Unity on Pilgrimage in Upper Susquehanna County
Parishioners of the three upper Susquehanna County parishes (Christ Church Susquehanna, St. Mark’s New Milford and St. Paul’s Montrose) enjoyed a summer evening on Saturday evening July 23rd when they gathered at St. Mark’s for evening worship and a picnic. The gathering was prompted by table discussions at a Diocesan Pilgrimage gathering in early Spring and a strong desire that Episcopalians of different parishes get to know each other better. The Rev. Elizabeth Moulton, who has served all three parishes, celebrated the eucharist. The Rev. Susan Treanor, serving St. Paul’s, also attended. Violin and pipe organ music added to a beautiful worship service and several parishioners noted how pleasant it was to hear the voices of many worshippers singing hymns. After worship, parishioners of the three churches enjoyed a potluck picnic spearheaded by the gracious parishioners at St. Mark’s.
Importantly, attendees also had lively table and group discussions of three questions suggested by Fr. Charles Cesaretti. The questions included the following: (1) what one word best describes your congregation,(2) what does your congregation do that your community could not do without, and (3) what would be the most valuable gift to your congregation from the surrounding Episcopal congregations? Answering the questions helped parishioners to recognize and celebrate the important work of each parish, how much the parishes share and opportunities to work together. Old friendships were re-kindled, new friendships made and new energy was found for moving ahead on the Pilgrimage. Parish leaders hope to implement a suggestion heard from several attendees that the parishes gather every fifth Sunday throughout the year.