The Weekly News - February 20, 2019

 Greetings!

There is a lot of content in this issue of The Weekly News . You may find it helpful to read through it and then go back to articles with links to learn more.

  • Thoughts from Father Stephen
  • Common Grounds
  • Ministry/Leadership Summit and The Seven Ministries
  • Shrove Pancake "Throwdown" Breakfast
  • Walking the Camino de Santiago
  • Pansy Sale
  • Building Security
  • Looking Ahead
  • Important Dates for Your Calendar
Full circle . . . 

This coming Sunday will be my last as Interim Rector at St. Christopher’s. Canon Kristin White will join us for the 10:00 am service to represent Bishop Jennifer as we formally dismiss the Search Committee with thanks for their many months of faithful work leading to the call of the Reverend Cara Spaccarelli as your new Rector.  

We’ll also mark my leave-taking with a brief liturgy at the end of the service. During the liturgy, I will hand the keys to the church to the Wardens. They will keep them until the formal celebration of your new ministry with Cara, when the bishop will install her as your Rector. In that auspicious service - only the sixth since St. Christopher’s was organized as a parish - the Wardens will hand the keys to your new Rector and say, “Cara, receive these keys, and let the doors of this place be open to all people.”

Things have come full circle. We formally commissioned the Search Committee on October 1, 2017 - my first Sunday. It seems right to “decommission” them on my last.  

For the last seventeen months you have put your heart and soul into “preparing the way” for the arrival of your next priest. I’m selfishly glad that the call could be announced before I moved on to St. John’s in Worthington, Ohio. There’s a sense of resolution, of completion – at least for this Interim.  

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that, on my first Sunday at St. John’s, I will commission their Search Committee for their work. I ask you to pray for them, just as people throughout the Episcopal Church prayed for you during your transition. Pray that they, like St. Christopher’s parish, will use the interim time to strengthen their common life and deepen their commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ.

My thanks to all of you for a rewarding time. Special thanks to the Wardens and Vestry, to the leaders of St. Christopher’s vibrant ministries, and to the staff who have served faithfully and well. Father Larry and Mother Kathy will be with you through Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. I can’t imagine any better clergy to do this.  

As I drove the U-Haul truck with the contents of my apartment and office across I-70 on Monday, I marveled at how something as simple as an email can transform parishes and priests. When I arrived safely back at home, I searched my laptop and, sure enough, there it was - the email from Anne Long dated May 19, 2017. The subject line was: “St. Christopher's Church Carmel Indiana Search for Interim Rector.” At the time, I had been at the parish I was serving for fourteen years, and was wondering what God might have in store for me.  

Anne wrote - in typical Anne fashion - “We would love to have the opportunity to talk with you via Skype. With apologies for asking on short notice, would you happen to be available mid-to-later afternoon on Monday May 22? If that does not work for your schedule, perhaps we can find another time, but I figure it can't hurt to ask.”

The interview went well enough for me to be invited for a visit. Terry and I stayed at the Drury Inn and Suites on 96th Street. I’ll stay at the same place for the last few days of my time with you at St. Christopher’s. Things have come full circle. You are all in my prayers.

Blessings.

Father Stephen
Common Grounds
An Adult Formation Forum
February 24, 9:00 - 9:45 am
In the Parish Hall

The Topic:
Morals, Ethics, and Character
The Common Grounds session on February 24 will feature the subject of Morals, Ethics, and Character based on David Brooks' The Road to Character and the late Peter Gomes' The Good Life.

Brooks lays out his 15-point "Humility Code" and Gomes looks at 4 "tools for the journey" and the 3 "great virtues of "faith, hope, and love."

Father Stephen Applegate will be the featured presenter on this his final Sunday as our interim rector. Do plan to join us in Common Grounds for coffee and learning from Father Stephen at 9:00 am in the Parish Hall.
Ministry/Leadership Summit

Last Saturday, 45 members of the parish - vestry, ministry leaders, and other parishioners interested in learning about ministry opportunities - gathered for the Ministry/Leadership Summit. We spent the day working together to learn how the Vestry has organized seven ministries into which all our parish organizations, ministries, and guilds have been grouped. The seven ministries are: Evangelism/Membership, Faith Formation, Fellowship, Finance & Facilities, Outreach, Pastoral Care, and Worship.

The purpose of "restructuring" our ministries is to make it possible for us to work as a program-sized church. That will allow the Vestry to operate at a more strategic level than it has in the past. The seven ministries are empowered to organize themselves and take responsibility for their missions. They will identify the people, resources, and budget to accomplish their respective ministry goals. The ministry leaders, also known as liaisons and shepherds, will communicate with the vestry members to keep them aware of focus and needs.

We began the day with a Bible study led by Father Jack Koepke, recently retired Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. The format had us in small groups listening deeply to learn how God might be speaking to us through scripture. We read Numbers 11:16-30, a narrative about shared leadership, if ever there was one. We learned a three-step process to help us apply scripture to our current situation. Then, throughout the remainder of the day, we applied what we learned as we worked in a plenary session and within the seven ministry groups.

Each of the ministry groups, with its sub-groups, met with its ministry leader to identify what they needed to begin their work. The organization and work of each ministry will be an ongoing process over the coming months.

During the next seven weeks, we will highlight one of the seven ministries in The Weekly News. Our goal: help all of us understand how the ministries are organized and make it possible to identify opportunities where we might enjoy sharing our gifts and talents.

Learn the purpose of each of the seven ministries and the role it will play in continuing to build God's kingdom and St. Christopher's.
Shrove Pancake "Throwdown" Breakfast
Sunday March 3, 2019
Two Seatings: 8:50 am & 11:20 am

St. Christopher's Youth are hosting a pancake "throwdown" breakfast. Come to the parish hall after the early service or the later one for hot pancakes and good-natured fun. Team Mother Kathy will be competing against Team Father Larry. Binge watch your favorite Food Network shows to sharpen your food judging vocabulary. Then come prepared to pick your favorite pancake and vote with cash to select the winner. The money will go to youth mission programs.

Tickets are on sale on Sunday, February 24 after both the 7:45 and 10:00 am services and at the breakfast. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family.
Saturday, March 9, 10:00 am in the Parish Hall

The Martha and Mary Chapter of the Daughters of the King are proud to present: "Walking the Camino de Santiago." The Reverend Virginia B. Hall presents her 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain in words and pictures. Everyone is invited to attend this special program. Guests are welcome.
Pansy Sale
February 17 - March 10
The Women's Ministries are holding their annual Pansy Sale. Order pansies by the flat or in 14-inch pre-planted bowls. Proceeds from the sale will be used to purchase plants for the containers at the entrances to the church and other seasonal floral offerings.
Orders must be placed and paid for by March 10 by cash or check. Orders may be picked up on Saturday, March 16 (one day only), between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Color, choice of flat or bowl, and pricing can be found on the order form. Download the pansy order form or place your order after one of the services on Sundays.
You are the "Key" to Building Security

St. Christopher's recently completed a major project to improve building security. The new system includes an electronic door lock on the entrance to the parish office and security cameras at that entrance and in the hallway leading from the kitchen to the doors opposite. Plans are in place to convert the doors opposite the kitchen to open by a fob or card rather than a key.

Now we need your help to make the system fully operational and effective. If you have a 1AA or AA key that opens one of the exterior doors of the church, please email or call Anita Walker to add your choice of a fob or a card to a reference list. We'll need your name and contact information for the fob or card, so it can be uniquely assigned to you. After the list has been created, the exchange process will begin. More information will be available in coming weeks.
With so many people needing access to the buildings throughout the week, having better control of access as well as a record of comings and goings will help everyone - parishioners, staff, and guests - be safer and more secure.
Father Stephen on looking ahead . . .

During the Annual Meeting of the Parish on February 3, Father Stephen delivered a powerful and thought-provoking spoken report. While his written report listed accomplishments of 2018, his oral report addressed the future.

Many of you requested to see Father Stephen's words in print. You will find them at the link below.
Important Dates for Your Calendar

The  Save the Date page  of St. Christopher's website is updated weekly. Check this resource for new information. You also may want to review the insert in the Sunday bulletin, as it provides the schedule for the coming week. 

February 27, 11:30 am | Young at Heart Luncheon
March 3, 8:45 am, 11:30 am | Pancake Breakfast (hosted by our youth)
March 6, 6:30 am, 10:00 am, 7:00 pm | Ash Wednesday Services
March 10, 4:00 pm | Indianapolis Brass Choir

Church Office hours
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 12 noon and 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

The deadline for announcements for The Weekly News is Monday, 12 Noon, each week. Please send to Anita Walker, awalker@stchriscarmel.org with a copy to Carolyn Parrott, carolyncparrott@gmail.com.