Monday, March 27, 2023
Hello friends and neighbors! Happy SPRING! Well, as I write, it’s sunny outdoors even if the temperature doesn’t quite feel like spring. Or maybe it does, but I’m impatient for it to feel more like summer. You?
With Spring comes Lent, named at least in part for the “lengthening” of days. And we’ve now come around the sun far enough, and into the season far enough, that our calendar’s next two Sundays are Palm Sunday, coming up, on April 2, and as usual, a week later, Easter, this year on April 9.
I’m quite interested in the scheduling, and often note it in voice and print, that (did you know this?) Easter Sunday in our “Western” tradition is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. ! ? ! So if the Vernal Equinox is calculated to happen, say on Saturday afternoon and the moon is full that night, the next day is Easter!! Or maybe the moon was just full the night before the equinox, so it’s another month before it’s full again, on, say, a Sunday night. When that happens, Easter is the following Sunday. Did you ever notice or wonder how Easter can seem to be so “early” one year and so “late” a year or two later?
Details? Worship times for both Sundays will be the same as usual: 9:00 AM at Smith Memorial and 10:30 at El Buen Pastor.
AND: for Palm Sunday coming up, April 2, worship will begin with a procession of waving palms and singing all about it as we enter the sanctuaries for worship! Did I say: 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM !?!
Then for Easter Sunday, we’re back at a good local tradition, recently set aside for COVID-19 reasons, to gather for an Easter Sunrise worship service at the Santa Cruz Lake Overlook! At 6:00 AM! Let’s see: for tomorrow morning, 3/28/23, my cell phone weather tracker says the sun will rise at 6:56 AM. In another 15 days or so, we’ll see it close to 6:30. So bundle up and come on out to the Overlook to look over the lake and some of the amazing countryside as the sky lights up the area and makes magic of the east side of neighboring geological formations!! All of that to celebrate that death does not have the last word with us! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
Since I last wrote about it (2/13/23, according to my notes), the newly elected and some re-elected church officers have been installed. At Smith Memorial, Rosanne was elected and installed as a Deacon; and at El Buen Pastor, Waldo and Annalisa were re-elected and installed as Elders on the Session; Edna and Suzie were re-elected and installed as Deacons; and Jesse and Gloria were elected, ordained, and installed as Deacons! Many thanks, good wishes, active support and prayers to all of them!
Many thanks to the Rev. John Guthrie for preparing, leading worship, and preaching for some of the Sundays when I’m not doing those things, including this past Sunday, and coming up again for the hymn sing on April 30. And similarly, thanks to Margaret Franke, who does the same things occasionally when recruited to do so, and again, coming up on April 23!
So what’s up with me on those dates? I’m glad to report, my family plans are that Laura and I will leave town on Friday, April 21, to head to Athens, Greece, where on 4/23 we’re scheduled to embark on a cruise headed for Istanbul, Turkey, scheduled to arrive there early on Sunday, 4/30. After a couple of days we plan to fly to Amsterdam for a day and then home via Atlanta by the end of the day on Thursday, May 4. I should be able to tell all about it on Sunday, May 7!
What else? I am usually thinking that as soon as I wrap this up and send it out to you, there’ll be…. Oops, one more thing!
I hope that all the next things for you are about joy and health and good news all around. In our challenging times and in our good news, we trust that the presence of God-with-us in the Spirit of Jesus Christ is our constant companion, guide, support and friend! May we appreciate it and be grateful for it!
Blessings to you and yours. Peace. Health. Joy. Blessings all around! -Bill Humphreys
262.853.4918 to be in touch with me.
And for the web site: www.smithmemorialtruchas,org (with many thanks to Margaret Franke for keeping the web site and us up to date!)
Monday, February 13, 2023
Greetings, friends and neighbors in and around the congregations of Smith Memorial in Truchas and El Buen Pastor in Chimayo, NM!! I hope that all is good and well with you and yours as these days go along.
I write today with an update inspired by yesterday’s 2/12/23 annual meeting at El Buen Pastor. Some of this information applies to many PCUSA Presbyterian Churches; some of it more specifically to “our” two congregations.
This is mostly about terms of service as elders on the Session and deacons on the Board of Deacons. For maybe easy reference, I’ll number these items as we go…
1) A “term” is how long a position lasts. Terms of service on the Session or Board of Deacons are for three years. A person may serve up to six years before taking a break of at least one year. That would generally be two full three-year terms, and would require election to the first term and then again to the second term. There is no automatic expectation that anyone will serve more than one term, although many Session members and Deacons are willing and elected to serve a consecutive second term.
2) The Session and Board of Deacons consist of a number of people divided into thirds so that with three-year terms, one-third of the group is elected each year. When the numbers not so easily divided, still one or more nominees is/are elected each year.
3) The groups of people serving through a particular year are known as “classes”. The classes are labeled for the last year of service. Yesterday we said thank-you to Wilfred and Brenda, both of whom were the Class of 2022, noting that officially their term of service ended on December 31, 2022. And we happily and gratefully elected Annalisa and Waldo to the Class of 2025. See how that works? They are elected to serve on the Session for the term of 2023, 2024, 2025. We also noted that elected elders and deacons may serve fewer than the full three years of the term, thus leaving a space in an “unexpired” term, to which another person may be elected.
All the while we are grateful to Eunice and David for their continuing service in the Class of 2024!! At the moment, in this Session of four, there is no-one in the Class of 2023, meaning that this year is not the last year of a term of service for any of the Session members.
4) At El Buen Pastor, Deacons were elected to the Board of Deacons, in the Class of 2025: Edna, Suzie, Gloria and Jesse! They join Layla and James who continue to serve in their respective terms!
Confused? I think that paying at least a little attention to this information is helpful for us for ordering the leadership of our local congregations!
Following these ways of being church together, we also agreed in the El Buen Pastor congregation that the next annual meeting for the election of officers will be in November of this year, 2023, so that newly elected leaders will be known and ready to serve as of January 1 of the new calendar year! And they’d be elected to the Class of 2026. Right? !
We also reaffirmed that Brenda will again serve in the annually-elected position of President of the Corporation, along with Wilfred and David as directors of the Corporation.
And for the Nominating Committee, the members-at-large from the Congregation will be Erasmo and Jesse, with a member of the Session to be selected from and by the Session.
That’s what we did! And the Congregation at Smith Memorial will soon have its Annual Meeting and elect Session members and Deacons and others to serve there.
In the mean time: thanks to the Rev. John Guthrie who will lead worship and preach at both services on Sunday, coming up, 2/19/23.
And this: Wednesday, February 22, is Ash Wednesday. You all are invited, welcome, celebrated to attend the worship service for the imposition of ashes at 6:00 PM at El Buen Pastor in Chimayo: 2/22/23 at 6:00 PM. The Season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and continues through Holy Week to Easter, April 9. The season of Lent is a time for reflection, repentance, renewal, all in the 40 days of life and faith in the wilderness. Notice that the 40 days do not include the “little Easters” of Sundays! We’re reminded of the wilderness in our lives, and of the faithful celebration of hope and joy that comes with Easter every Sunday!
May you be healthy and strong and faithful in all your days!
-Bill Humphreys. Keep in touch: 262.853.4918.
January Newsletter from Bill Humphreys
Hello Church folk and friends! January 19, 2023
I hope that 2023 is off to a good start with you and yours. Good health; good finances; good employment, paid and unpaid, on the job and volunteering, and good child care for children and grandchildren; good, safe travels; all of the above and more. Happy New Year!
Recent events: Worshipers have enjoyed and appreciated the decorating of several people in both congregations, El Buen Pastor and Smith Memorial, who decorated the sanctuaries for Advent and Christmas, and who returned more recently to un-decorate our worship spaces. It might have been mostly un-noticed, but the faralitos at Smith Memorial on Christmas Eve were a nice item for people who saw them!
Two recent deaths have led to burials at the El Buen Pastor cemetery; we thank Waldo for his attention to preparing the grave sites. And similarly, we thank him and others who have helped the respective families have meaningful and supportive gatherings and services at the tender time of death and bereavement.
Today I have some dates in mind:
For this coming Sunday, January 22: it was previously announced that El Buen Pastor would have its Annual Meeting this weekend, 1/22. That has been changed to 2/12/23, February 12, 2023. As with most annual meetings, the business will include the reception of annual reports for 2022, and the nomination and election of deacons and elders. The annual meetings include the opportunity for official meetings of the corporations as well as the congregational meeting. As “regular” meetings of the congregation, the annual meetings may also include any business brought to them by members of the respective congregations.
Sunday, January 29, is this month’s (the quarter’s!) “Fifth Sunday!” That means… HYMN SING. This month, on the 29th, we’ll meet for worship at 10:00 AM at Smith Memorial in Truchas. So that’s an hour later for the Smith Memorial congregation and a half-hour earlier for the El Buen Pastor congregation. I hope that as this season goes along, the weather will be good and worshipers will make a good effort to come and sing some hymns of YOUR choosing!
Looking ahead a bit: Sunday, February 19, will be Bill’s Sunday NOT to be there for worship. The Rev. John Guthrie is scheduled to be the worship leader and preacher for that day. Plan to attend for a good worship experience and to greet John!
A little further ahead: LENT is the next liturgical season coming up, beginning on February 22 with ashes on Ash Wednesday! Not counting Sundays, Lent continues for 40 days until Easter, reminding us of the 40 days of Jesus’s wilderness experience, parallel to the days and nights of rain in the story of Noah and the Flood.
Current plans are for an Ash Wednesday service at El Buen Pastor at 6:00 PM; both congregations and all of your friends are welcome to attend and, as you wish, present yourselves, at least your foreheads, for the imposition of ashes, reminding us that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. -but don’t be in a hurry for that!
Lent continues right through Palm Sunday on April 2, Maundy Thursday on April 6, Good Friday on April 7, and Happy Easter(!) on April 9. Watch for more information about worship events and times, especially for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday!
The forecast and developing weather must have played a big role in who attended and didn’t attend worship this past Sunday. The earlier services (at 9:00 AM) in snowy Truchas was almost completely snowed out (or in!); the 10:30 service at El Buen Pastor missed a few more-regular participants. No problem, of course; absences can all be made up simply by attending this coming Sunday! So far, at least, you’re not likely to be asked for excuses reasons, just “we missed you; welcome back!”
All the very best wishes to you and yours as these days go along!
Blessings. Health. Joy. Peace! -Bill Humphreys.
262.853.4918 for calls/texts
or reply to this e-mail address: email@example.com
A new page has been added and includes activities and announcements of our Church' s Members. See the new page for news from Natalie and about Wilfred.