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Discernment Prayer – December 2019

“Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCP 818)

This prayer from our Book of Common Prayer is full of grace and beauty. “Almighty God, giver of every good gift.” We begin with an acknowledgment that God is in charge and that one of God’s good gifts will be a successful search process.

“Look graciously on your Church” reminds us that the Church is the people, not the building. We are praying for every person at St. Edward’s – Vestry member, Rector Search Committee member, and all parishioners.

“Guide the minds” reminds us that this is a discernment process, seeking to determine who God would have serve as the next rector of St. Edward’s: a “faithful pastor who will care for your people and equip them for their ministries.” This is a brief but powerful summary of a rector’s responsibilities.

As we continue  our journey of discernment for our new rector, let us remember that we are united by our faith and love in community as we  look forward to the bright future of our parish.

Your St. Edward’s Search Committee,

Dottie Gschwend, co-chair

Matthew Sternberg, co-chair

Seth Hake

Beth Lynch

Bill Swiernik

Peter Weber

Community Fellowship Dinner Wednesday, December 11th at 6 PM

WHAT:  Community Fellowship Dinner

WHEN: Wednesday, December 11th at 6:00 PM

WHERE:  St. Edward’s Parish Hall

BRING: Your own table setting and a hot and cold dish to share for 4-6 people

QUESTIONS? Contact Amy Swiernik at 717-682-1827 or Meredith Westgate at 717-575-2119

Our Community Fellowship dinners are a great time to get together and enjoy good food and conversation.

Come and dine and enjoy catching up  with old friends and getting to know some new ones.

Advent Wreath Making & Beautiful Seasonal Music by The Lancaster Recorder Consort, Sunday, November 24th

Please join us on Sunday, November 24th after the 8 AM and 10:15 AM services for extended coffee hours, wonderful seasonal music provided by The Lancaster Recorder Consort and fellowship as we gather to make Advent wreaths for our home bound parishioners, as well as those who would like to make one for their home.  A devotional will accompany each wreath, provided by Father David.

We have all of the supplies and will have them all prepared to make a very simply designed centerpiece to embrace the season of Advent.  We have 6 wreaths we would like to make for our home bound parishioners.

We will have a free-will offering basket for people who would like to donate to help defer the costs of he Advent wreath supplies.

Special Adult Forum, Sunday, November 17th at 9:10 AM

David Manuel, a member of the Susquehanna Speakers Association, will be speaking at Adult Forum on Nov. 17 at 9:10 AM about the Navajo Code Talkers of WW II.   He will explore the Navajo nation’s interactions with the US Government from their mistreatment in the late 1800’s to their creation of a code that was never broken and was instrumental in helping to win the war in the Pacific.  He says that his talk is the perfect blending of historical facts and human interest stories.  Please join us & welcome our special guest!  Invite a friend to attend services and come to this special forum.


Opioid Epidemic – The Episcopal Church Communique to Parishes

As a follow-up to our Adult Forum on October 20th, the parish office received the communique posted below from The Episcopal Church Task Force.  We feel it is important information to share. 

The Episcopal Church Responds to the Opioid Epidemic

Members invited to participate in survey

Responses requested by: November 27, 2019

[October 30, 2019] The Task Force to Respond to the Opioid Epidemic, created by legislation at the 79th General Convention, is seeking input from lay and ordained leaders throughout the church about the local response to the opioid epidemic through the short survey linked in English here, in Spanish here, and in French here.

Resolution 2018-C037 Call to Respond to Opioid Epidemic calls on all dioceses and parishes in The Episcopal Church to respond to the opioid epidemic with training, pastoral care, advocacy, and liturgy. Central to this response are partnerships with local responders and others in the medical community, other faith communities and local recovery programs to offer pastoral care to those affected by this epidemic, and with other faith leaders to advocate with local and state government regarding policies and laws to promote healing and wholeness for those affected by this epidemic.

This brief survey is designed to gather information in two areas: what is currently working in local contexts, as well as what kind of resources are still needed. There are eight survey questions and an open-ended space for sharing additional resource needs. Survey questions include:

Have you offered pastoral support or guidance to an individual or family facing substance use disorder involving opioids/heroin?

For those who preach: Have you addressed addiction, substance use disorder, opioid/heroin epidemic, social stigma and discrimination of persons with substance use disorders from the pulpit?

The information collected will help the Task Force to shape their work as they curate and create resources for real-life, church-based opioid response ministry for use by churches, organizations, and others in the communities we live, work, and worship in.

Please take a few minutes to help with the important work of loving our neighbors that this Task Force has been called to address. Your participation is greatly appreciated!

For more information on the General Convention mandate “2018-C037 Call to Respond to Opioid Epidemic,” click here.

Task Force resource materials will be posted in the coming months.

Task Force members include:

The Rev. Dina van Klaveren, Chair, Episcopal Diocese of Maryland

The Rev. Amanda Kotval, Vice Chair, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

The Rev. Jan M. Brown, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia

Ms. Twyla Wilson, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina

The Rt. Rev. William Klusmeyer, Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia

Dr. Donna Barten, Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts

The Rt. Rev. Jake Owensby, Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana

Mr. Merrick Williams, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island

The Rev. Debra Bennett, Episcopal Diocese of Ohio

The Rev. Canon Katharine Harrigan, Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania

Ms. Amy Cochran, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Nelson, Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president, The Episcopal Church House of Deputies, ex officio

The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop, The Episcopal Church, ex officio.

Fall Season Sweaty Sunday – October 27, 2019

Sweaty Sunday

October 27th

After the 8 AM and 10:15 AM services


Wear your sweats and jeans to church and stay awhile to help with some fall clean-up outdoors & indoors.

We will be doing outside general grounds clean-up work and indoor cleaning of sanctuary, Christian Education, and parish hall spaces and whatever else needs to be done to spruce up our parish.

Sign up sheet to help work is in the parish hall on the coffee service table.  JOIN US!  THE MORE WE SHARE, THE MORE WE SHOW WE ARE A COMMUNITY OF FAITH!



October 20th Adult Forum – The Opioid Crisis in Our Community

On Sunday morning, October 20, 2019 at 9:10 AM, St. Edward’s Episcopal Church will be holding a very informative and relevant presentation by Doug Cwienk, a Certified Family Recovery Specialist, on the Opioid Crisis.  The event will take place in the parish hall at St. Edward’s.

Doug is a co-founder of a support group for families dealing with addiction called, “Storm Riders.”  Doug will speak about the chemistry of addiction and its effects on the brain, and also about the effects of addiction on the family and loved ones of an addicted person.  Doug brings to the table his strong background in science, his expertise as a trained recovery specialist, and his experience with addiction in his own family.  His son, Nate, died of an overdose in 2017.

Fall Fundraiser Time Is Here!


Time to gear up for our Annual Basket and Silent Auction and Fundraiser Dinner.  This year the theme is Trivia Night!  Get your teams together and have some fun.  Teams of eight are requested and the night will be general, generic trivia.  When you have your team. . get together and think of a great team name!  Let’s make this fun!  We will set up tables with your team name.   And. . . you do not have to play to attend the dinner.  Join us and support the trivia teams and enjoy the evening of fun, fellowship and raising funds for the ministry of St. Edward’s.  Join Us!

Basket Auction Volunteers Needed

The annual St. Edward’s Basket Auction will be starting on September 15th!

So. . . you know what that means!  We need basket makers!

Our goal is a variety of 17 food-themed baskets.  You get the ingredients & make the basket yourselves or let us know if you need a basket and we’ll help!  And. . .We wrap and tag! 

We have had great response but we are seeking 5 more baskets as of August 9th!

The most important thing is to pick something you can have fun making!

Ideas or thought-starters are with sign-up sheet in the parish hall on the coffee table.  Baskets are due 09/09/19!

Thank you for your ministry in helping make this year another fun & successful event!