Greetings, all! It was great to return to worship at St. John’s last Sunday, and to see so many familiar faces, all smiling very happily. I’m told it was quiet around here during my absence, and that’s a good thing. The worship was very positive, as always; the children, delightful.
Eleanor and I had a fine time in Muskoka. The congregation of Christ Church, Gregory, were very welcoming and so hospitable to provide us with a well-appointed and well-maintained cottage during our two weeks there. All our children and grandchildren came to spend time with us, but not all at once. The weather was variable, but we went swimming twice a day nevertheless. The cottage had excellent heat and we had books to read. We both spent time editing the proof copy of Eleanor’s upcoming novel, Churchland. All in all, a relaxing time away, and we have been invited to return next summer, and we have accepted the invitation.
Upon my return to the office, I am happy to discover and report to you that the year-end audit of the 2013 financials is completed and our 2013 Vestry reporting has been submitted to and received by the diocese. So, that is splendid to have that finally finished, so we can move forward with some confidence into the last half of 2014. As well, Gill gave a very encouraging report of the current financial state, pointing out that the LOC was at zero for a time and that she sent off a cheque for $8600 toward the Diocesan Ministry and Mission. We are very pleased with the generosity of the parish as people continue to cover monthly bills. This coming Sunday, Gill and Pat will post more bills for your consideration.
Onward and upward, people of St. John’s. You just may clear the debt by the end of the year.
The services were joyous the morning of July 6, Song of Songs. One visitor commented that we “really do it up big here.” Spread the word. Thanks for Jamie and Pam for stepping into the breach to cover Sunday School. There were a fair number of children in attendance on this morning.
It was Adopt-a-Bill Sunday, and the 8am congregation took away $900 worth of bills to cover, and $1638.96 worth of bills disappeared between the two services. It’s a refreshing change in the atmosphere of St. John’s that each day we receive donations toward the monthly expenses and the debt to the diocese rather than calls from creditors wanting payment for overdue bills. May this generosity continue.
Let me make this perfectly clear: the Diocese has no desire or intention to close St. John’s, Stamford. The only people who will close St. John’s are the people of St. John’s. If the congregation reaches financial stability, St. John’s will continue its valuable ministry and mission in this area of Niagara Falls for many years to come.
Eleanor and I leave this Friday July 11 for two weeks at Christ Church, Gregory, in Muskoka, where I will officiate and preach for the next two Sundays. We’ll see you all again at Sunday services on July 27.
If you have any pastoral needs, contact Kim in the office, or Duncan, Howard or Catharine. Take care of each other.
Well, our home hopes your household enjoyed an extended holiday this past weekend. We had a great two-day visit with long time friends from Vienna, laughing and talking together about old times and discussing future plans, such as the weddings of our youngest children who were playmates as toddlers, our daughter’s this coming Thanksgiving and their son’s in August of 2015.
Then, no sooner had they left on Tuesday morning, when our entire family, children and grandchildren, aunts and uncles, Oma and great-grandma, arrived for the day. We spent the time celebrating life and love together, specifically our son’s 35th birthday, and our oldest granddaughter’s 7th (last Thursday). We coasted through the day, eating and drinking, watching the kids playing in the pool and water slide. Then when evening came, all went home, but our daughter stayed on with us for the week with her three children. It has been wild, especially when all three children talk at once, but precious; the Port Dalhousie carrousel was a hit yesterday, especially for the twins who experienced it for the first time.
The church picnic last Sunday was good fun–lots of good food contributed by parishioners, lots of hamburgers and hotdogs cooked by David and Pat. Thanks to Kim for total organization and for supervising the children’s games. We’ll do it again in the fall to celebrate our parish life together.
All bests, all. wf