First of all, a hearty thank you to everyone who participated in last Sunday's Annual Meeting, the 274th for this parish. I heard that there were at least 94 of us in attendance -- making this the most well-attended parish meeting during my tenure.
From what I heard, we all appreciated how lovely the Parish Hall looked with its Evening ECW-sponsored improvements, and as set up by Diana Stovall and her helpers. Folks may've turned out for the In-Reach Committee's made-from-scratch tomato and chicken soups; if so,they were well-rewarded. Committee chair Susan Leonard had also organized for the meal to include fresh fruit, French bread and cornbread.
Enjoying this tasty repast and each other's company, we were in good shape to expedite the parish's necessary business. Along the way, we elected new officers -- a complete list of all officers appears below, and thanked those who were stepping down: Diane Barker, after six years on the Vestry -- the first three as clerk; Ted Sands, after five years on the Vestry -- the last three as treasurer; Caroline Herrick, after four years as a delegate to our diocesan conventions -- the first year as an alternate; Diane Kyle, after three years as Clerk of the Parish -- during which time she also helped organize the Evening ECW and its Tag Sales and Parish Hall improvements; and Katherine Frydenborg, after three years on the Vestry completing terms begun by others -- and helping to organize our Strategic Planning Process.
Thanks also to Sue Shackford for the photographs of our Tower and bell; both inside and out, that illustrated my talk. Most everything I said about the Tower and the bell -- their history and current status, is included in a written report among the printed "Reports to the 274th Annual Parish Meeting." Copies are still available.
"The Last Sunday after the Epiphany" may be the Prayer Book's name for this Sunday, but our Gospel reading is always about the revelation, i.e. epiphany, that happened when Jesus was transfigured in front of Peter, James and John on the mountaintop. This amazing epiphany of Jesus, "This is my Son, the Beloved..." concludes this season of epiphanies, and sets us up for the journey to Jerusalem, to the Cross and Tomb, that follows.
To get ready for that journey, we have two special observances during the coming week:
On Shrove Tuesday, February 13, we will gather for pancakes and sausages, and to witness the "Conflagration of the Palms." Cooking up carbs and fats, we will share a Pancake Supper beginning at 5 p.m.; and after dusk we will burn up the shriveled palms remaining from last Palm Sunday. They will become the ash for our observances the next day.
On Ash Wednesday, February 14, we will seek "...to make a right beginning...""... to the observance of a holy Lent ..." with prayers of repentance, reconciliation and hope. Our services will be at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m., with a special Child-friendly service at 5:15 p.m.
Yes, Ash Wednesday is also Valentine's Day this year. So, our ever-so-thoughtful Middle Schoolers will be helping us get our chocolate fix on this Sunday before Ash Wednesday and on Shrove Tuesday. Their chocolate sales will support their June outing to Camp Incarnation, and summer mission trip to the Dominican Republic. They'll be making the chocolates Saturday, February 10 beginning at 10 a.m. in the Parish Hall.
The Ash Wednesday liturgy commends "... reading and meditating on God's Holy Word..." as one of the disciplines of Lent. This year, Episcopalians across the world will be reading and meditating together on the Gospel according to Luke. Indeed, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has issued a personal invitation -- which you can view here -- for the whole Church to join the Good Book Club, and make this journey together starting this Sunday. On that same page, you can sign up to receive weekly updates, and/or to sign-up for daily meditations through Forward Day-by-Day here via your favorite electronic media. A few print copies remain, and clever posters with the daily readings, are available in the church and parish office.
Lent Madness also returns! There's new organization to learning about this year's figures from biblical to contemporary times who were "the lights of the world in their generation," and who may continue to inspire -- or sometimes alarm -- us in our day. "The Definitive Guide(s)" have arrived and are available for $3 each. Although partly tongue-in-cheek -- these folks have no need to compete for their haloes, the saints who advance to the final rounds of Lent Madness seem to speak to needs of the present in surprising ways.
I look forward to being with you on the mountaintop this Sunday, and heading toward Jersusalem with you in the days that follow.
In faith, hope and love,
*Parish Officers for 2018-19 are:
Senior Warden Rose Robinson; Junior Warden Sue Shackford; Treasurer Michael Crossley; and Clerk Susan Leonard;
Vestry Members are
Peter Marks, Mardee Moore, David Oshana;
Rebecca Evans, Mitra Kish, Bob McNamara
Bill Cuddy, Sudie Danaher, and Juliana Harris;
Delegates to Diocesan Convention are:
Jennifer Huebner and George Kral;
Alternate -- Susan Pogue
Nominating Committee for the
275th Annual Parish Meeting:
Caroline Herrick, Kathleen Jones, Diane Kyle, and Annie Rae plus the Rector and Wardens, ex-officio.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!