The Messenger May 2017
A Very Special Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make our Easter services a reality – the choir, musicians, altar guild, lay readers, volunteers, our dedicated staff and many others….We are grateful!
A special thank you to Wilbur Jensen for the gift of his trumpet playing that adds such a feeling of celebration to our Easter service.
Bishop Michael Celebrating and Preaching at both services on Sunday May 21st!
Don’t miss this special day with our Bishop as he only visits us every other year. We hope to have confirmations, reaffirmations and the renewal of our baptismal vows as well as some time to talk with him during coffee hour. If you’d like to help with the reception to welcome our bishop and honor those being confirmed and reaffirmed, please sign up in the entryway or the undercroft. If you are interested in the sacrament of baptism, confirmation, reception of reaffirmation, talk to Christy.
What is Reaffirmation?
Reaffirmation is a way to recommit one’s life to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. It’s a powerful experience acknowledging the good work the Holy Spirit has begun and recommitting your life to service in Jesus Christ. If you are interested in making this journey of recommitment, please contact Christy at: Christy@episcopalcoosbay.org or 541-728-7988.
“May the Holy Spirit, who has begun a good work in you, direct and uphold you in the service of Christ and his kingdom. Amen.”
The prayer said as Bishop Michael lays hands on you.
Join in the Celebration! You are invited!
Our Emmanuel Preschool is holding their End-of-School-Year Celebration and Graduation on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 6:30pm in the sanctuary.
Join with children, families, Preschool Board Members, and Vestry Members to celebrate the children and their strong accomplishments this year.
There are plans to resurrect the Godly Play classrooms in the near future. If you know of any of the Godly Play material that has migrated to other places in the church or beyond, please let the office know. We would also love help in this project so if interested in learning more or helping in anyway, please contact us!
***DEADLINE: Please make sure to submit any information you want included in June’s newsletter to Kerri by Friday, May 26th so final drafts can be printed and sent out before the first of June. Thank you!***
Vestry Corner: “STEWARDSHIP – OUTREACH VS. IN-REACH”
With Pastor Christy’s arrival at Emmanuel, you may recall that we began to budget 1% of our annual budget for ‘Outreach Ministry’. It was our intention at the time to increase this amount by 1% each year until we reach 10% or a tithe of our income. The 2017 budget year was challenging so instead of dropping it completely, we combined the outreach percentage with the Rector’s Discretionary Account to equal 3%, which are collectively used for outreach ministry at Emmanuel. Stewardship is important for us as individual members of Emmanuel, and our community reflects that same level of generosity and level of importance to putting Outreach first for the Church. Disbursements from these accounts are at the discretion of the rector and other outreach committees, such as the Christmas basket team. They are typically utilized for emergencies such as monies to bridge a short-term gap in housing or other special needs of individuals in the community. Oftentimes, individuals or families are able to financially transition into more permanent housing but have a shortfall with a security deposit or with first and last month’s rent. A majority of our Outreach Ministry money goes to support our Christmas Basket ministry in December and other special needs that we become aware of in our community. By utilizing funds we set aside into ‘Outreach Ministry’ or the ‘Rector’s Discretionary Fund’, it often makes a critical difference in people’s lives.
Historically at Emmanuel, a large contributing source of outreach funds were raised by the Women of Emmanuel through rummage sales, the annual bazaar and other fundraising efforts. They would then decide how to best distribute the money to meet various needs in our community, as well as supporting other nonprofits. It’s our future hope that a team might be developed that would take responsibility for distributing the outreach money in our budget and organizing our communities fundraising and outreach efforts. So that’s Outreach but what about In-Reach?
Did you know we also have resources available to assist members of our Congregation who may be
struggling? Many years ago, the ‘Women of Emmanuel’ established the St. Stephens Fund to assist members of the Emmanuel congregation with support in times of hardship. This is a wonderful example of ‘In-reach’, and we are so grateful for their wisdom and generosity in past years! Disbursements from this fund are also at the discretion of the rector to ensure confidentiality of our members and their needs. While the dollars available are modest, this fund fulfills an important call to help within our community. Donations are always welcome to the St. Stephen Fund another opportunity for giving for any of us that feel called to donate in ways guaranteed to assist our fellow parishioners during times of difficulty.
Any questions regarding ‘Outreach’ or ‘In-reach’ can be directed to Pastor Christy or any of your Vestry.
Blessings to all of you, Xandra McKeown Senior Warden
Christy’s Corner: We Offer and God Transforms!
I just returned from our Diocesan Clergy Conference where the speaker was Sr. Simone Campbell, author of A Nun on the Bus. She was part of a group of Catholic sisters who founded NETWORK, an organization that works to create a society that promotes justice and the dignity of all in the shared abundance of God’s creation.
At one point in our time with her she was describing that as Christians, it’s not our job to do it all ourselves, but we are each responsible for doing our part and doing it well, to the best of our ability. The question becomes, “What’s our part? What part of the body of Christ are we?” She had us reflect on those questions for a while. She told us she sees herself currently as stomach acid, always stirring things up to work for peace and justice and ignite hope in the world. Following this statement, we were told the head was at one end of the room and the feet at the other and “Go to the place where your part would be anatomically.” After we assigned ourselves where we felt we belong, she took time asking people what they were and why. We had elbows, ligaments, gall bladders, eyes, ears, brains, pituitary glands and many others. My favorite was one of our Diocesan deacons who said she was belly fat. She explained how many times people want to get rid of her but you also need a bit of her in order to be able to experience a good belly laugh, which she said fits because she loves bringing joy to our world. It’s a good question for reflection… “What part of the body of Christ are you and what do you see yourself bringing to our community of faith and our world by offering that part?”
To help us explore the question further, she asked us to imagine our gifts and talents in our left hand. See them, feel them, believe in them and hold them in the palm of your left hand. Then imagine your needs, wants and hopes in your right hand. See them, feel them, believe in them and hold them in the palm of your right hand. Now imagine our community joining hands with each other…my left hand holding my gifts and talents connects with your right hand of needs, wants and hopes, continuing around the circle, each offering our best gifts and God transforming them. Finally, she encouraged us to look around the circle of our community, and ask who’s not represented, and how might we reach out to be able to include their needs, wants, hopes and their gifts and talents?
None of us can do it all by ourselves! I can’t as your pastor, the Vestry can’t as our leadership group, and none of you can either. But together, as the body of Christ when we each offer our best gifts, in the spirit of love, we are unstoppable. God is able to transform them into abundance that we can’t even begin to imagine. As our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says, “We are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement, working together to transform the world through the love of Jesus Christ.” What’s your part? What are your needs? How might we reach out to connect with one another to better meet the needs of the world and discover what gifts the world might have for us via God’s transformational love?
Blessings and gratitude! Christy