I don’t know about all of you, but I am amazed, grateful, and energized by all of the recent celebrations that have taken place at St. Matthew’s. Our most recent celebration, the liturgy and sermon offered by our graduating seniors, was an opportunity for them to share their witness with us. The graduates not only designed the service, selected the lessons and wrote major portions of the liturgy, they also served as lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and sang the Offertory at the 10:30 service. A big shout of thanks to Rachel, Grayce, Nelson and Sybill, who served as lectors, Vivie who served as intercessor, Ashley, Libby and Caroline, who served as Eucharistic Ministers and to Libby and Jake for singing the Offertory at the 10:30 service. My deep appreciation to Libby and Caroline, who preached the sermon at both the 8 and 10:30 service! In all honesty, I could not have preached a better sermon than the one they offered.
So we celebrate with our seniors, while at the same time realizing that many will be moving away to attend college or for work opportunities. We also say farewell to our Parish Administrator of 12 years, Bonnie Klinect, who has received a wonderful opportunity to work part time for an Episcopal church close to her home in Lakemont. We are currently in a search for a new Parish Administrator, realizing at the same time that no one will be able to take Bonnie’s place. I am so grateful to Bonnie for the support, guidance, patience and love she showed me as I made my own transition from France to Georgia. I will miss her deeply, but wish her Godspeed.
With the office staffed this summer primarily by volunteers, we are making some adjustments to how we work. The church office will move to summer office hours, beginning June 1. The office hours will be 9am – 1pm, Monday through Thursday and the office will be closed on Friday. This is consistent with the practice of many Episcopal churches.
There will also be one change for the summer with respect to Sunday worship. One of the changes will impact Sunday worship. For the months of June and July, we are going to try an experiment with the Sunday bulletin, by creating a service booklet that is reusable. Here’s how this will happen: the basic service – the opening sentences, the collects, some of the service music and the Eucharistic Prayer – in other words, those parts of the service that do not change from week to week – will be in a Sunday bulletin that looks like the one we use now. The hymns for Sunday will be on the hymn boards at the front of the church. The readings and announcements – in other words, those parts of the service that do change each week – will be provided in a separate hand out. The idea is to return the bulletin to baskets at the back of the church so that they can be reused the next Sunday, and to take the page with the announcements home.
Why are we trying this change? There are two reasons: (1) crafting the bulletin each week takes quite a bit of time – to create the document and then proof-read it, print it and fold it into bulletins. If we can reuse the service bulletins, and only create new pages with the lessons and the announcements, it will simplify the work, which will be very helpful while we are short on office staff; (2) the second reason, which was enthusiastically embraced by the worship committee, is that we will save paper, which offers ecological benefits as well as saves us money! Again, this is an experiment, so I would invite you to call me or send me comments via email. I want to hear your thoughts!