Fair Sunday!

As I sit in my office in the Parish House I’m aware of much heavier than normal traffic flying down Rte. 110. I can see temporary plastic fencing at the edge of the yard across the street. Campers and RVs are beginning to dot the lawns on the upper bank of the fair grounds. The whole town is energized as final preparations are being made for the Tunbridge World’s Fair, which begins this Thursday.

Our church choirs, under the direction of Judie Lewis and Janet Zug, have been preparing for this Sunday’s “Fair Service” for more than a month now. The theme is “Feel the Spirit,” and area musicians will join our regular choirs to provide inspiring and uplifting music.

Please join us for worship at 9:30 (note the time change for just this week). You’ll be glad you did!

Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

Earlier this week the residents of Ortley Beach, New Jersey, were told that they could visit their homes, or what was left of their homes, for the first time since Sandy landed on their shores in late October. The residents stood in line for hours waiting to board buses to travel to their town. No cars are permitted; it’s too dangerous. As the process of reentry into the community continues we’re learning that the damage is far greater than anyone, even those who had seen photos, could have imagined.

While Sandy is history for most of us, residents in the mid-Atlantic will be coping with the storm’s devastating effects for months. Just as people reached out to help after Irene blew through Vermont a year ago, we have the opportunity to help those who were in Sandy’s path.

Beginning this Sunday, November 18 through Sunday, December 2 we will receive a special offering to aid victims of Sandy. If you wish to contribute, you may place your offering in the basket on the table in the vestibule. The offering will be sent to Church World Service to support its storm relief efforts.

To learn more about Church World Service go to: http://www.churchworldservice.org/

Holiday in the Hills!

The Fairgrounds turned out to be an ideal venue for this year’s Holiday in the Hills (formerly the Christmas Shoppe) event. And the addition of the sale of antiques provided a touch of warmth to an otherwise chilly Dodge Gilman building.

Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make Holiday in the Hills a success. Special thanks to Pam Dietz for once again coordinating the event, Rob Howe, Kate Caldwell and Lucy Howe for providing food for the Preview Party, Vivian Smith and Carley Howe for chairing the food committee, Amy Frost for coordinating the Silent Auction, and Kay Jorgensen for handling the publicity. As I looked around church on Sunday I realized that almost everyone there had contributed in one way or another. Thank you to all of you!

Summer’s End Activities

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for yesterday’s Youth Group and mini Bible Camp activities followed by Family Night. We gathered at 4:00 and people lingered around the campfire until past 8:00; it was so nice to be outdoors!

One of the first things we did was to welcome Cody, who moved to town with his family earlier this summer, to the group. Cody helped to get the afternoon off to a great start by bringing frisbees to play with.

A big thank-you to Ben Wolfe for organizing the Bible Camp. We recreated a first century house church after we created a time line puzzle by filling it with pieces  containing the names biblical characters that we found on the hidden around the playground. Just as we had given up on finding the “Rebekah” piece, Isabella spotted it as she was leaving the playground for the evening!

Thank you also to Dawna Neron for notifying families of the event, Kathi Terami for providing healthy snacks and Elaine Howe for bringing beverages.

We’re looking forward to another outdoor activity in October sometime before Halloween.

On the Parish House Lawn

The Parish House lawn has been a busy place this past week! A sunny and slightly hotter than normal early evening created the perfect setting for the annual Ice Cream Social on Tuesday evening. Elsie Farnham, who  organized the event, along with her  staff of “scoopers,” Pam Dietz, Richard Howe and Randy Chapman, made sure that no one went away disappointed. And for an added treat, Elaine Howe served up slices of cake provided by the Historical Society as part of Tunbridge’s 250th Anniversary celebration.

Just three days later, on a similarly sunny, though somewhat cooler evening, the Youth Service Group gathered on the lawn for games and Italian Water Ice (thanks to Dominick and Lisa Amodeo). While we enjoyed our frozen treat we talked about our current project, collecting items for school kits which will be distributed to children through the  Church World Service disaster relief program. We tried to put ourselves in the places of children who had recently lost their homes and communities because of floods or tornadoes. We asked the question, “If you had to leave your home with only 10 minutes notice, what three items would you take with you?” “What would you miss the most if you lost it forever?” Assuming that other family members and pets would be safe, answers ranged from photo albums to first aid kits to a special bracelet that was a gift from a sibling.  How would you answer those questions?

Pastor’s News

Have you visited the Parish House lately?  Over the past couple of years there have been some changes that make it more inviting than ever.

Thanks primarily to the efforts of Janet Zug, Lisa and Dominick Amodeo, the playground continues to provide a safe to play.   It’s a rare day that I don’t see at least one family enjoying the playground when I’m in the office.  Two picnic tables and benches, along with a grill, given by Kay Jorgensen, further enhance the lawn around the playground.  What a difference all of these things have made in our Family Nights and other outdoor events.

And, of course, everyone is talking about the newly refinished floor in the main meeting room of the Parish House.  Thanks to Mike McDonnell, Euclid Farnham and Rob Howe, this room is light and bright.  The new floor has even opened up the doorway to the kitchen, allowing traffic to flow better for events like Coffee Hour.  And, thanks to Mike McDonnell, there is a new cabinet in the kitchen that allows the Food Shelf staff to move cases of food from the floor under the tables to a more accessible storage space.

If you haven’t had a reason to come to the Parish House and see these things first hand, stop by and see me during my office hours.  During the summer I’ll be in my office on Tuesdays (except July 12 and August 2) and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.  If you need to reach me while I’m there, you can call 685-1178.