Easter in the Church is not simply the day we know as Easter Sunday. The celebration continues as the Great Fifty Days!
Don't miss the Easter Vigil pictures at the bottom of the page.

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO

April 28, 2011

Join us for the Second Sunday of Easter at 9AM on May 1st. Please note: Since this is the first Sunday of the month, we will have ONE service only, followed by coffee hour hosted by the Liturgy Committee. Coffee hour will be followed by our Annual Spring All-Parish Work Day ... more accurately a "work hour". So come in your "scruffies" this Sunday, and bring along your lawn rake, work gloves, or other favorite tools. This is the time to enjoy the spring weather and the companionship of others as we pitch in to prepare our grounds for the coming season. If outside work doesn't appeal to you, there are certainly some indoor chores as well. Window washing, anyone? Plan on being done by noon.

Welcome the Rev. Susan Ackley as guest preacher and presider this Sunday as well! Susan retired last year from her position as rector at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Plymouth and has been a dear friend of mine since our opening week at seminary together in 1996. Susan knows Saint Andrew's well, having been a member here in the 1990s. In fact this was the parish that raised her up and presented her for ordination! So this Sunday will be a homecoming for Susan, and her first opportunity to preside and preach here since she was ordained. She is well known as an excellent preacher and well loved as a pastor and friend. She also has agreed to be part of the clergy team that will provide coverage when I am on my Sabbatical leave in the fall.
I'm sorry I will miss this time. Duane and I will be in Boston with our new granddaughter and her parents on Sunday, and I will be taking some vacation time next week. In the event of a pastoral emergency next week, please call the church office and either Debra or the voice mail message will let you know whom to call.

A word about "The Great Fifty Days" (of Easter): During this period in earlier times, those who had been baptized at the Easter Vigil continued to wear their white garments and were instructed by the Bishop in the "mystogogia" -- the holy mysteries of the Sacraments and rites of the Church. Fasting and penitential acts were suspended and feasting and forgiveness were encouraged. (This is the reason we omit the confession during Eastertide at St. Andrew's.) In today's world it is perhaps difficult to envision sustaining any mode for as long as 50 days, but in our liturgies the burning of the Paschal [Easter] Candle and the singing of joyful music filled with "alleluias" [praise God] invites us to enter a more spacious realm of the heart and soul, and to carry the spirit of resurrection into the rest of our lives.

Abundant thanks to all who worked to faithfully last week preparing and leading our numerous Holy Week and Easter liturgies: Joan Wright, Dale Appleton, and Lisa Thompson -- altar guild members extraordinaire! Bernice for her wonderful and varied organ and piano playing, Duane for his conducting (in Val's absence), and choir members Carol, Jonathan, Ann, Sally, Judy all for their well-worked anthems and their hymn-singing. Thanks, too, to our two new acolytes, Aislinn and Connor, whose serving contributed so much to our Easter liturgy! And thank you to each of you who by your presence, your prayer, your love, your faithfulness, and the joy of your praise because bearers of resurrection promise as winter melted into spring in this place!

Food for thought on the power of liturgy from our friend Ellie McLaughlin+, especially for those preparing to watch the Royal Wedding...

I will get up to watch [the Royal Wedding], in honor of my Grandmother, who roused me to watch Elizabeth II's Coronation ... 

As I will be arguing in my forthcoming book, it is primarily the Church's rituals, which form, re-form and convert us, that lie at the heart and center of the Church's being, by which we participate in God through praise and thanks to our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. Hence, to take part, even in this dis-incarnate technological way, in such a Ritual offered by the Church of England, is a goodly reminder of who we are and what we are to be about. The British 'do' ritual in a particularly splendid and faithful way...but it is not that we 'do' the liturgies of the Church, but what the Liturgies 'do' to and for us that matters, including what we are empowered to be and do in the world when sent forth by the Deacon at the closing of the Eucharist...

May the joy and new life we glimpsed at the Paschal Feast continue to blossom in the coming great Fifty Days!

See you in church.
Pax, Heidi+
More pictures below.

The Exsultet
: "Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels, and let your trumpets shout, 'Salvation' " ....

"In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth....

From deep darkness to bell-ringing and light ...

Alleluia, Christ is risen! the Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO

for Holy Week and Easter

April 21, 2011

With tonight's service we begin the Paschal Triduum -- the Sacred Three Days. While we may be tempted to think of our worship this evening, tomorrow evening, and Saturday as three separate services, it is actually one liturgy in three parts beginning on Maundy Thursday, continuing through Good Friday and culminating with the Great Vigil of Easter.

Maunday Thursday, April 21st, 7 PM: Liturgy of the Day with the giving of a new commandment that we love one another as He has loved us, the washing of each other's feet in response to that commandment, the institution of the Lord's Supper, the stripping of the altar for Good Friday, and the opportunity to keep vigil in front of the reserved sacrament.

Good Friday, April 21st, noon to 2 PM: We offer a simple, very open, service of reflection on the Cross that includes the reading of Psalms and brief scripture, interspersed with periods of time for silent meditation. You are welcome to come and go according to your needs during this two-hour period.
At 2:00 we will walk and pray the liturgy of the Stations of the Cross.

At 7 PM: The Liturgy of the Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. This liturgy, unique to Good Friday, includes readings, hymns, prayers, and anthems, and concludes with communion, using bread and wine consecrated at the Maundy Thursday Rite. We are in the desolate valley of our three-day journey, the valley of the shadow of death.

Holy Saturday: This day is a poignant day for us as Christians and I commend it to you as a time for profound reflection. Christ has died. The resurrection has not yet taken place. We will have consumed even the reserved sacrament at the Good Friday liturgy, so the aumbry is empty. The eucharist is never celebrated during the day on Holy Saturday. In one Orthodox icon, Jesus is pictured standing in the depths reaching down to Adam and Eve -- a symbolic gesture of Jesus touching everything in each of us that has turned away from God -- and lifting them (and us) up through God's liberating power. We will not hold a service during the daytime on Saturday, although the Altar Guild and others will be busy with preparations. However, if you do nothing else on Saturday morning or afternoon, take some quiet time to consider where God has been reaching out to you in your life, lifting you up through that liberating power that is God's alone. I commend to you the very brief liturgy provided on page 283 in the Prayer Book, which includes Job 14:1-14, Psalm 130, 1 Peter 4:1-8, and Matthew 27:57-66, or John 19:38-42.

April 23, 8:00 pm: The Great Vigil of Easter begins outside the church in darkness, as we kindle the new fire of Easter, light the Paschal candle, and carry it in the procession to the church. There we hear the chanted words of the ancient Exsultet (Latin: Rejoice!), with its announcement that God is at work in this mysterious night. The service continues by candlelight with the dramatic stories of salvation history, with at least one "enacted" reading. the highpoint of the Vigil is the proclamation "Alleluia! Christ is risen!" At that moment we move from darkness to light and from solemnity to exuberant joy, accompanying our acclamation with vigorous ringing of bells of any kind!!! So...if you have a portable bell or gong (small or large) please bring it with you to the Vigil. We begin of the Easter feast with the celebration of the first Eucharist of Easter. The fast is over and the feast begins.

April 24, Easter Sunday, 8 and 10 AM: The Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Easter, the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, is the great feast of the Christian year. The 8 o'clock liturgy will be quiet and joyfully reflective. At 10 o'clock we will "pull out all the stops" with organ music, hymns, preaching, celebrating the eucharist, and greeting one another in joy and hope and the words, "The Lord is risen, indeed. Alleluia!”

We hope you can be with us on Easter Day!

Envelopes for the traditional special offering for the church in the Holy Lands, commonly known as "the Good Friday Offering," will be available at all services during Holy Week.

On a personal note...You may recall that last Sunday we prayed for (our daughter-in-law) "Molly as she prepared to give birth." Our son Ben called at seven Sunday evening to announce the birth of Alice Marie Frantzdale! Duane and I spent several wonderful hours on Monday in their Boston hospital room holding this precious new human being who is our granddaughter. So the new life of Easter -- and the giving of thanks that goes with it -- is very real for us this season. Thank you for all your prayers and the good wishes. (And, yes, there are pictures posted on the bulletin board!)

A rainy Palm Sunday led to a jubilant indoor gathering for the Blessing of the Palms. special thanks to Connor, Albert, Melissa, Ronan, and Aislinn for serving as greeters and for distributing the palms! And to all who participated in the Passion Narrative.

Food for thought from JΓΌrgen Moltmann:
Easter is a feast, and it is as the feast of freedom that is is celebrated. For with Easter begins the laughter of the redeemed, the dance of the liberated and the creative play of fantasy. From time immemorial Easter hymns have celebrated the victory of life by laughing at death, mocking at hell, and ridiculing the mighty ones who spread fear and terror around them... Easter is at one and the same time God's protest against death, and the feast of freedom from death. Anyone who fails to hold these two things together has failed to understand the resurrection of the Christ who was crucified.

A blessed Holy Week and Joyous Eastertide to All!

See you in church!
With love and gratitude,
Yes, Friends, the spring peepers have returned, and prime time for their vocalizing is right about the time when our evening services will be ending.

May they be added incentive to join us for evening worship during Holy Week!

Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO

April 14, 2011

This Sunday, April 17, is Palm Sunday: the Sunday of the Passion, with services at 8 and 10 AM. The liturgy for Palm Sunday carries us into Holy Week. Services begin with the reenactment of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the crowds waved palm branches and greeted him as the messianic king. But the mood shifts with the reading of the passion story, and we begin the journey through the events that culminate in Jesus’ crucifixion and death.
Both services will include the blessing and distribution of palms. 8 o'clock will be a simple, quiet liturgy, with no music. The 10 o'clock service will begin in the Parish Hall with Liturgy of the Palms and an outdoor procession that will move us into the church.
Coffee Hour will follow both services. The children of the parish will assist in the distribution of

Reminder: Take your part in seeing to it that our church is abundantly graced with spring flowers for Easter Sunday! Offer flowers in memory, thanksgiving, or honor. Envelopes for your contribution and recognitions are in the pews. You may also phone or email the information (including the dollar amount of your contribution) to the office, and drop your check off when you are next at church. contributions need to be received by Wednesday morning of Holy Week for inclusion in the Easter bulletin. Thank you.

On April 20, Wednesday of Holy Week, at 7 PM we will gather in the church in the context of a simple liturgy for a showing of the film Holding Our Own: Embracing the End of Life. This is the highly acclaimed film that began our Lenten series, Holy Dying: Preparing for a Good Death, which the Wednesday morning participants have declared to be a "must see" for all of us. Join us to view this powerful, poignant and hopeful DVD .

The Paschal Triduum (the Sacred Three Days) is a three-part liturgy which begins on Maundy Thursday, continues through Good Friday and culminates with the Great Vigil of Easter.

April 21, Maundy Thursday, 7:00 pm: Foot Washing, Holy Eucharist of the Last Supper, and the Stripping of the Altar. The church will remain opened until 9 o'clock for meditation on the reserved sacrament..
The Maundy Thursday portion of the Triduum liturgy invites us into the intimacy of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, his loving care for them in the foot-washing, and his self-offering for them in the bread and wine. “Maundy” (Latin: mandatum, ‘command’) refers to the commandment that Jesus gave his disciples to love one another. After the sermon, all are invited to have their feet washed. Those who come forward for foot-washing may then wash the feet of those who come after them, transforming this symbol of service into a sacramental action shared by all. The service continues with the celebration of the Eucharist and the reservation of the sacrament for Good Friday. You are invited to remain in the darkened church in vigil before the reserved sacrament as a way to deepen intimacy with Our Lord.

April 22, Good Friday, noon to 2:00: We offer a simple, very open, service of reflection on the Cross that includes the reading of Psalms and brief scripture, interspersed with periods of time for silent meditation. You are welcome to come and go according to your needs during this two-hour period. At 2:00 we will walk and pray the liturgy of the Stations of the Cross.
At 7 PM: The Liturgy of the Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. This liturgy, unique to Good Friday, includes readings, hymns, prayers, and anthems, and concludes with Communion, using bread and wine consecrated at the Maundy Thursday Rite. We are in the desolate valley of our three-day journey, the valley of the shadow of death.

April 23, The Great Vigil of Easter will begin at 8 PM: The liturgy includes, the kindling of the new fire, the chanting of the Exultet, dramatic Vigil Readings in the darkened church, and the First Eucharist of Easter.

On April 24, Easter Day: the Sunday of the Resurrection, we will have two services: a spoken Rite One liturgy at 8 o'clock, and a full, festive Rite Two liturgy with organ, hymns and choir at 10 o'clock, followed by an Easter Reception.

Readings for this Sunday: Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 26:36-27:66

Food for contemplation:
From Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Our world is a broken place. Despite the black and white desires of absolutist religion, even the best choices we make carry some negative impact. The world is defined by myriad shares of gray. When there is no good choice, we seek the best possible choice on the basis of God's law of love, knowing every choice we make requires God's redemption, and no choice we make is outside God's grace.

May you be blessed by the road we walk together in the coming days.
See you in church!

Peace, Heidi+

Meditation time during last Saturday's Lenten Quiet Day resulted in this labyrinth-in-the-snow atop our stone labyrinth.

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO
April 7, 2011

Services for this coming Sunday, April 10th and the fifth Sunday of Lent, will be at 8 and 10 AM, with coffee hours following both services. We hope you will join us for worship. Easter Flower envelopes are now in the pews. We count on your contributions -- made in memory, in thanksgiving, or in honor -- for our Easter flowers. Flower requests may also be made by emailing the church office [office@standrewsinthevalley.org] and sending a check.

The Rev. John Davies, Sandwich resident and Hospice Chaplain, will be with us from 10:30 to noon on Wednesday as guest resource person for session four of Holy Dying: Preparing for a Good Death. John will bring his wisdom, faith, and many years of experience with dying people and their families to our conversation about what makes for a "good" death. Our discussion will be followed by an informal eucharist at about noon and an opportunity to eat our brown bag lunches together. This is open to all, whether or not you have attended previous sessions. We will meet in the Prince Room.

Many thanks to all who made last Sunday's Music for an April Afternoon concert such success. Our organist, Bernice Thompson, deserves tremendous credit for conceiving of the idea in the first place, recruiting fellow musicians from the area, and -- with Val -- working with the choir, not to mention mastering an impressive and varied repertoire herself. Thanks, too, to all performers, especially our guest musicians, to Carol and Peg for organizing the reception, and to our many guests and parishioners who made up the audience for this lively, much-appreciated, and well-received event. AND...we brought in $600 towards repaying our debt to ourselves for last year's organ repairs. If you have not yet contributed, and would like to, your help would be welcome! We have about $800 yet to go to cover the repair expense. Audio and video clips will be posted later this weekend.

Fragrant loaves of fresh bread were an outward sign of the inner work of communal quiet time at Saturday's Quiet Day, Becoming Bread. Bread making was interspersed with silence as we reflected on what it is to experience God in the ordinariness of the everyday activity.
Thanks to Gretchen for bringing the idea of this mini-retreat to our attention. Two very tasty bread recipes were discovered in the process. If you would like copies, talk to Gretchen.

Reminders as we approach Holy Week:
Palm Sunday is a week from this coming Sunday (April 17th), with services at 8 and 10 AM. Both will include the blessing and distribution of palms. The 10 o'clock liturgy will begin in the Parish Hall for the palm blessings and distribution, followed by an outdoor procession (weather permitting) into the church.
Wednesday evening of Holy Week at 7 PM we will offer a showing of the heartening and hope-filled dvd Holding Our Own in the context of a simple worship service.
The Maundy Thursday liturgy of foot-washing and holy eucharist will begin at 7 PM on April 21st.
Good Friday services will be at noon and 7 PM.

The Great Vigil of Easter will be held at 8 PM on April 23rd, and includes the kindling of the new fire, the lighting of the Paschal Candle, the reading of stories of salvation history, and the jubilant first eucharist of Easter. You say you haven't ever been to an Easter Vigil? Let this be the year! This is considered by many to be the pinnacle of our church year. Don't miss it!
Easter Day we will have services at 8 and 10 AM.

Readings for Sunday: Ezekiel 37:1-14, Psalm 130, Romans 8:6-11, John 11:1-45

See you in church!
Blessings, Heidi+
Winter's not over yet!

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO

April 1, 2011

We will have ONE Service only this coming Sunday, April 3rd, the fourth Sunday of Lent, at 9:00. You may remember that 4th Sunday of Lent -- also known as "Refreshment Sunday," "Mothering Sunday," and "Laetare Sunday" (laetare meaning 'rejoice') -- allows certain relaxations of the penitential observances, a little glimpse of Easter promise before we begin the approach to Palm Sunday and Holy Week. To mark this relaxation of our observances, our Gospel and homily will take the form of a Chancel Drama followed by a "Talk Back" conversation on John 9, the story of the man born blind, the passage appointed for this Sunday. The FUN-Raising Committee will host the coffee hour and provide our "gastronomic refreshment." We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship.

Then return to church at 3 o'clock for our long-awaited Music for an April Afternoon, a concert of instrumental and vocal music (and a bit of poetry) offered by area musicians. This is being offered to the glory of God and in hopes of the greening of Spring(!), for your enjoyment and to help support our organ maintenance fund. Come and bring your friends.

A Reminder from the Treasurer: We depend on your pledges to pay our bills on a weekly basis. Although money has been coming in each week, pledge income is currently about $4,930 less than where our budget needs it to be. Our checking account is dangerously low on funds; we have payroll to meet and bills to be paid.
Pledge payments as of March 27:
Budgeted ..... Received ..... Difference
$30,960 ....... $25,760 ...... ($4,930)

Even if all pledges were up to date, we'd still be in a pinch because the budget the vestry approved for 2011 counts on almost $8,000 in special gifts. To date we have only received $250 (from two households). Through our combined generosity, gradually we will be able to meet that goal over the course of the year. The responsibility belongs to all of us. Special Gift to Operating Budget envelopes are now available with the bulletins. No matter the size, every gift is important and helps our church operate financially, which in turn supports our mission and work as Christ's heart and hands in the world. Thank you!

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 2nd) from 9 to 1, a Lenten Quiet Day will be offered. This morning of prayer and reflection, Becoming Bread, will be focused around the baking of bread. If you would like to attend and have not yet signed up, please call Gretchen at 323-7459 or email Heidi+. We do need to know how many will be attending so that we can be able to provide sufficient supplies.

Our Wednesday morning Lenten series, Holy Dying: Preparing for a Good Death, continues this Wednesday at 10:30 with session four. We will be exploring the Prayer Book material for the end of life and funeral liturgies. Bring your Prayer Book (if you have one) and be thinking ahead about favorite readings and hymns. all are welcome, even if you have not attended the previous sessions. Keep in mind that a planned funeral is a great gift to your family. Let's do that work together. We will close with a simple eucharist at noon, followed by a brown bag lunch for anyone who would like to stay.

Readings for Sunday: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41

Food for thought (and a hint about Saturday's Quiet Day)....

Bread for the journey is no burden.
Russian proverb
Hunger teaches us many things. Irish proverb
You can think as much as you like but you can invent nothing better than bread and salt. Russian proverb
The crop of the field is always rich in hope. Spanish proverb
Live within your harvest. Persian proverb
Bread is relief for all kinds of grief. Spanish proverb
Even crumbs are bread. Danish proverb
God's hand is always opening. Spanish proverb
I am the bread of life. John 6:48

Take nothing for granted and receive much. This changes everything, makes us empty, makes us new, transforms us. All gratitude comes from this: that we truly receive our lives, each other, and the world.

See you in church,
Blessings, Heidi+