All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head Island, SC
Rector's Thoughts and Reflections
July 20, 2005
Twelve Month Parish
There was a time when the life of a parish took a three-month break for the
summer. Attendance dropped considerably, activities were put on hold 'till fall,
and life took on a more relaxed attitude. To some extent that is still true, yet
increasingly parish life reflects that life and faith do not take a summer
hiatus. In spite of a number of members who are off the island for the summer,
life goes on in the parish. We are a twelve month parish.
As I write this message, our
mission team is in the middle of their weeklong work and ministry in the
Dominican Republic. Many volunteers for
Friends with Wheels are providing rides every
weekday for residents on and off the island. Stephen Ministry
is actively involved in people's lives on a weekly basis. Members who find
themselves in hospital or anticipating surgery are visited in a timely manner,
receiving Holy Communion and prayers on behalf of this body of Christ. Members
of one EFM (Education for Ministry) class,
finished for the year, are replacing summer novels with something more serious,
"The Way of the Heart" by Henri Nouwen.
Rich Mays is anticipating the return of the choir
in mid-August. He is also pointing towards a youth choir
with an exciting twist that will tweak the interest of our young. The
Daughters of the King is currently offering a
class for those seeking membership in this organization that is called to prayer
and service within the church. EFM is planning to offer a class beginning
this fall, which will be a great opportunity to
learn and explore the depth and breadth of the Christian faith that has been
developed by faculty at Sewanee.
Youth Confirmation classes will
resume in September, as several youth of our parish point towards Bishop
Salmon's visitation to All Saints on November 6th. They will be
completing their formal studies that began this past winter/spring.
The Adult Education Committee
has set the Fall Half Past Wednesdays in
place that include the rather important topic, "The Mission of the Church",
which will feature guest speakers: Professor John Parcels (Georgia Southern
University); The Reverend Professor Ian Douglas (Episcopal Divinity School); The
Right Reverend John Lipscomb (Diocese of Southwest Florida) and The Right
Reverend William Skilton (Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina).
Clergy with specific areas of expertise will lead Sunday morning adult
education at 9: 15 a.m.
The Children's Sunday School Committee
is hard at work this summer developing solid, creative Christian Education for
all ages, beginning with preschool age children and moving through middle
school. Programs are being developed for both Sunday mornings and Wednesday
evenings. Sundays will feature "Godly Play" and Living the Good News Curriculum;
two additional classes will be added that are age sensitive. Half Past
Wednesdays will feature the exciting and hands-on program entitled "Faith
After a well-deserved rest from
their mission activities in the Dominican Republic, Marie Lavigne and the
youth group will rev up their fall program by
late August (dates in forthcoming announcements).
Two dates in September are very
important for members of the parish. First, on September 10th at 11
a.m., our own Sandy Grant will be ordained
to the Sacred Order of Deacons, at the
Cathedral in Charleston, by Bishop Salmon. Your prayers and presence are most
welcome as Sandy honors her call to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.
She hopes that Bishop Salmon will place her in ministry at All Saints, which
will be very exciting for Sandy and the parish.
Also in September, the 16th-18th
(Friday evening through Sunday noon) our parish will spend the weekend at Camp
St. Christopher. The setting is spectacular and the pace of life deliberately
slow and relaxing, as rooms and cabins are only a short distance from the beach
facing the Atlantic Ocean. But the real surprise is the absolutely award winner
meals at the camp (desserts included!). It is billed as a time to relax, find
some peace, renew yourself and perhaps some friendships, and as an opportunity
to enjoy the blessings of life.
Summer novels are great on
vacations, but there is more to summer than meets the eye, and as is evidenced
above, life and faith go on, even in the midst of summer. All Saints is an equal
opportunity employer for those seeking to serve Christ in and beyond the four
walls of this parish.
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