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Bulletin Editor
Lauren Gardner
Sep 30, 2022
Oct 07, 2022
Africa Trip
Oct 14, 2022
Town of Avon Updates
Oct 21, 2022
Oct 28, 2022
Nov 04, 2022
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Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Rotary Foundation
Board Member-at-Large
Board Member-at-Large
Interact Chair
Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
Fridays at 7:30 AM
Golf Club of Avon
160 Country Club Road
Avon, CT 06001
United States of America
(860) 760-6364
All meetings are hybrid both in-person and Zoom available
District Site
Venue Map
September 23, 2022
Bob Bessel
First Selectman of Canton
The meeting will be held both in person and via Zoom. 
Watch for an email from the Club for Zoom access and
please note we use a recurring ID for your convenience.
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
Rotarians Present: 22
Visiting Rotarians:  Craig Buhrendorf
Guests: Taylor Albright
Happy Dollars: 53
Raffle Winner: No Winner
Fines: None today.
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Salin Low (9/20) - On theme with our speaker today, Salin commented her 27 years in Rotary shares many similarities with themes found in the church, from attending to membership. In celebration of her birthday, she donated to the Rotary Foundation.
Happy Dollars

Gary Miller opened with "it's over," to which everyone cheered. Gary was delighted that we narrowly escaped poor weather for the 40th year in our golf tournament history. He was happy with how it turned out and urged members to get copies of the ad book to share with sponsors. He thanked Don and Sue for doing a great job on it.
Rauf Majidian celebrated his son Cyrus's 2nd birthday. A bear crashed the party, and the footage of the bear eating cake went viral as one of the world's top-viewed videos!
Lauren Gardner was thrilled about her wedding celebration that took place last Friday. After their elopement last year, she and her husband were able to renew their vows in their initially planned wedding ceremony and reception with a big party of their friends and family at The Riverview. 
Bill Barnes was happy to have Craig visiting and looked forward to hearing what he's been up to.
Craig Buhrendorf was happy to visit, he currently resides in Lake Norman, Colorado where he is a Rotarian. His club has about 75 members, and their club has a different set-up that does not move through positions but is the president nominee for 2024-2025. His club enjoys a Rotary park that offers live music and hosts other events open to the community.
Bob Cave said the golf tournament was one of the best we've ever had and thanked the committee for their hard work!
Ann Clark was thrilled with our club's activities over the past five days. Saturday night, our club had two tables at FAVAMotownotown benefit, which was a blast - Monday was the superb golf tournament, and Thursday, a few members enjoyed pub night, where they unexpectedly joined a trivia night and were in the lead! 
Gary Hyde - while some numbers are still coming in, the golf tournament is predicted to net about $50,000 - approximately $5,000 more than last year. He thanked the committee for their hard work!
Workday - Veterans' Base Camp - Saturday, September 24 - The work will focus on repairing and painting the deck. Sign up with Gary Roman or Gary Hyde. Meet at 8 am at Big Y.
Saturday, September 24 - Work Day @ Veterans' Base Camp
Induction of New Members
None this week.
None this week.
Community and International Service Grants
None this week.
Father Taylor Albright
Secular Challenges Faced by Churches Today
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Rollie Sterrett introduced Father Taylor Albright. Taylor comes from Southwick, Mass, where he has served as a priest at Southwick Community Episcopal Church since 2003. He was a part of a team to establish a church that reached out not to Episcopalians in the area but to people who had given up on church altogether. Before being ordained, Father Albright worked with transitioning those with serious mental illness from state institutions into community-based services. Taylor has served as the Chaplain of the Southwick Fire Department and part of the Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains and is currently the Chaplin for the Simsbury Police Department. He currently serves at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tariffville, Connecticut, when he succeeded Father Tom in 2018.
Taylor shared his perspective on church growth as an Episcopalian priest who didn’t grow up in the church and found his faith later in life.
He talked with the club about the relationship between church growth and club growth and how they are related and reflective of one another.
It is common knowledge that church membership is on the decline. While church health was initially framed around church members and their happiness within the church and sustainability, the effects are found to be much more significant. Church health is detrimental to our surrounding communities – just like the health of our club.
The episcopal decline started after WWII. Since 2000, the church went from 856,000 to 423,000 in 20 years, with the most rapid decline in the last five years. Overall, church attendance declined by 40% in CT with less than 1/3 of churches having a full-time priest.
Over the years, the church has tried many tactics to address this including organizational development which did not work because churches are not businesses. Economics does not drive prosperity or human flourishing. Bringing in members for sustainability does not work. What has happened is a shift in our culture from a “we to me” perspective.
Taylor discussed the book Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam. Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures– and how we may reconnect.
Putnam warns that our stock of social capital – the very fabric of our connections with each other, has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities.
Putnam draws on evidence including nearly 500,000 interviews over 25 years to show that we sign fewer petitions, belong to fewer organizations that meet, know our neighbors less, meet with friends less frequently, and even socialize with our families less often.
Before the decline of the church in 1960, our culture was sustained and born from groups that meet together, whether fellowships, meetings, clubs, etc. Communities flourish when we “love your neighbor as yourself” because it doesn’t matter what your transcendent faith is. Research says that getting together to achieve a common cause has social benefits – just like the Rotary motto service above self. 
The club agreed to continue this fascinating conversation with Taylor and looks forward to a future meeting for part two.

Special Announcements

None this week.
Mail Bag
None this week.
Photo Credits
Screen Shots by editor
Technology Credits
Zoom platform management expertise by Mike Mezheritskiy.
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials for each week's Early Riser as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following our meetings, and during those weeks further contributions to the Early Riser will be included in the subsequent week's edition.
“The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do”:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?