ews from St. Paul's Episcopal Church September 2017
" For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake will find
Jesus, Book of Matthew;
Ch. 16, verse 25
A game I have played at parish picnics and summer camps in the past is "water balloon catch". The game is that two or more people toss a balloon FULL of water to each other. The object of the game is to successfully receive and eschew the water balloon without its breaking in your possession. Not only do you "lose" then but you also get soaked. It is one of those games with an inherent natural incentive to "win". Often, one participant in a fit of competitiveness will hurl the balloon full throttle AT, not TO, the next person. More often than not, the game devolves from there in those cases into a water balloon fight. But usually the game has a more cooperative feel, with players seeming to try to see how long and how far they can lob the water balloon without breaking it.
The object of the game seems a bit counterintuitive in the annals of North American sport. In most ball games, throwing a ball usually means trying to get it to either its highest velocity or greatest height or furthest distance and gripping it with fierce strength if you are a recipient of it. In water balloon catch, one usually desires to get it the right distance at the right speed so that it remains intact and the game goes longer. Playing too competitively usually means someone will suffer loss and humiliation and drenched-ness. Gripping the water balloon too tightly usually ensures you will lose it. (This is also true of the "catch the down feather from the air" game.)
I wonder if the same philosophy applies in this Gospel message from Jesus: "For those who want
to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." Jesus seems to say that soul-life is not so easily attained through the conventional earthly "catching and holding" methods where we find a target; pursue it relentlessly; and grip it tightly lest someone take it from you. It seems receiving the divine gifts for the soul, we have to turn AND tune toward them differently than we normally would. To really receive messages, gifts, blessings or a sense of the Holy Spirit, we do better to sit and wait quietly but intentionally. We do well to calmly look for the Spirit of God to come to us in our stillness, our quiet and our intentional attention. That physical posture needed to catch a flying water balloon (or down feather) mirrors nicely the spiritual posture needed to allow the Spirit to settle into us. And then we have to resist the natural inclination to grasp too tightly, whether out of anxiety, greed or a fierce sense of competition. We have to be trained to be gently receptive or the sense of Spirit (or water balloon) slips quickly and easily from our grasp.
As we continue to grow together in this transitional period, discerning more of who we are now in relation to God and to each other, prayer is hugely important (it is anyway, of course). We have to allow ourselves to do as God commands us in the Psalm "Be still and know that I am God." Yes it is counterintuitive in this culture; we may be tempted to "think of the right things to do and hurry up and do them while we have the time". But God doesn't reckon time the way we do. God doesn't see receiving as we do. We can neither hold the Spirit too tightly nor too long nor unleash its life giving presence too quickly for some earthly purpose. Soul-life is meant to be intentionally and softly received on its own divine terms. Soul-life is to be shared softly and gently and generously because while it is ours to be blessed by, it isn't ours to keep. May we desire of God's presence to be gentle receivers and kindly sharers.
Outdoor Service and Parish Picnic +
Rally Day and Blessing of the Backpacks
Coming Sunday, September 10th, 10:30 AM!
From the Senior Warden
I took a mini staycation from daily church matters in August to spend time with my mother-in-law during her once a year visit. She is a pretty healthy octogenarian, and is a pleasant house guest. I have also been spending time with my mother, whose health is frequently challenging. I appreciate Rev. Ed telling me to step back and do what I needed to do. Thanks to Freyja and Pat B. for their diligence in keeping things moving forward. I hope you are able to take care of business, which includes yourself. We are often the last things on our minds. Be healthy!
Reminder - Please take the time to read the approved minutes, available both in a notebook in Parish Hall and electronically via our website. The Vestry works hard to determine our paths, and I am grateful for them.
I was happy to attend the kickoff meeting of the Search Committee on Aug. 15th. They are proceeding with plans and have assigned roles/duties. I am grateful for them, too!
Rally Day is around the corner - Sept. 10th. Freyja and Rick handled getting a reusable banner for our front lawn, I ordered a bouncy house, and parishioners are signing up to help set up, bring food, etc. The choir will return (hurray!), and I'm sure the weather will cooperate for our outdoor worship service and picnic. I am excited for the return of our Godly Play children's education time, and really hope you will consider becoming involved. Please attend the Sept. 17th orientation and see what's going on!
See you Sunday!
From the Junior Warden
Where has the summer gone? As it does every year, the summer seems to have flown by, and all things autumn seem to be popping up everywhere. I know lots of folks who are saddened by the coming fall season and all that entails - cooler weather, shorter days, the end of a relaxed summer vacation season, the loss of our bright summer flowers to the threat of frost, no more Tuesday night band concerts in the park. But autumn is my favorite season, and I like to experience it in terms of beginnings - students, teachers and professors beginning a new school year; fresh, crisp days and delightfully chilly evenings; and here at St. Paul's, the start of a new program year. It's a busy and fun time starting with Rally Day on September 10th. We'll celebrate with an outdoor service including a backpack blessing, followed by the church picnic (have you signed up to help out or bring a dish to pass?). And the choir will also be gearing back up for the season. On September 17th, Maureen Gerrity will kick off the children's Sunday School season with a Godly Play orientation session at 9:30 a.m. for any family members who are not familiar or would like to learn more about this wonderful curriculum.
And, speaking of new beginnings, the Search Committee has just begun the process of the search for our new rector. One of the first items on their agenda is to conduct an online Church Assessment Tool (CAT) survey. As parishioners, we will all be asked to participate in this survey in order to present a clear picture of who we are as a church. The Search Committee is planning ways to make this accessible to everyone, even those who do not have computers or are not computer savvy.
I am excited about beginning the process of discernment for a new priest, as well as beginning a new program year here at St. Paul's, and I hope you all are looking forward to it as well. I believe that for the best experience, everyone needs to get involved. Try out a new ministry, consider joining the adult Sunday discussion/education group, think about singing with the choir, enjoy some social time at coffee hour after the service, share your ideas, and most of all, come to church on Sundays to worship together as a congregation, as friends, as family. God is truly up to something here, so let's find out together what that might be.
Children's Sunday School
Begins September 17
St. Paul's Episcopal Church in DeKalb will begin Christian formation classes on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at 9:30 A.M. We will be using the "Godly Play" curriculum for children preschool to intermediate age. This curriculum is based on Montessori teaching principals - supporting, nourishing and guiding each child's spiritual journey. It was born out of the philosophy that children come to us with an inner knowledge of God. Its purpose is to offer children the opportunity to express and nurture what they already sense and to "name" it. There are two adults trained in "Safeguarding God's Children" present in the classroom each Sunday - the greeter and the storyteller.
Each session begins by greeting and welcoming each child individually and helping the children "get ready" for the day's lesson. The storyteller then presents the lesson of the day. Each lesson is illustrated with the use of materials designed to engage the children in the Word. The children are then invited to wonder about the lesson.
When time allows, the children are given the opportunity to choose a work activity. After work time, the class gathers together to offer prayers and share a feast. After the feast, the children meet individually with the storyteller to say their good-byes.
There will be a Godly Play orientation session 9:30 a.m. Sunday, September 17, in the St. Timothy Center in the lower level of the Sanctuary. We will follow the format of the weekly classroom sessions to allow families that are new to Godly Play to fully experience what happens each week. Everyone interested in learning more about this curriculum is invited to join us! Visitors will also have an opportunity to meet St. Paul's childcare staff and tour the nursery, also located in the St. Timothy Center.
August Mars Hill Treasurer's Report
with July 2017 figures:
This report covers the months of July 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 in the Century 21 Building, 901 North First Street in DeKalb. Sheila Appel is our primary contact. The firm also pays the bills and processes the payroll. Edward Jones manages our Building and Endowment Funds.
Receipts through July 2017
We have received $74,166 of the 2017 pledges through the end of July which is 74% of the $100,000 budgeted. Total of all receipts through July equals $149,065 which is 72% of the budgeted amount of $207,605.
Disbursements through July 2017
Total operating disbursements through July were $100,805 which is 49% of the budgeted amount of $207,605. The difference between receipts and disbursements through July was $48,261 on the positive side. A $70,000 allocation from the Endowment fund was transferred to the Heartland Bank Account from Edward Jones in May 2017.
The balance in the Edward Jones Capital Fund at the end of July was $30,000 in CD's and $4,486.02 in the Money Market Fund totaling $34,486.02. In May $20,000 was moved from Heartland Bank to Edward Jones to purchase CD's. These funds came from parish members Special Gift contributions. We received $35 in regular Capital Contributions during July and $25 in memorial funds for Bertha Lyon. The regular Heartland Bank Checking account has $10,818.89 in Capital Funds. The total balance in the Capital Fund equals $34,486.02 at Edw. Jones plus $10,818.89 at Heartland for a total of $45,304.92.
The value of the Endowment Fund at the end of July was $2,046,488.37, a net increase in value from January 1st of $115,928.11. This is after the transfer of $70,000 to the Heartland Bank Operating fund. The general upward movement of the Stock Market since the beginning of the year is still benefiting the Endowment Fund. The Endowment Committee met August 22th with Matt Myre, our Edward Jones Rep. He gave an evaluation and overview of our investments and a look into the future. The committee is also reviewing the investment strategy of the Fund for future discussion.
The 6.187 shares on deposit with the company were valued at $306 on July 30, 2017. The value has decreased ($64) since the beginning of the year. The number of shares increased to 6.187 with the $1.54 dividend payout in May.
On July 31, 2017 Fund balances in the Heartland Bank checking account were:
Discretionary Fund $87.57; Flower Fund $932.92; Garden Fund ($334.70);
Columbarium Fund $3,623.90; Operating Fund $43,401.81; Capital Fund $10,818.89
for a total of $58,530.39.
The St. Paul's choirs are returning for worship services in September!
Come and sing with us!
All are welcome!
Even if you are unable to attend our
Thursday rehearsals, join us on Sundays at our morning warmup and anthem
at 10:15 AM.
ou can even attend Adult Christian Education in the Conference Room, and Children's Godly Play in the St. Timothy Center from 9:30-10:15 AM, and still make it in time to sing!
Choirs resume for the Fall on Thursday, September 7
Children's Choir rehearsal 6:00-6:30 PM
Adult/Youth Choir rehearsal 7:00-9:00 PM.
s will begin singing for worship services
on Sunday, September 10th, 2017, 10:30 AM.
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! All are welcome!
Music for our Parish Picnic Service
Sunday, September 10, 2017, 10:30 AM, is
Blessings for the School and Work Year
and Parish Picnic
So please add it to your schedules, and join us in worship and celebration, with your presence, voices, bells and guitars!
All Choirs Begin Fall Schedule, Thursday, September 7th
Children's Choir Rehearsal: 6:00-6:30 PM
Adult/Youth Choir Rehearsal: 7:00-9:00 PM
We will run rehearse the Rally Sunday/Picnic Service Music
and then rehearse music for Pentecost (Sept. Oct, Nov)
Adult Sunday School
COME JOIN THE DISCUSSION!...
as we continue to learn & grow...
(9:15/9:30 until 10:15 -- any Sunday morning)
Sunday September 17th -- discussion will begin with Chittister's new book as our guide -- prior reading not required.
Joan Chittister -- Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live A Free & Authenic Life - 2017
-- whom Publishers Weekly calls "one of the most well-known and trusted contemporary spiritual authors," is a rabble-rousing force of nature for social justice, and a passionate proponent of personal faith and spiritual fulfillment. Drawing on little known, ancient teachings of the saints, Sister Joan offers a practical program to help transform our thinking and rebel against our fears, judgments and insecurities.
The book is available on Amazon (also Kindle version), and it was requested to be available in De Kalb @ Book World in the Junction Center.
We are a delightful group of 10-12 souls, who abide by one strict principle: All are welcomed to participate in the Sunday discussions even if you have not read the designated reading for the week! Please join!
The Garden Is Growing
Beans, lettuce and kale have been harvested, collards are still growing, and tomatillos are ripening in the front beds. The tomatoes are winding down, but there are still some to pick. Volunteers have been making deliveries to two different food pantries that the DeKalb Community Gardens have not been able to cover, so the fresh produce is very much appreciated.
While there will not be a weekly "Garden Night" this year as people have differing schedules as to when they can work in the garden, but there is a sign up sheet in the Parish Hall for watering, weeding, harvesting, and/or delivering produce. Please sign up to help!
SRC Town Hall Meeting
September 24, 2017
The Second of two Town Hall Meetings to discuss the Sanctuary Reconfiguration will be after the service.
The Prayground Committee and the Accessibility Committee will have reports for the meeting.
Lunch will be served.
The Search Committee has had their initial meeting with Andrea and Victor from the Chicago Diocese. They have assigned roles and are moving forward with preliminary work. Look for news soon about the CAT (Congregational Assessment Tool). This Tool is designed to help congregations discern what they see as their parish desires and goals.
Keeping God's People Safe
Keeping God's People Safe
is an online training for lay ministers required by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Many of us have taken this course in the past and need to renew. The renewal period is 5 years. There are several new lay ministers who need to take their initial course. If either of these categories applies to you, please watch your email for notification of what is needed and how to link to the website to complete the course. Please complete the KGPS training by October 31, 2017, and turn your completion certificate into the Parish Office. If you have questions, please see
Pet Blessing - October 1st
oin us for the 9th Annual Pet Blessing on the front lawn on Sunday, October 1st at 1:00 P.M. We invite the community to bring pets of all sorts, on leashes or in crates - or pictures of pets if they can't travel. Meet the TAILS Humane Society "Pet of the Week" and bring donations for TAILS. (see our website for he list of hoped for donations). The Reverend Ed will be officiating this year.
There will be a sign up sheet in the Parish Hall to help distribute flyers to various places to help make this a true community event.
Help for the Those in Trouble
Tropical Storm Harvey strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane with130 mile hour winds and made landfall in Texas on the evening of Friday, August 25th. It hit the Texas coast with devastating rains and flooding in the most powerful storm to hit the state in more than 50 years.
National Weather Service
called Harvey's flooding unprecedented and "unknown and beyond anything experienced." To date, there have been seven deaths reported and more than a dozen people have been injured. Hurricane Harvey has dropped more than 25 inches of rain on Houston, Galveston and the surrounding areas with heavy rains and flooding expected to continue for the next several days. Torrential rains and catastrophic flooding have destroyed towns along the coast and left thousands without shelter and access to emergency medical services.
A total of 50 inches of rain is expected
to fall by the end of the week throughout the area.
Episcopal Relief & Development staff is coordinating with the dioceses of Texas, West Texas and Western Louisiana on potential response efforts. Local church partners are checking on leaders and members and planning the use of church facilities and resources where available. Currently, assessments are limited due to safety concerns.
In response to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said, "Long ago the prophet Malachi taught that we are all children of God by virtue of our creation by the same God. 'Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us,' he asked (2:10). Jesus taught the same thing when he told a story about a Good Samaritan. We are indeed all the children of God. And if we are all God's children, then we are all brothers and sisters," he continued. "As you know, our brothers and sisters in Texas now need our help. Our support of Episcopal Relief & Development is a tangible, practical, effective and reliable way to do that, not just in the short term, but for the long haul. Thank you for whatever you can do for together we are the human family of God."
To enable Episcopal Relief & Development to provide critical support after the storm, please donate to the
Hurricane Harvey Response Fund.
Please continue to pray for those impacted by storms and flooding, for first responders who are conducting search and rescue operations and for church communities who are reaching out to care for their members and neighbors.
ECW Fall Retreat
Nurturing the Spirit - October 27-29, 2017
Join us for a weekend of faith, fellowship and education.
DeKoven Retreat Center
All interested women of the region and their guests are invited to attend this special weekend. Take time for yourself - take time to reflect.
This is a special opportunity to focus on your spiritual side with
prayer, music, meditation and discussion.
Retreat Leader is the Rev. Mollie Ward. Rev. Mollie currently serves on the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield Commission on Ministry and is the chaplain for the Diocese of Springfield Episcopal Church Women board. She also is the author of a devotional book,
Through the Labyrinth: a Walk for the Last Days of Life.
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
September 3, 2017.
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 September 10, 2017.
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 2017
issue of the Proclaimer to the Parish office by September 17
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 Lent, 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.
Celebration of Holy Eucharist
at Oak Crest
Wednesday, September 20, 2:00 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.
to all parishioners who contributed to Food Pantry Sunday. The next Food Pantry Sunday will be September 10, 2017.
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.
Thanks to all whose donations help to make this
a successful ministry.
We have a new Historian!
Betsy Pool has taken on the mantle of keeping alive the stories of St. Paul's.
Our beautiful church is enriched by a number of memorials and material gifts. These take the forms of sculpture, stained glass, stone, gardens and many other contributions that add beauty to our worship space.
Too often the current family members of St. Paul's church may not know the history of these memorials/gifts: when they were given, to whom they were dedicated, who donated them to our campus, etc. To bring the history of the many additions we see andwonder about, the current historical group, consisting of Susan King and Betsy Pool, are asking you for information regarding the provenance of the following items:
-the stained glass panel on the north side of the sanctuary
-the stained glass panel on the south wall of the sanctuary
-a plaque under a tree in the northwest corner of the church grounds
-the garden dated 1979 remembering four family members located at the junction of the circle and continuing drives in the NE section of the church grounds
-a picture of the Rev. Wayne Duggleby in the Conference Room
-the Stations of the Cross - a gift of Don and Reginia McAlister
-the window hanging in the narthex
-the large tapestry cross over the altar
-the cornerstone displayed in the narthex.
These are the particlular areas about which we are seeking information you might be able to give: dates, names, details. No tidbit is too small! Please give your information either to Susan in the church office,
or Betsy Pool at
. We look forward to sharing all the history of these important contributions. If you have information about additional memorials/gifts we would be pleased to include your information.
Meet Our New Nursery Attendents
Jennifer Nakaerts, born at the original Kishwaukee Hospital, Halloween night in '94, currently resides in Sycamore, IL. She works fulltime as an overnight shift lead at the corner of Happy and Healthy; and part time pouring coffee to keep America running. Proudly adding Nursery Attendant to her resume, you could say she's the "Jenn-of-all-trades", signing every job done with Passion and Excellence.
Shannon Bowen is a senior at Northern Illinois University. She is studying child development and wants to become a developmental therapist. Shannon is a triplet and has a younger sister as well! She is very outgoing and loves working with children!
Jennifer and Shannon join Julie Rogers and Brittany Altepeter in the nursery rotation in the St. Timothy Center. Hours for the nursery return to 9:15 AM to 11:45 AM beginning Sunday, September 17th.
Parish Office Closed
The Parish Office will be closed for the Labor Day Holiday on Monday, September 4th.
nniversaries, Birthdays & Events
9/7 Bill Cummings
9/7 Peggy Russell
9/15 Brenda Leonard
9/15 Robert Russell
9/18 Lorraine Langer
9/24 Elizabeth George
9/25 Pat Brown
9/26 Peggy Newby
9/27 Jamie Stubblefield
9/28 Vince McMahon
9/29 Jennie Cummings
9/4 Bill/Jennie Cummings
9/11 Jamie/Julie Stubblefield
9/4 Parish Office Closed, Labor Day
9/7 Choir Practices start, 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM
9/10 Outdoor Service and Picnic, 10:30 AM
9/17 Children's Sunday School Starts, 9:30 AM
9/17 Vestry Meeting, 12:15 PM
9/20 OakCrest Service, 2:00 PM
9/20 Children's Waiting Room, 3:00 PM
9/24 Town Hall Meeting SRC, after service
10/1 Pet Blessing, 1:00 PM
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