Women's Annual Retreat

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Usually held on the third weekend of March at Camp Huston, the retreat includes time for good food and conversation, crafting, hiking, Holy Eucharist, laughter, reading, knitting and game playing in comfy surroundings with a beautiful park nearby.

Volunteers are always welcome to help plan fund raising events and the retreat, and to offer mini classes at the retreat.

Contact: taf.seakayaker@gmail.com

Parent's Night Out

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Let your kids have fun while you go out! $10/child with pizza dinner 

$5/child without pizza, 3 or more kids, it is just $25 for the whole family - including the pizza dinner! Email to Lindsay to reserve your spot. This event is primarily for Parishioners of St. Paul's Church, but if there is space available, it can be open to a wider community.

Contact: Lindsay Knight  lindsay@stpaulsbellingham.org

Family Campout

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Once each summer, families pack up their tents and RVs for a weekend together at a local park. We enjoy Holy Eucharist, games, group bbq, swimming and good conversation. Watch the summer newsletters and announcements to sign up.

Volunteers are welcome to help plan and organize meals and activities.

Contact: Nicole Pridachuck    nicole@stpaulsbellingham.org

Classic Book Club

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St. Paul’s book club meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. in the adult library to discuss books while enjoying tea and a light snack. The readings are announced well in advance of the meetings.

Members take turns recommending materials and leading the discussions.  New attendees are always welcome.

Contact: Linda Tiffany  Tiffany9646@comcast.net 

Walking with St. Paul's

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Walking with St. Paul’s

Join us for group walks, hikes and explorations of the beautiful Whatcom County area.

For further information contact Erik Axelson by email at epaxelson@gmail.com.  If you have ideas for other hikes, please call or email.  

The motto for Walking with St. Paul’s is attributed to St. Augustine:
“Solvitur ambulando – It is solved by walking.”

 

Pilgrimage Ministry

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Dr. Farah

Join us in our 2019 Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Jesus
May 24 thru June 10, 2019
Optional side trip to Jordan May 20 to 24

Reserve your spot with a $100 check to St. Paul's now. Contact Laurie Parrish.

Guided by The Rev. Dr. Kamal Farah

Click here for full details.


Scenes from previous trips:

Pilgrimages help to give us a greater appreciation for the joys and blessings that surround us; they help us to obtain a clearer perspective on the meaning of life. In rediscovering our relationship with Jesus, we gain a better focus on our life’s purpose, our faith becomes refreshed and as stewards, we become re-energized in our mission to spread the Gospel.
-Kate Brigham, Vestry Member

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For thousands of years, people all over the world have been making pilgrimages for a cornucopia of reasons, each uniquely different. A pilgrimage is much more than traveling to a place as a tourist. From the ancient pre-Roman days to the 20th Century, in the Christian Faith it is an opportunity to take a journey to a sacred place; to be connected with the Spirit and become inspired and transformed during the process. Often, people go when they are at a turning point in their lives, in a period of discernment and seeking direction, in search for deeper spiritual growth or simply to feel closer to God.

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In the late Spring of this year, a group of 16 people traveled to the beautiful country of Greece for a two week pilgrimage. They journeyed through and explored scores of incredible places: Athens, Delphi, Meteora, Berea, Thessaloniki, Phillippi, Mt. Athos, Corinth and to the island of Patmos. The sites that were visited are too numerous to list, but some of these special places included the spot in Phillippi where they believe Paul was imprisoned, the bema at Corinth where Paul spoke, the cave where it’s believed that John wrote Revelation, Mars Hill (there’s a stone from there on the pulpit in our nave) and the unforgettable Parthenon.

In addition to visiting sites shrouded in wonder and mystery, the process of a pilgrimage often consists of a special group dynamic with fellow pilgrims; meeting new people, supporting and walking alongside one another on a remarkable journey. This latest Pilgrimage to Greece made by members of St. Paul’s and others was no exception. Some of the highlights in particular include parishioner Campbell Tasker winning a foot race on Crete (wow!), the spiritual guidance and teachings of Fr. Kamal Farah (a Palestinian priest and scholar that some of us know from the Holy Land), stunning scenery, delicious food and a “great group of people that enjoyed themselves and took care of each other”.
 
St. Paul’s Greece Pilgrimage was organized and led by Laurie Parrish who has become an expert guide in these specialized trips. Being a CPA/tax accountant professionally, the gifts of her skills and attention for detail have been invaluable for planning pilgrimages and leading this ministry. 
 
“Spiritual travel with a group offers opportunities for on-site Bible Study, enhances your faith and knowledge of history, is economical, takes you places you might otherwise not go and is a great way to get to know some of your brothers and sisters in Christ.” - Laurie Parrish

In the 1990s, a member of St. Paul’s organized trips to exhibits to nearby places like Seattle. This Ministry would become known, as it is today, as the St. Paul’s Travel Club. When Laurie came to St. Paul’s in 2000, she participated in many of these outings. Years later, while Fr. Jonathan was teaching a class on the History of the Church of England, a friendly unofficial pact was made between them; she would lead a pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland if Jonathan would become a permanent rector. Soon in 2011, sixteen pilgrims were on their way to the British Isles. Not surprisingly, on their way home they wanted to know where Laurie would take them next! As Christians, it had to be the Holy Land, where they went in 2014. Thereafter, a logical place to visit after following Christ in the Holy Land was to follow St. Paul in Greece this year, 2017. Laurie’s passion for pilgrimages have helped other parishioners to retrace the footsteps of our Saints and others pilgrims who have gone before us. 

“I realized that my seeing people’s faces when they visit a holy site that is special to them or talking with them afterward about how they read the Bible and picture it in their mind is very exciting to me.  I feel privileged to have this ministry.” -Laurie Parrish

Clearly, pilgrimages help to give us a greater appreciation for the joys and blessings that surround us; they help us to obtain a clearer perspective on the meaning of life. In rediscovering our relationship with Jesus, we gain a better focus on our life’s purpose, our faith becomes refreshed and as stewards, we become re-energized in our mission to spread the Gospel.

“I believe they greatly enhance and can even change one’s life. Following in the footsteps of Christ or a saint have made great impacts upon my faith and life. There’s no substitute for being able to envision the Bible in living color.”
 
For those interested in making a Pilgrimage with St. Paul’s Travel Club, stay tuned for Turkey or Holy Land May 2019. For more information on St. Paul’s Travel Club, contact Laurie Parrish.
 
For photos of the recent Greece Pilgrimage, visit the St. Paul's web site. Laurie has extensive travel and volunteer experience in the Holy Land. Later this year, she will be working as a volunteer at Ecce Homo Pilgrim House, a former French Convent, in the historic Old City of Jerusalem. Visit her blog for detailed description and photos of past trips.

Please join us for organized pilgrimages to sacred and special places every three years or so.

Cursillo

Cursillo is  a renewal movement of the church patterned on Jesus’ example. 

Its purpose is to help those in the church understand their individual calling to be Christian Leaders.  The initial step in that understanding is to attend a Cursillo weekend. 

There is a Spring Co-ed Cursillo weekend each year, usually in April or May.

If you or someone you know would be interested in attending this Cursillo weekend, please visit olycursillo.org to sign up or to find out more about Cursillo. 

You can also talk to Bea Walton if you have questions.

Coffee Hour Crew

Our congregation has grown and both Coffee Hour services are in need of more hands, especially after the 9am service. Anyone who is interested can join. As many of us have seen, the refreshments can range from coffee and a few simple plates of cookies (thanks be to God), to a whole spread of rolls, deli meats, veggie platters and treats. Even dropping off a plate of brownies or box of crackers would be appreciated. Whatever one can supply is a blessing for they are all provisions from God. Through our hospitality of food, conversation and welcoming spirit at Coffee Hour, we can demonstrate God’s love with each other and any newcomer who seeks a community in Christ.

laward360@gmail.com, Contact: Linda Ward,


Serving up hospitality with heart each Sunday!

by Kate Brigham, Vestry Member

Here at St. Paul’s, Coffee Hour is like the unofficial 8th sacramental rite. It has been the traditional add-on to worship service throughout the ages where people gather to share food and fellowship. In fact, the Early Church’s Eucharist probably looked a lot like Coffee Hour.

In this day and age, we live in a nation, a world, where so much has become “Global”. It is common for extended family members to live on opposite ends of the country or even in the world.  Also, there is a kind of compartmentalization of our modern society’s structure; children go to their academic institutions 5 days a week, adults go to work for 8 hours a day (or more) and the elderly spend extensive periods of time alone or with each other. When we gather together at St. Paul’s, we become a kind of clan or extended family of our own and Coffee Hour is one of the few places where people of all ages and diverse life situations can mingle, have conversation and make connections. It is a place where regardless of our political background, income or past history, we can get along amiably on a personal level.

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A lot happens there; intergenerational interactions take place, there is networking that extends outside the church walls, we check in on our friends weekly to make sure they are doing okay, people share stories, laugh and make plans. Moreover, it is a place where we welcome newcomers.

When we see new faces, we can simply introduce ourselves and ask what brought them to St. Paul’s? During our worship service, we acknowledge God’s grace to us. We give thanks and praise as we received the holy food through the Eucharist. At Coffee Hour, we have the opportunity to extend and share what we have been given by means of our hospitality which is the simplest form of spreading the gospel. In other words, we can walk the talk.” Coffee Hour can be the pivotal point of a newcomer’s entry into the church. When newcomers visit St. Paul’s, they are often looking for a connection to Christ and to the church community. When they come to Coffee Hour, they get a feel of our congregation’s hospitality and decipher if they are welcome or not.

Sharing food is the most basic form of community, as often represented so many of the stories of Jesus. Another member says that he loves the feeling of the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. “There’s something about the energy working in there [kitchen]. Even though I’m refilling the coffee pots and washing dishes, it just feels good.” One does not have to climb a mountain top or trek out into the wilderness of solitude to experience the Spirit! God’s Spirit is alive within us wherever go, with every cup washed and cookie served.“I’m not a very social person by nature but when I help in this practical way, I can be useful. I love seeing people enjoying themselves and the refreshments help bring them together.” There are currently about 60 members who volunteer with the Coffee Hour Ministry. They are grouped into 2-3 people teams and serve approximately 3 times a year.  In fun teamwork fashion, they provide food, prepare, serve and clean up. One Coffee Hour Volunteer said, "What is also unique about this ministry is that it is one of the few places where the entire family can serve in together. Children can serve alongside their parents in a kind of apprenticeship. They can push the trolley carts and transfer food to the serving table, load the dishracks and work the heavy-duty dishwasher." This ministry also invites individuals who don't bring food, like students, to sign up to help set up & clean up like Jacob Duquette. He volunteered in order to get to know members of the parish and he's a great help. Food purchases are not required to serve in this important ministry and reimbursements are available as well.

Week after week, our incredibly devoted Coffee Hour leader Linda Ward, solely oversees this entire operation and it is no easy task. She coordinates volunteers into teams, organizes multiple schedules and manages countless details in order for each Coffee Hour to run as smoothly as possible. She’s marvelous! A big THANK YOU LINDA!! And a big thank you to all who participate with this ministry!

Coffee Hour volunteers include: Amber Nichols, Cathie Oberg , Charlotte Hoel, Dorothy Murphy, Dottie Nichols, Gloria Mapes, Holly Telfer, Isabel Blanco, Jackie Whitmore, Jacob Duquette, Jacob Duquette, Janet Sharp, Joi Weaver, Kamira Rea, Steve, Kate & Elliott Brigham, Kathy Mintz, Kay Reddell, Kim KJ Byford, Kirsten Barron, Laurel Cook, Laurie Parrish, Linda Hardy, Linda Pierce, Linda & Fred Tiffany, Linda Ward, Lisa Hamstreet, Lisa Potter, Lucy Eggerth, Marilyn Mastor, Mary Summerfield & Mike O’Neal, Norma & Peter Sherwood, Pam & Doug Bulthuis, Pat & Don Smith, Pat & Ron Weitnauer, Randi & George Sanders, Robin, Ian & Patrick O’Callaghan, Sally Schoenberg, Sheila Randall,  Shirley Susich, Sue & Jim Johnstone, Sue Warren, Teresa Flodin, Tina & Christian Schoepe, Wendy& Chris Johnson.

We are always looking for new members of this ministry! Volunteers may sign up for a monthly rotation and are sometimes asked to help on special occasions.

Greeters & Welcoming Team

These outgoing and dedicated individuals are St. Paul’s front line in our ministry of hospitality, welcoming visitors and offering assistance and information.  At Coffee Hour, greeters staff the table, providing newcomers with the ways to be incorporated into the community.  Volunteers usually serve on a monthly rotation at each of the main Sunday services, and are available for special events.

The Welcome Team extends from the first greeting a visitor receives to the time the newcomer is  incorporated as a member of the congregation.  Volunteers serve in a variety of ways as a welcoming team, calling newcomers and shepherding them through the first few months.

Contact:  Kathy Mintz

Contact: Colin Christy

St. Paul's Men's Group

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The Men's Group meets twice a month either at the church or at a member's home for fellowship, discussion and sharing  a meal. This group is now establishing itself at St. Paul's and defining our overall place in this dynamic congregation. We welcome your input and ideas for service projects, missions and fellowship opportunities.

For more information, contact Ed Sugar.

The usual routine is to show up around 5:45 and we'll have a potluck meal at around 6:00. Our speaker will begin at around 7:00 and we're outta there at 8:00. Please stick around and help us clean the kitchen. We try to always leave it cleaner than we found it.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” 
— Proverbs 27:17

The Mission of St. Paul's Men’s group:

  • We make the effort to initiate and nurture friendships and to become true brothers in Christ.

  • We seek an understanding and relationship with God and one another.  We respect all viewpoints and encourage discussion.

  • We encourage one another — root word “Courage” — to be better men, better fathers, grandfathers, husbands, better friends, better Christians.

  • We do good. In the church in the community, in the world.

  • We share our stories, offer our capabilities to one another, and share what we consider to be true wisdom.

And so, having chosen our course without guile and with pure purpose, we renew our faith in God and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts.


Sign up form for the next Men's group pot luck dinner:

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