What‘s Happening at St. Paul’s 11-26-2021

As I reflect on what the past year and a half have wrought in our church, our state, the country and the world, I find myself grateful for the community that has persisted despite isolation, separation and attempts by the powers that be to divide us. I am most particularly grateful for the ways in which St. Paul’s has come together in new and not always comfortable ways, and for the bonds that have been strengthened and renewed in this strange new land we are all traversing.
Here are some of the things I have noticed:

  • Use of technology to better coordinate our efforts—for example, increased communication regarding those in need between Lay Pastoral Visitors, the Healing Prayer Team, the Prayer Chain and others devoted to healing ministry.
  • Increased accessibility to groups and discussions for our homebound parishioners via Zoom.
  • Hard work by and vision from the Earth Care Team that resulted in our rain garden, protecting our building, beautifying the grounds and nourishing the earth.
  • Children, youth and families meeting outside for fellowship, conversation and guided activities in all kinds of weather.
  • Parishioners and clergy reaching out to strangers coming to the edge of our tent during the outdoor worship that stretched from May to November.
  • Funerals in the Memorial Garden that reinforced the sense of our bodies returning to Mother Earth.
  • Revs. Katie and Mary Lee trying to batten down the hatches during the Bishop’s visit and very windy baptism of Louisa on October 31.
  • Innovative ways to approach the Christmas Fair, including our outdoor fair last year and the Yuletide Magic Marketplace this year, featuring so many lovely, delicious and useful things that our parishioners have created.
  • Expansion of Sacred Ground circles into the community, thanks to a generous gift from Caroline Russell.
  • Hard conversations that occurred as we tried in good faith to keep one another safe and healthy while acknowledging that many missed being in the sanctuary and receiving the Eucharist.

I am sure there are many other examples that you have all noticed! My heart is so full when I contemplate the Spirit at work among us, the love the flows between us and outward to the world. Now that we are back in the sanctuary, I trust we will remember the lessons and insights we gained when we were literally outside the walls of the church and nudged to do things differently. Truly God is doing a new thing! May gratitude for our collective blessings help us gather the courage to spread the Gospel and pursue God’s call wherever it takes us, both individually and as a community.
I wish you all a peaceful and loving Thanksgiving holiday and a joyous Advent.
Yours in Christ,