Painting the Stars
Remembering September 11
New Godly Play Class for our Children
Grounds Work Day
Save the Date
A Prayer for Refugees
Painting the Stars
I have recently been binge-watching the TV series The Good Wife, featuring the ups and downs of lawyer Alicia Florrick (played by Julianna Marguiles). Alicia is a staunch atheist, and so is more than a little bemused and concerned when her teenage daughter Grace becomes a Christian.
One day Alicia needs Biblical knowledge for a case, and so she goes to her daughter for help. As they discuss various Biblical passages that are relevant to the case, Alicia suddenly stops and asks her daughter, “Do you really believe all this?”
Grace answered yes. Alicia then says, “You believe all this is true? The Tower of Babel, God creating the world in seven days? You’re an intelligent girl, Grace. How you can believe this?”
“You don’t have to believe it actually happened that way to believe it’s true,” Grace replied, “If you want to explain to someone that God created the world, you tell a story. It may not have happened exactly like that story says, but it still contains the truth.”
In that explanation, Grace shows a wisdom far beyond her mother’s.
I have been impressed with the thoughtful, respectful conversations about religion in this show.
We all know people like intelligent, thoughtful people like Alicia, who mistakenly think that belief in God requires turning off your mind, who think that the only way to read scripture is literally, who see religion and science in opposition to one another.
This fall in adult Sunday School (also suitable for youth) we will be looking at the relationship between science and religion, using a series called Painting the Stars.
Celebrating the communion of science and faith, Painting the Stars explores the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality. Each of the seven classes includes a 20-minute video featuring leading theologians and progressive thinkers.
Here is what the introduction to the series says:
“The evolutionary process is a deep mystery. Spiritually, mystery is not the sum total of all that we don’t know yet, but given enough time could figure out and move on to the next problem. Mystery is a condition of awe, of resting precisely in an unknowing, long enough for the silence to have its way with us.
“The goal of this curriculum is to create some space for us to inhabit this mystery more deeply, and explore the relationship between science, particularly evolution, and religion.
“Perhaps more importantly, the hope is that each participant will feel from the inside what it is like to be the presence of all this creativity showing up after 13.8 billion years as him or her. Without this felt sense of being one with the creative process that is ceaselessly animating life, the conversation will remain objective and academic.
“We invite you to engage this class with an awareness that you are not separate from the creativity that produced you.”
Why is this series called Painting the Stars? Because of this quote from Vincent Van Gogh: “When I have a terrible need of – dare I say, religion? – then I go outside at night and paint the stars.”
Come paint the stars with us, beginning September 11 at 9:30 in the Founders’ Room.
Remembering September 11
We will mark the 15th anniversary of that horrific day with a visit to the Center for Civil and Human Rights after church. We invite you to bring your lunch that day. We’ll eat in the parish hall, then carpool/caravan downtown. The tour of the museum takes two to three hours. The Center’s website suggests it is best for children 10 and older. Parking is available at the World of Coke. The entry fee is $16 for adults, or $10 per adult for groups of 10 or more. For more information visit http://www.civilandhumanrights.org/ or contact Lori Westphal or Mark O’Connell.
Our Tuesday morning study group will resume on September 6 at 10 a.m. in the parish hall. We’re beginning our study this year with Listening for God (Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by writers including Flannery O’Connor, Frederick Buechner, Annie Dillard, Alice Walker, and Garrison Keillor, among others. The book, edited by Paula Carlson and Peter Hawkins, is available on Amazon.
We welcome new members Mary Hunter Rouse and her son Robert, who come to us from the Cathedral of St. Philip.
We welcome Joni House, who comes to us from Holy Innocents.
We welcome Alan Toney, who comes to us from Holy Innocents.
Thanks to Lori Westphal and Jackie, Mark, and Reese O’Connell for giving the nursery a thorough cleaning.
Thanks to everyone who helped with Family Promise week – Alan Toney; Audrey Czapp; Charis Bowling; Claudia, John, and Deborah Gimson; Daria Jones; Elise MacIntyre; Elizabeth Wong Mark; Gilda Morris; Harriett Smith; Jane Goetz; Jeanne Taylor; Joni House; Jen Boerner; Judy Guard; Mary Hunter Rouse; Mary Kathryn Wolfson; Nancy Dillon; Pamela Weed; Sallie Smith; Sherri Crawford; Shirley Morgan; Sibley Fleming; Steve Richardson; Susan and Steve Hauser. And a special thanks to our coordinators Vivian Siggers, Mimi Gold, and Ellen Taratus, who make sure the week runs smoothly.
Thanks to everyone who donated school supplies to Path Academy. Special thanks to Joseph Henry Monti for sorting and packing the supplies and to Charis Bowling, Jeff Kimbrell, Daoud Bowling, Charles Leake, and Nancy Dillon for delivering them to the school.
New Godly Play Class for our Children
Godly Play will meet on Sundays from 9:30-10:30 beginning September 11th. Though the target audience is children 2.5-5th grade, all are welcome to join the circle.
Godly Play is an invitation to experience the mystery of God and grow together in our capacity to make meaning out of that experience. The stories of the People of God, Jesus’ Parables, and our common liturgical practices are shared using beautiful, hands-on materials coupled with simple but poetic language.
Children and adults “wonder” together about the stories, allowing even the youngest members of the circle time for verbal theological reflection in an age appropriate way. The wondering is followed by a period of individual or small group “work” time where participants are allowed to choose their own way of responding to the story of the day.
This often includes working with art materials or revisiting past stories. A Godly Play session ends with a “feast” and dismissal, completing the Eucharistic pattern of the class. Though regular attendance is helpful, children (youth, and adults!) may drop in as they are able. The only requirements for participation are an openness to play and a respect for deep spiritual work of the children in the room.
Godly Play works best when there are two adults in the classroom. Mary Hunter Rouse has volunteered to be the teacher, but we also need an adult to be the “shepherd,” in charge of gentle crowd control. This does not have to be the same person every week. If you are interested in being on a rotation to help, please contact Tricia.
We are grateful to Lindsey Reese for her faithful care of our youngest children in the nursery each week. Most Sundays there are one or two children in the nursery, which is manageable for Lindsey. But occasionally there are more. We don’t know that ahead of time, so there’s no way to really plan for those times.
After talking to some of our parents, we have a few guidelines for the nursery. First, the nursery is for children age four or younger. Older children (and of course younger ones, too) are welcome in church. We have paper, crayons, and children’s worship booklets for them to quietly enjoy.
Second, we would like to establish a rotation of volunteers to assist in the nursery for the first half of worship. If there are only one or two children, then the volunteer would just need to check in and then could go to church. But if it is one of those Sundays when there are more than a couple of children, then we need the volunteer to stay and help Lindsey. All the children join their parents for the Eucharist.
If you are willing to be on that rotation please let Tricia know.
Grounds Work Day
Need help! No skills needed–bring clippers, if you have any, for cutting small to medium size vines. Our jasmine is in deep trouble. We had very few blooms this year. OR the ground cover in the Perennial Garden, to the left of the front doors, is out of control. It pulls up very easily. It is covering everything it can find! Pays NO attention to me at all. Or pick up sticks in the Memorial Garden. Or clean area to right of Memorial Garden of unwanted growth.
We will begin at 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 10. Free lunch and beverages. I need a volunteer to pick up prepared sandwiches at grocery store. Or, you can come and supervise (not recommended.) I look forward to hoards of helpers!!!
Peachy Horne, Grounds Chair
St. Dunstan’s Youth Ensemble will sing at the 10:45 service on September 11. These wonderful and talented middle and high schoolers are mostly too busy to rehearse and sing every week, but when they do get together for special occasions, they are amazing. Our parish choir weekly rehearsals have already begun. I know you join me in being grateful for their commitment to the worship life of St. Dunstan’s.
Here are some other musical events that I hope you will want to mark on your calendars. Two of these are guest performing groups who have chosen St. Dunstan’s because our church—our nave—our worship space—is ideal for chamber music.
Sunday, September 18, 3 p.m. – A concert of Baroque Chamber Music, featuring violins, flute and Baroque flute, and piano. Music by Corrette, Bach, and Handel. This is a free concert, lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes, with refreshments following.
Sunday, December 11, 4 p.m. – St. Dunstan’s traditional Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent.
Sunday, February 26, at our regular 10:45 Eucharist – Frank Bock and his Dixieland Jazz Band help us celebrate the last Sunday before the beginning of Lent. Dixieland jazz, Mardi Gras, and pancakes for lunch.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. – A Norwegian Celebration, presenting music of Norwegian composers and featuring violinist David Coucheron, Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Tickets available at http://atlantachamberplayers.com/ or at the door. This event will sell out, so buy your tickets well in advance.
Mondays. 6:00 p.m., Parish Hall
Why is it called “Angel” Yoga? In the book, Why Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner, he speaks of people being angels to each other; often they are friends, but sometimes strangers, who come into our lives. Angels in our lives diminishes the pain.
In Angel Yoga we pray for blessings for ourselves, our family & friends, for all the people we know and for all the people we don’t know.
ALL are welcome and chairs can be used. Join us! Certified Hatha Yoga teachers: Gilda Morris and Laura Curry
We invite folks to give flowers in honor of or in memory of a loved one. There is no budget for flowers; flowers are paid for by individual donations.
Save the Date
The annual fundraiser dessert party for Mary & Martha’s Place will be Thursday, November 3. Our guest speaker will be Cornelia Powell, a wedding folklorist who will talk about the traditions and rituals surrounding weddings, past and present. There will also be an Artists’ Market with handcrafted items made by local artists.
Mark these dates on your calendar now:
September 11 – Service times switch to 8:30 and 10:45. The new year of Sunday School begins at 9:30 a.m.
September 11 – After church, trip to Center for Human and Civil Rights (see details elsewhere in Bellows).
September 18 – The Rev. Dr. Sandy McCann, longtime missionary to Tanzania, will be our guest preacher.
October 2 – Blessing of the Animals. Sunday School lesson for our children about St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of creation.
October 9 – The annual Flying Pig Barbeque. Details to be announced.
October 16-23 – Hotel St. Dunstan’s opens its doors to guests from Family Promise.
November 6 – All Saints’ Sunday.
November 27 – First Sunday of Advent. Advent wreath making in the parish hall.
December 11 – 4 p.m. – Advent Lessons and Carols.
December 18 – Annual Christmas pageant.
December 24 – Christmas Eve Eucharist at 5 p.m.
A Prayer for Refugees
God of our wandering ancestors,
Long have we known
that your heart is with the refugee:
That you were born into time
in a family of refugees
fleeing violence in their homeland,
who gathered up their hungry child
and fled into alien country.
Their cry, your cry, resounds through the ages:
“Will you let me in?”
Give us hearts that break open
when our brothers and sisters turn to us
with that same cry.
Then surely all these things will follow:
Ears will no longer turn deaf to their voices.
Eyes will see a moment for grace instead of a threat.
Tongues will not be silenced, but will instead advocate.
And hands will reach out –
working for peace in their homeland,
working for justice in the lands where they seek safe haven.
Lord, protect all refugees in their travels.
May they find a friend in me
and so make me worthy
of the refuge I have found in you. Amen.