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Reflections Newsletter: April 2016

March 23, 2016
K. Henry
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St. David's Newsletter

April 2016 Issue

The following news items are in this issue, just click on an item title to view it.
At the end of each news item is a
'back to beginning' phrase, just click on that
phrase and you will return to the beginning of the newsletter.


News List:
- Liturgy Schedule: April 2016
- Monthly Calendar: April 2016
- Coming Soon - SOS
- Lenten Series Wrap-Up
- From The Rector
- Vestry Update
- New in the Pews: Laura Kingston 
- Birthdays
- Picture Page
- Music Notes
- From A Parishioner
- From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead
- Did You Know

 Coming Soon - SOS 

St. David’s will be hosting SOS for the week of April 17th thru April 24th this year.  Being a part of this ministry is an honor and a blessing.  There are many opportunities to volunteer.  Of particular need are overnight hosts and morning drivers.  Please give prayerful consideration to volunteering for a job or two during this week.  Many companies are now offering community service hours – if yours does, this is a great way to spend some of them!

Sign-up sheets are in the lobby.  If you have questions or would like more information, please call Jan Ivinson at 248-321-6117.

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 Lenten Series Wrap-Up 

Professional Organizer: Start with a List
by Cindy Hampel-Litwinowicz

Put it in writing.

That’s the best way to start decluttering our closets, our homes and our lives, advised Debbie Tebbe. A professional organizer, Tebbe is the owner of a St. Clair Shores firm called Organized Happy Helper. She spoke to parishioners on March 6 at St. David’s Adult Forum.

"Just putting down our ideas in writing makes it more likely that we’ll see them come true," Tebbe said. We should write down what we want and need to do. Then we can use our list to focus on what we do accomplish. It does no good to focus on what we haven’t done because there will always be tasks undone.

Decluttering Our Closets

Tebbe said we can start decluttering our closets by setting up four bags and labeling them: “Keep,” “Donate,” “Purge” or “Consignment.”  Then we should take everything out of the closet.

“Tell yourself you’re moving to a smaller place” and you have to get rid of things, Tebbe said. “Then as you pick up each item, ask yourself if you really need it or use it.” Decide in what bin to place the item.

Make one decision at a time and keep a slow and steady pace. “After three hours, you can clean a lot,” she said. “It makes you feel good.”

Items that are not in good condition should be tossed into the “purge” bag. We may find some items we’d like to sell at a consignment shop. We can donate other items for a tax deduction.

When we start putting items to keep back in the closet, “we should have space allowed for each item. Everything should ‘have a home’,” she said.

Tebbe advised putting items back in the closet by clustering similar items together. For instance, all jeans, slacks and trousers can be hung together, as well as all blouses or shirts. We can use plastic containers for purses, shoes and hats, and special hanging organizers for ties and scarves. For clothes that need hangers, Tebbe advised using thin velvet hangers because they keep clothes from slipping off or developing fabric bumps on the shoulders. Thin hangers also save space on closet rods.

Decluttering and Decorating Rooms

Tebbe also is a member of the National Study Group of Chronic Disorganization. She said those who are chronically disorganized often have Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. However, OCD applies not only to those who are obsessively sloppy but also to those who are obsessively neat. “Hoarders and Martha Stewart both have OCD,” Tebbe remarked.

For people who have trouble focusing or seeing the big picture when they declutter, Tebbe suggested getting help from a supportive friend or a professional organizer who can help them think through the process of getting rid of stuff. Tebbe shared some common excuses for clinging to stuff we don’t need: “I may need it someday”…”It’s a memory”…”It’s a gift.”

“You don’t have to keep it forever just because it was a gift,” Tebbe counseled, adding that if we enjoyed it for any length of time, then the gift served its purpose and we should feel free to let it go.

Once an area is clean, Tebbe said, we can, with a bit of discipline, maintain the area with far less time than it took to clean it. And clearing out a room means we now can consider how we might want to redecorate the space. She said that rooms with good “feng sui” have a clean and simple look with furniture and decorations arranged in a way that pleases our senses. So cleaning out a room immediately improves the “feng sui” of the space.

Managing Our Time and Budgets

We can save money at stores by using coupons and looking for sale and clearance items. We can plan before we shop by looking at store circulars and Web sites before we write up our shopping list. And Tebbe recommended sticking to our list and avoiding impulse purchases. Tebbe also recommended shopping one day a week instead of throughout the week. She advised thinking twice about buying bulk items just because they are on sale. If we won’t use all of it, she said, then we are wasting money.

She also advised that we sort our mail and email on a regular basis. We can immediately recycle junk mail or delete junk emails. We can set magazines on a pile and look at them at a set time. We need to have a place for bills and other important mail. We might use a plastic bin or file cabinet to keep track of these items. She suggested using color-coded folders: green for financial items, yellow for utility bills and blue for insurance.

She also advised using some sort of calendar or planner for keeping track of our schedules. “Write down what you need to do,” she advised, “and stick to it.”

For more tips from Debbie Tebbe, go to: > Coffee Table > “Organizing and decluttering.”

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 From the Rector 

Volunteering from Another Point of View

Mother Teresa famously said that the poor are Jesus in distressing disguise.  April is the month we welcome nearly 3 dozen folk who may match that description onto our campus as a part of our decades-old partnership with the South Oakland Shelter (SOS). Most SOS clients are in this temporary housing program for 30-days, during which time they are assisted with employment, housing, and a myriad of other issues to help them live better lives.

The commitment of leaders like Jan Ivinson, the Sacketts and others is almost legendary, as our parish rolls out the red carpet for our guests. Dozens of volunteers give generously of their time, money, and talents to welcome folk as if they were welcoming Jesus himself.

Over the past few months our parish has also been hosting a cooking class for SOS clients. During these classes we talk about nutrition and proper eating habits, as weight problems and their related diseases (ie diabetes) are big concerns.  During one class, I was talking with two SOS clients who remarked that it was well-known that clients in the SOS program expect to gain 15 pounds during the 30-day program. I was shocked. I asked them why. The response was that hosting congregations are so generous with food that, 'every night feels like another Thanksgiving dinner.'

It dawned on me that my generosity, my sincere desire to welcome and share, was actually not helping every client we served. Indeed, I wondered, how well were we doing at actually putting ourselves in the shoes of those we have pledged to help?  How were we attempting to see ourselves from the client's perspective? How are the good feelings generated by the help we give to others taking precedence over the more difficult job of rendering needed support to our friends?

I think these are really important questions to ask ourselves as we sign up and volunteer for our big week at the end of April. How can we better take on the point of view of those we're serving? How can we put ourselves in the shoes of others as we render assistance? How might we better come to the aid of Jesus in distressing disguise?


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 Vestry Report 

The March 17, 2016 meeting of the St. David’s Vestry was called to order at 7:00 p.m. with prayer and refection led by Father Chris and approval of the February 9, 2016 Vestry meeting minutes.

The Rector reported on the following:

•  The recent death of the husband of former St. David’s Rector, the Reverend Nancy Turner.  Upon hearing the news, the Vestry approved a memorial donation and letter of condolence, authorizing Father Chris to forward these to Reverend Turner.
•  The success of Ashes to Go on Ash Wednesday, and a reminder of the upcoming Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter services, including Easter Vigil at which three baptisms will be performed.
•  The work of the Capital Campaign Steering Committee was review, along with the timeline for various Capital Campaign activities.
•  The recent visit of the Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Curry to Detroit.
•  Several St. David’s activities including family game nights, a racial justice forum, and the Cooking School program.
•  Three weddings will be held at St. David’s during the coming months.

The Property Commission of the Vestry reported on minor repair projects completed at the church during the past month, preparation for lawn care during the upcoming summer months, and plans for cleaning of the church in preparation for Easter.  

The Administration Commission reported on its work with new Parish Administrator Takaya Sweeney, Diocesan on-line classes for new vestry and staff members, and various contracts under consideration by the Committee.

The Finance Commission reviewed the monthly financial reports, along with proposed cash flow graphs that will help the Vestry and staff monitor monthly revenue and expenses.  It was also reported that a routine audit of prior year financial records of the Parish will be performed in the next two months.

Under Old Business the Vestry mailing list and meeting schedule was reviewed, along with an update of the recent Diocesan Vestry Retreat.

Under new business, Walter Edwards was approved by the Vestry as an Alternate Delegate to the Diocesan Convention in October.

The Visioning Topic was led by Meghan Holt, Program Director of the South Oakland Shelter. She discussed plans for the Third annual St. David’s race to End Homelessness which is scheduled for Sunday, August 7, 2016, as well as other activities and fundraising events to support the work of SOS.  All members and friends of the St. David’s community are invited to participate in the race and walk.  

The next meeting of the Vestry is April 21, 2016.

The meeting was adjourned with prayer at 8:45 p.m.

~ Gary Meier, Sr Warden 

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 New in the Pews - Laura Kingston 

Laura Kingston has been attending St. David’s since the fall of 2014. She is a cradle Episcopalian and happened to discover St. David’s quite innocently.

“One day I was at Coco Fairfield’s restaurant in Berkley and I overheard two gentlemen having philosophical religious discussions,” Laura began. “I introduced myself and one of them was Father Chris. I was ready to leave another church that I had been attending anyway. God works in mysterious ways and shows up when we aren’t paying attention.”

Laura lives in Beverly Hills and has two sons: Will, who is a junior at Birmingham Groves, and Clark, a freshman at Michigan State. She works as a paralegal for an area law firm. In her spare time, Laura likes to do a lot of reading, walking and bicycle riding. At St. David’s, she enjoys the sermons and our adult forums.

“I like how Father Chris fits religion into our current world,” Laura said. “He has such a great global view of religion and the world. And I enjoy the forums because they’re very enlightening and helpful.”
Laura grew up in Grand Rapids and both her mother and a sister still live there. She has another sister who lives with her husband in Fairfax, Virginia. After graduating from East Grand Rapids High School, she spent four years working in Darien, Connecticut before coming back to Michigan and going to college at the University of Michigan. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, she moved to Chicago in search of employment. Four years later, she moved to the Detroit area. She completed her studies for, and obtained her Paralegal degree in 2015.

Laura also likes to travel and lists Washington D.C., Florida, and California among her favorite destinations. She also once worked as a stand-in for a Hollywood motion picture that was being filmed in the area.

“Back when Michigan had the film industry incentives, I served as an extra for a movie that was being filmed at Addison Oaks,” Laura said. “It was a fascinating experience as I met several other extras and gained a lot of insight into film and television production.”

At St. David’s, Laura has served at Crossroads and admits that, like most newcomers, she was impressed with the welcome she received when first attending services here.

“Everyone has been so welcoming,” Laura said.

We welcome Laura Kingston to St. David’s.

 ~ J. Hawkes

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Babcock, Byron
Boyes, Richard
Edwards, Grace
Gilbert, Princess Faith
Harris, Kendall P.
Holliday-McClintock, Carolyn
King, Nathaley
King-Betts, Devon
Leith, Phyllis
Mader, Jim
Mika, Meghan
Monde, Dominique
Parks, Patreece
Petersen, Jeanne
Sackett, Joanne
Veselenak, Scott
Yaw, Catherine Amy
Yaw, Christopher

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 Picture Page 

St. David's crew is ready to serve lunch at Crossroads on March 6.

The guests enjoyed the vegetable beef soup we served them.

Ready with the beverages.

Keep that lemonade flowing.

Our Lenten altar.

One of our services begins.

On Palm Sunday the congregation paraded with palms in hand around the church...

...entered through the Narthex doors...

...and continued the service in the sancturary.

The Passion of our Lord is read by some of our parishioners.

Easter Sunday was a joyous day with smiles all around...

...and bulletins in hand, ready for the service.

Families were eager to celebrate...

...and worship our risen Lord.

The processional is almost complete.

Fr. Chris reads the Gospel.

Communion prayers are said, and...

Communion is served.

The recessional: "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord through worship, outreach, and love for all".

And now, let's find some Easter eggs!

Is that an egg over there? 


-more Easter Morning pictures are on St. David's Facebook page!
~ J & L Sackett

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 Music Notes 

Calling all music lovers!

Do you sing? Play an instrument? Ever wanted to swing a handbell? We have room for you!

Our chancel choir is always open to new members.

Our bell choir has more bells than ringers. We always love to have our worship enhanced by the instrumental talent within our congregation, especially in the summer months.

The music ministry at St. David’s is not a private club. It belongs to you. If you’ve always wanted to contribute your talent, please feel free to see me at coffee hour, or email me at


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 From A Parishioner 

On Vocations, Volunteering, and Love     

The word ‘vocation’ comes to us from the Latin verb vocare - meaning to call.  Your vocation is a summons that comes directly from the universe and is communicated through the yearnings of your soul.  Your vocation is about the relationship between you and God.  ~ Author- Elizabeth Gilbert

Two of my life long yearnings of the soul have been children and reading.  During my time as an elementary classroom teacher, I was fortunate to combine both these vocations into a fulfilling 36 year career.  Now in this season I am pursuing new, but related passions.

Many of you know I am a weekly volunteer in a second grade classroom at Vandenberg World Cultures Academy.  I look forward to my regular visits and assist the teacher with student guided reading groups.  In addition, I always bring a picture book to share in a read-aloud with the children.  Like Father Chris and several other parishioners, I am also involved in the Southfield Public Schools “Celebrity Readers” Program.  My monthly reading with first and second graders at Stevenson Elementary School provides another opportunity to model positive literary experiences to youngsters.

Several years ago I became a proud member of the Birmingham Storyteller’s Guild.  This organization is dedicated to increasing literacy and a love of reading by helping children discover the magic between the pages of a good book.  We currently have nearly one hundred members.  Our “active” tellers (about 40 members) read or tell stories at schools in underserved metro Detroit communities.  We also supply baskets of children’s books to local laundromats.  Our hope is to get books in the hands of kids and we’re always pleased to restock baskets, knowing children are taking the books home.

When not volunteering, you’ll often find me with a good book (not Kindle) in my hands for my own reading pleasure.  The local library is a short walk down my street in Huntington Woods.  Barnes and Noble or Bookbeat are favorite hangouts, as well.  Monthly gatherings with like-minded bookworms in my neighborhood, keep me in the loop with current bestsellers and beyond.  Being a member of a book club broadens my perspective and allows opportunities to explore new authors, genres and viewpoints.

Finally, another favorite pastime is reading to and with my third grade granddaughter.  I share my childhood favorites like Little House in the Big Woods and she introduces me to Pete the Cat and Ivy and Bean.  It is a win-win for both of us!

In closing, I am reminded of a beloved quote from poet, Mary Oliver:

                            Instructions for Living a Life
                                       Pay attention
                                       Be astonished
                                       Tell about it.

I’ve enjoyed telling you about some of my life long vocations.  As they say, “Trust your story” – and I do.

~ Judy Walsh

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 From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead 

National Pet Day is April 11

For the Elderly, Going to the Dogs Can Be Healthful

In 1960, Paul Anka wrote and sang “Puppy Love” for one-time Mouseketeer Annette Funicello whom he was dating at the time.  The tune, which rose to Number 2 on Billboard's Top 100, speaks of young love but the title could just as easily be appropriated for the theme song for National Pet Day, which is celebrated each April 11.

Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert Colleen Paige founded the day in 2005 to celebrate the joy that a pet can bring to one's life and to create public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals stuck in shelters the world over.

It has been fairly obvious of the love relationships over the years between animals and humans but now recent studies prove that pets are a health benefit for elderly persons.

“Having to care for an animal helps keep seniors active and follow daily routines such as getting outdoors to walk the dog or playing with their cat,” says Jennifer Stone, Life Enrichment Coordinator at St. Anne's Mead.

According to the “Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,” having a cat or dog to look after helps elderly people overcome depression or loneliness due to the loss of a loved one, not having interaction with family or friends, or being confined to a home.

The studies show that older pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-owners, helping to reduce pet owners risk for heart disease.  Other studies suggest that pet owners have a better chance for long-term survival after a coronary event than non-pet owners.

For seniors still at home, as well as for residents in an assisted living facility, owning a pet or having one as a visitor gives them a greater sense of self worth and esteem; pets need and rely on their owners for virtually every aspect of their living.  Seniors benefit as well from the unconditional love and affection their pets give them.  Just the very presence of a pet provides a friendship to seniors, helping them realize they are not alone.

“Being able to hold and pet a cat or a dog gives our residents something to think about other than their own situations, worries or problems,” says Jennifer.  “Every time someone comes in with a pet, residents perk up and anxiously await their turn at petting and holding the animals.” says Jennifer.  “They ask, 'When are the dogs coming. Are they here yet?'”

When Kathy McNulty visits her mother Regina at St. Anne's Mead, she often brings “Guthrie,” a rather large goldendoodle (a cross between a poodle and a retriever). “It takes me a half hour just to get through the foyer,” says Kathy, “because everyone wants to pet him and ask so many questions, like 'what's his name' and 'how much does he weigh?' They are just so excited to see him.”

Because of the positive responses of residents to pet visits, St. Anne's Mead, like many other assisted living facilities, regularly schedules pet visits by owners or one of several pet-based organizations.  For instance, St. Anne's Mead's social worker, Michelle Mitchell, routinely brings in “Milo,” a much smaller breed than “Guthrie” that can easily be picked up and hugged.  Residents doing that may not realize that puppy love not only warms the heart, but it also helps keep it beating.

~ Barbara Porter, Mktg Dir, St. Anne's Mead

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 Did You Know 

Leaving on Sunday, March 27, Julie Wagner and her mother, Marilyn, took a road trip that took them back in time. They traveled to Herrodsburg, Kentucky, to visit the Beaumont Inn, a wonderful bed and breakfast Julie’s family has frequently visited over many years, probably since the 1950s. Julie remembers the gift shop and even the waiters in the dining room. On this trip, they visited the Kentucky Horse Farm, The 4-Roses Distillery, the Wildside Winery, and had lunch in Berea, Kentucky.  

Berea is the home of Berea College, a liberal arts college located in Madison County, approximately 35 miles south of Lexington. Berea charges no tuition: every admitted student is provided the equivalent of a four year, full tuition scholarship (currently worth $83,600; $20,900 per year). Students do work ten hours a week in various jobs throughout the campus to help offset costs. On Wednesday, March 30, Julie and Marilyn left Beaumont Inn and traveled to Lima, Ohio to visit a lifelong friend of Marilyn's. They had a wonderful reunion, enjoying a beautiful lunch prepared by her friend’s daughter in her lovely home it was a great end for their vacation together. After spending their last evening at the Hampton in Maumee, Julie and Marilyn headed home.

We welcome your news about family trips, reunions, achievements, and celebrations.
Please submit your items to Edna Buday at by the 15th of the month.

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