St Pauls FallHow long is Lydia staying with us?

The question is asked many times every week. And the answer is:

As long as it takes.

We are in an important in-between time — a time of working, praying, and waiting. As much as we might like to know when it will be over, this is a process that can’t — and shouldn’t — be rushed.

And as long as we are moving forward, Lydia is committed to journeying with us.

Let’s review the process so far, and get everybody caught up on where we are now.

First came the Missional Assessment Process, or MAP. Late in 2015 a team of Saint Paulites worked with an ECMN consultant to assess Saint Paul’s strengths and interests, and to look at the neighborhood around the church. The question was asked: Where is God already at work in our neighborhood, and how can Saint Paul’s be involved in God’s work? From the MAP, priorities were set, and the parish profile was shaped.

Step 2 was the Discover Process, in which a second team of Saint Paulites drafted the parish profile and a description of the kind of leadership Saint Paul’s is looking for in its next rector. This information was posted on national search sites, and applications began to come into the bishop’s office. A search committee was formed at Saint Paul’s.

In Step 3, Bishop Prior and Canon Karen Olson are reviewing applications, and forwarding on to our search committee the candidates that seem to be good matches for us. The search committee is diligently interviewing and reviewing. The bishop continues to send more applications our way. The process continues, and will continue, until the right person is found.

In the meantime we continue our work of praying, waiting, and being the church. The vestry and staff continue to work at strengthening the infrastructure, both physically with the building and support systems, and spiritually through worship, faith formation, community life, etc. — while at the same me taking our leap of faith to become engaged in the neighborhood, and to take risks for the sake of God’s work in and through us.

Please continue to pray for Saint Paul’s, for the search committee, and for the person God will send to be our next rector.

The following prayer was found on the website of Christ Episcopal Church, Cedar Park, Texas, from their rector search in 2014. It is offered here with gratitude to the anonymous author:

Lord, we ask you to guide the members of our Search Committee in their selection of candidates for our new spiritual leader. Give them wisdom and insight into the qualities of leadership needed to best serve our precious church.

Encourage the spirit of the person who will become our priest to accept with joy your choice for him/her to lead us as we move forward as a faith-filled church.

Give us all a sense of happy anticipation as we await the one we know will be the right one according to your plan for us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

REOPENING of Saint Paul's Church 27 June at 10:00am - click for details

Dear Saint Paul’s faith community members and friends,

God’s peace be with you! Rejoice! Rejoice! Given the decrease in COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and the increase in the number of people who have been vaccinated, we are excited to announce the re- opening of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church building on Lake of the Isles on Sunday, 27 June at 10:00AM. We will have a beautiful and joyful worship with Eucharist, and coffee hour to follow. For those of you who are unable to come to the church building, a live Zoom stream will be available. Look for the Zoom link in the E-pistle.

Saint Paul’s COVID-19 Response Team Members (Mark Anderson, Steve Riendl, Angie Paulson, Jacob Manier, Rev. Janet MacNally, and Rev. Ramona Scarpace) have put together guidelines for worshiping together in-person. These guidelines are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. The team asks that, in the spirit of loving God and neighbor, everyone follow the guidelines as listed below. If you have any questions or concerns about these guidelines, please contact Junior Warden and COVID Response Team Chair Steve Riendl at sriendl@stpaulsmpls.org.

IN-PERSON WORSHIP GUIDELINES: Attendance

  • No pre-registration for worship is required

Your Health

  • If you aren’t feeling well for any reason, please take care of yourself at home. You may join the service via Zoom.
  • If you have any personal health questions or concerns about attending in-person worship services, please speak with your medical provider.

Creating a Welcoming and Safer Environment

  • Greeters and ushers will be on-hand to assist you with seating, service bulletins, questions
  • The church and restrooms will be cleaned before and after each Sunday worship service
  • Hand sanitizer and masks will be available
  • All books will be removed from the pews. Worship bulletins will be available in paper and electronic format.

Masks and Social Distancing

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask or socially distance. You may wear a mask and socially distance for your own comfort level.
  • If you are not vaccinated, please wear a mask and socially distance.
  • If someone is wearing a mask, please keep socially distant from them.

Seating

  • Saint Paul’s Church seats approximately 250 people. Given our regular Sunday attendance numbers, there is plenty of room to spread out.
  • We recommend that family groups sit together.
  • Fully vaccinated people may sit with other fully vaccinated people.
  • If someone is wearing a mask, please socially distance from them when selecting a seat

Singing

  • Congregational singing is permitted.

The Peace

  • Please remain in your seats for the Peace. Use a wave, a nod, a smile, etc.

The Eucharist

  • Clergy and those assisting at the altar will sanitize their hands in view of the congregation.
  • Communion will be of bread only. We will use gluten-free wafers for all. Receive the bread in your hands.
  • The common cup of wine will not be used at this time.
  • You may receive at the altar rail kneeling or standing. If you are unable to or do not wish to come up to the altar rail, please notify an usher, and the bread will be brought to you.
  • Note: Rev. Ramona, and Rev. Janet are fully vaccinated.

Coffee Hour

  • To be held at the back of the church
  • Coffee and lemonade only, served in disposable cups
  • A limited number of people will set up refreshments and pour
  • No foods at this time

Nursery

  • The nursery will be available and staffed.
  • The nursery will be cleaned before and after each Sunday.
  • Parents must give contact information (name and phone number)

COVID-19 Tracing

  • If Saint Paul’s becomes aware of a situation where someone who attended the service receives information that they have contacted COVID, Saint Paul’s will notify people of the occurrence via the E-pistle.

We give thanks for the gift of coming together in-person to worship God, the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of life. We give thanks for all who worked so diligently to create and distribute vaccines. We give thanks for those who put themselves at risk to keep others safe. We remember those who have died and hold their families in our prayers.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday, 27 June!

Blessings,
Mark Anderson, Senior Warden
Steve Riendl, Junior Warden
Rev. Ramona Scarpace, Priest-in-Charge

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