This year for Holy Week, our community made made some changes and adjustments in our liturgies from past years. Some were by necessity (i.e. using multi-purpose worship spaces!). All were planned with care, and achieved through the work of many hands and hearts. Parishioners responded to a survey from the Liturgy Committee to help determine what worked well and what might need some attention for next year. The survey results were shared at the May Parish Council meeting, and are available below (including parishioners’ written notes) for your reading pleasure.
2018 Liturgy Lenten Survey
On Saturday, June 16 from 9 AM-12PM, St. V’s Green Team in organizing a clean-up for the neighborhood around our spiritual home. It will be an opportunity to forge connections with our Jonestown neighbors. It is scheduled the weekend before the Jonestown festival, so we can spruce up the area!
Archbishop Lori has written a Pastoral Letter titled The Enduring Power of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Principals of Nonviolence. The Archbishop sees the letter as a pastoral tool in parishes and a springboard for preaching about racism and Dr. King’s principles of nonviolent direct action. You can read the letter here.
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It is unusual to have Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, fall on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. This conjunction of these two days may, at first sight, seem to be a bit odd. I believe, with deeper reflection, there is a nuance to Lent that is revealed through the celebration of Valentine’s Day!
To begin the discipline of carefully, thoughtfully and honestly looking at ourselves and the way we live life is a truly loving act. In loving the real truth about ourselves we are encouraged and emboldened to seek out, understand and discard whatever is inconsistent with that truth. This life-changing process which we dedicate ourselves to during the season of Lent can lead not only to the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus but to the “rising” of our own deepest truths to be lived out in creative and loving ways. It is here that Lent and Valentine’s Day join in a common goal, again. Continue reading
This would be one way to describe 2017 at St. Vincent. Through it all, our community has continued to thrive in our worship: We’ve had baptisms, weddings, and funerals. We’ve come together for cherished, traditional events, like Seder, Easter Vigil, First Communion, and the parish retreat. We have also started some new initiatives. To remind us, here’s a quick rundown of the events of 2017 in the life of this parish.
We began the year celebrating the Eucharist each week with guest presiders while our pastor, Fr. Dick Lawrence, recovered from a fall. These visiting priests, many of them Jesuits, gave us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves as Church through the new perspectives and insights they brought. In February, Fr. Dick officially retired. He joined us for one last Mass as pastor just before the start of Lent. (He returned to his home in Harbor East six weeks later.) Continue reading
Welcome to our website! And thank you for taking the time to join us for an ongoing exploration of the message on our new banner on the back of our church:
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me…”
The truth is: we are all intimately aware of what it is like to be stranger. In some particular moment and to varying degrees each of us has actually experienced, often viscerally, what it is like to be recognized as and treated as stranger.
Please click here to share with us your own experience of what it feels like to be considered a stranger by another. In sharing our experiences with one another our understanding of being-a-stranger will be deepened and expanded. As it does, our capacity to experience and have compassion for the one who is “other” will develop and blossom. Then, the words of our sign will be true for each of us…someone was a stranger but is no longer because you and I welcomed them.
We, the Community of St. Vincent’s Church, are deeply committed to social justice both through our weekly celebration of Liturgy and in our day to day activities. If you would like to learn more about us, please accept this invitation to visit.
If you would like to take a big step on your journey to a deeper spirituality, consider practicing Centering Prayer. This form of meditation in the Christian tradition is a simple practice of sitting quietly and being open to the presence of God. The practitioner selects a word or phrase to assist in letting go of thoughts, feelings and sensations and returning to an openness to God. Centering prayer can have many specific benefits, but the greatest is the deepening of one’s encounter with God that changes and enlarges one’s perspective, enabling the practitioner to be truly compassionate toward others, as Jesus teaches. YouTube has short explanatory videos by Fr. Thomas Keating and longer ones by Cynthia Bourgeault.
Centering Prayer can be practiced in a group or alone, but a group setting is a good way to start. St. V’s group meets on first and third Sundays at 8:45 AM for 30 minutes. Group meets in the classroom near the parking lot. You can also enter through the church to find the classroom.
St. V has set up an online shop with CafePress where individuals can purchase a St. V magnet and have it shipped directly to them. If your desire for St. V swag transcends magnets, we also have these designs on tote bags, coffee mugs, and the like. If you have ideas about other products you’d like to see in the shop, email the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org.