The Messenger February 2014
In the Jewish tradition, a story is told of a rabbi and a soapmaker who went for a walk together. The soapmaker said, “What good is religion? Look at all the trouble and misery of the world…..still there, after all these years – thousands of years – of teaching about goodness, truth, and peace….still there, after all the prayers, sermons, and teachings. If religion is good and true, why are things still the way the are?”
The rabbi said nothing. They continued walking until the rabbi noticed a small child playing in the dirt alongside the road. The child was filthy.
The soapmaker protested, “But soap cannot do any good unless it is used!”
“Exactly,” replied the rabbi, “Exactly!”
“Faith by its very nature must be tried,” observed Oswald Chambers. Like muscles that need to be regularly exercised to develop flexibility and strength, our faith needs to be taken to its limit in order to expand and grow. Otherwise, like a weakened muscle that fails us when we need it, our faith becomes small.
As we continue our journey during Epiphany, we are invited to engage and to struggle with the questions: “What good is religion?” “What good is the Christian faith?” “Of what value to the world at large or even to our own personal lives is our belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God?” The saints who have gone before us remind us that our Christian faith cannot do any good unless it is used, unless we strive to faithfully live out our baptismal vows in our daily lives. The church is as imperfect as its individual members. We must continually strive (daily, hourly, and minute-by-minute) to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is not a one-time decision; rather it is a decision we must make over and over again.
In Christ, Jim+
FROM THE INTERIM RECTOR: Letter to the Parish
￼It is with sadness that I write to tell you that I have accepted a position as Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lynchburg, VA. I announced my resignation as Interim Rector to the vestry on January 8th and then to the parish on January 12th at both Sunday services. My final Sunday will be February 23rd.
When I arrived, back in October, none of us knew how long we would serve alongside each other. Things were open-ended, as you continued to search for a new Rector of the parish. I came with the understanding that I could not apply for the permanent position. At the time, that didn Emmanuel is an amazing community of faith: full of life and full of the Spirit
The task of an interim is to help prepare the way for the new Rector, and I hope that I have succeeded in helping you along this journey. Your next Rector will be an extremely fortunate individual.
We still have some time together, and I look forward to serving with you in the coming weeks.
In Christ, Jim +
! DINNER FOR SIX
Would you like to be a part of this fun social group? Please
contact Sue Wall for more information. 541-269-5169
! PARISH NURSE HEALTH BOARD
Remember to check out the Parish Nurse’s Bulletin Board. It is on the wall adjacent to the library door.
! BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS
Kerry Oxford, our Parish Nurse, offers blook pressure checks on the first Sunday of every month from 8:30 to 9:00 AM and from 11:30 to Noon. If you would like your blood pressure checked, come and visit Kerry in the parish library at that time.
FOR THE HEALTH OF IT by Kerry Oxford, RN.
￼We are in the season of Epiphany, and as many of you are aware the FLU season has arrived, as well. There are precautions we can all take to avoid being exposed.
Prevention is still the best method of not acquiring the flu. The best prevention is to GET THE FLU SHOT. Pharmacies and health clinics are still offering vaccinations. Those who have been vaccinated are less likely to have severe illness.
Other ways to avoid getting sick include washing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick, and trying not to be around infected people. Symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea.
Good health to us all, and remember to say “God bless you,” when you hear a sneeze!
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Mary Vincent Dally, a former member of Emmanuel Parish, has published a sequel to her award-winning first book Married to a Catholic Priest – A Journey in Faith, in which she described the complexities and challenges surrounding her husband’s decision to be ordained into the Roman Catholic Church under the “Pastoral Provision” provided by Pope John Paul II.
Now, twenty-five years later, Mary has written a new book in which she recounts the years of active ministry that she shared with Peter. Her newly-released sequel is entitled Catholic Priest and Husband – A Wife Remembers.
Awarded “Best Nonfiction Book by an Oklahoma Writer” in 1989. Her first book is being released in the second edition at the same time.
For further information you may contact Mary at phone number 702-490-0880, or via the internet at email@example.com
￼WOMEN OF EMMANUEL MEETING MINUTES 1/19/2014 by Liz Cowden
The meeting was called to order by Terrye Laird with a devotion.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed.
Treasurer Sally Jaeggli distributed copies of her annual report to the parish, and indicated we need to have a program and decide where we are going before we prepare a new budget. We have a $408 merchandise credit with Scholastic Books from the Bazaar book sale.
Nancylee Stewart read thank you correspondence from Carolyn Stewart, THE House, Coos Habitat for Humanity, Women’s Safety and Resource Center, Ecumenical Food Cupboard, Caring Pregnancy Center, and Anne Abdy for her tuck box.
Visits to shut in’s were discussed. New Business:
Parish Nurse Report: Kerry Oxford indicated she will be offering monthly blood pressure checks in 2014. They will happen on Contemporary Sunday in the library from 8:30 to 9:00 for the early service, and from 11:30 to NOON for the late service. She will also have an item to include in the monthly newsletter. Remember to check out her bulletin board and take home information in the bookcase by the library.
Questionnaire: WOE will be sending out a questionnaire to all women in the future. A sample one was given out to those present, and was discussed. Feedback on revisions/ideas due to Terrye by February 1st.
The meeting was closed by Sally with a prayer.
￼FROM THE DESK OF ANNE ABDY, T’16, School of Theology, Sewanee, TN
By the time you receive this I will be well into the Easter semester and probably experiencing sleepless nights and reading page upon page of literature assigned for reading, not to mention writing papers.
Last semester was a formative semester as the courses were challenging and the demands on my time great; but, I learned much, and adjusted to life on the mountain. This experience equated the Army Rangers or Navy Seals training as I had never experienced stress, exuberance, and the presence of God at the same time.
In fact, I met with one of the Deans to partake in a burial service, not only to recognize the four friends who passed, but also to metaphorically bury the semester. It is awesome to know I made it through, and the journey continues. It will be hard to believe that by the end of December I will be half-way through the program!!
The Christmas break became a time for renewal and reflection. I slept and watched videos most of the time in between pet-sitting duties. My reflections include thoughts that despite the difficulties these experiences are forming me as a priest and for duties as a clergy-in-charge of a small coastal parish.
I also spent time making the townhouse a “home” as much of the non-essential personal belongings were not unpacked. Now, the pictures and paintings on the walls have transformed my living space making it more hospitable. Much of last semester was spent studying at the seminary rather than in my office which became a space for storage. I have changed that, and the study is now user-friendly.
I wish everyone a wonderful and blessed New Year. ‘Till next time.