Introducing: Liturgy Teams

liturgy teams

Liturgy Team Meeting September 13

Did you know that the word Liturgy means the work of the people?  In the spirit of this original meaning, St. Stephens introduces Liturgy Teams.  Learn more at our first meeting on September 13 at 11:00 in Parish Hall.  The first Liturgy Team will take responsibility in October.

What is a Liturgy Team?
Liturgy Teams are a group of people who have collectively agreed to fulfill a number of roles in our Sunday, 10am services.  Families of all types, numbers and ages are encouraged to sign-up!

What responsibilities and roles will they fill?
The St. Stephens Liturgy Team responsibilities will include Greeters, Torch Bearers, Readers, Gift Bearers, Chalice Bearers, Dismissal Announcers and Ushers.  You can do something different each week, if you like!

How will people learn their roles?
All members of a monthly team will meet at 9:30am on the Saturday before the first Sunday of the month.  So, the October team will meet at 9:30am on October 3rd.  During those meetings we will do any training and practice needed.  Also, there will be copies of Role Descriptions in three locations in the church so anyone who needs a last minute refresher can review at any time.

How do I learn more or sign up?
Contact Danielle Bane

Mobile 304-282-0406
Home  814-920-5115
Email drdbane@gmail.com

Reflections on “One Church”

by Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania

I grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania, though I have extended family all over the country, in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, and Utah. During the holidays, we travel long distances to reunite. We bear the unpleasantries of travel in stride—paying tolls, sitting in airports, hauling luggage—with one goal in mind: being together. Though we live in different places and do different things, we are united by our love. Our pasts and futures are linked together.

When I played high school tennis, my teammates and I had different roles. Three of us played singles, four played doubles, and everyone else cheered on from the sidelines. My coach was always thinking three seasons ahead. He invested in the younger players because he knew they were the future leaders of the team. Everyone, no matter their role, was striving to accomplish our team goal: to win matches and represent our school well.

This is how I have come to think of the Church—a family united by love and a team with a goal. Wherever we live, worship, and pray, we are wed to one another by God’s great love. We share a bond because we are all recipients of His abundant grace. Whenever we break bread, we declare in one voice: Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. We have all been welcomed into God’s family.

The Church is also a team with a commission, one to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach. Whether your church is in the mountains or in the desert or along the coast, whether your church is in the city or in the country, its purpose is to fulfill Jesus’s directive. Our church buildings look different and our fellow parishioners are diverse, but our message is the same: God loves us, welcomes us as we are, and has a wonderful new life in store for us.

We are one Church. But how do we live into the reality?

Agreeing on a vision and committing to that vision is the first step. That’s exactly what the “One Church” mission conference was about. Clergy and parish “thought leaders” came together to discuss the one Church vision played out in our diocese. We brainstormed ways to collaborate, to bolster each other’s outreach efforts, and to both offer and receive wisdom.

When each parish shared their gifts and strengths, the richness of our faith communities became obvious. Some strengths were repeated, but many were not. We learned of parishes with ample land for events, parishes who were especially hospitable, and parishes with exceptional teaching.

The beauty of the one Church vision is that we’re not striving to be the same, or to mass produce a single spiritual experience. We are not a franchise. Our burgers and fries won’t taste the same at every location. Instead, we are uniquely diverse faith communities who stand on the common ground of the Gospel. It is this common ground that propels us to proclaim God’s good news to the world. We embark on this mission together. We are a family as well as a team.

May we fully embody the one Church vision and regard each other with compassion instead of comparison and with solidarity instead of strife. May one parish’s joys be all our joys, and may one parish’s sorrows be all our sorrows. May we follow the Apostle Paul’s imperative: “be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (1 Cor. 1:10).

By David Gorman

“Jesus and the Local Church” ECW’s Annual Retreat at Chautauqua

by Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania

The Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania’s Episcopal Church Women will be hosting their annual retreat at Chautauqua Institution on September 12th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The retreat will be led by The Reverand Canon Al Johnson (Canon for Congregational Vitality and Innovation with the Diocese).  Canon Johnson will speak about “Jesus and the Local Church.”

Stories are at the heart of all we do each and every day and in all our churches each and every Sunday.  During this retreat participants will learn the stories of each other and of Jesus.  They will explore the unique calling of the local parish and then proceed to tell the story of each local parish.  They will explore trends related to the local church in our nation and then look at similar concerns in our local communities. They will discuss what recent statistics about religious institutional life say about our local communities, as well as the struggles and triumphs of the local church.  Finally participants will explore a local church that is living and free by discussing  generativity, fear, resurrection, and abundance.

All are welcome!  Registration is $20 for Saturday and is due by August 28th. Friday, overnight accommodations are available at the Episcopal cottage on a first come first serve basis (Friday and Saturday registration is $30).  Contact Donna Wheeler for information and to register 814-825-5708.

1070 Dutch Road, Fairview, PA 16415 * 814.474.5490