Saturday, July 16, 2016

Music at St. Dunstan's

Although St. Dunstan's is not a huge church, we have an abundance of talent in many areas, not the least of these being music.

Under the excellent leadership of our Parish Musician, Dr. Tom Gibbs, parishioners at St. Dunstan's are treated to a wide variety of music, ranging from vocal performances by our Adult and Youth Choirs to instrumental performances, both by invited guests and as well as performances from our own parishioners.

An example of this was Alexander playing the oboe last Sunday.  His Voluntary was the Meditation on Lobe den Herron by Charles Callahan.  If you've got a hymnal handy, it's Hymn 390, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.

You can hear Alexander's performance here.

Due to the terrible incidents last week, many preachers wrote and delivered sermons which caused us all to think about our situation and asked us to consider what we, as Christians, can do about it.

Read what Tricia had to say in her sermon, which is on our website.

Back to music.  Sad to say, but our anthem was very appropriate for the incidents last week.

The words are found in Hymn 572.

Listen to the choir performing Tom's arrangement here.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Remembering Orlando

This morning, Maggie preached a powerful sermon about Orlando. You can read the text of the sermon on our website.

After the Nicene Creed, we prayed A Litany for the Orlando Massacre in place of our normal Prayers of the People.


O God, in whose image all people are made,
Have mercy on us.

O Jesus, healer and lover of all souls,
Have mercy on us.

O Holy Spirit, source of courage and hope,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, divine community, gather us as one,
Have mercy on us.

We weep as Rachel for her children,
Hear our prayer.

We weep for the innocent victims of Orlando and everywhere,
Hear our prayer.

We weep for the perpetrators of violence and hate,
Hear our prayer.

We weep over our country and our world as Jesus wept over
Hear our prayer.

We pray healing for those wounded in body or spirit,
Hear our prayer.

We long for mercy and truth to make a home with each other
where righteousness and peace embrace,
Hear our prayer.

Help us to end a culture of violence and the fetish of guns,
We fervently pray, O God.

Inspire our earthly rulers to break open old arguments and act for
the common good,
We fervently pray, O God.

Lead us in examining our own consciences for the remnants of
prejudice and hate within us,
We fervently pray, O God.

Give your LGBT children the confidence of their equal dignity
with every other human being,
We fervently pray, O God.

Keep us from acting out of our fear to brand others as enemies,
We fervently pray, O God.

Protect our brothers and sisters of Islam, that they may live in the
peace which is their true proclamation,
We fervently pray, O God

Surround us with your loving arms, draw us together across lines
of religion, sexual orientation, and all those many ways we
separate ourselves from one another,
We fervently pray, O God.

Inspire us to act in ways that bring all people closer to your
promised reign of peace,
We fervently pray, O God.

For the dead we pray,
Lord have mercy.
For the wounded we pray,
Christ have mercy.
For a transformed world we pray,
Lord have mercy.

Let us pray.
O God of deep compassion and abounding mercy, in whose trust is
our perfect peace: Draw near to us in this time of anguish, anxiety
and anger, receive the dead into your eternal care, comfort those
who mourn, strengthen those who are wounded or in despair, turn
our anger into the conviction to act, channel our passion to end our
dependence on violence for our sense of security, and lead us all to
greater trust in you and in your image found in the entire human
family; through Jesus the Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns among us and eternally. Amen.

The Rev. Michael W. Hopkins, copyright © 2016, adapted,
Epiphany Esources, 67 E. Main St., Hornell, NY 14843

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Blessing of New Drivers

This morning at St. Dunstan's was special as we celebrated a new liturgy for New Drivers and their Parents.

Here is the liturgy Tricia wrote:

Gracious God, when the people of Israel traveled through the wilderness you went before them, guiding them and providing them safe passage. We ask this day that you be with these your children
who are taking on the new responsibility of driving. Help them to make wise choices as they navigate the roads ahead. Give them steady hands, focused minds, and an awareness of what is around
them. Take away all temptations and distractions that may prevent them from driving responsibly. Guide them and keep them safe on all their journeys. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

To the new drivers:
Learning to drive is one of life’s greatest rites of passage. It is a big step on the journey to adulthood. Scripture is clear that privileges and blessings also come with responsibility.

In the presence of God and this community, do you promise to take this responsibility seriously, obeying the law, driving with patience and self control, and always wearing your seat belt?
   I will, with God’s help.

Do you promise to refrain from behaviors which distract you or impair your driving, including texting and drinking, and from riding with drivers who engage in those behaviors?
   I will, with God’s help.

Do you promise to call for help if you are in a situation in which you should not drive, or are with others with whom you shouldn’t ride?
   I will, with God’s help.

To the parents:
Teaching a child to drive is also a great responsibility.

Do you promise to be a good example to these new drivers, to teach them with patience and good humor, and to come to their aid if they are in a situation in which they should not drive, or with
others with whom they shouldn’t ride?
   I will, with God’s help.

Each new driver receives a blessing.

More photos can be seen here and you can listen to the liturgy here.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Prodigal Son

For those who follow the lectionary, the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Lent (in a couple of weeks, March 6th this year) will be the parable of the prodigal son.

Many of us are familiar with this parable, but for Lent this year, the Christian Education Committee at St. Dunstan's invited all members to come together to experience the story and to reflect, with others in the community, on the meaning of the story for ourselves, our families, the church, and the world.

During the Sunday School hour this week, parishioners got to watch an entertaining skit and then participated in thought-provoking dialogue.

Here are some pictures from Sunday's fun event:

The older son is not pleased with all the attention
being heaped upon the "prodigal daughter."

Lively discussion after the performance of the parable.

For more pictures, visit the album in St. Dunstan's Facebook page:

St. Dunstan's choir works hard under the nurturing tutelage of Dr. Tom Gibbs, our Parish Musician. That hard work paid off this past Sunday as the choir performed O, pray for the peace of Jerusalem by Herbert Howells for the Offertory Anthem.

You can hear it here:

Were you at St. Dunstan's on Sunday? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nov. 8 Music and Flowers

Although Sunday morning was pretty dreary outside, it was very different inside at St. Dunstan's.

To start off, we had a guest preacher, Laura Bryant, who shared a very insightful sermon with us.

Our anthem, Locus iste: This place was made by God, was very moving. The choir is very dedicated, and continually matures under the direction of Parish Musician, Dr. Thomas Gibbs.  Tom introduces the choir, and thus, the congregation, to various composers and styles.  What may be overlooked is that some of the compositions are actually Tom's own.  Such was the case this past Sunday with Locus iste.

Refrain:  Locus iste [This place] was made by God priceless, a holy place.
This is the house of God, the gate of heav'n, the court of God. Refrain.
Behold the tabernacle of God is with God's people; God will dwell them. Refrain.
At you altars even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a place she may lay her young. Refrain.

You can listen to it here:

The floral arrangement was, usual, beautiful. Floral arrangements are sometimes taken for granted, but St. Dunstan's is very blessed to have talented and committed members on its Flower Guild.

Arrangements from previous Sundays (as well as other pictures of Parish Life) can be viewed at St. Dunstan's Facebook page:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Flying Pig Barbeque, Blessing of the Animals

Lotsa fun yesterday...

So, a hardy crew, led by Geoff Walker, showed up before the sun came up to smoke pork butts and chicken for St. Dunstan's annual Flying Pig Barbeque.

In attendance were Geoff (obviously), new parishioner, Lee Cline, Joseph Henry Monti, Steve and Connor Mark, former parishioner Danny Woodward, and Geoff's son, Wells.

First order of the day is to generate coals in the fire barrel, then prepare the butts for smoking.

Once the meat's on the grill, then we chill, and marinade and flip the butts every so often.

While the meat is smoking, the 8:30 service is held next to the smoking pit.

When the butts are done, it's time to put the chicken on.

A chopping crew arrives in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, the photographer was wiped out and didn't get pictures of the actual dinner, but lots of folks showed up for good food, good music, and good fellowship.

For more pictures of the Flying Pig Barbecue, check out our Facebook album.

This Sunday, we're looking forward to the Blessing of the Animals in the Beech Grove.

Bring your furred, feathered or finned friends to the Beech Grove for this special service at 10:45. No Sunday School this day.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

This and That, Salt Lake City edition

(from Tricia's "This and That" email to St. Dunstan's. Tricia is currently in Salt Lake City serving as a deputy representing the Diocese of Atlanta at the Episcopal Church's General Convention.)

Dear friends,

"Let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new."

These words are from one of my favorite prayers in our prayer book. We are certainly seeing them come to life this week.

In last Sunday's sermon I shared my deep feelings of despair and hopelessness in the wake of the Charleston massacre, feelings that I know were shared by many of you. That sermon was really a pep talk to myself, a reminder that we must not give in to the evil we deplore, a reminder that even in our darkest days God is with us, a reminder that we must continue to do the good that we can do, even when it feels like we are throwing pebbles at a giant.

I could never have predicted on that day the events of this week, events which show the truth of the words of this prayer.

This week we have seen the Confederate flag, a symbol of hatred and racism and the worst evil of this country, being brought down, a sign that black lives do matter.

This week we have seen the Supreme Court uphold the Affordable Care Act, making health insurance available to millions of people, a sign that poor lives matter.

This morning we have seen the Supreme Court decree that same sex marriage is legal all across our nation, a sign that gay lives matter.

Things which had been cast down are being raised up, indeed.

I deeply believe that all of this is the work of the Spirit, God's resounding word that the evil of Charleston, the evil of racism and injustice and idolatry of weapons is not the final word. And we rejoice.

As we rejoice, we must remember there is still work to be done. But we face the work with renewed hope and vigor, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit. Alleluia, alleluia!

Thanks be to God.