THE DOVE February 2014

The Revealed God

by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin, Rector

Most of our world believes that Christmas is a single day, celebrated each year solely on the 25th of December (although-and I am not making this up-I have heard tell of two young men arguing in a store last month over whether Christmas fell in 2014 on the 24th or the 25th!) Once the day itself is past, many people act as if Christmas were all over. We know better. We know that Christmas is, in fact, an entire season, one lasting 12 days and coming to a culmination in the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. In similar fashion, Easter lasts not just one day but a full 50; and the season of Pentecost encompasses the several months following the feast for which it is named.

So it is with Epiphany. As this issue of the newsletter arrives in your mailboxes, we will be approximately half way through the season of Epiphany, which is longer this year than normal. Yes, the feast celebrating the visit of the three magi to Bethlehem is weeks behind; but the period will still be unfolding in which God's own self-revelation and the revelation of the unique role and identity of Jesus unfold. During the Epiphany season this year we have already heard about Jesus being baptized and calling his closest disciples to follow him, and we will hear on coming Sundays extended passages from the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus tells his followers a great deal about the holy reign of God and the life of discipleship. Each of these moments unpeels something about the truth of who Jesus was and his mission and vocation to lead people-people of all ages, colors, backgrounds and description-closer to God and God's kingdom.

One interesting truth about the seasons of the Church year is that they provide us with the opportunity to respond to what we have experienced as we have walked with Jesus through a particular part of his life and ministry. During Easter, for example, we are called to reflect on the ways in which God is bringing about new life in us and in the world. During Pentecost, we can ponder the motion and action of the Spirit in the daily rounds and routine and rhythms of our lives. And during Epiphany, as God's holiness is revealed step by step and event by event in the person of Jesus, we can similarly contemplate how God reveals God's own self to us and through us. During this season, the promise of God is that we will find the revealed Christ if we

--look for him in unexpected places, like in stable, or among the forgotten and lonely;
--seek him in the faces of friends and neighbors and children, colleagues and strangers;
--relinquish our reluctance to believe that he is even now among us.

God is among us, even now, in Jesus. God is working in and through us, even now, in Jesus. God is revealing the divine love and grace, even now, in Jesus. So how is God making himself known to you this season, and, through you, to the world?

Adult Forum in February

by Fr. Chris Hardman

We have some excellent forum topics lined up for February. Please join us for some lively presentations and discussions. We need your participation so our caring conversations can move us all closer to God. Full schedule here...

In the Vineyard...

It is with great sadness that we write to notify the parish of the death of Sven Elfving.  After battling a variety of health challenges over the years, Sven died not long after midnight on January 2.  His memorial service will be celebrated at Holy Comforter at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, with a reception following in the Great Room.  Our prayers and love go out to Betty and to their son, David;  and we certainly pray that God will envelop Sven with peace and wholeness and joy, now and always. 

Our prayers go out to the family and loved ones of long-time devoted and beloved parishioner Pat Windhorst, who died last week.  Her memorial service will at Holy Comforter later in the spring, and we will pass on information about the date and time as soon as it is available. For now, we pray-and know-that God is embracing Pat with peace and newness of life in her heavenly home.  May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.

Piano Dedication and Concert

March 2 in the Great Hall

As many will remember from an article in The Dove in December, Holy Comforter has received the marvelous gift from Lloyd and Anne Williams of their 1926 Model M Steinway piano. The piano, which is in the rare decorative Louis XV style, has already been used on several occasions since its arrival in November, most notably for the annual Christmas Carol sing-along on December 22. It is now time to dedicate the piano and to give thanks for its presence!

On Sunday afternoon, March 2, at 2:00 p.m., we are going to hold a dedicatory concert in the Great Room, followed by a party. At present, we have several pianists from within the parish lined up to play, ranging in age from seven to 89 years old, with some junior high and high school students and some adults of middle years also in the mix (okay, for those who are curious, the 89-year-old is Louise Parkin, and she and Fr. Jason are going to play some music for four hands on one keyboard!) Music will span the centuries and a variety of styles, from Mozart to Ray Charles. This is going to be a fun, lively afternoon, so plan now to join us on March 2. And if you are interested in playing or in helping with the reception afterward, please contact Jill Klusendorf or Fr. Jason.

Love is All You Need

by Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministries

Whenever I think about the month of February, I think about love. There's the obvious reason, Valentine's Day, which begs me to think about romantic love. This year I find myself wondering about Christian love. Read more here...

Working with Teens Part II

by Charlotte Long, Director of Youth Ministry

Teenagers are in this lovely unknowing place; their hearts are always vulnerable and always trying to be strong at the same time. And when tended to, these hearts can be such sweet soil in which God can plant Himself. Read more here...

Technology And The Classroom

Striking The Right Balance

by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries & All Things Bright and Beautiful

In January, our Great Hall was the site of two sessions with Dr. Chip Donohue, Dean of Distance Learning and Continuing Education at Erikson Institute. His point is simple. Technology is here and it will stay here. To ignore it or deny it in the context of teaching our children is impossible. The goal is to get involved, become aware of what is out there and use it appropriately. Read more here...

All the Cool Kids are Doing It!

by Jill Klusendorf, Director of Community Life

There are so many great opportunities to get involved here at CHC, and so many wonderful, caring, and kind-hearted parishioners just waiting to take you under their wings! Read more here...

Family Movie Night

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could keep away Lion King fans at Family Movie Night on Friday, January 24. See more here...