Dear Friend’s in Christ,
I remember with great fondness the end of one particular summer, there were just two weeks left before I was to return to college in rural Illinois, and I was still at home in Alaska. A neighbor and I decided to spend a Saturday fishing, stocking up on “groceries” before the salmon disappeared for the season. I remember we caught a lot of fish that day, and that by late afternoon our boat was sitting noticeably lower in the water. Feeling accomplished, we turned off the motor, put away our fishing poles, and stretched out on the bow of the boat to soak in the uncharacteristically warm heat of an Alaskan sunset. As we bobbed on the placid face of the deep it seemed that the whole world paused for an instant, that time was just standing still and that this – this one sun-soaked and grace-filled moment – was all there was, and all there would ever be. Then, with the passing of a cool breeze, my mind turned to school and classes and friends and sports, and the moment slipped by and was gone. In one bittersweet turn, I felt the longing for summer to continue, easy and restful, and simultaneously the oncoming rush of fall with its promise of activities and excitement.
Summer isn’t over yet. But, if you squint your eyes you can see the end, peeking just over the horizon, almost out of sight, and out of mind. For those of us squaring away our fall calendars, buying school supplies, and squeezing in one last trip to the cabin, summer’s end is not so far out of sight or mind. Whether you long for the prolonging of summer days, with long sunsets and warm evenings on the patio, or you are eagerly anticipating the approach of fall, there is something for all of you at St. John’s.
This week we will be squarely in the spirit of prolonging summer, celebrating Eucharist and sharing food with our brothers and sisters from Holy Apostles Episcopal Church at the Como Park Pavilions (nearest the Conservatory – look for signs). Our 10 AM service will be held jointly, outdoors, followed by a delicious picnic with games and live music. You don’t want to miss it. Our offering (unless otherwise designated) that Sunday will be collected jointly and given over to a special feeding ministry based out of Holy Apostles. Please see below for more information.
Not far out, we have the opportunity to celebrate in the spirit of fall, with new beginnings and new ministry. September 8th (a Thursday) there will be a literal “Celebration of New Ministry” as we, St. John’s and me as your new rector, give thanks and praise for the beginning of something new in ministry between us. This will be a festal service with great music, some pomp, and only a touch of circumstance. I invite you to join us for the festivities!
Then, September 11th we will observe Gathering Sunday, a chance to come back together after a summer’s worth of travel. There will be a ministry fair with booths representing all the ways you can be involved, in the undercroft. As a part of that day, we will be doing a “Blessing of the Backpacks” as we recognize through symbol and rite the beginning of the new school year. Kids, bring your backpacks and school supplies. The rest of you, bring supplies or backpacks to donate. We will be collecting and blessing extra school supplies to donate to a local charity. You can bring them any time between now and Sept. 11.
As you can see, there is much afoot here at St. John’s. The mission of God is being pursued in a variety of ways, and we give thanks for each. So, whether you cling to summer of long for fall, remember there are ways for you to be involved! Hope to see you around.
A Letter from Letha Wilson-Barnard, Vicar of Holy Apostles, explaining the Fields to Families feeding program. This Sunday’s loose plate offering (unless otherwise designated) at our joint service will be given over to this ministry. Please read to find out more.
Since June, Holy Apostles has distributed more than 15,000 lbs. of fresh produce to three east metro foodshelves through its Fields to Families demonstration project. The food is grown by local Hmong farmers, most of whom are members of Holy Apostles Episcopal Church, and picked fresh the day of delivery. Foodshelves typically receive donations of produce that’s past its prime. This summer, however, families in East St. Paul, Stillwater, and River Falls, WI, are welcoming the variety and quality of produce they get through the Fields to Families project. We are working with Merrick food shelf in East St. Paul, St. Croix Valley Food Shelf, near Stillwater, and River Falls emergency food pantry in Wisconsin. With 6 weeks or more still remaining of the growing season, we’ve nearly depleted our resources. We welcome donations from individuals and organizations to help us provide fresh produce to families in need until the end of the season. $1 provides a little more than a pound of fresh produce. No donation is too small. Here is the link to our website: http://wp.me/P1kP3y-2W
People can send checks, made out to Holy Apostles Church, with “Fields to Families’ in the memo line. Send checks to Holy Apostles Episcopal Church, 2200 E. Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul, MN 55119 Questions: Rev. Letha Wilson-Barnard, 612-703-4408.