I hope everyone is enjoying this summer, despite the heat!  It has been about 6 months since the parish annual meeting, and I thought I would take this opportunity to give an update on some of the things that are going in the parish and with me.  

Building & Grounds

Our purpose for existing as a church is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (BCP, p.855).  Our buildings exist to help us fulfill this purpose. They are not a purpose in themselves, but they do enable us to do the things God has called us to do together: pray, worship, proclaim the Gospel, and promote justice, peace, and love.  

Here’s what is going on with the buildings this Summer:

-Cippilone Heating and Cooling is in the process of installing new baseboard heaters in the parish hall and godly play room.  This will replace the in-floor radiant heating system, which has failed or is failing all over the building.  

-There are a lot of smaller improvements in the works, including fresh paint for the doors, a refresh of the hallway outside the offices, and some improvements to the godly play room.  

-The rectory is also being improved by replacing the heating and HVAC system which was at the end of its useful life.  

A huge thanks to the property committee for the enormous amount of work in planning and executing various projects to keep our physical plant in good condition toward fulfilling our purpose as a community.  We are blessed with a whole cadre of talented, skilled, and hardworking women and men who are able to accomplish a lot with God’s help.

Programs

This year, it has been my goal to focus on bolstering our faith formation/Christian education/discipleship programs.  With the help and leadership of a ton of creative and faithful people, here are a few things that are coming to fruition soon:

-This Fall we are planning to launch the Holy Apostles Choir School, which will meet on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and provide quality music education, after-school care, snacks, and homework help to about 20 children from our church and neighborhood.  This is a big deal! Volunteer opportunities abound at various levels of time commitment, so please do get involved anyway you can!  

-We are also launching a new (yet to be named) opportunity for youth ages 11-18 to gather, have fun, and grow together in the Christian life.  We will meet at 5PM on the second Sunday of each month. Family Evening Worship (we’re also looking for a new name) will happen immediately following at 5:45PM.  

-We will be using a new, innovative Sunday School curriculum in the Fall, which includes a lot of interactive material for students, and ways to make preparation easy and fun for teachers.  If God is calling you to teach Sunday School, now is the time to sign up!  

-The St. Faith Preachers Series will be launching on October 6, the Feast of St. Faith, with an exciting guest preacher.  You’ll be hearing more about this soon.

-We are cooking up some exciting new opportunities for adult faith formation, community involvement, and fellowship this Fall and Winter.  Stay tuned!  

Thanks to the incredibly dedicated Sunday school teachers, and parents.  And thanks to the volunteer core that has, through the mysterious working of the Holy Spirit, brought the Choir School from non-being into a real, actual, revitalizing program for our parish.

The Rector

My primary responsibility is to serve this congregation and community: to teach, preach, pray, administer sacraments, and especially to equip all of you to do the work that God is calling us to do.  I also have a responsibility to take part in the councils of the wider church. As with all of us, life requires the important and sometimes precarious balance of work, family, and leisure. Here are few things that are happening on those last two fronts.

-I have been appointed to the Commission on Ministry for the Diocese.  This committee meets monthly to advise and assist the Bishop in the oversight of various aspects of the ministry of the diocese, including the recruitment, training, and ordination of new clergy for the diocese and the Church.  It is a huge honor to serve in this capacity.

-I am also serving on a Diocesan committee which is exploring Prayer Book revision and Prayer Book education.  I will share more information on this work as it becomes publicly available.

-I am almost done co-writing a chapter of a book about partnership and ministry with my friend, the Rev. Canon Cornelia Eaton of the Episcopal Diocese of Navajoland.  The book will be published in the Spring of 2020. I also have a couple of other small writing projects this Summer and Fall.

-The Stambaugh family will be vacationing in Colorado from August 13-20.  The Church will have a guest preacher and celebrant on Sunday, August 18.  

Thanks to the vestry, and to each and every member and friend of this parish.  It is an honor, and a great pleasure to serve as the Rector of your church, and to be part of this loving, vibrant faith community.  I love you all and I love the community that we have partnered with God to make at Holy Apostles.

In Christ,

James +

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