Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 29: Feast of the Holy Innocents

We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Caroling on Monday Night

The folks from St. Thomas, St. Alban's and Grace Episcopal will join together on the front lawn of Grace Episcopal Church at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 22 to carol the Garden District! Following the caroling, we will share treats, tales, and time together back at the church.
Wear something festive and fitting for the season!

Christmas Party Tonight!

St. Thomas' Christmas Party
Tonight, Friday, December 19, 2014 * 6:30 p.m.
The Ryland's House

Please bring finger food to share and a wrapped gift ($10 limit) 
for the "left to right" Christmas story!
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

November Canterbury Report

The fourth Thursday of November was Thanksgiving; Canterbury did not meet. The 1st and 2nd Thursdays and the 3rd Friday we met, shared food, continued to plan upcoming events and discussed a chapter in Timothy Keller’s Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions and the Bible stories each chapter is based on.

This was the “winding down of the semester month,” so we had no big events. One of our regular participants suddenly had required workshops to attend every Thursday for her job and everyone is focused on the end of classes and final exams, thus attendance was light. However, most of the group participated in the first Spanish Eucharist at St. Alban’s and in the Thanksgiving Eve Eucharist at Grace.

We began making plans for the spring semester and chose two books from the “Embracing” series to study. The students chose “Embracing an Adult Faith” by Marcus Borg and the chaplain chose “Embracing the Prophets” by Walter Brueggemann because these kids don’t know enough about the Old Testament!

We made additional plans for our trip to New Orleans in January. We will all ride down together in a mini-van, which has been reserved. Rosine is going with us and the students wanted to invite Chizi from Grambling since they got acquainted with him at Convention. I will speak with Fr. Thomas.

In addition to our day at Annunciation working on the playground, we will spend much of Monday with Fr. Walter Baer. We’ll begin with Morning Prayer and breakfast with him, then all hop in the mini-van for a tour of the city featuring Katrina’s devastation and post-Katrina changes. Fr. Baer has a reputation as an excellent and knowledgeable tour guide and he will talk with us about what it was like to minister in the city post-Katrina as his own parish struggled to survive and he dealt with his own massive losses.

Two of students expressed interest in accompanying me to Grayson for Evening Prayer with the group of Episcopalians working on become the St. Michael the Archangel Mission Station, and we made plans for them to go in December.
Respectfully submitted,
Archdeacon Bette J. Kauffman, Ph.D.
Canterbury Chaplain
13 December 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Episcopal Worship in Sign Language

There are lots of things that make St. Thomas' a special place - our beautiful church on the Bayou, our walking path, new outdoor pavilion, the Back Pew Pickers, our fellowship, and many outreach ministries, and our lively worship. But one things that is really special is the fact that our liturgy, music and sermon are signed in American Sign Language each week.

Thanks to Sharron for offering her gift to all our us...

If you are looking for an Episcopal Church that offers sign language as part of the liturgy, come and join us!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve

Just a reminder that this Wednesday evening, Thanksgiving Eve, the Episcopal Churches in our area will join together for Holy Eucharist - 7:00 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe. Our priest-in-residence, the Rev'd Dawnell Stodghill, will preach. Please join us!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tailgate Saturday??

St. Thomas' folks:
Is anyone interested in helping us tailgate in The Grove this Saturday for the ULL game? If you'll be around and are willing to come spend a little time, please e-mail me at or call me at 318-372-8117.

It's a lot for me and the Canterbury kids to do on our own, so please let me know ASAP. We'll meet Thursday evening to plan. bjk

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2014
For Heroic Service, The Book of Common Prayer, page 839

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

October Canterbury Report

The first Thursday of October was Fall Break; Canterbury did not meet. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thursdays we met, shared food, continued to plan upcoming events and discussed a chapter in Timothy Keller’s Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions and the Bible stories each chapter is based on.

Our big, new wonderful experience this month was an outdoor Holy Eucharist at 5:30 p.m. the 5th Thursday of the month in Bayou Park on the ULM Campus. We celebrated All Saints. The weather was perfect and the spot beautiful. Members of St. Thomas’, St. Alban’s, Grace and St. Luke’s in Grambling attended. The event was covered by The Hawkeye student newspaper. Our only disappointment is that of the 17 attendees, only four were students. Two of our own active members had conflicts at the last minute. Nevertheless, we have confidence we’ll get more publicity done and attract more students in the spring.

After the service, we celebrated at Fox’s Pizza Den. We got some good photos of the event and will make a display for recruitment.

Another highlight of the month was participating in Diocesan Convention. Two students served as oblationers, one student gave a report, and we got to meet representatives from the Grambling and Tech Canterburies.
We have made additional plans for our trip to New Orleans in January. It turns out none of the chuches in New Orleans currently offer a Sanish mass. Through my contacts in that Diocese, I connected with Deacon Duane Nettles at Annunciation. That church built a playground for their surrounding community post Katrina, and the playground needs work so that is where we will spend Saturday. We will stay in New Orleans until the 7th so we can participate in Epiphany activities.

We plan to have Canterbury t-shirts made with our Canterbury logo on ULM maroon for our next tailgate, scheduled Nov. 15.
Respectfully submitted,
Archdeacon Bette J. Kauffman, Ph.D.
Canterbury Chaplain

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last reminder!

Mother Dawnell will celebrate and Fr. Whit will preach. We sure hope to see you there.

Bayou Park is the green space on the ULM campus directly across Northeast Dr. from the Library and on the Library side of the Bayou. Bring a lawn chair or blanket if you want to sit!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Back!

It's that time again: Across most of the United States,daylight savings time (DST) will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 2, when clocks will fall back to standard time. Set your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cake for Rosine!

And a beauty it was....

Rosine was in town for Diocesan Convention, and so we finally got to share "going away cake" with her!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Convention Changes!

Storm Damage responsible for
Changes in Diocesan Convention!

The Site for the 35th Annual Convention has changed. We will meet at
the following location for all events:

Bayou DeSiard Country Club
3501 Forsythe Ave., Monroe, LA 71201

There is also a change in the agenda. Here is a broad outline:


Lunch on your own

1:00 Registration

2:00 Business

4:30 Holy Eucharist

6:00 Silent Auction

7:15 Banquet


Light breakfast provided prior to beginning of meeting

8:30 Business

Noon Adjournment

Lunch on your own
Clergy Spouse luncheon cancelled.

Parking spaces are limited, so please carpool as much as possible.

These changes are a result of the damage wrought by the storm on
Monday. As you may know, Monroe was struck by an F2 tornado on
Monday. The Garden District was hit hardest. Grace Church sits in
the midst of that neighborhood. Access to the area is limited and power is
disrupted. As a result, we are unable to meet at Grace Church.

As the outline above suggests, we will follow a significantly revised
agenda. Given our space and the available time, we will dispense with
workshops, hearings, and vendors. This is regrettable but unavoidable.
Please be on the lookout for a ministry fair day in the future in which
some of these canceled sessions will be held.

Most importantly, let us keep the people of Monroe in our prayers.

Many are enduring the negative impact of this storm. At the same time,
let's also acknowledge the grace and grit of these good people who, in
the midst of trial, have worked quickly and effectively to host our

Convention. Nothing keeps that Monroe Convocation down!

The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, Ph.D., D.D.
The Diocese of Western Louisiana

35th Annual Convention of the Diocese

he Monroe Convocation will brave storm damage and power outages to host the 35th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Western Louisiana this Friday, October 17th - Saturday, October 18th. Pray for the success of the convention or come volunteer to help. St Thomas' will host the clergy spouse luncheon on Saturday too!

Bishop Jake's theme for this year's convention is "Gone Fishing - Engaging God's Mission"

Friday, October 10, 2014

September Canterbury Report

Canterbury@ULM met every Thursday evening in the month of September. At every meeting, we shared food, continued to plan upcoming events and discussed a chapter in Timothy Keller’s Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions and the Bible stories each chapter is based on.

The Chaplain shared the August report with the Priest-in-Charge and Senior Warden, then in response to a query from a parishioner, posted it on the church’s blog for the entire congregation. This practice will be continued.

In mid-September, a St. Thomas’ parishioner offered to purchase food if the Canterbury group wanted to tailgate. They did, so a banner was made, a canopy borrowed from another parishioner and the group tailgated from about noon until the football game started at 6 p.m. We cooked hamburgers and hot dogs, and served approximately 30 people, including friends and family of Canterbury members and others who happened by. At the end of the afternoon as we were actively giving away our remaining food, we had several great opportunities to explain who we were and invite students. We judged it to be a major success, but we have some new ideas to make it better when we do it again October 25.

We are planning an outdoor Holy Eucharist on campus to raise the profile of the group. Our first choice of date did not work out because Bayou Park is already reserved. Student Life & Leadership has not yet responded to our request for one of two other dates.

When we get the outdoor H.E. scheduled, we will invite GSU and LaTech Canterburies to come and stay for an “after party” in a home.

We have scheduled a mission trip to New Orleans January 3-6, 2015. We will worship with the Spanish-speaking community at St. Anna’s and spend a day doing a work project of some kind. We will also tour the cathedrals and, of course, Bourbon Street.

We plan to have Canterbury t-shirts made with our Canterbury logo on ULM maroon for our next tailgate.

September Statistics:

Individual contacts: chaplain with students & others - ~12
Group meetings – 4
Other activities – Interfaith Pancake Breakfast, Football Game Tailgate
Participants – Adults, including faculty advisor/chaplain, priest, St. Thomas’ parishioners – 4; students – 3-5 per meeting, ~30 at tailgate
Blog posts – 6

Chaplain stipend - $300.00
Food for meetings - $60.55
Banner - $65.86*
Interfaith Pancake Breakfast tickets - $20.00
Ice for tailgating - $8.22

In-kind contribution of St. Thomas’ parishioner who paid for tailgate food - $219.69

*This is a heavy paper banner; we wanted to test a design. We will be able to use it again, but will eventually replace it with a more expensive vinyl banner.

Respectfully submitted,
Archdeacon Bette J. Kauffman, Ph.D.
Canterbury Chaplain
9 October 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blessing of the Animals

We will be blessing the animals October 5th at our 10:00 a.m. Sunday service.  Please bring your animals with you to church and enjoy all the voices added to the choir!!

St. Thomas' Cookout

Tonight, Saturday October 4th, is the cookout at St. Thomas'.  Please join us for 5 p.m. To 8 p.m. On the bayou for burgers, hotdogs and more!  

We will have music by "The Back Pew Pickers."  Bring your dollars for the cake walk.  

It's time to just come, relax and have some fun.

Monday, September 29, 2014

October Newsletter and Calendar

The St. Thomas' October newsletter and calendar are available on the side bar under newsletter and the calendar tab above. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Folks at St. Thomas':

The Bishop has asked that Canterbury Chaplains submit monthly reports. I previously shared my August report with Mthr Dawnell and Ed Ryland, your senior warden. However, I am happy to share it with everyone. Here it is:

Monthly Report
August 2014

The Chaplain met with returning students who were in Monroe beginning the second week of August to begin making plans for the upcoming academic year. First group meeting was scheduled the last week of the month, but one member could not attend due to work conflict. We chose a regular meeting time of Thursday evening at 6 p.m. in the Student Center on campus that will enable all current members to attend most of the time.

Study materials: The group will read Timothy Keller’s Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions and study the Bible stories it is based on.

Officers & Delegate: The group ratified the continuation of Garrett Boyte as president and also approved his appointment as delegate to Diocesan Convention. Garrett and Ivania Vallejo agreed to be oblationers at the convention Eucharist.

The group has many ideas and things it wants to do this year, as follows:
Have an outdoor Holy Eucharist on campus to raise the profile of the group. Other campus ministries have done outdoor worship services. We will invite all of the other ministries on campus, plus the Grambling and Tech Canterburies.

Get together for a social activity with the GSU and LaTech Canterburies. The middle of the semester is better than near the end when everyone is getting ready for exams.

Have a retreat at Camp Hardtner for all Canterburies in the Diocese, to include some time with the Bishop. This will have to be in the spring to give us time to work on it.

Build the size of the group, both via inviting friends, but also through advertising. Ideas: Yard signs to put about campus, ads in Hawkeye.

Go on a field/mission trip in December right after the end of the semester. We’d like to do something that connects with the new Hispanic ministry at St. Alban’s since Ivania is involved there as well. Best idea so far: Go to New Orleans to connect with the Hispanic ministry at St. Anna’s Episcopal; worship with them, talk with people about what they are doing and how, and arrange for a work project to complete while we are there.

August Statistics:

Individual contacts (meetings & phone calls), Chaplain with students & other chaplains - ~6
Group meetings – 1
Participants – Faculty advisor/chaplain – 1; students – 3
Blog posts – 2

Chaplain stipend (3/4 month) - $225
Food for meeting - $13.45
Study Materials (film & books) - $111.91

Respectfully submitted,
Archdeacon Bette J. Kauffman, Ph.D.
Canterbury Chaplain

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stewardship University

Our Congregational Vitality Institute put on a workshop about stewardship this Saturday, September 13, at St. Micheal's in Pineville.  The Reverend Timothy Dombek spoke to our diocese about the fun of giving.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Community Walk

Of interest to all...
Communities Acting to Benefit Louisiana’s Elderly
invites you to attend
Theresa Marsala Celebration Walk
Friday, September 12, 2014, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Glenwood Regional Medical Mall
West Monroe, Louisiana

Admission is free!
Rain or Shine! 
  • Walk the Path of Wellness
  • Collect fun facts
  • Nutritional snacks
  • Give away snacks
  • Door Prizes
  • And so much more
Wheelchair and Walker Friendly

Music by Ted Telano

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Blessing of the Backpacks and Parish Potluck

Please remember to join us tomorrow for the Blessing of the Backpacks during our 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist and then stay for our first of the month Parish Potluck! Hope to see you there.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Last Sunday's Sermon: The Art & Power of Conversation

Preached at St. Luke's Chapel, Grambling, La.

So today we talk about talk. Each one of today’s lessons tells us something about the art and power of talk.

And it’s timely. Today’s society seems addicted to talk. We tweet. We post status updates on Facebook and other social media. Our news media provide talking heads 24/7.
Talk, talk, talk. And so often, it seems that, rather than talking with each other, conversing, if you will, we are screaming past each other.

I no longer try to have serious discussion of important topics on Facebook. Too often have I witnessed such talk turn into ugly, personal attacks. These exchanges are more like drive by shootings than conversations, or even arguments—which can be totally civil and useful when done well.

So what does each of our lessons tell us today about the art and power of talk?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Last Sunday's Sermon: Not a Show-Off God

Last spring I attended the triennial assembly of the Association for Episcopal Deacons. Our keynote speaker and workshop leader was Eric Law, an Episcopal priest and author of several book, including “Holy Currencies: 6 Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries.”

Law has gone from writing books to founding a center for congregational development and stewardship called the Kaleidoscope Institute. Our Bishop has just decided that some of Law’s work needs to be in the curriculum of our Diocesan school of ministry for lay people. So, the St. Thomas’ chapter of the Daughters of the King is a step ahead of everyone else on that because they studied this book together last spring!

To kick off his workshop at the deacon’s conference last year, Law had the assembled deacons—as I recall, around a hundred of us—play a silly little game that ended up making a big point. With the help of the organizers of the conference, a bunch of these bookmarks were handed out. Some people got none, some got 2 or 3 and a few got 5 or 6.

Then, Law said, this game has just two rules. 1) If someone gives you a bookmark, you must take it, and 2) the person who ends up with none.. wins. When I give the signal, Law said, you will have 10 minutes to give away all of your bookmarks.

Well, I don’t remember if anyone won that game. And I don’t remember how many bookmarks I ended up with, but I’m pretty sure it was more than I started with. I got down to zero a couple times, but no sooner had I done so than someone would come along and thrust a bunch into my hand.

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, duh! The rules of the game were set up to make sure that happens!” And, indeed, they were. The value of the game was not that it was a “fair” or “objective” test of anything. The value of the game.. was in what it revealed about how humans think!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Looking for God in All the Wrong Places

Last Sunday in Mer Rouge:

So.. what do a Baptist church in Pollock, La., and the Washington Monument have in common?

The Baptist church in Pollock sits on the west side of Highway 165. You pass it every time you go to Camp Hardtner. Like most Baptist churches, it has a steeple. But unlike most churches with steeples, it does NOT have a cross on top.

Anyone happen to know what is on top of the steeple? It’s a hand with one finger pointing heavenward.

Now the Washington Monument does not have a hand on the top! It has a 4-sided aluminum cap, each side containing an inscription. Three of the inscriptions have to do entirely with the building of the monument: names, dates, etc.

The fourth inscription says what? It says, “LAUS DEO,” which is Latin for “Praise be to God.”

Now, a quick side story. The inscriptions on the cap of the Washington Monument are not visible from inside the monument. They are visible only to those who might be hovering in mid-air over the peak of the monument, in other words, people in helicopters and, presumably, God.

So the National Park Service created a replica of the cap that is on display inside the museum at the base of the monument. A few years ago, in the mid-2000s, the replica cap was moved to a tent on the grounds while the museum was renovated. When it was moved back indoors, instead of being placed catty-corner to the wall so that all four sides could be read, as it had been before, it was placed with the LAUS DEO side against the wall, which prevented visitors from seeing it.

An uproar ensued. The Park Service was accused of being ashamed of the Christian foundations of our nation. On you can find a letter from the head of the Park Service stating that it was an accident, they had meant no offense and that it would be fixed. Since the letter is dated 2007, I assume the problem has long been corrected.

One interesting thing to me about that story, however, is that no one seems to notice or mention that “Praise be to God” is much more common as an expression of Muslim piety than it is as an expression of Christian piety.

Of course, Muslims typically say “Praise be to Allah,” and they routinely say it often: in times of gratitude and in times of distress, before beginning an important task and at the end, and on and on.

But if you accept that the God of all three of the Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Islam and Christianity—is one and the same God, then “Praise be to God” sounds much more Islamic than Christian. Christians are more likely to be heard saying, “Praise the Lord,” or “Thank you, Jesus!”

But whatever the builders of the Washington Monument had in mind when they inscribed “LAUS DEO” on the top of the monument, they, like the builders of a Baptist church in Pollock, La., were looking for God in all the wrong places.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

We're hosting!

Collective Leaders Meeting

St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
3706 Bon Aire Dr.
Monday, July 21
One-on-One Fellowship 6:30 - 7
Meeting 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Who we are, where we've been, where we're going, how to be part of transforming our community and state. Come and see!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Yesterday at Good Shepherd in Lake Charles, the Bishop ordained Boo Kay to the Sacred Order of Priests. It was glorious! #episcopal

Saturday, June 28, 2014

#Episcopal – “Social Media Sunday” a Digital Invitation

While in church this Sunday or when you get home, get out your smart phone. Facebook a selfie, live-tweet a prayer, blog an idea, video the hymn-singing, Instagram photos, Pinterest fun images, Foursquare a location — and use #Episcopal — so “Social Media Sunday” goes viral.

Social Media Sunday is an invitation to Episcopalians to share faith in the digital universe, according to Carolyn Clement and Laura Catalano, church social media administrators, who came up with the idea. “It’s a way of saying this is what’s going on in [the] church.”

“People can take a selfie, or a picture of stained glass in their church or something fun going on and post them on Facebook, or Twitter. It’s a neat way to get an idea of what’s happening across the church.”

Besides being a fun day, Social Media Sunday “hopefully, will give us some kind of information about how many Episcopalians are out there, actively using social media to share their faith. It’ll be interesting to see,” Clement said. Meanwhile, she added: “We just want to see #episcopal go viral on June 29.”

From an Episcopal News Service article by Pat McCaughan

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

VBS Part IV!

Ironing in the kitchen at Grace. Say what? Oh, I see. Shirts for the kids. But... what could they be ironing ON them????

Monday, June 23, 2014

Workshop of Wonders Mission

V.B.S. is collecting for the Refuge of Hope. We can use paper towels, toilet paper, large cans of condensed soups and financial gifts. Please help!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

VBS is underway!

New songs with new motions are a challenge!

Did someone really taste the finger paint?!

Workshop of Wonders

Workshop of Wonders V.B.S. Begins tonight at Grace Episcopal Church! Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. and V.B.S. runs from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. See you there!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Joel Middleton Burial

Today, Tuesday, June 10, we will celebrate the life of Joel S. Middleton, Jr. at 4:00 p.m. with the Burial of the Dead: Rite Two and Holy Eucharist.

Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord;
And let light perpetual shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ascension Day

Thursday, May 29, is Ascension Day. Join us at St. Alban's Episcopal Church for Holy Eucharist at 6:00 p.m. and find out why everyone was looking up…

Art is by Steve Erspamer, SM from Clip Art for Year A , published by Liturgy Training Publications.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Memorial Day

The Prayer for Heroic Service from The Book of Common Prayer, page 839, No. 6:
O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend and remember to give thanks for those who serve and served. If you are not traveling, we hope to see you in church for the Sixth Sunday of Easter: Rogation Sunday!

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's shocking!

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world!

Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith Civic Academy


Tuesday, May 20
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Little Flower of Jesus Catholic Church
600 South 16th Street

The purpose of a civic academy is to create awareness, share information and instigate dialogue.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Workshop of Wonders

Save the dates for the Workshop of Wonders!

Join all our area Episcopal Churches in the Workshop of Wonders, this year’s Vacation Bible School. Mark your calendar for the dates of Sunday, June 22 through Thursday, June 26 (5 days) each evening from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church. Supper is provided.

Our Vacation Bible School is open for children from Kindergarten through 5th Grade (6th grade and up will be helpers!). More information to come soon! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rogation Sunday in Oak Ridge

May 25, The Sixth Sunday of Easter, is also Rogation Sunday - It is a big day for Church of the Redeemer in Oak Ridge. They are our partners in the Episcopal Mission of Northeast Louisiana. I hope that St. Thomas' will send representatives to celebrate with the folks in Oak Ridge on that day!