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
Welcome to the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania’s new blog, The Forward. Here you will find that, as our mission statement says, we are a community of miraculous expectation and of transformational ministry. You will be able to learn about stories from our diocese as well as hear messages of hope. From time to time, you will see messages and videos from Bishop Sean Rowe and other clergy from the diocese.
You may recognize the name The Forward from its days as a printed and, more recently, an online newsletter. There are several reasons we thought that a blog format would be more effective for delivering our news and stories. First, this format allows us to keep you connected in a more timely fashion; as soon as stories and news are available, we can get them to you. A blog also allows us to share multimedia content, such as video and audio files. Perhaps most importantly, this will allow you to share the news and stories that have impacted or are important to you. By having individual stories online, you will be able to share them through social media, email, text, or by printing out any particular story and sharing it with your congregation. On a regular basis, we will send an email to those of you who are subscribed to give a rundown of recent posts that you may have missed. (To subscribe click the “Join our email list” button on the side bar.)
Pending budget approval, we also hope to publish special edition printed newsletters twice per year. The plan is that each of these would be specific to a topic that fits in with our diocese’s strategic plan and our congregations’ needs at the time of publication. For example, a special edition on stewardship could be published ahead of stewardship season to help our congregations plan for their campaigns.
In order to make all of this work, we want to hear from you. Please let us know of events or stories from your congregation. Tell us if someone in your congregation has an interesting story to tell. Make us aware of new ministries in your congregation. We are constantly looking for stories to include and would love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share your comments about stories that have been posted or to let us know about topics that you would like to see covered.
We hope that The Forward blog will keep you engaged and informed. We welcome any feedback you have. Please call me at 814.456.4203 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, suggestions, and story ideas.