Farnham & St. John's
Office closed Monday through Wednesday next week.
Upcoming Events ~ See full announcement below weekly message
  • Don't forget his week's contribution to the FOOD BASKET
  • This Sunday is UTO Sunday
  • and last chance to bring items for local MISSION TRIP TO HAITI
  • Need one more person to deliver MEALS ON WHEELS on October 15th.
  • Next Wednesday is deadline to sign up for dinner at Torrence's following the CELTIC EVENSONG at Grace Church on Sunday the 21st.
  • Spencer & Beane concert at Farnham on October 26th.
  • 1st Friday Supper & a Show cancelled in November.
Torrence's Weekly Message
“Come as you are”
Last night in Richmond I attended a program at the Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond. It featured one of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, now in his eighth decade, a Quaker who has written throughout his life so simply but profoundly on matters about living life in abundant and holistic ways.
Palmer was teamed up with Carrie Newcomer, a remarkable musician who dubs herself a folk singer and Gary Walters, a very talented young pianist. The title of the program was: “What we Need is Here: Hope, Hard Times and the Human Possibility.” I had heard about the program about a month ago but forgotten about it till a friend mentioned it yesterday morning. I debated about going when I finished my last appointment of the day, ran a few Richmond errands and almost didn’t go. After all it would mean not leaving Richmond till probably 9:00 p.m. and getting home to bed very late (at least for me). But at the last minute I did go, because I felt the “lure” to be there. To be present for whatever was waiting to connect me with a larger group, one perhaps drawn together by the idea that maybe what we all need in our current environment (personal and world-wide) is a way of journeying within very challenging and sometimes discouraging times. Perhaps it was that word “Hope” that drew us all together, a touchstone that was our common mind and heart link.

The three wove together readings by Palmer, songs by Newcomer with her guitar and a voice that ranged in all octaves of human emotion and Walters who coaxed out of his piano sounds that voiced struggle, dissonance, harmony, calm, passion, despair but ultimately hope. The place was full, every seat occupied, as people filled the Center for the program. But the fullness of what was happening expanded as the evening wore on and a deep and powerful resonance emerged. The threesome received a standing ovation at the end and there was a new energy that was obvious as people streamed out into the night to head home.

 At a mid-point in the program Palmer encouraged a short ten-minute break, not to leave our seats, but to turn to one or two around us and begin a conversation to share thoughts about a hard time and ways forward (my interpretation of what he asked us to do). A younger couple probably late thirties (not married but clearly currently a couple) next to me and I started talking with the guy starting. Suddenly, the rest of the room seemed to drop away as he talked about the death of his young daughter from bone cancer, then she about her ten-year old son’s death. I sensed that maybe they had met in a shared children’s hospital setting. And each talked about experiences in nature that had been such important “locations” for each of them journeying forward from that time. Of course, that resonated so with me, too, in my recent journeying.
Our final few minutes of conversation were around what it was about “nature” that is so powerful to so many of us, whether in hard times when dreams seem to die before their time, or just in other times when we find ourselves needing to be renewed and refreshed. Here’s what we came up with. That nature simply invites us in, just as we are. It doesn’t expect us to be perfect; actually, it doesn’t expect us to be anything other than what we are at the moment and hopes that we will simply be present in and with it. It simply invites us into a connection of all living things and we find that we are embraced and accepted. The invitation is always, “Come, just come as you are.” And, within the invitation is the idea that what we need is right there, right here, waiting for us to connect with its life-giving possibilities.

The program included the words of a poem by Wendell Berry, “The Wild Geese.” Palmer shared this selection, commenting on the way of wild geese, their “homing” instinct and their instinctual understanding of how to use togetherness in a spacious way to move most powerfully towards where they were meant to go. I remembered a recent Epistle message I had written for all of us about the way of wild geese and Lucy’s wonderful pictures that gave vision to their ways. And remembered also, that in Celtic spirituality the wild geese are always metaphors/symbols for the Holy Spirit.

I share below the poem by Wendell Berry about “The Wild Geese,” and also another well known poem of his that has long been a favorite of mine. I offer the second peom as I remember the heart outpourings of two still grieving parents sharing their journeys with me in a Center for the Arts (Hearts) on a fall evening as night fell and sounds hovered in the air around us and in the hearts of all of us. I will remember from this evening the sounds of an old man’s readings, a folk singer’s songs and a young man’s piano weaving lament and hope together. And, in remembering feel a Holy Blessing embracing us all for heeding the call to come as we were with the Holy Hope that together we would sense the vision of becoming what we truly are.
The Wild Geese
By Wendell Berry
Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that reset on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith, what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
The Peace of Wild Things
By Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in the beauty on the water and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water
and I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world and am free.
B,L & C
(B ag Lunch & Conversation)

We will continue working on figuring out how to pray the news.

Sunhose Devaneios I have a dream in Mexican newspaper
Through a Celtic Lens : an Invitation for  Sunday evening, Oct. 21 st

Grace (Kilmarnock) offers a Celtic Evening Service once a month during their "program" year. I have pondered the idea of Farnham & St. John's offering a Celtic service occasionally for our area of the Northern Neck, but would like to get parishioner input about doing so. So I invite you to join me for the Sunday Oct. 21 st  service at 5:30 p.m. at Grace and then (on your way home) join me at my home for Sunday supper. 

Please  RSVP by Wed., Oct. 17 th  
Please note that the November First Friday Supper & A Show has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.

The next class in our JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE series is Tuesday, October 15th. Supper is provided, but we ask for a $5 donation to defray the cost Last week, we began with Genesis Part I. This week's topic is Genesis Part II: Patriarchs , Matriarchs & Family. Call Torrence if you're interested.
Items needed for local mission trip to Haiti:

Advil (children & adult)
Tylenol (children & adult)
Benadryl (children & adult)
Benadryl cream
Anti-fungal cream
Neosporin cream
Cough Drops
Multi-vitamins (child & adult)
Immodium AD
please bring items to church by October 14 th . Contact Courtney Sisson for more information
We still need 1 person to deliver Meals on Wheels on October 15 th.
Please let the office know if you can help. Pick up is at 9:00 a.m.
Spencer & Beane
Friday, October 26, 2018
7:00 p.m. Farnham
Episcopal Church                                                            
The concert is free of charge (donations appreciated at the door).

sponsored by Cople Parish, and Farnham & St. John's Episcopal Churches.
Dressing From the Bloomers Up
The Episcopal Church Women
Of Richmond County
Invite you to

A Victorian Tea
To benefit
Those in Need in the Northern Neck
Saturday, November 10 th
Two O’Clock in the Afternoon
Wellford Hall, St. John’s Church
5987 Richmond Road
Warsaw, Virginia

Limited seating, $25 each person
Please RSVP by November 2 nd   by mailing a check with “Victorian Tea” on the memo line to St. John’s Church, PO Box 1093, Warsaw, VA 22572
In the Church
Sunday October 14 th

9:00 a.m. at Farnham
Morning Prayer

11:00 a.m. at St. John's
Holy Eucharist

Sunday October 21 st

Holy Eucharist

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

11:00 a.m. at St. John's

Sunday October 28 th

Morning Prayer

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

11:00 a.m. at St. John's
Sunday November 4 th

Holy Eucharist

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

11:00 a.m. at St. John's
In the Parish Hall

Come Worship With Us

Sunday Service this week

10:00 a.m. Farnham Church, Farnham