On Saturday (symbolically, as it happens, when the Diocesan Convention will be sitting and producing its usual volume of hot air) a team of St Clement’s volunteers will be hanging a card on every door in the Fairmount area of Philadelphia.
The card will tell the residents that St Clement’s is their nearest Episcopal church, and will assure them of a warm welcome if they come. It is a beautiful card with fine pictures of St Clement’s, so I hope it will not be consigned immediately to the trash, as happens so often with menus from Chinese restaurants, for example.
As a Brit, I had no idea that it was illegal in the USA to push such cards though letter boxes. This is a privilege reserved to the US mailman. Our card will have to be hung on door handles, and so it is printed on paper that has a hook shape at the top. As a long-time deliverer of my own political cards, telling the electors of Sciennes/Marchmont to vote for me as their Lothian Regional Councillor (to non-Scots, this was in Edinburgh in a different era), I can see at least one advantage in the US system: one’s fingers will be safe from fierce dogs who lurk behind doors hoping for a bite.
We plan to distribute 2000 cards, and if even 1% (20 people) were interested enough to come to our Advent Carols or Christmas Masses or even to a normal Sunday (all of which are advertised on the card) the effort will have been worth while. I have even included the rash statement that Father Reid will be glad to call on anyone at home who would like a visit. More than American doctors will do: and maybe I’ll find out how wise they are!