This week, I want to briefly highlight some of the exciting things that are happening and express how grateful I am for the vitality and faithfulness of this amazing parish community.
Gun Violence Discussion – Last Thursday we held a discussion about gun violence in our community and about what God might be calling us to do about it. It was a challenging, respectful, and engaging conversation. I want to thank everyone who participated. I am still processing the conversation and the many ideas that were shared. We fully intend to continue the conversation and, with God’s help, further develop the ideas and inspirations that we have.
The Woods & Goats – I keep thinking that we need a good name for the wooded area behind the church building. The church’s property extends up the hillside to the houses on top of the hill. A number of us have spent some time over the last year working on cleaning up this area, freeing the trees from English Ivy, and removing some of the invasive plants which choke up the area and present dangers to our property and to visitors. The goal is the same as the goal for every inch of the church: to use what we have to glorify God and love our neighbors. That’s where goats come in. Goats can eat 24% of their body weight in plant matter every day. An innovative non-profit called the Philly Goat Project rents goats to property owners to help them graze away invasive species and clear land. But, that’s not even their primary mission. Their primary goal is to use their goats to build community and connect people. As weird as it sounds, it works! Goats, it turns out, are fun. Their goats are very friendly and comfortable to be around people of all ages. So, the Philly Goat Project is coming to our back woods. For a few days, starting May 17, the goats will be securely caged in specific areas behind the church. The goats will help clear areas that are completely overgrown with English ivy, poison ivy (which goats love to eat), invasive honeysuckle, and Japanese knotweed (a really destructive invasive plant, which can cause significant damage to our property if we allow it to spread further). But the best part is that the goats provide us with an opportunity to have some fun and invite our community to see what Holy Apostles is all about. Facilitated by the goat experts at Philly Goat Project, we’ll be able to take our visiting goats for walks in the evening, and we are planning to host a couple of fun outdoor events with the goats while they are here. Stay tuned and get ready to invite your neighbors. This is going to be a blast.
Michael Poll Concert – Speaking of neighbors, one of our neighbors in Penn Wynne just happens to be a world-renowned classical guitarist named Michael Poll. Michael is passionate about giving everyone access to quality live music, and he’s founded a non-profit dedicated to doing just that, while also helping struggling musicians to make a living. Michael has graciously agreed to bring his music to Holy Apostles in a special Pentecost evening concert, that will feature Michael performing 2 Bach suites on the 7-string guitar. The concert will have very limited in-person seating due to Covid restrictions, but it will also be aired on our YouTube channel. You can find more information about it in the announcements here.
While the pandemic has been terrible and isn’t over yet, grace and vitality are all around us. God is good. Life is beautiful and worth living. Holy Apostles is a community that celebrates life, that worships God, spreads the love of Jesus, and provides a community of belonging that is open to everyone. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing here!