Table Rock Talk August 2015

The Newsletter of Lawrencefield Parish Church

Curry elected Presiding Bishop

Episcopal Church calls the Bishop of NC to its highest office

The following is adapted from an Episcopal News Service briefing, which originally appeared in the Chapel Hill News & Observer dated July 6, 2015 in an article entitled Duke Chapel-consecrated bishop makes Episcopal history by Flo Johnston.

The Episcopal Church made a historic choice by electing its first African-American presiding bishop. Michael Curry, 62, of the Diocese of North Carolina was elected by a landslide at the Episcopal General Convention in Salt Lake City. His election is a second historic choice for the New York-based church of about 1.9 million members. He is succeeding Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first female presiding bishop and the first woman to lead an Anglican national church.

During a news conference at the convention, Curry said his selection was “a sign of our church growing more deeply in the spirit of God and in the movement of God’s spirit in our world.” Curry is known for his emphasis on evangelism, public service and social justice and is the author of “Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus.” The bishop has said he prays “for a church passionately committed to making disciples. At a deep level I am suggesting a church-wide spiritual revival of the Christian faith in the Episcopal way of being disciples of Jesus.”

Bishop Curry will be installed Nov. 1 in a service at the Washington National Cathedral, the day Bishop Jefferts Schori completes her nine-year term.

Lawrencefield plans “Name Day”

Unofficial patron saint honored at annual feast

In keeping with recent tradition, Lawrencefield will once again celebrate St. Lawrence of Rome on the second Sunday of August.

Since our church is not named for a saint or theological concept, LPC did not have a patron saint until a few years ago, when we adopted St. Lawrence, whose feast is officially observed on August 10, the anniversary of his martyrdom. People and institutions named after saints traditionally observe their saint’s designated feast day in what is known as a “Name Day Celebration.”

Lawrencefield will celebrate on August 9 with a Hot Dog Grill after church. Franks, rolls and condiments will be provided. Parishioners are welcome to bring side dishes and desserts.

A grilled luncheon has become traditional at LPC to honor St. Lawrence, who was martyred by being grilled alive. Though in obviously bad taste, this practice is probably appreciated by Lawrence in the community of saints, as he was known for his unorthodox sense of humor.

Rummage being accepted

Sale scheduled for August 22

Parishioners may bring used articles in good condition to church any time until August 16. The optional rental of a table for $10 entitles you to keep the proceeds of your sales. Otherwise sales will benefit the church.

The Rector's Study The Rev. Cynthia Byers Walter

Eucharist 101

During the month of August I will continue a sermon series on the Eucharist, suggested by our Sunday lectionary’s extended foray into the “I am the Bread of Life” section of the Gospel of John. In this column I’d like to reinforce the theology I will be preaching with some good old-fashioned technical information.

First, you probably have noticed that the Eucharist service is divided into two basic sections: the Ministry of the Word and the Communion itself. Each of these in turn has identifiable parts.

The Ministry of the Word has three basic components: Introduction, Lessons, and Response. The formal term for the introduction is “The Entrance Rite.” Its purpose is obviously to prepare our hearts and minds for worship, through the opening sentence (“Blessed be God…”); the Collect for Purity (“… to you all hearts are open”); the Summary of the Law (at 8:00); the Gloria (“Glory to God”), Kyrie (“Lord have mercy”), or Trisagion (“Holy God,” which we use at 10:00 during Lent); and the Collect of the Day.

Then we listen to scripture, and its exposition in music (at 10:00) and the Sermon, which constitute the Lessons. Then comes the Response.

We respond, first with the Creed (which I always think of as setting us all right if the preacher’s gone off track), then with Prayers, including intercessions and Confession and Absolution of Sin. This climaxes in the Peace, which represents our readiness to proceed to communion, being at peace with God and with each other.

Communion also has three basic components: Prayers, Distribution of Communion, and Closure. We begin our Prayers with the Offertory, which is not only to offer our alms, in the form of what we put in the offertory plate, but the bread and wine itself. All are placed on the altar, the traditional place of offering to God, and formally dedicated to God’s use.

Our next prayer is the Sursum Corda, “Lift up your hearts…”. We are not only offering material things to God, we are offering ourselves, recognizing with thanks that everything we have comes from God. The priest then adds a preface appropriate to the season, acknowledging some of the wonderful things God has done, and then we pray or sing the Sanctus, “Holy, holy, holy…” celebrating that we are part of God’s eternal and cosmic family, through all time and space, with “all the company of heaven” and all who have loved God throughout history, including our own beloved who have died. This is a powerful moment!

Prayers of Consecration follow, often from the mouth of the priest alone, but in some forms (Like Eucharistic Prayer C of Rite II) with some congregational participation. These consist of prayers remembering what God has done for God’s people throughout biblical history (technically called “The Anamnesis” – literally anti-amnesia, or remembering), and then the actually blessing of the elements (technically called the “Epiclesis,” which means “invocation”.) Then together we pray the Lord’s Prayer, and the celebrant breaks the bread (“The Fraction.”) This is important, symbolizing that Christ himself was broken for us, to make us whole.

At this point the bread and wine have “become” the body and blood of Christ. Some believe this is literally true, others have a purely symbolic view, and many fall in between. A range of beliefs about how Christ is present in Eucharist is embraced by the Episcopal Church without prejudice.

Now the Communion is distributed, and we all eat and drink. A noted liturgical scholar, Dom Gregory Dix, has said that communion prayers must have four parts, mirroring Christ’s action at the Last Supper: Take the bread, bless the bread, break the bread, and give the bread. With the distribution of communion, we complete this action.

There remains, in Closure, only to thank God for what we have received, and to be blessed by the priest, so that we may take the benefits we have received at God’s Holy Table out into the world in our daily life. Because this takes so little time it is easy to elide over it, but if it does not take place the meaning of the Eucharist is largely lost. Always, always, we leave the Eucharist infused with enough of Christ’s presence to share with the world. Easy to forget, but clearly Christ’s intention.

Vestry Vibes

Summary of the July Vestry Meeting:

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee will meet soon.

Undercroft Curtains

The blinds for the undercroft windows have been manufactured and will be installed shortly.

Rector’s Study Chairs.

No report.

5K Race

No report.

Undercroft Carpet fundraiser

Carpet contractors have been out to measure the space. One estimate came in at $6,831 to replace carpet plus $1,178 to install linoleum in the kitchen. Sue Farnsworth and June Paull will head the fundraiser.

Permission to serve alcohol at private function

The vestry approved a request from Rev. Walter to serve beer and/ or wine at her family reunion taking place in the undercroft August 29.

General Convention

The rector asked the vestry to direct any questions about the actions of General Convention 2015 to her.

Senior Warden

Barb Hinkle is organizing a kitchen clean-up some time before the Rummage Sale on August 22.

Education Committee

The Education Committee will meet July 29 to plan 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 (Working Title: Generations.)

Junior Warden

Volunteers met mid-week to make up for the Sunday Churchyard Clean-Up that had to be cancelled. Special thanks go to Ron White for power-washing several areas. One company has finally agreed to come out to estimate repaving of the lower driveway. They should be out this week.

Stewardship Committee

The committee will meet July 28 to discuss the annual campaign.

Coffee Hour

is filling its August schedule.

Flower Guild

has coverage for every Sunday and every donor has paid in full. Good job Shirley!

Rummage Sale

Donations are being received.

Cats Meow Fundraiser

No report.

June Minutes

were accepted.

Treasurer’s Report

was unavailable due to the rector’s recent return from retreat. The report will be prepared and emailed this week.