Christ Church Cathedral An Episcopal Community in the Heart of Houston, Texas
May 2014 christchurchcathedral.org
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Celebrate children, spring at May Fete
Loosening our tongues for words of grace
Over the course of a year, there are many, many Cathedral events to enjoy. There are fascinating book and study groups and opportunities to hear wonderful music and attend theater productions. We have seasonal celebrations and all kinds of ways to be in fellowship, but one event is big enough to offer something for just about everyone. Every spring since at least 1899, Christ Church has celebrated May Fete. Today this singular day is when every council and ministry group, children, teens and adults, all
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Altar Guild attends to fine details Former Dean Pittman McGehee used to say the Altar Guild was comprised of the invisible ministers of Christ Church Cathedral. Often unnoticed and almost never recognized, members of the Altar Guild dutifully prepare every service for worship and organize and clean everything left behind. “If it needs to be done, the motto of the
Altar Guild is ‘Do it!’” said Sue Green, an Altar Guild member for more than 30 years. “The clergy know how they want it done, and our job is to get it done the way they like it.” Green recently led the first class of a sixweek training course for new Altar Guild recruits. For three hours she led a group of
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There is a scene in the 2010 Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech in which King George VI of England sits with Princess Elizabeth watching a news reel of a Nazi rally in Germany. On the screen, Hitler yells and gesticulates to a mesmerized crowd. From her chair, Elizabeth asks her father, “What’s he saying, Papa?” The king answers, “I don’t know, The Very Rev. but he seems to be sayBarkley ing it rather well.” Thompson It is a pensive moment for the English king, because he is Hitler’s counterpart in England, and he lacks the ability to speak well. The king is perpetually tongue-tied with a debilitating stammer. So long as he cannot speak, the venomous voice of Hitler goes unchecked. And thus, the king is desperate to find his voice. The scene reminds me of the seventh chapter of Mark’s Gospel, when the Pharisees accost Jesus for violating dietary purity laws, while at the same time they (the Pharisees) speak words that degrade and take advantage of the weak. Jesus responds by saying to the crowd, “Listen to me: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” Jesus reminds the crowd—and us—that the words we employ affect us, for good or ill. They form us and mark us. We become, over time, the things we speak. (When one views news reels from Nazi Germany, one ominously sees this process at work.) Jesus then meets a man whose tongue has been tied since birth. He heals the man, who then speaks clearly. Blessedly, we do not face a Hitler in
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Sue Green and Bob Richter lead a class of Altar Guild trainees.
Our Cathedral Family We celebrate with
EE new members Jason Arnold, Brandon Clayton, Teresa Massaro, Jane Montgomery, Alix and Bart Stafford, and Jenny Young.
We extend heartfelt sympathy to
EE the family of Jeane Rhoades, who died March 17 in Ohio. She was the mother of member Howard Rhoades and grandmother of Caitlin Rebecca Rhoades. EE the family of member Bobbie Baldner, who died April 7 in Lubbock. EE family of Marleta Chadwick, who died April 14 in Center. She was the mother of member Carleta Sandeen and grandmother of Cullen, Jackson and Blake Sandeen.
The flowers on the Cathedral Altar
EE were given on April 27 to the glory of God in loving memory of James Leonard Dougherty, William Brooke Hamilton, Henry Kendall Hamilton, Newton Gilbert Dougherty and Maribel Kendall Daffan. EE are given on May 4 to the glory of God in celebration of May Fete and in thanksgiving for the dedication of the May Fete chairman and the committee chairman. EE are given on May 11 to the glory of God in loving memory of Mrs. James A. Haralson by her daughter, Mrs. Gary P. Pearson, and her grandchildren, Gary, Jim and Mary Bain. EE are given on May 18 to the glory of God in loving memory of Mary Ellen and Stanley Shipnes and William Bourke Cassin by Kristi and Earle Martin. EE are given on May 25 to the glory of God in honor of Abigail Thayer Avery on her birthday by Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Avery.
The flowers in the floor vases
EE are given on May 4 to the glory of God in loving memory of Helen Fisher by Phil and Tish Drilling, Katie, and Jackie. EE are given on May 11 to the glory of God in loving memory of our mother, Elizabeth Hail Smith, by her children, Avon S. Duson and Frank C. Smith Jr.
Additional lilies at the rood screen at Easter
EE were given to the glory of God in memory of her father, Ralph Spence, and in honor of her mother, Mary John Spence, by Judy Spence Tate. EE were given to the glory of God in memory of her daughter, Melissa Worrell Hoiland, by Mary Barden Worrell. EE were given to the glory of God in honor of and thanksgiving for her five children, Lydia LaGue, Nancy Goble, Russ Goble, Carolyn Smith and Michael Goble, by Dolores Goble. The Bulletin
Water Wars cap off EYC year May 18 will be our last Sunday of EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) before we break for the summer. That afternoon, we will have a big celebration called Water Wars for all fifth through twelfth graders. We will gather at the Deanery at 2142 Chilton Rd. from 2:30–5 Water Wars p.m. for an afternoon of spiritual formation, food and fun. Dean Thompson will open the swimming pool for Water Wars. We will Sunday, May 18 have different events that all deal with water in some way, plus 2:30–5 p.m. we’ll have a few prizes to give out. Parents are invited to have their own conversation with Dean Thompson at 4:30 p.m. while the youth are enjoying the swimming pool at which they may share hopes for the Cathedral’s youth program and ask any questions they may have. If you plan on attending, contact youth ministry assistant Andrew Boney at email@example.com so we have enough food for everyone.
Eileen O’Brien to return as curate Cathedral seminarian and former youth minister Eileen O’Brien will return to the Cathedral this summer as curate following her graduation from Virginia Theological Seminary. O’Brien is bilingual, and her primary responsibility will be to work with the Latino congregation alongside Canon Jim McGill. A curacy is a two-year program for new seminary graduates intended to train and form new clergy. During this time, O’Brien will be ordained first to the diaconate and then to the priesthood. The diaconate ordination will take place on June 21 here at the Cathedral. “I am pleased that Eileen O’Brien is rejoining the Cathedral staff in this new capacity,” said Dean Barkley Thompson. “What better place for her to be formed as a priest than the Cathedral, where she can engage in so many different areas of ministry. I’m especially excited about the time Eileen will spend in the midst of our Latino congregation.”
Looking back: The shaping of a spring tradition Each month in 2014, The Bulletin will look back at moments from the rich history of Christ Church Cathedral over its 175 years. by George Hawkins
We celebrate May Fete, and watch the children dance and promenade around the May Pole, in happy disregard of the blend of pagan festivities it represents. The true nature of the Fete, for all of us, is that we gather, young and old, to have a merry time playing games, winning prizes, and eating heartily. Anyone who has been a parishioner for any length of time, however, has a history by which to compare this year with years gone by. Some say the tradition of May Fete at Christ Church goes back into the mid-19th century. There is no question that the modern May Fete began with the Reverend Aves, who was first rector of the 1893 church. Because he had a mission in Mexico, the first May Fetes had a distinctly south-of-the-border feel, with young men wearing white shirts and red sashes. Photographs of that and subsequent occasions attest to much pomp and circumstance, and an impressive pageant behind what may best be described as May Day. In fact, the festival originally was observed on the first of the month, regardless of the day of the week. (Sunday picnics in the park were a strong tradition then, with modern Fete celebrations blending the two.) The themes of subsequent Fetes have run the gamut, (you’ll have to ask Dieter Ufer about the Bavarian Mai Fest) but a modern austerity has gradually replaced the elaborate sets, costumes, performances and parades. May Fete for decades was run under the aegis of the Ladies Parish Association, with each year’s occasion reflecting the hand of the president of the LPA. Kings and queens were elected by the LPA, prepared, and rehearsed for the big day. Pictures reveal a cast of Houston’s history sitting upon each year’s dais. Howard Hughes wore the elaborate robes of King of the May. A photograph currently in Reynolds Hall shows a young Thad Hutcheson, in perhaps 1924, looking as though he is awaiting his own execution rather than the honors of a newly crowned King. In fact, most pictures from what we might call the golden age of May Fetes show children appearing put-upon rather than merry. The festivals were largely unobserved during the war years, and have gone through a distinct evolution, reflecting changing values and demographics. No longer do we see horse-driven carriages and ermine trimmed
robes. Satin gowns, crinoline and lace have given way to T-shirts, but one also notices the dour expressions of the children have turned far more cheerful. The designation-by-vote of king and queen has given way to a more chance-based process; there is less feel of a popularity contest as a result. It was that air that had some deans wanting to quash the celebration altogether. That, and shoehorning the Fete into the education hour between 9 and 11 o’clock nearly spelled the end of May Fete. The beloved celebration was brought back from the brink by two developments. Patrick Miller moved to have the celebration later in the day, with services combined to accommodate the longer staging of games, crafts, booths, food, drink and, of course,
Fete, from cover
worship together and then play together. This year we continue our observance of the 175th anniversary of our church by recalling great Cathedral and May Fete history, and if this is your first May Fete fete, you’re in for a treat. Sunday, May 4 Following a combined bilingual service at 10 a.m., 10 a.m. we’ll watch the parade of children and the maypole dance, crown a fifth-grade king and queen, enjoy hot dogs, beer and agua fresca, have fun with crafts and games, and listen to the great music of the Third Coast Swing Band — all free of charge. In Reynolds Hall you can buy a ticket for an old-fashioned fried chicken lunch or bid on a cake baked by the best Cathedral bakers. Adults can buy a T-shirt just
happy socializing. Additionally, the responsibility for organizing the Fete was put into the hands of staff, with the saintly Lisa Puccio shouldering the herculean task of ordering supplies, beads, trinkets and sundry necessary items. Over the years May Fete has become more committee driven, with various councils sharing the load, and has been reborn as a family event. We have seen May Fete evolve from pageant to festival. It has become much more kidfriendly, with photographs showing far more smiles on the faces of the royal court. We still have the Maypole, and there is still the sense of some rite of spring taking place. However, we have all learned to cling to some traditions and let others go. This seems to be the healthy way of the Christ Church Cathedral family.
like the kids wear. We’ll have more fun than ever with the “Back-in-Time” green screen photo booth, and there will be some new faces on the “Wheel of Clergy.” Come and make a day of it. There’s something for everyone at the Cathedral’s (and the city’s) oldest springtime event.
Schedule for the Day • 10 a.m. — Combined bilingual worship service in the Cathedral. • 11:30 a.m. — Parade of children, crowning of the king and queen, and the maypole dance. • 12 p.m. — Luncheon, Grand Bake Sale and Cake Silent Auction in Reynolds Hall; games and amusements on the Huffington Courtyard playground; hot dogs, popcorn, homemade agua fresco, crafts and music in the Bishop’s Courtyard. page 3
Youth Ski Trip and Service Day, Lenten Series, Rusk School, Maundy Thursday
Below: The Spring Break Snow Bash took the Cathedral youth to Crested Butte, Colo., on March 14–19 for a holiday filled with community building and fun in the snow.
Above: The Cathedral youth turned out in force for a service day on March 30, with 43 young volunteers helping at the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen to prepare a meal for more than 300 homeless men and women. Left: Services for Maundy Thursday on April 17 included the washing of feet in remembrance of Jesus washing the feet of his apostles and of his commandment (“mandatum” in Latin) that we love one another as he has loved us. The Bulletin
Above: The Rusk School in East Downtown celebrated the opening of the newly built middle school wing on April 7. Since 2008, the Cathedral’s Kids Hope USA program has mentored at-risk students at Rusk. Pictured are Rudy Trevino, Jim Benfield, Felix Fraga, Dean Barkley Thompson and Principal Eduardo Sindaco. Left, from top: The Robert C. Stuart Lenten Series continued with musician Anita Kruse on March 26, New Testament scholar Marcus Borg on April 2, and Yale University theologian Miroslav Volf on April 9. The guests spoke at noonday prayer on the theme “Grace and Forgiveness” and again in the evening in a question-andanswer session with Dean Thompson.
To celebrate and to trust
God calls us both to celebrate God’s love and trust God’s goodness this month and through the summer. We begin this month of May by celebrating for about the 115th time the festival of May Fete. This observance of new life brought about by the spring and the growth of our children as they finish another school year is celebrated on May 4 in a combined, bilingual service at 10 a.m. for all our congregations. Then we will play games and feast on God’s goodness with food and games throughout the afternoon. Then in the middle of the month, we will begin to explore a new way of trusting God’s love as Father Jim begins his sabbatical for most of the summer months and as we welcome a new ministry among us. The Bishop and Dean have announced that the Rev. Eileen O’Brien will begin her ministry with us in the middle of June. Eileen is graduating from seminary soon, and will preach her first sermon with us on June 22. It will be a time to trust God and one another for leadership, guidance and faithfulness as we seek the new life and the new blessings that God has in store for us.
Para celebrar y confiar Él nos hace un llamado para celebrar el amor de Dios y confiar en su bondad de este mes y durante todo el verano. Comenzamos este mes de mayo con la celebración acerca de los 115 años del May Fete. Esta celebración de la nueva vida traída por la primavera y el crecimiento de nuestros hijos al terminar otro año en la escuela, llega el 4 de mayo en un servicio bilingüe a las 10 a.m., para todas nuestras congregaciones. Después vamos a participar en actividades y en la fiesta de la bondad de Dios con comida y juegos durante toda la tarde. Luego, a mediados del mes, vamos a empezar a explorar una nueva forma de confiar en el amor de Dios como Padre Jim comienza su sabático durante la mayoría de los meses de verano y daremos la bienvenida a un nuevo ministerio entre nosotros. El Obispo y el Deán han anunciado que la Reverenda Eileen O’Brien comenzará su ministerio con nosotros a mediados de junio. Eileen se graduará pronto del seminario, y predicará su primer sermón con nosotros el 22 de junio. Será un momento para confiar en Dios y en nosotros mismos, por el liderazgo, la orientación, y la fidelidad a medida que buscamos la nueva vida y las nuevas bendiciones que Dios tiene almacenado para nosotros. page 5
Fun is certain at lock-in Destination Unknown is a lock-in for fifth through eighth graders scheduled for May 9–10. The purpose of Destination Unknown is to help us realize that, many times, we have to take a leap of faith, since we don’t know what the future holds or, perhaps, where our next step will take us. To practice this leap of faith, we will venture out to different places around Houston, but the destination is … Destination you guessed it, unknown. Participants have no idea what will happen next. In Unknown the past, we have played laser tag, watched the bats fly May 9–10 under Waugh Bridge, gone to the Orange Show, checked out the art exhibit of presidents’ heads and even gone box-sledding. You won’t want to miss out on this year’s awesome adventure. Dropoff time will be 5 p.m. on May 9 at the Cathedral; pick-up time is 10 a.m. on May 10. You are encouraged to bring a friend. The cost is $40 and scholarships are also available. Register by May 7 on the Cathedral website or call Jeremy Bradley at 713-217-1349.
Altar, from cover three men and three women on a tour of the Cathedral, explaining the symbolism behind every object and action and defining the Episcopal jargon that includes unfamiliar words like alb, chalice, paten, and chasuble. Several new Altar Guild members said that one of the driving factors for joining the group was to learn the meanings of the words and the purpose of the actions performed during the service. “Part of it is overcoming fear,” said Michelle Hale, who was formerly a member of the Church of Christ. “The more you know what everything is called and the processes, it makes more sense and there is meaning behind all of it.” Others joined as a way to offer something back to the church and perhaps even make friends. “For me, it was a way to be more involved as a newer member and to provide service,” said George Smayling, a trainee. With more than 65 active Altar Guild members, the Cathedral pairs two members together that serve one or two services each month. Additionally, larger groups will gather to prepare the sanctuary for special services at Easter and Christmas and for weddings, funerals and large diocesan events. The Altar Guild is led by a triumvirate of leaders: director Lisa Viktorin, co-director Erin McMillin and director emeritus Bob Richter. The new leadership structure, instituted by Dean Barkley Thompson, has more evenly distributed duties. According to Richter, one of the biggest benefits of joining the Altar Guild has been the lasting relationships he has formed. In addition to regular interactions in small groups, all the members gather once a year for a party. The Bulletin
“One of the nicest things is the camaraderie that develops between Altar Guild members,” Richter said. One clear distinction between joining the Altar Guild and joining the choir or becoming a lay minister is that no one joins the Altar Guild with any expectation of being recognized for his or her work. “If you are doing this to receive accolades, you are going to be very disappointed,” said the Rev. Jim McGill as he accidentally walked
into the training session. “That is not to say that you are unappreciated. I speak for all the clergy on the staff here when I say your work is very appreciated. We cannot function well without your help. “I am deeply, deeply appreciative of the work that you do,” he added. “It’s behind-thescenes work, and you don’t receive a lot of accolades. But it’s work that you do because you love the Lord.”
“Bel Inizio” program at Brigid’s Hope helps disadvantaged women through fitness, nutrition Brigid’s Hope at The Beacon offers transitional housing and supportive services in an effort to reduce the number of women returning to the criminal justice system. The twelve-month intensive program for homeless, nonviolent female offenders is unique in offering each client a mentor, independent living and minimal structure to develop self-sufficiency. As part of their recovery, the women are exposed to many positive opportunities, such as “Bel Inizio.” This program helps disadvantaged women develop self-confidence and life skills through fitness and nutrition. The women are currently training to complete a 5K walk/run at Reliant Stadium on May 17. The ultimate goal is to help the women see healthy behaviors in action.
Calendar of Events Visit www.christchurchcathedral.org or call 713-222-2593 to learn more about these and other events at the Cathedral. Registration recommended
This Month May 2
Childcare available (3 mo. to 5 yrs.)
Bridge Night 6–9 p.m., McGehee Conference Room. Bring a dish for the potluck social.
Bible Study Fellowship 6:55–8:45 p.m. Non denominational Bible study for men and children. Tuesdays May 17 Sat Pub Trivia 6:30–8:30 p.m., Reynolds Hall. Enjoy a lively group trivia challenge and pub fare at this all-ages event.
Dean’s Book Club 6:30–8 p.m., McGehee Conference Room. Author S.C. Gywnn will be present to answer questions on his book “Empire of the Summer Moon.” May 9–10
Destination Unknown Middle school lock-in travelling to secret locations around Houston. ($) May 11
Bishop’s Visit to Confirm 11 a.m. in the Cathedral. Bishop Don Wimberly will confirm members. Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) 4–6 p.m., BYC. Gathering of youth for dinner, games, teaching, movies and worship.
Women’s Bible Study 9:30–11 a.m., Jeffers Conference Room. Ends May 21.
Lord of the Streets Service Day 6:15 a.m., Trinity Episcopal Church. Help cook eggs, meat and grits during a two-hour breakfast shift.
Cathedral 20s & 30s 6:30–8 p.m., Mellinger Room. Discussion group and social gathering of young adults. Does not meet May 28.
Guest Preacher: Pittman McGehee 9 and 11 a.m. in the Cathedral. The former dean will preach and celebrate.
Buscando la Luz 6:30–8 p.m., Bride’s Room. Spanishlanguage discussion group.
Last Day of Spring Education 10 a.m. Final sessions of spring semester adult formation classes and Sunday School for children and youth.
Compline 8 p.m., Golding Chapel. Brief, contemplative service marking the completion of the day. Second Wednesdays in Spanish. Ends May 21.
May 18 May 4 Sun May Fete 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Cathedral’s oldest tradition offers springtime merriment for all. Combined bilingual service at 10 a.m. followed by afternoon celebrations.
Education for Ministry (EFM) 6:30–9 p.m., Mellinger Room. Comprehensive adult theology program. ($)
Water Wars 2:30–5 p.m. at the Deanery. Youth will play poolside for an afternoon of spiritual formation, food and fun. Parents can meet with the dean at 4:30 p.m. Spring Fellowship Gathering 6–7:30 p.m. at the home of Glenice and Paul Como. See also May 11. May 21
Men’s Lunch Discussion Group (Biweekly) 12:45–1:45 p.m., Jeffers Conference Room. Fridays
Men’s Early Morning Study Group (First and third Fridays) 7–8 a.m., Jeffers Conference Room.
Faith and Society Seminar 6:30–8 p.m., Reynolds Hall. May 25
Rhythms of Grace 1 p.m., Jones Basement. The worship experience for special needs children and their families resumes. June 7
Texas Music Festival Outing 7:30 p.m., Moores School of Music. Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. ($) June 8
Pentecost Sunday Wear red to church as we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost Organ Recital and Evensong 4:15 and 5 p.m. in the Cathedral. Recital by Steve Newberry of St. John the Divine. Evensong sung by the Cathedral Choir.
June 13 Fri Episcopal Night at the Ballpark 5 p.m., Bishop’s Courtyard; 7:05 p.m. Minute Maid Park. Free pregame cookout and special seating and prices for Houston Astros game vs. Tampa Bay Rays. ($) June 15–17 Fifth-Grade Trip Houston. The fifth-grade class will participate in our Cathedral Urban Service Experience program. ($) June 20–27
First Day of Summer Place 10 a.m. Reynolds Hall. Snacks and refreshments hosted each Sunday by ministries and councils of the Cathedral.
High-School Trip Boston. High-schoolers will work on service projects helping the over 7,000 underserved in this historic city. ($)
Bruce Power Organ Concert 3:45 p.m. in the Cathedral. The Cathedral organist will perform.
Ascension Day 12:05 and 6 p.m., Cathedral Chancel. Holy Eucharist marking the final appearance of the Risen Lord to the apostles.
Diaconate Ordination 10 a.m. in the Cathedral. Seminarians from around the diocese will be ordained as deacons, including Kellaura Johnson and Eileen O’Brien.
Memorial Day Holiday Cathedral offices are closed. May 11 Sun Spring Fellowship Gathering 6–7:30 p.m. at the home of Tricia and Tom Chambers. See also May 18.
June 1 Sun Cathedral Choir Concert 5 p.m. in the Cathedral. Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E Flat with orchestra.
July 20–25 Middle-School Trip Oklahoma City. Join youth from around the diocese at Missionpalooza to help rebuild areas affected by tornadoes. ($) page 7
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Tongues, from cover
our present world. But we do live in a world increasingly marked by bitter and venomous words. We hear these words spoken by our politicians, social commentators, and the talking heads in the media. Such words are not the exclusive purview of only one end of the social or political spectrum. Rather, it is as if the powers-that-be in our world have, across the board, lost the ability to speak graciously. If such coarse and corrosive words were spoken clumsily, we could easily ignore them. But they are “spoken rather well,” as King George VI says to Princess Elizabeth. They are silky and compelling, and they prey upon our most basic fears and insecurities. Almost subconsciously, they influence and form us. We find our thoughts conforming to the fears such words instill, and in our worst moments we find coming from our own mouths similar
In the Bookstore: Lyn Fraser Book Signing The author will read from her murder mystery “Debits and Credits” and sign copies on June 8 at 10:15 a.m. Fraser is the granddaughter of Bishop Clinton Quin. The Bulletin
words of venom. We risk granting such words the victory, just as King George VI feared his silence would allow Hitler’s speech to overwhelm all that was good in George’s world. The miracle of the true story of The King’s Speech is as grand as the miracle in Mark 7. George VI’s tongue is loosened. He, too, finds his voice, and when he does, he resists the urge to speak words that defile. The King will not speak of wanton violence, vengeance or division among peoples. Rather, he speaks of the preservation of the Good and the hope that the peace of God will reign among people. In this Easter season, it is my hope that we at Christ Church will speak only words of resurrection hope. Blessedly, I already hear such words weekly in our parish life, and I pray we will speak them equally in our relationships beyond the walls of the church. When we hear words of venom (whatever their source), I pray our tongues will be loosened, and we will counter them not with equal venom, but with words of grace. When we do, we prevail for the God of love. We proclaim, with Jesus, that we will not traffic in words that defile, but will speak goodness and grace to a world that desperately needs to hear them. Then God will say to the angels, “I know indeed what they are saying, and they are saying it rather well!”
Summer Place kicks off May 25 During the summer through Rally Day in late August, we take an intentional break from Sunday School and Sunday adult education classes to provide parishioners with an opportunity to relax, catch Summer up with friends and make Place new acquaintances. Come to Summer Place Sundays at 10 a.m. in Reynolds Hall during the 10 o’clock hour for this warm and welcoming time of fellowship. Swap stories such as about your exciting and creative vacation and staycation plans. A different ministry of the church will host Summer Place each week by providing a spread of light refreshments beyond our customary cookies. The Pastoral Care Council will host the first Summer Place on May 25 and invites you to come and grow in relationship with one another.