This week has seen a number of excellent local stories about the ministry of the Episcopal Church and its congregations across the country. Much of the coverage has talked about the way Episcopalians are responding to the needs of the people in Haiti, but even as most of the Church focuses on that, there is still much regular day to day ministry ongoing.
St. John's Episcopal Church in Bayshore was written up by the local paper for their Youth Group's involvement at a safe house for intoxicated teenagers in Gasparilla.
St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Long Beach Mississippi has finally been able to move back into a permanent building after their church was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The congregation has developed a real sense of mission focus as a result of their experience and has sent money all over the country to help other people suffering in the aftermath of natural disasters.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Sharpsburg Maryland has managed to call a bivocational priest who's still an active farmer. The Rev. Mark Wastler reports in the article about his calling:
Wastler, who is single, said he commutes from his farm to Sharpsburg, which is about an hour’s drive.
“I’m not that far away,” he said. “I can be at church or at the hospital to do pastoral care. Some of my responsibilities don’t have to be done on site, so I can continue to work on the farm. I’m fortunate that I have a very flexible schedule.”
Wastler said he has set a few goals, but mostly would like to see “the congregation embrace what it means to be a small country church, with an emphasis on good worship.”
St. Paul's Memorial Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Va., was recognized for their historic commitment to Civil Rights and inclusion, a tradition that still continues today. The Presiding Bishop is visiting there this weekend.