The Messenger December 2018
As I write this article, it’s the day after Black Friday and everywhere I look our culture is screaming, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” Don’t miss out on this incredible vacation or this smashing outfit. This amazing kitchen gadget will ensure your holiday entertaining is a huge success and effortless!
I look out at the mountains with newly fallen snow and I ponder the coming of Advent, the liturgical season that we will begin on December 2nd. Part of me wonders how we got to December so quickly. The other part wonders if there is any place in our culture that encourages us to wait expectantly and hopefully for anything, let alone for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into our world. It strikes me that we may not be able to get this kind of support from our culture, and yet in our part of the world nature beckons us into a time of waiting and lying fallow, preparing for what is to come. Perhaps this year we can intentionally listen more to nature! What might that look like?
I have always loved Advent and this year as we are encouraged to get busier and busier there’s a part of me that is delighting in accepting the invitation to “shift down” and move a little slower and a little more intentionally. How might we prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus into our lives once again on Christmas Day?
Perhaps we want to focus on preparing our hearts. We might reflect on the key relationships in our lives and do something to strengthen them. Maybe we’re being drawn to work on loving ourselves more…accepting ourselves as whole and holy women and men, beloved children of God. Or the reality that the “others” in our lives are also beloved children of God may be asking for our attention. Maybe we’re in the midst of a difficult time and being asked to accept and feel the pain rather than pushing it away…trusting that we will meet God there with renewed hope and vision.
I wonder. Personally, I prepare with a favorite Advent discipline: reflecting on 3-4 people whom I’m grateful for. Then I make a point of writing and telling them how grateful I am for their presence in my life and how they have been Christ for me on my journey. It’s hard to describe, but reflecting on their impact on my life and sharing that with them somehow opens and prepares my heart and ultimately my whole life to have more space for Jesus to be born again within me on Christmas Day.
This year is a new experience for me as I enter Advent while also preparing for my upcoming retirement on February 1st. Making space in my heart seems even more important this year. I want space to be able to take in all that you have blessed me with and to savor the relationships. I want to feel the pain of saying goodbye, of this temporal ending, trusting that God will indeed meet us all there with the birth of something new. I believe that each year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, something new is also born within each of us. Let’s hold each other closely, as we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus, trusting that God is at work lovingly drawing us into the future that has been carefully prepared for each of us and for our community.
Won’t you join me in waiting expectantly and hopefully for the birth of Jesus once again? Advent blessings, gratitude and my love! Christy
If you would like to make an offering toward the poinsettias that decorate our church at Christmas time in memory of or thanksgiving for a loved one, please contact Kerri at the church office, firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-269-5829. Your remembrance will be included in the Christmas bulletins. Thank you!
Baptism and First Communion Preparation offered in December
Christy will be offering a session for young children 3-6ish+ that will help prepare them for baptism or celebrate their first communion. If your child was baptized as an infant and has been taking communion regularly it will help them understand more about communion. This takes the place of what used to be called “First Communion” when children had to wait to receive communion until they were older. They are then presented with a First Communion Certificate at the Christmas Eve service.
If you are interested in having your child baptized, the next scheduled date for baptisms will be on January 13th, the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. It seems there’s never enough time in early January to prepare after Christmas so we hope that gathering in December will better meet the needs of families.
It’s a fun interactive time with Pastor Christy that this year will include the Godly Play lesson on baptism as well as the traditional scavenger hunt in the sanctuary to learn more about communion. If you are interested in having your child participate or just have questions, please contact Christy. Once we know who wants to participate, we will set up a convenient time in early December that works for everyone.
Donations Needed for Christmas Baskets
Emmanuel continues the important tradition of providing local children and families through our schools
with a Christmas basket of basic necessities and also a fun toy to brighten up their holiday. Your help and financial donations are needed and appreciated! Envelopes are available for donations in the church entryway. Please save these dates:
– Thursday, December 6 at 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – meet at Walmart on the pharmacy entrance side and shop for basket items (blankets, dish soap, laundry detergent, toothbrushes, special toy, etc.)
– Sunday, December 16 after the 10:00 AM service – wrapping party! Donations of wrapping paper, tape, and bows are appreciated as well.
Christmas Worship Services
Christmas Eve, December 24th 4:00pm – Our Family Oriented Christmas Service with Pageant, Carols and Holy Eucharist. This service includes a simple joy-filled pageant with a part for every child and adult who wants to participate in telling the story of Jesus’ birth. Part selection and costumes will take place on Sunday, December 16th or by appointment with Christy. Rehearsal for the pageant will be Sunday, Dec. 23rd at 11:30 AM. Please notify the church office or Christy if you or your child would like to participate in the pageant or if you’d like to help.
8:00pm – The Holy Eucharist with sermon, traditional Christmas carols and special music by the Choir. This is the traditional “midnight mass” at a more convenient time!
Christmas Day, December 25th 10:00 AM Christmas Day Service with Holy Eucharist, sermon and a quiet more contemplative service complete with Christmas carols and joy.
The 1st Sunday after Christmas and 6th Day of Christmas, December 30th 8:00 AM Holy Eucharist, Rite I, with a Christmas meditation.
10:00AM Christmas Carol Sing along with Holy Eucharist. We will have a chance to sing many of your favorite Christmas Carols that you select and we’ll let the words of the hymns speak to us as our sermon.
Our Traditional Youth Group Christmas Cookie Extravaganza
Dec. 15h 1:30-4:00 Christmas Cookie Baking for our Homebound
Baking, Sampling, Packaging, Card-making and Fellowship!
Please let Christy know if you plan to attend! Thanks!
Dec. 23rd 12:30 (after the Christmas Pageant rehearsal and a quick lunch…) Caroling and delivering the cookies to our homebound. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Christmas Pageant, Monday, December 24th at 4:00 PM
Our 4:00 PM Christmas Eve service includes a simple joy-filled pageant with a part for every child and adult who wants to participate in telling the story of Jesus’ birth. Our older youth help organize the younger kids and it all seems to work out in a most wonderful way that is always great fun. We have sheep and cow non- speaking parts, beautiful angels, shepherds, 3 wise people and the Holy family. Costumes and parts can be picked up on Sunday December 16th after church or by an appointment with Christy. Our one rehearsal will be on Sunday, Dec. 23rd at 11:30 AM (following our 10:00 AM service) and on Dec. 24th you will need to be able to be at the church at 3:30 PM.
Sound like fun? We’d love to have you participate or help! Please notify Christy, Christy@episcopalcoosbay.org, 541-728-7988 or Kerri in the church office, email@example.com if you or your child would like to participate in the pageant. We’d also love help with costumes, props or crowd control. It’s one of those events where the more help we have, the more fun it is for everyone! Join us!
Caring for our Home Bound Members by providing them with the Eucharist. Maybe this is a Ministry for You!
Many of our members are home bound due to health issues, and/or aging that makes it more difficult to leave their home, yet they continue to be important members of our church community! How do we continue to care for them and nurture those relationships? One of the ways we do this is by ensuring that they have an opportunity to receive Holy Communion at least once a month.
Some of you may read this and think, “Wow, only once a month?!” But the reality is that it takes a team of committed, trained folks who feel called to this ministry to make it work. We currently have an awesome team, but their numbers are dwindling and Bruce and Sheryl have to take a temporary break in order to be more available to care for Sheryl’s aging parents in Medford.
I wonder, do you have the gifts for this ministry? Do you enjoy offering others the gift of hospitality of presence? Are you a good listener? Do you have a reverence for communion? How about a desire to reach out to our home bound members to help them feel included in our community? If you answer yes to any of those questions then maybe the Holy Spirit might be nudging you to check out this ministry. A great way to “try it on” so to speak is to go along with someone when they take communion out to one of our home bound members, or talk to one of the team, Pat Cross, Fran Whitaker, Bruce Winterhalder, and Sheryl Gerety or Christy to find out more about what’s involved. We hope to have a training in January so if you are interested, please let Christy know in December.
Christmas Concert at Emmanuel
The Emmanuel Sanctuary Choir will host a festive concert of Advent and Christmas music on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 4:00 PM.
The choir will present a Christmas musical, “God With Us” with original compositions and familiar favorites, as well as folk-carols, by Tom Fettke.
We will also be treated to the music of Charlotte Pierce’s recorder ensemble playing Christmas favorites, as well as Wilbur Jensen and Steve Krajcir playing trumpet duets.
There will be a free-will offering for the food cupboard.
A beverage and cheese reception in the Undercroft follows the concert.
Please come and invite your friends and neighbors to join you! The holidays can be a lonely time for people and this is a great way to reach out.
Emmanuel’s Moller Pipe Organ
Fr. Harry Heaney, rector of Emmanuel from 1961 – 1970, himself a concert organist, arranged for the firm of M.P. Moller, Hagerstown, Maryland, to build a two-manual and pedal pipe organ for Emmanuel.
The organ was completed in 1966. Built in the English Romantic style of voicing, the instrument is well-suited to accompany choir and congregation.
The instrument has 5 ranks (including a solo trumpet stop) and is augmented by a set of Peterson Electronic Chimes.
The organ pipes are located in their own chamber behind the cloth grille above the choir pews.
The organ has been featured in numerous concerts in addition to accompanying Sunday and Holy Day worship services.
– Tom Collins, Emmanuel Organist and Choir Director
Attendance at the 7:30 AM service in the past has been pretty stable for many years. Here’s the history over the years with Easter Sunday taken out:
2012 – 23, 2013 – 22, 2014 – 22, 2015 – 19, 2016 – 25, 2017 – 22, 2018 – 24
8:00 AM Service Thoughts from the Box
The following are the thoughts that have been shared this month in the feedback box in the entryway.
– Sounds good!
– I prefer the 7:30 am service. The time between the first and second service has been an important rehearsal time
for choir, organ and instrumentalists.
– Works for me!
The San Francisco Chronicle recently ran an article (“20 Best Value Towns in the West”) featuring what the staff took to be the most attractive western U.S. towns for individuals and families seeking to escape the California version of the “bay area.” Nestled in among Koolaupoko (HI), Boise (ID), Fort Collins (CO), Canmore (Alberta), and Wenatchee (WA) was our own town of Coos Bay. Coos Bay has a strong future and so does Emmanuel Episcopal Church! Located by geography as well as by the skills, dedication and experience of the congregation, we continue to be an important leader in making our town a vibrant and attractive place to live for the generations to come. Uniting the specifics of Vestry discussion over the last month and into the future are a broader sense of effectively managing our own church home, sustaining our outreach activities, and building the leadership capacity to ensure that we, and the community in which we live, remain strong.
Specifically, we have spent a good part of the last two meetings discussing what sustainable budgets for both church and preschool could look like, brainstorming ideas to create additional sources of income, as well as ways to cut expenses, and analyzing and updating current bookkeeping systems. Experience has shown that our long-term sustainability depends on bringing in new sources of income as well as new pledges, especially the small ones that become routine, and then habitual and grow with the giver’s capacity. The Vestry prayerfully continues to creatively seek new sources of income while living within its means and allocating funds as established by our budget.
Three members will be rotating off the current Vestry, having reached the end of their three-year terms. They are Pam Cheney, Nancylee Stewart and David Laird. Nominations are being sought of individuals willing to fill one of the open seats. Please prayerfully consider what attributes you would bring to the role and then either volunteer or, if you think you may not yet be ready to take up a Vestry-level leadership role, consider other roles that will build your familiarity with Church issues in that direction. This brings us back again to experience, and another Vestry discussion: How can we better build a broad base of leadership capacity within our Church community. This is critical not only to Emmanuel, but to the outreach services we provide to the broader community of Coos Bay.
Outreach services including the food cupboard and the preschool are foundational to our life at Emmanuel. The preschool is such an exciting opportunity as it begins its second year of a 5 year plan drawing on a grant from Episcopal Bishop of Oregon Funds and providing a service, quality child care, in short supply in our community. It has brought us many children and young families who depend on the services we provide. The preschool is very new in its expanded form and there is much work that still needs to be done to show that it can be sustainable in the future. Experience – that word again – is accumulating rapidly as Hannah, the Preschool Director, the Preschool Board and her team work through all of the complexities of a new endeavor of this scale. Teacher training, certification, and curriculum development, budgeting and funding as well as coordination with the Vestry, and the Finance Committee are each requiring the attention of many people. Reconciling Preschool with Church accounting practices, work on making both sets of documents more transparent and timely, establishing separate checking accounts and financials, all have received Vestry attention during the last month.
In our year ahead we anticipate challenges; we intend to meet them by drawing strength from God, our Emmanuel family, our Coos Bay community and the beauty and potential of our surroundings. We join in supporting our new vestry members, and wishing them and returning members the very best.
-submitted by Sheryl Gerety
In God’s economy, the currency is Love – 2019 Pledge Report
To date we have received 55 pledges for a total of $148,134. We are very grateful to those of you who have responded. Of the 55 pledges that were received for 2019, 10 pledges were increased over last year’s amount representing a total of $10,516. 7 pledges were decreased over last year’s amounts representing a total of – $1,206 and 20 pledges remained the same as 2018’s pledge. In addition we had 5 new pledges for 2019 representing $2,380 and 3 pledges where the person has either died or moved that represents a total of – $18,500. Finally, there are 10 people who pledged last year who have not yet responded this year.
We are grateful for every single pledge that is received for the ministry of Jesus Christ at Emmanuel and we trust that God is at work in our midst. The Vestry and budget committee will soon go to work to establish our 2019 budget. If you are still interested in offering a pledge for 2019 please let the church office know as soon as possible. Pledge cards are available in the church entry way and the office.
With gratitude, your stewardship team,
Dave Laird (Chair), Pat Cross, Nadine Allen, Patti Nichols (Pledge Secretary) and Pastor Christy
Unity in the Love of Christ
Report on the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon 130th Convention Seaside Convention Center, Seaside, OR November 2nd – 3rd, 2018
1. “Living a Servant Life” – Episcopal Church Women Luncheon with keynote speaker, the Rev. Dcn. Senitila McKinley.
Rev. Dcn. Senitila McKinley is know as the “Mother Theresa of Lincoln County” She moved to Oregon 40 years ago from Tonga and spoke almost no English. She founded the Seashore Family Literacy program in Waldport. She was a speaker in Washington, D.C. as part of Barbara Bush’s Literacy campaign. Rev. Dcn. Senitila spoke to “How I live my life” versus “work” and she suggests what counts is how much you bend down to help others. She says, “My prayer is what I do.” Her book, Leipua of Love is available through Amazon. She is an incredible helper to those in need. When she takes her daily lunch break, she generally goes to various parks, and when she sees someone who looks hungry, she invites them to share a meal and conversation. She makes many lunches each morning so there will be food to share. Rev. Senitila makes a personal difference in the lives of many, many people. Read more about her. https://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/the_mother_teresa_of_lincoln_c.html.
2. Campus Ministries Reports: From Campus Ministries at U of O, OSU, Western Oregon University and Portland Metro Episcopal Campus Ministry.
Many material and spiritual services are provided to students. Additionally, Eugene has a residence that can house up to five students. A place for students to gather, learn, pray & worship. Food usually has a central role. Food banks and clothing are some services offered. Relational support/vital engagement with students is central. These ministries welcome our prayers. If you know a young person at one of these colleges whom
might be interested in being connected with one of these campus ministries, please let the Chaplin know. More information is listed in the Diocese program budget for 2019.
3. Commissioning of Convocation Deans and Presidents:
For our South Coast Convocation, Christy was Commissioned by Bishop Michael as our Convocation Dean. No one was Commissioned as President at that time. This is due to elections being held at our next South Coast Convocation meeting to be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on January 26, 2019 from 10 – 1pm.
4. Diocesan Resolution #1: Encouraging Expanded Use & Redevelopment of Church Properties.
This Resolution passed with amended wording, adding “when necessary” to the second paragraph, so it now reads:
Resolved, that the 130th Convention of the Diocese of Oregon encourages all congregations to “think outside the (church) box” and pursue partnerships with other organizations for the use, leveraging, and redevelopment of church facilities and to share those proposals and efforts with the other congregations in the diocese; and be it further Resolved, that this Convention requests that the Bishop and Standing Committee encourage, and directs the Board of Trustees to assist, congregations in their redevelopment efforts by approving, when necessary, mortgages, leases, cell tower agreements, and redevelopment plans that will serve to make the best use of congregational properties for the long-term sustainability of mission and ministry in the diocese; and be it further Resolved, that this Convention directs the Board of Trustees to publish a “Guide to Responsible Redevelopment” setting forth principles and suggestions for such redevelopment efforts based on experiences in this and other dioceses no later than May 1, 2019 and report all such efforts that were considered by the Board of Trustees in the last five (5) years to the 131st Diocesan Convention in the form of a “Redevelopment Report.” http://convention.diocese-oregon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/A-Resolution-Encouraging-Use-of- Congregational-Properties.pdf
5. Amendments to Canons of the Diocese of Oregon:
Delegates voted on changes to the diocesan Constitution & Canons. The amendments pertain to canons covering:
*The election and certifying of parish or mission delegates to diocesan Convention *Convocations structure and responsibilities
*The Commission on Church Architecture and Allied Arts
*The Commission on Liturgy and Church Music
*Structure and Responsibilities of the Commission on Ministry
*The Bishop’s authority over mission work within the diocese *Creation of the diocesan budget
*Diocesan Program Assessment calculations and delinquency
*The canonically-required offering in support of theological education *The process for canonical changes
The Amendments passed with only a few minor wording changes except for Canon 3.5: Convocations, where in Sec. 4 (c) B. regarding terms for Convocation Council, they are now to be 2-year terms. This goes into effect 1/1/19.
6. St. Matthews in Portland was closed.
7. The All Saints Eucharist Offering and Basket Raffle ticket sales, for a combined total of $5,437.85,
went to the Commission on Poverty and Homelessness for grants that will be awarded to churches in
8. The Panty Drive for Rahab’s Sisters collected more than three hundreds of pairs of underwear for
women experiencing homelessness and poverty in Portland. They greatly appreciated Emmanuel’s contributions!
~submitted by Nancylee Stewart, Delegate to Convention
Diocesan Convention Highlights: Bishop Michael Hanley’s Address to Convention
*The Convention Keynote Speaker: Heidi Kim, The Episcopal Church’s Office for Racial Reconciliation
“Seeing Something from a Different Perspective”
Bishop Michael began his address with a video looking out the front window of a car driving down a very narrow two lane road with beautiful scenery and landscape all around. Suddenly a car was coming towards us but it was passing on the wrong side of the road. It quickly became clear that we were in a country where they drive on the other side of the road. The road seemed to get narrower and narrower, and suddenly we were passing a car but again it was very disorienting because everything was opposite what we’re used to.
Bishop Michael had the passenger in his car take this video while in Ireland earlier this summer. The lesson: sometimes we need to see something from a different perspective. In discussing it afterwards, some of us focused on the beauty and others on the tightness of the roads and hedges. Where we are on the road and where we’re headed are both important factors to consider.
He described the work that is currently being done to ask questions about the future vision of the Diocese of Oregon. He pulled together a small group that started this process. They were guided by the book, Canoeing the Mountains, by Todd Bolsinger. It’s about the challenge of church growth in this century and uses the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a metaphor for this work. They were doing fine with their canoes as they went down the Missouri River, but when they came to the Rocky Mountains they had to regroup as the canoes were not going to be much help in getting over the mountains. The learning? The way forward doesn’t look anything like the way behind. In order to navigate the future they had to ask what do we need to keep with us and what will we need to leave behind and who will be our guide?
Bishop Michael summarized by saying we’re on the right track in the church when clergy and the laity are leading together and when we believe and act as if every voice matters. Representatives of the Board of Directors, Standing Committee and the Diocesan Council will work with the Bishop to pull together a group for this vision work. We broke into table talks to discuss the question, “What do you believe God is calling the Diocese of Oregon to do and to be now and in the future?” This group will work over the next couple of years taking stock of our resources and where we are now and what work the Diocese needs to be about in the future. This conversation will ultimately include the question of where to locate
the Diocesan offices. The hope is that by starting with the vision and sense of call, the decision of where to locate the diocesan offices will become clear to everyone.
He asked that in this work we all commit to seeing the love of God through each other, to listen to one another, to find solutions for the problems we face and to remember that the road that lies ahead of us won’t look anything like the road behind us. Referring back to the opening video he asked, “What side of the road are we on?”
“The Beloved Community Work within the Episcopal Church”
Heidi works under our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry and is his staff officer for racial reconciliation. She was running a Beloved Community Workshop during the Tree of Life Temple shooting. She began her address by acknowledging, Unity in the Love of Christ is our theme and yet, unity seems very hard to hold onto during difficult times and during an election season. She described the resistance that we tend to feel to love in the midst of conflict. She said that part of being a Beloved Community means that being in relationship needs to be more important than being right. She asked us to reflect on how we will become beloved community? Who are we as a diocese and where are we in our journey of transformation? How are we each called to be a reconciler and healer in a world that desperately needs it? Heidi noted that during times of national disaster we see this kind of kind and compassionate behavior to those who are in crisis and she believes we can get there without a disaster. That’s the vision that she is working for and that the Episcopal Church is encouraging.
She started talking about President Trump and literally you could feel the tension in the room increase as no one knew where she was going with this but it felt like a dangerous topic. She reminded us that President Trump is a beloved child of God made in God’s image. She went on to talk about Hillary Clinton. My sense was that a little bit of tension decreased as there was a sense that she was going to be fair in whatever point she was making. She then reminded us that Hillary Clinton is a beloved child of God made in God’s image. She went on: the shooter at Tree of Life Temple is a beloved child of God made in God’s image. You could have heard a pin drop and her point was made.
Becoming Beloved Community is challenging work for us as individuals and as a church community but it is so important. How do we act so that my inherent value is the same as yours? In parishes we are being encouraged to come together across differences and to be patient with each other’s flaws. Why are we engaged in this work of becoming beloved community? Because that’s what Jesus calls us to do as a faith community. As our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry says, Jesus of Nazareth has shown us the way through chaos to the beloved community. Intrigued by this work of reconciliation? For more information or for Advent resources and meditations check out the following link: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/files/documents/preparing_to_become_beloved_community_advent_res ource_for_print.pdf, or google Beloved Community, the Episcopal Church.