The times, they are a-changin’” here at St. Paul’s! Quite literally in many ways.
As you may have noticed, both our 8:00 am and 10:00 am services have been
very well-attended this last year. The sounds of many little children fill the church, and that’s a wonderful sound of growth. One of the challenges this growth brings is making sure we’re able to provide quality Christian formation on Sunday mornings, not only for our young ones, but for adults, too. In fact, St. Paul’s guiding principles say that, “We provide a framework for people in faith and help them develop for ministry.” They also say, “We believe in and value Christian education in the Episcopal tradition,” which doesn’t apply only to St. Paul’s School, but to our life together as a church. The times we find ourselves in challenge us to live into these principles with a heightened intentionality. The times challenge us even further to live into the spirit of Jesus’ Great Commission from which our guiding principles flow: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
To make disciples we need consistent Christian education and empowerment for ministry. This is why we have made a decision to change our service times beginning on “Rally Sunday,” Aug. 16. The 8:00 am service will move up to 7:45 am; the 10:00am service will push back to 10:15 am. These small, 15 minute moves will open up a greater space in between the services allowing us to provide better Christian formation and education for adults and children. We recognize that this is far more than a simple change in service times and Sunday school offerings. It’s a change in the culture of our church, at least in recent corporate memory. You aren’t used to having or participating in Sunday School opportunities outside of the hour of Sunday morning Church. My hope, our staff and Vestry’s hope, is that you will take this opportunity to try something different, and to live more deeply into your faith. The growth we are seeing is a challenge to all of us live more deeply into our mission of “Growing in relationships, growing in service, growing in Christ.”
Keep watching the Sunday service bulletin, the weekly “E-pistle” email blast, Facebook, our website (which is undergoing a summer makeover), and listening for weekly announcements updating you about the changes that are coming, and the Christian formation opportunities we are preparing for you this Fall. And be ready to set your clocks 15 minutes earlier. I know you can do it!
May the Holy Spirit empower us all as we live more deeply into God’s mission for us.