Current Ministry Groups

Contemplative Prayer Group

The Contemplative Prayer Group normally meets on Wednesday nights at 5 p.m. in the Sanctuary. The past few months, members have met via Zoom conferencing which allowed them to be together in a new holy space. If you are interested in joining them via Zoom, please contact Chelsea at chelsea@stjohnsessex.org and she will put you in contact with the group.

Compline Group

Tuesday and Thursday Evenings, 8:30 pm Summer:  Come Along With Us

Compline is one of the Daily Office services in The Book of Common Prayer and can be found on page 127 of the Prayer Book. It’s the final church service (or office) of the day. Compline ushers in the completion of the day. In many monasteries it is the custom to begin the Great Silence for the night after Compline. It’s a contemplative service that is short and is a perfect way to end the day.
Some ECCT parishes have been offering Daily Office Services during the day or evening, particularly while COVID-19 has kept us apart from one another. Lee Gaby, Kate and Jack Fiedler, and Interim Priest-in-Charge Linda Spiers have joined a group praying Compline since mid-March—a group that prayed Compline each night of the week. That group has now moved to only praying Compline on Sunday and Wednesday nights. We are currently offering Compline at St. John’s on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8:30 p.m. Bring a Prayer Book if you have one or just come and join our prayers! Contact Linda+ (860-559-5070) with any questions.
Men’s Discussion Group

Men’s Discussion Group Keeps Meeting This Summer:  Come Along With Us

The Men’s Discussion Group is a weekly gathering of disciples who meet on Saturday mornings for the free exchange of ideas, thoughts and feelings about aspects of spiritual life. Pearls of great wisdom always seem to emerge in the reflections about what the group is reading and the stories that come out. Some new word or phrase usually spills forth. Or the light comes on about someone or some incident that has a deeper meaning. Humor and good-natured ribbing flow easily. There is a shared sense of becoming better equipped to go back outside refreshed, more alive. Because of the pandemic, the group adopted the totally modern medium of Zoom to keep everyone visibly connected. 

Letters to Malcolm is the latest book to capture the attention of the Group. Each of the 13 chapters is a letter on the subject of prayer in its varied forms, written by C.S. Lewis to his imaginary friend Malcolm. The benefits of having ready made forms of prayer in the BCP and a staple of home-made prayers are explained. Lewis lets Malcolm know about the things he sees as “fancy-dress” and “festoonings”. He also reminds Malcolm that God knows us, and our “small prayers” help us prepare for ”great ones”. While many of the books written by Lewis are better known, this one is just the kind of drinking fountain that makes the Men’s Discussion Group enjoyable and sustaining.     

The recent addition of a real C.S. Lewis student (and good Methodist) to the Group has provided helpful connections and enriched the discussions. For example, the reason Lewis disliked kneeling was not complicated; he suffered from osteoporosis.  The story of his marriage late in life to American poet Joy Davidman has many more chapters than most people realize.   Also, he debated constantly with J.R. Tolkien and enjoyed their English pub talks.       

Currently, the Group convenes a few minutes before 9AM, opens with a prayer and concludes around 10. The Group seeks anyone interested in trying on this activity.  There’s no waiting period or initiation rite. All that’s needed is a phone call or email to Chelsea or one of the conveners, Jack Fiedler at jbgfiedler6@gmail.com  or Lee Gaby at lee.w.gaby@gmail.com.

Phone

860-767-8095

Address

3 Cross Street Essex, CT 06426