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