To the Parish & Vestry of St. Paul’s,
I’m taking the time to write you today to express my thanks for all that you have done to support me. One of the last thoughts that comes to mind when thinking about both the church and money is the thought of gentleness. Yet, this is exactly what I think of when I remember the monetary support that St. Paul’s has given me over the last year. Just last week I was able to pay for the tuition costs of a summer Clinical Pastoral Education program. I did so without fear of where the funds would come from or what I would have to give up because of that expense. The gentle yet solid foundation that provides is an immense blessing. As I wrote that check, I thanked God for you and your support.
It is March, Women’s History Month, and there are many programs on TV and articles in our newspapers and newsfeeds about women who succeeded in overcoming prejudice, exploitation and inequality. It is also the season of Lent, the traditional time in our church calendar where we take time to reflect on what it is to be a Christian, what Christ did for us, and what He sacrificed for us. Then the next logical step, after the process of reflection, is action. What better time than now to consider the ways to take a stand for peace and reconciliation? What action can be taken to stop violence we see or hear about each day, especially violence against women and children? In my several years as a member of the Episcopal Women’s Ministry Council (EWM/ECW) in our diocese and Episcopal Church Women (ECW) in Province V, I have seen how working with an organized group of women for common causes can change hearts and minds.
The Mission of EWM is to “support women on their journey in the service of Christ by its giving of time, talent, and treasure.” While attending ECW Province V meetings and the ECW Triennial Meetings during General Convention, women share a sense of awe at the coordinated gathering as they attend workshops and share strategies for serving Christ in their hometowns and global communities. We all become inspired – transformed - taking up the yoke and doing the work Jesus requires us to do. ECW and EWM fosters the growth of leadership and self-confidence as we learn more about our wider church and ministries it supports. United Thank Offering is a ministry offering hope in the form of grants, providing much needed funds to start new efforts for the betterment of people and communities worldwide. ECW and the ministries it supports are beacons of hope for the men, women and children they serve.
Evangelism is a word that causes me anxiety, especially during Lent, a season that feels grim in Indiana with its almost continuously cold grey skies. However, having watched the short videos from the Brothers and their friends in Cambridge, the word evangelism has become much less scary. Now it seems to be more of a simple sharing of good news with others. Having friends and family members to share good news in good times and troubling times is a gift.
Lent is also a time of repentance, a changing of mind and attitude. It is a time to be more aware of my own thoughts and feelings of alienation and suspicion towards others. It is a time to remember the history of our faith, to teach young ones about it, and to contemplate. So, Lent is feeling more positive to me than it has sometimes in the past.
I sing in the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir; we are learning Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, so that text is on my mind. Mendelssohn wrote of Elijah’s world beset by tempests, earthquakes and fires, and then, his libretto continues, “There came a still small voice, onward came the Lord." This week, the “5 Marks of Love” program asks us to take time out of from our busy chaotic worlds. We are to reflect, listen, wait and be open to the “still, small voice” that may inform our faith and sense of mission.
Baptisms at St. Paul’s are a time when I hear God saying, “You are my beloved.”
I clearly don’t remember my own baptism as an infant, but I relive it vicariously through the baptisms of others. When the person is anointed and the words from the liturgy, “You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever,” are spoken, my heart is warmed.
Exodus is a private not-for-profit refugee resettlement agency dedicated to assisting refugees build new, self-sufficient lives in Indianapolis. As a part of St. Paul's mission to transform the neighborhood and the world, and to welcome all people, our Outreach Oversight Committee recently approved a grant of $20,000. This will allow Exodus to provide for up to 50 refugees to enroll in their Extended Case Management services.Visit exodusrefugee.org to learn more about this agency.
Other 2016 approved requests include grants for: Craine House to help with childcare staffing and to meet some emergency needs; The Storehouse at St. John's, Speedway to replace their HVAC system so they meet federal guidelines for feeding ministries; Dayspring to support homeless families; and Good Samaritan, Brownsburg to support the new mission church of the Diocese.
The histories of congregations are often told through the lenses of their buildings and clergy.
Eras are defined by which building the congregation used or by the successes — or failures — of the clergy person who led the congregation at a particular time. Sometimes important events are highlighted to illustrate a turning point in the life of a faith community.
The following information and photos have been shared with us by the graduates and/or their families.
Congratulations to all for a job well done!
Celebrating our recent Confirmands! Congratulations to Carissa Riedesel, Carolyn Kanze, Kelly Inman, Sally Flint, Susanne Bowen and Barb Pierce who were confirmed and received into the Episcopal Church on Saturday, April 30 at St. Christopher's, Carmel.
We also congratulate William and Jennifer Christie, who will be confirmed this evening (May 5) downtown at Christ Church Cathedral.
The following people were recognized through the gift of Admission Kits for local women in need: