Worship

Worship

Palm Sunday

We celebrated Palm Sunday in a very different way, but it was not a “less than” experience, and in many ways, it became a “more than” experience. Some of the responses I heard to the Palm Sunday pre-recorded service were, “I felt like I was with my whole parish family”, “It was wonderful!”, “BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL. Hearing you say the Palm Sunday service is the woods was wonderful. I felt like I was there with you”, “It brought tears to my…

Canon Chris Streeter’s Visit

We were blessed by the presence of The Rev. Canon Chris Streeter this past Sunday. Chris serves on the bishop’s staff as our Canon for Mission Formation and innovation and is leading the Diocesan initiative of Shaped by Faith. It was a joy to have Chris as our Celebrant and Preacher as he led us in an exploration of “love as the great Christian disrupter” of our lives. Chris was able to visit with our members during coffee hour and…

An Invitation to a Holy Lent

We gathered at several times and in several different ways to answer the invitation to a holy Lent. Through the poignant and meaningful words of our service in the Book of Common Prayer and through the imposition of ashes at our healing service, downtown at our “Ashes to Go” station, and then this evening in the holiness of our sanctuary, we felt our hearts drawn to the hard and holy work of Lent. As always, our young people participate in…

Shrove Tuesday Party

We took a trip to New Orleans (our PLC) for Mardi Gras, great food, great music and a whole lot of fun.  Our local Town Jazz Band delighted us at this event which got us in the mood to celebrate, before we enter this time of inward reflection and repentance. We began at 5:30 p.m. with marvelous food, some real down-home Louisiana cooking with a Dixieland beat.  When you think you can’t eat anymore, the Beignets, hot and loaded with…

Our Bishop’s Visit

Our Bishop’s visit. We are blessed today with our bishop’s presence among us. Although she is often here for other events or meetings, today is her official bishop visit with us which happens every two years. Our bishop is our shepherd and chief pastor so her visit with us is an opportunity for us to get to know each other better, to experience worship together, and for us to share our passions around God’s mission here in Shippensburg, and to…

Taize Contemplative Service

We gathered in candlelight, turned our hearts toward the holiness drawn near to us by the harpist, and settled into holy and sacred space. Through chanting, prayer, quiet, intimacy, and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we found a new expression of the love of God made real to us in community. We offer these Taize Contemplative Eucharists on the first Saturday of every other month as a way to draw those of us who find God through contemplative practices…

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,…