Summer Home Bible Study
We started this summer with one of the most important things we could do as a church; study the bible together outside on our lovely deck over food and fellowship.
Fr. Mirabile and his wife Inger hosted the bible study at their home. Thankfully the weather was great just about every time, so the bible study was held outside on the deck. Our bible study was designed to be short, only six weeks, so that no one felt they were making a huge long term commitment. The book of Ephesians perfectly fit the time span and provided great material for this inductive bible study. Each week we gathered at 7pm and everyone brought some food. We enjoyed pastries and watermelon, grapes and brownies while we had time to simply share what was happening in our lives over the preceding week. We then opened our study with some extemporaneous prayer and Fr. Mirabile led us in the study through an inductive process of asking the group questions about the text and encouraging them to share their thoughts. The goal was not to merely discover the right academic and theological answers to the text, but to share on a personal level what those passages meant to the reader. Fr. Mirabile provided background information on the texts from time to time to help keep the discussion theologically grounded. After spending about an hour sharing our thoughts we then shared prayer requests. These requests ranged from items of personal need to the needs of others. Then each person took the prayer request of another and together we vocally prayed for each of the needs mentioned. The amazing thing was watching how God had answered this or that prayer each week in some way. On a few occasions some stayed after the group was dismissed and enjoyed the evening and more up-building conversation.
Two weeks have gone by since the last bible study and already people are remarking how much they enjoyed it and how meaningful it was. The group has ended for the summer, but we are looking forward to beginning again in the Fall.
What is a Sober House? A Sober House is a home that provides a safe harbor for people who are in recovery. Often times, when an an alcoholic or drug addict graduates from a rehab they move to a half-way house or go out on their own. Once an addict is living on their own and encountering life without a safety net the potential for relapse is high. Stressors at work, in relationships and stress over money often trigger relapse. Worse still, a relapse can be triggered by simply living with others who drink or do drugs. A Sober House provides a safe place to live with others who are committed to living sober and healthy lives. Residents of sober houses often weekly AA meetings, bible studies or other healthy activities to support living drug free. Residents support and encourage one another in their journey and ultimately look to give back to the community.
One of our goals at Church of the Resurrection is to start a Sober House in Ansonia. This issue is particularly close to Rev. Mirabile's heart because he has spent countless hours providing counseling and coaching to people in various stages of recovery. The vision to open a sober house in Ansonia recently came one step closer recently as Rev. Mirabile was instrumental in helping Todd Price convert his three family home in Bridgeport into a Sober House. Acting as executive director Rev. Mirabile has been guiding and working with Mr. Price and, with God's help, the new Sober House is now up and running with its first resident. The name of that house is Aurizon house, named because the residents will be men "arising" out of addiction or other problems. They look forward to establishing another House in Ansonia.
On Saturday September 22nd we held our Second Annual Neighborhood Fair and Cookout. The event was held on our church grounds and featured live music, barbeque and a moon bounce for the young children. We arrived early to set everything up and began cooking about 11am. By noon we had people from the neighborhood strolling in and children lining up to go in the moon bounce. Rob, Nick and Mark and others pitched in to make the event a great success.
Neighbors came and stayed for hours and we made several new friends. One young man and woman strolled by the parking lot as we were cooking and later returned. The young woman seemed very troubled and after some time asked if she could make her confession and receive prayer. She met with Fr. Matt who prayed with her and then spoke to them about options for recovery. Others stayed to listen to the music, enjoy conversation on a Saturday afternoon and watch their kids play.
Later in the afternoon the Kate Miserrochi band arrived, set up and began to play uplifting contemporary Christian music. Fr. Matt played the Drums. Meanwhile Fr. Dan and Fr. Bruce mingled, talked with folks and helped with cooking and serving food. The event was great fun and provided a wonderful way to reach out to the community and show them that there are people near by who care.
Ansonia Harvest Festival
Every October the city of Ansonia holds the Harvest Festival. This event draws many vendors, musicians, performers, and crowds. There is plenty of food and plenty of fun. And every year Church of the Resurrection has been a regular participant with it's Fried Dough stand. This year we expanded our offerings and placed a greater emphasis on outreach. We created postcards with information about the church and distributed these with the food. Some of our parishioners event went up and down the block giving these out. We also used the Kate Miserocchi band as well as a means to raise the visibility of the church. We had discovered that for a number of years it was assumed that the Church Fried Dough stand was being run by a home for the elderly. This year we wanted to make sure that people understood who we were and what we were doing. The band was part of that effort to raise the visibility of the church in the community. Next year we will go bigger and better!
Re-4m: The Power of Forgiveness
Re-4m Seminar No. 2: The Power of Forgiveness
Recently Fr. Matthew Mirabile teamed up with the Dr. Elaine Tsangarides and her husband Dr. Marios to conduct a seminar "The Power of Forgiveness". This seminar was offered as part of the "Re-4m" series of seminars created by Fr. Matthew and held at Anglican Church of the Resurrection.