Well, well, well, here we are again! And what an exciting day we have had. For the most part all our plans came together really well – a few hiccups perhaps – inevitable – but typically it is things that only the production team realizes. When you go to the theatre or a concert mistakes often occur but, unless one is thoroughly familiar with the work, they go unnoticed. Meantime the actors/singers are beating themselves up backstage.
It was so encouraging to have almost 20 people of all ages in the Café between 8.30 and 9.00 a.m. It was a stimulating, relaxing and informal start to our new Worship format. Huge thanks to all those who set it up, served etc. I won’t call names as I know I will forget someone – which wouldn’t be fair – but you know who you are and so do we.
We enjoyed a delightful half hour of fellowship which gave us the opportunity to not only reconnect with our friends but also to welcome any newcomers. This welcoming process is a very important part of what we are doing here – to make people feel welcome in the midst of our church family in an unthreatening way. It is too easy for us to see someone we don’t know or recognize but then to ignore them. We are a church family and we wish to welcome people into our home in such a way as they may get to know us and become comfortable and encouraged to come and be with us again.
At the duly appointed time of 9.00 a.m. we then moved over to the Church building – I don’t know if that was everyone, it might have been, or whether there were some who remained in the Hall. In a few weeks, when we have our Campus WiFi set up the we will not only be able to live-stream the service directly to social media but we will also be able to have it running in the Hall such that anyone who prefers not to come into church worship initially will have the option of seeing what is taking place. This in turn should make newcomers feel inclined to come over also. Suffice it to say a significant number did come over.
Following the service, which was about 30 – 35 minutes, we then all returned to the Hall. At this point the youngsters split off into 2 groups – would have been three but one group was too small – and the younger group took off into the Sunday School room backstage while the older group went to “The Lower Room”. As you have already heard from GT this has been a general storage room below the kitchen which has now been cleared out and lovingly converted to a hangout for the older youngsters (if there be such a thing). Again, I don’t know all who were involved and I don’t want to slight anyone, but suffice it to say your Ministry Team plus others were heavily involved in this massive undertaking. Congratulations and huge thanks to you all for this Herculean task.
While the youngster were at their sessions the adult congregation – with more coffee and snacks – remained in the Hall where Fr. Gavin gave his talk – which had been moved out of the Worship Service – and so this effectively became a Bible Study of sorts as Fr. Gavin explained today’s readings to us. It was also more flexible than a formal Talk in the context of the Worship Service as it creates an opportunity for discussion if there’s something one does not quite get.
So, overall, I say that the whole day was such a refreshing change and promises great opportunities for our Church family to grow. As the word gets around – and that is something that all of us can (and must) do – we can start to grow. I have written to you all before about What we are doing, Why we are doing it, and How we are going to accomplish it. A great success – well done one and all.
I think this email from Fr. Gavin to the Ministry Team and all the volunteers says it all and it is worth sharing it with you all so that you have some idea of the planning, effort and implementation that has gone into this. It confirms all the faith and trust that your Vestry placed in Fr. Gavin and Helen back last December. Well done everyone!
Thank you so much for all your hard work, love, and service today. You were all amazing!
We had 59 adults and 14 children with only 2 people from Holy Trinity.
Bless you all for all your help setting up the church and hall and for tidying away afterwards – and for all the bits you do that no-one sees!
John and Pansy – wow… you guys had worked so hard all Saturday and then gave 100% being first to arrive and last to leave – always welcoming and always smiling throughout. You are such a blessing to us all. I hope you get some rest this afternoon!
Shirene, Nicki, Helen (and associated gangs) – for spending two weeks setting up and clearing up the three ‘Sunday Shool’ rooms – and for leading our young people. BLESS YOU!!!
Thank you John, Felicia, and Kaori for reading – and for your willingness to step in and help in any way you could!
A special thank you to our amazing musicians who have thrown themselves into new styles, new arrangements, and have put themselves out there to help us worship. Just awesome!! We are so blessed to have you!!!
David – thank you for continuing to do the lists… I know you said 38 and 12 but it was 59 and 14 (across both the church and the hall) – plus Pansy? Not sure if we included her as she was in the kitchen! And thank you too for all your encouraging words along the way!
Thanks Keith and Elaine. I love the way you serve with a super sense of humour – and the way you love people and don’t want to leave anyone behind. Keep doing what you’re doing!
And last but not least… Peter… who puts in more hours behind the scenes than he will ever admit to! You are a star!
I know it’s not easy. I know you probably all have to (occasionally) ((cough)) pick up the pieces behind me as I crash through life and ministry – and catch the balls I drop!
But… I want you all to know I count it as pure privilege to work and serve alongside you all.
Yours in Christ
What fantastic first steps we have made. We look forward to more exciting times together.
Back to the mundane – some things to let you know about in the days ahead:
Next Sunday, 10th October the order of events will be as for today. But the day celebrates the Feast of St. Francis. Normally this would be our Blessing of Pets service but we are unable to bring the Pets. So Fr. Gavin wishes to put together a slideshow of our pets. So do please send him photographs of your “furry, feathered, hairy or scaly” family members to share with everyone. We have invited a rep from the SPCA – not sure if they can make it – but please bring donations of Pet Food, old towels, blankets etc. for use at their Animal Shelter
Also next Sunday, at 4.00 p.m. in the Cathedral, the Archdeacon’s Visitation Service takes place. This traditionally is when all Wardens and Vestry members take their oath of office. Wardens are expected to attend, Vestry members optional but an apology to The Ven. Andrew Doughty, Archdeacon of Bermuda email@example.com is courtesy as there will be a roll call.
I have some less happy news to share. Susan Parker, who has been part of our church for many years has decided it is now desirable to relocate back to the States. Here is what she told us:
“I just wanted to let you know that I have rented our house, Skye Point, to a nice family who will be in it until the end of June. As we were having no luck selling the house we decided to try something else. I am now making Chadds Ford, Pa. my home base. I have a wonderful little house which my parents gave to me and my husband over 40 years ago. I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware which is 15 mins away and have kept my old ties. Since I have lived out of the country from 1967 – Paris, then London and then Bermuda for 35 years it is time for me to “GO HOME”. I am tired of living in someone else’s country and of course, my children all live in the US. I will return to Bermuda from time to time, especially when my botanical art teacher comes to teach – usually twice a year. She won’t be coming this November as she lives in Nova Scotia.”
Fr. Gavin has written to her in response. That is sad indeed but understandable. We, many of us anyway, have had to – or will likely have to – make decisions like this in our later years as we downsize our living arrangements to something we can better manage. We shall miss Susan and wish to thank her for her support over many years. Especially her hosting of social meet-and-greet gatherings at her beautiful home during the priest interviewing process last year. Stay safe and well, Susan, and don’t leave it too long before you visit us.
At today’s Annual General Meeting of the St. Mark’s Church Guild the following were elected:
President: – Janet Dublin; Vice President: – Keith DeSilva;
Treasurer: – Eyvette Smith; Asst. Treasurer: – Eldon Steede; – (tentatively he’s thinking about it…)
Secretary: – Barbara Willis; Asst. Secretary: – Leta Woolridge
Diocesan Guild Reps: – Eyvette Smith and Eldon Steede
We congratulate all of them and extend to them, and all the Guild members our heartfelt thanks for all the hard work that they do on behalf of all of us
Fr. Gavin and Helen will be on vacation later this month – from Tuesday, 20th thru Tuesday 27th. A well-earned break for them given all the incredible hard work they have put in getting this new ministry up and running so well.
We had an email from Fr. Bob Thacker enquiring about Canon Norman’s rehab facility. Bob & Maria are in their WV home currently but will soon be moving back to their apartment in – Sarasota, Florida. Guess where Canon Norman’s rehab is – got it in one – Sarasota, Florida. How serendipitous is that?
I also had an email from Liz Hooper (Gladwin) in Isle of Wight. Her emails ceased arriving in August due to the email change overs at One. But we now have a new address and I have sent her the missing newsletters. She has written (in part)
“So glad your 2 hurricanes weren’t too bad. I keep up with all the Bermuda news from the RG on line.
Thank goodness being in the IOW our Covid numbers are just 7 with nobody hospitalised, the Mainland seems to get worse everyday, quite alarming. I’m so glad you remain almost free of Covid.
Jay was very sick with pneumonia in August and spend 4 weeks in hospital it was very touch and go but thank goodness he pulled through and made an amazing recovery.
I keep in touch with Marie Claire with her Journal Entries . They are facing this tragedy with amazing faith and strength. I think by now they should be on their way to Florida for his next rehab, thank goodness it’s at least close to Mary-Claire’s family.
Do hope you are all keeping well.”
Finally (I think, some hope) I picked up on a news item in the RG last week. It starts out:
“Dave Horan broke Tuff Dogs’ hearts for the second successive season by dramatically hitting a boundary off the final ball to lift The Associates to victory in an Evening Cricket League knockout match.”
Undoubtedly the man of the match! If you want to read more about his cricketing exploits the article is here: http://www.royalgazette.com/cricket/article/20200928/horan-helps-associates-claim-dramatic-win I hope you also saw the announcement of the culmination of a huge project at Warwick Academy where he changes his cricket cap to a headmasters – what do headmasters wear these days? – any that thing J It is truly a visionary project and, if you missed it you can check it out here: http://www.royalgazette.com/education/article/20200926/warwick-academy-gets-jump-on-marine-science A man of many parts is our Dave.
And that’s it from me – a lot to read about but then there is a lot going on.
Come to St. Mark’s – not just a Church but a family!