Wednesday's torrential rainstorm clears across the Ossipee Valley, as viewed from Lakeview Neuro Rehab Center, following the eucharist celebrated there.

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO
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 (, 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!

Blessings, Heidi+

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?)

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley

Thursday MEMO

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]

Another cousin?
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.

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO
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!
Blessings, Heidi+

Do you have an animal companion who is patiently waiting for his blessing?

This is the Sunday!!!

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley

Thursday MEMO
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!

Blessings, Heidi+