More pictures below
December 30, 2010
The Bishop is coming! This coming Sunday, January 2nd,we will have ONE service only at 10:00. The Rt. Reverend Gene Robinson will be with us for his biennial visit -- presiding, preaching, and sacramentally welcoming Kathy Bunker and Marty Cloran into this branch of Christ's church, and laying hands on Tom Reinfus, Peg Reinfus, and Lisa Thompson as they make public reaffirmations of their faith. The liturgy will be followed by a reception then an open, sit-down conversation with the bishop. The liturgy will open with a lively, brief choral offering by a small group of area singers who want to express their welcome to him as well. It is always a joy to have Bishop Gene with us. I hope you will among us as we celebrate together.
Celebrating the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ: On the church's calendar, while still in the Christmas season, New Year's Day (January 1) is devoted to the Holy Name of Jesus (the day, eight days after the birth, on which a Jewish child receives his name). At the bishop's request, we will be "transferring" the readings appointed for January 1 to our Sunday celebration. So...heads up, readers! The readings for this Sunday will be Exodus 34:1-8, Psalm 8, Philippians 2:9-13, and Luke 2:15-21.
The Bishop’s Discretionary Fund: It is the practice of the church that contributions to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund be encouraged at the time of the Bishop’s visit to a parish. Through this fund, Bishop Robinson has been extremely generous with his support of many needs and ministries, particularly in New Hampshire. Our own Community Food Pantry recently received a gift of $1000 from his Discretionary Fund. All loose plate offerings (i.e. money that is not designated toward your pledge or toward some other specific purpose, such as Special Christmas Offerings) will go to the Bishop's discretionary Fund, and special envelopes will be included in the service leaflets for your convenience.
Christmas at Saint Andrew's continues...For those of you who were not with us in person, I have good news! By popular demand, we are able to provide a video of the interactive children's sermon from the 5:00 Christmas Eve service and also an audio recording of the homily from 1st Sunday after Christmas -- a musical reflection by Valerie May on harp "in dialogue" with the Gospel reading from John 1.
Play the video and the audio by clicking here: 2010 Blog. (Return here by using the back arrow on your browser -- probably a left-pointing arrow at the top-left of your screen.)
My gratitude goes to all who helped make those four liturgies in three days so deeply satisfying -- those who helped with the "greening," our musicians (Bernice, Val, and choir members), altar guild members, those who served at the altar, including first-time book-bearer Jasmine. AND to Carol Tubman and her amazing team who once again put on a grand Christmas feast for about 60 guests at that other sacred table -- our dining room!!!
Annual Meeting Preparations: Please mark your calendars. Our Annual Parish Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 30th. The list of active parish members who are eligible to vote has been posted on the Parish Bulletin Board. Please check the list to be sure you are listed. The primary criteria for voting (apart from regular attendance and support and being 16 years of age or over) is that your baptism be registered in our Parish Register and your membership. transferred here from your previous church. If you would like to become a registered member at Saint Andrew's, please speak to the rector or the clerk (Gretchen Behr-Svendsen).
Get ready reminder: January 17th is the due date for annual reports to be turned in to Debra in the office. Please see Debra if you need a copy of your report from last year. As always the earlier the better. Thank you.
A prayer too valuable to overlook:
Since this coming Sunday we will be using the propers for The Holy Name, we will not being praying the Collect for the Second Sunday after Christmas together. Interestingly enough, we will hear it again at the Easter Vigil, following the creation story. I offer it to you here for your own devotions.
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Happy New Year!
See you in church!
More Christmas pictures follow:
Nativity window of the Basilica of Santa Maria within the Benedictine Monastery at Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain.
December 23, 2010
The church is ready!
Here's our Christmas Service Schedule:
Friday, December 24th, Christmas Eve:
4:45 Carol Sing; 5:00 PM Service with an interactive children's sermon and the setting and blessing of the creche, a choir anthem, Christmas hymns and Holy Eucharist.
10:45 Carol Sing; 11:00 PM Candlelight Service with sermon, choir anthem, Christmas hymns, and Holy Eucharist.
Saturday, December 25th, Christmas Day:
11:30 AM: Service of Holy Eucharist
12:30 PM: The Christmas Feast in the Parish Hall. All are welcome!
Sunday, December 26th, the First Sunday after Christmas:
9:00 AM [ONE service only] A contemplative Holy Eucharist with harp.
Sunday, January 2nd, the Second Sunday after Christmas and the Bishop's Visit:
10:00 AM [ONE service only] The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson will preach and preside. the liturgy will be followed by a reception and an open conversation with the bishop. Spread the word and encourage friends and family members to join us that day. Bishop Robinson will be retiring at the beginning of 2013, so this may very well be his last official visit with us.
The church has been humming this week!
103 Christmas meal boxes (an all-time record!) have been prepared and distributed to needy families, thanks to Fred, Donna, Peggy R, Gretchen, Joan, and the Food Pantry team. The office copier and Debra have been producing our four orders-of-service for the next three days! Sally and Victor have installed a dozen replacement tiles in our kitchen floor. Jim Leavens, our volunteer painter, is now completing the interior Parish Hall entry area, the ramp, and "the stage." (the bathrooms were done last week!) The choir has been preparing special music. Dale, Sammie, Lisa, Cathie, Marie, Ed, Duane, Val, Bernice, and I participated in the Greening of the Church last night. Food preparations for our Christmas feast are already underway! What an amazing "hive" this church is! Thank you, All!
Have a blessed Christmas!
Aislinn and Ronan process Advent wreath candles.
December 16, 2010
Services for Sunday, December 19th, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, will be at 8 and 10 AM. with coffee hours following both services. We hope you will join us for worship.
Join us for of the Greening of the Church this coming Wednesday! The wonderful Advent carol "People, look East" reminds us, "the time is near of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able. Trim the hearth and set the table. People, look East and sing today: Love the guest is on the way!" The church is the house of this parish family. Come, be part of the family as we prepare together. No special skills are required. On-lookers welcome! Children welcome!
4:00 Creating the sprigs of greens for the ends of the pews
5:30 Simple shared Soup and Salad Supper
6:00 “Greening the Church” with laurel roping, poinsettias, pew sprigs, and candles!
We will close the evening with Compline, a brief service of prayer for the end of the day.
Christmas Flower contributions: We count on your contributions -- made in memory, in thanksgiving, or in honor -- to cover the expenses of the poinsettias and laurel roping that so enhance our Christmas worship. PLEASE use the envelopes that are in the pews, or call or email the church office asap (and definitively by Tuesday) with the details of your offering. Thanks.
Our Traditional Christmas Feast -- rib roast, turkey, ham, and all the fixings! The magnificent meal that we offer at 12:30 on Christmas Day does not come to us by magic. It counts on the participation of many generous people from both within and outside the parish in the form of food prepared at home, money contributions toward specific items, as well as the labors of many -- from set-up to clean-up.
Click here for details of how you can help.
We offer the meal for free to the community, which includes you, as well as many others. The party is always a wonderful mix of people who are grateful to spend a few hours of Christmas Day at such a festive event. Please call the church office to let us know you are coming.
December 24th: Christmas Eve Services of Holy Eucharist will be at 5 PM and 11 PM, each preceded with 15 minutes of carol singing. The 5:00 service will include the setting and blessing of the crèche, which will include the children.
December 25th: Our Christmas Day service will be at 11:30 AM, followed by our traditional Christmas Community Feast at 12:30, to which all (including you!) are welcome. Please call the office to let us know how many of you are coming.
December 26th, the 1st Sunday after Christmas: We will have ONE service only at 9 AM. This will be a quiet, contemplative liturgy with harp music.
And don't forget: Our Bishop is coming!!! On January 2nd, the 2nd Sunday of Christmas, ONE service only at 10 AM. Bishop Gene Robinson will be with us for our biennial parish visit. Please join us as we welcome Kathy Bunker and Marty Cloran who will be received into this branch of Christ's church. Following our worship together, we will greet our bishop and each other with a festive reception, followed by a time of conversation with him. I hope you will make every effort to be at Saint Andrew's for this special event. Spread the word, and encourage friends and family members to join us that day. Bishop Robinson will be retiring at the beginning of 2013, so this may very well be his last official visit with us.
Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A: Isaiah 7:10-16, Psalm 80: 1-7, 16-18, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-25.
Food for contemplation on familiar words from Richard, Bishop of Chichester, who died in 1253...
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly.
Look around for God sightings!
Think about where you are giving your heart these days!
Get moving, so that you can follow more nearly!
See you in church!
Blessings in this holy season,
December 9, 2010
Services for Sunday, December 12th, the Third Sunday of Advent, will be at 8 and 10 AM, with coffee hours following both services. We hope you will join us for worship.
Dana Cunningham will be with us as a special guest at the 10 o'clock service, offering her piano music as prelude, postlude, and during communion.
For those of you who do not yet know her, Dana is a pianist, composer, and friend of the parish. Her music offers a special window into this contemplative Advent season. She describes contemplation as “ 'immediate open presence in the world, directly perceiving and lovingly responding to things as they really are.' It is about becoming truly present. Finding this capacity for loving presence and for responding to people and things ‘just as they are’ takes practice and attention. It also requires a movement away from the dominance of the mind and all its activity, and toward its integration with the heart and body. When mind, heart, and body are in balance, life seems to flow. And this is where music can be so helpful. Music has a way of evoking our emotions that might otherwise remain hidden and can give us access to the heart of the matter. What a gate these emotions can be for us when we attend to them. It seems to me that it is only when we truly honor what arises within us — making space for the truth of what “is” — that its energy can be transformed."
Christmas Flowers -- A reminder from the office: Don't forget, we count on your contributions -- made in memory, in thanksgiving, or in honor of someone -- toward the purchase of our poinsettias and laurel roping. There are envelopes in the pews, or you can notify Debra in the office by phone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with names and amount. Information is needed by December 17th to assure inclusion in the Christmas bulletins. Thanks.
Boughs and Bonbons Report: We had a wonderfully successful event last Saturday, raising over $1,300 and having a good time in the process! Hearty thanks go to many, many people, starting with Lynne and Patti who co-chaired the overall event. Thanks also Judy and Elaine as wreath coordinators, Peggy R. and George who drove to Dover to collect the plain wreaths, Barbara and Dale on cookie plates, Chris, Juli, and Aislinn who created and staffed our new Children's Tables, Claudia at the plant table, Peg Cade and Diane as cashiers, Cathie and Gretchen on Fair Traded gifts, Carol, Grete, and others who cooked up jams and jellies and brought in items created by their friends and family members (including, fudge, soaps, and scarves), Val and Janet (independent vendors who contributed a percentage of their sales), Fred and Donna who provided hospitality in the form of coffee, goodies, and conversation, and ALL of you who assisted with wreath decorating and baked cookies for those fabulous, quick-selling cookie plates! And apologies and thanks to anyone whose name I missed! (More pictures below.)
Looking ahead to Christmas preparations:
Since this year the 4th Sunday of Advent falls almost a full week before Christmas Day, we will not be doing the Greening of the Church as part of the liturgy on the 19th. Instead, please consider joining with altar guild members and others on Wednesday, December 22nd: At 4:00 we will put together the sprigs of greens that will grace the ends of the pews. At 5:30 we will gather for a simple soup and salad supper. At about 6:00 we will go into the church to hang the laurel roping, bring in the poinsettias, attach the pew sprigs, and ready the church for Christmas Eve. We will close the evening with the brief service of Compline in the candle-lit church. We need helpers -- large and small, short and tall. Come one, come all!
December 24th: Christmas Eve Services of Holy Eucharist will be at 5 PM and 11 PM, each preceded with 15 minutes of carol singing. The 5:00 service will include the setting and blessing of the creche, which will include the children.
December 25th: Our Christmas Day service will be at 11:30 AM, followed by our traditional Christmas Community Feast at 12:30, to which all (including you!) are welcome. Further details will be forthcoming later this week.
December 26th, the 1st Sunday after Christmas: We will have ONE service only at 9 AM. This will be a quiet, contemplative liturgy with harp music.
Our Bishop is coming!!! On January 2nd, the 2nd Sunday of Christmas, Bishop Gene Robinson will be with us for our biennial parish visit. Please join us as we welcome Kathy Bunker and Marty Cloran who will be received into this branch of Christ's church. We will have ONE service only at 10 AM. Following our worship together, we will greet our bishop and each other with a festive reception, followed by a time of conversation with him. I hope you will make every effort to be at Saint Andrew's for this special event. Spread the word, and encourage friends and family members to join us that day. Bishop Robinson will be retiring at the beginning of 2013, so this may very well be his last official visit with us.
Readings for the Third Sunday of Advent, Year A: Isaiah 35:1-10, Psalm 146:4-9; James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11
Food for thought: As we enter these next two, very busy weeks, I encourage you to find time to still yourself, perhaps contemplating what a "genuine" Christmas might mean for you. I offer this poem from Oscar Romero (Archbishop of San Salvador and Martyr, 1980) for your reflection....
The God We Hardly Knew
No one can celebrate
a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud,
those who, because they have
everything, look down on others,
those who have no need
even of God -- for them there
will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry,
those who need someone
to come on their behalf,
will have that someone.
That someone is God.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.
May these days of preparation be blessed for you.
Val and Bill May's daughter, Shannon, and her young son Joseph process the first Advent candle.
December 2, 2010
There will be ONE service at 9 AM this coming Sunday, December 5th, the Second Sunday of Advent. It will include the commissioning of Altar ministers (LEMs and LEVs) and will be followed by Coffee Hour hosted by the Vestry. A slide presentation by Sammie Wakefield of her work last spring with Eleanore's Project, providing custom wheel chairs to children in rural Peru will begin at about 10:20.
The time for Boughs and Bonbons Christmas Fair has arrived: This Saturday from 9 to 1! Bring your family. Bring your friends. this year's offerings will include a children's table, jams and jellies, scarves, and alternative giving through episcopal Relief and Development. The wreath artisans have been hard at work decorating dozens of fresh balsam wreaths.
Barbara will be creating our famous "cookie plates" on Friday morning. PLEASE get your cookies to her at church by 9 Friday morning. thanks to those of you who have done so already.
There will also be a single item silent auction of a brand new (still in it's packing) set of very attractive white and gold dinnerware for 8 -- bidding to begin at $30.
Mission Center Day with our bishop Wednesday, December 8th with Holy Eucharist at noon at Trinity Church, Meredith. Mission Center Days are opportunities several times each year for informal regional gatherings with our bishop, Gene Robinson. The Meredith location (on the left as you head down hill into Meredith, directly on route 25) is a convenient gathering point for the churches in the Lakes Region Convocation. At least two of us from Saint Andrew's plan to attend.
At 11 AM on Saturday, December 11th, the Diocese of New Hampshire will have a memorial service for the Rt. Rev. Phillip Smith, former bishop of New Hampshire, to be held at St. Paul's Church, Concord. If anyone would like a ride, please call the church office.
Looking ahead to next Sunday, December 12th: Dana Cunningham, area composer and pianist and good friend of St. Andrew's, will be with us to play piano at the 10 o'clock service. Dana's music is lyrical and contemplative. What does she mean by contemplative? As she puts it, "I believe that being contemplative is the same as being deeply attentive, and that its practice in our daily lives, in all that we do, allows us to "wake up." What could be more appropriate to the Advent season? She will also have her CDs available for sale following the service.
Thank you to all who made our Pie Auction such a remarkable success two weeks ago. the pie-providers were: Patti Rau, Lynne Clough, Peg Reinfuss, Cathie Lewis, Kim and Asa Grace, Chris Mills, Carol Tubman, Trish Hodge, Dale Appleton, Peggy Cannon, Sammie Wakefield, Gretchen Behr-Svendsen, Marie Walters, Elaine South, ginger Heard, Joan Wright, Claudia Kennedy, Gabriele Wallace, Lisa Thompson Heidi Frantz-Dale, Barbara Lloyd, Marilyn Cloran, Val May, Bonnie Slader, Diane Lombardi, and Grete Plender.
And the kitchen crew and wait staff:Judy Grace, Gretchen Behr-Svendsen, Diane Lombardi, Chris Mills, Lynne Clough, Peg and Tom Reinfuss, Heidi Frantz-Dale, Cathie Lewis, Peg Cade, and Carol Tubman, meal-coordinator-in-chief. (With apologies if we have neglected to list your name.)
Readings for this Sunday: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12
Advent food for thought from Archbishop Dom Helder Camara:
that upset your plans,
shatter your dreams,
give a completely different turn to your day
and -- who knows? --
to your life.
It is not chance.
Leave God free
to weave the patterns of your days.
See you at church!
Peg and her great grandson watch in awe and excitement as the bidding goes higher!
Thank you to all who made the evening such a success. Details and more pictures below.
November 25, 2010
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Services for Sunday, November 28th, the first Sunday of Advent, will be at 8 and 10 AM, with coffee hours follow both services. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship. Advent prayer and activity calendars ("Slow Down. Quiet. It's Advent") are available on the table in the Parish Hall.
You will notice a few changes to the liturgy as we enter the Advent season, starting with a newly-designed bulletin. Please give the new format a try. Deb and I have worked together to have something that we hope is "user-friendly" even for visitors, convenient to follow, and still be conservative in our use of paper. And we are open to comments and ways to improve them. Advent invites us to quiet reflection and simplicity. Expect more moments of silence in the liturgy; they are intentional and will follow the readings and the homily. At the later service we will be using "plainsong" (Gregorian chant) settings for the Psalms. If the notation is unfamiliar to you, listen to the choir with an open mind and allow yourself to pray and sing along after the first few verses.
Boughs and Bonbons Christmas Fair is a week from this Saturday! This will be a busy week of preparation. Wreath decorators are asked to gather on Thursday. Talk to Elaine South or Judy Grace for details. Your home-baked Christmas cookies should be delivered to the church on Thursday or Friday, Dec. 3rd by 9 am for our very popular cookie plates.
Harvest Supper and Pie Auction Report: After the expenses were paid out, we brought in about $1300! 15% of this will be used toward church operating expenses, and $180 will go to each of the following organizations: Starting Point, Seafarer's Friend, The Edith Junior School in Kenya, The NH Community Loan Fund, the Pilgrim Reconciliation Project, and the Tamworth Community Christmas Project. AND, as you can see from the pictures below a great time was had!
Readings for this Sunday: Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44.
Food for thought from Wendel Berry ...
The sounds of engines leave the air.
The Sunday morning silence comes at last.
At last I know the presence
of the world made without hands,
the creatures that have come to be
out of their absence. Calls
of flicker and jay fill the clear
air. Titmice and chickadees feed
among the green and drying leaves.
Gratitude for the gifts of all the living
and the unliving, gratitude which is
the greatest gift of all, quietest of all,
passes through the trees."
We wait in quiet expectation.
See you in church,
Pies for the pie auction tomorrow!!! Have you baked yours?
November 18, 2010
Services for Sunday, November 21st, will be at 8 and 10 AM, with coffee hours following both services. We hope you'll join us for worship and fellowship.
Our Harvest Supper and Pie Auction tomorrow is Friday, November 19th. The supper begins at 6 PM and the auctioning of pies will get underway at about 7. Bring yourself! Bring your friends and family! This event has been a fun and lively community happening.
You are welcome to bring your own wine or beer. Apple cider will be provided.
The proceeds from it will go to support the work of six organizations: The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Starting Point (providing service particularly to women and children locally in domestically abusive situations), Seafarers' Friend (pastoral care and attention to mariners), The Edith Junior School in Kenya, the Pilgrim Reconciliation Project (working primarily in war-torn countries in Africa), and The Tamworth Community Christmas Project (TCCP).
Our support of these organizations extends our reach as we do our part to "seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves."
And don't forget, we need your delicious pies for this event. Please deliver your pies to the church Friday afternoon by 3:00. Pies should be labeled with ingredients.
Our Ecumenical Community Thanksgiving service will be this coming Sunday evening at 6:00 at the Tamworth Congregational Church. Any singers who wish are invited to arrive at 5:00 for a choir practice. Please think of this as our Thanksgiving service, shared with the wider community. The location of this service rotates from year to year among the Tamworth churches, with the clergy and choirs of all churches providing the leadership and all the people of God welcome. The offering will go to the rebuilding of the Agape Ministries and Farm following their devastating fire a few weeks ago. (Agape is a companion ministry to our Food Pantry and Dinner Bell, providing food, clothing and household goods to people in need in the Ossipee Valley.)
The Take This Bread group discussion will meet on Tuesday, November 23rd, at 5:00 in the Prince Room. Whether you have read all or just some of the book, or even if you're just curious, please come.
Hard as it may be to believe, our Boughs and Bonbons Christmas Fair will take place two weeks from this Saturday, on December 4th from 9 to 1. Click on the "HELP NEEDED" section in the upper left for details.
Readings for this Sunday, the Sunday of Christ the King: Jeremiah 23:1-6, Canticle 16 (The Song of Zechariah), Colossians 1:11-20, Luke 23:33-43
Food for thought as we enter the season of festive eating in community with others:
This prayer comes from our current book, Take this Bread, which focuses on making the connection between the eucharist and how we live as baptized Christians in the world. It would be wonderfully appropriate as a table grace at any meal.
O God of abundance, you feed us every day. Rise in us now. Make us your bread, that we may share your gifts with a hungry world and join in love with all people, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mary Ellen bids on a great pie last year!
See you at church!
Our worker-bee Stewardship Committee express their gratitude for your pledges of support to Saint Andrew's.
Shown here, Elaine, Gretchen, George, Marty, and Sammie hosting the Celebration Breakfast on All Saints' Sunday.
Additional pictures below.
November 11, 2010
Services for Sunday, November 14th, will be at 8 and 10 AM, followed by a coffee hour.
The service in celebration of the life of Marie Cannon, affiliate of Saint Andrew's and sister-in-law of Peggy Cannon, will take place at 11 AM, Saturday, November 13th. Marie passed away on November 4th, at her home in Portland surrounded by family members. May her soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.
REMINDERS of other up-coming events:
A concert Friday evening, November 12th at 7 at the Chocorua Church: Indigenous Voices. Jesse Red Horse and Kim White Feather will play Native American flute music to benefit Agape Ministries and the Straughan family's recovery from their house and barn fire. Donations at the door.
Two discussions have been scheduled for the book Take This Bread by Sara Miles. the first will be Wednesday, November 17th at 10:00. The other will be Tuesday, November 23rd at 5:00. You are invited to come to one or the other. If we discover that one session is not enough, we can schedule a second meeting with the group that is gathered.
Bow-making workshop Wednesday the 17th at 7 pm. What are Christmas wreaths without bows???!!! We need some strong-fingered folks to create a sufficent number for the wreaths for Boughs and Bonbons.
Next Friday, November 19th is our annual Harvest Supper and Pie Auction. We are counting on you for your pies and for spreading the word! Dinner will be served at 6 PM and the Pie Auction will begin at 7. Please click on "HELP WANTED: Harvest Supper and Pie Auction" in the column to the upper left for details. (Pies should be delivered to the church by 3:00 on Thursday, the 18th.)
Join us on Sunday, November 21st, at 6 PM for the Community Thanksgiving Service, as we give thanks together for the many gifts of this life. This year it will be held at the Tamworth Congregational Church. This is offered by the Tamworth Associated Churches: The Chocorua Community Church, Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, the Tamworth Congregational Church, and the Unitarian Universalists of the Eastern Slopes. Interested choir members should arrive by 5:00 to prepare the anthem and other music.
Boughs and Bonbons Christmas Fair Saturday, December 4th from 9 to 1. Please click on "HELP WANTED: Boughs and Bonbons" in the column to the upper left for details.
From the Stewardship Committee: Thank you for your strong support. At the time of our in-gathering last Sunday, we had received 54 pledges for the coming year. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! If you have not yet turned in your pledge card, please do so soon. The Finance Committee will be meeting shortly to begin work on the 2011 budget and their work is dependent on pledging information.
The honey cells are almost full. Each full cell represents one pledge. Thanks!
Food for thought in this season of Gratitude...
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
by Melody Beattie
Readings for Sunday: Isaiah 65:17-25, Canticle 9 (The First Song of Isaiah), 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, Luke 21:5-19
See you in church!
Come and see!
Thanks to the hard work of Brian (an outside helper), Sally, Bruce, Duane, Vic, and Debra, our kitchen "refurb" is well underway! Everything has been emptied, thoroughly cleaned, and now painted, ceiling included. (Cupboard doors will be reinstalled after the acquisition of new hardware.)
Additional pictures below.
November 4, 2010
Sunday, November 7th and All Saints' Sunday, we will have ONE service only at 9:00. The liturgy will include the in-gathering and offering of our pledges and will be followed by a "Honey Sweet" Celebration Breakfast, to which all are welcome, hosted by the Stewardship Committee. Thanks you to all who have already turned in pledge cards. Those cards, along with those that are brought in on Sunday, will be presented as a special offering. Remembering the departed: We will begin our liturgy on Sunday with the reading of names of departed loved ones. If there are additions to the names already submitted, please email me by Saturday evening (email@example.com) and they will be included.
Don't forget the time change! Set clocks BACK an hour on Saturday night. Our 9 o'clock service on Sunday will "feel" like 10 o'clock.
Special note on the wine at the eucharist: This Sunday (only), in keeping with our season's theme of bees and honey, we will be using mead (honey wine) in place of our usual tawny port. As always, our eucharistic bread is sweetened with honey (recalling both the words from the prophet Ezekiel (16:19) that the Lord had provided the people with "choice flour, oil, and honey," and the psalmist (81:16) My people "would I feed with finest wheat and satisfy with honey from the rock!"
Our Harvest Dinner and Pie Auction are just two weeks away -- Friday, November 19th at 6 PM! Time to get planning. What pies will you make? Sign-up sheet for helpers at the dinner are in the Parish Hall. This has been a wonderfully successful and fun event in the past, and a terrific opportunity to invite friends.
More about the kitchen work: In order to fully clean and paint the kitchen, all the cupboards have been emptied. At the time of the writing of this MEMO, everything is spread out on numerous tables in the Parish Hall (see the picture below)! The sorting team has discovered all sorts of things that have been unused for years, as well as a vast pile of unclaimed dishes from years of coffee hours and suppers! For us to have a well-ordered, workable kitchen, many of these items will need to find new homes! It is highly likely that there will be a "give-away table" this weekend. Plan to take a look and see if there is anything of yours or that you could use. Also, be forewarned ... there is likely to be a table or two of kitchen contents temporarily in the Prince Room for which a "new home" has not yet been found. Please bear with us. This has been a whirlwind of a week for those working on the kitchen. We have a hard and fast deadline to have things fully put away in time for the Harvest Dinner.
Also, be prepared. The cupboards will be without doors this weekend, because new hardware needs to be acquired. The advantage to this is that the contents of everything will be clearly visible. Since there will be some intentional rearranging of things, we will all be able to see quickly what is where as we get accustomed to new (and we hope improved) locations. Please bear with us. (FYI: All upper cupboards are a creamy yellow, lowers are a mid-range sage green.)
We had a free consultation from kitchen designer earlier this week who has made a number of potentially helpful suggestions to the functionality of ours as a community kitchen. Stay tuned for updates as we discern how to move forward.
Bruce works on the drawer fronts.
Vic gets the ceiling above the stove!
How much of this do we really need?
Sally on clean-up (after hours of painting)!
This week's readings: Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18, Psalm 149, Ephesians 1:11-23, Luke 6:20-31.
Food for thought as we conclude this Pledge Season with it's focus on our attention to this place as a community in which we all share:
(From Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, 1975)
The basis of Christian community is not the family tie, or social or economic equality, or shared oppression or complaint, or mutual attraction...but the divine call. The Christian community is not the result of human efforts. God has made us into his people by calling us out of "Egypt" to the "New Land" [one flowing with milk and honey!], out of the desert to fertile ground, out of slavery to freedom, our of our sin to salvation, out of captivity to liberation. All these words and images give expression to the fact that the initiative belongs to God and that God is the source of our new life together. By our common call, we recognize each other on the road as brothers and sisters.
May our offerings and festivities this Sunday be a celebration of our shared life, "on the road" together as sisters and brothers living with open generosity the new life we are coming to know in Christ.
So... come and feast!
See you in church!
Wednesday's torrential rainstorm clears across the Ossipee Valley, as viewed from Lakeview Neuro Rehab Center, following the eucharist celebrated there.
October 28, 2010
Services for Sunday, October 31st, will be at 8 and 10 AM, followed by coffee hour. Davis Dassori will be the stewardship speaker. This is also UTO (United Thank Offering) ingathering Sunday.
A word from your Stewardship Committee: We have only a week to go until our All Saints' Day celebration, which will include the offering of our pledges of support to the church. If you have already turned in your pledge card, thank you! If you have not yet done so, now's the time. If you can, please bring your pledge card with you this Sunday. If you have misplaced your card, additional copies are available on the bulletin stand. Help us fill those honeycomb cells on our altar frontal! Thanks!
And be sure to join us next Sunday, for our single service at 9:00, keeping in mind that Day Light Savings Time ends the preceding night, so remember to set your clocks back one hour. The liturgy will be followed by a Stewardship Celebration Breakfast, hosted by the Stewardship Committee.
Last chance to bring in your ChIPs contributions of gifts or money, as well as your UTO offering. For details, click on the 2nd October entry onside bar to the left to last weeks MEMO. Both ChIPs and UTO donations will be taken to Diocesan Convention next Saturday in Concord.
In keeping with the church's practice, next Sunday at the All Saints' Sunday liturgy we will be reading the names of saints who have been welcomed home by God. If you would like to add names to this list, please email the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org), or write your names (legibly please) on the sheet provided in your bulletin this coming Sunday.
Looking ahead to our Harvest Supper and Pie Auction (Friday, November 19th) and our Boughs and Bonbons Christmas Fair (Saturday, December 4th)...links to the details of how you can participate in the success of these events can be found by clicking the appropriate link in the column to the left on your computer screen. Many hands make light (and pleasurable) work. Join us for bow-making this Wednesday, November 3rd at 1:00.
The November-December issue of the Mountain Top is out and in your church mailbox or being sent to you. If you are eager, or want to see the pictures in color, it is also posted on our web site. Click here. (You may need to use your browser's back arrow to return to this MEMO.)
Responding to the devastating fire at the Agape Ministries Farm and the home of the Straughan's home... here's another way to offer you financial support and enjoy an evening of community music as well: Native American Flute Concert to benefit the Straughan and Agape Ministries: Friday, November 12th at the Chocorua Church at 7 PM.
Jesse Red Horse and Kim White Feather, performers of American Native flute music, will appear in a benefit concert entitled “Indigenous Voices”, Friday evening, November 12, at 7 p.m. at the Chocorua Community Church. Admission to the concert is by donation. All proceeds from the concert will be given to Agape Ministries based in Ossipee which provides furniture, clothing and food to local families. In October, the Agape homestead barn burnt to the ground, killing most of the animals and destroying the family business and home.
Jesse Red Horse, is of Black Feet ancestry. He discovered the sounds of the traditional G flute fifteen years ago. His passion for Native American flute music began when he heard their ethereal sounds. “The flute spoke to my spirit and the playing came naturally,” says Jesse. “In the concert I will play traditional melodies and improvisations on single as well as multi-chambered flutes.” This gifted artist makes creative use of what he calls a ‘canyon machine” which sets up echoes as if he were playing in a mountain canyon. He says that this is a good way to practice by hearing the tone coming back to him.
Kim White Feather of the Mi’Kmaq nation in Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia will open the concert at 7 p.m. She is a student of Jesse’s and has played flute for nearly ten years. She also sings and performs with rattles, djembe and hand drums. “Since I was fifteen years old I have attended Pow-Wows in the Northeast,” comments Kim, “ and since I was born I also grew up with the singers and song writers Billy ThunderKloud and the Chieftones . Traveling with them in my youth inspired me to continue to study the stories, indigenous music and culture of my own Native American Heritage.”
Readings for Sunday: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4, Psalm 119:137-144, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12, Luke 19:1-10
See you in church!
Saint Andrew's seems to have architectural cousins in Catalonia!
Here, two members of our tour group peek into the church of St. Feliu.
(A moral about what happens if you don't take care of your property?)
October 21, 2010
Services for Sunday, October 24th, will be at 8 and 10 AM. Both will be followed by a coffee hour. Sammie Wakefield will be our stewardship speaker. We hope you'll join us.
A word from your Stewardship Committee: Pledging has begun in earnest! Thank you to the 25 of you who have tuned in your pledge cards. Two weeks from this coming Sunday, November 7th, All Saints' Sunday, will be culminating celebration of our pledge drive. Mark your calendars now for ONE service at 9AM, followed by a splendid, honey-sweet breakfast for all, hosted by the Stewardship Committee. We would love to be able to announce 100% participation at that time. When your pledge card has been received, a honey comb cell on our altar frontal will be filled.
United Thank Offering: God is good, all the time! We are blessed and asked to respond to our blessings in many ways, among them by contributing to the United Thanks Offering (UTO). UTO encourages the spiritual discipline of daily reflection on our blessings, and then placing a monetary token of our gratitude in our "little blue box" -- a nickle one day... or a dollar (maybe more) for a special day, a quarter another day. The emphasis is on the giving of thanks on a daily basis, but the coins add up over the course of the year. Each year we hold our UTO ingathering on the Sunday before Diocesan Convention (October 31st) and the combined contributions of our parish are offered at the Convention eucharist.
UTO in turn, through an application process, provides grants to churches for projects. We are considering a grant request to assist in our kitchen upgrades.
If you do not have a "little blue box" at home, pick one up from the Parish Hall table and start your daily practice of thank offering. Alternatively, think back on the year past and and write a check in gratitude for the gifts you have received. Remember...God is good. All the time!
ChIPs Christmas gift collection continues: Will you add to the new toys that have been purchased? Or will you tuck some money in a designated envelope, and help bring joy at Christmas to a child whose mother or dad is in prison? See the display in the transept.
Sandwich Fair report: The event has exceeded all expectations! We brought in slightly more than $1,500 to be used in direct support of Saint Andrew's. Thanks again to all who made it such a success.
Fall Work Day report: We had unexpectedly glorious weather last Sunday after the 10:00 service, and good work was accomplished. The music closet has been organized, the Memorial Garden put to bed for the winter, the old, rotting boardwalk to the Prince Room door has been removed and the altar window tree pruned of its dead branches. Thank you, workers.
Food for thought from Henri Nouwen
"Practicing Gratitude" ...
"Resentment and gratitude cannot coexist, since resentment blocks the perception and experience of life as a gift. My resentment tells me that I don't receive what I deserve. It always manifests itself in envy.
Gratitude, however, goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or some to call ugly. I can choose to listen to the voices that forgive and to look at the faces that smile, even while I still hear words of revenge and see grimaces of hatred.
There is always the choice between resentment and gratitude because God has appeared in my darkness, urged me to come home, and declared in a voice filled with affection: 'You are with me always, and all I have is yours.' Indeed, I can choose to dwell in the darkness in which I stand, point to those who are seemingly better off than I, lament about the many misfortunes that have plagued me in the past, and thereby wrap myself up in my resentment. But I don't have to do this. There is the option to look into the eyes of the One who came out to search for me and see therein that all I am and all I have is pure gift calling for gratitude.
The choice for gratitude rarely comes without some real effort. But each time I make it, the next choice is a little easier, a little freer, a little less self-conscious. Because every gift I acknowledge reveals another and another, until, finally, even the most normal, obvious, and seemingly mundane event or encounter proves to be filled with grace. There is an Estonian proverb that says, 'Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.' Acts of gratitude make one grateful because, step by step, they reveal that all is grace." [Return of the Prodigal Son, 1992, p. 80]
Church of St. Cristofol in Tavertet, Catalonia.
See you in church.
Gretchen welcomes guests at Saint Andrew's first, very successful, annual Sandwich Fair booth!
Additional pictures below! Photos by Carol.
October 14, 2010
Services for Sunday, October 17th, will be at 8 and 10 AM, followed by coffee, snacks, and our Fall Work Day. Please come to church dressed to help out for an hour or so after whichever service you attend. As usual, there are plenty of both indoor and outdoor tasks. We could definitely use several willing gardeners, to put the Memorial Garden to bed for the winter and to thin and work the back bulb beds, so bring your gloves and favorite digging and raking tools. We could also use a team of "heavy-duty" workers to demolish the rotting board walk to the Prince Room, so if that appeals, bring heavy gloves, crow bars, and sledge hammers!
A word from your Stewardship Committee: The time has come! Pledging now begins in in earnest! Ponder. Pray. Pledge. It takes all of us together to support the flourishing of our "Saint Andrew's hive."
We are now at the mid-point of our Fall pledge drive, with the hope of 100% participation. To those of you who have already pledged, thank you! The beehive frontal on our altar is now open! The honey comb has been revealed. When your pledge card has been received, a honey comb cell will be "filled." God, the giver of all gifts, calls us to discover the joys of our own generosity in giving.
Our Pledge Drive will culminate with a Celebration Eucharist and Breakfast on November 7th, following the 9:00 service, but we hope most pledge cards will be turned in before then, so that we will be able to celebrate our successful completion!
Copies of Take This Bread, by Sara Miles, our next book for discussion, have been ordered. With luck they will arrive by Sunday. If you ordered one, check in the office. If you would like to be part of the conversation and did not place an order, check your local library or favorite book store. Possible discussion times will be posted when the book arrives. The plan is to read the book in its entirety, then to come together to discuss it.
The ChIPs program (Children of Incarcerated Parents) annual Christmas gift collection continues. For details, see the display in the transept. All contributions, in the form of either checks or new toy, must be brought in by October 28th so that our delegation can take them with us to Diocesan Convention on November 6th.
Thank you to the AMAZING team of Sandwich Fair workers and providers: Gretchen, Val, Carol, Lynne, David, Kathy, Claudia, Bruce, Ed, Marie, Becky, Tom, Peg, Chris, Ginger, Ginny. We brought in over $1000 and shared ourselves with the world!
Chris and David tend our table on Sunday.
Signs describe our service to the broader community - by providing space to various organizations and events, and through our fund-raising events - along with an invitation to worship with us.
See you in church!
Do you have an animal companion who is patiently waiting for his blessing?
This is the Sunday!!!
September 30, 2010
This coming Sunday, October 3rd, we will have ONE service only at 9:00. This will be our annual Blessing of the Animals service. Yes, it is a service of Holy Eucharist. Dogs must be leashed and other animals in appropriate cages or containers. If you have an animal companion who would not be happy traveling, you are welcome to bring a "proxy," such as a picture, a symbol, or stuffed animal. We will reserve the transept (the area where our grand piano sits) as a HUMANS ONLY territory. The Altar Guild will serve as Coffee Hour hosts and Val May will provide biscuits for the dogs. Consider it as an ocassion to invite your friends to church! Have them bring their animal as well.
Our Pledge Season continues: This Sunday Cathie Lewis will speak briefly on the blessings she has experienced in this place.
New addition: If you have missed any of the past three Sundays, or if you would like a "second pass" as highlights of homilies and discussions, a special "Pledge Season Blog" is now on line. Check the information in the left hand column and click there. The Stewardship Committee hopes that you will take the time to reflect on the material and to think prayerfully about it as you prepare to make your pledge.
Saint Andrew's Presence at the Sandwich Fair, October 9th through 11th. Thanks to Gretchen Behr-Svendsen's efforts, we will be having a table in the "Farmers' Market" section of the the Sandwich Fair. There has been a wonderful response from many of you who have volunteered to staff our table. (Thank you, Kathy, Claudia, Bruce, Ed, Marie, Lynne, Becky, David, Joe, Tom, Peg, Carol, Chris, Ginger, Bob, Phil, Joan, Grete, and George!) And... we still need full coverage for the Monday morning, as well as some additional workers at other times. Please give Gretchen a call as 323-7459. This event, with Indian corn, gourd, pumpkins, shallots, jams and jellies, pickles and relish, promises to be a great success and a good fundraiser for the church.
A reminder to Fair Workers: Be sure to bring flexible, appropriate clothing. Temperature can range from sunny and hot (real summer weather), to glorious, crisp (breezy) fall air, to damp, cold, and even driving wind -- even all in one day!. Whatever the weather, the FAIR GOES ON! (i.e. No crumping out if you don't like the weather!) So come prepared, including your food and beverage needs.
Many of you are aware that Duane and I will be leaving after church this coming Sunday for a week in Catalonia, Spain. We have an opportunity to be part of an "inaugural tour," led by our niece and her partner, who are working to establish a guided tour business there. We will return late on October 12th. If you have pastoral concerns during my absence, please call Debra in the office, and she will connect you with appropriate help. Patti and George Rau (323-8223) have agreed to receive calls as well. The Rev. Tobias Nyatsambo will be returning to St. Andrew's to provide coverage for the services next Sunday. He is a dynamic preacher and, as one who has served for many years as a priest in Zimbabwe, brings a refreshing perspective to faith, live...and, yes, stewardship. I know you will warmly welcome him and his wife, Rose.
It's Gifts for ChIPs time again! ChIPs -- Children of Incarcerated Parents -- is a program of the Prisons Concerns Committee of our diocese, which provides incarcerated parents with a Christmas gifts for their children. the need is great. The good news is that that the diocese set a record last year in providing over 700 gifts and books for children whose parents are in prison.
Parents give the gifts to their children at the annual Christmas parties. The parties are the one event of the year that the parents can provide for their children. Won’t you help up make a difference in the lives of these children? Drop off gifts or monetary donations at your church. Our delegates to the Diocesan Convention will take them to the Convention on November 6.
Your contribution can be in the form of a check, or actual gifts and books (all of which must be brand new). Further details on gifts will be listed on the Sunday bulletin insert.
Readings for Sunday: Lamentations 1:1-6, 2 Timothy 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10
Food for thought on the grace of giving from Richard Foster's, The Challenge of a Disciplined Life:
"The grace of giving is often a tremendous stimulant to the life of faith. This is why the offering is correctly placed as part of the worship experience. In Isaiah 58:5-8, we read of a very religious people whose pious devotion counted for nothing because it was not matched with active caring for the poor and the oppressed. "Is not this the fast that I choose," proclaims God, "to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?" Religious piety is bankrupt without justice. If you want your fasting to have true spiritual content, then you are to "share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house" (Isa. 58:7).
If our spiritual vitality seems low, if Bible study produces only dusty words, if prayer seems hollow and empty, then perhaps a prescription of lavish and joyful giving is just what we need. Giving brings authenticity and vitality to our devotional experience."
See you in church!
Notice an improvement?
Our fantastic painting team continues their work! The church has now been fully pressure-washed, and the front entrance stucco is painted. More work to be accomplished on Saturday and Monday! (More pictures at the bottom of this memo.)
September 23, 2010
Services for Sunday, September 26th, will be at 8 and 10 AM. Duane Dale will be preaching, reflecting on possible implications of the scripture readings on our care and tending of our building. Both services will be followed by coffee hour and a slide show and discussion. As we move forward in addressing maintenance issues, the Vestry and the Facilities Planning Committee are eager to be in open conversation with the parish. We hope you will be able to join for the discussion.
Saint Andrew's Presence at the Sandwich Fair, October 9th through 11th. For many years we have been trying to take advantage of the public visibility and fund-raising capacity of this hugely popular area event with a table at the Sandwich Fair. Thanks to Gretchen Behr-Svendsen's efforts, we have at long last succeeded! We will have a table in the "Farmers' Market" section.
Gretchen has been working heroically, largely on her own, growing gorgeous Indian corn, shallots, colorful gourds, and pumpkins on her family farm, for which we are enormously grateful. Carol Tubman has been busy canning relishes and jams, and Val May will be contributing her famous dog biscuits. But NOW it's time for the Parish as a whole to step up to the plate!
Our table will need to be staffed by two or three workers (you!) working in 3 1/2 hour shifts. We will need a set-up team from 4:30 to 6:30 on Friday Oct. 8th, then workers for morning, midday, and afternoon shifts on Saturday, the 9th, Sunday, the 10th, and Monday, the 11th. In exchange for your work, you will have access to a free pass to Fair the day you work. We will be located very near the back entrance, which will give us LOTS of visibility, even to hundreds (thousands?) of folks who are not necessarily "doing" the Farmers' Market.
It promises to be a lot of good community fun, and a fabulous way for us to raise money for Saint Andrew's. It is also a wonderful evangelical opportunity, as we share our gratitude for the world around us and the fruits of the harvest and offer healthy, beautiful, down-to-earth products. If we can be successful this year, we can expand next year.
How to sign up: Call the office and leave a message (603-323-8515). Email the office (email@example.com). Call Gretchen directly at 323-7459. Don't be surprised if you get a phone call! We really will need strong parish participation.
Initial Safe Church training session coming up: Safe Church training is required of all church members who do home visits or work with children, as well as all church staff, Vestry wardens, and treasurers. It is encouraged for all other Vestry members and interested parishioners.
The up-coming dates are October 2nd, at St. Paul's, in Lancaster, and November 20th, at St. Thomas, in Dover. Please contact our church office to register.
Readings for Sunday: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15, Psalm 91:1-6, 14-161 Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-31
Food for thought from poet Mary Oliver (as we continue to reflect on the life of bees):
What is this dark hum among the roses?
The bees have gone simple, sipping,
that's all. What did you expect? Sophistication?
They're small creatures and they are
filling their bodies with sweetness, how could they not
moan in happiness? The little worker bee lives, I have read, about three weeks.
Is that long? Long enough, I suppose, to understand
that life is a blessing. I have found them -- haven't you?--
stopped in the very cups of the flowers, their wings
a little tattered -- so much flying about, to the hive,
then out into the world, then back, and perhaps dancing,
should the task be to be a scout -- sweet, dancing bee.
I think there isn't anything in this world I don't
admire. If there is, I don't know what it is. I
haven't met it yet. Nor expect to. The bee is small,
and since I wear glasses, so I can see the traffic and
read books, I have to
take them off and bend close to study and
understand what is happening. It's not heard, it's in fact
as instructive as anything I have ever studied. Plus, too,
it's love almost too fierce to endure, the bee
nuzzling like that in the blouse
of the rose. And the fragrance, and the honey, and of course
the sun, the purely pure sun, shining, all the while, over
all of us.
And the promised shots of a few of our worker bees:
Frank power washes the altar window wall.
A diligent worker (who?) makes sure that ALL surfaces get sealed.
George scrubs grime off the front of the church.
See you in church!