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Reflections Newsletter: September 2016

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

September 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: September 2016
- Monthly Calendar: September 2016
- Church School 2016
- Girls Friendly Society
- Vandenberg School Update
- Adult Forum Book Discussion : The New Jim Crow
- From The Rector
- Birthdays
- Picture Page
- Music Notes
- From A Parishioner
- From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead
- Just Wondering - Episcopal Flag Symbolism

 Church School 2016 

First we want you to know what a great group of teachers we have who love working with children! We would like to encourage you to become a part of this team.  Materials and training are provided for you.  Also our classes have rotating teachers so you can choose which Sundays are best for your schedule.  Don't "hide your light"!  See Jane Johnson or Kitty Kenning if you think you might be able to help.

The first Sunday of church School will be September 18th! We are looking forward to an exciting new year of church School this fall.  We will be starting our third  year with our new Rotation curriculum.  All students through the eighth grade will go briefly into the church with their parents for the beginning of the service.    After the processional hymn and the Collect the students will then exit with their teachers to class.  All students will return to church at the Peace in preparation for the Eucharist. (Acolytes will also exit to class and then return at the Peace.)

1.  Godly Play

Every Sunday morning during the 10:00 AM service, teams of experienced parishioners lead the children through this acclaimed worship program designed for young children.  Children rejoin their parents for the Eucharist.  The ages for Godly Play are four year olds through the 2nd  grade.

2.  Rotation

Students in the 3rd - 5th grades will be involved in an exciting new program called Spark Activate Faith Rotation.  Students will stay on the same Biblical story for two to three weeks.  Each week will be a new activity involving one of several possible workshops (Art, Bible Skills and Games, Cooking, Creative Drama, Music, Science, and Video) all focusing on the Bible story in a different way.  In this way, we hope to make the time in Church School both fresh and engaging.  We will also be using the resources of our parish asking different people to lead different workshops during the year.

3.  Middle School

The middle school grades 6-8 will exit directly to their classroom from church.  They will be doing a combination of lessons from the Journey to Adulthood Curriculum known as Rite-13 and  new material from Spark House for middle schoolers.

4. High School

This involves 9th-12th graders.  Our students are encouraged to become involved in a church ministry such as being an acolyte, Lay Eucharistic Minister, helper, choir member, leader in church school, participant in a service project, etc.  Youth will meet together once a month after the service for a planned activity with an adult mentor.

Our youth are a blessing to the parish for which we are very thankful.  Again, there will be multiple opportunities to help out.  When approached to be a volunteer, please give it prayerful thought. Please be willing to have God use you!  We are confident you will enjoy the adventure and even learn something along the way!

There will be a church school teacher's meeting on Monday, September 12th at 6:30 p.m.

~K. Kenning & J. Johnson 

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 Girls Friendly Society 

Girls’ Friendly Society at St. David’s

A branch of The Girls’ Friendly Society (GFS) is starting up at St. David’s this fall. Girls’ Friendly Society is an international faith based organization that has been around since the late 1800’s. The focus of the group is worship, outreach, study, and recreation with an emphasis on the spiritual growth of girls and young women. While there have been GFS branches in Michigan in the past, there are currently no active branches in our state. We will be the first of hopefully more to come!

The GFS motto: “Bear Ye One Another’s Burdens and so Fulfill the Laws of Christ” says it all! GFS will be a supportive peer group outside of school helping girls to face everyday challenges, understand others and think through their own values and choices. This group is for girls ages 8 to 21 – all are welcome, parishioners, friends and members of the community alike. The group will be a nice compliment to the already successful Christian Service Brigade for boys.

We will meet on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month. The first meeting will be held on Friday September 9th from 7-9pm in Corner Hall. In addition to the monthly meetings we plan to participate in service activities and recreational outings throughout the school year.

If you would like more information about GFS or if you are interested in helping out, please contact Jen Losey ( or Traci Johnson. If you know a girl who would like to participate please bring her to the meeting on the 9th! If you can’t make the first meeting, don’t worry, you can contact us or come when you can.

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 Vandenberg School Update 

As the new school year begins, St. David's will join forces with our neighborhood elementary, Vandenberg World Culture's Academy.  Vandenberg is a K-5 Southfield Public School, focusing on students with English as their second language.  Many volunteer opportunities will be available for parishioners.

- You may assist weekly or bi-weekly in a classroom or grade level of your choice.  Whether your interest is reading, science, technology or simply being a mentor to a student, your participation is welcomed!

- Become a Pen Pal with a 4th grader and help reinforce the importance of writing.  Wonderful inter-generational friendships are formed through this monthly letter exchange program.  We begin in October and conclude in May, with our Pen Pal Tea, where we meet our pals face to face!   *(Please note- If you participated last year and are unable to continue for 2016-17, contact Judy Walsh)

- Collect Box Tops for Education.  Our collection box is in the Narthex and we deliver box tops to the school several times during the year.  These can be redeemed for cash by the school and allows them to purchase needed materials and supplies.

- Become a Celebrity Reader.  Southfield Public Schools sponsors this program at all the elementary schools in the district.  You select the school and dates for reading.  If you love to read aloud, share your enthusiasm with a classroom full of kids and become a "Celebrity."   Please contact Judy Walsh for details.

Finally, a big Thank You for the many school supplies you donated for Vandenberg.  
The students, families, and staff are most appreciative!

Happy New School Year!

~ Judy Walsh

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 Adult Forum Book Discussion: The New Jim Crow 


At our adult forum hour on Sunday, October 2, we will have an opportunity to take part in a discussion on our summer reading assignment: The New Jim Crow. This New York Times bestseller by Michelle Alexander provides an in-depth look at “mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness,” its history, themes and realities.

Our discussion will be facilitated by Ivy Forsythe-Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. The Adult Forum takes place in the Corner Fellowship Hall immediately following the 10am worship service.

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 From the Rector 

Kitty Hawk

Do you know what the Wright brothers spent an inordinate amount of time doing?

I didn't either - until my summer reading list turned up an insightful biography of those peculiarly industrious bachelors (The Wright Brothers by David McCullough). I never knew that the Wrights had spent a large part of 3 years, on 3 separate trips, at Kitty Hawk (now Kill Devil Hills), simply watching the wind.

Wilbur and Orville observed, measured, charted, and became students of the wind. They took detailed notes and made sketch after sketch of birds flying, the shapes of wings, and how the birds worked and interacted with the wind. The Wrights flew their kites, early versions of their airplane. They knew they couldn't control the wind but that they had to work with the wind.

It was only after this detailed study that the Wrights attempted to first glide, then hook up a motor on their plane, and fly. In the race against the better educated, better known, and better funded Samuel Langley, the self-educated ministers' sons from Dayton would become first in flight. To a large degree it was because they devoted so much time and energy to studying the wind.

The spiritual equivalent of the wind is the holy spirit at work all around us. Like the wind, it is that invisible force that blows where it will. Many of us have stories not just about the times we've come up against it and crashed - but also those times when we have paid attention to the spirit's thrust and direction, worked with the wind - and soared.

Life often reminds us that the little things often become the big things. Ignoring that tiny oil light in the car can strand us, making an offhand comment can cost us a job. This is a big reason to make time to notice the spirit at work around us - to pay attention, take notes, to become students of the spirit's every wisp and whim.

Like the Wright brothers, we find life much easier, fulfilling, and purposeful when we find ways to work with the spirit, heeding the guidance, yielding to its direction. It often starts at Kitty Hawk - where's ours?

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Amanze, Onyekachi
Awurum, Eudorah
Clous, Benjamin
Connelly, Mary
Dial, Desiree
Edwin, Chandra
Edwin, Samuel
Elkins, Joan
Elkins, Keith
Erwin, Ray
Eudier, Francois
Eudier, Jared

Hawkes, Debra
Hawkes, John
Johnson, Mikayla
Jones, Jessica
Litwinowicz, Noah
Love, Michael
Lynady, Brandon
Odom, Mary Ann
Reid, Clayton
Sims, Diedre
Tupper, Mary Catherine

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 Picture Page 

Pat becomes a member of Daughters of the King.

Congratulations, Pat!

St. David's receives another newly baptized member.

She is sealed as Christ's own.

Tom receives instructions about how to be a LEM.

St. David's Stitchers are making blankets and hats for cancer patients.

St. David's hosted the 3rd annual 'End Homelessness Now' 5K/10K Fun Run.

Everyone young and...

...older was eager to run for the homeless.

Heading for the finish line, we raised almost $50,000!

~ J & L Sackett

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 Music Notes 

Choir rehearsals resume on Wednesday, September 7. We’ll have our traditional “first Wednesday” potluck at 6, followed by Mass at 6:30 and rehearsal at 7. If you love to sing, you are welcome to join.

The following Wednesday, September 14, the Bell Choir will resume rehearsals at 6:00. We are always happy to have volunteers for this fun and rewarding ministry.

I’m looking forward to all the music we’ll make together!

Musically yours, 
G. Cullinan

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 From A Parishioner 

A Summer – no, make that Winter - Trip to South Africa
by Anne Jeannette LaSovage

Giraffe photoThis summer, my father and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to South Africa, a place we have both wanted to visit for several years (ever since reading Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton). South Africa definitely did not disappoint - what an amazing and complex country! In relating my trip to friends back home, I have found it difficult to describe our experience in only few words. Even a “top five” of favorites has been hard to pin down.

Our trip had its beginnings last December when through a series of events, I became the high bidder for a photo safari at a silent auction. My father and I commenced intense research and to our six-day safari we added destinations from our respective “must-see” lists. Thus, over two and a half weeks this July, we visited sites in Cape Town, Hluhluwe, Durban, and Johannesburg, each region revealing distinct character in its personality and its offerings.

Cape of Good Hope photoTo describe the trip as a whole is impossible; with such a rich foundation of natural features, history, and culture our single voyage was really more like three. Among the high points of the natural features, for example, was visiting the Cape of Good Hope. I can now say I number among those who have stood at the most southwestern point on the African continent! At Table Mountain in Cape Town and at Cape Point, I had a novel experience; for the first time in my life I was surrounded by plants that the majority of which I did not personally know–and for good reason–the Cape Floral Region in South Africa contains species and habitat known in no other part of the planet. It was awe inspiring for me as a naturalist to still understand the ecosystem workings as a whole yet have each of the components be a completely new character to me.

Cheetah photoOf course, a trip to South Africa is not complete without the animals, and animals we did see. It is winter in the southern hemisphere, and a good time for animal spotting. On safari, we saw four of the “Big Five.” (These five are not named after size, but are the five species that are most likely to kill you!) The leopard, true to its nature, remained unseen, but elephant, rhino, hippo, and water buffalo were evident most days. Particular favorites of mine were the black rhino (the white rhino’s crankier browser cousin) and the giraffes. One afternoon we were surrounded by 30 or more of these tall, majestic creatures who carried on with their business, not caring about our presence at all.

Elephant fight photoWe sat and watched babies nursing, adolescents mock-fighting and all ages browsing as the sun set. A few nights later we had a similar experience with a conversion of three elephant herds–our game drive ranger with 10 years’ experience said he had never seen anything like it. The sheer number of mammal and bird species we saw was impressive; my camera is full of images of lions, zebras, warthogs, hippos, cheetahs, birds of all types (including ostriches) and miscellaneous antelopes of all shapes and sizes. My father’s particular favorite was the serval we interacted with at the cat rehab center–for a visual: imagine petting a 50-pound, purring housecat.

Maropeng skulls photoBeyond (and entwined with) the natural aspects of the region are the historical, social and cultural influences that have molded South Africa. As a science teacher, visiting Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind was an intense high point of my trip. We were able to explore a cave where two of the most significant hominid Australopithecus fossils were discovered (Mrs. Ples and Little Foot). I knew we would be going to a cave in the region, but imagine my joy when we went to the actual dig site of fossils I use as case studies with my biology students! More than 200 specimens have been unearthed in this World Heritage site, and it truly does feel like home for our species.

The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg provided a moving and reflective end to our trip, as did our visit to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu’s respective homes on the previous day. In the aftermath of America’s difficult racial July (the Dallas shootings happened as I was packing the night before we left, and we know the other tragedies that preceded that), how humans get along with one another was on my mind throughout our trip. Contrasts and comparisons between our American history and present status to those of South Africa added a contemplative layer to my travels. Neither country has it figured out yet, but there were definite opportunities for questioning. South Africa has a 29% unemployment rate, and the rampant crime you would expect to go along with it. Its politicians were described as corrupt by nearly all the locals we spoke with, yet there is public acknowledgement of both the positives and negatives in their country since the end of apartheid. The United States has made more progress in some ways, but could perhaps reflect on other options we have not considered in equalizing opportunity for all of us.

Overall the trip was wonderful. A month home and I am still processing my experience. I will add here that the food was great–one great advantage of a diverse cultural history! I would definitely be open to revisiting South Africa, although this summer’s adventure might easily have been a once in a lifetime trip...especially since a visit to the South American continent has not yet been checked of my globetrotting list!

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 From Our Neighbors: St. Anne's Mead 


It was 50 years ago when St. David's acquired a new neighbor and the relationship that began then, continues today as St. Anne's Mead celebrates its Golden Anniversary.

Fr. Chris will serve as the emcee during the 50th Anniversary Gala on October 15th. The proceeds of that event will be used to help jumpstart a capital campaign for a much-needed Memory Care Unit at St. Anne's. The event will be held at Plum Hollow Country Club, located off Lahser Road just south of 9 Mile in Southfield. The evening will include cocktails, dinner, a silent auction, a talk by Salvador Salort-Pons, director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the presentation of service awards.

The first dedication service of St. Anne’s Mead was held back in October of 1966 when St. David’s hosted an ice cream social for the new residents. The Rev. Ralph Myers read a dedication sermon on behalf of what was then the area's first senior retirement home. For more information on the gala or to purchase tickets at $100 each, please visit or call (248) 557-1221 and ask for Robin.

~ Porter Pytko, Communications Dir, St. Anne's Mead

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 Just Wondering - Episcopal Flag Symbolism  

What is the symbolism represented in the Flag, Seal, and Shield of the Episcopal Church?

The Flag, Seal and Shield were formally adopted by the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies on
October 16, 1940.

There are many symbolisms in the design by William M Baldwin, who was a member of the Cathedral of Incarnation, Long Island, New York.

The White field represents the purity of the Christian religion.

The Red Cross represents the sacrifice of Jesus and the martyrs. The Red Cross on the white field is the
cross of St. George, the patron saint of England.

The Blue in the upper left hand corner is the color of the sky. This color is also called Madonna Blue, as it is the color used in the clothing of the Blessed Virgin.

The nine white crosslets in this area are for the original dioceses of the Episcopal Church. They are arranged in the form of St. Andrew’s cross. This was to commemorate the fact that Samuel Seabury, the first American Bishop, was consecrated at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Aberdeen, Scotland. This cathedral now shares a rich history with the Episcopal Church here in America, as inaugurating the concept of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

The colors red, white, and blue represent the United States and stand for the American branch of the Anglican Communion.

When you look up at the Episcopal flag flying with Old Glory, you may look at both with pride.

 ~ M. M. Bair

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