May 26, 2016

Thursday MEMO

Services for this coming Sunday, May 29th, and the Second Sunday after Pentecost, will be at 8 and 10 AM, with coffee hour following each service. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship.

Food for thought, right up front, from the Rector…
Br. James Koester write: A river runs through us, gushing from our hearts and running its course into the heart of God. We don’t often see it. Sometimes we only know it by the trees and scrub and brush along its banks but this is the river that shapes our lives, and melts our hearts and molds us into the holy people of God.
Over and over again, our scripture and tradition affirm the place of story in the shaping of God’s people. From the “story” of creation in Genesis and all that follows, through the Gospel accounts of Jesus, the letters reflecting the issues of the communities of the early church, all the way through to the Book of Revelation and its mystical glimpse into a new heaven and a new earth – we have been shaped by story.
Together as priest and people, over the last twelve and half years, God has been molding us as holy people of God. Actually, God has been doing this since forever, but on Sunday, June 5 (a 9:00 single-service Sunday), we will be paying particular attention to how we have been taking shape. We will do this with what I will call a “Story Circle Liturgy.”
What is a “Story Circle Liturgy,” you ask? We will come together as we always do on Sunday mornings for prayer, praise, reflection, Eucharist, and fellowship, but we will gather in the Parish Hall, so that our seating can be roughly in the round. A circle allows us to see each other’s faces, not just the backs of heads and to tell our stories – of the life of this beloved community over the course of the past 12 years.

Think of it as stories told around the campfire, but instead of darkness we will be telling them in the clear light of a June morning around our sacred table. Each of you who is receiving this MEMO has a story (actually many stories) of a moment when the power and presence of God has been felt – sometimes even decisively – in an event or an interaction or a liturgy, and in turn your experience has effected who we are as a parish.
This past Sunday we focused on the Divine Trinity – our mysterious way of talking about our God who calls each of us into the great dance of life in Christ, ­a dance in which we are all invited to be participants and not just observers. Our God is incomplete without us!Next 

Sunday we will abridge the readings slightly in order to make room for our stories, which will be our shared sermon. In order to make this work, we will have a framework, and we will have to acknowledge that some stories will remain untold for the time being because of time constraints, but it will get the ball rolling. (No one will be expected to speak who doesn’t choose to.)
·       Stories will be kept to two minutes, so planning ahead will be important.
·       Each will need a beginning a middle and an end. The story-teller gets to decide which should be brief and which deserves to be a bit more extensive.
·       The story belongs to the teller. If you experienced the event differently, that becomes your story. This is not about correcting someone else’s telling.
So what visual or auditory images of this place and our life together do you carry in your heart? I encourage each of you to jot them down over the coming days and then find your favorite. It is something that I have been doing personally as the end of my time here approaches and it will be a wonderful way for you as a parish claim the uniqueness of God’s work in this place. Who knows where it might go. I can envision some sort of collaborative scroll of events, sketches, pictures that might evolve.
Each week as we gather at the table to remember Christ’s words, we are calling that event back into the present as Christ becomes present for us in the bread and wine. My hope and prayer is that our shared story-telling on Sunday, June 5th will rekindle twelve years God’s activity here in this place, bringing that back to life as we participate together with the Spirit.
Last Sunday we thanked Janet Palmer
for her many years of service as child-care provider .
New church cleaning person: I have just hired Sara Trudnack to take over the cleaning responsibilities that Deb has been carrying since Chuck Werning’s death three years ago. If you ever patronize Jake’s Seafood Restaurant you may know her already! She’ll be working about 5 hours a week at the church, aiming for times when the place is not in heavy use. If you cross paths with her, please introduce yourself. She will be an active and friendly presence.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, will be speaking in Concord on Monday morning, June 6 at 10:00. If you are interested in attending, register here:   There are a number of us going from Saint Andrew’s. There’s a list for those wishing to carpool posted on the parish bulletin board.

Gretchen receiving special recognition
at our February Annual Meeting.
Congratulations to Gretchen Behr-Svendsen! Gretchen will be graduating from EFM this coming Sunday. Education for Ministry is a four-year course that meets weekly covering scripture, theology, church history, and theological reflection that is designed to equip people for knowledgeable lay ministry. The graduation ceremony will be taking place at Trinity Church in Meredith where the class has been meeting. If you’re interested in finding out more about EFM, talk to Gretchen, Cathie Lewis or me. (Cathie and I have both been EFM mentors in the past.)
See you in church!
Blessings, Heidi+
 Thank you, Janet

May 19, 2016

Thursday MEMO

Don’t miss the picture gallery from Pentecost and Confirmation
at the end of this post.

Services for this coming Sunday, Trinity Sunday and May 22, will be at 8 and 10 AM. We hope you will be with us for worship and as we thank Janet Palmer for her many years as our child care provider and honor her at coffee hour.

Readings for Sunday: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, is coming to New Hampshire on Monday, June 6th!!! Lay leaders of the Episcopal Church are invited to join a Conversation him and his Canon for Ministry, the Rev. Michael B. Hunn. This event will be held at St. Paul's Church in Concord on Monday, June 6, 2016, from 10 am - 12 noon. Register HERE.  A number of Saint Andrew’s folks will be attending, so carpooling is encouraged. This is a rare opportunity, and you will not be disappointed! Bishop Curry is wonderfully inspiring, dynamic speaker and preacher.

The Holy Spirit was abundantly present for our joyous Confirmation, Reception, and the Bishop’s visit on Tuesday evening! Ann Albrecht, Aislinn Hird, and Sarah Huckman were confirmed with the laying-on of hands, and Pat Adams and Audrey Berry were welcomed into this communion. Much generous behind-the-scenes work deserves recognition: Joan Wright and Lisa Thompson (Altar Guild), David Manley and Pat Adams (reception set-up), Jen and others (cleanup), Val May (harpist and soloist), the families of our younger confirmands, whose busy lives took sometimes heroic acts of schedule coordination so that Sarah and Aislinn could meet for confirmation classes, our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert Hirschfeld for making time for this special visit, and, of course, the warm whispers and wild winds of the Holy Spirit who so decisively moved in the hearts and minds of Pat and Audrey, Sarah, Aislinn, and Ann, calling them to renew their baptismal vows make new mature commitments to Christ!

It is the custom at the time of the Bishop’s visit that the collection be directed toward the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. If you would like to make a contribution (whether or not you were present Tuesday’s Confirmation service), checks can be made out to Saint Andrew’s-in-the-Valley with a memo line to Bishop’s Discretionary Fund; envelopes for cash contributions are also available on the bulletin tables. A significant portion of the fund will go towards the strengthening of ministry with and to the young people of New Hampshire. Consider a gift in thanksgiving for the vitality of the young people in our parish!

And speaking of the work of the Holy Spirit…Don’t miss the posts from Sammie Wakefield on the Parish bulletin board keeping us up-to-date with the work of Eleanore’s Project in Peru. And please keep the team, the families, and the children with whom they are working in your prayers. Click here for pictures and details.

Food for thought as we all strive to heed the Holy Spirit’s call to interact with our neighbors with compassion, avoiding the pull to respond with aggression or anger, instead seeking a point of view that changes the conversation…
This offering is from The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, early Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the desert of Egypt beginning around the third century.

A desert elder set off for the nearest village to sell his baskets. On the road that he was going down, the devil found him and, out of the intense malice he had toward the elder, snatched the baskets from his hands and disappeared. The elder, without being at all upset, raised his eyes to heaven and said, "I thank you, my God, that you have relieved me of my burden and the trouble of going down to the village." Then the devil, not suffering the calmness of the hermit, threw the baskets in his face, shouting: "Take them back, old man." The monk gathered them up again and continued on his way to the village.

Blessings, Heidi+  

Picture Gallery for Pentecost Sunday and Confirmation

John 20: 19-23  in English (Marty)

in Italian (Peg)

in German (Francesca)

in French (Lisa)

in Latin

Altar flowers given in thanksgiving by Elizabeth Wiesner
Thank you, Randy!
This year we inflated our own balloons!

The Bishop's Visit

The choir. Photo courtesy of Preston.


The Procession

Ann and Pat

Do you renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?

Strengthen her, O Lord, and empower her for your service...

We receive you into the fellowship of this Communion...
Send them forth in the power of the Spirit!

Three Spirit-filled long-time Tamworthians with their Bishop
Party Time

The Cannon-Huckman clan!

May 12, 2016

Thursday MEMO

Don't miss the photo gallery at the end of this post!
 Services for this coming Sunday, May 15th and the Feast of Pentecost. We will have services at 8 and 10 AM, each followed by coffee hour. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship as we welcome the wild and wonderful winds of the Holy Spirit into our midst. Please remember to WEAR RED (or orange or hot pink or magenta or yellow), all reflections of the flames of the Spirit!

The Burial Office and committal service in celebration of the life of our brother in Christ Bill Hagerup will take place at 11 o’clock this coming Saturday, May 14th.

A few words and reminders about the Bishop’s visit  on Tuesday, May 17th at 6:30 pm and the liturgy for Confirmation and Reception…

* This will a full service of Holy Eucharist – with hymns, a sermon by our Bishop, the laying on of hands for Confirmation and Reception, and Communion – so all the elements and more of a regular Sunday liturgy.
* It is a special treat to have our Bishop here with us for a “bonus” visit. (His next time here won’t be until 2017.) He has been doing some exciting thinking about the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire, and he is eager to be well connected with all of you as we begin this transition process. Come and get to know him.
* Perhaps most importantly, five members of this parish, including two of our young people, are taking important steps in their spiritual lives within this worshiping community. I hope you will show your support and love, by welcoming Sarah, Aislinn, Ann, Pat, and Audrey with your presence and prayers (and welcome bishop Rob as well) at 6:30 on Tuesday.

The Bishop’s Discretionary Fund: When a bishop makes at parish visit all loose plate offering and any designated contributions go to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. This fund provides assistance to projects within the diocese that strive to reach out in the name of Christ. Our own Community Food Pantry has regularly received significant and generous contributions from this fund. There will be envelopes available on Tuesday, as well as on the adjacent Sundays. Even a modest offering is a good faith indication of our appreciation and gratitude and will be put to good use.

Pentecost 2014
Red Balloons at Pentecost: For years red helium-filled balloons have added festivity and fun to our Pentecost liturgies, but many of us have become increasingly aware of two serious issues: First, if they get loose, “dead” balloons in the natural world pose a real danger to birds. And second, the world-wide supply of helium is very low. Shortage if this non-renewable resource is a challenge for hospitals and the medical community. Therefore, the Liturgy Committee has decided not to include helium balloons in the service. But there’s no danger in red balloons that we inflate ourselves! Don’t be surprised if there are some empty balloons awaiting your breath power between the services this Sunday!

Bob, Heidi+, Jen, Aislinn, Pat, Sarah, David, Kaitlyn
2016 Diocesan Lay Leadership Institute: Eight of us attended this day-long event in Concord last Saturday. New Vestry members Kaitlyn and Pat attended the basic course (Vestry 101) and learned a lot! Bob took part in the “Greening our Churches” seminar and has come back with some ideas about how we might improve our environmental stewardship through better energy efficiency. Jen, David, and two of our confirmands, Sarah and Aislinn, spent the day taking part in the Liturgy Seminar with our Bishop as the teacher. Your rector joined in the session on Using Narrative (story-telling) as a way to build and strengthen our churches. Thank you to each of you for taking the time to develop your leadership skills!

The Rev. Canon Hannah Anderson was with us last Sunday to begin guiding the parish in our transition process. Audio of her will be made available shortly. If you missed church last Sunday, do touch base with a Vestry member for details. She expects to be providing Saint Andrew’s with at least two possible choices for an interim after my retirement in mid-July. Keep alert to new updates at the transition unfolds.

New Office Schedule: Just a reminder that Deb will be in the office Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9 to noon, and Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1 to 4. She has begun working as the office manager at All Saints’ Church in Wolfeboro. Between the two churches she is pleased to have full-time work.

The Women’s Lunch Bunch met yesterday at the rectory for our May gathering and enjoyed the gift of open windows and balmy spring weather, along with conversations and shared food!
There were several requests for the Portuguese Kale Soup recipe. Here it is:
1 cup dry chick peas (garbanzos), 1 large onion, 1 pound of linquiça (mildly spiced) or choriço (highly spiced) sausage, 1 pound of kale, 2 tsp salt, ½ tsp. pepper, 1 T vinegar, 3 cups cubed potatoes. Soak beans overnight. In morning, drain, add the onion, about 10 oz of the sausage cut into pieces, kale (broken or coarsely chopped) salt, pepper, vinegar and 10 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Add potatoes and 1 additional cup of water. Cook until potatoes are tender. When ready to serve, dice the remaining sausage, fry it up, and add as garnish. Like many good, simple soups, it often better the second day! Enjoy!

Congratulations to Jennifer Brady (daughter of Jonathan and Lois)! Jennifer will be graduating from Bucknell University this month and has been selected as the Class of 2016 Student Commencement speaker. Bucknell is in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. (The picture is a screen shot from their website.) Go, Jennifer!

This time of year, we like to include family members who are graduating in our Sunday Prayers of the People. Do drop a note to the office if you have someone whom you'd like included.

Sammie Wakefield has begun her time with Eleanore's Project in Peru. If you'd like to follow along with their amazing work fitting mobility-impaired children with wheel chairs, here's their link: We will continue to keep them all in our prayers.

Food for thought…
Looking for a “secret of life,” especially during times of transition and change:
Dare to believe:
This is the secret Jesus gives us, the secret of our own fulfillment and happiness, and the secret of fruitfulness in life. “Abide in me as I abide in you.” Learn this secret. Practice it every day.                                               
-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

See you Sunday!

 Picture Gallery from May 8th

Welcome to Sarah, our newest acolyte.

Distribution Mothers' Day pansies

May 5, 2016

 Thursday MEMO

Rogation Sunday altar
We will have two services this coming Sunday, May 8th, the Seventh Sunday of Easter and the Sunday after the Ascension, as well as Mothers’ Day – one at 8 a.m. and one at 10 a.m. The Rev. Hannah Anderson, Canon to the Ordinary (the Bishop’s right-had person for congregations), will preach and lead a discussion following each service. During the sermon she will provide a road map for how our transition and discernment planning will progress, then in the conversation time following, parishioners will have an opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts and perspectives on our shared ministry together and the life of this parish. The rector will preside for both services, but will not be present for the discussions. Parish participation in this process is hugely important, so you are strongly urged to attend. And, yes, there will be time for coffee and nibbles immediately following the service.

Readings for Sunday: Acts 16:16-34, Psalm 97, Revelation 22:12-14,16-17, 20-21.

And maybe it will even be a sunny day!
Women’s Lunch Bunch will meet at noon this Wednesday, May 11th, at the Rectory in Madison. All women are welcome. Please bring something for luncheon table. The address is 247 Pound Rd, Madison; phone is 367-8220. Directions are available at church on the table in front of the parish bulletin board. Please let me know by email or phone if you expect to be with us.

**Please take note: New office hours beginning the week of May 9th. Thanks to a  fortuitous opportunity to collaborate, Debra Hoyt, our Parish Administrator has accepted a similar part-time position with All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Wolfeboro. She will continue with us for the same number of hours as she has worked in the past, but with a slight variation in schedule. Since I am generally in the office on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, morning phone calls will still get answered. Just keep in mind that if you need to talk to Debra, her hours at St. Andrew’s, beginning next week, are as follows:
Monday  –  Closed
Tuesday  –  9am-noon
Wednesday –1pm-5pm
Thursday – 1pm-5pm
Friday  –     9am-noon
This arrangement will allow Deb to have the full-time work she needs and for us to retain her as our tremendously valuable office manager and bookkeeper! God is good!!!

Thank you to all who braved the drizzle and teamed up last Sunday for our Spring Work Day. We accomplished a great deal, both indoors and out. Special thanks go to David Manley for organizing the jobs and the refreshments, and to all who helped out in so many ways: Tim & Tom Huckman for their Saturday lawn work, Cathie Lewis, Patty & George Rau, Dave Anderson, Dale Appleton, Gretchen, Chris Boldt, Bev Hammond, Duane, John & Kaitlyn Marshall, Jen & Sarah Huckman, Bernice Thompson, Betsy Hess, Joan Wright, and anyone whom I might have missed.  Also special thanks to Gretchen, Bernice, Barbara Lord, Bev, for bringing Eats and Drinks for the Workday.

15 of us enjoyed the hymn-singing community of well over 100 at Hops & Hymns @ Hobbs this past Monday evening. This was a Community hymn sing organized by Camp Calumet, teaming up with many area churches including Saint Andrew’s, that gathered under the direction of a very capable energetic keyboardist from the Cape for the joy of eating and singing together! Together we raised over $1600 for Starting Point, an important area organization that supplies support and a safe-house for victims of domestic violence. There was such enthusiasm that there may well be another similar event in the future.

May God’s love shine through your witness,
your actions, your deeds, your smiles,
 and even your ever-improving but still stumbling words in Spanish!

Along with other excitements of last Sunday, we commissioned Sammie Wakefield for her upcoming mission trip to Peru with Eleanore's Project, an organization that provides customized wheelchair seating to mobility impaired children in Peru. This is her 10th year engaged in this ministry. Sammie goes as "our emissary," and a such, we will be holding her our prayers and her reports over the next few weeks will be posted on the Parish Bulletin Board.

The Bishop is Coming! Plan on joining us the evening of May 17 at 6:30 for a special service of Confirmation and Reception, our Bishop, the Right Reverend A Robert Hirschfeld presiding. Sarah Huckman, Aislinn Hird, and Ann Albrecht will be confirmed, and Audrey Berry, and Pat Adams will be received into this branch of Christ’s Church. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare to reaffirm their Baptismal Vows and come on the 17th to help celebrate.

A service in Celebration of the Life of Bill Hagerup will be held at the church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 14. I hope that many of you who remember Bill will be able to join Marge and their family as we give thanks for his life well-lived and entrust him to Almighty God.

Food for thought especially appropriate as we enter this into these closing months of our time together as priest and people…

What if we made a regular practice of surrendering into the loving arms of God, knowing that something unimaginably wonderful would happen? I wonder if we’d be quite so anxious and fearful if we recognized that we may indeed be standing even now at the threshold.Brother Mark Brown, SSJE

Do not be afraid! Jesus has promised that the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete – the One who comes along side – is right there with us every step of the way, bound together in love.

Peace and joy!

The send-off greeting!

Garden workers