It is inspiring and hopeful to watch a seed planted blossom into beautiful creation! This very thing has been happening here.
In early spring, following the loss of a loved one, a member came to offer a donation on behalf of that person. As the conversation evolved, a seed began to take form. The seed was the idea of two new stained-glass windows for the top portion of the windows beside the front en- tranceway. The windows would give balance to the center window over the entrance and would complete the existing stained-glass windows on the front of the church.
Others were brought into the conversation. Remembrances, biblical verses, theology, spirituali- ty, artistic appearance, our parish identity—all of these watered the seed to help it begin to spring to life.
We sought out Andrew Goldkuhle, owner of Goldkuhle Studios, LLC. Andrew has been associat- ed or involved with the craft of stained-glass his entire life. Aside from an extensive career ini- tially in various construction fields including fine woodworking for Colonial Williamsburg and roller coaster construction for Bush Gardens, Andrew worked with his father extensively on windows at The National Cathedral. Since the passing of his father in 2009, Andrew has worked full time on many conservation projects for windows at The Washington National Cathedral, Duke University, Mercersberg Academy Irvine Chapel, Women’s Army Museum, and numerous churches in the greater Richmond area.
At the same time, Cindy Paulin was sought out as our artist in-residence, and together with Andrew, and our donor, the design of the windows began to take shape.
The seeds are nearly fully blossomed! At the end of September, we can anticipate the installation and dedication of these new windows. On September 23rd at 10AM, Andrew and Cindy will be presenting the Adult Forum to give people an idea of the scope of Andrew’s work, and to be able to answer questions anyone might have. The anticipated, but still tentative, date of the dedication is September 30th.
These new windows will offer all of us yet one more possible vehicle of spiritual connection with God. For some, the liturgy or music provide this. For others, the physical surroundings and the beauty of icons found in stained-glass point to the majesty of all of God’s creation and bring them closer to God. And for others, it can be any one of these things. Because of the generous donation given, we can further enhance people’s experiences in the realm of the Spirit – and to provide even more seeds opportunity to bloom!
Your Sister in Faith, Brenda+
In keeping with our mission to, “Welcome all to be nourished in Jesus Christ . . .”, we hosted a Vacation Bible School (VBS), Rolling River Rampage, from the 16th-20th July 2018 and I thank God for His blessings upon this outreach. We had 56 children, ages 4 through 11-years old, registered and an average of 48 students on each day. 64% of the children registered were from the community at large. We also had a total of 42 helpers/teachers serving, including 24 youth. Praise God for keeping the children safe and granting us good weather every day.
The theme was "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”, based on Isaiah 43:2 and we taught the children lessons on Jesus Calls the Disciples, Mary & Martha, Zacchaeus, The Last Supper, and Jesus Makes a Promise. It was an exciting time for the kids and an enjoyable time for the teachers. Those who served as teachers & helpers were blessed with the opportunity to share God’s word with the children through personal interaction using crafts, music, games, science, and snacks.
We also included a Mission project this year, asking the children and their families to bring in items for our Food Pantry. It was a great success as the children loved bringing in the pasta, soup, condiments and other food items and placing them in our Mission raft. They loved learning about our Food Pantry and were delighted in knowing that they were helping others in need.
As I reflected on VBS the morning after the last day,
I was raised in a Roman Catholic family in Upstate NY the oldest of seven children. Even at an early age the Catholic rituals were all very confusing to me. For the first 10 years of my life all the masses were in Latin, which I didn’t understand at all. Our parish priest emigrated from Ireland and his sermons were all fire and brimstone warning us of the gates of hell that awaited us all if we didn’t follow the straight and narrow. I was molded with a pretty high level of Irish guilt that if you didn’t do certain things you would pay for it dearly.
I was taught Catechism by Nuns who never hesitated to pull out a yardstick to crack you across the knuckles for not falling in line. In elementary school on Wednesday afternoons all the Catholic kids would walk off the campus to the Grange hall next door for our weekly lessons with the Nuns. The rest of the school would go on recess while we were away. It was such a large Catholic community that there were only about 25% of the kids left behind. Can you imagine that happening today?
Some of the rituals I complied with without never totally embraced were no meat on Fridays, weekly confession in a booth to repent for all you sins over the past week (you had to be creative to come up with fresh new sins each week) and saying the full rosary every night before going to bed. I can say a Hail Mary faster than anyone on the planet. On Sunday there were masses every hour on the hour from 7:00 to 12:00 and there was never time for any social connections as you had to head for the parking lot to make room for the next mass.
Did you know that there is a co-ed book club that meets monthly at 4 pm on the 3rd Tues of the month in the church library? Come check it out! The October 16th book is Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths by Bruce Feiler.
Both immediate and timeless, Abraham tells the powerful story of one man's search for the shared ancestor of Judaism, Christianity, andIslam. Traveling through war zones, braving violence at religious sites, andseeking out faith leaders, Bruce Feiler uncovers the defining yet divisive role that Abraham plays for half the world's believers.
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