September 2022

By The Rev'd Marlene Mutchler, Vicar

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things:

Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion;

nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.


This is the collect for Proper 17 for Sunday, August 21. I especially love the petition to “increase in us true religion.” That
may be essentially the work of our lives as Christians. It is a tall order and also a process we begin new each day. Increasing “true religion'' is a good expansion point for us since our Bishop’s Advisory Council and I have discerned “Back to
Basics” as our theme for this academic year. There is a certain amount of rebuilding and remembering required of us as we emerge from the pandemic. “Back to Basics” will be woven into our formation therefore as we focus on essentials of what it means to be Christian and Episcopalian. Hopefully, we will open our hearts a little more to Christ as we understand more fully the meaning of “true religion” and be nourished in goodness that results in loving actions. (Later in this newsletter you will see more detailed information about children’s and youth formation as we take a break from our traditional Godly Play program for an interval of intergenerational learning. Please take some time to learn about this lovely, spirit-filled, and creative approach to Christian formation this year.)

​Adults will be invited this fall into hands-on learning adventures, events, and service projects with younger parishioners and will have a more traditional zoom hybrid “class” once a month beginning October 9. Carrie Hoops, executive director of William Temple House in Portland, will be our special guest on October 9 to share with us about WTH’s current work, which continues to be an important resource to the community since beginning in 1965. We hope, as the months move forward, to use these special classes to focus on basic Christian practices as we move through the church calendar. If you have more ideas please let me know! I would love to hear from you.

​Continuing with the “Back to Basics” theme, all are invited to participate in a Lenten Retreat this coming Spring at Mount Angel Abbey from March 7-10 in which we can build friendship, experience silence, and take a deep dive into the Apostles Creed together as we prepare to renew our baptismal covenants for Easter.

I am thankful for this work we are doing and thankful to have time to review the essential of our faith. May this prayer to “increase in us true religion” be ever present with us this academic year.

Yours in Christ,


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