One generous act inspires another: During Vacation Bible School, many of you kindly provided the children's mid-morning snacks. That inspired the children (and their families) to take up a collection of child-friendly foods for the Guildford Food Bank. Their donations now stretch down one side of the nave. There's an implicit Mission Challenge here to the rest of us: Could we adults, maybe, fill the window sills on the other side of the nave? Donations of fruit cups, peanut butter crackers, cereal and granola bars, and other easy-to-manage snacks or meals would help the Guilford Food Bank meet summer-time needs.
On Sunday, July 15, the Outreach team rolled out our first "Rhythms-of-Grace" service as the worship portion of a Beach Communion & Potluck. We began by tossing around a beach ball and sharing prayers, heard a story about the Lord's Prayer with color-coded props, participated in three different sit-down activities before learning stand-up motions to offer the Lord's Prayer with our bodies. We sang a song, shared communion and sang "Yes, Jesus loves me" complete with the ASL signs.
As we had been told to expect, the adults became just as engaged in the activities as the youngsters. And then the potluck supper was another delight for all ages! Thanks to all who participated in our first at-the-beach Rhythms service; thanks to our Outreach team leaders; and thanks to all who participated in the delicious potluck supper! We will use what we learned for our next Rhythms service and potluck on Sunday, August 12.
We are trying on something else that's new this summer: "An Open Door Policy." Specifically, Music Directory Mark Sullivan will open the southside front door during his organ practice sessions. And yes, an open door means folks are invited to come inside to sit and listen. This came in response to requests from passersby; please alert your friends who are walkers.
Speaking of hospitality, please consider signing up to offer "Lemonade Under the Balcony" following the 10a.m. service. Iced tea works just as well as lemonade, and a plate of simple store-bought cookies also fit the bill. There's ice in the refrigerator; cups and napkins are set out.
While Jack-the-dog and I are away, the rectory's wood floors (first floor) are being refinished. Thanks to Junior Warden Sue Shackford for organizing this undertaking! Thanks also to helpers Pat Daunic, LIz & Dirck Goss, Susan Leonard, Gene Bishop, David Oshana and Sexton Sheward Hagerty for the heavy lifting, and to Parish Administrator Pat Wakefield and Bookkeeper Melissa Lamoreaux for relocating their operations. While this process is underway, and the renewed finishes are setting up, you'll find the Parish Office temporarily relocated to the Guild Room.
In the event of a pastoral emergency, local clergy are on call. If I weren't on vacation, I would want to hear the Rev. Lynda Tyson preach at Christ Church the next three Sundays. Lynda+ directs the Annand Spiritual Formation program of Berkley Divinity School, the Episcopal seminary nested within Yale Divinity School. Therefore, to her preaching Lynda brings experience, insights and expertise, which are not mine. If you are in town, I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity! If, like me, you are traveling, I hope you have fair winds, plenty of sunshine, and low humidity!
This message comes to you from Alexandria, Virginia, where I'm visiting friends; the kids are returning from the pool and the dogs' naps are over. So, it's time to bring this letter to a close. Next week, I'm heading for Oregon.
In faith, hope and love,
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