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From the Rector's Desk


From the Rector’s Desk     

As we head from October into November we are finally experiencing some expected changes around us. There is the weather, which is becoming wet and windy. Also, we move from our Financial Stewardship Season into our planning for 2018. In the midst of all of this, we are in God's time as we continue to move through the church calendar year, which concludes soon, with Advent beginning later in the month.

With wet and windy weather the leaves fall, and more, and this focuses our efforts on our marvelous grounds. Thankfully, in October many parish members joined Jim Bradshaw in a grounds cleanup, and in early November (Saturday 11/4) Jim Armstrong hopes to have many members, from all skill levels, join him for a building "fix up" day. Again, thank you to all who participate in these efforts!
A big "thank you" goes as well to all members who had their pledges lifted up at the altar on our in-gathering Sunday last week. I was pleased to see week after week leaves become added to the representative tree in the Fellowship Hall. Many times I ventured into that space and prayed over the nameless individuals and families who made a promise for 2018 that allows our Vestry to soon create next year's budget. As someone said during the announcements, it is never too late, and he was correct. Because our parish does not have an endowment, nor do we get an allowance from the greater church (in fact we actually provide a pledge to the Diocese of Virginia so that it can do God's work on a greater level), so everything that comes in from pledge payments allows us to be God's church. If you are reading this and forgot to bring yours in, please do not wait. If it is gathered in time, it, too, can be used for budget deliberations. My hope is that sometime in 2018 I will be able to send a personal note to everyone in thanks for their pledge. So I challenge you to keep me at it!
Soon we head into Advent; in fact, it will be very quick this year. Advent 4 takes place on Sunday December 24! This means that we will have one Advent 4 service at 7:30 a.m. on that Sunday, and then continue later in the day with our usual Christmas Eve Services. I am delighted that our Christmas Eve 5:00 p.m. Service this year will include a Christmas Pageant featuring our youth and children.
Looking ahead, I cannot remind people enough that our 2018 Bishop Visit will take place on Sunday, January 14, 2018. Bishop Goff will be with us, and she will be prepared to preside over Confirmations. I already have one adult who is ready to be Received into the Episcopal Church, and one youth who is preparing for Confirmation. Since a Confirmation/Reception is not a perfunctory act, I need to know as soon as possible if anyone else is interested in being a part of this sacrament in January.
In summary, all of this information means that we are still moving ahead as the church! I hope to see many of you at our various worship and play opportunities this month, including at our celebration of All Saints Day on Sunday November 5th, our Lobster (and more) Dinner on the 18th, and significant transitions such as the funeral for Austin Lowrey on November 12th.
As with the Buildings and Grounds Cleanup/Fixing Days, ministry is not accomplished by a priest and his staff alone, but by the people. Feel free to join in with us as we live out our love to God through worship, service, and play.
Your Servant in Christ,
Fr. Peter

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