Our blog is not getting much attention so I thought I might stir things up. Perhaps, my interest in blogging comes from the truth that my sermon is finished for tomorrow and I still have things to say. Tomorrow is Trinity Sunday and for most of the world, tomorrow will be just another day. For me, the Trinity is an endlessly fascinating claim, a claim that led me to UVa in the late nineties to see what more I could learn, after graduating from Virginia Seminary with a Masters degree in Theological Studies and long before I determnined I wanted to be ordained. I left UVa shortly thereafter, partly because thinking about the Trinity in a community that did not worship together was wholly unsatisfying. But the doctrine of the Trinity continues to amaze me and move me to wonder. Today I have pondered how this "obsesssion" isolates us from others for whom all talk of God is somehow not central to us. There was a time when "talk of God" consumed the average person in the street as much, if not more so, as do our own concerns with politics. We, people of faith, need companions, I re-affirmed this day, who will companion us in our search for God and not just leave us to figure out what we mean and say in Church all by ourselves. So, in nuce, I want to say thank you to you all for being with me these past months as I have continued my journey of faith and you have continued yours. Being together is everything! I will try to me more faithful in my blogging.
This coming Sunday we read the story of the sacrifice of Isaac. I do not usually preach on the readings from the Old Testament but this Sunday I will. For the eighteenth century theologian Soren Kierkegaard, what Abraham does in this story is to make a "leap of faith."
I am not very good at leaping, preferring to have a plan and knowing where I am going. These past months, lo almost a year, have been, though, a time without a plan, as A.G. has suffered one bout after another. What I have learned is that I do not like living life on the fly. And what I have also learned is that I am not really good at living life as it comes and not very good about living life as God gives me my life to be.
Life, for me, at the momnent is complicated and harried. I am glad and grateful and curious that the fellowhip and community of St. Asaph's is in my life. I trust you are too.
Today as we celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, I slipped, inviting us to “play” rather than “pray.” I suppose we could wonder if this was a Freudian slip, and wonder in what unconscious way, I would rather play on a birthday or anniversary than pray. But I have been thinking about how playing and praying may be more closely related than we might first recognize.
Playing conjures up images of freedom and spontaneity, an activity that draws upon our capacities to imagine and to create. Playing is something we desire to do and often is opposed to working, which is something we feel we have to do. When I think of playing I think about taking out a green Tupperware lettuce keeper (of which I have two) and wearing it as a hat as my three year granddaughter dons the other one, and we laugh and bump our heads together and laugh some more. The whole exercise is “pointless” but great fun! Naomi never comes to visit that she does not instantly recognize the green Tupperware bowls for what they are – hats. Preserving lettuce is nowhere at the moment in her data base. Maybe someday preserving lettuce will be important for her, but not now. For now, Grandmom keeps hats in her kitchen cupboards.
Praying is a little like what Naomi does with a lettuce keeper. When we pray, we imagine a good and wonderful world created and cared for by a good and wonderful God. When we pray, the world as it is – a place of suffering and grief and injustice – is re-imagined as a world where the folk we love are not sick, we have what we need and so does everyone else.
And when we pray, we are free to say anything at all or nothing at all. No one tells what to pray or when to pray or even how, although Jesus felt the Lord’s Prayer was a good beginning. We can pray anywhere we want and whenever we want and however we want and we can play anywhere we want and whenever we want and however we want. Both playing and praying ask us to take what the world calls a lettuce keeper and imagine it as a hat. Both playing and praying invite us to re-create (redeem?) the world, setting the world free to be what God created the world to be – a place where lettuce will not spoil nor will anything else, but will be set free not to worry about “shelf life” but to enjoy simply being in a world in which three year olds may have something to say to Tupperware about the purpose of their plastic containers. Maybe Naomi has discovered the real purpose of lettuce keepers.
I think you're right, Bambi - the two are similar. I sometimes feel just like what Pat voiced this past Sunday in Sunday school - like I am taking up God's valuable time with trivial stuff and that I should apologize to Him for that - then I remember that God has infinite time and infinite patience and infinite love for us and that he wants us to be happy and at peace with each other and his creation. And then I realize that we CAN pray anywhere, anytime and in whatever way and God will be there, listening (and responding, if we have sense enough to hear Him)!
P.S. I like the blog thing!
At Tuesday morning Bible study, we pray AND play: playing by laughing, usually at the expense of the male of the species as we study the women of the Bible. We've pondered Ruth who, although new in her faith and seemingly manipulated by her mother-in-law, was honored by God with a son who began the House of David. And Esther, who fasted and prayed, then risked her life by approaching the king to save her people. And Hagar, who bore Abraham's "son of the flesh", not his "son of the promise", and was cast out in a story difficult to reconcile. No wonder we need laughter as we try to understand these stories and what they teach us about God and faith.
Thank you, Bambi, for redirecting us to our blog.
Saturday night for a priest is a little like Sunday night for the rest of the world. On Saturday night, I am thinking about the liturgy, making final revisions to the sermon and making ready for Sunday morning. This Saturday night is decidedly different. Tonight I am not thinking about the sermon tomorrow but rather marvelling in the grace of God which has been so apparent during this long and difficult week. We live much of our lives going from one day to the next with not a lot of tumult and spend little time reflecting on the import of this or that. And then, suddenly, we find ourselves in places and experiencing circumstances that seem to draw us into life's depths and our depths - we find ourselves undergoing spiritual open heart surgery. Usually, we are not given much time time to prepare. At those times, the heart seems strangely open, we might say broken, in a way that allows to receive and see and take notice of the ways of God - gentle, ever present, reminders of God's love. Every day this week A.G. and I have been blessed. Every day, something happened or someone said something or someone just appeared that broke through, that made the sun come up, that changed everything. All of those times were unexpected, punctuating a journey of blood cultures and lab results and xray images. None of those "spiritual" moments are on A.G.'s medical record, but those are the moments we will both remember and which have sustained us, indeed, I believe healed us. Pay attention, the mystics tell us, for God is gracious and abounding in His love. We have tasted God's love richly this week.
With love to you all,
Bambi and A.G.
A.G. came home from the hospital last night with a PICC line – an I.V. sort of, into which he will continue to infuse himself with the antibiotics he was getting in the hospital. The whole operation is pretty slick – when we got home we found two large shopping bags at our front door filled with everything the nurses used at the hospital, all carefully packaged, with instructions, and a promise that the home health care nurse would appear in the morning (which she did). But at eight o’clock last night, A.G., as I sat beside him, opened an alcohol swab, wiped off the end of his line, flushed it with saline, and hooked up a pressurized ball filled with antibiotic.
The whole thing felt surreal. Neither one of us are medically inclined; both of us knew this PICC line went into the heart of A.G.’s body; and we were all alone pumping into A.G.’s body an alien substance trusting the doctors knew what they were doing when they sent us home. This morning we did it all again and again this afternoon and evening and now the whole procedure seems reasonably “normal.”
What A.G., is doing is known in the medical world as “infusion.” In my world we inspire, not infuse – which is why A.G. was doing the swabbing and I was sitting beside him saying: “Good job!” Both of us were braving new ground and neither of us knew what to expect.
A.G. is an engineer and he quickly picked up on what to do and how to do it. I, on the other hand, am terrified I will introduce some alien bacteria, dislike intensely pushing anything into anyone, and never wanted to be a nurse. Tonight I took the trash out which consisted of our several spent saline syringes, heparin syringes and spent pressurized bulbs and made chicken salad for dinner and figured that was my contribution, such as it was.
We both are looking forward to being back in your midst!
So glad you are home! And isn't it amazing what God gives us the strength to do when we have to and there simply isn't any other alternative? He Himself must have come up with the expression "When the going gets tough the tough get going"!
This will be my first Blog. I am please it is a Blog on our church website.
I truely look forward to participating in weekly Bible Study. Bambi is an enlightened leader and offers the group insight into so many aspects of biblical history. Our numbers have grown over the last several months. Hopefully more will join us on Tuesday mornings for Morning Prayer, Bible Study and Discussion.
Thank you, Dale, for "blogging." This is a new venue for me as well. I am feeling a bit disoriented in this world of "blogging" and "texting." I have only recently figured out how to answer voice mail messages on my cellphone. We are all finding our way. We are being invted into a new world and I give thanks that you are willing to give it a go. I deem these new technologies as ventures of faith. May God give us all the grace and the courage to persue.
Repeat after me "Technology is our friend.... Technology is our friend.... Technology is our friend......." There, that's not so hard, is it?
Technology is my friend, technology is my friend. Who said I was hard to get along with?
See there - you're already blogging like a pro. It will be no time at all until we have you using an iPad!!
‘Tis Friday night and I am thinking about Peter trying to walk on water (the gospel for this Sunday) and the stock market which, like Peter, seems to be sinking. I am also thinking about a conversation I had this week with friends from St. Andrew’s parish on Oregon Hill here in Richmond who interviewed homeless folk in Richmond this week, rising at 3:00 a.m. to do so. They were participating in an effort to connect the most needy with available resources. My conversation with them was full of life as I listened to how this experience transformed them, even as they hoped the folk they interviewed would also find new life. Talk of the stock market generally centered this week on how much folk have lost. Seems odd to me that the gains this week were found not on Wall Street but under the railroad tressles in downtown Richmond.
Gains always seem to be found where you least expect them.
Joey and I have just read the most amazing book. It is called "Take This Bread" and is about an atheist-turned-Episcopalian's work starting a food pantry at her inner-city church. It really makes one think about food, communion and the whole body of Christ from a different perspective. Very well written and highly recommended - we are loaning our copy to Bambi. It has a study guide at the end and might be a good one for adult Sunday school. it would really complement "Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist". Or maybe those interested could start a book club/dinner one night a month?
Janet's Commitment service this morning was very moving, as was the closing hymn, "O Zion haste, thy mission high fulfilling." I'm still hearing the refrain, "Publish glad tidings, Tidings of peace, Tidings of Jesus, Redemption and release." We support you, Janet.
I agree Virginia - very moving. I think Janet will have lots of prayers going up and that she will have an amazing experience, receiving as many blessings as she gives.
Had to search a bit for this quote which I really like - hoping Janet will find that it is true:
" I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." - Tagore
Thank you Kathy for finding that beautiful quote. And thank you all so much for your prayers and support over the years.
William Carter > The Children's Bible in a Nutshell
> In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but
> God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one,'
> but I think He must be a lot older than that.
> Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did.
> Then God made the world.
> He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't
> embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet.
> Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven
> from the Garden of Eden.....Not sure what they were driven in though,
> because they didn't have cars.
> Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was
> Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except forMethuselah, who
> lived to be like a million or something.
> One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of
> his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and
> some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said
> they would have to take a rain check.
> After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his
> brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some
> pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports
> Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston.
> Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh
> after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included
> frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.
> God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His
> Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or
> covet your neighbor's stuff.
> Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.
> One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use
> spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the
> After Joshua came David.. He got to be king by killing a giant with a
> slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500
> porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise
> to me.
> After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these
> was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the
> There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to
> worry about them.
> After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The
> New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born
> in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door!
> Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I
> was.') During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the
> Pharisees and the Democrats.
> Jesus also had twelve opossums.The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas
> was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.
> Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some
> Germans on the Mount.
> But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius
> the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands
> Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up
> to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is
> foretold in the book of Revolution.
Copied this from Facebook - thought it was good for a Friday night chuckle!
May all be safe during the storm.
Holy Eucharist was even more of a blessing this past Sunday than usual. It was wonderful how everyone came together to make it happen - Micheal and his bungee cords, Jeanie with her guitar, Pat with coffee from the New Yorker, Will and Gary doing about ten things (all at once, it seemed) and of course the unflappable Bambi shepherding us. I wouldn't have traded it for Westminster Abbey!
Hellooo - is anybody out there? <<chirp>> ... Sound of crickets chirping ....<<chirp>>
Yes, Kathy, last Sunday was communion in action! I'm not sure "unflappable" is an adjective I would use about myself - seeing the wafers, the Body of Christ - fly off the paten (and altar) was unnerving! If it's O.K. with you, I am hoping to celebrate communion this Sunday inside the church!
Yes, that was a bad moment! But everyone regrouped and carried on. You're right, though, it will be nice to be back inside!
I am looking forward to the fall and everything settling down after the summer vacation season, too.
"When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determine what kind of men (and women) we are. It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life. I am convinced that the tiniest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness (or womanliness) is to sacrifice for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice."
Hi Janet - great quote! How are you? Hope you are settling in and finding your work fulfilling.
I have just discovered St. Asaph's Blog! (as you can probably guess from my name being up there with nothing but the date following that I have never blogged, tweeted, chat roomed or anything like that before now). This site is awsome!!! Consequently, I have been sitting here reading the entries and laughing, praying, feeling joy and wonder and and gratitude that I know such an amazing group of people as St. Asaph's minister and congregation! What a blessing!! I am also not getting any work done at my house...but I would much rather feel I am sitting and talking and reflecting with you all. I just had to put in my 2 cents to let you know how glad I am to have each of you in my life!
Hooray for blogging Pete! This is getting to be a great place to hang out and talk to friends - even if they don't talk back to you for a day or two ;). You are right - our church is chock full of wonderful folks!
I am appreciating anew the glory of our common life. This week Bishop Susan Goff comes to St. Asdaph's and that means, among other things, I do not have to preach. Today I vacuumed and dusted and spent no time reading the lessons for Sunday which is what I usually do on Monday. Today was a day of true refreshment because the Bishop is coming and will preach next Sunday.
Many folk see our polity as "hierarchal" and understand our bishops as being somehow juridical authorities which they are not. Our bishops are pastoral persons charged to insure that we all know we are deeply loved by God and to hold us all accountable to the ministry of Jesus.
The Bishop, when she comes, will want to know what I have done to safeguard and to nurture the "spiritual health" of the parish. And I will tell her about adult education, our community suppers, our Sunday school, and the preparations of our confirmands.
When the Bishop comes, she wants to know if I am taking care of all of you and if you are taking care of one another. I believe we are and I will so say.
I will tell her what we have done to proclaim the love of of God and I trust she will find all things well. Today, though, I am resting, and vacuumming and dusting and not thinking about preaching. Today I am grateful for bishops and trust you are too.
One of many things that I trip over as your Priest-In-Charge is the rather persistent presumption that I learned all things in seminary. I did not learn how to jump into a cold lake in early February nor did I learn to whom I should give a gift from my discretionary fund and to whom I should not. Since coming among you I have made about sixty gifts, mostly for rent and utilities. The loose offering on the first Sunday of the month is designated by agreement to my discretionary fund. The ECW recently gave me $600.00 for which I am truly grateful. When folk get married and when someone dies, folk frequently give me money which I put in my discretionary fund. And the calls for assistance are increasing. I set limits - I try not to give folk more than $100.00 every six months. And I do not ask a lot of questions. I would ask though if you are approached by folk looking for help if you would direct them to me because I do have funds and I do keep records and I try to steward our tlimited funds as best as I am able - we cannot meet all needs but we can meet many. Please know, that in the name of this parish and all of you, we are reaching out to a whole host of folk you will never know. And be glad,
Aha the cold waters of Lake Land'or might be preferable to the coming Sunday morning Adult Education class as we struggle with N.T. Wrights heady theology. What makes this weekly sojourn into theology and philosophy so enjoyable is the diversity of ideas around the table and the willingness of participants to speak out. As I leave each Sunday morning for the service up-stairs I always wonder if the intellectual stimulation that this group provides is experienced by adult education classes in other churchs each Sunday. My thought is probably not, because the other churchs are not blessed with Bambi as a leader, facilitator, and clairfier for their class.
We at St Asaphs are so fortunate to have had Bambi walk into our lives 2 years ago this very day, Ash Wednesday. I often tease her by reminding that "you choose this congreation." But that is the half truth; I belive that Bambi was choosen FOR this congreation and is Gods gift to us, and what a wonderful surprise package she has turned out to be!
Thank you Micheal, but you pushed the send button one too many times! I am among you by the grace of God and cannot begin to tell you all have wonderful this has been. Adult Ed on Sunday is one of the joys of my life. I fear I will never convince some among us that the sea was an image of chaos for our ancestors. I am not sure I will ever be able to say how deeply I am devoted to the companions I have had on this way but count among them all those whose lives have become entangled with mine. What I know is that I am deeply grateful for pancake suppers and for adult ed, and the care and concern you strive to show forth for one another and to me and mine.
With abiding fondness,
The service yesterday at St. George's, with Presiding Bishop Katharine and the three Bishops of the Diocese of Virginia, was aptly named "From Repentance to Hope." We journeyed through sorrow, shame, repentance, hope and joy as we marked the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and heard Bishop Shannon apologize for the diocese's participation in and complicity with the institution of slavery and its aftermath. The music--jazz, drums, Gospel and hymns--and the liturgical dancing, were glorious. President Obama sent a message that was read at the end of the service. A witness walk and unveiling of a new statue in the City of Fredericksburg ended this moving experience. We should be proud of the statement our Diocese made by holding this service.
Thank you Virginia for raising up that glorious service! I meant but forgot to say anything about that service during our announcements today. I left church knowing I had left some things undone and wishing I had not. Oh, that we all had been able to be there on Saturday! And, oh, had I remembered to say something! Much of Lent is about remembering, which we did on Saturday, and which I trust we all will be doing in these next few weeks. Thank you for your blog. 'Twas great to share that service with you and Glenda and Joey and A.G. And was gald Dale was able to go Saturday night.
Please be with Peter this night - his 2nd of his 11th hospitalization since 3-22-12. Pneumonia again. Praise to the St. Asaph family who carry pancakes to him, warm him with a prayer shawl, & care for me so he doesn't worry. And Lynn who is my office furniture marketing guru. Be with Kathy & her family as they mourn the loss of her brother. Be gone evil whether thou be in the sea or on land or in the sky or within us! 😈
"Be gone evil whether thou be in the sea or on land or in the sky or within us! "
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’ "
Susan, you give voice from the depths of a hope that gave our ancestors, long past, the courage simply to keep on keeping on. May we with you, abide in hope,
The cardinals of the Catholic Church elected a new pope today. As I watched the throngs gathered in St. Peter's square waiting for his first public appearance as pope, I was reminded of our desire for "the holy" - for something or someone that transcends this world of flesh and blood. Holiness for Pope Francis, ironically, according to the commentators, is found precisely in this world of flesh and blood, especially in the flesh and blood of those who are suffering. Pope Francis seems to feel like we come to know God not in the high and lofty places but rather in subways and buses, homeless shelters and hospices, in the Food Lion and the apartments marked "section eight." I do believe this pope is on to something and I wish our Catholic brothers ands sisters well as they begin their journey with their new pope.
Just catching up on the blog and Bambi your comments on the Pope and finding "the holy" brought this song to mind - you know how strangely my mind works! I think there's a message in there for us but I'm darned if I can figure out what it is:
If God had a name, what would it be?
And would you call it to His face?
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?
And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?
If God had a face, what would it look like?
And would you want to see?
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints and all the prophets?
And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?
He's trying to make His way home
Back up to Heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in Rome
And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?
Just trying to make His way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to Heaven all alone
Just trying to make His way home
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in Rome
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/joan-osborne/what-if-god-was-one-of-us-lyrics/#xvg9xLAhy6Z0vgHb.99
"He stood up yesterday with assistance!!!" That was the message I received from Susan Hafey two days ago about Peter Galarneau who has been on our prayer list for months. Peter had his foot amputated and then his leg and has languished in between for a very long time. This week's news is good, very good indeed. In the midst of Holy Week, we celebrate a story of resurrection. There are other stories among us that are not so hopeful. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ who long for the good news of Easter.
And celebrate with Susan and Peter that Easter came early for them this year.
Does anyone know who wrote the poem "Gethsemane" that was printed on our bulletin for Maundy Thursday?
"My bags are packed; I'm ready to go." An old Peter, Paul and Mary song keeps playing in my mind as I take leave for Scotland on vacation. I anticipate a wonderful sojourn in a part of the world I have never seen. And one of my stops will be on the Isle of Iona, an ancient monastic community established by Saint Columba in 563 A.D. I plan to say a prayer there - in thanksgiving for this parish and for the joys and concerns that are afoot in our midst. I am protestant enough to believe that a prayer on Iona is no more effective than a prayer in Bowling Green. I am Catholic enough to believe that going to Iona will bear spiritual fruit and not just historical facts. I will let you know what happens.
A rooster crowed today in the back yard of the house adjacent to the rural church cemetery in which we buried Frank Benser today in Rochelle, Virginia. When I was in Scotland I saw any number of roosters on church steeples - an ancient symbol of the resurrection. Just letting you know...
Thank you for sharing these thoughts Bambi - I always enjoy them (and was that rooster from some different time zone?)
No, Kathy, that rooster (actually there were two) looked to me to have been born and bred in the hills of Virginia but whose cry got Peter's attention and certainly got mine as we buried Frank.
For phone calls and emails, for e-cards and texts, for cards and cakes, this day has been wondrous. Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me! A.G. gave me a bouguet of bright yellow roses which now graces our kitchen table. I can only say "thank you" and want you to know that with each and every glad encounter we come to know a little bit more how much we are loved. That is God's way. Pass it on.
With great and abiding fondness, and a goodly awe in the face of this mystery,
Mysteries keep on coming. Our sixth grandchlid, Addison Jean, arrived last night. We worried a bit more about "Addie," as she is being called, than our other five grandchildren as Addie's Mom has some health issues she did not have last time around. But Mom and Addie are fine and getting to know one another. Addie weighed in at five pounds and eight ounces and as I held that small child I marvelled at the way we begin life - so absolutely vulnerable, so needing of food and attention, so not like the beings we become - self-sufficient, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, so unwillingly to want or need others. Watching Addie feed at Mom's breast made me wonder if growing up is all it's cracked up to be.
Praise for the girls - new grandbaby Addie, new black belt tae kwon do Sarah, & Annelizabeth & new silver award Girl Scouts! Growing up is good Mother Bambi...Rejoice in growing older - it is a privilege denied to many.
How glad I am to be within a community whose collective wisdom is far greater than anything I could achieve on my own. "Growing up is good Mother Bambi." Indeed it is, Mother Hafey, and thank you for saying as much after I suggested we might be losing something as we do so. "Technology is good," Kathy Hancock wrote awhile back as I was wrestled with the challenges of virtual reality. I wonder what Sunday's sermon would be like if we gathered on Saturday night to talk about the lessons. I suspect we would have richer sermons but more tired preachers. But then, maybe we would discover more preachers among us!
Today is a beautiful day for a blessing!
I feel a little like a cheerleader always celebrating our common life. As I visited our website just now and saw our young people and those who loved them on Trinity Sunday gathered together I was glad and heartened. The bonds of affecton are deep in in this parish and it is my privilege to share in them. I do hope you all know that for all of our differences we share somerthing deep and abiding and something I trust you all will not take lightly. Kneeling together at the altar Sunday after Sunday is a witness to a world made new by God and not anything you nor I can orchesrate. I do believe your witness would be an encouragement to others. So blog, please. Let others know what you have experienced at St. Asaph's. Others are reading.
Tonight we roasted a pig and hosted close to a hundred folk, mostly teenagers from Caroline County and Italy engaged for a week doing service projects in Caroline County. They are weeding and painting at the middle and high schools, organizing a back yard Bible Club in Bowling Green, delighting folk at the Bowling Green Rehabilitation Center, and repairing private homes. And tonight, with the help of Pastor Giuseppe, we worshipped together in English and Italian! Tonight we also gave a $2000 check from the diocese to Salem Baptist Church to support the ministry of Glory Outreach. Tonight was a good night.
Earlier this week I received an an email from an army chaplain in Afghanistan thanking us for an old army chaplain's kit we discovered in the office closet and which we gave to him to use during his deployment in Afghanistan. The picture he sent is on the bulletin board.
I am aware that St.Asaph's is beginning to weave a global thread, connecting to folk from Caroline County to Italy and Afghanistan.
And what I also know is those relationships are being established because Joey Hancock and his son Chris got up at 7:00 a.m. this morning to ready the pig; that Gary Gravatt leaped into the lurch when Chris cut his finger; that Dale and Gilbert Brittle made tea and took pictures; that Jean Young, Sherry Gravatt and Michael Thomas led us in Taize chants for our worship tonight; that the families of Sarah and Annelizabeth Ferrigan and Alexis Kelleher got the girls to the places they needed to be; that Susan White and Dawn Maine and a host of others insured we had enough desserts to satisfy these hungry teenagers. And I also am remembering Annelizabeth Ferrigan presenting John Nunnally with a certificate of appreciation last Sunday for teaching them how to respond when our hearts stop, and Susan Hafey and the Polar Bear Plunge and Karen Nunnally and Shoebox Sunday.
Everything we do, no matter what, has consequences we cannot even begin to imagine. This week I have been reminded that St.Asaph's is having a global impact! We will never know what God will do with what we give. But if we do not give we will never know.
We sang, as our closing hymn this night, "Dona nobis pacem" - God, give us your peace.
I do believe we have a peace at St.Asaph's we are meant to share with others and I do believe this peace will have consequences we cannot even begin to imagine.
Rest in peace, sweet Row.
I awake to a rainy Monday morning reflecting back to the warmth and healing felt from my worship at St. Asaph's. Thank you to Bambi and our St Asaph's family
Today I have learned of the passing of someone with whom I was not so connected to...it happens to be the wife of my Chiropractor whom I haven't seen for a couple of years. But as the day has progressed, because of her passing, I find that I have connected with people that I haven't connected with in a couple of years...reaching out, making sure we are all in the know, sharing stories and fond memories of this person...Amber. It's amazing how "similar" the conversations have been today...how special she was, what a special soul she had, how giving she was, how selfless she was, how much a part of people lives she was...and how much she had endured over the past 8 years with illness, remission and it's final claim of her life here on this earth. And the same moves forward from there, we miss her so but we are so grateful that she is at peace, that her suffering has ended and how she touched so many peoples lives. My comment, might we all live our lives so that we can be remembered like that, not for the glory to ourselves but so that our lives are meaningful to the point that others are blessed.
A.G. and I have bought a lovely new home in Caroline County! We anticipate moving within the next month. We have sold our home in Richmond and are packing. Moving is a spiritual exercise I have decided as A.G. and I sort through forty-one years of life together graced by three children. We have hauled a lot to the dump, given much to Good Will and will move, one more time, much that has meaning to only the two of us. As we sift and sort, we are sharing stories, stories we have never told one another before. A.G. discovered the other day, a small transistor radio Santa Claus had given to him when he was seven. He can still remember listening to it with it’s one earphone as he fell asleep. And then today I unearthed a stuffed deer I received probably at about the same age, now worn and faded, but loved as well as A.G.’s transistor radio. Funny the stuff we love and hang on to.
I will try to keep you all posted as we make this transition. I am learning some new things about myself – how I hate to part with stuff. I am also learning that the stories of our lives are very important and need to be shared. Do not wait until you move!
I am also learning I am not very patient and become short and impatient in this time of transition. As we continue to pack and wait upon banks to make final declarations, I am short with A.G. We are hugging one another a bit more and simply realizing the need every now again just how much we depend upon one another. I am packing pillows and A.G.is talking to Comcast. All this is good - I just wish A.G.would not muck in my waters and re-pack my boxes.
Betwicks and between. I live in Richmond and am moving to Caroline County. Where am I now? Part of me is in a POD, in a driveway, waiting. Another part of me is already in Caroline County. We learned today that we will close on our new house on Monday. On Monday we will move if not physically, at least psychologically. On Monday we will have a new place; for now we are between places.
A good place for faith, for trust. I packed up all the blankets last week and put them in the POD. Could get cold in the next few days. The extra towels are packed and stacked into the POD. As are the extra sheets. Life is winnowing down to the essentials - the coffee pot, my books, the computer, and what I need to preach on Sunday, which is less than I thought.
Betwicks and between. We are beginning to get a grip on what is important and what is not so important.
Wish us well,
As A.G.and I move along so to speak we have been graced. Today's children's Sunday was amazing as we all tasted the talents and curiosities of our young people. At the end of a long week our young folk lifted us up. How lovely is that? We pack and we dance because God is doing amazing things in our midst.
We closed on Monday and the POD got moved to Caroline County today. As much as we have anticipated this day, A.G. and I are feeling shell shocked and disoriented. We have exited Richmond and are experiencing our own exodus. The Israelites grumbled and moaned and so are we as we unsettle and resettle. Exodus' are hard work. We both are longing to know that what we are doing is the "right" thing as we both know what we are doing is the faithful thing. None of that means you can't moan.
My last sermon in this particular space is finished, my books and files are packed and I am wondering what to do next. For the moment I am simply sitting, thinking about where the last seven years have taken me and wondering what will happen in the next seven. I have unearthed over the past few weeks many fond memories of a journey that started a long time ago, including my first sermon, preached in a very diverse congregation in New Carrollton, Maryland, in 2003. The text that day was from Mark and was about God’s gift of love as we come to know that gift through marriage. I will never be able to thank my husband A.G. for his love as he packs up once more. A.G. would have preferred to stay put but married a woman who could not stay put. My last sermon in this place is about gratitude and that would seem to be the work of the Holy Spirit!
My last post from Richmond,
On Sunday we sang Hymn 628: "Help us, O Lord, to learn the truths your word imparts: to study, that your laws may be inscribed upon our hearts." St. Asaph's offers "yearning souls" opportunities to study and learn. I am thnkful for the rich discussions at Tuesday Bible Study.
This has been a hard week as we said goodbye to Kelly, trusting that we will see her again. This has been a hard week for Susan Hafey with yet another surgery. This has been a hard week for A.G. and Bambi as they have searched for the coffee pot and struggled with doctors. At times like these I take great comfort in the soothing rituals of our common life as we share in the familiar words and actions of the Eucharist. Thanks be to God!
Tomorrow we will baptize Landon Scott Howard, Savannah Nicole Howard and Kirstin Elizabeth-Leigh Dotson. Keep these young folk in your prayers tonight and their parents, Bridget and Chris Howard and grandparents, Deborah Howard and Jean Young. Savannah and Kirstin are very excited and Landon, as always, glad to go along. But tonight, as you remember these three young folk, remember your own baptism if you can. Was your baptism a glad and glorious occasion or a quiet and not especially memorable event? Did anyone celebrate your baptism or was your baptism simply what you did to save you from the fires of hell? Kirstin and Savannah will receive the bread and the wine for the first time tomorrow and for them that is a big deal. As it should be. Kirstin and Savanah and Landon have come to know the love of God in Christ in this place and they cannot wait to be baptized! Did you feel that way when you were baptized?
Peace this night,
I was absolutely blown away by the spontaneous thanksgivings that were offered at our congregational meeting this day! So much in our midst is done "under the radar" and this afternoon I have been left with thoughts of other graces that were never mentioned. I am giving thanks this day for each of you and for the joy you all expressed this afternoon in our meeting.
"Twas a true celebration and not just an "annual meeting,"
Grace and peace,
The church was packed last night for our Christmas pageant. We had more shepherds and angels than we we knew what to do with, and a new star, crafted by Alex Nunnally. Catherine Denniston, Lori Ferrigan, Lance Carmine, Katie Storke, Karis White and Jessica Houser stewarded our young people through our pageant as Sherry and the choir lifted us in song. I understand Hunter Gravatt had trouble covering himself with our traditional "innkeeper's" garb. And Ray Piland was exuberant as the emcee at our "Birthday Party for Jesus." 'Twas a glad and glorious night at St. Asaph's.
Thanks, Micheal, for capturing it on video.
Rejoice andf give thanks,
I only learned of this blog this week, when Jean mentioned it in church. Our first St. Asaph's book club meeting will be Monday night the 13th, at 7 pm at the church. The book is "No Future Without Forgiveness," by Bishop Desmond Tutu. I look forward to good discussion on the very difficult topics of racism, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
I love our church family. I love that we enjoy being together ...a lot and often. I love that we care so deeply for one another. I love that we are strong for each other. I love that we can lean on one another. I love that we ARE family. Special hugs to AG and Bambi. You both are extra special to us. The Lord is good and has been gracious today. And for that, I say Thanks Be To God! Knowing this and having shared I can now go to sleep!
I was looking in my desk this morning for something, and found these two haiku poems I wrote years ago at a Shrinemont w/e, where the focus was our baptisms.
living water falls
born anew in Christ and sealed
His own, forever
water, cool and sweet
anointing, blessed, marking
behold! raised up, new
Today was a very MOVING day:-) I love it when the day starts out great and just gets better!! Usually by the end of the day, though, after such a full day, I'm tired. I'm tired to the point that I really don't care what time it is. The day has been overflowing in a good way...and it's time to rest for the night and start fresh in the morning. So, that's where we are:-) I am so grateful for the unconditional friendship and abounding love of those around me. For all of this, I rejoice and say "Thanks Be To God". Peace. Lynn
Our first book club met last night! Six of us discussed "No Future Without Forgiveness." Our book for February is "Fast Times in Palestine," by Pamela J. Olson. A young woman writes of her visit to Palestine; the book was published in 2003. St. Asaph's readers unite!
Thank you all for abiding with us, for waiting with us, as we struggle to understand how to help A.G. feel better and stronger. None of us anticipated what has unfolded this week when we gathered together last Sunday. But we did we pray for the strength and courage to meet the days to come. And strength and courage has come - from your care and concern, from attentive doctors and nurses, and from the relationship A.G. and I have shared together these past forty-one years. Please know how very grateful both A.G. and I are to be in your midst and how much we want, as do we all, answers. They have been slow in coming this week and we bid your patience. We have been surrounded by love this week and that, God tells us, is the answer to all questions. And so, in so many ways, healing is happening.
We are ALL with both of you on this journey, surrounding you with love.
Be with AG & Bambi tomorrow & give them comfort in Your loving arms.
Thanks be to God for good news after A. G.'s surgery today!
praise God from whom all blessings flow
What an absolutely glorious morning - we are so blessed!
Yesterday was absolutely amazing but I confess to be being a good bit distracted and grateful for our liturgy that keeps us on task when we are not. I was wholly taken by surprise by your gift of my beautiful stole, crafted by Susan Tilt, and for your presence and your prayers. Unbelievable! Your new rector will need a goodly time to get a handle on the moment!
In the meantime, the Bishop told me yesterday that some parishes have an "It" factor - I am presuming he is referring to the presence of the Holy Spirit! - and that St. Asaph's had that "It" factor. We are well, and will be well, and I look forward to sharing all that "It" with you!
The staff at MCV is assessing A.G. for rehab and we are looking forward to moving on to the next phase of his recovery.
Our next book club selection is "God's Mechanics," by Guy Consolmagno. It's available for around $10 on an e-reader. For some strange reason it costs way too much, $93, as a hard copy. Let me know if you're interested in reading it, but don't have an e-reading device. Next book club meeting is second Monday in March, the 10th.
We continue to sojourn at MCV which is exasperating. But today A.G.'s nurse noticed the book I was reading ("Fast Times In Palestine") and asked what I thought, what I did, etc. That she noticed was huge; that the book triggered something within her was even huger. Evangelism takes many forms and I was glad this day that one nurse on the cardiac-thoracic unit had an eye not just on my husband but on the wider world of suffering. She, like all of us, wants healing, not just for A.G., but for all of us.
A.G. is back in Bowling Green - Thanks be to God! But as we have transitioned from MCV to Bowling Green Healthcare and then back again, I have been reminded of the exasperation of making transitions. Transitions leave us feeling like nothing is certain. My most favorite prayer at the moment is one that we pray at the end of the day, at compline:
Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we are who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God is not going anywhere, we are safe, and though tomorrow is uncertain, God is not.
May the peace of God be always with you and with me and with A.G.,
Bambi I think that is my very favorite prayer in all of the BCP!
Last night, Bambi's answer to the question, "What do we DO in Lent?" (demonstrated with the help of Robby and James) was simply brilliant. We TURN.
These past two days since A.G. came home have been amazing. This morning A.G. said to me: "This is wonderful!" as he relished in visits from family and friends. His brother came and played his mandolin as the kids and I visited with David Storke. Our nine month old grandaughter Addy stayed behind delighting A.G. with her smile. We have laughed and we have cried and we have prayed. And while we know all days will not be like these past two days, we are giving thanks.
We thank all of you for lifting us up by your prayers, nurturing us by your presence and bringing in the kingdom of God by your love,
Bambi I feel as though I am wholly inadequate at expressing myself in times such as these. Once again, all I can say is that A. G., you and your family are constantly in Joey's and my thoughts and prayers. We have been blessed by knowing A. G. and by his presence among us. We continue to pray for God's peace and grace to surround you.
Bambi, I want you to know that I think a lot about you and A.G.
To everyone in your parish I must tell you I am A.G.'s cousin who lives in Florida. I can't thank all of you members who are looking after Bambi and A.G. They are the greatest !!!
If anybody wants to keep me posted on A.G. please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com
I really don't want to keep calling A.G.
Patti Bill Harris
It's been a very full day. A.G.'s service was moving; funerals make us face our own mortality, and this one was no exception. Many images stay in my mind; the calla lilies in front of the casket, the beautiful altar frontal cloth, Bishop Susan's homily, the procession back home to Bowling Green, with folks following that old Southern custom of pulling over in respect for a funeral procession. Bill saw a man near Bowling Green take off his hat and hold it over his heart as we passed by. The finality of the dirt on the casket, and the look on our rector's face. The love of friends and parishioners, and those who helped serve the reception. We are blessed to have shared this day together.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. There certainly was love in abundance yesterday!
This Holy Week has been a deeply moving experience for me as we have moved from waving palms to the washing of one another's feet and the bare altar. Our journey this week has been haunted by A.G.'s death and your love. I am grateful to Janet Nunally for preaching tonight in the light of the recent loss of her sister. I am grateful for our service last night as we washed one another's feet. I am grateful for the ways God has made known to us, on the ground and in the flesh, God's abiding love. This Holy Week, for me, has been decidedly rich and profound and I am looking forward to our Easter celebrations and saying "Alleluia!" Saying "Allelulia" does not elimate the memories but gives me hope. And hope is everything.
The Great Vigil of Easter was awesome from the kindling of the new fire, to the beautiful Exultet, through the readings telling of how God keeps his promises to His people, the joyful sound of the trumpet all the way to the final "alleluias" (with an extra or two added in for good measure!). Happy Easter!
This is beautiful - written by the Indian philosopher Tagore whose birthday was May 7:
Deliver me from my own shadows, O God,
from the wreck and confusion of my days,
for the night is dark and Your pilgrim is blinded.
Hold my hand.
Deliver me from despair.
Touch with Your flame the lightless lamp of my sorrow.
Waken my tired strength from its sleep.
Do not let me linger behind, counting my losses.
Let the road sing to me of the house at every step.
For the night is dark, and Your pilgrim is blinded.
Hold my hand.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), writer, educator, philosopher, poet
Thank you Kathy. That is my prayer.
I was thinking of you Bambi (among others) when I shared this.
I keep wondering what is spiritual about filing insurance claims and negotiating A.G.'s pension. What I am realizing, with each passing day, is how thoughtfully A.G. planned for the time he would not be with me. And I am grateful beyond measure for his thoughtfulness. Be thoughtful, now and in the times to come, of those whom you love. Be mindful you will die and take heed that you willl leave behind folk who will grieve and who will be sorely grateful to know that in death, as in life, you are loving them in whatever ways you are able.
Being "mindful of the needs of others" in all ways and at all times is I think one of the most important things God calls on us to do. And A.G. certainly lived that. How wonderful to be able to feel his abiding love for you in such a tangible way!
This afternoon I visited the newly dedicated statue of the Virgin Mary that stands outside St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church. She was created by a neighbor of mine. As I was appreciating her, some children were moved to stroke the cool smoothness of her robe. She is peaceful and lovely. I was also glad to see that the church's wooded pathway with the Stations of the Cross was not damaged by the recent flooding rains.
Virginia you have post number 100! How wonderful that the children appreciated the statue - and what a beautiful day to enjoy it!
I was thinking of Dan Shockey this morning as the choir sang a beautiful version of his personal favorite hymn, known as the "Naval Hymn", "For Those In Peril on the Sea."
One of my all time favorites as well - and the choir sounded awesome!
What a wonderful day! Thanks to David, Gary, & Hunter for helping me get Peter to "AG's Place" - 1st car trip since 11-14-2012!!!
In service, stewardship and hospitality, A.G. will always be in that place.
Church book club book for August makes me think. It is Backpacking Through the Anglican Communion. All of us could benefit from reading it...eye-opening about diocesan growth in places oh-so-different from us.
My last blog was a while back so I thought it good to catch up a bit. This summer has passed in a bit of a blur and I am looking forward to a trip to Paris early September for my son's wedding. Each day is a bit different and I am never sure what I will be feeling. What I know is that feelings change and some days are good and some days are not. I am an impatient person and would just like to "get on with it" but most of the time am realizing we just need to go through it. We are poised at the begining of a new program year in the church and the vestry is poised to begin a process to help us consider where we want to be in the next three years. All very exciting and all very daunting. The men of the church have added a shed roof to the pavillion to cover our servers and it looks great! I am hopeful and I am grateful for your hope. But I am also feeling restless and long to make St. Asaph's a more powerful presence in our community. Mostly, I thank you for being with me.
With abiding love,
I have spent a quiet day reflecting on the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and reading a book written by our Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori entitled A Wing and a Prayer. The quiet part has been hard and is not something I like. The events in Missouri have added to my heartbrake. But reading sermons from our Presiding Bishop has given me hope, hope for me and hope for the the healing of the wounds under which we all suffer. So put on your reading list two books: Backpacking through the Anglican Communion and A Wing and a Prayer.
For a multitude of reasons, I determined recently I should be on Facebook, which I have resisted for years. I engaged Kathy Hancock who helped me understand how to do so as well as help me understand certain other technological mysteries. This past Thursday evening, I launched my Facebook page, using "Barbara Willis" as my name and giving my birth date. On Friday, my email was flooded, my cell phone was "dinging" every minute and I realized I had unleashed a social frenzy as folk from my past and present in ways I will never understand suddenly gleaned I was on Facebook. I am now friends with Bishops, clergy, the last wife my brother had, and an assortment of other folk who I barely know. I am not sure how of all that happened and am really not sure what to do now. Kathy assures me technology is a good thing but I am not so sure. Thursday I went public and being "public" is something I will have to get used to.
Yay! Bambi's on facebook.
I have never cancelled a service of worship and within the past two weeks, have cancelled two! If you have been following the Lenten reflections from SSJE, you will note that their reflection this past week invited us to consider "stopping." I had no idea how difficult such "stopping" would be! I have been left feeling off balance, without my normal habits,and out of sorts. And I do believe I have been given some deep Lenten wisdom during these two weeks of snow, ice, re-scheduling and cancellations. I am learning I do not like to "abort" or change directions, if we want to speak theologically. What are you learning about yourself in these days of Lent? I have emailed Jean with my sermons to post on the website for Lent 1 and 2 but know reading a sermon is not quite the same as hearing a sermon. For now, that is all I can offer.
Today's news is better re/ Joey Hancock. Bypass surgery by end of this week or beginning of next if his confition continues to show slight improvement. , As we sat together in the ICU waiting room, Lynn mused about HOPE & what exactly that means esp compared to FAITH. I have a wooden sculpture with a cross (faith), heart (love), & anchor (hope)!. That was the best that
I could one up with.
musing about Hopr & what exactly does that mean
It's been awhile since I posted a blog. Know that I and my kids have been cleaning up - sorting and sifting through a variety of stuff and let go of a lot of A.G.'s tools and tool boxes at the Clean Sweep Sale last Saturday. Andrew and I cried when the yellow tool box A.G. brought home on the day he retired three and a half years ago was taken away. Letting go is hard, too hard to put into words. Yet letting go seems to be an integral part of our life of faith - as we are called to let go of our expectations and assumptions about God and ourselves, our grudges and grievances, and like the toolbox, the physical trappings that make us feel secure. This summer, I am practicing the spiritual discipline of letting go which means on the ground I am cleaning out the garage. In my heart I am letting go of a way of life I lived for forty-two years. I am trusting that God will lead me into whatever the next place God wants me to go.
Keep me in your prayers,
I'm looking for my friends, Mike Thomas and Patrick DeCrane. I know they were members of your church. They ran the B&B up the street from the church. If you can give me any assistance in finding them, I'd greatly appreciate it. I heard from them last Christmas saying they were closing the B&B and have not heard from them since. Thanks for any help you can give me.
Hi Eileen, Michael and Patrick have moved to South Carolina. Would you please send me your phone number, and I will forward it to them and have them call you.
Thank you so much Jean. They can reach me more easily by email. Please give them my email address - firstname.lastname@example.org. They will know who I am. I am so relieved.
I am a researcher from sunny Sydney, Australia studying the history of a REV JAMES TAYLOR. According to the 1838 family Bible he was a 'Rector' at St Asaph's, Glebe, Virginia. He fathered a child in Caputh, Perthshire in 1786 so he would have gone to Virginia after that.
I am eager to make contact with your historian or other contact who could be of assistance to confirm or eliminate his association with your church. I am willing to make a donation if necessary and share my research results with your archivist.
Regards and appreciation for your time.
Hello Beth - sorry I didn't see this before now. My email address is email@example.com - if you will email me, I will try to figure out who might know the answer to your question and put them in touch.
I know this is not the correct platform to use but I couldn't find an email address to send this request to. Please accept my apologies.
Good Afternoon. Do not know if your church rents out space for events as I'm not from this part of the state and am in a bit of a bind. Inquiring about renting space for a baby shower, 03/17/2017. The expectant mother lives in Caroline County and is not up to traveling far. I decided a church would be a good place to start in my search as I've discovered that Caroline County's affordable event rentals are pretty sparse and I've been assisting with events at church all my life.
I apologize for this last minute request. The young lady who we're giving the shower for had made arrangements for us to use the clubhouse at her private community on Lake Caroline for the shower. Her HOA realized at last minute that they had a Lake event scheduled for that Friday and changed mind about letting us use the space. Guests have already confirmed and made arrangements with their jobs and babysitters. It's just too late at this point to change the date.
The Baby Shower as planned:
Guests arriving at 2:00 PM - ending in 4 hours. Expecting 20-30 guests which includes some children. However, would like to be prepared for 50 to show up; just to be on safe side.
Food will be served. An alcoholic punch will be offered to non-drivers. There will be designated drivers & a Virginia ABC license. We would like to decorate. It is safari themed. Decorations will mostly consist of stuffed jungle animals, balloons, maybe cardboard, standing animals (depending on how much I can get done in time), centerpieces, tablecloths, chair covers, electric candles.
Planned menu either Fettuccine, Spaghetti & salad from the expectant mother's favorite restaurant or Chicken & sides from Bojangles with some finger food and cakes-cookies made by the ladies.
The family is great about clean-up. The fire hall that we used for the expectant mother's wedding was much cleaner after the wedding than before. Many of us have worked in the service and banquet industry for a good part of our lives. I like to think we are fairly adept at set-up & break-down and we respect the limitations & rules expected when renting space for an event.
I have catering equipment which includes traveling, holding boxes for warm food and chafers for serving. We would need to use lit fuel for the chafers.
Would love to hear back from you as soon as possible as to availability and rates.
Thank you so very much for your consideration. If there is any other information you require from me please let me know, (or if you can't assist us if you have any other recommendations). I work as a train conductor for the Virginia Rail Express, VRE, Monday thru Friday and have to have my phone turned off when working. If you could please leave a message if no answer?
Bonnie Olliff 757 641 0429 Verizon smartphone firstname.lastname@example.org
PS - all church members who are present that day are invited to enjoy festivities and food.