I will be on vacation October 19-25. If it seems that I’m taking more time off than usual it’s because I am. The pandemic has taken a toll on me, as it has on everyone, and the vestry and I have agreed on a plan that gives me more time for self-care.
Due to the pandemic, the prison system is not allowing many visitors into the prison. This will make it impossible for us to offer the ChIPS program this year. I'm afraid we won't be taking donations of money or gifts for the children of prisoners this year.
Please send your United Thank Offering (UTO) donations through your church so each church sends one check, made out to the Episcopal Church of NH with UTO in the memo line. We look forward to honoring these donations during our worship. Thank you for your support of this important program.
Volunteer Shoppers Needed for the Tamworth Christmas Project
As most of you know, the Tamworth Community Christmas Project distributes gifts to local children at St. Andrew’s in December each year. This is also one of the projects our outreach program supports. This year, due to the pandemic, some of their volunteer shoppers will not be shopping. Cathy Baybutt, director of the project, is looking for new volunteers
Volunteers shop for a family (from 1 to 4 children). The parents fill out a form with sizes and needs. We ask shoppers to purchase items on the list and then tally them up, then we send them a reimbursement check for the amount. I have very specific directions which seem to work very well. If you enjoy shopping and might lend a hand, please contact Cathy Baybutt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By phone (audio only) call +1 929 205 6099/Webinar ID: 970 5549 6969.
The Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 25, Year A
Collect of the Day We center ourselves for worship in prayer.
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
First Lesson Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Our Hebrew scripture lection recounts the death of Moses on the very edge of the promised land. Moses has fulfilled his purpose as God's faithrul servant, the onw who led the people form their bondage with many signs, received the law, traversed the wilderness, and knew God intimately. From Mounta Nebo, Moses surveys the promised land, and then he dies and is buried in Moab. Joshua, upon whom Moses had laid hands, succeeds him.
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
The psalmist reflects on the passing character of human life in the face of the Lord's wrath, and asks the everlasting God for wisdom to make use of the time.
The Second Lesson 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8In this reading Paul recalls his first visit to the Thessalonians, the troubles he endured, and the straightforward and gentle way in which he presented the gospel. The opposition that Paul had earlier experienced in Philippi continued in Thessalonica, but, with God’s help, Paul preached fearlessly. Unlike certain of the insincere traveling missionaries of the pagan world, Paul acted with integrity and sought in no way to take advantage of his new friends. He and his companions shared not only the gospel but their own selves.
The Gospel Matthew 22:34-46
In the gospel Jesus presents the double commandment of love for God and neighbor, and then asks a question concerning whose son the Christ is. The context of this passage is the effort by certain Jewish officials to test Jesus, hoping to force him to make an unwise or unpopular comment. Jesus first responds by teaching that all the law and the prophetic words depend for their understanding on commandments of love. He then asks his own question. Using an argumentative style of the time, Jesus shows how King David (considered to be the author of the Psalms) called the Christ his Lord. Thus, at the very least, the Christ must be more than the son of David. Christians believe this Christ to be Jesus and trust that through him disciples may learn to love both God and neighbor.
For God alone my soul in silence waits; from God comes my salvation.
God alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.
Throughout the ages, humans from all faith traditions have sat in stillness and silence to return to their heart in support of their spirit. There is an inner healing presence available to us when we stop, notice, and allow.
If you are interested in strengthening or building a contemplative practice or seek silence within community, please plan to join others, each Tuesday, beginning September 15th, at 9:00am. Newcomers are welcome at any gathering. No previous meditation experience needed.
Our time begins with a brief sitting practice, facilitated by Christi Humphrey. Christi has lead other groups which gather to explore contemplative practices through meditation, teachings, and discussion. Guided meditations and teachings draw upon the Christian contemplative tradition, monastic spirituality, Buddhist meditation, and self-compassion practices.
If you would like to learn more or have questions, contact Christi Humphrey at email@example.com. If you would like to sample Christi leading a guided meditation visit her blog https://watchingforgrace.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/bringing-compassion-to-these-anxious-times/
For our First Nation people and those in this country who are living in impoverished areas of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans and the inner city areas populated by some of our poorest citizens.
For all those who are on the front lines serving communities during these difficult times.
Updating the Prayer List
Please let Deb know if you want to put someone back on the prayer list going forward. Thank you for helping us keep our prayer list up to date.
Next Food Pantry: October 28th
It has been widely and wisely said that IT TAKES A VILLAGE, usually followed by an implicit . . . (dot, dot, dot).
And I believe that it DOES take a village -- in our situation, it takes a village to remember and reflect, to appreciate and honor the life of David.
I refer us all to the remembrance Patti Rau wrote for the Thursday Memo, a telling of the remarkable impact that David had on the life of the parish of St. Andrew.
On reflection, the word that strikes me most about David is FIERCE. Patti's litany of David's accomplishments certainly underscores that point.
David had a fierce love for his country, and his life in military service had a profound effect on his life as a vet.
And later on those Sundays, we would talk and talk on the phone, tell each other how fiercely silly we were, and ALWAYS ended with me saying "I love you, David". Invariably he would respond by saying "I love you, too, Sweetie".