Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!— Psalm 117:1-2
Our Baptismal Covenant reminds us of the importance of continuing “in the apostles’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.” In the Eucharist, we find a connection with God, and with Christians past, present, and yet beyond ourselves. Each of us is on a spiritual journey, seeking the path to a sustaining relationship with God and with others. We at St. Paul’s have chosen to journey with one another, to become part of a living tradition which speaks to us profoundly, and challenges us to grow into a deeper faith.
Liturgy at St. Paul’s uses the Book of Common Prayer. When the Anglican church was established in the 16th century, forms for worship were set out in a Book of Common Prayer to be used by all churches in England. Although based on ancient forms of worship, the Book of Common Prayer was designed so that all worshipers could understand and participate. Today, the member churches of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church, extend around the world, but all share the heritage of the Book of Common Prayer. Episcopal services do not focus on one clergy person, but roles of leadership are shared by many, both lay and ordained, men and women, adult and youth. It is a central tenet of our worship that there are no spectators; everyone is a participant. At St. Paul’s the Pillar of Worship includes the Altar Guild, Acolytes, Child Care, Children’s Chapel, Greeters, Healing Ministry, Lay Eucharistic Visitors and Ministers, Lectors, our Music Ministry, Ushers, Videographers and the Worship Planning Committee. All serve God in their designated roles.
A member of the Altar Guild states:”Each time I prepare the Lord’s table for Eucharist I am reminded of God’s immense love for us and rejoice with gratitude for the gift.” Lay Eucharistic Ministers bring Holy Communion to shut-in parishioners and offer Healing on the first and third Sundays of the month.”Grace fills the space during the laying on of hands. This is a sacred moment between the parishioner and God.”
Although our musical heritage is one of the world’s richest and most deeply spiritual, our music also celebrates and encompasses many different traditions. A choir member states: “While serving the congregation in worship, I connect with the liturgy and past choirs at St. Paul’s. There is grace in harmony, and we make connections through the sharing process.” St. Paul’s is a church where all people may offer their gifts and are welcomed and celebrated.