THE DOVE September 2012

The Pilgramage

by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin, Rector

In the introduction to her fine book, Christianity for the Rest of Us, Episcopal scholar Diana Butler Bass uses the image of pilgrimage to describe the Christian journey. Along the way, she writes, we ask

          "Are we there yet?" Every pilgrimage has
          a destination, and this one is no exception.   
          Christianity is about change-about changing 
          from spiritual tourists to pilgrims-about
          transforming ourselves, our congregations,
          and our communities...a change of heart that
          revolutionizes one's whole life.

It is no secret that mainline Christian traditions are supposed to be in disarray and in decline. Many believe that only evangelical churches are vibrant, healthy, and growing. Diana Butler Bass rejects this notion, as do I. And the paragraph quoted above indicates one of the principal ways in which congregations can become or remain vital and lively: namely, the change of perspective from seeing ourselves as tourists to pilgrims, of moving from being spiritual spectators to being active participants in the life of faith and in the life of the faith community.

At Holy Comforter, September is, every year without fail, a time of return and renewal and reunion and rededication. We resume our full liturgical schedule. The Church School starts up once more. The Adult Forum kicks in. Outreach, including preparation for our annual Housewalk, intensifies. The choir, youth group, and many other ministries, return to their full levels of action and activity. 
Read more here...

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Summer!

Let's put the proverbial cherry on top of this summer! Join us for a very special 10:00 a.m. Eucharist on Sunday, August 26th, featuring the musical stylings of the band Brass from the Past. Brass from the Past covers the major hits of the 60's and 70's and promises all in attendance a "Rock ‘n SOUL Revue!"

A solid and soulful line-up of Chicago's "Make Me Smile;" "Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?" and "Saturday in the Park." Blood, Sweat and Tears' "You Make Me So Very Happy;" Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing in the Street;" Marvin Gay's "Mercy, Mercy Me;" Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are;" Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin';" and lest we forget "Knock on Wood" by Eddie Floyd should keep us singing and swinging in our seats.

Right after the service, cool down with cold treats at the Annual Ice Cream Social on the Parish Lawn. Yummy Homer's Ice Cream and your favorite toppings are guaranteed to put you in a back to school mood. Please remember to bring along any back to school items from your best backpack to your favorite folder for the Blessing of the Backpacks.

Due to the special service there will be no 9:00 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. Eucharist and there will be no nursery. There is no RSVP necessary, just a willingness to move and groove away from the summer and back into the school year. Please join us to celebrate the service, the sounds, the scoops and the sprinkles!

Church School Begins September 9

Nursery Care
Both of the nurseries are staffed by a paid professional team who are consistent throughout the year. Nursery Care is complimentary and offered from 8:45 - 11:00 a.m. every Sunday.
Infants up to age two - First Floor Nursery
Two and Three-Yea- Olds - Lower Level Nursery

Junior Kindergarten through Third Grade
Christian Formation takes place from 9:00 -10:45 on the second floor. The morning includes worship time,
Bible stories, music, activities, and fellowship.
If you would like to assist with these grades as a parent volunteer, please contact Mary Johnson.

Fourth Grade through High School
Students in these grades attend the 9:00 Eucharist followed by classroom time that includes formation and fellowship.
If you would like to assist with these grades as a parent volunteer, please contact Mary Johnson.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Parent Partnership Meeting
Thursday, August 30 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Transition schedules for the following week will be distributed and parents will have the opportunity to meet their child's teacher and visit the classroom.

Classes begin the week of September 4, 2012.

We extend a warm welcome to three new staff members this year. Kari Wendt has been an ATB&B parent for seven years. She will teach the two-year-old Sunflowers and Lambs classes while son Alex is in our Junior Kindergarten class. Jennifer Grant comes to us with several years of early childhood experience and will teach in the new two-year-olds Sparrows class. She joins us with great praise from peers in the teaching community. Stacy Reynolds comes highly recommended by several current staff members and will teach the Daisies two-year-old class.

The Vineyard

Congratulations to...
Teresa West on her marriage on July 28 to her childhood friend, Kenley Bozarth!  The wedding took place on July 28 in the English Garden of the Chicago Botanical Gardens.

We extend our sympathy to . . .
Bob and Pat Drew on the death of Bob's sister, Doris Drew Robertson, who died in Florida on July 30.  A memorial service for Doris will be celebrated on August 25 in Winter Park, FL, at the Mayflower Retirement Community.

Nick and Gloria Polydoris on the death of their daughter Nancy Polydoris Krause Knuti on July 28.

Robin and George Gemeinhardt on the death of Robin's mother, Patricia Loftis, on August 6 in Myrtle Beach, SC.  A memorial service will be offered at Holy Comforter this fall.

The family of former parishioner Janice Gerrie Lowery, who died on July 2 in Naples, FL, after a brief illness.  Her memorial service will take place at Holy Comforter on Saturday, September 1.

Adult Forum 2012-2013

As we receive so shall we give: Bread for the Soul

It is more blessed to give than to receive. That is a quote attributed to Jesus and we all know the truth of that statement.  We do feel blessed when we can give of ourselves, our time, talent, and money to others.  But, for most of us, it is also true that it is easier to give than to receive. Think about it.  Is it easier to serve a meal in a soup kitchen or to receive that meal? When you give, it can be a way of boosting one's own sense of self-sufficiency and worth.  When you receive, however, you have to be open and vulnerable, and that may remind us of our own lack of control and sense of worth, and that is not easy to accept.

The truth is we get so used thinking of ourselves as self-sufficient that we become trapped in a life of trying to control everything around us.  Our giving becomes a means of controlling as we try to influence decisions that are being made. Or we may give because we expect that person or organization to be beholden to us, granting us a favored status. That is not all bad, of course, but neither is it the kind of giving and receiving that the Bible has in mind,  because that kind feeds our egos, not our souls.

This bent toward self-sufficiency is the result of Enlightenment thinking. For the past few hundred years we have focused on "knowledge as power."  This focus has had some wonderful benefits, but it has been very hard on our souls.  Descartes, one of the main proponents of the Enlightenment, said, "I think therefore I am" leading us to consider a person to be a separate individual with a rational nature.  A more traditional Christian view, however, would say that a person is one who is "in relationship."  We are only our true selves "in relationship" with God, each other, and the world.

To be in relationship means we both give and receive freely and mutually.  When we are anxious and fearful our relationships suffer because we want to control through our giving rather than receiving.  Receiving the love of God, however, is what saves us. When we receive God's love, it casts out our fear and anxiety so we can become vulnerable to each other, and that empowers us to establish meaningful relationships that feed the soul.  

Our adult forum theme this year is "As we receive so shall we give: Bread for the Soul."  Through a series of guest speakers and small group options, we are going to explore ways we receive from God so that our giving becomes more a response to that receiving.  We are going to explore art, nature, education, worship, the Bible, service to others, and even the food we eat.  We are going to find out that it is in receiving that our soul is strengthened and we are empowered to give ourselves away, thus bringing us into real life together. 

Children's Choir

St. Augustine famously said, "Those who sing, pray twice." I have long believed this to be true, and have long lamented the fact that the American culture is no longer-if it ever truly was-one in which people sing regularly, and are comfortable and even joyous doing so. One of the last places people sing, besides perhaps joining in the National Anthem before a game at Wrigley, is in church. But it's a good thing we still sing in church, for the truth is simply this: few things can be as pleasurable and fulfilling as raising one's voice in song, especially with other people, and most especially in praise of God.

It is for this reason, and many others, that a group of us started discussing, late this spring and into the summer, the possibility of beginning a children's music ministry at Holy Comforter.
Read full article here...

Adult Prayer and Study Opportunities

by Fr. Chris Hardman 

Are you longing to experience the presence and love of God? Have you ever wondered if intercessory prayer really works?  Are you looking for a time of silence in the midst of a noisy world?  Have you ever thought about why we worship a God expressed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?  Are you perplexed when bad things happen to good people?
Read more here...

Transitions-Back To School Prayer

By Pastor Heath Howe

In my family transition can be both exciting and unsettling all at the same time. As much as we might be excited about what come next for us, we also tend to grieve a bit what we are leaving behind.  
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Welcome To Jill Klusendorf

We are delighted to be able to welcome our new interim Director of Community Life. The newest team member is Jill Klusendorf, who began her position Monday July 16.
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The Serendipity of Faith

by Jill Klusendorf, Director of Community Life 

An Episcopal Church in Kenilworth was looking for a Director of Community Life. As I read the job description, I kept thinking, "Is this for real?" If I didn't know better, I would have sworn I wrote it myself and filed it under "Jill's Dream Job That Could Never Possibly Exist."
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Excitement and Hope

by Mary Johnson, Children's Ministry

There are many emotions that come with the beginning of a new school year: excitement, anticipation, curiosity, fear, joy, hope. For me, as a parent having been through school milestones with my children and as a school director where each fall I begin a new year, the elements of excitement and hope are the most positive feelings to embrace.
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Draw Us in the Spirit's Tether

by Derek Nickels, Director of Music

Every September around the country, one anthem is often sung for its beauty of music, text, and theology for the time of year that we return from our summer travels and resume our full schedule at work, school, and church.
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