What can I do to joyfully build, share, and shelter love at St. Philip? We need to decide who and how we want to love, and realize that may not reflect our historical membership. We need to be creative, be willing to do new things, and hand leadership over to those, if any, who want to take it in new directions.
I am going to begin with a very difficult reality: the closing of St. Philip, in its current form, is virtually inevitable. The only thing that will change this is the development of a larger, actively engaged community living out God’s presence at the corner of NE Knott and Rodney, and the corresponding funds to support that community. Without both of these elements, we simply cannot continue long-term in any effective way.
On December 11th, 2022 we held a congregation meeting (view the meeting on YouTube, and review the handout). Many questions were asked. Below are the questions as they were written down, followed by an initial set of answers.
The vestry believes that it is time for St. Philip to consider resting in the Lord, to lay down this Parish, and together with God, let the Spirit do a new work on this small plot of land that has been our home. We have been good and faithful servants, and the Spirit of this community is still with us, despite the aging of our bodies. Our mission for the future calls us to be willing to be transformed in ways we cannot yet see, and of which we may not be a part. Please join us for two congregational meetings where we will discuss our future, and answer questions: December 11th and January 8th.
On August 8th, when we finally worship together in the sanctuary you will see we have rearranged the furniture! As you sit with this change, both the first time and in a few months when the novelty has worn off, ask yourselves: How does this way of worshipping together connect you to God and your beloved kin and neighbors in a new way?
Worship with us, outside, in-person, on Pentecost, May 23rd! Boxed lunches will be served after the service. As a community, we are committed to caring for one another. We are also committed to following scientific recommendations. If you are vaccinated, masks are optional. If you are not vaccinated, masks and social distancing are required. Masks and vaccines are a form of caring for yourself and others.
I enjoyed the work of preparing the meeting, and the meeting itself, because God really is in the details, and the love God has for all creation is so clear in and through this community. We keep saying “yes” to God, and God keeps saying “yes” to us.
On June 28th of this year, the Vestry of St. Philip the Deacon made a decision: they committed themselves, and our beloved community, to actively develop a plan for our future.
Bishop Michael Hanley has released guidelines for Reengaging our Buildings and In-Person Worship. The brief version is this: we do not know when we will be reopening. My preference is that we do not reopen until we are all comfortable returning to in-person worship. At St. Philip, the decision to reopen will be discussed by the Vestry. Not only is this because it is important that we clearly discuss our concerns and struggles around this together, but we need to…
As many of you know, St. Philip has been a part of the Leaven Community Land and Housing Coalition. Mtr. Alcena Boozer, Joe Nunn, Hope Keller, Sarah Groshell and Medina Glenn have all gathered to discuss what advocating for Affordable Housing looks like, and how St. Philip might use our land to benefit our neighbors and city. Today, I testified (via Zoom) before City Council to support the Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing. Written testimony can be submitted until May…
Right now, St. Philip is fine, both our building and our finances. However, we do need your continued support. Please, give what you can, when you can.
As a part of our 2019 Annual Budget, as a parish we approved a 10% tithe of our expected income as Outreach. Outreach means any resources used to support activity and ministry outside of our immediate Parish needs: the Deacon’s Dining Hall, food to elderly shut-ins, or gas to travelers in need, supporting social and political issues we are committed to as a parish, such as the “Lift Every Voice” campaign. We already actively support the Deacon’s Dining Hall and…