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Bishop Prince Singh to visit us March 9, 2014:
What does this mean to us?
Every year or two, diocesan Episcopal bishops visit each of their parishes. As Episcopalians, we are under Episcopal oversight or a bishop’s care. The bishop checks to make sure our books are in order. Bishop Singh checks our Sunday church registry book as well as our baptism, marriage, and burial records for the year. He might look at Sunday morning trends or ask after how many baptisms, marriages, and burials we had since his last visit. The bishop also likes to meet with the vestry and share time visiting with our entire congregation. Many times, our bishop will facilitate a focus group discussion. He likes to connect us with the larger church and is available for questions. He will have some for us too!
Most importantly, the bishop likes to welcome new members who want to join our specific and unique church as full and active members. There are two ways. One way is for an Episcopalian to transfer membership from another Episcopal Church and be “received.” They are usually already confirmed and active members and fit right into their new church home. Another way is for those who come from another denomination and want to publicly confirm their faith as Episcopal Christians at St. Luke’s. Some of you that haven’t been confirmed but are active members can also be confirmed. In today’s society, it seems people don’t like to make long term commitments. At any time, you can transfer your membership or later decide to join another denomination. It is a way of making a commitment to the faith community you value and choose to attend now. Have you been baptized, but not confirmed as an adult? How many of you haven’t been baptized or confirmed? Epiphany is a wonderful time to think about these questions. We all need community and support in our Christian journey. When new folks make a commitment, they all seem to find their place and ministry in the here and now—and decide to stay for well; a very long time!
Over the years, we have had a very inconsistent history of confirmations. During the last 10, there were many years when there weren’t any! Last year was one of those years. We did have four baptisms. In 2010 and 2011, we confirmed and received members. Some of those confirmed or received were David Keller and Larry Tallman, Carol Potter, Bill and Nancy Plews, Ginny Campbell and Nona Spitzer. I am sure they would love to talk to you about their experiences. There are many more that have been confirmed and received over the years. It might be a nice topic of discussion after our Sunday worship services. W hen were you confirmed or received?
If you are interested in learning more, please let me know. We will need to have a couple of group sessions to learn about the Episcopal Church, our church, and what it means to be a practicing Episcopal Christian. These sessions do not mean you have to join, but might help you to understand more about your church. It is always nice to have “older” members come in and sit with us to learn and ask questions they may have for- gotten since their confirmation. I was confirmed at 12 and had a steep learning curve in seminary! I am always learning from you and with you!
Let’s do some learning together while enjoying the process and creating new or renewed friendships.
Your always learning priest, Krista+