THE DOVE February 2012

The Mystery of the Child

 By Father Jason Parkin

March 12. Put the date in your calendars now!

On that Monday evening, in concert with the Family Awareness Network, Holy Comforter will be privileged to welcome and host the eminent scholar, Dr. Martin Marty, for a presentation titled, "The Mystery of the Child." The program will begin at 7:00 in the church.

Martin Marty, who is widely known as a prolific author in the areas of comparative religion, culture, history and theology, was for 35 years a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and retired as the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor. His dozens of published books include Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America, for which he won the National Book Award, the encyclopedic five-volume Fundamentalism Project, and a biography of Martin Luther. Dr. Marty has been a columnist and senior editor for The Christian Century magazine since 1956, edited the biweekly "Context" newsletter from 1969 until 2010, and writes a weekly column distributed electronically as "Sightings" by the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School. In addition, he has authored over 5,000 articles and many more incidental pieces, encyclopedia entries, forewords, and the like.

Dr. Marty served as president of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the American Catholic Historical Association. He was the founding president of the Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics. He has served on two U. S. Presidential Commissions and was director of both the Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Public Religion Project at the University of Chicago. Dr. Marty has received, among other honors, the National Humanities Medal, the Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Distinguished Service Medal of the Association of Theological Schools, the Order of Lincoln Medallion (Illinois' top honor), and 80 honorary doctorates. Well, the list of his credentials and honors goes on and on!

On March 12, Dr. Marty will be reflecting on the topic of his most recent book, also titled, The Mystery of the Child. This book covers topics such as the tension between nature and nurture in child development, but it is no ordinary child guidebook; for Dr. Marty urges his readers to abandon seeing a child as a problem to be controlled or childhood as a series of situations to be managed or fixed. Instead, he calls adults not only to nurture wonder in children, but to seek their own "childlikeness," or what, near the end of the book, he terms "childness." As the father of seven and grandfather of many more, Dr. Marty has both a deeply personal as well as academic and philosophical interest in what it means to be a child or in relationship with children.

Martin Marty is, to state it plainly, one of the most engaging, delightful, and appealing speakers I have ever encountered in any field. As I have said to several folks recently, he could, quite literally, read the phone book and people would leave illuminated and enlightened. Dr. Marty possesses a gentle and lovely wit to match his towering intellect, and is rather-dare I say it?-pixie-like and playful in appearance and presentation. I cannot stress what an honor it is to host him at Holy Comforter, and am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with the marvelous Family Awareness Network to bring him to our church.

Please note that this will surely be a very popular offering, and we plan already to transmit the program to the Great Room, as the church is not likely to hold all who will want to attend. So please arrange to come early in order to get a spot in the church. The Bookstall at Chestnut Court will be here to sell copies of Dr. Marty's book, but I encourage you to order a copy in advance and read it before March 12, if possible. 

March 12 with Dr. Martin Marty will be an event not to be missed. Put the date in your calendars now!  Click here to register>>>

Annual Parish Meeting

On Sunday, January 29, Holy Comforter held its 109th Annual Parish Meeting at which new vestry members were elected, the 2012 budget approved, and a report of the state of the parish was presented in the Annual Report.  The annual report and list of vestry members can be viewed here>>> 

The following are brief biographies of the new members.

Shannon Parsons Campitelli was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, and lived in suburban Toronto until October, 2009, when she and her family moved to Winnetka as the result of a job transfer for her husband, Richard. The Campitellis joined Holy Comforter soon after their move.

Raised in the United Church of Canada-an amalgamation of Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist churches-Shannon sang in church choirs and taught Sunday School when younger. She studied piano and flute during her youth, and sang in the Toronto Children's Chorus, including the delight of being part of the touring choir that won first place in the famous Llangollen International Eisteddfod in Wales, the world's leading choral competition. Shannon sang in the Holy Comforter choir last year, and hopes to do so again in the future. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in philosophy and sociology, Shannon earned a law degree, practicing in the field of civil litigation for 13 years, during which time she acted as a mentor for student lawyers and was a Canadian affiliate of the Defense Research Institute, an organization of American trial lawyers. Among other endeavors, she served on the Board of Directors of the Oakville (ON) Symphony Orchestra.

Shannon and Richard met in High School, and they recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. The Campitellis are the parents of Matthew (6) and Gregory (4), both of whom were adopted from South Korea. She will be using her background in music in her role as the liaison for Music and Liturgy on the Holy Comforter Vestry.

Ned Hedley was born in Chicago and raised in the western suburb of Aurora. A cradle Episcopalian he has been attending Holy Comforter since 2008 when the Hedley family moved to Kenilworth. Ned and Kim are the parents of three boys: William (age 8), Rowan (5, and an alumnus of ATT&T) and James (3, who was baptized at Holy Comforter). Ned is currently a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in Chicago and was an assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego for 3 years before moving back to the Chicago area. Prior to that, he was an attorney in Chicago with a firm downtown.

Ned has served on the outreach committee at Holy Comforter, and is currently involved with the Newcomer ministry of the parish. His family has a long history of supporting and volunteering with the Cathedral Shelter in Chicago, going back to the days when he was growing up in Aurora. While working in Chicago, Ned regularly volunteered as a tutor/mentor at Providence St. Mel High School on Chicago's west side. On the Vestry, Ned will focus on "hands on" outreach activities and ministries.

After moving several times during his early childhood due to the demands of his father's career, John MacLeod spent the majority of his formative years in Pasadena, California. A graduate of Harvard University in economics and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, John worked for the Walt Disney Company for 15 years, including a stint in France, before becoming the Senior Vice President of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Most recently, he has spent the last decade as a senior executive of NAVTEQ, the global leader in GPS mapping. He recently left this firm and is starting a new venture in technology and media.

John is married to Judy, who served on the Vestry of Holy Comforter several years ago. They moved to Kenilworth in 2001 and immediately joined the parish, along with their children, sons JR (26), Michael (23), and Henry (19), and daughter Anne (16, and an active member of WHAM). The MacLeod family enjoys tennis, paddle, golf, and nice beaches, and John is an admitted college football fanatic, with a devotion to the history of the collegiate game. His particular focus on the Vestry will be in the area of stewardship, helping the parish explore new ways to reach out to the community and world around us.

Welcome to Bishop Chris Epting

By Father Jason Parkin

On November 18, 2011, at the Diocesan Convention, Bp. Jeffrey Lee announced that he has named the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting as the new Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Chicago, following the retirement of Bp. Scantlebury in June. Bp. Epting began his ministry on January 1.

Bp. Epting is the former Bishop of the Diocese of Iowa, and later served for nine years as the Presiding Bishop's deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations. Following his retirement from that position, he has served as the interim Dean of Trinity Cathedral, Davenport, Iowa.

Bp. Epting was a parish priest for 16 years, the last several as rector of St. Mark's Church, Cocoa, Florida, before being elected the Bishop of Iowa in 1988. He is married to Susanne Watson Epting, a deacon who is the Executive Director of the North American Association for the Diaconate, and who was a member of the church I served in Iowa City, Iowa, from 1991 to 2000.

In his ministry in the Diocese of Chicago, Bp. Epting will share in the episcopal visitation schedule and use his considerable gifts and talents in other ways. He will continue to live in Davenport, but his visitations will not be confined to the western part of the state; and, with luck, we will be fortunate to welcome him to Holy Comforter in the not-too-distant future.

On a personal note, Chris Epting was my Bishop the entire time I served in the Diocese of Iowa, and is easily one of the finest people and Bishops I have ever known. I hold him in the highest possible regard, and am absolutely delighted he will now be part of this Diocese. He is a man of great integrity, spiritual depth, and grace, and I cannot wait to have him visit us here at Holy Comforter!

Stephen Ministry Appreciation 

"I am so thankful that you come visit me each week - it makes me feel as if the church really cares about me." This is a sentiment which several Stephen Ministers have heard over the course of their visiting with parishioners this past year. We never thought about it before, but the time and intentionality of making a visit does in fact reflect that the church cares about someone, and how they are doing.

Stephen Ministers are trained lay visitors who are matched up with someone who may have a life situation which is similar to something they have coped well with in their previous lives. They call, say they are interested in visiting, and the two of them, if in agreement, always the same gender, set their own times and patterns for meeting the next weeks and months.

Stephen Ministry, led by Fr. Chris Hardman, Jean Britt, Dick Augspurger, Dick Morley and Sandy Boles, has been meeting for the prior year, and has talked to over 30 individuals in the parish.

This summer, another group of interested parishioners will be selected for the 50 hours of training which will begin after Labor Day. The initial commitment is for a two year period - the first for training in spirituality and listening skills, and the second to provide care.

Stephen Ministers work in conjunction with the clergy of the parish. All work is kept confidential. If you, or someone you know, would like to visit with a Stephen Minister, give Father Hardman, Jean Britt, Sandy Boles or Dick Augspurger a call.

The Vineyard

We joyfully announce the birth of . . .
Scott and Donna Petersen's first grandchild, 9lb Eve Victoria Edwards, on December 28, 2011.

We extend our sympathy to . . .
Char and Jim Washburn on the death of her father, Cyril Smith, on January 25. He was 98 years old.

We welcome to the parish . . .
John and Holly Patience of Winnetka and their children, 3 year old John and 21 month old Emma.

Ash Wednesday

This year, we will observe Ash Wednesday, February 22, with the Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes at different times than in years past: 7am, 12pm and 5:30pm. Please note that there is no 9:00 liturgy, and that the afternoon Eucharist has been moved to 5:30. This change has been made in the hope that some people-especially, perhaps, those who work nearby-might be able to come to the Eucharist over the noon hour, and that the later afternoon service will be more convenient to some commuters and families with school-aged children. The latest Eucharist, in fact, will have something of an emphasis on young people, and will incorporate them into the service; and yet, this liturgy will be more than appropriate for all people. Please make a special effort to participate in one of these celebrations in order that, as the Book of Common Prayer exhorts us, we might all make a "right beginning" to the holy and poignant season of Lent.

Parish Pancake Supper
Shrove Tuesday, February 21
5:30-6:30pm in the Great Hall

Holy Eucharist & Imposition of Ashes
Ash Wednesday, February 22
7:00am    12:00pm    5:30pm


Easter "Laundry" Baskets

Cathedral Shelter, an Episcopal Charity in Chicago, provides programs and services targeting the homeless and at-risk of homelessness populations. Their Cressey House is a 28-unit, permanent supportive housing program for homeless single adults and single-parent families who are dealing with addiction. Clients receive intensive case management to address employability, education, family relationships, health, and addiction, as well as a rent-subsidized apartment. The same intensive case management is offered to homeless individuals not housed at Cathedral Shelter in their Supportive Service Only program.

Although there is always a need for financial support, Cathedral Shelter regularly requests personal hygiene and household supplies for their clients. In 2008, Holy Comforter began a new Easter outreach program: collecting Easter "laundry" baskets filled with these everyday necessities. Every year since, at least 100 baskets have been donated to Cathedral Shelter. These baskets, which are filled with everything from towels to tissue, are then distributed to their clients as Mothers' Day gifts . . . a simple yet appreciated gift for families working to become independent. 

Empty laundry baskets, complete with shopping list and packaging, will be available in the parlor on Ash Wednesday (while supplies last). Filling these baskets makes us realize that what are merely basic supplies to us are truly luxuries to many. Thank you for your support.

Adult Christian Formation

By Father Chris Hardman

At forum hour this winter, we continue the theme "The Times They Are a Changin'." The recovery of Trinitarian theology is one of the keys to understanding the many changes that are taking place in the church and in our world today. This theology tells us that God in God's self is a relationship. Since we are made in God's image we are made for relationships as well. The problem is, of course, that we try to objectify the world around us so that we can control it, thus keeping ourselves separated. But the Holy Spirit continually calls us to become aware of the world as subject rather than object. In fact, it is the Holy Spirit that goes between you and me that makes us both aware of our connection to God and each other.

The Book of Common Prayer on page 855 says "the mission of the church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ." In one sense you could say the mission of the church is to allow the Holy Spirit to move in us and to bring us to an awareness of each other as beloved children of God. You can't make this happen. But, when you reach out to others, you can put yourself into a position to allow it to happen.

In February at our forum hour we will hear experiences of the Spirit's movement from two different groups. On February 5th our young people will share their experiences of the Spirit on the mission trips they took this past year. And then, on the 12th, the leaders of various ministries in our parish will share their experiences of the Holy Spirit in the work they have been called to do.

Then, during Lent we will look at another aspect of the Spirit's work: bringing us closer to God through prayer. Often we think of prayer as trying to get God to give us what we want. Rather, prayer is an opportunity for God to help us to become what God wants. Mark McIntosh, in his book The Mysteries of Faith, puts it this way:

"The work of prayer is the activity of God the Holy Spirit freeing us from the grasping, frightened, self-important bundles of instincts we have been taught to think of as our true selves, in order to discover the deep, strong, and passionate person we are created to become in Christ."

Each Sunday in Lent we will look at a different way of praying that will allow the Spirit to make us what God created us to be: more compassionate people.

On Tuesday nights in Lent, I will be leading a new series entitled Reel Spirituality III: Seeing the Bible with New Eyes. Since the "Introduction to the Bible" class, held on Saturday morning, January 21, was so well received and so many people who wanted to come could not, I would like to offer that course again-only deeper. In our first session we will tell the overall story much like we did in our Saturday class. But in subsequent classes we will look at some of the key themes of the Bible in new and challenging ways using popular movies. This program is based on Richard Rohr's book entitled Things Hidden where Fr. Rohr says this:

"The trouble is that we have made the Bible into a bunch of ideas-about which we can be right or wrong-rather than an invitation to a new set of eyes."

The Bible is about seeing our world differently. The Bible is not just about what God did way back then; it is about what God always does even now in our own time, even now in our own lives.

On Wednesday mornings we will continue our study of Benedictine Spirituality centered on Joan Chittister's book Wisdom Distilled from the Daily. After finishing her book we will segue into a series on Celtic Spirituality.

This winter offers many opportunities for Spiritual Growth. We hope you will join us.

Love. . .Warm Fuzzies & Cold Pricklies

By Pastor Heath Howe

In the Great Commandment, Jesus tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Learning about love and the many ways we are able to love God, neighbor, and self is a first step in following this commandment. The month of February and Valentine's Day offers the perfect setting.

When people think of love, especially around Valentine's Day, they think of romantic love; however, there are many different types of love. As Christians we celebrate the unconditional love of God given to us in Christ called "Agape." Agape refers to a type of love that is self-offering. When we love God, ourselves and one another in this way we do so freely. We do not wait for someone to learn this love from us nor do we demand or even expect a return. Agape love is a gift.

My favorite part I have learned about Agape Love is that it is a gift that never ends. Unlike anything else in the world-money, candy, toys-this Agape Love never runs out. The more you give, the more you have. Therefore, the impact of following Christ's commandment to love God, one another, and self is that Love is spread to all and real community is formed.

As beautiful and desirable as this sounds, it can be difficult to really comprehend, believe, or teach. When I began to teach this notion of Agape to Sophie and Eli I returned to a story I heard years ago around the campfire when I was a camper at our local church camp in Arkansas, the tale of the Warm Fuzzies and the Cold Pricklies. Perhaps you know it as I have since learned that this story has been told by several people and in several versions. You can find it on YouTube or read books by authors such as Claude Steiner or Cathie Brown. I offer the version is the one I "grew up on," along with an activity for you and your family to do together. My hope is that with this story and activity you can begin to teach your family about the power of God's never-ending love, the call from Christ to spread this love freely, and the fun of keeping the Great Commandment.

Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies story and activity>>>

Church School

During Lent, the students will be studying The Chronicles of Narnia and how the story and characters correspond to the stories in Lent: evil that is overcome by love.

Save the Date: April 13 - Grade 4-5 Lock In on Friday night followed by participation in the outreach event on Saturday morning - Kids Against Hunger. This is the event we did last year and it was a very valuable experience for the participants.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

We will have full morning classes for the 2012-2013 school year and there are some placements remaining for the afternoon three-year-old class and afternoon Junior Kindergarten class. We are expanding the class offerings to include a new 3-day-a-week class for two year olds.

Youth Groups

iCONNECT  began their study of prayer with "Letters to God," a movie based on the real life story of Tyler Doherty. As he battles cancer, 8-year old Tyler's prayers take the form of letters sent to his pen pal, God, on a daily basis. iCONNECT will provide strategies to help our 6th and 7th graders deepen their relationship and communicate with God in a way that respects their physical and emotional development and their unique spirituality.

AIM and WHAM will present at the Adult Forum on Sunday, February 5, at 10am in the Great Hall. The 8th and 9th graders will report on "Taking AIM: Chicago," their May 2011 mission trip which was a culmination of their Confirmation preparation. Our senior high school students will talk about their second mission trip to Nicaragua in June 2011 and introduce this year's mission trip to Kentucky. The mission trip video can be viewed here>>>

News from our Directors

Reflections on our Community Life: Pancake Day
by Patti Pateros, Director of Community Building

Formation Principles:  Love is in the Air
by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's and Youth Ministries

Music Notes: In Memory of Gerre Hancock
by Derek Nickels, Director of Music