Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church


Clergy Corner

On Stock-Taking and Note Posting

Summer, particularly summer out of doors, can help us move toward a spiritual balance, seeing God's presence in unexpected places. Of God's presence, Wordsworth wrote: "Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean and living air, and the blue sky, and in the mind of a man: a motion and a spirit that impels rolls through all things."

Some see the glory of God dwelling in Colorado or New England or Pawley's Island, or at the neighborhood pool or in the quiet easy chair or opening the Good Book or whatever old or new haunt you inhabit that can deepen your faith and feed your soul. Valerie and I are keeping dates with a preaching outpost at a summer chapel in Quogue, New York, a small village at the east end of Long Island (our 17th year), with side trips to connect with family and old friends.

But as we come to the end of summer journeys, and in the spirit of stock-taking and note-posting, here are some miscellaneous items for you to consider:

+ The next time you see a member of the clergy, staff or vestry, give her or him a big hug or a pat on the back. While the pace slows during these weeks, the staff continues to be hard at work getting us ready for the fall;

+ There is no vacation from the cost of running an vigorous church. Please keep your pledge current and begin thinking about your stewardship of time, talent and treasure. A simple but good model is to consider giving 2% more of your income in the coming year than you did this year -- and consider making Holy Innocents' your top recipient;

+ Mark your calendars -- On Sunday, September 10, we return to the fall schedule of worship services -- 8:00am, 9:00am, 11:15am and 6pm. We also begin on that Sunday the array of Christian formation classes and Sunday gatherings with children and youth. The two primary adult classes this fall will be a study of John's Gospel and a series on the Ten Commandments: Applying God's values to our present-day world. The first two Sundays of the fall, however, will be dedicated to the whole practice of stewardship. On September 10, I will look at "To Whom All Blessings Flow: A Christian Theology of Stewardship," and on September 17, Dave Stockert will speak on capital and annual giving at Holy Innocents' Church. We hope you'll consider being a regular on Sundays at 10am;

+ In addition to the "Third Fridays" Men of the Church gatherings, I am offering a men's Bible study on the other Friday mornings of each month, beginning on September 1 at 7am in Frost Youth Center. We will study the scripture texts and commentaries within the book, "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" by Eugene Peterson. Please contact Melody McNeil if you'd like to be part of the group. She's glad to order the book for you.

+ Make note: Homecoming is on Sunday, September 24. Please see detailed announcements about the exciting plans we have for that day;

+ Please introduce yourself and your child or teen to Megan Petenbrink, our new full-time Director of Children, Youth and Families, and consider taking an active role in building up this area of our ministry;

+ On Friday night and Saturday morning, August 25 & 26, we will have the initial training of "Invite, Welcome and Connect" at Holy Innocents' Church. Ms. Marta Holden, a seasoned lay professional in the area of new member ministries will be our trainer. While this training is to launch a new standing ministry group with the program's name, all parishioners are invited to attend the training. To plan for food, beverage, and space, we ask you to contact Melody McNeil if you'd like to attend.

Our gospel work goes on, whether we are at home or traveling, we are always on a journey. Happy trails, and when you arrive back, we'll look forward to seeing you at Holy Innocents'.

Bob Dannals