Saints

by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin

In my mind, the month of November is the month of saints: All Saints' Day falls on November 1, and is celebrated the following Sunday; and All Souls' Day takes place on the 2nd. As a result, my heart echoes this time of year with memories of those saints who have touched and molded my life in diverse and sundry ways.

I think, for example, of Paddy Vail, my mother's (and second brother's) godmother, who helped raise my brothers and me before she got married for the first time at 61, and who loved the four Parkin boys with an unreasonable, undeserved depth. I think of Ida Friedland, our Jewish mother next door, who listened to the Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcast each Saturday while working in her garden, and always had in her marvelous attic whatever we needed for an outrageous costume. There was Ruth Anning, the only church school teacher I ever had, who still, when I visited her regularly in a nursing home decades later, challenged me to grow in ways I hadn't even thought of. Lane Emery and Frederick Schauwecker, my adored piano teachers; Sue Robert, a favorite junior high teacher who touched my entire family's life without realizing she was doing so; Evelyn Falbe and Jane Henderson and Jan Bolles, only three of the many beloved "aunts" who have adopted me in my life; Fr. Francis Chesebrough Lightbourn, the 7th generation Bermudan priest who taught me that even a priest in his later years can grow closer to God through prayer and service...well, the list of saints in my life is virtually endless.

None of these people is famous. None will have churches or feast days named for them. None is a giant in the faith. Instead, they were or are all people of deep joy and integrity, of selflessness and humor, of hope and courage who probably didn't even know the impact they had on my life. And they all walk closely to God in their own, unique ways.

For whom will you be a saint? For whom will you point the way Godward?

Thanksgiving Offering and Eucharist

Our entire lives are filled with opportunities to express our gratitude to God for all the blessings we receive. There is, of course, one day explicitly devoted to giving thanks. This year, as always, we will celebrate a special Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 a.m. The day will feature some of the most beloved hymns in our repertoire, a simple homily, and the chance to see friends, grown up kids, old neighbors, and others, as, together, we offer our grateful praise to God for all that we are and have and do. Come, join in the celebration of gratitude: let us begin our day of thanksgiving by directing our praise to the One who showers us with all delights, and has so richly gifted and blessed us.

Another way to express our thanks to God is to participate in the Thanksgiving Outreach Offering, envelopes for which have been provided in this issue of The Dove or are available in the church parlor and office for those who receive the newsletter electronically. Please use these envelopes to support our ministry of offering aid and compassion to those in various kinds of distress and sorrow in the Chicago area. The very love God has instilled in our hearts-the source of our attitude of thanksgiving-prompts us to reach out in love and empathy to those who are struggling and facing frequently severe challenges. Thank you, in advance, for your thoughtfulness and generosity. Fr. Jason

YOUR PLEDGE IS:

...someone being baptized into Christ and his Church
...the sick being cared about
...praying together for those we love and for strangers we've never met

...the people of God celebrating the sacred meal of the Eucharist
...children getting their feet wet with faith
...food for the hungry
...the Word of God being proclaimed
...important issues being discussed sanely
...pastoral counseling when you need it

...a new congregation in Latin America or Africa or Chicago
...a witness to the love of God in society
...comfort, and reverent burial, when someone you love dies

...a troubled person getting some help
...people studying the Bible
...lonely people finding a home and a family in Christian community

...young and old doing something together for others
...inner city youth finding someone who cares
...helping the community become stronger and healthier

...a measure of your own maturing in Christ
...a commitment opening the door to spiritual growth

As we approach Celebration Sunday, please reflect on all God has given to you, and then offer back to God your commitment of time and financial support to strengthen our parish community and, through us, the world beyond. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.