It has been over a month since I have written to you. August was a very quiet month around here as we began to look forward to returning to as much a semblance of normalcy in September as we possibly can, considering the COVID-19 restrictions still in place.
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to keep things running around here while I was on vacation for a few weeks last month. A special thanks to Dss. Cynthia who spearheaded our ministry while I was gone and also to Deacon Steve Miller, who led Sunday services for two weeks in a row.
Now let’s look at our important news from the past month and what is set to occur over the next few weeks. Please read all the way through for there is quite a bit of information of which you need to be aware.
As most of you are aware, since he announced it when he was here last month, Deacon Steve will be ordained to the Priesthood tomorrow, September 12, at 11:00 a.m. at his home parish of St. Matthew’s up in Weaverville. Many of us will be attending and all of you are more than welcome to join us.
On August 1, our own Sam Linn married his longtime girlfriend Camry Ford. I was privileged to preside over their nuptials down in Taylors, South Carolina. In a special moment, Deacon Louis assisted the couple in their exchange of vows, as family and friends witnessed their coming together as Husband and Wife. They have made their home in Greenwood, South Carolina. Congratulation to the newlyweds! In case you didn’t guess, that’s them in the header picture above!
We welcome into our parish family Chuck & Anne Batherson. Chuck & Anne moved into our area just before the pandemic hit. They have transferred in from our parish of St. John’s in Greensboro, NC. We are so pleased to have them join us in our life as a family in Christ!
While I was still away from the parish, Priscilla Hopkins died on Sunday, August 23. Priscilla had been in a nursing facility and contracted COVID-19, which, unfortunately, led to her death. Her husband Jon was able to be by her side as she died. He thanks all of you for your prayers for them over the course of the past few years. Due to Priscilla’s health issues, she and Jon have not been in church since the beginning of the year. No arrangements have been made yet, but Priscilla will be buried here at All Saints. May Priscilla’s soul rest in peace, and let light perpetual shine upon her. Amen.
A High School and a Middle School
Classical Scholars and Great Expectations, the middle and high school programs hosted here at All Saints, returned to classes three weeks ago. Everything seems to be running very well in this era of social distancing and mask wearing. All the young people are being very respectful of the guidelines put in place to help keep them safe. But the most wonderful thing about of all of it is the life they have brought back into our buildings since they had to stay away once the lock-downs began in March. Their class days and times are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A Return of Our Classes
Our Christian Education classes are resuming this month.
- Children’s Sunday School returns this coming Sunday, September 13, at 9:45 a.m. Sandy Peninger is the teacher and the subject of the class is The Life of Christ: From Bethlehem to Emmaus.
- The Junior and Senior Youth classes also resume this Sunday. Dss. Cynthia is the leader of this engaged group of young people. They will be focused on the topic of becoming leaders in the Christian faith.
- Adult Sunday School returns on Sunday, September 20, at 9:45 a.m. in the parish hall. The topic will be “What Christians Believe and Why It Matters.” I recently ran across an article in the Christian Post that showed that 30% of Evangelical Christians in this country believe that Jesus was “a great teacher,” not the Son of God. My aim in this class is to “equip the saints” (that’s you!) with a deeper understanding of the essential truths of our faith so that we might be able to contend against such unbelief, especially within the Christian community. I hope to live-stream this class.
- Wednesday Evening Study returns on September 23 at 7:00 p.m., directly following Holy Communion (6:00 p.m.) and dinner (please bring your own food). We will be reviewing, over the course of 4 weeks, the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. We will discuss, using Scripture and Church teaching, to see how this film, while secular in nature, may (or may not) embody God’s command to us to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Due to copyright restrictions, we will not be live-streaming or recording this class.
A Note on Live-streaming
I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that I would be a “televangelist!” But such is the situation we find ourselves in since the pandemic lock-downs began. I know many of you have found our live-streams beneficial to remain connected to the Body of Christ during this unprecedented time. There are, however, some problems with all of this. We are completely at the mercy of our internet service provider. If the internet is down, we are down. Our internet service’s upload speed is also at the bare minimum to live-stream. Another issue is that our computer equipment is not really up to the task for consistent streaming. Remember, we cobbled all the equipment together very quickly back in March just to keep us connected. And, finally, there is the problem of “operator error” (operator being me!).
Recognizing that we will likely be continuing with live-streaming for the foreseeable future, I am in the process of changing/upgrading some of what we have. Our internet provider will be bringing new equipment to the church next week to upgrade our upload speed to 10Mbps, which is robust enough to be able to stream a full high definition broadcast from the church. We will be building a new computer specifically designed for live-streaming. I am also going to put in place a different solution to live-stream across multiple platforms (Facebook, YouTube, our website, etc.) that hopefully will reduce any glitches on the “operator error” side of things.
Please be patient as we implement these changes over the next few weeks. As many of you are aware, the recordings of our worship are always available on our website. So if the live-stream is unavailable for whatever reason, the recording will always go up later in the day. I try my best to have our Sunday service up by late afternoon the same day.
A Fish Fry
Our Friar’s Fall Fish Fry in honor St. Francis is scheduled for October 2, starting at 5:00 p.m. Our Lenten Fish back in March was a “Take-out Only” event because of the COVID lock-down. Since we have been able to open up, yet still following State and CDC guidelines, we can now offer “Dine-in” options for you, both indoors and outdoors. But in order to make this happen, we must take reservations. You may reserve a table for up to 10 guests. Our dinner seating times are at 5:00, 6:00, and 7:00 p.m. To secure your preferred time, please call the church office to make your reservation as soon as possible. Of course, take-out will still be available and will be offered all night long, starting at 5:00 p.m. See the announcements below for additional information on the Fish Fry.
Many of you ask what is happening with Peter, so here is an update for you. His time at the Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia has come to an end and, as of yesterday, he is now stationed at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The base is adjacent to the town of St. Mary’s, Georgia, near the Florida state line.
A Community Heartbreak
Undoubtedly most of you have already heard that we lost one of our Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputies yesterday. Deputy Ryan Hendrix was killed responding to a break-in and shots fired call. The suspect that shot Deputy Hendrix was immediately shot and killed by the other deputies on the scene. Our hearts ache for his 2 young children, his parents, and his fiance and we grieve the loss of one of the fine men and women who protect our community. Let us pray:
- ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for thy servant Ryan who has laid down his life in the service of our community. Grant to him thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in him may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.
Please keep his family in your prayers for peace and comfort as they deal with this tragedy, as well as his brothers and sisters at the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Hendrix’ ex-wife, the mother of his children, is a cousin to Dss. Cynthia and Shelly Wyatt.
With this sad news, I will close this letter to you. Please continue to pray for one another and don’t forget to pray for those for whom no one else will pray this day.
A Prayer for the Souls Lost on September 11, 2001
O GOD, whose mercies cannot be numbered; Accept our prayers on behalf of the souls lost on that September day, and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
· The Vestry will meet Monday, September 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall.
Friar’s Fish Fry
· On Friday, October 2, the Friar’s Friday Fall Fish Fry in honor of St. Francis returns! Tickets are $9.00 each in advance ($10 at the door) for breaded tilapia filets, roasted potatoes, hush puppies, coleslaw, and iced tea or lemonade. Kids under 12 eat free. Tickets are available now.
· We ask that you sign out 10 tickets and sell them to your friends, or just buy them and hand them out to folks, to introduce them to our parish.
· If you would like to donate a dessert, there is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board. Please see Loretta Reynolds or Verna Shipman if you have any questions about desserts.
Tuesday Holy Communion
· On Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m., we have limited-seating Holy Communion for those who prefer to stay in groups of less than 10 folks. If you would like to attend on Tuesdays, please call Dss. Cynthia at 828-891-7216 to reserve.
Wednesday Night Holy Communion
· Please join us for our mid-week Holy Communion on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m.
Blessing of the Animals
· Our annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi will be held this coming Saturday, October 3 at 10:00 a.m.
· Western Carolina Rescue Mission in Buncombe County is this month’s recipient of our in-gathering of food stuffs.
Explain, Encourage and Escape!
· Most of us are still staying home a little more than normal these days, so why not have a book in your hands! Look to your church library for inspiration. Dorothy Sayers, the imaginative creator of the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery series, turns to nonfiction in her thoughtful book The Mind of the Maker. In this volume she explains the meaning of the Christian creeds and what they tell us about God. Philip Yancey encourages our hearts with Disappointment with God; a relevant book for these distressing times. Finally, check out (literally!) a piece of pure escapism by James Herriot, a country vet who lived in a simpler time and place. All Creatures Great and Small will delight anyone who loves animals…and vets! Visit your church library today!
This Week in the Parish
Saturday, September 12
11:00 a.m., Ordination of Dcn. Steve Miller @ St. Matthew’s Church
Sunday, September 13
8:30 a.m. Holy Communion: in person
9:45 a.m. Children & Youth Sunday School returns
11:00 a.m. Holy Communion: in person and live-streamed
Monday, September 14
6:30 p.m., Vestry Meeting
Tuesday, September 15
11:00 a.m., Holy Communion: limited seating
Wednesday, September 16
6:00 p.m., Holy Communion: in person and live-streamed