Farnham & St. John's
Weekly E-pistle
"Ordinary Time”

In our Church year we just crossed over into Ordinary Time. This Ordinary Time will continue until a new Church year begins with the first Sunday of Advent. For 2020 that means November 29 th . Ordinary time is the longest “season” in our Church year. We have a lot of ordinary time ahead of us. What shall we do with it?

“Ordinary” – what an interesting word. Look it up anywhere and you will find some of these words: normal, what is commonplace/standard, routine, customary, with no special or distinctive features, average, common, not different or special or unexpected. These refer to our secular, everyday use of the word. Is it different in the church/liturgical context? Somewhat: because it originated there out of the idea of a way of numbering the weeks outside of the major liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Easter, etc. There it derives from the idea of “ordinal” referring to numbers, coming perhaps a little more directly from the Latin origin of the word:  ordinare, to order.

What is paradoxical now about our entering into Ordinary time in our Church context is that none of it seems either normal or ordered. Not only in the context of church, but also in our everyday life in a very secular environment. Our secular and our Church life are undergoing “dis-order” and our routines in both environments are anything but what we have been used to as customary, common, average in our lives, as individuals, as families, as community, as systems that we have previously used to “order” our world.

An interesting reflection on the context of “ordinary” emerges as we look at the use of our weeks of Ordinary time in the Biblical passages that are our lectionary focus during this longest season of the Church year. The focus, as it is every year in Ordinary time, is the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. His ministry spans a one to three-year period of “recorded” action depending on the interpretation of time sequencing within the four Gospels. But, whatever the specific time frame, Jesus’ ministry displays a Divinely desired and designed intent to bring a new order into a disordered world. It is a time of presenting a model of re-ordering of human ways into re-alignment with the original design of a Divinely created order.

So, given the current context of what is going on in our worldly environment and in our liturgical Church environment isn’t it a unique and inspirational time to take the opportunity to address the idea of “ordering/re-ordering”? To consider what has been dissembled in the middle of the disorder of what has been routine and customary in the past, then consider what may emerge if we re-form, re-build, re-order, re-novate (re-innovate) on the sure foundation of an ideal that was originally inspired.

The Hebrew scriptures call us to “number our days.” We have generally associated that with the idea of counting our days. However, the essential intent of that call is to “order our days.” In this time of disorder, we are called to take the time to consider the elemental ways we have been living (the old order), what we are learning about living now in the midst of a disorder of old ways, then identify what to take forward and what to let go of as we live into a re-formed, re-creation way of living, moving and having being, individually and communally. May we do so with courage (heart-strength), perseverance, honesty, clarity, love. May we open to Divine grace to do this, trusting that when we “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God” it will be so.
P. S. (Post Script)
Watch for the posting of Torrence's mid-week reflection tomorrow continuing with the specific theme of reordering things during this extraordinary "Ordinary Time" in the year labeled 2020 - a year that begs for new vision and clarity of insight for living in the time beyond it.
background / top pictures are from Jeff Wunrow designs for altar hangings downloaded from Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended.
What's Happening at Farnham & St. John's
Some churches around the Diocese are reporting expanded "attendance" to their virtual worship services, an increase over attendance when services were held in their church buildings. I should have chimed in about Farnham and St. John's and reported about a increase in ours too - the four legged kind of attendance that "home church" virtually shared offers.. We are definitely experiencing full "family" time in our Sunday prayer services as our furry, purring, woofing family members are making their presence known and their voices heard. Someone recently suggested that we need to put up signs on our church properties announcing "All are Welcome." Maybe we ought to decorate those signs with a few paw prints to show just how inclusive we are becoming. What do you think?
"A Week Away"
What a difference a week can make. Thanks, all, for indulging me in my taking a week away as I headed to the mountains of North Carolina and a week with Torre, David, Wally (the granddog), and four grandcats.  I found telecommuting is just as easy hundreds of miles away from the office as it is from home twenty miles away. And the change of scenery seems to joggle my perspective into some new ways of thinking about things. But, speaking of change of scenery, I was stunned on the very last leg (that twenty miles) home to pass through Warsaw and see what a difference eight days away had made when I caught sight of The Bounds, the now park becoming site across the street from St. John's. Amazing transformation from mountains of dirt eight days earlier to a leveled softly slopping setting surrounding an emerging pond/lake and boasting new trees planted on its margins.
And, of course, the "I make all things new again" familiar Biblical verse came to mind. Congratulations to the Town of Warsaw's unfolding vision of renewal. A model of faith, hope and re-visioning to make things better. Stirs up our thinking and planning across the street from it as we re-new our visioning of landscape renewal for our outdoor spaces in front of St. John's.
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 11, 2020 10 am - 4 pm
Essex County @ Essex High School
833 High School Circle,
Tappahannock 22560

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

Chesapeake Style

May/June edition is available now.

Look for Torrence's article on page 7.
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
Marilyn Day
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
Ramiza Koya
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
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.
Farnham Church
St. John's Church