This past weekend a local bank sponsored its annual "Oktoberfest," at which the church had a booth. Some months ago a vestry member related hearing about an organization that had put together gift baskets by theme; baby boy/girl, afternoon tea, coffee lover's, and so on. The idea captured our imagination (or at least it captured mine and I was an enthusiastic endorser), so we decided to adopt the idea as a means of doing a little fund-raising while raising awareness of our existence in the community.
The baskets were tons of fun, and we ended up with 34 of them (a good showing for our small church!). We sold them by way of silent auction, where shoppers could place bids on the basket, or buy it outright for its full value. I have to tell you that there were some real steals, since we started the bidding anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of the value of the basket contents.
The weather on Saturday was dismal: COLD, with a high of 47 degrees, and windy. Attendance was extremely poor. But even so, by the end of the day we had sold several baskets and had bids on all but one. Sunday's weather was considerably better--sunny, ten degrees warmer, with little wind. Phew! I'm not sure what the total tally was, but in the end it was more important that we had fun, and the project was a success (and definitely worth repeating). I'd post pictures but I can't find my card reader!
The distraction of Oktoberfest was helpful to my spirits. And oddly enough, when I preached yesterday I got "convicted" and preached a whopper. I think there wasn't a dry eye among the women, and there may have been one or two moist eyes among the men. When I sat down at the conclusion of the sermon you could hear all sorts of nose-blowing, including mine. Yes, tears slipped down my cheeks as I preached (this happens sometimes, and fortunately, this gang is used to that).
Happier still is that this morning I will head to Melrose for the week. I will see the podiatrist first about my heel pain, which was horrible on Friday, and then I will get on the road and head southeast. Ken is staying home to tend to the dogs, work on the stewardship program for Sunday's big day, and look for a job. It will be girl time for Mom and me--the first time since 2004! It will be good for both of us.
Thank you all for your prayers and your kindness. I'm sorry I couldn't reply back to each of you to convey my appreciation for your words--I am still computerless and am trying very hard not to displace Ken from his chair too often! He's been generous during this last week in sharing his space with me.
I doubt I'll be able to report in until after my return next weekend. Know that I will miss being in touch, and pray for good days ahead for all of us.