Posted on March 14, 2018
About seven years now
The Episcopal tradition values balance. St. Paul’s respects a “middle-way” approach: We value tradition while leaving room for change. Worship feels special but not exclusive. Clergy and lay people are set apart but not divided from each other. Reason informs our faith together with tradition and scripture. All are valued and necessary.
St. Paul’s emphasizes individual contributions to the life of the church. Each of us comes to the church from a different background through which we relate to God and each other. Each of us possesses a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses. Some congregations might take this puzzling collection of people as an indication that only some of us are suited to serve God and each other but not St. Paul’s. God, in his wisdom and compassion, speaks to each of us in the way that we need to hear it. Maybe others have experienced God as I have and maybe not. Maybe others have been given gifts like mine and maybe not. Either way we have all been made by God and St. Paul’s supports and leverages my gifts and experiences towards finding my purpose in serving God and others.
I assist at Mass most Sundays either by reading scripture passages or helping serve Communion. I have also worked with the youth and the Middle School Sunday School classes in our parish.
St. Pauls’ is both inclusive and outward looking. There are no prerequisites for coming to church here. All ages, genders, races, orientations, religious background, relationship statuses, levels of income, spiritual gifts, family histories, levels of education and connections to God should feel welcome in this parish because there is a place for everyone. At the same time both clergy and lay people have chosen not to close ranks and hoard God’s grace. St. Paul’s offers a variety of service and fellowship opportunities. At this church people feed the hungry, play with children, eat dinner together, teach the scripture, run together, support the homeless and, I think, chose not to leave their faith behind when they head home on Sunday but live it in a thousand little ways throughout the week.
Tags: faith, testimony, why st. paul's
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