(Highlights of the April 17, 2019 Vestry meeting)

Safe Church: Church leaders, staff and supervisors of children are required by the Diocese of Michigan to be trained to recognize and prevent abuse of children and vulnerable adults. A six-hour training session was held recently at St. Andrew’s. A number of Vestry members, Suzanne Di Piazza, our Missioner for Children, Youth and Families, and a nursery staff member from St. Clare’s, along with a group from St. Andrew’s attended. Suzanne was shadowing the presenters in preparation for becoming a presenter herself.

Worship Style: Years ago, there were two Sunday services at St. Clare’s: a quiet, meditative service at 8:00 (no music), and a fully supported service at 10:00 (with music). Over time the early service evolved: it moved up to 7:45 (to make time for a 9:00 service); and an exit hymn was added (often sung a capella). The 10:00 service moved to 10:30 (to make time for the 9:00 service). The 9:00 service was developed as a family friendly gathering with a sermon geared for young folk and fun, easily sung music. During the summer, when many families were away, the 7:45 and 9:00 services were combined into a hybrid at 8:30 which was neither quiet and meditative nor particularly family friendly. Based on results from a 2018 Worship Survey designed by the Worship Commission, and in light of recent events such as the reduction in parish size, the Clergy, Vestry and Staff established a two service schedule to be continued year round for now. This resulted in a hybrid 8:30 service becoming the standard early service. During the program year, services are held at 8:30 and 10:30, while during the summer services are at 8:30 and 10:00. A long time member (who attended the original 8:00/7:45 service) recently expressed concern to the Worship Commission that the culture of that quiet, meditative service has been lost. The Worship Commission is examining options. At this time, while we await our incoming Interim Rector, no significant changes are anticipated.

Post-meeting update: feedback from those currently attending the early service is that they all appreciate the opening and closing music.

Wanna Be A Verger? How about an acolyte? How about an usher? Vergers are those folks who circulate around the sanctuary during services in black cassocks. They assist in the service by, among other things, assuring that key lay roles are filled and recruiting people to fill vacancies, counting attendance, and assisting the clergy as needed. (John Little is creating a face recognition document for vergers to assist in finding people.) Acolytes vest in red cassocks with a white surplice. They carry the cross during processionals, hold the Gospel for the clergy to read, assist at communion and do other tasks as needed. Ushers greet people coming into services, hand out service leaflets and books, and collect the offering. The Altar Guild is also in need of members. The Worship Commission expressed concern that there are not enough people involved in these roles. Interested? Connect with the church office.

Got a Name Tag? Wear it! Name tags are important all the time. They help new people learn your name. But they will be most important when an interim priest joins our congregation. Barry Fuller has offered to create a magnet board upon which to store nametags so they are easier to find and use. If you don’t have a nametag and would like one, contact the St. Clare office.

Finally, Pray for St. Clare’s!

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on St. Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Worship with joy, grow in faith, act for justice!