October is the beginning of our Annual Stewardship Campaign!

jeff helen

Our focus this year will be exploring what it means to encounter God the Giver. Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his book, In God’s Hands says, “This is a God who intervenes on our behalf, not because we deserve it, but because God’s love is freely given. It is grace. It is not earned; it cannot be earned. It does not need to be earned.”

Each week we will be featuring a testimony from one of our Stewards (shown below) and ask you to please submit your own testimony (with a picture) to Virginia in the church office: vemlen@stpaulschestnuthill.org  – Feel free to also visit our Stewardship page and complete a pledge card if you have not yet done so.

“We enjoy the strong community, engaging worship services, and beautiful choral music found at Saint Paul’s. They have made us feel very welcome as the parish has so much to offer everyone. The buildings and grounds are historically significant, beautifully kept and highly cherished. Contributing to Saint Paul’s provides not only for the present needs but also helps preserve the ministry and parish for generations to come.” ~ Jeff and Helen Lew

Bishop Charleston Tells of a Native Jesus and his Four Vision Quests – Oct. 24th

Saint Paul’s is blessed to be hosting Episcopal Bishop Steven Charleston who was our rector Cliff’s school mate and is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  Bishop Charleston will speak on his recently published book, The Four Vision Quests of Jesus, at Saint Paul’s on Saturday, October 24th at 3 pm. The presentation is sponsored by the Philadelphia Theological Institute. A book signing and reception will follow his talk. Saint Paul’s Rector Cliff Cutler says, “His book has the poetry and much of the poignancy of the classic Black Elk Speaks.”
He is a descendant of those who walked the Trail of Tears. President Andrew Jackson, ignoring the Supreme Court, ordered the Choctaw Nation to be first on the forced march from their homeland in Mississippi and parts of Alabama and Louisiana to a place the Choctaw called Oklahoma, a word meaning “red people.”
Bishop Charleston was ordained an Episcopal priest on the Standing Rock Reservation (where our high school youth go each summer), and later elected Bishop of Alaska. Currently, he teaches at the Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University.
Confirmation Class Meets with Bishop – Oct. 24th
After preaching at worship in the morning, he will be with our Confirmation class in the afternoon to share thoughts about his life and especially his most recent book-The Four Vision Quests of Jesus. Parents are encouraged to join usfor this seminar.

Jesus from Paul & John’s Gospel – THIS Sunday, Oct. 11th

At the Adult Forum on the next two Sundays, October 11th and 18th, from 9:15-10:15 a.m. in Dixon House, Dr. Erik Heen, Chair of John H. P. Reumann in Biblical Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, will engage us in an exploration of the letters of Paul and the Gospel of John – the earliest of the canonical texts and the latest of the Gospels, respectively, to be  included in the Bible. How did they perceive Jesus? What are the continuities and the discontinuities with each other and with the Synoptics? How do they shape our perception of our Lord?

Blessing of the Animals – THIS Sunday, Oct. 4th

Blessing of the Animals
Each year on Saint Francis Day, Saint Paul’s gathers creatures together for a blessing. Saint Francis wrote in our hymnal “Let creatures all give thanks to thee, and serve in great humility.”They can be dogs or cats, birds, or a bowl of fish.
The blessing will take place at the labyrinth at the back of the church at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 4th. We will have a special Mindful Worship that afternoon. What does it mean to feel in our hearts the closeness of a pet? Someone prayed, “God, make me more the person my dog thinks I am.” In so many ways the service will be a blessing.

Faith Forum on Saint Francis & Peace – THIS Sunday, Oct. 4th!

Frank Griswold

Frank Griswold, the 25th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will speak of Saint Francis and peace. The prayer attributed to Francis begins, “Lord, make us instruments of your peace.” October 4 is the day on which the church commemorates Saint Francis. Before beginning his ministry as presiding bishop, Bishop Griswold asked, “What did the crucifix say to Francis?” Christ had said, “Francesco, va ripara la mia chiesa – Francis, go rebuild my Church.” The Bishop’s talk will come just a week after the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia. Be sure to be with us!