Remembering Desmond Tutu

We have awakened today to the news of the death of the Most Rev. Desmond Mpilo Tutu, former Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. The world and the Church have lost a great saint who dedicated his life to God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation, and tirelessly fought for justice and dignity for all people. Archbishop Tutu’s life and accomplishments will be recognized and celebrated widely, as well they should be, so I will not rehearse them here. What I do want to do is share a few brief recollections of a man who was a dear friend and mentor to me; and who taught me the real meaning of God’s reconciling love in Jesus. 

ECCT 237th Annual Convention – Saturday, October 23, 2021

Dear Siblings in Christ,
After much prayer, research, thought, and discussion, your Convention Planning Team has made the difficult decision to move our Annual Convention to an online format this year. Given the rigors of the past year and a half and the fatigue many in our community are experiencing with online events, we are condensing the schedule to one day, Saturday, October 23, focusing on the essentials. 


ECCT Links Re:Haiti and Afghanistan

Livestreamed Services Coming to St. John’s

We are excited to announce that our services will soon be live-streamed via our new professionally produced platform, LocalLive. Starting January 10, we will no longer be using Facebook and YouTube to premiere pre-recorded services, but the eucharist will be broadcast live from the newly installed camera in our sanctuary.
You will find the link to our Livestream Services via the button below and on the Home Page of our website. Once on our LocalLive landing page, click the “Watch” button for the service you would like to view.

A Spiritual Advent Calendar

Chris Shepard has been presenting a daily meditation on the scripture verses assigned to each day (except Sundays) in Advent. In this year’s lectionary, those readings are from the prophet Isaiah. Chris will read the scripture and choose a hymn that reflects on the reading. He will read a verse or two of the hymn, and then improvise on the hymn tune at the piano. Fr Wilfredo will provide photographs throughout the project to accompany the recorded offerings. Happy Advent! – Visit our website to see this week’s offerings so far>>

Thanksgiving Community Dinner

Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal
Thursday, November 26, 2020 11:00AM-12:00PM
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 628 Main Street Stamford, CT 06901

St. John’s Outreach and the First Congregational Church of Stamford, will be distributing Thanksgiving meals to the underserved in our Community, shut-ins and their caregivers, and those who are alone and would like to share in this opportunity for a Thanksgiving meal.

Due to the COVID pandemic, we will not have a sit down meal at the church this year. We will instead be distributing meals that are individually bagged at the entrance to St. John’s Church from 11:00-12:00 on Thanksgiving Day. Please wear a face mask and remain socially distanced. Shut-ins and their caregivers can contact St. John’s at (203) 348-2619 for reservations and delivery of meals. There is no charge. If you are interested in volunteering, please call me at 914 764-5758.

Wishing you all a blessed and safe Thanksgiving Day.

Kathi Bacchi

A Modern Take On Gregorian Chant

Sometimes the most beautiful things are the simplest. Gathered in a resonant stairwell, four men sang a setting of the ancient hymn Ubi Caritas et Amor.


It’s enough to take your breath away and send a shiver down your spine.

The four voices belong to the quartet Kings Return. This arrangement is a modern-day one by Ola Gjeilo, a Norwegian composer and pianist.

Gjeilo’s setting uses an ancient text and simple melody inspired by the contours of Gregorian chant, a style of singing that dates from before the turn of the first millennium, when monks would have sung hymns in cavernous monasteries. To the lines of chant, Gjeilo adds just the right amount of melting harmony, which fits perfectly with the Kings Return voices.


Add in the resonant stairwell acoustic, and one can’t really wish for more.

Ubi Caritas text and translation

Ubi Caritas et Amor is a hymn of the Christian Church, used for centuries as one of the antiphons for the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday during Holy Week. The text is attributed to Paulinus of Aquileia in 796, and is most commonly sung in Latin.

Latin text:

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

English translation:

Where charity and love are, there God is.
The love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.
Let us fear and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).

Taking this wonderful performance into account, we could perhaps add… “Where charity and love are – and a resonant stairwell – there God is”.