Table Rock Talk February 2016

The Newsletter of Lawrencefield Parish Church

Retracing the Wet Footprints

Wednesday Lenten Study Series announced

The Episcopal Churches of our area will join together for Lenten study on Wednesday evenings at St. Matthew’s beginning February 17. Each program will be hosted by one congregation and will begin with a light supper at 6:00 p.m. The host congregation will be offering soup and beverage. Participants may bring their own sandwich to supplement. Supper will be from 6:00 - 6:30 and the program from 6:30 to 7:30.

The program is entitled RETRACING THE WET FOOTPRINTS: Where has your baptism brought you? and will be presented by The Rev. Cynthia Byers Walter. The five sessions are described below.

February 17—Making a footprint cast: Theological Themes of Baptism
We will explore four “Images” of baptism: participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, new birth and adoption, seal of the Holy Spirit, and Incorporation into Christ’s body. Hosted by Lawrencefield. A sign-up sheet for soup-making will appear in the Narthex shortly.
February 24—Baby prints
We will discuss infant baptism in the Christian tradition. Hosted by St. Matthew’s.
March 2—Wet footprints in the prayer book
We will explore baptism themes and imagery in the Eucharist, Marriage, Ordination, Anointing of the Sick, Reconciliation of a Penitent and Burial rites in the Book of Common Prayer. Hosted by Trinity.
March 9—What happened to me?
What does this trail of wet footprints lead back to? What happened to me in baptism? Reconstructing our own baptismal stories-- Where have baptismal themes surfaced in my life so far? Hosted by St. Matthew’s.
March 16—Following the wet footprints back to the present
How has God continued the good work begun in me at baptism? We conclude with Thanksgiving for Baptism. Hosted by St. Luke’s.

“Have you thought about…?”

Stewardship Committee encourages planned giving

If you have thought about how Lawrencefield Parish Church may continue to serve future generations, please consider “planned giving.” The difference between planned giving and your regular giving is that planned giving involves allocating your property to provide for the institutions you love and support should you become disabled, or journey on some day to the Church Triumphant, as indeed we all will.

The most obvious way to do this is an outright bequest: naming Lawrencefield as a beneficiary in your will, specifying either a certain monetary amount, or a percentage of your estate. But there are other ways to benefit Lawrencefield as well, including life income gifts, a paid-up life insurance policy, donation of real estate or other property, or stocks and securities.

Your lawyer or tax advisor, knowing your particular situation, can best assist you in deciding which option suits you best. This time of year, as you prepare your taxes for 2015, is the ideal time to consider setting up a charitable arrangement to ensure the continuity of our beloved parish.

Don’t forget …

Quality color notecards with either floral patterns or views of Lawrencefield Church are available for sale in the narthex at $5 for a package of four different designs.

Also, a painless way to help Lawrencefield is to register your Kroger Plus card online with the Community Rewards Program, naming Lawrencefield as your favorite charity. Lawrencefield then receives a percentage of your purchase. Presently this amounts to about $10 per family per quarter! Directions for registering are in the Narthex. Fran Schoolcraft has volunteered to help anyone desiring assistance with registration.

The Rector's Study The Rev. Cynthia Byers Walter

Waiting (on)

I am married to someone who is allergic to waiting for a table in a restaurant. To me, ten minutes is an acceptable wait, but for my spouse, even “just a minute while we get your table ready,” is too much.

Of course, once we get seated, I unconsciously set a mental timer while Rich relaxes. In my defense, my otherwise mild-mannered mother used to do this too. I take note of those who were seated after we were who get waited on before us. For some reason this is a deep-seated part of my personality. I am not proud of this: it bespeaks jealousy, impatience and pettiness, but at least it affords my husband some amusement at my expense, which I admit I richly deserve.

I hate waiting! When faced with an unavoidable wait, say, at airport security, I have to intentionally zone out. But I daresay I am not alone in this. A lot of people identify with the prayer, “Lord, give me patience… and I need it right now!”

Waiting is difficult for human beings. It doesn’t help that our culture encourages impatience. Modern Americans have a notoriously short attention span. There was a time when television advertising spots were sold by the full minute. Now, if advertisers can’t make their point in fifteen seconds, they know the average viewer will switch the channel. Even Sesame Street flashes up segments at a rate that would have been considered dizzying not long ago. In the process, we train young children from an early age to be impatient, to look for constant outside stimulation.

All of this creates a strong cultural current that pushes against the person who wants to follow the biblical imperative to wait on God: “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him…. those who wait upon the Lord shall inherit the land” (Psalm 37:7, 10b.)

Of course waiting on adds a dimension of understanding to the concept of simply waiting. Waiting on is something servants do. Or, to go back to the restaurant setting, waiting on is something waiters do (not surprisingly!)

Have you ever been to a five-star restaurant? The better the restaurant, the more waiting tables is an absolute art form. Waiters magically appear when needed and disappear when unnecessary. Your water glass is never empty. You never lack the appropriate flatware. The best wait staff are so attentive to what patrons need that they dip in and out of diners’ lives instinctively, practically invisibly.

I am pretty sure people like this don’t just file applications and get hired. There are obviously people who regard waiting tables as a profession, not just something to do while waiting to be discovered by Hollywood. These are people of training and experience. They practice their craft and cultivate excellence at it. I imagine that at some level of the hospitality industry they are in great demand.

Can we cultivate waiting on God this way? By practicing our craft and cultivating excellence at it? Being attentive? Learning to recognize the signs when something is needed? Assuming a nearby position ready to respond at once? How might we “wait on” God in the manner of a superb waiter?

To start, I might recommend reading the Bible, to learn to recognize how other people have recognized God’s imprint on their lives. And especially, during this season of Lent, one can wait on God by staying nearby God, by attending church or through regular private prayer.

Your table is waiting!

Vestry Vibes

Summary of the January 17 Vestry Meeting:

Vestry Declaration

required by church canon was signed by new vestry member Ron White.

MyEOffering

is up and running. Two members have used it so far.

New Diocesan loan

With the payoff of the preexisting Diocesan loan, the vestry voted to ratify an email vote earlier in the month to apply for another $10,000 loan on the same terms as the last one (no interest as long as a minimum $84 payment is made monthly over 10 years) in order to pay for new flooring in the undercroft and kitchen and work to repair the underground leak near the elevator. According to vestry member Karen Dalby who also serves on Diocesan Council, the body that approves these loans, our application was approved and we will receive a check shortly. The vestry inquired as to whether a claim could be made to Church Insurance Company to pay for part of foundation repairs. Because this is an ongoing condition rather than one-time damage, the rector doubts this, but will inquire. Couldn’t hurt.

Rector Housing

As required by canon, the vestry voted to renew for 2016 the rector’s housing allowance at the 2015 rate.

Anglican Communion

The rector requested that the vestry direct to herself any questions about the recent action of the Anglican primates to restrict the influence of The Episcopal Church.

Vestry Committees

Vestry members volunteered for or were assigned to the following committees:

Budget
Tom Farnsworth, Bob Luchetti, Jaci Neer, Ron White
Education
Barb Hinkle, Airry Schultz
Fundraising and Outreach
Michelle Beihl, Karen Dalby
Physical plant
Dave Duymich

Surrounding Neighborhoods

The vestry suggested creating doorhangers with a message like “A spiritual home close to home” to distribute in Glen View and other nearby neighborhoods to invite residents to LPC. The rector will get a quotation on printing these.

Secretary

Long-time parish secretary Dolores Dematte will retire in the spring. The rector asked vestry members to make recommendations for a successor.

Cats Meow Fundraiser

With our current stock of shelf-sitters completely sold, the vestry voted to order a few more to keep on hand for casual sales in the narthex.

Junior Warden

Dave Duymich asked that we confirm with Wilson Blacktop that our driveway is first on the spring schedule. The rector will make this call.

March vestry meeting

The third Sunday falls on Palm Sunday this year. Vestry voted to move the March meeting back a week to March 13.