Thank you to everyone who came together last Sunday to send Deacon Esther off to seminary with our best wishes and prayers. She’ll study at Virginia Theological Seminary for the next year before returning to the diocese and being placed in her own parish. I think we can all agree that her new parish will gain an amazing priest and pastor.
Please keep the weather in your prayers, we are going to try to have outside church at 8 a.m. this Sunday, though we’ll move inside if necessary. Please bring your lawn chairs, sunscreen and bug spray as we worship by the beautiful Bark River.
If you have missed any of the worship leader trainings in July, this Sunday will also be your chance to catch up on Chalice Bearer, Greeter/Usher or Acolyte training. We have made some changes, so please do come to training. We’ll meet by the Altar Rail immediately following both of the services.
One change you might notice is that starting Sunday we will sing the Doxology (Praise God from whom all blessings flow…) following the Offertory Hymn instead of before it. This means that when the offering plates containing our pledges and contributions come forward, we will be singing praise to God with our voices while we support the ministry of the church with our actions. For those of you who have attended other Episcopal churches, this might be something you have seen before, or not.
Finally, your Finance Committee has been hard at work putting together a draft of a building expansion proposal. While they have done their best to make this plan workable and one that will meet the needs of St. Mary’s, they are quite clear that they view this as a draft, and a rough one at that. In the coming weeks they will bring the plans to the parish for input and feedback. The goal is for the whole parish to be and feel a part of this exploration and discernment of whether and how we should build. For this to work, we need the community to be actively involved.
As we look towards the possibility of building, please do note that the Vestry recently adopted the following policy about naming buildings, programs or objects:
“St. Mary’s has been built and nurtured by the generosity of its members. We ask that gifts be given to the greater glory of God. It is not our policy to name buildings, programs, or objects after people.”
Finally, St. Mary’s day is August 11 and service will be at 9 a.m. Please wear blue and bring a dish to share (bonus points if it’s round, blue or has fruit and/or herbs).
Prayers and blessings,