This Sunday marks the beginning of fall. September 1st. And time to actively continue our conversations and discussions about where we want our frontline to be. Last year was a time of self-discovery, looking back at our history and commitments, asking who we are and what our priorities are. We were taking the pulse of St. Paul’s, gathering information about our individual and collective ministries. That is being put together and will be presented to the congregation. We hope the result will be the creation of a vision of where we want to go from here. That move will include talking to our neighbors to integrate the community at St. Paul’s with the neighborhood communities.
And, so it was exciting to remember the work our new rector Carolyn Eklund is doing with her current parish in New Jersey. About a year ago Carolyn helped start a Communications Commission to help spread the good news about Grace Church to parishioners and neighbors in the greater Plainfield community. The objective of the Commission is to keep members of the congregation and people throughout the community fully informed about Grace, its worship services and community activities they perform in partnership with community outreach programs. The work of the Commission is also evangelical – to attract new members by sharing the Good News of God in Christ.
Thinking about this opportunity at this time feels right. We’re looking forward to Carolyn’s thoughts as she joins us in two short months.
A Note on Music at 9:00
Our hymns at 9 a.m. this Sunday begin with “Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord,” a paraphrase of the Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) written by Timothy Dudley-Smith in 1965. The expression of joyful praise coupled with humility ties closely to our Gospel for today. At the gradual we sing “Blest are the pure in heart,” written by John Keble in 1819. It also reflects the Gospel in its prayer for humility and purity. (Our hymnal contains only four of the original seventeen stanzas!) During communion we sing “As we gather at your table,” written by Carl P. Daw in 1989. It is a creative song of prayer that helps us recall the sacrament and its meaning for us in the world. Daw is still active as hymn-writer, and served as Director of the Hymn Society for many years. Our final hymn is “The church of Christ in every age,” written by Fred Pratt Green in 1969. It is an encouraging and challenging exhortation to take our faith to the world with courage and perseverance.
Sunday’s music for organ includes a mesmerizing set of variations by seventeenth-century Italian composer Girolamo Frescobaldi, and a musical setting of Psalm 19 (“The heavens declare the glory of God”) by the eighteenth-century Italian Benedetto Marcello.
This Sunday’s Announcements
We welcome the Rev. Theodore Kanellakis as celebrant for the 9:00 service this morning.
We welcome the Rev. Ellen Shaver as celebrant for the Family Service this morning.
Healing Prayer is offered today at the 9:00 service. If you wish to receive a prayer on your own behalf or for another, proceed to the vestibule following communion.
Small group ministry is very strong here in St. Paul’s. The Vestry would like to celebrate these vital ministries. At the time of the Birthday Prayer, members of one of the small groups will be asked to come forward. This Sunday we celebrate the Ministry of the Holy Stitchers/Tuesday Bible Study. All who are a part of this Ministry, please come forward along with those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.
Opportunity knocks! Please sign up! Our church school depends on the adults who lead it. We currently have a few slots to fill for the fall. We make it easy for you to teach–pre-made lesson plans and crafts, a team of co-teachers, and a curriculum that has built-in support for those of us who are a bit rusty on our Bible basics. Grab a friend and sign up as a team to teach one trimester! Sign-up sheets are in the hallway. For more info, please contact Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Teachers Meeting and New Teacher Workshop At 10:30 on September 8, all teachers are invited to a “check in” meeting about the upcoming church school year. We will review timing and structure of Sunday mornings, safety protocols, registration and attendance, schedules, and will address any questions or concerns. Directly following the meeting we will do an overall teaching workshop for those new to our program or those who would like a refresher). This will include a discussion of our church school “ethos”, a tour of the space, and an exploration of learning styles and children’s spirituality. Please contact Emily Keniston at email@example.com for more information.
Sharing and Caring Support Group will begin its fall season on Wednesday, September 4, at 1:30 p.m. in St. Paul’s Library. The group invites those grieving the loss of a loved one, and those caring for a loved one to join us. We come together sharing our concerns, and caring for one another as we care for others. Our success cannot be measured; but we all agree there is a bond of love, friendship, and spiritual faith that grows out of the confidentiality within the group. If you have questions, please contact the church office.
Praise the Lord! Fall Adult Choir practice begins Wednesday, September 4, 7:00 p.m. Come add your voice and join the joyful noise. FMI: Bob Judd, 619-4642.
People of The Way The Rev. Chick Carroll will facilitate a small group study of a new exciting and highly acclaimed book, People of The Way. The group will meet at 4:00 on the 17th and 24th of September and the 8th and 15th of October. This book challenges our assumptions about living and presenting our Episcopal faith in a 21st century culture that, like the culture in which Jesus lived, is often in massive denial about what is truly important and of ultimate meaning. The ideas and concepts introduced by the author are easy to understand, even though challenging. Bishop Lane has been promoting this book as a way of looking at our spiritual and religious lives in ways that we will find exciting even as it questions some of the ways of presenting our faith that are no
Outside repairs: You probably have noticed on-going repairs to the outside of our building. Portions of the church’s protective wooden skirt are rotten. Work is underway to remove those portions, repair them with plastic fill or high quality wood, seal and paint. Some of vents are also in bad shape. They too will be replaced.
Sound System – If you missed Rev. Greene’s sermon on August 18th for whatever reason or are a LPV bringing St. Paul’s to shut-ins, that Sunday’s reading of the Gospel, and the accompanying sermon are available on St. Paul’s website. They can be accessed and played on most any laptop or mobile smart device. This is not yet a regular feature, but we wanted to share this capability with you.
Sound System – Audiophiles Sought. Have you ever seen yourself as being a music producer for The Beatles, Dr. Dre, or Guy Lombardo? Here’s your chance. Over the past weeks we’ve been testing our new recording capability at various services. We are seeking someone who would be interested in operating the recorder. The job would involve turning the recorder on/off at selected services, editing and labeling MP3 or WAV files, and uploading them to our web site – most of this can be done at home on a computer. Interested? Please contact the office, Paul Womer, or the wardens.
Your Help is Requested: Security continues to be an issue, with doors remaining unlocked when no one is present. Please make sure the doors are locked if you are among the last to leave. If you don’t have a key, contact either of the wardens.
Summer Sundays Worship Schedule: For August, and through the second Sunday in September (9/8), the 9:30 Family Service will continue, and the 8:00 and 10:30 services will be combined at 9:00 a.m. We will have two supply priests, one for the 9:30 Family Service and one for the 9:00 service.
Pledge Reminder. Please remember to keep pledge payments up to date over the summer. Consider the option of on-line giving at the St. Paul’s website.