Dear People of St. Anne’s,
“… and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” (Mark 4:27) (Gather #1011)
The Kingdom is here among us! For if,
as Jesus says in today’s Gospel, the Kingdom is where a person scatters seed which then, of its own accord, grows and bears great fruit… then the Kingdom is here among us. For everywhere I look I see life blooming. And I know not how.
Thank you for putting up with the disorder in Church last week as contractors stripped the old wallpaper off, added two inches of insulation, and then retextured the church interior walls. They not only removed the unsightly, peeling wallpaper, but they also solved the moisture problem from the un-insulated cinderblock walls that caused it. For this wonderful enhancement of our home we thank those who made personal contributions and our endlessly creative Hospitality Ministry and its fun fundraiser. Truth be told, however, the far greatest portion of this project was made possible by the frugality of our maintenance department and the light winter we had. This project was largely done out of savings in the maintenance budget during the year. Soon the men’s bathroom in the south entrance area will receive new tiling and dividers as well. Thank you, Timm Hollis and team, for your wonderful care of our faith family home.
And have you noticed the grass is greener around our buildings? The watering system is finally complete. Our beautiful flower gardens will be lush for all of our visitors next weekend. This so-very-helpful addition to our facilities was also made possible by the donations of most generous people. Yet here too, there was one driving force behind it all: Ed Burish. For five years he has been planning, advocating, collecting, and motivating us to finally get this done. And it looks like it is just in time for what appears to be a dry summer. We are very, very grateful, Ed!
I am a little nervous about this afternoon’s farewell party. There have been lots of meetings in the office conference room these past weeks, but all I hear coming out of the packed room is laughter! I hope it is because they are enjoying one another’s company and not… because they are laughing at what they have planned! Seriously, I have already been overwhelmed with all of the love and affection showered on me these past weeks. And I am most grateful to all who have worked on today’s festivities. These days of parting are filled with such sweet sorrow.
With THE party coming next weekend, Tuesday and Wednesday will be the days for final packing and moving my belongings to Loyal. Fr. Burkhardt will also be bringing some things here. Since my last official day, June 25th, is a Monday and a day off, Polka Fest Sunday will really be the grand finale. Don’t you think winning the Big Raffle would be a fitting conclusion?!?
With or without winning the Raffle, St. Anne’s Fest 2012 is going to be a great party. And yes, we are deliberately leaving out the word “Polka” when we talk about it. We are consciously moving from an all Polka music festival to one with music we believe will reach more people. Thus the mix this year of Polka bands, a Country Western Band and the variety of music played by Copper Box. Our outstanding chairpersons, JoAnn Krahn, Randy Kaiser, and Delores Clancey, are positioning us for a very successful future. Thank you for the hours and hours of labor on our behalf.
After arriving in Loyal, I will get settled in, then take some time. I will be leaving for vacation July 16 and returning the 29th. We are hiking the Cascades in Washington State this year. Then I will go on retreat July 29th through Aug. 5th. And after that I will attend my annual family reunion until the 9th. I feel the need to step apart for a good spell to grieve before being able to become open to a new future. St. Anthony’s mailing address is: P.O. Box 69, Loyal, WI 54446.
If the Kingdom is like a farmer who scatters a few ideas and suggestions around a field, then goes about his own business, only to discover the whole field rising up and bearing great fruit… while the farmer doesn’t even know how it happened… then this — this beautiful wonderful family of faith — is the Kingdom of God.