Archive for category: Newsletters

The Messenger July 2019

July 11, 2019
11 Jul 2019

Senior Warden Update

I want to welcome Christiann Howard to Emmanuel Church. Christiann received blessings and prayers as she formally joined our congregation at the 10:00 AM service on July 7, 2019. Welcome!

Here is a brief bio about Christiann:
“From the first service at Emmanuel, I felt the Lord was calling me to a new home,” says Christiann. She is joining the congregation at Emmanuel and the world-wide Episcopal Church after a long search for a denomination that expresses Christ’s love as she has come to know it.

Christiann moved to Coos Bay two years ago and shares a house with her spritely 89-year-old mother and two dogs. She loves to hike the trails along our beautiful coastline.

Christiann also spends time in the Seattle area where her two daughters and two granddaughters live, and she travels a lot for her work as a writer.

Christiann thanks everyone at Emmanuel for such a warm welcome and their commitment to being Christ’s love in the world.

Preschool Changes

You may have heard that the preschool is closing the nursery program effective August 30, 2019. The preschool wanted to give parents with babies in the nursery program as much time as possible to find new childcare, so notice was sent home to parents on May 24, 2019.

This has been a very difficult decision and was made with sadness and regret. The bottom line is one of financial necessity. The financial stability required to support the State Certified programs has not been met because of current and rising costs of operation.

If financial conditions improve over the course of the year, the preschool leadership team and board hopes the nursery program can be reinstated.

Supply Priests for July

July 7 – Rev. Doug Hale returns.

July 21 – Rev. Eileen Heden – Rev. Heden is a retired Episcopal priest from Bandon. July 28 – Morning Prayer with Licensed Lay Minister Nat Jaeggli

July 14 – Rev. Richard (Dick) Young – Rev. Young is a retired Lutheran priest. He will also conduct a family service later in the day in the columbarium.

Search Committee Report

The search committee met recently. The purpose of the meeting was to review and examine impressions and thoughts from the recent interview with the candidate for priest-in-charge. Discussion was lively, open and honest. Committee chair Jeff McKeown is following up the team discussions with Canon Neysa at the Diocese regarding diocese recommendations. Pending the outcome of that conversation, a recommendation will be made to the vestry. I could say, “Keep your fingers crossed”, but as it’s a church thing, it might be better to ask for your prayers as we move forward in our search for a new priest.

Organist/Choir Director Update

At the recent vestry meeting, it was decided to offer the organist/choir director position to Kate Moody. Negotiations are proceeding. Hopefully everything will work out and we’ll have our new music director in short order.

Kitchen News – New Latches

The lower cabinets in the kitchen now have child-proof latches. This is the result of the recent State of Oregon inspection. Also, all the knifes have been moved off the counters and stored off the counters.

The new latches are much easier to use. Pull the door open, press down on the latch and as they say in Great Britain, “Bob’s Your Uncle.”

~Dave Laird, Senior Warden


Saturday, 8/17, sometime in the morning (To Be Determined – possibly 9am) a South Coast Convocation Eucharist will be held in Bandon at:

Devil’s Kitchen
Oregon State Parks Vista Point 87108 Saturn Ln, Bandon, OR 97411

This is a State Park off Beach loop Road. chair. Watch for more information! Please plan to bring food to share, a blanket and your South Coast Convocation includes St. Andrew in Florence; St. Mary in Gardiner; Emmanuel in Coos Bay; St. James in Coquille; St. John in Bandon; St. Christopher in Port Orford; St. Matthew in Gold Beach & St. Timothy in Brookings.

~Nancylee Stewart


The preschool wants to thank some special people: Pat Cross & Nat Jaeggli for building a lid for the sand box and Emily Wilson, preschool parent, for repairing the damaged bricks around the playground structure.

Senior Warden on Vacation

I will be gone for about two weeks starting July 11, for a salmon fishing expedition to the Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island.

Preschool Summer Campers are having a blast while learning!

Our campers enjoyed their first week of summer camp, “It’s a Bug’s Life”, by experiencing the world through the eyes of our favorite Preschool Garden bugs such as ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises. They’ve been learning how to care for the Preschool Garden and creative ways to recycle.

During the “Gold Rush!” week, campers went gold panning and searched for gemstones to identify. Al Rumsch paid a special visit to our camp this week to play his banjo during a time of gold rush storytelling and camp songs. In the process, they learned about geology and spent a lot of time digging up fun!

Campers’ imaginations reached new heights with our “Imaginarium” camp that combined science and engineering to ignite new adventures! Campers were introduced to basic science and engineering concepts through hands-on experiments, such as creating their own weather station and through exploring the world of robotics.

We are grateful for the generous donations of milk and supplies in June and ask for your continued help in July.

If you can help in July, the following items are needed:

*pepperoni or salami slices *yogurt
*dried fruit or vegetable sticks *hummus
*pita chips/bread
*plastic spoons
*tupperware for food storage *large Ziploc bags

Perishable items may be placed in the refrigerator across from the nursery and marked as “Preschool”. Thank you for your support of our preschool summer camps!!

Help us welcome new teachers, Amanda Goodpasture and Jenna Armstrong!

“Hi, I’m Amanda Goodpasture. I studied Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Special Education at Kendall College. I have worked with children on and off for the last 10 years and have always had a passion for making learning inclusive, purposeful and most of all fun! I truly believe the best way for young children
to learn is through play! I’m so excited to be here at Emmanuel Preschool to implement my education and experience.

I currently reside in Charleston, Oregon with my husband and our 3 year old daughter who are both the light of my life. During our free time you can catch us exploring the outdoors with our dogs and soaking up everything Coos County has to offer. Whether that be the sandy beaches or forest trails, we always seem to find an adventure somewhere!” ~Amanda

“Hello, I’m Jenna Armstrong and I am the new lead teacher at the Emmanuel Episcopal Preschool. I graduated from Southwestern Oregon Community College this June with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Family Studies. I believe in using play and hands-on-experiences to teach children about a variety of subjects.

I hope to bring a new and fresh outlook into the preschool classroom, and create meaningful relationships with my students and their families.

In my free time, you can find me playing video games with my husband, going to the arcade, playing with my dog, and doing college homework.” ~Jenna

Coos Food Cupboard

The food cupboard is seeking donations of fruit cocktail for the month of August. Thank you! ~Brian Sullivan

The Messenger June 2019

June 13, 2019
13 Jun 2019

Senior Warden Update

Our annual “Honoring our Youth” and welcoming what passes for summer in Coos Bay was successful. There was a nice size crowd following the 10 o’clock service. We even had a few folks from the 8 o’clock
service show up. The hot dogs provided by the Tim Wall family and cooked on the grill by Jay Davidson (helped at one point by Chuck Wall) were delicious. We had lots of side dishes and once again, more yummy desserts than the crowd could eat. I’d like to thank Sue Wall and Diana Wall for the work they did in the kitchen. Payton Davidson, just off her knee surgery a few days ago, surprised a few of us “older folks” by being able to attend. Payton was excited to learn that the church is sponsoring her summer mission with the Oregon Episcopal Church to the southwest. All in all, it was a Wall to Wall effort!

Organist and Choir Director Search News

Our church and preschool administrator, Kerri, posted a job application on the internet job search site, recently. It looks like we got lucky! Within a few days we got back an application that looks extremely interesting. Carla and I met Friday afternoon and had a telephone interview with Kate Moody. Based on her interview and resume we have invited Kate to visit our church and check us out. She has family that recently moved to the Coquille area and is visiting them next week. On Friday she will meet with the choir and check the church organ. I am hopeful the next phase will go well, and we can hire a new organist and choir director.

Search Team Update

The search team meets this Wednesday to organize our strategies to interview for a priest-in-charge. The team agrees that we want to move forward to interview our candidate as quickly as we can. Jeff McKeown has agreed to be the chair of the search team. He brings a high level of professionalism and leadership skills to this important job with his background in financial management, working with people, former Mayor of Coos Bay, vestry experience and history with the church. I’m excited as we move forward.

Supply Priest Schedule for June:

June 2 – Rev. AJ Buckley
June 9 – Rev. Wes Sedlacek
June 16 – Rev. AJ Buckley
June 23 – Rev. AJ Buckley
June 30 – Morning Prayer

Preschool Graduation

I had a blast Thursday night watching the preschool “graduate” the older kids off to Kindergarten. There were a lot of excited kids and proud parents. Cathy Bishop was honored for 17 years of service to the preschool. She received a hand sewn quilt created from the handprints of her students. We all had a good laugh when Cathy saw the quilt and realized she had been tricked. The leaders of the plot told Cathy they needed her handprint for someone else! We will miss Cathy as the lead teacher for the preschool. She leaves big shoes to fill. Cathy was the original teacher of the Episcopal Church Preschool 17 years ago. What an amazing legacy!

Also recognized that evening was Hannah Hunt. Hannah is leaving as the preschool director and is off to new ventures and adventures. She has done an amazing job in re-visioning the preschool as a full-service school from newborns to 5 year olds. Her vision has enriched our entire community, not to mention the life and spirit it brings to our church and the growth of the children. We all wish her the best.

Pentecost Service on Sunday

“Pentecost is a Christian holy day that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit 40 days after Easter. Some Christian denominations consider it the birthday of the Christian church and celebrate it as such.”
– from Christianity For Dummies

I was curious why red was associated with Pentecost, so I did some Google research. And yes, you can find just about anything on Google. According to Wikipedia, “The main sign of Pentecost is the color red. It symbolizes joy and the fire of the Holy Spirit. Priests wear red vestments, and in modern times, the custom has extended to the lay people of the congregation wearing red clothing in celebration as well.”

If you want to learn more about Pentecost from the perspective of the Episcopal Church, check out the information on this webpage link:

Our priest for the Pentecost service is Rev. Wes Sedlacek. Wes is traveling here from Lebanon with his spouse the Rev. Carol Sedlacek. Wes is the Chaplin at Samaritan Albany General Hospital and Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital.

~David Laird, Senior Warden

New Vestry Member: Greetings Fellow Episcopalians!

I’m so thrilled to be in your fold. As one of your newest Vestry members, Dave Laird, our esteemed Senior Warden, has requested that I provide a more in depth profile to our parishioners.

So here goes…

I was born in Southern California during much simpler times of running barefoot and playing outdoors until the streetlights came on. I lived, worked, studied, and raised my son along the beautiful southern California coast. In 2000, I relocated to central Colorado in pursuit of a slower, cheaper, secluded, rural lifestyle. I worked from home in the technology field for many years, then pursued a career in real estate and eventually went to work for a local county assessor. I moved to Coos Bay in 2016 to be closer to family and now I work for the local assessor here in Coos County.

In my free time, I enjoy the company of my dog and cat. Truman is a seven-year-old min-pin mix. Ember is a seven-year-old tabby mix. They are best friends. I also have two extraordinary grandchildren, Eli and Jack, ages nine and seven respectively.

I’m an amateur gardener, chef, pianist, crafter, and kayaker. I love art and music. I volunteer at the Coos Art Museum once a month and look forward to helping out at the Egyptian Theatre in the near future. I love Mingus Park, the South Slough, and the Millicoma Marsh walking trails. I want to learn how to fish, crab, clam, and golf.

I’ve very new to Emmanuel and church in general. I wasn’t raised in any religion; however, as a child I tagged along with many friends and neighbors to their places of worship. Most were Catholic, one was a Mormon family. My brothers were raised, in part, in Episcopalian boy’s homes in Salina and Ellsworth, Kansas. I always knew Episcopalians to be a remarkably good and charitable lot.

After many years of seeking, I arrived at Emmanuel a year ago this past Good Friday in search of a safe place to practice faith. By “safe” I mean a place that welcomes skeptics like me and embraces all walks of life. I am excited to be a voice on the Vestry and appreciate the opportunity to further embrace the beauty of tradition and tenets of the church.

I look forward to inspiring and being inspired. Thank you for welcoming me! Sincerely, Susan Vineyard

Mother’s Tea, May 2019

Thank you to Judy Jensen, Virginia Roush, Alanna Johnson, Liz Cowden, Carla Courtney, Nancylee Stewart, and Terrye Laird for volunteering their time and gifts to the Mother’s Tea and making it one of the most memorable events this year for the kids and their moms!

Preschool Summer Camps are back!

We are incredibly excited for Emmanuel’s summer camps to begin again! The first day of camp is June 10th, and there are 11 week-long camps scheduled throughout the summer. We could really use your help with donations of the following supplies and non-perishable snacks to make this program successful again this year:

  • pretzels
  • crackers
  • canned black olives
  • dried fruit or vegetable sticks
  • cheerios or rice chex cereal
  • bottles of ranch dressing
  • raisins
  • 5 oz. dixie cups
  • 6” coated paper plates

We also need one gallon of 2% or whole milk every week. Please see Terrye Laird on Sundays at church to sign up to provide milk. Thank you for your support of our preschool summer camps!!

Coos Food Cupboard

With thanks to Pat Cross and Nat Jaeggli for their involvement in making this happen, the postal drive brought 5,250 pounds of canned goods to the Food Cupboard. This will help during the summer months when more families utilize the Food Cupboard because school is out, and those families do not have access to free or discounted school meals. Next month, we would appreciate having donations of toilet paper. Thank you!
~Brian Sullivan

Music Ministry Update

The choir season has come to an end. A thank you to Dan Powell, baritone, Nat Jaeggli, bass, Neville Cordell, bass, Liz Cowden, soprano, Kerry Oxford, soprano, Judy Jennings, alto, Sally Jaeggli, alto, Pam Chaney, alto and Susan Vineyard, alto.

It has been a varied year of music that included the Advent/Christmas concert in December. This was a first for Emmanuel and we so enjoyed preparing the music and performing under Tom Collins’ direction. We also sang “He Watching Over Israel”, a difficult Mendelssohn anthem, this Spring.

We all love singing to the Glory of God and are looking forward to the next chapter in the Choral Music Program.
~Carla Courtney, Organist/Choir Director


The Messenger April 2019

April 4, 2019
04 Apr 2019

From the Senior Warden

It has been a busy time around Emmanuel the last few weeks. A team of workers including Pat Cross, Brian Sullivan and Dave & Brad Laird bolted down the playground structure. It was a job well done highlighted by only one trip to the hardware store and a busted electric drill.

The recent Vestry Meeting was highlighted by a visit from Finance Committee chairman Joe McKeown. Joe was there to explain the workings of our endowments and how the interest from those historical donations is used to fund a lot of the things we do in the church. That income takes some pressure off our operating budget. We are truly blessed by the foresight and dedication of our previous generations in the church. Their financial legacy serves us well and contributes greatly to sustaining our church.

Also, the vestry reviewed historical data on attendance at the 7:30 AM Early Service compared to the 8:00 AM Early Service time instituted last fall. The 8:00 AM service drew modestly more attendees. The vote of the 8:00 AM service attendees authorized at the last Vestry meeting resulted in equal numbers in favor of each time. Our recent supply Priests cited experience elsewhere in favoring the 8:00 AM option. After discussion, the vestry voted unanimously to set the early service time to 8:00 AM. The vestry also voted unanimously to set the distribution of the Auntie Em’s sale at 45/45/10 to the Parish/Preschool/Food Cupboard, respectively. Some items are still being sold, but it appears that the sale netted approximately $3000.00.

The search for our new priest is proceeding. The Profile Team has met several times. The rough draft will be reviewed by the team this Friday and should be ready for sharing with our congregation and the Diocese soon.

I need to thank Nat Jaeggli for his commitment to our worship program as he provides Morning Prayer for us once a month. Nat will be back Sunday as he fills in for Constance Hammond+. Constance was looking forward to providing supply services for the next 2 Sundays. Unfortunately, she fell and suffered a broken hip. She will be discharged from the hospital soon and then in a rehab facility for around a month. Constance is a good friend of Bill Henry, a member of St. James in Coquille. Douglas Hale+ from Eugene will be our supply priest April 7. April 14, Palm Sunday and April 21, Easter, we welcome back Peter Fones+.

The search for an organist and choir director continues. Pam Chaney and Kerri Coldren, our church secretary, are working personal contacts around town and social media. Carla Courtney, our interim organist and choir director is shepherding the newsprint search.

The music team met Sunday after the 10:00 AM service to coordinate the various musical components of our worship. Pam Chaney, Carla Courtney, Cassandra Hawley, Dave Laird, and Dan Powell make up the team. We are scheduling a session with a sound board specialist in the immediate future so we can fine tune our sound system for its best presentation of our music.

Those folks who were at the early service last Sunday may have felt a distinct chill in the air. Not from anyone’s attitude, but from the furnace. For some reason there was no heat to the church. Several people attacked the thermostats and managed to get heat to the undercroft but were unsuccessful in getting it to the church. Today I met with two technicians from All Weather Heating and they quickly determined that 2 of the 5 burners weren’t working. They are ordering parts and will return to finish the service soon. In the meantime, we have learned which furnace units service which parts of the church so I’m pretty sure there will be heat Sunday.

Finally, on a happy note, Melissa Cribbins has volunteered to head up the Easter egg hunt! Also, ladies are encouraged to wear their finest hats to the Easter service. There will be one combined service this day at 10:00 AM.

David Laird, Senior Warden

Parish Profile Committee Report

Our committee is confident that it will meet its goal of completing Emmanuel’s 2019 Parish Profile before Easter. We are in the process of editing a final draft, which will be submitted to the Vestry. Our members have diligently revised, rewritten, and updated the already excellent 2013 profile to create a new document.

We believe it candidly presents our current financial situation and its resultant necessary priorities, reflects the multifaceted nature of our parish’s hopes and needs, and clearly sets forth the expectations we have for our new priest.

The committee has recommended making the new profile available to the congregation electronically as a .pdf document, as well as in printed form on request.

~ Al Rumsch, Profile Committee Member

Easter Memorials

Memorial gifts for Easter altar flowers or individual lilies can be arranged through the Church office by talking to Kerri before Wednesday, April 17th. 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. Questions, talk to Kerri in the office at or 541-269-5829.

Join us in wearing your finest Easter hat!

We invite the ladies to wear their finest hats on Easter Sunday. This was a tradition started when Father Gene was at Emmanuel but continues to be a fun way for the women of Emmanuel to come together on the holiday. We look forward to seeing what hats you will wear this year!

Preschool’s Annual Silent Auction and Lasagna Dinner Friday, April 12th

Auction opens at 5:30 PM with dinner served at 6:00 PM.
If you work for a company that would like to donate or if you have an item you want to donate as an auction item, please bring to the church office between 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Tuesday – Friday. In the past, we have auctioned off everything from massages, to pottery, to tugboat rides! The donation is tax deductible and for a great cause!

We would like to have all donations collected by Wednesday, April 10th.

Save the date to join us and bring a friend to the silent auction and dinner in the Undercroft! You will have an opportunity to enjoy a yummy dinner and bid on some great items! All proceeds go to support the preschool. Tax ID #93-0458490

Thank you for your consideration and continued support!
Hannah Payne (Director), Kerri Coldren (Administrator), and the Emmanuel Preschool Board

Book Fair was a success!

Thanks to everyone who purchased books! From our profits, we were able to obtain $280.60 in books for our Preschool and for our Christmas Outreach baskets. A donation of children’s books was also made to our Church Library. We still have some Scholastic Dollars left to purchase more books as needed in the future! THANK YOU!
~Nancylee Stewart, Preschool Board Chair

Thank you, John & Teri Whitty, for your generous donation to the Preschool’s book fair “wish list”. The kids love their new books!

Bible Study – Thursdays at 1:00 PM in Fran Whitaker’s home

We are continuing on in the Gospel of John. Two chapters a week seems to be the norm. Our discussions are lively and Spirit filled.
I’m encouraging those who find 1:00 PM on Thursdays to be inconvenient to lead a time that works for them. Those interested and needing encouragement to lead a Bible study are invited to call me, 541-269- 9430. One doesn’t need to be a scholar. They just need to be open to what God speaks to us in scripture.

When I don’t feel like God is talking to me, I only have to spend a few minutes in His word and we talk up a storm!

God bless you, Fran Whitaker

In Loving Memory of Mae Livingstone

Mae spent many years volunteering in the preschool, sharing in their delight while she read to them and joined in their play. She was cherished greatly by the teachers and the generations of children who’ve come through the preschool doors at Emmanuel. Teacher Cathy shared of her, “Ms. Mae was heaven sent to us and the children.”
Ralph Holland remembered of her, “Ms. Mae was a darling! I would sometimes give her a ride to or from the church. She sincerely loved kids. There wasn’t a hint of cynicism in her. She loved talking about Scotland and how much it rained. I can’t stop smiling while thinking about her! She loved kids. And pie. And she liked to use the term whippersnapper. What a gal.”

Nancylee Stewart shared of her, “Mae was kind, funny and helpful. She volunteered at our Preschool, and the little ones just loved her! Her wonderful “brogue” was always intriguing to the children. Mae also helped with past book fairs. She was happy to do whatever she could. She is greatly missed!”

Thank you, Nancylee Stewart, for your donation of children’s books to Emmanuel’s library in memory of Mae.

Church Memorial Windows

There was recently a visitor in the parish office that stopped by because he remembered visiting Emmanuel when he was last in the area a decade ago. He remembered it vividly, specifically because of what he recalled as the most beautiful stained glass he had ever seen. It created an inspiring memory for him all these years.

Here are some interesting facts about our church and the memorial windows: The Narthex is the gathering area inside the main entry of the church. The Narthex is usually at the west end of a church or cathedral. Our altar is in the east end of the building where the “sun (son) rises”. The stain glass windows of the South wall of the sanctuary are the Old Testament windows and you can see Abraham and the prophets here. The North wall represents the New Testament or “gospel” side starting with the Nativity all the way through the Resurrection of Christ. Which side do you usually sit on – Old Testament or New?

It has been commented that the church sanctuary appears like an upside down boat with the heavy wooden ribs above our heads; a reminder we are all in this journey together. All Episcopal Churches are built with an uncluttered view of the altar once you step through the Narthex. The eye is drawn to the cross and our focus is directed to worship.

There has been said our church location was significant in that we are built on bedrock but we have been unable to verify that information. Do you know or do you know someone who might whether this is true? It would be interesting to know since from a scriptural view, Jesus was the cornerstone and Peter was the rock on which the church was built.

~Special thanks to Terrye Laird for sharing this history of the church and memorial windows.


Central Medallion – Moses holding the Tablets of Stone with the Ten Commandments.

Small Medallion – Burning Bush, a symbol of God speaking, Ex. 3:2 “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.”

Background – Tablets representing the Ten Commandments.

This window was given in memory of Albert Kohler.


Central Medallion – Jonathan holding a bow, spear and quiver of arrows over shoulder.

Small Medallion – Burning heart, denoting his love for David which exceeded his obedience to his father, Saul, who sought to kill David.

This window was given in memory of Walter E. Butler, Elizabeth Martha Butler and William James Butler.

Background – Three arrows. I Sam. 20:38


Central Medallion – The Crucified Christ
Small Medallion – Passion Flower, the symbol for suffering. Background – Three nails, symbolizing crucifixion.

This window was given in memory of Charles William Wall.

“The value of any historical study rests in the reminder that we are part of a succession of events and the recipients of a noble legacy. The inspiration received from the knowledge that in this place there was another generation which proclaimed and acted out the Good News ought to enable us to trust that another generation will follow.”
~Fr. Thomas L. Murdock, Rector at Emmanuel from 1970 – 1984

The Messenger January 2019

January 8, 2019
08 Jan 2019

Christy’s Corner: Does Christmas Really Make a Difference in Our Lives?

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017, sitting in church at the 8:00 service, Kerry Oxford’s son is looking at the stained glass window of the nativity on the front gospel side of the church. Baby Jesus is lit up. It’s dark outside, no light is shining on the window, and yet, Baby Jesus is lit up! He leans over to tell his brother and ask if he sees it too. It’s Christmas Eve, we’re celebrating Emmanuel, God with us, and Baby Jesus is lit up!

On December 9, 2018, 7:40 in the morning, second Sunday of Advent and there is an amazing sunrise as I walk over to the church from Shepherd’s House. The church is lit up as we prepare for worship; as we prepare to hear the words of John the Baptist reminding us to repent and prepare ourselves for the one who is more powerful than he is. The light is coming into the world and our church, Emmanuel, God with us, is lit up. Everyone arriving for 8:00 church that morning is talking about the sunrise and the brilliant rainbow that had been in the sky.

The Light has come into the world and the promise to each of us and to our world is that the darkness will never be able to overcome it. What does that promise mean for us? By nature of our baptism, when we are “sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever,” that light of Christ resides within each of us…and the darkness can never overcome it! I like to think of it as a pilot light that is guaranteed to never go out. The light of Christ resides within each of us and we are sent out into the world to bring light to the dark places. “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!”

Has the season of Christmas had any impact upon us? How have we become aware of God’s light in our lives and in our world in a different way this year as we reflect on what Christmas means? Or we can ask the question a different way, focusing on our church’s name, Emmanuel, God with us, since Christmas is really like our churches saint day. How was God with us? How did the Light shine and light up my life and how did I let the little light of mine shine?

Join me in taking some time as we approach Epiphany to reflect on how you’ve been “lit up” this Christmas season, or your three Emmanuel’s: how God was with you, was with the Emmanuel community, and was with the larger world. Here are some of my reflections…

With me: Christ came to me 5 days before Christmas in the form of a man trying to get back home. We sat and talked in my office amidst a very chaotic morning and the light shone in the darkness.

With Emmanuel church: The stories of light around the Christmas baskets this year: Julianna deciphering that “Papa Troll” was actually short hand for “Paw Patrol”, Terrye being guided by the light to get a donation of a bicycle to replace one that had been stolen, someone picking up their basket and bursting into tears when she was given a box of brownie mix and telling Kerri her story that this year she would be able to bake with her kids. The light shown through those who donated the money, those who shopped and shopped and those who wrapped and wrapped and wrapped letting God’s light shine into the lives of those who would have had very few gifts otherwise.

With the larger world: As I write this, it’s only December 21st so I’m still waiting expectantly and hopefully for ways that I see the world “lit up” this Christmas season!

As you reflect, maybe you’d be willing to share your thoughts or photos with Kerri or me for next month’s newsletter so that we can all benefit from the stories of how the light has come into the world, and how we have been lit up. That will help all of us enter the season of Epiphany ready to look for God to show up and be made manifest in our lives.

Epiphany blessings and my love to you and yours! Christy

Emmanuel Opens Our Doors for Joyful Advent and Christmas Music

The afternoon of Dec. 16th, about 70 people gathered for a wonderful respite of joy filled Advent and Christmas Music. It was followed by a simple time of connecting with one another through hospitality and refreshment. We were very grateful to collect $154 in a freewill offering to help support the ministry of the Food Cupboard at Emmanuel. It was a truly blessed afternoon and everyone went away more filled-up with Christmas joy then when we had arrived. A huge thank you to Tom Collins for having the vision and carrying it out, for our choir for working so hard in order to offer this gift to the community and for the other musicians who so readily offered their gifts that afternoon, Charlotte Pierce’s recorder ensemble and Wilbur Jensen and Steve Krajcir who played trumpet duets.

The Magic of our Christmas Basket Outreach

With full hearts and immense gratitude for those who donated money, gifts, and their time to our Christmas Basket Outreach this year, we take this moment to truly cherish the real meaning of Christmas. Here are just a few stories that were shared from when the baskets were picked up:

“It is always revealing to put the stories with the baskets when the families choose to share. Of the 3 families that collected baskets yesterday morning, 2 especially shared their thanks and their situations. The one family had had a fire in their apartment the week or so before the baskets were to be given out and without our offerings the kids would not be having Christmas. The wife was so enthused about the toilet paper as they had just run out that morning.

I don’t know if you could ever be excited about TP unless you had none. The other wife came with a thank you note and handed it over before she received their basket. Her hubby has been in an accident in the woods and they are going to Eugene 2 to 3 times a week for therapy and just can not afford to give the kids a Christmas. She spoke of her faith and her church and it seems they are working hard to make things work.”

“When the last family came in yesterday to pick up their basket, the mom began to weep over the brownie mix we put in each basket. She asked if she could hug me and all I could do was hug her back and tell her (in a light-hearted way) that I have the same reaction every time I see chocolate too. We shared a chuckle and then she asked if she could share a bit of her story with me. She shared that this time last year her family had suffered a major trauma and found themselves, among other things, homeless on Christmas Eve. They had very slowly been putting their lives back together the past year and had just barely been able to get into housing recently. The reason she was so emotional about the brownie mix is because she realized that THIS YEAR her and her 3 children were going to have this gift of being able to bake together again (a family tradition) for Christmas.”

Homemade Christmas Cookies and Cards

Thanks to Payton and Pierce Davidson we have boxes of yummy cookies and cards ready to be delivered to our home-bound members. It’s a simple gift that comes with the love from our community to those who have difficulty making it to church anymore. Emmanuel, God with us!

Thank you to the McKeown Family for the donation of the beautiful altar Christmas wreaths.


It is composed of people like me. We make it what it is. I want it to be a church that is a lamp to the path of pilgrims, leading them to the Savior who has given every mortal the eternal pledge, “Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no ways cast out.” It will be, if I am. It will be friendly, if I am. Its pews will be filled, if I help to fill them. It will do a great work, if I work. It will bring other people into its worship, if I bring them. It will be a church of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith; and a church with a noble spirit, if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these. Therefore, with the help of God, I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all these things that I want my church to be. Is this your church?”
~Found by Loanne Lark in Fannie Westerholm’s (her great aunt from Finland) prayer book.

An Emmanuel Bible Study

It has been suggested by the presiding bishop, our bishop, Pastor Christy and Emmanuel’s congregation that we need Bible study. I am opening my home to a small group of ten people with an interest in sharing our understanding and revealed truths of God’s Word.

The study will be led by the intent, thoughts and questions of the group. A format and meeting times would be set at a first meeting.

Those interested in a Bible study should call me, Fran Whitaker, at 541-269-9430 in order to set a time and date for that first meeting. I may also be contacted through my email at Once a time and date convenient to the majority is established, those who respond will be contacted. ~Fran Whitaker

Welcome New Toddler Program Teacher, Laura Whitmyer, to Emmanuel

She shares with us, “I was born and raised in Coquille. I have 2 children, Rylee who is 7, and Emma who is 4. Although I obtained my CNA and have enjoyed working in the healthcare field, I have always had a love for children. At the age of 10, I started helping out in daycare centers and pre-schools with my step mom. Getting to watch children grow and learn has always put a smile on my face. I’m so thankful for this opportunity here at Emmanuel. Watching their little faces light up as their imagination comes to life in their art work just warms my heart. I’m excited to continue to build relationships, guide, and nurture the children one day at a time. The toddlers sure do know how to put a smile on my face!”

The book that was the center of Christy’s Christmas Eve homily was After the Fall by Dan Santat.

An inspirational story with beautiful illustrations…a great gift for your kids or grandkids or for your family library.

Vestry Visibility – Jan 1, 2019

There’s a lot going on at Emmanuel as we enter the New Year. We have big changes and challenges ahead of us. Change always makes me nervous, sometimes in anticipation and sometimes in fear. But I have faith that God will guide us through these changes and Emmanuel will continue strong and vibrant.

Of course, we all know the biggest change facing us now and that’s finding a new priest to lead us as Christy heads into retirement.

Your vestry is hard at work on that process. It’s going to take time and hard work from all of us. Your help is needed.

If you are interested in helping find and select a new priest, you are wanted! There are 2 teams being formed: A Profile team and a Search team.

The Profile Committee will start soon putting together an up to date picture of our church and community. It’s a document that showcases the community we live in, our church, who we are as a congregation, our missions, what we hold important. The good news is that we have a 2013 profile that will help us a lot in putting together a 2019 profile.

The Search Committee work starts once the Diocese refers candidates to us. We are using a Bishop Lead process where those individuals interested in coming to Emmanuel go through the Bishop’s office to be vetted. From those candidates approved by the Bishop, the Search team decides who to interview and at the end of the process makes a recommendation.

This whole process, from Profile to Search to recommendation can take time – as long as 9 months to a year. Hopefully, and God willing, it won’t take that long. In the meantime, our plan is to use a system of supply priests and eventually an interim priest to provide for us pastorally. Our first supply priest, Peter Fones, is lined up and will provide services for the month of February. More information on our supply priests and interim priest will be made available as that information unfolds.

Finally, please mark your calendars for two important events:
Jan 27th – Christy’s last service at Emmanuel and a Celebration to mark her service to us. There will be a combined service at 9 am in the undercroft followed by a brunch to honor Christy. If you’d like to donate to a parting gift to Christy, your donations can be sent to the office or dropped in the collection plates on Sunday. Please make sure to mark that it’s for Christy’s gift.

Feb 10th – Annual Meeting – you might have seen this on a calendar for Jan 20th, but circumstances have caused us to move this to Feb 10th.

In closing, as we move into the challenges facing us this year, say a prayer for our guidance and success in our quest to find a new priest to serve Emmanuel. If you’d like to volunteer to help in our search please let me know – either email, phone, text or in person is fine.

Dave Laird, Senior Warden, 541.290.0352

Annual Parish Meeting and Potluck Lunch, February 10th Following the 10:00 AM Service

This year the Annual Meeting of our church community will be held on Sunday, February 10th, following the 10:00 service. This is an important gathering of the whole community that celebrates our mutual ministry together as we look to the future and the beginning of this time of transition. We had originally talked about having the Annual Meeting on January 20th. Since one of the important items of business is the naming of the next senior warden by the rector, it seemed important to do that before Christy’s last day. We were all very grateful at our last Vestry meeting when we were told that Christy had asked Dave Laird to stay on as senior warden for 2019, and he had agreed. With that business taken care of we were able to move the date of the Annual Meeting to February 10th allowing more time for needed preparation.

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. This year there will be some special reports from the Vestry about how we are organizing ourselves for the interim time between rectors. We will also conduct the regular business of the church. We will elect three new Vestry members and two delegates and alternates to convention. We will affirm and accept the budget developed by our Budget Committee, (Bob Huggins, Treasurer, Xandra McKeown, Finance Committee, and Pam Chaney, Vestry) and reviewed and approved by the Finance Committee and Vestry. We will hear from our Senior Warden, Dave Laird about the state of the parish and we will announce this year’s recipient of the award for Christian Service.

We will celebrate and give thanks to God together for the abundance we are blessed with. Please bring a brunch potluck item to share and come to help celebrate all that we have to be grateful for as a faith community. We hope to see you there!

~Emmanuel’s Vestry

The Messenger December 2018

December 3, 2018
03 Dec 2018

Christy’s Corner:

As I write this article, it’s the day after Black Friday and everywhere I look our culture is screaming, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” Don’t miss out on this incredible vacation or this smashing outfit. This amazing kitchen gadget will ensure your holiday entertaining is a huge success and effortless!

I look out at the mountains with newly fallen snow and I ponder the coming of Advent, the liturgical season that we will begin on December 2nd. Part of me wonders how we got to December so quickly. The other part wonders if there is any place in our culture that encourages us to wait expectantly and hopefully for anything, let alone for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into our world. It strikes me that we may not be able to get this kind of support from our culture, and yet in our part of the world nature beckons us into a time of waiting and lying fallow, preparing for what is to come. Perhaps this year we can intentionally listen more to nature! What might that look like?

I have always loved Advent and this year as we are encouraged to get busier and busier there’s a part of me that is delighting in accepting the invitation to “shift down” and move a little slower and a little more intentionally. How might we prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus into our lives once again on Christmas Day?

Perhaps we want to focus on preparing our hearts. We might reflect on the key relationships in our lives and do something to strengthen them. Maybe we’re being drawn to work on loving ourselves more…accepting ourselves as whole and holy women and men, beloved children of God. Or the reality that the “others” in our lives are also beloved children of God may be asking for our attention. Maybe we’re in the midst of a difficult time and being asked to accept and feel the pain rather than pushing it away…trusting that we will meet God there with renewed hope and vision.

I wonder. Personally, I prepare with a favorite Advent discipline: reflecting on 3-4 people whom I’m grateful for. Then I make a point of writing and telling them how grateful I am for their presence in my life and how they have been Christ for me on my journey. It’s hard to describe, but reflecting on their impact on my life and sharing that with them somehow opens and prepares my heart and ultimately my whole life to have more space for Jesus to be born again within me on Christmas Day.

This year is a new experience for me as I enter Advent while also preparing for my upcoming retirement on February 1st. Making space in my heart seems even more important this year. I want space to be able to take in all that you have blessed me with and to savor the relationships. I want to feel the pain of saying goodbye, of this temporal ending, trusting that God will indeed meet us all there with the birth of something new. I believe that each year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, something new is also born within each of us. Let’s hold each other closely, as we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus, trusting that God is at work lovingly drawing us into the future that has been carefully prepared for each of us and for our community.

Won’t you join me in waiting expectantly and hopefully for the birth of Jesus once again? Advent blessings, gratitude and my love! Christy

Christmas Poinsettias

If you would like to make an offering toward the poinsettias that decorate our church at Christmas time in memory of or thanksgiving for a loved one, please contact Kerri at the church office,, 541-269-5829. Your remembrance will be included in the Christmas bulletins. Thank you!

Baptism and First Communion Preparation offered in December

Christy will be offering a session for young children 3-6ish+ that will help prepare them for baptism or celebrate their first communion. If your child was baptized as an infant and has been taking communion regularly it will help them understand more about communion. This takes the place of what used to be called “First Communion” when children had to wait to receive communion until they were older. They are then presented with a First Communion Certificate at the Christmas Eve service.

If you are interested in having your child baptized, the next scheduled date for baptisms will be on January 13th, the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. It seems there’s never enough time in early January to prepare after Christmas so we hope that gathering in December will better meet the needs of families.
It’s a fun interactive time with Pastor Christy that this year will include the Godly Play lesson on baptism as well as the traditional scavenger hunt in the sanctuary to learn more about communion. If you are interested in having your child participate or just have questions, please contact Christy. Once we know who wants to participate, we will set up a convenient time in early December that works for everyone.

Donations Needed for Christmas Baskets

Emmanuel continues the important tradition of providing local children and families through our schools
with a Christmas basket of basic necessities and also a fun toy to brighten up their holiday. Your help and financial donations are needed and appreciated! Envelopes are available for donations in the church entryway. Please save these dates:
Thursday, December 6 at 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – meet at Walmart on the pharmacy entrance side and shop for basket items (blankets, dish soap, laundry detergent, toothbrushes, special toy, etc.)
Sunday, December 16 after the 10:00 AM service – wrapping party! Donations of wrapping paper, tape, and bows are appreciated as well.

Christmas Worship Services

Christmas Eve, December 24th 4:00pm – Our Family Oriented Christmas Service with Pageant, Carols and Holy Eucharist. This service includes a simple joy-filled pageant with a part for every child and adult who wants to participate in telling the story of Jesus’ birth. Part selection and costumes will take place on Sunday, December 16th or by appointment with Christy. Rehearsal for the pageant will be Sunday, Dec. 23rd at 11:30 AM. Please notify the church office or Christy if you or your child would like to participate in the pageant or if you’d like to help.

8:00pm – The Holy Eucharist with sermon, traditional Christmas carols and special music by the Choir. This is the traditional “midnight mass” at a more convenient time!

Christmas Day, December 25th 10:00 AM Christmas Day Service with Holy Eucharist, sermon and a quiet more contemplative service complete with Christmas carols and joy.

The 1st Sunday after Christmas and 6th Day of Christmas, December 30th 8:00 AM Holy Eucharist, Rite I, with a Christmas meditation.

10:00AM Christmas Carol Sing along with Holy Eucharist. We will have a chance to sing many of your favorite Christmas Carols that you select and we’ll let the words of the hymns speak to us as our sermon.

Our Traditional Youth Group Christmas Cookie Extravaganza
Dec. 15h 1:30-4:00 Christmas Cookie Baking for our Homebound
Baking, Sampling, Packaging, Card-making and Fellowship!

Please let Christy know if you plan to attend! Thanks!

Dec. 23rd 12:30 (after the Christmas Pageant rehearsal and a quick lunch…) Caroling and delivering the cookies to our homebound. Don’t miss out on the fun!

Christmas Pageant, Monday, December 24th at 4:00 PM
Our 4:00 PM Christmas Eve service includes a simple joy-filled pageant with a part for every child and adult who wants to participate in telling the story of Jesus’ birth. Our older youth help organize the younger kids and it all seems to work out in a most wonderful way that is always great fun. We have sheep and cow non- speaking parts, beautiful angels, shepherds, 3 wise people and the Holy family. Costumes and parts can be picked up on Sunday December 16th after church or by an appointment with Christy. Our one rehearsal will be on Sunday, Dec. 23rd at 11:30 AM (following our 10:00 AM service) and on Dec. 24th you will need to be able to be at the church at 3:30 PM.

Sound like fun? We’d love to have you participate or help! Please notify Christy,, 541-728-7988 or Kerri in the church office, if you or your child would like to participate in the pageant. We’d also love help with costumes, props or crowd control. It’s one of those events where the more help we have, the more fun it is for everyone! Join us!

Caring for our Home Bound Members by providing them with the Eucharist. Maybe this is a Ministry for You!

Many of our members are home bound due to health issues, and/or aging that makes it more difficult to leave their home, yet they continue to be important members of our church community! How do we continue to care for them and nurture those relationships? One of the ways we do this is by ensuring that they have an opportunity to receive Holy Communion at least once a month.

Some of you may read this and think, “Wow, only once a month?!” But the reality is that it takes a team of committed, trained folks who feel called to this ministry to make it work. We currently have an awesome team, but their numbers are dwindling and Bruce and Sheryl have to take a temporary break in order to be more available to care for Sheryl’s aging parents in Medford.

I wonder, do you have the gifts for this ministry? Do you enjoy offering others the gift of hospitality of presence? Are you a good listener? Do you have a reverence for communion? How about a desire to reach out to our home bound members to help them feel included in our community? If you answer yes to any of those questions then maybe the Holy Spirit might be nudging you to check out this ministry. A great way to “try it on” so to speak is to go along with someone when they take communion out to one of our home bound members, or talk to one of the team, Pat Cross, Fran Whitaker, Bruce Winterhalder, and Sheryl Gerety or Christy to find out more about what’s involved. We hope to have a training in January so if you are interested, please let Christy know in December.

A special thank you to all who donated pies or money and to the volunteers who gave of their time for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. We had just enough. ~Blessings, Terrye Laird and Jim

Christmas Concert at Emmanuel

The Emmanuel Sanctuary Choir will host a festive concert of Advent and Christmas music on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 4:00 PM.

The choir will present a Christmas musical, “God With Us” with original compositions and familiar favorites, as well as folk-carols, by Tom Fettke.

We will also be treated to the music of Charlotte Pierce’s recorder ensemble playing Christmas favorites, as well as Wilbur Jensen and Steve Krajcir playing trumpet duets.

There will be a free-will offering for the food cupboard.

A beverage and cheese reception in the Undercroft follows the concert.

Please come and invite your friends and neighbors to join you! The holidays can be a lonely time for people and this is a great way to reach out.

Emmanuel’s Moller Pipe Organ

Fr. Harry Heaney, rector of Emmanuel from 1961 – 1970, himself a concert organist, arranged for the firm of M.P. Moller, Hagerstown, Maryland, to build a two-manual and pedal pipe organ for Emmanuel.

The organ was completed in 1966. Built in the English Romantic style of voicing, the instrument is well-suited to accompany choir and congregation.

The instrument has 5 ranks (including a solo trumpet stop) and is augmented by a set of Peterson Electronic Chimes.

The organ pipes are located in their own chamber behind the cloth grille above the choir pews.

The organ has been featured in numerous concerts in addition to accompanying Sunday and Holy Day worship services.

– Tom Collins, Emmanuel Organist and Choir Director

Attendance at the 7:30 AM service in the past has been pretty stable for many years. Here’s the history over the years with Easter Sunday taken out:
2012 – 23, 2013 – 22, 2014 – 22, 2015 – 19, 2016 – 25, 2017 – 22, 2018 – 24

8:00 AM Service Thoughts from the Box
The following are the thoughts that have been shared this month in the feedback box in the entryway.
– Sounds good!
– I prefer the 7:30 am service. The time between the first and second service has been an important rehearsal time
for choir, organ and instrumentalists.
– Works for me!

Vestry Visibility

The San Francisco Chronicle recently ran an article (“20 Best Value Towns in the West”) featuring what the staff took to be the most attractive western U.S. towns for individuals and families seeking to escape the California version of the “bay area.” Nestled in among Koolaupoko (HI), Boise (ID), Fort Collins (CO), Canmore (Alberta), and Wenatchee (WA) was our own town of Coos Bay. Coos Bay has a strong future and so does Emmanuel Episcopal Church! Located by geography as well as by the skills, dedication and experience of the congregation, we continue to be an important leader in making our town a vibrant and attractive place to live for the generations to come. Uniting the specifics of Vestry discussion over the last month and into the future are a broader sense of effectively managing our own church home, sustaining our outreach activities, and building the leadership capacity to ensure that we, and the community in which we live, remain strong.

Specifically, we have spent a good part of the last two meetings discussing what sustainable budgets for both church and preschool could look like, brainstorming ideas to create additional sources of income, as well as ways to cut expenses, and analyzing and updating current bookkeeping systems. Experience has shown that our long-term sustainability depends on bringing in new sources of income as well as new pledges, especially the small ones that become routine, and then habitual and grow with the giver’s capacity. The Vestry prayerfully continues to creatively seek new sources of income while living within its means and allocating funds as established by our budget.

Three members will be rotating off the current Vestry, having reached the end of their three-year terms. They are Pam Cheney, Nancylee Stewart and David Laird. Nominations are being sought of individuals willing to fill one of the open seats. Please prayerfully consider what attributes you would bring to the role and then either volunteer or, if you think you may not yet be ready to take up a Vestry-level leadership role, consider other roles that will build your familiarity with Church issues in that direction. This brings us back again to experience, and another Vestry discussion: How can we better build a broad base of leadership capacity within our Church community. This is critical not only to Emmanuel, but to the outreach services we provide to the broader community of Coos Bay.

Outreach services including the food cupboard and the preschool are foundational to our life at Emmanuel. The preschool is such an exciting opportunity as it begins its second year of a 5 year plan drawing on a grant from Episcopal Bishop of Oregon Funds and providing a service, quality child care, in short supply in our community. It has brought us many children and young families who depend on the services we provide. The preschool is very new in its expanded form and there is much work that still needs to be done to show that it can be sustainable in the future. Experience – that word again – is accumulating rapidly as Hannah, the Preschool Director, the Preschool Board and her team work through all of the complexities of a new endeavor of this scale. Teacher training, certification, and curriculum development, budgeting and funding as well as coordination with the Vestry, and the Finance Committee are each requiring the attention of many people. Reconciling Preschool with Church accounting practices, work on making both sets of documents more transparent and timely, establishing separate checking accounts and financials, all have received Vestry attention during the last month.

In our year ahead we anticipate challenges; we intend to meet them by drawing strength from God, our Emmanuel family, our Coos Bay community and the beauty and potential of our surroundings. We join in supporting our new vestry members, and wishing them and returning members the very best.

-submitted by Sheryl Gerety

In God’s economy, the currency is Love – 2019 Pledge Report

To date we have received 55 pledges for a total of $148,134. We are very grateful to those of you who have responded. Of the 55 pledges that were received for 2019, 10 pledges were increased over last year’s amount representing a total of $10,516. 7 pledges were decreased over last year’s amounts representing a total of – $1,206 and 20 pledges remained the same as 2018’s pledge. In addition we had 5 new pledges for 2019 representing $2,380 and 3 pledges where the person has either died or moved that represents a total of – $18,500. Finally, there are 10 people who pledged last year who have not yet responded this year.

We are grateful for every single pledge that is received for the ministry of Jesus Christ at Emmanuel and we trust that God is at work in our midst. The Vestry and budget committee will soon go to work to establish our 2019 budget. If you are still interested in offering a pledge for 2019 please let the church office know as soon as possible. Pledge cards are available in the church entry way and the office.

With gratitude, your stewardship team,
Dave Laird (Chair), Pat Cross, Nadine Allen, Patti Nichols (Pledge Secretary) and Pastor Christy

Unity in the Love of Christ

Report on the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon 130th Convention Seaside Convention Center, Seaside, OR November 2nd – 3rd, 2018

1. “Living a Servant Life” – Episcopal Church Women Luncheon with keynote speaker, the Rev. Dcn. Senitila McKinley.

Rev. Dcn. Senitila McKinley is know as the “Mother Theresa of Lincoln County” She moved to Oregon 40 years ago from Tonga and spoke almost no English. She founded the Seashore Family Literacy program in Waldport. She was a speaker in Washington, D.C. as part of Barbara Bush’s Literacy campaign. Rev. Dcn. Senitila spoke to “How I live my life” versus “work” and she suggests what counts is how much you bend down to help others. She says, “My prayer is what I do.” Her book, Leipua of Love is available through Amazon. She is an incredible helper to those in need. When she takes her daily lunch break, she generally goes to various parks, and when she sees someone who looks hungry, she invites them to share a meal and conversation. She makes many lunches each morning so there will be food to share. Rev. Senitila makes a personal difference in the lives of many, many people. Read more about her.

2. Campus Ministries Reports: From Campus Ministries at U of O, OSU, Western Oregon University and Portland Metro Episcopal Campus Ministry.

Many material and spiritual services are provided to students. Additionally, Eugene has a residence that can house up to five students. A place for students to gather, learn, pray & worship. Food usually has a central role. Food banks and clothing are some services offered. Relational support/vital engagement with students is central. These ministries welcome our prayers. If you know a young person at one of these colleges whom

might be interested in being connected with one of these campus ministries, please let the Chaplin know. More information is listed in the Diocese program budget for 2019.

3. Commissioning of Convocation Deans and Presidents:
For our South Coast Convocation, Christy was Commissioned by Bishop Michael as our Convocation Dean. No one was Commissioned as President at that time. This is due to elections being held at our next South Coast Convocation meeting to be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on January 26, 2019 from 10 – 1pm.

4. Diocesan Resolution #1: Encouraging Expanded Use & Redevelopment of Church Properties.
This Resolution passed with amended wording, adding “when necessary” to the second paragraph, so it now reads:
Resolved, that the 130th Convention of the Diocese of Oregon encourages all congregations to “think outside the (church) box” and pursue partnerships with other organizations for the use, leveraging, and redevelopment of church facilities and to share those proposals and efforts with the other congregations in the diocese; and be it further Resolved, that this Convention requests that the Bishop and Standing Committee encourage, and directs the Board of Trustees to assist, congregations in their redevelopment efforts by approving, when necessary, mortgages, leases, cell tower agreements, and redevelopment plans that will serve to make the best use of congregational properties for the long-term sustainability of mission and ministry in the diocese; and be it further Resolved, that this Convention directs the Board of Trustees to publish a “Guide to Responsible Redevelopment” setting forth principles and suggestions for such redevelopment efforts based on experiences in this and other dioceses no later than May 1, 2019 and report all such efforts that were considered by the Board of Trustees in the last five (5) years to the 131st Diocesan Convention in the form of a “Redevelopment Report.” Congregational-Properties.pdf

5. Amendments to Canons of the Diocese of Oregon:
Delegates voted on changes to the diocesan Constitution & Canons. The amendments pertain to canons covering:
*The election and certifying of parish or mission delegates to diocesan Convention *Convocations structure and responsibilities
*The Commission on Church Architecture and Allied Arts
*The Commission on Liturgy and Church Music
*Structure and Responsibilities of the Commission on Ministry
*The Bishop’s authority over mission work within the diocese *Creation of the diocesan budget
*Diocesan Program Assessment calculations and delinquency
*The canonically-required offering in support of theological education *The process for canonical changes

The Amendments passed with only a few minor wording changes except for Canon 3.5: Convocations, where in Sec. 4 (c)[2] B. regarding terms for Convocation Council, they are now to be 2-year terms. This goes into effect 1/1/19.

6. St. Matthews in Portland was closed.

7. The All Saints Eucharist Offering and Basket Raffle ticket sales, for a combined total of $5,437.85,
went to the Commission on Poverty and Homelessness for grants that will be awarded to churches in

8. The Panty Drive for Rahab’s Sisters collected more than three hundreds of pairs of underwear for
women experiencing homelessness and poverty in Portland. They greatly appreciated Emmanuel’s contributions!

~submitted by Nancylee Stewart, Delegate to Convention

Diocesan Convention Highlights: Bishop Michael Hanley’s Address to Convention
*The Convention Keynote Speaker: Heidi Kim, The Episcopal Church’s Office for Racial Reconciliation

“Seeing Something from a Different Perspective”
Bishop Michael began his address with a video looking out the front window of a car driving down a very narrow two lane road with beautiful scenery and landscape all around. Suddenly a car was coming towards us but it was passing on the wrong side of the road. It quickly became clear that we were in a country where they drive on the other side of the road. The road seemed to get narrower and narrower, and suddenly we were passing a car but again it was very disorienting because everything was opposite what we’re used to.

Bishop Michael had the passenger in his car take this video while in Ireland earlier this summer. The lesson: sometimes we need to see something from a different perspective. In discussing it afterwards, some of us focused on the beauty and others on the tightness of the roads and hedges. Where we are on the road and where we’re headed are both important factors to consider.

He described the work that is currently being done to ask questions about the future vision of the Diocese of Oregon. He pulled together a small group that started this process. They were guided by the book, Canoeing the Mountains, by Todd Bolsinger. It’s about the challenge of church growth in this century and uses the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a metaphor for this work. They were doing fine with their canoes as they went down the Missouri River, but when they came to the Rocky Mountains they had to regroup as the canoes were not going to be much help in getting over the mountains. The learning? The way forward doesn’t look anything like the way behind. In order to navigate the future they had to ask what do we need to keep with us and what will we need to leave behind and who will be our guide?

Bishop Michael summarized by saying we’re on the right track in the church when clergy and the laity are leading together and when we believe and act as if every voice matters. Representatives of the Board of Directors, Standing Committee and the Diocesan Council will work with the Bishop to pull together a group for this vision work. We broke into table talks to discuss the question, “What do you believe God is calling the Diocese of Oregon to do and to be now and in the future?” This group will work over the next couple of years taking stock of our resources and where we are now and what work the Diocese needs to be about in the future. This conversation will ultimately include the question of where to locate
the Diocesan offices. The hope is that by starting with the vision and sense of call, the decision of where to locate the diocesan offices will become clear to everyone.

He asked that in this work we all commit to seeing the love of God through each other, to listen to one another, to find solutions for the problems we face and to remember that the road that lies ahead of us won’t look anything like the road behind us. Referring back to the opening video he asked, “What side of the road are we on?”

“The Beloved Community Work within the Episcopal Church”
Heidi works under our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry and is his staff officer for racial reconciliation. She was running a Beloved Community Workshop during the Tree of Life Temple shooting. She began her address by acknowledging, Unity in the Love of Christ is our theme and yet, unity seems very hard to hold onto during difficult times and during an election season. She described the resistance that we tend to feel to love in the midst of conflict. She said that part of being a Beloved Community means that being in relationship needs to be more important than being right. She asked us to reflect on how we will become beloved community? Who are we as a diocese and where are we in our journey of transformation? How are we each called to be a reconciler and healer in a world that desperately needs it? Heidi noted that during times of national disaster we see this kind of kind and compassionate behavior to those who are in crisis and she believes we can get there without a disaster. That’s the vision that she is working for and that the Episcopal Church is encouraging.

She started talking about President Trump and literally you could feel the tension in the room increase as no one knew where she was going with this but it felt like a dangerous topic. She reminded us that President Trump is a beloved child of God made in God’s image. She went on to talk about Hillary Clinton. My sense was that a little bit of tension decreased as there was a sense that she was going to be fair in whatever point she was making. She then reminded us that Hillary Clinton is a beloved child of God made in God’s image. She went on: the shooter at Tree of Life Temple is a beloved child of God made in God’s image. You could have heard a pin drop and her point was made.

Becoming Beloved Community is challenging work for us as individuals and as a church community but it is so important. How do we act so that my inherent value is the same as yours? In parishes we are being encouraged to come together across differences and to be patient with each other’s flaws. Why are we engaged in this work of becoming beloved community? Because that’s what Jesus calls us to do as a faith community. As our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry says, Jesus of Nazareth has shown us the way through chaos to the beloved community. Intrigued by this work of reconciliation? For more information or for Advent resources and meditations check out the following link: ource_for_print.pdf, or google Beloved Community, the Episcopal Church.

The Messenger November 2018

November 1, 2018
01 Nov 2018

Christy’s Corner: Becoming whole hearted lovers of life… strengthening our relationships and building community!

In our confession each Sunday we ask God to forgive us by saying these words “…for we have not loved you with our whole heart…” I’ve said those words most of my life and yet it’s only recently that I have begun to focus on them more intentionally as part of my spiritual journey. What does it mean not to love with our whole heart? For me I think it means that I haven’t depended on God fully in my life. But how might I work on that in order to draw closer to God? During this time of division and divisiveness in our nation, how might we fully depend upon God as a community in order to strengthen our relationships and build a stronger sense of community? How might we live our lives whole heartedly?

Brene Brown is a social worker in Texas and she does research on the sense of belonging, vulnerability and shame. I reference her work often as I believe it has a lot to do with our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. As she was attempting to make sense of her data for her recent book, Daring Greatly, she says, “With my data spread all over the house I started thinking, you know, what I’m looking for are these kind of very wholehearted people. And the word actually came to me because I go to an Episcopal church and, in one of our prayers, there’s a phrase, ‘I have not loved you with my whole heart.’ And I kept thinking these are people who are really loving with their whole heart, like even if they’re getting hurt, they’re still loving with their whole heart.”

During her interview with Krista Tippet on the podcast show, On Being, she explains how she started coding data and looking for patterns and themes in words. She found that one was a list that seemed to lead to whole hearted living and the other led to shutting down. What she found with the whole hearted lovers was that they had a sense of courage. Cour is from the Latin meaning “heart” and the original definition of courage was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Her research showed that whole hearted folks were those who had the courage to be imperfect. They also had the compassion to be kind to themselves first, because we can’t practice compassion to others if we can’t treat ourselves kindly. They had connection as a result of their authenticity because they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they are and that is necessary for true connection. The other quality they had in common was they fully embraced vulnerability because they believed what made them vulnerable also made them beautiful.

I find this all so compelling because I truly believe our Christian journey is about learning to live and tell our stories with our whole heart in community with one another. When we have courage to do that with compassion, kindness to ourselves and to others, authenticity, vulnerability, and connection then our relationships with God, ourselves and our neighbors are all enhanced and a sense of true community or the

beloved community is developed. As Brene Brown notes, when we share our stories with one another, our own vulnerable selves get reflected back to us and we all realize we are not alone. That is how community forms. In addition, our capacity to be whole hearted lovers is proportional to our ability to be broken hearted. If we are able to be honest and vulnerable with one another about our struggles and imperfections then we are more likely to be able to live our lives whole heartedly. Jesus modelled this consistently in his life and we’re asked to do the same as we seek to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul and love our neighbors as ourselves…whole heartedly!

I believe that’s some of the work we have been doing at Emmanuel as we have had the courage to try new things, and take risks. We’ve opened our doors and our hearts in many different ways to reach out to our community and to each other whole heartedly. I’m grateful for the relationships that have been and will continue to be developed as I truly believe that Emmanuel has something special to offer our community. During November, as we give-thanks for all the blessings in our lives, how might we be more intentional about being whole hearted lovers of life as individuals and as a community of faith?

With gratitude for this whole hearted journey that we are on and blessings to you and yours! Christy

Thursday, Nov. 1st, 9:00 AM Committal for Diane Mathis in the Chapel

Diane and her husband Robert were long-time members of Emmanuel, and Robert died many years ago (his ashes are in the Columbarium). Diane lived here until 4-5 years ago, when she moved to South Carolina to be near her son, Mark, and his family. She died this summer, and her ashes will be placed next to her husband’s. The service will only last about 15 minutes but if you knew Diane and would like to attend, please feel free to join us. Questions, talk to Christy.

Sunday, November 4th, Celebration of the Feast of All Saints and Commitment Sunday

This is an important feast day in the church year where we celebrate the communion of saints and are reminded, “That the saints of God are just folk like me, and I mean to be one too!”

Necrology: If you would like your loved ones who have died remembered in the reading of the necrology at both services, please give their names to Kerri at 541-269-5829 or If they are difficult names to pronounce, it is also helpful to include pronunciation cues.

The Sacrament of Baptism Offered: 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

Commitment Sunday: Please turn in your pledge cards on or before November 4th. We will bless them on November 4th for the ministry of Jesus Christ at Emmanuel. Pledge cards can be found at the back of the church or in the office.

Mark your calendars to “fall backwards” one hour as day light savings time ends on November 4th.

If the early service is the one you attend, we will look forward to seeing you at 8:00 AM for the Celebration of All Saints.

Knife/Scissor Sharpening Event!

(Be set for the Holidays)
Sunday, November 11th, after both services, Cary will again be available to sharpen knives/scissors or other cutting items – like garden shears. This is a fundraiser for our Preschool – donations for sharpening accepted. Bring your knives, scissors and other items with you to church on 11/11 and have them all ready for the upcoming holidays!!!! Sharpening will immediately follow the early service and the 10:00 AM service. Thanks for supporting our Preschool!!!!!

Thanksgiving Services, Holiday Office Hours, and Wednesday Services

Thanksgiving Service to be held on Sunday, November 18th
Don’t miss church on November 18th when we will use our Thanksgiving lessons, prayers and favorite hymns to give thanks for all of the many blessings in our lives.

Office hours for Thanksgiving Week will be Tuesday, November 20th, and Wednesday,
November 21st, from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The office will be closed on Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday Services: There will be no Wednesday services on November 21st or November 28th, as Christy will be away during the week.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

The 33rd Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal, sponsored by the Coos Food Cupboard, Local Churches and Businesses, will be held November 22nd from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM at Harmony United Methodist Church. For transportation or delivery to the homebound, please call 541-267-4410. If you are able to volunteer for this event, there is a sign-up sheet in the church entryway.

Help Keep Food Cupboard’s Shelves Filled during the Holidays

As you prepare for your own family celebrations, be sure to buy extra food for the Food Cupboard and help us to fill up the shopping cart in the church entryway.

Christmas Basket Time is Fast Approaching!

It’s hard to believe that CHRISTMAS is right around the corner and so is our annual Christmas basket ministry. This year I agreed to lead this effort and I’m hoping that we can form a temporary ministry team to divide up the areas and ensure that none of the jobs are too big. It’s a joyful experience putting all of this together and my thoughts are to have 4 others join me, one for helping to organize the lists from the schools; one to organize the shopping; one for the wrapping; and one for distribution. Then we will add lots of volunteers to carry out all of the different parts as we help to make some Christmas dreams come true! Sound like fun? Then please call or text me at 541-252-1076 or email me at to get involved

Blessings! Patti Nichols

Vestry Visibility: The vestry has been busy recently!

As I prepared to write this month’s Vestry Visibility article, I decided, as a new vestry member, to research what the vestry is supposed to be doing. In an article by Steven Evenbeck on the Episcopal Church Foundation’s “Vestry Papers” webpage My Top Ten: List of Vestry Responsibilities ( responsibilities), I found a great description of the role of the vestry in the church.

Mr. Evenbeck noted that a vestry is a group of people from different backgrounds with different agendas all seeking to discern and ensure, through effective organization and planning, the mission of the church by taking concrete actions. I cannot think of a better example of this process than the recent presentation of our European Street Faire. From conception, to planning, to implementation, our vestry worked together with parish and community members to put on a successful neighborhood event. Another example was our recent stewardship event. Dave Laird’s slide show, assembled with photos from several sources, was a real highlight

According to Evenbeck, the vestry should seek continuity and at the same time embrace change. The vestry has listened to members who would like to see the time of our liturgical non-musical service moved ahead to 8:00 AM. Vestry members do not represent individual interests, but seek to discern and implement our church’s mission. The vestry has determined that perhaps starting 30 minutes later might create an opportunity for more worshippers to attend this service, and help us accomplish our congregational goal of bringing more people to church. Some vestry members are enthusiastic while others are skeptical, yet we are certain that the congregational conversations that are cultivated by this experiment will enhance our community.

It is the duty of the vestry to responsibly manage the resources of our church. I have been impressed by how carefully and thoughtfully the vestry has reviewed the finances of our church and preschool every month. This review has led to a new record keeping system that helps vestry members and church staff better track income and expenditures, which allows for more effective planning.

Our monthly meetings are grounded in the Spirit. By beginning our meetings with prayer and devotion, and concluding with the Eucharist, members are able to keep in mind that the purpose of each meeting is to help our parish further God’s mission.

As we begin a new liturgical year, three individuals of our vestry are completing their terms of service, and we are going to need three new members. It’s a great opportunity to be involved with the church!

Al Rumsch

Stewardship Report: “In God’s Economy, the currency is love!”

Thank you so much to all of you who have returned your pledge card for the 2019 calendar
year. To date, we have received 28 pledge cards for a total of $81,180.00. Commitment
Sunday will be on Nov. 4th when we will bless all of our financial commitments and pledges of prayers, time and gifts, giving thanks for the ministry of Jesus Christ at Emmanuel. The Vestry is grateful for your response! If you haven’t yet returned a pledge card, please turn it in as soon as possible as it will save us a follow-up phone call. You can find them in the church entryway or the office.

With gratitude and joyful hearts,

Your stewardship team,
Dave Laird, Team Leader, Patti Nichols, Pledge Secretary, Pat Cross, Nadine Allen and Pastor Christy

Please help Emmanuel’s Preschool welcome Assistant Teacher, Katie Guetterman, and On Call Teacher’s Assistant, Grace Inskeep, to our team!

KATIE’S BIO: Hi, I’m Katie Guetterman, the Assistant Preschool and After Care Teacher. I was born and raised here in Coos Bay Oregon. I graduated Marshfield high school and received my AA degree from Southwestern Oregon Community College. I have been working with kids for about 5 years now. I started out as a dance teacher working with kids of all ages and just fell in love! I have also worked in other daycares and a grade school, and I have been a nanny for the past year now. Thank you for welcoming me into this amazing family here at Emmanuel. I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

GRACE’S BIO: Hi, my name is Grace Inskeep. I’m currently a sophomore in high school. I’m super excited to be working at Emmanuel Preschool! I attended Emmanuel Preschool between the ages of 3-5! I remember always playing dress up and running around on the playground with all my friends! It’s so fun to be working with Teacher Cathy, as she was my teacher when I attended Emmanuel as a preschool student. I plan on pursuing a career in Early Childhood Education. All my life I’ve been somebody who loves being around kids, and I couldn’t see myself going into a profession without them! I spend a lot of my time with our local Younglife group. Younglife is a local youth group that helps kids to get to know the Lord. I’ve met all of my best friends through Young life, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. It’s been a huge part of my self-growth and becoming who I am today. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me at Emmanuel Preschool!

Advanced Directives and Plans for your Celebration of Life

Following our planned giving workshop last winter, we committed to each other we would continue to work on completing our advanced directives and plans for our celebration of life to make it easier for our loved ones when we die. If you have completed them, then don’t forget to make sure we have a copy in the church office. They will be placed in an envelope to be opened if needed, and we will store them in the file cabinet that’s in the fire proof storage area in the entry to the undercroft. If you need an advanced directive pamphlet or need help completing either of these, please don’t hesitate to give Christy a call at 541-728-7988.

Registration for Emmanuel Episcopal Church Godly Play Training

Friday, November 16th, 1:00 PM -9:00 PM and Saturday, Nov. 17th, 9:00 AM -4:00 PM

What is Godly Play? It is a Montessori based curriculum that introduces children to the foundational stories of our faith in age appropriate ways. It encourages children to engage with these stories by asking wondering questions.

Who is the training for? It is for individuals, and/or couples who are interested in journeying with children as they explore their own spirituality and learn foundational biblical stories.

Why would I want to attend? Couples might want to attend to provide a language for talking about spirituality with their children at home. Or you might be interested in being part of the team that offers these stories during chapel each week for the older class or on Sunday morning for children who attend Emmanuel, Faith Lutheran or your own church. Or just because it sounds interesting and you want to learn more.

If interested, talk to Christy or Hannah for more information. Registration forms are in the entryway or the office. Cost will be $25/person and scholarships are available if needed.

Please call the church office by Nov. 6th to sign-up as we need to have at least 10 people to enable us to have this training locally.

The Messenger October 2018

October 2, 2018
02 Oct 2018

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

Summer Reflections

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.

Service Times

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

**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

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.

The Messenger September 2018

September 16, 2018
16 Sep 2018

Christy’s Corner

My husband, Jack, spent a year in England in the late 80’s. At the time in the Church of England (as an FYI: the Episcopal church is a direct descendant of the Church of England–both of us are part of the world-wide, Anglican Communion), 3% of the population attended church which is perhaps a product of having a church linked to the government. The Puritans, the Quakers, and others settled America for just this reason: they wanted the freedom to worship God in their own way. But I digress!
As we begin our program year, I’m struck by the energy the Street Faire is generating. It’s the time of year when we come back together after vacation or spending time visiting relatives or just having a different schedule. We are returning to a tried and true schedule, a routine with which we are familiar, and yet we are involved in something new and exciting and fun! The Street Faire, a new vision and a way of doing church that seeks to remedy that bunker mentality where 3% of the population attends church.

As we return to an orderly schedule, it is great to have an inspiring model of what the church is meant to be. We exist for the people who are not members. We sacrifice our time, our hard earned cash, and our abilities in order to serve those beyond our walls.

Our son’s godfather once noted that service and evangelism in the Episcopal Church seemed to be patterned after this idea: you build an aquarium that is incredibly attractive with just the right style or panache, place it down at the end of the pier, and pray that fish jump into the tank.
The Street Faire helps us kick off the program year in the spirit that started the Church, by getting out into the community at large and inviting them to come have fun with us.

We’re journeying like the two disciples did on the Road to Emmaus, (Luke 24:13-35) and like them, our hearts burn within us in three different ways: encountering Jesus in the Bible, touching Jesus in breaking bread together (even if it’s brauts, pizza and yummy desserts,) and seeing Jesus in the face of those with whom we serve (call it fellowship beyond our walls.) With the Street Faire, we intentionally offer our North Bend/Coos Bay community an opportunity to travel with us in order to be touched by the Spirit.

One of the things that impacted us so much in Kenya was the fellowship we had with the people there, both churched and un-churched. In stepping out into the community rather than waiting for “fish to jump into the aquarium,” we were the ones who were changed the most. Like the little kid’s song, we experienced “…love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away; love is something if you give it away, you end up having more!” Good on us here at Emmanuel for giving our love away by reaching out to our community, we will “…end up having more.” In touching others in fellowship, we are the ones who will be touched profoundly.

Thanks be to God and to Teri Whitty for the inspirational vision! Blessings and gratitude to our whole community for helping to make the vision a reality…and prayers for a beautiful day!

With gratitude! Christy

Welcome Back BBQ – Sunday, September 16th, 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! We’ll provide the hot dogs and hamburgers. Please bring a side dish or a dessert to help us celebrate.

Sunday School

Sunday school will be starting October 7th this fall, and we will need many volunteers to make it work. We’re hoping to have teams who commit for 2 different months throughout the program year. We will also be offering Godly Play during chapel time for the 3-5 year olds in the preschool. If you are interested in finding out more about our Sunday School and Chapel Program, Emmanuel will be hosting a Godly Play training the afternoon of Sept 14th and the 15th. The training retreat will be led by Caryl Creswell, who has taught Godly Play training all over the world and is an amazing
facilitator. Registration forms are in the office. Cost will be $25/person and scholarships are available if needed. If interested, talk to Christy or Kerri for more information with questions or to reserve your spot (office-541-269-5829, Christy-541-728-7988)!

Music at Emmanuel

Emmanuel parish is supported by both a Choral Choir and a Contemporary Music group. The Choral Choir is directed by Tom Collins, who is also the organist. The Contemporary Music Group is directed by Dan Powell.

A little bit about Dan and the Contemporary Group…
Dan has been interested in music and wanted a guitar “for as long as I can remember.” He did receive his guitar at age 9 and started “right off” with lessons on both the guitar and keyboard. After high school graduation, he attended Chabot College in Hayward, California majoring and receiving his Associates Degrees in Business, Machine Tooling, and Voice & Music Theory. He says “voice was my weakest area!” String instruments were also part of his studies.

Soon after graduation, he opened a machine tooling business in Tracy, California. In 1993, he moved to Coos Bay and opened another machine tooling business. He has since closed that business and retired.

Twenty years ago, he made Emmanuel his home church and joined the Contemporary Group, under the direction of Bob Peil, playing guitar. When Bob retired in 2006, Dan assumed the directorship of the group.

The Contemporary Group supports our 10:00 AM Sunday service once a month during the program year, usually on the first Sunday. For the past several years, the Glory and Praise Hymnal has been the source of their music. The Kyrie (O Lamb of God) and Doxology (Thank You Lord) that is used when the Contemporary Group sings were both written by Dan. He also has written a Sanctus (Holy, holy, holy Lord). Dan is an accomplished musician, and we are grateful to have him here at Emmanuel!

The Contemporary Group includes Kerry Oxford, Soprano; Pam Chaney, Alto; and Neville Cordell, Baritone. Instrumentalists are Jennifer Hancock, Bass Guitar; Nancy Clark, Piano; and Dan, Guitar.

They are looking for a drummer.

The Contemporary Group meets on Thursdays at 6:30 PM. Their first rehearsal for the “new” season will be Thursday, September 6th.

The Choral Choir’s first rehearsal is Wednesday, September 5th at 6:00 PM.

Both groups meet in the church. The Choral Choir and the Contemporary Group are open to new instrumentalists and voices in all ranges! Contact for more information:
Dan Powell phone: 541-982-0013 email: or Tom Collins phone: 541-269-1082

European Street Faire – Don’t miss the Fun!

Sunday, September 9th, 3 to 7 p.m. 4th & Market Streets Free Entry

Delicious foods at sidewalk cafés! Music with a polka band and more! Paddy’s Irish Pub! Auntie Em’s Attic Shoppe! Preschool fine art and landscapes! KinderFaire games for all ages! Lilliput Park! The Pied Piper! Raffle of Spot the Giraffe! And more…… ~submitted by Teri Whitty

People and Pets Invited to the Blessing of our Animal Friends at Mingus Park Sunday, October 7th, 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 and it is well trained and in a cage or on a leash, they are also 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.

Also: Special Prayers of the People on October 7th for our Beloved Pets. Do you have a special pet who has died recently or is specially remembered by you and your family? Then send their info, preferably name and a picture, to the church office to be included in our prayers on October 7.

Special Thank You’s to

Karen Pruhsmeier, Judy Jennings, Pat Cross, Nat Jaeggli, and Teri & John Whitty, who reframed the photos of Emmanuel’s past priests! Make sure to stop in the hallway outside the undercroft on your way to coffee hour and see what a wonderful wall of history we have here to share.

Name Tags

September is the season and the reason for Name Tags. Those of you that have neatly hung yours on the wood stands should retrieve them. Please wear your name tag for the service and the Coffee Hour. We have several new members, and every Sunday throughout the summer we have had visitors, some from out of the area, and some from Coos Bay/North Bend.

Our goal is to have everyone wear their name tag on September 16th for the gathering after the 10:00 o’clock service. This is a great time to meet 7:30 or 10:00 o’clock worshipers. If you do not have a name tag, or have misplaced yours, please let Carla Courtney know via her email or call 541-266- 9290. See you there – with a name tag!
~submitted by Carla Courtney

Summer Reflections

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 John Sweet for sharing with us.

“As summer winds down, I look back on the time Michelle and I had with our family and especially our grandchildren. The pleasure and love we experienced with our family was repeated whenever we dropped by the church during Preschool hours. It is gratifying to see how many young lives Emmanuel is touching.”
~ John Sweet

The Preschool has been state certified for our second year!

Thank you for your prayers! Thank you to everyone who helped and supported us to be our best so we can continue to give our kids the best education and care possible. We are proud to be fostering the positive growth of an upcoming generation of our community’s citizens, and we couldn’t do what we do without all of you. Thank you!

Preschool Summer Camps

As our preschool summer camps come to a close tomorrow, here are a few of our favorite moments from the last few weeks…

“Born to Move” – Campers this week had special guest, Miss Alison from the Pacific School of Dance, each day to show them how to move their bodies through dance. They were also shown how to listen to their resting heart beats versus their heart beats after being active and had A LOT of silly and fun dance parties. We ended our week with showing off our very own dance/movement routine. A special thank you to Pam Chaney and the Pacific School of Dance!

“Blast Off to Space” – Campers blasted off to space to explore the sun and the planets! We had a special story time around our “campfire” with s’mores to learn about our most notable constellations, made “Martian Mud”, and our campers earned their Jr. Astronaut Certificates, along with being able to take home a sample of astronaut food.

“Fables and Folktales” – Campers delved into our favorite fables and folktales, especially “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, and explored characters with important lessons about relationships and choices. We read and acted out various stories and wrote our own stories to share. It was our mini summer theater! PHOTO: Eli Davidson as “The Troll” and Eve Gederos as “The Medium Sized Goat”.

“It’s A Small World” – Campers went international this week and explored the continents. We “visited” other continents by exploring cultural food items, language and music and what makes each of us special on this planet. BIG thank you’s to Mr. Lorincz for coming by and sharing language and music from Mexico, the Bridges Family for providing us with a fresh, healthy snack for our campers to explore the Mediterranean and for sharing music from around the world, and to our own Teacher Faith for making crepes and exploring France with our campers.

Coos Food Cupboard

Emmanuel Parish houses the Coos Food Cupboard, supported by the South Coast Food Share Program.
The Food Cupboard is open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from noon until 2:00 PM. During this time, a daily average of anywhere from 22 to 57 families may be helped in one day, with each family identifying 2 to 3 to 5 to 8 family members. We also help just a single person who is perhaps newly working but needs some food for “now”, or those without homes or shelter. These people are never asked about circumstances or living conditions. We give food to all who come through our doors. Many will tell us that they do not have any way to keep food cold except maybe in an ice chest if they can afford the ice. And many do not have cooking surfaces and ask if we can give them something that does not have to be cooked.

The Coos Food Cupboard has an active board that includes names that are familiar. Brian Sullivan is the President; Diana Schab recently stepped in for our retiring Fran Whitaker. There is Pat Cross, Nancy Lane, Doris Wilson, and Jerry & Jeanette Stonebraker.

Keeping the Cupboard stocked requires lots of pickup trucks, and we have a fine crew consisting of Brian Sullivan, Pat Cross, Nat Jaeggli, Jeff Clark, Nick Furman (the produce guy), Tim Wall, Nova Cordell, and Bob Jacobson (the bread man). Nick also collects produce that might be beyond its prime and delivers to those who distribute to the deer and wildlife in the area.

MWF shifts of volunteers number from 6-7 per day, which means it takes 20-21 volunteers to man all the days open. There is a greeter, 2 cover the front desk, and 4-5 distribute the canned vegetables and fruit, cereal, crackers, peanut butter, shelf milk, sealed meals like stew and a host of other staples like rice, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce. A meat is offered each day. One day it could be a whole frozen chicken, another day pork or ground beef, and sometimes even cat fish or fish sticks. And often, we get donations of decorated cakes or cupcakes from Safeway. The families are thrilled to receive these!

What we also need and receive requests for: toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish washing soap, and bars of soap for baths/showers. You may donate food or care items by placing in the shopping cart that is in the Undercroft. Thank you from the Food Cupboard volunteers and those so in need!

The Messenger July 2018

July 8, 2018
08 Jul 2018

Christy’s Corner

Why Africa?!

As Jack’s and my mission trip draws nearer, that’s a question that many people have asked me. Of all of the places you could go, or the things you could do for your annual continuing education, why are you going to Africa? I was grateful to be asked this question because it led to much reflection about what I am hoping to experience and learn.

Africa has always been on my bucket list. One day about a year ago, my husband Jack who works as a hospital chaplain was calling on a patient. In the course of their visit he discovered that she and her husband were both Methodist pastors and they attended Church of the Transfiguration in Sisters, the same church that our family attends there. This couple goes to the early ecumenical service so they had never met. After talking for a while she said, “You and your wife should come to Africa with us?” Turns out they have been leading mission trips to Africa through the Volunteers in Mission program with the Methodist Church for the last 12 years and actually lived there for three years while Jim served as the hospital administrator. Jack came home that night and said, “I think we should go to Africa!” Never one to say no to an adventure, the rest is history.

So why do I consider this continuing education and not vacation? Sometimes continuing education is spent learning intellectual things and sometimes it is more experiential. For me a mission trip is where you offer yourself, mind, body and spirit to help others in need. It can be in the place we live or far away, but in the experience of offering ourselves to help our neighbors, we are the ones who are ultimately transformed. The way that this trip evolved…an invitation in the midst of Jack doing his ministry of chaplaincy, to a place we’ve both always wanted to go…to serve others in hospitals, schools, an orphanage and churches…those are some of the reasons we “know” our names are on the list, and God has called us to be part of this team. Hard work, transformational ministry and the experience of a lifetime? You bet! Vacation? Not so much!

When I experienced my call to ordained ministry I was on retreat in Cuernavaca, Mexico. My spiritual director at the time said to me, “I think God needed to get you out of the country where you don’t speak the language in order to hear God’s call!” I’ve thought a lot about that over the last couple of months. Is there something that I will be more open to because I’m in a very different culture where I don’t speak the language? What is it Lord, that you want me to learn and experience and reflect on?” I don’t know the answer, but I’m working to prepare my heart to truly be open and to let go of any expectations.

My hopes are that by immersing myself in a different culture I will be able to experience time and abundance in a different way. We have so much in our country and yet how many times do we end up complaining that there isn’t enough time or money? I’m looking forward to having that sense of scarcity challenged. I’m also hoping and praying that by being a minority in a predominately black country I will be able to go deeper into the understanding of my own racism and my part in the institutional racism of my country. Perhaps going back to the continent where many of the slaves in our country were born and then captured will inform my understanding of the work I still need to do, help me heal and bring increased healing to others. I’m looking forward to serving alongside my husband for three weeks and to speaking the universal language of love to those we come alongside. I’m looking forward to truly offering myself to God, “Here I am Lord, send me!” At the end of our trip we get to stay in a very nice hotel and go on a three day safari…I am also truly looking forward to that!

For those of you who are also travelling this summer, “Journey well!”

Summer blessings and my prayers to you and yours! Christy

Happy 4th of July

The Preschool and Kerri are on vacation this week to enjoy some much deserved vacation time! As a result, the office will be closed until Tuesday, July 10th.

General Convention of the Episcopal Church and The ECW Triennial Gathering July 5th -13th in Austin, Texas!

The Episcopal Church’s General Convention is held every three years, and is the governing body of the Church. It comprises the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 active and retired bishops, and the House of Deputies, with clergy and lay deputies elected from the 108 dioceses and three regional areas of the Church. The Rt. Reverend Michael Curry is our Presiding Bishop and the head of the Episcopal

Church. He’s the one who likes to remind us that we are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement encouraging us to get up and get going to spread the love and joy to those who don’t know about it! He has inspired many and will continue to lead our church for the next 6 years. The ECW Triennial meets at the same time to carry on their work and ministry on behalf of the Church.

There are many highlights of this year’s convention including The Episcopal Church Conversations (TEConversations), three engaging and informative sessions each focused on one of the three priorities of General Convention – Racial Reconciliation, Evangelism and Care of Creation.

Additional items for discussion at this General Convention include:
* whether to ever publish another Book of Common Prayer or continue to use supplements * a listening session to hear people’s stories of how they have been marginalized by the
church. This will help inform how we can ensure that our church is welcoming to all. * how we call and screen our bishops and much, much more!

For daily updates or to view the TEConversations go to the Episcopal Church website or


Consider offering yourself as an “intercessor or pray-er” from now until July 13th praying for the work and ministry of General Convention, the governing body of the church gathered together, for all of the delegates and for our ministry and mission.

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be
present with those who take counsel at General Convention in Austin, Texas for
the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Book of Common Prayer, pg. 818

“God is listening to us. Listen for him to be a part of the conversation.”

…Finley, Connie, Cathy, Linda, Robert, Cameron, Megan, Joe, Carol, Jeff, Fritz, Jasmine, Thom, Ruth, Joe, Mackenzie, Sharon, Randy, Oliver, Josh, Jill, Robert, Susan, Charles, Ralph, Jim, Betty – What do I do With This Long List of Names?
-submitted by Fran Whitaker

Each Sunday morning as I opened the bulletin this question confronted me. There was a time when I knew most of them. It was lengthy but manageable. As the list grew, it became more practical to leave off the last name providing for more space and anonymity. Now what do I do if I consciously want to pray for these people? I tried offering them to God each morning by reading each name. That didn’t feel right. I tried ignoring the list. That felt even less right. I know God knows each one but I think he wants me to know them too. After much trial and error I found a way that usually works for me. Because my prayers are a conversation with God I can trust he will tell me what works and what doesn’t.

Monday morning I pray the entire list with pen in hand. I may not know the specific person named but I do know folks who have that name. I underline the ones I think I can identify. The next morning I may pray only the underlined names thinking of the ones I know personally. God knows. The third morning I often pray only my personal list. Those who know I am praying for them. I try to be direct by letting people know I’m praying for them. The rest of the week I do a variation of the above. It is comforting to know that the entire list is prayed at each Wednesday healing service. This works for me. You may have another “system.” God is listening to us. Listen for him to be a part of the conversation.

Please welcome our bookkeeper, Diana Hunter, to our staff team!

She shares with us, “Hi my name is Diana Hunter, I moved to Reedsport a year ago from Colorado. I fell in love with the Oregon Coast and am excited to make it my home! I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be the bookkeeper for the Church, and to be part of an outstanding Christian team. I’m very delighted to have been chosen for this position in my field and look forward to meeting everyone.”

Diana is currently training with Tammy in the evenings during the month of July. We are incredibly grateful to Tammy for agreeing to stay on to provide this training. We will be looking for a way to celebrate and thank Tammy for her expertise and all that she has done as our bookkeeper over the last 6 years. Fortunately as a church member, she will continue to be around so we don’t need to say goodbye, just thank you!

Who’s covering what while Christy is on mission July 2nd – 25th?

Sunday Worship: The Rev. Rich Landrith, will cover Sunday services and preach. Tom has some wonderful music planned and Rich is a lot of fun so we will be in good hands on Sunday morning!

Please extend a warm welcome and help him find his way around as this is only the second time he’s been here. He will be staying at Shepherd’s House during the weekends.

Emergency Pastoral Care will be provided by The Rev. Eileen Hedon while Christy is gone. Eileen is retired from St. John’s in Bandon and her phone number is 316-833-8213. Last time Christy was away she supplied and she very much enjoys our congregation. She also has a heart for pastoral care so if needed she will serve us well.

Wednesday services in July: There will be no Wednesday services in July. We will look forward to resuming our midweek service schedule on August 1st with eucharist at 6:30 AM and 12:00 PM.

Leadership Team: Dave Laird, Senior Warden will also be out of town for much of July. Pat Cross and our Junior Warden, Josh Payne will fill in for any urgent needs.

Pastoral Care: This will be provided the same way it always is, by each of us caring for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. A ride here and there, a meal, flowers an unexpected visit or phone call. This is the body of Christ at work. Let’s be mindful to find ways to stay connected this summer.

Hospitality: We have many visitors in July with the music festival and many other activities. Continue to pray for those who will come through our doors. When you are in town, be at church to welcome them to our community whether, it’s for one day or for the next 20 years!


A note from Christy and her team:
Thanks to all of you who have supported this mission with your prayers, financial donations, school supplies, preemie baby hats, blankets, and books. Your generosity, prayers and love have truly joyed our hearts. We’ll look forward to sharing our experiences and reflections with you when we return.

Please continue to keep our team in your prayers and know that I’m holding you close to my heart and in my prayers while I’m away!


European Street Fair 9 – 9 – 17
Food & Drink! Games! Music! Dancing! Surprises! Let’s get the whole parish to join in and have fun while we make it happen! This event also gives Emmanuel the opportunity to reach the wider community to share what we love about Emmanuel! Don’t miss out on the fun, please contact Teri Whitty to find the best place for you to offer your gifts and get involved.

Godly Play Training in September
Save the afternoon of Sept 14th and the 15th for an awesome retreat experience and training in Godly Play. Caryl Creswell will once again return to help us build the team of trained storytellers and door keepers so that we can offer Sunday School during our 10:00 AM service. We will attempt to have teams who serve a month at a time so you’re not committed every Sunday. More info available in August. Don’t miss this great opportunity to help our youngest members learn the foundational stories of our faith while you brush up as well. Call the church office with questions or to reserve your spot!

Vestry Visibilty

Dear Emmanuel Members,

On the Vestry, I work alongside Terri Whitty on hospitality, to welcome new community members into our church with hospitality, information and by September 9, 2018 an event open to the public that we are billing the first European Street Fair. While the Street Fair is Terri Whitty’s brain child, I have been working on a different project reaching out to people new to Coos Bay/North Bend via snail mail style letters, hand addressed, signed by Pastor Christy and Senior Warden David Laird, then stamped and posted.

The letter isn’t “boiler plate”. Instead I make a good effort to personalize each one. Where possible, I like to acknowledge in the opening paragraph, the training, educational foundations and expertise the recipients of our welcome letter bring to our community. I describe us as one of the founding churches of our area. I name our community wide ministries: food cupboard and pre-school with infant and daycare. The letter includes al of our contact information and I invite all faith traditions to pay us a visit as a place that values community service. To date I have mailed about two dozen letters to new professors at SOCC as well as to new medical professionals. I plan to identify additional sources through work related web pages, prepare letters and send them as often as the vestry meets.

I need your help to continue to reach out and welcome new members to our beautiful area by passing along by phone or email (530-217-9183 or your personal knowledge of new faces — names with an address and some general background information are sufficient. Newcomers need not be just arrived and unpacking. They may have lived in the area for a few years, but they may not know about us.

If you can help me find out where they’ve moved from, perhaps what they do, where they went to school and/or why they moved here and pass it on to me, I’ll take care of the rest. Including just those bits of knowledge, to my eye, makes a personal and friendly but not intrusive letter.

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather while we have it!

Yours in Christ, Sheryl Gerety, Emmanuel Vestry/Welcome Committee

The Messenger June 2018

June 1, 2018
01 Jun 2018

Christy’s Corner

It’s Summertime!

I’m late! I’m late. For a very important date! No time to say hello! Good-bye!
I’m late! I’m late! I’m Late! – -the Mad Hatter, From Alice in Wonderland

Sometimes that’s how my days can feel. I wake clear and rested, light flooding my room. I go on my walk and the day seems endless and free. Making breakfast, I respond to a text from our kids or a friend, and then something catches my attention and I realize there are a couple of bills that haven’t been paid…then I remember I need to water the flower pots and I see some details from the day before that I didn’t get to and suddenly an hour has gone by and I’m running late to get to the office on time. It’s possible to hang on to that sense of “franticness” all day long and to watch it grow throughout the day. The focus seems to be on being behind and all those things that I haven’t done. I laugh at myself. I can so easily become a slave to a schedule I create. Many times, not one of these things is necessary today. I wonder? How might I make different choices?

It’s summertime! Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity… I realize the desire on my heart is to be able to intentionally “shift down” a gear or two. I’m being drawn to take time to really notice the things and people around me and to listen and feel and reflect more deeply. I want to pay more attention to my surroundings, the things and situations that happen “between” the planned events, in the spaces and gaps. That means I need to work to expand those gaps and spaces between events so I have increased time for noticing and wondering. More and more I’m asking God to help me live in the present moment, appreciating it for what it is and having gratitude for those people and objects and creatures who cross my path 24/7.

It’s summertime! The strawberries are in season again and warmer days are around the corner. What is God drawing us to do differently this season? What is God wanting us to notice? How is God reaching out to us with love? My hope this summer is that we might all pause to notice the blessings that are all around us and take the time to share them with each other!

In pausing to be in the garden, I notice there is a ladybug on an artichoke leaf that does not seem to be late for anything.

Summertime blessings to you and yours!

(This article was inspired by a meditation on May 4th, “Filling in the Day” in The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo.)


Getting to know God and growing closer to him is what Christianity is about. Serving God in His church is certainly one way of growing closer to our Lord.

This brings us to my topic for this month’s vestry contribution to Emmanuel’s newsletter: VOLUNTEERING!

Like most local churches (our parish) Emmanuel is run by us. We do have our paid staff and they are hardworking, productive, and necessary. But much of Emmanuel’s day-to-day operations are done by folks like you and me.

One opportunity available for us to do God’s work is the food cupboard. Located in the basement of the church offices (parish house), Emmanuel houses an Ecumenical (coalition of churches) food service that distributes the largest volume of food to the needy on the southern Oregon Coast. Parishioner Brian Sullivan is the director, Brian leads a volunteer staff of about 25 people from various churches around the Bay Area, including many from Emmanuel.

The food cupboard is open for food distribution Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from noon to 2:00 pm. On these same three days of the week stocking shelves and shipment receiving takes place beginning at 9:00 am. Many of our volunteers are, shall we say, elderly. These folks are typically our best volunteers! The point is age is not a limiting factor. Many of us have reached the age where there are a lot of things we cannot do, BUT, there are many, many things we CAN do, Lord help us to focus on these things.

In addition to the food cupboard there many other opportunities to serve, a partial list includes:
Coffee hour, choir participation, acolytes (no age limitation), lay reader, usher, alter guild, nursery and day care opportunities for those of us who have experience raising children. Shrub, garden, and lawn care. The list goes on, I am sure there are opportunities I have forgot.

Of course keeping the Sabbath on Sunday mornings is what we do and ———- by all means keep on keeping the Sabbath (attend church). We can also contribute to the ‘nuts and bolts’ perpetuation of Emmanuel parish while serving our Lord Jesus Christ and growing to know Him better and walking closer to him through VOLUNTEERING!

Tim Wall Emmanuel Vestry

What an amazing year of transformation and growth in our Preschool!

As we wrap up a new year filled with so many gifts received and found within the community brought together by this journey, we reflect:

Thank you to the following people for a great year!

Cathy Bishop, Nadine Trapold, Faith Crowell, Emily Wilson, Hannah Payne, and Kerri Coldren – for being our devoted, nurturing and wonderful teachers!

The Rev. Christy Close Erskine – for our chapel and Godly Play time and helping us learn how much God loves us and for being part of our lives.

All of our wonderful preschool families – for the many ways you volunteer and help to enhance the life of our preschool. Thank you for sharing your children with us. We are so blessed to have each and every one.

Our Preschool Board and Nancylee Stewart – for your leadership, the gift of your time, and all the extra things you do to support our school throughout the year.

The Vestry (leadership team of Emmanuel Church)- for believing in us and supporting our expanded vision!
The Congregation – for sharing your space with us, opening your hearts to us and having patience in so many ways.

Hannah Payne, our Director and fearless leader – for the gift of her vision for our school and the hours and hours of hard work and dedication.

to God– for blessing us all so richly. It has been a very blessed year, and we are grateful!

To all the children who touch our lives every day with their sweet smiles and laughter!

Wednesday Summer Service Schedule

There will be no Wednesday services in July. They will resume for the first 3 weeks in August. Then there will be no Wednesday services until September 5th when we will resume the regular schedule.

Have you seen the preschool’s new garden?

It’s pretty amazing with marigolds, basil, strawberries…Many people have been commenting on the cool strawberry pots that fit over the fencing. If you have more deck space than garden space, you can get them at Fred Meyer.

Mother’s Day Tea with the Older Preschool Class 2018 – Love was in the Air!

Remember the feeling of anticipation when you have worked really hard to make or do something special for a person you really, really love? The feeling is palpable and grows and grows. That’s the way it was in our preschool as the older preschool class prepared for their Mother’s Day Tea. The kids could hardly wait to share their special items with their moms and the moms could hardly wait for them to see the special placemats they had made for their kids. A truly special day when love was in the air!

We need your gifts…

use the summer to experiment with offering them in a new way: Ushering, Acolyting, Helping with the Street Fair in September, Coffee Hour, Musical Offerings…you name it, we’ve got a place for your gifts!

During the summer, we need help covering several positions in our worship service so this might be the perfect time to step up to this calling with your gifts! We will need acolytes and ushers and training will be provided to people who volunteer. The nursery also needs someone who can cover when Darlene is out of town. Questions, talk to Christy or Kerri.

Calling for Musical Talent!

We are looking for those who would like to share their musical talents (voice, or instrument of any kind) during our 10:00 AM services this summer. Please contact Tom or Carla if you are interested in volunteering your time and talent. Thank you!

“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

An Unlikely Summer Romance

On Trinity Sunday, Christy challenged us to reflect on the words that we use when we pray to God. Sometimes the words we use can either expand our experiences of God’s love… or they can limit our ability to experience God’s love.
Why not use the summer to experiment with praying to a different name or image of God and see what doors might open for you? Always pray to Father, Son or Holy Spirit? Perhaps experiment with Creator, Redeemer or Sustainer? Or what about Earth Maker, Pain Bearer or Life Giver? See if it makes a difference in your relationship and/or conversations with God.

The names and images for God in the Bible, in religious history and in our own experience are truly limitless. Have a little fun this summer and choose one of the words above and see what happens when you pray using that image of God. Even more fun, commit to doing it as a family or with a group of friends so you can share the stories of how God meets you in unexpected ways.

Our journeys of faith are truly a love story with our God. Let’s use this summer to fall in love all over again!

~ a nightly prayer sent in by Joe McKeown

A Collect for Aid Against Perils
Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
From Evening Prayer, pg. 123, “The Book of Common Prayer”

Lord, it is night.

it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace. The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.
In your name we pray.
From New Zealand Prayer Book, pg. 184

Kerri is leading the summer camps for the Preschool this summer so new office hours will begin June 4th through the end of August:

Monday – Closed Tuesday-1PMto5PM Wednesday-1PMto5PM Thursday-1PMto5PM Friday-1PMto5PM

**July Newsletter Submissions are due Tuesday, June 26th.