ews from St. Paul's Episcopal Church December 2017-January 2018
It seems the larger culture would dismiss these words as trite, Pollyanna, or (yikes!) churchy buzzwords. Having grown up in a rather non-religious (at times anti-religion) home, these words would not be well received in our house. Admittedly, "Gratitude-- Joy--Hope" can be underappreciated in some circles and (or because) they are overused in others.
It's probably time to claim them anew with some pride.
This trinity of Hope, Joy and Gratitude seem to make a self-perpetuating cycle. I can jump onto the spinning wheel at any point I choose (hope, joy or gratitude), and with a little bit of intention in prayer, hope can foster joy and joy can foster gratitude and gratitude can foster hope.
From a practical standpoint of personal prayer, however, I have found it simplest and best to start with gratitude. When I am mindfully, intentionally and actively (all three are important) thankful, I find more to be thankful for; I have a better disposition; I find that I have less time, energy and inclination to complain.
Thankfulness pushes us toward joy. Joy is a spiritual state rather than an emotional state. It is not so much the feeling of being happy; joy is the peace of security and connectedness with others, our God and our true selves.
When in prayer I work on thankfulness and joy, hope is a natural consequence. Peace for what I have (Gratitude) and peace about where I am (joy) invariably gives me the ability to envision and enact a powerful, positive future, i.e., hope. If I haven't enough thankfulness or joy, as many in our world do not, hope is a luxury if not a pipe dream. As Christians, let us strive to have hope in our world, courtesy of our faith. As Christians, let us strive to give hope to our world.
As we enter Advent, a season characterized by expectation of the coming of the Christ Child, let us begin with giving thanks for all the blessings of our lives, especially the blessings of family and our community of faith. Let our gratitude foster our joy and our joy, our hope. Let our hope shine to light our paths and brighten the faces of those around us.
It seems a true path of one's personal faith, journey toward and with our God, is probably best served when you and I focus on the good things we have been given in our lives. In other words, in the journey of faith, on a daily basis and across the spectrum of life, starts with gratitude. Even better, it seems individual prayer starts off well with something like "Dear God, thank you for........." Lots of folks have said that being mindful and intentionally thankful keeps them from taking life's blessings for granted, especially the "little" blessings or the blessings we receive regularly (say, good coffee or well-functioning vehicles). When I work at remembering to be thankful and saying thanks, it seems my attitude brightens naturally. And let's face it, thankful people are more pleasant to be around.
Gratitude lends the grateful toward joy. Joy isn't so much feeling happy. Joy is in most ways a sense of well-being, and connectedness. One feels relatively secure physically, spiritually, emotionally, and part of somethings and someones beyond ourselves. These days, one can see how security and connectedness are not automatic, guaranteed, nor to be taken for granted. I should remember to be intentionally grateful; it should then be easier to have joy, though I might do well to put some intention around that too.
Being glad for the blessings I have received, and feeling the joy of gratitude, security and connectedness i have now, can well lend us to experience hope.
Peace in Christ,
t. Nick's Party
Saturday, December 2, 6 00 PM
Join us at George and Jane Nenonen's for an adult gathering of holiday festivities
on Saturday, December 2nd from 6 - 10 p.m. George and Jane Nenonen will once again host us at the Somerset Farms clubhouse. Somerset Farms is located off Bethany Road, between Peace Road and Somonauk Street, just south of Sycamore. The road into Somerset leads you directly to the beautifully decorated clubhouse. Please bring an appetizer or munchie to share. George and Jane will provide coffee, water, and wassail. If you'd like another beverage, please feel free to bring it. This is a wonderful fellowship opportunity - hope to see you there!
Greening of the Sanctuary
Sunday, December 3, 11:30 AM
Join us for the Greening of the Sanctuary and Decorating of our first Christmas Tree in the Sanctuary (unless you remember and earlier year that we had it, please let our historians in the office know). Rhys and Jocelyn Prall are picking up our real tree on Saturday, Bill Cummings is helping out with some extra lights, others are gathering greenery, lights, etc., we just need more of you to decorate with us after the morning service and sharing time with Alex Esche at coffee hour. Please bring your creative energy!
Blue Christmas Service
Wednesday, December 6, 6:00 PM
The holiday season is often called "the most wonderful time of the year". Yet for many people the holiday season is a difficult time, marked by stress and loneliness.
Broken relationships, ill health, unemployment, the loss of a loved one - all of these can leave people feeling 'blue' in the midst of the society around us which seems focused on being happy and celebrating.
It is at such times that it is helpful to acknowledge our sadness and concern and know that we are not alone. Join Rev. Ed Bird, Rev. Heidi Haverkamp with Lay Ministers and Hannah Buckle on Piano for a moment of thoughtful reflection.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church invites the public to attend a Blue Christmas gathering on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 at 6 p.m. The service will include prayers, Scripture and music that focus on the hope and healing that God offers each one of us. There will be an opportunity to light a candle of remembrance. Light refreshments and conversation will follow in the parish hall. No RSVP is required - our doors will be open to all who come.
to follow Blue Christmas Service
Wednesday, December 6, 7:00 PM
Following the Blue Christmas service on Wednesday, December 6, Rhys Prall and Rick Johns will be holding a bonfire in the church yard.
Everyone is welcome to come out after the service and enjoy some s'mores, warm drinks, and fellowship around the fire.
Plan to dress warmly. S'mores supplies and drinks will be provided.
Children's Christmas Party
Sunday, December 10, 11:30 AM
Please join us
, following the 10:30 a.m. worship service for our annual Children's Christmas Party. All are welcome to partake of the fun and fellowship as we decorate the Parish Hall trees with ornaments and crafts. Stay for pizza! (This is a date change from Dec. 17th.)
Christmas Eve Service
Sunday, December 24, 6:00 PM
Rev. Ed Bird, Presiding
Musical Offerings from the Adult/Youth and Children's Choirs will begin at 6 PM!
Lorraine Langer, Director of Music
Kathleen Johnson, Organist
Hannah Buckle, Pianist.
New Worship Schedule
Rite I, 8:00 AM Service
Join us on Sunday, December 10th, for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 8:00 A.M. Rite I, a spoken service. Now on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.
December 24th is both Advent IV and Christmas Eve.
Advent IV. 10:30 AM morning service will be spoken (no music).
The Christmas Eve Service will be celebrated at 6:00 PM.
Music will begin at 6:00, the service will begin at 6:15 PM.
From the Senior Warden
Freyja Rasmussen-Johns, our Jr. Warden, and I are working together as the Nominating Committee this year. Please be open to our requests for your time and talents. Elections to the Vestry, convention, and Endowment Committee are conducted at our annual meeting on January 28th.
Along with Freyja and Pam Kombrink, I attended the Diocesan Convention the 17th & 18th of November. This is always an inspiring experience, especially the mass. It is also a great opportunity for fellowship. Thank you to Jocelyn Prall for serving as our alternate delegate, and attending on Friday.
I hope you make time to attend the 8:00 a.m. Rite I worship service, now being held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month (except Christmas Eve). If you have never experienced Rite I, you will be amazed at how different, yet the same, it is. This service is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of our liturgy in a new way.
Our Parish Administrator, Susan King, has had quite an adventurous and challenging fall season. We count on her for so much, a great deal of which goes unrecognized. I am grateful that Lorraine Langer was able and willing to step up and help Rev. Ed keep the office functioning in Susan's absence. I am also grateful to Rev. Ed for his unfailing ability to see beyond the "crisis" to what's truly important. Please thank all three of them!
Because this newsletter covers 2 months, this is my last Sr. Warden submission. I will have much more to say in my annual report, but I do want to thank the Vestry for their attendance and contributions to the life of the parish. We are enjoying stretching our wings a bit, trying new things, and having open conversations about topics both vital and fun. The purpose of the Vestry is to be the voice of the parish. This is difficult to do if you don't share your thoughts with us, so please do!
I wish all of you a blessed Advent and Merry Christmas!
Hope to see you Sunday!
From the Junior Warden
My calendar is filling up quickly at this time of the year, as I'm sure all of yours are too. There is so much to do and so much to prepare for as we look toward the upcoming Advent season and to the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus. In the midst of all the gatherings, parties, concerts, shopping, and holiday preparations, I am thinking a lot about gifts - gifts I have received and gifts that I have given and what gifts I need to give. We all know that it is better to give than to receive because in giving a gift, we receive so much more. Over the years that I have been a part of the family at St. Paul's, I have found that the more I give of myself and my "talents," the more joy and love and fulfillment I receive back. In my time here, I have often been asked to move outside my narrow zone of comfort, and each time I stepped beyond that perceived zone, I felt God's presence giving me the confidence to move forward. What greater gift can I ask for?
I know that everyone at St. Paul's gives so much of themselves. This is what makes this church a beautiful and loving place. Each of us has a unique set of gifts to give to the church, the community, and to God. I also know that some of us are giving, or have given, all that we can. But the transitional period we are in right now just might be a time to ponder giving something of yourself (whether it be your time, talent, or treasure) that perhaps you hadn't really considered before. It is a very busy time of year, and it can be difficult to think about giving more, serving more, but believe me, you will also receive so much more.
November Mars Hill Treasurer's Report
with October 2017 figures:
This report covers the months of October 2017. 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 October 2017
We have received $91,748 of the 2017 pledges through the end of October which is 92% of the $100,000 budgeted. The total of all receipts through September is $171,377 which is 83% of the budgeted amount of $207,605.
Disbursements through October 2017
Total operating disbursements through October were $152,550 which is 73% of the budgeted amount of $207,605. The difference between receipts and disbursements through October was $18,827 on the positive side. A $70,000 Endowment fund allocation was transferred to the Heartland Bank Account from Edward Jones in May 2017. We are monitoring cash flow and believe another $20,000 distribution will be needed by yearend.
The balance in the Edward Jones Capital Fund at the end of October was $30,000 in CD's and $4,586.17 in the Money Market Fund totaling $34,586.17. We received $135 in Capital Contributions during October. A $50 donation was made to the Prayground and $50 was donated in memory of Bertha Lyon, along with a regular $35 donation. Disbursements of $4,373.07 were made for Furnishings and Equipment for the Prayground. The regular Heartland Bank Checking account contains $5,430.18 in Capital Funds. Adding the $34,586.17 in the Edward Jones Account, the end of October total equals $40,016.35.
The value of the Endowment Fund at the end of October was $2,099,021.98, a change in value from January 1st of $252,719.55. The net increase in value is $168,461.72. The general upward movement of the Stock Market since the beginning of the year is still benefiting the Endowment Fund. 5% of the Monthly Average Balance is $100,680 and 4% is $80,544. These numbers relate to the amount we can take from the Endowment Fund for Operating Expenses. The Endowment Committee plans additional meetings.
Apache Stock - The 6.226 shares on deposit with the company were valued at $257.57on October 31, 2017. The value has decreased ($136.06) since the beginning of the year.
On October 31, 2017 Fund balances in the Heartland Bank checking account were:
Discretionary Fund $277.11; Flower Fund $1,068.25; Garden Fund ($334.70);
Columbarium Fund $3,623.90; Operating Fund $13,968.17; Capital Fund $5,430.17 for a Total of $24,032.90
November 19, 2017
The St. Paul's Adult/Youth and Children's Choirs are preparing
Advent, Christmas and Epiphany Liturgies!
All are welcome!
Yes, we work on music and
we are having fun! Come join us!
The choirs will sing special music that they have been preparing to share with you on Christmas Eve!
The selections include:
"Carol of the Bells" Mykola Leontovych, Peter J. Wilhousky, "Sing A Glad Noel!" Mary Lynn Lightfoot, "I Wonder As I Wander" Arr, Richard Shephard, "In The Bleak Mid-Winter" Gustav Holst, Arr., Mark Schweizer, "Lo, How A Rose Er'e Blooming" Michael Praetorius, "For Unto Us A Child Is Born" G. F. Handel, "The Angels Carol" John Rutter.
The Children's choir is really working overtime with the Elfs! They will amaze and inspire you with one of their favorites, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" along with their choral mastery with joining the adult choir on several selections.
Additionally, one of our 3 year olds, Liam, is practicing his prayerful version of that star above the manger and
will remind you of the amazing miracle the we share, in his "Twinkle Little Star"
Ava's voice is definitely angelic on "Away in A Manger, and Luke not only leads and assists in so many ways, he truly shares the awe of the day while singing his solo in "Silent Night" Franz Gruber. And y
ou all get to sing such awesome hymns on this day! "Joy to the World", "The First Noel", "O come all ye faithful", "Angels we have heard on high", etc.
Don't wait, if you enjoy the arts such as singing, playing an instrument, acting, dancing, drawing, as
well as, the art of oratory, please come and join our artistic work and fellowship!
Music in Our Community
The Dekalb Festival Chorus
Saturday, December 9, 7:00 PM
The DeKalb Festival Chorus presents: "How Can I Keep From Singing?" Celebrating the beauty and soul of choral music. Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 324 N. 3rd Street, DeKalb.
Musical selections include:
How Can I Keep From Singing- Arr. Ronald Staheli,
An Die Musik - Franz Schubert,
A Ceremony of Carols - Benjamin Britten,
Cantate Domino - Hans Leo Hassler,
Cantique de Jean Racine - Gabriel Faure,
The Seal Lullaby - Eric Whitacre,
Muusika - Part Uusberg,
Sing Me to Heaven - Daniel E.
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen, arr. Roger Emerson,
The Sound of Silence - Paul Simon, arr. Mark
A Change in My Life - Bill Straus, arr. Sean Altman.
We (St. Paul's) are excited and proud to have three of our parishioners (choir members) that are singing in the chorus. Congratulations and good luck to Rick Johns, Jacob Maas and Freyja Rasmussen-Johns!
20th Annual Holiday Choral Concert
Sunday, December 3rd at 3:00 PM
Under the direction of Eric Johnson, The Northern Illinois School of Music
20th Annual Holiday Choral Concert will be
Boutell Hall in the Music Building, 550 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb.
The DeKalb Festival Chorus (Rick Johns, Jacob Maas, Freyja Rasmussen-Johns) will be singing three selections from Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols, the final piece will be Daniel Pinkam's Christmas Cantata.
November at St. Paul's
On all Saints Sunday, we wrote names or placed pictures of people and places and things on flags that were suspended above the pews to cherish our memories of what has been important to us.
The newly created "PrayGound" was blessed on November 12th. The PrayGround gives our children a place to be during the service that connects them with the liturgy.
Diocesan Convention -
Bishop Lee, Keynote Speaker
Father Ed, Peg Newby, Freyja Rasmussen-Johns, Pam Kombrink and Jocelyn Prall attended for St. Paul's.
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 collections will be on
December 3, 2017 and Sunday, January 7, 2018.
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 Sundays coming up are December 10, 2017 and January 14, 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 February 2018
issue of the Proclaimer to the Parish office by January 21
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.
Flowers for the Altar
Dates are open for your dedications. Flowers are not used on the altar during Advent, but dedications can still be made.
The 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.
We are accepting donations for Christmas flowers now through December 17th. Please write "Christmas Flowers" in the memo of your check and be sure to include your dedication. Look for the Christmas Flower envelopes and place these in the collection plate. Suggested donation is $25-$30.
Celebration of Holy Eucharist
at Oak Crest,
Wednesday, December 20th, 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.
St. Nicholas Mite Boxes
"Mighty" boxes for collecting coins to benefit children's ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem are available in the Sanctuary. A coin a day in the "Mighty" Box reminds us of the true reason for the season--the arrival of the Christ child for the healing of the world. We will gather in the Mighty Boxes on Sunday, January 7th when we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.
Safe Passage Gifts
Once again we are collecting donations for Safe Passage, our local Domestic Violence Prevention Agency. St Paul's has contributed to them at Christmas for many years. This year, as last, we will give funds to them so they can purchase gift cards and use them where needed.
If you would like to participate please write a check to St Paul's by Dec 17th, list "Safe Passage" in the "Memo" line and we will forward the total to Safe Passage. It will become part of your donation record to St Paul's. If you prefer to write a check directly to Safe Passage, we will forward that also.
Contact me with questions.
Thank You and Farewell
to Alex Esche
There will be a cake to cut at coffee hour on Sunday, December 3rd, to wish Alex Esche a huge congratulations, thank you and farewell. Alex has been involved in many activities during his time
here at St. Paul's and we
celebrate his minstry.
Alex is moving to Westfield, Indiana on December 16. He is graduating with an M.S. in Mathematics, Alex moved to DeKalb in 2015 to work on his degree at NIU. He is originally from Algonquin and his parents live in Crystal Lake now. Alex has been attending St. Paul's for about a year now. some of his interests include; playing play card, board, and video games and practicing Take Kwon Do in his spare time.
Alex has blessed us with his spirit and presence at St. Paul's. He is an awesome lector and will be greatly missed! When asked a few questions about himself and his plans as well as some words of wisdom to leave us with, Alex responded, "I am excited to develop into an actuary; I hope it provides me with any interesting challenges in the future. I have greatly enjoyed the community at St. Paul's; it has been a great relief to spend my Sundays singing and giving thanks. My words of wisdom are to keep faith, because with God anything is possible."
January 7, 2018
The Feast of the Epiphany will be celebrated on Sunday, January 7 at the 10:30 AM service followed by a luncheon and Pinata Party for the children.
January 21st and January 28th
Watch for more information!
to all parishioners who contributed to Food Pantry Sunday. The next Food Pantry Sundays will be December 10, 2017 and January 14, 2018. Donations from November included 205 diapers, 1000 wipes and 61 food items, for a total of 7682 items year-to-date.
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.
For our Church Family
We'd like to brighten Christmas for the Sitzes-Piper family this year (Gail, Lonnie & Jennifer). We have size information for each of them. Please contact Maureen Gerrity for more information -
or 815-895-8084.. Wrapped gifts should be delivered to the Fellowship Hall by Sunday, Dec. 17. Thank you!
I would like to update you on the progress of the small groups in the Rector Search process. The members of the Search Committee have worked hard with the members of St. Pauls to develop an accurate picture of the wants and needs of the congregation with respect to finding a new Rector. Many of you have also contributed your valuable time to this process. All of your input will be closely examined by the search committee to determine what the congregation really wants in a new Rector. That information will be used to develop a profile of our Church and its membership which will be made available for the potential candidates for their use in deciding whether or not they feel that St Pauls is a good fit for them.
We want to be absolutely sure that everyone has the opportunity to have input into this process. To that end a final small groups session will be held Sunday December 3 at noon. I will facilitate that group and Marilyn Cleland will be the scribe. If you have not yet participated in a small group this will be your last chance. It is a painless and hopefully meaningful experience which will contribute to the search process. If you have participated and know someone who has not please contact them to remind them of this last opportunity.
Thank you so much to all who said prayers and sent cards and especially for the support of Father Ed, Lorraine Langer and the Vestry during mine and my husband's recent health issues. We are recovering well and your help was amazing and greatly cherished. Blessing to you, Susan
nniversaries & Birthdays
12/1 Linda Kelley
12/3 Ava Stubblefield
12/7 Betsy Pool
12/9 Pam Kombrink
12/11 Jan Bach
12/13 Mechelle Goodenough
12/15 Denise Dolder
12/16 Martin Mounts
12/23 Ellen Stuart
12/23 Kris Downing
12/13/69 Terry/Jackie Dickow
12/22/90 Rob/Peggy Russell
12/31/97 Linda Kelley/David Nissen
1/2 Quinn McLane
1/8 Donna DeOliviera
1/6 Luke Stubblefield
1/10 Lynn Roberts
1/15 Janice Larson
1/25 Rebecca Smith
1/28 Jane DeGolier
1/27/67 George/Jane Nenonen
1/28/78 Al/Peggy Newby
12/03 Greening of the Sanctuary
12/06 Blue Christmas Service 6:00 PM
12/06 Bonfire after Blue Christmas Service 7:00 PM
12/10 Children's Christmas Party
12/17 Vestry Meeting
12/24 Advent IV 10:30 AM Service, Spoken (No Music)
12/24 Christmas Eve Service 6:00 PM (with special music)
Save the Date
1/07 Epiphany Service 10:30 AM
1/07 Epiphany Lunch and
Piñata Party 11:30 AM
1/21 Annual Budget Meeting
1/28 Annual Meeting
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