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Reflections Newsletter: March 2016

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

March 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: March 2016
- Monthly Calendar: March 2016
- From The Rector
- Birthdays
- Picture Page
- Music Notes
- From A Parishioner
- From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead
- Just Wondering - How old is St. David's
- Did You Know

 From the Rector 

What brings you the greatest joy?

If your answer had to do with relationships, you’re not alone. Numerous studies, short, medium, and long-term, have repeatedly revealed one consistent measurement of happiness: warm, caring relationships.

This comes to mind as you and I enter Lent’s ‘home stretch’ and prepare for the greatest feast of the year. During this season many of us have participated, to one degree or another, with ‘making order’ in our lives, and discovered that when we’ve discarded those things that mean the least we are left with those things that mean the most. And, very often, that has helped us make room for warm, caring, relationships.

As we contemplate the coming of Jesus again at Easter, and the Resurrection that Christians have repeatedly called ‘the greatest joy of all,’ we do well to consider how we might spread that joy. In what ways can we forgive, patch up, or invigorate the friendships we share with others? In what ways can we emulate the sacrificial love for others that Jesus showed us on the cross? How can we better understand that the healing and cultivation of the relationships around us not only bring joy to others, but to ourselves as well?

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Amanze, Chiemerie
Amanze, Chikodi
Bair, Joseph
Boyes, Joan
Butler, Donald
Charter-Harris, Jasmine
Edwards, Walter
Eudier, Kristin
Gilpin, Jennifer
Graham, Kathleen
Jonespenick, Elvia
Lang, Ken

Litwinowicz, Raymond
Losey, Robert
Lynady, Robert
Mackinder, Marshall
Masek, Fran
Parks, Daria
Ritz, Mary Jane
Roberts, Beverly
Sackett, Leonard
Sands, Peggie
Sullivan, Daniel
Wagner, Julie

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 Picture Page 

The week before Valentine's Day is always the day to make Valentines for the folks at St. Anne's Mead.  The Valentine table is full of decorations and supplies to make cards.

Let's use stickers...lots of stickers...

...and hearts...lots of hearts...

...and, of course, lots of love.

In February, the St. David's Quilters hold their annual "Mystery Quilt" gathering.

No one knows what their quilt will look like until the very last step because...

...everyone gets one step at a time.  Although everyone is using the same pattern, all the quilts look different because of the different fabrics being used.

Some of our Church School kids: Middle and high school...

...Godly play...

...and elementary school.

Our choir -- Don't forget to let them know how you appreciate their beautiful music.

~ J & L Sackett

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 Music Notes 

In the middle of winter, signs of spring keep poking through: the occasional mild day, bird song, joggers daring to venture outside. The earth and all its creatures are ready to bid adieu to the cold and welcome new life.

Likewise, even though the organ is silent and the choir has ventured up into the loft, we’re busy preparing for what we know will come. Three weeks into Lent, the pipe organ is never truly silent, we’ve been practicing Easter anthems, and I’ve been preparing hymns and voluntaries to ring out on that glorious day. You’ll be there with us to sing with us. What a joyful noise that will be.

Thank you welcoming me to your family,

Musically yours, 
G. Cullinan

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 From A Parishioner 

When the Parent Birds Leave The Nest…

When I found out that my parents were moving to Texas, I wasn't sure how to react. I wasn't sure if I should cry, be excited, feel panicked, or be elated to finally have a chance to run away from Michigan - as everyone seems to want to do these days.  Looking back I think the biggest emotion I felt was fear. Most people would look at this opportunity to move as a fun, new adventure, a chance to make a big and drastic change.   I looked at this opportunity more fearfully, as if God were pushing me towards a very unfamiliar and very uncomfortable place:  a place that was here in Michigan without my parents or in Texas away from my family and friends.

Someone described the situation to me perfectly: it was as if the parent birds were leaving the nest and leaving the baby birds to fend for themselves.  Well, this baby bird was not very happy about that! It was a very difficult time in my life.  I do know though that there is a reason for everything and that God works in mysterious ways, and even if I may not agree with those ways, I do know they are for the best.  I also know it would have been even more difficult had my family at St David's not been there.

Now don't get me wrong, my family and friends who live here in Michigan were there for my sister and me, but the minute it was known at St. David’s that my parents were moving and that my sister and I were staying here in Michigan, the love and support that we received was indescribable.  Just the thought brings me to tears - joyous and grateful tears. I knew that my family at St. David's had always been there for us even when my parents were here, but when they left, the love that was shown seemed to grow tenfold.  I'm sure that love had always been there, it’s just that it appeared to envelop us when we needed it the most.

Words can't describe how thankful I am to have St David's in my life.  Since my parents have gone, I believe that I have been brought closer to God and to my St David's family. I feel now more than ever that St David's is another place that I can call home. I now also understand why it is so important to have a church community in your life, in times of need or in times of plenty.  I know that I will always find open arms and open hearts in my home away from home.

~Desiree Dial 

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 From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead 


Most people seem to agree that when they were very young, a day lasted a lifetime, a year forever. After middle-age though, weeks seemed to be shortened to days, and days to hours.

Every fourth February, time keepers or rather time setters insert an extra day to compensate for discrepancies in our clocks and the orbital motion of the Earth. Each day, leading up to Feb. 29, the Earth is a little off in reaching the same point in its orbit, so we make an adjustment by adding one day in February: Leap Day. Then, all's right with World, that is, until the error in timekeeping catches up again and we add another day to the year.

If one is lucky, or unlucky, enough to have been born on Feb. 29, birthdays come only once every four years. Unfortunately, that time warp only retards the observances, not the aging process.

Speaking of time warps, Einstein proved that time is relative. Time passes more quickly or slowly depending on which frame of reference the observer is in. Recall his twin example, where one sets off in a very fast spaceship and returns to Earth a few years later after nearly reaching the speed of light to find that a twin had become an old man. Because of their different frames of reference, time either speeded up or slowed down due to the velocity with which one traveled relative to the other.

Einstein's Laws of Relativity is lofty thinking. What is more down to Earth is the question of how does one find pleasure and satisfaction in day-to-day living, or put another way, how to make the most of a day.

The reality is, when there is little to do, life becomes boring at best, drudgery at worse. Being bored because there is "nothing to do" may be attributed to the lack of creative experiences and not knowing how or be able to fill time with a satisfying activity. Most people agree that time passes more slowly when an activity is not very stimulating - for example, standing in long line at a checkout. The corollary is that persons engaged in stimulating activities seem to run out of time more quickly.

For some going into retirement after a fulfilling career, the perceived lack of opportunity is unsettling. Time then seemingly expands leaving an even larger void of non-activity.

Empty hours or days can haunt, discourage, and depress anyone, in assisted living, retired at home or not. Adding to the pain is the loss of identity from what one did: laborer, mother, housewife, accountant, engineer, CEO, teacher, etc.

Everyone has the same amount of time to fulfill every day: 24 hours. How one chooses to fill it will either give satisfaction or it won't. That depends on one's ability to know what gives pleasure and one's willingness to choose that activity over someone else's displeasure with the selection.

Growing older tends to make some people ornery, which is another way of saying, selfish. They want to do what they want to do and growl when someone else disagrees.

Says Joe Bassett, an assisted living resident at St. Anne's Mead in Southfield, "I'm busier now than ever before. I watch TV, sure, but I also work on my autobiography and, up to recently, on my stock portfolio," says Joe who takes time out every day to review his life, the incidents and the people in it. "They helped make me who I am," he says. "I don't have time to be bored; I'm looking to the future."

There's a certain amount of irony in that, given that Joe is 96.

Like Joe's, fellow resident Ken Schwartz days are tightly structured, routine, and prescheduled.

Says Ken, "Every day here is pretty well planned out by someone else, kind of like it was growing up with my five siblings. Mother did all the planning and cooking. As preschoolers, we had nothing to do but play and eat. Time ran a lot more slowly then," says Ken.

He points out that the activities in the Life Enrichment program at St. Anne's Mead keep him busy and he enjoys the time spent doing them. "I think time ran more slowly (as a kid) because there was less to think about and be responsible for. No stress," says Ken.

For resident Cecilia Rehe, reading mystery novels and working word puzzles make for a fulfilling day. "I wear a watch but seldom look at it, except to note how long it will be before lunch or dinner or when an appointment is near," she says. Cecilia does agree that time goes by more quickly now.

Explains Joe Bassett: "I like to think I am in a canoe, going down a very calm river. I have one paddle and it's fairly easy to steer the canoe, so I have plenty of time to reflect on my life. I am enjoying it all over again."

The residents' secret to enjoying time seems to be that the passage of it is less important than how one fills it.

Remember Einstein and his law about time being relative? As the old saw goes, "a glass half empty is the same as one half full." It all depends on how you look at it. Time spent, is time spent. Given the 24 hours we have to make it through another day, it is best to make it stimulating, and that's something that has to be defined by the person, the residents agree.

Life Enrichment programs at an assisted living facility are meant to stimulate and please. But in community settings, finding a common denominator is challenging so working one-on-work is important. Hence the general sense of satisfaction with such popular activities as art therapy where instructions and accomplishments are personalized.

Joan D. Vinge, American author of “The Snow Queen” series, sums it up this way: “What does immortality mean to me? That we all want more time; and we want it to be quality time.”

~ Victor Pytko, Communications Director, St. Anne's Mead

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 Just Wondering 

How Old is St. David’s?

Our parish turned 64 on March 1, which is also the feast day of St. David, patron saint of Wales, after whom St. David’s Episcopal Church is named. The name was chosen because the first group of soon to be parishioners celebrated a service, held at the Berkley High School, on March 1, 1952. At that time this group was named St. James Chapel, as St. James, Birmingham was the sponsor. When St. James Chapel became a church, the members chose the name St. David’s, honoring the date of their first service.

St David's Cathedral in Wales, one of Britain’s oldest cathedrals, stands on the site of the sixth century monastery that was built by the patron saint. The Cathedral is in the town of St. David, Wales, and has been the site of pilgrimage and worship for many hundreds of years and remains a church serving a living community.

The Rev. Canon Davies, who served at St. John’s, Plymouth, brought a stone to St. David’s from the cathedral in Wales. The stone is in the narthex of our church. When Deacon Al and Ida May visited Wales in 1981 they thanked the Dean of the Cathedral for the stone and his comment was “if you Yanks don’t quit taking stones from the Cathedral, we won’t have any Cathedral left.”

Happy 64th Birthday St. David’s!

 ~ M. M. Bair

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 Did You Know 

Jim and Kitty Kenning flew to Birmingham, Alabama to visit their daughter, Kristin, and son-in-law, Brian.  They arrived in time to hear Kristin perform in her faculty recital (Brian and Kristin are photographed here post recital).  Their visit included attending other recitals, a voice lesson and a piano concert in town.  They also went to the art and science museums, an antebellum Birmingham home and a good quilt store they discovered in Tuscaloosa.  

While in Birmingham, Kitty practiced making vegetarian meals which even Jim liked, but they also enjoyed eating out at several good restaurants including a special meal on Valentine’s Day when they went on a double-date with Kristin and Brian.

Back in Michigan, in the other Birmingham, they enjoyed a visit with their daughter, Sarah, when she met them to celebrate a family birthday.  Sarah had been in Ann Arbor to find a place to live next year when she does her medical fellowship at U of M which she will begin in July.

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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