Vestry Visibility: Change – Good or Bad? by Cassandra Hawley, First Year Vestry Member
Change is not always a bad thing, a necessity of life at times. We have to be willing to change and adapt with the times and, quoting Ghandi, “Be the change we [you] wish to see in the world.”
I believe we have the opportunity to become more in sync with the times and change the music we sing every Sunday. We have always sung hymns, which have served us well, but now Christian music is more than hymns. Christian music has bloomed to cover most other genres out there from pop, to country, to rap. Pam Chaney, David Laird, and I have been charged with creating a music action plan. Without losing our traditions, we are working on a plan to integrate this modern Christian music into our current 10:00 service and to update the hymns we sing. In addition we will be using the list of favorite hymns that many of you helped us gather last summer. We will be working with Carla and the choir, Dan and the Contemporary Group, and all of you to meet your needs moving forward, as well as the needs of our future members who have yet to walk through our doors. We want to hear everyone’s voice raised to heaven in songs of praise that make you want to sing with joy and make you feel alive. We believe a change in the music to more modern, present day songs will also help to attract more of the younger generations to our church.
I am no stranger to change being a military brat and the oldest of four. Deployments, more siblings, moves, new friends, new schools, and now I am in the military myself. I was resistant to change since I was born, but I have learned to start embracing it. My mom would tell me even as a baby it would take me three months to get used to my dad being gone for a six month deployment and then three months to get used to him being back home, a vicious cycle for her over a two year period.
Change meant leaving friends behind, but it also meant the opportunity to meet new people. Changing schools meant periods of not fitting in, but drew me closer to my family. Change meant closing some doors, but opening others and new opportunities. Change can seem scary at first and tends to have a negative connotation, but once we get past the fear we can start to see the positives and possibilities change offers us. Think of some change in your life and instead of looking at the negatives ask yourself what positives came out of it? Am I willing to change in the future? Can we move forward from the past and change those things “we’ve always done” to better ourselves and on an organizational level, the church?
We are looking forward to the positives of this change in music and pray that God will continue to breathe new life into us.
Any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-705-6339.
Military Share for those who serve in our Armed Forces
We want to do a special prayer service for those on our Military list. If you have any information on the following people, please contact Kerri in the office. Thank you.
Bobbie, Jeremiah, Shawn, Aaron, Derek, Stephen, John, Doug, Josh, Laura, Shane, Zachary, and Kalvin
God’s Love and the LGBT+ Community Conference July 8 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Salem—Reconciliation and peace is the work of all of us. Our church and our nation have come a long way in recognizing that gender identity is not exclusively fixed and binary, and that God loves all of us. We, in the Episcopal Church, affirm in our Baptismal vows to respect the dignity of every human being, and there is healing and reconciliation work to do to support members of the LGBT+ community in Oregon. Violence and harassment of minority communities persist, and we are called to speak of God’s love and the wideness of God’s mercy. You are invited to participate in a conference dedicated to affirming the full recognition of members of the LGBT+ community as a blessed part of God’s beautiful creation.
Join Christy in this great opportunity to learn more about the LGBT experience at church and in our local communities. How might we be more welcoming and affirming at Emmanuel? Christy will be driving to St. Paul’s on Saturday and would love to take three people with her. Call or email if interested, 541-728-7988 or Christy@episcopalcoosbay.org.
SAVE THE DATE! Senior Birthday Celebration & Community Gathering
Saturday, July 29th from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
A birthday party to celebrate our seniors! Please join us in celebration of our seniors in the undercroft. We will have a table to honor those in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s with a special cake for each group to share.
We look forward to seeing you there for yummy cake and fun!
EmmM & M Emmanuel’s Mission and Ministry Update
The Preschool Board and Emmanuel’s Vestry have decided that it’s time to recast the vision for the next decade of Emmanuel Episcopal Preschool moving forward with boldness, vision and generosity to offer full day quality care for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age.
Proposed Vision and Generosity: In five years, Emmanuel Episcopal Preschool hopes to be a full day certified Episcopal Preschool for children age 6 weeks-5 years that is financially sustainable. In addition to quality early childhood education and care, we hope to provide:
– a livable wage and benefits to our staff
– advocacy for people who are interested in getting credentials as teachers in early childhood education
– scholarships for 10% of our students
Boldness: The need is so great in our community right now we are attempting to get certified by September11, 2017 so we can begin to offer an infant/toddler class to help meet that need in the empty space we have available.
Yikes! Does that seem fast to you? It does to us too and a bit overwhelming at times, but the steps we have to take are very sequential, building on each other. For example, in order to know if we can have infants and toddlers upstairs in the education wing we have to be inspected by the fire marshal and that will happen sometime in the next two weeks. We also have to be certified before we can have children under 36 months for longer than four hours. In order to be certified by September 11, the first day of our preschool, we have to turn in our application by July 28th.
We are committed to taking one step at a time, and we will only move forward if we are convinced we will be able to operate a sustainable program.
Fiduciary Responsibility: As exciting as this vision is, there is a total commitment to have the proposed budget checked and rechecked by the Finance Committee, Preschool Board and Vestry once we have the Fire Marshal inspection and know whether we can use the education wing upstairs for the infants/toddlers or if we need to use the nursery downstairs.
Next Steps: The Episcopal Bishop of Oregon Fund (EBOF) gives grants to churches for mission and ministry. On June 30th, we submitted a three year grant asking for $25,000 the first year, $15,000 the second year and $5,000 the third year with the goal of being sustainable in year 4. This grant will go a long ways to helping us live into our vision. If we don’t get the grant, we will still continue to move forward, just at a slower pace, taking one step at a time and trusting God to open the doors we are supposed to go through.
In the next couple of weeks, we will also be inspected by the Fire Marshall and that will tell us what our options are for certification. Please continue to pray for this opportunity we’ve been given and think about ways you might be willing and able to help. Questions talk to any member of the Vestry, Preschool Board, or Christy.
Godly Play Training: July 14th-15th in Portland. We have two people attending and are looking for one more to go to the training and help us get the classroom ready to go for the fall. Talk to Christy if you are interested in the training or with helping to get the classroom set up. We also hope to have a training here in September.
Oregon Episcopal Church News, “In Conversation: A Day in the Diocese, Summer 2017,” copies are available for you to take home in the church entryway.
“O God, by your grace you have called us in the Diocese of Oregon to a goodly fellowship of faith. Bless our Bishop Michael and other clergy, and all our people. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments faithfully administered and faithfully received. By your Spirit, fashion our lives according to the example of your Son, and grant that we may show the power of your love to all among whom we live; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
(Book of Common Prayer p. 817)
Summer Reading Reminder:
Don’t forget to take a couple of minutes to jot down the title of a book you have read lately and why you enjoyed it. There are review sheets you can fill out in the church entryway with the bulletins for Sunday services. If you would be willing to loan it to our library for our “summer read shelf,” drop it off to Kerri in the church office. Thanks!
With our additional miles over the last several weeks, we have reached the country of Morocco. We have 2487 miles left to go to reach Jerusalem. Want to have a little help getting those miles in? How about taking your furry friends out together with your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family for a few extra walks this summer? Please send us pictures of you and your furry friends logging miles for Jerusalem to share on our journey.
***Friendly Reminder: Newsletter Deadline is July 24 for the August Messenger.***
First Presbyterian Church of North Bend Vacation Bible School WHAT: Vacation Bible School
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church of North Bend
WHEN: July 11th-14th from 4 PM – 7 PM
WHY: Kids discover not only that God made them the way they are, but for a purpose too. Kids will discover how to see evidence of God in everyday life-something we call God Sightings. There is no cost for this camp. Please call 541-756-4155 to register your children for this life-changing adventure!
“The place God calls us to is the place where our deep gladness meets the deep hunger of the world” – Frederick Buechner
The Hunger of the World, Our Context: Did you know currently Coos Bay and North Bend have an extreme shortage of infant and toddler programs, as well as full day preschools? An article released from SWOCC entitled, “Region Faces Childcare Crisis,” summarized the shortfall this way: “In 2016 we had 12 slots for every 100 children under the age of 6 in Coos and Curry County. That gap has widened significantly in recent years, with the closure of large centers in the Coos Bay/North Bend area.” The people who are metaphorically “starving” in our community are the young families where both parents need to work to make ends meet and who don’t have any place to leave their children. They are also starving because there are very few ways for these young families to connect with one another.
Emmanuel’s Deep Gladness: This year marks the 14th anniversary of our Preschool and we are very proud of the five graduating seniors who were the oldest members of our first preschool class in 2004. This has been a wonderful ministry and given us great joy over the years. Yet recently, it has been harder to get full enrollment for a half day program and the need is growing for quality infant care. We have space, a great reputation for early childhood education and the desire to continue in this ministry. Is this a place God is calling us to make a difference in our community?
Discernment: “The place God calls us…” Since this has all happened in the last couple of months, it felt important to me that we slow down a bit and take time as the Vestry, to pause and engage in a listening discernment process. So that’s what we did last Tuesday evening, 6-27. We prayed for God to help us discern all of the reasons why it might not be a good idea for us to expand our preschool to include an infant/toddler class and full time care. We each made our list and then went around the room, each offering one reason at a time until they had all been said. Then we repeated the process with a moment of silence to reflect on all of the reasons why it would be a good idea to proceed and we once again went around the room sharing our reasons. We then prayed for inspiration to think of any reasons we had forgotten. Next, each person wrote yes or no on their slip of paper, folded them and passed them in. The result was a unanimous vote in favor of moving forward if we show that we can do it in a way that will be sustainable. (If you are interested in the reasons that we thought of, you can find them at the end of this article.) As an aside, this is a wonderful method of discernment for family decisions as well and Jack and I have used it many times with our family…including with Joshua at home and the girls on speaker phone when we were discerning as a family whether I should come to Emmanuel!
What Can You Do? Right now you can pray! Pray that we are able to get grants for start-up costs, that we are able to get certified, build the right team of staff and teachers, prepare for the children and families and that the children and families come. In addition, you can watch closely for more details as we will need everyone’s help to make this vision a reality…cleaning out our storage areas in the education wing to help bring it to life again, painting, toy gathering, policy writing…probably an opportunity for every gift that God has blessed us with. It will take each of us offering our best to make this a reality. How might you help?
Summer blessings to you and yours! Christy