The Messenger February 2016
Composting for God… another way to look at the season of Lent!
It’s really hard for me to believe that Ash Wednesday is February 10th this year. With that comes the beginning of Lent, the liturgical season that lasts 40 days (not counting Sundays) and brings us right up to Easter. Many of us have had experiences which led to the conclusion that Lent is about giving up something, focusing on feeling bad or sad and sitting in a drearier than usual Sunday service. But Lent is actually much more than that! You might say that Lent is a time set aside to bring us closer to God through a deeper knowledge of ourselves. It is about placing ourselves in the presence of God for refreshment, preparation, and self-examination. It is about taking an honest look at ourselves and accepting our whole self; the parts we like and the parts we don’t like so much, the successes and the failures. Ultimately, it is about offering our whole selves to God so that our God-given gifts and beauty can be truly revealed. This will take different forms for different people, and that becomes our Lenten work or discipline.
As we reflect on the things that get in the way of our relationship with God what do we do with them or about them? Jack and I have a friend who years ago led a Lenten retreat in which she used the metaphor of composting to describe our Lenten journey. We take all those things that we identify that get in the way of our relationship with God or that draw us away from the love of God and we throw them into our spiritual compost pile. We trust God to work the pile, turning it over and over until it is transformed… into rich hearty soil that will bring about new life. After all, isn’t that the foundational promise of our faith… that out of the darkness of our lives comes new life… or out of the waste and “crap” comes the hope for something new? Ultimately, that is what the 40 days of Lent promises to do for each of us spiritually if we enter into it with our whole heart. It lets us process those things that draw us away from God so that we are prepared for the gift of new life that comes with Easter… it is a journey from the death on the cross to the promise of new life.
Care to join me for some spiritual composting? As a community of faith it becomes a great way for us all to draw closer to each other and to God as we support one another on our Lenten journey. Look for suggestions in this newsletter for possible disciplines, programs or activities that you might consider this Lenten season. If I can help support you or your family in anyway, don’t hesitate to ask! Here’s to a Holy and life-giving Lent for each of us!
As has been reported, the Vestry is very focused on finding good candidates for the Vestry. We are happy to report that two strong candidates have agreed to be considered for the Vestry. At the upcoming Emmanuel Annual Meeting, the Parish will vote to amend the By Laws to reduce the size of the Vestry from 12 to 9 members.
The Vestry and the Finance Committee have spent considerable time assessing the Pre School. The Pre School has been very important to Emmanuel and the community; however, in recent years attendance and, thus, the Pre School finances have declined. If the Pre School is to continue a new Board will need to be appointed and some new strategy and plans put into place.
This is an exciting time for Emmanuel. The Vestry will continue to find ways to enhance communication between the Vestry and the Congregation, as well as among the Congregation. This will take place within the spirit of “Walking With God” which is a priority within the Mutual Ministry.
Vestry Profile – David Laird
January 18, 2016
I’ve been a member of Emmanuel literally for as long as I can remember. My first church experience that I vividly remember was a Sunday School lesson in what is now the pre-school. I received a small gold cross from the priest for being able to recite the Lord’s Prayer from memory.
As I grew older my church participation waxed and waned with life experiences. Looking back, I can trace the beginning of my more active participation with Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of Trinity Church in Pass Christian, Mississippi.
I don’t remember whose idea it was or how the idea came to fruition, but suddenly there was no doubt that I was going to Pass Christian to help rebuild Trinity Episcopal Church. My initial trip as part of an Emmanuel Team led to two more trips to help rebuild the community. On a side note, on subsequent trips I flew. My first trip with Pat Cross and Tom Leahy was a 44 hour drive to Huston, Texas. The trip back seemed even longer. Let me tell you, Texas is a BIG state and Pass Christian, Mississippi is a long way to drive!
That first trip cemented friendships that continue today. Most of us who make the pilgrimage continue to be involved in our church in various ways.
We talk about God moving us in ways that are often unseen or unfelt. Not until after the event do we sometimes look back and realize where that motivation came from. My commitment to the vestry was a similar experience.
At first I planned to decline the honor, feeling I wasn’t involved enough in the church to take on a leadership role. On further reflection, I decided to become more involved and accepted the nomination. I can truly say I am finding the experience to be hard but satisfying and rewarding work.
I think most folks see vestry as being heavily involved in the “nuts & bolt” of running the church – balancing the budget, making sure the bills get paid, etc. To my surprise, serving on the vestry has a strong spiritual component that speaks to me. Once again, I think its God working his way into my life at an unexpected time and manner.
I can’t say how other vestries function or what their priorities might be, but this vestry is committed not only to help the church run efficiently but also to making Emmanuel more spiritual and fulfilling for all our parishioners.
I think we’re well on the way and look forward to the future of Emmanuel Church.
Meet the New Vestry Members and Delegates
Pam Chaney Pam has been a member of Emmanuel since early 1993 when former priest, John Congdon along with his wife, Kathleen, invited her to sing with the choir. She has been here regularly ever since, even officially being baptized into the church and receiving confirmation from Bishop Ladihoff. She sings with the regular choir, the contemporary group, serves as an LEM, has served on the vestry once before as Junior Warden, and served on the committee to elect a new priest, plus volunteering with various fundraising events as a member of WOE. She still works full time as Administrative Director and teacher at Pacific School of Dance, an off campus program of the BGC of SW OR. She and Jack, her husband of 47 years, retired from a family construction company where she did all the accounting for the business. She also has office experience in the wood products, banking, and architectural industries. She has served on the board of many local non-profit groups and is currently an elected official of the Libby RFPD. Serving on the vestry is her way of giving back to a church family to which she is committed.
I am a Lifelong Episcopalian, growing up in Pendleton. I am currently on the Altar Guild (as was my mother for many years), and attend the 7:30am service. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my fellow parishioners, and the impact of Christy’s sermons on my life.
I was a banking executive from 1980-2015, managing statewide operations of Commercial Lending teams first @ US Bank (1975-2000), West Coast Bank (2000-2013), and the past two years @ Columbia Bank following the acquisition of West Coast Bank. I retired in April 2015, and now get to live with my husband! We have two grown sons, Stephen (29 years), Coos Bay, and Chris (27 years), Ashland.
I received a BA in Economics from Whitman College with an MBA from the University of Oregon Executive Program.
I also am a Trustee of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation and Past Chair and a Trustee of the OHSU Foundation and member of Finance and Audit Committee.
2016 Convention Delegates 2016 Alternate Convention Delegate
Meet the New Vestry Members and Delegates:
Read All About It!
Carla Courtney and Nancy Clarke Join Emmanuel’s Music Team
Please join me in welcoming Carla Courtney and Nancy Clarke to our Music Team. Carla will fill the role of Organist/Choir Leader, rehearsing with the choir on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 and playing the organ for worship at the 10:00 service on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of each month. Nancy has played piano for the contemporary group on the first Sunday for years. She will now expand her role as part of the music team as a pianist/organist playing for the 10:00 service on the 3rd Sunday of each month. They both join Dan Powell who will continue to serve as the contemporary group leader. I’m so grateful to both Nancy and Carla for offering their gifts in this way and look forward to working with both of them. These 2 positions will go a long way to meeting the immediate musical needs at Emmanuel. We will continue to search for a Music Team Leader, someone who has a vision for music at Emmanuel over the next ten years and can help us live into that vision. Thank you to all who have been praying for our music ministry at Emmanuel!
With gratitude! Christy
A Special Message from The Rt. Rev. Michael Hanley, Episcopal Bishop of Oregon On our relationship with the Anglican Communion
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus:
Many of you have heard the news that a majority of the primates of the Anglican Communion have voted to impose sanctions on the Episcopal Church over issues related to the actions of General Convention’s decision to change canonical language that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and authorize two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples. You may also be aware of our Presiding Bishop’s response to this action in which he said in part:
“Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, where all are truly welcome.” Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: “All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”
For my part, as the Bishop of the Diocese of Oregon, I stand with Bishop Curry and affirm our diocesan family as a house of prayer for all people. Our LGBT brothers and sisters should expect to find a welcome in the churches of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon this Sunday. I remain in prayer for the Anglican Communion and for my brother Bishop Michael Curry as he works to bring God’s message of love to the primates of the Anglican Communion.
63rd Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Tuesday, February 9th, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
The men of Emmanuel Episcopal Church will host the 63rd Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Feb. 9 in the church undercroft at 370 Street, Coos Bay.
The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper has been hosted without interruption by the men of Emmanuel Episcopal since 1953. The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain forgiveness for one’s sins way of confession and doing penance. Pancakes became the food of choice for this pre-Lenten feast so that rich ingredients such as eggs, milk and sugar could be used up before the start of fasting during the season of Lent.
Thanks to its lengthy tradition, food and fellowship, this event typically attracts many people from the congregation and the larger community. In addition
to an endless supply of pancakes the meal includes German sausage, ham and apple sauce. Gluten free will be an option as well.
Donations from this event are used to assist the Coos Food Cupboard.
The supper begins at 5:00 PM and lasts until 7:00 PM. Hope to see everyone there!
Crafters’ Fellowship Meeting
Our first meeting was held Saturday, January 23rd and we will be continuing with a regular meeting the 4th Saturday of each month. It will be held from 12:00 to 3:00 PM in the Undercroft. All are invited to
join us as we look forward to growing good fellowship and fun. Bring a brown bag lunch for yourself. Bring an interesting project, or share in ours. If you can’t come for the entire time, just drop in, and leave when your time is up.
The purpose of the meeting is to provide space and fellowship for people to bring their own projects to work on. Activities such as quilting, knitting, scrapbooking/card making, etc. could be worked on simultaneously in the same space. We could also work on some group projects. It is thought that Saturday meetings will encourage working people from our community, as well as parishioners, to come, drop in, and share in fellowship, and perhaps learn or teach others. We are looking forward to seeing both men and women bring their favorite projects along. See you there!
Join us for our next meeting- Saturday, February 27th at 12:00 PM!
HAPPENINGS OF LENT
Ash Wednesday, February 10th: 12:00 PM and 7:00 PM at Emmanuel
This day marks the beginning of Lent and the Ash Wednesday service is a time to put yourself in God’s presence and commit yourself to an observance of a Holy Lent. “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a Holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (Book of Common Prayer, pg. 265.)
Services will include the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion. It is a lovely service and a powerful way to begin the season of Lent. We hope you can join us.
Ashes to Go
Once again my ecumenical colleagues and I will be offering “Ashes to Go” at various places throughout our community. This is an opportunity to bring ashes to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate as a way of extending God’s love to them. The tentative schedule is listed below. Watch the paper for the final schedule.
7:00-9:00AM Corner of Ocean and Central, Harmony Methodist Church driveway
7:00-9:00AM Gloria Dei parking lot
11:30AM Business Chamber Meeting, Mill Casino
12:00-2:00PM Wednesday Market at the Museum
12:00-2:00PM Corner of 4th and Market, Coos Bay
3:30-5:30PM Visitor Center/Davy Jones, Charleston
Join Us for Lenten Soup Suppers, The Soup of Life: Share your Story, Live Your Faith!
When: Feb. 18th, 25th, March 3rd and 10th
What: An opportunity to gather for a simple soup supper and to learn a simple way to reflect theologically on our lives. This Lenten program hopes to be a fun, interactive and helpful technique for integrating our spirituality into the rest of our lives.
Why: For Lenten fellowship and education that will hopefully draw us closer to God and to each other.
Sign-Up: Please sign-up for soup and/or bread in the entry way or in the undercroft by the coffee sign-up. We will take turns bringing the soup and bread. Each session we hope to feature 2 soups and bread. If you don’t like to drive at night please let us know and we will provide transportation. We want everyone who would like to come to be able to join us.
Where: In the Undercroft at Emmanuel
Questions, talk to Christy.
If Thursdays don’t work for you…
Gloria Dei Invites us to Join Their Lenten soup Suppers and Taize Service
What: an evening of soup, faith sharing, and fellowship that concludes with a simple Taize service.
When: 5:30 on Wednesdays in Lent beginning February 17th
Where: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Why: For Lenten fellowship and education that will hopefully draw us closer to God and to each other.
Questions, talk to Christy.
Having a hard time thinking of Lenten Disciplines that feel life giving? Here are some suggestions to consider this Lent:
- Commit to coming to church every Sunday.
- Take on something that stretches you and your family: visit a lonely person, fast for a meal or
a day and give the saved money to the Food Cupboard
- Spend more time with your family.
- Use the “Order of Service for the Early Evening” available in the Entryway, after Feb. 7th as a
family service at home once a week.
- Pray a little every day. Set up a place for your family to share prayer concerns and pray as a
family once a week.
- Sign-up for Lenten Madness and commit to learning about different saints in a really fun way.
- Read a book about spiritual life, prayer or faith.
- Read and reflect on a book of the Bible.
- Give up something that is life-damaging rather than life enhancing.
- Add an activity that will fill you with joy and bring you closer to God: taking a walk, art, playing music, journaling, reading.
- Or… you fill in the blank!
About Lent Madness: Sign-up to learn more about different saints in a fun and entertaining way. www.lentmadness.org
Lent Madness began in 2010 as the brainchild of the Rev. Tim Schenck. In seeking a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Church’s Calendar of Saints, Tim came up with this unique Lenten devotion. Combining his love of sports with his passion for the lives of the saints, Lent Madness was born on his blog “Clergy Family Confidential” which has subsequently moved locations and become “Clergy Confidential.”
The format is straightforward: 32 saints are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket. Each pairing remains open for a set period of time and people vote for their favorite saint. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo. The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch.
We’ve also inspired thousands of people along the way by forming an online community of people who are passionate about taking their faith but not themselves too seriously. Articles and spots about Lent Madness have appeared in the Washington Post, NPR, Huffington Post, FOX News, NBC, USA Today, and even Sports Illustrated.
As Lent Madness continues to grow and evolve, what won’t change is the essence of Lent Madness: allowing people to get to know some amazing people who have come before us in the faith and reminding one another that there’s no reason for a dreary Lenten discipline. If this helps people connect with the risen Christ during this season of penitence and renewal, and have a bit of fun in the process, then it continues to be worthwhile.
We hope you’ll participate fully this Lent and vote with reckless abandon! (Once — this isn’t Chicago).
FROM THE DESK OF ANNE ABDY
First, thank you, thank you for the gift box filled with nuts, gift cards, a shawl, and notes of encouragement. It arrived on the Monday that I took my first General Ordination Exam—so it was very timely. Other than a glitch in submitting my fifth exam on Thursday—all went smoothly. These exams are scenario based drawing up various subjects and then relating them back to the present context of today’s world. So, that means there is no “right” or “wrong” answer (as in facts) but rather the grading is subjective although the Board of Examining Chaplains are looking for specific information. So, all is well and it will be what it is in the end.
I have started classes and although it is only the end of the second week, it feels as though it has been a month! I have gobs of reading for my Anglican Communion courses but it is fascinating as I come to understand the relationship between the church and state in different provinces across the globe. These classes could not be timelier in light of the recent Primates decision so the discussions in class are lively and engaging.
Other than trying to find my rhythm and routine after a minimal Christmas break, and dealing with ice and snow, I am preparing for my Candidacy Interview. Please keep me in your prayers and especially that inclement weather does not impede my travel plans.
Blessings to all.