Author Archive for: AdMin

The Messenger September 2017

September 3, 2017
03 Sep 2017

Christy’s Corner: Praying Attention… A Way to Turn Everything Holy

As I left for vacation on August 13th there were many things on my heart and mind. The fire inspection had just occurred for the preschool and we were gearing up for the sanitation inspection. There was much discussion about how to best finish up our outside entrance and the impact on our security system and phone lines. In our world, nuclear threats seemed to be escalating from North Korea, wild fires all over the west and especially in British Columbia seemed out of control.

Closer to home I had been asked to be part of a group to help respond to a situation that occurred in Bandon, where a transgender woman had been fired from her job and held at knife point by a neighbor. The question that brought an eclectic group together the Saturday before I left was how do we ensure that Coos County and the community of Coos Bay and North Bend are safe for everyone? We all belong here. How do we make that a reality? Later that evening as I was literally packing for vacation and finishing up my sermon, bits and pieces of news were beginning to come in from Charlottesville. Something unprecedented was happening there as “Unite the Right” protests for white advocacy were occurring and it was becoming increasingly clear that racism is alive and well.

My heart was heavy in so many ways, and I knew that time away in my “soul spot” was just what I needed. It takes about 17 hours to get to Tofino, British Columbia including a two hour ferry ride. On the ferry I began to get caught up on some magazines. I read an article by Glennon Doyle that introduced me to the perfect expression for my time away, “Praying attention!”

“The secret of life is not about knowing what to say or do. It’s not about doing love or loss right. Life cannot be handled. The secret is simply to show up. It’s about witnessing it all, even the pain, and letting it touch you and make you not harder, but more tender. Showing up, feeling it all—this is my new kind of prayer. I call it praying attention, and it’s how, for me, everything turns holy.” Glennon Doyle-pg. 37, Oprah Magazine, August 2017

Praying attention! A God-centered way to turn everything holy. It was the perfect way for me to hold all that was going on, while being away in a remote spot where we are “unplugged” so to speak, without local news, papers or internet. My prayer to God was, “Lord, help me to pray attention” as I relax into the abundance and beauty of my “soul spot” a place that I have visited for 58 out of my 60 years.

My sermon on August 13th was about the need for all of us, as disciples of Jesus Christ to be” in the arena”, rather than observing from the bleachers outside the arena. I feel badly, that in my busy-ness to take care of details in preparation for vacation, I was not aware of the activities in Charlottesville that weekend. Since returning to the country and realizing all that has gone on, I wonder…in terms of taking an active stand to be committed to ending racism, what does it mean to “be in the arena?” What does it mean for me to “pray attention?” If racism in our country is in fact “baked in” to our organizations and institutions like salt in a cookie, how do we truly begin to dismantle it so that it no longer has a hold on us, our communities, and our nation?

When I was in seminary at Yale Divinity School I was asked to write a paper about a time that I experienced racism. I gave an example that I thought described the experience and how I had responded in a way that wasn’t racist. I still can see my professor’s comments on the paper. “Christy, even having the thoughts you describe without acting on them is racist!” Wow…I was stunned!

As I think about that now and wonder what needs to change in our society and in me, I realize that there is a part of all of us that is always in the process of being transformed, or made holy by God. For me I recognized this process earlier this summer when I went to the workshop at St. Paul’s in Salem, “God’s Love for the LGBTQ Community.” I learned more about sexual preference and gender identity and heard stories of people who have different gender identity than I do. I realized we were more similar than we were different. I was working hard to pray attention and I was in the process of being transformed. It happened again the week before I left for vacation as I heard of the attack on the transgender person in Bandon–for no reason other than being identified as a transgender woman… and now it’s happening for me in terms of racism. I’m praying attention, and it is hard, hard work!

For me, praying attention and being in the arena in terms of racism, means that my starting point has changed. Rather than denying it, my starting point will be acknowledging that I am racist. Instead of looking for all of those places where I support people of color, I will begin to look for places where I don’t. I’ll look for places where I have negative thoughts or privilege that hurt my brothers and sisters of color. I will be willing to ask for forgiveness, to stand up and speak out publicly, even if it means giving up things that benefit me and my family. Where do my attitudes, behavior and actions support racism? I will “pray attention” and show up in hopes of being able to do my part to show that we really do all belong here on this earth, and in our community of Coos Bay and North Bend.

The slogan of the Episcopal Church is “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” Earlier this year, our Vestry struggled with the question how do we ensure that is actually the case and we are as welcoming as we can be to anyone who comes through our doors? How do we ensure that Emmanuel is a safe place for everyone regardless of skin color, gender, sexual preference, economic status or belief? How do we truly respect the dignity of every human being recognizing all are created and loved by God. There is much work to do and I am choosing to begin with myself by praying attention. Will you join me? Together we can ensure that Emmanuel Episcopal Church truly welcomes YOU, regardless of any particularities.

Blessings to you and yours as we continue to do the work that God has given us to do!


1, 040 total years of wisdom from Emmanuel’s elders…

Thank you to everyone who attended our Senior Birthday Celebration and Community Gathering event. During the celebration, Christy asked each person to share what they had learned over the years that helped them along the way. Here is a collective 1,040 years of wisdom!

  1. Have more cats. Always eat a second slice of cake. Take more walks in the rain.
  2. In relationships, it is good to have a short memory.
  3. Your poor planning is not my emergency.
  4. Don’t put off until tomorrow.
  5. Keep your friends close and visit them often.
  6. Talk less – listen more.
  7. Laugh more. Find out more family history and write it down. Don’t put off doing anything that you want to do.  Trust in the Lord.
  8. Don’t depend on others to always help you.
  9. Respect-Respect-Respect. Fight the good fight.
  10. Say I love you.
  11. Jesus loves me.
  12. Have as good a day as you can and do more things for other people.
  13. Do not let the past haunt you. Look to the future of the new generation.
  14. Always make more friends – life is better with friends and family. Try to talk to someone you don’t know.

Thank you, Teacher Cathy for all your hard work, compassion, love, and dedication for our Preschool!

Our returning Teacher Cathy recently shared the following about herself:

Prior to my teaching here at Emmanuel Episcopal Preschool almost 15 years ago, I was employed at Cartwheel’s Preschool, Hillcrest Elementary and Lighthouse After Care Program. My heart for children began many years ago as a 22 year old Sunday School Teacher in Lake Oswego. Through the years as we raised our three children, my husband and I enjoyed teaching Sunday school with all age groups, as well as helping in AWANA programs.

I truly love the opportunity I have been given here at Emmanuel Episcopal preschool. I love to help nurture the sweet and innocent little minds that come to us. The environment has been one that continues to bring great growth and happiness to all that attend our school. I find for me it is a great joy to pass on the love of God in such a wonderful setting. ❤ Cathy Bishop

With gratitude, the grounds work project is almost completed!

The yard project outside of the church office and entrance to the undercroft is almost completed. At the end of August, the contractors poured concrete. They had a few setbacks as there was water accumulation that needed to dry up before they could finish the project.

With gratitude, we thank everyone who has been a driving force to get this project done, for everyone who has gotten their hands dirty, and for the hard work of filling in the remaining edges with decorative rock. We are hoping to install bicycle racks in the future.

Remember Praying for Irina and Baby?

We offer many prayers each Sunday during our services but we don’t often hear the results. Meet Adrian Gregory James who is the son of Irina James, one of our preschool teachers who we have been praying for since he was the size of a peanut. Irina and her husband are so grateful for our prayers!

Preschool Sanitation Inspection Update… We passed!

Thank you to everyone who volunteered your time to deep clean the kitchen in the Undercroft in preparation for our Sanitation inspection. In addition to the deep cleaning, you might notice new oven covers and dish drying racks as a small part of our new, larger awareness of keeping our food preparation sites sanitized. This is a great benefit to the entire congregation and our Outreach goals, and we thank all our volunteers for their time!

Please continue to hold the certification process in your prayers! Wed, Sept. 6th, at 11:00 is our Certification Site Visit and we are hopeful that we will be certified at that visit. Thank you to everyone who has helped prepare us and work towards certification in large and small ways!

Below: hand washing sinks have been installed and an air gap in order for us to meet compliance with the sanitation inspection to continue our preschool expansion.

Wednesday Services resume September 6th

As summer comes to conclusion and we return to fall schedules, Wednesday services will resume with the Holy Eucharist at 6:30 AM and H.E. and Healing Service with anointing at 12:00PM.

Welcome Back BB!

Sunday, September 10, 11:30 AM

As our program year begins, Join Us for an opportunity to gather together as a community with so much to look forward to this year at Emmanuel, including Betty Emmon’s 90th birthday! We’ll provide the hot dogs and hamburgers but please bring a side dish or with a cake to help us celebrate!

We welcome back our choir and contemporary group, and we give thanks for their ministry.

Lay Readers’ and Lectors’ Meeting and Update

Sunday, September 17th after the 10:00 AM service

Please save the date, and we will have more information to follow.

Saturday, September 23, 1:30pm – Celebration of Life for Michael Oxford

If you are able to help with providing cookies or refreshments for reception, please contact Sally Jaeggli or Nancylee Stewart. Thank you.

Bring Your Undies to Convention!

Every Friday night Rahab’s Sisters opens their doors at Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal on SE 82nd in Portland to provide radical hospitality to women marginalized by poverty, homelessness, sex work and substance use. At this year’s diocesan Convention, they’ll be collecting new women’s underwear for their guests.

For women living on the streets, clothing gets lost in sweeps, bags get stolen, and access to laundry facilities can be hard to come by. When you donate new women’s underwear to Rahab’s Sisters, you aren’t just giving clothes – you are giving dignity to women marginalized by homelessness and poverty.

All sizes, styles and fabrics are needed and appreciated. They go through medium sizes (7s and 8s) most quickly, but have guests all across the size spectrum. Next time you’re shopping for your own household, could you throw one or two packages of underwear in your cart? They’ll have a donation box at their exhibit table and look forward to seeing you there!

Please look in Emmanuel’s Narthex for the box to place your contribution of new ladies undies for Rahab’s Sisters.

Blessings, Terrye Laird

We All Belong Here: a Community Forum, on Building a Welcoming Inclusive Coos County

Sept. 21st, 6:30-8:30, Coos History Museum

Join us from 6:30-8:30 PM on Thursday, September 21st at the Coos History Museum for a forum about the ways that our county can come together and create a community where everyone can thrive.

In Coos County we’ve seen a rise in violence and harassment targeting our most vulnerable neighbors, including immigrants and people perceived to be immigrants, low-income and unhoused community members, and people of color and LGBTQI people. We are not alone in this problem: hate crimes are on the rise in this state and across the country, and we are still grieving for the lives lost in Charlottesville. This moment calls us to reach out to one another and fight for safety and human dignity for all.
This summer, a trans woman living in Coos County was threatened at knife-point by one of her neighbors. Join us to hear from her and others who are experiencing harassment simply for being themselves, and plan for how we will take action as a community to make Coos County a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone.

Do you have a story to tell? If you have experienced harassment or discrimination in our community and you are willing to share your story please let Christy know. We are hoping that individual stories will be an important part of this forum.

Sponsored by:
PFLAG Coos Bay/South Coast
Rural Organizing Project
Q&A of Coos County
Coos Diversity Poster
Coast Range Forest Watch
Coos County Youth Homeless Coalition Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Indivisible of Coos County
Faith Lutheran Church
Human Rights Advocates of Coos County

October Newsletter Deadline is Tuesday, September 26.

The Messenger August 2017

July 31, 2017
31 Jul 2017

Christy’s Corner: A Room with a View

Recently on my morning walk, a local asked me if I had seen the seagull’s nest. “They come back every year,” he said. “This year only one of the three eggs made it.” On my way back I swung by the place he had indicated and there was this fuzzy sea gull chick who had an amazing “room with a view,” but he clearly had outgrown his nest. On the top of a tall piling surrounded by water how do you have the courage to leave the only world you know to fly for the first time? This little chick stayed with me the rest of the day as I reflected on all of the ways we are asked to step out in faith each and every day.

The next morning, mama was on a near-by piling squawking and squawking and squawking! I got the feeling that she felt it was clearly time for the chick to leave the nest and she was beside herself at the inactivity! The chick seemed paralyzed by fear…the first step was a big one with a long ways to fall! I don’t see God squawking at us when we get too comfortable in our “nest”, but I do believe that God is very persistent at patiently loving us out of the nest and into the world. Almost always this is accompanied by some sense of fear and doubt, and feeling like we have a long, long ways to fall.

That little chick provides a wonderful metaphor for us to reflect on as we ponder all the different ways we are asked to step out in faith. Sometimes we’re asked to extend ourselves and attempt something new and almost always it is without knowing the outcome ahead of time. Our preschool expansion is a perfect example of that kind of faith. It’s scary and uncertain with no guarantees, and yet it seems as if God continues to encourage us to keep stepping forward. Many of our kids and grand-kids are looking to start something new this fall; middle school, high school, college, leaving home for the first time or starting a new job are all equally scary times of stepping out in faith.

At times we’re asked to step out to defend and come along side someone who is being bullied, teased or is in an abusive unsafe situation. As disciples of Jesus Christ we may be asked to be “truth bearers” when it would be so much easier to just laugh at the joke, go along with the crowd, and not speak up to defend our “neighbors” from injustices. I wonder, where in our lives are we “playing it safe” and staying in our “nest”? How might God be encouraging us to step out in faith in our families, in our own lives, in our communities and at Emmanuel?

We are called to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I wonder, is it time to fly with new wings or in new directions? Amidst my wonderings, one thing I do know for sure, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not yet seen.”(Hebrews 11:1) Faith allows us to step out into our world supported by God’s love in order to offer that same love to a world that desperately needs it.

“Now faith, hope and love remain, and the greatest of these is love” (I Cor. 13:13.)
Blessings to you and yours during this time of summer pondering!


Summer Reading

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our summer reading list! We had such amazing feedback and response and appreciate all who took the time to respond and share.

“Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly
Contributed by Karen Pruhsmeier – distressing
Google Books review: Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.

“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
Contributed by Nancy Clark – Because I’m of Swedish descent, I was interested in this book because it’s set in Sweden. It isn’t explicitly religious but the happenings brought spiritual truths if you were inclined to “catch the message”.
Contributed by Myrle Ellingsen – Stubborn character who subtly works things out. Wikipedia summary: Ove is a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” However, behind the cranky exterior there is a story and sadness.

“The Blackhouse” by Peter May
Contributed by Jeff McKeown – Learning about an unusual culture in a fun, mysterious backdrop. Exciting.
Wikipedia summary: A suspense thriller, the action takes place mostly on the remote and weather-beaten Isle of Lewis off the coast of northern Scotland. The protagonist, Detective Inspector Finlay Macleod (known as Fin), a native of the island, is sent from his Edinburgh police station to investigate the murder of a man who, it transpires, was the bully at Fin’s school.

“A Great Reckoning” by Louise Penny
Contributed by Sally Jaeggli – It’s a mystery, but it’s also a redemption story. Google Books review: Former Chief Inspector Gamache has been hunting killers his entire career and as a new commander, he is given the chance to combat the corruption and brutality that has been rife throughout the force. But when a former colleague and professor of the S ret Academy is found murdered, with a mysterious map of Three Pines in his possession, Gamache has an even tougher task ahead of him.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by JK Rowling
Contributed by Shannon Durkee – Because I enjoy fantasy stories.
Wikipedia summary: Major themes in the novel are death and living in a corrupted society, and critics have compared them to Christian allegories. Generally well-received, the book won the 2008 Colorado Blue Spruce Book Award, and the American Library Association named it a “Best Book for Young Adults”.

“Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy” by Ann Lamott
Contributed by Shannon Durkee – One of my favorite authors. The title is compelling.
Google Books review: Lamott weaves a fascinating personal journey of mercy, challenging readers to
allow mercy to impact their personal lives. In the first chapter, she states, “Hallelujah that in spite of it
all, there is love, there is singing, nature, laughing, and mercy.”

“Drug Dealer, M.D.” by Anna Lembke
Contributed by Shannon Durkee – I have heard Ms. Lembke speak and appreciate her no nonsense style. Google Books review: In Drug Dealer, MD, Dr. Anna Lembke uncovers the unseen forces driving opioidmaddiction nationwide. Combining case studies from her own practice with vital statistics drawn from public policy, cultural anthropology, and neuroscience, she explores the complex relationship between doctors and patients, the science of addiction, and the barriers to successfully addressing drug dependence and addiction.

“Salt to the Sea” by Ruta Sepetys
Contributed by Sheryl Gerety – 2016 category YA: four teenagers/young adults in flight from the Russian military invasion of eastern Germany and Poland at the end of WWII. Countries of origin are different for each character and vary among the Baltic States. In order to stay ahead of the Russian invasion (by plane and infantry/cavalry) as well as evading the scrutiny of identity papers by German military lend high levels of uncertainty to their travels without food on foot through a war torn landscape. Sepetys has done thorough research, the climax depends on an actual event (no spoiler alerts here). Young adults through seniors would enjoy the pace, the characters and the light shed on an event of European history US educated readers will not likely be familiar with.

Out of Office

Kerri will be on vacation with her family (first time for some of them to ever see the ocean!) August 4th-August 10th. We will continue to have regular office hours except for Tues, August 8th when it will be closed.
Regular office hours are Tuesday-Friday 9:00 AM -1:00 PM.

No Wednesday Services During August
Due to Christy’s vacation August 14th-28th and the summer travel plans of others, there will be no Wednesday services in August. On September 6th, services will resume with Holy Eucharist at 6:30 AM and a Healing Service with Eucharist at 12:00 PM.

Christy on Vacation in August
The Rev. Rich Landrith will cover both services for Christy on Sunday Aug. 21st and 28th and cover any emergency pastoral concerns while she is away on vacation. Rich and his wife Marcia have recently retired and are currently enjoying exploring our country in their motor home. Christy and Rich met each other while in the Diocese of Olympia and later served together in the Diocese of Eastern Oregon. Most recently, Rich served as the pastor in both the Presbyterian and the Episcopal Church in Lakeview, Oregon where he grew up. Please extend a warm Emmanuel welcome to Rich and Marcia.

We would love to share what you did this summer in our September newsletter. Please send us pictures of your summer adventures and a short summary of where you went, who you met, and why it was important to you.

Episcopal Bishop of Oregon Fund Grant Awarded to our Preschool! $25,000 Year 1 – $15,000 Year 2 – $5,000 Year 3

We are so grateful to have this grant to support the ministry of our expanding preschool and grateful to all of you who helped in big and small ways to make it possible.

Saturday, August 5 – Convocation Picnic 11:00 AM

St. John’s in Bandon
Please join us for the Convocation Picnic! The BBQ will be provided so please bring a side dish to share. Please sign up in the church entryway, as St. John’s needs a head count.

Notice from the Diocese of Oregon

Making sure our congregations are safe places for people to work, worship, teach, learn, and serve is of primary importance to the leadership of the Diocese of Oregon and our churches. The initial way we do this is to require what is commonly referred to as a “background check.” We require those checks for the following lay employees and lay volunteers:

• All paid staff
• All volunteers who work with children and youth
• Volunteers who have pastoral relationships such as spiritual directors, Stephen ministers, and Lay Eucharistic

• Church treasurers

We have contracted with Praesidium, Inc. to provide this service. If you have further questions, please refer to your local background check administrator Kerri Coldren.

If you fall into one of the categories listed above and have not yet provided Kerri with your Name and Email address, please contact her as soon as possible at the church office by either calling (541) 269- 5829 or emailing The individuals who provided their information at the End of the Year BBQ have been sent links via email to complete this process so if you haven’t received an email, please double check your spam folder. Not comfortable using a computer? Don’t have email? No problem! Just get ahold of Kerri, and we will set up a time to help you.

Episcopal Relief and Development

“Go with the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they have. Build on what they know. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say, ‘We have done this ourselves’.”
— Lao Tsu, Chinese Philosopher, 700 B.C.

Episcopal Relief & Development works with Church partners and other local organizations to save lives and transforms communities worldwide. We rebuild after disasters and empower people to create lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease. Working in close to 40 countries, our programs impact the lives of approximately 3 million people around the world.

Our mandate is taken from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. All of Episcopal Relief & Development’s international development programs seek to mobilize local resources and expertise toward sustainable, community-led programs that address poverty, hunger and disease. In our disaster response and recovery work, we seek to build resilience and reduce risk at every stage.

More information can be found at their website:

***Friendly Reminder: Newsletter Deadline is August 24 for the September Messenger.***

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12

Please come to John and Teri Whitty’s house for a garden party and meeting with Basic Rights Oregon that will focus on transgender issues.

It will be Saturday, August 5, from 2 PM to 4 PM at 1815 Cypress Drive (turn in at the AAA, bear right to the top of the hill, and go up the driveway in the SW corner – gray house with a brick wall). Basic Rights Oregon is about love and respect for all, and we at Emmanuel welcome all of God’s children as we walk the walk and follow the message of Jesus.

Preschool Expansion Update: Still hoping and praying for a Sept. 11th opening!

We are excited that our older preschool class has 14 children out of a possible 16 classroom size registered for the fall and our younger class has 8 out of 10 slots filled. Those two classes are the same as they have been in the past. We are hard at work attempting to get our program certified so that we can have our younger class include those children who have already turned 2. In addition, we hope to add a 1-3 year old full time class in the nursery downstairs from 7:30 AM -4:30 PM. These are things that we can do immediately with a minimal amount of building changes while we wait to figure out how to best utilize our upstairs. We currently have a date for the certification site visit in early September, which would allow us to open our new class on September 11th.

Please keep this project in your prayers so that we can use our extra space to help meet a critical need in our community and that we can do so with boldness, vision and generosity! Do you have questions, or a desire to get involved? Contact Hannah, Kerri or Christy.

Your Preschool Team welcomes new teacher’s assistant, Nadine Trabold.

Nadine Trapold moved to Coos County with her husband and two sons in 2006. For the last seven years she has taught knitting at the Lighthouse School, mostly to first graders. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, all forms of fiber art and building with cob. Joining EECC to provide quality care in an enriched educational environment reflects her values and is the perfect step back into a working world because she loves learning through the fresh eyes of children.

Wednesday, August 23 – Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Senior Nutrition, Sustainable Meal and Activity Program 11 AM – 2 PM

The events will be held the fourth Wednesday of each month at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and run from 11 AM – 2 PM, with light exercise such as chair yoga at 11 AM, lunch at noon, and music, games, and social time after lunch until 2 PM. If you know of a senior who would benefit from this event or are able to help provide transportation for homebound seniors, please let Kerri know. Thank you!

The Messenger July 2017

July 4, 2017
04 Jul 2017

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 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

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

The Messenger June 2017

June 2, 2017
02 Jun 2017

Christy’s Corner

A few weeks ago, I attended a “Conversation” at the Coos History Museum on “Power, Privilege and Racial Diversity in Oregon.” It’s a new series at the Museum, sponsored by the Oregon Humanities: Conversation Project. Several months ago, Susan Tissot, the new Executive Director of the Museum had asked if I would attend to help support the series. I have to admit I really had no idea what to expect, but it’s a subject that interests me and I was happy to support Susan and the Museum. There were ten of us there in addition to Amy Pollicino, the Museum Educator and the presenter, Emily Drew. Emily did an excellent job engaging the group in conversation while also providing information. It was an hour and a half well spent and offered much to ponder.
I find it good to be involved in conversations like this as it lets me listen to other people’s thoughts and feelings about a complex subject. Then I take that experience inward to reflect on it, challenge some of my beliefs and stereotypes and perhaps open my heart a bit allowing myself to be transformed in the process. Then with new insights, thoughts or wonderings, I re-engage the world. Parker Palmer uses the metaphor of a Mobius strip to define that process.

As Parker writes in A Hidden Wholeness, “All of the great spiritual traditions want to awaken us to the fact that we co-create the reality in which we live. And all of them ask two questions intended to help keep us awake:

What are we sending from within ourselves out into the world, and what impact is it having ‘out there’?

What is the world sending back at us, and what impact is it having ‘in here’?

We are continually engaged in the evolution of self and world — and we have the power to choose, moment by moment, between that which gives life and that which deals death.

We can survive, and even thrive, amid the complexities of adulthood by deepening our awareness of the endless inner-outer exchanges that shape us and our world and of the power we have to make choices about them. If we are to do so, we need spaces within us and between us that welcome the wisdom of the true self — which knows how to negotiate life on the Möbius strip with agility and grace.”

There were two key thoughts from the evening I brought “from the world, back at me” for reflection. One was about the complexity of racism. Emily used the example of adding salt to cookie dough. When you mix it all together it gets baked into the cookie in such a way you don’t even notice it. In a similar way, racism gets “baked into” our institutions and systems in such a way we don’t even notice it anymore, and it is much harder to know how to best proactively work to end it in our communities.
The other thought concerned what I learned about sundown towns that evening. “Sundown towns were all- white municipalities or neighborhoods in the West that practiced a form of segregation by enforcing restrictions excluding people of other races via some combination of discriminatory local laws, intimidation, and violence.” In other words, people of other races were not allowed to be out after sundown. There’s a website that tells the history of sundown towns in our country, and Emily told us Coos Bay and North Bend historically were sundown towns and research about people’s experience suggests they probably still are. The methods of exclusion for Coos Bay are listed as “threats of violence and private bad behavior.” I find it staggering in 2017 our community is still known as a place where it isn’t safe for people of color to be out past dark!

I honestly don’t know what to do about these two ideas, but I have currently taken those thoughts inward and am letting them work on me. We have people of color who are members of our congregation and in part, because I care about them, I’m struggling with how I can help make Coos Bay and North Bend a safe place for everyone. I don’t have any answers at this point because it all feels pretty daunting. At the same time, I’m currently very aware the language we use day in and day out matters greatly. Sometimes the words we use are hurtful to others and sometimes they are welcoming. Take for example: “suicide pill” or “death with dignity,” “illegal immigrant” or “undocumented worker,” “homeless person” or “houseless person.” These are just a few examples I have thought of and I’m sure there are many, many more. What are some you’re aware of?

Now my work is to take those insights back into the world and notice what impact it has on my relationships. To some it may seem unrelated to racism, but I see it as a beginning step to help increase my awareness of those around me in hopes of offering a spirit of hospitality to all I meet along the way. And just think…all of this started by attending a simple community conversation brought to us by the “Oregon Humanities Conversation Project: bringing Oregonians together to talk—across differences, beliefs and backgrounds— about important issues and ideas.”

Sound interesting? Join me on June 3rd, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM for the next conversation in this series, “What are You? Mixed Race and Inter-racial Families in Oregon’s Past and Future.” I hope to see you there! Blessings to you and yours! Christy

Looking for Graduates of any Age

In our July newsletter, we will be focusing on those in our congregation who are graduating and moving on to a new challenge…can be from preschool, from high school, college or something else. Please contact Kerri or Christy with the specifics so we can celebrate them in July!


“The Pentecost event was the fulfillment of a promise which Jesus gave concerning the return of the Holy Spirit. The speaking in tongues, which was a major effect of having received the Spirit, is interpreted by some to symbolize the church’s worldwide preaching. In the Christian tradition, Pentecost is now the seventh

Sunday after Easter. It emphasizes that the church is understood as the body of Christ which is drawn
together and given life by the Holy Spirit.” (provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY, from

“An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors)

If you speak a foreign language and would like to help during either of the services by reading the lesson in your language of choice, please sign up in the church entryway.

Pray for those who serve in our Armed Forces

The daily service given by those in our armed forces is something we want to recognize. As a church, we will focus our prayers on a special upcoming Sunday for those on our military list. If you have any information on those listed below, please contact Kerri or Christy with details so we can include them in a special prayer service: Bobbie, Jeremiah, Travis, Shawn, Aaron, Derek, Stephen, John, Doug, Josh, Laura, Shane, Zachary, and Kalvin.

Confirmations and Baptisms

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places . . . He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”
~ Paul the Apostle

Vestry Visibility – developing an Action Plan for moving forward with boldness, vision, generosity and commitment.

In our May Vestry meeting, we discussed the following ideas, voted as to their priority, and vestry members signed up to work on developing next steps and timeframes for each item.

Items to explore for our Action Plan:
– A fulltime administrator (administrative & coordination duties) current part-time secretary duties would be included in this position)
– Capital Building Project Ask (to have the resources to meet our current needs).
– Music: How to move forward to engage the congregation to make a joyful sound to the Lord and
enhance our liturgy.
– Godly Play Training and classroom ready to go by Sept. 2017
– Stewardship Education: Continue to model & increase stewardship within the congregation
– Outreach: Food Cupboard, receptions, gardens, etc.
– Data Gathering from people in their 20s and 30s that are in some way connected to Emmanuel; listen
to their feedback & suggestions, needs, hopes for their spiritual journey and their children; then
partner with them to make it happen.
– Consider a two-year trial of system to enhance coffee hour, hospitality and the connections with each other.

The 4th bullet, about Godly play, is something we have done (and enjoyed!) at Emmanuel before. This item came up from discussions about how to expand/extend the connections we currently have with our Preschool families and members of our community. The bigger vision is to have a plan for “0-5” for our Preschool. We are looking at how to best develop and implement a plan. We have several possible ways to proceed, which we are currently exploring.

Our Preschool just completed classes for this year, with the Preschool Graduation event on 5/24/17 having about 87 people in attendance. It was a good finish for our Preschool for this school year. Summer Camp is set for early August. Registration has already begun for September classes. We look forward to building on our many successes, and having an even better 2017-2018 Preschool year.

Nancylee Stewart, Vestry Member & Chair, Preschool Board

Help needed Providing Lunch for the South Coast Convocation!

On June 10th the South Coast Convocation Meeting will be at Emmanuel. We need help providing a lunch for about 20-30 people. Please sign up with how you will be able to volunteer in the church entryway.
Newsletter Deadline, June 26 – Please have your newsletter articles and submissions to Kerri for July’s Messenger by Monday, June 26. We would love to share your pictures of church events, news, and community involvement! You can always email us at: Thank you!

First Class of Emmanuel Episcopal Preschoolers Graduate from Area High Schools

May 24, 2017
24 May 2017

This year, the first preschool class of Emmanuel Episcopal preschool is graduating from area high schools. Emmanuel Episcopal Preschool opened its doors in 2002 with the goal of providing a safe, well-rounded, age appropriate early childhood education to children in Coos County regardless of their family’s religious faith or ability to pay. The program is designed to foster positive growth and development in young children, teaching them to be self-confident thinkers, problem solvers, and valuable contributors to our community and the world. This year’s graduating seniors include Nathan Midyette, Hailey Finninan, Alyssa Brass, Damie Zomerschoe, Tanner Gray, and Ben Dailey. “We are extremely proud of the impact of the preschool on our community and our children,” said John Sweet, Board member and one of the founders, “we can’t imagine a better legacy for our church and our community.”

This fall will start Emmanuel Episcopal Preschool’s 14th year educating area preschoolers. There are still limited openings for the school’s week-long summer camps and fall session for children ages 3-5 years. Call 541-269-5829 for more information or to schedule a tour.

The Messenger May 2017

May 1, 2017
01 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: 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.

Godly Play

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!

“Be Welcome and Worship with Us!” – It is exciting to share with all of you the building of our outreach to our community through online media, specifically we are working on building a presence on Facebook for those seeking us out. It is a work in progress but please check it out and share if you are online! Our page is located at:

***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!***


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

The Messenger April 2017

April 3, 2017
03 Apr 2017

Join us for Holy Week and Easter… an invitation to walk with Jesus from the Cross to the Empty Tomb!

Palm Sunday, April 9
7:30 & 10:00 a.m. The Holy Eucharist with the Palm Sunday Liturgy and a Choral Reading of the Passion of
Jesus Christ.
Both services will begin in the court yard with the Palm Sunday procession.

Wednesday, April 5-our regular midweek Eucharist with lessons for Holy Week
6:30 am Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
12:00 pm Holy Eucharist and Healing Service with Anointing for healing in the Chapel

The Tridiuum or The Great Three Days, April 13th, 14th, and 15th
Maundy Thursday, April 13th – The Holy Eucharist with a liturgy of foot washing. The service ends with the solemn stripping of the altar.

A Prayer Vigil will last from the end of the Maundy Thursday service through the start of the noon service on Good Friday in the Chapel. You may pray from home for your shift and don’t need to come in to the church, especially for those that take place during the night. A sign-up sheet is available outside the chapel.

Good Friday, April 14th
12:00 p.m. Ecumenical Service with Bell Choir at Gloria Dei Lutheran, 1290 Thompson Rd.
Please bring a non-perishable food item for the Coos Food Cupboard.
You are welcome to join the Community Choir, directed by David Aakre, in providing the music for this
They will practice at SWOCC in Sunset Hall on April 3rd and 10th at 7:00 PM. They will practice the songs for Good Friday right at the beginning of their practice.

7:00 p.m. The Good Friday Liturgy – Includes the Reading of the Passion, prayers and Holy Communion from the reserved sacrament.

Holy Saturday, April 15th – 7:00 p.m. The Great Vigil– This service starts with a fire in the court yard representing the first light of Easter, procession into the church, the foundational stories of our faith, Holy Baptism and the first Holy Communion of Easter, followed by s’mores in the courtyard/undercroft.

Easter Day, April 16th – Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!
7:30 a.m. The Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m. The Holy Eucharist with Music by Emmanuel’s Choir with

Easter egg hunt following the service.

Ecumenical Options During Holy Week

The Ecumenical Good Friday Service will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 1290 Thompson Rd, at Noon on the 14th of April. The Carol Lons Bell Choir will be playing two songs and the Community Choir under the direction of David Aakre will be singing along with any others who would like to join them. They will practice at SWOCC in Sunset Hall on the April 3rd and 10th at 7:00 PM. They will practice the songs for Good Friday right at the beginning of their practice so you won’t have to stay for the whole rehearsal. Please bring a non-perishable food item for the Coos Food Cupboard. The offering will go to the Devereaux Center.

Easter Sunrise service at Sunset Beach at 6:30 AM. Eric Lindsey, the new Pastor at First Presbyterian Church will preach, Pastor Jon Strasman of Gloria Dei will preside and the band, Phil and the Holster, will provide most of the music.

Getting Ready for Holy Week and Easter Opportunities to Participate and to Help!

Holy Baptism will be celebrated at the Easter Vigil, Saturday, April 15th, at 7:00 p.m. If you are interested in baptism for yourself or your child please contact Pastor Christy at 541-728-7988 or prior to Sunday, April 9th.

First Communion Preparation: Many times children have been receiving Holy Communion from the time they were young children, but have never had any instruction in it. Since they are no longer required to wait for a certain age to receive their first communion, we still do first communion preparation with them, but we do it “in honor of their First Communion” rather than celebrating the first time they actually receive Holy Communion. If you would like your children to participate in this preparation prior to Easter, please let Christy know by Sunday, April 9th, 541-728-7988.

Help Read the Passion Gospel on Palm Sunday, April 9th. Readers of all ages are needed at both services, 7:30 and 10:00 for large and small parts. Sign up in the entryway and see Christy to receive your script before Palm Sunday.

A Prayer Vigil begins immediately after the Maundy Thursday worship service and continues until noon on Good Friday. Jesus asked his disciples in the garden at Gethsemane, “Could you not watch with me one hour?” We answer that question by attempting to pray throughout the 15 hours in the chapel or at home in 1-2 hour shifts. There is a sign-up sheet in the church entry-way. Questions, talk to Christy.

Help Needed for the Easter Vigil Bon Fire and the S’More Reception after the Easter Vigil on Saturday evening, April 15th. Please sign-up in the Entryway if you can help provide firewood, set the fire, keep the embers glowing for s’mores following the service, or help with the reception.

Easter Memorials – Memorial gifts for Easter altar flowers or individual lilies can be arranged through the Church office. If you would like to make an offering toward Easter flowers, please drop it off at the office or put it in the offering plate, noting who it is in memory or honor of.

Help is needed to fold Easter bulletins
and the Tridiuum booklets on Friday, April 7 at 1:00 PM. If you can help, please sign-up in the church entry or call Kerri in the Church Office, 541-269-5829.

“May the Holy Spirit, who has begun a good work in you, direct and uphold you in the service of Christ and his kingdom.” Book of Common Prayer, pg. 419

This is a wonderful prayer that the Bishop prays over someone with the laying on of hands when they reaffirm their commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Are you going through a dry spell in your Christian journey or just feel a desire to recommit or connect to God at a deeper level? Were you baptized at a young age and are now ready to confirm your commitment to the responsibilities of your baptism? Or perhaps you were baptized and confirmed in another tradition and would like to be received into the Episcopal Church. Or you may be new to the Episcopal Church and just want to learn more about it.

If any of these thoughts resonate with you then you may want to consider joining others in a small group who will gather with Pastor Christy to learn more about the Episcopal Church and to prepare for Reaffirmation, Confirmation or Reception when we welcome Bishop Michael to Emmanuel for his semi-annual visitation on May 21st!

We will be offering classes for those interested:
April 29th and May 6th in the afternoon (exact times will be posted at a later date) and/or
April 27th and May 11th

Times are flexible depending on the availability of those who are interested. Please let Christy know if you or a family member are interested, 541-728-7988, or

Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction a Great Success

We want to share a heartfelt thank you to the Preschool Board Members for the tasty dinner and for all who attended to show their support. Our gratitude is extended to Director Noriko, Teacher Cathy, and Teacher Lois for the idea and for all the hard work to organize the auction and to everyone who graciously donated items and their time to help. We made an approximate grand total of $1,370.00 to ensure the preschool’s continued success while enjoying a delicious dinner, fellowship, and fun!

Vestry Visibility April 2017

Dear Emmanuel Church Members,

Each year Emmanuel Church is tasked to complete an audit of our Church’s financial status and procedures. This is an important safeguard to confirm that Emmanuel is taking care of business in a sound, safe, and transparent manner. We have a tremendous responsibility to make sure things are done correctly when working with past and present congregation members’ donations.

To that end, your Vestry appoints an Audit Committee to evaluate the financial health and practices of Emmanuel Church. Unfortunately, we had fallen a little behind in our audits. To catch up, the 2015 Audit Committee of vestry members Pam Chaney and Dave Laird, along with congregation member and 2014 Audit Committee member Ralph Holland met every Tuesday morning to complete the 2015 audit. We examined the church’s internal accounting controls and money handling procedures using the “Diocese of Oregon Audit Program”, dated February 26, 2011 as a template.
I’m proud to report that the 2015 Audit is complete. Not only that, but our congregation can take pride in our financial practices and those responsible for the distribution and management of our monies.

The audit committee found that documentation of practices was excellent and easy to track. Compliments to Tammy our bookkeeper and Joni and Kerri our secretaries, Bob our treasurer, and Christy our pastor.

A report was issued to the Vestry outlining conclusions and recommendations. The entire 2015 Audit report is on file in the church office and is available for your viewing if interested.

The Audit Committee is looking for an additional volunteer to work with us on the 2016 Audit. This is an excellent opportunity to get a firsthand look at how our church operates. If interested contact Dave Laird, or 541-290-0352. You may also let Christy know.

Respectfully, Dave Laird 2015 Audit Committee Vestry Member


2nd Sunday of every month, Family Fun Day at the Coos History Museum! Free admission and hands-on activities for children and those young at heart. Bring the whole family in to check out our exhibits and have fun with each month’s activities. All children must be supervised by an adult.

World Newspaper: Power’s Playground

“We are so grateful to the people at Ford for their persistent support for this project,” Close Erskine said. “They provided the foundation that allowed us to lead a truly collaborative effort, where our community has come together to fulfill a need for current and future generations of Powers children. We are amazed and incredibly blessed by how far we’ve come.”

Soup Suppers: Cinema, Culture, and Covenant

“As it is in Heaven” – A Swedish film about a renowned international conductor who suddenly has his career interrupted and returns to his childhood home after suffering from a personal ailment. He is asked to listen to the church choir and give his advice. Along with the choir and the town, he finds personal growth and healing.

The soup is made and we have plenty of delicious bread and popcorn to share! JOIN US and BRING A FRIEND
Sat, April 1 “As it is in Heaven” 4 PM – 6:30 PM
Thurs, April 6 “As it is in Heaven” 6 PM – 8:30 PM

What’s Happening out Front? A pond? A swamp? Nothing? Inquiring minds want to know!

It’s true that when you look at the progress in the area outside the offices, all of the above might seem like realistic possibilities. I think of the saying, “You can’t rush art!” Indeed! Or the corollary might be that most times it takes longer than we think to achieve our vision!

The vision and plan for the area continues to be for a memorial garden and patio that is beautiful, inviting, reflective and low maintenance. The opposite side was mostly completed last year with only the memorial plaque for Fr. Gene Jennings left to place. We don’t want it to disappear as soon as it is placed in the ground so a solution involving a concrete footing of some kind is being figured out. The side that is still being worked on had some drainage issues that needed to be figured out. About the time a plan was established it started to rain, and rain and it really hasn’t stopped raining. So currently we are waiting for it to dry out so it can be completed and paved to match the other side with a small strip of plantings. Many of the plants that used to be there are being wintered over and will hopefully be transplanted to the front yard of Shepherd’s House.

Join us for a Grounds Work Party and Pizza, April 29th, 9:00-12:30

Help us clean up the grounds for spring and then enjoy a pizza lunch! We will be pruning, weeding, cleaning out the beds, spreading bark and making sure Emmanuel looks its best for spring and the Bishop’s visit later in May. We hope you can join us as many hands make light work. Bring your own work gloves and favorite gardening tools. Signup in the entry-way or call the church office. If you have questions, contact Al Rumsch or Doug Laird.

Christy’s Corner: Meetings, Meetings, Meetings…or

I am the Church! You are the Church! We are the Church Together!

I write this on Saturday evening, March 25th. It has been a busy few days filled with many meetings. Thursday morning I connected online to the Dean’s Meeting with Bishop Michael through “Go to Meetings”. He was at the Bishop’s Close in Portland, with two other clergy, while three of us connected remotely from Ashland, Eugene and Coos Bay. Then on Friday I drove to St. Thomas, Eugene for the Diocesan Council Meeting. Pete Baumer from St. James in Coquille and I are the Diocesan Council Representatives from the South Coast Convocation. Finally, today, I joined with our convention delegates Nancylee Stewart, Carla Courtney, Arlene Peil and Judy Jennings to drive to St. Matthew, Gold Beach for our Convocation meeting.

I have to admit, it was a lot of driving and a lot of meetings, but I loved the opportunity to experience the fullness of the Episcopal Church and our Diocese at work! Each baptized lay member is the foundation of the Episcopal Church. We gather in our local churches to worship God and do the work that God has given us to do. In the last several years, it’s fairly common to see bumper stickers that say, “Act Locally!” In some ways, that’s exactly what we are doing in each of our local congregations. We respond to our local context to do the work and ministry of Jesus Christ. How do we “act locally” at Emmanuel? Our Preschool and the Food Cupboard are the ongoing ministries that we are committed to on a regular basis. We have also been actively involved in supporting the development of an interfaith chapel at Bay Area Hospital. We believe that it’s important that there be a designated “holy” space of prayer for patients, their families, and staff. We have committed money and our prayers to making that a reality. As individuals and as a church community, we are always looking for ways that we are being called to minister in our local community, to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.

When I go to “Convocation Meetings” they are made up of “delegates” from each of the local congregations. These delegates are elected by members of the congregation at their Annual Meeting. At Emmanuel, we are part of the South Coast Convocation that includes eight congregations extending from Florence to Brookings and inland to Coquille. I’m the Dean, or clergy leader of the Convocation and Barbara Gauntlett, from St. Matthew, Gold Beach is the President, or elected lay leader of the Convocation. These delegates also attend our Diocesan Convention annually in the fall where we conduct the business of the Diocese. When convention isn’t in session, the Diocesan Council is responsible for the business of convention. Each convocation elects a clergy and lay representative to Diocesan Council. When I agreed to be Dean of the Convocation for three years, I also agreed to be the representative to Diocesan Council for the same timeframe. It makes sense to me as a way to enhance communication. It’s an easy way to have the information from Diocesan Council flow to the convocation and to the local congregations. Conversely, ideas go from local congregations to the convocations and on to the Diocese.

Currently, as a convocation we are working on building relationships by committing to praying for each other, celebrating with each other and supporting one another in the work and ministry that we are called to do. Just like with any other relationship, we have to spend time together in order to support each other, build trust and understand the joys and challenges that we are experiencing. In addition, there are some responsibilities that we must fulfill for the Diocese, such as approving the budget and supporting Diocesan work and ministry.

At our meeting we celebrated with St. John, Bandon as we welcomed their new vicar Eileen Heden who just
recently started her ministry there. This is an exciting time as they have been without a vicar for almost two years.
At the same time we offered our prayers of support for St. Andrew, Florence who are in the midst of a search
process and for St. James in Coquille who are at the very beginning of the process with Albie Hazen retiring April 30th.

Many times the driving distance or weather can impact delegate’s ability to attend the meetings. We are excited because St. Matthew in Gold Beach has the technology to let us begin to use “Go to Meetings” for our convocation meetings. Thanks to David Gauntlett, of St. Matthew’s, and his expertise, we are well on our way to being able to still connect with one another even if we can’t be at the meeting physically. This is especially important on the south coast in the winter!

We used to have an Episcopal congregation in Powers. As I worked with the Ford Family Foundation Leadership Cohort on the Power’s Playground Project I thought it would be great if any Episcopalians who are still part of that community felt our support. I asked Bishop Michael if he was willing to make a donation on behalf of our Diocese and he agreed. On the plaque that will be displayed on the new playground in Powers, one of the donors will be listed as Episcopal Diocese of Oregon… another way of being Christ’s presence in the world.

The Episcopal Church is as strong and vital on the South Coast as each of our congregations! Strong and vital congregations “acting locally” create healthy convocations and convocations “acting locally” create strong, vital, and healthy dioceses. When the clergy and lay delegates from each of the Dioceses gather every three years it’s called General Convention. All of us combined, the laity, bishops, priests, and deacons, form the Episcopal Church USA, or as our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry likes to say, “the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement!”

Many of us know the coastal cities by their lighthouses. I have a vision of a poster with the local lighthouses next to the local red doors of the Episcopal Churches: “The Episcopal Churches of the South Coast Welcome You!”
I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together!

Blessings and gratitude for each of you! Christy

The Messenger March 2017

March 5, 2017
05 Mar 2017

Christy’s Corner

Create in Me a Clean Heart O Lord… and Renew a Right Spirit Within Me!

Ash Wednesday, March 1st, marks the beginning of our Lenten journey. At all of our services on this day we will be invited to a Holy Lent, we will recite Psalm 51 and the Litany of Penitence as we commit ourselves to journeying with Jesus to Jerusalem, the cross and beyond. “Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me” is a portion of Psalm 51, a Lenten hope, and our Lenten theme for this year.

Lent is a time to draw closer to God by doing what is both counter cultural and counter intuitive: Rather than avoid the darker parts of ourselves we reflect on what gets in our way and offer it back to God. The key is that we offer, and God is the one who transforms.

This is not the Christian equivalent of New Year’s resolutions. As one homiletics professor characterized it, we are NOT “chinning ourselves to the bar of righteousness!” Lent is not a time for more will power or better self-help. Rather, it means looking directly at our sin, what separates us from God, and choosing an action that will bring our darkness into the light every day so that the Spirit might transform it.

This transformation process, God cleaning our hearts, takes our wounds and our sins, processes them and renews a right spirit within us. Edward Hayes, a spiritual writer, tells a wonderful story of such a transformation and notes that our sins and our wounds can become our greatest strengths when we do Lent.

A mighty Samurai came to a holy monk and asked him to teach him the meaning of heaven and hell. “I cannot teach you about heaven or hell because you are much too stupid!” The monk replied. The Samurai’s anger was kindled and he grabbed the hilt of his sword.

“Besides that you are incredibly ugly!”

Incensed, the Samurai drew his sword and raised it threatening to strike. “That is hell!” whispered the monk.

The Samurai lowered his sword and fell to his knees before the monk. “And that is heaven.” retorted the monk. (from St. George and the Dragon)

As Hayes notes, it might be having been teased as a child, shame about some mistake as an adult, or pain from some loss in life, but we all have wounds which we live out in “hell.” But when they surface we can acknowledge that they separate us from God and from our true selves, face how they take hold of our lives, and offer them to God. In doing so, Hayes teaches, our wounds move toward healing and become our greatest strengths, for then we begin to “glow in the dark” as Spirit transforms.

Thus, our Lenten prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Wishing you all a holy and blessed Lenten season!


Emmanuel Offerings during Lent

Soup Suppers: Cinema, Culture, and Covenant
Enhance your Lenten journey by joining us for Cinema, Culture and Covenant… a good movie, lively discussion and yummy soup supper. Sign-up in the entry-way, undercroft or by calling the office. Questions, talk to Christy.

Saturday, March 4 “Bedazzled” 4 PM – 6:30 PM

Saturday, March 18 “St. Ralph” 4 PM – 6:30 PM
Thursday, March 23 “St. Ralph” 6 PM – 8:30 PM

Sat, April 1 “As it is in Heaven” 4 PM – 6:30 PM
Thurs, April 6 “As it is in Heaven” 4 PM – 6:30 PM

Sign-up in the Undercroft or Entryway.

Walk to Jerusalem

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” ~ Proverbs 16:9
You are invited to join in helping our congregation walk to Jerusalem while you also get moving to increase the health of body, mind and spirit with prayer and meditation. Developed by the Parish Nurse Program at St. John, Providence it is good for us and a lot of fun. Sign up today in the undercroft and receive a passport for logging your miles/time/steps and a Walk and Pray Meditation Booklet.

Lent Madness

Sign up now at and get to know some inspiring individuals who have gone before us in our faith. Each day you will receive an email telling about 2 different saints. You decide whose story is most compelling and then cast your vote. Fashioned after “March Madness”, the winners make it to the next bracket where they are paired against a different saint and ultimately, the Golden Halo of 2017 is decided. Or follow the progress on the bracket chart in the Undercroft.

We are excited to announce to those who are unable to attend Church on Sundays, most of our sermons will be recorded and available online from our website.

How do you get there?

You just go to the Church Website below and it will take you directly to the links of the currently available online sermons.

Emmanuel Preschool Receives $5,000 grant from the Coquille Tribal Community Fund for new Playground Equipment

The Mission of the Coquille Tribal Community Fund – The Coquille Tribal Community Fund is dedicated to providing assistance to organizations that make lasting contributions to the communities we serve. We believe through this spirit of giving we allow our communities to grow and prosper.

These are the 7 areas of focus of the Coquille Tribal Community Fund:
• Education
• Public Safety
• Environment
• Historic Preservation
• Problem Gaming
• Arts & Culture
• Health

On February 24th, Nancylee Stuart and Christy attended the Coquille Tribal Community Funds Award Banquet for the recipients of the 2016-2017 grants.

With the Community Fund they have clearly put this value into action. This year’s grants totaled $361,962 and since 2001 the Coquille Tribal Community Fund has given away $5,867,827. The impact of these gifts on our community is staggering and includes a wide range of recipients that will benefit the many in our community. We are grateful for their generosity and the care and financial support they offer their neighbors.


At our last Vestry meeting, along with the regular order of business, we held a “Mini Retreat” to bring the three new members on board and up to date with the continuing mission of Emmanuel’s Covenant of Ministry. The new members were impressed with the “Guidelines for Respect”. We have attempted to follow these guidelines and encourage members of Emmanuel Parish to follow the same in order that we might truly honor each other as sisters and brothers in Christ. `

Yours in Christ, Pamela Chaney


In keeping with the intent of this Covenant of Ministry, dated 8-2014, the Rector and Vestry of Emmanuel Parish will attempt to follow the Guidelines of Respect listed below. In addition, whenever possible, they will encourage members of Emmanuel Parish to follow the same Guidelines in order that we might truly honor each other as sisters and brothers in Christ.

1. If you have a problem with me, come to me (privately).
2. If I have a problem with you, I will come to you (privately).
3. If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me. (I’ll do the same for you)
4. If someone consistently will not come to me, say, “Let’s go to Christy together. I am sure she will see us about this.” (I will do the same for you.)
5. Be careful how you interpret me-I’d rather do that. On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressured to interpret my feelings or thoughts. It is easy to misinterpret intentions.
6. I will be careful how I interpret you.
7. If it’s confidential, don’t tell. If you or anyone comes to me in confidence, I won’t tell unless: a) the person is going to harm herself/himself, b) the person is going to physically harm someone else, or c) a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you.
8. I do not respond to unsigned letters or notes.
9. I do not manipulate; I will not be manipulated; do not let others manipulate you. Do not let others manipulate me through you. I will not preach “at you.” I will leave conviction to the Holy Spirit (she does it better anyway!)
10. When in doubt, just say it. The only dumb questions are those that don’t get asked. Our relationships with one another, at the end of the day, are the most important things so if you have a concern, pray, and then (if led) speak up. If I can answer it without misrepresenting something, someone, or breaking a confidence, I will.*

* The “Guidelines for Respect” come from the Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Bishop of the Diocese of Olympia who first saw them in an article by Church of the Nazarene pastor Charles Christian.

The Messenger February 2017

February 2, 2017
02 Feb 2017

Christy’s Corner

A Time for Gratitude!

I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon following our Annual Meeting. Sixty-one of us gathered after services for a wonderful potluck meal to conduct the business of our congregation. We shared a meal, enjoyed table fellowship and gave thanks! We looked back over the last year, reviewed our finances, discussed the work of the Vestry, honored our three outgoing Vestry members, remembered some key touchstones throughout the year, and gave thanks!

We looked forward to the year ahead of us, the opportunities and the challenges, and gave thanks. We affirmed a difficult budget for 2017 which will require growth in our pledges but also upholds the value of committing a percentage off the top for outreach as a stewardship principle that gives thanks for all that God gives us.
We elected three new Vestry members, Sheryl Gerety, Cassandra Hawley, and Teri Whitty. We were also incredibly blessed at the meeting with three additional volunteers to be convention delegates allowing us to elect a full slate of three delegates, Carla Courtney, Arlene Peil and Nancylee Stewart along with two alternates Shannon Durkee and Judy Jennings. We gave thanks for abundance.

The reoccurring theme is giving thanks and I can honestly say that I am so grateful for each person and family that is connected in any way to Emmanuel! At the meeting, I had wanted everyone to turn to the person on their right and ask about their connection to Emmanuel, to listen to their response, and to say, “Thank you for sharing your presence with us and offering your gifts. We are so grateful!” Some of you are saying, “Wait a sec, I was at the meeting and I don’t remember doing that!” You are correct…I forgot. So instead I’d like each of us to take the month of February and give thanks. When you are talking to someone from Emmanuel, thank them for what they offer! If you don’t know, then ask about their involvement, and then thank them! Offer gratitude for their connection and their involvement and their presence with us!

At Anne Abdy’s ordination, the preacher was one of her professors from University of the South in Sewanee, TN. She described a great story about Rosa Parks and one of her contemporaries sitting on the porch later in life with a young man who was eager to learn from them. At one point Rosa turned and asked him, “Now what is it that you do?” He responded that he worked with children and youth who had been incarcerated to keep them out of the prison system. In a southern drawl, she replied, “Whooohhh! Whooohhh!! Whooohhh!!!!! You’re going to be tired, tired, tired!” After a pregnant pause her friend added, “And you’re going to have to be brave, brave, brave!” All of us at times are tired, tired, tired and we are asked to be brave, brave, brave. She also told another story about a time when she was with a group of about 12 sitting in the living room of an 80 year old African American pastor who had done amazing work in a very poor community in Maryland. They were spending time with him to learn from him. He suddenly looked up and saw that his young grand-daughter was peeking into the room wondering what was going on. He beamed at her with a big smile and said, “Come on in baby, have a seat right here on my lap and let me help you be brave!” Indeed, that’s what God is saying to each of us, “I know at times you are tired, come let me enfold you in my love and help you to be brave!” And we are grateful!

With tremendous gratitude for each of you! Christy

“Congratulations to Anne Abdy, who was made priest in the church on January 28th!”

2017 AWARD FOR CHRISTIAN SERVICE is given to The Altar Guild

With thanksgiving to God for the many ways they reflect the love of Jesus Christ in our congregation!

At our Annual Meeting this year we started a new tradition, the Annual Award for Christian Service. It is something that Christy experienced when she served as an Associate at Church of the Good Shepherd in Vancouver and it is meant to honor someone in the congregation with thanksgiving to God for the many ways they reflect the love of Jesus Christ in our congregation and in the world!

As she announced our 2017 recipient she read the following with the hope that people wouldn’t figure out who it was until the very end: “Amazing…helpful… wonderful…talented…patient…flexible…tenacious! Descriptors that fit our recipient. The motto of the Boy Scouts of America might also be fitting: Be prepared!

Fellowship, laughter, caring, organization, sometimes works alone but team work is a must and hard work…and almost always with great joy! The recipient isn’t known for one event per year…not even a quarterly event per year… would you believe 156 regular events per year and that doesn’t even begin to count the special requests.
The recipient takes great pride in having exactly what we need when we need it…and most of the time has thought it through and anticipated every need before it’s even asked for. Attention to detail, preparing, dishwashing, beautifying one’s surroundings, folding, cleaning, counting, flower arranging, polishing, wax removal…without the recipient our worship services would be very different.

The first recipient of this award is also our 14th, and it’s a great joy to present Emmanuel’s Award for Christian Service to our devoted altar guild members: Their leader Jackie Crowder, and members Liz Cowdon, Shannon Durkee, Janet Huggins, Judy Jenson, Judy Knutson, Barbara Kronsteiner, Dedee Ousley, Virginia Roush, Ingrid Sullivan, Sharon Szabo, Barbara Tellian, Diana Wall, and Sue Wall!”

Christy then presented the certificates to those who were present. Suddenly someone questioned, “Church of the Good Shepherd?” Stunned Christy looked down at the certificate and realized that when she had been sent the certificate from her former congregation, she had changed all of the info except for the name! She and Troy had both signed all 14 of them without realizing it. We all enjoyed a good laugh and a gentle reminder that we are far from perfect, but still filled with gratitude!

Acolyte training and pizza lunch for new and current acolytes:

February 12th at 11:30 followed by a pizza lunch at noon!

Questions, talk to Tim Wall.

Preschool News

Our preschool is enjoying another banner year! Enrollment numbers are up from recent years. Although our founding director, Julianna Seldon, has moved on to a full-time position at SWOCC, our preschool staff, both old and new are carrying on the fine traditions established by Julianna.

We want to give parishioners and families of our preschool children advance notice of openings for next year’s preschool ahead of open registration. We are anticipating having 7 slots available in the Tuesday and Thursday classes for 3 year old children and 9 slots available for the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes for 4 year old children.

If you have family members or friends who are interested in registering their children for preschool, please have them contact our Director, Noriko Holt at, or 541-404-3045 for more information. ~ Submitted by John Sweet


Shrove Tuesday (February 28, 2017) officially ends the season of Epiphany with the season of Lent beginning the following day. Held the night before Lent begins is a day of “fat eating” before the fasting period of Lent. Known as “carnival day” in some parts of the world, the faithful would use up all their butter, sugar and some meats so they wouldn’t go to waste. We gather as a church family at 6:00 pm in the undercroft for our own celebration. Our supper will include plain, blueberry and gluten-free pancakes with an assortment of condiments, ham, and sausage. This promises to be a culinary delight! Mark your calendar and plan to join us for pancake supper on Tuesday, February 28, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM! – Submitted by “Pat and Nat”

Welcome Kerri Coldren ~ Our New Church Secretary

I’m pleased to announce that Kerri Coldren will be joining us as our new secretary/administrative assistant! Kerri moved to the Bay area about 4 years ago and has been working in the hospitality industry since then. She’s excited about this opportunity and feels confident and passionate her background and skills coincide well with our needs. Please introduce yourself when you have a chance and welcome her to Emmanuel! Also please be patient as it takes a while to get up to speed on all the different aspects of Emmanuel. I’m grateful to have her join our team! Christy

Please help spread the word: We are missing all of the 12-foot long white tablecloths. If you borrowed them, please return them. Thank you!

Pies and Bread Braids: Help purchase outdoor playground equipment for our Preschool

Pumpkin and Pumpkin Chiffon Pies are still available at $15 each. Bread Braids with Apple, Raspberry, Strawberry & Creme and Cinnamon are available for $14 each. Questions? Check with Nancylee, Melissa, John Sweet or Christy

Don’t miss the return of Stephani Polizzi and our Parish Health Seminars!

She’s excited to share some of her newest information with us!
Save the date, plan to attend and bring a friend!

Walk to Jerusalem

A Lenten challenge to get us moving! Can our congregation walk the 7,100 miles to Jerusalem between Ash Wednesday, March 1st and Pentecost, June 4th? Watch for more details and plan to join the challenge. If you aren’t a walker, 20 minutes of any kind of exercise equals 1 mile and together we see if we can collectively make it to Jerusalem. If you’d like to help with tracking our progress or help find out interesting information about places we will pass along the way, talk to Christy.

A thank you our Youth Group received for the wonderful Christmas cookies they made for our homebound members! If you have a Youth group member in your family who helped with the cookies, please make sure that they see this!

Women’s March on Washington

I am just returned from the Women’s March on Washington, DC. I wore a pink hat; I marched with my sister from Salem, Oregon, my oldest daughter from Creedmoor, North Carolina, and my 17 year old granddaughter who melded the “Princess Leia” trope into a poster slogan. The call to march and our collective response to the call was to mind as much a God moment as a political protest. I marched for all the past generations of women of my family, many of whom appeared on picket lines and in marches themselves at other times and in other countries.

I boarded a plane on Tuesday 17 January in Medford bound for Salt Lake City, UT, that had frozen overnight, all water on board transformed to ice. Ergo, no coffee. In Salt Lake I ran for my connecting flight to DC, and began the boarding shuffle past a young man in a sport coat who confessed to a seat mate that he was indeed going to the inauguration. Past a young Chinese American woman sporting a Make America Great Again ball cap. Our on board politics were mixed, I felt a little anxious.

I quickly got acquainted with my neighbors from my middle seat. I was bracketed by a young man at the window, a veteran of six years in the US Air Force who lived and worked in Washington, D.C., while on the aisle sat a woman in conservative Muslim dress. He, the career Air Force passenger, had been mistaken in the hope that he would be out of town for the inauguration (a preoccupation of residents being to avoid the worst of living inside the bubble). “Don’t leave your apartment Friday” he had told his girlfriend. She had spent the previous six weeks planning and organizing to bring 4,000 Muslim women out to protest in Salt Lake City and to D.C. She, the activist, slept, he, the resident veteran, slept, I didn’t sleep, musing to myself that it had taken all we could muster to organize five family members let alone 4,000 like-minded women from all over the state of Utah.

I met my oldest daughter and granddaughter at their home near Raleigh. My sister joined us Thursday night. We left by car for DC on 20 January, the Friday of the inauguration, steeling ourselves for long delays on the road. Usually, driving into DC on a Friday is an easier task than getting out. People pouring in for the inaugural balls, maybe? People pouring in for the March on Saturday? Nevertheless, I-95 remained nearly empty. We navigated the bridge and highway closures, parking in Arlington at a friend’s house, then “Ubered” to my youngest daughter’s Massachusetts Avenue NW apartment, just blocks from the White House. What did we notice? Helicopters hovering — enough chopper noise to recall TV scenes from M*A*S*H*.

9:00AM 21 January we left our building to begin the walk to the Capitol. Women filled the sidewalks, flooded the cross walks, joined in broader streams, became rivers of marchers at each intersection on the hour walk. Pink hats perched on heads. My granddaughter and I carried posters: a sketch of Lady Liberty with the message “I’m with Her”; a logo of Princess Leia’s famous hair-do and the message “A woman’s place is in the Resistance.”
As we approached our starting point, thousands of blue Don’s John’s lined the public spaces in view of the Capitol, each one with a tiny padlock on its door latch. At first comical, the lack of sanitary facilities was rapidly becoming a crisis until resolved by a skilled young man with a stiff wire who began picking the locks. A phone call to Don’s revealed the company had not locked the units, but had left them open and in place for our event on Saturday.

By 1:00PM the crowd felt immense. Planning had been done with 100,000 to 200,000 attendees in mind. Screens and speakers proved inadequate to allow the 400,000 to 500,000 marchers access to speakers during the morning hours. Young women agile enough to climb lamp posts with bullhorns told us we were too numerous to march. DC Police and the National Park Service had reclassified us as a “Rally” because our numbers exceeded the official size of a march and because the planned route on Constitution Avenue was too congested, mostly with women, to move. The message was disconcerting, even disheartening, although none of us did more than make tentative plans to go look for lunch.

By 2:00PM, however, the fast reacting DC Police and the Park Service personnel blocked Pennsylvania Avenue through to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to traffic so that we could all walk that alternate route from our places on Constitution through the length of the planned event — Capitol to White House. My group felt relief in movement, partly as respite from standing on cold sidewalks and street surfaces, partly because a March was what we wanted. We needed to witness by movement, not just by presence. Our route took us past Trump Hotel (the former U.S. Post Office) while all along the route viewing stands and roof tops packed with people cheered — real Washingtonians whose futures were suddenly as uncertain as our own. Our posters were creative and engaging, but for sheer energetic outlet, they could not compete with the chants, the call and response that admittedly ranged the gamut from tawdry to high minded to the essence of our own message “Tell me what democracy looks like? This is what democracy looks like!”

The outcome of the 2016 election and subsequent participation in the March have had a profoundly personal impact. I marched to express my outrage at the challenges to human rights, to well established scientific conclusions and to the involvement of a foreign government in our election. I affirmed my convictions by talking with, marching with, being with women who were willing AND ABLE to go to great lengths and some expense to express their points of view. I marched for my mother and father who remember the rise of Adolph Hitler and who resisted the Axis Powers in WWII. I stood with my daughters and granddaughter in expressing the desire for better lives for women. Just the higher register of voices raised in chants and song affirmed my presence there as a voice for my family. The final event of the day for my group was a celebration of my granddaughter’s 18th birthday at Comet Ping Pong. However, that party, filled with good wishes for the young woman just beginning her adult years, was a joyful occasion that led to dancing on the sidewalk, in the company of other women who had marched all day.

Submitted by: Sheryl Gerety

The Messenger January 2017

January 16, 2017
16 Jan 2017

Christy’s Corner

Today in church we celebrated the baptism of Jesus and during both services we renewed our baptismal covenant (Book of Common Prayer, pg. 304.) As we went through each of the questions I found myself reflecting on the promises we make in each of the statements. I started off this article, thinking that I would go through the whole baptismal covenant. Six pages later I’m thinking that for the newsletter, summarizing my thoughts will be a little more helpful, yet it still feels too long.

I believe that our baptismal covenant is aimed at helping us realize that when we are baptized we begin a journey of discipleship that lasts a lifetime. In some ways I look at the questions that are asked of us as guidelines for our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. Our response after each of these questions is, “I will with God’s help.” The promise of our faith is that the darkness will never overcome the light and that we are never alone, Jesus has promised to be there to help us on our journey. At the same time, the promises that we make are hard work, substantial and require us to go deeper as we draw closer to our God.

With God’s help, I have been reflecting a great deal about these questions over the last several months. What do I believe is really asked of us as disciples of Jesus Christ? What do the words mean for me? I’m deeply concerned about the lack of respect that I see in our nation and in our world. I struggle with how easy it has become to exhibit power over people and groups rather than coming alongside, empowering and building up. I’m troubled that we are losing our ability to truly listen to someone else’s experience without needing to defend our own. I wonder how sin and evil and darkness play into all of this. How do I respond as a “light bearer- one who bears the light of Jesus Christ” in the darkness to help spread God’s love?

A journey of discipleship implies action and our baptismal covenant is filled with action verbs: persevere, repent, return, proclaim, seek, serve, strive, respect. What does it really mean for me to “persevere in resisting evil?” “Persevere” is a strong word that suggests to me that I don’t give up when it’s hard. I’m wondering if for me it might mean that when others around me are being put down, hurt, or silenced in whatever capacity, I need to be willing to stand with them and do everything I can to create “safe places” or “sanctuaries.” Similarly, proclaim is a strong word that speaks to me of boldness and for me the “good news” filters down to God’s willingness to be in loving and forgiving relationships. I wonder how I boldly take God’s love and forgiveness into every contact I have with individuals 24/7?

“Strive for justice and peace among all people?” Wow, this one is really hard for me to get my arms around as it’s so huge. It seems to be talking about world peace, equality, and abundance for all. What’s my part in that? I wonder how that fits with our world-wide refugee problem, or questions about immigration and religious tolerance?

“Respect the dignity of every human being.” How do I respect the dignity of someone like Hitler who caused pain, suffering, and death for many innocent people? I think about parenting and the times you have to tell your kids, “I love you and I always will, but I do not like your behavior right now!” Maybe it’s similar to that since I certainly don’t like or approve of his behavior, although it’s also different because I don’t love him, either. I wonder if there’s a way to hold a place for “respect of his dignity” because he, too is a beloved child of God? Perhaps that lets me still hold him accountable for his behaviors while letting go of any need for me to personally judge him, opening the door to respecting his dignity.

Maybe“respecting dignity” comes from the ability to truly listen, understand, and empathize with someone’s story? We can hone our listening skills by being mindful of the difference between listening and debating, of asking wondering questions rather than putting down or arguing. Perhaps God’s vision allows us to see someone for who they are, accept them and respect their dignity, even if they are totally opposed to everything that we stand for.

I believe it’s important for us to grapple with these promises we make because how can we truly offer hospitality, inclusivity, or welcome to all who come through our doors unless we understand how to respect their dignity? How can we create a safe place or sanctuary for people to experience God’s love for them if we fail to respect their dignity or fail to offer hospitality to all?

One of Jack’s and my favorite movies is American President. These reflections remind me of a scene in the movie where the President, Andrew Shepherd, is giving a speech defending the rights of US citizens. The speech takes place after the President’s most outspoken opponent has found a very old picture of his girl-friend burning the American flag, in a rally that was opposing apartheid.

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’ You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free”

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, a light-bearer in our world, isn’t easy either. It’s hard work and yet, if it’s going to mean more than lip-service, then we too have to be able to listen, understand and respect the dignity of someone whose words and actions make our blood boil…and then we have to be able to come to the table, the meal of our Lord, side by side to receive the grace that our God offers readily to all people.

Personally, I find this incredibly challenging, but it is life-giving work at the same time. In the midst of it I feel Gods loving invitation for me to be willing to be transformed by grace. In some ways that’s what this is all about, our own journeys of discipleship. I don’t believe our motivation on this journey is to change others, but rather to be open to God’s love and presence ourselves. In turn, that is what will ultimately “transform the world through the love of Jesus Christ” while also transforming each of us.

Obviously, these are huge thoughts and wonderings that I’m currently reflecting on and at this point I don’t have many answers. I know that I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ, on a journey, just like you and I look forward to continuing on that journey with each of you!

Epiphany blessings to you and yours! Christy

Vestry Visibility

“We are a community that takes great joy in worshiping, praying and breaking bread together. We are committed to serving others, and to respecting the dignity of every human being.”

Maybe you have been hearing or seeing this statement recently. It is an identity statement developed from the mutual ministry visioning event held at the history museum. It is just one of the many things that your vestry has been working on over the last several months.
Some of the others things the vestry has been working on range from more banal including updating the security system, adding deadbolts to many of the exterior doors, looking at exterior lighting for the parish house, and preparing for the annual meeting coming up at the end of January to more paramount items such as the identity statement above, approving new bylaws for the preschool board, as well as, their 2017 budget.

We also approved a difficult congregational budget for 2017, attempting to follow God’s call in furthering the mission of the church while being fiscally responsible and ensuring sustainability with the resources of the congregation. We are very blessed as a church; however, the difficulties with respect to the gap between expenses and pledges is not new. Pray for discernment with respect to stewardship and make your gifts in grateful response to God whether they be of time, talent, or treasure.

Finally we are preparing to replace 3 vestry members including myself, Carla Courtney, and Virginia Roush. Serving on the vestry is an opportunity to use your gifts in service for others, to guide our congregation’s ministries, as well as an opportunity to receive and benefit from your service. If you are considering serving on the vestry remember you are not alone you will have companions, the body of Christ has many parts and the necessity of working as a body can enrich your life and deepen your relationship with God. Whether or not you are considering the vestry, please pray for perspicacity in the election process, and if you are curious or have any questions contact the nominating committee (Myself, Carla, and Virginia) or any other vestry member about being on vestry or anything else you may have questions about.

Thanking God for all of you, Troy Cribbins Sr. Warden

Annual Parish Meeting and Potluck Lunch

January 29th, Following the 10:00 Service

This year the Annual Meeting of our church community will be held following the 10:00 service and will begin with a potluck around 11:15. It is our hope that this can be a wonderful gathering of the whole community that celebrates our mutual ministry together. Please bring a potluck item to share. Help celebrate all that we have to be grateful for as a faith community. This is an exciting time filled with promise and we hope you will join us.

If you’re new to Emmanuel you might be asking what happens at the Annual Meeting? It’s a time to gather and discuss the state of the parish. We will affirm and accept the budget developed by our Treasurer, Bob Huggins, and the Finance Committee, and approved by the Vestry at their meeting on December 20th. We will also elect 3 new Vestry members and delegates to convention. You will hear from our outgoing Senior Warden, Troy Cribbins and from Christy about the state of the parish and we will all celebrate and give thanks to God together for the abundance we share. We hope to see you there!

Anne Abdy’s Ordination to the Priesthood will be on January 28, 2017, at 2:00PM
at the Church of the Resurrection, located at 3925 Hilyard Street, in Eugene.

Christmas Thank You’s

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of the individuals and teams of people who made our Christmas season and activities so special this year.

• To all of our musicians who helped enliven our worship services during Advent and the 12 days of Christmas: the choir, contemporary group, Carla on organ, Nancy on piano, Carla and Dan who lead our musical groups, Robert Cribbins and Al Rumsch who provided beautiful Advent music for us on the dulcimer and recorder and Cullen Cribbins who offered his gifts on the piano during our 4:00 Christmas Eve service.
• To the eucharistic ministers, acolytes, all who served at the altar and our ushers for taking care of all of the details involved in each of the services.
• To the altar guild who painstakingly and patiently took care of decorating and preparing the church with loving care for all of our worship services.
• To the youth of the parish who made Christmas cookies and cards for our home bound members, to all those who went caroling to help spread some Christmas cheer and deliver the cookies, and to all who helped with our Christmas pageant.
• To Miranda Seldon and Lilly Hanlin for directing our Christmas pageant once again this year, to those who supported them in making sure that all of the details came together, for Virginia Roush, and Terrye Laird for helping to sew costumes for the pageant, to Loanne Lark who provided much of the fabric and to all of the children who participated and helped to tell the story.
• To Doug Laird and Al Rumsch for preparing our grounds, for putting up all of our Christmas lights and for John Knutson for getting our outside Christmas tree.
• For Terrye Laird for watching out for all of our memorial plants and roses as the temperature went below freezing.

It takes a whole community joining together and offering what we can in order to provide all the extras that make the holiday services special.
Blessings and gratitude!

– Christy

Don’t Miss Emmanuel’s Annual Parish Meeting & Potluck

Sunday, January 29th, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Business will include:
• election of Vestry
• election of convention delegates
• discussion/affirmation of our 2017 budget
• state of the parish by Troy and Christy
• announcement of 2017 Senior Warden
• beginning of a new tradition: annual award for Christian service!

Join us for Fellowship & Great Food as we conduct the Business of the Parish

Help Wanted

We are still looking for two leaders to serve on the Vestry and two to serve as Convention Delegates. If you would like more information or you are interested, please talk to Christy, Troy or any Vestry member. Thanks!

Just a Reminder

Annual Reports for 2016 are needed no later than January 24, 2017! Please send your annual report to Joni via email in an attached document to:

If you have any questions, please talk to Joni or Pastor Christy. Thank you!

Emmanuel Staff Comings and Goings

We are excited to welcome Lois Johnson to our preschool staff as our new assistant teacher in the older class. She is new to the Coos Bay/North area and comes with a willingness to substitute in our younger class as well. We are looking forward to the consistency that we hope she will provide. Lois took Irina’s place who resigned after finding out that she was pregnant and having her doctor recommend that she not spend so much time on her feet. Please keep Irina, her husband, and their baby in your prayers!

At the same time, we are disappointed to have to say goodbye to Joni Eades, our secretary since the end of September. Unfortunately, Joni and her husband’s needs have changed requiring her to have a full-time position. Her last day will be on January 31st. We have posted the position on Craigslist and are hopeful that we will be able to have a new secretary in place by the last week of January so that Joni will be able to do some training before she leaves. Please keep all of these transitions in your prayers and help us network letting us know of anyone who might be interested.

Women’s Retreat

You are cordially invited to attend a Women’s Retreat at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church
Sponsored by the Catholic Daughters of America
on Saturday – January 28, 2017
Several “sessions” and a free lunch will be provided.
Session topics range from frugal living, genealogy, tai chi,
Bible study, fellowship, crafts and much, much more!
Registrations forms are available outside the Undercroft.
For more information, please call 541-756-0633

Winter is Here

School closures, meeting cancellations, icy roads and unusual amounts of snow and winter storms have played havoc with the beginning of 2017. On Wednesday, January 4th I had intended to return to Coos Bay from Sisters in the early afternoon. Unfortunately, heavy snow and an avalanche that closed the passes made that impossible, so I returned on Thursday instead. We had over a foot of snow that night in Sisters and when I looked out at my car, Serenity, it became clear I wasn’t going anywhere, as it just wasn’t safe, and it wasn’t possible even if I had wanted to as the passes were closed!

Your safety is the most important thing so this is a good time to review our general snow policy that follows North Bend and Coos Bay Schools. If they are closed our office and scheduled meetings will also most likely be closed and cancelled. If they have a delayed start then we may or may not cancel the meetings and the office will most likely be open but the hours may need to be adjusted. Church on Sundays will not be cancelled and as long as there is at least one person present with the priest we will have Eucharist. If there is no clergy person available then we will have Morning Prayer. The most important thing is your safety, so please don’t go out when it doesn’t feel safe.