The Messenger October 2016
Abundance: Offering our Best Gifts, Stepping into God’s Promise
Our Mutual Ministry Visioning Event was a great success! 76 members of our community gathered for a morning of lively worship, engaged conversation, energy, passion, inspiration and joy. We spent time discussing key values that people see reflected in our community of faith at Emmanuel. Words like family, inclusiveness, service to our community, God’s presence, hospitality, acceptance, music, love, and tradition began to emerge as key descriptors of some of our values.
After lunch when we began to focus on the question of “What will we see in 5-10 years when we open the doors at Emmanuel?” it became clear that we are people of hope! So many ideas were expressed during the chalk talks, an exercise that occurred without talking. Huge pieces of butcher paper were spread out on four tables with a group at each table. The task was to write down what you saw inside our doors in 5-10 years, and to observe what others had written, adding comments or additional ideas that came to mind. Then everyone rotated one table to the right until we all had a chance to review and add to what we had seen. If you’re curious, the chalk talks are on tables in the undercroft for your review and will stay there for a few weeks.
The hope for the future that’s represented by people’s thoughts and reflections is very apparent. It is clear that we are hopeful for much! Trusting God to step into that hope with abundance will also require each of us to step into God’s promise with abundance. This is the work of stewardship and will be much of our focus during this year’s stewardship campaign in October. How do we recognize and offer our best gifts as people of God so that we are able to step into God’s promise of abundance to us as a faith community? At times it can be scary business to risk putting ourselves out there in new and unique ways. Many times it requires letting go of the certainty of the past that we have known in order to say, “Yes!” to the future that God is calling us to.
“The time has come to put our stones down. For hands clutching stones can’t freely drum. And hearts fisting the past can’t freely sing.”
“It only took me a lifetime to learn. But the lesson is as profound as it is simple. As long as we clutch to one thing—be it a stone, or rail, or weapon—our hands cannot open or reach for anything else. Timeless and essential drama of living into the unknown resides in this simple sequence. We must risk putting down the stone or stick or gun we are grasping, in order to build or touch or make music of any kind.
It reminds me of a friend who wouldn’t let go of his past. He clutched it like a rope and was afraid that if he let go, he would fall. But as long as he fisted his history in this way, he couldn’t embrace the love that was before him, and so he never healed.
It is unavoidably true: hands must be emptied before they can be filled anew. It is the same with our hearts. It is why courage, day by day is necessary.”
(The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo, pg. 316.)
In planning this year’s Mutual Ministry Visioning Event, your Vestry and I had to let go of how we traditionally do Sunday morning at Emmanuel. No services at the church, going off site, combining the 7:30 and 10:00, having it last from 9-2:00…unheard of and many voiced their opinions that it wouldn’t work. These were just some of the stones in our hands that we had to let go of in order to lean into and embrace the abundance that we felt God was offering our community. My biggest prayer was, “Lord if this is right for us to do, just keep opening the doors…and if not, then slam them shut and I will listen.” Guess what? The doors kept opening and in less than a month the event came together. Your Vestry stepped into God’s promise of abundance, and God met us there with the abundance of God’s hope for us as a faith community and the beginnings of a vision for our future.
It’s an exciting time at Emmanuel as we look forward to owing our future together as baptized members of the body of Christ, stepping into the abundance that God offers in order to do the work and ministry that God is giving us to do.
With gratitude for each of you!
Vestry Visibility – Troy Cribbins, Senior Warden
If you missed the church vision meeting on September 25, then you missed an inspiring event! It was a beautiful morning, and we had a great view of the bay from the windows of the Coos History Museum on Front Street. We started the day by sharing with the person next to us our best moment at Emmanuel, and the reasons that made the moment so special.
After the completion of services, we gathered together at tables to share each other’s stories and to identify the values that we share and want to preserve. We then each voted on which values mattered the most to us. After lunch, provided by Joe Benetti and Benetti’s Italian Restaurant, we did a little chalk talk at our tables to imagine what Emmanuel will look like in 2021. We looked at the themes that emerged from those table talks, and we voted again on which ideas were the most important to each of us. A special thanks goes to our facilitator, Greg, and Pastor Christy for their work in making the day productive and creative.
So what happens next? Your vestry will meet, take the values and themes identified, and work on how to take those values and themes and incorporate them into Emmanuel’s five-year vision and work plan. The vestry will bring those ideas and how they see them being implemented back to the congregation for more input, and to make sure that we have consensus moving forward.
Sun, natural beauty, food, and fellowship. That’s how I spent my Sunday. It was a remarkable opportunity to identify the values that we share. It was a reminder of things that we think make Emmanuel special, and the place that each of us has chosen for our spiritual home. It is our sense of place in this community and this world that grounds us and reminds us that we are on this earth to be of service to each other and our community. Thank you all for the gift of your time and attention.
Read all about it!
Introducing Joni Eades
Hello! My name is Joni (pronounced Johnny) Eades and I am delighted to be the new church secretary at Emmanuel Episcopal Church! I was born and raised in Port Angeles, Washington, which is located on the Olympic Peninsula. I “grew up” in Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, where my mother was the church secretary for many years. My husband and I have recently relocated to the Coos Bay area and we are anxious to settle into our new community and to meet new friends! We have two grown children, a golden retriever and a rabbit. We enjoy camping, hiking and gardening. I’m an avid crafter and I enjoy attending vintage markets in search of treasures! I look forward to meeting each of you in the weeks ahead and making Emmanuel Episcopal Church my new church home!
Episcopal Bishops Issue A Word to the Church for the World
Greetings from Detroit, a city determined to be revived. Greetings also from the city of Flint, where we are reminded that the gift of water has for many of our brothers and sisters become contaminated.
Here we have been exhorted to set our sights beyond ourselves and to minister to the several nations where we serve and the wider world.
We lament the stark joylessness that marks our present time. We decry angry political rhetoric which rages while fissures widen within society along racial, economic, educational, religious, cultural and generational lines. We refuse to look away as poverty, cruelty and war force families to become migrants enduring statelessness and demonization. We renounce the gun violence and drug addiction that steal lives and crush souls while others succumb to fear and cynicism, abandoning any sense of neighborliness.
Yet, in all this, “we do not despair” (2 Cor. 4:8.). We remember that God in Christ entered our earthly neighborhood during a time of political volatility and economic inequality. To this current crisis we bring our faith in Jesus. By God’s grace, we choose to see in this moment an urgent opportunity to follow Jesus into our fractured neighborhoods, the nation and the world.
Every member of the church has been “called for a time such as this.” (Esther 4:14) Let prophets tell the truth in love. Let reconcilers move boldly into places of division and disagreement. Let evangelists inspire us to tell the story of Jesus in new and compelling ways. Let leaders lead with courage and joy.
In the hope of the Resurrection let us all pray for God to work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.
Bishop Tom Breidenthal of Southern Ohio Bishop Mariann Budde of Washington Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce of Los Angeles Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Ecuador Central Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real Bishop Alan Gates of Massachusetts
Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. of Michigan
Dr. Scott Bader-Saye
Bishop Prince Singh of Rochester
Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta
Bishop Rob Hirschfield of New Hampshire
The Episcopal Church House of Bishops met September 15 to September 20 in Detroit MI (Diocese of Michigan).
Emmanuel’s Annual Stewardship Dinner, October 30th 4:00-7:00
Save the date and plan to attend this year’s annual stewardship dinner. Jack Erskine will be this year’s speaker and it promised to be a fun evening with good food, fellowship and lively conversation. Look for your invitation arriving soon in the mail. Questions, talk to any Vestry member.
Recently Joshua Erskine did a phone interview
with a reporter the Sister’s newspaper The Nugget. It was about his book, Inque and a gift he gave to Deschutes County Health Services for suicide prevention. It’s a great stewardship story about offering our best gifts with hope while stepping into God’s promised abundance.
Writer creates legacy for friend By Erin Borla
Josh Erskine of Sisters is a freshman at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. The 18-year-old recently made a significant cash contribution to the Deschutes County Mental Health program focusing on suicide prevention.
Funds were raised through the sale of a book he penned and self-published in honor of his friend who took her own life just a few years ago.
Both Josh and his friend Taye Nakamura-Koyama were students at Cascades Academy. Josh really got to know Taye through her art.
“She posted online that she was looking for a writer for a web-comic that she wanted to write” he said.
Josh submitted a few ideas and they started working together.
“She was not afraid to speak her opinion – ever,” said Erskine of his friend. “She was an incredible artist. I remember looking over her shoulder once and she was drawing with two pencils, one in each hand.”
On August 12, 2014 Taye took her own life. She was just 16.
Josh was grieving. His dad, the Chaplain at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, had heard the night it happened. The school had a meeting – in the middle of summer – to help students and their families understand the sudden loss and help cope.
“In the midst of grieving, I remembered the idea that we had and what would happen to it,” said Josh. “I decided, instead of a comic, I would try to write it up as a book and self-publish it. I wanted
to do this as a legacy for her.”
At Cascades Academy, students are required to do a mastery project where they intern for a year. Josh was allowed by his teachers to work on his book and learn about self-publishing for his project. He worked diligently throughout the year but was continually met with questions of his own.
“I wondered constantly, ‘am I really doing her justice,'” he said. “Is this what she would have wanted? How would the story be different if she were still here.”
He knew it was important.
“I felt like I was meant to be doing this,” he said. “It was important to her and very necessary to the community to tell her story.”
“Inque” released on May 20, 2015 on amazon.com and retails for $12.99. The book is about Claire, a young writer. When a small black book enters Claire’s life everything changes – “she is thrust into a world of magic and fantasy and becomes the one person who can save its inhabitants.”
Erskine received help from family members who had self-published in the past and from friends with the editing. In the end he even received special permission from Taye’s parents to have her listed as the co-author.
“This was important to her – she was an incredible artist and had amazing ideas,” he said. “I wanted to do this as a legacy for her.”
With sales from the book, Erskine created the Inque Fund within the Deschutes County Mental Health office. The fund is used for suicide prevention services.
“It’s a big thing in my family that we take 10 percent of what we make and do something that will
improve the world,” he said. “After I paid everyone back who helped me through the process I am taking 10 percent of the book sales and donating to suicide prevention in Deschutes County.”
Prior to Erskine leaving for college he delivered his first check in the amount of $1,636.
“Oftentimes people my age allow their age to limit them,” he said. “They say ‘I’ll do this when I’m older or have more experience,’ I want them to know, no matter how old you are, you are not insignificant. Trying things can lead you to great things and if they don’t, you can learn from it and try again.”
Article taken from Nugget News
A Letter of Thanks and Gratitude as I Complete My Last Newsletter
Dear Christy and the Congregation of Emmanuel,
I want to thank everyone for the last 14 years of employment and family. The opportunity to run the preschool, as well as the church office, has been such an incredible part of my life. This is a second home to me and it is bittersweet to be leaving as an employee.
I appreciate so much the send-off you have all given me and all the kind words and thoughts I have received. It has given me a great attitude towards starting my new job even though I am somewhat sad to be leaving my position here.
This wonderful parish will continue to be my church home and I look forward to being active in some of our many outreach programs, the first being to stay on as a member of the preschool advisory board.
Christy, you have been truly amazing to work with. Thank you for believing in me in all our new endeavors and giving me a chance to grow even more in my professional life. In addition to being a great boss, you are a friend, and I will miss our weekly talks and comradery. I look forward to our relationship continuing as both friends and pastor/parish member.
Gratitude to Those Who Helped to Make Our Visioning Event a Huge Success!
– Thank you to LoAnne Lark for arranging the beautiful flowers from her garden
– To Joe Benetti for providing the wonderful lunch
– To the table facilitators, John Whitty, Troy Cribbins, Melissa Cribbins, Nancylee Stewart, Pam Chaney, and David Laird
– To Shepherd Song from Church of the Good Shepherd for providing our music for worship
– To Pat Cross for helping to transport things from church to the museum for the service
– To members of the altar guild for helping to prepare and put away the needed items for the service
– To Tim Wall, Pat Cross, and Liza Holland for serving as Eucharistic ministers
– To Bob Huggins for ushering and for taking great pictures
– To all those who attended to make it an amazing event
– To the Vestry members Pam Chaney and Carla Courtney for making follow-up calls to ensure that people knew about the event.
– To David and Terrye Laird for thinking about putting signs on the church doors telling people where we were and inviting them to join us
The Sacrament of Baptism Offered Nov. 6th
This year we will be celebrating the Feast of All Saints with the Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday, Nov. 6th. If you are interested in baptism for yourself or a family member, or if you have any questions about baptism, please let Christy know.