Christy’s Corner: Becoming whole hearted lovers of life… strengthening our relationships and building community!
In our confession each Sunday we ask God to forgive us by saying these words “…for we have not loved you with our whole heart…” I’ve said those words most of my life and yet it’s only recently that I have begun to focus on them more intentionally as part of my spiritual journey. What does it mean not to love with our whole heart? For me I think it means that I haven’t depended on God fully in my life. But how might I work on that in order to draw closer to God? During this time of division and divisiveness in our nation, how might we fully depend upon God as a community in order to strengthen our relationships and build a stronger sense of community? How might we live our lives whole heartedly?
Brene Brown is a social worker in Texas and she does research on the sense of belonging, vulnerability and shame. I reference her work often as I believe it has a lot to do with our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. As she was attempting to make sense of her data for her recent book, Daring Greatly, she says, “With my data spread all over the house I started thinking, you know, what I’m looking for are these kind of very wholehearted people. And the word actually came to me because I go to an Episcopal church and, in one of our prayers, there’s a phrase, ‘I have not loved you with my whole heart.’ And I kept thinking these are people who are really loving with their whole heart, like even if they’re getting hurt, they’re still loving with their whole heart.”
During her interview with Krista Tippet on the podcast show, On Being, she explains how she started coding data and looking for patterns and themes in words. She found that one was a list that seemed to lead to whole hearted living and the other led to shutting down. What she found with the whole hearted lovers was that they had a sense of courage. Cour is from the Latin meaning “heart” and the original definition of courage was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Her research showed that whole hearted folks were those who had the courage to be imperfect. They also had the compassion to be kind to themselves first, because we can’t practice compassion to others if we can’t treat ourselves kindly. They had connection as a result of their authenticity because they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they are and that is necessary for true connection. The other quality they had in common was they fully embraced vulnerability because they believed what made them vulnerable also made them beautiful.
I find this all so compelling because I truly believe our Christian journey is about learning to live and tell our stories with our whole heart in community with one another. When we have courage to do that with compassion, kindness to ourselves and to others, authenticity, vulnerability, and connection then our relationships with God, ourselves and our neighbors are all enhanced and a sense of true community or the
beloved community is developed. As Brene Brown notes, when we share our stories with one another, our own vulnerable selves get reflected back to us and we all realize we are not alone. That is how community forms. In addition, our capacity to be whole hearted lovers is proportional to our ability to be broken hearted. If we are able to be honest and vulnerable with one another about our struggles and imperfections then we are more likely to be able to live our lives whole heartedly. Jesus modelled this consistently in his life and we’re asked to do the same as we seek to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul and love our neighbors as ourselves…whole heartedly!
I believe that’s some of the work we have been doing at Emmanuel as we have had the courage to try new things, and take risks. We’ve opened our doors and our hearts in many different ways to reach out to our community and to each other whole heartedly. I’m grateful for the relationships that have been and will continue to be developed as I truly believe that Emmanuel has something special to offer our community. During November, as we give-thanks for all the blessings in our lives, how might we be more intentional about being whole hearted lovers of life as individuals and as a community of faith?
With gratitude for this whole hearted journey that we are on and blessings to you and yours! Christy
Thursday, Nov. 1st, 9:00 AM Committal for Diane Mathis in the Chapel
Diane and her husband Robert were long-time members of Emmanuel, and Robert died many years ago (his ashes are in the Columbarium). Diane lived here until 4-5 years ago, when she moved to South Carolina to be near her son, Mark, and his family. She died this summer, and her ashes will be placed next to her husband’s. The service will only last about 15 minutes but if you knew Diane and would like to attend, please feel free to join us. Questions, talk to Christy.
Sunday, November 4th, Celebration of the Feast of All Saints and Commitment Sunday
This is an important feast day in the church year where we celebrate the communion of saints and are reminded, “That the saints of God are just folk like me, and I mean to be one too!”
Necrology: If you would like your loved ones who have died remembered in the reading of the necrology at both services, please give their names to Kerri at 541-269-5829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If they are difficult names to pronounce, it is also helpful to include pronunciation cues.
The Sacrament of Baptism Offered: If you are interested in baptism for yourself or a family member, or if you have any questions about baptism, please let Christy know, 541-728-7988 or Christy@episcopalcoosbay.org.
Commitment Sunday: Please turn in your pledge cards on or before November 4th. We will bless them on November 4th for the ministry of Jesus Christ at Emmanuel. Pledge cards can be found at the back of the church or in the office.
Mark your calendars to “fall backwards” one hour as day light savings time ends on November 4th.
If the early service is the one you attend, we will look forward to seeing you at 8:00 AM for the Celebration of All Saints.
Knife/Scissor Sharpening Event!
(Be set for the Holidays)
Sunday, November 11th, after both services, Cary will again be available to sharpen knives/scissors or other cutting items – like garden shears. This is a fundraiser for our Preschool – donations for sharpening accepted. Bring your knives, scissors and other items with you to church on 11/11 and have them all ready for the upcoming holidays!!!! Sharpening will immediately follow the early service and the 10:00 AM service. Thanks for supporting our Preschool!!!!!
Thanksgiving Services, Holiday Office Hours, and Wednesday Services
Thanksgiving Service to be held on Sunday, November 18th
Don’t miss church on November 18th when we will use our Thanksgiving lessons, prayers and favorite hymns to give thanks for all of the many blessings in our lives.
Office hours for Thanksgiving Week will be Tuesday, November 20th, and Wednesday,
November 21st, from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The office will be closed on Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.
Wednesday Services: There will be no Wednesday services on November 21st or November 28th, as Christy will be away during the week.
Community Thanksgiving Dinner
The 33rd Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal, sponsored by the Coos Food Cupboard, Local Churches and Businesses, will be held November 22nd from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM at Harmony United Methodist Church. For transportation or delivery to the homebound, please call 541-267-4410. If you are able to volunteer for this event, there is a sign-up sheet in the church entryway.
Help Keep Food Cupboard’s Shelves Filled during the Holidays
As you prepare for your own family celebrations, be sure to buy extra food for the Food Cupboard and help us to fill up the shopping cart in the church entryway.
Christmas Basket Time is Fast Approaching!
It’s hard to believe that CHRISTMAS is right around the corner and so is our annual Christmas basket ministry. This year I agreed to lead this effort and I’m hoping that we can form a temporary ministry team to divide up the areas and ensure that none of the jobs are too big. It’s a joyful experience putting all of this together and my thoughts are to have 4 others join me, one for helping to organize the lists from the schools; one to organize the shopping; one for the wrapping; and one for distribution. Then we will add lots of volunteers to carry out all of the different parts as we help to make some Christmas dreams come true! Sound like fun? Then please call or text me at 541-252-1076 or email me at email@example.com to get involved
Blessings! Patti Nichols
Vestry Visibility: The vestry has been busy recently!
As I prepared to write this month’s Vestry Visibility article, I decided, as a new vestry member, to research what the vestry is supposed to be doing. In an article by Steven Evenbeck on the Episcopal Church Foundation’s “Vestry Papers” webpage My Top Ten: List of Vestry Responsibilities (http://www.ecfvp.org/vestry-papers/article/258/my-top-ten-vestry- responsibilities), I found a great description of the role of the vestry in the church.
Mr. Evenbeck noted that a vestry is a group of people from different backgrounds with different agendas all seeking to discern and ensure, through effective organization and planning, the mission of the church by taking concrete actions. I cannot think of a better example of this process than the recent presentation of our European Street Faire. From conception, to planning, to implementation, our vestry worked together with parish and community members to put on a successful neighborhood event. Another example was our recent stewardship event. Dave Laird’s slide show, assembled with photos from several sources, was a real highlight
According to Evenbeck, the vestry should seek continuity and at the same time embrace change. The vestry has listened to members who would like to see the time of our liturgical non-musical service moved ahead to 8:00 AM. Vestry members do not represent individual interests, but seek to discern and implement our church’s mission. The vestry has determined that perhaps starting 30 minutes later might create an opportunity for more worshippers to attend this service, and help us accomplish our congregational goal of bringing more people to church. Some vestry members are enthusiastic while others are skeptical, yet we are certain that the congregational conversations that are cultivated by this experiment will enhance our community.
It is the duty of the vestry to responsibly manage the resources of our church. I have been impressed by how carefully and thoughtfully the vestry has reviewed the finances of our church and preschool every month. This review has led to a new record keeping system that helps vestry members and church staff better track income and expenditures, which allows for more effective planning.
Our monthly meetings are grounded in the Spirit. By beginning our meetings with prayer and devotion, and concluding with the Eucharist, members are able to keep in mind that the purpose of each meeting is to help our parish further God’s mission.
As we begin a new liturgical year, three individuals of our vestry are completing their terms of service, and we are going to need three new members. It’s a great opportunity to be involved with the church!
Stewardship Report: “In God’s Economy, the currency is love!”
Thank you so much to all of you who have returned your pledge card for the 2019 calendar
year. To date, we have received 28 pledge cards for a total of $81,180.00. Commitment
Sunday will be on Nov. 4th when we will bless all of our financial commitments and pledges of prayers, time and gifts, giving thanks for the ministry of Jesus Christ at Emmanuel. The Vestry is grateful for your response! If you haven’t yet returned a pledge card, please turn it in as soon as possible as it will save us a follow-up phone call. You can find them in the church entryway or the office.
With gratitude and joyful hearts,
Your stewardship team,
Dave Laird, Team Leader, Patti Nichols, Pledge Secretary, Pat Cross, Nadine Allen and Pastor Christy
Please help Emmanuel’s Preschool welcome Assistant Teacher, Katie Guetterman, and On Call Teacher’s Assistant, Grace Inskeep, to our team!
KATIE’S BIO: Hi, I’m Katie Guetterman, the Assistant Preschool and After Care Teacher. I was born and raised here in Coos Bay Oregon. I graduated Marshfield high school and received my AA degree from Southwestern Oregon Community College. I have been working with kids for about 5 years now. I started out as a dance teacher working with kids of all ages and just fell in love! I have also worked in other daycares and a grade school, and I have been a nanny for the past year now. Thank you for welcoming me into this amazing family here at Emmanuel. I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
GRACE’S BIO: Hi, my name is Grace Inskeep. I’m currently a sophomore in high school. I’m super excited to be working at Emmanuel Preschool! I attended Emmanuel Preschool between the ages of 3-5! I remember always playing dress up and running around on the playground with all my friends! It’s so fun to be working with Teacher Cathy, as she was my teacher when I attended Emmanuel as a preschool student. I plan on pursuing a career in Early Childhood Education. All my life I’ve been somebody who loves being around kids, and I couldn’t see myself going into a profession without them! I spend a lot of my time with our local Younglife group. Younglife is a local youth group that helps kids to get to know the Lord. I’ve met all of my best friends through Young life, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. It’s been a huge part of my self-growth and becoming who I am today. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me at Emmanuel Preschool!
Advanced Directives and Plans for your Celebration of Life
Following our planned giving workshop last winter, we committed to each other we would continue to work on completing our advanced directives and plans for our celebration of life to make it easier for our loved ones when we die. If you have completed them, then don’t forget to make sure we have a copy in the church office. They will be placed in an envelope to be opened if needed, and we will store them in the file cabinet that’s in the fire proof storage area in the entry to the undercroft. If you need an advanced directive pamphlet or need help completing either of these, please don’t hesitate to give Christy a call at 541-728-7988.
Registration for Emmanuel Episcopal Church Godly Play Training
Friday, November 16th, 1:00 PM -9:00 PM and Saturday, Nov. 17th, 9:00 AM -4:00 PM
What is Godly Play? It is a Montessori based curriculum that introduces children to the foundational stories of our faith in age appropriate ways. It encourages children to engage with these stories by asking wondering questions.
Who is the training for? It is for individuals, and/or couples who are interested in journeying with children as they explore their own spirituality and learn foundational biblical stories.
Why would I want to attend? Couples might want to attend to provide a language for talking about spirituality with their children at home. Or you might be interested in being part of the team that offers these stories during chapel each week for the older class or on Sunday morning for children who attend Emmanuel, Faith Lutheran or your own church. Or just because it sounds interesting and you want to learn more.
If interested, talk to Christy or Hannah for more information. Registration forms are in the entryway or the office. Cost will be $25/person and scholarships are available if needed.
Please call the church office by Nov. 6th to sign-up as we need to have at least 10 people to enable us to have this training locally.