Torrence's Message
"Fall is Calling"
How do you know Fall is here? Maybe it’s the way the air feels every now and then with a little different coolness. Maybe it’s the way the light begins to change with a bit of gold dusting the air. Maybe it’s a few leaves beginning to fall as they shake themselves off, stirred into action by some freshening breeze. But for many of us living here at the river the clear sign is a sound winging over our heads letting us know Fall is almost upon us. We lift our eyes to the sky, scanning for that familiar sight that signals a coming change of seasons. We catch sight of the familiar “V” pattern of geese in flight, on the wing again and not quiet about it. As the crow of a rooster sounds dawn, so the honking of geese announces Fall.

Not only are the geese messengers of nature’s cycle of life about to turn again, we have a lot to learn from how they move together in an amazing pattern of togetherness, of leadership and followship. As geese mount up on strong wings, take to the skies and journey together towards a place they are meant to go, they offer us an example of remarkable teamwork. How appropriate for us to be reminded of this as Fall in any church is a time when we are gearing up again for the year to come after the slower days of summer. In Fall we head off again to journey together towards a place we believe, with Holy help, we are meant to go in the coming year.
Scientists and engineers have long been fascinated with the flight patterns of geese and what they offer can be very useful. For example, the flight acrobatics of the “Blue Angels” jet planes are patterned after flight dynamics of geese. Those in the fields of behavioral and organizational dynamics research have reached conclusions watching the geese that help us work together more effectively in any organization or group. This has relevance for us in churches. Here’s what they have discovered.

When geese fly together, each goose provides additional “lift” and reduces air resistance for the geese flying behind it. By flying in a “V” formation the whole flock gains 71% greater flying range than if each bird flies alone.                         

Geese rotate leadership. It takes effort to lead. When the leader’s stamina lessens the leader can drop back and fly within a space behind others where the air resistance is lessened. Shared leadership is important to facilitate the strongest flight pattern of the whole.
Geese honk at each other. It appears to be essential, even critical, to maintain good communication among the flock. The honking offers information as to where and how each goose is. The honking also seems to offer encouragement to the whole flock.

Geese help each other. If any goose drops out due to a condition that makes it difficult to fly, two other geese will drop out and help till the compromised goose is able to fly again.  
I remember an afternoon last Fall when some of the grandchildren and I went to visit the small beach at the end of Riverview Road. It borders a large marsh. As we approached we heard them – winged visitors who had gotten there first. There wasn’t a square foot of beach left for us. But what a fascinating sight. The kids and I were mesmerized. After a while there was a stirring among the geese. It was as if someone had given a special signal. Then the geese began to take to the air. I watched as not one, but two flight patterns formed. Remembering that afternoon I reflect now how this is like our two parishes, Farnham and St. John’s, sharing times together even though they may also fly at other times in separate patterns.

As we begin again this Fall, let’s remember the lessons of the geese and fly together in ways that make the flying “up-lifting” for all. As we take off with emerging plans for what’s ahead we need to fly together in a way that gives us strength for the journey towards where we hope to go with those plans. Shared leadership is essential for this. Also, good communication and a keen awareness of when someone needs special attention when life gets compromised. Flying together, like the geese, dramatically increases our ability to go the distance towards our shared goals.
Let’s feel the wind of the Spirit stirring beneath our wings, get ready to take off and remember to encourage each other along the way. And don’t forget, just keep on honking! 

All above images downloaded from the web via pinterest. No copywrite infringement intended.
The picture of Laurie Rowe, below, is courtesy of Anne Neuman.
This Sunday we welcome the new Director of our Children and Youth Program, Danni Jones. Danni grew up in Warsaw, VA and attended St. John's Episcopal with her family. She was confirmed at North Farnham. Danni worked for several years in community based nonprofit programs with particular concentration in youth development programming for the YMCA in Virginia and in Texas. She completed mission trips to both Kenya (2007-2008) and Cambodia (2014) where she worked for schools, orphanages, and children's centers. Danni graduated from University of Mary Washington with a degree in Sociology and served a term as an Americorps Youth Leadership Coordinator in Boston's Chinatown. She then worked for ChildHelp USA before returning to the Northern Neck where she currently works as a Family Services Specialist for Northumberland County Dept. of Social Services. Danni recently purchased her childhood home in Warsaw and is very excited to return to her roots at St. John's to serve the congregation's children and families.

The haven is looking for volunteers, in general. If you're interested, contact Brittany Clayborne

Farnham & St. John's have committed to having a couple of people supply dinner for them on Monday, Sept. 24th by 5:00 p.m. If you can help do this, please let Torrence know.
Last Sunday at St. John's, Ben Cox was on vacation, so Laurie Rowe supplied the music. This Sunday, he'll still be gone - come hear the surprise organist.
Sunday Sept. 23rd “PEACE” SUNDAY. Since the 70th annual International Day of Peace is Friday, Sept. 21st, our service on the following Sunday will focus on the theme of Peace.
click here for the UN Peace Day site
Sunday, Sept. 30th 5th Sunday combined parishes service at Farnham will be a “COME AS YOU ARE” Sunday and the annual BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS service.
Also on Sept. 30th at 5:00 p.m., there is a Northern Neck EVENSONG Service at Grace Church, Kilmarnock. Picnic to follow
October 2nd through November 13th, we will begin a seven week JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE , an adult education series which will held on Tuesdays.   We will study the Old Testament to develop a basic familiarity with important stories and examine them in their historical, geographical and cultural contexts and to consider the important themes and their relevance and potential implications for contemporary life and world events in the 21st century.  Click here for the tentative schedule.
( Bag Lunch & Conversation) Thursdays at noon

and First Fridays
SUPPER & A SHOW October 5th
with Potluck at 6:00 p.m. and Showtime at 6:45 p.m.
In the Church

Sunday September 9 th

9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
at Farnham

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

click above to see lessons

Sunday September 16 th
Morning Prayer 

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

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

Sunday September 23 rd
Holy Eucharist

Peace Sunday

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

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

Sunday September 30 th
Morning Prayer &
Blessing of the Animals

"Come as You Are " Sunday

10:00 a.m. at Farnham

In the Parish Hall
Come Worship With Us

Sunday Service this week
9:00 a.m. Farnham Church, Farnham
11:00 a.m. St. John's Church, Warsaw

 ‌ except the fifth Sunday of the month, see schedule.