Sunday, May 23, 2010

Refuge Service

It was announced today that a Refuge service will be held in the church Wednesday evening at 7 o’clock. This will be a kind of dry run for the Sunday evening service Lou is planning to begin in the fall. The service is based on The Wilderness, a program of St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, where Lou’s son Bret is on the staff.

Apparently, several musicians involved in The Wilderness are flying from Denver to put on Wednesday’s service. I don’t know who is footing the bill for this.

It is, I think, important that parishioners attend Refuge on Wednesday. Putting on such a very different service is a major undertaking and, potentially, a very expensive one. Although St. Paul’s is receiving some money from the diocese to begin Refuge, it is reasonably clear that, long-term, Refuge is going to become a significant item in the parish budget. We should be asking questions like the following:
  • What population is this program intended to serve?
  • Is it reasonable to expect that people will come to St. Paul’s Sunday evening for such a service?
  • Will such a service advance our mission, however you construe it, or detract from it?
  • Will such a program increase our numbers or create competing constituencies within the parish?
I hasten to add that I know the answers to none of these questions. I plan to be at the church Wednesday night looking for some answers.

Update 5/24/2010: More information is available on the St. Paul’s Web site here. Be sure to read the information there if you are thinking of attending Wednesday.

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