I was glad when they said to me,
‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’
Immanuel Highlands Family,
Fall is fast approaching, and with God’s grace we move forward into the gracious uncertainty of new beginnings. I write to share details of our next season together. Specifically: WORSHIP & FORMATION
o September 11, 2021: 10:00 am – Memorial Service for 20th Anniversary of 9/11
o September 12, 2021: 9:30 am service – Bishop Kevin Brown’s Visitation/Confirmation
o September 19, 2021: return to two Sunday services
o 8:00 am Holy Eucharist, Rite Two (Chapel)
o 10:30 am Holy Eucharist, Rite Two (Church)
o Beginning September 19: 6:00 pm – An Order for Compline resumes
o A Service for Healing will follow the 10:30 am service on the first Sunday of each month. (Chapel)
o Our choir returns September 12.
Notes on worship:
o Our Bread Bakers will return to baking fresh Eucharistic bread for our later service. We are grateful for their service, and look forward to returning to this tradition.
o Beginning September 19, during the Offertory, our ushers will begin to pass the offering plates throughout the congregation. I acknowledge this is a change after some time, and I offer these thoughts:
o One of our former Rectors, The Rev. Victor Kusik, stated, “…we need to reflect from time to time on the meaning of the Offertory, on what we are doing when we bring our gifts to the Lord’s Table, and how we should respond.” Passing the offering plate is a valuable act of Christian community. It is an expression of gratitude. It is a symbolic and concrete indication that the ‘commerce’ between God and humanity is not a contract but a covenant. A covenant based on scripture and tradition. Further, there is biblical precedent for the passing of the plate. From its conception, the church used its resources to build a koinonia – a community of the faithful. All who believed were together and would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. (Acts 2:44-45). There are also liturgical reasons for doing so. Customarily before the Great Thanksgiving, the gifts of bread and wine and our financial gifts come forward where the Celebrant receives them on behalf of the people, and we offer them to God. Fr. Kusik reminds us, “the bringing forward of the gifts does not culminate in the Doxology, but rather in the Great Thanksgiving which is the offering of ourselves, in union with Christ.” I am grateful for his posthumous counsel.
o Christian Formation/Education.
o Sundays: 9:00 – 10:00 am (between the services)
§ Adult Ed/The Good Book Study Group
· Studying curriculum and scripture on social justice, facilitated by Lyn Newsom and others (Common Room)
§ Inquirer’s Class
· Confirmation Formation for those newly Confirmed and seeking Confirmation, facilitated by the Rector and others. (Parlor)
§ Sunday School
· A “to be determined” curriculum for our children, currently facilitated by parents and other volunteers. (Clash Wing/2nd Floor)
o Wednesdays: 11:00 am – noon (before the 12:15 pm Eucharist)
§ Bible Study of the weekly lectionary (parlor)
Finally, our Ministry Fair will be held between the services on Sunday, September 19 (9:00 – 10:00 am) We will enjoy refreshments, have fellowship, celebrate the new year to come, and sign up for our Parish family’s various ministry opportunities. More information on this to come, but plan to attend, and continue to pray on how you can serve the mission of God’s Church in Immanuel Highlands.
Come and see…