An Active Autumn Starts at St. Alban’s

Autumn means activity, for our families, members and parish! This Sunday starts a very busy September around St. Alban’s. Make a note of these important activities and be sure to join us.

First of all, make sure you’ve registered your child(ren) for Sunday School. An easy online registration form is right here.

September 1 is our annual Ice Cream Social, which happens after both services in the parish hall.

A week later, on September 8, don’t miss Ministry Sunday. There’s only one service that day, at 10:15am, and afterwards come to the parish hall for our fun and enlightening ministry fair. Representatives from each ministry will be available to discuss how our combined effort serves the mission of StAlban’s. No matter how much or little time you have to give, we can help you find the “right fit” for your individual talents and calling.

On Wednesday, September 18 at 7pm, we are beginning a 7-week study of the Book of Job. The Book of Job cuts straight to the heart of what it means to be human.  Talk to Fr. Jeff for more information. The study guide is $23 (checks payable to St. Alban’s or use myEoffering.)

The annual parish weekend is happening September 27-29 at Shrine Mont (did you remember to make your payment?).

And, of course, September means planning for our Christmas Bazaar kicks into high gear. We need lots of support for this important event, which happens on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and raises funds for all of our outreach programs. Contact Nancy Calvert or Sue Mareina to learn how you can help!

Capital Campaign Leadership Finalized

by Bill Calvert & Linda Cummings

With the start of the 2019 Capital Campaign just around the corner, the Vestry, Fr. Jeff and the Campaign Co-Chairs (Bill Calvert and Linda Cummings) are pleased to present the Executive Committee and liaisons for the campaign (see the org chart below or download a copy here). We are grateful that so many wonderful and talented fellow parishioners are willing to give their time and advice for this critical 4-month endeavor that will help define the future path of our parish.

There will be many opportunities for everyone to help support the Capital Campaign over the next four months. We’ll need volunteers to help with visitations, scheduling, reporting, acknowledgements, grant proposals, graphics, and even planning celebration events. If you are willing to give a week or two of your time to help out, please contact Bill Calvert, Linda Cummings or Fr. Jeff.

Soon, you will also see a new face around St. Albans. Daniella Hansen will be our on-site capital campaign consultant, available for discussions and questions throughout the course of the campaign (to see Daniella’s bio, click here).  Please join us in welcoming Daniella to St. Albans.

We will continue to provide capital campaign updates on our website, so be sure to check back frequently by clicking the banner at the very top of each page of our website!

August 15: The Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ

Apse icon from Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem
Apse icon from Dormition Abbey, Jerusalem

The honor paid to Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God, goes back to the earliest days of the Church. Indeed, it goes back further, for even before the birth of her Son, Mary prophesied, “From this time forth, all generations shall call me blessed.”

O God, who have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Besides Jesus himself, only two humans are mentioned by name in the Creeds. One is Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD. That Jesus was crucified by order of Pontius Pilate pins down the date of his death within a few years, and certifies that we are not talking, like the worshippers of Tammuz or Adonis, about a personification or symbol of the annual death and resurrection of the crops. His death is an event in history, something that really happened. The other name is that of Mary.

The Creeds say that Christ was ‘born of the virgin Mary.’ That is to say, they assert on the one hand that he was truly and fully human, born of a woman and not descended from the skies like an angel. On the other hand, by telling us that his mother was a virgin they exclude the theory that he was simply an ordinary man who was so virtuous that he eventually, at his baptism, became filled with the Spirit of God. His virgin birth attests to the fact that he was always more than merely human, always one whose presence among us was in itself a miracle, from the first moment of his earthly existence. In Mary, Virgin and Mother, God gives us a sign that Jesus is both truly God and truly Man.

Little is known of the life of the Virgin Mary except insofar as it intersects with the life of her Son, and there is an appropriateness in this. The Scriptures record her words to the angel Gabriel, to her kinswoman Elizabeth, to her Son on two occasions. But the only recorded saying of hers to what may be called ordinary, run-of-the-mill hearers is her instruction to the servants at the wedding feast, to whom she says simply, indicating her Son, ‘Whatever he says to you, do it.’

This we may take to be the summation of her message to the world. If we listen to her, she will tell us, ‘Listen to Him. Listen to my Son. Do what He tells you.’ When we see her, we see her pointing to her Son. If our regard for the Blessed Virgin does not have the immediate effect of turning our attention from her to the One whom she carried in her womb for nine months and suckled at her breast, to the Incarnate God, the Word made flesh, then we may be sure that it is not the kind of regard that she seeks. A right regard for her will always direct us to Him Who found in her His first earthly dwelling-place.

Hagiography written by James Kiefer, and reprinted with permission. Read more of his work.

Capital Campaign Kicks Off in September

by Bill Calvert & Linda Cummings


For those who participated in the St. Alban’s Feasibility and Planning Study, thank you! We are pleased to share that, at the close of the study, 51 strategic conversations were completed. An additional 40+ members of our community engaged in an electronic survey.

The St. Alban’s Feasibility Study Executive Summary provides an overview of the results; you can download a copy of the feasibility study here.

Our consultant, CCS Fundraising, presented a report to the Vestry during the June 2019 meeting. (Download this PDF to learn more about CCS Fundraising.) Following the presentation, the Vestry authorized the commencement of a Capital Campaign for the purposes of upgrading our kitchen and attached restroom facilities. The Vestry authorized funding to support the hiring of CCS Fundraising to run the Capital Campaign, scheduled to start on or about the first week of September.

Preliminary planning is now underway to establish leadership roles and responsibilities in support of the campaign. We (Bill Calvert and Linda Cummings) have agreed to co-chair the campaign and, with the help of the many willing and wonderful volunteers at St. Alban’s, hope to make this effort fully transparent and successful.

We will continually update the capital campaign and kitchen page on our website with info and news, so be sure to check back frequently. There’s a banner at the very top of each page of our website that will always take you there!

Many thanks again for your time, for your important advice, and for your help in this important planning endeavor for St. Alban’s. In the coming months, we will share more information about the plans. And, if you ever have any questions, please ask!

Bill Calvert and Linda Cummings are the co-chairs of the St. Alban’s Capital Campaign.