News from St. Paul's Episcopal Church March
From Mother Barbara
ome of us Christians seem to go at our faith and religion as something that should be settled for once and all with definitive statements of unchanging belief. At least, that's how I saw it as I began graduate studies and set out on a path that would eventually lead to becoming a "professional" Christian, e.g., ordained into a leadership position for work in the Church. For a while I thought it was my job to have all the answers.
In his "Letters to A Young Poet," German poet Rainer Maria Rilke offers a greater wisdom: "Be patient," he writes, "toward all that is unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
These words are liberating-- because "living the questions" is dynamic, relational, personal, and intimate in a way that simply "knowing" a fact can never be. To love the questions is to hold mystery and possibility close to my heart, to allow them to work on me, shape me, transform me. Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai puts it this way:
From the place where we are right,
flowers will never grow in the spring.
The place where we are right
is hard and trampled like a yard.
But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.
Jesus himself invites all of his disciples-those first ones in ancient Palestine and those of us seeking to follow him now---to live into the foundational question that informs Christian faith. "Who do you say that I am?"
It's a question for which we have a definitive responses: Jesus is our Savior. He's Lord. Redeemer. Messiah. Christ. The only begotten Son of God. There's nothing "unsolved" about Jesus. He's the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Yes. And yet, Christians are still meant to live the question of who Jesus is, day by day and hour by hour in a living relationship with him that is utterly unique for each one of us. We're not meant to "solve" him once and for all. We're not meant to finally have all the answers.
In the gospels, it is Peter who famously answered the question of Jesus' identity asserting "You are the Messiah."
When I think about the whole of Peter's story - all the biographical details that we 21st century Christians have the privilege to know and ponder - I'm stunned by the answers that Peter must have lived into as time went on. "Who do you say I am?" You're the one who said "Yes, come walk on the water with me." You're the one who caught me before I drowned. You're the one who washed my feet while I squirmed in shame. You're the one who told me - and you were right - that I'd be a coward on the very night you needed me to be brave. You're the one I denied in order to save my own skin. You're the one who looked into my eyes when the cock crowed. You're the one who found me on the beach and spoke love and fresh purpose into my humiliation. You're my Messiah-and I love you.
Who do you say Jesus is? It's a question to live into, sometimes questioning and full of doubt, and sometimes certain and full of love. Is he merely "the" Messiah? Or is he yours?
Who do you say he is?
A New Ministry
Two guest speakers were welcomed to our 10:30 a.m. Service on Sunday, February 3rd, Jennifer Tallitsch, Principal of Lincoln Elementary School, and Annette Forster, KHUSA Regional Director. They introduced our new ministry, KidsHope USA, which has been approved by Mother Barbara and the Vestry. Our church has been selected to partner with Lincoln Elementary to provide mentors for students.
Anyone interested in learning more about this wonderful new ministry can visit kidshopeusa.org, pick up an information card in the parish hall or contact Pam Kombrink, Director, at email@example.com or 815-776-0102.
A Training Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 3rd,
at 9:00 AM in the Parish Hall.
Ash Wednesday Service
and Soup Supper
Lent begins this year on March 6th with the Ash Wednesday Service at 6:00 PM followed by a potluck soup supper.
Please see the signup sheet in the Parish Hall.
Lenten Study Series
While there have been days in the past month or so when it seemed that Winter would never end, the reality is that Spring and the liturgical season of Lent are scant weeks away. This year, we will be observing the season with a Wednesday evening soup and bread supper together with focused group study of Fr. Richard Rohr's,
Embracing an Alternative Orthodoxy, The Legacy of St. Francis, led by Mother Barbara.
The study begins by tackling the question of what Christians actually mean when we say, "Jesus died for our sins," in the session on "Atonement Theology," at 6 PM on Wednesday, March 13. For those who cannot make the Wednesday evening sessions, the same talk will take place at 9 AM on the first Sunday in Lent, March 10 and Sundays following. Other topics covered through the weeks in Lent will be "Eco-Spirituality," "The Cosmic Christ," "Orthodoxy vs. Orthopraxy," and "Mysticism over Moralism." All sessions are free and open to the public. It is hoped that St. Paul's folk will be joined by others from the larger community who may be interested in the discussions or may just want to sample the soup!
Beginning in March:
A new group will be forming for Mindful Meditation with Mother Barbara, offering guidance in mindfulness meditation. If there is interest, Tuesday Noon or evening or Fridays at Noon could provide an opportunity to sit in holy silence with others to share the present moment. Please email Mother Barbara (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the office if you are interested. Each session will be a little less than an hour in duration. We will primarily focus the meditation on our breath, which is God's first and lifelong gift to us. Mindfulness meditation practice offers a strong foundation for contemplative prayer, too.
Lectionary Bible Study - Saturdays at Noon
Join a group to study the Lectionary scripture passage of the week at Noon on Saturdays in the Conference Room. Mother Barbara will lead the discussions.
These are some exciting times at St. Paul's as Mother
Barbara is getting acquainted with all of us here and exploring the surrounding community. I've heard nothing but positive comments regarding our Services and her sermons. Building and Grounds
has taken care of several punch list items at the rectory to
insure everything is working
properly, including the installation of a new range in the kitchen.
On February 3rd, we had our first Super Bowl party taking advantage of the big screen TV. 22 people attended and enjoyed delicious snacks, chili, hot dogs, and good fellowship. Pam Kombrink won the $50 football pool and that was given back to the Rector's Discretionary Fund. Rick Johns won the silent auction for the Movie Night basket and Bill Cummings won the Lobster Boil silent auction basket. The silent auction produced $105 for the AV fund. Thanks to all who assisted with this event and to Maureen Gerrity who kept the kids entertained. Maybe next year we'll get to see the Bears in the Super Bowl!
Also on February 3rd, Jennifer Tallitsch, principal of Lincoln Elementary School, and Annette Forster, Regional Director for Kids Hope USA, were introduced at the 10:30 a.m. Service by Mother Barbara. They made a more detailed about this new ministry at coffee hour and showed a video about the importance of having parish mentors in the local schools. Interest was very high and mentors are currently being trained. We hope to initiate the mentoring program beginning Wednesday, March 13th. If you would like more information about becoming a mentor, prayer partner or provider, please contact
, or call Pam at 815-776-0102.
Mother Barbara and I met on February 12th to discuss operational issues and plan the agenda for the February 17th Vestry meeting. I'm thrilled to report that Maureen Gerrity was unanimously approved as Junior Warden.
Rick Johns and Pam Kombrink continue to input data into the REALM Connect program. To date, all parish members, vendors,
and friends of the parish have
been added. Ministries have been added, including participants of each. Events for the year are scheduled thanks to the calendaring meeting Mother Heidi organized in January. Rick has entered all giving information from January 1, 2019, to the present, and is exploring the accounting component of this program. Parishioners will be able to view their giving record in real time.
A New Ministry Service planning team met on Wednesday, February 27th, to plan the installation celebration for Mother Barbara which takes place on Tuesday, April 30th. As I mentioned above, these are exciting times for our parish, and we hope to make Bishop Lee's visit and Mother Barbara's installation a memorable event.
March Music Ministries
The St. Paul's Choirs are preparing traditional and new anthems in addition to some previously performed favorites going into Easter Liturgical new year.
The St. Paul's Multi-generational Music Program is
open to all ages
and all musical abilities.
Come Join Us To Sing, Dance, Recite, Act, Play an Instrument, Create and Have Fun in Rehearsal, Fellowship, and worship!
Episcopal Church of St Paul
February 2019 Treasurer's Report with figures for January 2019
This report covers the month of January 2019. 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.
eceipts through January 2019
We have received $38,409 from 2019 pledges through the end of January which is 33.14% of the $115,914 budgeted. The total of all receipts so far this year is $38,867 which is 15% of the $254,926 budgeted.
Disbursements through January 2019
Total operating disbursements through January were $22,732 which is 8.92% of the budgeted amount of $254,926. At the end of January we had received $16,135 more than we spent. We have not taken any funds from the Endowment Allocation as yet. One pledger contributed the whole pledge in January which assists the cash flow.
Capital Fund - January 2019
The balance in the Edward Jones Capital Fund at the end of January was $10,000 in a CD maturing May 17, 2019 and $6,141 in Money Market Funds for a total of $16,141. There is $7,200 left from a donation to be used by the Altar Guild in the Heartland Bank account. This is included in $14,828 of Capital Fund money we have in the Heartland Bank Account to be used for Capital items. We need to add to the Capital Account because but more contributions are needed to reach the goal of paying for the Audio Visual System. Some PayPal funds were contributed and transferred to the Capital Fund as well and marked as designated donations.
Endowment Fund - January 2019
The value of the Endowment Fund at the end of January was $2,017,568 a net change in value from December of $85,862. We gained back the December loss and are a bit ahead. For reference, 5% of the Monthly Average Balance on January 31 was $104,565. and 4% was $83,652. The Endowment Comm. continues to monitor the Endowment Fund and plans to meet with Matt Myre from Ed Jones several times during the year.
Apache Stock -
There were 6.425 shares on deposit with the company valued at $207.46 on December 27, 2019. The value has increased $39 since December 31, 2018. This stock is a few reinvested shares leftover form a larger batch and we are going to sell it soon.
On January 31, 2019 Fund balances in the Heartland Bank checking account were: Discretionary Fund $336.88; Flower Fund $2,088.72; Music Fund $1,420;
Columbarium Fund $3,623.90; Operating Fund $53,035.2
1; Capital Fund $14,821.52,
for a total of $75,326.23.
February 17, 2019
Check the website for the
Holy Solitude Retreat
Holy Solitude: A 24-Hour Lenten Retreat
March 22-23 at the Nicholas Center, Chicago
Mother Heidi will lead a Lenten retreat, March 22-23, open to all, at
the Nicholas Center at St. James Commons (65 E. Huron St., Chicago).
From her book, Holy Solitude: "Solitude is not an escape or an end
unto itself, but a way to more deeply be yourself, allowing you to be
more available to the presence of God, and, in turn, to be available
in a wholehearted and healthy way to the needs of other people."
Mother Heidi's book is not required for this retreat.
The Living Compass book, Living Well Through Lent: Practising Forgiveness with all Your Heart, Mind and Soul is available in the Sanctuary and in Parish Hall.
The book includes reflections from
The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville Burrows,
Victoria L. Garvey,
The Rev. Dr. Micah Jackson,
The Rev. Jan Kwiatkowski,
The Rev. Dr. Trawin E. Malone,
The Rev. William Miller,
The Rt. Rev. Jacob Owensby,
Mildred J. Reyes, and
The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner.
The next meeting of the Church Book Club will be Thursday, 3/14/19 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in Parish Hall. The discussion of Barbara Brown Taylor's book A Geography of Faith - An Altar in the World continues. Taylor suggests the book is organized so "picking and choosing, as desired" allows anyone to join-in at any point. You are welcome to brown bag your dinner or bring something a bite to share.
Donna de Oliveira
Our church garden will slowly come back to life this spring. We will grow organic produce, flowers, and raspberries (new this year) for the church and local food pantries at New Hope Baptist, Bethlehem Lutheran, and Salem Lutheran. As weather permits, team members will be clearing out last year's crops, working compost into the soil, and re-lining aisles with cardboard** and straw to keep weeds down.
We will be watching the weather to schedule some early spring workdays, which will fall either on Sundays after church, or Monday and Friday mornings - let the church office know if you'd like notifications for these. NIU Cares Day, when students come help us around the church, is on Saturday, April 13 this year.
**Do you have any empty cardboard boxes? If they are clean, mostly brown, and not waxy or glossy, the church garden team would love to have the to line the aisles of the church garden and raspberry patch and keep down weeds. To donate, break them down flat and bring them to the parish hall by Sunday, April 6. We'll need dozens.
Questions? Contact Jacob Maas ( email@example.com) or Heidi Haverkamp ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
A Letter From Bishop Lee
Dear friends in Christ:
Ever since that cold February day in 2008 when you welcomed me with a glorious ordination celebration, it has been a great privilege to serve God with you as your bishop. Now, trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the counsel of those dearest to me, I believe it is time for you to choose someone new to carry this ministry into the future. Accordingly, I am writing today to announce my intent to retire eighteen months from now, in August 2020, and to call for the election of the thirteenth bishop of Chicago.
Searching for a new bishop-a process that will be led by the Standing Committee-will take all of that time and perhaps more. The work began last evening, when Bishop Todd Ousley, bishop for pastoral development on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's staff, met by teleconference with the members of the Standing Committee. You will hear more from them soon about a timetable for the election and transition and the process for forming a bishop search committee.
When I reflect on the work we have done together, I am most grateful for our shared success in focusing the work of my staff and the diocese's leaders on congregational vitality. As you have often heard me say, the only excuse for something like a diocese is to foster thriving congregations in local communities using the best data and resources we can muster. Together, through prayer and song and fierce conversations, we have accomplished that cultural shift, and it is bearing fruit across our region.
Together, too, we have made God's love real in the world by making the Peoria Deanery a place of welcome to all of God's children and a witness to the power of resurrection. We have made important progress toward repentance and reconciliation as we have reckoned with the legacy of slavery in our diocese. And we have sought to keep our baptismal promises as we have stood with LGBTQ people, with victims of gun violence, with immigrants and refugees, and with people of all sorts and conditions in need of God's grace and healing. Many of you have devoted years of ministry to these efforts and other essential parts of our common life, and it has been a great joy to share and support what you have brought forth.
Although today marks the beginning of my transition to retirement, there is still much work for us to do together. In my remaining time as your bishop, I intend to do all I can to advance the excellent work of the Taskforce on Hispanic/Latino Mission and Ministry Sustainability, to forge a new partnership between the diocese and Episcopal Charities, and to attract energetic, talented clergy who want to join us in fostering vital congregations. Finally, I hope to leave a gift for the future vitality of God's ministry in this place by increasing the diocese's program endowment and supporting the capacity of congregations to raise capital funds.
Over and over again during my years as your bishop, we have gathered around the table in places large and small to be sustained by the nourishment of Jesus' body and blood. As we travel together toward the place where our paths will diverge, I will cherish each remaining opportunity to celebrate the sacraments with you and to pray together for a time of transition filled with hope and trust in God's never-failing goodness.
The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee
Bishop of Chicago
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 Sunday, March 3, 2019.
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 March 10, 2019.
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 October 2018 issue of the Proclaimer to the Parish office by March 17, 2019. Your pictures are also welcome.
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
There are no flowers on the altar during the Lenten Season, but dates are open for your dedications for other times.
The 2019 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.
In April we will have envelopes for Easter flowers and dedications.
Grace Place Campus Ministry
St. Paul's is scheduled to provide the evening meal at Grace Place on Tuesday, April 2nd. A group of about 30 students and adults share a meal at 6:00 PM prior to their worship time. Four to five people are needed to help by providing a portion of the meal and/or delivering the food to Grace Place. You can drop off main dish, salad or dessert at St. Paul's for delivery. If you are interested in participating in this outreach ministry, please contact Jocelyn Prall.
The next Food Pantry Sunday will be March 10, 2019.
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 Sue Ouellette
Sue Ouellette was a very active member of St. Paul's and began her road to the Deaconate here.
Barbara+ and Lynn
We would love to get to know everyone better by sharing a meal with each family, individual, or couple--in the parish through the coming year. Not all at once but family group by family group, one at a time--on a Tuesday evening throughout Spring and Summer until we've had a chance to break bread with everyone willing to come on over for dinner. A sign-up sheet is posted in the Parish Hall and a couple of menu choices will be suggested so we can serve stuff you actually like to eat and enjoy some conversation about things that matter to you. Thanks in advance for the pleasure of your company!
Lynne and Barbara+
nniversaries & Birthdays
3/6 Jimmy Russell
3/8 Emily Russell
3/9 Jane Nenonen
3/10 Danny Russell
3/11 Julie Stubblefield
3/11 Karyn Perkins
3/27 Jackie Dickow
3/27 Mary Lincoln
3/28 Gail Piper
Activities & Events
03/03 8:00 AM and
10:30 AM Services
KidsHopeUSA Training at 10:30 AM
03/06 Ash Wednesday Service and Soup Supper, 6:00 PM
Choir Practice, 7:00 PM
03/08 Mindful Meditation, 12:00 PM
03/10 8:00 AM and
10:30 AM Services
Adult Formation, 9:00 AM
03/11 Adult Formation, 6:00 PM
03/14 Book Club Meeting, 5:30 PM
Choir Practice, 7:00 PM
03/15 Mindful Meditation, 12:00 PM
8:00 AM and 10:30 AM Services
Adult Formation, 9:00 AM
Vestry Meeting, 12:15 PM
03/20 Adult Formation, 6:00 PM
03/21 Choir Practice, 7:00 PM
03/22 Mindful Meditation, 12:00 PM
03/24 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM Services
Adult Formation, 9:00 AM
Chili CookOff, 11:30 AM
03/27 Adult Formation, 6:00 PM
03/28 Choir Practice, 7:00 PM
03/29 Movie Night, 6:00 PM
03/29 Mindful Meditation, 12:00 PM
03/31 10:30 AM Service
Save the Dates
04/14 Palm Sunday
04/18 Maundy Thursday
04/19 Good Friday
04/20 Easter Vigil
04/21 Easter Sunday
St. Paul's Episcopal Church Contact Information
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
900 Normal Rd., DeKalb, Illinois 60115
The Reverend Barbara A.T. Wilson, Rector
Parish Office: (815) 756-4888
Parish Fax: (815) 758-6140