I had a quick, but nice, visit to Seattle last weekend to preach at the funeral of a cousin who died of Covid. As is often the case at funerals, it was a combination of sadness at my cousin’s death, mixed with the pleasure of seeing family members I had not seen for years. Seattle is a long way to go for a weekend. I am glad to be back and to jump into the activities of a busy fall. There is a lot going on to tell you about.
This Saturday at 3 p.m. is the funeral for Priscilla Davis’ daughter, Margaret Davis. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Margaret’s memory to: Mary Hall Freedom Village, 8995 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30350. Please keep Priscilla and her family in your prayers.
Have you ever wondered who gets things ready for the services every Sunday? That is the work of the Altar Guild. Members prepare the altar each week, setting out the bread, wine, and other things used in communion. The Guild’s ranks have thinned a bit, and we are looking for others — women and men — to join. If you are interested please attend a meeting after the 10:45 service on Sunday to learn more about this important way of serving God and the parish.
Adult Sunday School will be back this week, beginning at 9:30. We will continue the video series Living the Questions, which always evokes spirited discussion. Come join us.Also this Sunday after the 10:45 service we will begin Confirmation Classes for anyone interested in learning more about the Episcopal Church. Confirmation, which is performed by the bishop, is the way for adults to officially join the Episcopal Church. Bishop Wright will be with us on December 17. Everyone is welcome to attend the classes, even if you decide not to be confirmed.
Every Sunday when I drive home I go past Holy Innocents Episcopal Church. It is a huge church, many times bigger than we are. At St. Dunstan’s there are usually still cars in the parking lot when I leave. But five minutes away at Holy Innocents the parking lot is empty. The difference is that we have coffee hour and they don’t. I consider coffee hour to be an extension of the liturgy, a sacred time. It is a time for friends to catch up with each other, and for visitors to get to know people in the congregation. Having something to eat during that time is not essential, but it is nice. We have lots of openings for people to sign up to provide simple food. The signup link through the end of the year is here: https://bit.ly/StDunstanCoffee
A week from Sunday, October 8th, is our annual Blessing of the Animals. Bring your furry, feathered, or finned friends to church (caged or leashed, please) to be blessed and to acknowledge the blessings they are in your life. And consider bringing cat or dog food and treats to be donated to a shelter. The blessings will be at both services. No Sunday School that day.
The other big event of the fall is our annual Flying Pig BarBQ on October 22nd. We’ll have one service that day at 10 am, followed by the BBQ. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. And please sign up in the parish hall so that we have a head count of how many people to expect.
Finally, in August the vestry voted to send $15,000 to the bishop of Hawaii to assist in recovery efforts for the wildfires that ravaged Maui. The bishop directed that money to A Cup of Cold Water, a diocesan ministry serving the wildfire victims. We have received this note from its director, Cathy Paxton-Haines.
Thank you so much for your very generous donation of $15,000. Your kindness truly will help this ministry continue serving the most downtrodden and desperate members of our community. You may already know there is no emergency shelter. here on Maui. There are many on the streets who would like to go into a shelter but are unable to do so.
ACCW now goes out regularly in the Central and South Maui areas bringing, among other things, water, food, clothing, towels, blankets, footwear, tarps, toilet paper, pet food, hygiene items, and first aid items, but most of all compassion. We encounter many people on the streets who cannot find affordable housing, and sadly, there are also those with mental health and addiction challenges who are unable to get help.
Thank you again for your support! Your compassion makes it possible for ACCW to reach out and bring love and hope to the most suffering of our society.
I am proud to be part of such a generous congregation.