Among the service projects that the group undertook here are some highlights:
The Christmas Creche
A major project for 2006 was the creation of a nativity scene for the front lawn. The Men’s Group sponsored the project, raised the necessary funds and designed and constructed the stable. The Youth Group than joined the project by erected the stable on the front lawn at St. David’s. It all came together on the third Sunday of Advent when the characters of the Nativity Scene was put into place in a special evening ceremony.
The Three Crosses During Lent.
Our 2007 Lenten Journey was highlighted by placement of three large crosses on the church lawn. The Men’s Group built the crosses which were erected following church services during the week prior to Palm Sunday. The crosses, draped in the maroon and orange colors of Virginia Tech, served as the focal point for a community vigil following the random killings at that university in April 2007.
Tour of the local first aid squad.
The group took a “field trip” to the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad where they learned of all the good work performed by local area volunteers who are trained Emergency Medical Technicians. They operate a first rate ambulance and medical service for the community. Our own Wayne Hammaker and sons Jason and Adam are members of the squad.
Review of personal computer security issues.
Our hi-tech expert, Marty Stanton, discussed how to avoid problems such as viruses and thieves looking to obtain your credit card numbers or other vital information. We came away with a far greater appreciation for the need for vigilance while utilizing the web.
Travelogue of Armenia
Mike Odian took us for a tour of Armenia through a series of photos. The group had the opportunity to visit this ancient Christian land which is home to hundreds of unique churches that date back to the 9-11th centuries. Photos of Mount Ararat, settling place of Noah’s Ark, brought home our heritage.
The Osh Kosh Fly-In.
Our lead aviator, Harry Barker, has attended the world’s largest fly-in at Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. He was kind enough to give us a visual tour of the show thanks to his spectacular photography. Harry showed us the entire spectrum of planes from the old to the new, experimental ones. Harry is one of several pilots in the congregation.
Overview of the “lie detector” machine and industry.
We have Richard and Linda Arther to thank for filling us in on the so-called lie detector machine. Their informative presentation and demonstration gave us a full appreciation of the science behind this fascinating technology.
Presentation on the international child adoption process.
The O’Connors and Stantons were kind enough to speak to the group on the issues and procedures involved with adopting of a child in China and Russia. Major differences exist throughout the world when it comes to adoption from that cover the range of cultural, bureaucratic and health issues. Both families shared their journeys which allowed us to obtain a better understanding of this vital aspect of societal life.
Our own Tandy and Cronyn
Joan and Jay Ludwig, St. David’s own version of Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, met with the group and gave us a peak into their careers on the stage. What a delightful treat it was to learn the paths that each took in becoming involved in the theatre. The evening was topped off with them performing a reading for the group. Many thanks!!!
Mark Odian and David Sarkisian brought us up to date on the latest in telescopes that are utilized by both the professional and high-end amateur astronomers. We were able to view a nebula with two of their scopes and got a much greater appreciation for star-gazers! Coincidentally, both David and Mark are former students of our own Joan Ludwig.
Ever wonder about those guys and gals riding around on those speedie bikes in their colorful Spandex outfits? Well, we were fortunate to have Rodger Pisani fill us in on the sport of cycling. Rodger also brought in eight of his bikes to help explain changes brought about through technology. Sal Pisani, Rodger’s dad, also attended to give his son a hand. We also learned about the Tour de France and Rodger’s racing hero, Lance Armstrong. Thanks, Rodger.
St. David’s very own skydiving team (Tom Snyder, Rodger Pisani and Mike Odian) gave us a sense of that feeling as one stands at the open door of a plane, about to jump from almost three miles in the air. We aren’t quite sure what got into these guys for attempting such an activity but we do thank them for sharing their photos and thoughts. Better them than us……….
Nancy and Robert Ward were kind enough to host the Men’s Group at their business, Anserve. Their company, the largest answering service in New Jersey, utilizes the combination of highly trained operators with state-of-the-art technology to meet the needs of many professionals throughout the country.
The group took a “virtual” tour of Associated Specialty Products, a machine shop business owned by our own John Simonelli. This business manufactures high-end pipe fittings for the pharmaceutical and nuclear industries. The virtual tour took place by viewing a series of photos that followed the intricate manufacturing process from receipt of metal tubing through to inspection of final product.