Please click the play button to watch a video update on our Phase II construction, from Senior Warden Jennifer Thomasson:
Join us on July 26, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. for Holy Eucharist: Rite Two, officiated by The Rev. Hazel Smith Glover. Our VBS kids also offer their musical gifts!
Click here for a PDF version of the bulletin for this service. You may also follow along in The Book of Common Prayer, beginning on page 355.
Hi St. Paul’s Families,
I am writing to you from the comfort of my couch while I listen to the rain gently fall and the birds chirp. I have decided that I am going to use this time of social distancing to reflect on where I am now and where I want to be in my future. Kind of a perfect exercise for lent. For me that starts with being grateful. I am grateful for the green and growing things that are happening outside my window, I am grateful for my family, our clergy, and all of you. I am grateful for the steady presence of God in my life. I can’t help but think of the poem “Footprints” at this time. When I was a teenager, going through life’s normal teen trials, my Mother gave me a card for my wallet with this poem on it. At the time, the poem really helped me see things more clearly and it still helps me now. Here it is to share with all of you:
One Night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way,
But I have noticed during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when I needed you the most you would leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” (Author Unknown)
I have been reflecting on all that God has given me in my toolbox to deal with the emotional and physical challenge facing us as a community and a society. Most obvious to me these days is that we are not alone, even though we may feel like we are sometimes. We can pray and feel closer to God anytime we want, we can call family or friends, we can send texts and emails. We can also write in journals, read the bible or a book, play with a pet, listen to music (a favorite of mine), exercise (walks, runs and hikes are great), sit outside, organize things, play board games, watch a movie. The list is more extensive than I imagined. It seems in this liminal space we are better served by some of the things we had before all the technology took over our lives. Take this opportunity to connect with each other(we all need it). Take this opportunity to connect with God. Take this opportunity to experience the Lenten season with your families and look ahead to the hope of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This past Wednesday evening we held a live Bible Story with our families from 6:30 to 7:00pm. Dawn Harrison joined us for singing and we had an enthusiastic group. We plan to hold this again next Wednesday, so watch your email for the link to join.
Stay safe and know that you are an important part of our wonderful St. Paul’s family.
Written by Susan Payne, Director of Children’s Ministry
We have started talking to the children about Lent and Lenten reflections during Sunday School and Wednesday Night Bible Study. As parents, Lent offers us an opportunity to extend the conversation at home by teaching them at an early age about the value of quiet reflective time. This means time without electronic devices including Television. Jesus had a lot of reflective of time during his 40 days in the desert. For us this period of time allows us to re-evaluate our actions and devote ourselves to becoming more “Christ-like”, growing in our faith.
During this past Wednesday night’s Children’s Bible Study Whitney Lowe led a discussion about how to observe Lent. She mentioned adding something into our lives that is new or removing something from our daily lives. These additions and subtractions are reminders that we need to be mindful of what we do on a daily basis. As a sat there listening to the discussion it made me think of how the choices we make have ripple effects in our lives. We very often forget to stop and think first. Stopping to reflect and be mindful before making a choice is a good practice to begin at this time. The younger we teach it to our children, the more useful it will be as a tool in their toolbox for life.
Following Jesus’ baptism, when he retreated to the desert to pray and fast for 40 days, the devil tried three times to tempt Jesus. Jesus had choices to make each time, choices that would have consequences. Was he going to serve God’s will or be tempted by the devil? The devil was offering him self-serving options to sate his hunger by turning stone into bread, sate his ego by proving that even if he jumps off of a cliff he is so important that the Angels will swoop in to catch him, or sate his material desire by worshiping Satan in exchange for ruling over all Kingdoms. Each time he was tempted Jesus leaned on and quoted scripture to make his choices, thereby, leaning on his faith to guide him. We are now in the desert and Jesus is with us as we walk it. We have the gift of our faith and the scripture left behind for us. We, as adults, know the path that the Good Shepherd has laid out for us. We can spend time in lent reflecting on where this path is going and see if we have strayed too far, readjusting as necessary. If we teach the children to be mindful and “Be Still” for a moment at this age we open the door for them to see where the path is and how they return to it. Lent is truly a gift for all.
By The Rev. Kyle Mackey, Curate
In seminary, a classmate of mine once made the mistake of calling the 400th page of the Book of Common prayer “Rite III” within earshot of our liturgics professor. The professor then quite crossly explained it to the rest of the class. Page 400 of the BCP shows us how a Eucharistic liturgy is shaped, and its parts in their proper order. All Eucharistic liturgies in the Episcopal Church follow this pattern. The inclusion of this “Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist” was intended to encourage the development of new Eucharistic liturgies by parishes for when a standard from the BCP was simply not going to work. In keeping with the prayer book, our new children’s chapel is based on this same pattern.
The first item on the list is to “Gather in the Lord’s Name.” Children’s chapel begins its gathering in the nave, where on a typical Sunday we hear the opening acclamation (Blessed be God…), the collect for purity (Almighty God to you all hearts are open…), and even the first bit of the Gloria, Kyrie, Trisagion, or another song of praise we may be using. We follow the cross back to the children’s chapel, which like the nave is a consecrated space. We also sing a song as part of our gathering, recently we’ve been using “Jesus Loves Me.”
While we sing, the candles are lit by a volunteer. These bits of flame help to draw our attention towards the altar itself, as well as serving as a symbol of the Holy Spirit being present in the room. This action in combination with singing together, helps to bring our children together as a worshiping community and helps move the focus towards God. This first step of the liturgy is known by liturgists as the “Gathering Rite.” It begins when we wake up on Sunday morning, and ends with the Collect for the Day.
After the song, the presider uses the ancient greeting of the early church. “The Lord be with you!” which comes from the greeting of Boaz from the book of Ruth. (Ruth 2:4) Then after saying “Let us pray,” a special prayer for the day is used. This special prayer, known as a collect (from the Latin collecta), is used to ‘collect’ our prayers together into one big prayer, focuses us on the occasion we are celebrating, and marks the end of the rite of gathering.
By the Rev. Kyle Mackey, Curate
Patrick Malloy, an Episcopal priest and liturgical theologian, lays out 8 principles of good liturgical worship in his book “Celebrating the Eucharist.” The first and most important principle simply reads as follows: “The entire assembly celebrates the liturgy.” Everyone is a part of this little miracle we witness so often. It is a coming together of many members of the one body of Christ, and there is a beauty within that merging.
One of the most obvious places where we come together as a church is in the singing of hymns as a congregation. Whether the text we sing is chosen from our hymnal or prescribed by the prayer book, anyone who has been in a choir will speak of the connection that forms when people sing together. This is not a new phenomenon either. The Epistles of the New Testament, some of the closest scripture we have to the life of Christ, mentions the singing of hymns. (Colossians 3:16 comes to mind)
Because of that history of song, when we set out to make our children’s chapel the richest experience it could be, we knew it needed music. Thankfully, we have been blessed by the presence of someone who has many years of experience teaching sacred music to children. Ms. Dawn Harrison. The first thing we do on Sunday in Children’s Chapel is to sing while an adult helper lights the altar candles. This song helps to serve as our song of praise at the opening of the liturgy, much like the Gloria in Excelsis does for the service in the nave.
We also sing a song in the middle of the service. This hymn varies slightly, it may be like the sequence hymn of the service matching the Gospel of the day, or it might be more like a musical introduction to the prayers of the people. Either way, all music that we use in church or chapel, is intended to help bring the all of God’s children together with their focus on the Lord whom we worship.
By The Rev. Kyle Mackey
It has been said that the way we pray shapes the way we believe. With that principle in mind, we have designed a new way to do children’s chapel that more closely mirrors the way we pray together on Sunday. By organizing the children’s chapel service much like the service in the nave, we are passing on and entrusting our tradition to some of our youngest. You might be asking “What does this new service look like?”
After the children depart the nave on Sunday, they follow the cross, much like our altar party follows the cross into the nave, back to the children’s chapel. The worship begins where we left off in the nave, with singing God’s praises! During the hymn, which the candles on our little altar are lit. Just like in ‘big church’ we have candles on the altar!
After we sing, we pray together. The familiar “The Lord be with you” marks the prayer of the day. The leader prays this prayer over us, much like the presider in the nave prays over and for everyone. These prayers reflect the day’s lesson, often asking for God’s help in living up to Jesus’ way while encouraging us to share God’s love with others.
Then, just like in the nave, we read the day’s lesson from one of the Gospels. This reading is paraphrased to be easily understood and is concluded with the familiar “The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!” Readings of scripture, and particularly of the Gospel invite the Word of God, that is Jesus himself, to speak in our midst. Rather than a sermon, we have a time of discussion, a participatory and responsive look at the contents of the reading. If only sermons were so much fun, oh well.
Like our service in the nave, our next thing is an affirmation of faith in the form of a Creed. Our children’s chapel version of the Nicene Creed is simplified, but still hits all the same fundamental points of belief. Take a look:
We believe in God the Father, who made the whole world.
We believe in Jesus the Son, who died on the cross for us, and rose from the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit who brings life and love to us all.
We believe that the Church is one family, and that one day we will share in everlasting life with God in the world to come. Amen.
Now we sing another song, led by our own Mrs. Dawn! Then it’s time to pray the prayers of the people. We pass out toys that represent the 6 areas of life the prayer book instructs us to pray for each week on pg 383. A cross for the Church, a flag for the nation, a bell for the welfare of the world, cars and airplanes for those who travel in our community, a teddy bear for the sick and all who suffer, and a butterfly for the departed. We also added a singing cupcake as a thanksgiving for those who celebrate birthdays this week. Other prayers can be named and placed on the altar with these. All answered with “Lord, hear our prayer!”
We then say a short prayer of confession. Then we are reminded of God’s grace and forgiveness. Then we pass the peace with each other. What an adorable sight the passing of the peace is! Little ones giving hugs in peace, a vision of heaven if there ever was one. Then we line back up and follow the cross to join the rest of the community for Eucharist. All in all, it is one continuous liturgy through which we are all connected!
A Conversation with Joshua and Sara Wieda: Their Winding Trails to St. Paul’s
By Joan Doggrell
Josh, Sara, Gwen and Tallis Wieda joined Don and me for pizza one evening. We had a wonderful conversation about religion in general, their previous experiences, and St. Paul’s.
Josh and Sara love St. Paul’s and are strongly committed to this parish. But why they love it, and how they came to feel that they were home at last, are two different tales.
Josh arrived having had little experience with organized religion and church in general. Sara had attended the Methodist church as a child, and then as an adult, accompanied her mother on a quest for the “right” church.
Josh likes to say that Sam Kinison was his first confessor. “That was simply the way I was raised,” he said. “Everyone who knows who he is will already be in on the joke.”
Well, I vaguely remember Sam Kinison, but I didn’t get the joke. So I looked him up.
According to Wikipedia, “Kinison played on his former role as a Bible-preaching evangelist, taking satirical and sacrilegious shots at the Bible, Christianity and famous Christian evangelist scandals of his day. Kinison’s daring comedy helped shoot him to stardom . . . On several videos of his stand-up routines, a shot of his personalized license plate reveals the words ‘EX REV.’”
Kinison died in an automobile accident on April 10, 1992. His epitaph reads “In another time and place he would have been called prophet.”
OK, I think I get it now.
When you see him in church with his beautiful family, it’s hard to associate Josh with a raunchy comedian. But St. Paul’s does things to people….
Over pizza, with their girls exploring our house and yard, Josh and Sara told their stories. What follows is an almost word-for-word rendition of what they had to say.
Josh: We knew about St. Paul’s when I was going with the Girl Scout troop that meets there. I’ve got pictures going back several years of our daughter Gwen playing on the playground. Even then, I was moved enough by the sanctuary that I took pictures. I’d never seen anything like it. It’s such an unusual space – it has such a life to it. Most of the churches I’ve been to have this clinical sterility to them..
Sara: That applies to the Methodist church that I left, probably when I was twelve. I was confirmed in the Methodist church. And then after my parents split, my mother started taking me to Baptist churches, which led me to not going to churches at all for many years.
Joan: Why was that?
Sara: She thought it would be fun to bring me to a “cool” church, that I would buy into it more, because I didn’t really like the Baptist thing. The purity movement was the thing in the nineties. I thought it was creepy, bizarre and weird, and I hated it. So the church Mom brought me to had a skateboard park behind it. The Youth Minister referred to the crucifixion of our Lord as “Jesus’s big wipeout.”
Years pass and we have the girls – my mother has bugged us forever. She told us we were setting a bad example. I would go to her churches for just Easter and Christmas. But she finally wore me down. She said I could pick any church I wanted to go to – as long as it wasn’t a cult.
Josh: So the first thing we did was go on line and look up churches that were cults. We found the only church in the region that didn’t have a support group for its own survival – and that was us poor Episcopalians. Though I guess there is coffee hour!
Sara: Kidding aside, I did a lot of research – she was not going to let up. She had a point. I was worried that if the girls didn’t get enough exposure to something, then the first bozo who walked up could just tell them anything. I wanted the narrative to come from us. I wanted to find churches that were more liturgy-based. That was important to me. The Methodist church was liturgy-based, but at the Baptist churches my Mom tried to drag me to, members of the congregation would eat Kentucky Fried Chicken in church, and bags of chips – to me it was really bizarre – I hated it. I wanted to find something more closely aligned with “out-of-church morals,” like affirming to people in general.
Josh: They don’t talk about there being a “religious left.” That’s a compliment, as opposed to the religious right. I’m kind of tickled by how much my experience is so different but so much like Sara’s. Both my parents came from Catholic families – traditionally Catholic – immigrant families both – Polish and Hungarian and Catholic-German. But I never had any exposure to the Catholic Church – never saw the liturgy, no one ever talked about it. I think my father left the church at a very early age. He was pretty cynical about all religion. And I think all the children in our family inherited that.
My mother did the window-shopping Protestant thing. She would hop from church to church – I was young, so I didn’t know what she was looking for. But it was so strange going to St. Paul’s not knowing what to expect. I know enough about the people – we have a lot of cradle Episcopalians, but we also have a lot of refugees from the Baptists, the Catholics, the odd Methodist or Presbyterian. But to be somebody completely unchurched is kind of a treat. And there was something about walking into St. Paul’s and experiencing – the only analogy I can think of to use is what my father used to tell me about. Aunt Janice’s smoking habit. She started smoking when she was 17 years old. She said after her first drag, “This is what I’ve been missing all my life.” I wish I had a better analogy. It’s almost like 1500 years of Catholic generations going back to Clovis – it’s in the blood. The liturgy spoke to me. I’d never experienced anything like it in my life.
And the Communion – I’d seen it done in churches before. They have the little blister packs, a tiny cup, a little piece of bread in a zip-lock bag – that is so sanitary it has no meaning whatsoever. It’s the ritual of it that is just so powerful. You use your imagination – you can participate in what people have been doing all this time. Two thousand years of people breaking bread and sharing wine together goes back to the first table. And I’ve been hooked ever since.
I’ve had the occasion to talk to Hazel about it several times. The feeling I explained to her that it was a feeling of coming home, of recognizing a place you’ve never been before.
There are people who are hungry for something substantive, and they’re not finding it.
I fell in love with the people at St. Paul’s first. Our person was Wendy Llosa. I don’t think we were there ninety minutes before we heard, “Welcome! Want a job?” I think that’s important – not merely the welcoming – and I’ve heard the horror stories – but if you invite someone to be a part of something – to do the work. That is what the difference is between church and family – in family you do the dishes.
It’s authenticity – that’s the buzz word. I think the secret ingredient is authenticity.
Joan: People who are living out their faith. That’s what we found. Especially when Don got so sick. They were right there. Bill Tudor and Lee Daniel…
Josh: We’ve only been at St. Paul’s a couple of years now, and Sara has her story about people showing up and offering themselves – when your car broke down . . .
Sara: Oh yeah.
Josh: Inside of 15 minutes after she posted the picture on Facebook – so from breakdown to post, three parishioners asked her if she needed help, and said they were on their way.
Sara: Sarah Crow came to rescue me. The tow truck beat her. Jane Huskison called me – I feel there were others – they said, I hear you broke down – I’ll come and get you. It was not a “Please come and rescue me” post. It was several cuss words long. They called me right away when they saw it. Can I help you? Sarah Crow got about halfway there when the tow truck arrived.
Josh: And the critical thing – you can get that other places – but no one told them to do it. It wasn’t, “The pastor called me and now I’m on my way.” It was so sincere.
Joan: The church is supposed to do something for you? But wait a minute. We are the church.
Sara: Sure, that kind of caring is in other places. I’ve just never felt it. I think in all the other churches I went to – some of it was probably my own bad attitude – including Mom’s cool surfer church – but those people never had a reason to make a connection to me because I thought they were all weird. I wasn’t about to pop open a bag of chips in church. That wasn’t my place, and for some people, that makes them happy. It didn’t make me happy.
Josh: We are called to be all things to all people – I just don’t feel called to be the person who eats KFC in church!
Josh: My mother’s family all converted to Jehovah Witnesses – but she was the only one who didn’t go for it. She was a very talented debater. She would get a visit from the Jehovah Witnesses and invite them into the house and ambush them. Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that if you’re talking to someone that you can’t win an argument with, you are talking with the Devil. It’s a side of her that I wish I had gotten to see more of.
Josh: I am in my first year of education for the ministry, the EFM curriculum. It’s my first church experience getting to know the scripture without treating it as literal and unassailable – just this thing you have to handle with kid gloves. I never knew what I found so off-putting – it’s idol worship. You have people almost literally rubbing the doorpost of their houses with the Bible. It anyone invokes the Bible in this way, it’s always a closed Bible, as if the book itself has magical power. I think Kyle articulated it very well when he said it is the story of an experience. And the thing I find most critically important about the Bible is – the Israelites didn’t have one. There is logic trapped.
Joan: They did have the Torah.
Josh: Some were writing it, and some were living it. In Jesus’s case, I like to think he was breaking it open. One of the things we are discussing in EFM – you have the Law that was for the people of Israel. And if you are of and in Israel, it’s a wonderful way to live. But maybe you can open this up and give it to the whole world.
It seems to me that good people and bad people can never identify each other because good and evil both want the same thing, but evil only wants it for itself. Good people want it for everyone. I think that’s really the message of the Gospel, that whatever it is that affirms life has to do so for everyone. Not just your own, not just for yours. I think is especially true these days, while we’re learning that the hard way, where I see so many people digging their heels in, very clearly separating us from them. The Episcopal church is the only place I’ve seen a Jesus that actually walked his talk. Because I could never follow how so many of the other people I met had arrived at the conclusions they did based on the same narrative, the same record, For example, I don’t understand the politics of a lot of evangelicals. But I think the critical thing is, I don’t think it matters as much what we do as why. If you get to the point where you understand that somebody is acting out of love, love for their neighbor or family, the conversation becomes how best to live that love. The conversation breaks down when you decide who you have to love. Who is my neighbor?
Joan: That question is central, I think, to the whole Christian belief.
Josh: There is a wrong reason to build a bridge and a right reason to build a wall. You can tell who is on the right side of that issue by who is doing it for everyone.
Speaking truth to power is a concept I was acquainted with. I have a persistent experience of discovering the divine in things that are mundane or even profane. I have a theory that prophets, philosophers, and stand-up comedians occupy the same ecological niche in history. I think they are all, in their given time and place, people who speak truth to power. What is the 20th century equivalent of running alongside of the chariot? Maybe Lennie Bruce was on to something. Who knows? So I am trying to find these things in this interesting upbringing of mine where maybe there’s a wrong way to say the right thing.
That’s another thing. I was used to thinking of the church as almost a cult of personality, like a house where a pastor delivers a message and people come to hear it and then they go. I don’t know if “empowerment” is the right word. The word they use is “commission.” I think it’s the best word to use. We have a call, a commission to actually go out and do the things we’re told, that we are shown how to love other people.
Of all the places to hear somebody articulating what the problem in our society is … I got to see Eddie Izard recently, another stand-up comedian, speaking of the state of the world. Take an event like World War Two. Sixty million people showed up to fight that war. How many gods showed up? I’m listening to this, and I finally get it. God did show up – 60 million times. Every time somebody stepped in front of a bullet, every time somebody went out there and did what was called for, put themselves out there in the name of love. And of course the Devil showed up too because there were people out there for that also. The way it becomes real – this isn’t just lip service, just a Sunday morning mood. This is something you’re supposed to . . .
Joan: Live out. I think you have discovered something profound.
Josh: For somebody who took the nonexistence of God for granted for most of his adult life, it’s almost – there’s really no way to articulate it. It’s a deep sense of being ready. It’s the willingness to acknowledge the unknowable. Most of the atheists I’ve known were so certain of everything. That was the basis of their unwillingness to depart from what they could see and hear and touch. You don’t have to deny your senses. You need to be prepared to acknowledge that maybe there’s something behind them, deeper. The way I heard it put, that I thought was the best, is that other places have unquestioning answers, and we have unanswered questions. I think that’s going to be the door that lets people experience this again. So many people are sick of being told what to think and how they’re supposed to live, and they’re judged and stepped on. They’re told, “Get the hell out of here if you don’t want to do it our way” But I think you have to look for God everywhere because it’s the only place big enough to find her.
It would definitely be a hard thing to leave now.
Joan: Sara? Do you have anything to add?
Sara: Sounds like Josh went over both our feelings about the church.
Josh: Well it’s an interview . . . she can do the follow-up.
Sara: The liturgy, the serious approach. The worship is important to me, but not to take yourself so seriously. It seems like it was the reverse in my previous experience. Don’t take yourself seriously in church – we’re going to Six Flags over Jesus. When you go out, God forbid you drink beer. I just didn’t enjoy it. I had several reasons why I didn’t go to church for several years. Before I came to St. Paul’s, the last time I remember enjoying church was at my dad’s church — the big Methodist church in Opelika – this big castle-like church. It has this big belfry. In the back of the church was an old unused choir loft. My favorite thing to do was go up there after Sunday School and throw grapes at the ladies. I tried to get them in the hats. I was probably six. That’s the only time I remember enjoying church.
Josh: That’s why Tallis isn’t allowed in the choir loft!
Joan: Grape-throwing might be hereditary!
Sara: Church wasn’t my thing. But now I’ve found something I can participate in because everyone participates in the liturgy. You’re not just sitting there with someone speaking at you, which was important to me.
It’s also important to me that the girls have Hazel as a role model. It’s amazing to me, because my mom comes from a long line of Baptists where women couldn’t speak in church. They could only hold women’s Sunday Schools.
Josh: I was privileged to overhear the kids arguing – usually it’s over something silly – but Gwen was explaining heatedly, “Tallis, don’t be dumb! Boys can’t be priests!”
Sara: It’s so wonderful they get to have that experience.
Sara: There are so many things people do that you don’t have to do. For instance, not everybody makes the sign of the cross or genuflects. You can make God gender neutral. Even in the service, there are shades of gray, what people feel comfortable participating in. I swear, if I ever saw my Mom make the sign of the cross, I might fall over dead.
Josh: Sara has adopted a head covering.
Sara: Well, Mary Rose was doing it, and I read a book by a woman who was raised evangelical and converted to Episcopalianism later. But she had written a book about how she wanted to try to live a year based on literal Biblical principles. She wanted to see what experiences changed her for the better and what didn’t. A lot of the time, she wrote, this is just crap! But two things stuck out: she started covering her hair all the time because they mention it in the Bible. She said the thing she liked about it was almost a tangible, visible reminder to her while she was out, just to be respectful and gracious. She said it changed her mindset. She became less coarse in her interactions with other people. So I said, I’m going to try it too. I do feel it works for me. I feel people are seeing me differently, and it makes me more mindful when I’m out. It’s kind of a tangible reminder for me.
Joan: I guess my Daughters of the King cross serves that function for me.
Sara: I don’t wear the head covering at home. But I’ve really enjoyed wearing it while I’m out. I started at the beginning of summer, and I’ve done it since. They haven’t really asked me about it at school yet. Mary Rose pointed me in some directions. It’s more to be gracious to other people.
And then it was time to say goodbye – to a wonderful evening and inspiring people!