The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…
In the summer of 2014 our youngest child, Joshua, was invited to attend the International Model and Talent Competition in New York City. He has known from a very early age that he is an actor. Maybe it was the thrill he got at age 4 when he would enter the church talent show and tell “blonde jokes” with impeccable timing as a little blondie himself! There has never been a doubt in his mind that he was born a story teller, so this was a huge honor to be asked to compete with kids his age from all over the world. At the same time it was very intimidating and scary!
In the pre-competition coaching, there was one piece of advice that really resonated with him. “Give it all you’ve got, be way out there! Whether you mess up or whether you nail it, you will be noticed and remembered and that’s important! It’s better to have gone all out for an opportunity than to wonder the next day if you should have! ”
The following morning the competition began in the Hilton Ballroom in downtown Manhattan.
There was a huge stage with big screens hung from the ceiling on both sides of the stage. The judges sat in the first row and the room was packed. The kids were lined up in another hallway and one group was brought in at a time. They were given their “line” five minutes before they needed to go on stage and perform. As each contestant came forward, their head shot photo was shown on the big screens above them. I was in the audience and scared to death for Joshua as his turn got closer.
They called his number and he started forward. At the microphone he paused and then began to recite his line. “The only thing we have to fear… (little pause)…is fear itself…” (long pause…)…then suddenly he tore off one of his shoes, fell to the floor and started beating his shoe on the floor several times as if he were a bit crazed. Then he got up, again stood before the microphone, and paused for just a moment before concluding “…and spiders!”)
The place erupted in laughter and tremendous applause. “Wow!” I thought…”Wow!” The next morning I was walking down a long hallway to meet him at his next competition. A group of girls was walking in front of me. The word “spider” caught my attention and I tuned into what they were saying, “…did you see that guy yesterday who was banging the heck out of an imaginary spider…that was totally crazy, so cool…I could never do that…”
Joshua had heeded the advice he’d been given, and had gone for it, despite his doubts, his fears and his insecurities. I couldn’t have been more proud of him and we both learned a lot that day about fear…and faith!
It’s Sunday afternoon, January 28th and I’m writing this as I wait for Jack to arrive from Sisters so we can go for a hike on the South Slough. Nat preached this morning and gave me the gift of listening to God’s word instead of preaching it. For those of you who weren’t there, you might check it out on our website www.episcopalcoosbay.org, where you can scroll to the bottom to find where the sermons are listed. I found it very powerful and thought provoking. It’s about prophecy and leaves us to ponder the question of who are our contemporary prophets? He mentioned Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Oscar Romero, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
One of the things I realized as I reflected on these men’s lives and others, whom I consider to be contemporary prophets, is that they preached love instead of fear. In 1 John 4:18 we are told “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” and yet that is so hard for us to believe because there is so much to fear as we look into our world! Fear leads us to that place of scarcity where there’s not enough and there will never be enough. Love leads us to that place where there’s always enough because we can’t imagine not sharing what we have with others. The perfect love that Jesus offers us draws us lovingly into relationships with Jesus and with our neighbors, where more and more we can respond with faith and love instead of fear.
How does this relate to Emmanuel? I had fun carrying Nat’s question one step further and asking who are the contemporary prophets in our community of faith? Who are the truth tellers in our midst? Who are those with insights that carry us forward into the future? Who are those who are always reaching out with love in ways that seem to make everything they touch bigger and more exciting, joyful and welcoming? When we are overcome with fear–it happens to all of us at various times–what happens when suddenly we are immersed in love? It’s my experience that love does cast out fear eventually and allows us to once again respond with faith.
That’s one of the major reasons why it’s so important for us to be in community with one another. It matters that we are in church together week after week because the Spirit works on us slowly and patiently, drawing us into a beloved community where we are strengthened, loved, and made whole again! …and then we are sent out to be the light and love in our world. That is what truly helps to cast out fear.
Jack recently found a quote that we have come to rely on, “Faith and fear both require us to believe in something that we can’t see. Choose one!” As this Epiphany season draws to a close, may we support one another as we move more and more towards faith and love.
Epiphany blessings to you and yours! Christy
Mark your calendars!
Don’t Miss… Emmanuel’s Annual Parish Meeting & Holy Spirit Potluck Sunday, February 11th, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
What is a Holy Spirit Potluck? Bring something you are inspired to share with the rest of us and join in fellowship as we conduct the business of the Parish in this once a year event!
Business will include:
• election of 3 new Vestry members
• election of convention delegates
• discussion/affirmation of our 2018 budget
• state of the parish by Christy
• announcement of 2018 Senior Warden
• second annual award for Christian service!
We will also do a “Fast Forum,” a fun and efficient way to generate ideas and get immediate feedback. Come to the Annual Meeting and see how it works!
Welcome to Emmanuel Series
Are you new to Emmanuel and interested in learning more about our congregation? Then join us on February 1st, 8th, or 15th, from 7:00 PM -8:30 PM in the undercroft at Emmanuel.
Pastor Christy will lead the sessions and we hope they will be an opportunity to get to know her better, meet other people who are new, learn more about the Episcopal Church as well as Emmanuel, and to get answers to any questions you may have.
Light appetizers will be provided. Questions or to RSVP, talk to Christy or Kerri in the church office at 541-269-5829 or email.
The preschool is excited to introduce our new preschool teacher assistant, Faith Crowell.
Bio: “Young kids are the most honest, the most joyful, the most creative and the most fun people in the whole world. Being around such pure imaginative, clever individuals gives me so much hope and excitement for all that they are capable of. All children are so quick to understand and adapt, they come up with solutions to complex problems, and they create the most amazing paintings, designs, block towers, concepts and stories, things that I would never have come up with. They are kind, they are silly and they show humility and have such confidence in themselves and their peers, and everything about them inspires me. Working at this preschool has solidified my passion for learning from and teaching kids. They have taught me more than I could possibly teach them, but I hope to be a positive role model and demonstrate what it is to love, respect and accept all those around us, and to inspire a passion for helping others.” ~ Faith
February 13th, Shrove Tuesday Pancake & Sausage Dinner 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
This especially indulgent day symbolizes the start of Lent which finds many of us trying (and most often failing) to give up a luxury for the 40 days leading up to Easter. The tradition of using this particular food began when Anglo-Saxon Christians used to cook up pancakes as a means to use up their fats and eggs before the fasting period. These Christians would then head to confession to seek forgiveness for their sins, otherwise known as being ‘shriven’ which is the origin of the name ‘Shrove Tuesday’.
Many of you may be wondering what the connection could possibly be between pancakes and the potato. Well, the spud is actually a fantastic ingredient when it comes to making savory pancakes. Savory pancakes are a superb and delicious alternative to the classic sweet flavors of syrups and berries so this year in addition to our traditional fluffy pancakes, we’ll feature savory potato pancakes as well. Come enjoy!
All You Can Eat Menu:
Fluffy Pancakes…Plain/Blueberry with mixed syrups… Savory Potato Pancakes…
German Sausage and Sliced Ham…
Juice and Coffee…
Donations support the Coos Food Cupboard, Featuring Pat and Nat as your cooks.
Lenten Soup Suppers will begin Thursday, February 22nd, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Save the Date! More information to follow!
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
OUR PRESIDING BISHOP MICHAEL CURRY INVITES ALL EPISCOPALIANS TO READ THE GOSPEL OF LUKE DURING LENT AND THE BOOK OF ACTS DURING EASTER 2018
Join Episcopalians around the world in bible Study this Lenten and Easter season.
Presiding Bishop Curry video: invitation to the Good Book Club
Sound like something you’d like to commit to during Lent this year?
Here’s how it will work: The book is designed for us to start individually on Sunday, February 11 in order to complete it by Easter. Each day there will be a section of Luke’s Gospel and a meditation with some reflection questions throughout the season of Lent. Then the great 50 days of Easter will be devoted to the Book of Acts.
“Luke alone offers the story of the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus…Jesus opens up the scriptures and reveals everything that the Bible has to say about him, and the disciples’ hearts burn like fire. So, too, as we read Luke’s Gospel, our hearts burn like fire and Jesus comes alive among us so that we might live lives full of compassion, mercy, and love.”
~ The Rev. Marek P. Zabriskie, Founder of The Bible Challenge
“The Acts of the Apostles tells of the earliest people who dared to follow the way of Jesus, actually living by what he taught, living in his Spirit, and walking his way, day by day…These stories and the teachings of Jesus—and the witness of those who followed him—help, heal, lift up, and set the captive free.”
~ The Most Rev. Michael B. Burry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
Please signup. We have 12 copies of both books on hand and they are $12 each. You can sign-up and reserve a book by calling 541-269-5829, emailing the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or signing-up in the entry way or undercroft.
We are asked by our Presiding Bishop as part of our preparation, to pray for our hearts and minds to be opened so that our lives—and indeed, our whole church and world—will be transformed through deep engagement with God’s Holy Word.
Talk to Christy if you have any questions.
Services for Ash Wednesday will be at 6:30 AM, 12:00 PM and 7:00 PM.
Celebration of Teacher Cathy’s Years of Service Mural
Working with children is a daily exercise in appreciation. They are small for such a short while. As their teacher, they make me aware of this on a daily basis. So when considering how to hang their lovely fish, it occurred to me that some of our little people are leaving us to move into bigger ponds, specifically kindergarten.
Our big blue pond was created by the Little’s (3-4 year old class.), as was the beautiful brown that makes up our tree. How lovely it is that our younger children stay a little longer with our mother tree, some still in her branches. And yet sadly, every day they move a little closer to the big blue pond.
Teacher Nadine was inspired by the work of Eric Carle to cut up some of the big green painting left over from Christmas to put out the beginning of an idea, and the fine art of the aftercare kids made it beautifully complete.
The fish are created by each member of this preschool community. Yes, there are teachers there too. They are arranged according to students’ ages, except for their steward teachers. Teacher Faith is leading a few in a line (I think the pied piper took lessons from her), and Teacher Hannah is keeping a watchful eye, making sure none are jumping out of the school zone. We all have our part and I did my best to give that meaning too.
Thank you for giving us a place to grow and share our journey. It takes a village to raise a child, and we’re blessed to be a part of yours.
~As told by, Teacher Nadine
Prayer is one of the most important ways you can support Episcopal Relief & Development and, in turn, the people we serve. If you’re led to pray for Episcopal Relief & Development and those we serve, remember these people facing struggles:
• Children whose health and survival are uncertain
• People who are hungry or facing starvation
• Those living in war zones or places where disasters have struck
• People suffering from HIV/AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases
• Women who face discrimination, abuse and lack of maternal health care
• The worldwide Church, especially dioceses and churches in places of great need
• Episcopal Relief & Development’s partners, who struggle to help people and communities with limited resources and in challenging circumstances
• For all who are concerned about vulnerable children and other people in need, that we would be generous with our resources
A Prayer for Episcopal Relief & Development
Loving and merciful God, you bestow your grace on all of your children: Remember our sisters and brothers throughout the world who, in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, strengthen communities, empower the poor, nourish the hungry, restore the sick and uplift those affected by disaster; and uphold Episcopal Relief & Development for the next seventy-five years, so that your Kingdom might be known to all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Vestry Meeting and Dinner at Shepherd’s House on January 30th – We take this time to celebrate and thank those outgoing Vestry members who have served and supported us.