Spoiler Alert: No.
The Adult Bible Study group is now tackling the Gospel of Luke! All are welcome – we meet in the parish hall at 9AM on Sundays (except the 3rd Sunday of the month). No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary, but if you have one, bring it along.
Wondering what goes on? We read short sections of the book in question, slowly and out loud. Then we talk about what we noticed – what jumped out at us, what confused us, what makes us happy or annoys us about the passage. The group leader shares some of the cultural background of the story, and what other theologians and biblical scholars have made of it – and then we decide how it speaks to us!
Wading through ancient spiritual texts isn’t always easy, but it’s usually always rewarding. Any and all are welcome to join us at any time.
The end of January means that it’s time to look back on the year that has just ended. We celebrate our successes, take heart in the midst of our failures, welcome new families, welcome home old friends and say goodbye to those we’ve loved for years.
Reaching Out in Our Community
In 2014, we reached out into the community in new ways. We began a community coffee hour which gathers together in the Parish Hall on the first Wednesday of each month at 9:30am and offers free coffee, munchies and conversation to our larger community. We set ourselves measures of success at the beginning of the venture, and lo! We’ve met them all! So we’ll continue on with our community coffee hour into the new year and build on that success.
We also continued our ecumenical ministry, the Snack Pak program, providing needy families with school aged children food over the weekend, taken home from school each Friday in backpacks. We’re a collaborative partner with Angel Action for this ministry, and it has been a wonderfully successful year so far. (The Snack Pak program follows the school year.)
We collected hundreds of shoes for charity this summer – over 250 pairs – to be donated to an artisan in the developing world who deconstructs the shoes and remakes them new again, supporting her family and adding to the productivity of her village.
We participated in the Warsaw Village Summer Days and gave out gallons of water. We had a great time at our booth, talking with passersby and soaking up the lovely weather.
Changes on Sunday
In 2014, we called our friend and steady supply priest, the Rev. Sare Anuszkiewicz, to be our Priest-in-Charge. After much discernment and conversation, we are excited to embrace Mother Sare’s boundless enthusiasm and steady supply of new ideas and different perspectives.
We developed a year-round Sunday School! We have several teachers who share the responsibility of leading our one-room school house and we’re excited to provide our youngest members with an opportunity to interact with Biblical stories and come to understand and experience that our loving God is theirs, too.
We’ve begun a regular Adult Study at 9am on Sundays, before our 10:30am worship. We have decided to alternate between studying books of the Bible and studying books on spirituality, theology, church history, or anything else that helps us put our connection with God in perspective. We’ll probably be taking a week or two off between books, but anyone is welcome to join us at any time – check the latest news if you have questions about which book we’re studying, or you can always email Mother Sare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve said hello to new faces, welcomed home loved ones who had been away, and said goodbye. This year we remember Jean Davis, Alberta Caldwell and Joan MacCallum, may they rest in the peace of the God who loves them. We also celebrate the Confirmation and Reception of Ted Wilkinson, Joanne Caldwell, Bruce Caldwell, and Janis Chalmers.
Working with the Diocese
We also had a wonderful experience with our Diocesan Transitions Officer in 2014 as Canon Price joined us in kicking off our discernment process, mentoring our lay leaders and providing all the support we could have hoped for in our process which eventually culminated in calling Mother Sare to be with us as Priest-in-Charge.
Our friend and neighbor, Susan Firestine, who has been discerning a call to ordained ministry became a Postulant for Holy Orders this year! After returning to us from her parish internship at the Episcopal churches in Stafford and LeRoy, Susan still has much to do, and is currently working on a Diaconal Ministry Project., in addition to preaching regularly and expanding her liturgical experience.
The Physical Plant
In 2014, we worked with community volunteers (prisoners, to be exact) to repaint the exterior of our building. We also remodeled a portion of our kitchen, thanks to the wonderful donation of a new sink and counter top.
Our Adult Study has selected the next book we’ll be reading! Our next book to study will be a quick one – The Gospel of Thomas. We’ll begin on Sunday, January 25th at 9AM in the Parish Hall. We’ll be studying the Gospel of Thomas for four weeks. Printed copies will be available on the day. Anyone interested in a free pdf version, click here. We’ll have a week off while Mother Sare is on vacation before our next book.
For Lent we’ll be reading along with the Bishop and the whole Diocese in the One Diocese, One Season, One Book selection for this year – Sara Miles’ City of God. We begin studying on Sunday, March 1st. Copies have already been ordered for any interested parties and will be available shortly for only $10 each. Talk to Mother Sare if you’re interested in reading along at home, or with the Adult Study group and would like a discounted book.
The author, Sara Miles, is coming to our Diocese to speak with us all on March 5th at 7pm at the Diocesan Ministry Center.