Nearly two years after Rev. Jon Strand left as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on East Central Street, the church will welcome a new spiritual leader.

After a process of discernment and interviews that took months, the church’s search committee reached an agreement with the Rev. Becky Gettel; her first services will take place on March 8.

Gettel comes from Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord, where she served as an associate rector. She graduated from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge.

She and her husband, Greg, live in Arlington with their two children, Elsie and Eli.



… Stop by the Sons of Italy lodge on Washington Avenue most Wednesdays for Pasta Night from 5-7 p.m. and enjoy pasta, salad and dessert for one low price (proceeds benefit the lodge’s scholarship fund).

… Join the Natick Lodge of Elks and be part of a spirited, friendly and charitable organization. They support veterans, local charities, drug awareness programs and many more community related charities and activities. For more information on the lodge, including programs and events, contact Club Manager Paul Sanford at 508-653-9792, ext. 215, or, or visit

… The Friends of the Morse Institute Library have a “Book Nook,” an ongoing book and DVD sale. The Nook occupies the former display shelves in the lobby, and is open during library hours.

… Casey’s Diner on South Avenue is now open on Saturdays until 10:30 p.m., and Sundays until 7 p.m. The newest menu item — baked beans. The newest offer — a coffee travel mug.

… A monthly family caregiver’s support group for those caring for loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and related dementias meets the first Tuesday of the month from 10-11 a.m., and the third Wednesday of the month from 2-3 p.m., at the Community Senior Center. Organizers request that people register ahead, but it is not necessary to attend all the meetings, just whatever people can do. Email, or call 508-875-3100, ext. 180. This group is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association and is co-facilitated by a retired physician and an elder care social worker.

… This will be a very busy election season, with the annual Town Election on March 31 and the annual Spring Town Meeting on April 14. For a complete calendar, visit

… Great day (albeit a little chilly) for the annual Maple Magic on Feb. 29 at the Natick Community Organic Farm. Visitors could check out the baby animals as well as how maple syrup is made. And for those keeping score, the farm has produced 62 gallons so far.

… For the Lenten season, Fisk United Methodist Church on Walnut Street will have a cross on the lawn; visitors are invited to have a seat on one of the nearby benches and spend a few moments in contemplation.


For the weekend:

... The Morse Institute Library will once again convert into an 18-hole mini-golf course the first weekend of March. Tickets are now on sale for both events.

On March 6, come to the library for an “after dark” round starting at 7 p.m. This event will be for those 21 years and older; tickets will be $35 per person and include dinner (made-to-order grilled cheese, tomato soup, water, non-alcoholic beverages, appetizers). Cash bar. Doors will close at 8 p.m. In addition to the golf, there will be live music from Natick High School’s jazz quintet.

On March 7, the library will present a “Family Fun Day” from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tickets will be $5 per person (ages 2 and younger free) for 18 holes; last tee time will be 3:30 p.m. There will also be a free Family Fun Zone in the Lebowitz and Community rooms on the lower floor, with crafts, games, doughnuts and coffee. No purchase required.

Pizza and baked goods will be available for purchase on the lower level by SPARK Kindness.

Last year’s event raised $12,000 for library programs; this year’s goal is $18,000.

To purchase tickets, visit the Circulation Desk on the main level in advance, or purchase at the Registration Desk on the day of the event (payment by cash, check or credit card). You may also visit

… Over the past year, the Sons of Italy lodge on Washington Avenue has been raising funds for a handicapped-accessible ramp. To that end, the lodge will present a Comedy Night starring Frank O’Donnell on March 7. Doors will open at 7 p.m., with the show from 7:30-9 p.m. Snacks and a cash bar will be provided. Tickets will be $22 in advance (purchase from lodge members or via Eventbrite), $25 at the door.

For information, visit

… The Farmers Market has moved indoors for the winter. Stop by the Common Street Spiritual Center on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.


And just beyond:

…Come to “Coffee with a Purpose” on Mondays from 9-11 a.m. at the Common Street Spiritual Center. Have coffee, get social and discuss local issues. For details, email Pat Conaway at

… The American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life of Natick, Framingham, Sherborn, Ashland and Holliston will take place May 16 at Natick High’s Memorial Field. The event features games, activities, food, music, a luminaria ceremony and more, all to raise money for ACS programs.

Teams are encouraged to register now; if you want more information, meetings will be held April 2 and May 7 at the Natick Community-Senior Center, 117 East Central St. (event leadership meetings at 6:30 p.m., team captains meetings at 7 p.m.)

For details, visit

… The Natick Historical Society will present “I Now Pronounce Your Lucy Stone” on March 12 at 7 p.m. at the Morse Institute Library For information on all the spring programs, visit

… Sound & Spirit’s 15th concert, “Lift,” will be on March 13 (7 p.m.), 14 (7 p.m.) and 15 (3 p.m.). The concert spotlights songs of every genre and era, from Lloyd Larson’s setting of the great James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” straight on to the cutting edge of Broadway with “Prayer” from “Come from Away” and “Stick it to the Man” from “School of Rock.” The program features crowd pleasers like Queen’s smash hit “Don’t Stop Me” and classic hits such as the Pointer Sisters “Yes, We Can” and Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke.” Tickets are $15 (students/seniors) and $20 (adults) and can be purchased online at

… The Natick Garden Club invites the public to its meeting on March 19 at the Morse Institute Library (6:30 p.m. socializing, business meeting and speaker at 7 p.m.). Landscape designer Laura Bibler will follow perennials, shrubs and ornamental trees through the seasons and offer a photographic calendar of bloom times and associated design considerations. She will leave us each with a handout of blooming sequence and pleasing combinations. Knowing when plants are at their best enables gardeners to create gardens of constant delight.

Admission is free of charge, but a nonperishables drive to benefit the Natick Service Council will take place at the March meeting. Personal-size toiletries, hand soap, laundry detergent and toilet paper are in high demand. Also foodstuffs such as coffee, breakfast foods, pasta sauce and healthy snack items are requested to benefit our community.

For more information please visit or find us on Facebook.

… Eliot Church will present pianist Stephen James in an afternoon of classical music on March 22 at 3 p.m. at the church, 45 Eliot St. Wine and cheese reception to follow. Suggested donation: $15.

… The Natick Education Foundation has announced that this year's Shining Light Award winners have been selected:

The Harriet F. Siegel Shining Light Award: Carol Gloff

The Educator Shining Light Award: Jane Weaver, music specialist at Natick Public Schools

The Community Business Shining Light Award: Natick Center Cultural District

The Rising Star Shining Light Award: Tamara Johnson

Please join the NEF in honoring them at TCAN on March 25 at 7 p.m.

… Save the date the Natick Drama Workshop’s production of “The Enchantment of Beauty and the Beast” from March 27-29, the Natick Center Cultural District’s annual fundraiser on April 4 at Walnut Hill School, Family Promise Metrowest’s annual Walk to End Homelessness on April 5 at Natick High School, Earth Day on the Common on April 26, the Natick PMC Kids Ride on May 3 at Belkin Lookout Farm, and the Spring Spectacular at Natick Community Organic Farm on May 17.


Have something for the column? Email me at, or call 781-433-8226.