THE DOVE September 2014

Why Do You Go to Church?

by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin, Rector

I've asked this question at least once in a sermon in every church I've served. The answer for me is pretty simple. I go to Church to be with you. To be nourished by God in sacrament and song, psalm and scripture. To be renewed for the days ahead. And, above all, to be reminded that I am-as are all-the child of God.

I think this is an incredibly important question right now because there are, quite frankly, so many other options on a Sunday morning - far more than when I was a kid and many more options than when my parents were children.

You might want instead to sleep in, or catch up on some work, or go shopping, or meet a friend for coffee at Starbucks, or run through some email, or read the paper, or go to your kid's soccer match or hockey game, or see what you missed this week on your DVR, or watch a film on demand or.... The list goes on and on. Which makes me curious. Why do those of us who still go to church - which remains the single activity done by more people than any other in the U.S. - actually go?

There are a lot of reasons, I realize, perhaps as many as there are people in attendance. And while some of those reasons - to make a parent, spouse, or significant other happy, for instance - reflect more external motivations than internal, I think there are still lots of internal reasons people choose to spend part of their Sunday morning at church. Some go for community, while others because it's an important part of their identity. Some go to see friends, while others hope for guidance in how they live. And so on.

But while there are lots of good reasons to go to church, the one that gets me out of bed and to the sanctuary most frequently is a sense of need. I realize that might sound odd. But here's the thing: I need to be reminded, especially in a time and a world such as ours, of God's unceasing love and grace.

Think about it. Each and every week, we hear the news that the God who created and still sustains this vast cosmos not only knows that you and I exist but actually gives a darn. More than that, that same God cares deeply and passionately about our ups and down, ins and outs, hopes and heartbreaks, successes and failures. And even more than that, that same God cares about us enough to send the Christ that we might know and believe just how much God loves us.

This news is so good it almost sounds too good to be true. And while it might sound great on Sunday, by Friday - and some weeks, let's face it, by Monday afternoon - it seems very hard to believe. And so we come back to church week in and week out to hear the good news of God's love, forgiveness, and grace, that we might leave encouraged to believe it - and, even harder, to live it - for one more week.

The people I know who go to church don't go because they think they are perfect but because they - we - know ourselves to be in need of Christ's grace and look forward to being renewed by our time in worship. We go each week to hear of God's forgiving love, and leave trying to live into that forgiveness, love, and a world of new possibility.

Why do I go to Church? To be with you. To be nourished by God in sacrament and song, psalm and scripture. To be renewed for the days ahead. And, above all, to be reminded that I am-as are all-the child of God.

Adult Forum

Fall 2014

by Fr. Chris Hardman

In one tablespoon of soil there are 50 billion microbes-living things. Over 1 million different species of plants and animals are known to inhabit the ocean. Scientists believe there may be as many as 9 million more species we haven't even discovered yet. Our world is filled with a great diversity of living things. God certainly must love diversity! Read more here...

Wednesday Adult Class 2014-2015

Reconnecting with God in our Midst

by Fr. Chris Hardman

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!!!!! That clarion call for Monday Night Football is how I feel about God's call to us in this present moment. Are you ready for some new life? Schedule and more here...

In the Vineyard...

Holy Comforter has been greatly diminished by the deaths of two beloved women, both of whom entered the heavenly realms on August 7th.

Janet Drake, a member of the parish, along with her late husband George, since 1952, died at Westminster Place, where she had lived for some years. Our prayers and our love go out to her son George, his wife Lin and their family, to his siblings and their families, and to Jackie Armstrong, Mrs. Drake's long-time and devoted caregiver.

Marian Ware also died the same evening after a slow decline over the past several months. Marian was a regular attendee at the 11:15 Eucharist the past several years, and a sweet, gracious presence to all whom she met. Her memorial service will be a private family event, but please remember her and her family in your prayers.

Sorrow always accompanies the death of one of God's children, even as we rejoice that God sent these two remarkable women into the life of this community. May God embrace Janet and Marian with never-failing peace and joy, and comfort with strength and grace those who loved them.

Tennis Guild Storm the Nets Night

Saturday, September 13th

by Sid Condit

Bastille Day may have passed, but the Tennis Guild is prepared to "STORM THE NETS." Registration and warm-up begins at 4:30. $15 per person includes flighted play for all ages and levels. Read more here...

Acolyte Wardens: Thank You, and Welcome!

For over 13 years, John Quigley and Charlie Wise led our acolyte ministry, training, coordinating, encouraging, and communicating with our young people who serve at the altar during the 9:00 Eucharist. They did so with unfailing humor and grace, exhibiting remarkable dedication and commitment. Sunday by Sunday, month by month, year after year, Charlie and John were present in the sacristy overseeing the liturgical servers, making sure the students had lit candles, gotten appropriately attired in their vestments, and were well-schooled in their responsibilities.

We all know how important the ministry of our young people is in enhancing and facilitating our common worship. Many, however, are not aware of the wonderful leadership John and Charlie exercised for so many years, and for that service, they deserve our profound and unceasing gratitude. Thank you, and thank you again, gentlemen, for your outstanding devotion and ministry!

It is with delight that we welcome Alec Dike and Gregg Anderson as our new acolyte wardens. There is no question that these gents will do a similarly marvelous job. Alec previously worked with the youth lectors, and is also the coordinator of the Men's Open Discussion Group on Saturday mornings (see the article in the summer issue of The Dove for more information), and is the father of Jenna and Cameron, who both serve in a variety of ways in the parish. Gregg has been involved with the Men's Fraternity and the Men's Fellowship, among other endeavors, and his Ellie will be joining the acolyte corps this year. Many thanks to Gregg and Alec for agreeing to take up this new ministry!

Full Sunday Schedule Resumes

September 7th

8:00am:   Holy Eucharist [Rite One]
9:00am:   Family Choral Eucharist [Rite Two] with Choir
10:00am: Church School Open House [All Classrooms]
                The Game of Life Ministry Faire [Great Hall]
11:15am: Choral Eucharist [Rite Two] with full Choir

Nursery care is available from 8:45 to 11:00 a.m.

Coffee and donuts are available in the parlor throughout the morning. Refreshments are provided during the Church School Open House and Ministry Faire That's Not a Ministry Faire in the Great Hall.

Ministry Faire

Sunday September 7th

On Sunday, September 7th, Church of the Holy Comforter will host "The Game of Life at Holy Comforter is a Family Affair," otherwise known as the Ministry Faire that is not a Ministry Faire! Please save the date and invite and encourage non-parishioners to attend in order to learn about all we have to offer which feeds our souls while feeding the needs of others. The event will be held in the Great Hall after all services. Should you have any questions, or would like to be a part of the planning team, please do not hesitate to contact either: Jill Klusendorf 847-251-6120, Sharon D'Arcy 847-251-1712, Jane Eaton 847-256-5866, or Sue Murphy 847-212-0734. Please join us; let's make this something special!

Be Still and Know That I am God

by Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministries

"Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God."

We sing this song every week in chapel, and I will never forget the time a four-year-old asked me if I was, in fact, God. Read more here...

Fall Festival

Lord Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary

by Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministries

Charlotte, our youth minister, believes that no school youth group experience is fully realized unless this song is sung. She may be on to something. Read more here...

Love, Grace & Gratitude

by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries

There have been many arguments made about the need or even importance of being part of a Sunday worship experience. I have to admit, that when I was growing up it wasn't a choice that I made. That is, my parents never presented it as a "choice" on Sunday mornings. Read more here...

New Year, Fresh Spirits

by Charlotte Long, Youth Ministries

Welcome to Holy Comforter's families with 7th -12th grade teens! We are so thrilled to partner with your families in guiding your teen's spiritual journey! Read on to find out important upcoming dates.