Table Rock Talk March 2016

The Newsletter of Lawrencefield Parish Church

From the Flower Guild…

*Sign up to sponsor Easter lilies

There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex to purchase Easter lilies for $16 per plant. Please enter your name and the name of the person(s) you wish to honor. Lilies may be purchase in memory of someone, in honor of someone, or in thanksgiving for someone or something. Envelopes are provided for payment, and may be mailed to the church or placed in the alms basin. The following payment methods are accepted:

Cash
please note your name on the envelope.
Check
please mark “flowers” or “lilies” on the memo line.
Debit or Credit
Click Donate. Make sure to indicate your payment is for “flowers” in the drop-down menu. An additional 30 cents is appreciated to cover processing debit payments, 70 cents for credit card payments.

*Altar arrangements

No one has yet come forward to sponsor our palm altar arrangements for Palm Sunday. In addition we have received no orders for April 10 or April 17. Altar arrangements are $44. Until Flower Chair Shirley Weaver returns from vacation, please contact the Parish office if able to cover these Sundays.

From the Wheeling Cluster of Episcopal Churches…

Wednesday Lenten Study Series continues…

The Episcopal Lenten study on Wednesday evenings at St. Matthew’s continues through March 16. Soup and beverage is supplied. 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, entitled RETRACING THE WET FOOTPRINTS: Where has your baptism brought you? is presented by The Rev. Cynthia Byers Walter. The remaining three sessions are described below.

March 2 Wet footprints in the prayer book - We will explore baptism themes and imagery 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-- 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.

From the Soup Kitchen…

We’ve nearly filled our calendar for 2016! Volunteers to cook and/ or serve meals are still needed for June 12, July 10 and August 14. Please see Janine Reddy.

From the Financial Secretary…

If you make payments to the church from the website, please save your electronic receipts, as the paper statements generated from our office only reflect donations by check.

From the Parish Office…

An increasing number of parishioners have cut their land-line telephone service and now rely on cell phones. If this is your situation, please call the church office verify that we have your current contact information.

Likewise, if you formerly had a rural route mailbox that has been changed to a “911” street address, please let us know. Evidently the forwarding orders have expired, since we’ve had many returns from current mailings.

A second chance…

If you missed out on the first order of Cat’s Meow shelf-sitters, please see Michelle Beihl. If there is sufficient interest a second order will be placed. These mementoes are $20 and make a terrific gift for former Lawrencefielders!

The Rector's Study The Rev. Cynthia Byers Walter

Uplift

There is a prayer that I often use at funerals, which has been attributed to the early 20th century Dominican Bede Jarrett, but which really appears to have originated with the 17th century Quaker William Penn. It goes like this:

We seem to give them back to you, O God, who gave them first to us. Yet as you did not lose them in giving, so do we not lose them by their return. Not as the world gives, give you, O Lover of souls. What you give, you take not away, for what is yours is ours also if we are yours. And life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing, save the limit of our sight. Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further; cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; draw us closer to yourself that we may know ourselves to be nearer to our beloved who are with you. And while you prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that where you are we may be also for evermore.

There is a part of this prayer that I use nearly every day. It’s the part that says “Lift us up that we may see further.”

The obvious use for a prayer like this is when we are brought low, by grief, or sickness, or injury, or sorrow, or sin, or just plain bad luck. This is a prayer to be pulled out the deep pit of depression. This is the prayer of the psalmist (Psalm 130): “Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord.” This is a prayer of abjection, of desperation: a good prayer for when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope. It’s obvious why you would include a prayer like this at a funeral, where people are mourning.

But “Lift me up” is also a good prayer when you are more or less at ground-level, when you’re saying your daily prayers. Under normal circumstances, “Lift me up” is a prayer to have the “mind of Christ.” As St. Paul said in Philippians 2:5-11:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Scholars believe that this is one of the most ancient hymns of the Christian Church, proclaiming the paradox that Jesus Christ’s authority and glory lie in his obedience and humility, as exemplified by his willingness to take human form and suffer and die even though he is fully divine.

“Lift me up” in this context can be a good thing to add to our prayers for specific outcomes. It’s OK to pray for specific outcomes because Jesus tells us to pray what’s on our hearts, but we don’t want to fall into the trap of second-guessing God, telling God what to do, or issuing ultimata. Praying to be lifted up helps us remember we’re not at God’s level, not in a position to make demands.

“Lift me up” can also mean, “Grant me some of your perspective, O God, that I may be more conformed to the person you want me to be. Raise me from my own concerns that I may love you and love other people less distractedly and more wholeheartedly.”

“Lift me up” is a good prayer. We all need a lift sometimes.

Vestry Vibes

Summary of the February 21 Vestry Meeting:

Diocesan loan

Diocesan Council reportedly approved our loan application, but we have not yet received the check.

Insurance claim

Church Insurance Company will not cover repair of the leak by the elevator, but will pay for replacing the carpet. We are in the process of getting a quotation from the carpet company.

2015 Annual Parochial Report

has been prepared. The vestry voted to approve it. It will be posted on the Vestry Bulletin Board and submitted to The Episcopal Church and to the Diocese.

Rector Housing

The rector advised the vestry of her family’s plans to move from their current house to a smaller condo outside town in the fall, and how that may affect her office hours, which will probably change from four mornings a week to 2-1/2 full days. She has requested that one of the unused Sunday School rooms be converted to a dorm room for her to stay in from time to time after the move. The vestry discussed possible accommodations to this arrangement including adjustments to the security system.

Vestry Committees

will meet after Easter.

Surrounding Neighborhoods

Doorhangers advertising LPC have been printed. A small committee of vestry members volunteered to distribute them to adjacent neighborhoods early in March.

Secretary

A Want Ad was placed in the Intelligencer and several resumés have been received. The vestry suggested advertising on Facebook. The rector will begin interviewing shortly.

Senior Warden

Two persons, Fran Schoolcraft and Michelle Beihl, have now taken the Food Handlers Class. Reportedly Jennifer Duymich has a certificate as well. We will post copies in the kitchen.

Junior Warden

Wilson Blacktop says that they will pave our driveway in April.

Bishop’s Visit

Bishop Klusmeyer will make his regular parish visit to us on April 10 and will probably want to meet with the vestry between the services. There will be no confirmations this time around, although a couple of young people will be eligible next year. Barb Hinkle will make arrangements for vestry refreshments and speak to Coffee Hour Chair Nancy Paulovicks about Coffee Hour.