Table Rock Talk September 2015

The Newsletter of Lawrencefield Parish Church

Plans afoot for Op2G

Intergenerational event kicks off in September

Operation Two Generations (Op2G) is an event intended to bring together our youth with some of our long-time members to create a sort of verbal portrait of our diverse congregation. Middle and High School students will meet on September 26 to plan this project and receive materials and training to equip them to interview older members at mutually convenient later dates. The interviews can in most cases be scheduled to follow the 10:00 service and may coincide with Coffee Hour. Questions will concern the general outlines of the subject’s life story, including their earliest memories of Wheeling and of Lawrencefield Parish Church. The results will take a yet-to-be-determined form which will be presented at our All Saints service on November 1. To volunteer to be interviewed, please sign up in the narthex or contact the church office.

Cat’s Meow comes to LPC

Fundraiser planned with sale of Lawrencefield collectibles

Collectors may be familiar with Cat’s Meow “Shelf Sitters” which portray significant buildings in miniature that can be sold as mementos. Lawrencefield is having these personalized items made to commemorate our own beloved building. These will be made available to members and friends in time for Christmas gifting for a cost of approximately $10. Please see Michelle Beihl to pre-order yours!

Push to pay off diocesan loan renewed

Vestry eyes additional maintenance projects

Noting the need for capital improvements like the paving of the driveway and flooring for the undercroft and kitchen, the vestry decided to promote the paying off of the diocesan loan that financed our sound system, TV and video player, microwave, nursery flooring, Red Sea Mural, narthex and Sunday school furniture, and Welcome signs. This interest-free loan, for a total of $10,000 was taken out in 2013, with a 10-year maximum term. Well ahead of schedule, we now have a balance of about $3,500. Paying in full would make us eligible for another $10,000. Assist in this effort by making donations in any amount to Lawrencefield Parish Church with “Loan payback” on the memo line.

Parishioners pack YWCA survival kits

Collection benefits YWCA program to help women

Lawrencefield Church participated in a collection of personal articles to benefit the YWCA and its WIND program (Women Inspired in New Directions) which is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive environment for women beginning their recovery journey. The women served by this program are fleeing abusive domestic relations, coming from rehab or recently released from prison. The program supplies case management, support for life skills, referrals to social services, and assistance with job-searching. Lawrencefield collected ten bags of supplies including shampoo, toothpaste, soap and other articles, plus laundry supplies and an alarm clock, which were gratefully received by the YWCA.

The Rector's Study The Rev. Cynthia Byers Walter

I am who I am (and a little like Meg)

I spent a worthwhile half-hour this morning watching the video of Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry preach at a commemoration of Jonathan Myrick Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian who was killed in 1965 while working for civil rights, shot at point-blank range while shielding a young black volunteer.

If you have seen videos of Bp. Curry sermonizing, you know that this man can preach! I tuned in realizing the video was a full half-hour long, intending to skim it, but I was spellbound and watched every second. In the privacy of my office I listened, laughed, cried and even shouted “Amen!” His message was about unleashing the power of love. Among other things I thought, “Wow! If only I could preach like that!”

But if I am to take his message to heart, I must waste no time regretting what I am not. It is precisely because I really do believe, with Bp. Curry, that love is the strongest force in the universe, that I must respond to the unique call that the power of love makes on my own life in my own way.

And that takes me to the Op2G project, described on the front page of this issue, and the book I just finished reaching for the Lawrencefield Readers, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle.

One of the questions that is included in the suggested Op2G interview plan is, “If you were a character in a movie or a book, who would you be?” This question was a hold-over from the interviews that the Congregational Study Team conducted for the Living History project last year. A lot of people had trouble with this question, not because it was so hard, necessarily, but because it requires some thought, more than most people have time for in a short interview. However the Op2G Committee decided to include it precisely because it is so thought-provoking and potentially enlightening.

After discussing this, I naturally started asking myself the question, “What character would I be?” and was initially as nonplused as most our Living History subjects were. I decided it would have to be a strong female character, probably a non-conformist, who while not particularly talented or heroic, does something that she is uniquely qualified to do, possibly just because she is in the right place at the right time.

And then I realized I was reading a book with just such a character in it. The protagonist of A Wrinkle in Time fits that description perfectly. Her name is Meg Murry. She has two brilliant parents, and a clairvoyant baby brother. She herself is exceptional only because she has a temper and an allergy to conformity, which gets her into trouble at school. Yet she is the one to whom it falls to break the power of an evil interplanetary force, and she does it by doing the only thing she can think of to do, which is to love. She knows she can’t even love perfectly, but she loves as best she can, and that is enough.

So, I’m not Bp. Curry. I’m not especially brilliant and I lack the power to bring people to their feet shouting “Amen!” (which actually is probably a relief to most of my parishioners) but I can love, and although my love may be imperfect, if I do it as best I can it will be enough, through the grace of God. Bp. Curry employs his love to preach as he preaches, and I employ my love to preach as I preach. We happen to have been given the same task (preaching) but we’ve been given different ways to do it.

Everyone is given both love and a way to employ it. The Bishop is. I am. Meg was. And you are, too.

Vestry Vibes

Summary of the July Vestry Meeting:

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee has met and has several recommendations which will be implemented in money handling.

Undercroft Curtains

The blinds for the undercroft windows have been installed. Wooden box valances have been suggested. Michelle Beihl has some and will consult with Dave Duymich about whether they can be cut down for our purposes.

Diocesan Convention

The rector reported on vacancies for diocesan positions, inviting anyone interested to contact her. The necrology from LPC contains one name this year: Liz Neumann. Her name will be added to a diocesan list and she will be prayed for at convention with other WV saints who have gone on to glory. Secretary Michelle Beihl signed the required certificate naming Jay Paulovicks and Rich Walter as our duly elected delgates.

Legacy

An additional $916.30 has been received from the Homan estate. The vestry discussed depositing these funds to the endowment but finally voted to apply them to pay-off of the diocesan loan.

Senior Warden

Barb Hinkle is organizing a kitchen clean-up. The decision to serve food at the rummage sale has been revoked, owing to the absence of anyone who will be present with Food Handling training. Barb suggests that some members receive the training. The Rummage Sale will instead sell baked goods. A draft of the proposed business cards was circulated and received enthusiastically, the only changes proposed being to add a street address and replace the Episcopal Shield with the LPC photo logo. Barb Hinkle will donate the printing costs.

Education Committee

The Op2G Event is underway. See front page.

Junior Warden

The last Churchyard Clean-Up was extremely successful. Wilson was the only firm to render a bid on the driveway. They will do the lower driveway $7,950 and a handicap parking spot for an additional $4,485. Discussion ensued as to whether the endowment could be tapped for this and other capital improvements like the undercroft carpet. Such a disbursement would significantly exceed our policy of taking 5% or less each year so as to preserve the principle. The rector suggested that if the current diocesan loan is paid off we could take another $10,000 interest-free loan. The vestry decided to push for paying off the loan and asked for a joint meeting with the trustees to talk about financing extraordinary expenses. No action was taken on the driveway.

Stewardship Committee

The committee is producing a color brochure with photographs to accompany the Annual Giving letter going out this fall. Barb Hinkle volunteered to cover the printing.

The Warwood Fair

We were only able to man our table for one night but netted $181. The vestry voted to put this toward loan payoff.