What‘s Happening at St. Paul’s 12-17-2021
From the bottom of my soul, I thank you for the three months of sabbatical rest and refreshment. I’m in awe of the many faithful people of St. Paul’s who have written, preached, discerned the way to be in-person for worship and meetings, tended the sick and lonely, tended the dying and stayed committed to our outreach mission by offering a “Yuletide Magic” fair that kept our commitment to those in need. Thank you, too, to our generous “angel” who made a “match” even before we knew that we could raise funds this fall. Thank you for your generous response to our Stewardship campaign, “Regather. Rejoice. Give Thanks.” I was happy to raise my pledge this year. Thank you, David Treadwell and Bob Jackson for leading Stewardship.
I love my church and I’ve missed you. I’ve missed being in such a sacred and vibrant faith community. I’ve missed gathering for worship. I’ve missed the vitality of our mission that reaches out in joy and generosity to a troubled world.
My heart is full of gratitude for our leadership, clergy and staff. Thank you, Wardens, Cliff Ruprecht and Jan DeBlieu and Vestry. Thank you to the Rev. Katie Holicky who led and grew in that leadership so beautifully, and for the Rev. Mary Lee Wile who led with Katie all aspects of worship, and managed through the chilly weeks of being outdoors, then moving indoors. Thank you for great preaching and for our deacon postulants, Andree Appel and Myrna Koonce who stepped into roles that will become theirs someday. Thank you to Randy Day and the choir for staying with their musical calling through these nearly two years of pandemic and your move to be in-person. Thank you administrative staff, Carolyn Farr who has conscientiously kept things on track in the parish office as we focused on filling out our administrative staff. Thank you newcomer, Karen Tucker for joining the staff to fill out much of our communications.
Thanks go to our treasurer, Nancy Whitehouse for her financial competence, faithfulness and integrity. It’s a wonderful gift to be so confident in the management of our finances, and to Hugh Savage, who keeps track of our building and grounds. I can’t leave this writing without giving thanks for the generosity, heart, compassion and faithfulness of Caroline Russell who died this week and whose friendship and passion we will miss terribly. Thanks be to God for Caroline’s vision for St. Paul’s and Brunswick to deepen our commitment to racial justice. I personally will miss our energetic, honest and passionate conversations. Thank you, Peter McCracken, Hugh Savage, Paul Womer and Dana Baer who have shepherded Caroline’s gift of flooring and painting of the newer section of St. Paul’s.
As the fourth Sunday of Advent approaches, we are reminded of this sacred time for waiting and preparing for the gift of God in Christ which we will celebrate next Friday, Christmas Eve. In his article, “The Spirituality of Waiting,” the late Henri Nouwen writes, “If it is true that God in Jesus Christ is waiting for our response to divine love, then we can discover a whole new perspective on how to wait in life. We can learn to be obedient people who do not always go back to the action but who recognize the fulfillment of our deepest humanity in passion, in waiting. If we can do this, I am convinced that we will come in touch with the glory of God and our own new life.” May God grant us light and glory and blessing and new life.”
With deep respect, gratitude and affection,
All are welcome to join us on Christmas Eve for worship!
Both services will be held in the Nave and on Facebook Live, and include Holy Eucharist. Please note the COVID safety protocols to help us all gather more safely this blessed season.
4pm Family Service with “hybrid” pageant
7:30pm Candlelight Holy Eucharist
Please click on this LINK and watch a short video for important information on gathering safely for indoor worship.
INDOOR IN-PERSON WORSHIP (Digital worship offered as well!)
Based on the most recent CDC instructions, please follow our guidelines for safer in-person indoor worship:
- We will require that you wear a mask. (sanitizer & masks will be at each entrance)
- We will require that you sign in for contact tracing purposes.
- We will encourage three feet of physical distancing. (Seating will be clearly marked and ushers will help us keep our distance. Please only pass the peace to those near you to limit movement around the Hall and Nave)
- We will say the responses, but no congregational singing. (The choir will sing)
- We will not come forward to receive the bread or wine; communion of one kind from pews.
- We will limit two people or family units in each restroom, masked.
- We will not require a limit on the number of people in attendance, and will use the Vestibule for overflow seating at 10:30.
- We will not offer in person fellowship after worship.