Torrence's Message
Arthur the Hummingbird
Now that I am living alone friends have suggested that maybe I should get a dog or cat to live with me and keep me company. I considered the idea, then, for a variety of reasons, shelved it, at least for now.

BUT I really did like the thought of having some kind of “companions” around me sharing the “home” spaces of my life. Loving nature and wild things I photo by Anne Neuman decided to start cultivating the companionship of the wild birds that seem to be winging themselves all around the world just outside my river room windows. That’s how Arthur the hummingbird has come into my life. But I’m worried about Arthur and want to share his story with you.
It started with one small (about 8-10 ounce) hummingbird feeder I planted just a couple of feet from a corner window. Hummingbirds appeared immediately. At least six to eight of them, but it could have been more. The nectar disappeared so fast I had to refill the feeder two or three times a day. So, I replaced it with a big, thirty-two ounce feeder and put the smaller one away. It was then I really noticed the male ruby-throated hummer I have since named “Arthur.” He stood out. He was the one who initially looked me straight in the eye through the window, then turned away and ignored me from that point on.
"Arthur" photo courtesy of Sharon Phillips  
ACM WWII PetervanStigt
Arthur took over management of the feeder. Perched on the wire cage of a nearby tomato plant he totally controlled access to the feeding station. The image of tower control of a major city airport comes to mind. But rather than facilitating fly-by’s and directing landings Arthur discouraged all but an occasional hummingbird from even coming near the feeder. “Discouraged” is really a mild description as he buzzed some off, dive bombed others and body slammed the boldest (an internet description of hummingbird behaviors). I was reminded of movies of WWII aerial “dog fights” between enemy planes trying to control the skies over territory each side wanted to control and win.
Dogfight photograph by Peter van Stigt through Pinterest. No copywright infringement intended.

So, I got out the old small feeder and re-planted it nearby to provide an alternative feeding source. Rather than helping the situation, it just seemed to make it worse as Arthur simply expanded his management span of control. I guess he sleeps some at night in the nearby Yew tree, but during the day he is so busy fiercely guarding things that even he doesn’t have much time to sip at the sweetness that remains waiting in the feeders. And how much energy he is expending simply guarding what could nourish not only himself but so many! I watch
Sharon Phillips photograph
photo courtesy of Sharon Phillips
closely sensing that even he is losing weight, dwindling below the one-ounce norm for his species. I am concerned that neither he nor any of the others will have enough stamina to take off for the upcoming fall migration flight that is an instinctual part of the cycle of hummingbird nature.

Here I am with an unlimited amount of sugar water nectar ready and waiting to refill the feeding stations, not just one more time, but again and again whenever they get low. I
have enough for all hummingbirds in the area,
including Arthur. Arthur can’t seem to see that what he is doing is resulting in scarcity and diminished life for himself and others while what is waiting, immediately available, is the possibility of unlimited abundance.

I have been wondering if this is how God feels. God, watching over a world where we humans seem to spend so much energy on guard believing that the resources for life that we think we can control are scarce and must be limited. That the resources must be carefully, deliberately managed or else they will run out. That there won’t be “enough” if we don’t. And there’s God, inches near, just waiting to pour into the world just what is needed to sustain and vitalize all of life. Oh, Arthur, how can I help you understand this?  
photo courtesy of Sharon Phillips

Watching for wind beneath our wings . . .  

Helen Godsey Owens photograph.
 No copywrite infringement intended
Last Sunday at St. John's

"Newly baptized Cian John Partlow is introduced to the congregation by his parents, Emily and Keith on Sunday, August 5th"

The purported history of the dress is that it was made by Cian's great great ... great grandmother who was a lady in waiting to Queen Victoria.
8-5-18 Partlow Baptism
The Sunday before last (7/31/2018)
at St. John's & Farnham's Combined 5th Sunday Service

To commemorate John's Gospel of the feeding of 5,000, we had "Come as you are" Sunday and took up a collection for the food bank.

We received a report today that there were 48 pounds of food in the basket.

Thank you all!
The Parish Picnic is next Saturday evening,  August 18 th at Belle Isle State Park at 5 p.m. 

At 6 p.m. the final in the park’s summer “Music by the River” free concert series begins featuring “Southern Grace” offering their Christian gospel sounds.   Invite friends, bring family and neighbors and a side dish to share.  The parishes will provide the main dish of fried chicken. We have reserved the “Humphrey’s” shelter which has some picnic tables but please also bring a lawn chair for your seating.  

To Belle Isle State Park, 1632 Belle Isle Rd. Lancaster VA 22503  
Please note: there is a $4 entrance fee per vehicle.
 from St. John’s  (20.9 mi/ 28 min)

turn left onto Route 360 out of the parking lot. Go 1.42 miles and turn right onto History land Highway (Route 3). Go 14.5 miles 
from Farnham  (8.7 mi/11 min)
turn left onto State Route 692 out of the parking lot. In 172 feet, make a slight right onto State Route 602. In .13 mile, turn left onto History land Highway (Route 3). Go 5.37 miles 
and turn right onto River Road (Route 354.) In 3.07 miles, turn right onto Belle Isle Road (State Route 683) and go 1.86 miles to the park.  

I am passing along to you the letter in which Bishop Shannon announces his retirement and Presiding Bishop Curry's response

May Bishop Shannon go with God's love and grace and find peace and fulfillment in his retirement . . . .

In the Church

Sunday August 12 th

Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer
at Farnham

click below to see lessons

Sunday August 19 th

Summer Service Schedule

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

click below to see lessons

Sunday August 26 th

Summer Service Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Morning Prayer
at Farnham

Sunday September 2 nd

Summer Service Schedule
(last week of summer 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. Farnham Church, Farnham

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