The Messenger April 2016
Alleluia! The Lord is Risen! … and he has appeared to his disciples…the disciples of long ago that were at the tomb that first Easter morning, the disciples and matriarchs and patriarchs of our church community throughout its history and each of us! As disciples of Christ we are witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ and during the upcoming 50 days of the Easter season we need to be expecting and looking for Jesus to show up in our lives!
When was the last time you had a “God moment” when you felt close to Jesus? How did you know it was the Lord’s presence? Did you tell someone about it like Mary and the women who went to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty? Or were you more like Peter and went home “amazed at what had happened?” If you wonder what I’m talking about and you’ve never had a moment like this maybe it’s not because they aren’t happening to you, but perhaps it’s because you’ve never thought about it that way or maybe it’s kind of like you don’t have the right lenses on to recognize the risen Christ in your midst.
The reason I’m asking these questions is because I have been reflecting a lot on what it means for all of us to be “witnesses” to the risen Christ in our world today. How are we called to be witnesses to the love that God has for each of us and our world. It seems to me that in order to be a witness we have to have experiences that we believe come from God, we have to remember them and we have to be willing to share them with others.
At Emmanuel, our first Mutual Ministry Goal is “To continue to learn how to follow Jesus.” Your Vestry and I have been working hard at how to lead the congregation in carrying out this goal. At our last meeting we decided that a good first step would be to encourage people to begin sharing their “God-moments” or moments closest to Christ with one another. Our hope is that each time a ministry team or small group that’s connected to the church meets, they will begin with 10-15 minutes of sharing that will include this question: “Tell about the time that you felt closest to Christ/God/the Holy Spirit since we last met.” It’s easiest the first time that a group does this because you can choose from your whole life when thinking about something to share. After that it may feel a little more challenging, but our hope is that if we all know that we will be starting our meetings or gatherings with this question, then we will actually start to look for examples in our lives… and perhaps that will be like putting on the “right lenses” to actually be able to see and recognize the risen Christ in our midst. Remember the purpose isn’t to comment on or question someone’s experience, but just to honor the person and their experience by listening as if we were standing on Holy ground.
The Vestry has committed to doing this sharing at the beginning of each of our meetings and we hope that other teams will follow suit…the altar guild, finance committee, the choir, the contemporary group, Bible Study, etc. Usually the response as we begin something like this is, “We don’t have time! We can’t do our work in the time we have as it is and now you want us to add something else…” Those sentiments are true for all of us…there is a lot of work to be done and it is important work and ministry! However, it’s also true that if we take the time to share the stories of the risen Christ in our midst, we will be able to “see” each other and work together as a team in a different way that may actually help us do our work more efficiently! Perhaps, it will actually help us to “continue to learn how to follow Jesus”, which is your Vestry’s and my hope.
So remember, the world is our empty tomb, open and ready for our experiences of the risen Christ…and, we are witnesses to all these things! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Easter blessings and my love, Christy
Quality Ministry Glorifies God!
Many hands make light work and there were many, many individuals involved in making Emmanuel’s Holy Week and Easter Season so blessed! Sometimes words don’t begin to convey the gratitude in our hearts, but here is an attempt to say thank you to all involved!
- To the altar guild especially the teams that were on during Palm Sunday and Holy week as well as Easter Day…for the endless hours preparing and cleaning up the sanctuary for all of the unique and different Holy Week and Easter services.
- To the choir, contemporary music group, for their extra time practicing in order to provide us with reverent, spirit filled and lively music for all of our services. To Carla, Dan and Nancy for their leadership and musical gifts, and to Wilbur Jenson for his willingness to play for the 10:00 service on Easter morning.
- A special thank you to the lay readers, lectors and ushers who served during the various services.
- To Julianna for all the extra work on bulletins and inserts while managing the office in such a friendly and welcoming manner and to those who helped fold the bulletins.
- To Doug Laird and his helpers for managing our grounds so they look so nice and inviting.
- For all of those who hosted our coffee hours and receptions during Holy Week and Easter, including the fire tenders for the Easter Vigil who get special kudo’s for doing their work in the rain.
- To Eric and to Grant who filled in during Holy Week, for keeping our buildings clean and ready for all of the extra services and gatherings.
I’m sure there are some details that are omitted here, but know that this Lenten, Holy Week and Easter season has been a wonderful example of mutual ministry, all of us offering our best and trusting that God will transform our offerings into something much grander than any of us could do on our own. Much gratitude to all who offered their gifts!
In our continued effort to integrate our mutual ministry goals, your vestry will be implementing a monthly Q&A session to take place at the coffee hour the Sunday after the vestry meets. We will designate two vestry members to attend both coffee hours with the goals of; 1) Emphasizing one of the 4 mutual ministry goals and, 2.) Being present/available to answer any questions parishioners may have.
This first month David Laird and I will be the representatives, and I believe the date will be April 24th our focus will be mutual ministry goal number 1.
Continue to learn how to follow Jesus.
We will discuss what we are doing to develop and integrate this goal and we would love to hear any ministry ideas
you may have, as well as, attempt to answer any questions that arise because, Emmanuel can only carryout its mission through the ministry of all its members.
As always Cheerfully in Christ, Troy
Welcome To Emmanuel” Series to be Offered in April!
Are you new to Emmanuel in the last year or so? Do you have questions about Emmanuel, the Episcopal Church, the layout of our grounds and building or maybe just who else around you is also new to the congregtion? Well then the “Welcome to Emmanuel” series is for you.
The three sessions will be held on April 21st, April 28th, and May 5th, from 6:30-8:00 in the Undercroft (lower level) at Emmanuel. Christy will lead the sessions with help from Emmanuel’s Newcomer’s Team and we hope it will be an opportunity to meet other people who are new, learn more about the Episcopal Church as well as Emmanuel, and to get answers to any questions you may have.
Light appetizers will be provided. Please call Julianna at 541-269-5829, or email Christy, email@example.com, if you have questions or plan to attend and also let us know if you will need childcare. We look forward to getting to know you better and officially welcoming you to Emmanuel!
Lay Reader, Lecturer and Eucharistic Visitor Training to be Offered
Have you ever wondered about serving at the altar? Wondering what it might be like or feeling drawn to learn more about it or to serve in that way? Or perhaps you wonder about those members who come forward on a Sunday morning to receive the “little black box” that has the blessed bread and wine in it and are sent out to take communion to our home bound members. God is always at work raising up members to serve in this capacity since we would never be able to provide worship every Sunday or meet the sacramental needs of our homebound members without a huge team of people to help.
We have a training coming up on May 20th and 21st so if you would like to participate or have any questions, please let Christy know. Current lay readers please save the date as well since it makes a great refresher!
Jo Reeve’s Memorial Service April 9t at 1:00
If you are able to help with the reception for Jo’s celebration of life, please let Judy Jensen know, 541-269-1465. The family has given us a few of Jo’s favorite cookie recipes and we are hoping to make some of those as well as helping to serve coffee, set-up and clean-up.
Where are those darn directories, anyway?
Many of you are wondering when our directories will get here! All we can say is that it should be very soon. When the first proof came back there were some corrections that we needed to make, so that is part of the delay. Thank you for your patience. We ALL look forward to receiving them soon!
Pre-School Older Class Makes Hot Cross buns with Pastor Christy and Experiences Holy Week
We had flour everywhere as the pre-schoolers and Christy made hot cross buns from “scraps!” …at least that’s what Christy used to call it when her mom and dad taught her how to make and bake things without a mix. We learned the song and the story behind the tradition of hot cross buns. Then on the Friday before Holy Week, Terrye Laird taught the kids about the tradition of Mary Magdalene and the red Easter egg. Then Christy and Mackenzie led the kids as we walked through the last days of Jesus’ life, entering the church which had been transformed into the streets of Jerusalem with help from some of our youth who made the palm trees. We then gathered behind the altar as if it was the upper room and heard the story of Jesus last days. We carried the cross around the church as we sang, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” and finally we talked about Jesus’ body being laid in the tomb. When we celebrated that Jesus hadn’t died, but was alive, we burst outside where Terrye Laird helped us plant bulbs and Christy and Mackenzie helped put the “frosting cross” on our buns so we could enjoy them for our snack. It was a very blessed time and a wonderful introduction to the story behind the incredible love that God has for each one of us! Thanks to all who helped this be a reality for our pre-school members!
Episcopal Bishops Issue A Word to the Church
The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church meeting in retreat March 11 – 15 at Camp Allen Conference Center in Navasota, TX unanimously approved the following Word To The Church.
“We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others.”
On Good Friday the ruling political forces of the day tortured and executed an innocent man. They sacrificed the weak and the blameless to protect their own status and power. On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead, revealing not only their injustice but also unmasking the lie that might makes right.
In a country still living under the shadow of the lynching tree, we are troubled by the violent forces being released by this season’s political rhetoric. Americans are turning against their neighbors, particularly those on the margins of society. They seek to secure their own safety and security at the expense of others. There is legitimate reason to fear where this rhetoric and the actions arising from it might take us.
In this moment, we resemble God’s children wandering in the wilderness. We, like they, are struggling to find our way. They turned from following God and worshiped a golden calf constructed from their own wealth. The current rhetoric is leading us to construct a modern false idol out of power and privilege. We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others. No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, we must respect the dignity of every human being and we must seek the common good above all else.
We call for prayer for our country that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail and we will not betray our true selves.
From the Desk of Anne Abdy
Well, I have a real bad case of senioritis. For those who do not know what that is—all I can say is that the countdown has begun. Actually it began last fall but in earnest in recent weeks. At the time of this writing I have forty-four days left till I graduate and the thirty-eighth day marks the official end of the semester. Evidently the School of Theology believes I will graduate, thus the invitation to my graduation. (See attached picture) Graduation is streamed live but I will not have the link till closer to the date. Anyone is welcome if you’re in the area. It has been quite a journey for me and I am so appreciative of all the support Emmanuel has given me over the past three years . . . and for believing that I am called to ordained ministry.
Obviously, I am well into the semester with only four “big” assignments left so I am having to really motivate myself to get ‘er done! Fortunately, only one assignment is due over finals week and that is a take-home exam.
I cannot reveal what my immediate steps are at this time other than to say that I hope to return to Oregon in some capacity. I can tell you that I am in discussion with a number of dioceses about job opportunities. Bishop Michael will be visiting me and two other candidates who are in the Middler class on May 1 and 2. It will be good to show him around campus, but more importantly, I look forward to spending time with him discussing my future. Hopefully, I can announce some good news in the May.
May you all have a glorious Easter season, Alleluia!
Food Cupboard – In memory of Jo Reeves: given by Fran Whitaker, Marjorie & Darrel Fromm, Ron & Liz Cowden, Nancy & Pat Cross, and also by Steve & Celeste Tyson
Flower Fund – In memory of Mary M. Gates: given by Richard & Martha Moehl