With the first Sunday of Advent we begin a new year in the Church, and with a new year we have new opportunities dawning for how we grow together in the body of Christ. How will we, as a whole community, come to resemble the love and way of Jesus more fully in the year ahead of us? That question is at the heart of everything I (James Joiner, Associate Rector) am dreaming up for our Adult Education and Formation offerings this year, a project we’re calling Lift Up 2021.
Who knew back in the spring that the scourge of COVID-19 would still be with us as we head in to the holidays? Portland is suffering along with the rest of the country. Many members of our parish have been impacted by the loss of jobs or having had their work hours reduced.
The St. Michael’s Music Program is up and running! All three of our choirs are meeting over Zoom and doing amazing work in spite of COVID restrictions. The St. Michael’s Singers rehearse on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm, the Choristers (3rd to 12th grades) meet on Tuesdays at 4:30 pm, and the Saints & Singers gather to rehearse on occasional Thursdays at 7:00 pm.
In the spring, many St. Michael’s parishioners and friends offered to donate money to help those less fortunate, include some who lost most or all of their income and/or were not eligible for federal funds. At the beginning, volunteers bought and delivered actual groceries to two to four families. Then, as the number of families needing help grew to around 15, the team switched to giving grocery gift cards.