Monthly Archives: February 2013

One Book, One Diocese

HTW.jpgOnce again this year, Bishop Lee will lead an online book discussion during Lent. This year’s book is Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott. The book is available in stores, online, and in Kindle, iBook, and audio formats. The discussion began on Ash Wednesday, February 13, and continues throughout the month of March.

Join the discussion at the diocesan website and follow along!

Posted in archive posting

Ray Anderson (1937-2013)

Depart O Christian soul out of this world;
in the name of the Father Almighty who created you;
in the name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you;
in the name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you.
May your rest be this day in peace,
and your dwelling place in the Paradise of God.

The Book of Common Prayer, p. 464

It is with great sadness that I share with you the news of Raymond H. Anderson’s death on Sunday, February 17, 2013.  He was born on May 1, 1937.   Please hold his family in your thoughts and prayers.  A memorial service was held at St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church in Glencoe on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm followed by a reception in the Guild Hall.  The family has requested that memorial gifts be made to the following charities:

Alzheimer’s Association

The Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center

May Raymond’s soul rest in the peace of Christ.

Posted in Death Announcements

Sunday School during Lent

We are going to explore the parables of Jesus.  How will we do that?  By opening up the storage room and putting on costumes!

  • Will you be a great merchant in the Pearl of Great Price?
  • Will you be a good Samaritan or the robber?
  • Who will be the good shepherd?

Come to Sunday School at 11:15 and discover what our mystery room has in store for us!

Posted in archive posting

Holy Week 2013

Three holy days enfold us now
in washing feet and breaking bread,
in cross and font and life renewed:
in Christ, God’s firstborn from the dead.

– Delores Dufner, OSB

Maundy Thursday

On Thursday, March 28th, we will celebrate an Agape meal in the Guild Room beginning at 6:30pm in commemoration of Jesus last supper with his disciples.  Parishioners are invited to keep watch in the chapel until midnight.  Signups for both the meal and the watch are posted in the church hallway.

Good Friday

On Friday, March 29th, we will observe the Stations of the Cross at 9:30am–this liturgy is especially good for children!  Our choir will travel to Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church (1509 Ridge Avenue, Evanston) to mark Christ’s passion in a service featuring Jozef Rheinberger’s Stabat mater, dolorosa at 7:30pm.  Carpools are available

Holy Saturday

Saturday, March 30th, the sacrament of reconciliation is available between 9:30am and 10:30am.  Parishioners are encouraged to attend the Great Vigil of Easter at Saint James Cathedral (65 E Huron St  Chicago, IL) in downtown.  Carpools are available.

Easter Day

Christ’s resurrection rings out with joyous acclaim in services of Holy Eucharist at 8am (Rite I) and 10am (Rite II) followed by an Easter egg hunt.

Posted in archive posting

Book Group

Toni Morrison - Home book coverThursday, February 28th 10:30am

As we continue to examine our own personal stories, let us dig deep into the rich stories of others. All are welcome to engage in this exciting activity as the St. Elisabeth’s Book Group reads its first book of the year Home, written by Toni Morrison. The moving novel, which takes place during the Korean War follows the story of one young man in a desperate search to find himself in a world afflicted by war, and a nation immersed in racism. If you are interested in being a part of the Book Group, please contact Joyce Newcomb to let her know you are interested.  We will meet in the Living Room at church and all are welcome to attend.

Posted in archive posting

Church takes Ash Wednesday to the Streets

On Ash Wednesday, February 13, St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church, Glencoe, offered “Ashes to Go,” a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, at the corner of Hawthorn and Greenwood from 7:30-8:30 am and by the red doors at 556 Vernon Street from 8:30-9:30 amThe day concluded with an Ash Wednesday liturgy in the chapel at 7:30 pm. IMG_1340

In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter.  For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the face at the beginning of that season as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness.  Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who have lost their connection to a church, or have never participated before.

“I love taking what the church offers into the world where people live, work and play.  Every Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon, I hold office hours at the Glencoe Roast Coffee House.  Many parishioners come, but often I have wonderful conversations with strangers and those who are simply curious,” says the Rev Elizabeth Jameson.   “Ashes to Go is an extension of this ministry of presence and connection.  Ashes to Go is about our common humanity, making tangible God’s loving embrace in the midst of our busy lives, offering healing and forgiveness in those broken and tough places within us and our world.”

Ashes to Go is part of a new nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to repent of past wrongdoing and seek forgiveness and renewal.  More information about the Ashes to Go movement can be found at www.AshesToGo.org

 

 

Posted in Activity Archive

Parish Retreat

February 10 – Parish Retreat

An in-house inter-generational retreat day will be help on Sunday, February 10th from 8:30am through 1:00pm. The day will begin with a light breakfast and coffee, and move into activities that stimulate both community and personal reflection. Following the normal 10:00am Eucharist, we will gather for a pot-luck lunch at 11:30.  This will be an excellent opportunity to get to know the St. Elisabeth’s community (and maybe even yourself!) on newer and deeper level. Please contact Chris Roe with any questions and to sign up for pot-luck lunch.

Posted in Activity Archive

A Letter from Daphne

A reading from the letter of Daphne to the believers in Glencoe and throughout the regions of the North Shore: Grace and peace to you from God Most Holy, and Jesus the Light of the World.
I continually give thanks to God for all of you, constantly remembering before God all the work you do in faith, hope, and love, empowered by the Holy Spirit who blows through the community of households that make up your beloved church. I am encouraged to hear of all the good works you continue to do in Evanston, Chicago, and Glencoe, for the people of those regions report how you turned from worrying about idols (especially numbers, money, and Spiritual Vitality CAT score) to serve God in those you see around you.
I bring tidings from our beloved fellow disciples James and Maureen and all their household in Zurich, for we also journeyed to be among them for a short time. They have found a Christian community, but they yearn for the special bond they shared with all of you, the work they did together with you to bind up the broken. They encourage you not to lose sight of the quality with which the gospel is proclaimed among you, and to be glad it’s proclaimed in English, and to be thankful that it is actually pertinent to your lives and not just abstract banalities.
I’ve received word that one of your leaders, Joyce our sister, has recently lost her husband, and I trust that all of you with one heart are keeping her foremost in your prayers and seeing to her spiritual needs. Brothers and sisters, we do not grieve as others grieve who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.
My sister in ministry Elizabeth, together with Thomas and Helen, your wardens, report that you have received the word of the Lord by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to open the church doors for prayer during work days and not just on the Lord’s day. Furthermore, I hear with joy that you are laboring this year to renew your hearts and minds in contemplation in order to grow more into the likeness of Christ, through retreats, space in the nave, and other forms of community prayer. Be firm in your faith, and always still open to new ways.
Now concerning the departure of a beloved teacher and leader among you, Helen, who is traveling east to carry the gospel of Christ to her new home in the region of the District of Columbia, you do not need me to tell you how much she has meant to all of us, and most of all, to me. I urge you all to imitate her in her devotion, her steadfastness, her courage, and her ability to make salad for 100 people in her washing machine. Her deep wisdom and grace has been a blessing from God to your congregation, and I appeal to you in the name of Christ, to make sure there is some kind of loving send-off for her. Beloved, make sure this send-off includes food and hugs.
Finally, brothers and sisters, respect those who labor among you, from the smallest Christian in the Nursery to the most respected elders, but most especially for the staff, and for Elizabeth and Larry, presbyters in the church of God. Esteem them very highly because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And I urge you, beloved, admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, and sign up from time to time for Coffee Hour. Hold fast to all you have in that place which is good.
It will not be long before I return to you, God willing, after I pass through Corinth, Athens, and Rome (I mean it, I’m actually hoping to go to those places this spring!).
The churches in Nantes greet you in the Lord, and our brother Jason, together with Mae and Claire, send warm greetings from the western portions of Gaul.
I, Daphne, write this greeting with my own keyboard. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Posted in Daphne

Ash Wednesday 2013

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return. (Genesis 3:19)

Saint Elisabeth’s will mark the beginning of Lent with Ashes to Go on Wednesday morning, February 13th from 7:30am until 9:30am.

The community is invited to worship with imposition of ashes at 7:30pm.

Posted in Announcements

Shall We Dance?

Address given at the Annual Meeting of Saint Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church in Glencoe on January 27th, 2013.

“Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” (Luke 9:1-2)

I want to begin with thank you. In my written report is a far more extensive recognition of all that goes on here at St. Elisabeth’s, but I want to take a moment here for some big ones.  Thank you to Daphne who invited me to share the year with you and to the wardens, Tom and Helen, for not convincing her that inviting me was a truly crazy idea.  I thank Larry, Chris, Rob and Haley for the extraordinary work they do with and for this community.  Their dedication is an inspiration and more often than not they do their jobs so well that their work is invisible to most of us.  I thank you, this beloved community of faith, for your courage, your faithfulness, your patience, and your love.  I am deeply touched and blessed by sharing this season together.  I thank my family, Jim, Wallace and Abbott, who teach me about life and love and without whose support I could not do what I do.

And finally I thank Helen for her extraordinary service to St. Elisabeth’s in her years as warden, for her overwhelming support of me and for her witness to what it means to live fully and lovingly with abiding faithfulness.  You are missed, even as you remain in our hearts.  At Helen’s request, we are not celebrating her farewell this weekend, but mark your calendars for May 5 as we will celebrate Helen and send her off in style and with our love then, even as the doors are always open for her return.

Last fall I shared a story about a family who had decided not to attend church any more . On a transpacific flight Roland Martinson, dean at Luther Seminary, asked the stranger next to him if he went to church.  “Funny you should ask,” the man said, “as our family just had a meeting to decide how to deal with our very busy lives.”  Apparently, they agreed to make a list of all their commitments. Anything they knew was helping them to be better people would remain, everything else they would stop.  Girl Scouts made the list. Church did not. “So”, the man concluded, “we have reluctantly decided not to go to church anymore.” He and Roland talked much of the trip. At the end, Roland encouraged the man to share his family’s decision, and the reasoning behind it, with the pastor of their church.

Several months later, Roland got an email from the man.  “Thank you,” it read, “for encouraging me to speak with our pastor. It has changed our lives.”   The pastor not only listened, he asked the man to repeat the conversation in the midst of a Sunday morning service. Then the pastor asked for people to raise their hands if they had similar feelings.  Most of the hands in the church went up.  Together, the church decided they wanted to change that and so they did.  “Now,” the man concluded, “church is at the top of our list, and we are so thankful.”

Now anyone who voluntarily sits through the annual meeting is pretty dedicated, so I suspect that we’re clustered on one end of the curve here, but even so I wonder how many of you have had similar feelings.  How many of you want something more from church, even if you’re not sure what that is or what it might look like? What would it take for church to be at the top of the list of what helps you to be the person you yearn to be and helps make the world a better place, more reflective of the kingdom of God?

The tango.  Yes, you heard me correctly. Tango can help make church at the top of your list.  You did come this morning expecting to learn how to dance, didn’t you?   If we want church to have a greater impact on our lives and be so filled that we can make a greater impact in the world, we have to remember that we have a partner in this project.  God.   Jesus spoke in images so that we could see, hear, taste the kingdom of God, even as he sent us out to proclaim it.  Ministry, sharing in the kingdom of God, is like dancing the tango, it is all about leading and following . So what, exactly, does that mean?  Glad you asked….

The first thing to learn is the importance of awareness, cultivating a profound attention to your own self and body, in addition to developing an acute awareness of the other, your partner. Even now, as you’re sitting here, become aware of your body, your self, your neighbors. Imagine having your hand on someone’s shoulder, closing your eyes and being led around a crowded room by them. Your focus, your attention, must be on that person in an active and engaged way.  You must be vigilant especially of the temptation to anticipate where the leader is headed such that you are not available to respond to where the leader is, in fact, leading.  That particular aspect is especially challenging to many of us who are quick to assume we know where someone else is headed!

Second, you must trust your partner and be trustworthy yourself. As if that isn’t hard enough, you learn to establish trust quickly, since when you dance the tango you change partners all through the night.  Can you imagine?  For many of us building deep trust takes time and is not easy, and yet it is an essential skill that can be nurtured and cultivated.

Finally, each person has an active role and must lean slightly toward the other, establishing a real relationship with some substance, resistance even, to the other so that their slightest movement registers immediately. You can’t dance with a ‘limp noodle’ partner, you both have to be strong, centered and inclined to the other.  Each role requires creativity—the leader improvises, combining the steps in various ways, and the leader always gives room, space, for the follower to express their own creativity and uniqueness within the dance. Those moments of pause, where the follower’s individuality is most evident, enhances and brings into fulfillment the whole.   Practicing both roles deepens your understanding of your own role and how best to fulfill it.

What an amazing image of the kingdom of God!  Ministry, our faith, our work together, our relationships, none of them are passive endeavors nor can we afford to go through our lives sleepwalking. We are invited to show up, to be acutely aware and fully present, and to trust deeply the many partners we encounter, divine and human.  We must be responsive without getting out ahead, leave space for others and express our own uniqueness when space is provided.  What might that mean for us as we become more aware of and responsive to what God is up to, in our lives, in this faith community, in the local community and in the larger world?  How might we at St. Elisabeth’s embrace our role as followers of God? Jesus invited all of us to both receive and proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand.  What might that mean in 2013 on the north shore of Chicago?  How might we risk engaging more fully in this dance?

I want to share a story, of how one congregation in Kansas City dances, how they both receive and proclaim the kingdom of God.  Church of the Resurrection began in 1990 with “the dream of launching a church that would reach thinking people who were not actively involved in a church and help them to see how the Bible and the Christian faith could change their lives, and how they in turn could change the world. ”  They share a vision of addressing the root causes of poverty in Kansas City so that their city looks more like the kingdom of God that Jesus so passionately preached .  They came together in partnership with six elementary schools to see how they could help, being aware of and responsive to their partners in ministry.  What emerged was everything from establishing playgrounds to providing 300 beds for students sleeping on the floor, tens of thousands of books and weekend backpacks packed lovingly full of food. This past Christmas, the congregation was challenged to give the same amount they spend on their own children to addressing this issue of poverty. On that holy night, they raised over $1.2 million dollars.  They are engaged, dancing with God in their own unique way with profound joy and meaning contributed to their lives.

I hear here at St. Elisabeth’s a deep desire to be fully engaged in the dance with God in our own unique way.  What is our vision, we wonder, for making our world look more like the kingdom of God Jesus so passionately preached?  We are on the journey, and we have some clues from Church Assessment Tool insights from last year and from our experience with Family Promise and soup kitchen some of the ways we might move forward.  Our mission statement work is intended to be the snow plow of that work, leading us forward and making room for more discerning, greater clarity and the ability to articulate what we’re about and why.  Our mapping exercise has revealed that we already are passionate about receiving and living into the kingdom of God.   We experimenting with the move from being “a bounded set (the Episcopal Church in this suburb) to a centered set (the people called and sent by their baptism from this house of worship into the world). ”

At the same time, we have some work to do, some discerning about our way.  Perhaps we’ll decide to transform our building to make it truly usable for Family Promise and other ministries because investing in our campus is best way for us to move forward faithfully. Or we may decide that our way forward is to pour our energy into the root causes behind how families come to need Family Promise in the first place.  Perhaps it is something else we have not quite named.  We are not yet clear, but with faithful commitment to the dance, I believe that clarity will emerge and be incredibly powerful for those who share the journey as part of this community of faith and for those who are impacted by our mission and ministry in its various forms.

Remember that St Elisabeth’s Church is not mine nor Daphne’s nor any one person’s.  It is you.  Be the church well; commit yourself to that work.  Engage in it.  Make of it all that it can be.  I encourage you to dare greatly:  ask for more not less, engage more not less, and always trust fully in the extraordinary love of God in and through all things.  The one who sends you out will equip you to do the work of proclaiming the kingdom of God here and now.

Shall we dance?
Elizabeth Jameson

Posted in Annual Meetings