Farnham & St. John's
Weekly E-pistle

“The Computer Lesson”
Like me, maybe you expected a “Mid-week Reflection” to appear on your computer last week. But it was a "no show."

Here is the story. I have three computers, a “new” approximately one-year old laptop, an “old” approximately four-year old laptop, and an even older big “desktop” (call it an almost “antique” in the computer world). New laptop is the one I use. However, being someone who at some point in life learned to rely on the concept of “always have a back-up plan” (please don’t psychoanalyze that admission) and completely lacking in confidence of my relationship with anything technical (something age-related, perhaps), I have kept the two older computers as “back-ups” for “just-in-case” times.

So, what happened? New laptop’s battery charger quit on the Friday I was returning from N. C. Left early so I could stop by Best Buy Geek Squad on my way home. Bad news: store closed for Geek Squad help due to COVID-19. My son came to the rescue, diagnosing the problem as dead battery charger (resurrection not an option) and ordering me a new charger for new laptop, but delivery eta (estimated time of arrival) probably after due date for mid-week reflection. Backup strategy: go to old laptop, but it also needs battery charged. Get out its own battery charger, plug it in but nothing happened. I start to consider battery “conspiracy” theories. Desperate since a written sermon for Sunday now also filled the pipeline with the mid-week reflection, I call the computer guy who works on our church office computer (thank goodness I had written my Tuesday Epistle message the week before while in N. C.), and scheduled to meet him that afternoon at the church office. Meanwhile, “just in case” I turn on old desktop which I have not used in one, maybe two years. It is a little slow (who isn’t these days?) but it starts up. However, its “mouse” doesn’t! Even after I successfully locate the right size AA batteries, figure out how to open the mouse and insert the batteries (in the right direction). Mouse is clearly dead, apparently incapable of revival.

Still considering battery conspiracy theories, I head to the office, meet computer expert who checks out old laptop. Good news: the battery charger is fine. Bad news: old laptop’s battery charger portal is not and because the portal is an integral part of the “motherboard” it would be hundreds of dollars to fix. He does offer one small, uncertain piece of information just in case it might work for me. If I turn old laptop on its side and carefully insert the battery charge connector into the portal in an exactly stable (while holding my breath) position and it stays that way for a while, it might charge the
computer. (A picture of this unorthodox procedure is offered.) No promises for how long this will continue to work, but it may get me through a few days. Which made the $110 charge for one hour of his time eminently worthwhile. Since the next day when new laptop’s new battery charger arrived and I excitedly plugged it in, nothing happened. By now I am convinced of a conspiracy theory at work. I will not bore you with the ongoing saga, but although no mid-week reflection happened last week at least a sermon did, thanks to the little trick the computer expert shared with me. Which as of today is still working as I write this week’s Epistle message.
Why am I sharing this ridiculous story at a time when so much more is important in the grand scheme of things that life is throwing at us during this time of great disorder and unrest as we each and all are trying to achieve some peace, harmony, equanimity and patience to make it through and beyond? Because somewhere along the way of my life
as I have gotten older I figured out with the help of others that even in what seem to be the absurd, illogical or ill-timed minor events of life, there is something to be learned.

So, what have a learned (and am still learning) from my computer lesson:
• That although I have prided myself on developing the response of patience when things are not working out the way I think they should, pride goeth before a fall. And when my patience falls apart it is not a pretty picture.
• That while “logic” has been a way of thinking that has certainly benefitted my way of living “sanely” – life is not always logical and I need to figure out more ways to stay sane when it (life) is not (logical) which a lot of the time is isn’t.
• Why, on earth, do I believe that inanimate, technical, mechanical things should always work perfectly?
• What is it about me that needs to rely on always having extensive “back-up plans” – probably a “trust” issue is at play here as has been pointed out to me by folks from time to time, including God.
• How easy it is for even minor events to hi-jack my existence, disturbing the positive rhythm I prefer for day to day life. The building agitation, irritation, and distress at what was happening with my computers absorbed me for almost a week. Like I couldn’t focus on much else than my obsession with getting this problem under control.
• Just how much do I miss out on when I get captured by negative emotions and enter what I call the “gerbil wheel” of dissatisfaction, going round and round when stopping and exiting that wheel is the simple solution and allows for consideration of more creative resolutions.

Oh well! I’ll continue to ponder the life lessons my computer experience is trying to teach me. Or any other such seemingly illogical events to which I have responded in less than optimal ways. Relevant musings, because it is a crazy time we are living in and we can either let the disorder of it control our sanity and serenity as some of the old stuff we depended on to work doesn’t. Or we can find and adopt either old or new ways to live through and beyond the disorder. The most important lesson I am re-learning (thanks to my computers) is that I can’t control many of the events that disrupt life as I believe life is to be lived, but I can learn ways to respond to those events in ways more healthy for me and those around me for life in the midst of them. Any thoughts?

"The Serenity Prayer"

God grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change, 
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
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Free Drive-Thru Community Testing for 
COVID-19 in 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 holding 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 18, 2020 10 am - 4 pm Richmond County @
Warsaw Rescue Squad
152 Community Park Dr.
Warsaw 22572
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
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 Friday or Saturday. They are also posted on the church web-site (usually by Friday.)
Bring your pets!
The church office is re-opening on TUESDAYS ONLY for the month of June from 9:30 - 3:00. You can always e-mail the office at parishchurchnews@gmail.com and Lucy generally works other irregular hours from home, or you can reach Torrence at (804) 436-7591.

The state and the Diocese require that masks be worn !
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.
June Birthdays & Anniversaries
9 th - Ben & Sallie Cox
9 th - Bill Carden
19 th - Anna Calvert
24 th - Anne Neuman
28 th – Waldy Sulik
29 th - Evie Overton
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