Posts by Barbara Hutchinson

Posts by Barbara Hutchinson

Where did Jesus walk? Why does it matter to us?

This past Wednesday we gathered together, enjoyed a meal together, and then engaged in a presentation that wove together Mother Barbara’s experiences and photographs of her Holy Land trip with scriptural references to the locations where Jesus traveled and all set within the cultural and political context of Jesus’ time. There was an opportunity to hear Mother Barbara’s spiritual insights from each of the locations as well as quiet time to reflect upon our own insights gleaned from the images…

Celtic Spirituality

Each week, about 15 of us gather together, share a meal, listen to the reading of a book regarding Old Growth Forests, and then engage in a lively conversation around the content in John Phillip Newell’s book, Christ of the Celts, the Healing of Creation. This eloquent and poetic book shares with us the ideals and truths of Celtic Spirituality, such as we are all made in the image of God, we are God’s beloved, and we are intrinsically connected…

Youth Pre-Confirmation Class

Every month our young people gather to ask remarkable questions and to learn about our Eucharistic service. We work our way through the Eucharistic service, this past Sunday learning about and creating our own Opening Acclamation and Collect (collecting prayer). Here’s an example of our young people’s great work: Opening Acclamation — Celebrant: Bow down and open your arms to the Lord; Let your soul be open to God; and thank the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. People:…

Vestry Retreat 2018

Last Saturday our parish leadership, rector and vestry members gathered with The Rev. Canon Dan Morrow, the Diocesan staff person responsible for Congregational Development and Missional Life to hold our parish in prayer, celebrate the Eucharist together, and to focus on the parish’s primary tasks of Gather, Transform, and Send. We learned the specific aspects of each of these tasks, discussing our current ministry in each of those areas and being attentive to where our energy to strengthen these areas…

Sharing of the Sacred

Our young people are amazing and have the ability to see the holy around, among, and within them. We wanted them to have an opportunity to share all this with their bishop, Audrey Scanlan, during her visit with us on Sunday. Using a format that involved sharing, silence, meditative chanting, and the ringing of a singing bowl, children and adults gathered together to share the sacred in their lives and in their church experience. Themes of finding God in comfort,…

Bishop Scanlan’s Visit

It seemed appropriate that the gospel text for the day of the Bishop’s visit was on Jesus’ mountaintop experience which transfigured him and transformed the disciples in their understanding of Jesus’ identity and their shared mission. That’s what happened yesterday when Bishop Audrey Scanlan led us in worship, confirmed those ready to commit anew to their faith, blessed a parish member and resident of The Episcopal Home who wanted to reaffirm her faith, engaged in the sharing of stories and…

Vestry Orientation

Last Saturday your newly elected vestry and ongoing members met to begin the process of forming as a group and of engaging the faithful work ahead. There was amazing energy and enthusiasm as we began to find our rhythm of working together and embracing our leadership roles. Here are some highlights we discussed or action decided: There’s a group of vestry members who will work with Chad Linder, our Diocesan Canon for Financial Operations, to learn about grant and loan…

Approaching the Gospels Together

On the first Sunday of the month we gather to explore the gospels together, using a Contemplative Dialogue approach which encourages everyone’s participation and which understands that wisdom is found in the hearts of everyone gathered. Today was no exception. We compared the texts of Mark, Matthew, and Luke and many unsettling topics settled into our hearts. Sometimes the path toward knowledge and truth lead us into difficult places first. We traveled a bit into what unclean spirits mean to…

Pre-Confirmation Class Session #1

Today we began our Pre-Confirmation Class– and boy, were we delighted and amazed (once again) at our young people — what they’re interested in, the questions they have, and their already deep understanding of worship. We were blessed that Dean Robyn Szoke was with us to help facilitate the conversation about the beginning part of our Holy Eucharist Service, touching on the topics of: how we come into worship, how (and by whom) are we welcomed, and the Collect for…

Egg money collection

We have an ongoing ministry of providing $75.00 to SPO (Shippensburg Produce Outreach) each month so they can purchase fresh eggs for their clients. This is a long-standing tradition at our parish to reach out and provide fresh food for our neighbors. This past month we collected $124.00 which will be sent off to SPO, exceeding our monthly commitment! It is such a blessing to be able to respond to the generosity of God by, in turn, being a generous…

Celtic Spirituality Series 2 Session #1

What is your deepest desire or yearning? This was the question answered by those gathered Wednesday evening as we continued our exploration of Celtic Spirituality. Some of the answers were: all people could be safe, a connection to something bigger than myself, acceptance, reunion, harmony, love that transcends boundaries, contentment, a sense of well-being, a more even playing field for all, unity. Not surprisingly, we realized that our deepest desires are also what we imagine God’s deepest desires to be.…

Affirming our Young People

At our Annual Meeting on Sunday, we approved the slate of vestry members, recognized the outgoing vestry members, celebrated our ministries in 2017, had a frank conversation about our financial deficit, and approved our budget for 2018. All of those things were fabulous and spoke volumes of the strength of our parish. For me, however, the highlight was in presenting my Rector’s Award to two of our young people. Typically, only adults receive this award and it’s usually because of some…