We believe…

That God is still speaking and is present in all things in our lives.  

We change, our lives change, the world changes.  The one constant we have in our lives is that God is with us in all things.  We don’t always feel God’s presence, but faith is trusting in things not seen.  And when we doubt, that is honored too.  As a community, we create space for people to be honest about their joys, their sorrows, and their doubts.  Oftentimes, it is a faith which has doubted and questioned which is the strongest.  And if you never doubt, you are welcome too.  All are welcome, the doubter, the seeker and the faithful!

In the Power of Scripture

The Episcopal Church takes reading the Bible very seriously. Approximately 70% of the Book of Common Prayer comes directly from the Bible, and Episcopalians read more Holy Scripture in Sunday worship than almost any other denomination in Christianity.

In the Importance of Tradition

We are part of a living faith which spans thousands of years. We value the wisdom and devotion of all those who have preceded us in faith. Our Book of Common Prayer is not only full of devotional  and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer. There are many voices of those who precede us in faith, which help us to be faithful today.

In the Gift of Reason
Each of us, with God’s help and the gift of Scripture and Tradition, come to faith in our own way. The gift of Reason allows us to do this. Reason helps us to answer our questions and grow spiritually. We honor the gift of science in our faith and take seriously the challenge to be faithful to our tradition while open to new revelations in our world.

In the Value of Community

From the earliest days, the followers of “The Way” knew growing in the life of Christ means being in intentional community.  Jesus modeled this in his gathering of disciples.  Jesus was always challenging the cultural norms by inviting with those who were scorned to be a part of his community.

In Faith in Action

Worship, prayer, and community are central to who we are at Holy Spirit.  And we believe that we are called to be the hearts, hands, and feet of Christ here in our patch of God’s good creation.  Outreach is a central and growing emphasis for us a gathered body.

In Worship as an Experience of the Soul, the Heart, the Head, and the Entire Body

Episcopalians find that worship is enhanced by creating a beautiful worshipful space–we light candles and carry torches to remind us of light go Christ. There is a purpose for how we use our bodies in prayer.  We lift with our voices in prayer and and praise in word and song; we stand in exultation and offering of ourselves, sit in the service of listening, kneel in supplication, and bow in reverence to the sacrifice that Christ made for us.

In the Sacraments and Sacramental Living

As it states on the Episcopal Church Website

“Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 857).

Besides baptism and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the church recognizes other spiritual markers in our journey of faith. These include:
These help us to be a sacramental people, seeing God always at work around us.

 

Expanding Community

Sometimes technology bridges the divide between time and space.  Other times it creates a divide among those who are sitting right next to each other.  There is nothing inherently “good” or “bad” about technology.  Like most things, it is the intention which we bring to the utilization of it that most impacts whether technology enhances or detracts from human connection.

After months of planning, today we launch our new website.  Why?  Why not just keep things the way they were?

Great questions…I asked for this new platform to expand our sense of community among those of us who are already connected to Holy Spirit.  Also, to reach out to people who may never physically participate in our life as a parish, but may be interested in what we are doing, saying, reading, teaching.  It is a bridge for guests to gently prepare the way to join in.

We will post on this blog.  I’ll use this space to share stories, spiritual reflections-who knows?   Others will be able to muse about what they love or find frustrating about life as a parent, or musician, or seeker.  Those who guide our children can update us about explorations in the atrium.  Perhaps some of our wizened elders will offer tips for navigating the dark nights of the soul.  Imagine, just imagine…hearts, and hands, and souls connecting.  

Isn’t it kind of freaky to think that this is a new manifestation of following Jesus’ command to “make disciples of all nations?” (Mt 28:19)

What you are experiencing on this site today is a first step…a great first step.  One of the benefits of the platform we have incorporated is that it is simple to navigate, easy to change.  As our ministries or educational offerings change–the message will reflect that.  If something important is happening– folks will know right away.  The intention is connection! I hope you will stay connected.  I hope you will invite others to connect to us.  

Explore what we are saying, doing, hoping, praying on this site.  What do you think?  Have suggestions? Gripes? Compliments? Don’t be shy, your opinions and ideas matter greatly.

Many thanks to Nick at Status Forward!  You are an awesome techno-visionary partner.  Thank to the HS team–Mandy Golightly, Tara Portney, Toni Nash, Allyson Agee, Chip Arn, and Malcolm Marler. This has been a great group effort.

A prayer for our community  Gracious and loving God, we give thanks for the gift of community.  For those who have been a part of Holy Spirit since before it was formed, to those who have yet to come.  Grant us the grace to listen devoutly to one another, forgive one another, to celebrate joys and sorrows with one another.  May we seek and serve Christ in ALL persons.  May our worship draw us closer to You and may we lift our hearts and lives in thanksgiving to the innumerable gifts you have bestowed upon us.  Give us the courage and compassion to follow Christ, reaching out beyond our natural boundaries and comfort zones.  Draw us closer to, and draw those closer to us, hearts who desire life in Christian community.  In Your loving name we pray.  AMEN

Blessings,

Mary Bea

Easter 5B May 3, 2015

 

Inner Radiant Light

Audio File            Easter 5B PDF File

New York Times columnist David Brooks writes, “About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued.

You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.

“When I meet such a person”Brooks concludes.  “it brightens my whole day.” Read or listen to the entire sermon.

Easter 4B April 26th, 2015

Love in Action 

 Audio file PDF File

Rev. Mary Bea Sullivan

“Love in Action is listening to the life of a young man with the ‘ear of the heart’ as St. Benedict would say.  As our hearts are filled with gratitude and appreciation for the love Christ has shown us, we are compelled to allow that love to spill over into the world.  It is a love with an unending source, so we need not hoard it with a fear of not having enough.” Read more… or listen to the entire sermon.

From the Vestry

Welcome to the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit! We are an inclusive, inquiring community doing our best to follow in the path set forth by Jesus.

Our mission is to create worship, ministries, education, and social gatherings which support our deepening discipleship with Christ.  We believe it is important that our experience of “church” reaches beyond the confines of any building or worship service; and that it must be relevant to how we live our lives–how we raise our families, care for aging parents, mend broken relationships,  approach our vocations, and participate in the needs of our community and the world.

Grateful for Christ’s message of love, grace, and forgiveness , we  attempt to embody that for our families, church, and the greater community.  We are grounded in the teachings and worship of the Episcopal Church.

It is our experience that deepening discipleship is lived out in individual prayer and study,corporate worshipChristian education, sharing of gifts, gathering in community, and tending to the least of these.  We believe the Holy Scriptures are living words, pointing to the way as ascribed by the Living Word–Christ.

Thank you for visiting our website.  Please join us for one of our worship offerings, adult or children’s educational programs, or contact us directly for a conversation. office@holyspirit-al.org