The sower scatters seed and some of the seed lands on good, rich soil and comes up and yields a bountiful crop. St. George’s, through its various ministries, seeks to create this good soil, so that the Spirit can put down roots and grow in God’s people. I would like to share with you some of the ministries that I am privileged to be a part of at St. George’s.
Messy Church is not a stepping stone to Sunday Church, nor is it a ‘training’ ground for ‘real’ Church. Messy Church IS Church, where God’s people come together to worship.
Messy Church is in its fifth year at St. George’s. Messy Church was developed in a small Church in England and has grown to be a world wide phenomena. St. George’s has the distinction of having held the first Messy Church in Canada and as such acts as a resource throughout eastern Canada for other Churches seeking to start a Messy Church. It is a different way of being ‘church’. For those of us for whom Church has been a part of our lives, Messy Church might not feel like ‘real’ Church, but it is very much worship. There is a whole generation that has grown up without even a Bible in the home and for whom the Gospel is not even a remote memory. Traditional Church often has little appeal, and yet there is a hunger for something that they know deep in their heart, is missing. As well, there are young families struggling to manage family time in their busy lives and Sunday morning Church often just doesn’t work. Messy Church offers an alternative to worship that encourages family time together in an informal, fun and creative atmosphere, with music that encourages participation and an engaging approach that invites reflection. People are greeted at the door with a friendly welcome and a healthy snack. There are a variety of crafts and activities for toddlers to adults, as well as a challenge activity for the teens and pre-teens. People then gather to hear the message in the God talk and are encouraged to be with God in a a prayerful reflection on where God has been present in their lives. Worship ends with a meal together, as God’s people celebrate the generosity of God in providing the joy of a meal and the companionship of others. Messy Church is not a stepping stone to Sunday Church, nor is it a ‘training’ ground for ‘real’ Church. Messy Church IS Church, where God’s people come together to worship. Messy Church happens the second Wednesday of the month from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
First Steps is St. George’s way of reaching out and keeping connected to those young families who come to us seeking Baptism.
The First Steps Program is St. George’s post Baptismal program. At one time I was a part of a Church that had problem with bats, literally in the belfry. Someone suggested that we should baptize them and we would never see them again! It was said in jest, but sadly it reflected what we so often experience. First Steps is St. George’s way of reaching out and keeping connected to those young families who come to us seeking Baptism. When a family requests Baptism, a meeting is set up to encourage the parents and sponsors to explore what Baptism is about and what this step means for them and the one to be baptized. It is an opportunity to think about and explore their faith. Post Baptism, families receive a monthly letter informing them of upcoming activities at St. George’s, a short reflection on the theme for Messy Church that month, a copy of the bulletin and a “Splash” page. ‘Splash’ is published by the Lutheran Church and is an age specific (month by month) page with parenting tips and ways to nurture their child’s faith. Each month the family receives a call and once a year is visited. First Steps ends when the child is ready to enter Church School at age four.
36 kids and 20 leaders gather for a fun filled morning centered around a Faith theme.
Kid’s Camp (also known as Vacation Bible School) is another vibrant ministry at St. George’s. For one week, 36 kids and 20 leaders gather for a fun filled morning of skits, singing, games, crafts, and science activities, centered around a Faith theme. This year it was ‘Shake It Up Cafe: God’s recipe for us!’ Bread was made as well as butter to put on it. Yummy ice cream was created. We learned some great songs and made some neat crafts. The Gideons came and each child received a Bible. Children who had no idea who Jesus is had that first seed of faith planted. Kid’s Camp happens in July.
As an off-shoot of Kid’s Camp, there is a new program at St. George’s this year. On the school PD days, there will be a full day of faith based activities, similar to a Kid’s Camp day. Lunch and snacks will be provided. If you or someone you know might be interested, there is a registration form available here or from the Church office.
Over a glass of wine, or beer or a cup of coffee an engaging conversation occurs
Spirited Study is an adult program that happens once a month at The Shepherd’s Crook. Over a glass of wine, or beer or a cup of coffee an engaging conversation occurs on whatever topic the group has chosen for the month. This month’s topic will be “Should there be a separation of Church and State?” The Spirited Study happens on the third Wednesday of the month at 8:00 pm.
St. George’s at theGeorgetown Farmer’s Market: an opportunity to meet people where they are
During the summer and early fall, St. George’s has a table at the Georgetown Farmer’s Market most Saturdays. Information about St. George’s and the various programs and activities is available, but mostly it is an opportunity to meet people where they are, to offer a friendly smile, a biscuit to the dogs, a freezie to the children and a chance to talk to people. People can see that St. George’s is more than that beautiful stone church behind the trees.
God has blessed St. George’s with many skilled, committed and compassionate people who have both vision and focus to answer the call of the Holy Spirit. May we continue to be both blessed and a blessing in this community of Georgetown.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev’d Nancy Rowe