THE DOVE April 2012

Enter the Story

By Father Jason Parkin
We know, even before it begins, how the story will end. We know that, after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the cruel betrayal by Judas, the grotesque kangaroo court and the dreadful death, God will raise Jesus to new life beyond the grave. We have heard the story; we have sung hymns and songs about it; we have seen it depicted on television and in movies and in profound works of art. We know, even before it begins, how the story will end.

So why do we re-enact the Passion of Jesus liturgically year after year? We do so for the simple reason that nothing is as powerful when experienced passively as it is when experienced actively and personally. As a culture, we have become accustomed to turning to movies and TV and music and books to provide us with the symbols and myths and stories by which to shape our lives. But there is a more ancient and powerful way of engaging the stories that give our lives meaning and purpose; and that is to enter them directly. It is for this reason that, during the services of Holy Week, we use challenging, striking and unusual actions not only to remind ourselves of Jesus' journey to and through death, but also to enter it ourselves. We sing and kneel, wash feet and baptize children, strip the high altar and get enfolded in darkness, chant timeless hymns and offer our sins and prayers and hopes quite literally at the foot of the cross. We stretch ourselves beyond our normal worship practices, because Holy Week is anything but "normal." The story of the road Jesus walked for us-for you, for me, for everyone-is all the more powerful when we walk it together, when we enter it, when we live it.

Set aside the time to reflect on, and participate in, the victory won by Jesus, at such great cost, for all humanity. Bring the children to the services, that they might know firsthand the power of Holy Week. Resist the temptation to move straight from the "Hosannas" of Palm Sunday to the "Alleluias" of Easter Day. Walk the story of Holy Week. Enter the story. Live the story. It is the very least we can offer to him who offered his all for us. And I promise you that your Easter joy will be all the greater and more sublime.

Holy Week and Easter Liturgies

As we enter Holy Week, we come to the central events that shape our common faith as Christian people. The heart of the liturgical year is the Paschal Mystery, the dying and rising of Jesus. Our participation in the saving acts of God finds its deepest expression in this great Week. Our celebration of Holy Week is the occasion above all others when we stand before the awesome mystery of redemption, bringing to God all that we are both as individuals and as a community of faith at this moment in our lives.

The rites of this week are based upon sources and practices stretching back to the fourth century in the Church at Jerusalem, and even earlier. On Palm Sunday, for example, we process into church singing a jubilant hymn just as joyous crowds waved palm branches and strewed their garments in Jesus' path as he entered the holy city. On Maundy Thursday, following a meal reminiscent of the Last Supper, we wash one another's feet, echoing Jesus' commandment to his disciples to love one another as he loved them. On Good Friday, the most solemn day of the Christian year, St. John's story of the Passion is sung in a beautiful and poignant setting. And at the Great Vigil-the preeminent celebration of the year, and the first proclamation of the Lord's Resurrection-we begin the liturgy in complete darkness and light the Paschal Candle, the symbol of the Resurrection and the light that spreads into our lives; and, through sacred scripture, song and psalm, recount the history of God's saving presence in our lives and world.

Yet during Holy Week, we do not merely mimic the ancient rites of earlier Christians. Far more significant is the reminder that, like our ancestors, we share in the celebration of Holy Week so that we might once again find ourselves immersed in God's grace. It is from this week that all the other weeks of our life take their meanings.

Each of the liturgies within Holy Week contains its own unique beauty and power. Come, take your place in the entire journey.

A fuller description of the rites can be found here>>>

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, April 1
7:30, 9:00 and 11:15am
Blessing of the Palms, Reading of the Passion and Holy Eucharist
Maundy Thursday, April 5
6:00 pm Agape Meal  
7:00 pm  Holy Eucharist, Washing of the Feet, Stripping of the Altar, Watch at the Altar of Repose
Good Friday, April 6
12:00pm  Stations of the Cross
7:00pm  The Good Friday Liturgy
Holy Saturday, April 7
9:00am  Liturgy of the Word
The Great Vigil of Easter, Saturday, April 7
8:00pm  Lighting of the Paschal Candle, the Sacrament of Baptism and Holy Eucharist
Easter Day, Sunday, April 8
7:30, 9:00 and 11:15am
Festive Holy Eucharist, with guest musicians

Easter Music

By Derek Nickels, Director of Music
The dramatic readings of Holy Week and Easter provide the basis for some of the most dramatic musical compositions of the Church Year. Among the dramatic readings and proclamations of the Easter Vigil Service, a piece of music commands a powerful place in this important liturgy. Read full article here>>>

Calendar of Events

Easter Monday, April 9
Offices closed
Sunday, April 15 ~ 10am in the Great Hall
"Raising Resilient Children in An Anxious Time" with guest presenter Alice Virgil, L.C.S.W
Friday, April 27 & Saturday, April 28 ~ 8am-3pm
Misericordia Candy Days
Holy Comforter Site: Lakeside Foods, Winnetka
Friday, April 27 ~ 7-9pm &
Saturday, April 28 ~ 9am-Noon
"Growing in Forgiveness" with guest speaker Marjorie Thompson
Saturday, April 28 ~ 5pm
Tennis Guild Mixer at Centennial Park/Meier's Tavern
Sunday, April 29 ~ 10am in the Great Hall
Easter People Presentation by Jeff Paine
Wednesday, May 2 ~ 7:30pm in the Library
Time for Women Book Club  [A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother by Janny Scott]
Friday, May 4 ~ Sunday, May 6
Act Now: Chicago Jr. High Mission Trip
Sunday, May 6 ~ 10am in the Great Hall
Easter People Presentation by Sue Murphy

Easter Outreach and Flower Offerings

During the Easter Season, we celebrate the gift of new life made possible in the Resurrection of Christ Jesus. Part of the life of faith is reaching out to others, especially those in particular or severe trial and hardship. Our Easter offering this spring will, as in recent years, be dedicated to addressing issues of hunger among children in the Chicago area, and to alleviating suffering and need in a variety of places. We have received an anonymous pledge to match Easter offerings up to $15,000. Please be as generous as possible as we share our gifts with others.

Your Easter Flower Donation helps provide the beautiful flowers that grace our church during the Easter Season. Flowers may be given in memory of or thanksgiving for loved ones.  

Growing in Forgiveness:
A Practice of Spiritual Freedom

Friday & Saturday, April 27-28, 2012

Forgiveness is one of the most central and distinctive practices of Christian life. We understand the imperative in Jesus' teaching, and his supreme example from the Cross. Yet we often feel stuck, even imprisoned, by feelings of pain, anger, and desire for retribution when we or those we love have suffered significant harm. How do we move toward the freedom and healing of authentic forgiveness? Margaret Thompson will offer a rich exploration of scripture texts, varied perspectives, and encouragement to move forward on this deeply challenging path.

Marjorie Thompson holds ordination in the Presbyterian Church, USA. Her ministry comprises 30 years of work with congregations, seminaries, and church agencies.  Her call has been to interpret, teach and guide Christians in a deeper understanding and practice of personal and corporate spiritual disciplines. She has authored several books, including the best-selling Soul Feast.

Dates: Friday, April 27 from 7-9pm; Saturday, April 28 from 9am-Noon
Location: Church of the Holy Comforter
Fee: $30 for both days; $15 for Friday only or $20 for Saturday only.  This program is designed to take place over two days.  Participants are encouraged to attend both days.
Register here>>>    

By Self, Momma

"RAISING RESILIENT CHILDREN"  Sunday, April 15 at 10am

By Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministry Associate
We are impacted by our inability to let go. We become exhausted well before our children are adults. We become anxious and blame ourselves when our children fall, skip a step, or fly too fast down the slide. We are embarrassed when our children break playground rules. We get frustrated when they are demanding or act entitled. We find ourselves resentful and wanting to scream, "Can't you do it by yourself?"

Well...?  Read full article here>>>

Live What the Bible Teaches

By Patti Pateros, Director of Community Life
I know this sounds like an "infomercial" you might see on early Sunday morning TV - cue the sad music; Angelina Jolie voiceover; pictures of flies buzzing around babies in Africa. But this is real life - this is Shane's life. This was his dream job; he had no other prospects. Now, working harder and probably longer hours than most people, at a job he loves, he holds the official title "Volunteer Coordinator." 
Read full article here>>>

Everything Old is New Again

By Mary Johnson, Director of Children/Youth Ministries
The change of seasons conveys newness. It has been such an early spring where everything old has begun anew in the buds on the trees and the fragrant blossoming plants. Read full article here>>>

Misericordia Candy Days

Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28
12,000 volunteers come together for Misericordia's annual fundraiser. It's your typical "tag day." Volunteers simply pass out candy and informational tags in exchange for donations. Holy Comforter's site is Lakeside Foods, Winnetka.  Volunteers are asked to sign up for a two-hour shift between 8am and 3pm either day.    Volunteer here>>> 

Misericordia is an organization near and dear to the hearts of Holy Comforter because it is home to several parishioners' children and siblings.  

Tennis Guild Mixer & Supper

Saturday, April 28 at Centennial Park, Wilmette
Tennis for all levels of play will be from 5:00-7:00pm followed by dutch-treat supper in the Upper Room at Meier's Tavern, Glenview.  RSVP to Sid Condit>>> 

All Things Bright and Beautiful

By Mary Johnson
On a beautiful spring day (of which there have been many) the Junior Kindergarten classes went on a Field Trip to River Trails Nature Center to learn about maple syrup. While the temperature was not very conducive to watching the sap being extracted from the trees, it was a great day to be at a nature park.

Registration for next school year is complete for the currently enrolled families and there are a few placements available to members of the community who would like to apply. Interested families should contact Mary Johnson. There are still some placements available in the Summer Camp. Information may be found here>>>

The Vineyard

We joyfully announce the birth of . . .
•  Amelia Edyth Sundt, born to Amanda and Dan on March 1. Amelia has a 3yr. old brother, Daniel III; grandparents are Gayle and Dan Sundt.
• Casey Thomas Godbout, born to Lindsley and Tom on March 13.  Casey is their third daughter; older sisters are 3yr. old Currey and 1yr. old Cooper; grandparents are John and Nancy True. 
We extend our sympathy to . . .
•  Sue and Jim Gault on the loss of their fathers, Kenneth R. Sticha and Fred L. Gault, both of whom died on March 21.
•  Carol and Don Lisle on the death of her mother, Margaret Prince, at the age of 107.