Lent Madness is On at Christ Church, Oil City

Lent Madness is on again at Christ Episcopal Church!

Our congregation has been getting together every Sunday during Lent for four years now, to pick our individual selections for the upcoming week. We all have our Saintly Scorecards and some dedicated followers do additional research. We allow voters to show their financial favor for their favorite Saints. Not gambling, mind you! Since I serve as the contest judge, everyone realizes they will see no financial benefit from their votes. All funds collected are used for a worthy cause. For the last few years, the funds helped some Diocesan youth attend Camp Nazareth. Prizes are awarded to the participants with the highest point score and highest percentage. Last year we had participants from four counties and two churches.

Most participants wisely vote online at the official Lent Madness site, doing what they can to see that their individual picks fare well.

Our current leaders, as of Sunday, February 25, are Jocelind Gant, with a .875 average, and Noni Stanford, with 40 points.

It is a great way to learn about the amazing lives of the people that populate the pages of Holy Men Holy Women, and really has led to a greater realization of the many ways that they have served others. We have come to appreciate the deep faith of people that we viewed as names from a history text, if we had ever heard of them at all.

If you are unfamiliar with Lent Madness, the Forward Movement has a great website for the event:

http://www.lentmadness.org/

And if any other churches are interested in a little intra-Diocesan contest next year, we would be glad to consider any challenges by our brothers and sisters in Christ, in the spirit of Christian collegiality. Just like Georgetown and Villanova.

The Rev. Mark Elliston is the vicar at Christ Episcopal Church, Oil City. 

Congratulations, Rev. Mark Elliston!

The Diocese of NWPA is pleased to welcome our newest priest -the Rev. Mark Elliston! The service of ordination was held on Saturday, December 16 at Christ Church, Oil City.

Please keep Rev. Elliston and the Christ Church community in your prayers as they continue their journey together.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’  –Isaiah 6:8

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Invitation 100 Years Ago Has Borne Fruit

Vic Kinnunen

The Rev. Vic Kinnunen doing some inviting

On occasion I am asked if I have always been an Episcopalian.

Having been baptized as an infant at Christ Episcopal Church in Meadville in 1936, and having been confirmed there in 1948 by Bishop Sawyer, I guess you could say I have always been an Episcopalian.

But what about my parents? My Father was raised in the Finnish Lutheran Church and my mother was raised in the Presbyterian Church. So how did I end up in the Episcopal Church?

When my mother was about 11 or 12 years old, her girlfriend, Dorothy, invited her to come to church with her at Christ Episcopal Church, and my mother stayed, was confirmed and married there, and had her 3 children baptized and confirmed there.

I am able to be an Episcopalian priest in 2015 because my mother’s friend invited her to attend the Episcopal church – about 100 years ago!

Have you invited a friend, or a neighbor, or co-worker, or even a family member to join you at church some Sunday? Who knows what this might mean 75 or 100 years from now? Think about it. Pray about it.

The Rev. Victor J. Kinnunen, Christ Church, Oil City, PA