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.
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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