April 28, 2016

Thursday MEMO 

Tuesday, April 16
Wednesday, April 17
What a difference a day makes!!!
There will be ONE service only – at 9 AM –this coming Sunday, May 1st. The Sixth Sunday of Easter is also known as Rogation Sunday (the time for asking God’s blessing on the newly planted crops) and as such is an appropriate day for our Annual Spring Outdoor Clean-up. We hope you will join us for worship, fellowship, and some clean-up work. 
Please feel free to come in your comfortable work clothes and bring gloves, lawn rakes, garden tools, and/or other supplies that might be useful for this spring clean-up. 
Coffee Hour will be hosted by the Liturgy Committee, with some additional contributions by willing volunteers, so that we can be well fueled for our work together. If you can’t be with us on Sunday and want to put in an hour or two at some other time, David has posted a jobs list in the Parish Hall.

The Readings for Sunday: Acts 16:9-15, Psalm 67, Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5.

Ascension Day, one of the principal feasts of the Church year, is officially observed on the Thursday following the Sixth Sunday of Easter. We will be celebrating a day early, next Wednesday morning, May 4th at 9 AM with a service of Holy Eucharist in place of our regular service of Morning Prayer. Once again, as has become our practice for mid-week eucharists, we will use the chancel as our chapel. Please join us as we worship in the round!

Hops & Hymns @ Hobbs at 6:30 pm on Monday, May 2 – hymn singing together with folks from other area churches. Order a burger or a beer or dessert and have some fun with old friends and new! There will be a group of us from Saint Andrew’s, with plenty of room for more.

Rest in peace, Bill Hagerup. Bill died suddenly, though not unexpectedly, at home in the presence of his beloved wife Marge on Monday, April 25th. His life will be celebrated here at Saint Andrew’s on Saturday, May 14 at 11 AM with a reception following at the home of their son in Moultonboro.
Letters of condolence may be sent to Marge at 37 Kingsman Drive, Laconia NH 03246. Please keep Marge and their family in your prayers.

Planning ahead… 

Women’s Lunch Bunch will meet on Wednesday, May 11. This will be held at the Rectory (247 Pound Road, Madison) This is a pot-luck meal, so you’re invited to bring something for our luncheon table.

Our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Rob Hirschfeld, will be joining us for a special service on Confirmation on Tuesday, May 17, at 6:30 PM. Sarah Huckman and Aislinn Hird will be confirmed, and Ann Albrecht and Audrey Berry will be received into this branch of Christ’s church. Please keep the four of them in your prayers as they prepare to reaffirm their baptismal vows and plan to support them with your presence that evening. The service will be followed by a simple reception in the Prince Room.

The Feast of Pentecost is Sunday, May 15th. Remember to wear Red!

Food for thought in this continuing Easter season from Br. James Koester, SSJE …
When we gaze at our world with eyes of love we can behold life emerging from death and glory bursting forth from despair and in so doing turn our world upside-down. When we see not limitations but worlds of possibilities, we begin to see that same world redeemed and transformed by God where all things and anything is possible.

Blessings and love,

April 21, 2016

Thursday MEMO

Thanking Chris Mills, our indomitable playwright and director
Don't miss the Gallery of pictures below from The Dis-Oriented Express !

Services for this coming Sunday, April 24th and the 5th Sunday of Easter, will be at 8 and 10 AM, with a coffee hour following each service. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship. This will be Janet Palmer’s last official Sunday as our Child Care Provider. Be sure you are there to sign a card expressing our gratitude for her many years of warm and gentle service to the parish.

Readings for Sunday: Acts 11:1-18, Psalm 148, Revelation 21:1-6, John 13:31-35

It is with sadness I share with you the news of the death of Andrea Dassori on Monday, April 18th. Andrea had been living valiantly with a brain cancer, and died peacefully and not unexpectedly at home in the presence of her husband Davis and her good friend Nina, a frequent visitor with them here.
Andrea and Davis have been affiliate members of Saint Andrew’s for quite some time, joining us regularly for worship when they are at their Sandwich home. Among other wonderful qualities, Andrea will be remembered here for her sweet and memorable English accent that gave a special note to her reading of scripture the many times she served as a lector.
Her life will be celebrated on Saturday, April 30th at 2:30 at Saint John's Episcopal Church in Hingham, Massachusetts. There will be visiting hours the evening before.
Letters of condolence may be sent to Davis at 123 Main Street, Hingham, MA  02043 and to their daughter Emma Dassori (with her husband Michael Kaye and their daughters Hazel and Ivy) to P.O. Box 263, Center Sandwich, NH 03227. Please keep them all in your prayers.
May she rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon her.

Other pastoral updates:
Ellie is recovering well and is now at the Country Village Rehab Facility in Lancaster: The Rev. Eleanor McLaughlin, Room 100, Genesis Health Care, 91 Country Village Rd., Lancaster, NH 03584.
We give thanks that Larry Grace is now home and doing remarkably, following three months of hospitalization and rehab. Judy is quick to say that “Prayers and calls are still welcome.”
Hettie is recovering at her brother’s home in Massachusetts and will return home as soon as her knee is load-bearing.

Mark your calendars for the Bishop’s visit! The Rt. Rev. Rob Hirschfeld, Bishop of New Hampshire, will be making a special visit to Saint Andrew’s for a Service of Confirmation and Reaffirmation of Faith on Tuesday, May 17 at 6:30 PM. Our Bishop makes regularly scheduled Sunday “Parish Visitations” about every 20 months, but he was happy to provide this extra mid-week visit to confirm Sarah Huckman, Aislinn Hird, and Ann Albrecht. If there are others who would like to make a Public Reaffirmation of Faith, please let me know. There is a lovely pleasure in an early evening service of celebration. Please mark your calendars now and plan to be with us for worship followed by a reception.

Anyone interested in attending the Lay Leadership Institute on Saturday, May 7, needs to register by Friday, April 29. For details, talk to Carol or Heidi and click here to register:  http://www.nhepiscopal.org/event-calendar/2016/5/7/lay-leadership-institute

Last weekend’s Murder Mystery Dinner was a magnificent success thanks to the participation and talents of many! Chris Mills (playwright, director, actress, and cook), Carol and Jen (chief cooks and meal managers), our amazing Stone Church Players cast: Chris, Carolyn, Aislinn, Ronan, Juli, Stephen, Sarah, Tim, Tom, Preston, Val, Lisa, David, Heidi, Duane, Sally, Peg, and Audrey!!! Additional thanks to Carolyn (set design and construction), Tom and Vic (stage platform builders), Duane (photographer extraordinaire), David (reservations and tickets), Val (keyboardist), Stephen (lyricist for our closing song), Dale, Gretchen, Michelle, and others who helped and waited on tables, and all of YOU who came and invited your friends! A show is no show without a responsive audience, which you definitely were!

Consider the transformation
that is taking place this very
moment in your garden!
Calls for prayer, solidarity with the church in Ecuador: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Episcopalians from across the church called for prayer and solidarity with the Episcopal dioceses of Ecuador Litoral and Ecuador Central and the people of Ecuador who are still trying to assess the loss and damages caused by a devastating earthquake that struck the South American nation Saturday, April 16.

More food for “Resurrection” thought, this from Br. David Vryhof SSJE…
Transformation: Dying and rising has consequences. It does not leave us unchanged. It is a way of inner transformation that reconnects us to God.

Eastertide blessings,

Picture Gallery from The Dis-Oriented Express

Getting ready. You gotta look the part!
"The effervescent Annie is a cosmetics saleswoman..."

"Reginald Tobias of Her Majesty's armed forces."
Ready to go! (You do recognize her, don't you?) 
View out the window of the Dis-Oriented Express
Another view out the window of the Dis-Oriented Express
And the guests arrive: Madame Cade with her friends June and Lorraine!
(June correctly detected the murderer, thereby winning the Prize Basket!)
Be ware the  scallywag! A whip of a  little pickpocket!
And where would we have been without the meal?
Thank you to the chefs ... and their unseen helpers!!!

April 14, 2016

Join us for Good Shepherd Sunday!
Services for this coming Sunday, April 17 and the Fourth Sunday of Easter, will be at 8 and 10 am. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship on this Good Shepherd Sunday.
Readings for this Sunday: Acts 9:36-43, Psalm 23, Revelation 7:9-17, John 10:22-30
The 2016 Stone Church Players 
There are still a few places left at our Murder Mystery Dinner – The Disoriented Express! Don't wait! Call the office (323-8515) now if you’re thinking of coming. It will be a fun show, full of good laughs, accompanied by a delicious, multi-course meal. We're close to selling out, and Reservations are required.
Just a reminder that Deb is on vacation in Florida, so the office will continue to be understaffed until April 26. Please leave a message, and your call will be returned. If you're trying to reach the rector directly, feel free to call me at home, and /or leave a message there.
Have you checked the DRAFT of the new Parish Directory? A preview copy is available in the office and on the coffee hour table. Please take a look at your entry, and make any necessary changes.
With Easter come the peepers!
Listen for them when you leave the Dinner
 tomorrow evening!
Easter lasts for 50 days, but Easter flowers don't quite make it that long! We're hoping someone might like to offer flowers in memory or thanksgiving on Sunday, April 14 and May 1. It would be wonderful to have flaming red & orange blooms for Pentecost on May 15. The Flower calendar, along with instructions, is on the door to the Food Pantry Closet in the Parish Hall. If you have questions, talk to Gretchen Behr-Svendesen.
The May, June, July editions of Forward Day by Day are available on the table in the Parish Hall. If you have not yet discovered this simple, daily meditation booklet, stop by and take a look at it. The cost to the church is $1 /booklet. Contributions in any amount are welcome but not required.
Food for thought in this Easter season….
The Gospel message today should not be dulled down: Abandon your life to the Model Shepherd who is God. Even if it happens by inches, keep at it. Turn over the direction of your life and will to the Beautiful Shepherd each and every day, and trust that you will be answered in ways beyond anything you can ask for or imagine. 
—H. King Oehmig, 1951-2015, Episcopal priest and founder of Synthesis Publications
Eastertide blessings,
The Easter treat of eggs and fish!
Thank you, Cecile.

April 7, 2016

Thank you, Val, for enriching our worship
last Sunday with your harp playing.
There will be two services this coming Sunday, April 10 and the Third Sunday of Easter, one at 8 am and one at 10 am. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship.
Readings for Sunday: Acts 9:1-6 (7-20), Psalm 30, Revelation 5:11-14, John 21:1-19
New Directory edits…A updated draft copy of a new Parish Directory will be available on the refreshment table at coffee hour. Please take a look at your entry and make any corrections in red ink. Final copies will be available for everyone at the end of the month.
Murder on the Dis-Oriented Express!!! Our 5th Annual Murder Mystery Dinner is this coming Friday, April 15, at 6 pm (this year with a sound system). Reservations are required and advance purchase of tickets is appreciated. Call the office (323-8515) and leave a message with your reservation and phone number. David will return your call to confirm. Or purchase your tickets at coffee hour this Sunday. Once again there will be delicious food (Thank you Carol & Jen.) and an intricate, baffling plot, involving all your favorite “Stone Church Players,” plus some wonderful new additions to the cast! You won’t want to miss it! Spread the word and invite your friends!

Sanctus Bells
Saint Andrew’s has had this lovely set of Sanctus Bells for years, but they have never been used liturgically in anyone’s memory. When we had them out to use along with the ringing of lots of bells during the Easter Vigil at the time of the Easter declaration (Alleluia, Christ is risen!), it occurred to me that we might put them to proper use for the Easter season. When we did, their wonderful sound appropriately attracted much surprised attention and many post-service comments!
So what are Sanctus Bells? They are bells that sound at specific times during the eucharist to focus people’s attention, which is exactly what it did on Easter morning! Typically, they are rung at the beginning of the Sanctus (Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts…), at the words “Do this in remembrance of me,” and at the ending of the Invitation “the Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance…”  In days when the Eucharist was said in a language that the people were unable to understand (usually Latin), they served an extremely  important function: When the bells sounded, one knew to look up and pay attention, because something visually clear was taking place that no one should miss!
While sanctus bells are not common in most Episcopal Churches, I first encountered them when I was in seminary serving my “field education” parish in Watertown, Massachusetts, home of Perkins School for the Blind. Because of Perkins, we had a significant number of blind members of the parish, and using the bells (even in this very “low church” parish) was an important way to give the Eucharistic prayer special attention for folks that were unable to see what was taking place at the altar.
So when you hear the bells, lift up your head and open your eyes!
Val, always happy to introduce young people to the harp!
Greetings from Deacon Kevin, our “summer deacon,” who winters in St. Petersburg, Florida. He sends his warm Easter good wishes to us at Saint Andrew’s and is looking forward to being back with us in June.
Debra Hoyt, our office manager, is on vacation with her husband visiting family and friends in Florida. She will return to the office on April 26. In the meantime, the office will be understaffed. If no one picks up the phone when you call please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks go to David Manley who will be handling the bulletins, and to George Rau and Tom Huckman who will be taking care of “dump runs.” I will be out of town this afternoon and tomorrow. If you have an urgent pastoral need, please call my cell phone; 413-374-8938.
Of pastoral concern: Please keep Andrea and Davis Dassori and their family close in your prayers. (123 Main St., Hingham MA 02043). Healing prayers also for Ellie McLaughlin (38 Nekal Lane, Randolph NH 03593 and Hettie Buck (currently at Huggins), and continuing prayers for Judy and Larry Grace as Larry returns home.
Food for thought in this Easter season from John Dear, Roman Catholic peace activist, born in 1959
Easter invites us to spend our lives breathing in the spirit of resurrection peace, becoming people of resurrection nonviolence, sharing resurrection agape, manifesting resurrection forgiveness, speaking resurrection peace to the world, and embarking anew on the path of life with the risen Jesus. In response, we learn a new vocabulary, beginning with that great ancient word: “Alleluia!”
Easter blessings,