We had the joy this week to celebrate Independence Day. We celebrated the day together with Holy Communion here at the church and many of us are back to work or perhaps off on vacation. We know why we enjoy this holiday as American citizens, for it is the day our country was founded. But why do we celebrate it as Christian people, since we are “citizens of another country?” When we pray the prayer book collect for Independence Day (BCP, p. 263), the first thing we do is to acknowledge that it is only through Almighty God’s power that our nation was formed, a nation of liberty, a nation where we enjoy freedom. But what is this freedom we have? Is it the ability to do whatever we want to do? Absolutely not! The freedom we have as Christian people is inexorably linked with something else…love. St. Paul tells us, “You are called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.” (Galatians 5:13) Simply put, we have been given freedom to love one another. That is how freedom expresses itself. It is for this freedom, this freedom to love, that “Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1).” And that, beloved, is why we celebrate Independence Day.
As many of you are aware, our dear Bonnie became very sick last week while she was at Park Ridge Hospital. You intervened with your prayers for her and the immediate crisis passed, thanks be to God. Bonnie has now been transferred to Elizabeth House at the Four Seasons Hospice facility, 581 S. Allen Rd., Flat Rock. Allen Rd. is off Upward Rd., 0.4 miles west of I-26. Bonnie would absolutely love for you to come visit her. Please do!
Summer Youth Wednesdays
Our Summer Youth Wednesdays got off to a roaring start last night. This year’s program is focused on mission (Acts 1:8) and our young people will be following the travels of Ethan Byrd and Samantha Grady on their mission trip to Honduras. It is not too late for any youngster to join us. See you Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. I have included a couple of pictures from last night below.
The Vestry decided to change the parish propane provider to Blossman Gas. This change was made to save the church quite a bit of money over time. A trench was dug along the entire north side of our buildings, all the way to the back of the kitchen, to lay a new service line. You will likely notice the muddy areas until we can get new gravel on the filled-in trench. This new line replaces the tank that sits behind the kitchen. That tank will be removed in the near future.
A Rector’s Duty
Obviously, as the priest of this parish, I have many things for which I am responsible. But did you know that I am ordered to tell you to get your affairs in order by making out a will? Here is what the Book of Common Prayer says on page 320: The Minister is ordered, from time to time, to advise the People, whilst they are in health, to make Wills arranging for the disposal of their temporal goods, and, when of ability, to leave Bequests for religious and charitable uses. And so, if you have not already made out a will, I encourage you to do so.
Ethan Byrd and Samantha Grady are off on a mission trip to Honduras starting tomorrow, July 7. They will return on July 21. Please pray for their safety until they return home and also pray the Lord will use them effectively for the work of His Gospel.
Please remember to put you and your loved ones on the travel prayer request sheet for your summer travels so we can pray for your safe return to us.
As always, more announcements are below, so read on.
Men’s Night Out at the Ballgame
· Our annual manly pilgrimage to watch the Asheville Tourists play will be on July 17. We will leave the church parking lot at 6:00 p.m. and the game will begin at 7:05 p.m. Sign-up on the bulletin board so we know how many of you guys, both young and seasoned, will be joining us.
School Supply Drive
· It is that time of year to begin our 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. There will be boxes available into which to drop your donations. A purchasing guide will be in Sunday’s bulletin. Need a shopper? Please see Sara Briggs, Alice Owen, or Sandy Peninger.
Christmas Craft Market
· The annual Craft Market will be held this year on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Please plan now on coming out that day and bringing family and friends to shop and support this fundraiser for the Ladies of All Saints. If you would like a table, please fill out the insert in this coming Sunday’s bulletin and pass it along to Barbara Conner or Cynthia Hensley.
· Interfaith Assistance Ministry here in Henderson County is this month’s recipient of our in-gathering of food stuffs.
Summer Youth Wednesdays