Song of the Elders (video)

Ron Cook; Inspired by Revelation 5:6

With Mary Edwards, Nancy Haney, Becci Shields, and Jan Smith on harps.

Sunday News for March 11

Sunday News March 11

Sunday News for March 4

Sunday News March 4

March 2018 Newsletter

March 2018 – final electronic version

Fish Fry Events 2018

February 23     March 9     March 23


Adults $10      Children 12 and under $5

Take-out orders available

Benefits Habitat for Humanity

Sunday News for Feb. 25, 2018

Sunday News Feb. 25

The State of the Parish–St. Patrick’s, Dublin

In a word, the state of the parish is good. We have enough money in the bank to pay our bills. We have enough reserves to handle what we expect may be the next major building projects. We have great worship and music, education programs for all ages, and outreach to the wider community. We are meeting our goals of being a church that grows, that cares, and where our children can grow in the faith.
I want to highlight some wonderful things I’ve seen in the past year.
First of all, I am thrilled by the expansion of the number of small groups we have in the parish. When I came here 15 years ago I said we needed more small groups. Back then we had foyer groups and a spiritual direction group and that was pretty much it. We expanded, with EFM groups, post EFM extension groups, sacred circles, a men’s group that meets at 6:45 every Tuesday, which is now supplemented with a men’s group that meets on Thursday at a more decent hour (calling themselves the later in the day saints). For a medium size church like ours, offering more and more small groups is a way to grow the church. It creates opportunities for people to find connection and community which may allude them in a crowd of 150 to 200 on a Sunday morning.
Speaking of Growth, the vestry made one of its goals to revamp the new member ministry program. Some of us will be attending a conference in Cincinnati on March 10 to learn more about this. I am looking for others who may be interested.
But even without attending that conference yet our new member ministry has improved. The staff is doing a better job tracking visitors. Also, the blurbs the vestry and I wrote for the Sunday News that talked about the role of people in the pews creating a welcoming church must have had some effect. These past two Sundays I led newcomer classes attended by 17 people. One of the main things they shared about coming to St. Patrick’s is how welcoming the people are.
I was also pleased with the transition we made with Amy O’Neill taking over the parish administrator job from Roy Barker. Roy did great work, and Amy is picking right up where he left off, as well as adding her own skills and touch to the job. Between her and Mother Cameron I feel surrounded by colorful and helpful bulletin boards.
I am also so glad to have Mother Cameron on staff. I looked 20 years to find an assistant who liked kids, liked working with kids, got right down on their level with them, and actually liked working with arts and crafts. You just do not know how few clergy fit that description and she does.
Mother Cameron and Bill Eddy started the Thursday night family suppers this past year and now we regularly have over 35 people.
Other things I want to highlight from last year include another very successful Vacation Bible School. We had almost 100 campers. We took our first international mission trip as five youth and two adults went to Cuba for a week and build relations with the Episcopal Church there. We participated in Social Media Sunday in a way that highlighted our media profile more than ever before.
I could go on and on because we have a lot to offer, we accomplished a great deal, and we have a lot to be thankful for. At a programmatic level I am most thankful for the options we have. From small groups, to educational workshops, lots of varied youth activities, to three different services on Sunday, Thursday night dinners, fish fries, fellowship events, and outreach projects people have an option for how they connect with their faith here at St. Patrick’s. The days when active church membership was defined by Sunday attendance are long over. In a culture where choice is paramount, being a church with many choices should be a continued strategy for growth and sharing the love of Christ with our community. Let’s keep up the good work.
Which brings me to the future. Over the last two years we have considered the possibility of a pipe organ. The vestry will continue to work on this project in the coming year and will keep you informed along the way. I will say, as I said last year that I am in favor of the project if enough people support it. And the main reason for my support is that it gives us more options. In a world that prizes choice, more and more options are needed.
Also, in the coming year, I hope to install a camera and recording system for putting the church services and/or sermons on line. We have some memorial gifts which can make this happen. We will start out with posting the week of the service, and we will have the capacity to move to live streaming video in the future.
I do have some concerns about the future. One of my concerns is that as we provide more and more options, one option that seems to be chosen less often is worship. Though we can count many more people connected with the Church each year, our average Sunday attendance continues to decline. This is true across the board in this country. A recent pew survey shows that of those who say they are very connected with their church, the number who attend worship every Sunday dropped from 78% to 58% in just three years!
What we do in worship, even if it is at a contemporary church with no vestments and nothing that looks like liturgy, is foreign to everything else we do in our culture. Our culture is about marketing, entertainment and self-fulfillment, and worship is none of those things. Because it is so different I’m not always sure we get it. Worship is meant to remind us that there is a God and it aint us. God is also not our economy, or our government, or our country, or the world. Worship is meant to remind us that God is greater than all these things; that God loves us, but that God also holds us to a higher moral standard accountable to God’s desire for justice and peace. I don’t know about you, but I need daily reminders of that reality, not just weekly.
Another minor concern I have about the future is finances. We met our budget last year even though we presented a deficit budget to all of you at last year’s meeting. We have a deficit budget again this year. And I have little doubt we will have enough money to meet our expenses. My concern is that we are stuck. For years we have seen pledges come in for around $490,000 from about 190 individuals and families. We have over 250 individuals and families actively involved in this church in one way or another. I would like to see us make it a parish-wide goal to finally get more than 200 people to make a pledge to the Church and to cross the $500,000 mark.
Finally, I want to thank all of you, the staff, and especially Mother Cameron for the space you gave me to take a sabbatical this past year. The highlight of the time away was the time I got to spend with Jan in Italy. It was the trip of a lifetime and expanded even more my appreciation for the history that created our Christian faith.
I am grateful to serve as your rector and pray that this year will be so filled with the love of God for each and every one of us, that so shines forth from us that we share it with the world around us simply by the way we live and move and have our being. God bless you all.

Sunday News for February 18

Sunday News Feb. 18

Sunday News for February 11

Sunday News Feb. 11

Annual Meeting is this Sunday.

Please bring an appetizer, finger foods, and simple sweets to share for coffee hour following the 9:30am service.

Business Meeting at 11am. We will elect three new Vestry members.  Their profiles are in the February 2018 Newsletter

Sunday News for February 4

Sunday News Feb. 4

A Joyful Community of Faith