The Messenger May 2015
I sit at the table in Shepherd’s House early this morning. The coffee is on, the sun is streaming in the window and in a little bit I get to go outside and see if I can create a little vegetable garden along the retaining wall by my driveway. Then I head north for a beautiful drive along the coast to Lincoln City to attend the clergy conference, where I will gather with my Diocesan colleagues and our bishop to learn about missional worship. Our speaker, Ruth Meyers has just written a book Missional Worship Worshipful Mission, Gathering as God’s People, Going Out in God’s Name. I’m excited to be exposed to new ideas relevant to our life and ministry at Emmanuel right now.
Did I say that it’s a Monday morning? Maybe that’s why I’m filled with such delight to be sitting here in my Coos Bay home pondering the day. It is very different from my typical Monday morning in my Sisters home where Jack is off to work early and I’m up to drive Joshua to school and catch up on his life. After which I deal with the more mundane but critical details of life-like how to keep the downy woodpeckers from drilling holes in the siding of our home!
So why am I describing all of this in the Newsletter? It is in answer to the questions I’ve been asked a lot lately, “How are you doing?” followed closely by “How’s the commute?” These are definitely the questions that I’m asked most often. I think what you really want to know is how I’m doing inside and how I’m feeling about my life in Coos Bay and at Emmanuel. So here is my answer in the clearest way that I can think of to say it: I love it here! You are my people and I love getting to know your stories and your rich history and all the different connections with people and places that occur in small towns. I love listening and observing life on my walks…the people I pass, the objects I observe, the creation I admire with awe…buds, trees, rocks, flowers… all seem to draw me closer to God and many times seem to have lessons or insights that help me throughout my day. I love the rainy days that remind me of my baptism…getting sprinkled with the mist or drenched, always makes me smile…well, usually makes me smile. I love the foggy mornings when everything feels just a little sleepy, and those amazingly glorious days when the sun and the blue sky seems to go on forever. Add the beauty of the water, the beach, and the ocean and I am one happy woman!
So that’s all fine and good, you say, but what about that commute? That’s got to be a killer! I can’t imagine doing that every week! You know, I don’t think about it that way. A lot of my friends have a lengthy commute to and from work each day and I just do it all at once. It takes me four hours each way and it’s a beautiful, beautiful drive. I go along the Umpqua, just a little bit of I-5, then along the McKenzie, up into the mountains and I plop down into Sisters. It gives me time to reflect and bring closure to what I’m leaving behind in order to re-enter what comes next. Sure there are times when the weather isn’t great or I feel like I’m needed in both places. While other things do crop up, for the most part I feel incredibly blessed!
“So how can you help me?” is another question I get asked a lot. You can help me get to know your stories and what you love about Coos Bay, North Bend and the South Coast. Do you have a favorite hike, picnic spot, fishing hole, place to kayak? Invite me along. Or let’s just have tea together, so I can get to know your stories and where you live and what’s important to you in your life. I know at times it can feel like I don’t have time in my schedule, but that’s not the case. It just takes planning and sometimes patience since there are a lot of you and only one of me. But most Wednesdays through Sundays I’m in Coos Bay and I’d love an opportunity to get to know your story. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Seattle area and the coast of Vancouver Island so being with you at Emmanuel feels in many ways like coming home. Or most likely it’s because I am truly called by God to journey with you in this time and in this place, so of course, God provides us with what we need in abundance.
With gratitude in my heart, Christy
Notes from Your Vestry: Vestry Visibility by Troy Cribbins
In an effort to increase the visibility of Emmanuel’s Vestry we will be adding an article in the regular newsletter written by a different member of the vestry each month I will be completing this first article.
Part of what we would like to convey is; what has the vestry been doing? Towards that end Currently the vestry continues to use the “Equipping the Saints” training that several of us attended in late February in order to help us clarify who, what, and where we are, to better discern our future (what is God calling us to do.), as well as, develop strategies to help us get there. On April the 11th (Sat.) several vestry members and Christy attended a vestry, treasurer, and warden workshop held in Bandon put on by the Diocese. And Finally Sunday the 12th the Bishop met with the Vestry along with Christy after services where he gave input and support as we work with the mutual ministry process to define our mission, and identity and deal with challenges that arise.
Another part of what we would like to convey is what is the vestry, their mission, their responsibilities, etc…. Specifically the Vestry’s role is defined by the cannons of the episcopal church, local Diocese, as well as the constitution and by-laws of the parish, and stipulate several (Dry) legal responsibilities including: Agents, and legal representatives of the parish in all matters concerning its corporate properties, Ensuring standard business methods are observed, Continuing worship and calling of new rector when without, Nominating persons for holy order, As well as, supporting and working with the rector.
Beyond this legal definition the vestry is responsible for the leadership and management of the Parish. Management is fairly straightforward with activities including planning, organizing, staffing, and monitoring. More importantly The Vestry should provide leadership and direction this involves:
• E n v i s i o n i n g : Creating a vision and developing strategies to fulfill this vision
• E n g a g i n g : individuals to understand and commit to the vision
• Empowering: others to follow through in making the vision a reality
• E n e r g i z i n g : efforts to be inspired, enthusiastic, and determined
• And Exemplifying: behaviors, and values consistent with the vision. (Taken from “The Vestry Resource Guide”)
These are important characteristics to center us as we strive for purposeful change and growth for our church. In closing if you have any questions, concerns, want to participate, or just want more information please search any of the vestry members out and ask us, and if you do not know whom your Vestry is there is a current set of photos in the undercroft. Additionally we are working on other ideas to increase the visibility of the vestry (these articles included).
Cheerfully in Christ, Troy A. Cribbins (Sr. Warden)
Vestry Adopts Goals as Part of Mutual Ministry by John Whitty
The main focus of this month’s Vestry Meeting dealt with the Mutual Ministry
Agreement made by the Vestry and Christy at our retreat last year when we adopted three
areas of focus: inclusiveness, hospitality, and building relationships. The idea was for all of us to join together in a concerted effort to help Emmanuel Parish to realize our full potential. Now we are at the point of breaking these areas down into a number of initiatives, all of which can only be done if you, the parishioners, are supportive and are willing to join with the Vestry and Christy in mutual ministry to make them happen. Some of the initiatives will be Christy’s to fulfill, some will be the Vestry’s and some will be the congregation’s. The goals requiring the passion and support of the parishioners are as follows:
1. Offering hospitality and building relationships with newcomers by personal contacts and interactions and by offering a “Welcome to Emmanuel “ series at least two times a year to help answer questions of new members and to integrate them into our community.
2. Increasing our ability to market our strengths as a church community by learning about the temperament and spirituality of the Episcopal Church. This will result in increased comfort and ability to communicate to others the qualities that the Episcopal Church and our parish has to offer.
3. Creating a Faith Formation Board to develop and implement a marketing and strategic plan for our Pre-School, in conjunction with our Youth Endowment Committee. This will help to deal directly with the changing environment of early development education in our community and hopefully secure the success of the pre-school for years to come.
4. Making our worship services easily accessible to others by doing things like simplifying bulletins, creating “user-friendly” guides to understanding Episcopal worship, ensuring that the songs/hymns are easily sung by all and other initiatives to make it easier for visitors to become a part of the worship service.
5. Creating an atmosphere of inclusiveness that communicates to anyone who comes through our doors that our church community is open to all.
6. Increasing our ability to develop parish leaders while ensuring that none of us is asked to take on jobs that will be so burdensome as to cause burnout. Many hands make light work.
7. Increasing the number of lay ministers available to help lead services within the church and to take communion to members who can no longer get to church.
8. Building better relationships with our neighbors by establishing a team to help neighbors with projects that are important to them.
In addition to participating in (and sometimes leading) these efforts, the Vestry will work to increase its visibility and leadership skills, and to improve all aspects of communications. We ask for your support and for your prayers as together we undertake to bring our parish forward and meet the challenges that face us. More detail is on the large information sheets on the walls in the undercroft (along with sheets for you to offer your ideas and to sign up for any area of interest). God Bless you all.
Cheerfully in Christ John Whitty – – Third-year Vestry member.
SAFE Church Training scheduled at Emmanuel for May 16th 10AM to 2PM
SAFE Church Trainings provides awareness in the areas of sexual conduct and sexual abuse issues for both employees and volunteers working within the congregations and organizations of the Diocese of Oregon.
Safeguarding God’s Children (one of 3 trainings for SAFE Church) will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Saturday, May 16th from 10am to 2pm. The cost is $10 per person per training. Registration fees will be collected at the door. Checks can be made to the Diocese of Oregon. Snacks will be provided at the beginning and participants should bring their own sack lunch, as the training runs from 10am to 2pm.
Who should attend?
• All members of the clergy whether stipendiary or non-stipendiary
• All interns and persons in the ordination process
• All paid employees
• All wardens and vestry/BAC members
• All volunteers (age 16 and over) who work with children and youth. Volunteers age 12-14 are welcome to attend if accompanied by a parent. We do not recommend this training for children under 12.
You must register online here. Registration deadline is by 5/12 at noon.
Pentecost is Sunday May 24…
Pentecost “the fiftieth day” is the Greek name for the Feast of Weeks, a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai. This feast is still celebrated in Judaism as Shavuot. Later, in the Christian liturgical year, it became a feast commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1– 31.For this reason, we celebrate Pentecost as the “Birthday of the Church”.
Shavuot* was also the first day on which individuals could bring the Bikkurim (first fruits) to the Temple in Jerusalem . The Bikkurim were brought from the Seven Species for which the Land of Israel is praised: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.
We will celebrate Pentecost and honor the feast of Shavuot at both services with a bread offering that will be presented during the Eucharist and placed around the alter. Sooo…We encourage each family unit at Emanuel to prepare a special bread a few days before the Sunday of Pentecost and bring it with you to church to be presented during the service. A small portion of each bread offering will be blessed and used during communion. Please make a few communion size slices from each bread to help Christy manage during the service… During coffee hour we will have a bread exchange so that everyone can enjoy the work and talents of our many fine cooks. Both yeast and quick breads could be appropriate. Any breads that remain will be used at the Food Cupboard on the following Monday. See Nat Jaeggli for questions and details.
*In the largely agrarian society of ancient Israel, Jewish farmers would tie a reed around the first ripening fruits from each of these species in their fields. At the time of harvest, the fruits identified by the reed would be cut and placed in baskets woven of gold and silver. The baskets would then be loaded on oxen whose horns were gilded and laced with garlands of flowers, and who were led in a grand procession to Jerusalem. As the farmer and his entourage passed through cities and towns, they would be accompanied by music and parades.
FOR THE HEALTH OF IT By Kerry Oxford, Parish Nurse – “Tuning up Your Health”
Next month on June 20th, Stephanie Polizzi, Registered Dietician and Nutritionist will be joining us for a new presentation called “Tuning up Your Health.” Our main emphasis will be on men’s health but there will be great information for everybody! Ladies, come and bring your husbands, partners, fathers, brothers, sons, and friends. (Did I miss anybody?)
Stephanie is a fun and energetic speaker and we are looking forward to welcoming her to Emmanuel again. The seminar will be from 10AM to noon, followed by a healthy lunch. The seminar and lunch are FREE. Come join in the FUN and FELLOWSHIP.
RSVP: Kerry Oxford 541-269-5829
Favorite sayings for this month:
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched- they must be felt with the heart- Helen Keller
If you’re going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit- Aristotle