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.