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MINISTER STRESSES PERSONAL TOUCH AT MEETING OF UTAH EPISCOPALIANS

SHARE MINISTER STRESSES PERSONAL TOUCH AT MEETING OF UTAH EPISCOPALIANS

"Money raising is like milking don't send the cow a letter."

The Rev. James Hugh Magers of Texas A&M used that analogy to remind Utah Episcopalians that they can't merely stand by and make a mild invitation to prospective church members. Instead, he said, "you must go in person . . . and recruit people in this ministry. They won't join just because you're neat and they like you."His remarks came during the annual Bishop's Weekend, held Oct. 13 to 15 at the Olympic Hotel in Park City. More than 550 Episcopalians attended the three-day event, which included daily Bible study, evening banquets, worship services, small-group discussion of ministry and renewal and dances.

The program was one of two annual meetings for Utah Episcopalians and was sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Utah.

The Rev. Magers told of building a ministry in rural east Texas in two of the poorest counties in the United States, with an adult literacy rate of 30 percent, where the "growth industry is dope." The area leads the nation in documented cases of child abuse.

"The element we're going to reach is the ones most broken . . . those coming off the raw edge of brokenness," he said. "Once a congregation decides to do something, gets it written down and part of the agenda, they can do it."

He gave guidelines for sparking growth in rural churches and identifying community needs. "Rural people have identified with church but do not practice it as part of their life," he said. "You will fail. You will waste money and hurt people - changing their concept of church. And when you get into this stuff, your church will change, and it will be uncomfortable," he said.

"But you will do things that in your wildest imagination you never thought you could do."

During the weekend, the Rev. Bradley With, Canon to the Ordinary, read the names of 55 organizations which will receive $622,000 in 1990 for social outreach in Utah from the charitable grants from the Corporation of the Bishop.

About 120 youths participated in craft and education programs lead by teachers of St. Peter's Episcopal School in Clearfield and in teen activities sponsored by members of St. James Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City.

A free-will offering collected at the closing eucharist totaled more than $9,500 and was sent to the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief to be used for crisis aid, including hurricane relief in South Carolina and the Caribbean.