St. George’s Festival, April 29th, 2012

Article by Parishoner Edward Ward

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Sunday, April 29th dawned clear and bright with sunshine. The Rector and Vestry had changed the date of our Patronal St. George’s Festival to coincide with the biannual visitation of our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Frederick G. Morrison.

Sadly, our celebration was overshadowed by the death, earlier in the week, of Father Yates Greer, our Assistant Rector. Father Greer was a faithful priest and a loving, caring pastor. His wife Judith was with him in Simi Valley, California. Judith called the Rector with the sad news, but as the plans has been made she wanted the Service and Reception to go on, as planned.

The Bishop banged on the church door with his crosier, thee times, the door was opened and the Rector, kneeling welcomed His Grace, followed by the Sr. Warden Dale Foust and the Jr. Warden Vincent Mills. A new church bell had been installed inside the church, the Bishop paused and blessed the new bell.
The bell has been given in loving memory of Canon Lesley Wilder. Father Wilder was one of the first supporters of the Province and was a good friend of Archbishop Morse. They met when Father Wilder was the Rector of St. Matthew’s Church, San Mateo and the Archbishop was the Rector of St, Paul’s in Burlingame, also in San Mateo County. This was before the Archbishop was transferred to St. Peter’s in Oakland, which is now our Pro Cathedral.

In procession the Choir and people sang “Who are these like stars appearing.” The Church was full with standing room only and several people had to stand out on the Patio. The Bishop was the celebrant at the Sung Mass, assisted by the Rector, Father Gordon Hines. The Bishop confirmed seven member of the Parish, Timothy D. Douglas, Michael David Jones, Andrew W. Kruse, Adrian DeWane Murphy, Kenneth Eugene Princen, Katrina Tondo Waddell, James Franklin Wood. The Bishop was alos pleased to bless Austin Heerema and welcomed into the Brother of St. Stephen Acolytes.

The Bishop them blessed the Icon of “St. George slaying the Dragon”, this is a reproduction of a Russian late 16th, century icon, creatred and donated to the Church by a local artist. This has now been hung in the Church as a shrine to St. George, our Patron Saint.

We sang the Offertory Hymn “Jerusalem” by Parry, this was to honor the Bishop who had come to our diocese from the English Church. He said afterwards this brought back many memories of when he was growing up in England in the diocese of Chichester, it was an emotional moment for him.
The Bishop preached on the love and the blessing of the Holy Ghost that we all receive at our confirmation.

At the Holy Communion the Sunday School children were led into the church by their Director, Kim Jones, and the teachers and the Bishop gave all 17 children his Episcopal Blessings. These young members are the future of St. George’s Parish and now we all hope in time to build our own school for them. We are now in consultation with one of the Casino Foundations we are seeking a partner for this project.
The Vestry had arranged for the Church patio to be tented for the day and it proved to be a good decision as it was rather a hot, windy day. The Church looked very festive and the Altar was adorned with the red roses of England.

Following the Sung Mass we all enjoyed a wonderful buffet lunch that had been prepared by the ladies of our Parish A.C.W.
• The President, Jayme Rogers, had carefully prepared and oversaw the event.
• Roast Tenderloin of Beef with horseradish cream
• Platters of Shrimp with cocktail sauce
• Chilled Gazpacho soup served with crusty rolls and butter
• A big selection of some 18 different salads
• Platters of fresh vegetables and dips
• A wine bar, also juces, sodas, tea and coffee
• Followed by a wonderful big Confirmation Cake and ice cream

The Bishop commented that “I see we do not need the five fishes and two loaves today.” He also asked what was done with the leftovers, some goes for the church staff lunches and the rest to the Salvation Army. The Bishop smiled, “the homeless people in Las Vegas do at least eat well.”
At the end of the reception the Rector presented the Bishop with a copy of the official Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, which was given in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Bishop was delighted with the gift and mentioned that in England all bishops and deans have a picture of the Queen in their office. The portrait, therefore, will hang in the Bishop’s office in Tulsa.

In Leaving, the Bishop blessed us all, thanked us for a memorable day and particularly thanked the Choir Director, Mr. Thom Greathouse, and the choir for the superb job they did with the Sung Mass and Hymns.

Our church has been blessed with some beautiful memorial gifts recently and on Sunday June 3rd these had all been installed and have enhanced the beauty of the church. On Sunday June 3rd the flowars on the altar were given in thanksgiving for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth, and we sang “Glorious things of Thee are spoken, one of her favorite hymns.

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