Tuesday, July 20, 2010

KANSAS: Newest congregation moves into new Spring Hill home; membership triples

From ELO-

The newest congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas has moved into a new home in the town of Spring Hill, and that move already has helped membership more than triple, from nine to 29 active congregants.
St. Clare's Episcopal Church welcomed the public for worship on Pentecost, May 23, to its new location in the town's historic downtown area. It is leasing space on Sundays in a recently renovated building.

Before the move, worshippers had met in the living room of the congregation's vicar, the Rev. Philip Hubbard, and his family in Overland Park, several miles north. Hubbard was hired by the diocese in 2008 to start a new congregation in Johnson County, part of the greater Kansas City area and the largest population center in the diocese. The county is home to five other Episcopal churches.

The decision to give St. Clare's a permanent home in Spring Hill, a town of 6,500 that straddles the Johnson and Miami county line, came earlier this year, based on its potential for growth in the area. The city has grown 40 percent in the past decade, and it's close to a cluster of larger-sized cities, all without an Episcopal church.

Hubbard said about half of the 39 people at the Pentecost service were attending St. Clare's for the first time.

Patti Stites and her husband, Art Canright, had met Hubbard at the local Farmer's Market and, struck by his enthusiasm, decided to visit that day. They'd never been to an Episcopal church for worship before, but Canright called it "fun" and Stites said Hubbard's conversation-style sermon was "very enjoyable."

Susan and Don Traub met Hubbard at the Farmer's Market just the day before and as longtime Episcopalians were delighted to learn they could attend an Episcopal church without leaving Spring Hill. Former members of St. John's in Abilene, on the western edge of the diocese, the couple had been driving to Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, for church.

More here-


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