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Reflections Newsletter: December 2016

December 1, 2016
K. Henry
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St. David's Newsletter

December 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: December 2016
- Monthly Calendar: December 2016
- From The Rector
- New in the Pews: Theresa Huergo-Dooley 
- Birthdays
- Music Notes
- From A Parishioner
- From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead
- Did You Know

 From the Rector 

A Perfect Christmas

One of the more problematic Bible verses for me is when Jesus says in Matthew 5:48 to, 'Be perfect as I am perfect.'

After all, the holidays are when my perfectionist voice not only comes out but goes hoarse. I want to get the perfect gift to present at the perfect time in the perfectly decorated room after a perfect meal. And I'm not alone. Perfectionism is the root cause for much conflict and stress around this time of year. After all, weren't we made to do things well?

However, when we get closer to what Jesus was saying here we might find it helpful to substitute a more precise synonym for he was getting at - by using the word whole, 'Be whole as I am whole.'

Wholeness doesn't allow us to crucify ourselves for making runny mash potatoes or forgetting we bought Uncle Chester the same gift last year. Wholeness allows us to realize that Jesus was perfect in his humanity because he was whole in his humanity.

Christmas is all about the coming into the world of the Savior who came to make us whole.

This holiday season we do well not simply to aspire to a Martha Stewart Christmas, but to forgive ourselves when we're unable to make it happen. Wholeness is not about failing to make mistakes, rather realizing that in our shortcomings, God speaks loudest. When my life brings me manure I try to remember that this is the main ingredient in soil that brings forth the most wonderful plants.

This holiday season, work toward perfection, but work harder toward wholeness.


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 New in the Pews - Theresa Huergo-Dooley 

Theresa Huergo-Dooley really believes in the sharing of her faith with a community and that when you pray with someone, your wishes will come true. So when she was invited to worship at St. David’s, it gave her an opportunity to fulfill a need. Theresa lives just a few blocks from the church. During the recent SOS 5K walk in August, a passerby suggested she join us. In addition, Theresa experienced a God moment that encouraged her to begin worshipping here.

“I wasn’t feeling well and had just moved to Michigan,” Theresa began. “My mom was urging me to find a church. One day I stopped at St. David’s. Father Chris opened the door and invited me in. He prayed with me and I found that very comforting and it gave me an inner peace. I thought, ‘what a wonderful church.’ It had been a long time since I regularly attended one.”

Theresa added, “Everybody has been so nice and so welcoming. I’ve met so many wonderful new people. I like the forums and also how the church is so open to worship even with other denominations.”

Interestingly, Theresa was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her mom was from Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and met her father in Paris, France. They began to write letters to one another and eventually got married. She was one of five siblings in her family. Although her mom was raised in a non-denominational church, Theresa’s father took the family to a Catholic one. 

At age 17, Theresa left Argentina and went to England for two years. She “desperately” wanted to stay, but her parents wanted her to come home. Eventually, Theresa decided to move to Michigan to attend college at U of M-Dearborn. She got her degrees in History and Literature and also entered into a relationship with a man that lasted eight years. She moved to Royal Oak and worked at several retail jobs including Marshall Field’s and in Ferndale at the John King used bookstore.

One of her sisters became a teacher and suggested that Theresa should do the same. She moved to Dallas, Texas, obtained her teaching certificate and spent ten years teaching elementary school with bi-lingual students.

“I loved teaching elementary school,” Theresa said. “Some kids need more development in life than others. I cherished seeing how the children flourished and developed over time. It was a joy to share my skills with bi-lingual kids and I’m very proud of my work there.”

Theresa has a brother living in New Jersey and considered moving there, but decided to come back to Michigan instead. “I missed the four seasons,” she said. Currently, she is in the process of rebuilding her life and is working for now as a sales clerk at the Dollar Tree store on Greenfield Road and also as a Hostess at Sila Pizzeria in Berkley. However, she is excited about an opportunity to teach elementary school in the Detroit school district. Theresa expects to start out as a substitute teacher once paperwork from her school experience arrives from Dallas.

In her spare time, Theresa enjoys cooking, literature and reading on American and World History. At St. David’s, she has participated in Bible study and the Book club. She also helped out on the recent Chocolate Affair adult forum and will become a Sunday school teacher starting in January.

We welcome Theresa Huergo-Dooley to St. David’s.

 ~ J. Hawkes

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Amanze, Onyenachi
Awurum, Deborah
Bryant, Randy
Charter-Harris, Simone
Connelly, Robert
Damery, Bob
Davis, Joyce
Elkins, Leesa
Ernst, Stephen
Floyd, John
Freeman, Nyonnohwah

Henry, Nailah
Herzberg, Joseph
Hoekwater, Christian
King-Chavis, Christian
King-Chavis, Ethan
Pettigrew, Joan
Schneider, Mark
Schoch, Bill
Tupper, Eleanor
Tupper, Nicholas
Veselenak, Barbara

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 Music Notes 

Join us on Sunday, December 4, at 5:00 pm for our annual Advent Ceremony of Lessons and Carols. This St. David’s tradition is adapted from the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols which has been celebrated Christmas Eve at King’s College, Oxford, since 1918.

Christmas Eve offers two opportunities for special music. At the early service the children of St. David’s will present their annual Christmas pageant. The late service will feature music from the Chancel Choir, the Bell Choir, and special guests. Both services will include full-throated singing of our rich Christmas hymnody.

All of us in the music ministry wish you a peaceful Advent, a joyous Christmas, and a hopeful New Year.

Musically yours, 
G. Cullinan

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 From A Parishioner 

“Hurry is not just a disordered schedule. Hurry is a disordered heart.”

Have you noticed how many people are in such a hurry these days? I’m especially aware of this while driving. Cars whizzing by me, well over the speed limit-whether on the highway, a local mile road, or a quiet neighborhood street. It becomes quite frustrating when I’m stopped at a red light, someone honks and is irritated because I haven’t sprung out of the “starting gate.”

Adults are not the only ones in this “faster is better” mode. While spending plenty of time around kids in classrooms, I regularly observe this trait in children. They can be sorely lacking in “waiting” skills. Social media, lifestyles, multi-tasking, and our current mindset of needing instant gratification all contribute to the problem.

But then… along comes Advent. The beautiful season that offers us a welcomed respite from the collective hurriedness of life. During this time of hopeful expectation, we can savor the wait. We can model the behavior of patience and encourage its presence in the lives of our children. In addition to Advent calendars and candles, new rituals may provide opportunities for rest and reflection. A family I know creates a painted, paper mural of the night sky. Each day they perform an act of kindness and add a gold star to the sky. The project takes time, creativity and patience. It encourages a deliberate commitment to slow the pace. The gift becomes the process and not simply the product.

“Learn to pause…or nothing can catch up to you.”

May this blessed season of Advent and the awaited holy birth of the Christ child in a manger, catch up with us all.

~ Judy Walsh

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 From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead 

Always in Thanksgiving

From the food-filled fest of Thanksgiving, through the quiet waiting of Advent, and into the joyous burst of Christmas, we give thanks.

Here is what thanksgiving means at St. Anne's Mead.

T is for the time we have together, generally a few years when we can help residents and their families make end-of-life as enjoyable and livable as possible.

H is for the heartwarming stories about friends and families and the memorable events that residents share about their lives.

A is for the hard-working associates who truly care that the residents are comfortable, in good spirits and occupied with pastimes that are fun, enjoyable and educational.

N is for the new memory care unit (MCU) will be converted from an unused assisted living wing.

K is for the kindness of families and friends who help residents get the most from specially planned- and day-to-day routines and activities.

S is for the Saint in St. Anne, mother of Mary and our namesake.

G is for the generosity of hundreds of people who have contributed time and money to help make St. Anne's Mead even better at what it does.

I is for all the individuals who, over the past 50 years, have done what they could to help make St. Anne's Mead a success.

V is for the volunteers who provide hundreds of hours of service each year that make our jobs easier and our residents' lives more fulfilled.

I is for the invitations we extend to anyone, of any faith, to come in and talk to us and see why St. Anne's Mead is Number One in consistently providing loving care to its residents.

N is for the nativity scene that goes up this week to commemorate the coming together of people of various lands and differing backgrounds in a common quest for understanding and a hope for a lasting peace.

G is for the goodness in people's heart that never fails to surface when a cry goes out for help.

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

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 Did You Know 

It is with great pleasure that Paul and Barb Veselenak announce the engagement of their daughter, Sarah Esther, to Zachary Thomas Lexow of Kentwood, MI.  Zachary is the son of Dale and Cindy Lexow of Kinsale, VA.  No wedding date has yet been set but the couple hopes to wed some time in 2018.  Congratulations, Sarah and Zach!




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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