It’s been a long time since Marty and I had an extended vacation together. Of course, we were happy to see the beauty of Alaska – but, I must tell you – as we drove home on Monday night into the Shenandoah Valley, the majestic beauty of our landscape struck me.
Though we were on a ship with limited access to the internet and social media, the news did make its way of the horrific murders at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. One of our dinner companions for the week was a retired schoolteacher. The pain in her face was palpable as we heard the news of what had happened.
We stand horrified at the incomprehensible. We feel anguish, anxiety and helplessness. The shooter took bright, beautiful people — primarily young children — from us. Others were terribly injured, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and will suffer for the rest of their lives. As will all their families.
The Bishops of Virginia released a statement last week about the shooting, and they asked, “How long, people of America?” Indeed, how long before we make, and enforce, sensible laws.
When I moved to Virginia, I realized it is more complicated to get a driver’s license than purchase multiple guns. You also must be 21 to buy alcohol or cigarettes. There is a national database and limit for purchases of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). These and others are the minimum common sense policies we must implement on the federal level if we genuinely want to honor the memories of gun violence victims. We must no longer stand by quietly. Instead we must fight loudly for change. We must ensure tragedies such as these never again occur on American soil.
We will be tempted to hate. Remember what Martin Luther King said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness – only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate – only love can do that.” As we fight for change and debate what changes are necessary, let us be reminded of the words of former President Theodore Roosevelt: “It is hard to fail, but it is worse to never to have tried to succeed.”
Let us remember each person who died. Let us not forget their names or their families. As we remember, surely we are called to be and to do better.
Makenna Lee Elrod.
Jose Manuel Flores, Jr.
Amerie Jo Garza.
Xavier Javier Lopez.
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos.
Tess Marie Mata.
Jailah Nicole Silguero.
Eliahana Cruz Torres.
“Gracious God of light and life, draw us near that we may feel the power of life with you. Grant us comfort in the face of tragedy, grace in the time of trouble. Be with us. Speak to us now your words of eternal life. Raise us from the depths of anxiety, fear and guilt, reminding us that it is surely you who saves us. Bless those who mourn this day. Surround them with your love. Bring all your beloved children to the glory of your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
BECKFORD PARISH AT SHRINE MONT THIS SUNDAY, JUNE 5
We’re kicking off the summer with a service and fried chicken lunch at Shrine Mont on Sunday, June 5. The service is at 11:30 a.m. at the lower pavilion followed by lunch in the dining hall. The service is not going to be live streamed.
If you RSVP’d, the cost of lunch is $14.75, per person, which can be paid by check made out to Emmanuel then given to Mother Kathy, either treasurer, or mailed to Emmanuel (122 E. Court St., Woodstock VA 22664).
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Woodstock UMC is leading a vacation Bible school Sunday, June 26, through Thursday, June 30, from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. If you’d like to sign a child up for VBS, the form can be found here.
NEW SERVER SCHEDULE
The new schedule for June through September is now available on our website and the link below. If you are unable to serve as scheduled, please find a replacement and let Mother Kathy and Melissa know who is taking your place.
ST. ANDREW’S ANNUAL RUMMAGE SALE: NEXT SATURDAY JUNE 11
The 2022 sale is coming Saturday, June 11, from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. indoors and outdoors at St. Andrew’s! We’ve started taking donations at St. Andrew’s. If you don’t have a key to the building, please contact Colleen Gray or the church office to arrange a drop off time. We accept all items that are in gently used, clean, working order. Everything from clothes, lawn care items, tools and children’s clothes/toys/books/gear to sports equipment, kitchenware and decor are sold at the sale.
The annual rummage sale is sponsored by the St. Andrew’s Guild. The Guild donates all money raised to various local charities, which in 2022 include A Small Hand, Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter, Open Door Food Pantry, The Salvation Army, Response, Search and Shenandoah Community Health Clinic. Unsold items are donated to Search Thrift Store in Mt. Jackson.
EMMANUEL ALTAR FLOWERS
If you would like to dedicate altar flowers in memory or honor of a friend, loved one of special occasion, you’re welcome to do so. Your dedication is included in the bulletin for two weeks. Flowers are $60 and are ordered by the church. If you are interested in doing this, please email Melissa to make arrangements.
EMMANUEL’S TABLE FOOD PANTRY
Emmanuel’s Table is now open every second and fourth Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Please help spread the word about the change in hours.
If you know of anyone, including teens, who would like to volunteer on Tuesdays to help hand out food or on Monday afternoons to help unload and bag items, please speak with Tillie Kaufmann.
SHRINE MONT SUMMER CAMPS
Camps for children ages 8 and up at Shrine Mont for summer 2022 are open for registration. If you know of a child who would benefit from these camps, we encourage you to explore the options. From art to sports to exploring the great outdoors, this year’s camps will include both new activities as well as beloved camp programs and traditions. And with two sessions of Family Camp, there’s something for everyone. Spots are filling up fast, but there are still a few openings left! Visit www.shrinemontcamps.net for dates, rates, and programs. Scholarships are available so please do not let cost be a deciding factor. Please speak with Mother Kathy if you have questions.
BIBLE STUDY WEDNESDAY
The Bible study group with the Episcopal churches in our region is from 7 to 8 p.m. online via Zoom every Wednesday. You’re welcome to attend even if you haven’t before or if you miss a few weeks. You can jump in any session without a problem. If you have any questions, please let Mother Kathy know.
One of the greatest gifts we have to offer each other as a parish family is our prayers for ourselves, our families and our loved ones. You’re invited to sit with your parish directory and each day, lift up a section or page of names a day. Let’s continuously hold each other in prayer. Let us pray: God of grace and comfort, enfold our parish-members, family and friends with your mercy. Strengthen each one with a shield of faith and enable them to accept what is to come, heal them and bear their pain, keep them in peace, and fix their hearts on you through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Our prayer list can be found on our website. If you have folks you’d like added to the prayer list, please email their names to Melissa.
Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. Compline on Facebook Live and Zoom
12 p.m. at Emmanuel
NOTE: June 5 services are not live streamed. There is one service at Shrine Mont June 5. See above for more info.
All weekly and Sunday services are available to view on Facebook and our website after the services, when available.