Helmut Linne von Berg
Memories of years as your Junior Warden are full of activities; multiple projects going on and never getting it all done. I enjoyed those times and there was great satisfaction in seeing projects getting completed to make our beloved St. Peter’s Church a better place. When I became Senior Warden about a year ago, I was lost. I asked myself: what kind of a contribution can I make? What should I be doing? Finally, I found the answer in the story of a wise old owl living in an oak tree; the more he saw the less he spoke; the less he spoke the more he heard. Helmut, why can’t you be like that old bird, I asked myself. Well, I did. I became all eyes and ears and had less to say. Even at Vestry meetings, the Senior Warden wasn’t even on the agenda, so I have done a lot of listening and watching.
- I did see the beautiful flower arrangements at the altar every Sunday morning, the Lord’s beautiful creations placed there by Cookie Davis to the Glory of God! Thank you very much, Cookie.
- I saw a professionally managed Webpage, with useful information for every week’s activities, enriched with many photos, a virtual tour of our church’s architecture and people in action. Many thanks, Ben! The price for all that work? It was done PRO BONO!
- I heard fabulous Organ music by Bach, Beethoven, Purcell, Mozart and other composers played by our Music Director Brad, who also makes our 4-5 person choir sound almost like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Thank you Brad for adding so much to our worship with music!
- Occasionally, I heard beautiful Harp melodies played by Marylin Newman – thank you so much for sharing those wonderful sounds.
- While Catherine was away this summer for several weeks for vacation/sabbatical, I was in charge of making sure that all ran smoothly at church. I was the contact person for the parish and coordinated with Catherine when necessary to let her know about pastoral needs in the parish. I checked on those in the parish who needed a word of encouragement or a visit. I coordinated with the treasurer when necessary. I was available for whatever need arose. It was lonely at the top; however, with our treasurer Eunice keeping finances in the green and Barbara Wisdom assuring that bulletins were on time on Sunday mornings, I could sleep like a baby! Of course, Catherine had made arrangements prior to departure for preachers, officiants, etc. Well done!
- Thank you, Betty Kunstmann for handling the United Thank Offering, the UTO blue boxes, an outreach of our ECW helping people around the world with financial grants.
- Thank you, Nancy Long for handling the Samaritans Purse Shoebox collection for many years. In 2018 we directed our support from the Shoeboxes to the Heifer International Program. This group has helped more than 31 million families – about 155 million people – to move toward greater self-reliance through gifts of livestock and training in environmentally sound agriculture. This group has been working since 1944 to improve the life of needy people around the world. Truly the work of the Lord is being done by these folks and they deserve our support.
- I see a freshly painted church and a painted rectory all handled by our Junior Warden, Johnny Davis. I see the church’s driveway maintained and flowers planted around the church and mulched areas. Thank you Johnny and Cookie for all you do.
- Susan and I enjoy dining at the Village Dinners; food prepared and served by our ladies of the ECW. Thank you Clarence and Betty for purchasing the food; many thanks to the ladies doing the cooking! The desserts prepared by Eunice rival those of Paul’s Bakery! It’s all another way the ECW contributes to the church’s monetary funds!
- Our monthly Village Harvest Food Distribution! Thank you Cookie and Johnny, Eunice and Roger for picking up the food in Warsaw early in the morning. Thanks to all of those who help unload the truck and sorting the items for distribution in the afternoon. Thanks to Andrea for overseeing the distribution.
- I saw ECM, in coordination with Caroline County Social Services deliver food to needy folks in our County. Especially at Thanksgiving, appropriate food was provided to 5 needy families. Three families with children in the Port Royal area received food, clothing and toys for the Christmas Holiday. This outreach was graciously supported with funds from you, our congregation, in addition to donations made by our men. Thanks to all of you!
- I saw our Treasurer’s Monthly Report, keeping all of us informed of our congregation’s finances, preparing a realistic budget and recording income and spending of our funds. Many thanks, Eunice.
- I saw the monthly Vestry Meeting Minutes prepared by our Registrar Elizabeth Heimbach; a detailed account of issues discussed, solutions identified and necessary actions taken by the Vestry. Thank you, Elizabeth for this important part of our Vestry functions.
- I saw the Altar Guild Ladies preparing the altar for worship. The properly prepared altar is an important part of our worship; on the altar the gifts of bread and wine, the body and blood of our Lord are handled. Thank you, Ladies. During Communion I saw and tasted the gluten free bread prepared by B. J. Anderson. All these many Sundays the bread was there on time for the Eucharist. Many thanks to you, B. J.
- We used to call it the Coffee Hour which has become a scrumptious luncheon with a variety of delicious, homemade food. Thanks to all who participate on the first Sunday of the month. The best Pot Luck Meal around!
- I saw the greeters and the ushers with a friendly welcoming smile on Sunday mornings. It was always good to see you. Thanks for being there.
- I heard Ken Pogue lead with the Devotional at the Men’s monthly breakfast. Thanks Ken for setting the tone and making us aware of our many blessings received from the Lord.
- I saw Rob hurting and mourning at the loss of his dear wife Marsha. Hoping our prayers and expressed condolences would help him during those days of sorrow.
- I saw the traditional Community Easter Sunrise Service held in the Long’s backyard on the River, followed by the best breakfast in town! Nancy and Alex, thank you very much for your hospitality!
- Our annual “Gospel on the River” was held in the historical home of Elizabeth and Jim Heimbach. The wine and cheese selection was the best ever! Many thanks Elizabeth and Jim for keeping this event alive and being such generous hosts.
- I remember baskets full of wonderful ripe tomatoes brought to our congregation on several
Sunday mornings by Dave Fannon and his son Gibby. Many thanks, Gents!
- The annual Christmas Hymn “Sing-Along” and “Pot-Luck Dinner” was hosted by Cherry and Woody in their beautiful home across the river. A wonderful event enjoyed by all as we joyfully celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. Thanks so much, Cherry and Woody!
- I saw many other Sisters and Brothers at our worship and other meetings. Since I am up in the choir, my personal contact with you is somewhat limited. But in spirit I am there, giving you a hug or shaking your hand saying: “Peace be with you!”
- I saw and heard our dear Priest Catherine, presiding over our worship, preaching the Gospel, leading us in prayer and during Communion saying with us:
“Dying, you destroyed our death,
Rising, you restored our life,
Christ Jesus, come in glory”!
Followed by these words of hope, justice and love, she says:
“Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine that they may be to us the Body and Blood of your Christ.
“Grant that we, burning with your Spirit’s power, may be people of hope, justice and love.
“Giver of Life, draw us together in the Body of Christ, and in the fullness of time gather us with all your people into the joy of our true eternal home. AMEN”
As my tenure as your Senior Warden is nearing its end, I know that I may not have seen or remembered all the amazing events or contributions made by our gracious, generous and loving congregation. It has been a special privilege to serve you, my mindful and caring brothers and sisters in Christ. May I end with words from our scripture:
“May the Lord bless us and keep us!
“May the Lord make His face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us!
“The Lord lift up His countenance upon us and give us peace.”