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Reflections Newsletter: February 2016

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

February 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: February 2016
- Monthly Calendar: February 2016
- Meet our new Music Director - George Cullinan
- From The Rector
- Vestry Update
- Birthdays
- Picture Page
- Just Wondering - Christmas is on the 25th but the Easter Date changes
- Did You Know

 Meet Our New Music Director - George Cullinan 

On January 24th during the 10 a.m. service, George Cullinan was introduced as our new Music Director and Organist. Previously, George was the Choir Master and Organist at the Church of the Holy Cross in Novi. In addition to his new position at St. David’s, George is an Accompanist and Assistant Director for the Detroit Children’s Choir. He brings a wealth of musical experience to us and is looking forward to serving at St. David’s.

“I was touched by the warm welcome I received on my first Sunday,” George said. “So many people came up to welcome me. I’m looking forward to working in a positive environment.”

George lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Noelle Carlozzi and their two-year old son Kieran. They have been married since 2008. Noelle is a Clinical Psychologist and an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan. She also does Neuropsychology research.

George was raised in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. As it was a family tradition, he started to play piano at the age of five. In high school, he performed both music and drama. George attended Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania where he majored in piano performance. He then served as Staff Accompanist for the choir at Westminster College in New Wilmington.

Afterwards, George moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to attend graduate school at Oklahoma State University. It was here that he met Noelle. In 2004, after getting his Masters Degree, they moved to Charleston, South Carolina, so he could perform as a pianist with the Charleston Symphony Chorus. Noelle did an internship there.

When asked about his musical influences, George replied, “I was always performing church music, even in the corporate world. I grew up in a classical style of music.” He cites Leon Fleisher and Murray Perahia as favorites.

“I also love jazz,” George added. “Bill Evans, Miles Davis and Horace Silver are among my favorites. In college, I discovered the Grateful Dead and became a self-professed Dead Head. Being a fan of theirs helped me to gain spontaneity in music.”

In 2006, George and Noelle moved to Bloomington, Indiana. George became the musician at his first Episcopal Church: St. David’s in Nashville, Indiana. He also has experience in other faiths including Presbyterian, Methodist, and Christian Scientist churches.

In 2008, the couple moved to Matawan, New Jersey, a town famous for some Jersey shore shark attacks in 1916 that served as an inspiration for the 1970’s movie, “Jaws.” George served at Trinity Episcopal Church. In 2010, when a research project required Noelle to transfer to Michigan, the couple made their most recent move to Ann Arbor.

George is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a college music fraternity. He has always worked with talented singers and, in fact, still coaches them in the choir at Eastern Michigan University.

In his spare time, George enjoys cooking. He also likes running the various trails in the Ann Arbor area. Both he and Noelle are from the Northeast, so they try to travel out there once a summer to visit family.

In his brief time at St. David’s thus far, George says that he is impressed with the outreach that we participate in. “I feel that there is a lot of real ministry happening here,” George said. “I’m very much interested in social issues that the church is involved with. In that regard, I feel like I’ve found a home.”

We welcome George Cullinan to St. David’s.

~ J. Hawkes

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 From the Rector 

Persecuted for Good

The old saying that ‘all politics is local’ finds its truth in the recent international scolding the Episcopal Church endured at the hands of Anglican Communion primates and the rather low interest many of the people in our pews have expressed.

To bring us up to speed, on January 14 we learned that the 38 primates had issued a communiqué suspending members of the American Episcopal Church from holding Communion offices that would represent them.

First things first, the word primate is admittedly an unfortunate title. It comes from the Latin word primus, meaning first. Each of the 38 Anglican churches, like our Episcopal Church, has a leader, or primate. To confuse things further, these primates have different titles, for example ours is Presiding Bishop. In other countries the primate may go by the title Archbishop. Although all archbishops are not primates because some countries, like England, have more than one Archbishop. On behalf of church leaders who preceded me, I apologize for the confusion.

Anyway, these primates got together, as they have been doing for a number of decades, and although they hold no power to sanction, they did agree among themselves to somewhat ‘suspend’ the Episcopal Church as a response for the ways we have stood up for the rights of our LGBT friends.

The response from our Presiding Bishop, and one that I personally share, is one of disappointment and pain. I think this is rather un-Anglican. We are a tradition that does not tell one another what to believe rather it helps us learn how to believe.

However, I also share the hope that the actions of our church will one day be seen as prophetic. Getting kicked out of the club can be a badge of honor. And I am proud that we have endured decades of conversation and debate on this subject to find ourselves where we are today: believing that the open arms of Jesus on the cross tell us how important it is to welcome everyone into our midst.

What impact will this have on you and me in the pews? Little that I can see. After all, churches and the people they represent are built on relationships. And when you and I travel to foreign lands and find ourselves worshipping in an Anglican church, we will be welcomed and we will have much in common. So let us walk through this hurt as Christ would, with his eyes on the Father and with hope that all things work to the good for those who love God.

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 Vestry Report 

The Vestry held its annual retreat on January 22-23 which included a presentation on the year in review by Father Chris, as well as goal setting and strategic planning for 2016. Vestry Officers were also elected, including Gary Meier, Senior Warden, and Bob Losey, Junior Warden. The retreat concluded with the January Vestry meeting, the highlights of which are as follows.

The meeting was called to order at 2:28 pm.

The Rector reported on the following: 

   * The Cooking School known at the Abundant Table began in early January, with 12 people enrolled. More details will be forthcoming as this pilot project continues. 
   * February 27, 2016 are the Diocesan Vestry Days. Gary Meier, Chris Brown, Susan Brooks, Jan Ernst, Mark Schneider, and Traci Johnson are planning to attend. 
   * It was announced that the Southfield State of the City meeting sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce will be March 21. Father Chris has four tickets for the event. 
   * Penny Sunday will be changed to Loose Change Sunday, with funds raised to be used at the discretion of the Rector to support individuals and families in need. 
   * The Diocesan Convention is scheduled for October 28-29 in Lansing. Delegates to the convention will be Susan Brooks, Kim Smith, and Chris Brown. Alternate Delegates include Gary Meier and Jane Johnson. 
   * The Vestry meeting schedule and Visioning topics were discussed. Meetings will be alternating between the second Tuesday and Third Thursday. Visioning topics are still under consideration. The next Vestry meeting is February 9, 2016.

The Finance, Administration, and Property Commissions met for the purposes of setting meeting dates and general organization of their work. Monthly reports for each commission will be provided at each Vestry meeting, beginning in February.

There was no Old Business or New Business to come before the Vestry.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

A special meeting of the Vestry was held on January 28, 2016 to hear a report on the capital campaign feasibility study by Horizons Stewardship Company, following which unanimous action was taken by the Vestry to engage Horizons at a cost of $20,000 to assist with the capital campaign.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

~ Gary Meier, Sr Warden 

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Dolores Bryant
Nathaniel Charter-Harris
Phillip Crichton
Ershela Diko
Janet Ernst
Hawah Freeman
Emily Hawkes

Kwesi Henry
Ashley Humphrey
Christopher Humphrey
Janet Ivinson
Jacob Jones
Breannea King-Betts
Ryan Miller

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 Picture Page 

The first Sunday of the New Year and Aleatha and Elsie greet each other with good wishes.

Carol is having a good start to the New Year also.

Fr. Chris and David share New Year's greetings.

Have another treat!

St. David's participated in another outreach program with SOS called 'Hand Up'. Gift cards are handed out to needy folks who in turn redeem them at the SOS office for gift cards they can use at stores. They are also counseled about how they can improve their situations.

A representative from SOS came to explain how 'Hand Up' works.

Megan adds some baby wipes to our monthly collection for clients at SOS. In January we collected diapers for the little ones.

While Fr. Chris went to First Baptist of Detroit to give the sermon on Jan 17, their pastor, The Rev. T. Turman, came to St. David's.

He participated in our Eucharist...

...and was our speaker for the Adult Forum. Rev. Turman is a very interesting and powerful speaker.

We welcome George Cullinan as our new Music Director.

And thank Jim for a wonderful job as interim organist.

We also thank Ellen for her devoted work as our Choir Director for these past few years. Great job, Ellen!

The choir sings one last time under Ellen's direction.

The Haiti Outreach group put on another breakfast to raise money for travel expenses when the team goes to Haiti in April.

While eating our breakfast, Ivy talked about racism in America. We still have a ways to go before we attain Dr. Martin Luther King's dream.

Get ready to put your pennies and other loose change into the tube.

Fr. Chris explains that Penny Sunday is now Loose Change Sunday and that the money collected will go to his discretionary fund to be used when people come to him for financial help.

Tom adds his coins to the tube.

At our monthly birthday, anniversary, or other celebration service, Len celebrated winning the lottery! His winnings: $2.00.

The annual meeting is another reason to gather together... enjoy good food...

...and hear from Fr. Chris how our past year went.

Barbara presents a check from St. Anne's Guild to Fr. Chris.

~ J & L Sackett

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 Just Wondering - Christmas is always on the 25th but Easter Changes  

This question was asked by a young lady in Sunday school. She wanted to know why Christmas is every December 25th and the date for Easter Sunday changes each year.

Easter, the “Feast of the Resurrection,” the greatest and oldest feast of the church, is called a movable feast.

In 325AD, The Council of Nicaea met and gave the task of setting Easter dates to the Church of Alexandria. The dates were to be set using the first Sunday after the vernal equinox full moon. This is
simply the 14th day of a lunar month. At the beginning of the 6th Century Easter tables were drawn up by Dianysius Exiguus. There is a 35 day period in which Easter may occur, (March 22-April 25).

Throughout history different calendars were used. The Julian calendar was used until the 1500’s when our church adopted the Gregorian calendar. This calendar contained a correction for Leap Years, so the
number of days in a year is 365.242 days. (2016 is a Leap year). The Eastern Orthodox Church retains the Julian calendar which is now thirteen days behind the Gregorian calendar.

This is just a brief look at the history of how the dates of Easter have been determined. A great reference for this information is our Book of Common Prayer. You can refer to the Tables and Rules For Finding the Date for Easter Day on page 880, with the pre-calculated dates on pages 882-883.

Like many things in our church, we have seen many changes over the years. It is interesting to learn about them and to understand the way they change and why.

 ~ M. M. Bair

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 Did You Know 

Ellen Boyes and Devon Hansen will be the featured soloists at the Royal Oak Musicale concert to be held on Tuesday, February 16.

The concert begins at 1:00 p.m. and takes place at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at 814 N. Campbell Road in Royal Oak. ROM lifetime member, Joan Boyes, will be the chairman of the day for this special event.

The performance will include vocal selections by Ellen including “The Sound of Music”, “Anthem” from Chess, and “Amazing Grace”. Piano selections by Devon will include “Holy, Holy, Holy”, “A Spanish Rhapsody”, “How Great Thou Art” and many more favorites! Bring a friend and come out for this special musical treat by this dynamic duo!

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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