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Hello People of Ascension,

I am officially back in the office as of today.  It has been a busy day already.  As Phil entitled his first e-mail to me: "Hit the ground running".  It was apt.  After joining the Golden Girls, Mayor Bobbie Drew, and other local folks for the unveiling of the Rainbow Bench at Palmer Park, Phil and I popped over to wish Don and Grace Proutt a Happy 50th Wedding anniversary.   Much more fun to come back to a day like to day than endless emails (which I will get around to as well!).

Thanks Everyone!

First let me say thank you to all the dedicated folks who held down the fort so I could have a great holiday.  Thanks to Rev. Phil Gearing and Rev. Don Anderson for looking after the Sunday services.  Thanks to Phil for the visiting, day to day administration which included painting a bench.  Thanks to Shirley and to Liz.  And thank you to everyone else - for setting up chairs, holding meetings for your committee, taking down chairs, and generally doing all the things you do that make this church work.  It is a gift (that I do not take for granted) to be able to go on holidays and truly leave work behind.

Pouring Tea, Sharing Love

That said, I am happy to be back.  I look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday (August 18th) at church and at the English Tea.  I hear that many are busy getting things ready for Sunday.  A special thanks to Gillian and her helper Carol, for taking on the role of leading this rather daunting task.  And to everyone else - which is pretty much everyone else in the church - who has volunteered in one way or another to help with Sunday's festivities.  I know it is a mammoth task that we undertake by hosting this English Tea.  We do it for the community - that we might be seen and known by others in Port Perry and those visiting.  And we do it to raise some much needed money for our operating costs.  That said, it is perhaps more so a time for us to be a community that attempts to "imitate Christ".  And by that I mean, show our love for those who visit with us and for each other as we serve alongside one another with grace.  We may not all cut sandwiches the exact same way, we may have to ask one table to wait a bit longer for their tea, it might rain (don't worry, I've put a word in with the Almighty, for what that is worth!), and our feet might get sore...really sore, but at the end of the day, or around 4 pm on Sunday when we are finally done, we are still sisters and brothers in Christ and that is more important than how many sandwiches we serve or how much money we make.

Please note that we will be holding this Sunday's 10 am service in the Church Sanctuary, as the hall is needed to set up for the Tea.  As the weather is now cooling down, we will continue to meet in the Church from now on.  I am aware that the church hall is not the most ideal set up for Sunday services, but in our attempt to make our environment as safe and comfortable as possible during the hottest summer days, we've had to use the hall.  Thank you to everyone for putting up with the minor inconveniences that caused.

And more to come...

There is much that is coming across my desk that lets me know this fall is going to be a busy time with many opportunities for all of us - to learn, to participate, to grow, to receive and to be blessed.  Please pay attention to the website, newsletter and bulletin notices so you don't miss a thing.

I am glad to be back from wonderful holidays (lots of sleeping, reading and learning cross stitch!), and looking forward to the places and pathways God's Spirit will lead us in this next season.  But summer isn't over yet - so let's enjoy the sunshine and warmth for as long as we can.

With Peace,