A Visit with the Lawlesses by Eleanor Hill
Aboard the train I told them stories about Domingo Gordo, Christmas, and the amazing garden Lois Ann had built. Cassie and Joanna, my travel mates, are Agnostic and Conservative Jewish History majors (respectively) – so I knew they would have plenty to talk to Barrie about. We met them at the train station, the couple just as bright and warm as always, I no longer felt like a stranger in a foreign country.
We took the short drive to their home, Lois Ann explaining the history of the surrounding manor farms, and Barrie interrupting with yarns on the current locals. The village is nothing but stone and green pastures, wildflowers line the narrow roads and each roundabout is centered with old wooden signposts directing you towards painfully English sounding towns.
Their beautiful home is every bit what you’d expect from the two of them. Flowers surround the house and a vegetable gardening is beginning to take shape next to their two small greenhouses. They said the previous owner had designed it with wildlife in mind, and they were waiting for the frogs to show up. We spent the day with them, their daughter Kerri, her two beautiful sons, and a lovely Alsatian named Heidi. It’s true that hospitality runs in the family.
As soon as we arrived, Barrie excitedly asked, “You never actually got to see the book I was given did you?” I told him I hadn’t and Cassie and Joanna wanted to see pictures of the church they’d heard so much about. Proudly displaying his gift, Barrie explained each page in more detail than could have fit in the book itself. He insists that there should be another copy permanently in the church.
As to be expected, they cooked us a few wonderful meals, stuffed us to the brim, and then offered more. We moved out to the living room where we could all watch the Opening Ceremony to the Olympics. Lois Ann brought us out apple and rhubarb pie and we discussed the historical significance of the Industrial Revolution and how silly Kenneth Branagh is. Now, my flat mates and I had been up until 4:00 in the morning the night before, I swear we were doing schoolwork, so at around 10:00 pm we all started to crash. Barrie, Lois Ann, and even Kerri, who had been running around with a toddler and a baby all day, were all still filled with energy and were starting a pot of coffee when the three of us decided to turn in.
Paint By Numbers in the Garden by Elizabeth Bousky
The Paint-by-Number Series is scheduled for each Saturday in October. Joyce DeVilbiss has been enterprising and diligent in publishing news of the event in fliers all over the neighborhood. All are welcome. Musical entertainment will be provided by Vivian Li and her 3 piece bluegrass band!
We are speaking with Peter Bulow, the artist who was responsible for the sculptures in Ft. Tryon Park this spring, to present his ideas to the congregation for a temporary installation in OSA’s garden. Several of the busts were fired in the pottery studio at the Cornerstone Center.
Sonia Martin, the school teacher who is responsible for the children's garden on Ft. Washington Ave. will no longer coordinate the Ft. Washington garden, instead she has offered to take the lead in developing the garden along the path in the front of the church as a garden that fascinates and inspires children. Drawing on her experience writing grants for the Birch School Children’s Garden Sonia has agreed to work with me to raise funds for our garden through grant writing.
Service Project by Olivia Asher
The class scheduled another trip later in the year, but I didn’t want to wait that long to go the there again, so I brought my mom to the house. She liked helping also, and we have continued to help out a couple of times a month, along with the Holsberg family.
I look forward to going to the Emmaus House, and I feel that the people we help leave the place happier than when they came in. That, in turn, makes me feel happy to be part of a caring community.
I hear that the adult Bible study groups at OSA are looking for service projects, and I hope the work they do will be as fulfilling.
With Love, Lois Ann and Barrie by Lois Ann Lawless
Hello from Wardington! We wanted to be in touch after the summer break, hoping you all are feeling refreshed after the change of pace and ready for the new church and school year beginning.
We also wanted to thank you again for all the support and care shown so lovingly as we left OSA, helping us through those enormously challenging last weeks. And what could we possibly express after the farewell service… our cup was full and running over! Thank you each for your part in making it such an amazingly affirmative experience.
We’ve come down to earth now – on our knees in the garden and painting skirting boards. We’ve enjoyed visitors (Eleanor Hill and her friends among them) and family with us, exploring the Oxfordshire area. We’re enjoying catching up with old friends and making new ones. Barrie is doing well, pacing himself with activities and rest.
Like everybody else at OSA, we’re most interested in the work of the Call Committee and the Synod, and in who Barrie’s successor may be. We’re excited that two projects are continuing since we left—Phase III of the organ and El Sistema. By all accounts, the two week trial has been a good start. We wish we could have been there for the first concert.
So, you are all very much in our thoughts and prayers as this near ‘year’ begins, with all its varied activities, upcoming decisions and ongoing relationships that are so unique and special to O.S.A.
Lois Ann and Barrie
Council Update - September Meeting by Jen Doerr
David expects to receive grants for the program, and has introduced a sliding fee scale so that anyone in the community can afford to give their children music lessons through WHIN.
The OSA Treasurer reported that during the summer months, the church stayed on budget thanks to the contributions of members and donors from The Cornerstone Center. With the winter months coming and expenses for heating on the rise, it’s important that contributions continue at this healthy level so that the church can reach its budget goals by year’s end.
Some capital improvements were discussed to help defray those energy costs. The boiler is going to be repaired to make it both up to code and more efficient. Other energy-saving improvements are underway through a proposed attic insulation and further efforts with Con Edison’s green initiatives. In completing these jobs, the congregation should further experience the fruits of OSA’s ongoing Building on Blessings Capital Campaign.
This fall’s Adult Ed program is gearing up, with Pastor’s Eggers book recommendation, Feeding The Flock, as the basis for an exciting course on food and gospel. Of course, the council feels that food should be part of the learning experience! Surveys were sent out to the congregation to determine the best available times for those interested, and the hope is to coordinate meetings at either local eateries or at the church with potluck treats. The kick-off of adult education is scheduled for the week of October 14.
The church council will be going on retreat October 5-7 at Koinonia. This will be a much-needed time for rest and spiritual reflection for the lay leadership at the ELCA’s beautiful upstate camp.
The Call Committee chair announced that interviews with candidates for the new pastor of OSA are beginning this Wednesday, and Sept 26. As part of the interview process, each member of the committee is going to focus on a specific area of ministry and lead the discussion on that area.
The next OSA church council meeting is scheduled for Sunday, October 14, 2012. All OSA members are welcome to attend. The church is always seeking new faces in leadership for committees and the council, and the council welcomes you to contribute your time and talents to OSA’s ministry.
The Last Word by Pastor Bill Eggers
In one of the congregations I served we were encouraged to reflect upon the question:
Of all that God has provided what will we choose to joyfully give
to ourselves, our church and our community?
We looked at the many ways disciples of our Lord used their gifts in the community. We heard how our mothers and fathers in the faith built and sustained the church over the decades. We explored our many and varied assets. In this manner we came to understand that we really do have everything we need to proclaim the Good News of grace and to serve those in need.
As Our Saviour’s Atonement continues to move toward the call of your next pastor I encourage you to reflect on how you may joyfully give what God has given you. Growing as a disciple of our Lord is a life-long process. The closer we come to our Risen Lord, the more we live in the joy God wills for us. Consider keeping less of the gifts God has provided you for yourself and giving more of them to your church and to your community. Grow by worshipping more, studying more, serving more, giving more. By doing so you will prepare Our Saviour’s Atonement for abundant ministry with your next pastor! Having been given all through Jesus’ death and resurrection we are called to
joyfully give to ourselves, our church and our community!