Test blog #1

Test blog #1

Here I am on my first day of my pilgrimage … taking one step, then another …

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…

Life Transformed: Blessing

We gathered by Zoom this past Wednesday — and it was WONDERFUL to finally see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voices. Gathering back into community, even after a break of just a few weeks felt holy and true. We focused our attention around the spiritual practice of blessing, as part of our Lenten exploration of the series of Life Transformed: The Way of Love for Lent. We tied the spiritual act of blessing one another with the Christian…

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…

The Closure of the Episcopal Home

For over 93 years. the mission of The Episcopal Home has been to provide the elderly in Central Pennsylvania a safe, loving community, and a supported living environment where they can receive the care they need. Through its long history, The Episcopal Home has been able to maintain the personal dignity of every resident and provide quality care for all those who have chosen to make their home with us. The support of the diocese through the years – both…

Lenten formation class

We gathered to discuss the spiritual practice of “Learn”. This series designed by The Episcopal Church ties each of the 7 spiritual practices to one of the readings during the Great Vigil of Easter. The one chosen for this week was Proverbs, which speaks about the force of wisdom present from before time with God the creator. We engaged with the idea that we are to take time each day to learn “about God” and to “learn God” — in…

Prayer Shawl Ministry

The Holy Spirit has drawn us into another extension of our desire to offer Christ’s healing to all people. We gather now as a group to knit prayer shawls, those wonderful, warm shawls that we create with prayer and yarn which become real manifestations of God’s love through our hands. We are so blessed to be able to offer someone in need, either in times of grief or health concerns, a prayer shawl. We all bless the shawls in church…

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…

Christmas Day Dinner

Our Christmas Day Dinner was fabulous, full of friendship, abundant and delicious food, laughter, and joy. So many people came to enjoy a wonderful meal and spend Christmas with their friends. We also had bags of treats (freshly baked cookies, oranges) and a loaf of homemade bread for everyone to take home. A table filled with books and presents and activity bags was offered so all the young people could go home with a gift and it was wonderful to…

Christmas Eve Services

The birth of Jesus was illuminated to us by our faithful and joyful worship on Christmas Eve. The family service was filled with families with young children as well as families whose children were once young, and worshiping here at St. Andrew’s every year is part of their family tradition, bringing back wonderful memories. Our young people led the service with being the readers of the Holy Scripture, the narrators of the pageant, instrumentalists, and homilist. It was spectacular. It…

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.…