“Being church”

“Being church”

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…

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…

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…

Take, eat, this is my body, given for you. Christ the King sermon

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church The Rev. Barbara Hutchinson Christ the King Sunday November 26, 2017 Take, eat, this is my body, given for you. In these simple yet remarkable words, Jesus gives us everything. In our outstretched hands, we receive whatever it is we are lacking in our heart, mind, body, or soul, be it hope, healing, joy, comfort, inspiration, challenge, insight, creativity, strength, or a taste of what is yet to come in our lives. It is a moment…

Shall we call her Mary?

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church The Rev. Barbara Hutchinson Proper 27 Year A November 12, 2017 Shall we call her Mary? That woman in the photograph I used in my weekly e-newsletter, that I said I wanted to preach on today – did you notice her? How did you read her facial expression as she was watching the other bridesmaids fill their lamps with oil, while turning their backs toward her? Sometimes when I settled my eyes on her, I saw…

Learning about how to be right with God.

Our focus this year is on how to be in right relationship with God by being in right relationship with our earth, God’s creation and primary revelation. Our young people are leading us in this effort, of course! Yesterday, we held a Youth Mini-Mission Event which helped us understand how crops and livestock can be grown in a way that works with the earth. We visited Oyler’s Organic Farm, where they harvest apples, raise cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys, and…
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