St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church
July 2, 2020

The Parish Office will be closed on Friday, July 3rd,
in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

From Fr. Andrew...
Dear Friends in Christ,

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to increase across our nation, throughout our state, and in our community. Know that our parish is following all guidelines from the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina and the State of North Carolina as we seek to keep each other safe and healthy. As we continue in this season of limited gathering and social distancing, opportunities for prayer, study, and fellowship continue online and are detailed throughout this e-mail.

This week's Epistle once again includes information about nominations for new Vestry members. Please prayerfully consider how you might be called to leadership in the life of our parish at this time. An online nomination form is linked below.

Faithfully,
Andrew+
Lawn Hours with Fr. Andrew

'Lawn Hours' in the Close will be held from 2:30PM until 4:30PM on Thursday afternoon ( weather permitting ) to connect and share in conversation. As always, if you'd like to make an appointment to meet more confidentially for pastoral conversation, contact me directly ( rector@stmaryofthehills.org ).
Worship with us Online
July 5, 2020
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Morning Prayer
Online at 10:00AM

To join us via Zoom, simply click the link below.
You will be asked to enter your name and e-mail address.
Services are also streamed and archived via YouTube.
Click the image above to view Sunday's bulletin.

Sunday Coffee Minute

Are you missing the opportunity to connect with
St. Mary's friends during Coffee Minute?
So are we!

After worship on Sunday, join us at 10:45AM for an online Coffee Minute on Zoom.

Daily Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer will be offered each weekday morning at 9:00 AM in a Zoom meeting room, allowing us to see and hear one another. Click the button below to join.
Vestry Nominations

Nominations for new members of the St. Mary of the Hills Vestry are now open. At our Annual Meeting, scheduled for August 30th, we will elect four new Vestry members (3 year-round, 1 seasonal) to serve three- year terms, beginning January 1, 2021. Confirmed members of the parish, at least 16 years of age and in good standing, are eligible for nomination.

Like last year, nominees are invited into a season of discernment about their gifts and leadership in the life of the parish. We will meet together, via Zoom, beginning July 19th for prayerful conversation.

If you have questions, or would like to learn more, please contact any member of the Nominating Committee (Crawford Cleveland, Bill Furr, Jane Milner, Chip Myers, Tim Silver) or Fr. Andrew for more details.
Online Giving to St. Mary of the Hills

Thank you for your continued generous support of St. Mary of the Hills!

Even as we practice social distancing and refrain from gathering for the health and safety of one another, the mission and ministry of the Church is ongoing - Worship, Christian Formation, and Outreach to our community continue in this season.

Please continue to remember us with your generous financial support.
Gifts can also be received via mail at P.O. Box 14 Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

Joe Raulerson, Financial Secretary, can speak with you about setting up recurring payments to fulfill your pledge. You may reach him via e-mail at financial@stmaryofthehills.org.
Prayer & Study at Home
On The Brink of Everything:  Grace, Gravity & Getting Old  
by Parker J. Palmer
Six-Week Book Study with Fr. Sam Tallman Beginning in July
Fr. Sam will lead a weekly one-hour Zoom book study of this latest book by Parker Palmer, a Quaker elder. T he book study will start the week of July 13 at a day & time to be determined.

Through prose, poetry and song, Parker meditates on the meanings of life, past, present, and future, for those who want to age reflectively, seeking new insights and life-giving ways to engage the world.  Other writers lending their endorsements include:  Krista Tippet of On Being Studios; Richard Rohr of Contemplation and Action; and Brian McLaren, a current commentator on contemporary Christianity.  

Please contact the church office (828.295.7323 or office@stmaryofthehills.org) if you are interested.   
     
Reading Between the Lines
Reading Between The Lines (formerly BibleWorkbench) is a lectionary based life-centered biblical resource designed for small group formation in church and home. We are planning to offer the class in a Zoom meeting on Fridays - 9:30 – 10:30am from May 22nd – July 17th. No need to commit forever! Just say 'yes' for one session at a time. This class is being offered to parishioners at St. John’s Cathedral, Jacksonville, FL and St. Mary of the Hills, Blowing Rock, NC. 

If you are interested in learning more or signing up, contact Owene Courtney (owene_courtney@yahoo.com).

Rector's Forum
Join us on Sunday morning at 9:00 AM via Zoom for a conversation on the appointed scripture passages and their intersection with our daily lives. All are welcome!


Godly Play
I wonder...

For those with children in the home, or the young at heart, click above to watch and engage with a video of the Godly Play story of 'The Exile and The Return.'
Outreach Updates

Hospitality House

Hospitality House continues to serve those who are experiencing food and housing insecurity in our community. In addition to serving three meals daily, Hospitality House is a food pantry and emergency shelter.

As they continue to adapt practices in response to COVID-19, some new needs and opportunities to support their mission have come to our attention. These items can be dropped off or shipped directly to Hospitality House:

  • Single-use, disposable razors for men and women
  • Bath Towels
  • Single-serve beverages (such as tea or lemonade), as well as disposable plates, cups, and cutlery, are being used for meals.

Volunteers can also work in the gardens, away from the building, with a face mask and social distancing practices in place. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Clara Coffey via e-mail ( volunteer@hosphouse.org )
Diocese of Western North Carolina
Resource Page
The Diocese of Western North Carolina has set-up a resource page on their website, including online prayer resources, links to parishes in our diocese offering worship virtually, as well as public health resources.

Check out this excellent resource page by clicking the button below.