Table Rock Talk May 2015

The Newsletter of Lawrencefield Parish Church

Everybody chip in!

Lots of ways to help at Lawrencefield Parish Church!

Churchyard Clean-Up

The second Sunday of each month between May and September are designated clean-up days. Feel free to wear work clothes to church, bring garden tools and help spruce up the grounds after the 10:00 service. Mark your calendar with the following dates: May 10, June 14, July 12, August 9 and September 13.

Adopt-A-Highway

Picking up trash along Table Rock Lane is one way we serve our community. Join your friends and make quick work of this small chore after church on May 3, July 5, and September 6. Trash bags are provided. Gloves, long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended. Persons over 18 only.

Education

The Education Committee reports a very successful inaugural “Monday Movie Night,” with the April 13 showing of In the Steps of St. Paul. Now the committee is considering a multi-generational program bringing together our middle-schoolers and older members in an interview project. Details are being worked out. If you think you might be interested in helping, please contact a member of the Committee—Barb Hinkle, Airry Schultz or Aimee Stern.

Worship

“Why do we do things the way we do?” “How can I participate on Sunday morning?” “I have an idea of something we could do during worship to make it more meaningful!” “Can we sing my favorite hymn more often?” The Worship Committee asks that any parishioners with ideas or questions about our worship contact one of them. Members are Dave Duymich, Scott Duymich and Lisa Martin.

Soup Kitchen

St. Luke’s Soup Kitchen needs coverage for July 5. Responsibilities include preparing a protein, side dish and dessert for 80, and serving it. This usually requires a team of four people. If you can cook but not serve, or serve but not cook, or if you can cook one dish but not all of them, we can team you with someone else. See Janine Reddy for details.

Wish List

In rewiring for phone service bundled with internet, we have been brought face-to-face with the limitations of our nine-year-old office computers. The vestry has decided to revive the idea of the Wish List. Replacing the rector’s and secretary’s computers, with service agreements and needed software, is estimated to cost about $1,400. If you are moved to make a donation that you know will fill a specific need in the parish, please consider a donation to cover all or part of this purchase. Contact the rector for details.

If you have ideas for other additions to the Wish List, please speak to a member of the vestry.

Flowers

Open dates for altar flower donations are June 7, July 19, August 9, and Sept. 13. Cost for two altar arrangements is $45. To commemorate a loved one or special occasion, please contact Shirley Weaver.

The Rector's Study The Rev. Cynthia Byers Walter

Double dipping: Authors represented more than once on my spiritual reading shelf

Since I have found myself recommending and lending a lot of books lately, I thought I might comment in this space on a few of my favorite spiritual writers. It occurred to me that the best way to judge who my favorite authors are is to see who has written more than one of the books on the shelves in my office. I’ve ended up with quite a list. Interestingly enough, these are some of the most approachable writers on spiritual matters, so I think I am safe from recommending anything too technical. I’ll go alphabetically, for want of a more meaningful scheme.

Edwin H. Friedman This is the guy to go to for insight into group dynamics. His basic premise is that people in related groups (whether families, churches or workplaces) assume roles in the system, upon which the system comes to depend. This is why fixing a dysfunctional system is so difficult. The usual practice is to focus on the “identified patient,” but this is rarely successful because the weakest member of the system does not have the power to change the system. Friedman advocates fostering high-function in the most functional and differentiated members of the system. Titles in my collection: Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church or Synagogue and Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. Also recommended: Friedman’s Fables.

Margaret Guenther The author is a priest and retreat leader retired from the Diocese of Washington DC. I first read her when training to become a spiritual director, but have found her biblical commentary and study of spirituality and aging to be invariably wise and moving. Titles in my collection: Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction, The Practice or Prayer (from The New Church’s Teaching Series), Toward Hold Ground: Spiritual Directions for the Second Half of Life and My Soul in Silence Waits: Meditations on Psalm 62.

C.S. Lewis This mid-century English academic had an absolute genius for making theology understandable. His children’s novels are simply magical. They don’t have to be read for any religious meaning, but the theology there is more than sound. His strictly theological books are clear and approachable, with lots of examples from everyday life. His autobiographical works are absolutely searing. Titles in my collection: Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. I have also read lots of others that have gotten lost in my various moves. Also recommended: The Narnia series, and A Grief Observed.

Gerald G. May I had the privilege of attending some seminars with this brilliant psychiatrist during my study at the Shalem Institute. His specialty was the relationship between psychology and spirituality. Where some people talking about spirituality seem to levitate off the ground, Gerry May was always firmly grounded in common sense. I remember his leading a meditation in which he warned us, “Now, don’t go off in a state!” Titles in my collection: Care of Mind, Care of Spirit: A Psychiatrist Explores Spiritual Direction, Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions, and The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth.

Henri Nouwen Nouwen was a Roman Catholic priest who after a stellar academic career spent the last decade of his too-short life working with the mentally and physically handicapped. Admittedly, one of the most attractive features of Nouwen’ books is that they are short. They are also filled with wisdom, love, and sound, compassionate theology. Titles in my collection: The Wounded Healer: In Our Own Woundedness, We Can Become a Source of Life for Others and In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. Also recommended: Beyond the Mirror (out of print.)

Richard Rohr Though my clergy colleagues have been emoting about Rohr for years, I just read him this past year, and now I know what the fuss is about. A Franciscan friar, Rohr writes eloquently about how ordinary people can participate in God’s plan of redemption in our broken world. His works abundantly reflect the Franciscan emphasis on the interconnectedness of creation, but his focus is always intensely practical. Titles in my collection: Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi and Falling Upward: Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.

Bonnie Thurston If you’ve had the privilege of meeting Bonnie, or hearing her preach or teach, I don’t have to explain to you why she’s on my list. She is just a really attractive combination of wisdom, scholarship, artistry, integrity, theological, spiritual liturgical and rootedness, common sense and human compassion. Titles in my collection: For God Alone: A Primer on Prayer, A Place to Pay Attention, and Practicing Silence: New and Selected Verses. Also recommended: To Everything a Season: A Spirituality of Time and Women in the New Testament: Questions and Commentary.

**** This survey may or may not inspire you to read any of these authors, but at least writing it gave me an opportunity to say, “Ed, Margaret, Jack, Gerry, Henri, Richard and Bonnie, thank you for all you have meant to me!”

Vestry Vibes

Summary of the April 19 Vestry Meeting:

Audit Committee

The 2014 financial records have been gathered together. The Audit Committee, consisting of Marilyn Campbell, Karen Dalby, Carlyle Farnsworth and Jaci Neer will meet soon.

Undercroft Curtains

The Vestry accepted Jessie McClure’s kind offer to replace the undercroft curtains. Jaci Neer is in charge of this project, and has had decorator Mary Beth Hughes come out to offer suggestions. Mary Beth suggests blinds and will send an installer out to get measurements. Options will be considered by Jaci who will present them for vestry approval.

Rector’s Study Chairs.

While Mary Beth was here, the rector asked for a rough estimate for recovering the chairs in her study. The estimate was about $200 per chair. Lisa Martin knows an upholsterer who can probably do it for less and will obtain an estimate from her.

Church Door Poster

The Vestry voted to accept the rector’s donation of a framed poster composed by another priest in the diocese showing front doors from Episcopal Churches in West Virginia. It will hang in the downstairs hallway where the framed newspaper page used to be. The newspaper page will be moved to the undercroft.

Education Committee

The Committee met and is brainstorming a special event for our middle school children that would have them interview older church members and present their findings at the All Saints Service on Sunday, November 1.

Senior Warden

Members of the congregation have offered to purchase a commode with a raised seat for the ladies room if we can install it. The Duymiches agreed to install it and the vestry accepted the donation.

Junior Warden

Warden Scott Duymich recommends replacing the sump pump in the elevator shaft. This can be done for about $150. The vestry approved this expense to come out of the Building and Property account.

Stewardship Committee

received a response from the Holy Week mailing: about 4-5 donations for a total of about $200-300. The committee will meet again in May to plan the summer mailing.

Comcast

Tom Farnsworth has arranged to bundle our phone service with our internet service from Comcast, which should save us some money.

Computers

While working with the cable guy, Tom noted that our two office computers are out-of-date and slow. The rector will research replacement costs. The vestry will establish a wish list to solicit donors.

Fundraisers

Michelle Beihl is pursuing her ideas to hold an indoor yard sale at which parishioners can offload their rummage and at which non-member neighbors may purchase tables, and wooden keepsakes depicting LPC from The Cat’s Meow.