News from St. Paul's Episcopal Church August
"What is life? They say, 'Bread is life.' And I bake bread, bread, bread...and I should be so happy."- ---
--Ronny Cammareri, as played by Nicholas Cage, in the 1987 move "Moonstruck"
" Think now She gives when our attention is distracted And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions That the giving famishes the craving. ...Gives too soon Into weak hands, what's thought can be dispensed with Till the refusal propagates a fear. " T.S. Elioit, Gerontion
I made some new young friends on the Friday of the Russell-Christin wedding. Five young women, ranging in age from 5 to 10 years, had ventured over to St Paul's playground by the rectory. I have always told children from the neighborhood they are welcome to play there when they are there. Enroute, they discovered the parish doors wide open for the beautiful breeze we had that day. This to many, no less to our little friends, is clearly an invitation. They inquired of Hannah, our pianist, "We can come in there, right?"
In a wonderfully pleasant even hospitable manner, Hannah told them in a longer kinder way "No" and then Hannah fielded their follow up questions, "Why?" asked as each reply prompted yet the same question.
When I met my new quintet of companions just after the service, I too was peppered with not only questions, but asks: Can (sic) we have some water? Can we use the bathroom? I thought I saw some cake in there. Can we have some cake? Can we ride in that big long white car with them? Do they have pop in there we could drink?
This, in the South, is called "having the 'wants'", where one no sooner asks for something, and with or without receiving same, then asks for something else. Repeatedly. While I recognize 'the wants' in others easily, especially if I have been selected as the giver of the things requested, it is harder for me to acknowledge that I have this too, "the wants". It isn't all my fault (spoken like a true wants-er). Our North American culture, maybe even our nature as humans, inculcates this in us. We take what we are given, giving it no mind once we have it or consume it; yet its "refusal propagates a fear."
Jesus discovered anew what he already knew about people: we are, more often than not,
wants-ers. He was repeatedly asked for healing, and miraculous signs of his deity. And it seems that when asked for them he gave them. Yet what he offered most profoundly, and was turned down at times, was another real gift: himself as Bread. In fact, he does this all throughout August in our lectionary readings.
And this time, his gift of Himself, as opposed to flashy signs of miracles, will satisfy us fully. He offers this over and over to seemingly few evident takers. (He offers himself as living water to the woman at the well, and she does accept, but that is a rarity.)
I ask myself, what do I truly need in life, from God? And does it ever truly appear to me as a want? If I know that relationship to God in Christ is where I would get my truest sustenance on so many levels, do I truly seek the spiritual gifts that are important for me to have? May we all truly know what God has in store for us, and what we need, and may we be so in touch with our God that we actually want, and ask for them.
Time will tell if my troupe of five will become permanent friends. Hopefully your and my deep hospitality will not only hook them but will lead them to wish to pursue other aspects of a relationship with us besides answers to "gimme's". God gives us the deep faith to give and give as God has given us. Let us seek to find God more deeply, to embrace the fullness of grace, and to find God anew in our own giving.
PARISH PICNIC ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 12
Our parish picnic is August 12th starting with our 10:30 a.m. service inside. Food will be available in the parish hall after the service and seating will be available indoors and out! Games for kids and adults will begin at 12:30 p.m. Families are asked to bring a dish to pass, if possible. We are also asking for donations of pop, water, and lemonade. The parish will provide burgers, brats and hot dogs, along with all the fixin's. Invite your friends and neighbors. This is a celebration of community and fellowship, as well as food and fun for all!
From the Senior Warden
It's summertime and the living is easy, but there's plenty going on at St. Paul's. The garden is growing like crazy, the parish picnic is coming right up, the search for a new priest is in full swing, we'll be purchasing a new A/V setup with large screen TV and speaker system in the next month or so, plans are afoot for fall fellowship and adult formation, and the Vestry is working hard on moving our church forward and what that means for us and for our new priest.
If you haven't done so, you really should stop by our garden plot to see what's growing and to help yourselves to some delicious veggies for a wonderful summer meal. A small but very dedicated group of gardeners have been working hard all spring and summer long, and their efforts are definitely paying off. They have collected around 50 pounds of produce which has been donated to area food pantries. Please feel free to harvest some of these delicacies for your own table; there are green beans, cucumbers, kale and squash, while the basil, tomatoes, and peppers are forthcoming. And, if you have wondered what that is in the beds in front of the church, the gardeners have planted milkweed there to help the monarch butterflies. As always, any gardening help you might want to provide would be most welcome, even if you can only stop by once or twice.
It's also time to think about the parish picnic coming right up on August 12th. Our picnic team has decided to switch things up a bit this year, and we'll have an indoor service followed by grilled burgers and brats. Please bring a dish to pass, if you're able, and plan to stick around for some fun and games outdoors if the weather permits. Plans include a DIY ice cream sundae bar and a photo booth. Pam Kombrink and Beth Lee can answer questions about how you can help and join in the fun.
I think others are writing about our new A/V updates and upcoming programming plans for fellowship and adult formation this fall. But before signing off, I want to let you all know that the Vestry has been very active in working on "Sources of Transformation" for congregational development, and talking about how St. Paul's can reach out and move forward into the future while the Search Committee discerns who will help lead us there as our new rector. We are planning to form a "Future Envisioning" team to develop ideas to keep us forward-thinking and relevant in the 21st century. We're hoping to organize such a team in time for our new rector to become involved. If you are asked to serve in this capacity, please seriously consider doing so, and if you have ideas about where you'd like to see St. Paul's going in the future, please feel free to speak to any Warden or Vestry member. I will be asking Susan King to post the notes from our Sources of Transformation recap meeting on the website so you can get an idea of what the Vestry has been working on.
I remain truly excited and energized by all the activity going on around here. We may be a relatively small congregation, but we are very active and invested in our church home. There is still plenty of summer left to enjoy, so soak up as much of it as you can while thinking about the future of St. Paul's and keeping the Search Committee in your prayers.
From the Junior Warden
I attended the executive meetings for the vestry on July 11 and July 25. I also
participated in the vestry meeting on June 15th. I am the liaison to the vestry on the search committee. We have received
At present we are interviewing these applicants by Skype. We will then select a couple of the candidates to visit us in the coming weeks. At such time that we have decided which candidate would fit best with our
congregation, we will make a recommendation to the vestry.
We are moving ahead with the audiovisual upgrade to our parish center. The
upgrade will be happening over the next couple of weeks. We have already received some financial help
to defray some of the costs. Please get
your contributions to us over the next couple weeks; we would certainly appreciate it. The formation and the fellowship committees have already planned some exciting activities for the fall which include such things as adult discussion programs, movie night, communication streaming and even the possibility of a Super Bowl party.
Exciting things are happening at St. Paul's this fall. Enjoy the summer and be ready to enjoy the fall parish plans.
While the Lorraine and the Choir enjoy some summertime off, thanks to our capable and talented Organist Kathleen and Pianist Hannah for leading the music in worship!
Watch for Choir news next month.
July Mars Hill Treasurer's Report with figures for April, May, & June 2018
St Paul's Episcopal Church, DeKalb, IL 60115
This report covers the months of April, May, and June 2018. The checking account with Heartland Bank is our primary operating account. Accounting reports are compiled by American Midwest Tax and Accounting, Inc. whose office is at 901 North First Street in DeKalb. Sheila Appel is our primary contact. The firm also pays the bills and processes the payroll. The Edward Jones Firm on Sycamore Road, managed by Matt Myre, oversees our Building (Capital) and Endowment Funds.
Receipts through June 2018
We have received $72,341 from 2018 pledges through the end of June which is 63% of the $115,063 budgeted. The total of all receipts through June is $146,752 which is 66% of the budgeted amount of $223,063.
Disbursements through June 2018
otal operating disbursements through June were $108,459 which is 49% of the budgeted amount of $223,063. At the end of June we had received $38,294 more than we had spent. We moved $70,000 from the Endowment Fund into the operating fund in May which is helping the cash flow. As you can see we have spent 50% of the budgeted disbursements and received 66% of the budgeted receipts at the midpoint of the year.
The balance in the Edward Jones Capital Fund at the end of June was $10,000 in CD's and $20,942 in the Money Market Fund for a total of $30,942. A CD for $10,000 came due on May 30, 2018. We asked Edw Jones to keep it in Money Market Funds rather than reinvesting it, since we may need the funds for Gutter Work or other improvements at the church. We have one $10,000 CD remaining which comes due in 2019, with the remainder in MM funds. We also received an Insurance reimbursement in April of $8,536 for the gutter damage. We have used $4,200 for a down payment for the Pinkston Tadd roof work which will begin in August. We are waiting for the final figures on the gutter repair/fix. We will move additional funds from Edward Jones to the Heartland Bank Account when necessary for these projects.
The value of the Endowment Fund at the end of June was $2,084,162, an increase in value from February of $39,820. The net increase in value for the year is $(39,518) since we have withdrawn $70,000 for operating expenses. For reference, 5% of the Monthly Average Balance on June 30 was $105,441 and 4% was $85,353. These numbers relate to the amount we take from the Endowment Fund for Operating Expenses. The Endowment Committee continues to monitor the Endowment Fund.
There were 6.343 shares on deposit with the company at the end of June. The stock was valued at $296 on June 30, 2018. The value has increased $28.97 since January 1, 2018.
On June 30, 2018 Fund balances in the Heartland Bank checking account were
Discretionary Fund $886.77; Flower Fund $1,597.24; Music Fund $2,005.00;
Columbarium Fund $3,623.90; Operating Fund $66,249.53; Capital Fund $7,745.35 which includes insurance, for a total of $82,107.79.
Respectfully submitted ,
Weekly garden gatherings continue on Tuesdays at 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM to weed, plant, water, harvest and have fellowship. Of course, any gardener can come at any time to help with the caretaking.
Days of rain followed by high heat and humidity encouraged lush growth in the garden. Volunteers have spent over 300 hours in the garden and over 50 pounds of produce has been taken to Salem Lutheran, New Hope and Bethlehem Lutheran food pantries and more is taken weekly. All produce is as organically grown as possible. Straw over cardboard is keeping the weeds down and the water in as the days have become July hot!
Many Hands Behind the Scenes
Think it's quiet during the summer? Many hands are still at work.
Ellen Kilday comes several times every week to be sure the inside of the church is sparkling. Crumbs and spiderwebs disappear, the restrooms are refreshed, the windows cleared of fingerprints. Her diligence and watchful eye catch any encroachment of small multilegged beings. Marc's Lawn Service tractors roar across the outside lawn each Thursday or Friday, keeping the vistas outside trimmed and neat.
But others come, too. Yes, there is the big spring cleanup, but members come without fanfare as they see a need. Rhys Prall has come to clean the upper sanctuary windows and to power wash the the black mold that forms on the outside stone walls. Bill and Jennie Cummings pruned the bushes last week, and often check on the plantings. Brad Smith and Rick Johns have come to climb up ladders to replace flickering lightbulbs. The refrigerator is quietly cleaned out and kitchen supplies renewed by Jocelyn Prall and Peg Newby.
While you see the Eucharistic Ministers and Lectors and Intercessors and Ushers at the services each Sunday, the Flower folk and Altar Guild people have come unseen to set up what you see in the service. Kathleen, the organist and Hannah, the pianist have practised during the week to perform what you hear at the service.
Yes, Father Ed is doing all the priestly things you'd expect, but he is also checking on the occasional odd cars (or vans) parked in the lot, what neighbor has filled up the dumpster, befriending the children drawn to the playground equipment, looking for the person who called needing steel-toed shoes, and a host of other non-sacramental activities that make St. Paul's hospitable.
Takes a lot of "Martha's" to let everyone be "Mary's" on Sunday!
Prayers for Bishop Curry
Dear Friends in Christ,
A few months ago, through my annual physical, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After a variety of tests, consultations, and conversations with my wife and daughters, I decided on a surgical treatment course. On this coming Tuesday, July 31st, I will have surgery to remove the prostate gland.
I am happy to say that the prognosis looks very good and quite positive. I have spoken with several others who have gone through this, and who have offered both encouragement and helpful advice. I will be in the hospital for at least a day, then at home to recuperate.
I've been told that 4-6 weeks is a reasonable time to anticipate. I plan to resume my duties in early September and I do not anticipate any significant changes in my commitments.
I am very blessed with a wonderful family, a first-rate medical team, a great staff, dear colleagues and friends, a calling to which I have given my life, and above all a good, great and loving God in whose hands we always remain. So, do say a prayer. And know that I look forward to being back at my post in September.
God bless you, and keep the faith,
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Following the Way of Jesus
(Episcopal News Service)
Responding to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's call to "Follow the Way of Jesus," deputies and bishops at the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, meeting July 5-13 in Austin, Texas, acted on a record number of resolutions on key issues such as
, prayer book
, and readmitting the Episcopal Church of Cuba as a
. Convention also passed a $134 million
that reflects for a further three years the presiding bishop's priorities of
. Meanwhile, the legislative processes were overseen by a resident roost of avian
, one of which adopted a social media presence to bring a steady flow of light-feathered moments to convention amid the often-intense and passionate debates on the key issues before the church.
Outside the legislative chambers, several events brought together bishops, deputies and visitors to mingle, socialize, pray, worship and advocate, with a public witness against
and another outside an immigrant
challenging the actions of the U.S. government in its enforcement of immigration policies. A revival
at Austin's Palmer Events Center on July 7 drew a crowd of more than 2,500 people who listened to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's rousing sermon about how "God is love and gives life."
In his opening sermon on July 5, Curry challenged every Episcopalian to embrace the "
Way of Love
: Practices for a Jesus-c
entered life" as a way to help the church enter into a new era of spiritual growth.
Celebration of Holy Eucharist
at Oak Crest,
Wednesday, August 15th, 2 PM
This service includes music, readings, a short homily and communion. If you would like to be involved in the important outreach of our parish, please join the Reverend Ed at OakCrest on these third Wednesdays of the month.
Reminders from the Parish Office
Rector's Discretionary Fund is collected the first Sunday every month. These funds are used to help people in need in our community. The next collection will be on
Food Pantry Sunday
is the second Sunday of each month. You can bring your food any time and place it in one of the baskets. Non-perishable food items and monetary donations can be dropped off any Sunday, or at the Parish Office. Please make all checks out to St. Paul's with "Food Pantry" in the memo line. The Food Pantry Sunday coming up is August 12, 2018.
Proclaimer Deadline: The deadline to send information for the monthly newsletter is the third Sunday of every month. Please send any information you would like to see in the September 2018
issue of the Proclaimer to the Parish office by August 19
Your pictures are also welcome.
meets every month. The vestry minutes are available on our website here.
The Parish Office hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Please remember to let the Parish Office know when you want to schedule meetings and get them on the calendar!
Flowers for the Altar
Dates are open for your dedications.
The 2018 flower sign up sheet is next to the bulletin board outside the kitchen and dates can be selected for all months during the year. Generally the donation is about $30 for a Sunday.
Food Pantry donations in July included 156 diapers, 1152 wipes, 163 food/other items for a year to date total of 6237 items. The next Food Pantry Sunday will be August 12, 2018.
St. Paul's has adopted the 1st Thursday of every month to help at the Salvation Army Food Pantry from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. Please contact Pat McMahon if you can help out in these months or can substitute in other months.
Items in large demand are diapers (size 4 and up), canned or fresh fruit, pet food and personal care items (toothpaste, shampoo, bath soap, etc.).
Contributions may be made at any time during the month, not just on the second Sunday.
News from California through Jennie and Bill Cummings
Hi Jennie and Bill,
Mom misses you greatly! She also misses the church so much. She is currently at Lake Tahoe enjoying her grandson's wedding and went on a boating cruIse today. Tomorrow is her grandson's Kyle's wedding. Thank you so much for checking up on her. She misses both of you. She is having a lot of trouble writing, even checks, but her heath is relatively good, although she is having more difficulty walking. Last weekend she visited us in Santa Cruz to spend her 90th Birthday. She had a great time. She went to a musical
Rent at my husband's college and went to a reception beforehand. The next day we went to the beach. Thank you for checking in. I hope all is well with the two of you and that thing are good in DeKalb and the Church.
My mom wanted me to also have you tell everyone "hello" from her and to tell them she misses everyone. She is so sorry she cannot write people but her hands shake too much. But she thinks of everyone daily and holds them and their well being in her prayers.
nniversaries & Birthdays
8/3 Freyja and Rick Johns
8/15 Jane and Steve DeGolier
8/25 Nanette and Roy Mason
8/29 Mechelle and Chuck Goodenough
8/30 Heidi Haverkamp and Adam Frieberg
Activities & Events
10:30 AM Service
8/7 Garden Meetings, 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM
8/12 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM Services
Parish Picnic 11:30 AM-3:00 PM
8/14 Garden Meetings, 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM
8/15 OakCrest Service, 2:00 PM
8/19 10:30 AM Service
Vestry Meeting, 12:15 PM
8/21 Garden Meetings, 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM
8/26 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM Services
8/28 Garden Meetings, 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM
Save the Date
9/9 Rally Day and start of Sunday School
St. Paul's Episcopal Church Contact Information
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
900 Normal Rd., DeKalb, Illinois 60115
The Reverend Edward T. Bird IV, Rector
Parish Office: (815) 756-4888
Parish Fax: (815) 758-6140