Dearly Beloved,

It has been several weeks since I last wrote to you about the goings on here at All Saints Church. Summer, of course, is upon us and things has been somewhat quiet around here as we take some time for recreation and vacation as we come out of the “COVID” fog we have been living under since March of last year.

Our office will be closed next week, July 19-23, due to our Diocesan and National Church Synods being held in Atlanta. That also means there will not be a celebration of the Holy Communion next Wednesday evening, July 21. Traveling to Atlanta with me this year is our largest delegation ever from All Saints Church: Dss. Cynthia & Doug Hensley, Dcn. Louis & Frances Linn, Megan Klein, Paul & Alice Owen, and Gloria Hensley.

A synod is the term used for a gathering of Clergy and Laity for the furthering of the work of the church in mutual support and encouragement. In secular terms, “convention” is the word normally used for this type of gathering. Our synods are very much like a parish annual meeting. We do such things as set a budget, elect officers, and hear reports of committees. We also hear various parish reports from throughout the diocese and the wider church. We learn of the joys and sorrows of our brothers and sisters and laugh and cry with them. We also spend time learning how to further the work of the Church in our Anglican Way of Christianity.

This year’s synods are especially important in the life of the wider church of which we are a part. For the first time in 26 years, there will be a transition in the leadership in our Diocese, as well as the Anglican Province of America (APA), our national church. Bishop Walter Grundorf, our diocesan bishop, is retiring next week. He also serves as the Presiding Bishop of the APA. Bishop Chad Jones will be installed as our new Diocesan Bishop next Thursday. The House of Bishops of the APA have already elected Bishop Jones as the next Presiding Bishop but the Clergy and Laity from throughout our country must ratify that election before he takes the reigns. That ratification will occur either on Thursday or Friday.  Please pray for our Diocese and National Church as this significant moment approaches and that our heavenly Father will continue to bless the Gospel work of our church in this country, both now and into the future.

Barbara Buffington
This past Wednesday morning, Barbara Buffington died peacefully at Elizabeth House. She had been admitted to Advent Health last Saturday and, when it became clear her earthly tabernacle would not survive in this world, she was move to hospice care on Tuesday. Funeral arrangements are incomplete as of this writing. We will let you know when the details are available. Please pray for the repose of her soul and certainly pray for God’s grace and strength for her faithful son David, who has cared for her over the past many years. May Barbara’s soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

Grace & Grub Book Club
The Grace and Grub Book Club has been rescheduled for July 27 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The book being discussed is Jesus the Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Brant Pitre. Please let Dss. Cynthia know if you would like to participate. This event is happening at her house and is a “bring an appetizer to share” event! She can also help you procure the book or you can purchase it yourself at an online retailer such as Amazon.

July School Supply Drive
It is that time of year to begin our annual school supply drive. We encourage all of you to involve yourselves in the gathering of supplies for children and their families who cannot afford these basic necessities for the upcoming school year. Boxes are available in the parish hall into which to drop your donations. A purchasing guide is available at the bottom of this post. Need a shopper? Please see Sara Briggs, Alice Owen, or Sandy Peninger. We will be collecting school supplies through Sunday, August 1.

Thank You
I would like to offer sincerest gratitude from my mother, sister, and myself to Fr. Erich and my faith family here at All Saints for the support given to our family throughout the death of my father. Each of you have made a most difficult time more bearable with your love and charity to my family. Words could not express my appreciation but I do most heartily thank you. –Dss. Cynthia

Vacation Bible School
During the last week of June, we held an absolutely fabulous Vacation Bible School for the first time in two years! We were blessed to have over 30 young people in attendance. You can see a picture of our teenage assistants up in the header of this email and I have included a variety of pictures down below. Many thanks to everyone who participated, especially the adults who were faithfully here every day that week to ensure that our young people were fully engaged in learning that, in all that we do, we must trust in God! Special thanks from me to Dss. Cynthia who coordinated this outstanding event.

If You Are Traveling
Many of you are traveling during this month and into August. Please remember that when you are gone, the work of All Saints continues and your support is always needed. July and August are notorious times for church treasurers to develop indigestion because giving tends to drop while folks are on vacation. Please help ensure that our dear treasurer, Dave Brauner, does not have to buy stock in Rolaids this summer! You can always use our online giving portal, whether out of town or not, to keep abreast of your support. You may reach it via the “Donate” button on the front page of our website or click here.

Contacts for the Upcoming Week
While Dss. Cynthia and I are out of town this coming week, please feel free to contact us via our cell phone numbers. We may not be able to answer right away but please leave a voice mail or send us a text and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. I won’t publish our cell numbers here since this information is published widely on the internet. Most of you have our cell phone numbers but you can always get mine from the church phone answering service (828-891-7216).

I pray all of you have a wonderful week and, if you are vacation, a glorious time away. Please pray for one another and I bid you pray for all those for whom no one else will pray this day. See you in church!

Fr. Erich

This Week in the Parish

Sunday, July 18, Seventh Sunday after Trinity
· 8:30 a.m., Holy Communion
· 11:00 a.m., Holy Communion
Monday-Friday, July19-23
· Church & Office Closed

Vacation Bible School Pictures

School Supply Buying Guide

These are the “You Can’t Buy Enough” items
· 24-pack crayons (Crayola recommended)
· glue sticks
· package of colored pencils
· marbled composition notebooks
· spiral bound notebooks
· packs of notebook paper
· pack of large pink erasers
· pack of pencil top erasers
· pack of #2 pencils
· highlighters
· pocket folders

Other items needed
· pair of scissors (Fiskars recommended)
· pack of square sticky notes
· 1 inch View Binders (can slide paper in cover and spine)
· three-hole punched zippered pencil case
· standard pencil box (latched)
· small pencil sharpener (with cover to catch shavings)
· red pens

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