Lilacs in full bloom at Saint Andrew's

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley

Thursday MEMO
May 26, 2011

Services for this coming Sunday, May 29th, the Sixth Sunday of Easter and Rogation Sunday, will be at 8 and 10 AM, with coffee hour following each service and child Care available at 10. We hope you will join us for worship.

Summer altar flowers: Thank you to those who have already signed up to provide for altar flowers from your garden this season. Please consider whether you will have flowers to offer -- in memorial, in thanksgiving, or in honor of of someone. If you would like to arrange them yourself, we welcome that; however, if you prefer to just supply the flowers let that be known and we will have someone to arrange them. They need to be on the altar by 7:45 on Sunday morning but can be delivered on Saturday if that is more convenient. The sign-up list is posted on the door to the left of the Parish Bulletin Board.
Thanks go to Gretchen, Betsy, Jenny, and Lynne for their contributions of flowers during May.

Consider joining us on Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the church for a service of Evening Prayer. A small congregation gathers monthly for Evening Prayer in advance of the meeting of the Liturgy Committee, but the service is open to all.

Reading for Sunday: Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 66:7-18, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21

The June Lakes Region Convocation Meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 7th, at Saint Andrew's. Anyone who is interested is invited to come for a forum presented by the Diocesan Bishop Search Committee. They will be bringing us in on the details of how the search process will proceed and how you can participate in that process. The hopes and opinions shared in this and other forums around the diocese will assist in the creation of our diocesan profile.The business meeting begins at 7 PM, with the special presentation starting at bout 7:30, but you are welcome to any time after 6:30 to enjoy refreshments and sociability before the meeting begins.

A bit of history and explanation of Rogation Days: Rogation Days are prescribed special days of prayer which, on our calendar, are associated with the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day (the Thursday before the 7th Sunday of Easter). The word "rogation" comes from the Latin rogare, to ask, and these days have long been associate with intercessions for the harvest -- particularly for preservation of the crops from mildew! An injunction in 1559 by Queen Elizabeth I ordered the perambulation of the boundaries of each parish during "Rogationtide." I've often thought it might be interesting to organize such a "perambulation," but it would be a significant hike, since the bounds of our parish extend to the bounds of the adjacent Episcopal churches, which would mean walking the line between us and Wolfeboro, Meredith, Ashland, North Conway, and our nearest Episcopal Church neighbor in Maine! But the black flies are fierce this year, so such a walk is not in the plans!

I do encourage you to find a breezy moment when the black flies are at bay, to go out into your own neighborhood, fields, gardens, to immerse yourself in gratitude for the beauty and richness of the world around us and pray the following collect for Rogation Days:

Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth: We humbly pray that your gracious providence may give and preserve to out use the harvests of the land and of the seas, and may prosper all who labor to gather them, that we, who are constantly receiving good things from you hand, may always give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Psalm appointed for Rogation Day is 147.
Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God!

Blessings in this season of abundant new life!
See you in church.

Saint Andrew's-in-the Valley

"Thursday MEMO"
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Services for this coming Sunday, May 22nd and the Fifth Sunday of Easter, will be at 8 and 10, with coffee hour following both services and child care available at 10.

We have now entered into the "Garden Flowers as Altar Flowers" season. If you have blossoms (or greens) that you would like to offer for our altar, please make it known by signing up on the flower chart which is posted in the Parish Hall on the closet door to the left of our parish bulletin board and by filing out an information form which should then be left on Debra's desk in the office. While not necessary, please consider offering them with a special intention -- in memory, in thanksgiving, or in honor of someone or some event. Many thanks for enriching our worship in this simple and beautiful way!

As food for thought and action, I offer the following message from Bonnie Anderson, President of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies...

I went to Capitol Hill to talk with legislators last week, and came away with the first two lines of William Cowper's famous hymn running through my mind: "God moves in a mysterious way; His wonders to perform."

The Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations scheduled seven meetings for me with legislators and legislative staff. I wanted to talk about poverty and women's issues, but found that all that the legislators and their staffs wanted to talk about was the 2012 federal budget. As it turned out, however, our interests were one and the same; many of the programs that affect the most vulnerable Americans-the poor, women, children, and the elderly-are encompassed in approximately three trillion dollars worth of cuts that the House of Representatives proposes to make over the next 10 years in programs that help low-income individuals and their families.

In March, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church passed a resolution that "urges all Episcopalians in the United States to engage in advocacy for a responsible federal budget that expresses the shared moral priorities of the nation." After my visits on Capitol Hill, I am more committed to this work than ever, and hope you will consider joining me. We have a significant moral priority as Episcopalians, as Christians, to bear witness on behalf of the poor, the vulnerable, and the marginalized. The baptismal promise to strive for justice and peace among all people makes the choice between cutting programs for the poor and elderly or raising taxes an easy one.

Consider that the House Budget Committee's FY2012 budget resolution would make at least two-thirds of its cuts from low-income programs, including a 20% reduction in Medicaid, a nearly 19% reduction in education programs, and devastating reductions in food stamps and housing assistance. It would also eliminate funding for health care reform provisions, thereby keeping health insurance out of reach for millions of people.

It is tempting to believe that a church with our membership cannot influence the course of legislation. Those who disagree with our political choices say so all of the time. But last week a legislative assistant told me that he loves it when faith-based organizations come to Capitol Hill. "It brings us good luck," he said. Well, I don't think it is luck. I think that what the Episcopal Church and other faith-based organizations bring is moral courage. We reinforce the notion that it is essential to speak up with passion and commitment for all of those neighbors whom we, as followers of Jesus, promise to love as deeply as we love ourselves. Three of the people I met with on the Hill spoke to me about their faith, and one was a preacher's son.
I saw a lot of people with heart in those Capitol Hill offices, but they need encouragement. I met people who are bringing all that they are, and giving everything they've got, to the task at hand. They need to see the rest of us doing the same. The soul of America is at stake in this budget. The People of God need to speak up, now.

The Episcopal Church gives us a way to lift our voices on Capitol Hill. The Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPM), a program of the church's Office of Government Relations, will connect you via email to your legislators in Washington and keep you updated on the federal budget and other issues on which our General Convention and Executive Council have taken a stand. To take action on the budget visit EPPN now at: You will find a sample letter and an "action page" that make it easy to contact your legislators. EPPN has also compiled additional resources about the budget and Episcopal Church policies. Please join me in this advocacy.

While I was in Washington, I visited my own Congressional representative from Michigan's ninth district. He told me that the budget is the most important concern on the Hill right now, and that all of the other issues in which I am interested, like the education and women's issues, are "somewhat on hold." Some of those issues hang in the budget balance, and others won't see the light of a legislative day until Congress has resolved the budget and moves on to other matters.

We have, in this budget debate, a huge dilemma, and one that in which I believe God is mysteriously moving. Right now, a big dose of God's wonder is just what Capitol Hill needs, and our prayers and voices can help deliver it.

My question for each of us is ... How might we as a parish support each other in advocacy for a responsible federal budget that expresses the moral priorities that we as followers of Jesus are called to support? How might this dove-tail with our commitments to social justice and mission outreach? Let's talk!

See you in church!
The buds on our flowering cherry are about to burst!
Don't miss them on Sunday.

Saint Andrew’s-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO
May 12, 2011

Services for this coming Sunday, May 15th and the Fourth Sunday of Easter, will be at 8 and 10, with coffee hour following each service. The Fourth Sunday of Easter is often referred to as "Good Shepherd Sunday," since the Gospel is always taken from John 10 which is full of rich imagery of Jesus as the shepherd who cares for his sheep.

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name and follow where he leads; who lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Some urgent projects: Remember the metaphor of the beehive from our fall stewardship drive? A healthy hive depends on each bee taking its part in the work of the community. Duane will be pulling together several small work teams for some projects in the 2-8 hour range. If you're interested (or at least willing), please let him know at church, or email him at

The list is varied enough to accommodate help of both genders, various abilities, and all ages.
The projects include: (1) patching the front walk, (2) installing foam board under the "stage" area to block off musty air from the basement, (3) a carpentry project to smooth out the steep part of the interior ramp (near the stage) and install more handrails there, (4) possibly some landscaping around the outdoor ramp to the parish hall, to reduce the risk of someone stepping off the edge, and eventually some preparation for insulation work.

Thanks to all of you who have helped out in the past. We rely on volunteers doing what we can in order to make our “maintenance and repairs” funds cover as much as possible.
Readings for Sunday: Acts 2:42-47, Psalm 23, 1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10

Food for thought from poet Mary Oliver as we are awakened ever earlier by birdsong and light...

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning

and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips

and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the

miserable and the crotchety --

best preacher that ever was,

dear star, that just happens

to be where you are in the universe

to keep us from ever-darkness,

to ease with warm touching,

to hold us in the great hands of light --

good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day

in happiness and kindness.
from "Why I Wake Early," 2004

See you in church!
Eastertide blessings,

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO
May 5, 2011

Services for this coming Sunday, May 8th, the third Sunday of Easter, and Mothers' Day, will be at 8 and 10 AM
with coffee hours following both services. We hope you will join us for worship as Eastertide continues.

All are invited to attend the May Mission Center Day Eucharist on Wednesday, May 18th, at 12:10 at Trinity Church, Meredith. Bishop Gene Robinson will preside and preach and be available for informal conversation following the service. Mission Center Days are set up by the Diocese at a central location within each Convocation as a way for church members to have more frequent contact with our bishop than is possible with his biennial parish visits. Trinity church in on the left on route 25 as one heads down the hill into Meredith.

Thank you to those of you who participated in the Spring Clean-up Day last Sunday.
I was out of town, and have been taking a few days of vacation this week, but I understand some serous lawn raking got done! If you were not able to lend a hand last week, and are willing to offer an hour or two during the week, let us know on Sunday and we'll set you up with something -- either outdoors or indoors. Your choice.

Readings for Sunday: Acts 2:14a, 36-41, Psalm 116: 1-3, 10-17, 1 Peter 1: 17-23, Luke 24:13-35

Food for thought and prayer:
The capture and killing of Osama bin Ladin earlier this week has occupied the attention of news media and the hearts, minds and emotions of many around the world. I offer you the following prayers for reflection, passed along by a colleague in our Eastern Slopes ecumenical clergy network.

A Prayer for Friends and Enemies

by Safiyah Fosua

"But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who abuse you." (Luke 6:27, NRSV)

God of our silent tears, for nine weary years we have longed for justice for the families of thousands who died on 9/11 at the hands of terrorists. As the world reels with the news of the death of a mass murderer, remind us of these words of Jesus, "Bless those who curse you and pray for those who abuse you," lest we be tempted to gloat or revile.

Remind us that we are all dust, and remind us that even this man was once a child of his community.

We join the thousands of families affected by terrorism as they mourn anew seeking resolution and consolation.

We join the world community in prayer for world peace.

We look forward to a day when people everywhere will be free to dwell under their own vines and fig trees and study war no more. Amen

* * * * *

Where does Pain Go?

by Safiyah Fosua
Written the day after the death of Osama bin Laden

It was easier

to assuage Pain and Sorrow

by focusing all our thoughts

on finding the one(s) who robbed us of the fellowship of family and friends.
It was,

in a strange way,

easier to cuddle with Anger,

and to delay Grief altogether
while we curdled our stomachs with Hate.
But where does Pain go

when the one most hated is gone,

along with many of his fellows?


Osama is gone;

and we are left with Tears,

the messenger of Grief,

reminding us

that we never tasted deeply enough of her bitter brew

to walk away from her table.


give us enough faith

to dismiss Hate and Anger

while we summon the strength

to drink enough of Grief's cup

to push it away.

And so we pray:

Jesus, risen,

Conqueror of Death,

heal us.

Jesus, risen,

Great High Priest,

hear our cries as prayer.

Jesus, risen,

Redeemer of the World,
deliver us from temptation.

Jesus, risen,

Judge of living and dead,

have mercy upon us and all whom you have made.

Jesus, risen,

Prince of Peace,

show us the path of Life and Peace.

See you in church!