What's Happening at St. Mary's
July 26, 2017                                              Bill Haines, Editor
St. Mary's is excited to welcome Eddie's Mom band to Thursdays on the Lawn this week!
They perform songs from the days of analog to today's digital classics. Eddie's Mom resuscitates the songs of the past, minus the hiss and pop of a turntable or tape deck, as well as venturing through today's eclectic offerings.
Come enjoy, 7:30 to 9 on the front lawn.

" Just a bunch of friends, gettin' together, playin' really great songs."
 The Branches has organized a FUN fundraiser!
Wave Day will be held at Splash Zone Waterpark, Schellenger & the Boardwalk, Wildwood, on Saturday, August 19th. $45 per person gives you all day fun at the waterpark
and includes lunch at the Flow House Bar & Grille. Tickets are now on sale through The Branches and the Church Office. Call 886-5091 or 368-5922.
Vestry Notes - Cheryl Barton, Clerk

The parish gathered together Sunday, July 16, 2017 for a meeting with The Rev. Bud Holland, retired program officer for ordained ministry and leadership development at the Episcopal Church Center in New York. Thirty five of St. Mary's church "pillars" contributed to a lively discussion of our parish's past, present, and potential future. We talked about what drew us to St. Mary's and what keeps us coming back. We marveled at our many physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and musical assets present in our facility and our people. Our future depends on how we channel our assets in accordance with God's will for us. We discussed ways to promote our presence in the community, improve our image, heal divisions, and energize our parish life. The Vestry pledged to continue focusing on these goals by improving communication to the parish and more actively participating in parish life discussions and events. Parishioners are encouraged to share their assets in any way they feel called by the Spirit. We can all benefit from the many gifts we have been blessed with. 
In other news...  Bill Haines, Editor
The Rev. Dr. Bud Holland facilitated a visioning workshop on July 16. We broke into small groups where we discussed a series of questions. The first set of questions were, "What word (or two or three) would you use to describe St. Mary's?" "What brought you to St. Mary's and what keeps you coming back?" "What are our parish's greatest assets and strengths?" Each group responded and Jack Olthuis entered our input into his laptop. The next questions were, "What are the most important challenges and opportunities in our parish and community?" "What deep values and perspectives does St. Mary's have that need to be part of its future?" "What hopes (and or fears) do you have for St. Mary's future?" The last three questions were, "What unique gifts does St. Mary's bring to this community and surrounding communities?" "How can we best move forward in addressing our mission and ministries/challenges/opportunities?" "What responsive structure do we need to have in place to maximize our work?"  
The vestry met with Dr. Holland on Monday morning to strategize how best to move forward based on the input they received on Sunday. Another meeting with the Diocese will be held in the fall. Keep the Vestry and St. Mary's in your prayers.

Fr. Peter continues with a Bible Study on Tuesdays at 10 AM in the parish hall, followed by a Healing Service at 11 AM in the church. We're studying the Book of Acts. You're more than welcome to attend one or both of the offerings.

Fr. Gorman continues to offer Adult Forum between services on Sunday mornings in the chapel. Dr. Bob Williams met with us on Sunday to
up-date us on the continued conversation between the Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church on a possible shared ministry.
Fr. Gorman suggested a possible topic for the summer Adult Forum, prayer. The clergy are offering their time and talent. Are we willing to respond in kind?

Our deep appreciation is extended to Cynthia and Lou Schweickhardt for hosting the Strawberry Festival which was a huge success both as an outreach to the community and financially ($785) to St. Mary's. Thank you!

Unlike most of us, The Branches and St. Mary's Thrift Shop don't take a vacation. They are open and minister to the community six days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. The needs of the community don't take a vacation either. Sandra Lockhart has been keeping the congregation informed of some of the happenings at The Branches by writing articles which are included in the Sunday bulletin. Thank you Fred Maiden for tutoring a girl to help pass her GED test. Do you have an hour or two or three to volunteer at either The Branches or the Thrift Shop?

Saturday 5 PM worship at the beach continues through August 26th at the 101st Street Pavilion. Bring a chair and come as you are. Two Baptisms were celebrated there this summer and another is scheduled in August.

Do you believe we are half way through our Thursdays on the Lawn concerts! There are three concerts remaining, Eddie's Mom, Bob Campanell, and Jim Bannach of BLT. Thank you to all the artists, the people who set up and take down the chairs, and those who volunteer to supply cookies and lemonade during intermission.

St. Mary's School Supplies Drive ends on August 13th. Donations may be left in the Chapel, parish hall or church office. Checks are also appreciated. Make your check payable to St. Mary's with School Supplies in the memo line.