THE DOVE March 2014

The Rector's Column

by he Rev. Dr. Jason L. Parkin

The smudge of ashes on the brow,
The charge, "Remember that thou
Art dust and shalt to dust return-"
These are the words, the dictum stern
Of God, relayed in rite
The ages down to hearts contrite.
Remember then, O Ichabod,
That dust thou art, gold dust for God

This brief poem was written on an Ash Wednesday many years ago by a priest named Francis Chesebrough Lightbourn. Some of you will remember Francis and his wonderful wife, Marion; and I know that this poem has appeared previously in The Dove. I reprint it here for personal reasons. Francis was a dear friend of mine over 50 years my senior. He was a 7th generation priest from Bermuda; and one of my prized possessions is a set of books-The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity by Richard Hooker, originally published in the 1590s, and the foundational work of Anglican theology-that his uncle had bought upon graduating from seminary in 1875, which he had passed on to Francis upon his graduation from seminary in 1931, who, in turn, presented them to me shortly after my ordination. Someday, I, too, when my years are long, will pass these volumes on to a younger priest whom I admire and respect, as I hope was the case for Francis when he gave them to me.

Francis died in 1991, and his funeral was, in fact, the final one at which I officiated before leaving Holy Comforter to move to Iowa City that June. He had been in a coma for several days when I went to his nursing home to administer the last rites of the Church. To my astonishment, as I reached the final blessing, Francis stirred from the coma for just a few seconds, and made a faltering, but absolutely unmistakable, sign of the cross over his head and chest. Shortly after, he died. And as I contemplated this frail, elderly man before me-this eccentric, brilliant, absent-minded scholar and librarian, poet and priest-I understood the truth of the poem above. Truly we are all made to be "gold dust for God." From God do we come; to God shall we some day go; and this all-too-brief, sometimes challenging, frequently lovely life is, for people of faith, a time in which we can shine for God, in which we can be scattered by God to reflect holiness and life wherever we may land.

On Ash Wednesday, we will, in a rite used "the ages down," impose ashes on our foreheads as a sign of our mortality and dependence on God. We will begin the powerful and holy season of Lent. We will commence the journey-often difficult and confusing, but ultimately hopeful-toward the cross and the grave and the empty tomb. And we will be reminded, once more, that we are indeed dust: gold dust for God.

Adult Forum In March

Our Lenten theme this year is entitled "Living as Easter People in a Lenten World." The people presenting this month will show us how that is done and how we might do it too.

March 2nd: Mary Margaret McDonnell, medical ethicist for New Trier Township, will share some of her experiences with us on Medical Ethicist.

March 9th: Linda Rockwell of Midwest Palliative Hospice Care Center will teach us how to prepare to care for people as they near the end of life.

March 16th: Our Youth Group will offer reflections on their service trip to Kentucky last year and tell us about their service trip planned for this summer.

March 23rd: Bridget Brown, a remarkable young lady will tell us the incredible story of her life.

March 30th: Jonathan Wishnick, founder of Senior Helpers Wilmette-Evanston, will help us learn some new ways of interacting with people with Alzheimer's and Dementia so as to help them and us.

Reel Spirituality 2014

by Fr. Chris Hardman

When I was thinking about that theme for our Reel Spirituality program, I immediately thought of the film genré of comedy. So this year, we are going to look at the film genre of comedy and allow movies to teach us something about God's work in our lives. Schedule and more here...

The Dialogue That Is Prayer

by Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministries

Prayer is happening all around us. God is communicating through the trees, plants, stars, animals, air, and us. For those of you who feel as if you don't know how to pray or your prayer feels dry and dull, consider joining a small group. Even if you are the slightest bit curious, please join the first meeting on Monday, March 10th, from 11:00-11:30am. Read more here...

In The Vineyard...

Our prayers go out to Gerry and Olga Stokes and their family on the death of Gerry's father, Glenn Stokes, in Sumter, South Carolina. Glenn was just a few months shy of his 100th birthday, and we rejoice in his long, rich life, even as we mourn with the Stokes family.

We extend love and condolences to Marilyn, Marc, and Elizabeth Franson on the death of Marilyn's brother, Robert Doskey, Jr. Bob, as he was known, died at his home in New Orleans, but he had spent a few years in this area helping care for his and Marilyn's late father, Bob, Sr., and was known to some in the parish and the community.

Please hold Alec Dike, Siobhan Flynn, and their children Cameron and Jenna in your prayers as they mourn the death of Alec's father, Herb Dike, who died on Friday, February 21, in Connecticut after a brief time in hospice care. Herb was 91½ years old, and was also known to some in the parish from his visits over the years and periodic attendance at the Men's Bible Study.

We extend prayers and love to Kate Wise on the death of her mother, Sally Strothman Eklund, on January 30. Our hearts also go out to Charlie, Ginny, and George, as well as our hope and conviction that Sally is now experiencing new wholeness and life.

We also mourn with the entire Lind family the death of Cricket's father, Major General Charles "Pete" Echols Spragins. General Spragins died January 29 at the age of 90. His funeral was celebrated at St. Helena's Episcopal Church in Beaufort, South Carolina. May God welcome him to his new home, and protect and comfort Cricket, Thomas, Sidney, Zach, Lucas, and Elias as they mourn.

We grieve with Nancy and John True the death of Nancy's mother, Mary Lou Burgess. She was 94 years old, and her death was peaceful. There will be a memorial service over the Memorial Day weekend in Geneva, IL. We hold Nancy, John, their children, and their grandchildren in prayer and in our hearts even as we give thanks for Mary Lou's long and rich life and entrance into the Kingdom.

With joy we welcome Maevi (Maeve) Noel Joutras to the world! Maevi, who was born on January 17, is the daughter of Nakia and Dave Joutras, and the little sister of Summit, as well as the great-granddaughter of Bev Joutras and great niece of Cindy Macfarland. Blessings and peace to the entire extended family on the joyous, healthy birth of Maevi!

Holy Family Ministries Benefit

"Reach for the Stars"

You are invited to Holy Family Ministries' annual dinner and auction, "Reach for the Stars." The benefit will take place on Saturday, May 3rd at 6:00 p.m. at Skokie Country Club at 500 Washington Avenue, Glencoe. For more information, or to donate auction items, please contact Caitlin Duerinck at cduerinck@hfm.org or register here...

Piano Dedication And Concert

Sunday, March 2nd, 2:00 p.m. in the Great Hall

Holy Comforter has received the marvelous gift from Lloyd and Anne Williams of their 1926 Model M Steinway piano. The piano 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! Read more here...

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

March 4th, 5:30 p.m. in the Great Hall

Breakfast for Dinner, Paczkis, King Cake, bury the Alleluias and MORE! Cookie Kits for Sale to Benefit the Summer Service Trip of your hosts, the Youth Group! Join in the Fun!

Ash Wednesday

March 5

This year, we will observe Ash Wednesday, March 5, with the Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes at different times than in some years past: 7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. Please note that there is no 9:00 liturgy that day. This schedule has been established 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 convenient to some commuters and families with school-aged children. 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.

Lenten Weekday Eucharist

And Breakfast Thursday Mornings

As we move into and through Lent, don't forget the quiet, thoughtful, and inspiring Eucharists that are offered every day in the church. The liturgies are celebrated at 9:00 a.m. each day, save Thursday, and are a perfect way to be renewed and refreshed during the week. On Thursdays, the Eucharist is celebrated at 7:00 a.m., and, during Lent, is followed by a filling and nourishing breakfast in the Great Room. During the rest of the year, this service includes a healing rite, but we suspend that practice during Lent in order to provide time for fellowship and food following the Eucharist. If you have never attended the early service on Thursdays, this would be a perfect year to make it part of your Lenten journey. Please join us.

Men's Fellowship Series

Spring Session

The fall sessions got very good reviews from those who attended and this series promises to live up to those reviews. The spring session of the Men's Fellowship Series kicks off on Friday Morning, March 7th. Come at 6:00 a.m. for some fellowship, or come at 6:30 a.m. for the presentation. Bring a friend! Full schedule here...

March Madness

Thursday, March 20th, 6 p.m. in the Great Hall

Join us for NCAA first round action. The Great Hall and its parquet floor will be transformed into the ultimate basketball arena, where every seat is courtside, the food and fellowship fantastic! Special CHC brackets and squares, as well as super silent auction items, will be available for a donation to benefit the youth group's Summer Mission Trip. This is sure to be a SLAM DUNK special event for the whole parish!

Special Healing Service

On Sunday, March 23rd, at the 9:00 Eucharist, we will celebrate a special liturgy that will include music from the Celtic tradition accompanied by guest instrumentalists, as well as a unique healing service.  Many will remember the healing rite offered last year during Easter, and the strong response to that experience has prompted us to schedule another such moment of grace and of experiencing God's healing love.  The rite, which will involve special prayers, laying on of hands, and anointing with holy oil, is intended for people experiencing all sorts of challenges and changes, frustrations and joys, fears and hopes, as well as for people of all ages. Please join in this special service, and invite friends or neighbors whom you feel might be strengthened by God's healing touch and compassionate presence.

The New Spiritual Exercises

Wednesdays with Fr. Chris Hardman

During Lent this class will switch from study to practice. We will try to take what we've learned by studying The Divine Milieu by Teilhard de Chardin and make it real in our lives. These "New Spiritual Exercises" will not focus on our personal sin, "but upon the graces and blessings God gives us for consciously creating a positive difference in our world. They are based on the scriptural revelation that God has a great project going on-much more that just keeping souls from falling into sin and hell-and that we are invited to become fully and actively involved in this divine project" (The New Spiritual Exercises by Louis Savary). These sessions will begin at 10:30 a.m. and end no later than 11:30 a.m. The first session will be held on March 12th and the last on April 9th. Note: We will not meet on Ash Wednesday.

Lenten Evensong

by Derek E. Nickels, Director of Music

On Sunday, March 16th at 5:00 p.m., the choir will lead our traditional Lenten Evensong, a musical offering that nurtures our Lenten journey.  The choir will be singing the Great Organ Mass by Franz Joseph Haydn, one of 14 masses written by the prolific Viennese composer, born in relative poverty 275 ago this March 31. Read more here...

New Food Ministry?

At the Adult Forum on February 16, Deacon Sandy Rex spoke poignantly about, among other things, the ministry in which he is involved that offers support and help to the people living on Lower Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago. During the presentation, several people expressed interest in the possibility of helping out by cooking for this ministry. As a result, a group of parishioners is going to meet on Sunday, March 9th, with any others who might also be attracted to participating in this ministry. The brief gathering will take place in the library after the 9 o'clock service. There are many ways we could help, and we will investigate those possibilities at this time. If you are interested in any way in taking part, please come to this meeting when Deacon Sandy can further explain the avenues open to us of offering support and help.

Ways You Can Support Our Teens

by Charlotte Long, Director of Youth Ministry

I keep being delighted by the members of the Holy Comforter community who "on paper" may have very little connection to our youth, and yet continue to give their time and donations to allow our youth program to thrive and expand. Because of you, the 2013 High Schoolers went to Joplin, MO, for a service trip. And it is because of you that we will send them to Kentucky this June. Read more here...

Time For A Change

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

On the first Sunday of Lent, the Junior Kindergarten students from All Things Bright and Beautiful will present the bread at the offertory, having made it with Pastor Heath and Bill Haljun the week  before.  This is also the day that we change to daylight savings time. Although the "spring ahead" change of the clocks means one less hour of sleep for that day, the extra daylight, in my opinion, is well worth it!
Read more here...

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