I have been speaking to people who have had life-giving experiences in small groups at church. I asked them why they liked being in a small group and why they would encourage others to do the same.
Going to church enriches my life in ways that nothing else does. For one thing, corporate worship makes me feel part of something larger than myself.
The friendships we form at church are vital. Friendship is not something you can force, but it is something you can foster. There are many techniques, but one of the critical and foundational ones is simply showing up to each other.
In St. Mary’s 159-year-old history we can boast of two things: we’re one of if not the oldest congregations in Eugene, Oregon; and we share something in common with the city of Eugene- the founders.
But Saturday Breakfast is not just about serving calories. We strive to respect the dignity of every person who comes. They are our guests in every meaning of the word. We start with coffee hospitality as they gather to wait their turn for breakfast. The breakfast we serve is carefully chosen.
At St. Mary’s Episcopal Church we would like to have a small group available to anyone who would like one. Small groups are places where people practice listening to God and to each other. Small groups can provide safety and closeness that makes our community life together more meaningful. Sunday worship gains a whole new level of joy when you see your group members sitting in the pew opposite.
Love. Love your God. Love your neighbor. Love as Jesus loved. Love as if the whole world depended on it. Spoiler alert: It does!
A long time ago when my granddaughter was about three she said of something that was very important to her, “ IT MATTERS!”
As Christians, we have a responsibility to care for God’s creation. At the end of the first chapter of Genesis, we are told that humanity has been given dominion over creation. This has been misunderstood by some to mean that we can use, even abuse, creation however we would like. But Scripture teaches us quite clearly that dominion from a Christian perspective means to be servants, not lords. We were invited to be stewards, not rulers, of creation. We are to appropriately use, not abuse, this gift that God has given us.
Small Group Leadership Training
Sunday April 22
3 to 5 PM in Berktold Hall
One of our five-year goals at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is to have a small group available to anyone who would like one. Small groups are places where people practice listening to God and to each other in order to discern God’s presence and movement in our lives and community.
I wouldn’t say we go to an experimental church. But, yesterday our church had an experiemental service. They offered their first annual Maundy Thursday Family Service. I would call the experiment a success. The only thing they should change would be saving the nice towels for the adult service. More on that later.
This Lent we are on a journey to Jerusalem to be with Jesus at his death and resurrection. Beyond this Lent we are on a journey of life toward Our Lord and the heavenly kingdom.
Lent is a journey we take every year with Christ through the wilderness. Traditionally, Lent has been a time to prepare for Easter by extra prayer, self-examination, self-denial, study, and acts of charity. Many have simplified this by saying that in Lent we give up and we take on. Through giving up, we open space for God within us; through taking on, we invite God in.
Deepen your faith this Lent by adopting a practice for the season.
Advent starts a new church year. There may be four Sundays in Advent, but our Sunday lectionary readings point us to three primary stories for the season: the end of time (1 Advent), John the Baptist (2 & 3 Advent), and Mary (4 Advent). These stories help us prepare for Christ’s coming, Christ’s advent, into the world. Advent is a wonderful time for introspective reflection and these stories of Advent give us a wonderful launching pad for this task.
Olivia and I are part of a play group in the summers that is connected to our church. We've been going for the past 3 summers, and as we attended our last one of this summer, I reflected on how much this group means to us. To me, especially.
When Betsy Halpern and Katharine Hunt tapped me to head up Family Night Shelter, I was fairly new to St. Mary's. I had volunteered a few times at Saturday Breakfast but had no firsthand knowledge of the Night Shelter program. But I felt a deep sense of gratitude to our congregation and our wonderful church.
Presently our church, as a member of the Refugee Resettlement Coalition of Lane County, is supporting the hosting of a Syrian refugee family. Now, let’s roll our time clock back to the 1970’s: the Vietnam War and consequent refugees from both Vietnam and Cambodia.
St. Mary’s Refugee Committee invites you to take part in this Refugee Resettlement Coalition of Lane County (RRCLC) Relief Kit project. Our committee, which includes some great cooks, will be hosting coffee hour after each service on June 18. At that time, we will collect new bath towels and other bucket items, as well as funds for the RRCLC Relief Kit project. There will also be information available about RRCLC and the plight of refugees around the world.
Recently, St. Mary's Earth Stewards decided to look into local options for counterbalancing carbon outputs, and began working with local organizations to develop the necessary relationships. We agreed that the Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC) and McKenzie River Trust (MRT) would be the two most appropriate organizations (due to geographic overlap, mission, efficacy, capacity, etc.).
In her book, The Soil Will Save Us, Kristin Ohlson recounts the story of being able to push a 4-foot pole down into a farmer's corn field up to her knuckles. She was able to do it several times in different places, proving that the farmer, Gabe Brown, had completely transformed his soil from the Dust Bowl desert he had purchased into a farm that had become easier and cheaper, not harder and more costly, to run.