Torrence's Message
"Clean-up Time"
It happens to me every Fall – just around Labor Day (how appropriate). I’m sure it has become instinctual in me over time. Just like the geese begin to head south predictable as clockwork in the Fall, I head to closets, pantry, tool shed, cabinets and any storage areas. These are places where objects simply seem to enjoy accumulating and making messes all by themselves. Sure!!! As if I had nothing to do with it! Then I go into my clean up, clear out, organize mode. I’ve never really gotten into the Spring-cleaning thing; for me it is a Fall compulsion.  Don’t you think obsession sounds like too “psychological” a term?
Well, the kitchen pantry is done. Took two days. Just how did I end up with canned and boxed goods whose expiration date ended two or more years ago? And just how many cans of asparagus soup do I really need just in case I want to make my family’s favorite crab bisque with that recipe out of the Williamsburg Cookbook which I can’t find anyway. Hopefully, my memory will not fail me. And speaking of recipes, do I really need thirty-seven cook-books taking over a whole cabinet when I typically go to All for any recipe now out of loyalty to my daughter-in-law who is one of their food editors. I wiped down all the pantry shelves and even put a fresh coat of paint on the walls that had gotten dingy and somewhat smudged. My theory is that a fresh coat of paint can clean up anything. Good thing the kids didn’t balk at bath-time when they were little, or else!

Next on my list are the closets. Just how did I end up with so many clothes? And obviously I did a pathetic job of clearing out last Spring when I just shoved my winter “collection” (at least twenty-five years in the making) to the back and sides with the idea that come fall I would weed out then. How many Falls have I said the same thing, “Well, this year is going to be different.” Sure! Are you like me living with the theory that “Maybe I can fit into that next year?” And then the years, like the “maybe’s” and the clothes pile up?
And then there is the tool shed. We don’t have a garage here, but the tool shed, like a garage, can pose the greatest challenge. There things don’t just accumulate. I’m convinced they move themselves around when I’m not watching on the theory that “chaos” is a more creative state than “order.”

That dynamic couple, Mother Nature and the Creator we usually call God the Father, are certainly trying to model a different approach, especially in the Fall. They get a little out of control in the Spring as everything seems to be multiplying, pushing up out of the soil, pushing out on every bare limb, covering and clothing the earth with glorious excess, building nests, coming out of hibernation, etc., etc. But Fall is different. It’s clean up time. Leaves fall, preparing for winter when the “bare” simple look is the preferred style. Even the weeds and vines that have had a riotous summer shrink to the ground. So much of nature seems to have an expiration date in the Fall. Mother Nature and the Creator weren’t the
ones who designed cans, boxes and plastic containers. They left things in an organic biodegradable state, more useful and available to nourish what is to emerge new and fresh in due course.

How efficient Mother Nature and the Creator are! Their cycle encourages consumption of what is produced in a timely fashion. Acorns, nuts, berries don’t last overly long in Fall
when all the animals are either storing food sources in readily accessed and remembered places or consuming what has been produced preparing for winter hibernation. Then there are any time during the year such creatures as crabs and snakes who routinely shed their outfits, but don’t carry around or store their previous clothing thinking, “Maybe I’ll fit into that another time.”

I head to the tool shed worrying about just how many weed eaters do I need and which of them will really work and how many pots accumulated over the years will I really use next Spring since I didn’t use half of them this year. Then I think about the natural efficiency of Mother Nature and the Creator. Wind, rain, a cycle of cold and hot, ice/snow/heat/fire and the rhythm of seasons give rise and fall to the landscape. And soil is the only container really needed. These are their tools.
Oh well, the dump waits, thrift shops beckon me. Will I listen to their call? We humans may think recycling is our invention, but just check out nature. It’s how all of creation was designed. At least my instincts to clean up, clear out are in sync as I Fall into creation’s natural rhythm. Wish me luck and share your Falling-in stories! We can try and inspire each other.

Recycle symbol image courtesy of Church picnic images courtesy of Anne Neuman. All other images downloaded from the web. No copywrite infringement intended.
Attn: Members of St. John's


All of the people who are usually lectors are going to be in Shrine Mont on September 16th. Is there anyone who will volunteer to read on that date?


If so, call {(804) 333-4333} or E-mail ( the church office and let Lucy know. We don't want Brother Mark to have to do it ALL.

Letter from the Standing Committee of the Diocese regarding the election of a provisional bishop at the convention in November
Everyone please note that the service will be Morning Prayer instead of Holy Eucharist at both churches on September 16th.


at the

In the Church

Sunday August 26 th

Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer
at Farnham

click below to see lessons

Sunday September 2 nd

Summer Service Schedule
(last week of summer schedule)

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

click below to see lessons

Sunday September 9 th

9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
at Farnham

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

Sunday September 16 th
Morning Prayer 

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

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

In the Parish Hall
Come Worship With Us

Sunday Service this week
10:00 a.m. Farnham Church, Farnham

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