September 10, 2015

There will be services at 8 and 10 this coming Sunday, the 13th of September, with a coffee hour following each service. We hope you will join us for join us for worship and fellowship.
Readings: Proverbs 1:20-33, Psalm 19, James 3:1-12, Mark 8:27-38.
The Church World Service CROP Walk coming up: Please support walkers who are looking for sponsors during Coffee Hour and consider walking yourself. The walk is scheduled for Sunday, October 25th. Gretchen Behr-Svendsen is our contact person.
Our Annual Harvesting Party will take place a week from Saturday – on September 19th, beginning at 9 AM! This is the event at which we harvest the gourds and squashes that Gretchen planted in May, wash them down, and prep them for sale at our booth at the Sandwich Fair. [See last week’s MEMO for more details.]
Calling all bakers!!! It’s Sandwich Fair prep time! If you’re willing to help with some baking, please call Chris Mills at 603-452-4049 or email at She has a standard recipes to share for the whoopee pies and I will provide more details to anyone who calls or emails. Make some now and freeze them, or commit now to baking later and have us count on you! Thanks. 
Contacting Elizabeth Wiesner. Elizabeth is now at Epsom Manor, 901 Suncook Valley Highway, Epsom, NH 03234. She can be reached at her cell number: 603-520-4220. She continues to be grateful for the cards, prayers, and messages from the parish. She expects to return home on September 22 to continue her recuperation.

Food for thought from the Rector on Green Burials and Home Burials... 
What are they? And an opportunity to learn.
At the time of Karl Svendsen’s death in July, many of you became aware of the concept of what has become known as a “green” burial. Very briefly, green burials represent a return to the very traditional burial practices of our forebears, before the days of funeral homes, when deaths took place at home and the family and close friends were present for the person’s passing, and were involved in tending to the body at home, building the coffin, and ultimately interring the body without embalming, so that the earth itself is not chemically polluted. It offers an intimate and tender approach to the death of a loved one.
Even if all aspects of a green burial may not be a preference for you personally, it may well be that some (or many) aspects of it might be. For Christians in our tradition, a funeral may be held in the church one to three days after the death, followed immediately by the graveside committal service, or the order may be reversed – with the body interred with a brief graveside liturgy a day or two after the death and a funeral/memorial service following at a somewhat later date.
Saint Andrew’s has been privileged to be involved with two such deaths and burials – that of Peter Booty (son of Kitty Lou and John, brother of Jane Booty Horn, and husband of Diane Decker Booty) several years ago, and that of Karl Svendsen (husband of Gretchen Behr-Svendsen) this past July.
Gretchen and Diane will be teaming up Julie Lanoie, a hospice coordinator and local green burial educator and support person, for a two-part presentation next Wednesday, September 16th, at 7 at the Cook Library. The first session will focus on several local people sharing their experiences, their reasons for choosing home burials, and how caring for their own helped them with the grieving process, etc. The second session, on September 30th, also at 7 pm, will focus on the "how-to" details, supported by photos that clearly demonstrate the process of moving, preparing burial site, etc. I am sure that explanation of legalities (yes, it’s legal) and the necessary specifics of permitting regulations will also be discussed.
I expect that most of us in this parish grew up with a sense that the process around death and burial was a topic of discussion and inquiry that was to be avoided as best as possible. Of course none of us can possibly avoid it completely, but within a relatively few generations what was at one time considered a normal and necessary part of life has been “handed over to the professionals” (i.e. funeral homes and the burial industry), and a myth has been perpetuated that grieving family members should be relieved of contact as quickly as possible with someone who has died, lest the presence of the body be too upsetting. Furthermore, in our culture we’ve been persuaded that the expensive services offered by funeral homes are somehow necessary indications of our love and respect! Thanks in part to the Hospice movement, we are learning to befriend death, and we are coming to realize something very important is lost from the grieving process when the body is immediately whisked away.
There is power and comfort in being aware of alternatives, and the best time to give serious thought to such things is when you are still alive and thinking clearly! Even if you think you have absolutely no personal interest in a “home” or “green” burial, I encourage you to push past any hesitations you might have and come to these presentations! As a community of faith, we owe it not only to ourselves but also to each other. Afterall…
None of us has life in himself,
and none becomes his own master when he dies.
For if we have life, we are alive in the Lord,
and if we die, we die in the Lord.
So, then, whether we live or die,
we are the Lord’s possession.
Romans 14:7-8 and the Burial Office, BCP p. 491

We're familiar with the adage, "It takes a village to raise a child." It may also takes a parish family to companion a person and his or her family in a holy death and burial.
See you in church,
Blessings, Heidi+