The Messenger September 2014
Tran-si-tion (noun): a passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another.
Have you noticed that the leaves on the vine maple trees have already begun to change color with tiny bits of orange and red edging the leaves? They’re a sure sign that autumn is right around the corner.
The school year will soon start again. Think of the kids who are transitioning: those starting pre-school, especially our pre-school at Emmanuel; or going to kindergarten for the first time and beginning their school career, starting middle school or high school or going away to college. What about the parents making those same adjustments… your youngest starting school and the freedom that creates, having adolescents and teenagers for the first time, having an empty nest with no children left at home.
Most of these transitions are met with a combination of excitement as well as fear and trembling. We are excited to experience something new but also a little nervous because it brings with it uncertainty! Then there are the more personal transitions that seem to happen to us at times… changing health, changing careers, retirement, being a widow or widower, separation or divorce. The list goes on and on.
I have to admit, I’m thinking more about transitions this year than usual because I have just finished my second week as your pastor, having arrived the evening of August 11th to my temporary home at Shepherd’s House. So I am smack dab in the middle of a pretty major transition! New job, new home, new community, as well as living apart from my family for much of each week. If I’m honest, I too am left with a combination of excitement as well as a bit of fear, trembling and uncertainty.
As I become part of your community, I believe that initially the most important job that I have is to get to know each of you and your stories. In turn, my transition will be made easier when you get to know me and my story. There is an African greeting that I love because it helps remind me to take the time to really “see” the person I’m interacting with and to learn their story. So many times when we greet folks in our culture we’ll say, “Hi, how are you?” Automatically we respond, “fine” or “great” or “good, thanks, how are you?” Many times those interactions don’t involve truly seeing the person we are interacting with.
In this particular African greeting the person starts by saying, “I see you.” The response is, “I am here.” The person then can reciprocate by saying, “I see you” and the response is, “I am here.” Part of the reason for this greeting is because the village has learned that when you are truly seen by another person, you are also more fully present or “here.”
As I begin to settle in as your pastor, adjusting to my own transitions, my hope is that we will all make a point of truly seeing each other. I will be working hard at learning your names and your stories so it’s a great time for you to do the same with me and with others. If you see someone you don’t know, risk engaging them in conversation. Look especially for those in our community who are facing transitions this autumn season and pray for ways to reach out with support, encouragement, and God’s love. We are blessed to have about 5 generations within our community of faith and the range of transitions that we are experiencing is vast. One thing we all have in common is that when we truly feel seen and acknowledged by those around us, we are much better able to cope with the transitions we face because it leaves us with feelings of comfort and belonging. I am truly excited and grateful to be your pastor and I look forward to seeing you, learning your stories, and being seen. Autumn Blessings to you and yours!
Frequently Asked Questions About Christy
Have a question you wonder about in terms of our new Pastor, Christy? If you are wondering about it, chances are others are too so let us know what it is and we will attempt to answer it in the newsletter over the next couple of months.
What do we call you? I prefer to be called Christy! I believe that each of us has a “call to ministry” that occurs at our baptism and then we have different ways of fulfilling that call. Our first names work for baptism and for me they work for ordination as well. At times people want a title to be able to teach their children respect or show respect themselves. If that’s the case then I like to borrow from the Lutherans and use “Pastor” because I can explain to a child what a pastor is and it actually relates to the work and ministry I do at Emmanuel.
Why do you refer to yourself as Pastor of the congregation rather than Rector? This is similar to the question above. The biggest reason is that I can explain to someone new with no background in the church what a pastor is and does and the word makes sense to most people. Not so much with the word “rector”. It’s part of our tradition as Episcopalians but there are a lot of people new to the church who have no idea what a Rector is. Officially, however, I remain your Rector.
What are you most excited about? I’m excited to learn people’s stories and how they found their way to Coos Bay and Emmanuel, whether it was 90 some years ago or just last year! I’m excited to be able to pastor a congregation and minister to all of you through the joys and tribulations that life brings. I’m excited to learn about fishing and crabbing and clamming on this part of the coast. I’m excited for this new chapter in
our family’s life and looking forward to the adventure!
Why won’t your son and husband be moving here? My husband, Jack, is also an Episcopal priest and although he has served in parish ministry at times, his true vocation is in chaplaincy. He has been a part- time chaplain at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, for many years but was just given a full time position last February which he loves. Since there are no chaplain positions currently at the hospital here it makes more sense for him to stay put at our home in Sisters. In addition, our 16 year old son, Joshua, will be a junior this year at Cascades Academy of Central Oregon in Tumalo and loves it. It seems to make sense to let them both carry on their lives in Sisters while looking for opportunities for them to come here on their days off and me to go there on mine. We are all looking forward to enjoying the beauty of our mountain home in Sisters and our coastal home in Coos Bay.
What are your office hours? This may take a while to figure out, but initially I’m hoping that Wednesday- Friday from 9:00-2:00 will be time that you can find me working in the office, or leading groups at the church like the healing service on Wednesdays and the Bible Study on Thursdays. Friday will also be a study day and at this point I’ll have to experiment with what works best. That leaves Wednesday-Friday afternoons or evenings and Saturday for pastoral visits or evening meetings and/or gatherings.
How do we get hold of you? You can reach me by calling the church office and leaving a message with Julianna or leaving a message on the answering machine at church. If it’s a time when Julianna isn’t working I check the machine whenever I return to the office after being gone. My cell phone is also a great way to get hold of me either with a call or a text, as I almost always have it with me (541-728-7988.) It might be turned off when I’m in meetings or services but I will call you back as soon as I’m free. If you have a pastoral emergency please call my cell phone as that is the quickest way to get hold of me day or night. I’m also really good at responding quickly to emails. I’m having some trouble setting up my church email but you can get me at: email@example.com.
When are your days off? Currently I’m planning on taking Sunday afternoon through Tuesday as my days off. Most of the time I will head back to Sisters during those days but sometimes Jack and Joshua will come to Coos Bay instead. On weeks with a Vestry meeting I will return earlier on Tuesday and on Sundays when I have pastoral visits or meetings I will leave later. If you or someone in your family experiences a pastoral emergency on my days off, please don’t hesitate to call my cell phone as I want to know about it. Part of being your pastor is being able to support you in any way I can! If it’s not an emergency then calling Wednesday – Sunday would be preferred. It’s good for me to have some Sabbath time as well.
Celebration of New Ministry – Tuesday, October 28th at 7:00PM
Mark your calendars and plan to attend the institution of our new rector Christy and the Celebration of New Ministry for Emmanuel. Bishop Michael will be here to preside over this festive service that includes the giving and receiving of symbolic gifts related to our ministry together. More information to follow in the October newsletter. If you would like to help plan this celebration and liturgy please let Christy or a member of the Vestry know.
Tuesday Bible Study is moving to Thursday!! Emmanuel’s Bible Study is moving to Thursday and will resume after Labor Day.
We hope to see you beginning Thursday, September 4 – 12:00 PM
Have YOU taken the Vital Church survey?
The Congregational Vitality Task Force needs your feedback. Please take three minutes to contribute your input. This will be used in the portion of Diocesan Convention devoted to moving the Congregational Vitality conversation forward. Because not everyone in our diocese attends convention, it is especially important for us to get broad participation. Here’s how to do it: Go
to www.diocese-oregon.org and click on the red words “Vital Church in Western Oregon” in the lower left corner. Then click on “You Tell Us” in the middle of the page. Take the survey. It’s that easy.
FOOD CUPBOARD NEWS
The new name for the food cupboard will not begin in September as previously reported. There has been a delay. We will keep you updated as we know more information. In the meantime, checks can still be made out to EEFC. Thank you all for your continued support.
FOR THE HEALTH OF IT By Kerry Oxford, Parish Nurse
“Hugs are Healthy”
Jesus laid his hands on the sick and healed them. Therapeutic and human touch can also be a powerful healer.
Did you know that the simple act of hugging a person or giving them a hearty warm handshake increases your health? When we give or receive a hug or a simple human touch chemical changes occur in our bodies and our brains. A warm embrace releases hormones called endorphins which promote a sense of happiness and well-being.
A little extra physical contact can go a long way. Physical affection has measureable health benefits. Stimulating touch receptors in the skin can lower blood pressure and decrease our stress levels. Over time, these warm and good feelings have been shown to decrease a person’s risk of heart disease.
The next time we “Pass the Peace” at our church service, give your fellow parishioner a heart- felt handshake, pat on the back, or a hug. You are giving and receiving the gift of health and joy for them as well as yourself. The more you connect with others, even on the smallest level, the happier you will be.
FROM THE DESK OF ANNE ABDY
I have been back on the mountain for the past three weeks and it is so good to be in my own living space. Boots is adjusting too. I have been relaxing, sleeping, walking about and meditating, helped move 31 of the 36 Junior students into their housing, and participated in selected parts of the Junior class orientation. It is so good to just relax and bask in the majesty of this place, plus see and hear the new energy of the Junior class.
As I reflect on the summer, I thought I would share an experience that started with curiosity but turned out to be one of many shared experiences. The Rev. Dr. Johann Vanderbijl, and his wife, Louise, and I were able to meet in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Apparently my father baptized Johann during the early years of his ministry in Southern Africa. According to Johann this act left an “indelible imprint” on his life and a desire to meet dad. Since my father has passed, we met in June. His recounting of his journey of visiting my father’s former parish in South Carolina (“Past Meet Present” – Monday, May 19, 2014) and our visit (“Generational Connections” – Saturday, June 7, 2014) can be found at his blog: http://misionsbloging.blogspot.com (go to the corresponding month in the right hand side-bar to find the above posts.) Enjoy.
School starts up again August 28th and I will be quickly return to the full swing of reading and writing papers. This year I am taking homiletics, theology classes, and a missiology class titled: Transforming Congregations in the Community. It should be an interesting semester.
Peace and blessings to all.
The Vestry had its first meeting with our new Pastor Christy on August 18! Our meeting combined the Ministry of the Word and the Ministry of the Table—picture a Sunday service, with prayers and work, reading of scripture and discussion, bread and wine shared in a circle. Add the warden’s, treasurer and committee reports, follow with reflection. Set some dates, make some plans. End with prayer. A full evening’s work!
This month’s reflection: Given our hopes for Emmanuel’s future, what’s the most important thing for us to do in the next 3 months and in the next year?
Here’s the start to a list (in no particular order):
Engaging families and younger members
Start up Sunday School and nursery
Meet 5 generations of needs Vestry retreat
Expand music program
Build up the congregation
Institution aka “Celebration of New Ministry” is set for Tuesday October 28. Why Tuesday? Bishop Hanley and Jack and Joshua can be here!
Vestry Retreat: The vestry will meet on Saturday September13 at 9 a.m. to carpool to the Jeff
McKeown cabin for the day.
Groundskeeping: Doug Laird is planning workday(s) in October. Please give Doug a call and let him know you can help. 541-297-8196
Newsletter: News items should go to the church secretary or Sally Jaeggli firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology Survey: Can you help? The office needs to set up wi fi and make sure the staff’s devices can connect. We also have some equipment that needs evaluating for usefulness.
We need your input! In order to plan what form Emmanuel’s holiday bazaar will take, we need to know who can help and when. Time is short and everyone is busy. We love the fellowship of working together on the bazaar and the opportunity to invite the community into our doors for Emmanuel’s wonderful hospitality. But with so many moving parts, we might want to scale back and concentrate on just a few things. For sure there will be a Scholastic Book Fair starting November 2 running through Sunday November 9, with on-line ordering available.
Please let us know your thoughts, and what you are able to do. Download the pdf of our newsletter and return the form to the Church Office, place it in the offering, or email your response to email@example.com BY SEPTEMBER 15!
“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
In memory of Father Gene Jennings by Judy Heaney, Carol and Thomas Zuvich, Marjorie and Darrell Fromm, Dorothy Girt, and by Father Steve and Celeste Tyson.
In memory of Father Gene Jennings by Karen Pruhsmeier, Jo Reeves, Caroline Stewart, Liz and Ron Cowden, and by Dreann Hickman.