Christy’s Corner: A Is For Apple
This week in the older preschool class, the letter of the week was “A”. Teacher Sterling asked if they could visit Shepherd’s House to pick an apple. So this morning, I hosted them as they each got to pick the apple of their choice. It reminded me of a foundational story that my grandfather told me when I was little. He started off as a janitor at Lilly Seed Company as a young man and ended his career as the CEO of the same company. He loved gardening and as the story goes, one day when he was in his seventies and out planting an apple tree in his garden, his priest came by for a visit. He asked what grandad was doing. When he told him, the priest laughed and said, “What are you doing that for? You’ll never taste any of those apples!” I don’t think my grandfather was very impressed as he responded, “No, but my children and grand-children will!”
What is the legacy that each of us will leave for the next generation, for our children’s children and grand-children?
The apple trees in front of Shepherd’s House are a Gravenstein and a King apple, two of the best heritage apples. They’re the same variety I grew up with. Sometimes, I wonder the story of who planted these trees long ago. I do know that Doug Laird is the one who lovingly cares for them, pruning, and grafting to produce the best fruit. But who was the one who planted a legacy that would one day help 3, 4 and 5 year olds learn about apples?
When I was first called here four years ago, my mom was so thrilled since she had been raised at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Mercer Island, outside Seattle. My sister, Cathy, brought her to Coos Bay for a visit so she could see the church and visit Shepherd’s House where I was living. Gretchen Kean invited both of us and Bill Sweet for dinner. Doug, one of Gretchen’s sons, fried razor clams and Gretchen made a huckleberry pie because that was one of Bill’s favorites. I felt privileged to be dining with three nonagenarians, and I was struck by the fact that they could all walk on their own, feed themselves and carry on a wonderful conversation with each other. They were each life-long Episcopalians. I loved hearing the stories of digging razor clams and picking huckleberries. The richness of 180+ years of faithful, joy-filled living was something to behold.
Four years later, I have buried my mom and Bill in the last year and Gretchen’s celebration of life will be held October 26th. One centenarian and two nonagenarians, all three, devoted to their God, the church, their civic life, family and friends. What an amazing legacy they have all left, each in their own way.
October is the time at Emmanuel when we focus on stewardship. It’s a wonderful time to reflect on all of the gifts that God has blessed us with. What legacy will we leave behind for those who come after us? What financial commitment will we make to Emmanuel this year in support of our mission and ministries? How might we offer our gifts and time in such a way that it provides a legacy that honors God and ourselves? Prayerfully consider and then joyfully respond out of love.
“L” is for legacy, “S” is for stewardship, and the time is ripe for planting the seeds of Emmanuel’s present and future.
With joyful gratitude for lives well lived! ~Christy
Last month we asked, “What has God been up to in your life this summer? What are some of your wonderings or spiritual reflections?” Thank you to Terrye Laird for sharing this with us:
“It has taken me some time to reflect on and formulate a response to Christy’s question about a take away from the summer. Like many of you, our summer has been busy, crazy busy at times. Gretchen’s failing health, which accelerated to a last week of a semi-comatose state, gave the family the opportunity to visit, say good byes, maybe make apologies or just be present at her side. It is startling to me that God can use our dying experiences to speak to others but that certainly has happened.
Younger members of the family have remarked upon the calm and acceptance that Gretchen displayed. It wasn’t that she wanted to let go of family (with 2 new babies expected in December), friends, and the beauty of the world that she could see out her windows, but that she had a certainty that it would be OK. God spoke to us through her dying – we all can be OK.”
Invite a Friend to the Pet Blessing, October 7th
Sunday Services 7:30 AM, 10:00 AM or at Mingus Park with Gloria Dei at 1:00 PM
We will join with Gloria Dei Lutheran Church at the Mingus Park playground area on 10th Street in Coos Bay, rain or shine. Pet owners are invited to bring their dogs, cats, and other family pets to the outdoor services. They are requested to have dogs on a leash and to be certain that they are friendly with other animals. Small animals, such as cats and birds and rabbits, should be brought in a carrier. Photos of pets that are too difficult to transport may also be brought for a blessing.
Unable to Attend Mingus Park but Still Want your Pet Blessed? If your pet is unable to attend the gathering at Mingus Park, plays well with others, and is in a cage or on a leash, they are welcome to attend our 7:30 AM or 10:00 AM service at Emmanuel on October 7th to honor St. Francis and receive a special blessing. Questions? Talk to Christy or Kerri.
In a recent sermon,
Christy preached on the cross and the passage from Mark, “If you want to become my followers… then take up your cross and follow me.”
She asked us, “How does the cross transform our lives today?” Here are your responses:
Sacrifice. God is love for us. The humanness of Christ.
Strength. Love. Faith. Hope. Peace.
Symbol of Jesus’ love and suffering. Reminder to keep trying to be a better person. A beacon. A Christ reminder. Salvation. Connection.
Gives me more faith.
I think of Christ throughout the day.
Jesus died for my sins. He is present in all of my “cross” moments, in all my mistakes. The truth of the cross reminds
me of the truth of God’s word.
Believing that the ultimate sacrifice is the door to wisdom also means the Christian faith
of that wisdom comes with a firm responsibility.
Invitation. Welcome. Endure. Hold me. Beyond today. Promise of everlasting life. Forgiveness. That God could forgive the world after losing his son, shows us the way to forgiveness and how important it is.
Love. The depth of God’s love was made evident by his giving his son that others may live. Sets an example of the importance of love.
Charity. God gave the most precious gift, one’s child, that one could give. His gift sets an
example of the importance of charity.
All are God’s children. God, a lover of justice will give us answers to our social ills because he loves us, i.e. compassion for the homeless, hungry, the marginalized, the abused.
The cross gives us strength and calms me when times are difficult.
The cross reminds me of God’s love for the world and guides us to world peace. Jesus suffered for us. A reminder of salvation.
The son of God who is also God, suffered and died for us. We need to give of our blessings from him to help others in greater need.
VESTRY VISIBILITY: 2019 Stewardship Campaign
The annual Stewardship drive kicks off shortly. Our 2019 Stewardship Campaign began almost a year ago as a team of volunteers from our church attended a workshop in Salem, OR on creating stewardship campaigns.
Out of that seminar, our team of Pat Cross, Christy, Patti Nichols, Nadine Allen and Dave Laird was formed. Our first step was to make a list of all that needed to be done. Then we developed a timeline calendar of meetings & deadlines to see that things happened on schedule.
One of the changes you may have noticed is the quarterly pledge report. We added pictures to the letter and shared messages of gratitude for the ministries paid for by pledges our parishioners have made. We’ve also tried to show through pictures the people, children, and programs supported and made possible by your donations and pledges.
Emmanuel Episcopal is extremely fortunate to have a long history of congregation members being generous to the church over the years. Because of this generosity, the church has an endowment that allows to us to sponsor many ministries and projects.
However, it is not money available to fund our regular operation costs – such as salaries, insurance, electricity, heating, supplies from toilet paper to copy paper, and other operating expenses. Most of the money to keep the church doors open, the lights and heat on, the office running and the priest in the pulpit come from our congregations’ pledges.
Please mark your calendars for the Stewardship Banquet, October 14th, and plan to attend. It’s your generous support of time, talent, money and love that makes our church and our people a “shining light on the hill”.
~Dave Laird, Stewardship Team
Undies for Rahab’s Sisters
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?
For anyone who wants to donate new women’s underwear to Rahab’s Sisters ministry, we will be taking collections from Friday, September 28th through Sunday, October 21st. Please look in Emmanuel’s Narthex for the box to place your contribution.
~Blessings, Terrye Laird
Please welcome, Sterling Williams, to the Preschool team!
Sterling is the new Lead Teacher for our Older Class, which is in session on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday’s from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. She shares with us, “I recently moved here from Texas at the end of this last May. I moved to North Bend with my daughter because my sister lives here. I graduated in 1998 with my Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from Curry College in Massachusetts. In my various teaching experiences, I have taught in private Christian schools, Montessori schools, church preschools, and most recently a Nature Based/Waldorf school back in Texas for the last 2 1⁄2 years. I look forward to getting to know Oregon, this school, and all of you!”
Choral Choir News
Our Choral Choir is directed by Tom Collins, who is also Emmanuel’s organist. Tom’s educational background is in organ studies, completed at Southern Methodist University. He has a great baritone voice and played the piano and sang for the Offertory on occasion during this past summer. During Wednesday practices when the men need some part help with a particular piece, he can sing both the bass or baritone notes and play the full accompaniment!
Tom states that he is thrilled to be back in the position of organist and choir director for Emmanuel and appreciates the warm welcome he has received from everyone.
The Choral Choir is currently working on a recently published work by Tom Fettke, God Is With Us: A Festival of Carols and Classics. Tom Fettke is a composer, arranger and producer of music and recordings for the church and school. He has published works numbering in the hundreds. He studied at Oakland City College, then California State University in Hayward (Dan Powell’s stomping grounds!). He has been a church choir director in churches large and small for over 30 years.
This Festival of Carols and Classics is a great collection of well-known church music, so much so, that you will want to sing along with the Choir. Kerry Oxford will be the soprano soloist for Blessed Jesus (Pie Jesu). The music is by the famous Gabriel Faure and arranged by Tom Fettke and Joseph Cook.
The Choral Choir will be doing this work on Sunday afternoon, December 16th at 3:00 PM. A reception will follow. A free will offering will be accepted for the Coos Food Cupboard.
New Practice Time on Wednesdays, 6:15 PM. This will allow those working a little extra time before the start of rehearsal.
We welcome Susan Vineyard, alto. We are always open for additional voices. We are especially looking for a few sopranos. Come and join us! Tom selects great works and many fun and sing-able anthems. Our rehearsals are a refreshing end of maybe a busy Wednesday. And, our greatest gift of time, talent, and love is supporting our liturgy on Sunday and during Holy Week.
~submitted by Carla Courtney, Choir Assistant
United Thank Offering Ingathering, October 22nd
Please bring your blue boxes to church on October 22nd for our annual ingathering. We will then take all that we have raised with us to convention on November 1st – 3rd in Seaside, OR so that we can join our ingathering with the rest of the Diocese. For those who don’t know the tradition of the “little blue box” it is a way to raise money through our gratitude. When we are grateful for things throughout the day, we put money into the blue box out of gratitude for our blessings. When we have the ingathering with the Diocese, all of the blue boxes are returned and the money goes to provide grants for ministries and mission activities across our country.
Sound like something you’d like to participate in? You can find a blue box in the entryway and begin to be intentional about your gratitude in ways that truly “pay it forward” to those in need.
7:30 AM Sunday Morning Service Moves to 8:00 AM on November 4th
After much feedback from people who currently attend the7:30 AM service and much conversation with the Vestry, we have decided to offer a trial period where the early Sunday morning service will begin at 8:00 AM rather than 7:30 AM. This trial period will go from November 4th, the first day we go off day light savings time, until March 4th, the day we go back on day light savings time.
The Vestry has learned a lot during the time we’ve been considering this trial. Rumor has it that one of the reasons for the early service time was so that Jack Laird could go to church and still make it to his early tee time! We learned that there are people who say they would come to the 7:30 AM service if it was just a little bit later. We also learned that there are people who regularly attend who think they might like a little bit more sleep in the morning. There are others who like it just the way it is but say that they will still attend at 8 AM.
It seemed like a good time for a trial and we are very interested in your feedback. We will have a feedback box in the entryway and would love to hear your thoughts as we move through this trial period. The services register records attendance at all of our services over the years so at the end of the trial period, we will compare attendance and see if the change has had any impact. The Vestry will consider all of the feedback and make a decision in February whether we will continue the early service at 8:00 AM or change it back to 7:30 AM.
Mark your calendars for November 4th and on the day where we normally “fall backwards” as day light savings time ends and if the early service is the one you attend, we will look forward to seeing you at 8:00 AM rather than 7:30 AM for the celebration of All Saints.
The Sacrament of Baptism Offered Sunday, November 4th
This year we will be celebrating the Feast of All Saints with the Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday, Nov. 4th. If you are interested in baptism for yourself or a family member, or if you have any questions about baptism, please let Christy know, 541-728-7988 or Christy@episcopalcoosbay.org.
**November Newsletter Submissions Deadline is Tuesday, October 23rd**
Pies & Butter Braids: Order Now!
Emmanuel Preschool Fundraiser
Our Preschool is selling pies and butter braids by PRE-ORDER ONLY. All orders must be placed by Wednesday, 10/17 @ 2pm. Order forms are also available at the church office, at coffee hour following church services, or by contacting Nancylee Stewart (541 404-7470) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pies sell for $15 each; choices are: Pumpkin, Pumpkin Chiffon, American Apple, Caramel Apple, Cherry Crunch and/or Marionberry.
Butter Braids are $14 each; choices are: Cinnamon, Raspberry, Apple, Double Chocolate, Strawberry Cream Cheese and/or Blueberry Cream Cheese.
Please submit your order, along with payment, as soon as possible, to help support our pre-school. Pies and butter braids are great for the upcoming holidays and gatherings!
The order form is on our newsletter pdf, download it here.