"Come as you are!"

I'm designating this Sunday as a "Come as You Are!" Sunday. The Gospel reading is the feeding of the thousands from the Gospel of John. I feel certain that those who streamed out to search out Jesus and his message on that long ago day didn't dress up - just came to see what he was all about. Didn't know they might be fed twice - by his presence and then that "other" food that seemed to just multiply and nourish them out of small beginnings. Even I won't dress up in the usual liturgical style. No, fish will not be on the menu in our Communion, but the bread and wine, along with our "togetherness" will be "enough!" And, as we all know, Jesus will be present at the head of the table - offering his hands in blessing in his image in the beautiful stained glass window over the altar at St. John's. He waits there to nourish us with his love as the bread and wine waiting on the altar table. By the way, the title of the spoken message on Sunday will be "Where's the Salt?" Be thinking about that question between now and Sunday! Any guesses?  

P. S. When you "come as you are" this Sunday, please bring something for the "shelf" for the upcoming Warsaw United Methodist Church Pantry (a canned or boxed item). Bring it to the church so it can be blessed before being passed forward to those coming to the food pantry in August.

Torrence's Weekly Message
"A Morning Weather Blog"
The rain is pouring down. Or, rather I must say pouring sideways, because it is being driven by a relentless, powerful wind. Don’t know where it came from: just, suddenly it’s here. The trees aren’t dancing; they are swaying wildly. And I think to myself, “Please don’t be uprooted. Please don’t topple over.” Nobody has mentioned the “h” word yet (hurricane) but it really feels like it as I sit in my “river room” one hundred feet from the Rappahannock. If my mind goes “Biblical” I think of how many storm stories there are in the New Testament, usually on bodies of water. The Sea of Galilee on which Jesus walked or when he slept in the bow of the boat in which disciples panicked thinking they were going to drown. Or the storms that came up on the Mediterranean in the Book of Acts when Paul was trying to travel by boat from place to place, visiting the fledgling churches he was nurturing into stronger life as they battled their own storms, mostly organizational and internal relationship ones – just as potentially capsizing as external ones.
A friend has kept me on his “weather” list. For the people on his list, he is the source for the Wakefield Weather Station news about upcoming weather patterns. He usually opens with a comment or two of his own – preparing us for the “what’s next” from Wakefield. The news is never something like, “Well, folks it is going to be a beautiful week/weekend/next day or two so get out your fishing rods, get the boat ready, call the grandchildren to come and play at the river, etc., etc., etc. Not even something uplifting like, “Despite the recent drought, we’re going to get some rain.” When an e-mail pops up from my weather friend, I know before even opening it that it is a sign of possible “bad” weather on the horizon. Because, what is sent is, in Wakefield terms, a weather “alert.” Like a “You’d better get ready because here comes . . . . . !!” alert. For example. A few days ago, as a true “downpour” struck, not just once, but in serial fashion, he opened with “Well, folks, for those of you who’ve been wanting rain, I hope you are happy!” This was immediately followed by a flood alert from Wakefield.

Don’t we all wish for a “weather alert” in our lives – one that alerts us to bad weather of life coming our way? Alerting us to storms, or floods, or mud slides, or extended droughts that lead to forest fires, or even tsunamis or cyclones – the list could go on and on. Because even if some of these major events might not happen in nature in our particular location on this planet, they are a good metaphor for what can happen in our own little personal, psychological, emotional, even, at times, bodily, natures, wherever we are. 

How long has it taken me to draft this Epistle message? Maybe twenty to thirty minutes. And yet, during even that short time, the world outside my river room wall of windows calmed. The rain passed, the wind dropped, my range of vision, only about one hundred feet to the river’s edge during the storm, opened up to offer a clear view of the shore line a couple of miles away on the “other side” of the river,. 
As I now continue to write, the rain begins again, but it is a gentle one, the kind that seeps into the waiting ground, not pummeling the surface of it. The kind of rain that will trickle down, reach the roots of what is growing there, quickening continued growth. The kind that causes a mist to only veil the distant shore line, not make it disappear.
I know more storms wait in the future and that they will come, but this morning is a gift. “Yes, Lord, “I get the message. That the ones to come, like this one, will pass, though they will probably leave some memory of them as a fading, but never erased, imprint in my mind and on my heart.”
Maybe, you who are reading this, will remember such weather in your life. And not just how you passed through it, but that you did.

By God’s amazing grace, 
Quote of the week: A Poem


​​​​​​​Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.

​​​​​​​Martha Postlewaite

Some folks like it better when I just wander around the front of the sanctuary and give voice to a sermon or homily seemingly "off the cuff." (Just where did that term come from?) They say it's like I'm preaching to the jury in a courtroom, aka a reference to my past and what lawyers usually do with the idea that "jury" refers to whomever the lawyer is trying to convince, even themselves.. Other folk seem to like something a bit more "studied" and "structured" (my words not theirs, but you get the idea). Right now, for awhile at least, I am drawn to writing them out - whether or not I preach them spontaneously or more methodically.  So, when I do write them out, I will make a copy available through our Epistle mailing and/or hard copies the next Sunday. The one from last Sunday is linked here.  
from entrepreneur magazine
picture from Entrepreneur Magazine. No copywrite infringement intended
Don't forget that the loose plate offering on the first Sunday of each month goes to the Farnham and St. John's discretionary fund and is used to help the needy in the community. The next date is August 5th , although you can always make a donation by check made out to the Farnham and St. John's Discretionary Fund. We usually receive several calls each week and don't have enough funds to help all who are genuinely in trouble.
Picture from the Episcopal Church Women-Diocese of Washington
no copywrite infringement intended.

Our UTO Spring
In-gathering Results

Donations raised on June 24th for the United Thank Offering totaled just over $760. Thank you!

Service Schedule
Amended Summer E-pistle Schedule
Preservatation Northern Neck and Middle Penninsula
Summer Speaker Series
Please note that there are three remaining speakers and topics being held by the Preservation Northern Neck and Middle Penninsula Summer Speaker Series in Wellford Hall at St. John's on some Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. See the "In the Parish Hall" section below for details.
In the Church

Sunday July 29 th
Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist
at St. John's

click below for lessons

Sunday August 5 th
Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist & Baptism
at St. John's
loose plate donations go to the discretionary fund
please be generous

click below for lessons

Sunday August 12 th
Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer
at Farnham

Sunday August 19 th
Summer Service Schedule

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

In the Parish Hall
Background picture of rain is from travel.org via Pinterest. Other pictures in the weekly message section are also from Pinterest.
 No copywrite infringement intended.
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 for the 5th Sunday in the month. Since July 29th is a 5th Sunday, the 1st Sunday in August will also be at St. John's.