Merry Christmas, St. Augustine Family - I hope you are enjoying the holidays with friends and family, and also having some rest and relaxation. I wanted to take a moment, as your Member Engagement Coordinator, to communicate with you about our Story Groups, and encourage you to consider signing up for the group of your choice.
For some time, the clergy and staff of St. Augustine has been receiving feedback from members of the parish that they are really wanting to have available, and participate in a small group experience that goes beyond 'supper clubs.' In that effort, we've structured Story Groups to launch at St. Augustine in early January of 2020, and would like to see as many of you participating as possible.
What exactly IS a story group? It is a small group of less than 10 people who commit to meeting weekly to study the Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday. Members of a Story Group take time to pray for each other, but also socialize and do 'life' together. The primary goal of the Story Group will be to create an environment for people to develop and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, and with each other.
Fr. Joe has very carefully curated a wide range of groups based on different interests and demographics. We have a group for Spanish speakers, adults 55+, single adults, teens (middle and high school), young adults (20's and 30's focused on social and outreach), grief and loss, healing and care, adult men only, ALPHA (for newer Christians or those new to the church), and families with children. Our facilitators are fantastic, and ready to lead.
Groups will meet weekly, and for at least an hour. Meeting locations may rotate at people's homes, at the church, or other locations around the city. You'll get all the specifics from your group facilitator prior to the start.
What are we missing? YOU! I want to personally invite you to get signed up for a Story Group today! What group sounds interesting to you? Please let me know if you'd like to get on one of the rosters and we'll get your spot reserved. There are sign up sheets at the church office where you can sign up in person, or you can email me.
Please let me know if there are any questions I can answer or anything additional I can do to help get you signed up for a Story Group. Groups will launch Wednesday, January 8th, so the time to sign up is now.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope to hear from you soon.
Member Engagement Coordinator
St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
A message from our Rector
The holly bears a blossom,
As white as the lily flower,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To be our sweet Savior.
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.
Those familiar words summarize what this time of year is all about. Can you imagine what the Advent/ Christmas Season would be like without the sounds of familiar music ringing in our ears?
For over three decades the organ has played an integral part of St. Augustine’s vibrant music ministry. For many, the power and beauty of an organ raises our spirits, lifts our minds and hearts, helps explain sacred mysteries, reveals divine grace, stirs our deepest emotions and inspires our lives.
Our current organ is over 33 years old, and it has served the congregation faithfully. In recent years it has aged and fallen into major disrepair. While our organists have used their considerable skills to work around parts of the organ that have failed, recently new problems have arisen and we have learned that the organ is beyond economical repair. This past week the Vestry met with our organists to consider how to maintain a sense of musical integrity, which is important to the members of St. Augustine, and find the resources to obtain an instrument that could serve the congregation for many future decades.
During these discussions, St. Augustine was blessed to receive a sizable anonymous gift of $75,000. It seemed fortuitous that the need and the means to begin addressing it came together almost simultaneously.
After careful consideration the clergy, musicians, and Vestry met and determined that it is in the best interest of the church to allocate the anonymous monetary gift towards the acquisition of a new Allen digital organ. Because this instrument is total pipe compatible, it can function eventually as the console in our long-term plan to install the pipes from the Moeller pipe organ we currently have in storage. Thus, we can meet our immediate need for a functioning organ while taking a large step towards our ultimate goal of a grand pipe organ.
The organ manufacturer tells us that it will take about four months for the new instrument to be ready for installation. In the meantime, the Allen Organ Company has provided us with a loaner instrument until our new instrument is installed. The loaner organ is in place now and ready to meet our needs while our own is completed.
Click on this link https://youtu.be/4R6G7o2V2JQ to watch a video in which our organist, John Potter, explains the issues with our old organ.