Congregation Close-up: Holy Spirit, Sutherlin

Congregation Close-up: Holy Spirit, Sutherlin

From the Rev. Anne Abdy, Priest-in-Charge.

Holy Spirit thinks BIG! We are a welcoming space, looking for creative ways to invite the community into the church through our fund-raising and outreach ministries. Each year we sponsor the Sutherlin High School Choir and Flute Ensemble, who provide entertainment at our English High Tea fundraiser. Our vision is to be a visible presence in the Sutherlin community through a partnership with the Sutherlin Oakland Emergency Pantry to meet the needs of those around us. We are always looking to our outreach horizons and are currently engaged in conversation on implementing a Laundry Love ministry. We have an active ministry to those in our area retirement communities and look forward to developing additional spiritual programs in partnership with the retirement agency to nurture and care for the souls of the aged.

We are a loving community of faithful who take care of one another as we respond with generosity to the nudging of the Holy Spirit through visits, lunches, outings, and just good ole fun! These Christian values were lived out last December when a group of parishioners traveled to the Seattle area to bring home two members of our church family. This set of grandparents were at the mercy of a grandchild’s abusive behaviors. The woman states: “The love my [church] family showed us by providing for us, by loving, and welcoming us back cannot be described. I truly don’t think my husband and I would be alive today if our church family had not come and gotten us and brought us home.”

Every one of our members contributes to the greater good of the parish in generous time and energy. One member who has been with Holy Spirit since about 2003 is Carolyn Cassil. Carolyn is a Master Level graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music and our organist. She lovingly plays our 116 year old Seybold Reed Organ with gusto and complains when she has to play the piano. She is blind and often practices on an organ in her home. She has memorized 150 hymns which she can play at a drop of a hat with only the first line announced. She is a fountain of knowledge on all things related to the field of musicology and she presides on the bench with humor and grace. As we all grow older by the minute, she reminds us daily to be grateful for our abilities.

While Holy Spirit is a parish of older generations, including a centenarian (104 years young), and two parishioners approaching the 100 birthday mark, we have taken upon ourselves on the task to grow the church one child at a time. This will be the first year that the parish will sponsor a rising middle schooler to attend Suttle Lake Episcopal Church Camp next month. We are excited to see where this new ministry will lead us as we continue to grow our sponsorship of area children to camp.

Visit Holy Spirit’s website.