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Reflections Newsletter: March 2017

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

March 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: March 2017
- Monthly Calendar: March 2017
- Parish Administrator: Nicole Caso
- From The Rector
- Vestry Update
- Birthdays
- Picture Page
- Music Notes

 Meet our new Parish Administrator: Nicole Caso   

Nicole Caso is our new Parish Administrator.  Father Chris formally introduced Nicole and her family at the annual parish meeting on January 29th.  She comes to St. David’s after having served in the same capacity at Drayton Avenue Presbyterian Church in Ferndale.

“Leaving there was hard,” Nicole said.  “I worked with some really good people who I still keep in touch with.  However, I wanted to be part of something more flourishing and stable.”

After meeting members of our congregation, Nicole reflected on her first impressions about St. David’s.  “I couldn’t believe how nice it was to be so welcomed.  People were coming up and introducing themselves.  I’ve also had a lot of phone calls in the office welcoming me.  It’s very comforting and has eased my entry into the new position.”

Nicole is a Clawson High school graduate and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baker College.  She also has a minor in Human Resources and once worked in the business office at Baker assisting students with their financial needs.  She also has experience working in a counseling office for those with mental health and addiction needs and is also an ex-hair stylist.

Nicole is married and the mother of two children: daughter Saige who turns five in March and two-year old son Sean.  The family currently lives in Berkley.  Her husband Mike is originally from the San Francisco area.  He is a Program Manager at the Michigan office of Playworks, a non-profit organization that works with local elementary schools to help children develop healthy interactive experiences with their classmates.  According to their website, “Playworks creates a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills.”
In addition to her administrative duties, Nicole is looking forward to taking over as publisher of the church newsletter.  She’ll be working with Steve Ernst and others in that regard.  Beginning in March, Nicole will start a 16-week Master Gardener’s course through Michigan State’s extension program.  Once she receives her certificate, Nicole would like to assist with the upkeep of the St. David’s Community Garden.

In her family life, Nicole is looking forward to getting her kids exposed to hiking and camping trips this summer.  The Caso’s would like to fly to California to visit Mike’s family and then rent an RV to travel to National parks and the sights out west.  In her spare time, Nicole enjoys ice skating, mountain biking, nature, animals, hiking and camping.  “I’m an outdoor person, although I hate mosquitoes,” she said.

Mike is an avid sports fan and also plays violin, guitar and drums.  Saige enjoys drawing and has reached the age where she is “begging” for a pet.

Nicole was baptized last summer at Berkley Community Church where the family attends services on occasion.  “I’m a really strong believer in God and Jesus, but I don’t have any ties to any certain church,” she said.

We welcome Nicole and the Caso family to St. David’s.

~ J. Hawkes 

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 From the Rector 

Welcome to the Desert

After all the desert is a common scene for Lent.

It's a place that's empty, barren, uncluttered, and just perfect for communion with the Divine. So we fast, give alms, and increase our devotions in hopes of renewal and a deeper encounter with the Numinous.

However we can never forget that Lent is a bit like trauma, suffering, or pain, in that we often look for the results of these experiences to produce some sort of epiphany or positive change that could not have come about any other way. What we fail to remember is that pain, trauma, or even the disciplines of Lent do not necessarily produce something amazing, but rather, they add to the possibility that something remarkable can come to pass. Sure we often learn things from illness, job loss, or divorce - but sometimes we don't.

So this Lent, let's not be discouraged if the result we're expecting eludes us, but let's be encouraged that the steps we're taking are toward Jesus greatly increase our chances of finding him.


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 Vestry Report 

Senior Warden’s Monthly Report
Vestry Meeting February 7, 2017

One major Vestry focus for 2017 will be the commissioning of and working with the Building Committee, to make effective use of the generous commitments made through the Capital Campaign. Some parish members have already expressed interest in serving on the Building Committee, and we are looking for any additional interested parish members.

The Building Committee will have the amazing job of aligning the building priorities from the Listening Campaign with the final amount of capital funds which become committed. This committee will work closely with the architect to select the layout of the rooms, the finishes, and (of course) the colors.

The Listening Campaign identified the improvements most needed to allow St. David’s to continue its work for decades. The list was prioritized to help us focus our construction on those improvements most needed. To make all the changes on that list would have required more than $3,000,000. We obviously will not have that magnitude of funds, so compromises will need to be made, one of the important tasks of the Building Committee.

Our construction funds will come from a number of sources:
   • Capital Campaign commitments, with $388,350 pledged
   • Building Improvement Fund, which will contribute $60,000
   • Diocesan Trust applications currently under consideration, with funding indications this spring
   • Lasco Foundation grant application for sanctuary renovation will be submitted in October
   • As plans reach the final stages, we will consider the cost/benefit of a loan from the Diocese

The architect has been working with parish leadership for two years. He drafted initial designs based on the funding amount, from $600,000 to $3,000,000. Each option provided an additional level of functionality. The Building Committee will narrow down the options to match the funds available.

Other Vestry topics at the February 7 meeting:
   • Selection of lay delegates for the Diocesan convention
   • Recognition of a gift from St. James, Birmingham, for the building campaign
   • Preparing for Lent, with the theme of changing habits
   • Using a Church Next educational module “Vision and Vestry”, to confirm our strategic aims.

The Vestry appreciates the commitment of our parish members to our present mission and to our future through the building campaign.

~ Mark Schneider, Sr Warden 

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Amanze, Chiemerie
Amanze, Chikodi
Bair, Joseph
Boyes, Joan
Butler, Donald
Charter-Harris, Jasmine
Edwards, Walter
Eudier, Kristin
Gilpin, Jennifer
Gordon, Deborah
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 

We at St. David’s have a wide range of cultures...

…be sure to share yours.

A rousing gospel hymn sing led by our music director, George, ->

...isn’t complete without Manju on the drums.

Our confirmands receive a blessing from Fr. Chris.

Please keep them all in your prayers.

Passing the peace at St. David’s takes a while.

In making Valentines for the residents at the Mead…

…we share our love.

Speaking of love. Congratulations Fr. Chris and Kathryn on your engagement!.

Our fine group of volunteers who went to Crossroads to share our love with Detroit’s needy.

Mark gives instructions to us about safe food handling.

The lunch packing crew packs a hearty lunch of vegetable beef soup, sandwiches, bananas, and cookies.

Kendall takes the tickets so the guests can get their lunch at the window.

The Motor City Street Band adds some joyful sounds to our service.

The Iraqi Consulate joined us for breakfast and presented a very moving forum.

~ J & L Sackett

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 Music Notes 

Thanks to everyone who attended the Spiritual Sing. It was not just a fitting observance of Black History Month, but a deep and prayerful communion. As a music minister, I learned much about the songs and hymns that touch your souls best.

As we enter Lent, you will notice a drastic change in sight and sound in our Eucharist. Green gives way to purple. The piano leads our song while the organ remains dormant. The choir once again moves to the loft. Much of the service will be spoken. The singing is reflective rather than celebratory. We hope the liturgy invites you to journey inward as we accompany Jesus in the desert.

The Choirs are always open to new members. A love of music is all that is required. Bell choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 6:15-6:55. Chancel choir follows immediately from 7:00 to 8:30. Even if you’re not ready to join, we invite you join or observe our rehearsals.

G. Cullinan

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