Saturday Collection 8/14/2010

This week’s Saturday collection starts off with the ministry of one of the oldest monastic communities in the Episcopal Church doing what monks have traditionally done, being a center of teaching and learning for the communities around them.

In particular, the community at Emery House is showing the people of West Newburyport MA the benefits of small farm agriculture viewed through the lens of spirituality:

“Emery House is a retreat ministry of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, a religious order for men of the Episcopal Church. The order offers a variety of agricultural activities, including an agricultural and spiritual internship program. Through its community-supported agriculture program launched this year, the order is raising more than 100 varieties of primarily heirloom vegetables and small grains, Narragansett and Bourbon Red turkeys, several varieties of laying hens and three little pigs recently acquired from Colby Farm in Newburyport.

On Sunday, the farm crew from Emery House will highlight the steps involved in threshing, the ancient process of separating the grain from the straw using sticks and flails, and winnowing, separating the wheat from the chaff by pouring the grain/chaff mix from a height of a couple meters using the latent breeze to blow the chaff away until red-brown piles of wheat remain.”

From here.

In Marrietta GA, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church has partnered with Dianna Quick a licensed therapist to create a program housed in the parish that will provide counseling to people who might not otherwise be able to have access to it:

“I believe this is going to be a real addition to our parish and to the community,” said the Rev. David Ruppe, rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal.

Many people are in need of mental health therapy but lack insurance or government aid and can’t afford such services, Quick said. She is not getting paid for the service.

[..]Counseling sessions will be conducted at the church in a room the parish has made available to Quick. The program doesn’t have income or payment requirements. The program is available to anyone regardless of residency, but individuals must have transportation or a means to get to the church, Quick said.

In Huntington CT, the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is “re-traditioning” the practice of beating the bounds into what is going to be a 31 mile “prayer walk”:

The idea for the prayer walk stems from a historic Anglican tradition called beating the bounds, in which priests would walk around with their parish and pray for their community.

“In March I was thinking and praying about all this and I thought, ‘What would happen if I walked all the way around town?’” Waggoner said.

So on her 46th birthday, Waggoner began exploring Shelton – where she has lived for about three and a half years.

“I was wowed by the incredible diversity of our community,” she said. “Go north and you have the rolling hills and farms, and down to the river and all the houses have boats in their yard. These people have different patterns of life, different interests but it’s the same community and they have the same issues and needs.”

And finally, just because it’s such an interesting story that puts flesh on a beloved piece of Americana, there’s this story about a reunion of Norman Rockwell models in Vermont:

Mr. Rockwell likely used thousands of everyday people as models while living and working here and in Stockbridge, Mass., said Laurie Norton Moffatt, curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, where Mr. Rockwell moved in the 1950s. Mr. Rockwell also illustrated while living in New Rochelle, N.Y., but used commercial models, she said.

The museum holds model reunions each year and has recorded oral histories with at least 80 men and women who posed. Saturday’s gathering, in St. James Episcopal Church here, was the first time the Vermont models got together.

“It’s a defining moment in what makes them who they are,” said Jessika Drmacich, an archivist at the museum.

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