We are sharing 4 items in this daily message: A wonderfully penned personal note from Bob & Nancy Oliver sharing their reflections on St. Edward’s. An April/May Grocery card inquiry which needs a response to the parish office from those who participate. An important communique regarding Shaped by Faith from Amy Swiernik that requires a response. And the daily Lenten Meditation. Please read carefully as we are seeking responses from people on some of these messages today.
Be well & stay safe. It was a beautiful day, today!
Today’s personal note is from Bob & Nancy Oliver – Founding members of St. Edward’s:
To our fellow parishioners,
Nancy and I are founding members of St. Edwards. We have been around for a long time. We attended the first
service in the union hall on Nissley Road in 1981 and since that time we have met many wonderful people who came through the doors on a
Sunday morning and made lifelong friendships with a lot of them. We have memories of things that happened along the way that still bring
a chuckle. We have also grieved with friends and families over the passing of a parish member. This is what it is like when you belong to a
church. You are part of something that enables you to carry on in your faith while facing adversity like we have confronting us.
Be strong; Stay isolated; Wash your hands; Read the daily message; and Pray for all of us.
- Bob & Nancy Oliver
GIANT AND STAUFFERS GROCERY CARDS
To all people who participate in the Giant and SKH grocery card program: I would normally order these cards on Monday, March 30th for April. Could the people who get grocery cards reach out to the parish office by phone or email and let me know if you want cards for this month, as well as think about May, which would be ordered at the end of April. I am happy to order them and we can figure out how to get them to you, but I want to ensure that people want/need the cards with no pressure to order them, should people find that with a change in lifestyle they would like to cancel the cards for now and just shop on their own as they need to. Please know that there are minimums for orders required for these monthly card orders so we either have to all maintain the cards as they are now or decide as a group to regroup in June. This is an important source of passive fundraising for St. Edward’s, but we do not want to have people order cards in these changing circumstances if they decide they need to take a breather. Thank you.
Shaped By Faith Team
St. Edwards is putting together a team to participate in the Bishop Audrey’s, Shaped By Faith initiative. Each parish is asked to put together a team of 3 to 4 people to attend 9 meetings during the next 18 months. Ideal teams consist of; the rector, a vestry person and a parishioner in the pews, for a total of 3, but 4 could be accommodated. If you would like to be a part of this initiative, please contact Julie Hoff at 717-898-6037 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday March 28, 2020. Currently, Julie Hoff and our new Rector Rick Bauer are on this team. We are seeking at least one additional layperson to join this team. This will be an 18 month commitment with meetings every other month with other churches in the Lancaster Convocation. Meeting 2 will be happening by Zoom on Sunday March 29th from 1-2 pm.
What is Shaped By Faith?
Our Diocese has embarked upon a huge project called, “Shaped by Faith”, where regional groups of parishes are examining their future together and their optimal configurations for health, vitality and values, financial sustainability, God’s call in the neighborhood, and new models for being Church. Together we are taking on this necessary, change-oriented work to build a diocese for the future that is vibrant, life giving, sustainable and God driven.
We have this common goal together as a diocese. At the very first town hall style gathering, congregations engaged in a visioning process with four guiding words: Discovery, Experimentation, Creativity and Collaboration. The entire process for Shaped by Faith relies on all parishes and convocations collaborating with one another as we explore together what the future looks like for our diocese. Working together first in teams within the parish, and then, those same teams coming together to work on the next set of tools in the process, building trust, and a common sense of ‘we are in this together’.
Togetherness is fostering relationships between parishes that result in new ways of doing and being church. For example: there may be collaboration on shared resources where one parish administrator is producing the bulletins for two or three churches, instead of each creating their own. Two parishes may decide a more permanent collaboration will enhance their communities and they will join to form one parish. It’s possible a parish will form new collaborations with community-based services, such as housing Family Services in a portion of their building. Will a parish ‘rent’ their building to another denomination to hold services on Sunday afternoon or another day the congregation isn’t using the physical building?
The possibilities are limitless. I’m imagining as this process unfolds, the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania will have a wide variety of collaborations never before dreamed and our togetherness will be enhanced exponentially as we seek to build the kingdom of God, because we have done this work collaborating together.
A Collect for Shaped by Faith
God of wisdom and love, in whom we find our joy: Help us to listen for your Word and to discern your way forward for our Church. Give us the insight to hold on to what is true, the courage to explore new ideas, and the boldness to create with you. Let us be Shaped by Faith for your mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Diocesan Shaped By Faith Team Layperson
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania
101 Pine St, PO Box 11937, Harrisburg, PA 17108
717-236-5959 ext. 1104
LENTEN MEDITATION – THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2020
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
- Matthew 18:1-3
My husband has taught nine and ten-year-olds for twelve years. Hearing story after story about kids in his classroom has shaped how I understand Jesus saying we need to cast aside our notions of greatness and become “like children.”
For ages nine and ten, we’re talking uncontainable rambunctiousness and uninhibited dancing—and necessary recess to get all the extra energy out. This tender age is when a quiet kid may start to come out of their shell or a happy child goes silent, weighed down by an adult world they don’t understand or have control over. There’s also a lot of sass, though frequently it’s expressed in incredibly funny ways. But perhaps most importantly, this is an age when children are on the cusp of their own great transformations.
Jesus skewers our adult versions of greatness. Fancy job titles? Multiple degrees? How dull. Better, he says, to be like a nine-year-old: funny, rambunctious, still tender and with way too much energy. Far better to stay an uninhibited singer, someone who struggles to line up quietly in the hallway and on the cusp of transformation.
- Miguel Escobar is the Director of Anglican Studies at Episcopal Divinity School at Union.