Torrence's Message
Food for Thought
The table was spread. Dish after dish, each brought by one of you who came, covered every square inch. What a feast! The senior warden of St. John’s stopped mid-way, holding her spot until the next batch of Mercer’s deviled eggs made it to the table. Gwynne Tayloe, of course, had delightedly pounced on the last egg on the previous platter. I dived into the orange jelled salad, ultimately admitting to someone at the end of the meal, to three helpings. It just reminded me so much of a well-loved family favorite when I was young. Fruit was plentiful; chunks of summer watermelon in several dishes cooled the palate, even though the day was cooler than the couple of days earlier in the week. I watched my daughter, visiting from North Carolina for the July 4th week, scoop up left-over edges of the rich artichoke casserole, wondering just what she had really meant earlier that week about being “vegan!” While there were baked beans, yummy chicken wing pieces, rolls, enticing brownies and desserts, etc., the theme was definitely “cool” foods and salads. 

Thanks-giving to the Calverts who hosted our wonderful indoor “picnic” this past Sunday at their marvelous, spacious home. The lunch opportunity prompted this seemingly impromptu gathering and what an enthusiastic response it received when offered. Who would want to miss it when email after email popped up on the Farnham and St. John’s email list with everyone announcing what each would bring to the table for the picnic lunch?

The whole glorious, fun event, as it unfolded reminds me of how we are “invited” to be as Christian families in these two wonderful parishes. Gathering, and when doing so, each bringing our unique special offerings to the feast. We come and share what we have to feed and nourish each other. It’s not surprising that so many of the gospel stories involve food and “table” fellowship” whether with a few in upper rooms or spread out on a grassy hillside for a gathering of thousands. Jesus knew, as did his audiences, that food for body and soul among the companionship of others is what sustains life and nourishes the spirit.

Let’s do more of this. It’s who we are – in the best sense of community! 

And, so, as some of us talked about over lunch, we’re planning the next picnic gathering time for August. A get-together (weather permitting) at Belle Isle State Park on Saturday evening, August 18 th . It’s the final in the park’s summer “Music by the River” series featuring “Southern Grace” offering their Christian gospel sounds. We’ll gather for our picnic time about 5 p.m. The free concert starts at 6 p.m.  Invite friends, bring family and neighbors and a side dish to share.  The parishes will provide the main dish of fried chicken. Directions and more details will follow; but get it on your calendar now!
A benediction is a prayer asking for God's help and protection and bestowing a blessing on those for whom the benediction is offered. A benediction usually concluded each of St. Paul's letters/epistles that he wrote to the various fledgling churches around the Mediterranean world. A benediction offers a final prayer in our services of Morning and Evening Prayer. At the recent Shalem Institute retreat/conference I attended one member of my peer group there offered the following benediction to conclude one of our morning prayer times at the beginning of the day. I used it a couple of Sunday's ago as I concluded my sermon. It is offered below for your use at the end of any personal prayer time you may have during the week. To end this sharing about benediction with you, I offer an Old Testament benediction that Moses pronounced to be included in the Israelites' worship. It's one I usually use when I visit someone, at home or in the hospital as I form the sign of the cross on his/her forehead at leave-taking. "The Lord bless you and keep you. The lord make his countenance to shine upon you and give you peace."    

A Benediction at the End of a Prayer Time
by Edward Hays in Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim

O God of kindness and compassion,
  I have come to the conclusion
  Of this time of prayer and worship,
  mindful of my position as your servant.

I throw wide open the windows of my heart
  so that the peace of your presence
  may pour out in all four directions,
  showering its blessing upon all the earth.

May this benediction heal the wounds of war,
  bind up the bitterness of painful divisions
  and mend broken hearts and failed friendships.

As the blessing of your presence encircles the earth,
  may it awaken in all people
   a great desire to serve one another
   in humbleness and loving ways.
May it call proud hearts to gentleness
   and awaken the child in those
   who seek to hold power over others.

Inflame those hearts that have grown cold;
  reawaken within the weary soul
  your spirits of youthfulness and joy.
Stir up your breath of freshness and enthusiasm
  that slumbers in tired hearts.

May this blessing flow forth from my heart,
  in your holy and infinite Name,
  in the redeeming name of your Son
  and in the living presence of the Holy Spirit.
Do you have a moment to brighten someone's day?

The church office recently received the following note addressed to St. John's Church family and Farnham Church family:

" I send my regards to each of you. I hope this finds all of you well. I am setting here looking at my card I received today. You will never realize how much your cards mean to me."

That was from Debbie Stacks. The entire note is on the bulletin board at St. John's.

A list of parishioners who might like to hear from you:
For our Summer program, we are looking for donations of:

-Paper Towels
-Craft Supplies
-Children's Magazines
-Healthy Snacks
-Gas Cards for Field Trips

For more information - click here
This list doesn't include George Saison who arrives at Shrine Mont on Saturday for a few days. His address there is

P. O. Box 10
Orkney Springs, VA 22845

I had an E-mail from Micheline's son, Ed, who reports that she's enjoying the concerts at Knollwood and is participating in ceramics classes, having made some attractive bowls and plates.
In the Church

Sunday July 15 th

Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist
at St. John's

click below to see lessons

Sunday July 22 nd

Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer
at Farnham

click below to see lessons

Sunday July 29 th

Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist
at St. John's

Sunday August 5 th

Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist
at St. John's

In the Parish Hall
Come Worship With Us

Sunday Service this week
10:00 a.m. St. John's Church, Warsaw

Summer Schedule
10:00 service alternating between St. John's & Farnham
 ‌ except the fifth Sunday of the month, see schedule.