Sanctifying life, and the stages of life, are among the goals of our worship. If you look at the part of the Prayer Book for "Pastoral Offices," you will find liturgies arranged in life order from birth to death. We will be offering occasions all along that spectrum this weekend.
On Sunday morning, we plan to baptize little Fiona Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Chris & Katie, granddaughter of Kathleen & David. That will be an occasion of great joy.
Also Sunday morning, we expect to celebrate Jeanette Koncz's 100th birthday. We will offer the Birthday Prayer for Jeanette, recalling her baptism nearly 100 years ago.
I understand that the celebration of Fiona's baptism and Jeanette's birthday will continue in the Parish Hall.
Now for the sad news: Dennis Marden died on June 30: James Sheppard died on August 5; and Georgia Whitney died on August 8. Death came as a friend to Dennis and James; they died with family members at their side. Georgia's death was unexpected; she died in the midst of her Wednesday errands.
We will give thanks for the life of Dennis Marden on Saturday, August 11 at 10a.m., and for the life of Georgia Whitney on Monday, August 13 at 11a.m. Yes, the Saturday service is at 10a.m., and the Monday service is at 11a.m. We will give thanks for the life of James Sheppard on the afternoon of September 8. Dennis, Georgia and James all "continue in the risen life of Jesus Christ" which began for them at their baptisms.(BCP, p.307)
Following up on the positive experience of our first "Rhythms-of-Grace" service in July, we will again offer Rhythms-of-Grace as the worship portion of a Beach Communion & Potluck on Sunday, August 12, at 5p.m. Please consider joining in worship that involves movement, engages the senses, and invites shared prayers. As Jennifer Huebner says, if it's designed for those with special needs, it's gonna be great for all of us. Please also consider bringing an entree, salad or dessert to share; beverages and paper goods will be provided. We'll gather under a Jacob's Beach Pavilion at 5p.m.
Following this second venture with Rhythms-of-Grace, I expect that the Outreach Committee will consider whether to recommend adding a monthly Rhythms-of-Grace service to our schedule of worship. So, your participation will be helpful in this discernment.
Congratulations to the adults for rising to the implicit Mission Challenge posed by our Vacation Bible School. The north window sills almost match the south ones with donations of fruit cups, peanut butter crackers, cereal and granola bars, and other easy-to-manage snacks or meals for the Guilford Food Bank. This will be the last Sunday for the Challenge; all these kid-friendly food items will be delivered to the Food Bank this week to meet summer-time needs.
Jack-the-dog and I returned to the rectory on Wednesday evening to find the rectory's wood floors (first floor) beautifully refinished. Even more amazing however, was how the Parish Office had reclaimed its space, and how all the furniture, art, books and plants had been returned to their places!. A profound Sarum bow of gratitude to Junior Warden Sue Shackford for spearheading this undertaking! Thanks also to those of you who helped!
Although I plan to be present for worship this Sunday, I am so grateful to our stalwart friend-of-the-parish, the Rev. Kent Smith, for presiding and preaching during Sunday's services. I look forward to any insights that come from Kent's years as a professor of Chinese history, as the rector of Christ Church, Redding, and his current participation with Margaret in the life and witness of Christ Church, New Haven.
I look forward to sharing with you in all our celebrations sanctifying life's challenging journey in the days ahead.
In faith, hope and love,
p.s. You may have heard that our Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, had surgery to deal with prostate cancer on July 25th. A member of his immediate staff reported (at a meeting I attended on Wednesday) that the surgery went well, Bishop Michael's recovery continues as expected, and that he is grateful for the prayers which continue to buoy and sustain him.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!