THE DOVE June 2011

The Feast of Pentecost

by Father Parkin 

On the first Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the living presence of the Living God through the Holy Spirit, and ran through the streets of Jerusalem proclaiming the Good News in diverse languages and tongues, some who saw them were amazed; and some attributed their zeal to early morning drinking. These latter folks mocked the disciples, saying, "They are filled with new wine," which was known to be more potent than older vintages. But Peter, standing before the crowd, proclaimed that they were not drunk, but were filled with the Spirit, in fulfillment of a promise spoken by God through the prophet Joel. "Ou gar hos humeis hypolambanete outoi methuousin" is the transliteration of the Greek for, "They are not drunk;" and the final word, methuousin, is the antecedent of our modern word, "amethyst," the gem placed in the episcopal ring most bishops wear on their right hands. In other words, bishops are reminded by their rings that they are to be drunk, so to speak, with the Holy Spirit, filled with, and conduits for, the life-giving presence of the Holy One of heaven.

And is not this our vocation as Christians, as well: to open ourselves to God's presence and power, and to become vessels of grace, peace, reconciliation? We may not wear episcopal rings; and yet, we, too, are called to be renewed by the Spirit, to be inebriated with divine love and mercy. It is for this reason that we celebrate the Feast of the Pentecost, the most important day in the church's life after Easter and Christmas. Pentecost is frequently called the "Birthday of the Church," and, in a very real sense, it was; for the bestowal of the Spirit transformed the disciples-who were still struggling with confusion and fear following the Resurrection and Ascension - into a body, a living and dynamic community of faith. And the Spirit does the same today: enlivening us as people and as a people; empowering us to be agents of transformation and renewal; uniting us into one Body; forming us into the People of God.

I write this not primarily to urge your participation in the Feast of Pentecost on June 12th - although I certainly do hope all will be at Holy Comforter that day to welcome, among other reasons, Bp. Scantlebury on his visit to the parish! - but to urge all of us to ponder what it means to be in a community formed and sustained by the Holy Spirit of God. Indeed, the entire season of Pentecost that runs from the Feast until the beginning of Advent, is the time of the church year when we can reflect on what it means to be the Church, the ongoing presence of Jesus in the world; and it can also be a time when we rededicate ourselves emotionally, physically, financially and, above all, spiritually to responding to the presence of the Spirit in our lives. May we, together and individually, drink of the rich wine of God's presence this season, and strengthen our commitment to one another and the Holy One in whose name we gather.

Annual Parish Picnic ~ Sunday, June 5

The annual parish picnic traditionally kicks off our summer schedule. The June 5 picnic will begin with a 10am outdoor liturgy on the parish lawn, which will be dedicated to those serving in the armed services, past and present. Afterwards, a picnic lunch will be offered (hot dogs, hamburgers, brats and all the fixings!) while the children are entertained by a strolling juggler/balloonist, professional facepainter and the ever popular Moonwalk. Bingo will be available for the more mature attendees. (If it rains, activities will be brought indoors.)

A Close "Knit" Community

Comfort . . . while recovering from an illness; after the loss of a loved one; during emotional stress. That is what Holy Comforter's Shawl Ministry provides: prayers, companionship and comfort in times of need.

The Shawl Ministry, which began in 2005, lovingly knit ssprayers and good wishes into each shawl that is created. The shawls are blessed and then given to parishioners or friends and family who are in need of comfort. To date, almost 300 shawls have been distributed throughout the community, to individuals and as well as organizations that provide special care, such as Misericordia.

The Ministry meets Mondays at 1pm for conversation, prayer and knitting, and they always have a stock of shawls ready for giving. They ask that the parish be the eyes and ears of the community; if you know of anyone who would benefit from the comfort of a shawl, please contact Anne Heynen.

Father Myers' Retirement Party

Three hundred people festively celebrated the ministry of Father Myers at Misericordia's Jean Marie Ryan Center and bid him a final farewell as he comfortably settles into his retirement as Holy Comforter's 8th Rector.  Also represented at the May 14 party were members of the Misericordia staff and the Kenilworth Police Department. David Boles was the master of ceremony and Father Jason Parkin began the dinner expressing his gratitude to Father Myers for his early mentoring and offered grace before the meal.  After dinner, Police Chief John Petersen presented Father Myers with a commendation from the Village of Kenilworth, and Linda Gantz introduced Mark Myers, who humorously and gratefully spoke about his life as a "preacher's kid."  Senior Warden Jon Bunge roasted our former rector, and Chris Caywood and John Campbell revealed his portrait, which now hangs in the Great Hall.  Father Myers spoke with his usual eloquence - with emotion and gratitude for his years of service to the parish, the community and now to Misericordia.  It was a wonderful, but emotional, evening for all.  See photos here>>>

A Note of Thanks

Dear Church of the Holy Comforter,

My sincere thanks for all the diapers your church collected for Connections for the Homeless. I'm always overwhelmed by the generosity that you and others show toward those in need. There are lots of babies who will be more comfortable and many grateful moms who thank you.

Here is what Jessica, a homeless mom, had to say: "There are so many things that I have to ask for help with, and it embarrasses me. But when I come to Connections for the Homeless, the diapers are just there. I just can't believe it. Tell them that I appreciate from the bottom of my heart that there are people out there who don't even know me and are willing to give me diapers for my baby. "

Thank you to those of you who organized the drive for your church. Your efforts are much appreciated. Please keep us in mind for next Mother's Day.

Kathy Tschaen, Director of The North Suburban Diaper Bank

News from Our Directors

Reflections on Community Life: Souvenirs
by Patti Pateros, Community Building
Music Notes: Pentecost Hymns 
by Derek Nickels, Music

Junior & Senior High Mission Trips

Service to our Local & Global Communities

It is amazing how two days can change your life. This was the experience of our junior high youth group during its May 6-8 Chicago mission trip. Hosted by Center for Student Mission, 23 seventh and eighth graders traveled through the various neighborhoods of the city and discovered, as one student wrote, "that one city has many different 'worlds' to it."

The housing for the weekend was a Chicago two-flat in the Albany neighborhood. From there, groups were divided into two teams and spent all day Saturday serving people throughout Chicago, at the following sites:

  • Canaan Missionary Baptist Food Pantry, Englewood
  • Dream Center/Manna for Life & Adopt-A-Block Community Outreach Center, Humboldt Park
  • Two Lil' Fishes Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Uptown
  • Cornerstone Community Outreach Soup Kitchen, Uptown
  • A Just Harvest Soup Kitchen, Rogers Park

It was a long day, with one team beginning at 7am and both teams arriving home, tired (and a bit wound up!) at 8pm. The students did all the housekeeping in their apartments, had dinner at a variety of ethnic restaurants (Greek, Peruvian, Puerto Rican and Indian), and had the privilege of attending the 9am Sunday Service at Lawndale Community Church, an African-American congregation that works to renew the Lawndale community.  Everywhere they went, they were welcomed with open arms and loving hearts, whether they were packing up groceries at the pantry or playing chess with those living in the shelter.

Here are some comments from the students:  "It really opened my eyes to the world. It made me realize how lucky I am." "When I was a server, I got to see a lot of smiling faces when they received their meals." "Even though it seemed like we didn't do a lot . . . these little things are BIG things to someone. Every little act of kindness counts." "When we first went to the food pantry, there was a huge line going around the corner. I could not believe that many people needed food and help. I was even more amazed that we were able to help them all, at least a little bit."  "I really want to thank God for all the amazing experiences He has given to me."

During their confirmation preparation, the junior high reviewed their Baptismal vows. When asked if they were ready to renew their Baptismal Covenant, they hesitated, and questioned how they, as young students, were expected to "continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers" and "proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ." By the end of their weekend, they realized they had indeed lived into their Baptismal Covenant!

As one mission trip ended, another group continues preparation for its next trip. WHAM, our high school youth group, will leave on their second trip to Nicaragua June 17-25. Hosted by the Fabretto Children's Foundation, 16 high schoolers will spend mornings doing manual labor at Fabretto's Cusmapa site (planting a community garden and helping with construction of a building addition), and in the afternoons, working and, more importantly, playing with the children attending Escuela Miramar, a small public school, and Fabretto community center, that provides lunch and after school enrichment programs for children in the neighboring villages.

A few weeks ago, WHAM made a presentation to Holy Comforter's Outreach Committee, requesting continued funding for Fabretto. When the students were asked for a recommendation for the use of outreach funds, they unanimously agreed that the money should be used for the children. So instead of asking for funding for a "work project," they requested funding to support the Fabretto program at Escuela Miramar - to pay teachers' salaries, provide lunch and health services to the children, and purchase school supplies and equipment as needed. After their first visit to Miramar, they understood that a mission trip should not be about them; rather it is about relationships with the people and service to their community in ways that make a difference to everyone. A very mature decision made by our young adults! They can't wait to see their friends in Nicaragua, and they look forward to building on the relationships already established with the villagers. WHAM is grateful for the financial and spiritual support from our Outreach Committee, the parish and especially their parents.

For more information about our youth mission trips:
AIM Mission Chicago pictures and prayers >>>

WHAM Mission: Nicaragua >>>

The Fabretto Children's Foundation>>>

In the Vineyard

We congratulate . . .
Our high school graduates: Annie Barrett (Ithaca College), David Berlinghof (University of Virginia), Chelsea Delaney (Kenyon College), Jack Drake (University of Pittsburgh), Henry MacLeod (undecided), Kendall Mancillas (Auburn University), Greg Smart (Berkshire School), Eleanor Spevok (University of Colorado), Alex Swift (Columbia University), Konrad von Moltke (Dartmouth College), Rich Warner (University of Michigan), Jill Weidrich (University of Michigan), Mark Yingling (University of Richmond).

We pray for . . .
Our candidates for Baptism on Pentecost Sunday: Hamilton Judd Alt, Tyler Attaway Molloy, John Trybus, Nora Whipple, and Shea Whipple.

Our confirmands to be presented on Pentecost Sunday:  Maggie Armstrong, Lauren Barrett, Ashley Batjer, Hunter Batjer, Henry Beatty, Cece Boles, Adam Chodos, Nick Cornejo, Hope Cummins, Amanda David, Bethany David, Nicky David, Marcus Duquette, Ian Fargo, Helen Feeney, Casey Fraleigh, Julia Green, Hunter Johnson, Nick Martin, Griffin Powell, Allison Quigley, Charlie Quigley, Caralie Randolph, Kate Roever, Tace Sutherland, Will Taylor, Greta Wall and Ginny Wise.  Maddie Berlinghof, Emily Leiter and James Lovett were confirmed earlier this spring at the Deanery/Diocesan confirmation.

Summer Schedule

Our schedule of summer liturgies begins on Sunday, June 19: 8:00 am in the Church; 9:00 am in the Cloister; and 10:15 am in the Church. The 9:00 Eucharist is outdoors as weather permits, and is informal and especially family-friendly. Refreshments will be provided in the parlor after the 8:00 and 10:15 liturgies, and in the Cloister following the 9:00 liturgy. The Choir, Adult Forum and Church School are on hiatus until September 12.

Each weekday, the Eucharist is celebrated at 9:00 am, except on Thursday mornings, when the liturgy and Public Service of Healing take place at 7:00 am in the Cloister, weather permitting. Men's Bible Study, the Shawl Ministry, Spiritual Life prayer group, and various fellowship events will continue during the summer months. Vacation Bible Camp for 2-4 year olds will be held August 1-11 and new this year is ATB&B Summer Camp in session from June 21-July 28.

The summer office hours are Monday-Thursday 9:00 am-5:00 pm and Friday 9:00 am-1:00 pm. Clergy are available on Saturday from 9:00 am-Noon.  We hope to see you each Sunday, and perhaps weekdays, throughout the summer.