St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church

To the Editor;

            I think I have a lot of company when I admit that 2021 has been the pits!! I’m a firm believer that we all hit tough times in our lives, but 2021 really takes the cake. After all, none of us can escape the ongoing threat of Covid and the nightly news that sounds more like a daily apocalypse.  So, at this point, when something good comes my way, I am surprised and truly appreciative. 

            St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Marion just celebrated its 150th year.  It’s an old church, but what’s happening inside is innovative and unexpected. The Rector, Father Eric Fialho, is offering a whole new spin on spirituality on Wednesday nights at 6:00 PM. It’s called “Rooted”.

            Fr. Eric will greet you at the door and never forget your name and face from that moment on.  You will find him in jeans, not robes so come in whatever you happen to put on that day. This service is meant for busy people. Once you are settled in the sanctuary, you will begin a whole new experience of faith.  The church is warm with candle light. Father Eric leads the service from the pews not the chancel. Sitting among us, he creates a whole new intimacy of faith. He doesn’t preach a sermon, but rather he asks questions. He gives the gathered group time to quietly ponder the question before offering prayers of encouragement around it. Sometimes he sings, sometimes the group joins in. Sometimes he offers a short video. Each week is different. Communion is offered (but in no way required) while sitting cross-legged on the floor; but if the floor isn’t your thing, don’t worry. This service is about what works for you.

            Father Eric presents a new experience of Christian based faith that is non-liturgical but profoundly peaceful and holy in its simplicity. It doesn’t matter what your spiritual background is or isn’t, because this service meets you where you are…. but takes you to a better place. 

            If it suits your schedule and your interest, you are invited to stay for a simple supper in the parish hall and a 45-minute lesson/discussion led by Father Eric. (Donations for the meal are appreciated but in no way required.)

            For me, Wednesday nights at St. Gabriel’s are pretty special. If 2021 is getting on your nerves, I highly recommend this calming, informal but uniquely spiritual experience. Sometimes all it takes is walking in the door to change your perspective. Give it a try.

Mallory Waterman

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