Farnham & St. John's
The Weekly Message
Fall - A Reflection on Generosity
Fall and Spring are the seasons whose names arose because of what happens in each. In Fall so much is falling to be received by the earth. In Spring so much is springing up as a return gift from the earth.
Somewhere recently I came across a poem about trees, leaves and all the trees’ offerings they let go of with such generosity in Fall. Not just leaves, but acorns, cones with seeds, so much to offer the earth which receives it all. How nourishing those offerings are: as food for winter hungry creatures, seedlings that are sheltered and take root during winter months as they gather strength and purpose to come to the surface in Spring, leaves and husks of things which will mulch the ground and nourish soil which in turn will nourish what will later bloom. 

What struck me within the images the poem evoked was the idea of the tree so effortlessly letting go of its abundance. And I reflected on the moment of letting go. Just what happens in the moments leading up to the “release” – that moment when gently the tree
lets go of a leaf or what holds a seedling. Did you, like I did as a child, catch one of those little winged seed pods, and send it on its way like a miniature airplane, to find a landing spot of ground even its tree could not have imagined? Weren’t we like the wind in joyful abandon directing its destiny!
Is there some sense deep within a tree’s “soul” that delights in offering up or down a fruit of its essential spirit?
I had these unusual (maybe you might call them strange) reflections the other afternoon while reading the poem I can no longer find. And somehow the idea of letting go and when that exactly happens has seemed, in retrospect, to nourish my thoughts about the stewardship of the gifts which accumulate over time in us and which seem to long to be released into the world around us. But gifts which I suppose, because of our human nature, we cling to.  
I was struggling with just what to do as I was personally considering what seemed to be asked of any of us at church “pledge” time each Fall. In the time/talent/treasure stewardship “trinity” the word “treasure” stood out. Definition time. Treasure as a noun. A quantity of valuable objects; wealth, riches stored or accumulated. Treasure as a verb. To treasure is to keep or retain carefully; to put away for security for future use.
St. Catherine’s School (for me grade school through high school) had a school motto: “What we keep we lose but what we give remains our own.” All my life I have been confused by this saying. Just what does it mean; just what does this look like as a motto by which to live life?
The tree gives away its treasure, its riches, Fall after Fall. If it holds on to its leaves, seeds, acorns, the treasure it has to offer, those riches simply stored are of no use, to the tree or the environment around the tree. If the tree lets go of its treasure, that treasure nourishes everything around the tree. Even the leaves as they fall to and cover the ground enrich and mulch the soil that will cradle and release nutrients to nourish the roots of the tree that it may be fruitful again in due season. What goes around comes around, again and again.
I’m seventy-five years old. It’s been fifty-eight years since I graduated from St. Catherine’s. As I contemplate my 2020 pledge to St. John’s and Farnham church families, maybe I’m finally seeing with 2020 vision how that motto really works for leading a rewarding, fruitful life. As I sense some letting go, I give thanks for the message from the trees around me, teaching me about Divine ecology. May I and all of us live into their teaching and experience the what-goes-around comes-around generosity that is divinely planted in all living things, even us humans. May we explore and find, like the trees, the same sense deep within our souls that delights in offering up or down the fruit of our essential spirit to nurture a 2020 vision for the years to come here at St. John’s and Farnham.
narrow landscape image dead leaves
Leaf photos by Torrence Harman. Maple seed pod photo courtesy of "Ali's view" on flicker.
Please communicate your pledge to your parish by Stewardship Sunday (October 27 th at Farnham and November 3 rd at St. John's) so that your vestries can prepare budgets.
Don't forget to bring a donation of canned food to church each Sunday to go to Richmond County Social Services. Proteins and green vegetables are particularly important because many recipients are diabetic.
Chamber Music Concert Sunday afternoon at Good Luck Cellars, 1025 Good Luck Road, Kilmarnock, 22482 featuring violinist Mei-Li Beane, cellist Steve Custer and pianist Arline Hinkson . Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here or at the door. (Free for students if reserved on-line. )
Note: This is the same music as that being performed at the Music on Water Lane concert at the St. Margaret's gym on November 3 rd at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for that concert must be purchased on-line by November 1 st. General admission is $25 and VIP is $40.
 Delivery Schedule:
Oct 21 - Becky & Ed Marks
Oct 28 - Kim & Bill Calvert

The Rev. Dr. Paul "Peter" Hogg is leading a 10 day tour (with optional extension) departing from Dulles February 9 th , 2020 .
  Click here  to see the color brochure. Call Peter Hogg (757-635-3557) for questions and receive a hard copy (or email:   phogg123@gmail.com . )  
(Brochure also available at  www.bit.ly/HolyLandwithPeterHogg )

The Episcopal Church Women
Of Richmond County

Invite you to
“An Afternoon Tea at Downton Abbey
—Virginia Style”

Presented by
The Victorian Ladies

Saturday, November 2 nd
Two O’Clock in the Afternoon
Wellford Hall, St. John’s Church
5987 Richmond Road
Warsaw, Virginia
Bring your children and grandchildren
and build memories.
Proceeds to benefit
Community Outreach in Richmond County

Limited seating, $25 each person
Please RSVP by October 28 th by mailing a check with “Downton Abbey” on the memo line to St. John’s Church,
 PO Box 1093, Warsaw, VA 22572
For more information, Please call (804) 394-3606 or 333-3931 or e-mail priscilla.wellford@gmail.com
In the Church
Sunday October 20 th
Holy Eucharist

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

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

Sunday October 27 th
Morning Prayer

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

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

Sunday November 3 rd
Holy Eucharist

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

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

Sunday November 10 th

9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
at Farnham

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

In the Parish Hall

Come Worship With Us
Sunday Service this week

9:00 a.m. at Farnham Church

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

Farnham Church
St. John's Church