This week our painters have finished painting the water-stained ceiling panels in the sanctuary and removed all the old popcorn ceiling coating in the Parish Hall, stage area and ramp by the office door. Almost all of the repairs to the walls and ceilings caused by roof leaks have been completed, and painting is continuing.
An insurance adjustor for Mike Lord, our roofer, has been in contact, and we will receive payment (amount to be determined) for the damages caused by the roof leaks that occurred during installation.
And we are in the process of finalizing a contract with J&J Flooring in Intervale, NH for carpet tiles in the Parish Hall, on the ramps and stage area and in the Prince Room. Tentative dates for carpet installation are December 28-29 for the Parish Hall, ramps and stage, and mid to late January for the Prince Room (carpet for the Prince Room is a special order and will take a few weeks longer to receive).
Our pledge ingathering day was on November 1 this year, and the drive by parade held on November 8. We have received approximately two-thirds of the pledges we received last year and are on track to maintain last year’s pledge level if the remaining one third of pledges come in at the same level. This would be an outstanding outcome during the pandemic and holding our worship services on Zoom! Many thanks to everyone who has turned in a pledge card. If you have not yet turned in your pledge for 2021, please do so as soon as possible. It is time to create next year’s budget, and we need to know what our income will likely be.
Here are some statistics for those of you who like to watch our progress.
Number of Pledges 59 39
Amount pledged $156,537 $120,730
Of the 39 pledges received, 13 have increased, 4 have decreased, and 22 remain the same as in 2020. This is so encouraging, given the year we have faced!!
via Zoom (email RectorSAITV@gmail.com for Zoom information) or on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/standrewsinthevalleytamworth/
AND...JOIN US FOLLOWING THE SERVICE FOR A VIRTUAL on ZOOM
Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 28, Year A
Collect of the Day We center ourselves for worship in prayer
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
First Lesson Judges 4:1-7
In this lesson from the Hebrew Bible the Israelites prove unfaithful to the Lord, going after foreign gods and doing what is evil in God’s sight. In consequence, they fall under the oppression of the Canaanite King Jabin and the commander of his army, Sisera. The Lord raises up for the Hebrew people Deborah, a prophetess, to arbitrate for justice among them. Deborah, a gifted leader, is inspired to liberate the Israelites from their Canaanite overlords and summons the warrior Barak. Deborah commands Barak in the name of the Lord to gather warriors against the superior chariots and troops of Sisera, confident that God will grant the Israelites success.
Those who are lowly and scorned place their trust in the merciful Lord.
The Second Lesson 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
In this reading Paul counsels the new disciples to be alert as in the daylight, for the day of the Lord will come swiftly and unexpectedly, although at a time unknown to mortals. Many early Christians believed that the course of world history would soon come to an end. Paul urges the Thessalonians not to live like people of the night but soberly and expectantly. Whether they first die or remain alive they may look forward, not to God’s wrath, but to a salvation that has been gained through Jesus. Paul’s central point remains valid for us: we do not know when the consummation of history will take place, but are to live always prepared for judgment.
The Gospel Matthew 25:14-30
Our gospel is the parable of the wise and foolish maidens–those prepared and unprepared for the bridegroom’s coming. In several ways the details of the story may strike us as odd and even a little unfair, but such a concern misses the main point, which has much in common with other of Jesus’ parables. One must at all times be ready with repentance and decision for the kingdom’s coming. In a later period this story was read with allegorical overtones. Jesus is the bridegroom whose return is delayed. Some in the church are falling asleep while others remain expectant.
Our gospel is the parable of the servants who made different uses of the money entrusted to them. The evangelist intends the story to be instructive to Christian disciples. The master Jesus is now away. When he returns, he will expect his followers to have made diligent use of the faith he has left in their charge. If it has not grown, then it has been without value and will be taken away. One also recognizes how immense are the sums left with the servants. The parable warns against the false security of only guarding the traditions and not investing them in life and in others.
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.
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.
From the Diocese: ChIPS and UTO
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.
Next Food Pantry: November 18th
STAY CALM AND JUST BREATHE
“Armistice” is from the Latin arma (“arms”) and sistere (“stand still”). Imagine the stillness, the quiet that came from laying down weapons on both sides, after years of grueling, bloody trench warfare.
The United States Congress subsequently declared that the date “should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”
Sadly, it was not “the war to end all wars” — and so in 1954, the day was renamed, “Veterans Day” in order to honor veterans from all the wars since, not just World War I. But the words of Congress still resonate, as do the holiday’s origins in that great stillness.
A day of thanksgiving: for the service of veterans, living and dead; for the service of caregivers — doctors and nurses and chaplains and mental health professionals and spouses and family members and friends — who walk with veterans through the ravages of war, even after the bullets and bombs and missiles stop flying; and for the days of peace that come at long last.
A day of prayer: for people of all faiths (or no faith at all), a time of prayer, meditation, or reflection on the stillness of armistice, so that the days of peace on Earth increase, and the days of war decrease.
A day of exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations: for all of us to find ways, large and small, to build bridges across lines of difference, suspicion, or hostility, in our neighborhoods, our country, and among the nations of the world.
To lay down our arms. To step into a new stillness together. To sing with our ancestors that we, too, will lay down our swords and shields, “down by the riverside, and study war no more” — so that the next hundred-and-two years may be more peaceful than the last.
May God’s peace be with you on this Veterans Day, this Armistice Day, and may we lay down all of our arms, all of our burdens, in God’s great Shalom rising up even now, like soldiers climbing out of trenches a century ago.
Love and peace, The SALT Team