By Shana LiVIGNI
Worship in the Episcopal Church is dynamic and participatory, involving all of the senses as well as the inner spirit. The worship service is shaped by The Book of Common Prayer, The Hymnal 1982, and other resources for prayer and music from around the world. There are three basic parts of every Sunday’s service:
1) Scripture: Bible lessons are read, and responded to with silent reflection, music, and, after the Gospel reading, a sermon which connects the readings to our current lives and concerns.
2) Prayer: Prayers are said together for the Church, the world, the nation, the local community, those who are ill or in any other need, those who have died and those who mourn.
3) Eucharist: Communion bread and wine are blessed, broken, and shared; and the people of God are sent forth into the world to minister to others.
Both the local congregations – St. George’s in La Cañada and St. Luke’s of the Moutains – embrace these tenets and each other. The leaders of the two congregations are a husband and wife team.
Reverend Amy Pringle of St. George’s explained how she met her husband, St. Luke’s Reverend Bryan Jones. “We met on e-Harmony. We compared notes and realized that we had been at many diocesan (regional) church events together, without ever meeting. We finally met for coffee, which we immediately upgraded to lunch…and then we got married. It took e-Harmony to bring us together!”
When asked about the pros and cons the spousal relationship when in the exact same field of work, Rev. Amy describes it this way. “The best is that we’re on the same schedule, and understand the strange rhythms of church life. Saturday nights out are not an option so you give up those season tickets to the theater and chorale. Sunday afternoons are nap-only time and most holidays are work days. The hardest part? We’re on the same schedule. Who gets the shower, when, on Sunday mornings? We both have evening meetings — I can pencil you in for dinner together next week, if you’re free?”
And what makes the marriage work? “We get it about each other’s work, we speak the same language and know what questions to ask. We even give each other consulting advice, when asked. But we never, never tell each other what to do. ‘Oh, if it were me, I’d do this’ or ‘why don’t you try that?’ Never. This is how we’ll stay married,” she laughed. “And no, we don’t plan ever to work together at the same church. That, too, is how we’ll stay married.”
Reverend Amy Pringle is originally from Michigan where she received her B.A. in English Literature from University of Michigan, a Master of Divinity degree from Seabury-Western in Evanston, IL. and in 1993, studied at Hebrew Bible at Claremont School of Theology. After finishing coursework, Amy realized she preferred parish ministry to academia. Ordained in 1995, she worked at Oneonta Congregational Church in South Pasadena, St. Thomas’ Episcopal in Hacienda Heights, St. Wilfrid of York in Huntington Beach, and came to St. George’s in 2005.
In 1979, Reverend Bryan Jones graduated from The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge Massachusetts and was ordained a priest that same year. Since then, he’s spent 16 years working Episcopal parishes and 15 years working in political and community organizing. Prior to coming to St. Luke’s last November, he served as rector of St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Long Beach for seven and half years.
“St. Luke’s and St. George’s churches welcome all people regardless of the race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation,” explains Bryan. “We are open to people’s doubts and questions as well as their faith and convictions. We see the core of following Jesus to be his command to love God and our neighbors.
St. Luke’s of the Mountains Church is located at 2563 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta. For more info, call (818) 248-3639 or visit www.stlukeslacrescenta.org. St. George’s Church is located at 4467 Commonwealth Ave. in La Cañada. For more info, call (818) 790-3323 or visit www.saintglc.org.