St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri
Monday, May 23, 2022

Ryan’s class,Church membership,Confirmation

Who belongs to St Alban’s?
These kids do. So does everyone who says they do. That’s it. If you show up for a few weeks we’re going to assume you are saying you do belong! And if you do – you just need to tell Mother Cathy so your name, contact information and birthday can be added to the Directory. That’s the short answer.
And it’s the truth.

Michael Elliott and Mari Woosley at the after-church party in honor of Michael, who is moving back to Tennessee after 18 months among us, to care for his aging mother. We will miss him. However, he will be back one more time, on Pentecost Sunday because he has to return to finish up a bit of work. Please continue to pray for him as he moves and re-establishes himself in Tennessee with a new job and new responsibilities.

Confirmation and Reception
When you have been among us long enough to decide that this really is your home, you may choose to formalize that realization by publicly confirming your faith and being welcomed by the bishop. The Rt Rev. Diane Bruce, our bishop, will be with us un early December to celebrate Eucharist, to preach, to have lunch with us, and to enjoy some time to answer questions. Those who wish to be confirmed will be welcomed during the service, and those who are coming from either the Lutheran or the Roman Catholic traditions where you have already been confirmed, will be received. You have plenty of time to consider this step. It isn’t required. But it can be good. When we have finished the book Ryan chose, we will take up Rachel Held Evans’ book, Searching for Sunday, so you might want to buy a copy (get a used one!) or get it on kindle, ahead of time. This, too, will give us all a lot to discuss and consider. Later in the fall, we will use the 9:30 time to talk more specifically about Episcopal stuff – including our liturgy, our governance, our decision-making, our social justice policies, our prayer, our way of understanding scripture. We will include any young people, 12 or older who have not been confirmed but would like to be, and any adults who wish to be confirmed or received.

Ryan’s class
Most of the St Alban’s adults are participating in the 9:30 Sunday morning class discussing the book, The Episcopal Way, led by Ryan Williams. If you are, you know that the conversations have been really good. If you are thinking about formal commitment to the Episcopal Church, expressed by confirmation or reception, this is an excellent introduction to our “way” of being Christian. The Episcopal Church does not believe that we are the only real Christians, or that everyone ought to be like us. But for those who find the Episcopal Church a home, it is a good one.As you work through the book, you may find your own reasons for belonging, and perhaps discover a few new ones.
A word about that meme
This is part of what we try to do: live imperfectly with great delight.We are also invited to be “perfect” – but that doesn’t mean what our culture and religious world has often told us it does. It has nothing at all to do with “getting the right answer” as if a holy life were a math problem that could be figured out and accepted and lived without difficulty. Being wholly ourselves, completely who we were created to be, rich in love as God is – that’s what “perfection” means. And for us humans it always will be “imperfect” in this life. But we do have the freedom to choose not to be anyone else, and to put our energies into following the Lord Jesus as the Spirit leads us to do. And we know full well that nobody else will be who we are. And we know also that we don’t need to follow Jesus like anyone else. We do trust the Holy Spirit to lead us individually and also as a congregation of the Episcopal Church in all its’ unity and diversity.YOU are irreplaceable as you are.

About all that lettuce?
We brought home a few of the larger lettuce plants for our salad tonight. Thinning out those planters is good for the smaller plants that are left, Feel free. It is delicious – every one of the four kinds we tried tonight!



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