Consecration Sunday Is Coming Congregations that approach financial stewardship from a biblical perspective do not view the money Christians give to their church merely as a way to pay its bills. Rather, such congregations see financial contributions as a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting their church’s mission and ministry with a percentage of their incomes. Our congregation’s Vestry has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year. New Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. New Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?” During morning worship on Consecration Sunday, we are asking our attendees and members to make their financial commitments to our church’s outreach and other ministries in this community. Every attendee and member who completes an Estimate of Giving Card does so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. Even members who feel strongly opposed to completing a card are urged to attend. The collection of giving cards is done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card. We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. During morning worship our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, culminating in members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship. We will encourage participation in Consecration Sunday events through the Consecration Sunday team and Vestry members. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship. Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in Consecration Sunday events. Marian J. Moon Senior Warden
September 30, 2019
Dear St. Augustine of Canterbury Community,
“I am so ready for fall!” That’s a statement I often hear at this time of the year. The weather cools off a bit and nature begins its display of glorious new colors. This is apt metaphor for the changes that are coming to St. Augustine’s this fall. Our worship space is about to take on a new look in just a few weeks, and I’m so ready!
After years of dreaming on my part and many months of discussions and planning by our Vestry we are ready to make a significant change to our Nave. The reason driving the change is a practical one: the need to accommodate more worshippers as our parish grows. The reasons for the design of the new space are theological and historical. I’m excited to tell you about these practical, theological and historical aspects of the enhancements, but let’s first start with a basic description of what we’re planning:
In summary, the changes we are making are:
We’ve included a “worth-a-thousand-words” drawing that I hope will help you visualize what the new space will look like. We’ve also included details of the practical, historical and theological bases for the design choices we’ve made. I look forward to sharing more details about each of these aspects of our change in the coming weeks.
All of this transformation will cause some disruption to our usual routine beginning Monday, October 6th and culminating in the consecration of the new worship space -- along with the grand new Alice M. Norton Memorial Columbarium -- on November 3rd. So please pardon the near-term mess and rejoice with us in the opportunity for a new, fresh and meaningful look for our space in the near future.
Fr. Joseph C. Alsay
PRACTICAL ASPECTS of the Coming Changes:
Our reconfigured Nave will:
HISTORICAL AND THEOLOGICAL ASPECTS of the Coming Changes:
Through the wonderful flexibility of our new space we will understand in new, fresh and powerful ways that we are pilgrim people, not unlike our ancient biblical ancestors. The variety of ways that we continually decorate our space for various church holidays and seasons will now be enhanced with the ability to rearrange the space as well. In Christian liturgy there is no audience, only participants in the unfolding drama of our understanding of God.
A church is the place where the Christian community is gathered to hear the word of God, to offer intercession and praise and, above all, to celebrate the Eucharist. Thus, having the altar located in the midst of the gathered congregation stands as a special image of the church itself – God in the midst of the people.
The new altar will be constructed of hard wood and have an inlaid slab of Jerusalem limestone from the Holy Land on the top. Prayers and intercessions of the current members and friends of St. Augustine’s, as well as scripture passages relating to the Eucharist, will be permanently placed between the slab of stone and the wood during construction. These will be our heartfelt dreams and prayers for those people in our community that are searching for what we have found at St. Augustine’s. Thus the altar will become a time capsule of our hopes and dreams for the future mission and ministry of our church.
It is our further hope that, when funds are available, our present altar will ultimately be repurposed into the new baptismal font and pool. The continuity of this cherished piece of liturgical furnishing will be evident through the creation of a piece that will aid in the initiation of new believers for generations to come.