Sunday, September 8: the Sunday School Picnic given by our students, teachers and parents opens the new academic year after our 9:30 service - play-clothes are encouraged. Please read the enclosed letter from Director of Christian Education Erik Landstrom, an experienced educator now teaching at a Christian school in Fairfax.
I was deeply moved last month by a demonstration of our Sunday School's effective teaching: Julie Huntley came over to the church to report that when she arrived a bit late that morning she found that the students had already begun their opening worship service, no grownies needed - they had their Prayer Books, they were used to leading the service themselves, so they went right ahead at 9:30 sharep...just as newly-wed Kate Powell Carter began our congregation in A.D. 1861 by opening their family prayers to the entire community. She and they didn't need an ordained minister, they had The Book of Common Prayer.
Rob Noyes continually updates our Parish web-site with events, essays and sermons, so do regularly check www.oursaviouroatlands.org.
Sunday, September 22nd: From Senior Warden Jim Rich: As you know, Lige will be retiring (again) at the end of September - the vestry has decided to host a potluck supper to honor our beloved rector for his many years of service to the glory to God and to the Church of Our Saviour. Mary Jo Rigby, who is coordinating the supper, has asked me to send out these details:
Mary Jo Rigby, Vestry Registrar: The potluck supper will be at 5:30pm on September 22, 2013 at the farmhouse. The vestry will provide coffee, tea, plates, cups, napkins, forks, and knives. Please let Mary Jo or Criselda Bell know whether you will attend, first and foremost, and whether you will be bringing a meat dish, salad, a sweet, or a vegetable dish. The vestry kindly requests that you bring no other gifts, although cards will be most welcome.
Sunday, September 29, at 9:30: The Institution of the Rev'd James A. Basinger as Rector
...followed by a Reception welcoming him, his wife Donna and family to our Parish and community. The farmhouse will be his office; the cottage will be the Rectory. 703-777-1035 will ring at the office. More later. Farewell from Rev'd Lige White Dear Friends in Christ, this is my final newsletter. Thank you for your encouragement and patience during the past 36 years: you have been gracious to me beyond my deserving...but I am retiring, so please do not ask me to officiate at any services - that would not be fair to me nor to Jim Basinger who will be your pastor and leader from now on. Thank you, God Bless you all richly, affectionately yours in His service.
"Help the little children come unto me..."
Dear Sunday School Parents and Grandparents, With summer drawing to a close and the 2013-2014 academic year beginning, we look back on the past season of growth in our Sunday School and rejoice in God's faithfulness in the lives of these children. There is much to celebrate both great and small. We are enjoying our new organ in the parish hall (a wonderful addition to our weekly worship), the ever-blooming creativity around the craft table, the meaningful conversations that transpire each week, and our growing numbers. Indeed, I am pleased to have seen such strong attendance in the past month. However, it is not merely the increased attendance that gladdens me, but the learning and understanding that these students demonstrate each week. Your children and grandchildren are showing more and more comprehension of the lesson and are asking deep and weighty questions. Their eagerness, thoughtfulness, and sincerity make my job a delight as I try to aid them in learning more of the truth of God, His Word, and His creation. I am looking ahead to the coming months of continued learning as well. The Sunday School Picnic on September 8th launches our new academic year--an opportunity to regroup after the busyness of summer and settle again into our routines. As I map out curriculum and objectives for the year, I am making decisions on how best to foster the children of the parish in their Christian growth. Please let me encourage you by saying that one of the greatest services you can do for your children is to help them with regular attendance. I say this after a summer with remarkably strong numbers--so, thank you! I cannot stress enough how important this consistency is. It is part of the process of instilling in the next generation a solid understanding of the Scriptures together with confidence and clarity in orthodox Christianity. This is of priceless value in this season of their lives. I know you have many commitments, and we count it a blessing to have your child in Sunday School even if it is only a few times a month. However, the best lessons build upon each other, adding events and them from last week to the current week. Being able to expect a set contingent of students allows our lessons to go deeper and broader which is especially important for our older students nearing confirmation. To this end, we ask that our families fill out an enrollment form for their students for the new academic year. (You can obtain one from me at Sunday School.) I trust this will provide encouragement and accountability as well as facilitate more communication between us. Our roles-that of parent and teacher-go hand in hand as we usher these children along the growth God has for them, and I rejoice in how God is working already in the lives of our younger parishioners. Please join me in praying for God's continued favor on them.
For Religious Education (BCP page 42): Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who has committed to thy holy church the care and nurture of thy children; Enlighten with thy wisdom those who teach and those who learn, that, rejoicing in the knowledge of thy truth, they may worship thee and serve thee from generation to generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. As always, please contact me with any questions. May the seeds of faith continue strong and stalwart in the children of our parish!
Erik Landstrom Director of Christian Education, the Church of Our Saviour at Oatlands