Farnham & St. John's
Weekly E-pistle

“Betwixt & Between”
As a child growing up around grandparents some of their phrases were a puzzle to me. I do not remember when I first heard the description “betwixt and between” but it caught my attention and my curiosity. It sounded like such a fun phrase. However, what I remember is that when used, it seemed to describe a “middling” time when words such as uncertain, antsy, puzzled, fearful, anxious, excitable, nervous, curious, irritable, impatient, unresolved, confused, reactive (such big adult kind of words) might describe how people seemed to respond to things during such a time.  Another similar phrase would pop up from time to time as someone would comment, “It’s neither fish nor fowl!” and I realized they did not mean what might show up on my plate at suppertime. But that phrase also seemed to refer to something uncertain, a time or some thing defying definition and lacking clarity.

We are finding ourselves in a “betwixt and between” time now. Easily, as definitions offer, we are experiencing life in a middle or unresolved place or time, neither clearly one thing nor the other prevailing in our vision – whatever we may be trying to describe. I could be referring to a lot of things during this unsettled time we find we have to face due to health issues, both physical and societal that have landed on our plates and in our lives, but so much of which used to be “normal” is no longer.

There are better ways to respond in such “betwixt and between” times than I listed above. Just consider some of their opposites: patient, calm, thoughtful, proactive, even exciting to name a few. Let’s keep the word “curious” and maybe add “creative” to the mix. Betwixt and between times are provocative and paradoxical. A time to consider what was in the past, what is now happening in the present and what possibilities may emerge for the future. As jumbled, uncertain, and confusing as such a time might be, it offers a uniquely motivated time to explore possibilities and reframe a vision positively for an emerging yet-to-come. And to do so, not bound by fear of what might be lost in the outcome, but by hope of a revised richness which can result from the in between time we are having to move through.

Let’s hold these thoughts in some spaciousness and openness of heart, mind and spirit as we move along in this “middling” time and vision ahead for our churches, our congregations, our family life, our communal life together in the concentric circles in which we live, move and have being even, as daunting as it might prove, at local, regional, national and world wide levels. (P. S. Please tune in to my Mid-Week Reflection this week to explore more thoughts for a creative way through betwixt and between times.)

For now, in this middling time for our life together, at least I ask your special focus on something dear to the hearts of our congregational, communal life as “church” as we plan regathering in person in the physical presence of each other. Your Vestries and I as your Priest-in-charge have submitted a plan for regathering initially for outdoor in-person worship, taking into consideration the guidelines the Diocese has proposed to try and assure both our individual and our communal health and safety as we gather again in each other’s physical presence. A copy of our Memorandum to the Bishop of Virginia seeking approval of our plan for outdoors worship is linked here for your information as we move towards ultimate regathering later on indoors in our church buildings.

The key to moving through this middling time is good discernment. I ask you to do your best in discerning what is best for you and your health at this time. The phrase “Come as I am are able!” is the recommendation for a mantra as you consider the options for gathering on Sunday mornings in July and August and discern what is best for you week by week, day by day now. Outdoor worship in physical presence of others or home worship in the virtual (by computer or telephone) presence with others. Or it may simply be choosing on a Sunday morning to sit quietly in the outdoors just outside your own door and tune in to the bird song choir serenading you there. Or to linger in bed or over breakfast with the prayer on your heart, “This is the day the Lord has made, may I be thankful for it and joyful in it!” Feel free to be creative about your connecting with God your Creator, the Lord, your Savior and the Holy Spirit, the Weaver of your life – connecting with the Divine and with all that has been created for us to share life together.

Wherever and however you discern to be on Sunday mornings to connect with the Divine and those God has put in your life as fellow travelers along this journey we call the Way of Life, may you find peace, calm, harmony, and most of all Love surrounding, strengthening and embracing you.

By God’s amazing Grace, may it be so . . . 

Please note that replies to this e-mail now go directly to Torrence. If you wish to send something to the secretary, click here.
Image courtesy of Saana Baker at the Textile Eye.
“Looking Ahead”
Schedule for Worship and Mailings for July & August

Sunday morning Worship
9:00 a.m. Outdoors gathering for “in person” Morning Prayer
July 5 th & 12 th
Hosted by Farnham
on the Cedar Grove Road side of the church grounds

July 19 th & 26 th
Hosted by St. John’s
on the grounds of Sabine Hall
The outdoors services are conditioned upon approval for outdoor worship at Farnham & St. John’s by the Bishop’s Office. Specific conditions (face masks, social distancing, etc.) will be relayed to you upon approval.  

They will be followed by an
11:00 a.m. “Virtual” Morning Prayer Service
accessed through Zoom by computer or phone

Weekly Mailings
The E-pistle including the Priest’s “Message/Reflection” and announcement(s) will go out each week to our congregations and our full Constant Contact e-mail list. * This is a change from previous summers when the Epistle was limited to twice a month.

the Mid-Week Reflection will be discontinued as a routine weekly mailing.

Sunday Service/Sermon Mailing will continue on a weekly basis to our Constant Contact email list on Friday or Saturday each week.

Please advise the office parishchurchnews@gmail.com or 333-4333 or Torrence torrence.harman@aol.com or 436-7591 if you need to have the above mailings sent to you by regular mail.

* the "full Constant Contact e-mail list" includes some family, friends and neighbors. If you have someone who wants to receive it, they can sign up on-line if you forward it to them or you can ask the office to add someone.
Join us BEFORE our Zoom Morning Prayer Service Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Bring a cup of coffee for a visit at around 9:30 and we'll have coffee hour before instead of after the service. Instructions to be sent with the sermon on Friday or Saturday. They are already posted on the church web-site.
Bring your pets!
Beginning July 2 nd through the month of August, the church office will be open THURSDAYS from 9:30 - 3:00 . For the time being Lucy works other irregular hours from home and the best way to reach her is via e-mail at parishchurchnews@gmail.com, or you can reach Torrence at (804) 436-7591.

The state and the Diocese require that masks be worn if you visit the office.
Free Drive-Thru Community Testing for 
COVID-19 in late June and Early July, 2020

Three Rivers Health District in conjunction with the Three Rivers Medical Reserve Corp (MRC), and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is continuing drive-thru testing events to test for COVID-19.  Testing is open to those over the age of 16. Please Note that we are NOT conducting antibody testing. 
You do not have to have symptoms in order to be tested.
June 29, 2020 10 am - 4 pm Gloucester Cnty @ Gloucester HS 6680 Short Ln, Gloucester 23061
July 1, 2020 10 am - 4 pm Westmoreland County @
AT Johnson Building
18849 Kings Hwy, Montross 22520
The Parish Prayer List
Courtenay Altaffer
John Barber
Martha Berger
Randall Bone
Sue Bowie
Nancy Allin Bush
Anna Calvert
Mary Claycomb
Sumner Elwell
Constance Edwards
Bob File
Regina Griggs
Barbara & Harry Grander
the Rev. Howard Hanchey
Weir Harman
Mary Hertling
Rebecca Hubert
Marcia Jenkins
Stephanie, Nick & Donovan Kaywork
Jim & Sharon Krider
Susan Lewis
Frank Lynch
Susannah Marais
Judi Newman
Kirsten Palubinski
George Patrick
Don Phillips
Dennis Rynd
James Rynd
Debbie Belfield Stacks
Scott Strickler
Waldy Sulik
Billy Tennyson
Connie Thompson
Matthew Yates
and Rose Mary Zellner
Please e-mail any updates to the prayer list to parishchurchnews@gmail.com Replying to this e-mail will send it to Torrence.
Upcoming Birthdays & Anniversaries
24 th - Anne Neuman
28 th – Waldy Sulik
29 th - Evie Overton

1 st – Tish King
9 th – Miriam Sisson
28 th – Susan Crowley
30 th – Mary Sulik
There will be a Morning Prayer Service via Zoom Sunday Morning at 10:00 a.m. Further instructions will be forthcoming later in the week, but are already posted on our website
click here.
Farnham Church
St. John's Church