Grand Old Day is this Sunday, June 5th

The youth group will be selling parking spots in St. John’s parking lot for those attending this annual event.  Parishioners are still allowed to park for free!!  Don’t forget to check your route as it may be interrupted by the events of the day.

Last Sunday we blessed seeds, soil and water to celebrate Rogation Sunday.  Nancy Wellington, a regular choir member and substitute organist for Sunday, was kind enough to bring in samples of wheat, soybeans and corn.  She also brought soil, field soil, complete with rocks and old decaying roots and a few weeds from a field that had not been planted.  Thank you, Nancy.  While pouring the seeds, beans and corn into bowls before the service I remembered my childhood in south central Texas, living on a farm every summer with my paternal grandparents. They mostly grew cotton, feed corn, sorghum (milo) and sugar cane. We had to drive 30 miles or more to reach a town of any size and it was several hours to my home in Fort Worth.  While driving around these country roads and traveling on Farm to Market roads we passed lots of farm fields.  Always, one of my grandparents would remark of a particular field, “That one’s in high gear!” I always thought “high gear” was a type of grain!  It was many years later that I discovered that what I believed to be “high gear” was actually sorghum and that my grandparents were referring to the state of the growth in that field – “high gear” meaning it was growing rapidly!  We can be confused by languages, colloquialisms, and even our own misinterpretations or assumptions.  Once I learned what grain was really growing in those fields, I have become rather interested in feed grains, especially with the changing food pyramid which has placed grains as the foundation.  Someday I might tell you about my childhood song about Jesus sleeping in heavenly peas.

When we drive through farming communities in Minnesota we mostly see corn or soybeans, which makes me wonder about sorghum.  Where is it grown? What is it used for today? I discovered that it is a primary food grain for the people of India and Africa.  In the U.S., sorghum offers some exciting possibilities as a specialty flour and as a staple cereal product for people with an intolerance to gluten.

About 12% of the U.S. sorghum crop goes into ethanol production with one bushel of grain sorghum producing the same amount of ethanol as one bushel of corn.

Sorghum has been called a water-sipping rather than a water-guzzling crop. It is environmentally friendly because it is water efficient, requires little fertilizer or pesticides and is biodegradable. This is a benefit for the more environmentally sensitive areas of the world.  The whole world is dependent on the fruits of the earth. Let us not forget to pray for all who make it possible for us to have food on our tables this day.

Book of Common Prayer, page 824.

29. For Agriculture
Almighty God, we thank you for making the earth fruitful, so that it might produce what is needed for life: Bless those who work in the fields; give us seasonable weather; and grant that we may all share the fruits for the earth, rejoicing in your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

A BAT!

It was Tuesday afternoon when Barb Schaer-Mady came to office and said, “We have a bat!”   This isn’t the first time nor will it be the last, but here we were with no tennis racket!  Not that I could have used it had I had one.  I found someone who was willing to scoop it up and take it outside (not me and not Barb) but by that time we discovered that the poor little thing wasn’t doing so well.  It was all sprawled out on the rug in the entrance on Kent St.  It got scooped up just the same and carried ever so gently to the grass and deposited there but I’m sad to report that the bat didn’t make it.

Though born with wings, it isn’t a bird.
Blind, it sees by the echoes it heard.
In daytime hours, a cave’s where its at;
In dark of night, out comes the bat.
Now what a scary thing is that!

 

By Sue Chehrenegar

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