“Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ.” (BCP, p. 829)
Last Sunday I met with some St. Paul’s parents, guardians and committed adults to hear about Christian formation at St. Paul’s and what we need to move forward. We began our discussion by reading a passage from Matthew’s gospel,
Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ And he laid his hands on them and went on his way. Matthew 19:14-15
The adults at our meeting talked about why the disciples would ever want to discourage children to come to Jesus and what makes adults talk sternly to children. We asked, “What makes us lose patience with children and what makes us really like them?”
We concluded that we love the curiosity of children. We love their energy. We love their innocent approach to what is holy. Indeed, these are the qualities that Jesus encouraged adults to nurture as we approach a relationship with God. Finally, we decided that the outbursts and loads of energy of children that drive us crazy are also qualities that can create an atmosphere of joy and inquisitiveness, central to growing in faith!
My key learning last Sunday was that we desire that our children be included profoundly and intentionally in our faith community; that we create opportunities that help our children and teens make a difference in the world and that we develop a connection with music and movement in worship to create a bridge to the “holy” as our children travel the path from childhood to teen.
Before we adjourned our meeting on Sunday, we committed to praying every day for our children and to ask God what God is calling St. Paul’s to as we form our children in the faith. I invite everyone in this parish to pray with us,
“Loving and joyful God, the people of St. Paul’s are in a posture of prayer asking you what you are calling us to as we form our children and families in the faith.”
My prayer is that we remain open to the movement of the Holy Spirit and follow its direction for our parish community.
See you in church, friends!
Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori prays,”…Give peace and confidence, O Lord, to those in the midst of the whirlwind. Open hearts and hands around the world to respond sacrificially to the urgent need…”. St. Paul’s loose plate offering on November 17 and November 24 will be donated to Episcopal Relief and Development for Philippine relief, with all donations matched 100% to support ERD’s overall work. Additional donations for the match may be given to the office up to December 5.
Yes, it is stewardship season and you have been asked to prayerfully consider your support of St. Paul’s for 2014. Now you are being asked to help the millions in immediate need in the Philippines. You know how to do both–pray and give.
Notes on the 10:30 Music
The music at Sunday’s 10:30 service begins with “Awake, my soul, and with the sun,” a song of praise to be sung at the beginning of the day. It was written by Thomas Ken in 1695. It is also a prayer that God would direct everything in our daily lives toward following him. Its last stanza is the familiar “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow…” At the gradual we sing “I want to walk as a child of the light,” written by Kathleen Thomerson about 1985. Its joyous message reminds us of Jesus, light of the world, and our longing for his coming again. At the communion we sing “Jerusalem, my happy home.” Its author is not clear, but it dates from the early seventeenth century and has ties to St. Augustine. It is an expression of our love for God, and longing for the promised eternal unity. We conclude with “Lord, you gave the great commission,” written by Jeffery W. Rowthorn in 1978. Its prayer is for God to enable us to heed the great commission and serve as witnesses, ministering in the world at every opportunity–its message is worth praying every day!
At the offertory the choir sings “Creating God,” with words by Jeffery Rowthorn set to music by David Hurd. In Trinitarian language it also draws us to the great commission and longing for eternal completion in unity: “Indwelling God, your gospel claims / one family with a billion names. / Let every life be touched by grace / until we praise you face to face.”
The organ music includes Handel’s Largo in G, a famous melody, and J. S. Bach’s “Little” Prelude and Fugue in A Minor.
Bob Judd, Music Director
This Sunday’s Announcements
Healing Prayer is offered today at the 8:00 and 10:30 services. If you wish to receive a prayer behalf of yourself or another, proceed to the vestibule following communion.
Nametags Please wear your nametag. If you need one, a signup sheet is posted in the Great Hall near the kitchen window. Magnetic closures are for those who prefer them but these are not to be used by someone with a pacemaker or other implanted electrical device.
Frontline Forum The Frontline Committee returns with a forum following the 10:30 service today to discuss the information we received from parishioners about individual and group ministries outside, and inside, of St. Paul’s. This information will be presented graphically accompanied by a summary outlining our thinking of what we learned. Our new rector, Carolyn, will be participating in this discussion, and we will outline our plans to how we will proceed from this point in our process of exploring where the frontline of St. Paul’s should be. We hope you will be able to join us.
St. Paul’s Earthcare Commission wishes to test the congregation’s interest in learning about and/or getting involved in making storm inserts. These inserts can significantly reduce window heat loss. Fairly easy to make they consist of wooden frames cut to order covered with a clear shrink film. A window insert made by Lucy Leitzell is on display along with signup sheets in the Great Room. Also please let us know if you have made any
window inserts and might consider being involved in moving this project forward.
Apple Pies Sign up for yours today. The signup sheet is in the Great Hall. Pies are $13 each and ready for pick up on Nov. 24. Cabot Cheddar Cheese ($7 per pound) is also available for pre-Thanksgiving delivery.
Do you like to sing in choirs, but are a little short on time? How about joining the St. Paul’s Christmas Eve choir? We’ll be practicing our Christmas music Wednesday nights between November 17 and Christmas. Contact Bob Judd to learn more! 619-4642
Friday Movie Night: November 22, 7-9. Ever been to Ireland? Never been to Ireland? Either way, you won’t want to miss this beautifully photographed movie, A Celtic Pilgrimage with John O’Donohue. Not only is the photography inspirational, but so is John O’Donohue, who leads the viewer to some of his favorite “thin” places in rugged western Ireland. Hear the voice of the man who was able to move so many with his words about Spirit, nature, life, death, suffering, God, and blessing. In his presentation, O’Donohue is able to weave a rich tapestry of ancient Celtic wisdom, personal history, breathtaking imagery, and profound insights. Hear the man who wrote, “Each day is a secret story woven around the radiant heart of wonder.” Come to enjoy two hours of wonder this Friday. Gerry Corbett will facilitate a discussion afterward. Coffee, tea, and dessert goodies provided.
Forum with the Rev. Al Niese: Sin, Evil, and Hope for the Future, November 24, 9:30-10:15. What is evil? Is it a real force, or does it only exist in the minds of some of our fundamentalist brothers and sisters? And what about sin? Is it true about us, as Paul describes in Romans 7:15, that “what [we] want to do [we] do not do, but what [we] hate [we] do”? In light of all of this, do we have reason to have hope for the future? Please be part of the discussion and join the Rev. Al Niese in the Great Hall for an exploration of this provocative subject.
Teacher’s Meeting Coming Up! There will be a teacher’s meeting held upstairs in the Family Service space following the 10:30 service, on November 24th. The meeting is open to all teachers (new and old) as well as those considering teaching in the future. We will discuss the schedule for the upcoming trimester (which runs from Dec 1st through March 2nd), our church school ethos and best practices, plus we’ll address any questions and concerns people bring to share.
Advent Meditations for Women – Sharing Stories through the lens of The Magnificat – Won’t you join us three Tuesday evenings in Advent as we take a creative and meditative walk, guided by Mary’s prayerful words. These sessions will occur on 12/3, 12/10, and 12/17 from 6:30 – 7:45. Facilitators: Rev. Carolyn Eklund and Carol Thomas. Please contact the church office to register.
Would you like to serve as usher for this year’s Ecumenical Service of Lessons and Carols? It will take place at St. John’s Catholic Church on Sunday, Dec. 15th in the afternoon; you would need to be present from about 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. (The service is from 3 to 4.) If so, please let Bob Judd know right away. 619-4642 or email@example.com.
Administrative Assistant St. Paul’s is looking for a part time administrative assistant. The position is 12 hours per week. A candidate must be detail oriented, conscientious, able to maintain confidences. Proficient with Microsoft Word and Publisher.