St. Paul’s Church Looks to the Future-St. Paul’s is looking to the future as we prepare to enter into the season of Lent on February 13th with an observance of the Imposition of Ashes at 12 noon and again at 5 pm. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the 40- day observance that prepares us to observe Holy Week and Easter. All are welcome at St. Paul’s services on Ash Wednesday.

St. Paul’s continues to offer Bible Study opportunities for all ages. Bible Buddies meet at St. Paul’s on Tuesday afternoons from 3:15 p.m. until 4:10 p.m. The focus of this year’s programs is the Bible. This is emphasized on Sunday mornings with a Church School program called “The Story” which has 31 key events from the Bible offered in chronological order. Diner Day will take place on February 20th. All kids and the adults they eat lunch with are invited to St. Paul’s undercroft for a noon meal. Adults are also following a similar program from the same series. The adults will discuss the Old Testament in February, Jesus’ life and ministry in March and Paul’s impact on the Christian experience in April. This program has been offered on Fridays at noon. A second group is being formed on Tuesday mornings at 9:30am. Each week stands on its own so you can start coming any time or join the new group in February.

St. Paul’s Church is looking to the future as the congregation recognizes the new leadership positions which were filled at the Annual Meeting on January 20th. Berni Steinbach begins his first three-year vestry term at Put-in-Bay. Clark Davies and Melinda Myers were both re-elected to a second three year term. Jeanne Burgess, Senior Warden, thanked Doraine Toms for six years on St. Paul’s vestry. She was not eligible for a third term. Paula Hubner and Mella Davies were elected to represent St. Paul’s at the North Central Mission Area Council comprised of a dozen Episcopal Churches in our area.

The NCMAC provided over 25% of the funding for St. Paul’s food pantry this winter. St. Paul’s is a gift to the community providing a witness to Christian faith and action. Several groups meet at St. Paul ’s including the Brownie Girl Scouts. Meeting space is just one of the ways St. Paul’s supports this community. St. Paul’s revised the parish mission statement at the Jan 20th 2013 Annual Meeting. St. Paul’s parish mission is: To welcome all people, encourage Christian growth and proclaim the Gospel by word and deed.

Religious Education at Mother of Sorrows-During their Religious Education session on Tuesday, Jan. 22, children at Mother of Sorrows Church participated in a special prayer service. With church bells ringing, the children, catechists, and parents gathered around the Blessed Sacrament placed on the altar, to pray for peace and justice and for a greater respect for life. There was a special focus on “children around the world” represented by flags of India, Somalia, Russia, Guatemala and the United States. The various flags were placed around a world globe as the needs of the children in the respective country were offered up in prayer. As student Hannah Lentz read Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan, the children reflected on how they treat their “neighbor.” This experience allowed the children to “be a voice” for children who are unwanted, neglected, abused or forgotten in our world today

St. John@TheBay-Youth Ministry … Over the past few months St. John@TheBay has been providing regular opportunities for junior
and senior high youth to gather together for fun and fellowship. In January, youth gathered on two occasions for some friendly “Let’s Dance!” competition. Five youth were “dancing fools” on January 6 and then six gave it their choreographed best on January 20. Our February event is still in the planning stages, possibly on Friday, February 22, watch for a postcard in your mailbox with all the details.

Thinking about our Future … Our Leadership Team met on Sunday, January 20 to review and rework our Mission Plan. This is necessary preparation in advance of moving forward with the call process that will lead to a new mission developer joining our work on the island.

February Worship changes … Due to the Winter Break at Put-in-Bay Schools we will not be gathering for worship on the two middle Sundays in February 10 and 17. Worship on Sunday, February 3, will be led by Pastor Ralph Schibler. And worship on Sunday, February 24, will be led by Jim and Linda Stauffer. All services are at 1:30 p.m. at Mother of Sorrows. Come and join us for worship