Quotes, Comments & Observations about St. Paul's Bellingham
“It's a holy place...I even feel it in the wooden pews. They're well-worn and polished by a thousand hands. There's something about each one that's used and old, but beautiful and solid.
"You realize that people have held onto these pews in joy, in sorrow, in pain; the wood has been smoothed and seasoned by people who are in the most intense times of their lives. Maybe the pews have been touched by so many people over so many years that they take on a kind of energy.
"It's a good image of this church. St. Paul's is shaped by people, full of their energy, and yet it's timeless and substantial."
"You don’t have to go through all these steps to be with God. It’s good to find a church that is simple. A complicated church has a million different rules, it requires a lot of you to perfect it, and to be a good follower of God. Church shouldn’t feel like a task, or an obligation, or pressure. You should be going because you want to worship God in your own personal way with other people. My church is simple and open."
From our Alms Ministry: It took the full Support Network to purchase a ticket for the young man to get home.
Along his way, collecting church pledges, he met Catholics, Unitarians, Baptists, and Episcopalians.
"You are all so nice," he said, with a smile, "Why?"
"My job is to help form faithful adults. I’m not the potter, but I invite people into the potter’s house for the sake of being formed under the potter’s hands. I can’t tell people what God wants them to do or become, but I hope I might inspire them to draw nearer to God and to discover holy freedom. Freedom in Christ means freedom to be fully human, with all the choices and responsibilities that entails, and with all the love that demands. How did the Mother Abbess put it in The Sound of Music? “A dream that will need all the love you can give/ Every day of your life, for as long as you live.” This is the Christian life."
Father Josh Hosler
"One of the first Sundays I went to this church, I remember being on my knees, at the altar. I see the priest standing nearby and I am sharing that I have been away from the church and that I want to renew my faith. The priest lifts my head up and says, ‘You left the church, the church never left you. All you have to do is come back, because Jesus always loved you.’
"It made me feel welcomed, loved, and cared for. It’s something I never felt in my previous church experiences."
“If we who are Christians participate in the political process and in the public discourse as we are called to do — the New Testament tells us that we are to participate in the life of the polis, in the life of our society — the principle on which Christians must vote is the principle, Does this look like love of neighbor?"
Bishop Michael Curry
"The thing I love about this tradition (when it is rightly understood), is that it is based on shared practices rather than shared beliefs.
At St. Paul’s, we recite the Nicene creed every week, but the practice of the liturgy from The Book of Common Prayer in general, and the shared experience of the Eucharist in particular, is what holds us together. Beyond that, there is plenty of room for difference.
The emphasis is not on sharing dogma.
The emphasis is on sharing the cup of Christ."
"When Aaron and I moved to Bellingham six years ago, we went to St. Paul's right away. We both love the Episcopal Church and had decided that Bellingham's parish would be our home no matter what. It ended up being a perfect fit, right from the beginning. We felt welcomed and loved.
"Years later, we're still very happy to call St. Paul's our church home. We are so blessed by the relationships we've formed: through Community of Hope, Loaves and Fishes, Godly Play, community dinners, and coffee-hour chats.
"We have been showered with gifts from St. Paul's parishioners: prayer shawls and baby quilts, visits at home and in the hospital, warm meals, and more expensive items like tools, furniture, and even a car! Our three children were baptized here. You all stood up and vowed to help us help them in their life in Christ.
Coming to St. Paul's
"I'll always remember my first day at St. Paul's. I had not been in church more than five times in the previous ten years. When Father Jonathan asked me what had brought me, I answered 'Well... I like organ music...' I didn't know fully why I had come or what I was looking for. I found very much. I found friendship, I found guidance, I found examples I could aspire to.
"My favorite experience so far has been the Journey program which provided me with some of the most useful self-examination of my life. It was wonderful to be able to grow alongside other parishioners, young and old, and to know that we are all children of God. Most of all, our liturgy, its beauty, its ability to weave the weeks and seasons together into something greater, is for me a needed model of constancy, a firm foundation for any week. God does for us greater things than we can ask or imagine. I could not have imagined all He has done for me through St. Paul's.
"And just as I had not been inside church walls for more than five times in the previous decade, I did not miss weekly worship more than five times in the year that followed. St. Paul's did more for me than I could have possibly imagined, yet I believe that our community has still-unimaginably more to do."
“Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
A stunning church inside and out and I'm not just talking about the architecture. I felt instantly welcome. This congregation is traditional yet liberal, open and affirming. I prefer the 10:30 service which features traditional hymns and classical music. They have ongoing events and classes, service projects, a huge kids program and a world class music director. The pastors are all fine speakers with messages I can relate to. I especially like Pastor Josh's way with words. Come on down and stay for coffee after! I'll be there....
- A 2016 new member of St. Paul's