March 25, 2010, Feast of the Annunciation

Yes, I know you are expected reminders about this coming Sunday, but I couldn't resist bringing to our collective attention (so as to keep all that is about to unfold over the next week in perspective) that today is the feast day of the Annunciation of our Lord -- Mary's "yes" to Gabriel's message. Mary,
God's human agent in the mystery of the incarnation. "Let it be to me according to your word."

A few reminders for the coming week:

This Sunday is Palm Sunday with services at 8 and 10. Both will include the blessing and distribution of palms and the Passion narrative.

The liturgy for Palm Sunday carries us into Holy Week. Services begin with the reenactment of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, with the crowds waving palm branches and greeting him as the messianic king. Then the mood shifts abruptly, with the reading of the passion story, and we begin the journey through the events that culminate in Jesus' crucifixion and death. For the 10:00 service we will all gather in the Parish Hall for the Liturgy of the Palms then process into the church.

Wednesday of Holy Week, March 31st, 7 pm: The service of Tenebrae (Latin for "shadows"), traditionally a series of readings and psalms, has been reworked as a simple, evocative chancel drama with soliloquies interspersed with musical offerings as the seven candles are gradually extinguished. Thanks go to Tom Reinfuss for bringing this contribution to Saint Andrew's.

The Paschal Triduum (the Three Sacred Days) is really one liturgy in three parts beginning with Maundy Thursday, continuing through Good Friday, and culminating with the Great Vigil of Easter.

April 1, Maundy Thursday, 7 pm: Foot washing, the Institution of the Lord's Supper, the stripping of the altar, and the the opportunity to meditate on the reserved sacrament in our transept "chapel."
This liturgy invites us into the intimacy of Jesus' last meal with his disciples, his loving care of them in the washing of their feet, and his self-offering in the bread and wine. The word maundy comes from the Latin mandatum, "command," and it refers to the commandment that Jesus gave to his disciples that we love one another. After the sermon, all are invited (though none are required) to come forward for foot-washing and then to wash the feet of the one coming after them -- a transforming symbol of service and sacramental action. We continue with the eucharist, followed by the stripping of the altar and chancel. The service ends in silent darkness.

April 2, Good Friday. From noon to two the church will be open for Meditations at the Cross. This is primarily silent meditation, interspersed with brief readings and psalms. At 1:30 we will close with the traditional Stations of the Cross. you may come and go as your schedule allows.
At 7 pm: the Liturgy of the Crucifixion of our Lord, a service of readings, hymns, psalms, the Solemn Collects, and spoken anthems at the cross. We will conclude with Communion, using the bread and wine that was consecrated at the Maundy Thursday service.

Two thousand years ago, Christ's life, death, and resurrection exploded into history. This week invites us into God's saving acts with the hope that each year we will experience God's saving power in new ways. Join us for Holy Week. Your Easter will never be the same!

See you in church!

March 18, 2010

There's lots going on! Come and be part of it!

Services this Sunday, the 5th sunday of Lent, will be at 8 and 10 AM.

Happy belated Saint Patrick's Day! Come for dinner and join in the festivities tomorrow evening, Friday, March 19th, at 6 PM. Wear your green or your orange. We're all on the same team! 85% of the proceeds will go to three terrific local organizations that work hard to support healthy families in our area: the Ossipee Children's Center, Carroll County Child Advocacy, and the local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Enjoy the good food and the fellowship of strong community.

Saturday morning, March 20th from 7:30 to 11:30 at Mocha Rising (the coffee shop in Center Sandwich) enjoy Booty Farm Maple Syrup and Hot-Off-the--Griddle Pancakes and make a donation to support the Booty Family Farm. Save a tree BYOP (Bring your own plate)!  This is not a St. Andrew's event, but John and Kitty Lou Booty are loyal members of our parish and their son Peter and his family run the Booty Family Organic Farm. The Sandwich community has organized this event to provide some financial support to them as Peter recovers from successful, but major lung surgery.

Sunday afternoon, March 21st,  from 2-4 in Meredith: top off this sociable weekend of community outreach with Bowling for Haiti! So far only three of us from St. Andrew's (Jonathan Bradey, Judy Grace, and I) have agreed to bowl, but there's room for you as well. This is an event organized by the Lakes Region Convocation of our diocese. If you can't bowl, will you make a modest (generous) donation to Haiti Relief Efforts? The three of us will be at church on Sunday, welcoming your contributions. Sponsor envelopes are available at church.  Think about it.....When was the last time you bowled with a bunch of Episcopalians?

Envelopes for Easter Flower contributions are in the pews. We count on you for our Easter flowers! Gifts may be made in memory of loved ones, to honor someone special, or in thanksgiving for events or people. There is no set dollar amount. A splendid array enriches our Easter worship.

Holy Living: Approaches to Prayer continues this week with session 3 as we continue to explore contemplative prayer and a "Rule of Life." If you've missed session 1 and 2, the handouts are available on the table in the Parish Hall. Tuesday at 5 PM and Wednesday at 10 AM, followed by eucharist at 11:45.

Reminder: Next Sunday (March 28th) is Palm Sunday; Holy Week follows. Easter is April 4th, with services at 8 and 10.

Food for thought:
          from Gerald Vann
Without the sense of God's will we narrow down our lives to the material world. We are like misers crouching over their hoards and never seeing the skies; indeed we may narrow our prison still further, seeing in everything only the image of ourselves.

But once we are made aware of the greatness of events as expressions of God's love, once we see and live their sacramental value, then we are liberated into a greater life; the winds of eternity blow about us, and the infinite skies are our home, and we too walk the eternal hills.

See you in church!
Pax, Heidi+

March 11, 2010

A few reminders for the coming week:


This Sunday: Services at 8 and 10. Enjoy the rejoicing of "Refreshment Sunday," also known as "Mothering Sunday,"  "Mid-Lent," or "Laetare Sunday." For centuries the 4th Sunday of Lent has been understood as a "mini-Easter" -- a lessening of the austerities of the Lenten season. This tradition is based on the the old Latin introit for the day, "Rejoice ye with Jerusalem!" (Laetare means to rejoice.) So join us in rejoicing. There will be flowers on the altar, given in loving memory of Edna Jerackas, beloved friend of Peg Cade and mother of Mary Smith, both of whom will be hosting the 10:00 coffee hour.

Holy Living: Approaches to Prayer continues this week with a session on Tuesday at 5 pm and Wednesday at 10 am. The Wednesday group will be followed by eucharist at  11:30. You are welcome to attend either session.

Friday, March 19th will be our Saint Patrick's Day Irish dinner! Hosted by the FUN-Raising committee, 85% of the proceeds will go to support the work of three terrific local organization: the Ossipee Children's Center, Carroll County, and the local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Help us reach out through them in support of healthy families in our area. Come, enjoy the good food and the gift of strong community!

Bowling for Haiti! When was the last time you went bowling with a group of Episcopalians? Next Sunday, March 21st, members and friends of the Lakes Region Convocation will claim the lanes at the Bowling Alley in Meredith from 2 to 4. The cost is $5 a string, shoes and balls included. How is this "Bowling for Haiti"? Bowlers will be seeking "supporter-sponsors" -- folks like you who would like to make a modest (or generous) contribution. If you can't bowl, will you offer support? Of course on-site cheerleaders are also welcome! Sponsor sheets and details will be in your Sunday bulletin!

Have you noticed...
The windows are back in -- repaired and painted! Let the sun shine in.

And from our opening hymn this Sunday...

Now quit your care and anxious fear and worry; for schemes are vain, and fretting brings no gain. Lent calls to prayer, to trust and dedication; God brings new beauty night; reply to love most high...
Then shall your light break forth as doth the morning; your health shall spring, the friends you make shall bring God's glory bright ... and love shall be the prize. Arise and make a paradise!

See you in church.
Blessings, Heidi+

March 4, 2010

A few reminders  for the coming week.

This coming Sunday we will have ONE service only at 9:00. The Altar Guild will be hosting the Coffee Hour.

Weather permitting (we were snowed out two weeks ago) both sessions of our Lenten series Holy Living Approaches to Prayer, will be starting up this week.
One group will meet on Tuesday at 5:00 pm. At least this time around it will NOT be followed by a meal.
The other group will meet on Wednesday morning at 10:00 and will be followed by eucharist at 11:30 and a brown bag lunch.

Vestry will meet on Thursday at 7:00. It will be preceded by a Roundtable eucharist at 6:00 and a brown bag supper at 6:30. 

Stamp collecting mystery solved; an hour of volunteer help needed. From time to time during my first several years at St. Andrew's a plastic bag full of cancelled postage stamps still attached to the envelope would appear on my office door knob, apparently the result of a one-time mission project that involved collecting stamps and sending them somewhere for some worthy use. No one seemed to be able to tell me the details of the project which had been the work of some former member here. But the stamps continued to appear from time to time. As a former stamp collector myself, I didn't have it in me to just recycle them, so the collection grew in the corner of my office! 
    I have no idea if this is the same  venture, but I recently discovered that the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore, South India happily make use of such stamps. Patients in their rehabilitation hospital process the stamps and then sell them to collectors, benefitting both the hospital and the rehab patients. 
    So...I'm looking for someone with a bit of time on his or her hands willing to go through the stamps and trim them to 1/4 inch of paper border. A job for someone who watches TV perhaps? Once they are trimmed, we can consolidate them into a shoebox or two and ship them off to South India. Give the office a call if you'd be willing to help.

Looking ahead to March 14th... Daylight Savings Time begins, so mark your calendars to set your clocks ahead one hour (spring forward) in a week.

And to March 19th at 6:00 for our St. Patrick's Day dinner.

Food for Thought 
from contemporary priest and writer Barbara Crafton:

"Prayer changes the world... bit by bit: It is the creative energy of God passing through our minds and hearts into life here on the earth where we live."

See you in church,