Our prayer book sets aside two days every year that focus on our country…Thanksgiving Day and Independence Day. Thanksgiving Day is the day we thank Almighty God for the blessings and bounty with which we have been blessed in this country. I think it’s a fairly simple day to understand why we celebrate it. Independence Day is another matter. For us as Anglican Christians, it is not about fireworks and grilling out…although these are awesome things! The Collect for Independence Day (Book of Common Prayer, p. 263) sets forth for us what we should focus on this very special day in the life of our country. Please read the Collect now.
O ETERNAL God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The first thing we do in this prayer 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.
Take a moment to consider this and be sure to join us here at church next Wednesday, July 4, at 10:00 AM, as we celebrate this freedom Almighty God has given us. It is for this freedom, this freedom to love, that “Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1).” Amen.
In the past two weeks, quite a bit has been accomplished but much of the work is not as “dramatic” as walls going up. Since I last wrote to you, all the framing work has been completed on the office addition and the building is ready for a roof. All of the walls are properly sheathed with plywood and are ready for windows and siding, which we anticipate will arrive next week. Work has begun on a deck and stairs at the southwest corner of the building. We received a bit of unfortunate news at the end of last week. The roofer, as of today, is about 3 weeks out from being able to install the roof on the building. As you know, the weather has been a great thorn in our side and it has put the roofer well behind on his jobs. Bob & Jim Brooks have put a tarp over the addition to lessen the impact of any rain we will have until the roof goes on. The plumbing necessary for the new bathroom was put in place this past Wednesday. On an especially exciting note, our new bell tower is nearly completed up at Dave Steel Company in Asheville, as the picture above shows. The company tells us 5 to 6 weeks and it should be ready to be set in place on our property. You can always see all the pictures on our Website News Feed or Facebook Page.
News of Note
As most of you are aware, Dennis Houghtaling had to return to the hospital last week. The medical staff is working to regulate his rapid heart rate. Dennis needed some extra time to get his strength and endurance back, so he was moved to Stonecreek Rehab Center on Victoria Road in Asheville. He is very ready to get back home and to return to us here All Saints. Pray for his continued progress.
Summer Youth Wednesdays
Summer Youth Wednesdays are back again this July. Starting on July 11 through August 1, the youth will gather at 5:45 p.m. each Wednesday for Holy Communion and fun activities. This year our focus will be on St. Paul the Apostle. Dinner is provided each week and everyone, young and young at heart, are welcome to join us. Remember to invite family and friends.
Mark your calendars now! On Wednesday, July 18, we will be watching the recently released movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ in the parish hall. We will begin the evening with Evening Prayer at 6:00 p.m. Dinner and the movie will start shortly thereafter. Our young people will be with us that night as part of their Summer Youth Wednesdays. Wonderful night for the whole family! See you then.
Note from the Treasurer
Jeff Wyatt asks me to remind all of you to do your best to keep up with your commitments to our church over the summer months. While we might be off on vacation, the church has to meet her obligations even though many of us are traveling. Also, many of you have asked where you “stand” on your giving to the church. We will send out an interim statement to all of you in the next week or so for your giving from January through June. Please know this is not a “bill.” It is for your information as you plan your support of our beloved All Saints Church. I also want to assure you that only Jeff and the bookkeeper are privy to the information in your statements.
One Last Encouragement
As I mentioned this past Sunday, food bank collections tend to drop off in the summer months. Don’t forget that being hungry does not take a summer vacation, so let us remember to bring in non-perishable foods. There is a pressing need in our community for food donations and Interfaith Assistance Ministry here in Henderson County is the recipient of July’s food intake.
I hope all of you are enjoying your summer so far and pray that all of you are having an opportunity to relax a bit from any pressing concerns. God bless each and every one of you and please remember…He is not on vacation from you, so don’t take a summer break from Him! See you in church.
This Week in the Parish
Sunday, July 1, Fifth Sunday after Trinity
· 8:30 a.m., Holy Communion
· 9:45 a.m., Sunday School
· 11:00 a.m., Holy Communion
Wednesday, July 4, Independence Day
· 10:00 a.m., Holy Communion