From Fr. Mark
1) Ministry Scheduler --in October we will begin using new software to schedule volunteers for these Sunday worship ministries -- Ushers, Lectors, Intercessors, Eucharistic Ministers, and Acolytes. If you serve in one of these ministries, you will receive an email next week asking you to submit the dates you are unavailable for October. This is not unlike our current system, except that it is online and automated. I think you will find it easy to understand and use, and I encourage you to follow the link in next week's email to set up your profile and submit any dates you do not wish to be scheduled. Then on Saturday Sept 16th at 8:30AM we will hold an optional training and information session here at the parish for those wanting more detailed background or help setting up their profile. We have been experimenting with this software in the office (and making some mistakes along the way) and I do believe once we get through this learning curve, we will all appreciate the benefits of this system. For the very few volunteers who do not use email, Rosemary will continue to call and schedule by hand.
2) Safeguarding God's Children Training will be offered Sunday, Sept 17th at 11:30AM for anyone who will work with children or youth in the parish this year, plus any other interested members, especially parents. Our commitment to you is that this parish will be a safe place for youth, children, and adults. It begins with policies and procedures and screening and training and watchfulness. It takes commitment to be a safe church, but I can hardly imagine a more important thing to commit ourselves to.
3) September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, and Dale Cron has offered to lead a contemplative Compline service in our Mary Chapel on Saturday, September 9th, beginning at 7:45PM with 15 minutes of silence, followed by Compline at 8:00PM, as a way of recognizing the many lives in our parish, our community, and in our world affected by the pain and loss of suicide. This from their website:
"2017 marks the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day. The day was first recognised in 2003, as an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by the World Health Organization. World Suicide Prevention Day takes place each year on September 10."
4) Save the Date -- October 1st has been set for our Pet Blessing in conjunction with the Panhandle Humane Society. More details to follow, including some outreach opportunities to benefit our beloved pet companions.
1) We had some great conversations about music last Sunday, and the goals going forward are:
2) Check out our new portable room dividers in the Parish Hall! As we grow, there will be increasing demands for meeting and educational space. Dividers are one way to use the space we have in creative ways. They are easy to use, and I encourage you to use them any time the Parish Hall has multiple groups gathered.
3) School starts today, which means Sunday School is right around the corner. The schedule will be:
1) Looking for a ministry? We would love to have you volunteer on Sundays and serve as an Usher (greet people and take collection), Lector (read the lessons), Intercessor (say the prayers), Choir (sing!), or Eucharistic Minister (pass out communion). No experience necessary. Pay commensurate with experience :) To get enlisted and trained, contact Rosemary and Fr. Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Calling all youth! If you are entering grades 4-12 next year you are invited to attend the amazing DioNeb Camp Canterbury July 24-28. We are providing transportation to and from, and everyone can get at least a partial scholarship. I am telling you, Church Camp changes lives and builds lifelong friendships, and I strongly encourage our kids to attend. Here's a link to register or for more information http://campcanterbury.episcopal-ne.org
3) The next Deanery Meeting if Wednesday, May 31st in Alliance. We carpool and leave from St. Francis at 5:00PM. Deanery meetings are clergy and laity together for food, conversation, and teaching. This month's program is The Restoration Project, with speaker Fr. Christopher Martin of San Francisco. Should be fun. All are welcome, just RSVP to the office, or let Fr. Mark or Sr. Warden Jane Hunter know so we make sure we have enough cars going.
4) So many people to thank! First, thanks for everyone who showed by and participated in our work day! We got TONS done and had a blast doing it! Second, thanks to everyone who helped with Rae's wonderful birthday party? I heard so many great comments and everyone had such a fun time!
1) Youth & Compassion Sunday! This year, Youth Sunday and Compassion Sunday fall on the same week, and so we will enjoy the ministry gifts of our own middle and high school students during both services, and have a word or two from Peggy about joining with Compassion International to assist needy children around the world. This will be a fun and energetic and deeply meaningful worship.
2) Barb tells me there are 75 signed up for Saturday's Mother-Daughter Brunch! This is an amazing number for our parish, and I know the moms and daughters are looking forward to a super fun morning together!
3) Mark your calendars for May 13th, our Parish Work Day 9AM-noon. Everyone can help with something, and our building folks have plenty of tasks. This is always a great chance to spruce things up and, just as importantly, share some time working with others who love this parish.