“Being church”

“Being church”

Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians

We gathered this past Wednesday to explore Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians as part of our exploration of the Early Church Writings. We explored such topics as 1) affliction and consolation, 2) power in weakness, 3) the gospel being the treasure in clay pots (we’re the clay pots), 4) the development of the notion of a judgment day and the role of the resurrected Christ at that time, and 5) Paul’s emphasis on mercy and compassion. We always study…

Worshipping together

We are an incarnational people. Our faith tradition believes that God came within the human person of Jesus, to reconcile humankind and all of creation to God. That’s what the incarnation means — “in carnate” or in the body. Our faith also believes that it is within and with our body that we worship God. This is why the beauty of the church, the “smells and bells” (incense of sanctus bells), the flowers, the bread and wine — all these…

Peace Prayer Flags

Sometimes, invitations come across our computer screen and our hearts seem immediately turned toward curiosity and engagement. That was true for me as I saw the offering by Oasis Ministries, through which I did my spiritual director training, for Contemplative Prayer Flags. I must admit, I was also intrigued enough by the thought that we could do this together sometime, so I wanted to see how they oriented this spiritual practice. I gathered my materials: 9” squares of fabric in…

Paul’s Letter to the Philippians

We gathered on Wednesday evening (by Zoom) to lean into the truth and affection found in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. We are reading New Testament scripture in the order that it was written and are still in the very early letters, before the first gospel was written. Our conversation absorbed the information about the date, authorship, and context of this letter and then focused on the key concepts and passages found in this gem of an epistle. We explored…

Community Meal Served

This past week, our faithful volunteers served meals to our hungry neighbors, by offering take out packages of delicious food. We are noticing that more people are showing up in need, as we are serving many more meals that we previously did. We are grateful that we are able to continue this ministry as helping others, as Jesus did, is at the heart of our being. Thank you to all who contribute to this ministry in many ways. If you…

Early Church Writings: Philemon

This past week we gathered by Zoom and had a fabulous conversation around a very short book in the New Testament: Paul’s Letter to Philemon. Perhaps because of it’s brevity, it encouraged us plenty of time to discuss some of the major themes, and to wonder together, why this book was first placed in the canon (books of the bible) and what would have been missing if it hadn’t. We found the book filled with the theme of hospitality and…

SPO Collection

Thank you so much. Your generosity is so very appreciated. We asked for your support for SPO and our Food Pantry and you have responded. We are able to continue our regular monthly donation of money to purchase fresh eggs for our local food pantry — and send additional money, thanks to you! Each month we commit to sending $75.00 to Shippensburg Produce Outreach because we believe this food pantry provides an essential service to our neighborhood. We thank you…

Early Church Writings

This past Wednesday, we gathered together, first to catch up, which was so delightful — and then to delve into Paul’s first Letter to the Corinithians. We began, however, learning how to read scriptures so they aren’t merely a nice story on the pages of the Bible, but how we can learn more about the context of the letter, make connections with other the books in the Bible, begin to notice how Christian thought was beginning to develop, take a…

Prayer Shawl Blessing

We are blessed that we have a number of parishioners who can knit and pray, who can create something warm and comforting that can wrap around someone in need, and can offer it knowing that it has been filled with loving prayers during the creation of the beautiful prayer shawl. We all know the gift of receiving a hand-made item, for we know it has taken that person thought, intention, care, and a lot of time to create this special…

Zoom Coffee Hour

Oh, my! It was so much fun to be together by Zoom, to see each other’s faces, to engage in conversation, to laugh together, to share our struggles, and to be the Body of Christ in a brand-new way. Thank you to all who joined us — and perhaps next time, more of you will be able to come along for the companionship and joy. We will offer this opportunity once a month, or as often as you’d like. I…

Youth confirmation class

Our youth at St Andrew’s Episcopal Church are growing in knowledge and understanding of the Holy Scriptures as they study together and take time to ask many valuable questions. We did an 8 minute youtube romp through all the books of the Bible, spoke of the timeline, origins, the different languages.  Their pre-class work was to take a  virtual tour of the Bible Museum in Washington DC prior to class.  We discovered that there are many Bible translations.  Stay tuned to…

Early Church Writings Exploration

This past Wednesday, we gathered by Zoom to explore the writings of Paul, especially focusing on his letter to the Thessalonians. In this short letter, he sets the stage for the structure and dynamics of the early church, with an emphasis on his “new family” imagery, his use of his famous triad, “faith, hope, and love”, and his charge for “simple and unobtrusive” living. We learned some about the person of Paul, looked at the historical context of this letter,…