Midweek Update: 10th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re all doing well. I have some things I’d like t highlight for the coming week:
Pastor’s Vacation
I’m going to be on vacation from 8/2-8/23, returning to the office on 8/24. While I’m away, we will have guest preachers on those three Sundays. Pastoral coverage in case of emergencies (e.g. death, dying, serious illness or injury, etc.) has also been arranged. The Church Office, Deacons, and Church Council have the contact information for the clergy on call. If you need that info, it’s best to contact Michele Finn (Audrey’s mom) the chair of the Diaconate, Ellen Aronheim the chair of Church Council, or to contact the Church Office. 
For prayer requests those three Sundays, Jeanine in the church office will send out an email asking for the prayers, and she will make sure they’re given to the guest minister for worship.
Eagle Project at the Church
James P, a member of our church and a scout has been working on his Eagle Scout project this past weekend. I’ve attached pictures of the completed work: there’s a brand new bench looking out on the green in front of the parsonage, and the North St. side of the parsonage yard that was all torn up to install the gas lines a few years ago has been put back together, landscaped, and a screen has also been installed in front of the gas meters. So, thank you to James and to all the scouts at our church for all their work on this project and support of the church in general. Great work everyone! 
Renovation Updates The tile backsplash in the kitchen has been finished! I’ve attached a picture. At this point, we’re just finishing up electrical work with replacing the outlet covers, getting the ventilation fan motor operational, and then sorting out some decorations. Bob and Bill are continuing to chip (or sand) away at repairing the front of the meetinghouse. I’ve attached a picture of them both hard at work this morning.
Livestream Tech Volunteers 
I want to give a shout out to Drew and Thomas who ran the livestream by themselves this past Sunday while John and Chris were out of town. It would be good to add a few more volunteers to the team so we can always have coverage. If you’re interested in volunteering or learning how things work, contact John D, and you can always talk to Drew and Thomas to get more info about the learning curve.
General Comments
This coming Sunday, the Old Testament lesson we’ll be looking at is David’s lament upon learning of the death of his son Absalom: “The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Lamenting like this isn’t a particularly big piece of our culture or our worship in general, but our scriptures have lots of laments in them, particularly the psalms. Prayers and songs of lament are important for sometimes acknowledging grief, hurt, pain, and loss.
This past week I was playing a new video game called “Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture.” The game is set in a rural English village in the 1980s that has experienced some sort of calamity where all the people from the village are missing, and the basic plot is you’re trying to piece together what happened. One of the striking things about the game was it’s got a beautiful choral soundtrack, and many of the lyrics are based on psalms. A few of the tracks were based on Psalm 13, which is a psalm of lament. I wanted to share the song because I think it does a really good job of matching a text like Palm 13 with music that expresses the longing, loss, and even hope that goes into offering a lament to God: https://youtu.be/de_UYA4P1Ik

(The rest of the soundtrack is also really lovely and on YouTube if you wanted to hear more.) 
I hope you all have a good week. If I don’t see you in church this coming Sunday, I’ll see you later on in August.
Pastor Katrina