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Reflections Newsletter: January 2016

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

January 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
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News List:
- Liturgy Schedule: January 2016
- Monthly Calendar: January 2016
- From The Rector
- Vestry Update
- New in the Pews: Lory Armstrong 
- Birthdays
- Picture Page
- Music Notes
- From A Parishioner
- Just Wondering - Church Calendar Spelled with a "K"???
- Did You Know

 From the Rector 


It’s time for New Year’s resolutions!

So what’ll it be? Better diet? More exercise? Less drinking?

It’s the time of year we ratchet up our quest for the ideal. Many of us have an ideal weight, skin tone, and energy level. We also have ideals for business productivity, relationship satisfaction, and the level of ‘stuff’ to be acquired.

Of course the reality is that our ideal often goes unattained. We often (usually?) miss the mark, fall short of the goal, and come face to face with failure.

Our imperfections can then lead to inadequacies: we can think that because we’re an imperfect person we’re a bad person. Or because we can’t live up to the goals we have (or someone else has) set for us, we are inadequate. Or that our failure to be the person we think we should be, or that we always wanted to be, means we’re not loveable.

Every one of us is imperfect.

We come out of the chute that way.

And when we confuse our imperfection with inadequacy we risk degrading the person we’re created to be.

Instead, let’s judge our imperfections for what they are. Let’s not get so preoccupied with our weaknesses that we pay no attention to our strengths. Concentrating less on what we can’t do, and more on what we can do is the foundation of living a fulfilled life.

Maybe a good New Year’s resolution is to work toward believing our imperfections may describe us, but they don’t define us. And to put our energies into honing what we do well instead of thinking about what we don’t do well.


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 Vestry Report 

Vestry Highlights for December 8, 2015

The St. David's Vestry met on December 8, 2015 for their monthly meeting. Minutes were approved from the November meeting. The meeting began with prayer focusing on Advent. "Stir up thy power." What does that mean to our church?

Rector's Report: 
   * There will be a meeting with the Bishop on December 13th before the 10:00 service to which new vestry members have been invited. 
   * Pledges have been coming in and many are increasing their giving. 
   * Fr. Chris has been consulting with the architect. 
   * Interview appointments with parishioners have been made with the stewardship consultant. 
   * Advent is going well with 200 people in attendance on December 6th.

The Property Commission 
   * The boiler is back up and running. 
   * A company called CKD was recommended as a possible tree trimmer for the front trees.

The Administration Commission 
   * Jan reviewed, edited, and retyped vestry job desciptions, vestry person of the week duties, and vestry structure. 
   * The gift policy and gift guidelines were modified. 
   * Jennifer Taub is our temporary Parish Administrator. The search has been broadened for more candidates. 
   * The carpet will be cleaned in the ladies room by JVS. 
   * New vestry members will have books for the retreat.

The Finance Committee 
   * There have been requests for an increase in budget for the HOM and CSB. 
   * It was voted that the Penny Sunday change to Loose Change Sunday and the funds be dedicated to the Rector's discretionary fund. 
   * All closed account line items will be removed for the January report.

Old Business 
   * Deciding on the 4th quarter goals was postponed until the Vestry Retreat.

New Business 
   * A compensation resolution for Fr. Chris was passed with no change from last year. 
   * Fr. Chris attended the Southfield Chamber breakfast along with Maureen and Kim. 
   * Southfield's new mayor is coming to the vestry meeting in February. 
   * The vestry signed an endorsement for the diaconate for Carolyn Johnson.

   * Fr. Chris reviewed the steps taken so far in visioning and steps to a possible Capital Campaign with a tentative schedule. 
   * We won't know until spring how much money would possibly be pledged by parishioners for such a campaign.

~ Kitty Kenning, Sr Warden 

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 New in the Pews - Lory Armstrong 

About a year ago, when Lory Armstrong decided to join St. David’s, it was like a homecoming for her. After all, parishioner Karen Hurley is Lory’s god sister. Also, both of these ladies’ mothers were best friends to one another. When Karen’s mom passed, she recommended St. David’s to Lory.

“I knew Jane Johnson and Anne Jeanette LaSovage from St. Phillips/St. Stephens in Detroit,” Lory said. “Janny Milton was married to my cousin. So coming to St. David’s was very therapeutic. I felt like I was at home.”

Lory lives in St. Clair Shores with one son, Evan, and her daughter, Angela. She also has another son, Alan, who is married and living in Detroit. Lory has one granddaughter. All three children were raised in the Episcopalian faith.

Lory was raised as a Catholic and then later became a Methodist. She grew up in Inkster and attended public schools through junior high. Then she went to Catholic school and was a graduate of Southgate Aquinas High. Afterwards, Lory spent some time in Boston and enrolled at Boston University. At age 20, she moved back to Detroit and went to Oakland University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Later, she earned a teaching certificate and Masters degree from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Currently, Lory teaches 3rd grade at the Detroit International Academy for Young Women. She also does after school tutoring three nights a week with 4th and 5th graders. Lory has worked as a teacher in the district for 20 years that includes time as a lead teacher in the Head Start program and at the COTS shelter day care center.

In her spare time, Lory likes to do Zuma dance workouts several times a week. In addition, she goes to Curves, a women’s fitness center to perform a custom-designed workout. She is preparing to travel to Jamaica in February to attend the wedding of a friend. Later this year, she will attend an annual family reunion in Washington, DC. In 2015, the reunion was held in Long Beach, California.

At St. David’s, Lory enjoys the outreach programs and the adult forums that we have. She worked with Joanne Sackett and Karen Hurley at our booth at the Berkley Art Bash last summer and also participated in the SOS walk in August.

We welcome Lory Armstrong to St. David’s.

 ~ J. Hawkes

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Gustave Amundson
Susan Brooks
Zoe Carter 
Judith Cloutier
Frances Damery
Mark Dingwall
Brian Edwards
Brennan Rae Elkins
Gerry Erwin
Marilyn Greening

Carolynn Johnson
Patricia Kay
Skylor King
Winifred Knights
Richard Leith
Lori Mackinder
Carole Porter
Shirley Small
Carol Wells
Norma Yuille

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 Picture Page 

On the Second Sunday of Advent...

...there was one more candle to light.

All proceeds from St. David's Christmas Craft sale went to outreach.

The Cookie Walk proceeds went to our Haiti Outreach project.

On St. Nicholas Day the children left a shoe out before going into church for Lessons and Carols. St. Nick left something in each shoe for the children.

The children were excited to find out what St. Nicholas left them.

This little sweetheart liked the orange she found in her shoe.

These boys are trying to decide which cookie is the biggest.

St. Nicholas stands with the children after the service.

All hats, mittens, scarves and toys on the Mitten Tree were donated to Crossroads.

On the Third Sunday of Advent more children got a chance to light candles.

Bishop Gibbs gave the sermon on Dec. 13th...

... confirmed this fine group of young people...

...received Ivy and Chris...

...and served Holy Communion. It was a great morning!

Meet Jennifer Taub, our new Parish Administrator.

South Oakland Shelter's 'Hope for the Holidays' party was held at St. David's this year and Santa made a visit to hear the children's requests.

In one of the classrooms at the party the ladies could have their nails painted.

Children and adults alike had fun decoration stockings to take home and hang in hopes that Santa would put some treats in them.

All of the guests enjoyed playing the games that the CSB made.

At another outreach event, St. David's and St. John's of Plymouth served over 750 turkey dinners to the folks at Crossroads.

These cheerful helpers put the meals into bags to hand out to the guests.

The meal was delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green beans. There were assorted pies for dessert.

Here the meal line fills the food trays with the dinner.
At the Adult Forum on December 20, Joan narrates The Legend of the Christmas Prayer, ...
... a folk tale of a man who searches for, and finds the true meaning of Christmas. Mark ...
... and Ray share the role of the gentleman.

~ J & L Sackett

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 Music Notes 

Music Notes – January 2016

It has been three (3) years since I took on the Music Director position here at St David’s. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and it has been a lot of work to make great music.

I am so proud of our choirs! They have been working very hard over the last three years and all of them performed so well at Christmas and all of 2015! I hope you enjoyed all the gifts that they shared with you.

The Choirs: Chancel, & Adult Bell, have rehearsed so hard all year long to give you the best music they can give. Lots of good music was performed over the last year. We performed with the organ, piano, violin, flute, trumpet, and clarinet.

Looking ahead for 2016, on January 24, 2016, we will celebrate my last Sunday as Music Director and George Cullinan’s first Sunday as the new Music Director/Organist at St David’s.

George brings a wealth of musical experience. He just left as the Choir Master/Organist at the Church of the Holy Cross in Novi. He is currently the Accompanist and Assistant Director, Detroit Children’s Choir, Detroit, MI. I am sure that John Hawkes will do an article on George for the newsletter.

If you would like to join us, please come and sit in on a rehearsal. The Adult Bells rehearse every Wednesday evening at 6:15pm and the Chancel Choir rehearses every Wednesday evening at 7:15pm. Children’s Choir is on hiatus at this time and George will be working to start up the Gospel Choir.

As for me, I will probably take a couple of weeks off and then come back and just sing.
Thank you for letting me have this opportunity for the last three (3) years.

Remember, when you sing, you are praying twice!

Musically yours, 
E. Boyes

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 From A Parishioner 


Don’t live like slaves in an empire.

That was the message of James Perkinson, professor of social ethics at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit. Perkinson spoke to parishioners at St. David’s at the Adult Forum on Jan. 3. The topic of the forum was Sabbath Economics--what it means and how we can practice Sabbath Economics in our lives as Christians.

Perkinson explained that the Israelites learned Sabbath Economics after they had fled Egypt and began living outside the empire. Whether ancient or modern, he said, an empire seeks unending economic growth by refusing to live “not just with what is under its own feet.” Instead, it seeks to “take over other places for resources.”

Empire was the only system that the Israelites in Egypt had ever known. Perkinson said their job was to build storage cities for grain (Exodus 1). Why? Because Egypt used access to food as leverage against the people who were forced to trade their farms and freedom to buy grain (Genesis 47). By living for generations in the Egyptian empire, Perkinson said, the Israelite people had become “de-skilled” in living in a natural environment…and accustomed to an economic system based on greed and accumulation.

But before the Exodus, Moses had lived for years in the wilderness, Perkinson said. There he learned the skills that would be needed for the Israelites to live successfully outside the empire. One of those skills was learning how to collect manna for food every morning. Manna was something the Israelites in Egypt knew nothing about. Today we know that manna is a highly nutritious substance produced by aphids, Perkinson said. Sometimes it is called “honeydew” or “lerp”.

Unlike the grain of the empire, which could be stored and hoarded for profit, the manna in the desert was free…but could not be stored (Exodus 16). Moses tells the Israelites to gather only the manna they would need for each day and each Sabbath. Everyone would have enough to eat if nobody hoarded. In effect, Perkinson explained, Moses is telling the people, “Do not do what you did in Egypt.”

Perkinson then discussed the poverty of Jesus’ era. At that time, he said, Palestine was an economically oppressed territory occupied by the Roman Empire. He said the Romans were draining resources from Palestine by privatizing the fishing industry, exacting heavy taxes and taking land from small farmers through eminent domain or in payment for debts. At the center of this was the Jewish temple, which acted as the national bank. The Gospel of Mark describes Jesus entering the temple and overturning the tables of the money changers while invoking Isaiah 56. Why? Because, the money changers were acting “in complicity with Rome,” Perkinson said, noting that the passage from Isaiah refers to the Sabbath.

“Sabbath and Jubilee are the central conflicts that define Jesus’ struggles with the powers that be,” Perkinson said. He referred to the practices of Sabbath and Jubilee as “crucibles of correction.” What do these practices correct? Economic excess. “It’s all about circulating resources,” Perkinson said. Honoring the Sabbath, the Shmita and the Jubilee means changing the economic dynamic of a society…every week, every seventh year and every seven-times-seven year. It’s a form of economic recycling and composting. “Compost is the great incubator of life,” Perkinson remarked.

How can we honor the spirit of the Sabbath, the Shmita and the Jubilee today? We can circulate our resources, both individually and as a parish. We can share our time and treasure with others. Perkinson said that churches can serve as hubs for “reinventing human life.” He said he’s found that those outside the church often see churches as irrelevant when they don’t respond to social needs. “Instead, churches can be incubators of gardening, alternative technologies, art and music.”

Perkinson also stressed the urgency of advocating for action to curb climate change. “If our kids and grandkids are going to live, we’ve got to change.”

~ Cindy Hampel-Litwinowicz

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 Just Wondering - Church Calendar Spelled with a "K"?  

Why is the church calendar spelled with a “K” instead of the usual spelling?

The very simple answer is because this is the ecclesiastical version.

The word calendar comes from the late Latin "kalendrium" which in turn comes from the Latin "kalends/calends", meaning the first day of the month in the ancient Roman calendar. The first of the month - the kalends - was the time that payments of interest were normally due and "kalendrium" was the name given to an account book used to record the details of such transactions. It is as a result of this connection that "kalendar/calendar" came to refer to the orderly arrangement of time as we now know it, but the established church retained the older "K" spelling to distinguish their kalendar from an ordinary list of events. In other words, a kalendar is simply a church calendar!

We have 2016 Kalendars available. Pick up one and look at all the information about the church on the monthly page—both front and back. Dates are printed in the liturgical color for each day. On the back of each tear-off monthly page is the scriptural references for lessons and Psalms for each Sunday and major feast day. Under the calendar pad is found Tables of Feasts and Fasts, together with useful information about Lessons and Psalms.

 ~ M. M. Bair

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 Did You Know 

St. David’s parishioner Anne Jeannette LaSovage recently published an article in the Fall Journal of the Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA). The article, titled “Evidence-Based Learning for the Student and the Teacher: A Mutations Capstone Activity,” took a prominent position on pages 1-14 of the professional journal, much to Anne Jeannette’s surprise.

In the article Anne Jeannette describes a lesson she developed in order to help her students focus on using good quality evidence in argumentation. She also elaborates on how the activity itself provided information for her about the students’ progress and learning.

This is the first time Anne Jeannette has been published in this Journal, but it will not likely be her last. Now that the ice is broken, she has plans to submit more articles (instead of just writing them and then “almost” submitting them as she has been in the habit of doing!). To view the full article and Journal, visit


Sitella Glenn and Linda Taylor went to The Cathedral Church of St. Paul in mid-October to hear The Scholar Cantorum sing Choral Evensong and to hear Sr. Veronica deliver her first homily as a preacher. They met her mother, Sheila, and sister, Monica, as well as the Very Reverend Dr. S. Scott Hunter, Dean of the Cathedral. It was a magical afternoon in a magnificent setting. Sister Veronica is keeping very busy with hospital chaplaincy, school and ministry internship at the Cathedral.

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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