Episcopal congregations have been busy this week and there are a few interesting stories in particular to highlight: A new interdenominational thrift store with "treats", a cathedral recreating green-space in the downtown and a parish that now has its own eponymous brew.
A new thrift store has been opened in Sioux Falls S.D. in a cooperative venture by local Episcopalians and Lutherans. Which isn't surprising. The Rev. Lilette Johnston, the Episcopal clergy person leading the effort is married to a local Lutheran pastor. The Mission of the Messiah thrift store was organized and supported by Episcopal and Lutheran congregations.
"Business has been good, Johnston said.
‘Beds and furniture go out the door almost as quick as they come in,’ she said. ‘We weren't even open and we were getting requests for furnishings.’
The Mission of the Messiah has as its mission to provide help and hope through compassionate outreach and service, Johnston said.
[...]One of the Mission of the Messiah's distinguishing features is the coffee pot is always on, Johnston said.
‘We also have treats!’ she quipped."
St. Paul's Cathedral in Des Moines Iowa is rolling back the clock on its grounds, tearing up some of its parking area to create a new green-space for the downtown:
By the next summer, the church ground will resemble its original natural state.
In the 19th century, the land behind the church on Ninth and Pleasant streets hosted residences and various business, including a lumberyard. In the first half of the 20th century, urban apartments had been built. The church later purchased those and razed them to create parking for its congregation and the weekday corporate workers of downtown.
While keeping some parking, the new public green space will feature rain gardens, 13 native-species trees, native shrubs and perennials, a labyrinth path and a gathering space that may be used by the public.
And, just in time for the holidays, St. James in Lancaster PA is ready to roll out a new microbrew created in its honor by parishioners:
"There are a lot of microbrew drinkers in the church, and a lot of interest in quality beer," Rieker said. "We thought we would donate it to the church, and they could do whatever they wanted with it."
The initial batch of several gallons was served to rave reviews at a church event.
But Rieker, who works as a brewer at Lancaster-based Iron Hill, decided to take the ale a step further and brewed 310 gallons for the restaurant.
"Everyone knows St. James Church," Rieker said. "It's just another way for Iron Hill to connect with the community."