St Thomas Vacation Bible School is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 31, just over two weeks from now. If you have not yet registered your child, please do so by this Sunday, July 16. Registration forms are on the clipboard in Parish Hall.

As has been the case for the past few years, Fran Brunelle-Iuzzolino has been working hard to organize the program and gather staff. The program has been ordered, and things have been falling into place over the last several weeks.

This is the good news. The not so good news follows:

Sometimes, though, the best laid plans get interrupted by life circumstances. Some major health concerns have arisen recently in her extended family, which require more involvement from Fran short term and possible long term. Then, on Sunday night there was a fire at Fran and Mark’s home. Fortunately, the smoke alarms woke Fran up and got the dogs barking, and Fran, Mark and the dogs were able to get out of the house and are fine. And, thanks to smoke alarms, quick response from neighbors and the fire department, the house was saved. Work has begun on cleanup and repairs, and they have been able to remain in their home during the process. They are extremely grateful and counting their blessings.

The message from Fran: “Have your fire and smoke alarm systems checked regularly. If they are older, replace them. If you haven’t done it recently, do it now! They save lives!”

Due to these unforeseen and major concerns, Fran needs to step away from VBS for this year. Youth, young adult and adult helpers are in place, but we need one or two adults to step in and oversee the week. Otherwise, we will have to develop some kind of Plan B, or cancel VBS for this year. If you are willing and able, please let Fran and me know as soon as possible.

In any case, please continue prayers for the Brunelle-Iuzzolino family as they deal with all these details.

Peace and blessing,
Carol+

“A sower went out to sow…”
This coming Sunday brings us the first of Jesus’ parables included in the Gospel of Matthew. It is one of my favorites, for a variety of reasons.

Planting or sowing seeds, is done in a variety of ways, depending on the seeds, their needs, the plants they will produce, and the purpose of the plants. Green beans, nasturtiums or peas are usually sown seed by seed. Same for corn. Grass for a lawn, however, is broadcast, or thrown out in random swathes –same for hay. Can you imagine planting a lawn, one seed at a time? Probably not.

Jesus’ parable, however, gets more into the soil and conditions provided for the seeds. Seeds were sown on rocky soil, and the production was slow or not at all because there was no place for the roots to take hold. Others were sown on soil that was okay, but there was not rain and very little nutrition in the soil, so the plants didn’t grow. But the seeds that were sown on fertile ground and received the proper amounts of water flourished. It all makes sense.

Imagine God as the sower. Sometimes seeds are sown one by one – a connection or idea we may have, a teaching that catches hold on us. But often, God sows in wide broadcasts, with infinite possibilities. Our task as people of God is to be that fertile soil, and also to help nourish those seeds in other patches that may not be quite so fertile. Help to move the rocks, help provide the nourishment, help those seeds survive, grow and flourish. As God’s partners in this creation, this is both task and opportunity. Rejoice is God’s abundance and share the joy!

Let us pray:
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Peace and blessing,
Carol+