Saturday, December 21, 2013

180 Years

Passing south through Portsmouth along the East Main Road you can not help but notice the small white church at the corner of Church Lane. On a Sunday morning you might see parishioners coming and going from worship. But, you would not necessarily realize that these parishioners are only the most recent among the many, many persons who have worshipped here weekly while walking in the way of the Lord over the last 180 years.

Just 5 years ago we had a large celebration of our 175th anniversary. At that time we were seeking God's blessing for our future - we have seen some of that future - and we believe that we have been blessed.

In those five years we have accomplished much. We have moved to a single service which further strengthens the bonds among those in our extended family church. We have increased our pledges more than 40 % in just the last year which greatly enhances our financial viability

Music has always been a central part of worship at Saint Paul's, whether it be the oldest and most traditional Anglican hymns or contemporary Christian music. We express our love and are loved through our music, we heal and are healed through our music, and we teach and learn through our music. We are very much making a joyful noise unto the Lord with our current music program, including the folk duo of Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly on first Sundays, and discussions about a choir in the near future.

We have seen the departure and passing of friends and family - perhaps none more sorely missed than The Rev. H├ębert W. Bolles.

We have continued our interaction with the community and our outreach including: strengthening the Portsmouth Arts Guild partnership; participating in post-Katrina Habitat for Humanity Mission Trip to New Orleans; continuing our Cereal Nights; raising money in “Beads for Life” in support of women and their families in Uganda; donating food to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center; walking for CROP/CWS; supporting the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA);  supporting the Episcopal Charities Fund of Rhode Island as well as Episcopal Relief and Development; sharing use of the church facilities with groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon, Overeaters Anonymous.

Most importantly we now have the steadying hands of The Rev. Paul Twelves and The Rev. Becky Anderson, our two part-time priests, leading our worship and helping guide us toward articulating and implementing key initiatives following our recent Strategic Planning Workshop. We are stronger for their support and for the wise nurturing of The Rev. Canon Linda Grenz and The Right Rev. Nicholas Knisely.

We are pleased to be celebrating 180 years here, we are still humbly seeking God's blessing for our future, and we invite you to share that future with us.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sundays with Atwater-Donnelly

Learn more about our Sunday program with Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly in this article by Jim McGaw and then join with us for worship when Atwater-Donnelly return on January 5th.