This week a rose-breasted grosbeak has been happily enjoying the hospitality of our memorial garden and the sunflower seeds in our feeder. Look for him on Sunday.

Thursday, June 24th,
The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Services for Sunday, June 27th, will be at 8 and 10 AM and both will be followed by coffee hour.

Dinner Bell this Sunday needs some helping hands due to a cook team cancellation! The menu is simple: tacos, three-bean salad, Spanish rice, and ice cream. Patti Rau will do the shopping. I (Heidi) have agreed to coordinate the meal, and so far we have one volunteer. If a couple of people would be willing to stick around after the later service for half an hour, we could easily get the ground meat filling cooked up and the lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese prepared. An additional set of hands during the meal and assistance with clean-up would also be very much appreciated. If you're available to lend a hand, please let me know (

Reminder for NEXT Sunday, July 4th: Since it will be the first Sunday of the month, we will have ONE service only at 9:00. We will end promptly by 10:00 to facilitate participation in whatever Independence Day festivities you might have planned with family and friends. If you do have guests, live your faith and encourage them to join you for church, giving thanks for our freedom and independence.

As July approaches it's time to mark your calendar for our Third Annual Lobster Bake/Steak Grill, to be held on Friday, July 23rd. Fliers and tickets will be available next Sunday. Proceeds will go to the support of three Tamworth organizations: the Bearcamp Valley School, the Tamworth Nurses, and the Tamworth Caregivers.

A word about the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist which we recognize today:
According to the evangelist Luke, John the Baptist, prophet and forerunner of Jesus, was the son of elderly parents (Elizabeth and Zechariah) and was related to Jesus on his mother's side. You may recall that it was Elizabeth whom Mary visited early on in her pregnancy. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting "the child [John] leaped in his mother's womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit exclaimed with a loud voice to Mary, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.' " [Luke 1:39-45] Since Elizabeth was in her sixth month when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, John's birth (his "nativity") is celebrated exactly six months before Christmas Eve, on June 24th.
John's adult ministry was marked by his call to repentance, his baptizing of people to signify their repentance and new life, and his calling of people to prepare for the coming of the Kingdom and the Messiah. It is John who said of Jesus, "He must increase, but I must decrease."

Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born , and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for truth's sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

See you in church!
Blessings, Heidi+

Three students from the Edith Junior School in Vehega, Kenya show off their brand new uniforms. Uniforms are a necessity for attending school. See the entry below for more details

June 10, 2010

This Sunday, June 13th, we will welcome the Rev. Tobias Nyatsambo as our guest priest. Services will be at 8 and 10. Tobias came to our area three years ago from Harare, Zimbabwe (Southern Africa) to serve as Priest-in-Charge at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Ashland. He is a warm, dynamic, and wonderful priest and human being. (I wish I could be two places at once to sit in the pews with you!) In Harare he was rector of a large parish (five services on each Sunday!) and was the first black, local African priest to serve in that capacity. (Prior to that they had imported white priests from the United Kingdom.) He brings his deep faith and a lifetime of experience to his preaching. I hope you will warmly welcome him and his wife, Rose.

Duane and I will be on vacation, leaving Friday morning and returning on the 18th. We will be in the dry hills east of San Diego, California visiting our son, Chris. I will be back the following Sunday. There will be no Thursday MEMO next week.

The Edith Junior School Uniform Project update: There has been a TREMENDOUS response to the request to contribute funds for uniforms for children at the school in Kenya. If you have not yet done so and would like to, checks can be made out to St. Andrew's with "uniforms" in the memo line. The cost for making one uniform is $8. Thanks you to all who are making this possible. Do take a look at the pictures on the poster in the Parish Hall, taken by Sammie Wakefield when she was there last fall!

An update on Dinner Bell Set-up procedures: At their meeting this past week, the Parish Life Committee reached the decision that we abandon the practice of assigning the job of setting up of tables, chairs. We recognized that that particular system had become unrealistic. In reality, each Sunday, people who are still around at the end of Coffee Hour have been teaming up and in getting the work done efficiently and with good spirit. So that volunteer effort will become our standard procedure.
This is NOT the responsibility of Chuck, our sexton, so please do not presume that he will attend to it. If one or two "able-bodied" people who are still around after 20-30 minutes of coffee hour socializing time can just start the ball rolling with table set-up, and encourage others to lend a hand with table cloths, salt & peppers, and chairs it be accomplished in short order. There is usually a need for someone to roll silverware packets as well. That can easily be a sit-down job. If you'd like to help with that and don't know the routine, just ask someone who seems to be in the know.
The hospitality that we provide each week to the guests we serve at Dinner Bell is an important ministry of this church. Thank you for your part in it.

Have a good week.

June 3, 2010

The Rev. Charles LaFond, diocesan canon for ministry, meeting with the Vestry and Stewardship Committee on Wednesday for a lively evening of Bible study, conversation and stewardship planning.

This Sunday, June 6th, we will have one service only at 9:00. It will be followed by coffee hour hosted by the Vestry.

 Also this Sunday, at about 10:20, all who are interested are invited to gather for a discussion of the Presiding Bishop's Pastoral Letter issued earlier this week. Click here to jump to it. Printed copies will be available at church. 
    This letter, urging continued dialogue, is a very well-formed, clear, and courageous response to the recent Pentecost Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury in which he expressed serious criticism of the recent consecration of Suffragan Bishop Mary Douglas Glasspool, the church's second openly gay, partnered bishop. 
    I encourage you to read the letter, even if you can't be part of our conversation. She offers some very insightful perspectives, both theological and historical. "We believe that the Spirit is always calling us to greater understanding." [++KJS]

The Women's Lunch Bunch will be meeting at the Lazy Susan Restaurant in Ossipee on Rte 25 east at noon on Wednesday the 9th. All women are welcome.

And in the Good News department: Val and Bill May are thrilled to announce the healthy birth of twin grandsons David and Joseph, born to their daughter Shannon and her husband on Wednesday. There's a wonderful picture of the babies on the Parish Bulletin Board.

And food for thought from Suzanne Guthrie: Suzanne Guthrie raises a question many of us struggle with: What's the point of intercessory prayer? Is intercession magical thinking? Does something actually change somewhere when I pray? Doesn't God know our needs before we ask? What's the use of praying when I can't actually  go actively help? But the questions don't stop her from praying...for loved ones, strangers, even enemies. "Prayer carves a warren of interconnecting passageways into my widening heart," she says. "I give each person a shelter in which to rest before they go on to where The One Who Loves Them has prepared a place. As my heart empties and fills again, my heart of stone breaks  piece by piece to reveal flesh. Praying for others teaches compassion and connection."

See you at church!
Blessings, Heidi+