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Parish Post, April, 2010
THE PARISH POST
“Grace and Peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ!”
MORNING PRAYER MESSAGE
We are blessed to have people in our congregation who can assist with Morning Prayer and leave us with a meaningful message. Bill Wick is one of those persons. His March homily included these thoughts:
“In today’s parable of the Prodigal son, Jesus tells us what it means to be lost, the joy when the lost are found, and how the loving God looks to save people. In this parable, God is the father whose son has gone away. It is an amazing picture of God. He is seen grieving, seeking and rejoicing. If you are lost today, the first application is to you. You are valuable to God even in your lost condition.”
Bill noted that the steps back to the Father are simple. “First, there must be an awakening to one’s true condition. There is a certain insanity to sin, and this young man suddenly saw himself as he really was. Humans have the capacity to change. We do not have to continue to live a life of sin, we can come home.”
“Secondly, there must be an honest confession of sin. The prodigal son said, ‘I have sinned against heaven and before you.’ True repentance includes an honest confession of our sins, without any excuses. He didn’t blame the fact that he had to live in the shadow of his high-achieving brother or his demanding father. He simply said, ‘I have sinned.’ True repentance always involves accepting responsibility for what we have done.”
Bill’s third point was that there must be an actual return to the father. “There is no place harder to go than to where you have failed. We the prodigal son arrived, his father ran to greet him with great affection and celebration. All the things the father did were to confirm his status as a son.”
In conclusion, Bill reminded us that sin is a serious business and often we do not take it seriously enough. “We must believe repentance is possible. People can change. We do not have to live a live of sin. We are all members of the family of God, and we can come home.” Amen
Good Friday 7 pm with Rev. John Wall
SunriseEaster Morning at Townfield 6:30 am
Holy Eucharist 11 am with Rev. John Wall
The Sparrow and the Elephant
One day an elephant was walking thru the great forest when a lone sparrow flashed by the elephant as fast as it could go.
In a moment the little bird flew by in the other direction with a drop of water in its beak.
Wondering, the elephant trudged on.
Again the tiny sparrow flashed by the elephant, going as fast as it could … and moments later returned with another drop of water in its beak.
Now the elephant was really mystified. He stopped and waited and sure enough the sparrow headed back at break neck speed. This time the elephant could not contain his curiosity and stopped the sparrow.
“Where are you going with those drops of water” asked the elephant. The sparrow, fluttering madly replied “the forest is on fire and I am helping to put it out.” The elephant chuckled and said “How do you expect a couple of drops of water to help fight a great fire?” The sparrow replied, “I am not sure but every drop will help and everyone doing his part will help… and that’s me” he said brightly.
If we all do even a little, we can accomplish all sorts of things. Every drop of your unique set of time, talent and treasure is needed.
A message from your Stewardship Chairman
SEARCH UPDATE —– The Search Continues
At the end of February, the Search Committee asked the Diocese to expand our search to include candidates from a broader range of states. The Diocese replied with a list of fourteen possible applicants which we have been examining. The committee has also identified two candidates, one in Virginia and the other in Maryland, whom we hope
to visit in April. Please continue to pray for a successful outcome to our efforts. Liz
HEALTH MATTERS – SUNFLOWER SEEDS
Hay fever affects more than 40 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. Halt the drip with vitamin E. Researchers suspect it calms the parts of your immune system involved in allergies. With 49 percent of your daily vitamin E needs in an ounce, these seeds are your shnoz's best friend.
SPRING CLEAN UP OF YEAR BEGINS
We had a good morning in the church yard…..There were five of us. Got a lot done in front and some in back…..sticks and leaves picked up and removed weeds pulled and mulch spread but much more to be done. Another workday is scheduled for 9 AM Wednesday, the 31st of March. Thanks to all who helped. Joan
VILLAGE DINNERS APRIL 7th
The April dinner chefs will be serving up a portion of pork tenderloin, parsley potatoes, green beans and cherry cheesecake. Hope you can join us!
ECW ANNOUNCES MAY 29TH FLEA MARKET
The women of St. Peter’s are planning another flea market this spring on Memorial Day weekend, Sat. May 29th on the Davis lot on Rt. 301. Cindy Fields is currently accepting items and storing them in Stanley’s garage. Start cleaning out closets now and donate to this worthy cause. We will again sell spots to others also and sell lunch. Help spread the word. Plan to stop and shop too. Contact Marion or Cindy if you need a table or can help.
Spots are $15 Spots with table furnished are $20
All proceeds go to support ECW charities.
TOUR AND LUNCH AT STRAFORD HALL
April 15th is the deadline to register for the tour and luncheon planned for May 6. Those attending will meet at St. Peter’s and carpool from there. Contact Eunice for more information or registration. This is another ECW sponsored event.
THE BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE
In the last one hundred and seventy five years, many, many people have given wonderful gifts to St. Peter’s. These gifts have been recorded in an elegant red leather bound book. Some recent donations have not yet been entered in the book, and on Tuesday, March 16, Elizabeth Heimbach, Crystal Pannell, and Cookie Davis met to look at the book and to make a list of the gifts that need to be entered in the book. They plan to meet again on April 27 to finish updating the book which will then be placed in Fall Hall. Please let Elizabeth, Crystal, or Cookie know about any recent donations so they will be sure to enter them in this wonderful Book of Remembrance.
Our Adopted Unit in Afghanistan:
We have had a letter from our Grandson, Brennan, and he would like to thank whoever sent the huge box of homemade cookies. They were evidently very popular and you should feel free to send more anytime; also the box of Trail mix. The guys (soldiers) take these with them on maneuvers. They are perfect for all those pockets they have. Another box will be going Easter Week if anyone wants to contribute to these young men. They are so appreciative. Joan
BISHOP SHANNON TO VISIT APRIL 27TH
Bishop Shannon’s winter visit to St. Peter’s was cancelled due to his trip to the Holy Land. He will visit us at St. Peter’s on Tuesday night, April 27th at 6:30 to tell about his trip, and to share his first hand experiences with us. Plan now to join us for a light supper in the parish house before he speaks.
I HATE IT!
Bet I got your attention, didn’t I??
I just hate it when there is a hymn that I love to sing and play, and there is only one Sunday in the whole liturgical year in which that hymn is used. For instance, “Jesus Christ is risen today”. On Easter Sunday morning, the whole church swells with song as people are united in celebrating the risen Christ. And people DO sing this hymn!
I suggest we sing this hymn a few times during the Easter season. The text was written by an anonymous poet and first found in early 14th century missals (hymnals). The melody (Easter Hymn) first made its appearance in 1708. It was also written by an anonymous author that wanted to provide a melody that was a “little freer than the grave movement of the Psalm-tunes”. The God-inspired talent of these two anonymous people has given us a hymn that has the whole church united in song on Easter Sunday morning. Now THAT I LOVE! – Denise
The Crucifer’s Corner
Why we do, what we do……..
When serving at the altar, one is doing just this: actively assisting the celebrant in the worship of God. This is an important ministry and should be approached with dignity, humility, and care. The server should be well acquainted with the responsibilities and perform the duties with diligence. Sloppiness is to be avoided: stiff and artificial movement is to be avoided; careless or unseemly behavior is to be avoided. In all things, the server must be aware that the purpose in assisting at the altar is “that God may be glorified.”
The best rule is that all should be done with dignity and care in the simplest way possible so as not to distract the congregation. One who serves at the altar, whether as acolyte, crucifer, or thurifer, must always keep in mind that the attention of the congregation is not to be on those ministering but on the liturgy. Therefore, always move discreetly and quietly – and above all with reverence.
The Lighting of the Candles
- Always be vested before lighting the candles. They should be lighted ten minutes before the service.
- Make sure the taper in the candle lighter is long enough
- Bend the taper slightly in case the wick of the candle is down.
- Light the taper, generally this is done in the sacristy, however we do it to the side of the altar. (During the Fifty Days of Easter, the taper should be lighted from the Paschal Candle. If this candle is not already burning, it is always lighted first.)
- Reverence the altar at the center. Then proceed to light the candles on the altar.
- If there are two candles on the altar, the one on your right as you face the altar is lighted first. Bow again at the center and light the one on the left.
- After you have finished lighting the candles, pull the lever on the pole to extinguish the taper and then immediately push it back up again so that part of the taper is visible. This is done so that the wax on the taper does not melt inside and clog the tube.
- Reverence the altar at the center and return the candle lighter.
The Extinguishing of the Candles
Take the candle lighter, go to the center of the altar and reverence. The candles are extinguished in the reverse order from the way they were lighted. Those on the main altar should be extinguished first.
If there are two on the altar, as in our case, the one on your left as you face the altar is extinguished first. Go to the center, bow, and extinguish the other.
All other candles are extinguished after those on the main altar.
During the Fifty Days of Easter, if the Paschal Candle does not burn at all times, it should be extinguished last.
During Advent, it is traditional to extinguish the candles on the Advent Wreath last.
After all candles have been extinguished, come back to the center, reverence the altar, and return to your seat. Put the candle lighter in its place. Terri
Instruction taken from the book, “A Manual For Acolytes” by Dennis G. Michno
STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS NEEDED
The ECW/Dominican Republic Partnership Ministry, formed in 2005 after an ECW travel team visited the Dominican Republic with Bishop Frank Gray, has continued to meet and work with the Rev. Bob Snow and his wife Ellen, who have been Episcopal missionaries there for fifteen years. With their support the Partnership adopted an Episcopal school named Jesus Nazareno in the city of San Francisco de Marcois. During the last several years scholarships have been sought so that many students can attend the school. (Scholarships are $300 per year per child.)
I have been on teams that visited Jesus Nazareno in Sept. 2006, Aug. 2007 and March 2008. Many supplies were taken on each trip. I have been proud to represent St. Peter’s as I visited the Episcopal schools and churches there. Ellen Snow even traveled to San Francisco with us to visit Jesus Nazareno School & Church. Father Hipolito and his family took us into his home and shared his progress and his dreams with us. Our support has meant much to him as he is a young priest sent to revive an area of poverty and great need.
During these trips I have been able to see the difference our outreach has made. I have met and continued to correspond with Luis Garcia, a former scholarship student and graduate of Jesus Nazareno. He is currently in Seminary in Santo Domingo and writes often. He considers me his “American Grandmother” and I am as proud of him as if he truly was my grandson. Last year I was able to get a laptop sent to him at Christmas to help him in his studies there. One day he will be a fine priest and help lead his people.
During 2010 my goal is to find 22 scholarships for needy children. A scholarship remains only $300 for the year. This gives a child uniforms, a meal each day and a Christian education. When you divide this by 365 days, you are only spending 82 cents a day. This is less than many of us pay for a cup of coffee.
Our new banner and an exhibit were on display at the 215th Annual Council in Richmond. It will continue to be available for display at meetings. I will also continue to be available to talk to groups about the mission project and to show pictures of the facilities and the children we sponsor. I hope you will consider sponsoring one of these children or donating towards a partial scholarship. Members of St. Peter’s have been most generous in the past, and the current needs are great.
Checks should be written to the Diocesan ECW & may be sent to the Diocesan ECW treasurer, Rose Mary Zellner, 514 James Road, King & Queen Courthouse, Va. 23085 or to me at home. I count my blessings daily and helping these children is my way of saying thank you to God.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, Father of all,
your love reaches to the ends of the earth and beyond,
you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile everyone to yourself:
We praise you and bless you for those you send to the Dominican Republic. We ask you to empower and equip them with the power of your Holy Spirit so that they, with those they visit, may together grow in faith in your Kingdom and accomplish your will. We pray that, through their prayers and labors and your blessing and protection, we will further your Kingdom, and your power,
and your glory. This we ask in the Name of your Son, our Savior,
and the Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen
ECW/DR PARTNERSHIP MINISTRY Carolyn Davis, Chairman