Congratulations to us! This past week, Delray Beach was selected for the prestigious “All-America City” award by the National Civic League. This is the third year (previously 1993 and 2001) that our city has received this distinction! This follows being named a “Pacesetter Community” by the nationally distinguished Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
St. Paul’s has encouraged the Campaign for Grade Level Reading since its inception -supporting Janet Meeks, the City of Delray Beach Education Coordinator (and St. Paul’s member) by hosting meetings and the initial gathering of Delray early childhood providers. Each November, St. Paul’s volunteers are dispatched on Delray Reads Day – into elementary school classrooms all across town. This commitment to children is right in line with the 53 years of St. Paul’s Day School preparing preschoolers for a life time of kindness and learning. And, in line with our St. Paul’s commitment to literacy as evidenced by the creation of Paul’s Place in 2001 as a response to the dismal literacy rates in our neighborhood. And, in line with the actions of parish members like Nancy Hurd (with Phyllis Hammett, Jean Wilmer, Phyllis Carey) who founded the Achievement Center for Children and Families almost 50 years ago! And, in line with the actions of St. Paul’s as a founding member of Family Promise of South Palm Beach County.
This year our Vacation Bible School outreach project was VBS Reads and we have raised 66 books from the Banyan Creek Elementary School reading list to give to the children as a gift – thanks to the generosity of the VBS families and our congregation!
God’s call to us: Children. Literacy. That’s good stewardship.
Today, we honor and celebrate the men in our lives who have nurtured and nourished us. At our services this weekend, we will ask God’s blessing on the special men of our parish and we will prayerfully remember those dads who have gone on to the larger life of heaven. After each service, our Children, Youth, and Family Ministry will be distributing lolli- “pops for pops!”
Celebrating Father’s Day reminds us that it is summertime. This wonderful season encourages us to slow the rhythm of our lives, taking time for extra rest and relaxation from the busy-ness of life. Here at St. Paul’s, we have entered fully into the unique rhythm of summertime parish life. The first full week of June we were buzzing with activity. With 66 campers and 54 volunteers, our campus was bursting with the sights and sounds of Vacation Bible School fun as we all discovered the joy of God’s gifts.
This past week, our Paul’s Place middle school children began their summer enrichment program. This summer, eight children are participating in this special program. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, they receive instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, technology, and other academic disciplines. They have lunch together, enjoy playtime, watch an occasional movie, and have supervised free time. Every Thursday, they go on a field trip. This wonderful program is offered free of charge, thanks to our generous donors, dedicated volunteers, and hard-working staff.
Although the rhythm of our parish life slows a bit, with clergy and staff taking much needed vacation time, there will still be a lot happening this summer at St. Paul’s.
Today, we have many reasons to celebrate! We join the Church throughout the world in celebrating Trinity Sunday. This foundational doctrine of the Christian faith, one God in three persons, reminds us that we worship and walk with a God who is constantly creating, redeeming, and sanctifying us.
We also continue to celebrate the arrival of Dr. Paul Cienniwa, our Director of Music Ministries. Today, Sunday, June 11th, Dr. Paul will play his debut concert, “French Sweets” played on the harpsichord, as the June concert in our Music at St. Paul’s concert series. We encourage you to invite your family and friends to this free concert. We will have a welcome reception for Dr. Paul after the concert.
At our 10 am Sunday service we are also celebrating Vacation Bible School (VBS) Sunday! This year our theme was “Passport to Peru: Discovering God’s Gifts”. Both the children and volunteers had lots of fun discovering God’s many gifts in our lives. I want to particularly thank Rev. Kathleen, Isabel Hernandez, and their team of dedicated volunteers for all that they did to make this year’s VBS a delightful experience for our children and their families! As they say in Peru, “GRACIAS!”