Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name.…from generation to generation (Eucharistic Prayer C, BCP p. 372)
In my short time with you all, I already know that St. Paul’s is blessed with a vibrant, multi-generational community. In American life right now, the church is the only intentional multi-generational community.
Many of you have told me how important it is to you to be a part of a multi-generational community. And many have wondered with me whether we could be better at it. We often are divided by generation in our worship service – in gross generalizations - 8:45AM has many kids, and many young families, and 10:45AM has older folks, and young adults with no children.
I have come to appreciate over the years that each generation has its own perspectives, understanding, gifts and challenges. Our faith teaches us that our salvation is deeply bound up with each other, and we need each other. We need what each generation brings, and we all need to teach and learn from each other.
After extensive consultation with the Vestry, Worship Committee, Sunday School teachers, staff, the Choir and many other individuals and groups, I have decided that this summer, we will return to a previous practice of St. Paul’s of combining the 8:45AM and 10:45AM service into one service in the summer. From July 2 and August 27, we will have services on Saturday at 6PM in St. Margaret’s Garden, and Sundays at 8AM in the Chapel and 9:30AM in the Sanctuary. The 9:30AM service will be one hour and combine elements of both at 8:45 and 10:45 services. In his article in this month’s messenger, Doug Starr, states:
“Here is what a summer liturgy might look like. We begin the first half of the liturgy in the style of 8:45. After a prelude, our opening hymn is a Song of Praise printed in a service booklet where all music and liturgical texts will be found. At the sequence we will sing an Alleluia refrain and a Gospel verse and after the sermon, a Sermon Hymn – a common practice in sung Morning Prayer! Instead of reciting the Creed we will sing the Creed to a familiar hymn tune. At the Offertory, the liturgy will begin to look like a 10:45 am liturgy with a choral anthem followed by a Presentation Hymn and Sanctus. Communion hymns will vary in style and be sung during the distribution of the Eucharist, then the closing hymn and postlude- a hymn improvisation. Our goal is to do all this in one glorious hour!”
In addition, each week children will be invited to process out after the Gospel, returning at the peace, for a Children’s Sermon, led by a member of the clergy and/or other gifted members of our community. This service will welcome all people – infants to elders – understanding that babies can cry, kids wiggle and adults have their own needs as well.
It is my hope and prayer that this service will help us to connect with one another, across services and generations. I also believe that both the 8:45 and 10:45 worship styles have something to teach the other, and this 9 week experiment will help us all to learn. At the end of the summer, we will put together a survey to receive feedback, and have some follow-up conversation to decide if we will continue this practice in the future.
Please know that my door is open, and that I love to hear from you. Please be in touch as we worship, minister and share in this journey with God together.
Katie Yates to Conclude Staff Position
Katie has told me that she would like to conclude her paid position with St. Paul’s as the Director of Newcomers Ministry. She has agreed to stay on until the summer, which gives us some time to discern the future of this area of ministry. At this point, I do not want to hire another person to replace her, instead would like to fold the responsibilities into the job descriptions of other staff and parish volunteer lay leadership. Please let me know if you have ideas for this area, or would like to be part of a conversation about its future. And, I am deeply grateful to Katie’s service to this parish and our work together.
St. Paul’s is an Emergency Evacuation site for Mt. Lebanon High SchoolI have agreed for St. Paul’s to be the evacuation site for one class (400-450) students, and the back-up site for another class. There will be a drill the end of May or early June.