THE DOVE June 2012

The Rector's Column

By the Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin

Summertime, an' the livin' is easy... -Ira Gershwin

Yes, there are still jobs to perform, meals to cook, groceries to buy, and bills to pay. The normal responsibilities and duties of life do not disappear during summer. But life does take on a different rhythm during these coming months. This is true in the life of the Church, as well: our liturgical schedule is simplified; the choir and church school teachers get a well-deserved rest; fewer meetings take place; and we spend the months of summer - in the season known variously as Pentecost, Ordinary Time or the Time of the Church - pondering how we live as God's beloved people in the normal routines and rounds of life.

And yet, summer does afford many of us the chance to relax a bit more; to be refreshed and re-created, in the real meaning of that word, by God's renewing Spirit. And will you indulge me as I suggest a few ways to let that reviving presence work in us and through us?

• Read a really cheesy novel without apology. Do it on the train in front of others.
• Have a malted. Not a milkshake: an honest-to-goodness thick, chocolate malted made the old fashioned way. You'll thank me.
• Rent Kolya, a Czech movie from a few years ago. Experience a particular take on redemption and love.
• Take a picnic to Ravinia for some fabulous music.
• A dog and suds at Mustard's Last Stand. You know you want to.
• Attend the early Eucharist at the local Episcopal Church wherever you find yourself on the road. Introduce yourself to the Rector. Brag shamelessly to her about Holy Comforter. Bring me a bulletin. Go in your jeans, while you're at it.
• Pull over and watch a couple innings of a Little League ball game, even if - especially if - you don't know any of the players. Root for the kids wearing the blue uniforms.
• Forget War and Peace. Read Pride and Prejudice instead. This goes for you too, guys. Especially you.
• Visit the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute.
• Watch more of the Olympics than you really have time for. When else will you get to watch such beauty and elegance, regardless of the event?
• Come to Church even when you can easily come up with seven reasons not to. Sit at least four rows or pews away from where you normally sit.
• Homer's Ice cream. Need I say more?
• Take a hike. Literally.
• Go fly a kite. Again, literally.
• Try to break par on a miniature golf course. Harder than you think. In fact, almost impossible. Bring me the score card to prove you did it.
• Call up an old college friend you haven't seen for years.
• Every day - at home, on vacation, walking through Harms Woods, at Holy Comforter, when putting the kids to bed - give thanks to God for all that is lovely and true and gracious and holy.

And may God restore and replenish your spirit with God's own comforting Spirit---

 

Our Youth Take Responsibility Seriously

By Patti Pateros, Youth Group Coordinator

We expect to be responsible to and for the community, just as it is responsible to and for us. -Holy Comforter's Vision Statement

Twelve junior high students and four adults piled into a rented van and headed downtown for their ACT NOW: CHICAGO mission trip May 4-6, 2012. After settling into their home base, the Brother David Darst Retreat Center in the Bridgeport neighborhood, they enjoyed a family style dinner at the Triple Crown Restaurant in Chinatown. Following evening prayers and meditation, the group turned in early in order to be ready for their busy Saturday at Good News Partners in Rogers Park. There they began their work at 9am, cleaning, painting, and doing light construction work in several neighborhood apartment buildings which provide low-rent housing for families served by Good News. Exhausted, sweaty and covered in paint, they headed back to the retreat center at 4pm where they relaxed by watching movies and preparing and sharing a pasta dinner. Prior to evening prayer, they had a long and lively group discussion, sharing stories and experiences of the day.

They attended the Sunday morning service at St. Edmund's Episcopal Church in the South Shore neighborhood where they were treated to a beautiful and energetic gospel choir and an unexpected luncheon following the Eucharist. Although we drove home during a thunderstorm, it certainly did not dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of the participants. They truly accomplished their mission of bonding with one another, serving the community, and connecting with God. (see photos here>>>)

WHAM's MISSION: KENTUCKY takes place June 16-21, a hands-on service project in the impoverished Appalachian community of Campton, which was hit hard by the early spring tornadoes in March 2012. Eight high school student and four chaperones (including a WHAM alum/junior chaperone) will serve the community in whatever capacity is needed.

The Sabbath Season

By Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministries

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes.
-Ada Louise Huxtable

For most of us summer, is a time when the rhythm of family life changes. The business of the school year has died away. We dream, especially in June, of the unstructured bliss of summer afternoons. There are no carpools to run, no homework to complete, no early morning struggles out the door. In the summer we reconnect with neighbors we have not seen all winter. We eat breakfast when we like. Our nights are full of marshmallows, picnics at the beach, and fireflies. All the tension of our usually scheduled lives seems to be much less. Perhaps, as Ada quotes above, it is shed with our clothes.

Of course, families can turn summer into one more scheduled season of life, and typically, we do so without realizing it. We sign our children up for camp, Vacation Bible School, or sports. We visit family, take trips, or play in Chicago. All of these are fun activities and events we do not want to miss. Still, if we are not careful, summer becomes one of the busiest times of the year. Sadly, we lose the carefree, slow, relaxed tone of the season. Instead of shedding tension, we simply change its look.

Summer for families is a perfect season for Sabbath.  There are members of my family who are great at keeping Sabbath. David, my husband, is the master. He is quick to take an afternoon nap on the porch or turn off his iPad on Saturday night not to return to it until Monday. David sets Sunday aside as a day of Sabbath. Sophie, my teenage daughter, is next. For Sophie, Sabbath can be a daily experience. Sleeping in as late as she likes is her idea of restoration and renewal. Summer gives her that option. Eli, my ten-year-old, and I do not take to Sabbath as easily. We have to learn it; to create it; to intentionally set aside time and actually change the routine. We love to do and be active, so at times the laziness of summer can feel odd. Still, we have learned when we do shed some of the business our tension is less. We have more energy. We actually enjoy our play.

Look at your own family. Look at yourself. Ae you all needing a Sabbath season? Have you and your family been so busy this year that you have fashioned a coat of tension without realizing it? If so, let summer be the time to shed it. Even if you are traveling or camping or involved in fun summer activities, balance those with times of restoration. Meet your activities with spirit of summer. This time when the Holy Spirit through the use of summer is begging us to put on our emotional and spiritual flip flops, shorts, and sun dresses and simply hang out. Hang out with ourselves, with one another, and with our family. A time to hang out with God.

Note: For a great site for family spiritual life consider vibrantfaithathome.org

What Does a Teacher Make?

By Mary Johnson , Children's Ministries
One of the best responses to the question "what does a teacher make" is the direct reply: a teacher makes a difference. Tom Brokaw is quoted as saying: "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference."  Read full article here>>>

The Vineyard

We joyfully announce the births of . . .
8lb 14oz Hayes Lachlan Goggin on May 2.  Sean and Danielle have two older sons, 3yr old Charlie and 2yr old Whalen.

9lb 2oz Henry Foster Garrett on May 15.  Jill and Eddie have a 7yr old daughter, Hollis, and 5yr old son, Walter.

We extend our sympathy to . . .
Jamie and Stephanie Fargo on the death of his mother and Holy Comforter parishioner, Barbara Fargo, on May 23 after a lengthy illness.

Dear Abbot . . .

Episcopal Liturgical Traditions (Part I)

Worship in the Episcopal Church is both a beautiful and, potentially, confusing experience, especially for newcomers and people not familiar with the customs and practices. Periodically, we will, over the coming months, include brief articles about some of the basic actions, vestments, movements, and other ingredients in our worship tradition. If you have a particular question you would like to see engaged, please write Dear Abbot.

One of the most perplexing issues for many - exacerbated by the fact that there is a wide variety of practice in most Episcopal congregations - centers on physical actions such as kneeling, standing, making the sign of the cross, and the like. Before discussing any specifics, however, it might be helpful to mention two basic principles about worship.

First, the very word "liturgy" literally means, "the work of the people." In other words, worship is not meant to be passive: it is a participatory action and event in which the assembled people of God actively worship together. Liturgy requires the involvement of the whole assembly through corporate forms of prayer, song, response, and action. Although particular people may have specific roles to play, everyone, rightly speaking, is involved in the act of giving thanks and praise to God, no matter their age, location in the sacred space, background, or expertise. In addition, the Episcopal Church emphasizes something known as Incarnational Theology: a theological perspective that celebrates the fact that the spiritual can be embodied in the physical; that God uses the material world as a vehicle for holiness. As a result, worship in so-called liturgical traditions such as the Episcopal Church frequently utilizes a wider array of action, visual stimuli, and physical objects than do some other faith traditions.

And now, with that briefest of introductions, our first extremely brief discussion:

The Sign of the Cross
This is a very ancient practice going back to the earliest Church. It probably began as a secret sign used by Christians in times of persecution to identify themselves as believers, and was at first simply the etching of a small cross on the forehead with the thumb. The 3rd century priest Hippolytus speaks of making the sign of the cross as a regular habit of faithful Christians before 220. It developed liturgically as a reminder and symbol of the power of the cross of Jesus Christ over our entire lives: from top (forehead) to center (chest) to left (shoulder) to right (shoulder) to center (chest) again. It is used as a form of blessing, and is sometimes used at the mention of death or the deceased to remind us that death is not the final word and that it has been triumphed over by the cross and the resurrection.

There are several moments in worship during which you might see someone making the sign of the cross or might use it yourself, if you desire. None is required; all are acceptable:
•  At the opening Acclamation: "Blessed be God," "Alleluia! Christ is Risen!", or other seasonal opening words (because a blessing is being pronounced);
•  at the pronouncement of the Gospel, when a variation is used: specifically, making smaller crosses on the forehead, lips and heart, to accompany the prayer, "Christ
be in my mind, on my lips, and in my heart;"
•  at the mention of the Resurrection during the Creed;
•  when praying during the Prayers of the People for those who have died;
• at the Absolution following Confession;
• during the Eucharistic Prayer when we ask God to sanctify us in one form or other;
• and some also cross themselves at the Sanctus when we say or sing, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord";
• after receiving Communion (we've just been blessed big time!);
• at the Blessing at the end of the service;
• at any mention of the resurrection;
• when sprinkled with holy water;
• any other time a bishop or priest makes the sign of the cross over us.

Making the sign of the cross is an optional, outward symbol and reminder of the reality of the power of the cross in faith. It is not an act of superstition or magic; and perhaps another way to think of it is as a "prayer of the hands." As with so many liturgical actions, it can be helpful to follow the counsel of Jeremy Taylor, the 17th century Anglican priest who, speaking of private confession, wrote, "All may, none must, some should." Or, by contrast, to follow this advice: "If you've never done it, try it; if you don't remember why you're doing it, take a break for a while!"

Later (and more succinctly) from Dear Abbot: kneeling, standing, genuflecting, bowing.

Country Music & Carnival Games

Annual Parish Picnic, Sunday, June 3, 2012

An outdoor Eucharist kicks off our annual parish picnic at 10am, with music provided by local country band, Lucky Town.  This is another in our series of liturgies with secular music, demonstrating that the sacred and the secular are part of the same reality.

Music continues during the picnic as guests enjoy hotdogs, burgers and brats with all the fixins prepared by the men of the parish.  Then you can "Step right up!" and test your strength at the 17' high striker - ring the bell, win a prize! There will also be a 5' high striker for kids, as well as a face painter, bozo buckets, and the always popular moon walk.  Don't miss this fun event for the whole family!

Sunday Summer Schedule

On Sunday, June 10, and continuing through Labor Day, we will change to our summer liturgical schedule as follows:
     8:00am     Rite I Eucharist
     9:00am     Outdoor Eucharist
    10:15am    Rite II Eucharist

As many are aware, during the summer, the 8:00 Eucharist remains largely unchanged, but, weather permitting, the 9:00 service is celebrated in an informal fashion in the columbarium courtyard, utilizing familiar music and hymns, different prayers, and other slightly new ingredients. In addition, the 11:15 Eucharist is moved forward to 10:15, and includes musical offerings by individual members of our choir. So whether you are looking for a quiet, spoken service, a very warm and informal liturgy in a beautiful outdoor setting, or a structured Eucharist a little more relaxed than is the norm, there is something for everyone during the summer at Holy Comforter. Although our church school and adult forum are on hiatus for the summer, nursery care is provided during the 9am liturgy.  The parish offices close at 1pm on Fridays during the summer months.

WHAM's Graduation Celebration 

By Patti Pateros, Youth Group Coordinator
On Sunday, May 20, a special celebration for WHAM's 2012 graduates was held at Misericordia. Father Myers celebrated the Eucharist in the All Faith Chapel, and in his sermon, he provided suggestions on how to be confident and successul while heeding St. Paul's words - which are appropriate 2,000+ years later: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2) Following the Eucharist, the graduates and their parents joined Father Myers at the Greenhouse Inn for brunch. (see photo here>>>)

This group of seniors were the founding members of WHAM (We Have A Mission), the high school youth group which they began as freshmen, and the first youth group to participate in an overseas mission trip. We are grateful for their commitment to the parish and their development of a very successful youth ministry.  The following is a list of all Holy Comforter's graduates and the schools they will be attending. (*denotes active members of WHAM)

Bryce Crawford (Vanderbilt University)
Ian Feeney* (Northwestern University)
Jordan Johnson
Ford Martin* (Washington & Lee University)
Anna Melio* (Wesleyan University)
Erika Nothnagel* (Northeastern University)
Lindsey Olson (Northwestern University)
Christian Piekos* (University of Missouri)
Andrew Porter* (University of Missouri)
Alexa Putnam
Jack Quigley* (Kenyon College)
Scotty Stieber* (University of Iowa)
Emily Swift (University of Wisconsin)

The Sand Bucket

by Patti Pateros, Community Life
Trust is as difficult for an adult to develop as it is for a 3-year old. In order to trust someone, you have to give up control of a situation, and that uncertainty involves risk and possibly failure. Fear of the unknown often leads to inaction, or at the least, just doing what everyone does. Learning whom and what to trust are part of growing up, as our WHAM graduates will quickly learn, and making mistakes comes with the territory. Sometimes, however, trust means simply getting out of your comfort zone.  Read full article here>>>