Whooo-hooo! What a community effort and what a great Red Bow Fair! The Fair brought newcomers and “old timers” together, brought NP alumni and community members back into the Meeting House, and brought $29, 368 into the church coffers! We believe a bit more money will still come in and that we will likely make the very ambitious budget goal of $30K. Amazing.
Thank you, thank you to EVERYONE who spent time and energy on planning, preparing, creating, quilting, fetching, organizing, calling, emailing, meeting, setting up, chatting up, greeting, cooking, selling, raffling, face painting, explaining, delivering, and then cleaning up and following up with post-Fair tasks. The sanctuary and all of our buildings were pristine by Sunday morning, which I know is a Herculean effort in itself. Thanks to Co-Chairs Liz Hsu and Keith Wentzel who led the team, and to all who pulled off such a happy and successful day… despite the rain, and folks being out of the RBF habit due to COVID, and the mysterious disappearance of the Red Bow Fair “Bible” (the notebook with all the info on how it’s done). Y’all pulled it off with gumption and pizzazz!
This weekend will also be a full weekend at North Parish, what with a Saturday night Crossroads Concert, a Sunday late afternoon Christmas carol sing-a-long/potluck, the Sunday service, and a memorial on Saturday morning. We will be remembering Joan Blanchard, the wife of the former minister emeritus of North Parish, the Rev. David Blanchard. Rev. David and Joan arrived at North Parish in April 1965 and moved into the old parsonage on Chestnut Street after two short ministries in Swampscott and Palmer. As Joan’s family has told me, theirs was a true partnership. In addition to raising their two boys and running a household, Joan supported her husband’s ministry, served on committees, and was a long time Board member of the Thrift Shop (created to help fund the old religious education wing). We owe Joan a debt of gratitude for all she did behind the scenes to support Rev. Dave’s long ministry. The average length of a North Parish minister’s tenure since the year 1850 was about ten and a half years; Rev. Dave’s ministry was three times that length- 32 years- by far the longest ministry since the Civil War. Our hearts go out to the family- to Dave and Beth Blanchard and their daughters Shannon and Meaghan, to Jim Blanchard and his partner Kerry Gendron- and to Joan’s dear, longtime friends. May we be grateful for all who, with gumption, have “run this race” before us.
See you soon at the Meeting House,