THE DOVE Summer 2012

Saying Farewell to Patti

By now, almost everyone in the parish has become aware of the news that Patti Pateros has resigned her position as Director of Community Life at Holy Comforter. She submitted her resignation to me on June 22, and her last day at the church will be Friday, July 6.

After some soul searching and discernment, Patti decided that it was time for her to explore new opportunities and directions. While it is not yet clear exactly what her new position will be, she is investigating a variety of options before making her final decision as to what will come next. Patti has requested that there be no formal celebration or even observance of her departure, such as a party: as a person who does not like to draw attention to herself, she simply wants to leave rather quietly and gently; and we will respect that wish. I am sure, however, that many will want to express their love and support to Patti in a variety of ways. Please see her column further back in this issue of The Dove for her own words of farewell.

We all know how vitally important Patti has been to the life and energy of Holy Comforter these past 12 years, and her departure will result in some changes around here. She has served with astonishing competence, commitment, and creativity in every area to which she has been connected, and has filled in gaps of all kinds over the years. Patti has been integrally involved in communications, fellowship, outreach, youth ministry, and a host of other areas, many of them invisible to the vast majority of the congregation. She will be deeply and sorely missed by so many of us, even as we are profoundly grateful for all she has given and been to the Holy Comforter family.

The Wardens, Chancellor, and I have already been in extended contact about steps that need to be taken both for short-term concerns and for longer-term issues and challenges, and more information on these decisions will be shared as they develop, in conversation with the Vestry and other parish leaders. In the meantime, however, please feel free to contact Bob Patin, Eric Beatty or me if you have any questions or concerns. And also ponder how you might offer your gifts and energy in new ways as we traverse the territory ahead.

I know I speak for all in the parish when I say that we wish Patti every possible blessing and joy in the next chapter of her life, for she has been a blessing to this parish for many years. Please keep her in your hearts and prayers; and may God watch over and walk with her, and all of us, now and always.

Fr. Jason Parkin

Parish Treasurer Transition

For the past seven years, Art Duquette has served as the Treasurer of Church of the Holy Comforter. During that time, Art did a remarkable job as he assured our financial health and vigor during a difficult economic era, monitored our investments, and helped both create and keep watch over our annual operational budget. He also served as a member of the parish's Executive Committee. Earlier this year, Art indicated that he needed to step down from being the Treasurer due to demands on his time and energy in many different directions, including his service as a member of the Board of a Charter school in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. We have, as an entire congregation, greatly benefited from Art's leadership, service, and wisdom over these years; and we are also fortunate that he has agreed to remain part of the deliberations around financial and other considerations affecting the parish. Thank you, Art, for all you have offered to this parish.

And we are also deeply fortunate that Brooks Crankshaw has agreed to serve as the new Treasurer of the parish. At its monthly meeting in June, the Vestry formally elected Brooks Treasurer, and he has already jumped into this new role eagerly and with great skill and insight. Brooks, his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Aline, joined Holy Comforter in 2008 after moving to Wilmette from the Wrigleyville area of Chicago. Brooks worked for JPMorgan Chase for 20 years as an investment banker, and recently formed his own investment banking advisory firm, Highland Ridge Capital. A native of Michigan, Brooks holds a BA in economics from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. We are privileged he has stepped into the ministry of serving as Treasurer, and can look forward to his thoughtful and wise counsel and leadership in the years to come.

Thank you to both Art and Brooks for your faithfulness and generosity of time and spirit!

The Vineyard

Congratulations to Mary Fields on the birth of her newest grandchild, Nicholas Bridgeman Fields, born Friday, June 22, 2012, in San Francisco. Nicholas' proud parents are Carter and Natalie Fields.

Congratulations to Carter Page and Lynn Reedy, who were married at Holy Comforter this past Saturday, June 23, 2012.

And long-distance congratulations to Christine Gilbert, daughter of Wyn and Gil Gilbert, who was joined in Holy Matrimony to Simon John Woody, also on Saturday, June 23. The wedding took place in the Lake District of England.

Blessings for the 4th of July

by Pastor Heath Howe 
I often find, as I am raising a family, that celebrating holidays can be a challenge. I do not simply mean the logistics of the celebration, i.e. where we will celebrate, who will come, or what will we do. Those eventually get worked out in the end. The challenge for me comes in trying to actually celebrate, trying to actually teach my children the meaning behind the event, trying to honor the day for what it is intended to remind us.

The 4th of July is certainly one of those holidays. With all the business of getting family together on that SPECIFIC day during an already crowded summer we can easily forget to stop and actually re-member (that is re-connect to) what and who we are celebrating on this day. To help you and your family center around the meaning of the 4th of July and how it connects with our Christian faith I offer to you the following tool. Please feel free to use it on the 4th or any other day during the month that works for your family and that holds the most meaning for you. This tool is adapted from a piece found in my favorite family devotional book, For Everything A Season, 75 Blessings for Daily Life, by the Nilsen Family. Please feel free to make further changes to meet the needs of your family. Blessing>>>

Summer Adventures

By Mary Johnson
It is summertime and camp is in full swing. Our summer camp here at Holy Comforter includes very little campers this year and although a little tentative at the start, all is going very well. We did have two campers that are not quite ready to have mommy drop them off, and that is just fine. We're not in the business of "hurrying" the children to grow up and we know eventually they will be ready for the "on my own" experience even if it is for a couple of hours two days a week. Because the really BIG stuff happens all too soon: growing up and leaving home for long periods of time. Some of the All Things Bright and Beautiful teachers are getting their children off to college orientations this summer and some have children who are leaving for jobs in other parts of the country. There are many in the parish who have sent their children to summer camps in other parts of the country or have children who are taking trips with school or youth groups. Sometimes the separation is a very tough thing to do, and in the long run, everyone gets through it just fine.

So this summer, if the time of separation is for a couple of hours here and there, and there is more time spent together as a family at parks and picnics and baseball games, that's worth taking note. It is worth taking time to appreciate the people, the place, the setting. My favorite expression of this sentiment came from my niece's daughter. My niece Sarah and her husband John are teachers in California and every summer they travel across the country with their four children in the big van to see Grandma and Papa. And they see as many beautiful sites as possible between the two coasts. This year the trip will cover 7,000 miles! As the family was driving through Colorado for this summer's adventure, 8-year-old Audrey woke from a nap to discover they were driving through Colorado's beautiful Glenwood Canyon paralleling the Colorado River. Wide-eyed she exclaimed, "I hope this isn't a dream. I really like this!" As your summer adventures continue, I wish you many "Audrey moments."

July 30-August 9, 2012
9:15~11:30 a.m.
$275/two weeks; $150/one week

Register here>>>


Let's Pray Together!

By Father Chris Hardman
I have been saying a shortened version of Morning Prayer each morning for the past 20 years. I would like to invite you to join me in this practice.

When I first joined the Episcopal Church the main service on Sunday in certain areas was Morning Prayer. Since 1979 and the introduction of a new prayer book, our church has become more centered on the Holy Eucharist as its main service. While I agree with that move, I regret the loss of Morning Prayer because the prayers in that service are so life-enhancing.

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers like that can change the way we think about God and the way we think about ourselves. That is the real power of all those wonderful prayers that have been passed down to us. Saying the Daily Office (another way of referring to Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, etc.) is a practice that can bring us closer to God and to each other.

I am not asking you to join me in church each morning. I am asking you to join me in prayer each morning wherever you are. In prayer we are indeed together whether we are literally together or not.

I know many of you are quite familiar with Morning Prayer and can not only find it in the Prayer Book but can figured out what is to be said when. But many people are not familiar with this way of praying, and so let me propose that we all follow a simple shortened version of this Daily Office which can be found on our website. The following instructions will help you navigate through the site:

Click Worship & Music at the top of the homepage. Once on the Worship & Music page, click Daily Morning Prayer on the sidebar. As you scroll through service you are asked to read the Gospel assigned for the day, which can be accessed by clicking The Lectionary. Then scroll down to the appropriate week, click on NRSV, which takes you to the Daily Office where you will scroll down the the particular day of the week. The Gospel we are reading together is from the first group on the left. Presently, it is from Matthew.

I have added a few questions you might ask after reading the Gospel: What word or phrase came alive for you? What is God saying to you in this passage? What is God calling you to do? Reflect on those questions. Then take some time for your own intercessions. Please include the clergy, staff, and people of Holy Comforter in your prayers.

For those who do not have internet access  copies of the service will be available in the parlor. I will include a list of the Gospels for the various days.

Let's pray together! We may be surprised at the results.

Living our Faith by Serving Others

WHAM's Kentucky Mission Trip

by Patti Pateros
I will readily admit that last week's high school mission trip was not at all what I was expecting - or had planned. In spite of the intensity of the first couple of days, it turned out to be a remarkable experience. Having participated in many mission trips, locally and globally, this is the first time we felt totally immersed in the culture and community we were serving. We weren't there as sight-seers, gawking at them from a bus window . . . we were invited (in more ways than one!) to live as they live. And what an interesting life it is.

We were in, as Father Hardman called it, "fundamentalist country" where the Bible is taken literally and opinions about other religions are strong. Our high schoolers handled the situation with maturity, civility, and patience, and it generated very deep and emotional conversations about our own beliefs, religion and life. 

The work projects were ideal for our limited skills. The boys, with the girls as their laborers, took down a house that had been abandoned.  Later in the week, the girls took on their own project, cleaning, painting and pulling up carpet in the home of older couple who were dealing with health and financial issues.  They worked well as a team, which helped in getting the job done, and felt a sense of pride and satisfaction at the week's end.

Immersing ourselves in their culture included milking the goats, riding horses bareback, chasing and being chased by chickens, ducks, dogs and cats.  (The milk lost its appeal once they realized its origin, and one student was convinced the chocolate milk came from the brown goat.) We attended the weekly livestock auction, visited a local Mennonite community, and were treated to a blue grass band playing at Elmo's barn (not "Elmo's Barn" in neon lights . . . rather a barn belonging to Elmo). We learned what a holler is, that "down the road a piece" usually takes 40 minutes, and "Praise the Lord" is like saying "oh my gosh." 

We might have stuck out like sore thumbs in this very humble community, but they welcomed and treated us as one of their own.  This is an incredible group of young adults who have created strong friendships and memories that will last forever. View their photos here>>>

We are never, ever the same

by Patti Pateros
I remember my first day at Holy Comforter: Monday, January 8. I was extremely nervous (bordering on being physically ill), fearing that I was in over my head. I worked up the nerve to enter the building, and saw yellow sheets of paper taped on the floor and walls leading to, as well as inside, my office. Each one had a different message on it: "Welcome!" "Patti has arrived!" and one on my door that read, "Patti Pateros, Director of Administration." Flowers and a piece of coffee cake were on my desk. I had no idea what this was all about . . . but from that moment on, I knew I wanted to be here.

It surprises me that I, who usually writes newsletter articles that are way too long, am at a loss for words. It's difficult to know what and how to write about all of the events, experiences and people who have had such an incredible impact on my life for the last twelve years, so I'd just like to say thank you...

• for forcing me to dig deep and use skills and talents I never knew I had;

• for allowing me to think out of the box, whether it was a country music liturgy or a hay ride through Kenilworth;

• for making me realize that I actually learned something useful during my 16 years of Catholic schooling;

• for opening my eyes to the needs of others, and working together to make this a better world, locally and globally;

• for trusting me with the youth of the parish - they are my greatest success story;

• for the honor to have known those sweet souls who are gone but will certainly never be forgotten: Bob Lidecker, Dick Joutras, Fran Nichols, and Bonnie Myers, to name a few;

• for those who voluntarily serve the parish, and ultimately made my job so much easier and a lot more fun;

• for the opportunity to have worked with some very talented people, especially my dear friend, Father Myers;

• and, finally, to each one of you who is reading this - no words can express the joy, the gratitude, the love, and the absolute pleasure it has been to be part of this community. You have given me a gift that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

This is all very overwhelming so please forgive me if I have forgotten someone or something. In the liturgy we held for WHAM's graduates in May, I included a quote which acknowledged my relationship with that group of high school students; it seems very appropriate now: "Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same."

So I end this article, and my career at Holy Comforter, simply by saying thank you and good bye.