OUR CHURCH COMMUNITY:
· Our priest, officially called the Rector, leads the church. The Rector may be assisted by a Deacon during the worship service.
· St. Paul’s is part of the Diocese of Western Michigan, led by a bishop, and of the Anglican Communion of Churches, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
· Our “board of directors” is called the Vestry. Members of the Vestry are elected by the congregation to direct the activities of the church in coordination with the Rector.
· Our Sunday worship service begins at 11 AM.
· Altar Guild members serve the church by preparing the altar for worship services on Sundays and at other occasional times.
· An outreach committee serves the local community and the greater world by donating money and goods to those in need.
· Other commissions of the parish in which members participate include education, building, fellowship, stewardship, worship, and healing ministry.
· St. Paul’s Food Kitchen dinner on Tuesdays and is hosted by members of the church and members of other churches along with community volunteers.
· Refreshments and fellowship are offered every Sunday following the service. Please join us!
OUR WORSHIP SERVICES:
· The Episcopal Church is a liturgical denomination, meaning that we follow a written service of a set sequence that unites us with both the historical and the worldwide church. The first part of the worship service is devoted to the reading of the Scripture, the homily (sermon) and prayers. The second part of the service is the Holy Eucharist, which is the celebration of the mystery of Christ’s presence in and among us. All persons baptized in the Christian faith are welcome to receive communion.
· Our hymns are usually found in the blue hymnal in each pew. The service music is printed in the hymnal and also in the service booklet. A choir of the church often sings during the service. Whether spoken or sung, the words of the liturgy are meant to be meditated upon.
· Members of the congregation serve as Lay Readers and Acolytes during the worship service. Lay readers read the scripture lessons and may also serve communion. Alcolytes carry the candles and crucifix to the altar and serve the priest during the service.
· The Episcopal Church has other worship services in addition to the Sunday morning Eucharist. Some of these are held on special Christian days but many others are for everyday use. The red Book of Common Prayer, found in each pew, contains service liturgies for Morning and Evening Prayer, a Daily Prayer service for individuals or families, and special services for baptism, confirmation, marriage, death, and ordination of clergy. This book also contains Psalms, a special section of prayers, daily and Sunday scripture readings, historical documents about the Episcopal Church, charts for finding Holy Days and a catechism of study of the beliefs of the Church.
· The church building was originally the Congregational Church and was located across the street. When the Congregationalists decided to build a new church, the small group of Episcopalians purchased the building. It was moved across the street to its present location by rolling the building on large logs. At least one of the logs can be seen in the cellar of the church. The building was established as the home of an Episcopal Church in 1879. The history of the building is detailed on a Michigan historical marker at the corner of the property and on St. Paul’s website,
· The Parish Hall was donated by the Gibbs family in 1905. There is a plaque in the Parish Hall recognizing this gift. It is used by the parish for church functions and also by other community groups.
· Many of the art pieces inside the building have been made and/or donated by church members throughout the years.