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Welcoming Ministry This Sunday 10 a.m. in the Parish Hall

Posted 6:49 PM by

Attracting, welcoming, and incorporating new people into our congregation is the main goal for St. Dunstan's, established by our Vestry. Church experts tell us that, to be effective, every person in the congregation needs to be part of this effort. In other words, "Everybody is on the welcome Committee."

We have many ways to help -

  • Trail Guides welcome worshippers as they arrive on Sundays for the late service (contact Tom or Rosemarie Barrett, Joanne Comstock, or John Wyss to help with this important ministry.)
  • Host families at the 9 a.m. service who welcome worshippers.
  • Gift bags packed with St. Dunstan's information and a few goodies. Come Sunday at 10 a.m. (all ages) to help. Contact Jeff MacKnight.
  • Mapping our neighborhoods - Come Sunday at 10 a.m. to see where we all live, and who are your neighbors. We'd love to have a parishioner or two in each neighborhood to reach out to newcomers.
  • Delivering a small gift to people's homes soon after they visit St. Dunstan's for the first time, to show our appreciation for worshipping with us. (This has proved extremely effective in drawing people back for another Sunday.)
  • We now receive up to 100 names of move-ins in our area every month. We want to let them know about us, and reach out and invite them to St. Dunstan's.

We plan to gather helpers on Sunday about once a month to pitch in on our many welcoming tasks. All are welcome; just bring your coffee over to the table set up for the welcome ministry. We need you!

Our Vestry Membership Committee collects our attendance and growth data and sets our strategy for welcome and growth. Its members are Fred Bentley, chair; Lynne Adduci, and Nils Overdahl.




 

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Save the Date: Pub Conversations 7/7/15

Posted 6:46 PM by





 

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Summer Reading

Posted 6:41 PM by

Looking for a little summer reading?

Check out the lending shelf in the hallway to the parish office. We have purchased a number of books that were suggested in my last post in the Trailblazer on various LGBTQ subjects as well as help books for parents, youth and children to talk about gender, sexual identity, and sexual orientation. Also included in these books are some dealing with theological and biblical questions and understandings that have been discussed over the last decade or more. Please feel free to take these; but please return them when you are finished so other might also read.

Two of the suggested picture books for children have been placed on the children's book shelves in the parish hall - And Tango Makes Three and Jacob's New Dress. As with all books on the children's shelf, these can be read at church or taken home. Please just return them so other children may also read them.  





 

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Film + Family + Fun

Posted 6:04 PM by





 

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Cathedral Recital This Sunday

Posted 6:01 PM by


Colin MacKnight will play a recital on the Washington National Cathedral's 10,000 pipe Great Organ on Sunday, June 21, at 5:15 p.m.

Program:

Fantasia and Fugue in G, Op.188
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918)
Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for Unaccompanied Violin, BWV 1004
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Transcribed by Colin MacKnight (b. 1993)
Sicilienne, from Suite, Op. 5
Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)
Phantasie über den Choral 'Halleluja,
Gott zu loben bleibe meine Seelenfreud', Op. 52
Max Reger (1873-1916)


 

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Conversations at the Pub

Posted 5:58 PM by


 

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Next Friday at St. Dunstan's

Posted 5:38 PM by





 

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Follow-up: Pride Sunday

Posted 5:17 PM by

Did you know that The Episcopal Church had been trying for over 40 years to open the doors and give full sacramental access to the LGBTQ community? And while the church has come a long way since the early 70’s in these actions, there are still struggles for full inclusion. We are blessed to be in a diocese that honors full inclusion - both in welcome and in our sacramental life. Two of the four dioceses which I have served since my ordination have not. Those were difficult years for me and ones that required me to use my best formational skills and where simple actions opened conversations. I used to keep a picture of my best friend and his partner front and center on one of my bookshelves - it was amazing how that would give a young person enough courage to begin a conversation. Since our polity works through a democratic process, this can easily be bogged down in bureaucracy and political maneuvers by those on both sides. At the end of this mouth the General Convention of our church will again take up resolutions for regarding same-gender marriage. Please pray for our church as we again try to make full inclusion possible.

Last week I shared a bit of my history and formation regarding the inclusion of LGTBQ people. While much of the reasons for my early experiences are the result of personal relationships, I have also read many good books and in recent years have had access to web-based resources. If you’re looking for anything in particular, I would be happy to talk with you about your specific needs. Because each person’s situation, family, and background are unique, one book or website will not be good for all. Here are just a few of the resources I have found helpful over the years. Some are from a faith perspective and some are not. Please let me know if you have other resources that have been helpful to you.

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, St. Paul MN:  http://saintmarysepiscopal.org/curious/lgbt-friendly/ May good resources, links and personal stories are available here.

Official page from The Episcopal Church’s web site: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/lgbt-church Lots of information about the history and continuing work of inclusion of the LGBTQ community with The Episcopal Church. This site also contains many links to other resources and documents.

Integrity: http://www.integrityusa.org/ This grassroots organization developed over 3 decades ago to work for full inclusion of the LGBTQ community outside of the official channels of The Episcopal Church. There are many resources and links on this site, including links to the work of other faith communities.

Books for Children and pre-teens: It’s Not the Stork, It’s So Amazing, and It’s Perfectly Normal are great resources for parents and children about human reproduction, development and sexuality.

Adult Books: This Far by Grace by J. Neil Alexander and Homosexuality and Christian Faith by Walter Wink

For the Bible Tells Me So is an award winning documentary film about a number of families from different faith and cultural communities and their experiences with what it has meant to have a gay or lesbian child and the impact on their family.

The following recommendations come from Michael Austin:

List of books from PFLAG (an organization for parents of LGBTQ children) a good place to start: http://pflagdc.org/learn/recommended-reading-list/

Some direct book suggestions from him as well - all are available via Amazon or other booksellers:

General: God and the Gay Christian

For Kids: And Tango makes Three and Jacob’s New Dress

For Teens: Coming Out Young and Faithful and GLBTQ: The Survival Guide

For Parents: “Mom, I’m Gay”


 

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Update: Fred Smoak's Bike Ride

Posted 5:14 PM by



 

Fred Smoak on the beach in California as he begins his cross-country bicycle trip to benefit affordable housing through the Fuller Center.  


I cannot tell you how wonderful this ride is. The scenery is gorgeous, and the other riders supportive and congenial. The hospitality we have experienced is remarkable. Churches have opened their doors to us and families have given us meals, facilities, and welcomes that could not be nicer.
 

We have ridden through mountains, along levees, and on roads that have views that cannot but inspire awe and wonder.
 

I am so grateful for this experience and the support from St. Ds that helped make it possible.


Fred Smoak

 


 

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Pride Sunday- June 7

Posted 5:38 PM by

I was fortunate to grow up in a unique household in the 60’s and 70’s. Though it was in a very monolithic community, it was a home that welcomed all and placed no barriers on who was or wasn’t included. I did have to learn, and continue to grow in my understanding of what it means to be a person of the dominant culture in this country. Yet, our home was always open and welcoming to all.  That all included members of the LGBTQ community; though in those days our world only really recognized the first two letters in that acronym. 

It wasn’t really until my teenage years and into my young adulthood that I began to discover how unique this was. Most of my friends in high school and college were not so lucky. Many were raised in households that not only didn’t talk about sexuality or sexual orientation; they didn’t acknowledge that they had family members or friends who, well, were “different.” I recall many a conversation educating others about the miss-use and derogatory nature of the word gay.

As a teenager, I remember my friends thinking it was scandalous that we had two books in our home - Dr. Ruben’s book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask and The Joy of Sex. These were much coveted by my friends - especially from those homes were sex conversations were taboo. I was also blessed to be raised by my “Aunt” Betty - who my friends referred to as the “sex lady.” She is both a licensed sex therapist and educator, who worked for years in research with The Kinsey Institute at the University of Indiana. To say there was never a question that couldn’t be asked is huge understatement.

It has also been a great blessing to sit with friends and many young people who have honored me with their first open statements and stories of “coming out;” sharing both their joy in finally being able to talk to someone about who they were and their terror of being found out by family and friends. I have sat with them as they have told their parents; and watched families welcome and reject their own. And I sat with my best friend in the last month of his life as he finally succumbed to the realities of AIDS and the cancer that ravaged his body. His parents never knowing that he was a gay man until just weeks before his death.

Why write all this? While our parish is an opening and welcoming community; there are still many Christians who use scripture and God as a weapon. We are called to witness a God who welcomes, loves and includes. We are also a church that is willing to live with questions and the unknown. There is so much that we as humans do not understand about the diversity of God’s creation. This is one of the blessings and struggles of The Episcopal Church.  And it makes us unique. We welcome both what science teaches and what scripture enlightens. Let’s embrace our uniqueness and share that with those who most need the church doors to be open and welcoming.


Sue Von
Christian Formation Director

 
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