Blessing of the Animals

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The Episcopal Church annually commemorates St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Paul’s often blesses animals on the 13th century saint's feast day in a special service in our memorial garden. Animals arriving for blessing range from goldfish, to birds and snakes, with cats and dogs forming the majority.

Blessing of the Animals ............................. The Rev. Lee Cunningham     pastorllc@wavecable.com

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.

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.

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.

 

Eucharistic Visitors

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Contact: The Rev. Marsha Vollkommer marsha@stpaulsbellingham.org

Lay Eucharistic Visitors (LEV) are the ministers who carry Eucharist from the Table at St Paul’s to members who are unable to be with us on Sunday mornings. Sent by the all who are present, LEVs carry not only the consecrated bread and wine in the communion kit, but the fellowship and love of the congregation. This ministry begins with an informal discernment conversation with the Rector, brief training with Marsha, licensing from the Diocese, and mentoring with a current LEV.

Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers

Lectors read the Old and New Testament lessons as well as the Prayers of the People during regular services, and special readings as needed. 

A strong, articulate voice is the only requirement.

Training is offered as needed. Volunteers are scheduled on a monthly basis.

Contact:   Kristi Champagne or Debbie Apollonio

Eucharist Ministers administer the Chalice during regular services and at special services as needed. Licensing from the diocese is required, and training is provided.

Volunteers Needed: We need volunteers to serve as Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers for all Sunday services. Our most urgent need is for Eucharistic Ministers at both the 7:45 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Sunday services.

If you are interested in pursuing either or both of these ministries, training is available at St. Paul’s by arrangement. Contact Kristi Champagne.

Ushers & Sextons

Usher Ministry

 Colin Christie, Rob Vollkommer, John Muder, Walt Hardy

Colin Christie, Rob Vollkommer, John Muder, Walt Hardy

St. Paul’s is a place where a wide and diverse group of people worship and seek fellowship with one another. We always strive be welcoming and inclusive. Imagine coming to a new church, you walk through the doors, wonder what in the world to do next and then while battling feelings of uncertainty, you bravely make your way to a random place to sit hoping it’s okay. Now, imagine something different. As you walk through the doors, you are greeted by someone in a welcoming manner, who graciously leads you through unknown territory to a safe place to sit. A bulletin is handed to you which steadily guides you through the service. This kind of hospitality communicates the genuine quality of the face of Christ and is one of the many attributes of our Ushers Ministry at St. Paul’s.

Currently, we have about eight ushers who usually serve the church on a monthly rotation or part-time. However, it is not surprising to find some individuals serving weekly. On a typical Sunday worship service, an usher welcomes visitors and congregation members, hands out service bulletins, takes up the collection, guides people during communion and straightens up after the service. This is a ministry that calls for a friendly and helpful demeanor and keeps you on your feet.

John Muder, serving over 12 years, lead this ministry. He says, “I do this ministry because I feel an obligation (giving back), I like to meet the people as they come in and take care of the congregation during the service. I know when someone is new or a regular attender. We [ushers] are also a good source of information if anyone has questions, we make sure to help anyone with special needs and we keep vigilant about the building’s security during the service.” Wow, our St. Paul’s Ushers are like shepherds looking after the flock and keeping them safe! They are a dynamic group of parishioners who last but not least, as John puts it, “have fun at it!”

Among these great eight is Kevin Fazio. He was asked to fill-in for an usher who couldn’t make it one Sunday, and has now been ushering for decades. He simply and beautifully states, “I have a gift to share. It blesses me and it blesses others.” Whenever we gather together to praise and worship, these familiar faces that greet us are a comfort because in their work of hospitality, they are performing the most basic act of acknowledging the presence of another human being; acknowledging another one of God’s children.

The Ushers Ministry make an essential difference in how we can open our arms and our hearts to serve one another. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Anyone, male or female, young or old, is welcome to join. If interested in serving as an Usher, or just giving it a try, contact John Muder, mudjhn@gmail.com

Contact:  Fr. Chuck Whitmore or John Muder  

Sexton Ministry

Extends St. Paul’s hospitality to outside groups and functions that use St. Paul’s facilities by being present and assuring a safe, organized venue. Volunteers welcome; training provided; small stipend sometimes provided.