Tag Archives: Annisquam Village Church


We live by the sun.  We feel by the moon. We move by the stars.
We live in all things. All things live in us.
We eat from the earth. We drink from the rain. We breathe of the air.
We live in all things.  All things live in us.
We call to each other. We listen to each other.
Our hearts deepen with love and compassion.
We live in all things. All things live in us.
We depend on the trees and animals.  We depend on the earth.
    Our minds open with wisdom and insight.
We live in all things. All things live in us.
We dedicate our practice to others. We include all forms of life.
    We celebrate the joy of living-dying.
We live in all things. All things live in us.
-Stephanie Kaza
Dear Friends,
Have you noticed how taking a walk means so much now? For me, it is one activity that “normalizes” each day. The healing power of nature renews us mind, body, and spirit.
Tomorrow is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. On our church’s website we say, “We regard care for the earth as a spiritual discipline…We wish to expand our concern and caring into the realm of environmental protection in order to become true stewards of this earth that God has granted to us.”
We know our earth is in trouble. This pandemic is like a warning shot, calling us to change many of our ways, including how we care for the earth. (See Beebe Nelson’s March 18 Letter to the Editor.) In the days and weeks ahead, I will be inviting you to join in various church and community initiatives to care for our planet, including the formation of a church Green Team.
Today (and each day this week) our own Peter Lawrence, President and Co-Founder of Biomimicry New England, will offer a suggestion for an activity that youth and adults can do at home to be more engaged with nature. This activity uses one of my favorite apps, INaturalist:
City Nature Celebration: Observations of plants, animals, insects, or fungi in the greater Boston area between April 24 – 27,  https://www.longnowboston.org/?p=1469
From Ray Charles, here is “America the Beautiful.
May the peace and joy of God’s creation be with you,
Rev. Sue
Join Us!
Spiritual Connection Circle: Tuesday 4 p.m.
You can find the readings and prayers here.
1) To connect on Zoom click HERE  Password: 171731
2) To phone in (without video): +1 646 876 9923  MEETING ID: 870 167 6165
PARTICIPANT ID: Press # Password: 171731
Need Support or Help During the Pandemic?
*The AVC Friendship Line
We know that with physical distancing, you or someone you know may be feeling a sense of isolation or loneliness. This is an opportunity to talk by phone to a member of our church community each day. To participate, please contact jayewhittier@yahoo.com
*Neighbors Helping Neighbors
A collaborative initiative of our church, The Good Neighbors, The Annisquam Sewing Circle, The CERT Team, Cape Ann Time Bank, and concerned Annisquam residents, this is a network devoted to providing emergency support to church members and Annisquam residents during the pandemic. Our goal is to ensure that in case of emergency, vulnerable individuals have needed food and supplies. If you have an emergency need for food or supplies, contact kathybellrock@gmail.com

Recording “Simple Gifts”

In looking for music for my butterfly documentary I heard a very beautiful folk version of “Simple Gifts,” then found the John William’s recording, “Air and Simple Gifts,”  with YoYo Ma and Itzhak Perlman created for Obama’s inauguration, which led to discovering Aaron Copland’s score for Martha Graham’s Applachian Spring (1944). The melody is perfect for my film. I then fortuitously ran into Kathleen Adams, the music director of the Annisquam Village Church, and Liv’s former teacher and mentor, at a cocktail party, and asked her advice. Kathleen graciously volunteered to share her talents and offered she and the church to record “Simple Gifts.” While Liv was home over spring break she very sweetly offered to sing.

Finding copyright free music is difficult and costly. I am eternally grateful for Kathleen and Liv’s generosity and for sharing their gifts. Kathleen recommended Phil Davis, who is an expert in recording classical music and artist in his own right.

Kathleen Adams and Liv standing next to the gorgeous organ that Jeremy Adams, Kathleen’s husband, built for the Annisquam Village Church

I can’t wait for you to hear Liv and Kathleen’s rendition,  played as written and with their beautiful improvising!

Although many people think that the tune of ‘Simple Gifts” is a traditional Celtic song, “Simple Gifts” was an American Shaker dance song written in 1848 by Elder Joseph Brackett. The song has been widely adapted. Perhaps the best known example is “Lord of the Dance,” published in 1963, which was then used without coyright permission for Michale Flatley’s dance musical Lord of the Dance.

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,

To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

In Celebration of Kathleen Adams

For those who have been inspired by Kathleen’s beautiful music and warmed by her equally beautiful heart, please come join us for an evening of dining, music, and thanks! R.S.V.P. at avchurch820@gmail.com.