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Reflections Newsletter: June 2016

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

June 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: June 2016
- Monthly Calendar: June 2016
- 2016 Graduates
- From The Rector
- Vestry Update
- New in the Pews: Jane & Tom Cobb 
- Birthdays
- Picture Page
- Music Notes
- From A Parishioner
- From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead
- Just Wondering - On the Episcopal Church...
- Did You Know

 2016 Graduates 

  Jasmine Charter-Harris
Jasmine will be graduating from Kalamazoo College on Sunday, June 12, 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with a concentration in Community Health and a minor in Religion. During her four years at Kalamazoo, Jasmine studied abroad in Rome, Italy. She is excited for the next chapter in her life.

Congratulations Jasmine!
  Jordan Jackson
Jordan will begin fall classes at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, after graduating from Harrison High School in Farmington Hills in June. Jordan has a passion for sports and will be studying Business Administration with a minor in Sports Management at CMU. While at Harrison he played JV Soccer, he was on the JV and Varsity Men’s Track Team, and was a member of the school’s Young Men’s Leadership Academy. Jordan also played recreation soccer in the cities of Northville and Wixom from 2009 through 2013.

Congratulations Jordan!
  Kingsley Nwaguru
Kingsley graduates from North Farmington High School in June. While attending North Farmington High School, Kingsley passionately played football and received an award for the most improved player in North Farmington High School. Kingsley enjoys playing various sports, watching sports on TV, as well as live sporting events, and hanging out with his family and friends. He also enjoys participating in charity work and has been most proud of his volunteer services at Forgotten Harvest!!

Kingsley has come a very long way from being born premature at 26 weeks. He has thrived and has developed into a fine, God fearing young man. He is the baby of four siblings to attend college. His older siblings are all inspirations to Kingsley, who wants to pursue a course in Computer science. He is exploring his college options, though most definitely a college here in Michigan as he wants to be close to his loved ones!

Congratulations Kingsley!
  Baboucar Jome Nwaguru
Baboucar Jome, BJ, graduates from North Farmington High School in June. While there he was a member of both the football and track teams. BJ goes on to Wayne State in the fall to study business.

Congratulations BJ!
  Chase Russell
Chase graduates from the Highland Park School District, and is particularly proud of his accomplishment – “I went to 5 different high schools…. I never thought I'd graduate but I pushed myself and now I'm here.” He has a scholarship to real estate school which he’ll pursue along with music and investments.

Congratulations Chase!

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 From the Rector 

5 Reasons to Refurbish St. David's

Ok, ok... if you're like me you hate essays entitled '5 Ways to...' but at the risk of sounding cliche - I thought I would offer up this list as the excitement builds over the 3 Commitment Sundays we will be hosting this month, June 12, 19, and 26:

Reason #5: We want to help heal people.

Whether we're opening our doors to AA guests, South Oakland Shelter clients, Bricks 4 Kidz participants, or the host of other outreach partners who regularly use our facilities, St. David's has regularly offered a place of healing for people. We believe our job is to continue Jesus' ministry of healing and that an up to date, refurbished facility can help people do that.

Reason #4: We want to give something to our community.

As Southfield continues to work its way out of the Great Recession, we can see signs of new life emerging; the new strip mall at 12 Mile and Southfield, St. Anne's Mead, to our east, and their 50th anniversary refurbishment right next door, and the knock down (finally) of Bedford Villa to our west. We want to be a part of the this reinvigoration of our community. 

Reason #3: We want to give something to the people coming after us.

Every member of St. David's has a previous generation to thank for decades of relatively low-maintenance and high functioning worship space. We have really been blessed by that generation's generosity and foresight in providing our facility. Now it's time for us to pay it forward, to the next generation. St. David's has always been a family church, with generations of folk making their spiritual home in our parish. Our hope is that our refurbished facility will allow that generation to have many decades of low-maintenance and high functioning worship space for their spiritual home.

Reason #2: We want to shine the light of Christ.

We believe this campaign is a great way for our physical plant to much more closely reflect the vibrancy of our faith family. We believe our church is a really inspiring and energizing place. The gospels tell us that we should not be hiding this light, but sharing it with the world. We believe that by improving our space is one way we can show God, ourselves, and others not only that Jesus is truly alive in our midst, but that we care about others and want them to have a good experience with God in our church. We believe that people are more apt to bring their friends to a place they're proud of.

Reason #1: God is calling us. 

More than any other reason, this is the most important. We are seeking to be obedient to the Risen Christ who has called us to start and run this campaign. We believe that God is active and alive in our community and that God is not finished with us yet. May it be to Jesus' glory only.


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 Vestry Report 

Vestry Highlights

The May 10, 2016 meeting of the St. David’s Vestry was called to order at 7:02 p.m. with prayer and reflection led by Father Chris, and followed by approval of the April 21, 2016 Vestry meeting minutes.

Father Chris provided a Rector’s report that included an update on the Capital Campaign, information about a presentation he will be making at a Virginia Seminary conference in June, and various parish activities that have occurred over the past month.  He also asked the Vestry to consider whether or not all church records are properly archived and what could be done to ensure that they are.

The Property Commission report was reviewed, including the need to seek snow removal estimates for next winter, an update on SOS and the week-long housing of the homeless at St. David’s, and the continued good work of the Hammer and Nail Club to keep the parish in good working order.

The Administration Commission report was reviewed, including an update on the Safeguarding classes provided by the Diocese for the church leadership, as well as an update on various contracts and policies that need to be reviewed over the next few months.

The Finance Commission reviewed the April financial reports which indicate that the budget is trending as expected.  Further discussion was held regarding a possible accounting software upgrade.  It was also reported that the financial audit for 2015 would be reviewed by the Finance Commission, with a report to the Vestry in June.

Under Old Business, the Vestry identified some possible Visioning topics for upcoming Vestry meetings.   These will be finalized once speakers are confirmed.

The Visioning Topic for May was led by Father Deon Johnson, Rector of St. Paul’s in Brighton.  He discussed and answered questions of the Vestry about the Capital Campaign and construction work that was completed at his parish.  The Vestry found his input to be very helpful.

The next meeting of the Vestry is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

The meeting was adjourned with prayer at 8:50 p.m.  

~ Gary Meier, Sr Warden 

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 New in the Pews - Jane & Tom Cobb 

Even though they are separated in age by about ten years, Jane and Tom Cobb have followed very similar paths during their lives.  Most recently, their spiritual journey has brought them to St. David’s.

“Jane and I are baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal faith and we started looking for a church in November,” Tom began.  “I spotted St. David’s on my way to Jane’s and we decided to visit.  Our initial service was during the first week of Advent.”

Jane and Tom are siblings.  He lives in Westland while she lives in Troy.  Because of a visual impairment, Jane is unable to drive.  So every weekend, Tom travels to her home and brings her to church on Sunday.  So far, they have been impressed by the friendliness of the congregation and with the message in Father Chris’ sermons.

“We have been extremely welcomed by the parishioners and are impressed with Father Chris” Jane said.  “I feel as if his insights serve as a comfort to us.”  Tom added, “He gave a wonderful sermon on our first Sunday and even quoted John Keats in it.  As English teachers, we were very impressed.”

Jane and Tom are both retired.  They each received their undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan.  In addition, Jane received her M.A. from U of M while Tom earned an MBA and his PhD from Yale.  She taught for 32 years at Highland Park Community College.  Tom retired last year after completing 37 years of teaching, mostly at U of M-Dearborn.  He also taught for a short time at Lawrence Tech and at Oakland Community College.

The Cobb’s were raised in a home that bordered Elizabeth Lake in Waterford.  Jane is a Waterford High School graduate.  Beginning in 8th grade, Tom attended Cranbrook schools.  They developed common interests in literature and music, especially opera, and the Broadway plays by such writers as Rodgers and Hammerstein.  They shared childhood activities such as swimming, fishing and other sports. In 1966, as young adults, Jane and Tom traveled extensively throughout Europe together.

In her middle 60’s, Jane began to experience a deterioration of her vision caused by Macular Degeneration.  It has left her with only limited peripheral vision.  She is finding challenges with many modern conveniences as well as with the public’s perception of her disability. “I felt isolated in other places (churches),” Jane said.  “But the people at St. David’s realize my situation and have been understanding about it.  I feel comfortable here.”

Both Jane and Tom are looking forward to doing some volunteer work and it could include service ministries such as Crossroads or ushering.  

“We really enjoy coming to St. David’s,” Jane said.  “It’s nice to come here and be with people.”

We welcome Jane and Tom Cobb to St. David’s.

 ~ J. Hawkes

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Boyes, Ellen
Butler, June
Clous, Adam
Collins, Carol
Creech, Robert
Davis, Aiden
Detrisac, June
Dunlap, Anne
Freeman, Genevieve
Herzberg, Carol
Johnson, Jane
Kingston, Laura

Krueger, Jack
Litwinowicz, Cindy
Losey, Annaliese Joy
Losey, Rose Margaret
Mackinder, Matthew
Pettigrew, Leon
Reid, Elizabeth
Schoch, Diane
Smiley, Dylan
Sullivan, Lily
Veselenak, Paul
Veselenak, Sarah

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 Picture Page 

The pen pal tea at Vandenberg Cultural Academy was very well attended.

All the kids and adults had a lot to say to each other.

It was a good time to get to know our young pen pals a little better.

Judy had some interesting things to tell her pen pal as well as a few other students.

Jane  is starting to get the garden ready. Won't you come out to help?

Pentecost Sunday and many people wear red.

In fact, the nave looks like a sea of red!

Our Church School kids at work learning about God's message in Godly play...

...and by reading the Bible.

Our Ministry parade really helped us see how many ministries we have at St. David's.

Our ministries have changed the lives of many of the participants.

Welcoming visitors to our church helps the visitors as well as the greeters.

Ushers have an important role to play.

Making a joyful noise come with bells as well as with voices.

The acolytes help shine the light of Jesus.

The baptism of Jack Conklin.

~ J & L Sackett

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 Music Notes 

What Do You Want To Sing?

What are your favorite hymns to sing? What would you like to hear more of?

I’ve spent many years as a liturgical musician in a wide array of congregations. It’s been my experience that the best way for me to get to know you is to ask these questions. As we go into the summer months with no choir to lead us, it becomes especially important to me that everyone feels free to sing with confidence.

Please feel free to email me (, approach me at coffee hour, or leave your suggestions on the pad in front of my office door. Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday!

Musically yours, 
G. Cullinan

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 From A Parishioner 

A Ministry Moment 

Hi! My name is Kitty Kenning and I represent the ministry of Church School. I have been involved with Christian Education here at St. David's for more years than I care to admit! Let's just say that I was once a student in the first classrooms built on the south side of the building and worshipped in the fellowship hall when it was the chancel!

Educating the youth of our church family is an extremely important mission. I am truly excited for our future to see how that ministry can be enhanced through building renewal and restructuring.

I was a public school teacher for almost 40 years. At the start of each school year I would invest time and money in my classroom to make it welcoming, colorful, comfortable, and safe. I wanted students to feel like someone had taken time to prepare for them - that this was a place where someone cared about them. I also wanted to give parents a secure feeling knowing that their child was in a good environment. 

Now I will be the first to say that in an educational environment a good teacher is the best gift to a student and parents even more so. People who care about you at school, at home, and at church are invaluable.

That will continue to happen no matter what is changed in the physical plant of St. David's. But it will be exciting to have new windows ( there is a least one window in each classroom that does not open or the handle is broken and there are no screens), to not have to put up paper to block sunlight in the winter when the sun is lower in the sky and bakes the classrooms, to have air conditioning (you should try teaching VBS in 90 degree weather!), to have better storage, and to be proud to show improved classrooms to visitors.

Teachers are basically seed planters. They do not always see the results of their labors. I am excited for church school and seeing what seeds we together can plant for the future - seeds that hopefully blossom into disciples of Christ in the next generation.

~ K. Kenning

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 From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead 

Auto Donation Can Accelerate Charitable Fund Drives

When it is time for a parent or spouse to enter an assisted living or nursing care facility, the question eventually arises as to how or where to dispose of belongings that cannot go along.  

In most cases, vacating a residence is sudden with no previous discussion on who gets what and where unwanted items are to go.  Despite their potential value, items such as clothing, furniture, household goods, tools, collectibles, and knick-knacks, often are hastily taken to thrift shops, second-hand stores or simply dumped.

What happens when the leave-behind is an automobile that isn't needed or wanted by any family member?  Prepping the vehicle for sale may be untimely and inconvenient under the circumstances.   But if that car were donated to a 501(c) 3 charity, the donor would get a tax write off and the charity would receive a bonus for its development campaign.

If the vehicle has not been driven much in the past year or two because of the declining health of the owner, likely it is still in good condition.   Such vehicles are plums; the money from the sale of the vehicles by the charity is a welcomed contribution to capital or annual campaigns or healthy deposits into the charity’s general fund.

Some charitable organizations even accept cars that are not running.  They sell them for the scrap metal or good condition parts that can replace a worn drive train, damaged doors, broken windows and windscreens, cracked wheels, dead converters or other automotive systems and assemblies.

For a vehicle that sells for under $500, the donor can claim the fair market value up to $500.00 without any additional paperwork.  

If the gross proceeds for the sale of the donated vehicle exceed $500.00, the deduction will be limited to the actual sale price.  Owners will be asked by the donee organization to provide a Social Security number for the purpose of completing its IRS Form 1098-C.

To legally donate a vehicle, you need to transfer the title as it proves ownership.  If you don't have one, a copy can be obtained from the Secretary of State.  Note: You are required to attach form 8283 to your Federal tax return if the vehicle is worth more than $500.00. If the vehicle has a value above $5,000 you need to provide the IRS with an appraisal of the vehicle to certify its value.  And, be sure to get a receipt from the charity.

There are companies that will offer to handle the donation for you. But, most charities will be happy to deal with you directly and do anything they can to ensure the donation process goes smoothly.

Avoid making the charity pick up the vehicle by delivering it yourself.  It is also important to make sure the title has been legally transferred to the charity before giving them possession of the vehicle. Until the title is transferred you can still be responsible for any parking tickets that the vehicle may incur.

Make sure you keep records of the entire donation process including photos of the receipt, and all tax forms somewhere safe so when tax season rolls around you have all of the documents you need. It is a good idea to take photos of the vehicle and any receipts for repairs that were done to the vehicle prior to the donation in case the IRS asks you to justify the donation value.

~ Victor Pytko, Commuinications Dir, St. Anne's Mead

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 Just Wondering - On The Episcopal Church…

No new questions were received this month, so I thought I would share an item that I received from Deacon Al Corner several years ago.  This article entitled "The Episcopal Church, Marking a Milestone, Moving Forward," was part of a block advertisement on the op-ed page of the New York Times on May 12, 2007.

“Somewhere  near you there’s a blue and white sign bearing the familiar slogan:  The Episcopal Church Welcomes You. It represents 7,400 congregations that trace their beginnings in North America to a small but hopeful  group of English Christians who arrived May 14, 1607 at a place called Jamestown—the first permanent English settlement in the New World.”

The ad mentions some of the more historic churches such as the National Cathedral in D.C., the Old North Church in Boston, and St. Paul’s Chapel in New York, which has served as a spiritual healing center of Ground Zero since September 11, 2001.  It continues “Wherever you find us, you’ll find the Book of Common Prayer and a Christian faith that honors and engages the Bible, the tradition of the Church, and God-given human reason.”

It acknowledges challenges to the Church and the struggles to face and solve them.  It concludes with:  “We’ve grown a lot in 400 years, since that 1697 worship service from the Book of Common Prayer held in Jamestown - inside and out.  Come see for yourself.  Come and visit… come and explore… come and grow.”

This is what and who we are as an Episcopal church.  Let us continue to grow, to be God’s hands and feet in the world, to “carry our mission- God’s mission through us into the next generation.”

 ~ M. M. Bair

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 Did You Know 

Congratulations to Dr. Ivy Forsythe-Brown on her recent promotion. She is now a tenured Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology in the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Dr. Forsythe-Brown teaches courses on immigration, race and ethnicity, social inequality, family and gender, and qualitative research methods. Her research projects have focused on the migration, settlement and acculturation processes of immigrant minority groups in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Well done, Professor!

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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