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Swords to Plowshares Northeast



Swords to Plowshares Northeast is a 360-degree program that repurposes weapons of death into tools of life, that will be used for the betterment of the community. 


Teams work closely with municipalities and law enforcement agencies to organize gun buyback events in the spirit of public safety and injury prevention.


Their mission is to reduce senseless firearms injuries and deaths among the vulnerable by facilitating/ building municipal partnerships between law enforcement, health providers, universities, after-school programs, religious ministry and community based service organizations and businesses.

Last Sunday Bishop Curry brought the organization to Saint Ann's. After a presentation at the Griswold Forum and preaching and celebrating at both services, Bishop Curry lead a demonstration in the parking lot with his forge, anvil and drill.


Please visit for more information and to donate to this fantastic cause.


A Great Partnership Story: Saint Anns and Lyme Old Lyme Food Share Garden



At its recent board meeting, the Lyme-Old Lyme Food Share Garden celebrated a donation from Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church, who generously funded the purchase of a garage for the LOLFSG! The Reverend Anita Schell of St. Ann’s noted, “It’s all about partnerships.” The structure will house the garden’s tractor and other materials necessary to support the newly expanded garden. The LOLFSG is enormously grateful for the donation.

Carolyn Kilroy, Saint Ann’s Outreach Vestry Liaison, added that the LOLFSG and the Saint Ann’s community have a “shared vision” in their commitment to address local food insecurity.

In 2023, LOLFSG volunteers donated more than 1000 hours, delivered more than 2500 pounds of food to local food pantries, installed a pollinator pathway at the garden, composted more than 1500 pounds of donated food waste, yet made time to expand the garden!

An increase in size also necessitates increased help. Please consider joining the LOLFSG community in 2024. Volunteers and donations are always needed! More information is available through Facebook or

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Saint Ann's Shares the Love



Another batch of Saint Ann's Love Baskets has been delivered! Parishioners gathered after the 10:30 service to package assorted baked goods and fresh fruit for Valentine's delivery to those who might not otherwise get out and about. A grateful shout out goes to our Saint Ann's chefs who contributed their baking talents


An extra special acknowledgement goes to Zoe and John Wallace, who created the lovely handmade cards included in each bundle. And many, many thanks are due to Carolyn Kilroy, who orchestrated it all and delivered to 24 recipients across 10 different locations ranging from Madison to Groton and included Essex, Old Lyme and East Lyme. 


We've already had some enthusiastic offers to participate in next year's basket brigade. Stay tuned!


Sharing the Joy of Giving and a Big Thank You



The newly arrived Alkhalawi family was the delighted recipient of gifts from Christmas Giving Trees across the churches of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as gifts from local residents and committee members. The parents, Fadia and Mahmoud, were very grateful for the gift cards, checks and food treats given to them, but the children supplied the most visible sign of their thanks. Mohammed, Ahmed, and Ibrahim were thrilled to receive the gift of toys.

The Refugee Resettlement Committee has been busy during the 4+ weeks since the family arrived, helping with all the paperwork and requirements that comes with every refugee family. After fleeing Syria and waiting in Lebanon for 11 years, the Alkhalawi’s feel blessed to have arrived here. We are particularly grateful to have succeeded in completing all the early registrations and benefit enrollments necessary to begin the Alkhalawi’s new life in Old Lyme, Connecticut and the United States. The boys are happily enrolled in school. Next steps for the family are employment and English as a Second Language classes. 


The committee is particularly grateful for the support of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church, and Lyme Congregational Church over the years, and the warm embrace of Old Lyme, Lyme and surrounding shoreline communities. We couldn’t do this without all of you. We are also thankful to co-sponsor this work with IRIS (, a non-profit refugee resettlement organization in New Haven. 


With gratitude, 

The Lyme/Old Lyme Refugee Resettlement Committee


The Communion Forest ~ To plant is to hope, to restore is to heal, to protect is to love.


In the planting of this White Birch, we give thanks for the gift of Rachel Thomas’ ministry, remembering today her gift of teaching and collaboration; giving clarity to the reason for new undertakings. As we seek to restore God’s creation, help us to remember her words about our relationship with the whole of Creation.


We Have a Playscape



This past Sunday after the 10:30 Worship service, four of our young parishioners were excited to finally be able to play on the new playscape!


Thank you Christine Carter for suggesting to the Vestry that we should get one and to Treasurer, Peter Griffin and the Vestry for their support. Thank you also to Jones Landscaping for ground preparation and J Stokes Contractors, LLC for construction.

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Food Share Garden


We are delighted to announce that Saint Ann’s is a sponsor of the Lyme/Old Lyme Food Share Garden where we have supported the "sponsor a row" initiative. This year volunteers donated more than 700 hours and have delivered more than 2500 pounds of fresh produce to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry. Special thanks to Carolyn Kilroy for her oversight of this year’s Community Garden and her leadership as Vestry liaison for Outreach.

Mother Anita has accepted the call to serve as our 7th Rector

December 2021

After accepting the call, Anita spoke to the Vestry and shared the following:


"In reflecting on our mutual ministry and the leadership of the Vestry, I am in awe of our accomplishments – not just what we have done in reaching most of our goals but also, and more importantly, in our care of one another both near and far. Thank you for caring for one another in all times and circumstances."


"Above all, I give thanks to God for calling me to Saint Ann's. I truly believe that I have been so called and give thanks that you have put your confidence and faith in both this process and in me."


Finally the Vestry would like to thank all of you who shared comments and thoughts during our listening sessions.


Your words contributed to a prayerful and thoughtful decision in calling Anita to be our next Rector.


~Your Vestry


Saint Ann's is part of the Pollinator Pathways of Old Lyme

Summer 2021

Saint Ann's has added native plants to our property, eliminated pesticides, and officially joined Old Lyme's Pollinator Pathway.

List of native species and pollinator plants/gardens at Saint Ann’s three locations:


St. Ann's Church – perennial geranium, nepeta, oenothera, echinacea (purple coneflower), nasturtium, cut leaf coneflower (rudbeckia laciniata), black eyed susan (rudbeckia hart), zinnia, cleome, salvia, violets, oak trees, andromeda, linden (tree), oak, viburnum Hobblebush, white mulberry, sumac.


Nearly New – Phlox "David", Butterfly weed (asclepias tuberose), nepeta, bee balm, coreopsis (tickseed), purple coneflower (echinacea), violets, wild strawberry, foxgloves, sumac, rose campion, pokeweed, lilac, sugar maple, red clover, wild strawberry (frageria).


Rectory – goldenrod, elderberry, purple coneflower (echinacea), cut leaf coneflower, foxgloves.​

Wrapping up the Capital Fundraising Campaign

Spring 2021

The Capital Campaign continued into Year 4 of the 3-Year initiative with our parishioners generously bringing our total pledged to $1,452,518 against our goal of $1,300,000 and just shy of our Stretch Goal of $1,500,000.

With Phase One completed and our pledges in hand, we began planning Phase Two of the Capital Building projects. As promised, we focused on full accessibility, safety, organization of the first floor of our building and access to the lower level. Our work continued with Centerbrook and Enterprise Builders, both of whom served as reliable and committed partners to Saint Ann’s Parish.

As planned, Phase Two added two fully accessible bathrooms on the first floor. We removed the steps that separate the Griswold Room and kitchen from the rear office entrance which allowed for the first floor spaces to share the same floor level as the Sanctuary. Our rear office entrance now has improved visibility, security doors and windowed doors in the Parish Administrator’s and Rector’s new offices to align with safe church practices.

To fulfill our goal to make the entire church building accessible, the lower level of our church is now accessible to all with the addition of a lift providing access from the first floor to the Ground Level where the Nursery, Godly Play, and the Sewing Room are located.

We are very appreciative of our donors for fulling their pledge commitments. In addition to the Capital Campaign, additional funds were raised in the Lift Up Campaign led by Alden Murphy and Charlie Potts. Our parishioners generously donated an additional $76,737.00 which was required to cover the cost of the lift, landscaping, IT update, and other owner’s costs and contingencies.

The successful completion of Phase Two ensures Saint Ann’s accessibility today and for generations to follow. It will allow our parishioners and guests from the community, who cannot navigate stairs, to be able to attend all events at the church and use the facilities on our lower level.

We thank all the Saint Ann’s parishioners, donors, and friends for their support of the Capital Campaign and their confidence in our leadership of the Capital Campaign and Building Projects.


Read more about our Capital Campaign Building Projects here.

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Tropical Storm Isaias Brings Down a 58 Year Old Oak Tree

This past week when hundreds of folk were without power, and stopped by to take photos of the fallen oak tree, often posing with it, they all said two things: ‘It is a miracle the way it fell away from the church’ and ‘God was surely watching over you and your flock Mother Anita.’ I readily agreed as both are true. What I did not say then, but say now – God is always watching over us, no matter what the outcome, no matter where the tree falls. 

Mother Anita,  8/9/20


Becoming a Beloved Community


Saint Ann's has formed a Task Force on racial justice and reconciliation called the Initiative for Becoming a Beloved Community.  Click this link to see ECCT's work at the Diocesan level.


This group is comprised of 11 members and meets regularly. Please contact Alden Murphy if you would like to be involved.


Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion is to look out to the world.

Yours are the feet with which Christ is to go about doing good.

Yours are the hands with which Christ is to bless all people now.

                                                                        - Theresa of Avila

Mother Anita Interviewed on iCRV Radio

On June 25, 2020, Mother Anita was interviewed by Dave Williams on iCRV Radio to promote Saint Ann's First Annual Can-a-Thon to support the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. Listen to her interview here:

Anita on iCRV Radio
00:00 / 12:59

Based in nearby Ivoryton, CT, iCRV Radio is a streaming radio service dedicated to the Connecticut River Valley (CRV). To be part of iCRV Radio and its mission to connect and grow community through engaging content, click here.

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Saint Ann's Holds its First Can-a-Thon


June 28, 2020

A big thank you to all who participated Sunday in the Can-a-thon. We appreciate the time and effort from the volunteers who collected food, directed traffic, and to those who made donations. It was a team effort resulting in approximately 40 bags/boxes of food (406 pounds!) to be donated to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.

It was a beautiful day and so much fun visiting, while social distancing of course, with many parishioners and the wider community. 

Congratulations! This was a great start to increasing our goal of more local outreach.


What would we do without our pets?


Our pets are the unsung heroes of working from and being quarantined at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


In fact, your furry friend does more than just brighten up your day or give you someone to talk to while social distancing - research suggests pets can make you happier, healthier, less stressed and more productive. 

Don't miss the chance to celebrate and thank your four legged friends at home. Send your photos to Kathy Rowe at  


Laura Lee Miller 

Your Communications Liaison

Saint Ann's Forms an Environment Committee

The Environment Committee launched on May 7, 2020 with 13 participants with great enthusiasm and joy. 

There will be three areas of focus for our work: worship, education, and community action.


In the weeks to come look for words of hope about stewardship of creation curated by Tia Smith. Look for ways we can decrease our waste, and look and listen for a greater focus on creation care in our worship, specifically in sermons. And finally, look for our Community Garden, under the leadership of Andrea Bakoledis, to get started after May 20. 

The Environment Committee has asked parish librarian Jean Read to create a display in our Griswold Room featuring some books from our collection that address creation care and climate change.  Take a peek and feel free to borrow a book or article.


If you are interested in joining the Environment Committee, please contact Mother Anita. 

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Saint Ann's Parish Making Masks for the Region


As of Monday, April 20th, 2020, masks or cloth face coverings were required in public in Connecticut in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus as the number of cases nears 18,000 and the death toll passes 1,000. The mask or cloth face cover must cover your nose and mouth and are required in public when close contact is unavoidable. Making and donating non-surgical masks is a great way to help one another during this critical Covid-19 time. Our own parishioners are busy making masks at home and you can too! See below the examples made by our own parishioners and the instructions offered up by Joann Fabrics. 


Kathy Kronholm is working daily to provide masks to the homeless community, an outreach project of St. Paul's in Willamantic, CT. Kathy's masks are pleated so one size fits all. She makes them out of tightly woven cotton with grosgrain ribbon for the ties. So far, Kathy has provided over 50 masks and her work continues. 

Carole Lamourine's face masks are made from a wide assortment of lovely patterned fabrics and have an organic shape to cover the nose and mouth as required.  In making masks for health care workers, neighbors, family and friends, Carole came to realize that some masks were needed just to go out in public, some as covers for PPE and some for additional protection as needed.  She created a custom pattern and began by sewing together the two outside pieces of any good quality cotton. Her masks are simple in design as patients in facilities can be very intimidated by the "outer space look". They much prefer to have folks serving them who bring a smile. A nurse wearing one of Carole's masks among patients, reported that her patient commented that "That fish will swim right into your ear!"  And when another Nurse commented that they felt foolish with a "cat" on their face, this answer came back, "If someone is close enough to you to see you are wearing cats, tell them to step back, as they are much too close to you for safety!" This picture shows examples of Carole's lovely masks. 

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Becca Pote is making masks and taking them to Joann Fabric Stores to be distributed to local agencies and providers who may need them.  If you know of a local need, please let Becca know and she can assist in this effort.​

Our SAP Sewing Ministry is making masks, too -- Priscilla Peabody, Deb Somers, Carolyn Ross, Donna Viscardi, Nina Garrett, Carole Lamourine and Jean Howard. They are finding that their family and friends want masks first, and then friends of their friends want masks. They are working hard making as many masks as possible to donate to health care organizations, and with the help of Susan Anderson, their masks have been distributed to at least five nursing homes, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Middlesex Health, UConn Health Center, Shoreline Clinic, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Urgent Care facilities, homeless shelters, and Meals on Wheels drivers. When the weather warms up, Jean has promised the sewing ladies a lunch, with social distancing, on her deck, featuring hot lobster rolls! That's a great incentive!


Saint Ann's Welcomes The Reverend Dr. Anita Louise Schell


On Sunday, August 4, 2019, Saint Ann's welcomed The Reverend Dr. Anita Louise Schell as the Provisional Priest-in-Charge, with a lively celebration after service. See photos here.

Anita has been an ordained Episcopal priest for 35 years and has served several parishes and schools with intelligence, devotion and passion. As your Executive Committee, first, and then your full Vestry met with Anita this winter and spring, it became clear to us quite quickly that Anita would be a wonderful fit for Saint Ann's Parish for the next three years as our PPIC, with the possibility to call her as Rector at that time.  Read more about Anita

Summer Celebrations


On Sunday, June 23, 2019, Saint Ann's parishioners celebrated the completion of Phase 1 of our Capital Campaign renovations. We proceeded up the new handicap ramp and gathered for song and prayer on the new terrace. We entered the church through the newly painted red doors, continued through the expanded and updated Narthex, and assembled in the freshly painted Sanctuary. After the service, we gathered on the front lawn to enjoy wonderful food and fellowship at our annual Summer Potluck Picnic. See the day's pictures here


2019 Lenten Course

God’s Good Earth: From Daylight Time to Earth Day


This Lenten course was a wonderful and impactful series based on the book, God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayer for Creation by our own Anne and Jeffery Rowthorn.


The course drew on a rich variety of biblical and ecumenical resources as well as reflections from the world’s most penetrating contemporary interpreters of the social and cultural landscape. Topics included: God’s good earth--overview and introduction to the course; God the creator and God’s glorious creation; God’s physical creation; the human community and its needs; the whole creation groaning in travail; and hope for the future, concluding with a liturgy in celebration of Earth Day.


Luke Gingerella of North Stonington, CT

Bringing Smiles to Young Hospital Patients’ Faces

Operating rooms can be intimidating, and they have rules to follow. Every patient, regardless of age, needs to wear an OR cap, and the blue adult caps are not very child-friendly!


Volunteers as Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme are collaborating with Lawrence and Memorial Hospital’s Child Life and Surgical Services to bring a little fun to its young patients. Using bright fabrics with whimsical designs, Saint Ann’s Sewing Workshop is crafting operating room caps for pediatric surgical patients. The children get to choose the cap they want to wear into surgery and take it home with them when they leave. Every smile helps make the transition back to wellness a little easier.


The program is a big hit with parents and patients alike, and the Saint Ann’s sewing volunteers get the joy of knowing they’ve brought a smile to a child’s face.

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The Lyme/Old Lyme Refugee Resettlement Committee

Old Lyme and its surrounding communities have a long history of welcoming refugees from war-torn regions across the globe, resettling families from Laos, Burma and Rwanda. In the Spring of 2016, in response to the worldwide refugee crisis, Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, First Congregational Church Old Lyme, and Saint Ann's Episcopal Church created a new, ecumenical Refugee Resettlement Committee with the goal of helping newly arrived refugees adapt and thrive in their new home.

Click here to read a newspaper article about the latest refugee family being helped by this committee.

Click here to read more about the committee and how you can help.


Kindness in Real Life: Stitching a little love in an Old Lyme church

Our very own Carol Carlson penned an article for The Day about Saint Ann's wonderful Sewing Ministry. Read it here.


Baby Shower for Newborns in the Dominican Republic

The baby shower for newborns in the Dominican Republic was a wonderful success. The workshop on the lower level was open, displaying samples of work from all the programs supported by the sewing volunteers. The ladies of the Sewing Ministry are so grateful to the church for their lovely renovated workspace and the love and support of the congregation. Lunch was devoured and gifts were plentiful. Newborn babies in the Dominican Republic will be the beneficiaries of all of this love. See more pictures on the Gallery page.


Our Community Garden is Flourishing

The Community Garden continues to feed those who are hungry with produce being donated to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. We give thanks to our gardeners who have weathered the heat and rain this summer. Click here to read about the garden and see more pictures.

Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries at Saint Ann's

On several Saturdays in June and July, the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries was held at Saint Ann's for both the distribution of food and the serving of the meal. Thanks to the many volunteers who helped with this joyous and important ministry.


Preaching by the Congregation
At Saint Ann's we encourage preaching by the congregation. Charlie Potts preached both services on Sunday, June 17th, and both services on Sunday, June 24th were preached by Seymour Smith.

Click here to read Charlie's sermon entitled "Missing Joseph."


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