My dear family in Christ,
The Great Wheel of the Christian year continues to turn, and we find ourselves come round to another fall season. While it can be tempting to think of Autumn as a time of endings, especially as once-green leaves flare to brilliant colors and then drop to the ground, leaving bare limbs exposed, it is also a time of anticipation and beginnings.
A new school year has begun, bringing new patterns & routines, as well as new opportunities and challenges, to students of all ages and their families. Many folks are now back home after their summer travels, ready to start back to business, and life, as usual (whatever “usual” or “normal” might be, these days…).
And here at All Saints, we’ve returned to full choir & music at our 10:30 Sunday services. We’ve also begun new Sunday School offerings for children aged 5 and up, in two different age groups, as well as more casual adult-forum style Sunday School opportunity for everyone between services (c. 9:40-10:20) to stop by the Palmer Room and play “stump the priest” with your best faith-related questions.
Speaking of Sunday mornings, as we welcome both newcomers and familiar faces into our in-person worship services, let’s of course be mindful of what we say and how we say it; even the best of intentions can result in saying things that can have a different effect than what we intend. In our genuine delight to reconnect with someone we haven’t seen for a long time, we don’t want to end up emphasizing just how long it’s been and risk accidentally scolding or shaming the person for having not been in church for a while. None of us does such a thing on purpose, but even unintentionally it can still be hurtful.
That said, it has been absolutely wonderful to see our in-person worship participation continue to grow ever since we were finally able to reopen fully after the worst of the Covid restrictions were lifted. Our 8:30 Rite I spoken service, especially, has not only rebounded but increased its average attendance beyond what it was before Covid. Thank you to all you regular Rite I folks for your dedication. The 10:30 Rite II service continues to grow, as well, and I look forward to that continuing now that full choir and Sunday School offerings are back on the “menu,” so to speak.
We continue, of course, to encourage online participation in both our worship services and our Christian formation/adult Sunday School offerings, as well. Many of our faithful members depend upon our online services to take part in our shared parish life and to stay connected with the rest of the All Saints family. These ministries are vital to the life of the parish and will continue to be a big part of what we do going forward. At present, our 10:30 Sunday Eucharist is livestreamed each week—huge thanks to our new crew of tech ministers who’ve stepped in to keep our Sunday livestreams going, by the way!—and we continue to offer an online Bible study (Mondays @ 11:30) and Christian formation series, Faith Talk (Thursdays @ 12:30), via Zoom. I post the Zoom links for each session on the All Saints Facebook page each week, as well as emailing the links to a list of folks who’ve told me they’re interested in these Zoom offerings. (If you’d like to be added to that email list, please reach out to me via the office and let me know!)
Whew. That’s just the stuff that’s currently going on or coming up in the immediate future. We’ve got some more exciting ideas kicking around behind the scenes, too—look for future updates with more info as we move further into the fall season. Before we know it, we’ll be through the liturgical season of the “long green” (the season after Pentecost) and ready to begin in earnest the eager anticipation of Advent, looking ahead to the birth of Our Lord at Christmas.
It continues to be my great privilege to get to be part of this incredible parish family. It’s an exciting time to be at All Saints, and I truly believe the best is yet to come. God bless you all, and Happy Fall!
Peace & blessings,
Parish Office Hours
CONTACT THE PARISH OFFICE
Phone (920) 734-3656 or (920) 249-4147