23 Dec 2019

SPTW: Dec 23, 2019

St. Paul’s This Week

Calendar

 

Dec 24 @ 8 pm – Christmas Eve Service

Ushers: Mike L and Jackie

Lectors: Kevin and Marylee

Chalicist: Jackie

Counters: Mike N and Sonny​

 

The Episcopal Church is offering two digital Christmas Eve programs on December 24. Available on both the Episcopal Church website and the Episcopal Church Facebook page, these programs makes Christmas Eve worship accessible to those not attending a service or program at a local church.

 

Both services will be available beginning on Christmas Eve: St. Thomas’ at 4:00 pm and St. John the Baptist’s at 12:00 pm as well as at 6:00 pm (all times EST) and then available on demand.

 

Dec 29 at 10:15—Holy Eucharist and Homily​

 

 

 

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In case you missed it:

For next week/Dec 29: 

• Ushers: Ben and Debbie

• Lectors: Kevin and Robyn

• Chalicist: Phyllis

• Counters: Debbie and Robyn

 

A Spotlight on the The Altar Guild

St. Paul’s has a long history of dedicated members who were called to serve as members of the Altar Guild.  They have served God by preparing and tending the place we worship, laying out the elements before the service and returning the unused portion to the earth afterwards.  The work they have done together is an offering of time and many talents.  It is a ministry of love undertaken in the name of Christ.

 

In 2020, this wonderful ministry continues.  Carefully preparing God’s Table for God’s People is an act of worship and spiritually rewarding.  Are you looking for a place in the Church to volunteer?  Would you like to know about being a member of the Altar Guild?  Speak with Deacon Jim

Words from Deacon Jim

Lessons Left Us by Don and Nancy 6    A Holy Space (Make Room For God!)

Why is Advent acknowledged as the beginning of the Church Year?  Why not Christmas day; after all that’s when we celebrate Jesus’ birth?  On the secular calendar we don’t have a time of preparation for New Year’s Day (well, maybe we do – the ten seconds as the ball drops in Time Square! Is ten seconds representative of the modern ‘attention span?’)

To set Advent as the beginning of the Church Year suggests that a time of waiting and faithful preparation is necessary in a believer’s life (as it is also in Lent).  It’s a time to contemplate where we are and where we want to be.  It’s a time to re-evaluate our priorities and the things that shouldn’t be priorities but nonetheless are.  The life, teachings and example of Jesus suggest a third reason for intentional waiting – the creation of a Holy Space.

When Mother Theresa was asked ‘What do you say to God when you pray?' her answer was 'Mostly I listen.'  When asked 'And what does God say to you?' she replied 'Mostly he listens.'  If somebody deems you a good listener by all means take that as a high compliment.  Good listening is a rare gift!  Good listening means that as the other person speaks you do not begin to formulate your response -- you simply focus on and acknowledge what is being said (you don't have to agree!)  As the other person senses you are listening without being judgmental a feeling of trust develops that leads to a sacred space between the two people.  It is in that space that God does his best work!  Both people are blessed, the speaker and the listener.  Remember, it is God who heals!  We create the space for that healing!

Advent is a precious opportunity to carve out of our busy lives a time of faithful anticipation.  As Christians we are invited to prepare for the Messiah by clearing our minds, tempering our desires and creating a holy space by which Jesus can enter.  As we take the next steps in our parish life we are likewise invited to create space for God to guide and direct us.  We may not have all the answers as yet but our faith says we don't have to be all-knowing; we ARE asked to be faithful.  As we look ahead we understand that God never promised us a road free from challenges but he does promise we will never have to travel that road alone.

During these last few days of holy preparation may our hearts make room for the Messiah and our church make room for what God has in store for us!

SEE YOU FOR OUR CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE AT 8:00!

REJOICE ALWAYS, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, FOR THAT IS GOD'S WILL FOR US!      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY NOTES FROM VESTRY MEETING FOR SPTW

BY Marylee James

 

The meeting was called to order by Sr. Warden Sonny McCulloch, at the start of a pitch-in dinner at 6:00 PM in St. Paul’s Parish Hall.  Also present were The Rev. Canon Kristen White, Deacon Jim Stanton, Fr. John Allen, Steven Fleece, Mike Lankert, Debbie Tucker, Ginny Stroh, Bill McCulloch (Clerk), Marylee James (Parish secretary), Kevin Brown, and Susan Madara.  Absent:  Holly Sapp, Jackie Lankert.

 

Canon White joined us for our annual Christmas pitch-in, and we began the Vestry meeting in order to allow her to get back to Indianapolis at a reasonable hour.

 

Canon White emphasized that the Vestry needs to shape the process of finding the right rector or priest to meet the stated needs of our congregation.  She explained that the completed process would take at least 18 months by the time we completed the full process of gathering information, conducting the search, and making decisions.  Members of the Vestry will be trained for the process.

 

We have options based on our need and our financial ability to meet that need:

A full-time priest in charge (appointed by the diocese, subject to our approval); or

A full-time rector (selected by Search Committee and approved & invited by the vestry); or

A part time priest in charge; or

A part time rector; or

Supply priests

 

For a priest in charge, full- or part-time, we would still need a search committee (could be a smaller team) who would gather the data to arrive at a determination of what we need as a church.  That information would go to the diocese, who would make a recommendation to us of someone who qualifies and is available.  We would not be interviewing a list of candidates.  We could meet them and either accept or refuse the recommendation.  If the latter, other candidates would be recommended until we agree on the right priest.  Depending on who is recommended, this would be the shorter and least demanding term of search.

 

For a rector, full- or part-time, a full search committee would conduct the gathering of data, interviewing candidates, and recommending one candidate to the vestry for approval.  This would be a long-term search.

 

If we try one way of navigating the search process and find that it does not work, we are allowed to drop that method and try one of the others.  We do need to keep in mind, however, that we are in a period where there are very few priests available and that fact alone could lengthen our search process, or determine the type of position that we offer.

 

In our data gathering, Canon White explained, it is important to respond with complete honesty as to what are our particular gifts and problems as a congregation.  Also, in telling about what has affected us the most in our church life at St. Paul’s, Canon White states “the stories that are dear to us are the things that build our church.”  Those are the stories we need to share.

 

When Canon White left, the regular vestry meeting commenced with the planned agenda.  Reports were shared, the decision was made to continue our Benefit Concerts (if a new Chair of the committee can be found); it was shared that the diocese confirmed that an ordained priest from the Lutheran ELCA is able to lead our worship and consecrate because we have a “call to a common mission.”  

 

The next meeting of the vestry will be at 6:30 on THURSDAY, Jan. 16th.

 

The annual business meeting of the church will be held on Sunday, January 26th.

 

The meeting was adjourned.

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