Adult Education and Journey

Journey - class of 2017

Journey - class of 2017

Adult Faith Formation is concerned with Faith Development, and many opportunities exist for those who have developed a love for education and have found their gift and talent in sharing that with others.

Next to Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights are the most central time for community-building at St. Paul’s.

If you’re new to St. Paul’s and want to meet new people, or if you are looking for new ways to express your Christian life, please join us on Wednesday evenings for any or every part of our weekly programs.

Teach a class!

5:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist in the worship space

6:00 p.m. A light supper in the Great Hall (free will offering taken to cover the cost)

6:45-8:00 p.m. Adult Education classes

 

Alms Ministry

We celebrate St. Paul's alms ministry! In over 10 years of service, the ministry has grown from four people to a team of over 20 individuals.  Initially serving less than 200 persons annually, the ministry served over 1,000 souls in the past year.

Our mission is simple:

"To provide personal, useful, and faith-based support to people in need by offering individual conversation, available resources, and effective, appropriate referral to other churches and community agencies."

And our clear hope is...

"...that this ministry and its work will meet needs, communicate the caring of the Church, and encourage and inspire others to respond to the poverty of the marginalized in our community."  

On Tuesday mornings from 9:00 to 10:00 at St. Paul's Church, the alms ministry meets to provide personal, useful and faith-based support to people in need. We listen. We have a conversation with people at a human level. Three ministers meet with each guest to hear their story and understand their need. We help by providing financial support and telling them about available resources, and by making appropriate referrals to other community agencies.

The emergency financial assistance is a small, but critical, part of our ministry (it averaged only $17.00 per person served last year). Money can rarely "fix" the problem, but it gives hope that there is a way out. It shows that someone cares.

Often we hear "I had breakfast at Maple Alley Cafe, and they told me you might have help here?" These are typical requests: a monthly WTA bus pass ($25), a new ID ($20), gas ($25). Sometimes the need is to pay back rent or utilities, which can be hundreds of dollars. Then we tap our amazing network of faith-based institutions.

In the past few years, we have expanded our efforts to be part of a Support Network with institutions such as Assumption Catholic Church, First Baptist Church, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, Hillcrest Chapel, The St. Vincent de Paul Society at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Northwest Baptist Church, the Salvation Army, Love in the Name of Christ (Love INC), Hope in Christ Church, and, recently, the Lettered Streets Covenant Church.  This has allowed us to meet financial needs greater than any one church could address individually.

But the ministry is not just the 15 ministers. Each of you is part of it, too. Three thousand dollars of the nearly $17,000 spent this past year came from our parish budget, supported by your pledges. The balance—the major part of the financial assistance we can offer—has come from your donations directly to the  Alms Ministry.

We ask for your continued financial support. This ministry is a vital part of serving our community. 

If you wish to make a donation, red envelopes are available in the front and back of the nave and in the Great Hall. To earmark a donation to the Alms ministry, include a note, put it in an envelope or mark the memo line on your check "ALMS MINISTRY".

Special thanks to all who contribute to the jar in the great hall. The money goes directly to those who need it desperately.

We ask especially for your prayers—for the ministers, for our guests, and for those with whom we work in the Support Network. 

We ask also for your participation in the ministry, if that seems appropriate for you. We lost four ministers in the past several months—two relocated to another city, and two met untimely deaths. We're always eager to welcome new ministers.

Contact Ann or Pug Edmonds at the church for more information. (360) 733-2890 ext. 1208

Winter is coming, and people are already anxious about paying for propane or electricity or gas.

Winter is coming, and people are worried about being too cold and too wet outside in the camps or on the sidewalks.

Winter is coming, and families are thinking about the holidays and no home.

What choices are there? What to do? Alms ministers listen, share information about help in town, and encourage our guests to take action, make decisions, and persevere. Thank you, people of St. Paul's, for sharing in this outreach ministry.

He was down, pale and sad. He'd been sober for 8 years. Then, in two months, he'd lost everything he'd gained with sobriety. But, he was determined to start again. A $50 deposit for a place in a Clean and Sober House place and prayer sent him out the door with a smile.

Circle Story

He'd come to Alms, gone to the Support Network, collected enough pledges for his bus ticket home. At Hope House, he traded in his pledges for a check to Greyhound, got a small bag of food, a pair of dark glasses, and a baseball hat. Carrying the rest of his possessions in a huge waterproofed backpack, he strolled away. Glad to be going home, to family and, he hoped, to a job.

Altar Guild

The Altar Guild is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of all of the altar linens and vessels.  Our members spend several hours laundering and ironing linens, polishing silver, and setting up for the weekly services. 

We are divided into teams of 4-5 people, each team serves for one week, setting up, cleaning up, and generally creating the holy altar space for the services.

The Altar Guild is NOT a women's only group!

This is a contemplative ministry as you will find yourself preparing and praying in a quiet empty church. The silence and the sacredness of the tasks are soul-satisfying, and you can touch the eternal.

Please join us.

Contact Linda Telfer

Bell Choir

The bell choir is a beautiful tradition in our church, and a wonderful celebration during services. But we have certain number of bells, and SURPRISE, we need one person for each bell. There is a critical mass of ringers - or no choir. You don't  have to know how to read music and it's a great bunch of people.

Please join us. Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings at 6:00, but only on an as-needed basis.

Contact:  Wade Dingman

Chancel Choir

Childcare is NOW AVAILABLE during choir practice on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM.

Choir members support the worship life of the congregation at the 10:30 service on Sundays and at special services throughout the year.  Rehearsals are held at 7:00 PM on Thursday evenings, September through May. Childcare is often available during choir practice. We need  MEN!

Contact:  Wade Dingman


John Wesley’s Rules for Singing

(1761)

John Wesley (1703-1791) was an Anglican clergyman who, along with his brother Charles, founded the Methodist movement. The Wesleys had a profound impact in proclaiming the message of Jesus in the 18th century. Charles Wesley authored over 6,500 hymn texts in his lifetime, including hymns we sing at church like Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Jesus Christ is Risen Today, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

John Wesley's Directions for Singing was included as an appendage to Select Hymns: with Tunes Annext, a collection of hymn texts and tunes designed for congregational use in Methodist Churches.

Psalm 98:4 tells us to "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises", and in the Ephesians 5:19, Paul exhorts Christians to "be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts."

As you read through Wesley's rules, think about how you participate in the worship and hymn singing on Sunday mornings, and know that God doesn't care about the quality of our voices, whether or not we are trained singers or can read music. He cares about our heart and attitude in our worship.

1. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing.

2. Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of it being heard, then when you sing the songs of Satan.

3. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, as to be heard above, or distinct from, the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.

4. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before, nor stay behind it; but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can. And take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.

5. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.

Grounds and Gardens Team

From Father Jonathan: "Our grounds look really good, and that’s because a group of people gather on Mondays to weed and tend our gardens. Thanks to Laurel Cook, Pat Weitnauer, Kristi Champagne, Dick Whitmore, Allison Jones and Rocky Champagne for their work making things beautiful!  We can all be happy about the way St. Paul’s building and grounds look."

If you would like to help out, just show up on Mondays at 12:30 during the growing season, and we'll put you to work. For more information, contact Rocky Champagne or Dick Whitmore.

Children's "Quiet Play" bags

St. Paul's has 10 bags containing a selection of books and other materials for our children to use to stay occupied while in church services with their parents. The contents of the bags promote our youngest parishioners' creativity and imagination. They contain drawing paper, crayons, a colorful sewing card, one or two stuffed animals (monkeys are the favorite), and two or three children's books.

Volunteers refresh the bags each week, and get them organized for use.

Hope House

Hope House, operated by Catholic Community Services, is supported by several churches, community organizations and businesses.  It supplies clothing, diapers, toiletries, household articles, and baby food to persons in need.

About 30% of Hope House volunteers attend St. Paul's. It's a great way to meet others and serve the community. We meet every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday morning from 9 to 12:00, and Friday afternoons from 1 to 6:00.

Volunteer jobs at HH include working in the kitchen and working in the foyer. From the kitchen, volunteers distribute the three hygiene and baby items available each month per client. Volunteers sort and hang up donations.

At the foyer front desk, volunteers welcome clients, make sure there's enough coffee and cookies--and fruit, when available. Clients sit and wait for the intake process and then proceed to "shop." After they have picked up the hygiene and baby items, miscellaneous household and clothing goods, it's time for check out.

Foyer volunteers count and pack up the always-free stuff. Each person may take 3 clothing outfits for each family member each week, personal hygiene and cleaning items once a month, a few household pieces (e.g. 2 plates, 7 kitchen pieces), and miscellaneous items, like books, picture frames, and decorations.

If you are interested in being a part of this miracle, please see Ann or Pug Edmonds or call us at 441-7945.

Roughly 13,000 individuals are served by Hope House each year. Donations can be sent to Hope House at 207 Kentucky St, Bellingham, WA  98225.


He'd come with his girlfriend when they set up their apartment. They were shy, pleased, and serious. They came for baby clothes and then to show off their beautiful baby.

Last week, thin and sad, he came alone. Too little money. Too little faith in the future. The tiny family separated. He returned to Hope House, remembering clean clothes and food and perhaps a few moments of being a real person, not just another homeless loser. 

She'd heard about Hope House from the Ferndale school counselor. Late Friday afternoon, L. carried home pencils, glue sticks, two notebooks, markers, and crayons to start off her third grader.  The preschool sister chose two plastic ponies and their shoebox size house. Her baby brother clutched a toy bunny. The mom got diapers, toilet paper, dish detergent, a food bag, new kid outfits, and a new blouse for herself.

The week end was looking better by the minute!


Contact Ann Edmunds for more information.

Many thanks to the Chancel Guild's Annual Rummage Sale. HH volunteers collect shoes, clothing, house wares, sheets and towels, and miscellaneous stuffed animals.  HH clients immediately checked them over and checked them out!  Thanks to St. Paul's,  two dozen people now have shoes for walking or working.  Some  even have slippers for soft warmth.   A few kitchens now have cookware.  Some beds now have sheets and blankets.  Thanks for the cheerful generosity and helpfulness of the Rummage Sale volunteers at St. Paul's!

Holiday Faire

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Every year we sell our signature soup mixes at the Holiday Faire to great success. We will be putting these mixes together on Fridays in August. We need your help!

Alert! Now is the time to be thinking how you can make this year's Holiday Faire another success. A treasure box will be available in the church office beginning August 1, to accept any "treasures" you wish to donate. Bakers: please be thinking of any special treats to donate; sewing projects; hobby crafts by men or women are most welcome.

We also wanted to tip our hat to one of the longest running and most supportive guilds of the Faire and that is the Sewing Guild! This past year the guild used part of their monies from the Holiday Faire to buy the materials and then sew Father Michael's + robe and vestments! Also, did you know if you have a special order (how about those baby quilts?), the guild might be able to help. Contact Mary Jellison for more information!

Doors will open at 9am, and all the great goodies and unique gifts you have come to expect will be there! There will be the Food Table, Treasures Table, Silent Auction, Crafts and Sewing, the Raffle, Coates' Chocolates and other unique gifts, a savory soup lunch provided by St Paul's Guild -- still only $5--and music to shop to while you visit with friends and neighbors.

Education For Ministry

How do we sort out our convictions when values we hold dear seem to be in conflict?

If you would like to spend time exploring this question, consider enrolling in Education for Ministry (EfM) this fall. Classes begin in September, but enrollment is open during the month of May.

For information about this enriching program, please talk to Kristi Champagne, kfchampagne@gmail.com or Doug Dickinson, morningsidedrive@live.com.

You are invited to deepen your faith and explore Scripture through Education for Ministry (EfM).

EfM offers lay people a good grounding in Scripture, history, and theology.

More important: we learn how these are related to our own daily lives through discussion and reflection in our weekly seminar sessions beginning in September.

EfM is a four-year distance learning theological education from the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Participants commit one year at a time to meet regularly in seminars of 6 to 12 students led by trained mentors. During the four years, participants study the Bible, church history and theology and engage in reflection. 

Click here to see an overview of the EfM program

Click here to see the EfM fact sheet


In the Spotlight: 
EfM=Education for Ministry


"Consider EfM. It will stimulate your mind, expand your heart and open the doors to ministering to the world right in front of you." by Kate Brigham, Vestry Member

Let’s just admit it. Within the spectrum of Christian denominations, we Episcopalians are the NERDS of the Christians. There’s nothing wrong with that because we love theology! It’s fascinating, inspiring, it challenges us and we get to learn about so much especially in classes like EfM: Education for Ministry.

For several years in the past, I had wished there was something like a combination of an easy-going seminary, a Bible study group, an adult formation class and a book club. When I heard an announcement one Sunday after worship about EfM, I knew I had found it. You can check out the official website, but as someone who is finishing up my 3rd year, allow me to give you the inside scoop.

EfM is a 4 year program that meets once a week for 2-3 hours from September to May. Groups are between 6-12 people and are led by mentors. Each year has a designated reading focus but all students participate in one class:

Year 1: The Hebrew Bible
Year 2: The New Testament
Year 3: Church History
Year 4: Theology, Ethic and Interfaith Encounter

Participants follow their weekly reading assignments categorized by year and then meet in class for theological discussions, questioning, exploration and discovery. EfM is so much more than just theology though. In the second half of the class period, as a group we reflect on a particular focal topic; we explore the meanings in relation to culture, tradition and personal beliefs and experiences. We talk about the various applications on how we, individually and corporately (the Body of Christ), can ultimately go forward as ministers into the world.
 
Like no two snowflakes that are identical, the same is true with people. Each student coming from different backgrounds, life experiences, knowledge about subjects and possibilities, brings with them unique insights and thoughts that are shared. This broad range of perspectives is one of the things that makes EfM so special. Every student is encouraged and given the opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions. This wonderful component of EfM allows us the chance to hear something that is new; something that we’ve never heard or thought of before and it is the result of the safe environment that is intentionally created and maintaned. The group’s established mutual respect and trust are some of the main keys to the success of EfM along with the dedication of our mentors.
 
EfM would not be possible without our faithful and incredibly diligent mentors. Sometimes when life gets busy, I grumble about having to do my weekly reading homework but then I remember that I only need to read my single Year 3 assignment. Our mentors, aka “the Brainiacs”, cover all 4 Years of reading material each week in order to prepare leading the class. The marvelous EfM guru, Joanne Clark, retired after 14 years of mentorship and has been succeeded by co-mentors Kristi Champagne and Bruce Smith in this year’s morning class andDoug Dickenson and Tamara Belts in our evening class. Their service to this ministry is instrumental and they are invaluable.
 
Bruce Smith, bringing his deep-rooted knowledge about the Bible, excellent facilitating experience and a fun loving nature, shares his personal statement about EfM;... 

“EFM has helped me to see the spiritual side of facets of my life that I’d never considered before.  What I most value is the chance to study serious things and then spend time with the most intelligent, agreeable people I’ve ever met discussing it and have a lot of fun in the process.”

Kristi Champagne thoughtfully shares, 

"I am a cradle Episcopalian and have always been a faithful worshipper but since EfM I am a more thoughtful and reflective worshipper. I now have context in different ways for that which we say together or read or listen to during a service. Even my appreciation of the music we sing, always my focus, has changed because I can put those composers in an historical context along with the rest of church history. Our weekly lectionary has more meaning because I now know what came before that selection and what comes after it and if I don’t I will go look it up! Probably the most valuable aspect of EfM is the opportunity to reflect with a group of committed Christians each week about what we read and what we experience, big or small, from a Christian perspective. Our discussions are open, honest, thoughtful, respectful and sometimes hilarious.”

I still have one more year of EfM and what can I tell you about it so far? I find myself viewing things from a new perspective and even when I listen to a sermon, it is somehow altered now. The way I look at life in general is different because I am different. In this complex world with conflicting messages from culture and tradition, it can be hard to know what it means to be active ministers of Jesus as lay people. EfM helps people with a foundation in theological education; to continue to re-examine their beliefs, to grow spiritually and think about how we can live our faith in everyday events. For all nerds and nerd wannabees, consider EfM. It will stimulate your mind, expand your heart and open the doors to ministering to the world right in front of you.
 
Registration is open for the Month of May. Email Kristi Champagne

Taizé Prayer Services

St. Paul’s Taizé Prayers are a gift of love to the greater Bellingham community. We hope to create the space where anyone who hungers for the presence of God can be found by God; where people of all faiths (or no faith) will be gifted with prayer. (A deep sense of prayer which will stay with them when they return to their daily lives.)

Some feel that too much speaking simply gets between us and God. Taizé worship centers on singing, prayer, readings and silence. Simple songs are sung in a repetitive manner to create a deep, meditative mood. This service is conducted across a wide spectrum of Catholic and Protestant churches worldwide. We have reports that several of our newer members have joined St. Paul's because of this service.

We hope that through these prayer services you are formed into living signs that God is love and love alone. We can all become living signs of this reconciliation.

 

 

TAIZÉ AND LABYRINTH SERVICES BEGIN AT 5:00PM IN THE MAIN SANCTUARY. See the "worship Services" Or "Special Events Calendar" for the most up to date schedule.

 

The Bridge

The  Bridge is  "Young Adults in Church" and is the final step in our youth curriculum of "Journey to Adulthood." The program that focuses on service, education, and fellowship. The group is mentored by dedicated older adults from the church who are fondly called OACs (sounds like oaks). 

Besides ongoing activities for the kids, we do fundraising, team-building and preparing for an annual Mission Trip to Guatemala.

Sewing and Craft Guild

We are Alive and Well!

St. Paul's Sewing/Craft Guild has been resurrected. We are meeting twice a month to work on projects for the Holiday Faire.  We welcome anyone who likes to sew, knit, crochet, or do any other kind of craft.  Some of us work individually.  Some of us work on group projects.  Anyone is welcome to join us on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 10:00 to 12:00 in room B-08.  Bring your own project on which to work.  We offer assistance if you run into difficulty on your project. 

If you have any ideas for special projects, bring them along to share.  Any questions can be addressed to Mary Jellison:  mljellison@msn.com

Labyrinth Crew

Help spread and stow the labyrinth in the Great Hall. Light Candles, Supervise, train and partake in this excellent Christian practice.

The labyrinth is a combinaton of walking and prayer, with roots in ancient history.  These "paths for prayer" have been part of Christian prayer and pilgrimage since the middle ages.  Rediscovered and re-popularized in the late twentieth century, they have once again become a powerful practice for opening ourselves and our lives to the guidance and presence of God.

Labyrinths are often confused with mazes.  But while a maze has dead ends and blind alleys, the labyrinth has only one path leading both in and out of the center.  The labyrinth is flat,  One can always see the center.  The destination is assured, so that the mind can be still and attentive. 

Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives us insight into our spiritual journeys.  The labyrinth doesnothing on its own.  It is simply a tool that many people have found helpful for deepening their prayer lives.  Each walk into and out of the labyrinth is a unique opportunity to meet our creative, loving God through contemplative prayer. 

St. Paul's labyrinth is based on the pattern built into the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France.  It is a full 12 circuit labyrinth that was created with volunteer labor and funding. 

We offer the opportunity to walk a portable version of this labyrinth on a monthly basis; the fourth Sunday of the month, September through May, (except December) from 1 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 7 p.m. following our evening Taize service, June through August from 1 - 4 p.m and on special occasions such as during Advent, Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday.

Contact Charlene Cunningham or Laurie Parrish for more information.

Youth Ministries

The Journey to Adulthood is a complete youth ministry program of spiritual formation for 6th-12th grades. Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries and both serious and playful activities underscore the two guiding principles of the program: 1) Manhood and womanhood are free gifts from God; and 2) Adulthood must be earned. There are three two-year segments included in the program:

Rite-13: The first two years celebrate the individuality of each young teen and their creative potential, while exploring Biblical stories of God and God's people. The Rite-13 liturgy is the community expression of this and serves as a rite of passage from childhood towards adulthood.

J2A: The next segment helps teens create and understand the importance of Christian community as they develop critical thinking and other skills they will need in adulthood. The end of J2A is marked with a spiritual pilgrimage that is often a life-changing experience for the group.

YAC: This mentor-based program helps older teens discern and carry out a ministry within their church or in the larger community. Vocation and development of a personal credo are also emphasized. A final rite of passage sends them out into the world as ambassadors of Christ.

For information about our programs for your children, Journey to Adulthood, check out the YOUTH tab at the top of the page.  To volunteer for service to our youth, please contact Nicole Pridachuk, our Journey to Adulthood Coordinator. nicole@stpaulsbellingham.org

Healing Ministry

Each Sunday as we prepare to go to the Altar for Eucharist the announcement is made, “Prayers for healing will be offered at the Mary Altar.” A member (at 10:30 am 2 members) of St. Paul’s Healing Ministry stands ready to serve Christ’s Holy Church through Christ’s ministry of prayer for healing. Once in a while someone will come forward and say, “I’ve never done this before.” Here’s some information which we hope will overcome some natural reluctance to come to the Mary Altar for prayers for healing.

 

Why come in the first place? Prayer for healing is a continuation of the ministry started by our Lord and en-trusted to the church. A growing body of evidence is revealing the relationship between health and spirituality, not to mention the efficacy of prayer for healing. Prayer for healing should not be thought of as a “last resort” when all medical and psychological tools fail to produce “results”. Prayer for healing, as practiced at St. Paul’s, is in partnership with the medical and psychological communities. All healing, including modern medical and psychological healing comes from God. Research has shown that people who are prayed for are more at peace before major medical procedures and heal faster after.

What do I do when I come for prayer? Some people like to kneel for prayer. Others prefer (or must) stand. The healing minister will ask how they may pray for you. At some point they will ask your permission to anoint you with the oil of healing (blessed by our Bishop) and perhaps lay hands on you (the ancient biblical sign of blessing). They will pray a prayer based upon your expressed need.

For what can I ask prayers? Human persons are complex combinations of body, mind, spirit, and relationships. Scientific research has long shown the interrelationship between these aspects of our being. Dysfunction in one aspect can have a negative effect on the others. Prayer for healing ap-plies spiritual therapy on any and all aspects of our humanity. Whether it’s the beginning of a cold, facing surgery or other medical procedure, a troubled marriage, concern for a troubled family member or friend, God is waiting and willing to touch you with God’s healing balm. Many come to bid prayers for healing on behalf of someone else.

I’m a little embarrassed to come for prayer. Most of us would not be embarrassed to be seen at a medical physician’s office. That’s a normal part of maintaining our physical health. Prayer for healing at the Mary Altar is a normal part of worship at St. Paul’s -- just as normal as coming to receive the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Everything we say at the Altar stays at the Altar. Confidentiality is part of the training of every healing minister and we guard your privacy.

Lee L. Cunningham,
Order of Saint Luke

Volunteers provide individual prayers for healing during the Eucharist at each of the Sunday services. Orientation and training are provided, and healing ministers are scheduled on a monthly basis.  An initial interview can be scheduled at any time.

Contact:  Lee Cunningham


In the SpotLight: Healing Ministry

At St. Paul’s church, the Healing Ministry is one way towards experiencing God’s restorative power of healing and sharing the gospel. Everyone needs healing in some way, at some time. Whether it be a troubling illness in our bodies, unsettling mental anguish, or a concerning pain in our hearts, we seek a better place of wholeness, renewal and peace. In our world today, there is a growing awareness of the delicate balance and interrelated web of connections between our physical bodies and our emotional and spiritual well-being. We go to the doctors when we are sick and so too, we can go to the Healing Ministry at the Mary Altar to receive help through prayers.
 
During the Eucharist, individuals can come up to the Mary Altar and ask for Healing Prayers in complete confidentiality. They can kneel or stand. The minister will often lay hands upon them and say a prayer for whatever is the requested need. An oil which has been blessed by the Bishop is used to anoint the individual. Leading this ministry, Lee Cunningham says,“Prayer for healing applies spiritual therapy on any and all aspects of our humanity. Whether it’s the beginning of a cold, facing surgery or other medical procedures, a troubled marriage, concern for a troubled family member or friend, God is waiting and willing to touch you with God’s healing balm. Many come to bid prayers for healing on behalf of someone else.”
 
Each kind of suffering can be helped. Recipients of Healing Prayers have experienced various effects from: having a recovery faster than expected, calming of fears about death, a growing inner peace, an unexpected healing, restored harmony of mind, body and spirit, and increased strength for prolonged illnesses or circumstances.
 
Healing Ministers are recruited lay people who have answered a special calling from God. They pray for others in the healing of the body, mind and/or relationship. Jesus commissioned his disciples to go out and heal the sick and today at St. Paul’s, this sacred work continues to be performed at each Sundayservice at the Mary Altar.
 
Among the ten healing ministers, Charlene Cunningham, says, “I believe in God’s power to heal. I believe in miracles and I’ve seen it happen so I know it’s real. God promises that it’s something we can do. It’s not magic. It’s not anything WE do. It’s God directed.” In unanimity with the other ministers, she emphasizes being the vessel or instrument for God’s glorious healing power. She also adds, “It’s good to be open to recognizing different types of healing for both those being healed and those ministering it.” 

This concurs with Mary Horton who serves during the 9 am service. She shares her Faith in Healing: “It has been such a privilege to share in others’ lives and to offer their needs in prayer. To trust in the Lord, to ask His special blessing and to know that we are surrounded by the power of the Holy Spirit. To celebrate victories, to look for that special healing light, to thank God for his presence always.”

The list of St. Paul's Healing Ministers includes: Charles Barnhill, Doug Bulthuis, Patty Bunge, Claudia Callahan, Joanne Clark, Charlene Cunningham, Lee Cunningham, Anne Edmonds, Mary Horton, Allison Jones, Gisela Loeffler, Debbie McMeel, Don Paulson, Luci Shaw, and Mary Jane Van Hoesen.

For more information or questions about the Healing Ministry, contact Lee Cunningham.