Worship

Worship

Blue Christmas Service

We began our beautiful service tonight with the following prayer: God of abundant mercy, you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice, even though our hearts are broken and our voices tremble with grief and sorrow. Comfort, comfort, Lord, your holy people. Comfort those of us who sit in darkness, mourning beneath our sorrow’s load. Speak to us of the peace that awaits us, of the balm of healing for our weary and wounded souls.…

Candlelight vigil for Brian Helman

In the beauty of our candlelit sanctuary, in the midst of people from within and beyond our parish community, in the “active and alive” silence shared by people in prayer, and in companionship of grief, we prayed for Brian Helman, our church musician who was severely injured two weeks ago. This prayer vigil was organized as an effort of love with Brian’s family, St. Andrew’s, the Cumberland Valley School of Music. This time of silent prayer felt like a thin…

Taize Worship service

In the vesper light, in the presence of the Spirit, in the calling of our hearts through music deeper into the holy, we gathered together to experience God in the simplicity of prayer, chant, silence, and communion. It was a time of a gathering of hearts turned toward God and it was beautiful. We then gathered for an amazing dinner, so we could carry the sense of communion into our community. Our hosts for the evening meal, Susan and Keith,…

Altar & Flower Guild Luncheon

Our Altar and Flower Guild Members are simply the best! They really are. They are dedicated, faithful ministers who understand the holiness of their work. They set the table (altar), wash the linens, fill the candles with oil, polish the brass, set out the bulletins for the altar party, prepare the bread and wine for service, arrange the flowers, and hold the space as sacred– and so much more. We are very blessed that we have such a wonderful group…

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:…

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…

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…

Keep those rivers flowing (Sermon for River Sunday)

Michael Nailor St. Andrew’s Shippensburg October 29, 2017 River Sunday Matthew 28:1-10 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead…

When it’s time to move beyond “Jesus loves me”. Sermon Proper 21 Year A

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church The Rev. Barbara Hutchinson Proper 21 Year A October 1, 2017 For all of my childhood and a good part of my adulthood, I thought being a Christian was pretty easy. Our family went to church when it suited our schedule, so that was easy. Occasionally we baked a few brownies to be sold at a bake sale to earn money for a good cause, once again, easy and fun, with the added benefit of feeling…

Give us this day our daily bread.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church The Rev. Barbara Hutchinson Proper 20 Year A: September 24, 2017 Give us this day our daily bread. These are familiar words we pray together every Sunday, right before the bread is broken in the Eucharistic prayer. Have you ever wondered why we pray these words at that particular moment? Right before Jesus’ body is broken so each and every one of us can receive and take within us the holy presence of Christ? Why does…

Wallowing in the messiness!

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church The Rev. Barbara Hutchinson & James Williams Proper 19 Year A September 17, 2017 MOTHER BARBARA When we come across challenging texts, sometimes classified as “texts of terror”, as we have today in both our Old Testament and Gospel reading, we have to decide how to approach them faithfully. It is tempting to embrace one of two less-than spiritually healthy responses – one, to ignore the tension or negative characterization of God and choose not to…