The Messenger August 2014
A NEW RECTOR FOR EMMANUEL!
It is with joy that the Vestry announces that The Reverend Christy Close Erskine has accepted the call to become Emmanuel’s sixteenth rector. Christy was baptized, confirmed and married at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Mercer Island (near Seattle) so she says, “It feels like coming full circle to serve at Emmanuel, Coos Bay and I am really excited to be joining you all in ministry!”
The youngest of 6 children, she holds a BS from the University of Puget Sound, majoring in Occupational Therapy and Psychology and an MBA from the University of Washington. A 1993 graduate of Yale Divinity School and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale (the Episcopal Seminary at Yale) she was ordained to the priesthood in 1994. She comes to us most recently from the Diocese of Eastern Oregon, having served as pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Bend from 2008-2012. Prior to 2008 she served as associate pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd in Vancouver, WA for 13 years. Her earlier work in Tacoma and Anchorage was in the health care industry. Her husband Jack, also an Episcopal priest serves as a hospital chaplain at St Charles Medical Center in Bend. They currently make their home in Sisters, with their 16 year old son, Joshua, who is beginning his junior year in high school at Cascades Academy of Central Oregon in Tumalo. Christy and Jack also have a 26 year old daughter, Eliza, working in Boston as a financial analyst after graduating from Boston University and a 23 year old daughter, Sophia, working in New York City as a graphic designer after graduating from the School of Visual Arts. All 5 of them are excited to embrace the adventure of living in Coos Bay and being able to get to know a new part of the Oregon coast. As Christy says, “We aren’t quite sure how it will work to live in two places, but we totally trust the Holy Spirit to guide us and we are excited to explore the abundance of having a coastal town and a mountain town to call home!”
Christy will begin employment on August 11th, making August 17th her first Sunday to celebrate with us. She’s excited to begin to get to know our stories and looks forward to becoming part of our community. Her current plan is to work Wednesday through Sunday with Monday and Tuesday being her days off. Please join us on the 17th to help welcome Christy to Emmanuel!
Many, many thanks to the profile committee and the search committee for the countless hours they have spent working to bring a new rector to Emmanuel.
THE REVEREND C. EUGENE JENNINGS
￼￼The Rev. C. Eugene Jennings and his wife, Judy, came to Emmanuel in December 1994 from San Antonio, Texas. Ordained in 1960, he was a priest for 54 years, 20 of which were in Coos Bay, where they have remained, retired for the last 15 years.
Before being called to serve at Emmanuel, Fr. Gene served as Curate at St. Mark’s, San Antonio and then Rector at St. Mark’s, San Marcos; Rector at St. John’s, McAllen, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of West Texas; Archdeacon of the Diocese of West Texas; College Chaplain in San Antonio and San Marcos; Chaplain to South West Texas University in San Marcos.
Fr. Gene was baptized at St. Mark’s, San Antonio, on 16 February 1947. He served as chair of Camps and Conferences in the Diocese of West Texas; Budget Committee for the National Church, Dispatch of Business at general Convention; and served on the Budget and Finance Committee of the Diocese of Oregon.
Fr. Gene and Judy have shared with us their hospitable kindness and steady natures which have cheered us, and unified the congregation in a quest to restore our church home, which was badly in need of updating and repairs. At Fr. Jennings’ suggestion, a capital fund drive, Forward in Faith, was introduced to the congregation. This visionary campaign was generously supported by the parishioners and resulted in a transformation of the church complex to a new beauty and functionality before his retirement in 2000. Similarly, within the community, Fr. Jennings forged strong ties with the clergy from other churches. With gentle wit and wisdom, he took us out of ourselves, guiding us to accomplish more than we thought possible, and continuing the faithful work of our early church builders.
Fr. Gene and Judy on their 50th Wedding Anniversary
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Julia “Judy;” son, C. Mark Jennings of Houston, Texas; daughter-in-law, Cathy Jennings; daughter, Sarah L. Jennings Faninger, and son-in-law, Max Faninger of Bonn, Germany; granddaughters, Cary M. Jennings of Houston and Christina M. Faninger of Bonn, Germany; brother, Charles M. Jennings of Houston, Texas; sister-in-law, Margaret Chambers and brother-in-law, Robert J. Moon, Jr.
￼We wish to thank The Reverend Wendy Smith and Meredith Ross for their time with us. We are so very appreciative of Wendy’s sharing of ideas and study topics new to us, and for providing many opportunities for us to grow spiritually. On her watch, pastoral care has been prayerfully tended, and her sermons have been full of new expressions on old, familiar scriptures.
WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP LUNCHEON
A potluck salad luncheon will be held on Saturday, 2 August in the undercroft to renew fellowship among the Women of Emmanuel. Lunch begins at 11:30 A.M. with a program following:
The St. John’s Bible, is the first handwritten Bible created since the invention of printing 500 years ago. Donald Jackson, Calligrapher to the Queen of England, proposed, and the monks of St. John’s Abbey (McCloud, Minnesota) agreed, that together they would write the whole Bible in calligraphy, with modern illustrations. This project began in 2000, and was completed in 2010. It is written on vellum, and has not been bound, since the pages are approximately 2.5 feet wide and 3.5 feet tall. A team of 6 or 7 calligraphers, and another team of artists, created it, with the intention that it reflect the 21st century. The Bible has been photographed and reproduced in seven volumes available for purchase (which are 10″ wide by 17″ tall). The Reverend Wendy Smith has brought with her to Oregon, the Gospels-and-Acts volume. Meredith will show “slides” of both the calligraphy, and the illustrations, and Wendy+ will give a full explanation of the process, and theology.
R.S.V.P. Church Secretary
On Tuesday, 5 August, at 7:30 P.M. Join Tom Collins and the Reverend Wendy Smith as they share their knowledge of icons in Christian history and practice. Wendy will discuss the history, biblical roots, and theology of icons and will share a visual presentation of icons in various stages of writing, the term used for making an icon. Tom will show his collection of antique Russian icons from the Russian late 18th century, 19th century and early 20th century prior to the Russian revolution.
OF INTEREST TO US ALL
Did you know we have a groundskeeper? No, not our sexton, Eric. No, not Mo Blow and Bugout yard service. It’s Doug Laird. He’s been hard at work this year, keeping the lawns mowed, the weeds controlled, and water where it should be. Things are looking beautiful, and thanks Doug, for doing such an awesome job!
IT’S BBQ TIME, AGAIN, AT EMMANUEL!
Sunday, 3 August, following the 1:00 A.M. service, Tim Wall will be cooking his famous hotdogs. You know the drill – bring a side dish or dessert to share, maybe a friend or two, and join in the fun. Let’s celebrate summer and all the blessings we have.
FOR THE HEALTH OF IT
By Kerry Oxford, Parish Nurse
For those in our parish who are going through difficult times, and for those who need a gentle reminder of the joys in life, the Bible verse that I cling to through it all is, “I put before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.” Deuteronomy 30, Verse 19.
Need a spirit-lifter? Do you have five minutes? These little moves take just five minutes (or less) and can make a big difference in your energy, mood, and more.
1. Step outside. A few minutes of exposure to natural daylight can give you a shot of energy and focus. Give Thanks for our beautiful fresh air.
2. Get your giggle on. Cue up the cute cat videos. A hearty laugh improves blood flow. Give Thanks for whatever pet you own.
3. Play some tunes. Silence might be golden, but listening to upbeat music is an instant mood-lifter. Give Thanks for God’s gift of music.
4. Check out food photos. They’ll help keep a lid on your cravings – really! Research shows that just seeing photos of food gives your brain the sensation of tasting it, too. If that doesn’t work have ONE scoop of your favorite ice cream! Give Thanks that you have enough food to eat.
5. SMILE. Even if you’re faking it, a study shows that grinning might help relieve stress. Give Thanks for God’s love!
FROM THE DESK OF ANNE ABDY
￼￼Clinical Pastoral Education, also known as chaplaincy, is therapy on steroids. It is intensive, physically and emotionally exhaustive, and leaves you asking the question, “Why am I doing this?” CPE is all about me. Yes, me! All the patient and staff interactions are analyzed in depth to help me gain insight into relationships, personal issues, and to become self-aware of triggers that I might experience in ministry. It is also learning about being a pastoral presence as you minister to them in patient rooms, the hallways, or even at lunch. While I anticipated all this, I will say that the 24 or 32 hour shifts are the hardest especially since my last all-nighter was in college in the ‘80’s. Having said all of this, I have learned a lot about myself in addition to what I was already aware of from previous journeys into self-discovery. I have less than two weeks to go at the University of Tennessee Medical Center upon which I return to Sewanee on August 2nd for some well-needed R&R.
Knoxville, Tennessee is a sprawling city of 183,000+ on the edge of the Smoky Mountains and the home of the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are 30 minutes away. It was challenging initially getting used to lots of traffic, new home surroundings, and worrying how Boots would settle in. I am living with a retired Presbyterian minister. We had a rocky start in May as she did not realize that my CPE experience would include overnights and long shifts. She had planned on having dinner with me nightly. Boots, my cat, did not help either when he left his markings after kneading furniture.
Louise has early onset dementia, which makes life in her home a little more difficult, but we settled into a routine, and I make sure I spend time with her each day recounting my day’s events. We connected on our commonalities of ministry, living in South Africa as children; and her CPE experience over 20 years ago. She has many tales to share about parish ministry and is an accomplished artist. We’ve talked at length about the topic of incorporating art into worship. Fascinating stuff!
‘Till next time, be well.
“Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.” BPC- prayers of the people Form 4