Parish News & Newsletters

We will post parish announcements, links to news stories, as well as our newsletters on this page.

Parish Prayer List:

If you wish to have the name of someone added to our parish Prayer List, please contact Joy Ham at 231-386-7531 or email her at hamjoy@gmail.com with the first name of the person for whom prayers are asked.   The names of those family and friends serving in the military can also be added to the list by contacting Joy.  Please be sure to let Joy know if you would like the person’s name removed from the list.

News Stories:

Feb 11, 2016: St. Christopher’s & other Northport churches host soup suppers during Lent (Leelanau Enterprise)

 

Newsletters:

May and June, 2017 Parish Newsletter:

CALENDAR for May, 2017:

May 4    – National Day of Prayer

May 17  – Vestry Meeting 9:30 a.m. preceded by Morning Prayer at 9:10 a.m.

May 14 –  Mother’s Day.  LCN Diaper Drive ends.

May 29 –  Memorial Day

CALENDAR for June, 2017:

June 1  – Baccalaureate Service at Bethany Lutheran Church, 7:00pm

June 4  – Whitsunday (Pentecost)

June 11– Trinity Sunday

June 14 – Vestry Meeting 9:30 a.m. preceded by Morning Prayer at 9:10 a.m.

June 18 – Father’s Day

June 21 – 1st Day of Summer

June   ?    Parish Swap Sunday, details TBA             

Prayer for a Birthday (from the Book of Common Prayer, Page 830):

O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor we pray, on your servant (________) as they begin another year. Grant that they may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen their trust in your goodness in all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 BIRTHDAYS:

May  3  – Mike Danaher

May  4  – Marilyn Zimmerman

May 10 – Claire Fox

May 13 – Bob Neuharth

May 15 – Mary Lee Miller

May 28 – Alan Kirby

June 24 – Peg Deal

ANNIVERSARIES:

May  5 – Ruth & Charles Bombaugh

May  7 – Ellen & Jim McLean

May 18 – Marilyn & Dave Zimmerman

May 20 – Joy & Jim Ham

June  6 – Irene & David Nelson

June 11 – Jenny & Mike Danaher

June 18 – Sylvia Linde-Guback & Thomas Guback

June 19 – Mary & Ed Ruffley

June 29 – June & Shep Sheppard

June 29 – Carol & Rich Isphording

WELCOME & THANKS

Spring means not only the return of robins, but also of those parishioners and friends who have been elsewhere for a little while: welcome home.   Summer also means the return of our summertime regulars: welcome back.   Summer means the attendance of visitors who are “Up North” on vacation:  welcome friends.  Finally, very special thanks to those who keep St. Christopher’s home fires stoked, no matter the season.

SUMMARY OF MARCH 8, 2017 VESTRY MEETING

By Ed Ruffley

The treasurer reported that the parish continues to be in sound financial position. The $30,000 gift to Leelanau Christian Neighbors in honor of Jan Hunt was funded.  Investments continue to increase in market value.

Ed Ruffley discussed the scheduling of an interview with the rector candidate.  The travel plans of various search committee members during the winter months, along with personal obligations of the candidate, have resulted in a revised schedule for an interview.  The candidate is now scheduled to visit St. Christopher’s and Bethany Lutheran on May 19.

Janet Dickerson announced that Bishop Hougland is scheduled to visit St. Christopher’s on August 13.  A committee will be established to coordinate arrangements for the Bishop.

The vestry approved a resolution to pay Bill Cook a bonus in recognition of the many contributions that he makes to our weekly worship services.

SUMMARY OF APRIL 12, 2017 VESTRY MEETING

By Ed Ruffley

The vestry meeting scheduled for April 12, 2017, was cancelled due to the absence of the majority of vestry members.

A motion was subsequently made by Janet Dickerson to compensate Rev. Phillip Garrison  of Trinity Church for his help with the Soup Supper Service that was hosted by St. Christopher’s on March 16.   This motion, distributed by email, was approved by a majority of vestry members.

REPORT OF RECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE, APRIL 2016

By Ed Ruffley

A revised date of May 19, 2017, has been chosen for the interview with the rector candidate.

Winter travel commitments on the part of St. Christopher’s participants and the personal schedule of the candidate eliminated the possibility of conducting an interview in April.

The candidate has been presented to us by our Bishop for the joint position of Rector of St. Christopher’s and Pastor of Bethany Lutheran. The interview will be conducted jointly with the Call Committee of Bethany Lutheran Church.

PRAYER LIST

Please keep in mind, and prayer, the following parishioners: Ethel; Ed; Sylvia; Jeannie; Joanne; Alan; Carol I; Ulrich; Mary F.; Mary R.; and also the following friends and family: Sandy; Don; Les; Christy; Jeff; David; Wayne; Lt. Mark Folchi; John and Family; Harold; Steve; Bob; Doug; Robert R.; Rich B.; Georgia; and Glen.

PLEASE CONTACT JOY HAM (231-386-7531) if you have anyone to add to the Prayer List. If you are seeking particular prayers from the BCP please see page 208, and pages 828-831. Please remember all those serving our country in the military (BCP, page 823). And of course, nothing is more special than your own personal prayers. The prayers and thanksgivings in the BCP (Pages 814-841), include a marvelous array of prayers for so many circumstances, that reading one prayer may well lead the reader to another . . . and then another. Prayerful reading to all.

WEBSITE REPORT/GOT PHOTOS?

Your “Go-To” spot for all the doings at St. Christopher’s can be found at its website: www.stchristophersnorthportmi.org. Marilyn Zimmerman updates the website with the latest news, the service schedule, vestry meeting minutes, the periodic Newsletter, and much more. If you have any photos which would add interest and information to the website, please send those to Marilyn (mjznorth@gmailcom) for consideration.   We send special thanks to Marilyn for all her hard work in maintaining St. Christopher’s website, our window for the world.

VOLUNTEER CLERK NEEDED

The Vestry is looking for a volunteer to take minutes at the monthly Vestry meeting, held the second Wednesday of every month. The time involved is minimal, but the help is very much appreciated. Please contact Senior Warden Janet Dickerson if you are interested. Thank you!

NEWSLETTER AND MONTHLY SCHEDULE INFORMATION

For any comments, suggestions, corrections, etc. as to the Newsletter: please contact Mary Ruffley (cell 248-202-5363; e-mail mjr3ms@gmail.com)

For information as to the Monthly Schedule: Please contact Jill Foerster (phone 213-271-3023; e-mail: foerjill@gmail.com). PLEASE NOTE that any changes or substitutions as to the Monthly Schedule must be made directly by the listed parties, who are responsible for making those changes or finding substitutes if a problem arises…..and then noting those changes on the Monthly Schedule posted on the bulletin board in the church fellowship hall. Thank you.

 SPECIAL CALL FOR FLOWERS

There is always a need for flowers for the altar.  Please check the sign-up sheets on the parish hall bulletin board. If you are new to the procedure of supplying flowers, it is easily accomplished with a little planning: 1. On the Sunday BEFORE you are scheduled to provide flowers, take two urn liners from the vesting room as you leave the church. 2. On the Sunday you are scheduled to provide flowers, come early and arrange your flowers in the  urn liners, place the urn liners in the brass urns (box in the vesting room), and place the brass urns on the stands behind the altar. The flowers remain at the church until Monday, and can be picked up on Monday afternoons (1:00-3:00) when the Piece Makers are at the church, or via your arrangement with someone who has a key, or by you very early (following) Sunday morning removal, in order to make way for the new flowers on that Sunday.  At that time, please return the urn liners to the shelf in the vesting room, and place the brass urns back in the box in the vesting room. If you wish to name those who are specifically honored or remembered by your flowers, please call the church office (386-7780) by the Monday BEFORE your Sunday flowers and provide that information.  Flowers, including delivery, are available through Forget-Me-Not Florists in Suttons Bay, if you wish to use their services.

BUT WAIT! If you wish, you can bring your own flowers or plant(s), in your own containers, which you should label. All you then do is: 1. Sign up for your Sunday on the sheet on the bulletin board; 2. Come early enough to place your flowers; 3. Remove per the directions given earlier in this paragraph.

BULLETIN BOARD – HOUSEKEEPING

 We are St. Gertrude’s tenant: Altar Guild: Please remember to return the wood candle stands to the end of the altar, and place the candleholders on them. Everyone: Those using the church for any activities must check to see that all is restored and all items returned to original places. Thank you!. General information: Please check the Bulletin Board for the monthly schedule and other information. Flowers for the altar: ALWAYS needed! Please sign up on the Bulletin Board schedule.

COFFEE (HALF!) HOUR

Fellowship at Coffee (Half!) Hour is   wonderful; however, as a tenant of St. Gertrude’s we must all remember to conclude the Coffee (half) Hour by 10:30 sharp. Also, for Coffee Hosts, please remember to bring juice and milk, and a non-sugar food item choice, if possible. Tea is also available. Thanks to all Coffee Hosts!

CONTENT AUTHORSHIP/SUBMISSION ON DEADLINE

Unless otherwise noted, all Newsletter content is written by Editor Mary Ruffley. Jill Foerster (Thank you, Jill!) prepared the May/June Schedule.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO THE UPCOMING JULY/AUGUST, 2017 NEWSLETTER IS JUNE 15, 2017.

GRATITUDE FOR THE ALTAR GUILD—AND HELP IS ALWAYS NEEDED

The work of the Altar Guild is central to the order and solemnity of our Sunday service. The parishioners of St. Christopher’s appreciate the dedication of each member of the Altar Guild: Janie Neuharth (Altar Guild Head), Margie Beers, Janet Dickerson, Moonyeen Fitch, Jill Foerster, Joy Ham, Ellen McLean, and Marilyn Zimmerman. Although this dedicated band is small but mighty, the Altar Guild can always use assistance, and welcomes new members to share in its important tasks. Please contact Janie Neuharth if you would like to help.

JAN AND BOB HUNT LIBRARY UPDATE

Senior Warden Janet Dickerson notes the addition of a new book to the library,  The Case for Easter: A Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection, by Lee Strobel.  This book was a gift from Covenant Church at a Lenten Soup Supper.   As always, Librarian Ronnie Alff continuously updates the library.  As Father Tom Guback notes in the weekly bulletin:  “Visit our parish Library.  Be astounded.  Borrow a book.  Read it.”

NOTES FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN

Senior Warden Janet Dickerson recently noted the Episcopal Relief  & Development Fund as a possible recipient/beneficiary for those parishioners who are looking for opportunities to make charitable contributions.  Their address is: Episcopal Relief & Development Fund, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA  22116-7058.  Janet adds that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry recently visited Ghana, one of the places receiving aid from this Fund.

Bishop Hougland and his wife will visit northern Michigan parishes during the period August 12-15.  They will be staying at the Dickersons’ cottage during that time.  Bishop Hougland will conduct the August 13th service at St. Christopher’s.  Additional details of this visit will be made available.

PIECEMAKERS

The Piecemakers have changed the weekly meeting day from Thursday to Monday, beginning Monday, April 24.   The meeting time (1:00 – 3:30 PM) remains the same.  The group breaks for tea at 2:00 PM, so please feel free to come in any time and say hello.  The Piecemakers will continue to make quilts as their ongoing centerpiece project, but they are expanding their work to make items (lap robes, pillow cases, baby quilts, etc.) for veterans, homeless shelters, and similar groups.  Please join us!

THE STORY BEHIND THE HYMN (#19)

“A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (page 688 of The Hymnal, 1982) is often considered to be Martin Luther’s “grandest hymn”.  Inspired by Psalm 46, it turned into the “Signature Hymn” of the Reformation.  It was written thirteen years after Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the Wittenburg church door in October of 1517.  Those years were filled with dangers, including attempts on his life, and Luther’s excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.  This hymn acknowledges the love, power and protection that God provides.  [The Complete Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen & Ardyth Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006]

THE STORY BEHIND THE HYMN (#20)

“Love Divine All Loves Excelling” (page 657 of The Hymnal, 1982).  Given the fact that Charles Wesley wrote six thousand  hymns, it is easy to picture him working endlessly at a desk.  However, he was primarily a traveling preacher for most of his life, and he wrote hymns while on horseback traveling from parish to parish.  Using a shorthand writing system and notecards, he would rush into inns when the opportunity arose and then write out the complete hymn.  One time he was thrown from a horse and he regretted missing the chance to compose until he recovered from his injuries.   As a classical scholar at Oxford, Wesley looked to poet John Dryden’s “King Arthur” for the meter of this hymn; but instead of extolling Camelot, Wesley revered God’s divine love. [ The Complete Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen & Ardyth Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2006]

HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE

  1. ABOUT THOSE RINGING BELLS: The March/April 2017 Newsletter noted a New York Times article about volunteer bell ringers (“change ringers”) in churches around the world, focusing on English churches.  An update here notes the dangers that exist:  an item in the March 12, 2017 The Living Church magazine reported an accident that occurred in the bell tower of Worcester Cathedral.  In that incident, a 51-year-old volunteer (one of a two-person team on the tenor bell), was pulled up eighty feet in the air when his foot was caught in a bell rope.  What went up did come down; the change ringer suffered a broken bone in his back, but lived to tell the tale.
  2. FAITH DOWN UNDER: In Sydney, Australia, during the early 1930’s, a homeless alcoholic named Arthur Stace wandered into St. Barnabas’ Church and was converted. He quit drinking and found employment as a janitor at the Burton Street Tabernacle.  At an evening service there, Arthur heard an evangelist preach “Eternity! Eternity! Oh, that this word could be emblazoned across the streets of Sydney!”.  So Arthur Stace did just that, writing “Eternity” in chalk an estimated 500,000 times throughout Sydney from 1932 to 1967, during his nightly walks.  Today, a solid brass replica of Stace’s chalked message is embedded in Sydney’s Town Hall Square.  The “Eternity” message also was the centerpiece of the gigantic illuminated sign on the Sydney Harbor Bridge for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  To read more about Arthur Stace and the Christian Church’s status in Australia, see the article in the March 26, 2017 issue of The Living Church (page 7) on which this synopsis is based.
  3. DEBTS, TRESPASSES, SINS: The origin and history of these terms as used in prayer are discussed in an article in the March 26, 2017 issue of The Living Church (page 20). The notions of material or financial meaning, the ancient Jewish law of forgiveness of monetary debt, the broadening of the term “debts” to “trespasses”, and the critical importance of forgiveness, are all reviewed in this interesting article.
  4. THE RECTOR SHORTAGE: In a March 26, 2017 article in The Living Church, author G. Jeffrey MacDonald sets out the grim statistics:  “Nowhere is the trend (toward part-time rectors) more visible than in the Episcopal Church, in which forty-eight percent of congregations [in the U.S.]  have no paid full-time priest.”  The article further states, “In northern Michigan, none of the 24 congregations has a full-time priest”.  The article’s focus is on the efforts put forth by parishioners: to take on further responsibilities; to share/rent church space; and to take other steps to stretch the diminishing budgets.  Reading this article can be disheartening; but the continuous efforts of the St. Christopher’s parishioners to forge ahead is only surpassed by the gratitude of the parishioners for its dedicated interim clergy.

NEW BOOKS OF INTEREST

While not currently available in our Hunt Library, the following books have been reviewed in national publications and are available in bookstores, local public libraries, and online.

  1. The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, by Frances Fitzgerald (Simon & Schuster) has been reviewed by both the Wall Street Journal (April 1-2, 2017 week-end edition) and the New York Times (April 2, 2017 Book Review section). Both reviews are thorough and recommend this book.
  1. Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet, by Lyndal Roger (Random House). This book has been very favorably reviewed in the week-end editions of both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

EVER WONDER ABOUT THIS?

If you look up “pagan” in any dictionary, the definitions cite “non-Christians”; or those who are “not Christians, Muslims, or Jews”; or an “irreligious or heathenish” person.   Yet, further back in history in Roman times, “pagans” broadly meant “civilians” as opposed to “milites” or soldiers:  any citizen was a pagan, i.e. not a soldier.  That definition  changed, however, after the early Christians called themselves “the soldiers of the Lord”, thereby eventually rendering all others, i.e. non-Christians, as “pagans”. (Dictionary of Word Origins, by Joseph T. Shipley, The Philosophical Library, 1945).

APRIL, COME SHE WILL ….. AND MAY AND JUNE

Each season in northern Michigan brings its own special beauty, and our corresponding human response pertinent to that season.  Summer is beaming blue buoyancy, and seems to require the least from us:  like sponges, all we need to do is absorb and enjoy.  Autumn has us carom between the exhilaration of glorious colors and those somber grays and bare trees of November.  Winter holds us in its cocooning grasp as we exercise fortitude in the face of twelve (or more) snowy, overcast days in a row, waiting for the sun to reappear.  But since we know that it is indeed winter, we adjust expectations accordingly.

What does spring require?  Patience.  More than any other season, spring requires patience.  Roller coaster temperatures and change-in-an-instant weather require patience.  There is that warm sunny day bringing hope for continued warmth; such hope dashed when snow arrives in the night … accompanied by its pals, sleet and wind.  Thinking about wearing some lighter spring shoes or a jacket?  Try it and see what happens when caught in unexpected flurries, cold rain, or a north wind.  Patience means that the boots and heavy coat remain handy by the door until mid-June.

Yet, how completely is patience rewarded by spring … not in dramatic overnight brilliant displays, but in small unfoldings:  crocus poking up through the earth; daffodils, trillium, and forget-me-nots in succeeding bloom: and the unexpected warmth of the sun on your upturned face.

So it is that patience implies waiting.  Waiting implies anticipation.  Anticipation awaits spring.  Spring requires patience.  What a lovely circle in which to spin.

By Mary Ruffley

March and April, 2017 Parish Newsletter:

Calendar:

Feb. 28- Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Bethany Lutheran Church. Donations to Leelanau Christian Neighbors.

March, 2017
Mar. 1 – Ash Wednesday Services:
St. Christopher’s, 12:00 noon
Trinity Church, 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 8 – Morning Prayer: 9:10 a.m.  Vestry Meeting follows.
Mar. 9 – Lenten Soup Supper at Trinity Church at 6:00 pm, *
followed by service at 7:00 p.m.
Mar.16 – Lenten Soup Supper at St. Christopher’s Church at 6:00 p.m. *
followed by service at 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 23- Lenten Soup Supper at Bethany Lutheran Church at 6:00 p.m. *
followed by service at 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 30- Lenten Soup Supper at St. Gertrude’s Church at 6:00 p.m. *
followed by service at 7:00 p.m.

April, 2017
Apr. 6 – Lenten Soup Supper at Evangelical Covenant Church at 6:00 p.m. *
followed by service at 7:00 p.m.
Apr. 9 – Palm Sunday
Apr. 12- Morning Prayer at 9:10 a.m.  Vestry Meeting follows.
Apr. 13- Maundy Thursday:
7:00 p.m. service at Trinity Church
Apr. 14- Good Friday
Apr. 16- Easter Sunday
* Bring your own table service to Soup Suppers.

PARISH BIRTHDAYS:
Mar. 13 – John Dixon
Mar. 19 – Carol Isphording
Mar. 29 – Jerry Muir
Apr. 1 – Mike Fleishman
Apr. 4 – Janie Neuharth
Apr. 5 – Jill Ebeling
Apr. 25 – Jenny Danaher
Apr. 28 – Jill Foerster

Prayer for a Birthday (from the Book of Common Prayer, Page 830):
O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor we pray, on your servant (________) as they begin another year. Grant that they may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen their trust in your goodness in all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING ON JANUARY 15, 2017
By Ed Ruffley
At 9:30 A.M. on January 15, 2017, the Senior Warden, Janet Dickerson, called the Annual Meeting of the Parish to order. A quorum of eligible voting members was present. An opening prayer was offered by Father Guback. Margie Beers was appointed Secretary.
The Treasurer’s Report for 2016 was presented by Janet Dickerson. The 2017 budget was also presented. A discussion of a proposed gift to Leelanau Christian Neighbors (“LCN”) in memory of Jan Hunt followed. Barbara Marsh moved that the voting members approve a motion to ask the Vestry to
investigate a gift to LCN.
Janet Dickerson announced that there were two candidates for the Vestry, Moonyeen Fitch and Margie Beers. Both candidates were unanimously elected to three-year terms to the Vestry.
Janet Dickerson reviewed the Senior Warden’s report and other committee reports.
Father Guback offered a closing prayer and the Annual Meeting was adjourned.
____________________________________
NO VESTRY MEETING WAS HELD IN JANUARY, 2017.

SUMMARY OF FEBRUARY, 2017 VESTRY MEETING
By Ed Ruffley
Janet Dickerson called the meeting to order. A quorum was not present. Accordingly, it was noted that any matters involving the use of parish funds would require the subsequent approval of vestry members who are absent.

The treasurer reported that the parish is in sound financial position. Pursuant to a motion approved at the Annual Meeting in January, the Vestry reviewed a proposal to make a contribution to Leelanau Christian Neighbors (“LCN”). After a detailed discussion and a review of a written proposal, the Vestry
approved a $30,000 contribution to the LCN building campaign in memory of Jan Hunt. A plaque noting this memorial gift and gifts of others will be displayed at the new LCN building. (Note: Subsequent to the vestry meeting, unanimous approval of the absent vestry members was obtained.)

Ed Ruffley discussed the Rector Search Committee activities. Ed noted that a new advertisement for the rector position was placed on the Episcopal Digital Network. Ed also noted that Canon Spaid has forwarded the resume of a Lutheran Pastor for consideration for a joint ministry position with St.
Christopher’s and Bethany Lutheran. Canon Spaid noted that Bishop Hougland has approved this candidate for our consideration. Ed stated that he has contacted the Bethany leadership by email but has not yet received a reply. He will keep the vestry members advised.

Janet Dickerson stated that St. Christopher’s will host a Soup Supper on March 16. The supper will begin at 6 P.M. followed by a service at 7 P.M.
____________________________________
REPORT OF RECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE FEBRUARY, 2017
By Ed Ruffley
Although our advertising efforts have not been successful, we have renewed our ad in the Episcopal Digital Network. Despite wide-reaching advertising and direct mailings to Episcopal organizations, we have had no success in attracting an Episcopal priest candidate for our open rector position. 

On February 17, 2017, Canon Spaid, with our Bishop’s approval, forwarded the resume of a Lutheran pastor for our consideration to serve as a joint minister for St. Christopher’s and a pastor for Bethany Lutheran. The candidate is Pastor Renee MacLeod. Her resume has been distributed to the Rector Search
Committee for initial review. The committee members are in favor of interviewing Pastor MacLeod. We have discussed the resume with the leadership of the Bethany Call Committee and they are also in favor of proceeding to an interview with the candidate. Because the candidate is a Lutheran Pastor, the Bethany Call Committee will coordinate the arrangements for an interview and visit to our two parishes.
____________________________________
PRAYER LIST
Please keep in mind, and prayer, the following parishioners: Ethel; Ed; Sylvia; Jeannie; Joanne; Alan; Rea and John; Dan, Anna, and Caroline; Ulrich; Carol, Joy, Mary F., Mary R.; and also the following friends and family: Sandy; Don; Les; Christy; Jeff; David; Wayne; Lt. Mark Folchi; John and Family; Harold;
RoseMary; Rich B.; Georgia, Glen.

PLEASE CONTACT JOY HAM (231-386-7531) if you have anyone
to add to the Prayer List. If you are seeking particular prayers from the BCP please see page 208, and pages 828-831. Please remember all those serving our country in the military (BCP, page 823). And of course, nothing is more special than your own personal prayers. Finally, in thinking about all of those
who will be traveling this winter near and far whether on the roads or in the skies, remember them, too, in the Prayer for Travelers (page 831). The prayers and thanksgivings in the BCP (Pages 814-841), include a marvelous array of prayers for so many circumstances, that reading one prayer may well lead the reader to another . . .  and then another. Prayerful reading to all.

WEBSITE REPORT/GOT PHOTOS?
Your “Go-To” spot for all the doings at St. Christopher’s can be found at its website: www.stchristophersnorthportmi.org. Marilyn Zimmerman updates the website with the latest news, the service schedule, vestry meeting minutes, the periodic Newsletter, and much more. If you have any photos which would add interest and information to the website, please send those to Marilyn (mjznorth@gmailcom) for consideration. We send special thanks to Marilyn for all her hard work in maintaining St. Christopher’s website, our window for the world.
___________________________________
VOLUNTEER CLERK NEEDED
The Vestry is looking for a volunteer to take minutes at the monthly Vestry meeting, held the second Wednesday of every month. The time involved is minimal, but the help is very much appreciated. Please contact Senior Warden Janet Dickerson if you are interested. Thank you!
___________________________________
NEWSLETTER AND MONTHLY SCHEDULE INFORMATION
For any comments, suggestions, corrections, etc. as to the Newsletter: Please contact Mary Ruffley (cell 248-202-5363; e-mail mjr3ms@gmail.com)
For information as to the Monthly Schedule: Please contact Jill Foerster (phone 213-271-3023; e-mail: foerjill@gmail.com). PLEASE NOTE that any changes or substitutions as to the Monthly Schedule must be made directly by the listed parties, who are responsible for making those changes or finding substitutes if a problem arises . . .  and then noting those changes on Monthly Schedule posted on the bulletin board in the Parish Meeting Hall. Thank you!

SPECIAL CALL FOR FLOWERS
There is always a need for flowers for the altar.  Please check the sign-up sheets on the parish hall bulletin board. If you are new to the procedure of
supplying flowers, it is easily accomplished with a little planning: 1. On the Sunday BEFORE you are scheduled to provide flowers, take two urn liners from the vesting room as you leave the church. 2. On the Sunday you are scheduled to provide flowers, come early and arrange your flowers in the urn liners, place the urn liners in the brass urns (box in the vesting room), and place the brass urns on the stands behind the altar. The flowers remain at the church until Monday, and can be picked up on Thursday afternoons (1:00-3:00) when the Piece Makers are at the church, or via your arrangement with someone who has a key, or by you very early (following) Sunday morning removal, in order to make way for the new flowers on that Sunday. At that time, please return the urn liners to the shelf in the vesting room, and
place the brass urns back in the box in the vesting room. If you wish to name those who are specifically honored or remembered by your flowers, please call the church office (386-7780) by the Monday BEFORE your Sunday flowers and provide that information. Flowers, including delivery, are available through Forget-Me-Not Florists in Suttons Bay, if you wish to
use their services.
BUT WAIT! If you wish, you can bring your own flowers or plant(s), in your own containers, which you should label. All you then do is: 1. Sign up for your Sunday on the sheet on the bulletin board; 2. Come early enough to place your flowers; 3. Remove per the directions given earlier in this paragraph.

BULLETIN BOARD – HOUSEKEEPING
We are St. Gertrude’s tenant: Altar Guild: Please remember to return the wood candle stands to the end of the altar, and place the candleholders on them. Everyone: Those using the church for any activities must check to see that all is restored and all items returned to original places. Thank you!

Library: Please feel free to browse and check out items from the library located in the Robing Room.

General information:
Please check the Bulletin Board for the monthly schedule and other information.

Flowers for the altar:
ALWAYS needed! Please sign up on the Bulletin Board schedule.
___________________________________
COFFEE (HALF!) HOUR
Fellowship at Coffee (Half!) Hour is wonderful; however, as a tenant of St. Gertrude’s we must all remember to conclude the Coffee (half) Hour by 10:30 sharp. Also, for Coffee Hosts, please remember to bring juice and milk, and a non-sugar food item choice, if possible. Also, tea is now available. Thanks to
all hosts!
___________________________________
CONTENT AUTHORSHIP/SUBMISSION ON DEADLINE
Unless otherwise noted, all Newsletter content is written by Editor Mary Ruffley. Jill Foerster (Thank you, Jill!) prepared the March/April Schedule, which is attached.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO THE UPCOMING MAY/JUNE 2017
NEWSLETTER IS APRIL 17, 2017. 

GRATITUDE FOR THE ALTAR GUILD— AND HELP IS ALWAYS NEEDED
The work of the Altar Guild is central to the order and solemnity of our Sunday service. The parishioners of St. Christopher’s appreciate the dedication of each member of the Altar Guild: Janie Neuharth (Altar
Guild Head), Margie Beers, Janet Dickerson, Moonyeen Fitch, Jill Foerster, Joy Ham, Ellen McLean, and Marilyn Zimmerman. Although this dedicated band is small but mighty, the Altar Guild can always use assistance, and welcomes new members to share in its important tasks. Please contact Janie Neuharth if you would like to help.
______________________________________
THE STORY BEHIND THE HYMN (#17)
“For the Beauty of the Earth” (pg. 416, The Hymnal 1982) is a much-beloved hymn which is often connected with springtime; and indeed its history reflects that relationship. The author, Folliot Sandford Pierpont, was born in Bath, England, in 1835, but later left Bath for Cambridge University and a scholar’s life. He returned to Bath almost 30 years later. The glory of spring in the Bath countryside is said to inspire this hymn. The original hymn has eight stanzas, each stanza ending with “Christ our God to thee we raise/This our sacrifice of praise”, and was intended to be sung as a Communion Hymn.  [The
Complete Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen & Arydth Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006].
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THE STORY BEHIND THE HYMN (#18)
“Just As I Am”(pg. 693, The Hymnal 1982) is often considered a hymn specifically used in Protestant churches’ revival meetings. This hymn is often played at the closing of revival meetings when attendees are called to come forward and declare their Christian faith for the first time, or for a personal renewal of that faith. Anyone who has ever observed a Baptist revival meeting will recall the powerful ‘tug” which this hymn evokes. (MJR)
The hymn’s author, Charlotte Elliot (1789-1871) was a successful portrait artist and writer of verse. As a young woman in her early thirties, she experienced a severe illness which resulted in depression. Visited by a famous clergyman, Dr. Caesar Malen, in Brighton, England, she resented and dismissed his
questions regarding her faith and peace with God. However, she soon apologized to him, and said she needed to address some personal problems before she felt she could become a true Christian. Dr. Malen told her to “come just as you are”. She was able to do so that very day. Years later she recalled that special day and wrote “Just As I Am”, a hymn still resounding in churches and revival meetings all over the world.  [The Complete Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen & Ardyth Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006]
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BOB AND JAN HUNT LIBRARY UPDATE
Our dedicated and intrepid Librarian Ronnie Alff has added books to the library and continues to update the system, noting as follows: “A suggestion for use of the church library: Look for books on a specific subject . . .  i.e. perhaps prayers, or Islam. The Dewey Decimal Classification list posted on the outside wall categorizes most of our materials; prayers, in the Christian moral & devotional category, so in the 240s, and Islam and Other and comparative religions, in the 290s. More than 114 books are shelved in the 200s—-take time to browse.” Thank you, Ronnie!

NOTES FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN, JANET DICKERSON
A. Everyone at St. Christopher’s does their best to recycle. Janet was reminded of this continuing need when she heard scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s recitation of the current state of affairs: “About 50 billion plastic bottles of water are sold in the United States each year. It takes almost 20 million barrels of oil to make just the bottles, enough to keep a million cars on the road all year, or to provide electrical power to 200,000 homes. Three-fourths of these bottles are NOT recycled, creating more than a billion pounds of
plastic trash every single year.” Please continue to help on the recycling front!

B. Janet also relays her personal decision to consolidate donations to charitable world-wide relief organizations, and shares her thoughts here: “World-wide there are so many disasters—fires, floods, famine, earthquakes, etc.— I want to help but the needs overwhelm me. I also do not want to add to the paper that gets stuffed in my mailbox. I would rather not write a lot of checks. So I have decided to let the Episcopal Relief Fund and Development make the decisions for me and distribute the funds. I will write one check. My check will also help spread the good news of the Episcopal Church.”
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NOTE OF THANKS:
And now is the time to note the gratitude and the thanks of a grateful congregation for Janet Dickerson and all of the dedicated fine work she does as Senior Warden, and her terrific job in the organization, preparation, and management of the Annual Meeting.
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HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE:
THOSE CHANGING RINGING BELLS: The February 5, 2017 edition of The New York Times contained a fascinating article about bell ringers, specifically those volunteer men and women who, in circle formation, pull the ropes as “change ringers” in various churches around the world, and especially in England. “Change ringers” continue the belfry bell-ringing that began in the 12th century, calling people to worship. Change ringing takes practice, teamwork, study, concentration, and memorization.  While some younger people are drawn to change ringing, most of the change ringers are retirees . . .  who
still handle those ropes handily, including a 100-pound woman on a one-ton bell.

REVISIONS TO THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER: Discussions and articles abound regarding proposed changes and revisions to the BCP. These commentaries can be found in every issue of “The Living Church”, which is available in our church library. These discussions range from various writers’
calls for no action whatsoever, to minor tweaking, to substantial overhaul, including changes in the order of service. The proposed changes will be a few years in the process, of course; stay tuned.

BEACH WALKS AHEAD: Take a trash bag with you! As the days warm up and you find yourself on a walk on a beach (or around the block, or on a trail), stuff a plastic bag in your pocket with a glove, and pick up trash as you go. On Lake Michigan shorelines, deflated balloons, straws, and all manner of odd
things pop up. It is great exercise and helps clean up the beach; and often there is a great find of some sort or other. Happy hunting!

BY ANY OTHER NAME
For many weeks now, and for more weeks to come, we will continue to experience the phenomenon known as “Lake Effect Snow”. This term describes truly special snow, usually in bands, but sometimes appearing in large land-covering sweeps that result from cold winds crossing warmer water. Lake Effect Snow (“LES”) can occur apart from, or in conjunction with, “real snow” that comes with predicted winter storms. Lucky us: a double dose! Lake Effect Snow is made even more special when we encounter it on a sunny dry-road day which suddenly turns into a near white-out five miles down the road. But we know it for what it is, our friend LES.  But Lake Effect Snow is such a generic term. We all know what it means; its definition is clear. It can be almost close to boring as a descriptive phrase. Is it time for a new name? Since weather almost always sweeps west to east, our Lake Effect Snow crosses Lake Michigan. The Lake Effect Snow that the Upper Peninsula and parts of Canada receive comes from Lake Superior. Would the Yoopers be receptive to calling it “Superior Snow”? Perhaps. Or, with a nod to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Hiawatha”, how about “Shining Big Sea Water Snow”?  Lake Michigan’s Lake Effect Snow can swoop across the shorelines of western and northern lower Michigan, driving Lake Effect Snow across fields and farmland and woods over much of the state, and just drop it anywhere. But these beautiful, bountiful, and world famous Great Lakes deserve better names for the snow they create….special names are in order. So how about: Lake Michigan Snow; or just Michigan Snow; or Sleeping Bear Snow (true, it is very local, but so pretty); or Manitou Snow (even prettier). Of course, there is also the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary for reference: much snow (goonikaa); soft snow (nookaagonagaa); snow comes from a certain place (onjipon); snow goes about (babaamipon); snow in large flakes (mamaangadepon). And in all this, we can still enjoy March’s “Snow Crust Moon” (Naabidin) and April’s “Broken Snowshoe Moon” (Bopogaame Giizis).  Nonetheless, the phrase “Lake Effect Snow’ will endure. We understand it. It is practical and infinitely descriptive. We recognize that it is part and parcel of living on this beautiful peninsula surrounded by those almost-boundless waters. The term clearly describes a special weather pattern and special snow.  But at this time of year, many are awaiting: snow goes along (bimipon); and snow lets up (gibichipon).
And, as April warily perches on that branch outside our windows, we can almost envision “animopon” . . .  snow goes away.
By Mary Ruffley

January and February, 2017 Parish Newsletter:

CALENDAR for January, 2017:

January 1- New Year’s Day.  Sunday Eucharist Service begins at 9:00 a.m.

Jan. 15 – Service at 9:00 a.m. – Annual Meeting at 9:30 a.m. (all invited).  Vestry Meeting follows the Annual Meeting.

CALENDAR for February, 2017:

Feb. 8 –  Vestry Meeting (9:10 Morning Prayer; Meeting follows)

Prayer for a Birthday (from the Book of Common Prayer,Page 830)

O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor we pray, on your servant (________) as they begin another year.  Grant that they may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen their trust in your goodness in all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 PARISH BIRTHDAYS:

Jan. 1  –   Tom Guback

Jan. 15 – Kate Mason

Feb. 4 –   Molly Harrison

Feb. 12 – Ed Arnfield

Feb. 20 – Roger Fitch

Feb. 20 – Irene Nelson

Feb. 22 – Dawn Parker

Feb. 25 – Janet Dickerson

ANNIVERSARIES:

Jan. 17 – Barbara & Karl Marsh

ATTENTION! ANNUAL MEETING

Please mark your calendar for January 15, 2017 and attend St. Christopher’s Annual Meeting. The service begins at 9:00 a.m. as usual but will be shortened to conclude at 9:30 a.m. so that the Annual Meeting can be held at 9:30 a.m. Find out what the past year has rendered, and what the new year will bring for St. Christopher’s Church and its parishioners. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. We need a 10-person quorum to avoid the necessity to postpone the Annual Meeting until a quorum is met. Please come!

SUMMARY OF NOVEMBER, 2016 VESTRY MEETING:

This past Monday the Search Committee and some members of the Vestry met with a candidate interested in the joint ministry position. The response was positive so the Search Committee will move forward with the search process.

Three candidates are needed to fill open vestry seats beginning in January, 2017. Vestry members will make inquiries to certain parishioners to find out whether they  might be willing to stand for election for these seats at the Annual Meeting.

Our parish now has a working Facebook page.

SUMMARY OF DECEMBER 2016 VESTRY MEETING:

The treasurer reported that the parish is in sound financial position. He presented the budget for 2017 and noted that the  financial position of the parish will remain sound during the next year.

The vestry summarized the final results of the rector interview process. The candidate proved to be unacceptable to both Bethany Lutheran and St. Christopher’s. No additional candidates have been identified.

The annual meeting is scheduled for January 15, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. following the service.

Janet Dickerson, Margie Beers and Ed Ruffley have agreed to extend their terms on the vestry through 2017. Mike Fleishman has agreed to stand for election to the vestry to replace the outgoing Janet Crane.

A snow-event “calling tree” has been organized by the vestry. This will provide an efficient method of notifying the parish if weather causes a cancellation of the service.

REPORT OF RECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE, DECEMBER, 2016 by Ed Ruffley

We reported in October that the Diocese presented us with a candidate for our open rector position.  This Lutheran pastor was presented as a candidate for the open position at both St. Christopher’s and Bethany Lutheran Church.  Our rector search committee and the Bethany call committee met with the candidate separately for questions and answer periods and at a joint dinner.  Several days later, the two committees met to compare and to reconcile our various impressions of the candidate.  After careful consideration the two committees unanimously concluded that this candidate would not be a good fit for the joint position of rector for St. Christopher’s and pastor for Bethany.  We are disappointed that this candidate did not meet needs of our two churches but we are confident that we made the correct decision.  Although we have spent nearly two years searching for a new rector, we do not want to select the wrong person and live with an unsatisfactory result.  Accordingly, the search continues.

SNOW ALERT CALLING TREE

Vestry members have divided up the parishioners/members list for call purposes in case church services are cancelled due to inclement weather. Every effort will be undertaken to get the word out to everyone.

PRAYER LIST

Please keep in mind, and prayer, the following parishioners: Ethel; Ed; Sylvia; Jeannie; Joanne; Alan; Rea; Dan, Anne, and Caroline; Ulrich; Mary, and also the following friends and family: Sandy; Don; Les; Christy; Jeff; David; Wayne; Lt. Mark Folchi; John and Family; Harold; RoseMary; Rich B.; Georgia. PLEASE CONTACT JOY HAM (231-386-7531) if you have anyone to add to the Prayer List. If you are seeking particular prayers from the BCP please see page 208, and pages 828-831. Please remember all those serving our country in the military (BCP, page 823). And of course, nothing is more special than your own personal prayers. Finally, in thinking about all of those who will be traveling this winter near and far whether on the roads or in the skies, remember them, too, in the Prayer for Travelers (page 831). The prayers and thanksgivings in the BCP (Pages 814-841), include a marvelous array of prayers for so many circumstances, that reading one prayer may well lead the reader to another…and then another. Prayerful reading to all.

WEBSITE REPORT/GOT PHOTOS?

Your “Go-To” spot for all the doings at St. Christopher’s can be found at its website: www.stchristophersnorthportmi.org. Marilyn Zimmerman updates the website with the latest news, the service schedule, vestry meeting minutes, the periodic Newsletter, and much more. If you have any photos which would add interest and information to the website, please send those to Marilyn (mjznorth@gmail.com) for consideration.   We send special thanks to Marilyn for all her hard work in maintaining St. Christopher’s website, our window for the world.

VOLUNTEER CLERK NEEDED

The Vestry is looking for a volunteer to take minutes at the monthly Vestry meeting, held the second Wednesday of every month.  The time involved is minimal, but the help is very much appreciated.  Please contact Senior Warden Janet Dickerson if you are interested.  Thank you!

NEWSLETTER AND MONTHLY SCHEDULE INFORMATION

For any comments, suggestions, corrections, etc. as to the Newsletter: Please contact Mary Ruffley (cell 248-202-5363; e-mail mjr3ms@gmail.com)

For information as to the Monthly Schedule: Please contact Jill Foerster (phone 213-271-3023; e-mail: foerjill@gmail.com). PLEASE NOTE that any changes or substitutions as to the Monthly Schedule must be made directly by the listed parties, who are responsible for making those changes or finding substitutes if a problem arises . . . and then noting those changes on Monthly Schedule posted on the bulletin board in the church Meeting Hall. Thank you.

SPECIAL CALL FOR FLOWERS

There is always a need for flowers for the altar.  Please check the sign-up sheets on the parish hall bulletin board.  If you are new to the procedure of supplying flowers, it is easily accomplished with a little planning: 1. On the Sunday BEFORE you are scheduled to provide flowers, take two urn liners from the vesting room as you leave the church.  2. On the Sunday you are scheduled to provide flowers, come early and arrange your flowers in the urn liners, place the urn liners in the brass urns (box in the vesting room), and place the brass urns on the stands behind the altar.  The flowers remain at the church until Monday, and can be picked up on Thursday afternoons (1:00-3:00) when the Piece Makers are at the church, or via your arrangement with someone who has a key, or by you, very early the following Sunday morning, in time to make way for the new flowers on that Sunday.  At that time, please return the urn liners to the shelf in the vesting room, and place the brass urns back in the box in the vesting room.  If you wish to name those who are specifically honored or remembered by your flowers, please call Janet Dickerson by the Monday BEFORE your Sunday flowers and provide that information.  Flowers, including delivery, are available through Forget-Me-Not Florists in Suttons Bay, if you wish to use their services.

BUT WAIT! If you wish, you can bring your own flowers or plant(s), in your own containers, which you should label. All you then do is:  1. Sign up for your Sunday on the sheet on the bulletin board;  2. Come early enough to place your flowers;  3. Remove per the directions given earlier in this paragraph.

BULLETIN BOARD – HOUSEKEEPING

 We are St. Gertrude’s tenant:

Altar Guild: Please remember to return the wood candle stands to the end of the altar, and place the candle holders on them.

Everyone: Those using the church for any activities must check to see that all is restored and all items returned to original places. Thank you!

Library: Please feel free to browse and check out items from the library located in the Robing Room.

General information: Please check the Bulletin Board for the monthly schedule and other information.

Flowers for the altar: ALWAYS needed! Please sign up on the Bulletin Board schedule.

COFFEE (HALF!) HOUR

Fellowship at Coffee (Half!) Hour is wonderful.  However, as a tenant of St. Gertrude’s we must all remember to conclude the Coffee (half) Hour by 10:30 sharp.  Also, for Coffee Hosts, please remember to bring juice and milk, and a non-sugar food item choice, if possible.  Thanks to all Coffee Hosts!

CONTENT AUTHORSHIP/SUBMISSION ON DEADLINE

Unless otherwise noted, all Newsletter content is written by Editor Mary Ruffley.  Jill Foerster (Thank you, Jill!) prepared the January/February  Schedule.  DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO THE UPCOMING MARCH/APRIL 2017 NEWSLETTER IS FEBRUARY 15, 2017.

GRATITUDE FOR THE ALTAR GUILD – AND HELP IS ALWAYS NEEDED

The work of the Altar Guild is central to the order and solemnity of our Sunday service.  The parishioners of St. Christopher’s appreciate the dedication of each member of the Altar Guild: Janie Neuharth (Altar Guild Head), Margie Beers, Janet Dickerson, Moonyeen Fitch, Jill Foerster, Joy Ham, Ellen McLean, and Marilyn Zimmerman.  Although this dedicated band is small but mighty, the Altar Guild can always use assistance, and welcomes new members to share in its important tasks.  Please contact Janie Neuharth if you would like to help.

THE STORY BEHIND THE HYMN (#16):

The words to “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” were written by famous American poet John Greenleaf Whittier.  Whittier was a Quaker and his approach to worship was hallmarked by his Quaker upbringing of “simplicity and purity” in all things.  The stanzas in the hymn are from one of his poems, “The Brewing of Soma”.  In his poem’s early stanzas, Whittier describes an intoxicating drink called “soma”, which was brewed by a Hindu sect in India.  These sect worshipers drank soma to enhance their worship and bring those worshipers to a more ecstatic experience.  Whittier disliked what he considered undue emotionalism in Christian worship, and analogized it to soma use, believing that Christians instead should: “ . . . let our ordered lives confess/The beauty of Thy peace”, as stated in his original poem and as the last stanza of this hymn.  (The Complete Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen and Ardyth Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006).

HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE, IT TOLLS FOR THEE. According to an article that appeared in the Business Section of The Wall Street Journal’s week-end (12/03/16-12/04/16) edition, London’s Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd. plans to close operations in May, 2017, due to reduced demand for large church bells.  This foundry made the Liberty Bell, London’s Big Ben, and the clock bells for St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, since the establishment of this foundry in 1570.

REVISIONS TO THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER:

Information re: the Episcopal Church’s contemplation of revisions to the current 1979 BCP can be found on various church websites.  Additional, and very lively, discussions can also be found in the issues of The Living Church, available in The Bob and Jan Hunt Library in our Robing Room. In each issue, various clergy and administrators relate their views, which range from “substantial overhaul” in content and sequence, to “leave it alone and concentrate on the real tasks at hand”. The entire process, which will encompass years of discussion and drafts, in any case, has begun.

THE SPECIAL LIGHT OF CHURCH CANDLES:

“Beeswax for the Ages” is an article by C. Jeffrey MacDonald (The Living Church, October, 2016) about an upstate New York company founded in 1897  which has as its sole business the making of candles for churches.  These candles are the only thing this company makes and it is thriving.  The reader learns that many Roman Catholic churches purchase the beeswax (made by virgin bees) candles; and Protestant churches place a special connection with the communal spirit of many bees working together to make the beeswax.  In both instances, these superior products  are prized.  The discussion of the process, the  machinery (some of the original is still in use), and the loyalty of its employees, all make for interesting reading.

QUEEN TO BISHOP:

The October, 2016 issue of The Living Church included another interesting article “Of the Making of Bishops”, which summarized the history and politics among the Church of England, the Monarchy, and the (various) Prime Ministers in the selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury over the centuries. Much of the 19th century was apparently an era called the “Prime Minister’s heyday” in terms of political influence, which ended when Queen Victoria “clawed back” a more decisive role. Fascinating reading!

TIMELESS WORDS FOR AGING HEARTS AND MINDS:

The Church of England’s Liturgical Commission (The Living Church, October, 2016) is considering ways to include and/or revive portions of the traditional language from the 1662 BCP, for special use in comforting the extremely elderly dementia patients with the language they learned as very young children.

NIGHT OWLS

By the time you receive this Newsletter, we will have passed the Winter Solstice, and a minute or two of additional daylight will daily be lurching all of us toward the Vernal Equinox.  But we all, nonetheless, still experience the abbreviated days and the elongated nights.  So there we sit in the evening, surrounded by the dark outside our windows and gathered in the corners. There we sit, pitting our apparent need-to-cocoon against the calculation of the unrelenting number of days until spring, when we can return to Real Light and Real Life and the Real World.  But imagine that we allow ourselves to become more conversant with darkness, and with the special benefits it has to offer: the gifts of mystery, of peace, of contemplation, and the opportunity for true reflection.  Such serenity can be found in a quiet room, perhaps illuminated only by the Christmas tree lights or a fire, or a lowly-lit lamp, or even total darkness. If you allow yourself enough time to get past the all-consuming necessity to “do something” by adding to your winter task list (cleaning out papers or the basement or the garage or the kitchen drawers or the linen closet), eventually you may reach the important items, such as calling old friends just to catch up and hear their voices.  But even apart from that grateful contact, sitting in that dark long enough may provide the opportunity to find the solution to a problem that you, somehow, could not resolve in broad daylight.  And darkness seems to hold a special place for prayer, promising light that has not yet appeared.  Even the outdoor world is hushed, not rushed.  Small woodland creatures circumscribe their lives and movements in that same darkness: Why not us?

In many ways, winter is a time of lowered expectations (sometimes there really is not any good reason to risk slippery roads!).  But those “lowered expectations” relate to the physical world, and do so at the peril of ignoring the enhanced opportunity to Just. Quietly. Think. At. Night. And, it can happen that you find time has somehow slipped by, so that late evening becomes early morning.  You might, therefore, sleep in a little later and get up a little later than you normally do.  Is this wrong?  A waste of time?  No, and No.  And what if you must politely respond to a loved (but nonetheless always-early) riser in your household?  Just smile and remember that there are times when darkness can be more illuminating than the brightest day.

By Mary Ruffley

November and December, 2016 Parish Newsletter:

CALENDAR for November, 2016:
Nov. 1 – All Saints’ Day
Nov. 2 – All Souls’ Day
Nov. 8 – Election Day
Nov. 9 – Vestry Meeting (9:10 Morning Prayer; Meeting follows)
Nov. 20 – Stewardship Sunday
Nov. 24 – Thanksgiving Day
CALENDAR for December, 2016:
Dec. 14 – Vestry Meeting (9:10 Morning Prayer; Meeting follows)
Dec. 25 – Christmas Day, Sunday 9:00 a.m. Service

Prayer for a Birthday (from the Book of Common Prayer, Page 830):
O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor we pray, on your servant (________) as they begin another year. Grant that they may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen their trust in your goodness in all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PARISH BIRTHDAYS:
Nov. 7 – Brooke Dixon
Nov. 17 – Sylvia Linde-Guback
Nov. 23 – Stephan Parker
Nov. 23 – Margie Beers
Nov. 24 – Richard Isphording
Nov. 29 – Ed Ruffley
Nov. 30 – Jean Muir
Dec. 9 – Sarah Straus
Dec. 18 – Ulrich Straus
Dec. 25 – Jim Ham
Dec. 31 – Ronnie Alff
Dec. 31 – Rea Kutilek

PARISH ANNIVERSARIES:
Nov. 10 – Rea & John Kutilek
Nov. 12 – Moonyeen & Roger Fitch
Nov. 24 – Janet & Chuck Dickerson
Dec. 19 – Jean & Jerry Muir

A REMINDER FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN
Janet Dickerson reminds all committee heads and other specific representatives to prepare, complete, and submit their annual reports to Janet as soon as possible but before year’s-end. That list includes Treasurer, Senior Warden, Altar Guild, LCN Representative, Rector Search Committee, and every committee head. Best wishes and thank you from Janet.

CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE
The annual Christmas tree with nametags of children will appear in the sanctuary in early December. Please take time to take a tag and purchase those requested gifts for the children on that nametag, making a note to have those gifts wrapped, LABELED, and delivered to the church by the proper deadline date. Be sure to hang on to those nametags for purchase, reference, and wrapping! Thank you.

C.R.O.P. WALK REPORT
According to the article in The Leelanau Enterprise, the annual C.R.O.P Walk around Omena Point, held on October 9th, drew approximately 80 C.R.O.P. Walkers, and raised much-needed funds for worldwide hunger relief programs (recipients of 75% of funds raised) and for Leelanau Christian Neighbors (recipient of 25% of funds raised). Thanks go out to all walkers and donors.

“PARISH SWAP SUNDAY” REPORT
St. Christopher’s Church welcomed several visitors from St. Philips’ Episcopal Church (Beulah, MI) on Parish Swap Sunday, September 18th. It was a pleasure for everyone to meet the friendly folks from St. Philips, who stayed for Coffee Hour and gave all of us a chance to say “Hello and Welcome!” In turn, St. Christopher’s own Ronnie Alff visited Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City, and provides this report on her visit to Grace: “Grace Episcopal is large: the building, the congregation, the Sunday bulletin, the number of people serving at the altar. A group of children came into the service at Communion and the church was comfortably full.
The Prelude and Postlude were played on a piano and the Chancel Choir was made up of six women and one man. The 8-page bulletin presented the familiar service, in detail. A large number of people are involved in numerous events and activities, and are listed in the attached ‘Grace Life’, indicating an active congregation, people who also support the Jubilee Ministry Center. The gathering after the service, after 11:00 a.m. was friendly and like a buffet.” Thank you, Ronnie, for visiting and sharing your experience with all of us.

A CORNUCOPIA OF FELLOWSHIP AT THE ANNUAL HARVEST DINNER
The annual Harvest Dinner, hosted by St. Christopher’s and attended by folks from St.
Gertrude’s, Bethany Lutheran, and St. Christopher’s, was held Tuesday, October 18th at
the fellowship hall. That old adage of “many hands make light work” was evident at every
turn as many shared in the tasks of set-up, food provision for the potluck, serving, and clean-up.
But best of all was the atmosphere of fun and fellowship enjoyed by everyone attending, and
the chance to meet old friends and new.  Donations to Leelanau Christian Neighbors were
also collected, and LCN President Mary Stanton filled everyone in on the status of various LCN
projects and its exciting plans for the years ahead. The combination of St. Christopher’s
designated donation and individuals’ donations at dinner resulted in an overall contribution of
approximately $3,300.00 to Leelanau Christian Neighbors. The Harvest Dinner committee and
all attendees enthusiastically thank chair Carol Isphoring for all of her hard work in organizing,
following up, and taking the lead in this very successful and happy event.

KUDOS DUE, TOO
Continuing thanks are always due to each and every Celebrant, to the Choir and to Bill Cook, to Senior Warden Janet Dickerson, to the Altar Guild, to faithful Greeter Chuck Dickerson, and to all those who make Sunday services a thing of beauty, order, solemnity, and joy. But these same people deserve kudos, too. Kudos, a noun from the Greek language, has come to mean “congratulations” in our current usage but actually means “glory” and “renown” per
dictionary definition. For all those who help every week in every way: thanks; blessings; praise; glory; renown; i.e., kudos!

ST. NICHOLAS BRUNCH? DINNER?
As of the writing of this November/December Newsletter, plans for a St. Nicholas celebration
(which have occurred in past years) are unknown and uncertain. However, please be alert to possible discussions and announcements if this event goes forward.

SUMMARY OF SEPTEMBER 2016 VESTRY MEETING
We continue to await information from our Bishop’s office on a possible rector candidate.

Our parish will participate in The Great Parish Swap on September 18th. Four people from our
parish will attend Grace Church in Traverse City. Janet D will welcome our visitors from St.
Philip’s and see that the Greeter gives them our Visitor’s Packets.

Preparation for the Annual Harvest Dinner on October 18th continues. Carol Isphording is
heading this committee.

We will gift Father Tom Guback the sum of $150.00 for his house calls (to date) on behalf of
the church.

The Belko Peace Lecture will take place on October 1st at Trinity Church.

We will not pursue the purchase of an AED. 

by Marilyn Zimmerman

SUMMARY OF OCTOBER 2016 VESTRY MEETING
$2400.00 of the unspent outreach funds in the parish 2016 budget will be added to those
moneys collected at the upcoming Harvest Dinner for donation to LCN.

Mike Fleishman will prepare stewardship letters which will be mailed out in late October. Ed
Ruffley will address the congregation prior to the letters being mailed. Stewardship Sunday
will be November 20, 2016.

The parish will compensate Father Guback an additional $150.00 for his recent outreach works
on behalf of the parish.

by Marilyn Zimmerman

REPORT OF RECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE OCTOBER 2016
We have spent nearly two years searching for a new rector. We have advertised in regional and
national Episcopal periodicals. We have posted ads for the position on national websites and at
all of the major Episcopal seminaries. The lack of response has been discouraging. Finally, we may have some good news. Canon Spaid has presented a candidate to us. His name is Christopher Laughlin. He is a Lutheran minister who is currently the pastor at the Lutheran church in Marlette, Michigan. He is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg (PA). He is also a chaplain in the U. S. Army Reserve. Episcopal Bishop Houghland and Lutheran Bishop Satterlee have given him their approval.  The rector search committee has begun to review and evaluate this candidate, as have our counterparts at Bethany. We will keep you informed as we work through this evaluation process.
Ed Ruffley

PRAYER LIST
Please keep in mind, and prayer, the following parishioners: Ethel; Ed; Sylvia; Jeannie; Joanne;
Alan; Rea; and also the following friends and family: Sandy; Don; Les; Christy; Jeff; David;
Wayne; Lt. Mark Folchi; John and Family; Harold; Rose Mary; Rich B.; Georgia. PLEASE
CONTACT JOY HAM (231 386-7531) if you have anyone to add to the Prayer List. If you are
seeking particular prayers from the BCP, please see page 208, and pages 828-831. Please
remember Lt. Mark Folchi (Air Force) and others serving our country in the military (BCP,
page 823). And, of course, nothing is more special than your own personal prayer. Finally,
as November 8th Election Day approaches, you can include the Prayer for the Nation (BCP, page
207) and the Prayer for an Election (BCP, page 822).

THE STORY BEHIND THE HYMN (#14)
Reginald Heber wrote the words to “Holy, Holy, Holy” (page 36, The Hymnal 1982) in his
continuing attempts to write and utilize new hymns for church services during his 16 years as
a parish priest in England. He accepted the Call as Anglican Bishop in Calcutta, India, but only
served three years before he died there. This hymn is sung to the melody “Nicaea” (as are
other hymns), named after the Church Council of 325 A.D. responsible for the Nicene Creed.
The English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, opined that “Holy, Holy, Holy” was the world’s greatest
hymn (The Complete Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen & Ardyth Peterson, Tyndale House
Publishers, 2006).

THE STORY BEHIND THE HYMN (#15)
The words to “In Christ There Is No East Or West” (page 529, The Hymnal 1982) were
written by William Arthur Dunkerley (1852-1941), a man who used two aliases (John
Oxenham and Julian Ross) in publishing his various written works. He was the owner of a
wholesale grocery chain, a church Deacon, a journalist, a poet, a hymn writer, and the author
of an adventure novel. Not many people knew of his “triple identities”, although his writings were very popular. William Arthur Dunkerley was also prominent in his time for decrying racial
prejudice, and in his advocation of unity and respect for all of God’s children (The Complete
Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen & Ardyth Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers, 2006).

WEBSITE REPORT/GOT PHOTOS?
Your “Go-To” spot for all the doings at St. Christopher’s can be found at its website:
www.stchristophersnorthportmi.org. Marilyn Zimmerman updates the website with the latest
news, the service schedule, vestry meeting minutes, the periodic Newsletter, and much
more. If you have any photos which would add interest and information to the website, please
send those to Marilyn (mjznorth@gmailcom) for consideration. We send special thanks to
Marilyn for all her hard work in maintaining St. Christopher’s website, our window for the
world.

VOLUNTEER CLERK NEEDED
The Vestry is looking for a volunteer to take minutes at the monthly Vestry meeting, held the
second Wednesday of every month. The time involved is minimal, but the help is very much
appreciated. Please contact Senior Warden Janet Dickerson if you are interested. Thank you!

NEWSLETTER AND MONTHLY SCHEDULE INFORMATION
For any comments, suggestions, corrections, etc. as to the Newsletter: Please contact Mary
Ruffley (cell 248-202-5363; e-mail mjr3ms@gmail.com).  For information as to the Monthly Schedule: Please contact Jill Foerster (phone 213-271-3023; e-mail: foerjill@gmail.com).  PLEASE
NOTE that any changes or substitutions as to the Monthly Schedule must be made directly by the listed parties, who are responsible for making those changes or finding substitutes if a problem arises…..and then noting those changes on Monthly Schedule posted on the bulletin board in the church Meeting Hall. Thank you.

SPECIAL CALL FOR FLOWERS
There is always a need for flowers for the altar. Please check the sign-up sheets on the parish
hall bulletin board. If you are new to the procedure of supplying flowers, it is easily
accomplished with a little planning: 1. On the Sunday BEFORE you are scheduled to provide
flowers, take two urn liners from the vesting room as you leave the church. 2. On the Sunday
you are scheduled to provide flowers, come early and arrange your flowers in the urn liners,
place the urn liners in the brass urns (box in the vesting room), and place the brass urns on the
stands behind the altar. The flowers remain at the church until Monday, and can be picked up
on Thursday afternoons (1:00-3:00) when the Piece Makers are at the church, or via your
arrangement with someone who has a key, or by your very early (following) Sunday morning
removal, in order to make way for the new flowers on that Sunday. At that time, please
return the urn liners to the shelf in the vesting room, and place the brass urns back in the box in the vesting room. If you wish to name those who are specifically honored or remembered by your flowers, please call Janet Dickerson y the Monday BEFORE your Sunday flowers and provide that information.  Flowers, including delivery, are available through Forget-Me-Not Florists in Suttons Bay, if you wish to use their services.  BUT WAIT! If you wish, you can bring your own flowers or plant(s), in your own containers, which you should label. All you then do is: 1.Sign up for your Sunday on the sheet on the bulletin board; 2. Come early enough to place
your flowers; 3. Remove per the directions given earlier in this paragraph.

BULLETIN BOARD – HOUSEKEEPING
We are St. Gertrude’s tenant: Altar Guild: Please remember to return the wood candle stands to
the end of the altar, and place the candleholders on them. Everyone: Those using the church for
any activities must check to see that all is restored and all items returned to original places.
Thank you! Library: Please feel free to browse and check out items from the library located in
the Robing Room. General information: Please check the Bulletin Board for the monthly
schedule and other information. Flowers for the altar: ALWAYS needed! Please sign up on the
Bulletin Board schedule.

COFFEE (HALF!) HOUR
Fellowship at Coffee (Half!) Hour is wonderful; however, as a tenant of St. Gertrude’s we must all remember to conclude the Coffee (half) Hour by 10:30 sharp. Also, for Coffee Hosts, please remember to bring juice and milk, and a non-sugar food item choice, if possible. Thanks to all Coffee Hosts!

CONTENT AUTHORSHIP
Unless otherwise noted, all Newsletter content is written by Editor Mary Ruffley. Jill Foerster
(Thank you, Jill!) prepared the November/December Schedule.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO THE UPCOMING JANUARY/FERUARY 2017 NEWSLETTER IS DECEMBER 18, 2016.

GRATITUDE FOR THE ALTAR GUILD—AND HELP IS ALWAYS NEEDED
The work of the Altar Guild is central to the order and solemnity of our Sunday service. The
parishioners of St. Christopher’s appreciate the dedication of each member of the Altar Guild: Janie Neuharth (Altar Guild Head), Margie Beers, Janet Dickerson, Moonyeen Fitch, Jill Foerster, Joy Ham, Ellen McLean, and Marilyn Zimmerman. Although this dedicated band is small but mighty, the Altar Guild can always use assistance, and welcomes new members to share in its important tasks. Please contact Janie Neuharth if you would like to help.

THE LIGHT IN THE DOORWAY
Thanksgiving is coming soon—that most traditional American secular holiday which still permits and retains spiritual and religious meaning—but without, at least so far, initiating lawsuits for turkey and Pilgrim decorations. Thanksgiving always arrives when we seem to need it most, restoring gratitude for history and heritage, but also expanding to include whatever new and wonderful changes have occurred in our lives. Initiated in the early days of this Nation, celebrated in so many ways and cultures in America over the decades, and officially instituted by President Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of many people for many reasons. It does not require frenzied gift-giving, except the pleasures of potluck and the gift of company and family. For many workers, it is a day off in the middle of the week; it is Football Forever and a Day; it signals crowded airports and car trips; it hosts
family get-togethers and gossip. Thanksgiving means connections with relatives, who are distant by geography or inclination, but are, at least, together momentarily. Thanksgiving means a shared meal at which, almost always and even in the most nonreligious of gatherings, SOMEONE says some type of grace: a moment in which the sometimes-silent gratitude button is pushed for real. Another lovely part of Thanksgiving is the early darkness of that evening, and the opportunity for a quiet walk in the neighborhood. The houses glow and the numerous
parked cars hover in silence. If the houses are close together, you can hear laughter, talk, TV, and clinking dinner plates. But the very best part of such an evening walk requires proper timing. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to witness the arrival of a loved one at someone’s house: the door opens; the light beams out; the silhouette of the Greeter appears; there is an embrace; and that newcomer is drawn into the light and warmth of that home. Hopefully, every one of us has experienced that role in our lives either as Greeter or Arrival, and therefore can share the vicarious joy in these moments in the lives of others.  May your Thanksgiving be the happiest of Thanksgivings, with lights and loved ones in your doorway.
by Mary Ruffley.