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Reflections Newsletter: June 2017

June 1, 2017
N. Caso
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St. David's Newsletter

June 2017 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 2017
- Monthly Calendar: June 2017
- Confirmation: The Chapel Was Crowded
- 2017 Graduates
- From The Rector
- Vestry Update
- New in the Pews: Rachel Diem 
- Birthdays
- Picture Page

 Confirmation: The Chapel Was Crowded 

The Chapel Was Crowded…

If you were wondering why about 20 people were meeting in the Chapel for many Sundays, it wasn’t because we were eating lunch… even though we did eat lunch! Here is the answer you’ve been waiting for!

Saturday, May 20 was both an exciting and incredibly spiritual day for many of our St. David’s Parishioners and their families. Our Bishop, the Reverend Wendell Gibbs Jr. comes annually to Christ Church Cranbrook to receive new members into the Episcopal Church; to witness members desire to renew their commitment to Christ; and to empower those Confirmed for God’s service and sustain them forever.

Those who were Received, Reaffirmed, and Confirmed met with their Sponsors and Fr. Chris for seven sessions of learning and discussion. We all learned things that were new, even the life-long Episcopalians! The group ranged in age from 13 to 70, with an incredible breadth of experience and faith. Some may have offered prayers for the first time, and some may have shared things they’d never talked about before in a group setting. It is my sense that we all learned something new; were able to share, ask questions, and learn more about each other, in addition to the teachings, rituals and life in the Episcopal Church, and our parish.

The Ceremony and Holy Eucharist was held at Christ Church Cranbrook with Bishop Gibbs presiding. The Bishop ‘lays hands’ on each person's head as he prays the individual prayer for Reception, Reaffirmation, and Confirmation…and yes, he does have them memorized! The ceremony was followed by Holy Eucharist and included wonderful music thanks to the Christ Church Cranbrook Choir!

Following the ceremony and Eucharist we were treated to great sandwiches and awesome chocolate cake! A huge thank you goes out to Christ Church Cranbrook, their staff, their choir and Fr Bill Danaher for their hospitality!

Members of the class and sponsors are listed below:

Class: Pat Wittenberg, Elsie Babcock, Ndidi Awurum, David Awurum,
Deborah Greene, Kathryn Urbiel, Tyler Silverthorn, Theresa Hugero,
Anthony Stinette, and Brenda Cook

Sponsors: Fr Chris, Sr Susan Brigit, Rachel Diem, Jake Jones,
Janeanne Jones, Chris Brown, Ivy Forsyth-Brown, Joan Elkins, and
Judy Walsh

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 2017 Graduates 

 We congratulate them all for a job well done and wish them many blessings for their next endeavors!

Gloria Knights from The Ecumenical Theological Seminary, a 2 year degree program focusing on how to reach out to people in the community in need of help.
Mikayla Johnson from high school – going to Bowling Green State next fall.
Buchi Amanze from high school – going to Michigan State next fall.
Angel Awurum from middle school.
Alex Reinstra from middle school.
Jade Smiley from elementary school.
Maverick Crump from elementary school.
Adrienne Adams from high school – going to Howard University next fall.

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 From the Rector 

Aging Matters

When I was working in television news, which frequently required working holidays, it was not uncommon to receive a frantic call from the Assignment Editor on Christmas Day telling me and my crew that we had to high tail it to the homeless shelter to do a story about people being fed on Christmas morning. This was treated with all the urgency of a 'breaking news' event, which was a testament less to the dire importance of the event and more to the utter disorganization of our assignment desk. It was as if this event was some sort of surprise when, in actuality, it happened every Christmas.

This story comes to mind as we prepare for the summer and a book I hope you'll read with us in the months of June and July. It's called Aging Matters: Finding Your Calling for the Rest of Your Life by R. Paul Stevens. It's written by a retired seminary professor who urges us not to go blindly into the future, denying or ignoring the natural processes going on in our bodies, and to, instead prepare and even rejoice in the upcoming seasons of our lives if, for no other reason, because God has prepared them for us - to learn and to grow in Him.

The book is organized in 9 small chapters, and we will devote our 9am study hour in June and July to each of them, beginning Pentecost Sunday, June 4. Copies of the book will be available on the back table in the Narthex beginning May 28.

A famous rabbi once said that old age is not a defeat, but a victory - not a punishment, but a privilege. Yes, it's a one way road and we're all on it. I hope you'll join your faith family in learning more about it this summer!


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 Vestry Report 

Vestry Meeting May, 16, 2017

The success of St. David’s is the result of its collective efforts in four main areas: Worship, Formation, Hospitality and Outreach. The May Vestry meeting reported out activity in all these areas:

Worship—Easter attendance was slightly less than last year. Father Chris is arranging for occasional pulpit swaps with other pastors during summer and fall.

Formation—Seven members are to be confirmed, reaffirmed or received into the Episcopal church by the Bishop on May 20. Father Chris intends to develop a small group ministry beginning this fall.

Hospitality—In a departure from tradition, the parish service and picnic is planned for June 11 away from St. David’s, at Pebble Creek Park.

Outreach—the 60th anniversary of AA meetings at St. David’s was celebrated May 13. Debra Davis is starting a new ministry for mothers and children at the Detroit Rescue Mission (volunteers needed). Jane Johnson is soliciting support for a food pantry, one afternoon each week (volunteers needed). The St. David’s Garden is being planted (volunteers needed). St. David’s staff will host a Volunteer Appreciation lunch on July 1 (outreach volunteers will be recognized).

The Vestry also reviewed the parish’s business activity:
   • Gerry Maloney advised the Vestry he is unable to carry out his duties at this time and reluctantly withdrew from the Vestry. The Vestry now has only six members.
   • The financial audit determined that the2016 financial reports were in good order. For calendar 2017 our finances remain favorable relative to the budget, in large part because the mild winter held down our expected facility expenses.
   • To confirm the central interests of the parish membership, the Vestry is preparing a member survey.
Two significant projects calling for Vestry discernment are the church building renovation and the proposal to establish a day care center at St. David’s. Father Chris is forming a committee to examine the feasibility of a day care center, drawing on the experience of the founder of the day care center at St. John’s, Birmingham, and the experience of Vestry member Susan Brooks. There is an apparent need for this service in this community. Since the church is planning a major renovation, the necessary accommodations for a day care center could be incorporated into the plans with little additional cost. The architect is working on plans which would show the revisions to allow a day care center. The feasibility study will consider renting the space to a separate day care center, or running it as part of St. David’s operations. Father Chris noted that running the day care center as a parish would allow us to offer this service as an extension of our ministry to this community. We could also include Christian formation as part of the center’s activity.

Father Chris reported on the presentation made to the Diocesan Council on May 13, for financial support of our renovation plans. To provide the Council with an achievable and financially manageable target, the presentation asked the Council for support by authorizing $400,000 in grants or loans, which would bring our capital campaign funding to $1,000,000. The Council will provide its response in June. The Vestry recognized that the Council is likely to offer us a loan (rather than a grant) and has requested the Finance Commission develop a projection to show how the cost of a loan would be incorporated into the operational expenses of the parish.

~ Mark Schneider, Sr Warden 

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 New in the Pews - Rachel Diem 

Rachel Diem has been attending St. David’s since November, 2016.  Originally, she was looking for a church close to her home in northwest Detroit.  One day, a former priest of Rachel’s asked, “Have you visited St. David’s yet?”  After attending our services last fall, Rachel made us her new church home.

When asked about what she likes most about St. David’s, Rachel cited the welcoming and involvement in our worship with children and in our work towards racial reconciliation.  She said, “I wanted to find a community that I could not only call home, but one where I could learn a lot from within it.”

Rachel wound up assisting Father Chris on the Confirmation classes that ten of our members participated in this spring.  “I loved it,” Rachel began.  “I led the discussions on the Sundays when Father Chris was unavailable.  There was at least a fifty-year age range.   Everybody contributed and it was really wonderful.  It makes me excited about what Father Chris has planned for the small groups program in the fall.”

Rachel grew up in Benton Harbor and was born into the Baptist church.  She also has been a member of the Roman Catholic faith.  After many years of being what she termed as “unchurched,” Rachel became an Episcopalian in 2010.  She spent most of her adult life in Lansing for school.  She is a Michigan State graduate with an undergraduate degree in English.  Later, Rachel attended Goddard College in Vermont for their Gender and Diversity studies program. 

She is a retired grant writer and used to fund non-profits for her job.  Nowadays, Rachel spends a lot of time with her three grandchildren.  Her daughter Beth, also lives in Detroit.

On her faith journey, Rachel finds comfort in a selection of Bible passages.  “I consider myself to be a novice in the community of the gospel,” Rachel said.  “There are so many, but I like ones that mostly reflect on a sense of Jesus as Emmanuel and that God is always with us.”

Currently, she lives across the street from Rogell Golf Course which has been closed for about five years.  She enjoys watching deer, birds, groundhogs, and other creatures of the wilderness that now call the golf course home.  “It is zoned recreational and residential and the locals are trying to keep it that way,” Rachel said.  “Hopefully it will stay green.”

Since she grew up near Lake Michigan, Rachel enjoys visiting the towns and beaches along the Michigan shoreline.  “Every place I’ve been to has been enjoyable and I’d like to go back,” she said.

We welcome Rachel Diem to St. David’s.  

 ~ J. Hawkes

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

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


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 Picture Page 

Vandenberg Cultural Academy’s principal, Cindy Watson, welcomes the St. David’s pen pals to the annual pen pal tea.

Judy Walsh presents a book to Mrs. Klein’s class.

St. David’s Stitchers gather to knit or crochet hats and lap blankets for their outreach projects.

Some of St. David’s folks at Christ Church Cranbrook for the confirmation service.

Anthony and Judy in conversation after the confirmation.

Teresa and Tyler also enjoyed a little conversation.

Our St. David’s group with the bishop.

Certificates were handed out at St. David’s on Sunday.

On 'Creation Day' the children brought flowers to the altar which were later to be planted in our gardens.

These three wanted to show everyone the beautiful flowers.

On the last Sunday of the Easter season, the children added a few more items to our altar.

On Life Celebrations Sunday, Jim shared that he just celebrated his 90th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Jim!.

Fr. Chris showed us the next book he is offering for summer reading: Aging Matters and it’s on the table in the Narthex.

Memorial Day recessional.

Teresa and Sandy chat after church. Welcome home, Sandy!

Len and Joanne took Fr. John one of our history books.

~ J & L Sackett

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