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Weekly E-News - September 10, 2020

Sliding back into a new school year! 

The new playground is in and the kids are loving it! 

St. Philip's Episcopal School is off to a great start! We are now in week 3 of classes. Most of our students are attending classes in person, but we do have 3 working virtually from home. Our teachers have risen to the occasion (as usual) and worked to make this the best experience possible for our students. We currently have 60 students enrolled in 2K through 4th grade. Things are different this year. We miss experiencing Chapel together as a St. Philip's family. Each day of chapel one class attends in person and we livestream to the rest of the campus and the public. We miss having lunch together and playing on the playground as we come to school first thing in the morning. Despite these changes we are so thankful to be here together. We are blessed by each family who has entrusted their child to us. We are grateful to be able to continue to provide a safe, loving, learning environment for each of our students. Please remember St. Philip's School in your prayers: pray for our safety, pray for our health, pray for our teachers and administration, lift up each family and give thanks to God for the abundance of favor he has provided to our school. 
Many blessings, Jean Ann Chisum, Principal

Church in the Digital World
What does this mean for St. Philip's? 

What does it mean to be the church in this new digital world? This is a question many are asking. I recently attended a webinar entitled  “Welcoming and Belonging in the Digital Sphere.” This is a two-part webinar hosted by the Diocese of Washington and facilitated by Jerusalem Greer, a staff officer for Evangelism in the Presiding Bishop’s Office of the Episcopal Church. 

When we were forced to have only online services due to Covid St. Philip's was ready! We were already aware of the benefits of live streaming as we had been doing so for some time. Now we are able in have in-person services again, with safety modifications of course. But, for various reasons, many are still choosing to worship with us online. With that realization my question is: How do we move forward and what can we learn from this unexpected wilderness time we are experiencing in not doing church "like we've always done it?”

It was an insightful webinar and I can’t wait to see what Part 2 brings next week. But I wanted to share some of my thoughts from Part 1 of the webinar.

I don't think many of the churches will go back to strictly in-person church after the pandemic is over. There was a tremendous amount of time and energy spent figuring out how to live stream and acquiring the necessary equipment to offer church to those outside the walls of the church. And, many are seeing their congregations growing in ways they didn’t expect.

With online churches everywhere - you are able to attend church anywhere in the world. We have many regular visitors who are not geographically able to be here in person, but they are faithful online members who show up every Sunday to worship with us.

Online visits can be anonymous. For those who are local who want to learn more about St. Philip's watching our online service is much less intimidating than walking through the actual doors. For many attending an online service is a way of researching a church, much like visiting a website, or even earlier, looking up a church in the phone book! Think about it - many in our congregation have never heard of the yellow pages! Things change. 

But what is missing are the connections. What I am learning is that the connections can still happen, even online connections. But it takes a shift in the ways we do things. If we are going to be the church for this changing world, then we need to look at the changes that are happening and be proactive about how we care for the lonely, and those looking for belonging and transformation. We are created for each other and our work is to share the love of Jesus both inside our walls and outside via the the internet! 

So stay tuned, I will have more to say on this next week after Part 2 of the webinar. That’s when they are going to get into the nuts and bolts of how to do this. But I do know one thing - it can’t be done without your help. Our walls for evangelism just got much, much larger. Isn’t it great that you can now share your love of St. Philip’s with others, no matter where they live! — Cyndy Marsh

NEW Book Study Class Begins Sept. 13th
Via Zoom, Sundays at 9:00 a.m.

A new book study begins this week. I hope you have purchased your book and plan to join us at 9:00 a.m. starting this Sunday, Sept. 13th.

We’ll be reading and discussing pages 11-32 of Sr. Joan Chittister’s The Time Is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage.

Books can be purchased online. It is available at Amazon for $12.99. ORDER HERE and join us even if you haven't yet purchased your book.

We will continue to meet on Zoom using the Zoom link you already have.

"WHY READ THIS BOOK?

With the world around us cracking at the seams and America in a state of polarization and political disarray, this book sets out to answer the most serious questions of them all: 

How do we really get out of the swamp we're in? 
Answer: By confronting it.

Response: How?

Answer: Truthfully.

Response: But what will that take?

Answer:  A model, a vision, a commitment, courage, and . . . 

Annnnnnd . . . ?

What else is needed to fix this muttled world?
Answer: You." 

Recently we discussed Jane Patterson’s article, “Jesus and the Good Citizen.” If you haven't already done so that would be a good article to read in preparation for this book. 

I look forward to being with you. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you need the Zoom link. 

Peace be with you, -- Mike+

"This is NOT Sunday School." (From ENS)
A perfect tool for families and people of all ages. From ChurchNext and FORMA.

Even if we can’t physically worship and learn together the way we used to, we can still draw closer to Jesus Christ.

That’s the aim of a new learning experience called “This is NOT Sunday School.” This free, weekly online resource is intergenerational, making it a perfect tool for families and people of all ages.

“Being away from church doesn’t mean we can’t continue learning about God at home,” said Melissa Rau ECF’s Staff Liaison to Forma and co-organizer of This is NOT Sunday School, “This is a dynamic opportunity for families to grow together in faith, especially around this terrific, weekly offering.”

"This is NOT Sunday School" comes from the Faith@Home team, which is a collaboration between Forma and Forward Movement to offer free Christian learning resources.

Free sessions of "This is NOT Sunday School" will launch weekly starting September 16, and you can sign up on the ChurchNext website today. Each week’s session features video teaching by a professional from the Christian formation network, Forma, as well as downloadable lessons and readings.

Sessions use Forward Movement’s Exploring the Bible curriculum, which includes many of the most famous stories in the Bible. It’s part of Forward Movement’s free Living Discipleship series for all children, youth, and adults, available in English and Spanish.

The sessions are hosted through the online learning platform of ChurchNext, a leader in offering online Christian formation. “We’re excited to develop and share this much-needed resource,” said Chris Yaw, founder of ChurchNext. “Families can pick the time and space that works for them to come together, learn about the Bible and one another, and draw closer to Jesus Christ.”

"This is NOT Sunday School" can be used at home by families or online with groups from congregations. Each session takes about one hour to complete and can be completed at a time convenient for individuals or groups. Some of the teachers for "This is NOT Sunday School" include Victoria Hoppes, Roger Hutchison, and Miriam McKenney.

You can learn more and sign up at ChurchNext.tv.

ChurchNext offers online Christian learning for individuals and groups, and is a ministry of Forward MovementForma is the network for Christian formation, a ministry of Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF). Faith@Home offers free Christian learning and discipleship resources and is a collaboration between Forward Movement and ECF.

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS 
1   Jack Fitzgerald
2   Marchal Oswald
3   Pat Carver
4   Jim Woodward
5   Sharon Wilson
8   Clarissa Neutze
9   Browder Graves, Pamela Haines
11  Chris Carper, Conrad Klein, Kyra Routh
12  Cleo Lemon
15  Sherman Mumme, Caitlin Wimberley
17  Sarah Buchanan, Rebekah Lamb
18  Kay Anderson
19  Lane Kalmring
20  Don McLaughlin, Nicholas Mumme
21  Sarah Buckner
22  Dorothy Jimenez
23  Brenda Martin
28  Phyllis Hellums
29  Lory Zimmerman
30  Lewis Downing, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Huffstutler

SEPTEMBER ANNIVERSARIES
 1  Mike and Cyndy Marsh 
11 Ronnie and Brenda Martin
19 Gary and Janice Griffin

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