In medieval England, when maps were rare, it was customary to make an annual perambulation of the parish boundaries on Ascension Day or during Rogation Days, days that were set aside to pray for the planting of crops in the spring and early summer. This annual event took place in a context where the parish was a geographical area, whose inhabitants were entitled to receive the ministrations of the parish church. Fixing the parish boundaries then, identified who was entitled to these ministrations, charitable and other, and who was not. Young boys were often taken along and bumped on the boundary stones to make sure they remembered the boundaries and to ensure that there were witnesses to the boundaries for as long as possible into the future.
With the exception of the state of Louisiana, no one refers to parishes as geographic areas any longer. There is no established church in America and Augusta isn’t medieval England, but nonetheless, it is a useful and usable image for us as we continue to discover what God is up to in his redemptive mission to the world and how we might be part of that.
To focus any effort that our parish might undertake that would make a difference in the lives of others, we have taken a map of Augusta, drawn parish boundaries on it (the 30904 zip code) and now we need to go and beat the bounds to see what’s out there.
If you are interested in an outing to take a look at our "neighborhood," to catalog the public schools, other churches, and see what’s up out there, then come go with us on Sunday, May 1st at 11:00am. We'll go from the church and take a box lunch with us. If needed, we'll get a bus! Make your reservation for a lunch by calling the parish office at 706-738-3386.