News from the Pews
May 2022
He is Risen indeed
Alleluia !!!
Reflection on Forgiveness
Fr. Charles Cannon
 
It is safe to say that God is “beyond:”
·        beyond our heart and mind,
·        beyond our feelings and thoughts,
·        beyond our expectations and desires, and
·        beyond all the events and experiences that make up our lives.
 
Still, God is in the center of all that is and all that we are. It is in the Center with God that we touch the heart of forgiveness. In the center of God there is a distinction between God’s presence and God’s absence. God’s presence is never separated from God’s absence and God’s absence is never separated from God’s presence. Yet, God’s presence is so beyond the human experience of being together that it is quite easily perceived as absence. God’s absence is deeply felt, and it leads to a new sense of God’s presence.
 
Jesus spoke these words from the cross: “my God, my God, why have you deserted me?” (Psalms 22:1). When Jesus spoke these words total aloneness and full acceptance touched each other. In that moment of complete emptiness all was fulfilled. In that hour of darkness new light was seen. While death was witnessed, life was affirmed. Where God’s absence was most loudly expressed, God’s presence was most profoundly revealed. When God, through the humanity of Jesus, freely chose to share our own most painful experience of divine absence, God became most present to us. It is into this mystery that we enter when we pray.
 
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in us. C.S.Lewis
 
Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude. Dr. M L King, Jr
 
When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines upon you.
Jon Krakauer from Into the Wild
 
Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the work of love among the fellowship of the weak which is the human family. Henri J.M. Nouwen
 
Earlier this month a person who caused me great pain as a teenager died. His death brought out unresolved anger and hurt. His talents in life were to teach, to lead elementary schoolers, and youth groups at churches. He did this kind of work for his church in small town Florida. Mostly he was a nice guy, but he could lose his temper when things did not go his way. One year he and his inventive mind produced a tagline for the church. The tagline was “Enjoy your forgiveness.” Ironically, despite his ability to conceive of this tagline, he could be quite cruel and hurtful. The pain he caused me has been difficult to forgive and has lasted for decades.
Every time I pray the Lord’s Prayer I think of this person, and especially when I come to the line in the Lord’s Prayer which has to do with forgiveness. I ask myself if it means that we are only forgiven if we forgive others. Certainly, we can read the prayer that way. Jesus often told parables that seemed to warn of forgiveness withheld aimed at folks who had themselves received forgiveness but had denied it to others. I admit that such an interpretation makes me a little uneasy. I know there are folks I find hard to forgive. This man is still number one on top of my list.
 
But, when I am clearheaded, I recognize how foolish and unproductive it is to withhold forgiveness, to savor or simmer in resentments. What a waste of mental and spiritual time it is to refuse to forgive. Mark Twain put it this way: “There is not time, so brief is life, for bickering, apologies, heart burnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant for that.”
 
Everybody has a need to forgive and be forgiven, by God and by other people. When I fall short of loving God with my whole heart, soul, and mind; when I refuse to let go of an old wound, I fall short of loving God, my neighbor, and myself.
 
We all have been hurt in our lives, by those we love or admire the most and especially those who do not like us much at all. I have been done wrong by family members, co-workers, clergy, and congregants. But I have also done wrong to those same groups of people. You get the idea. Everybody has a need to seek and offer forgiveness. We have all had inflicted injury on others, wittingly or unwittingly.
 
We are all in this “forgiveness quest” together.
How might this insight guide us this week?
I suspect it begins by getting us in touch with the amazing grace of knowing that we have been forgiven. St. Paul, said in his Letter to the Romans, chapter 8, that
“… nothing can separate us from the love of God.”
 
We need to spend time this week thinking about the fact that:
·        whatever we have done,
·        wherever we have been,
·        whoever we were with,
·        we are on the receiving end of God’s love.
 
So, think about one person to whom you can extend forgiveness, in your heart, and engage in conversation with them. Once you have done that, ask God to bless that person. Move on to somebody else (at your own pace). If that is hard to do, think about the ways others have forgiven under extreme circumstances.
 
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “there is no future without forgiveness.”
Parish Nurses' Reflection
The Lord has Risen! Alleluia!

God fulfilled his promise to us, through the coming, death and in the resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our example of Gods love for us. Now we believe in this after witnessing it while Jesus was on earth. Is it hard to believe, sometimes? Yes, following Christ's example that was set before us, is sometimes difficult. Turning the other cheek praying for someone that you don't like or has done you wrong, or listening to someone you don't particularly care for, can be hard.

Hebrews 6:1, Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God and to your service for God, add kindness for your bothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love. If all these are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we gear up for the hot summer weather and hurricane season, let us not forget to pray, be kind to our family and neighbors, and stay healthy.

Christ our Lord has risen indeed! Let us all rejoice and be glad in it,
Alleluia!

Lori Uhrig
Mary Saab-Baker
Parish Nurses
Spread the Love—PBJ Drive Results
Below are the results of the 2022 PB&J Drive!
SWFL DONATED OVER 4,800 lbs!!
Thanks to your support, YOSH (Youth Of Saint Hilary’s) donated 174.5 lbs!!! Coming 3rd behind some large schools in the area… WAY TO GO!
More importantly, peanut butter is essential to have available to families and it is quite expensive for food banks to purchase. Your donations are already landing in the hands of our neighbors in need, as it will be distributed at the mobile pantry today! This 4Klbs should carry Community Cooperative throughout the summer.
We cannot thank you enough for your generosity.

Category: School/Church

 St. Hilary's Church 174.5 lbs
Island Coast High School 225 lbs
Bishop Verot High School Cheer 367.5 lbs
North Fort Myers Baptist 57.5lbs
SWFL Church of Christ 64.4lbs
Alpha Delta Kappa 23lbs
Cape Coral Center for Spiritual Living 89.5lbs

Total lbs collected by School/Church 1001.4
ALTAR GUILD NEWS
The Altar Guild is happy to announce that Bobbie Girardin has joined the team.
Bobbie and her husband, Kerry, are from Denver, CO, and have recently moved from Georgia to Southwest Florida to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law.
Now retired, Kerry was an electronics engineer, and Bobbie's last career was a women's advocate and house manager at a battered women's shelter. Kerry is a Lionel train collector and Bobbie is a retired Episcopal deacon.


Jo Lane has retired from the Altar Guild after many years of dedicated service. Jo has been an Altar Guild director and a member of the Deanery Altar Guild Board. She has also represented Saint Hilary's on the Diocesan Council twice and has been our delegate at Diocesan Annual meetings. She was on the ECW Diocesan Board and Deanery Board. In addition, Jo has been an elected member of Saint Hilary's Vestry and later served as Secretary/Clerk. She continues as Acolyte and Chalice Bearer during the 10:00 AM service on Sundays as well as being an active member of ECW.
She can often be found in Browning Hall helping with parish events.

When you sit in church and gaze at the Saint Hilary's banner, please know that Jo Lane needle pointed, lined, and hung that beautiful piece in honor of our Patron Saint.
We thank her for all she has done for the Guild and for Saint Hilary's
We have a new canopy sign
Our new canopy sign has been installed, welcoming our
Saint Hilary's family and visitors alike
We pray for those who are traveling this summer
O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey's end; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.
BCP
Save the date
Saturday, October 22nd, 2022
ECW, Fashion Show Luncheon
Prayer Shawl Ministry
The Prayer Shawl Ministry is back!
Our meetings will take place the second Tuesday each month at 4:00 pm in Browning Hall.
Our First meeting is scheduled for June 14th.
Please come and join us!


The Very Rev.
Dr. Douglas F. Scharf Elected Bishop Coadjutor of Diocese of Southwest Florida




PARRISH– Delegates and voting clergy of the Diocese of Southwest Florida elected the Very Rev. Dr. Douglas F. Scharf Bishop Coadjutor.The electing convention, held on April 2 at The Cathedral Church of St. Peter in St. Peterburg, FL, hosted 324 canonically resident clergy with voting privileges and lay delegates who participated in three ballots of voting. The other nominees were:
  • The Rev. Thomas P. Reeder, Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
  • The Rev. Timothy E. Schenck, Rector, Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist, Hingham, MA; and
  • The Rev. Canon C. John Thompson-Quartey, Canon for Ministry Development & Congregational Vitality, Diocese of Atlanta.
The Very Rev. Dr. Scharf was elected on the third ballot via the LUMI Global electronic voting system.
Applause and words of joy could be heard inside the Cathedral as Bishop Dabney T. Smith announced the election results.
"There are few moments when a priest is speechless, but this is one of them. I have been so humbled and honored to have been a part of this journey with you all and to be elected, I am truly overwhelmed. I feel the presence of God’s grace in this moment,” said the Very Rev. Dr. Scharf when he received the news of his election via a phone call from Bishop Smith.
The Bishop Coadjutor-elect was chosen by the majority of clergy and lay leaders from across the diocese.
The Very Rev. Dr. Doug Scharf is the Rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and School in Tequesta, FL. Good Shepherd consists of a thriving congregation of more than 500 active members and a vibrant, fully accredited early childhood program and elementary school of 140 students. After graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2004, Fr. Scharf served as Associate Rector of Church of the Holy Spirit in Osprey, FL, and then served for more than nine years as Rector of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Valrico, FL. In 2018, Fr. Scharf completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, with a concentration in Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation. In addition to parish ministry, Fr. Scharf has served in various leadership roles within his diocesan communities and the wider Episcopal Church, including Standing Committee President, Convocation Dean, and two-time Deputy to General Convention. Fr. Scharf and his wife, Shannon, have been married for 22 years and have three sons.
The Very Rev. Dr. Scharf will be ordained and consecrated a Bishop in The Episcopal Church on September 24, 2022, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236. Fr. Scharf will become the Sixth Bishop upon the retirement of the Right Reverend Dabney T. Smith, Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida.



May 2022


21st-Armed Forces Day
26th–Ascension Day
29th - In Remembrance of the Fallen - at 6:00PM Church front lawn
30th- Memorial Day - Office closed
31st– The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary           

National Nurse's week
May 6th - May 12th

Almighty God and heavenly Father, we give thee humble thanks because thou hast been graciously pleased to deliver us from sickness, injury and disaster through the ministry of thy servants our Parish Nurses Lori Uhrig and Mary Saab-Baker and all who serve humanity as professional nurses, whose week we recognize and in whose behalf we bless and praise thy Holy Name. Grant, O gracious Father, that they, through thy help, may live in this world according to thy will, and also be partaker of everlasting glory in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"Nursing is an art;
and if it is to be made an art,
it requires as exclusive a devotion,
as hard a preparation,
as any painter's or sculptor's work;

for what is the having to do with
dead canvas or cold marble,
compared with having to do with the
living body - the temple of God's Spirit.

It is one of the Fine Arts;
I had almost said
the finest of the Fine Arts"

Florence Nightingale
Monthly Butterfly Garden suggestions
Spread the Word! Educate others about the monarch butterfly decline and encourage them to take steps to protect this delicate species
Have you had a change in living situation?

Do you know someone who is ill?
Please let the clergy or parish office know so that we can provide pastoral care.

Thank you for being a part of Saint Hilary's Episcopal Church in Fort Myers, FL. Donations to support our church and our various ministries can be made here: