THE DOVE January 2015

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-some years ago I heard a couple of young men arguing in a store over whether Christmas fell that year 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 on 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 approaching the Feast of the Epiphany, with its celebration of the visit of the three magi to Bethlehem. But the Epiphany season merely begins with the Feast itself and allows us several weeks to experience God's unfolding self-revelation through the life and growing ministry of Christ. During the Epiphany season this year we will hear on Sundays about Jesus calling his disciples to a new life; about Jesus teaching in synagogues and casting out unclean spirits; about him healing the sick and being transfigured before the sleepy eyes of Peter, James and John. Each of these events 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 holy realm.

One interesting truth about the seasons of the Church year is that they place upon us the responsibility of reacting 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 routines 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 a 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 January

& Wednesday Adult Class

by Fr. Chris Hardman

January continues our exploration of World Faith Traditions, with a look at Sufism. It is a mystic tradition that comes out of Islam. Sufism corresponds to our own Christian mystic tradition represented by Saints such as Francis of Assisi, Bonaventure, Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, and Hildegard of Bingen. The focus of all mystics is "Union with God." Thus, the love of God is at the core of their life. Schedule and more here...

Light

by Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministries

As we enter the season of Epiphany, that season when we celebrate the arrival in Bethlehem of the Wise Men and as I look around at the violence and hatred that are a part of our lives today, I find this hopeful and reassuring quote from Brother Vryhof. Read more here...

ASP Wants YOU!

by Charlotte Long, Youth Ministries

The 2015 High School Service Trip planning has been in the works since September! We will be travelling with the same organization as last year: Appalachian Service Project, or more fondly: ASP. Read more here...

In the Vineyard

Bing Seibold, Nancy's husband, and a beloved parishioner, died on Friday night, December 26, after an extended time in the hospital and a rehab facility.  Bing was 80 years old, and his funeral will be this coming Saturday, January 3, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Comforter.  A reception will follow in the Great Room.  I am sure that as many people as possible will want to attend to support Nancy in this challenging time, and to give thanks for Bing's ebullient spirit and joyful presence.  May God embrace him with light perpetual, and envelop Nancy and her family with comfort, strength, and hope. 

It is with sorrow that we also make mention of the death on December 18 in Colorado of Alice Woodward, the mother of Bill Pearce, at the age of 101.  Bill, his daughter Cappy, and Bill's sister were all with Mrs. Woodward when she died.    We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to Bill, Ann, and their extended family, even as we also give thanks that Alice lived, as Ann put it, a "long, wonderful life."  Grace, peace and joy be hers, now and forevermore.

We also pray for the repose of the soul of William A. Roever, Jr., the father of Alex Roever, who died on December 20 in Dallas, at the age of 76.  Mr. Roever's memorial service will take place at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas on January 10.  Please keep Alex, Kari and their family in your hearts and prayers.  May God grant to Bill light and life eternal in his heavenly abode.

Our condolences go out, as well, to Barb Hogg, Bear Chrabaszcz and their family on the death of Barb's father, Robert V. Hogg, on December 23 in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.  Bob had turned 90 years old about six week earlier, and was a world-renowned academic, statistician, and author.  On a personal note, Bob was on the Vestry that called me to become Rector of Trinity Church, Iowa City, when I left Holy Comforter in 1991, and he has held a very dear place in my heart for all these years.  May he rest in peace, and enjoy wholeness and light.

Peace, light, and love be with all of these faithful departed, and with those they loved and who loved them.

This Community Needs You

by Marc Franson, Canvass Chair

LAST CALL FOR THE 2015 CANVASS! The Vestry is in the process of preparing the 2015 budget and the fiscal REALITY is that the budget is based primarily on pledges. Every single pledge is important so if you have not yet turned yours in, please do so or contact Jeff in the church office. A financial commitment to the parish is also evidence of SPIRITUALITY and the response to God in thanksgiving for all that is given to us. Holy Comforter is also a special place, a COMMUNITY for worship, education, fellowship and service. The canons (laws) of the church dictate that in order to be a member of the community, that a financial commitment be made. In order to be included in the 2015 Parish Directory, as a member of this community, a pledge needs to have been made. So, if amidst the rush of the holidays, this just hasn't been done, please do so now. Each person is important to this community and we want you to remain a part of this. Don't miss being in the CHC directory!

Deepest Thanks to Tom Hamilton

As most everyone knows, Tom Hamilton has, at one time or another, been involved in virtually every ministry Holy Comforter has to offer. Tom has also offered many gifts and talents behind the scenes. One of Tom's most important roles has been that of serving as our parish Chancellor for the past 16 years. Read more about Tom here...

Visitors from Distant Lands

January 4th 9:00a.m.

For some time now, we have heard rumors around Holy Comforter that we were going to be treated to a visit by some special guests early in the New Year. We now have more information, and are delighted to be able to pass on word that on Sunday, January 4, we will be privileged to host three Magi from exotic Eastern lands during the 9:00 Eucharist (we think they're Magi: they might be kings or magicians or astrologers or sages. We're just not sure yet. We will simply have to wait until they arrive to learn more). So please come and welcome our special visitors and guests on January 4 at the 9:00 Eucharist!

Holy Baptism

January 11th 9:00a.m.

The next celebration of the sacrament of Holy Baptism will take place on Sunday, January 11, 2015. January 11 is the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and, thus, is one of the preeminent days on which to welcome people into the household of God. If you are interested in baptism at the 9:00 Eucharist on the 11th for yourself or a child, please contact the Rector at your earliest convenience (847/251-6120, ext. 115).  

Annual Parish Meeting

January 25th 10:00a.m. in the Great Hall

The Annual Parish Meeting is always an important day in the life of any congregation. It provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the year past, and to ponder the year just beginning. Read more here...

Lucille Resale Shop

"On the Spot Pick-Up"

On Saturday, January 10, from 10 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Church of the Holy Comforter will participate in our first Lucille Resale Shop "On the Spot Pick-Up" to raise money for Holy Family Ministries. More information here... 

Ladle of Love

Were you aware that a new ministry began this fall called "Ladle of Love?" This ministry offers a simple meal of soup and bread to those who need a little gentle support. Read more here...

Men's Advance:

A Retreat for All the Men of Holy Comforter  

February 6 - 8, 2015

Calling all men of the parish! You have to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. No kidding! Read more here...

Living Our Faith Outside the Walls

Women's Retreat

Febuary 22-23, 2015

A women's retreat, will be held from February 20th through the 22nd at Techny in Northbrook; please consider joining us. We hope to enjoy discussion, reflection, prayer, and fellowship, as we ponder the best ways to live as women of faith in our everyday lives. Participants are welcome to spend the weekend or to join us daily as commuters. Please contact Laurel O'Donnell at 847-251-6120 to reserve your spot. We look forward to spending time together, outside the confines of our everyday walls.

A New Year's Resolution

by Marc Franson, Canvass Chair

A couple of Sundays ago as the ushers were passing the plate, my wife leaned over to me and said, "Don't you feel bad not putting something in the plate?" My initial response was that we had already prepaid our pledge. We didn't "owe" any more. But as I thought more about it, the question was really profound. Read more here...

Predictions

by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries & ATB&B

There are no shortage of predictions on the internet for 2015: psychic, astrology, weather, and stock market to name a few. I wish there were predictions for a winning Cubs season and/or Bears season for 2015. But we've all been down that road before! Read more here...

Gratitude for My Stephen Minister!

The Journey of a CHC Parishioner and Care Receiver

One way to fully understand what it is like to be in a caring Stephen Ministry relationship is to read the following letter. The names and some details have been revised to ensure confidentiality. Read more here...