St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri

Tuesday, September 5, 2023
The Week To Come: Mother Cathy’s last Sunday Potluck dinner

Sunday at St Alban’s
We have several simple changes in the worship planned for Mother Cathy’s last Sunday. Jennifer Smith will be back to play the organ. Becca Cox and Sandy Sherry will sing the Offertory hymn. Most notably, if you normally follow the lectionary and check out the readings in advance, you’ll notice that Mother Cathy is not using the normal ones for this Sunday. Look at the gospel for this week and you’ll see why! It’s all about how to deal with in-fighting, what to do if someone “sins against” another member of the congregation. It might be an important sermon topic, but not for this day!
And yes, of course, the bishop knows she choosing her own readings…)

The Collect she will use is the one for ordinations – because it is a prayer for the whole church, not only, or specifically, for one about to be ordained:

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably upon your whole church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

So why the picture of Pentecost? Because all of those disciples who were present were filled with the Spirit and set free to do the work of ministry – all of them. It’s true for all of us, too. No priest, no bishop, no deacon is responsible alone to exercise the gifts, to tell the story, to invent creative ministry – It’s for all of us, no matter how many or how few.

Why Potluck Dinners?
It’s less burdensome than asking one person to coordinate and prepare food for everyone – that’s one reason. But it also recognizes the fact that everyone has different tastes and different cooking skills and favorite dishes to share.

This Sunday we will have pulled pork sandwiches, and several people have signed up to bring various side dishes.

If you are able to bring a salad or side dish that would be great – We may have some visitors who don’t normally attend St Albans, or some people who haven’t been here in awhile. *But oddly, we usually have a slew of folks bringing dessert. For some reason NOONE has volunteered to bring any this time! If you would like to do that, it would be great. Cathy’s retirement is a celebration – for her but also for us. She will have a chance to do some new things – but so will we! Let’s enjoy this last day together.
And remember this, too – Jesus taught us to remember him in every instance of “breaking of bread”. And he asked us to offer it all to God, to bless the food and to break it and to give it away. The formal celebration of Eucharist is how we remember what we are supposed to do every time we come together – even at every family meal – He is always present, and everyone who comes is also both a guest and the Lord, present with us.



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