THE DOVE Summer 2014

Greasy Spoon Theology

by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin, Rector

Some time ago, my second brother, Jeff, came to town for an all-too-brief visit. Jeff is a history teacher in Los Angeles, and was, until the arrival of his namesake, my son Jeff, the single funniest person I had ever known. So it was no surprise that we spent most of our time together talking, reminiscing, simply catching up, and, above all, laughing.

One afternoon, the two of us went out for a quick bite at a greasy spoon diner we both like. As we sat at the counter over our meals, Jeff began to describe an episode from Seinfeld (a show I must admit I never watched when it was on). This particular episode had to do with religion; and I realized, as Jeff recounted the story, that the busman-a man of perhaps 45-was listening and laughing. He interrupted my brother and said, "You know, I just don't see how people can still fall for all that garbage. Why should I listen to some man wearing golden clothes, trying to tell me how to live? I asked my Mom, ‘Have you ever seen God? Do you know anyone who has ever seen God?'" I could tell that Jeff was watching me out of the corner of his eye to see how I would react, especially given that it was my day off, and the street clothes I was wearing did not give away my identity as a priest.

Well, I took the bait, and proceeded to have a rather interesting, very friendly conversation with this guy about faith, religion, the Church, and related topics. I realized, as we talked, that most of the diner had fallen silent, and people were listening to our conversation, even though we were speaking fairly quietly. I was struck, both at the time and afterward, that there truly is a profound hunger in our world, and even in our supposedly secular area, for a sense of meaning, purpose, and direction to life; for a connectedness to something larger than ourselves; for an abundant life that goes beyond the material and visible. Surely all of us have felt that hunger, that longing, that thirst; and surely that is what brings us to the community of faith known as Holy Comforter.

One of the challenges and one of the joys of being part of the Episcopal Church is that we are in a tradition that focuses less on providing answers to difficult questions and more on creating a place in which to wrestle with those questions; and my rather fervent belief is that doing such wrestling in community provides the possibility for a richer, deeper awareness of God's truth, grace, and abiding presence. Speaking personally, I feel safer and more nourished journeying with others than traveling alone. The plain truth is that we need one another: we need each other's gifts, doubts, aches, fears, and hopes; we need to support and challenge and stimulate one another so that we can live our faith in our daily lives, surrounded, as we are, by people just as hungry and thirsty for God as are we. We need to be nurtured together so that we can be open to God's presence in our world and our experience---because you never know when you are going to be talking about and thinking about and encountering God. It might even happen in as unlikely a place as during a conversation about Seinfeld in a greasy spoon....

Alleluia on the Avenue: One in Spirit

by Fr. Chris Hardman

When we think about God as Trinity, the Holy Spirit's primary role is that of "connection." The Spirit binds the Father and the Son together and, indeed, binds all things together in love. So when we say we are "One in Spirit" it really means we are connected. Read more here...

In the Vineyard...

Our prayers and condolences go out to Joan and Dick Dodson on the death last week of Joan's mother, Dale Berol, at the age of 92. She had been wrestling with Alzheimer's for several years. Mrs. Berol's funeral will be ON Wednesday, July 16, at the Winnetka Covenant Church. In the meantime, we pray for peace and comfort for the Dodsons, and give thanks that Dale has, as Joan said, "gone home." May light perpetual shine upon her in God's embrace.

In happier news, congratulations to Jane and Peter Kelly on the birth of their granddaughter, Anna Claire Kelly! Anna Claire was born on May 5, weighing in at 7 lbs and 3 oz. Her parents are Peter and Kirby Kelly. May God bless all three generations of the Kelly clan with joy, health and love.

Men's Open Discussion Group

Every Saturday morning for many years, a group of men has gathered in the parish library at 7:30 to reflect on the scripture passages for the next day, and to share some of their life and faith journeys. This has been a transformative experience for many of the men who have taken part. Read more here...

Movie Night in the Cloister!

Friday, August 1st at Dusk

This summer's Movie Night in the Cloister will be held on Friday, August 1st at dusk. We will be watching "Enchanted,"  an absolutely delightful Disney movie from six years ago that features Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Susan Sarandon, among others. 

"Enchanted" is both a fond homage to, as well as a send up of, Disney movies, telling the story of a fairyland princess who is banished to modern-day New York by an evil queen.  The movie is appropriate for all ages, with something for everyone (including the single best production number in Disney history).  Set that evening aside for fun, food, fellowship and a good film.  We'll provide the movie and the popcorn and other goodies:  you provide a blanket or a lawn chair. Invite the neighbors and friends to join us!

Alleluia on the Avenue

Outdoor Worship Service & Ice Cream Social
Sunday, August 24th

Our guest band will be Deacon Blues who play the music of Steely Dan, Billy Joel, and Ray Charles. We are in the process of designing this service which will take place on Sunday, August 24th. So Rikki Don't Lose That Number and don't Hit the Road, Jack. Come Just The Way You Are and all you men remember to Tell Her About It!

Forever Changed

by the 2014 ASP Team, co-written by Pastor Heath & Charlotte Long

A question & answer session with the Holy Comforter Youth Group in the vans on the way back from their Appalachian Service Project.

Q: What's something that you didn't know about yourself before the trip that you know now? The answer here...

Happy 20th ATB&B!

by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries & ATB&B

All Things Bright and Beautiful has proven to be an ideal way for young families who are seeking a faith community to feel welcomed and comfortable joining the parish. As we begin this 20th year, we look forward to a number of events that will bring the ATB&B families and the parish as a whole together for a variety of events. Read more here...