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Reflections Newsletter: May 2017

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

May 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: May 2017
- Monthly Calendar: May 2017
- Building Our Future!
- From The Rector
- Vestry Update
- New in the Pews: The Rienstra Family 
- Birthdays
- Picture Page
- From A Parishioner

 Building Our Future! 

Help build our future by taking a glance back! Edna Buday and Barbara Veselenak, with help from several other parishioners, have been working to create a compilation of St. David’s history into a hardcover book. The delivery of A History of St. David’s Episcopal Church is expected to arrive by Sunday, May 7, when the books will be on sale for $40 at the Adult Forum. The book has been dedicated to all St. David’s members, past and present, and commemorates our 65-year history. Monies generated through the sale of these books have been designated to benefit our Capital Campaign through which we will build our future. With renovated facilities, St. David’s will be better equipped to continue our mission into the next generation and beyond. Please attend the forum on Sunday, May 7, when Senior Warden Mark Schneider, and Junior Warden Ray Litwinowicz, along with members of the building committee, will provide an update on the building campaign.

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 From the Rector 

The Glory of Spring

What a welcome break these warmer temperatures and blooming flowers bring! There is newness in the air, a freshening and refreshening that is simply part of nature - and our parish life.

Around your church this is made most manifest in the renewal in the lives of the ten people going through our Confirmation, Reaffirmation, and Reception into the Church class. David, Angel, Katie, Tyler, Kathie, Samantha, Pat,  Deborah, Brenda, and Elsie will each receive this sacrament when Bishop Gibbs lays hands on them and invokes the coming of the Holy Spirit on Saturday, May 20, at 11am at Christ Church Cranbrook - all are invited to attend.

As we know, our tradition stresses the aspect of 'journey' when it comes to our faith - and the milestones being celebrated here are no exception.

Spring also brings the 65th anniversary of our parish. To celebrate this we are launching a commemorative book on the history of St. David's. Copies are $40 each and the proceeds go to our building improvement fund. Thanks to Edna Buday and Barb Veselenak for the very hard work put into producing this wonderful monograph. It is another glowing blossom to our spring!

On a more pedestrian level, you may have noticed the renewal of our Sunday bulletins. Duplication costs have come way down from the days of Gestetner and mimeograph machines, so much so that our new copier also prints in color and costs less than our previous one.

And so renewal is going on all around us. And we ask how the Lord is renewing us this Spring? What newness is being opened to us? How might the Spirit be beckoning us to go deeper with God through the renewal we witness?


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 Vestry Report 

Vestry Meeting April 2017

Commission Reports: the Administration Commission is planning to schedule a convenient date for the in-person training “Safeguarding God’s Children”, a required program for all adult leaders. The Property Commission continues its attention to the many details needed to keep the church in working order. The Finance Commission is pleased to report that the mild winter has allowed us to incur about $6,000 less in expenses from January through March than the budget expected. This provides a cushion for any unexpected building repairs during the remainder of the calendar year.

The Vestry heard a summary of the work of the Building Committee, which held its second meeting on April 4. The committee members are representative of the diverse nature of our parish. This committee has 14 members who will sort out the many considerations for the building renovation. It will make its recommendations to the Vestry. Since we cannot include everything we would like to see in the renovation, the committee will evaluate the choices and arrive at compromises within the final amount to be committed for construction. The Diocesan Trustees have awarded St. David’s a grant of $40,000 per year for three years to use for the renovation. St. David’s will make a presentation in May for additional funds from the Diocesan Council, and the Council will likely let us know their proposal in June. We will also apply for a Lasko Foundation grant, to support renovation of the sanctuary, in September. Since the amount of available funds will not be decided until summer, the committee is using the next few months to affirm the purposes for which this building needs to be used and to review the way in which earlier alternative plans included and excluded items.

The Vestry and the Building Committee will also be considering the possible impact of offering a daycare center at the church. Initial discussion with the regulatory agency was supportive of the idea, and we will now form a task group to explore the feasibility of this type of program. The architect indicates that accommodating this function would add very little cost to the renovation project at this stage. Revenue from either leasing space to a daycare operation, or from running the center ourselves, would assist in repaying any loan taken out. By June, we will have a clearer picture for this possibility.

Susan Brooks, Rachel Diem, and Mark Schneider attended the Diocesan workshop for Diversity and Inclusion in March. The Diocese is committed expanding the dialogue across the metro Detroit region to promote multi-cultural inclusion. We are invited to recognize how we include certain groups and exclude others, so that we can reduce the barriers that divide the “ins” from the “outs”.

At its April meeting, the Vestry returned to one of the topics based on Peter Drucker’s book, Five Questions, which it examined at the January retreat: what does the customer value. The Vestry will survey parish members in the coming months to better determine how St. David’s can be more effective in helping our members worship God and help others.

~ Mark Schneider, Sr Warden 

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 New in the Pews - The Rienstra Family 

Could you imagine if you had a 79- mile commute to work? You would have time to relax and plan your day but would miss out on a lot of time with family and friends. Steve Rienstra was making that drive from his home in Flint to downtown Detroit every day for three years. And that journey was only in one direction! So on New Year’s Eve, Steve, his wife Jessica, and their three children moved from Flint to Southfield so that Steve’s commute could be shortened significantly.

Jessica and Steve were initially concerned about moving in the middle of a school year and the effects it might have on their three boys: Alex, age 14; David, age 12 and Nathan, age 7. However, the two older boys are home-schooled while Nathan was able to meet new friends on his first day of second grade at Adler Elementary in Southfield.

After settling in to their new home, the Rienstra’s began searching for a new church to attend. “We were very active at a Free Methodist church in Flint, but we just didn’t think it was the right fit,” Jessica explained. “We looked online and wanted to find a racially diverse church because we are a racially diverse family.”

This is the first time the Rienstra’s have experienced being part of the Episcopal faith. “We liked St. David’s from our first visit,” Jessica said. “Everybody was very friendly and welcoming.” The family has already become involved in our ministries and worship. Jessica coordinated the preparation of dinner on the Tuesday night of our recent South Oakland Shelter hosting week. On Easter Sunday, Alex was the “dove flyer” during the 10 am service. He and David have joined the CSB boys’ group.

Jessica and Steve grew up in Grand Rapids and attended the same church. They were married shortly after Jessica’s high school graduation. After the wedding, Jessica moved to Flint and worked briefly in a pre-school before the couple started a family. Steve attended Kettering University in Flint and obtained a B.S. in Applied Mathematics.

In 2010, they traveled to Ethiopia to adopt Nathan who was just nine-months old. Jessica and Steve spent about ten days in Africa and discovered the Ethiopian cuisine. “The food is marvelous,” Jessica said. “While in Ethiopia, I went to a class and learned how to prepare some cultural delicacies.” One of Steve’s favorites is sautéed cactus! After their recent move, they were excited to discover an Ethiopian restaurant in Southfield. The family has also attended an Ethiopian family camp south of Jackson where they have learned about Ethiopian culture.

Steve continues working for the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust office in Detroit. Jessica is a stay-at-home Mom and keeps busy teaching the boys in their studies. Besides camping, the Rienstra’s enjoy visiting museums and the zoo and playing board games and video games as a family. Jessica added, “All of us love to read. Our house is filled with bookcases thanks to a recent visit to Ikea.”

In their spiritual journeys, the family has a variety of sources. “The kids do their own Bible Study,” Steve said. “I have also studied a book by F.F. Bruce entitled, The Book of the Acts (The New International Commentary on the New Testament). It’s done by Theologians who do a deep background on a diverse basis.” Meanwhile, Jessica likes to listen to Theological podcasts while cleaning around the house. “It makes my cleaning time more productive,” she said.

Through their faith, Jessica and Steve have become comfortable after just four months in the area. “We are thankful for everybody’s welcoming to us, not only at St. David’s, but in the community as well,” Jessica said.

We welcome the Rienstra family to St. David’s.

 ~ J. Hawkes

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Angel Awurum
Betty Creech
Walter Edwards
James and Audrey Ann Harden
Traci Johnson
Jennifer Losey
Joyce Mader
Maureen Mahar

Michael Matthews
Jim McKenzie
Joan McKenzie
Melissa Miller
Regan Christine Nader
Delphine Pinson
Jane Roberts

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 Picture Page 

What a nice surprise to see old friends visit from the Upper Penninsula!

Breaking bread on our last Sunday before Palm Sunday.

Bob gives Lori her bulletin on Palm Sunday.

The acolytes are ready for our outdoor procession on Palm Sunday.

Palms in hand the congregation processes around the building. And for once the weather cooperated!

Reading the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Lighting the candles for our beautiful Easter altar.

Our dove bearer did a fine job!

As Maureen and Jan prepared to leave for the Haiti medical mission, Father Chris said a prayer for them.

The beginning of Communion prayers on Easter.

Easter time always brings families together.

This was this little cutie’s first Easter. Ahhh!

Another cute couple enjoying the Easter celebration.

Searching for eggs during our Easter egg hunt.

Trying to make sure everything was ready for our SOS week.

These two were a big help setting up the toiletry table.

Making sure the floor was clean for the SOS guests.

A hot breakfast is a good way to start the day.

Kitchen helpers with friendly smiles.

20. Running the dishwasher isn’t so hard. Look at that smile!

Keeping the buffet table ready for the guests.

Cleaning up after another tasty supper.

~ J & L Sackett

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 From A Parishioner 

Reflections on Mother’s Day

When a child is born, a mother is also born.

A woman can read every book ever written about motherhood and talk with other moms about what to expect—but nothing can prepare a new mom for the flood of emotions she feels as she holds her new baby for the first time. Suddenly, her life is changed forever. She and her new child will share an ageless link in an endless chain of human history.

That link is forged with every cuddle, burp, diaper and bath…with the first smile, first step, first school day, first friend, first heart break, first driver’s license, first romance, first car and first job. Maybe she’ll see her baby graduate and get married. Maybe she’ll know the joy of holding her baby’s baby.

Another milestone for a new mom is her first Mother’s Day. Parishioner Megan Riherd will be celebrating her first Mother’s Day this month along with her husband, Mark, and their new daughter, Mary Lynne.

“When Mary Lynne was born, a lot of people told me to treasure every moment because it goes so fast,” Megan said. “Now I can definitely see what they mean. It has been a delight to watch her hit new milestones each week.

“The biggest change has been my shift in priorities. I think I always put family first, but now I feel that even more. I’ve also enjoyed watching Mark become a father and our parents become grandparents. When I was growing up, my mom, grandmother and I were very close and loved doing things together. Mary Lynne is the first grandchild, so I’m seeing my mom move into the grandmother role and I look forward to experiencing the growth of that special bond between all three of us,” Megan said.

Parishioner Karen Henry understands how that special bond continues beyond her children’s early years. She is mom to Nailah, Kwame and Kwesi. Karen enjoys her connection with her kids. “I love to love my children,” Karen said. “It gives me tremendous joy.”
Joy is also the feeling shared by new Grandma Kitty Kenning. She and Jim, her husband, travel to Alabama as often as they can to visit their daughter, son-in-law, and new grandson, Robert.

“As I look down into my grandson’s face, feelings of awe and joy come over me,” Kitty said. “I remember what it first felt like to hold my own baby daughters. I see the promise, the hope, and the love that created him and am so thankful my daughter and her husband get to experience this. I am especially thankful that they want to share this joy with us. I look at little Robert’s face and see a marvelous gift as his eyes peer into mine. It makes me feel humbled and grateful.

“The gift of a child changes your life forever,” Kitty said. “You never stop being a mother no matter the age of your children.”

Cindy and her husband, Ray, are the parents of three 20-something sons: Luke, John, and Noah.

Cindy Hampel-Litwinowicz

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