On the great Feast Day of Ascension (which is next Thursday, May 25), we are treated to St. Luke’s opening of the Acts of the Apostles as the Epistle of the day. In verse 8 of that first chapter, Jesus says this to the Apostles, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” This particular verse should be considered the action plan for the mission of the church and we talked about it in Sunday School this past Sunday. It tells us where, and in what order, we are to engage others for the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Jerusalem” signifies for us the local church in which we worship. We must witness to one another first, for it is in that witnessing we learn from one another to witness to others. Next we witness in “Judea,” which is the wider community in which we are situated. This is our family, friends, and others whom we meet in the course of our daily lives. The third place we must then witness is in “Samaria.” Samaria, for us, is the wider society in which we live, the United States of America. There are many ways in which we can witness in these three spheres. I am sure you can think of many ways to impact others in your daily lives and I encourage you to be active in this. Of course, always start with prayer.
Finally, Jesus tells us we are to witness to the “uttermost part of the earth.” This is the one area of witnessing that would seem to be problematic for us. It is unlikely that most of us will ever travel overseas to be missionaries or some such thing. However, we can impact the rest of the world by supporting Christians and others throughout the world in whatever need they find themselves. When we identify such a need, we should pray about it. Then we begin to disseminate the information “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria,” encouraging others to involve themselves in whatever way they deem appropriate. And so must we too.
It has been quite busy around here the past two weeks. Read on to see the highlights.
Joy Johnson, Rest in Peace
This past Sunday, May 14, we lost Joy Johnson from our presence. We will miss her very much but know that she is in loving arms of her Savior. Please pray for Norm, and the rest of the family, during this difficult time. And please do pray for Joy as she moves from strength to strength in the Life of perfect service. Rest eternal grant unto her, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
Joy’s funeral and interment will be here at All Saints next Saturday, May 27, 11:00 a.m. There will be a reception immediately following. Please come out as we remember this remarkable woman as we commend her to God the Father, who created her, God the Son, who redeemed her, and God the Holy Ghost, who sanctified her.
News of Note
Barbara Buffington was in the hospital last week to reduce fluid buildup in her body. She is now at home, resting comfortably, and feeling much better. She thanks all of you for your prayers as she heals.
A Note of Distinction
Last Thursday, May 11, our own Dr. Eric Byrd was presented with an “Excellence in Teaching” award from the UNC School of Medicine’s Academy of Educators. This prestigious award was given to Eric for his work as a clinical preceptor. Congratulations Eric!
A Notable New Beginning
My son Peter has enlisted in the Navy. He has been accepted into the Navy’s Nuclear School and is, at present, awaiting his security clearance before he goes off to Great Lakes Naval Station for basic training. Here is a picture of Peter being sworn in last Friday, May 12.
The Blue Ridge Homeschool Choir provided the preludes and postludes for our worship two Sundays ago, as well as the usual anthems. The choir is under the direction of our choir member Anjie Grady. This choir is based here at All Saints Church, where they practice every Tuesday afternoon. Here is the video of their postlude, “Upon this Rock.”
A Notorious Bunch!
Our kids had an absolutely fabulous time two weeks ago bowling down at Tarheel Lanes in Hendersonville. The 10 kids were joined by 17 adults, including 4 vestry members and yours truly. What a great time it was to enjoy one another as a family in Christ. Check out this slideshow of pictures.
Be sure to check out your announcements below and don’t forget to pray for those who need and desire our prayers!
· This coming Thursday, May 25, is Ascension Day. This event, the Ascension of our Lord, seems to have become the most forgotten of all the great Acts in the drama of our redemption. It is so important that it is recalled whenever we celebrate the Holy Communion when the priest says, “…having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension.” (BCP p. 81) Won’t you then remember his glorious Ascension? We will celebrate the day with Holy Communion at 7:00 a.m. and 12 noon. We will also celebrate it the prior evening, Wednesday night, at 6:00 p.m.
Ethan Byrd Graduation Event & Party
· Ethan Byrd is graduating from high school and there will be a party and presentation of diploma ceremony to celebrate the event on Saturday, June 3, at 4:30 p.m. Eric and Rebekah Byrd invite all of you to join with them in celebrating Ethan’s big day. The event will be held at Doug & Cynthia Hensley’s House, 1125 Highland Ave. in Hendersonville. Gifts are NOT expected. The Byrds just want all of you there…because that is what families do.
Tuesday Book Study
· Our Tuesday Book Study has just gotten started. We are not too far along, so it is not too late to join us. The book we have chosen is the novel Heaven Breaks In by Nicholas Cappas. This book is modeled on C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters but is written from the “opposite” perspective. We have 2 copies of the book left. The cost is $15 for the book. Please see Cynthia Hensley to pay for your book and get your copies.
Youth Confirmation Class
· Confirmation class for our young people is at 9:45 a.m. every Sunday and will run until the middle of June, before taking a break for the summer. Bishop Chad Jones, our Suffragan Bishop, will be visiting on November 5, and so we begin the preparation of our children. The children in the class are Anthony, Peyton and Jack. Please pray for them as they move forward to come into full communion with Christ’s Holy Church.
· Bread of Life in Transylvania County is this month’s recipient of our in-gathering of food stuffs.
· Only one classes left in our Study of the Book of Revelation. This week we are at the final chapter, Chapter 22.
· Our next Men’s Breakfast will be Saturday, June 3, 8:30 AM at the Mills River Restaurant. We will see all you guys there!
Calling All Canners
· As you are preserving and canning this spring, set aside 2-5 jars of your homemade favorites to sell at All Saints Annual Craft Market on October 7, 2017. The ladies are excited to expand their Craft Market bake sale to include parishioner’s own canned items.
Altar Flowers & Sanctuary Lamp
· Please sign up for Flowers and Sanctuary lamp dedications. There are plenty Sundays left for your dedications. Remember, two dedications may be made each Sunday. The suggested donation for flowers is $50. Sanctuary Lamp dedication is $10.