Our Lord, Jesus Christ, teaches us how to be Christians, our Patron Saint, Paul, and the Apostles teach us how to be a church. We, in the Episcopal Church, believe that the church is not a building or even an institution, but the people of God. Jesus taught us to love one another as he loved us by washing the feet of his disciples the night before he was crucified. In doing so, he showed us that Christian love is shown in how we treat each other, how we come together in worship, and in fellowship. We celebrate together. We mourn together. We give thanks for each other.
The Pastoral Care Ministry began as a small group of parishioners visiting the sick, homebound, hospitalized and nursing home residents of our parish. The team who provide this service are primarily retired parishioners with compassionate souls. They have expanded their ministry well beyond the bounds of our parish, visiting nursing home residents with no church affiliation, no family and no community contacts. The group provides weekly visiting, Christmas presents and cookies, birthday cards and remembrances to their community on Easter, Thanksgiving and other special occasions. Many of the people who are visited have contact with no one else from outside the nursing home.
A group of Lay Eucharistic Visitors augment the Pastoral Care group. These are people who are trained in this ministry and licensed by the bishop to take Holy Communion to those who aren't able to attend church services. Lay Eucharistic Visitors extend God's table to all communicants of Saint Paul's. The Visitors join Father Patrick and Deacon Charles in making sure the people of the parish can have Holy Communion even when they can’t get to church on Sunday. If you feel called to this special ministry of care and outreach, talk to Father Funston about it.
On the second Saturday of the month the men gather at 8:00 a.m. for a great American breakfast and for guy talk. This jovial band of brothers has a lot of fun talking about everything from the uses of duct tape to the latest jokes on the Internet. Having no agenda, but enjoying each other's company, this group is open to any male in the parish. Sometimes the men of the group also make a field trip to the church to do necessary handy-man work. Each year, the men of the parish also host the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner.
Beginning with coffee hour after Sunday Services, Saint Paul's offers a number of ways you can find hospitality and friendship. Coffee hosts volunteer for a Sunday and make the coffee and often bring treats. Our Parish Life Ministry (also known as the "Party People") organizes activities throughout the year, generally around some meal—breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Just as Jesus broke bread with his disciples and became known to them, so we come to know each other in the breaking of bread and in fellowship.
Hospitality at Saint Paul's is not limited to just those in the parish.
Saint Drogo was a 12th Century hermit who is the patron of coffee house workers and coffee house owners. The St. Drogo Coffee Group meets about every other month at a local coffee house to have coffee and fellowship. Intended, primarily, for those in their "golden years," anyone is welcome and the talk may wander away from grandkids and the mystery that is growing old. Announcements in church, in the bulletin and word-of-mouth let folks know where and when the next gathering will be.
Each semester, new Foyer Groups are formed to create opportunities for parishioners to get to know one another more socially. Approximately eight people gather monthly, usually at one another’s homes, for a meal and social time. Groups are shuffled each semester to afford the opportunity to meet more people. It’s fun for long-time parishioners and newcomers alike! For more information, contact the church office!
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another, do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. Romans 12:9-13.
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