THE DOVE April 2013

The Rector's Column

by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin, Rector 

The Gospels are far from clear as to just what happened on the first Easter Day. Mary Magdalene seems to have been the first person to arrive at the tomb, but perhaps Mary the mother of James was with her, as well as another woman named Joanna. One of the accounts says that Peter and another disciple also came, but elsewhere we are told that the disciples weren't present and didn't believe the women's story when they heard it. In the tomb itself there were two white-clad figures, or perhaps just one; or there was a man Mary Magdalene thought at first was the gardener. There is no agreement even as to the role of Jesus himself. Did he appear at the tomb, or only later? Where? To whom did he appear, and what did he say, and what did he do?

To be honest, the story of the Resurrection is not really much of a story; and therein, of course, lies its power. It doesn't have the ring of great literature or great drama. It has the ring of great truth. If the Gospel writers had wanted to tell it in such a way as to convince the world that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, they would presumably have told the story with all the skill and fanfare they could muster. Here there is no skill, no fanfare. They seem to be telling it simply the way it happened as they had witnessed it or heard about it. The narrative of the Resurrection is as fragmented, shadowy, and incomplete as is life itself. When it comes to just what happened, there can be no certainty. That something unimaginable happened, there can be no doubt.

He rose. We may not know the facts, but we know the truth: he rose.
Read more here...

A Time To See With Different Eyes

by Fr. Chris Hardman

I have told you many stories about my childhood friend, Snuffy, and how we used to roam the wooded hills behind my house. Those hills were a part of what is known as Crowley's Ridge, a series of hills that run along the west side of the Mississippi River starting in southeastern Missouri and ending in my hometown, Helena, Arkansas. Crowley's Ridge is a unique ecological occurrence created by windblown dust called loess, blown there shortly after the last Ice Age. Snuffy and I spent most of our time in those hills-playing, discovering, and wondering. When I left for seminary in 1983, I left those hills behind. That is, until my wife, Libby, and I stayed in the midst of them some 20 years later.
Read more here...

Sometimes our youngest are our best teachers... 

by Pastor Heath Howe

I have had the privilege of presenting a chapel lesson entitled The Faces of Easter to children 3-9 year olds at our own church school and All Things Bright and Beautiful. It is a beautiful lesson written by Jerome Berryman, the creator of a children's faith formation program, Godly Play. In the lesson the story teller, the adult, presents eight gorgeous, hand painted, 8"X10", wooden plaques each depicting a part of the life of Jesus. These plaques are placed carefully on a long scroll like purple felt cloth. Week after week, as a plaque is presented, a time-line of Jesus' life begins to unfold.
Read more here...

Spring Has Sprung!

by Jill Klusendorf, Director of Community Life

Let's hope and pray that by the time you read this, that spring is actually upon us weather-wise. It's been a long and gloomy winter. We could really use some sunshine, the sounds of birds chirping to cheer us on throughout the day and some semblance of daylight as we drive home from work, to prepare our family dinners, take the dogs out for an evening run. It's just about that time.
Read more here...

In the Vineyard...

Jane and Peter Kelly are delighted to announce the birth of their second granddaughter, Caroline Grace Kelly. Caroline was born on March 1, 2013, to Kristen and Jim Kelly in San Francisco, California. Caroline joins her sister Olivia Rose, who was born April 20, 2011. Congratulations to the entire Kelly family; and welcome, Caroline Grace!

In sadder news, we lament the death of Richard Charles Hermann, the father of Tina Harlan and grandfather of Christopher and Dylan. Dick, as he was known, died on Saturday, March 23, in the northern part of lower Michigan after an extended period of health challenges.  May God embrace him with unceasing peace and comfort.  Please keep Tina and her entire extended family in your hearts and prayers this week and beyond.

Long-time beloved Holy Comforter parishioner Liz Jones died on Wednesday, March 20, at the Abington in Glenview, where she had been undergoing physical therapy following ankle surgery.  Our hearts and prayers go out to John and their family and friends.  May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in God's love and joy.

Easter People

For many in the parish, the annual Easter People presentations provide two of the spiritual highlights of the entire year.

This year, we will be blessed to welcome two beloved Holy Comforter parishioners as our Easter People: on Sunday, April 14, Bill Haljun will present his reflection on his journey of faith; and on Sunday, May 5, Allegra Biery will offer her thoughts and insights into her road to the present. Both of these events will take place during the formation hour at 10:00 a.m., in the Great Room.

For those not familiar with the Easter People tradition:  for the last 21 years, different members of Holy Comforter-representing a wide range of experiences, ages, and backgrounds-have discussed their lives of faith at the Adult Forum during the Easter season.  Most years, we have been blessed by two such reflections, as will be the case this year.  Easter People is perennially one of the most popular and poignant events in our parish life, so please put these dates on your calendars now!

Special Earth Day Healing Service

Sunday, April 21, 9:00a.m.

Please, join us on April 21st for a special Earth Day Celebration! It will be a time to hear some wonderful music, to feel holy oil on our foreheads (if we wish), to taste the very love of God in the bread and wine, and, thus, a time to see with different eyes.
Read more here...

Misericordia Candy Days

Misericordia Candy Days fall this Spring on Friday, April 26th, and Saturday, April 27th. Join Team CHC at Lakeside Foods in Winnetka! Time slots are 9a.m. - 11:00a.m., 11:00a.m. - 1:00p.m. and 1:00p.m. - 3:00p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. You may sign-up by calling Jill Klusendorf or via e-mail at jcklusendorf@holycomforter.org.
For your convenience, there are also sign-up sheets on the church office bulletin board.

Holy Family Ministries Benefit

On Saturday, April 27, Holy Family School, part of Holy Family Ministries, will hold a Benefit at Skokie Country Club.  Holy Comforter has had a long-standing relationship with Holy Family School and St. Gregory's School, which merged into HFS a few years ago, and St. Helen's Guild continues to support the School actively.  The goal of the Benefit is to raise money for the tuition assistance fund, which helps families from some of Chicago's most destitute neighborhoods be able to afford to send their children to Holy Family.  If you would like to donate an auction item, make a contribution, volunteer for the event, and/or attend the Benefit, please contact either Joan Dodson or Sara Wood, or Margaret Flanagan at Holy Family (mflanagan@hfm.org).

Kids Against Hunger

 On April 13, Holy Comforter will participate in the community-wide volunteer event to package 100,000 meals for hungry people in Nicaragua and Local Food Pantries.  If you would like to join our team of students in staffing a table during the 8:30 to 10:30 am shift at the Winnetka Community House, please contact Mary Johnson at mrjohnson@holycomforter.org.

Mother's Day Diaper Drive

Every year, Church of the Holy Comforter and All Things Bright and Beautiful join together for the Mother's Day Diaper Drive. This outreach opportunity benefits Connections for the Homeless in Evanston. While more logistical information will be available soon, it's never too early to start scouring weekly coupons and start stocking up for this worthy cause!  

April=Open

by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's & Youth Ministries

From the Latin word Aprilis, April means "to open" or "opening." Of course we all think of buds on trees and flowers beginning to open. Or maybe for you April brings thoughts of "opening day" for the baseball season. April signifies for teachers that we are getting very close to the end of another school year.
Read more here...

Spring's Flurry

by Charlotte Long, Youth Ministry Coordinator

Plans are feverishly being made for the High School summer mission trip to Joplin, MO. When I was in High School, that one week every year was for me what my Sunday School teacher used to call "Mountain Top Experiences." The phrase refers the story in Matthew 17 when Jesus takes Peter, James and John up to the top of a mountain so that they may witness what we call "The Transfiguration."
Read more here...