jesus Christ in the waters of Baptism and have been raised with him to newness of life. This is not a one-time occurrence, but beginning there – continues through one’s life. When we fast, it is about desires and impulses dying in us, to make room for new life. When we give something up, it is to make room for something else – something better, something good, something life-giving."

    Peace and Hope,
    Brian+