July 30, 2015

Wedding altar flowers
by Lisa

 We will have ONE service only this coming Sunday, August 2nd and the 10th Sunday after Pentecost. The service will be followed by Coffee Hour at the Rectory at 247 Pound Road in Madison (603-367-8220). We hope you will join us for this annual relaxed social time. Beverages and breakfast casserole will be provided. If you’d like to bring something for the table, it would be most welcome. 10:30 to noon.

Our house has a ramped entrance (wheelchair accessible). If walking is a challenge, please park in the driveway or the side-spur, or have someone drop you near the house. Most parking should be along Pound Road. The road is narrow, so please park in the downhill direction (same side as our house). That’s most easily accomplished by driving past out house and the next two houses and turning around in Ox Pasture Lane so that you are headed down hill.

Are you coming? Have you invited or encouraged someone to join you?
Do you have your ticket?

Our Lobster/Steak Dinner is just days away
(August 7)! Tickets must be purchased by Sunday so that we can order our lobsters and steaks accurately!
In addition, we are in urgent need of some additional help with set-up and clean-up, and a few more people to make a batch or two of blueberry buckle (recipe to be provided).
 In Tamworth Saturday morning? Duane invites you to stop by the Cook Library to take in his exhibit of 20+ photos of Barnstormers plays. It seems that they'll stay up well into August. In particular, you're invited to stop by this Saturday morning, Aug. 1, starting at 10:30 to chat with Duane about the photos. A guided tour of them will start at 11 a.m.
The library is open Mon 10-2, Tues & Wed 10-8, Fri 10-5, and Sat 10-4.
  Last weekend was a wonderful reflection of our parish community. Saturday morning Bobby-Lu Ellis and Lil LaRose pledged themselves to each other in a joyous celebration of Holy Matrimony. In the afternoon almost 100 friends, family, and parishioners gathered to celebrate the life of Karl Svendsen.
Special thanks go to many: to Sally DeGroot for organizing the reception and for valiantly dealing with clean-up as well; to so many of you who provided delicious food for the table and a warm welcome to the wider community; to Gretchen’s EFM friend Patty Carter, who served as torch-bearer; to Dale for the flowers for Karl’s service and to Lisa for the wedding altar flowers which graced the altar for Sunday as well; to Vestry members who responded to the call to make our church home ready for so many visitors; and to our faithful altar guild team who handled a very liturgically full weekend. Thanks, too, to Cathie Lewis for hosting the post-coffee hour conversation about General Convention!
Food for thought from the Rector…

The Rector’s schedule next week: Back in the spring I agreed to serve as a volunteer chaplain to five-day “Victorian Camp for Girls,” to be led by Tamworth educator Richard Posner. Why do they need a chaplain, you ask? These five days are to be an immersion program for 8 to 14 year-olds, exploring what life would have been like if they were to have come up to this region (by train from lower New England and New York) in the late 1800s with their families as summer visitors. There’s also a segment on what life was like for local girls who often served as summer servants. What would they have done with their time (in the absence of internet and cell phones)? What would it have been like to explore these woods and mountain in long dresses and sun hats? What might they have written in their journals, painted with their water colors, drawn with their pens? What natural encounters would have inspired poetry? What spiritual and religious understandings would they have had? What social and class understandings? What questions would all these girls and young women be asking?
View from Mount Willard, one of next week's camp destinations 
Since a religious foundation (most likely Christian and often as young Episcopalians) would have been central to their culture and experience, and might very likely be less so with these girls today, it seemed to me that a chaplain might offer some important understandings. It also responds to one of my own desires, as well as the Vestry’s desire: for me to spend some significant time with people in the area who are not currently church-goers – listening to their lives and their stories, and getting to know each other. I’m sure I’ll come back with some stories! And if you encounter a troop of young women with chaperone and chaplain, dressed in a semblance of Victorian dress, your will know the story!
Though I will be out of the office from 9 to 3, this will be a “work week” for me. Deb will be out of the office on Tues morning (Aug 4th) but in for the remainder of the week, in the mornings as usual, and I will check in mid-afternoon, attending to church business in the latter afternoons and evenings. If you would like to reach me Tuesday through Friday next week, feel free to call me home (367-8220) and leave a message. I will return your call in the evening.
And in the spirit of the era of this next week’s venture of mine, these two poems …
by Emily Dickinson
It’s all I have to bring today –
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
But sure you count – should I forget –
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
A slash of Blue –
A sweep of Gray –
Some scarlet patches on the way,
Compose an Evening Sky –
A little purple – slipped between –
Some Ruby Trousers hurried on –
A Wave of Gold –
A Bank of Day –
This just makes out the Morning Sky.
Blessings in this heat of summer…
and even if you’re not part of the Victorian Camp for Girls, why not put pen or brush to paper and reflect on God’s presence in your life here and now?
See you in church,

July 23, 2015

Services for this coming Sunday, July 26th and the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, will be at 8 and 10 am with coffee hours following both services.
     This Sunday at about 11:20 you are invited to bring your coffee and gather with Cathie Lewis, our alternate deputy to General Convention to hear about that important triennial decision-making gathering of the Episcopal Church that took place several weeks ago in Salt Lake City. Cathie will share some reflections on her time there and bring us up to speed on some of the important issues under discussion and resolutions.

 We had a lively, full church last Sunday for worship and fellowship.
Readings for this coming Sunday:  2 Samuel 11:1-15. Psalm 14. The continuation of the story in 2 Samuel will serve as our second reading, 2 Samuel 11:26–12:13a.  (We will omit the reading from Ephesians 3:14-21.) John 6:1-21. 
View from the Behr’s field in Wonalancet
 A memorial liturgy in Celebration of the Life of Karl Svendsen (husband of Gretchen Behr-Svendsen) will be held at the church at 3 o’clock, followed by a reception, this Saturday afternoon (July25). Karl died last week and private committal service was held on Behr family land in Wonalancet.
Also this Saturday, at 11 o’clock in the morning, the wedding of Lil DeRose and Bobby-Lu Ellis. Lil and Bobby-Lu are new to the parish and welcome members of the parish to join with their family and friends as they exchange their marriage vows.
The Rector’s Annual Coffee Hour Brunch Open House will be held next Sunday, August 2nd immediately following the single 9 AM service at 247 Pound Rd, Madison.  You are invited to bring something for the brunch table. (Directions will be available next Sunday)  Please join us for a time of relaxed sociability and fellowship.             
Tickets are going fast for our Lobster/Steak Dinner on August 7th. The deadline for purchasing tickets is next Sunday, August 2nd. Price it is $30 ($5 for a children’s hotdog meal). The FUN-Raising Committee depends on members of the parish to lend a hand with set-up, clean-up, ticket-taking, and blueberry-buckle-making! Please sign up or talk to Carol or Sally.

Food for thought from the Rector….
On sacramental life events… Not only are all services of the church public and open to anyone, but the presence of members of a parish at baptisms, weddings, and funerals actually is vitally important both to the life of the church and to the family for whom the event is central. Especially in our increasingly secularized world, it is common that many of the invited guest and friends of the family are no longer – or have never been – church-goers. These sacramental events serve as an often rare opportunity from people to experience the power of prayer, liturgy, and Christian community. More than a few of our loyal and regular members in this parish are here because they were touched by God through the Holy Spirit when they came here as a guest at a wedding or a funeral and realized this church had something important to offer them and where their presence was welcomed and valued.
     While funerals are generally considered to be open and public events, the truth is that church weddings are as well! The presence of members of the parish (even if they hardly even know the wedding couple) is a powerful witness to what it means to be members of the body of Christ and a profound way of indicating to the couple and their families that they are also an import gift to our shared life.
Peace and blessings,

July, 16, 2015

Flowers given in loving memory of Carol & George E. Smith
by Jeannette & Russell Mead and Muffy Smith
Services for this coming Sunday, July 19th and the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, will be at 8 and 10, with coffee hours following both services. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship.
Readings for this coming Sunday:  2 Samuel 7:1-14a, Psalm 89, Ephesians 2:11-22, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56.           
Karl, with Gretchen, his grandchildren, and his daughter Nancy,
taken when they visited from Alaska in 2007.
Karl Svendsen died very peacefully surrounded by Gretchen and three of us in the midst of Morning Prayer in the living-room of their home on Wednesday. It was a blessed and gentle passing following an aggressive stroke ten days ago. He will be interred in the Behr family cemetery in a private committal service. A liturgy in celebration of his life will take place at the church, the date and time of which is yet to be arranged. If you would like to send cards or notes to Gretchen, her mailing address is PO Box 39, Tamworth 03886. (Yesterday’s email mistakenly provided the actual street address.)

You don’t want to miss the fun!
 Tickets are going fast for our Lobster/Steak Dinner on August 7th. I apologize for the confusion on the ticket price; it is $30 ($5 for a children’s hotdog meal). The FUN-Raising Committee would like your help in posting fliers the accurate price information on them, so please pick up corrected fliers on Sunday and replace those that are in error.
       While the chief cooks are the DeGroot’s and their good (and very generous friends) Jay and Yvonne Ramsey, the committee depends on members of the parish to lend a hand with set-up, clean-up, ticket-taking, and blueberry-buckle-making! Please sign up or talk to Carol or Sally.
An opportunity to enjoy the work of our parish photographer, Duane Dale, through the end of July. Stop by the Cook Library in Tamworth village any time the library is open to enjoy his exhibit “Summer Nights at the Barnstormers” – a wonderful collection of his photographs of shows taken over the past several summers.
Food for thought by Br. David Vryhof  (posted today from “Brother, Give Us a Word”), and particularly relevant as we have been walking with Karl and Gretchen and will continue to companion her and each other in the days and weeks ahead…
God does not stand outside our pain but within it, as a Companion, holding us in his arms and sharing in our grief and loss. Indeed, God has shared our suffering and knows our grief. We are not alone.
With love,

July 9, 2015

Thank you, Carolyn & Chris Boldt
Services for this coming Sunday, July 12th and the 7th Sunday after Pentecost will be at 8 and 10 o’clock with coffee hours following both services. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship.
Readings for Sunday: 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Psalm 24, Ephesians 1:3-14, Mark 6:14-29
Have you put the Lobster/Steak Dinner on your calendar? Please do, and invite your friends as well! The date is August 7. Tickets need to be purchased in advance. We also would like your help distributing fliers to local bulletin boards … or put one in your car window. They are on the stand near the kitchen in the Parish Hall.
A recommendation: “Good People,” now playing at the Barnstormers Theatre. In many ways, this week’s show at the Barnstormers says a lot about listening – especially about listening to the difficult aspects of people’s lives. It’s full of humor, very human, and also very thought-provoking. As we Episcopalians learn to rise to the challenge that is being put forward to all of us in the wider church of really paying attention to the lives of people we might not otherwise be in contact with, this production is worth listening to. It’s a great mix of entertaining comedy, good theatrical drama, wonderful characters and engaging acting! It might also prompt a bit of soul-searching. The setting: South Boston and Chestnut Hill. NY Drama Critics’ Award for best play of 2010-2011. How ‘bout using it as a coffee hour conversation starter?
 View of the mountains from Lakeview Neuro Rehab Center

Food for thought and prayer…
Since my arrival here at Saint Andrew’s in 2004 I have been serving as chaplain to the residents and staff at Lakeview Neuro Rehab Center in Effingham, gathering a group of 6 to 12 clients (and usually a staff person or two) for a simple eucharist twice a month. Many are among the most faithful and eager church-goers I’ve ever known! They sing with terrific enthusiasm, accompanied by shaker eggs and two buffalo drums. Their prayers are heartfelt, their reflections and questions often insightful, they often show deep concern and tenderness towards each other an me, and virtually every time someone appreciates how tasty the bread is and wants to know who baked it! (Thanks regularly get relayed to Joan Wright and George Rau.)
Please keep all of them – the former and the few remaining clients, as well as the staff of Lakeview – in your prayers. This is an especially challenging time for everyone, as each day long-time clients are transferred to other facilities around the country, the staff has been dwindling, and those remaining have been given notice. The facility is officially to close by August 1st. For all the difficulties, which I’m sure you have read about in local papers, there are many deeply caring, hard-working and faithful care-providers there who are now working under poignant and considerable pressure and generally low moral as they say goodbye to clients some of whom they have worked with for many years as they worry about their own futures. The clients, most who have difficulty understanding anything as complex as why this closing is deemed necessary, are anxious and uncertain about their futures.
My prayer is that new and suitable facilities are found for each of them where their needs will be compassionately and safely met, where staff and friends are able to see and appreciate their many gifts even in the face of their struggles, and that they continue to know their belovedness before God. This has been deeply rewarding ministry for me. I always leave with my heart uplifted, and they will always have a special place in my heart, for which I give great thanks to God.

I hope to see you in church!
Blessings, Heidi+

July 2, 2015

Since it will be the first Sunday of the month, this coming Sunday, July 5 and the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost we will have ONE service only – at 9 AM –. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship. The coffee hour will be hosted by the Finance & Stewardship Committees.
The readings for this Sunday are: 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10, Psalm 48, 2 Corinthians 12:2-10, Mark 6:1-13.
Women’s Lunch Bunch will meet this Wednesday, July 8, at noon at the Mountain View Station Restaurant in Center Ossipee. This is an open group and invitation extends to all women in the parish and guests from outside the parish as well. If you have questions or need a ride, please call Dale Appleton at 539-3761.
Village Harmony Concert by the Teen World Music Ensemble at the Tamworth congregational Church on Sunday, July 5th at 7:30 pm. The 27 sparkling young singers and instrumentalists will be performing traditional music from Ukraine, the Balkans and Lithuania, American Appalachian and shape-note songs and new compositions. Treat yourself to a fun concert of wonderfully spirited singing.
Altar Flowers don’t have to be complicated to be beautiful. Do you have garden flowers on summer greens that you’d like to share? Please give Gretchen a call at 323-7459.
The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church wraps up on Friday, having accomplished much. When Cathie Lewis (alternate deputy) returns, we will have an opportunity to gather following a service later this month to hear details form her perspective.
In the meantime, this report just in  (8:15 pm, Wednesday) from friend-of-the-parish Cindy Barnes who is also at Convention: House of Deputies just concurred with the House of Bishops on the marriage resolutions, providing inclusive marriage liturgies in line with last week’s Supreme Court decision on Marriage Equality. The measure passed by an overwhelming margin in the House of Deputies, the voting body of clergy and lay people at the meeting. The day before, the House of Bishops had approved the resolution, 129-26 with five abstaining.
Click here for a fuller story: http://www.deputynews.org/deputy-votes-provide-for-same-sex-marriage-in-the-episcopal-church/ Sacramental marriage is now available to all in the Episcopal Church, the result of many years of faithful listening, understanding, determination, and lived experience!
Copies of the July issue of Episcopal Journal are on the table in the Parish Hall. If you do not have a subscription, help yourself to one of them. Subscription information is on the inside cover. The Episcopal Church has made a commitment to continue to provide “hard copy” news in addition to its on-line news service posts.
Mark your calendars! Our Annual Lobster & Steak Dinner will be held on Friday, August 7th. Fliers for posting will be available on Sunday. Please help the FUN-Raising committee by taking a few to put up on your local bulletin boards. Thanks.
Food for thought from General Convention on The Five Marks of Mission…
and how to put them to work at home – were the topic of discussion for deputies and bishops at a morning joint session in the House of Deputies on June 30.
Developed by the Anglican Consultative Council between 1984 and 1990, the Five Marks “are summed up in the image of pursuing God’s kingdom here on Earth as it is in heaven,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in her opening remarks.
The Five Marks of Mission are:
1.To proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God.
2. To teach, baptize and nurture new believers.
3. To respond to human need by loving service.
4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the Earth.
“All of God’s mission in which we are engaged is done in a particular, incarnate context,” Jefferts Schori said. “We can’t do this in theory. We do it personally through our own interactions, our own relationships, our own stewardship, our own reconciliation, our own ministry in the world. These Five Marks of Mission are a summary of what it means to be a Christian in the world.”
In the hour-long conversation period that followed, brief videos introduced the Five Marks, one by one, and after each video, deputations engaged in conversation, using a set of questions related to each Mark, such as: How are we proclaiming the Good News to different demographic groups? How do our current diocesan structures enhance or impede our proclamation? What is the relationship between outreach and evangelism? How can people see Jesus in our work of caring for the earth?
“My encouragement to you is that you think about how you are going to take what you’ve learned here at convention home and put it to work in your own contexts, in your own particular places that need healing and reconciliation,” Jefferts Schori said.
What do you think? How are we doing here at Saint Andrew’s-in-the-Valley? What are our next steps? What part might you play? Let’s talk!

See you in church!
Blessings,  Heidi+