Parish News April 27, 2018

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Membership and Belonging: Part I
By Fr Bruce Swinehart
Jesus never asked his followers to apply for membership or fill out a pledge card.  He didn’t appoint a board of directors or a create a formal leadership structure (although Peter, James, John and Mary Magdalene did seem to be “first among equals”).  There was no bureaucracy.  That’s because Jesus was building a movement, not an organization.  He was more interested in belonging than in membership.
Anyone could (and still can) join the Jesus Movement: sinners, tax collectors, Zealots, Samaritans, Jews, non-Jews, Syro-Phoenecians (after some cajoling), women, men, rich, poor, blind, lame, straight, GLBT, Republicans, Democrats, “all nations.”  Everyone belongs in the Kingdom. Only one thing is required: “take up your cross and follow me.”

(click on event title links for details)
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Please note that the Church Office will close at 2pm on Wednesday, May 2, and reopen at 9am on Monday, May 7.

A new Sign-Up Board is now located on the wall between the kitchen and the fireplace.  Check it out and sign up for providing Altar Flowers or Coffee Hour.

New Adult Forum: Mental Health Awareness Month

On Sunday, May 6 at 9:00am, we will begin a three week series (May 6, 13, and 20) of adult forums on Mental Health Awareness where we will explore our own attitudes and assumptions, listen to the journeys of fellow parishioners who have offered to speak on this topic as it has impacted their lives, and offer prayerful reflection and intention to see God’s light in the midst of the journey. I hope you will add the gift of your own bright consciousness to our discussion.  Thank you!  Courtney Gambrell.  Read more here >
The Episcopal Church Welcomes You
Fr Bruce will offer a 5-session series for adults called “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” on Wednesdays May 9th-June 6th from 6:30-8:30pm.  The series will explore topics such as church history, spirituality, how we read the Bible, engagement with culture and society, and church organization. It would be especially good preparation for anyone wishing to be received into the Church or confirmed by Bishop O’Neill on June 9th, but all are welcome. Please RSVP to Fr Bruce at
Music Director Update
Matt Witherow will be stepping down as our Music Director effective May 1.  Fortunately for us, he has agreed to stay on as our principal accompanist for Sunday worship.  We do not anticipate hiring a new Music Director in the near future, but will be assessing our needs and creating a vision for our music program as we move through this time of transition. In the meantime, please feel free to contact Fr Bruce with any comments, questions, or suggestions you may have.  And please offer a word of thanks to Matt for his outstanding work with us.

Mother’s Day Youth Led Service

Please join us on Sunday, May 13, to celebrate the women in our lives.   Contact Sue Crowley if you’d like to get involved.
SMM Book Club
Marge and Ed Szoke have selected a GREAT book for the Book Club!  American Savior, a novel of divine Politics, by Roland Merullo. The premise is: Jesus Christ comes down to America and is running for president as an independent. It is quite humorous with themes of religion and politics, and a little bit of sex thrown in to help it sell.  Marge and Ed will host us at 7pm, Friday, May 18, at their home.  Respond, please, to Ed and Marge.
Ice Cream Celebration!
In celebration of our last day of Godly Play and Youth Group for the school year and as a thank you to our wonderful volunteer teachers, we will have an ice cream party after the 10 am service on Sunday, May 20.  Can you say Sweet Cow Moo Mobile?  We will be accepting cash donations to help offset cost out of  the children and youth budget. All are invited!  Contact Sue Crowley.
Taking Root: Vacation Bible School 2018
Register here for Saint Mary Magdalene and Shepherd of the Hills 2018 VBS program: Taking Root!  We will spend the week traveling to Haiti, Madagascar and China to explore what it means to care for all God’s people, everywhere.  We will gather June 6th – 8th from 4 pm to 7 pm.  Supper will be provided at 530 pm!
VBS is available to children aged 5 years to 5th grade. Our middle school and high school aged youth will work as “camp counselors.” The program will be hosted here at Saint Mary Magdalene.
Topics we will cover are:
Day 1: Recognizing Hunger
Day 2: Living Faithfully & Caring for Our Neighbors
Day 3: Imagine a World Where No One is Hungry & You Are Important Even If You Are Small
Please contact Sue Crowley if you have any questions.

Update Your Birthdays and Anniversaries with SMM

In an effort to keep accurate lists of birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate with our community, cards will be on the Welcome Table by the front entrance to the sanctuary to provide updated information.  Please take a moment to complete one for yourself and your family and place it in the offering basket during the month of April.  If you would like to submit the information digitally, click here for a sample and email the info to Sarah Jane Delaney.  Thank you for helping us update our records to celebrate together!
Mission Trip to Nogales AZ/Mexico: July 30-August 4
We are planning another “border immersion” trip to Nogales, a city on both sides of the US/Mexico border.  We will learn how legal and illegal immigration affects on life along the border, talk with migrants, walk migrant trials, and visit a sister Episcopal church. We’ll stay at a community center on the Mexico side, and work with the children there.  Please contact Fr Bruce to reserve a space or to learn more. Last year the cost was roughly $600/person, including airfare.  Click here to see a recent article by the New York Times about Nogales.
Support Community Food Share
Looking for an easy way to support Outreach? Please remember the SMM Food Pantry basket in your weekly grocery shopping! Donations such as cereal, peanut butter, soup, canned tuna and chicken, rice, and baby food/formula are especially needed. Place sealed, non-perishable items only in the basket at the back of church in the entry way. Thank you!
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Bishop: The Rt. Reverend Robert O’Neill
Priest in Charge: The Rev. Bruce Swinehart,
Children and Youth: Sue Crowley,
Music Director: Matt Witherow,
Parish Administrator: Brian Gates,
Sr. Warden: Jim Watkins, 
Jr. Warden: Jeff Cantrell,
Worship Service Times

Saturdays 5:00pm
Sundays 8:00am & 10:00am

Office Hours

Mon-Thur 9am-2pm

Closed Thur May 3

Priest in Charge Hours

Monday – Sabbath
Tues-Thur – Office Hours
Fri-Sat – by appointment

To submit an announcement for the church calendar, Parish News, website, and bulletin, email the church office no later than 12:00pm on the Tuesday prior to desired publication.  Please limit announcements to 50 words or less.  If more information is needed, a document can be linked to the announcements with a full description.
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