Sunday, October 8th is "Blessing of the Animals". You may bring your cats, dogs, pot belly pigs, miniature ponies, turtles, hamsters, and any other animals you may have. If our animals are too big to bring into the church, Canon Martha will go outside to bless them. If for some reason you cannot bring your animal, feel free to bring a picture of your animal to be blessed. It will be interesting to see many of God’s creature being represented on Sunday morning.
This is part of an article taken from the Episcopal News Service at: ens.episcopal.me
[Episcopal Diocese of Texas] As the Diocese of Texas continues an energetic response to relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey’s punishing rains, churches and volunteers from across the country have offered help. Within the diocese, congregations have sent teams to muck out homes and church buildings, helping both neighbors and strangers.
The Ven. Russ Oechsel, diocesan disaster coordinator, met Crystal while he served as chaplain at one of Houston’s emergency shelters. A day later, Crystal called him desperate for help, and Oechsel met her in a parking lot to give her a couple of gift cards to meet her immediate needs. Her gratitude mixed with tears.
Thom’s sister called the Diocesan Center because someone at a Houston Christian radio station told her she could find help for her elderly brother there. Episcopalians moved Thom’s flooded personal belongings to the curb so the landlord could begin cleaning out the apartment. The relief in Thom’s voice was palpable.
Yet, there are many areas of Houston that have yet to see work crews or to find hope in the silt on their buckling floors or in the mold growing up their walls. And, in many towns to the south and east of the city, flood waters are still draining.
The Rev. Stacy Stringer offered space at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Dickinson to the local United Way agency when its food pantry and offices were submerged in Harvey’s rains. The agency was up and running within a few days after the storm, with church members helping to staff the much-needed food pantry. Two dozen U.S. Coast Guard members from out of state found a place to sleep for the night in the parish hall before they were released to go home, and Stringer even found them rides to the airport. There isn’t a rental car to be found for hundreds of miles. Dickinson’s Lutherans will worship alongside Episcopalians at Holy Trinity until their church can be repaired.
In southwest Houston, Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo flooded, as did the homes of many of its members. No one can enter the sanctuary; it’s just too toxic and will require professional remediation to finish what faithful parishioners began to clear out.
San Mateo’s rector, the Rev. Janssen J. Gutierrez, his wife Mariely and their two teenagers lost everything in their ground floor apartment to floodwaters. Today they are living on the second floor of their complex, ministering to parishioners and contending with insurance adjusters to repair the church building and offices.
Gutierrez, who has been rector of San Mateo for little more than a year, said that many of his members are undocumented and, therefore, have no access to state or federal relief. Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, covered the cost of a tent under which the San Mateo congregation will worship for the next month or so, and Christ Church Cranbrook in Michigan has offered to strike up a long-term relationship.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church in far western Houston was under water for more than a week, so nearby Holy Spirit Episcopal Church offered office and worship space to the staff and congregation. The two congregations shared a potluck supper during the weekend.
Mission teams from St. Alban’s, Waco, traveled four hours southeast to help clean out Holy Comforter in Spring to help clean out houses.
"We are supporting our clergy and our churches so that they are able to do local ministry," said Bishop Andy Doyle. This isn’t his first rodeo. Hurricane Ike hit the Diocese of Texas in the months between Doyle’s election and consecration. He sees a robust rebuilding response over the next year, tapering through the following two to three years as needs are met.
"This is our mission field," said Karen Wynn, indicating the neighborhoods around Good Shepherd, Friendswood. With debris piled high in front of homes on streets radiating away from Good Shepherd, Wynn, the rector’s wife, was upbeat about helping the community. While the offices and Sunday school rooms were flooded, the parish hall and church remained high and dry. Volunteers already had a whiteboard up and had triaged almost 20 parishioners’ homes to clean out and had five teams working within a day of the storm.
Like many faith organizations, the Soup Kitchen has wrestled with ways to stay environmentally responsible and fulfill our mission to serve our local community. For years the Soup Kitchen has prided itself in using real dishes and table wear to serve its guests. This has added to the enjoyment and dignity of the free meal. It has also cut down on the amount of garbage entering the landfill, as our utensils are reusable. As the number of people attending on Tuesdays has increased, clean up takes longer. For several years we have opted to use paper plates in the summer to cut down on time spent in a hot kitchen. Now that average Tuesday attendance is staying at over 120 people, the Soup Kitchen committee has decided to keep on using paper plates year round. We will miss the specialness of serving on real plates but our volunteers will benefit from the reduced work load. (We treasure our volunteers!) Using paper whenever possible, instead of plastic and using the stainless table service will help us to stay environmentally friendly.
In support of our volunteers who have worked week after week, year after year, to serve the greater Titusville community, another big change has been made. Up to now the Soup Kitchen has been open 52 weeks out of the year, rarely closing for inclement weather or holidays. Starting this Thanksgiving, the Soup Kitchen will be closed the week of major holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, Holy Week, Fourth of July, and probably Labor Day. Generally attendance is lower those weeks as many people have family activities and Soup Kitchen usually plans it's special holiday meals the week prior to the holiday. Other churches and civic organizations plan special events at holiday time which our guests can attend. This past Fourth of July fell on a Tuesday so we decided to close, but the week before, we handed out packs of hotdogs and buns so our guests would be sure to have traditional holiday fare. A policy which we implemented a couple of years ago will continue. That states if Titusville schools are closed due to bad weather, Soup Kitchen will be closed so everyone can be safe. These changes are necessary for the health of our mission. Taking a scheduled breather now and then is a well deserved respite for our workers. Fifteen years and counting!
Please support the St. James Community Soup Kitchen by joining us for lunch on Tuesdays at noon. Be part of the conversation!
I open my computer around the 20th or so of each month and have an email from Charlene asking me to submit an article for the church newsletter. I often struggle coming up with something of interest to write about to the parishioners. This month was one of those times. However, it suddenly came to me this morning what I would write about. I received an email from my brother Bill a few minutes ago regarding an article he read from the BBC. It centered on the beauty of the region and surrounding areas we live in and near. The article compared the beautiful fall colors we have here as being just as vibrant as those in New England. The article included the oil boom in Titusville, the Kinzua Dam area, the formation of rock displays and waterfalls, the hiking trails, the beauty of the virgin trees in Cook Forests which are some of the tallest trees in the East. It also talked about Rt. 62 being a scenic drive that hugs the Allegheny River between the towns of Warren to Franklin. If you are interested in reading more of the article from the BBC here is the link: www.bbc.com/travel/story/201606 20-the-us-one-million-acre-secret.
Closer to home, I enjoy the beauty of this magnificent season while sitting in one of my comfy chairs on my deck. As I look around the perimeter of my home, I can see the leaves beginning to change and soon will be surrounded by all of the vibrant colors of the Fall season. While enjoying the change of seasons, I am also amazed at the continuous new blooms of my annuals in my porch boxes. Even though I do water, feed and nurture my flowers regularly I am not solely responsible for their beauty. God provides nourishment to the soil, sun to allow the plants to thrive, water to refresh them. I give thanks to God each and every day for the blessings of my life of the love of family and friends and that includes my St. James family too!
St. James’s Physical Transformation
There has been a wonderful physical transformation to our church building over the course of the last several weeks. Much needed repair to the slate roof, foundation, stonework and stained glass windows has been completed or is nearing completion. These improvements and repair to the exterior infrastructure was a necessity to maintain the integrity of the physical church plant and the restored beauty of our church is extraordinary.
Congregational Meeting Planned
At the Bishop’s Committee held on Monday, September 11, 2017, an informational meeting for the congregation has been scheduled for Sunday, October 22, 2017 following the service that morning. The meeting will be held in the Parish Hall. At that meeting members of the Bishop’s committee and Martha will review the survey results in a fair amount of detail with the parishioners.
This review will center on answers to several key questions that were asked and will include a review of the building projects that have been completed and those proposed; level of awareness of the plans; opinions voiced that established a prioritized list of the projects listed; and estimated level of funding support through a capital campaign.
One of the projects that will be reviewed in much greater detail will be related to the current status and level of repair needed to the church organ. Several parishioners felt that much more information was needed before they could make a decision on what we should do about the organ. A question about previous repairs to the organ has also been raised and needs to be addressed.
The bishop’s committee has asked that representatives of the church contact the original manufacturer of the organ and the current contractor who has been servicing the organ for the additional information. A full report will be presented to the congregation so that an informed decision can be reached. As a reminder, there were three levels of repair proposed: 1. Pipes cleaned and repair or with new leathers for an estimated cost of $9,800.00 2. Repair the wind chests at an estimated cost of $26,000.00 and 3. Rebuild the console at an estimated cost of $45,000.00. If all three sub-projects were to be completed the costs would amount to around $80,800.00. As you can see this will be an important discussion that requires input from all in attendance.
The Bishop’s Committee is not recommending to use our Endowment Funds to support these much needed projects. Additional funding support is needed from members of our congregation and from key stakeholders who have a vested interest in maintaining the church plant. The plan for a 2017 -18 Capital Campaign will be reviewed and discussed with those present. The plan will include details about the structure of the campaign, timeline, and tentative financial goals.
This is an important meeting in the life of our church. We encourage all members of our congregation to attend. We hope to see you there!!
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Last weekend at a meeting of the clergy of the Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania, Bishop Franklin announced that he will retire on April 3, 2019, as required by the canons of the Episcopal Church. His letter, which you can read here, says he has returned from sabbatical "full of energy and ideas that we will explore together over that time." Chief among those ideas, as we discussed with the clergy of both dioceses, is the possibility of our dioceses sharing a future.
At our upcoming diocesan conventions, we will propose that we spend the next year convening discussions among leaders across our region about how we might create more opportunity for mission by working together. This process will culminate in October 2018, when our dioceses plan to meet together for a joint convention in Niagara Falls.
If our discussions in the next year are fruitful, as we hope they will be, we would anticipate that in 2018, the Diocese of Western New York would elect Bishop Rowe as its bishop provisional for five years beginning in April 2019, when Bishop Franklin retires. During the first three years of the partnership, our two dioceses would work together to deepen our relationships and develop shared mission priorities. In October 2021, we would re-evaluate the partnership and then, in October 2024, decide whether we wanted to continue it beyond the five-year mark.
In proposing a partnership between our dioceses, we are not seeking simply to save money, although we believe that will be possible, and we are not aiming just to share a bishop. We believe that our dioceses have complementary strengths and challenges, and that together we are well suited to respond to God's call in our region. Our communities share an industrial past, a Rust Belt culture, and a love for the natural beauty of the Lake Erie watershed, and our congregations are home to resilient people who know that by working together and staying focused on mission, we can weather uncertain times and a changing church.
Between now and our conventions-October 27 and 28 in Western New York and November 10-11 in Northwestern Pennsylvania-we hope that you will join us in praying about the opportunity we have before us and thinking about your hopes, concerns, and questions. We look forward to being together soon and to embarking on this year of discernment about the future that God has in store for the people of both our dioceses.
The Rt. Rev. Sean W. Rowe
Bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania
The Rt. Rev. R. William Franklin
Bishop of Western New York
President, Standing Committee Diocese of Western New York
Jack Malovich President,
Standing Committee Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania
Congratulations are in order for AJ Scott and Andrew Scott. They have been selected to be part of our diocesan delegation to the Episcopal Youth Event. EYE is a triennial gathering of hundreds of youth from throughout the Episcopal Church. EYE17 will be held on July 10-14, 2017 on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, OK in partnership with the Diocese of Oklahoma. The theme of the gathering is Path to Peace. "Path to Peace represents both the inward and outward actions we are called to engage as members of the Jesus Movement," explained Bronwyn Clark Skov, Presiding Bishop's Staff Officer for Youth Ministry.
We are very pleased that they were accepted and the Bishop's Committee is in full support of their participation. Please keep them in your prayers. We will keep you updated as more details are available.
As you may recall last month I wrote Part I of a two part series on the former Calgary Protestant Episcopal Church in Townville, PA.
As mentioned in Part I the CPE Church in Townville was admitted to convention in the Diocese of Pittsburgh on June 15, 1870. Bishop Kerfoot, who was the Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh at the time, appointed Rev. G. W. Lewis of Corry to take charge of the CPE. He traveled by train to Tryonville and was met by some members of Mr. Rose's family. Rev. Lewis held services on Thursday evenings twice a month. After Rev. Lewis no longer provided services, there was a lengthy list of ministers who conducted services on occasion i.e. Rev. Henry Purdon, who was Rector at St. James from 1862-1898! There were a few years when no minister was available to conduct services. In order to keep the doors open to the Church, the attention focused on Sunday School work. During the Christmas season of 1864 a Christmas tree was displayed in the vestry room. Many of the presents were handmade by Mrs. Eliza Rose and her daughters.
In 1910 the Diocese of Erie was established. Roger Isreal, former rector at Meadville was elected Bishop of the Diocese of Erie. Bishop Isreal was very interested in the CPE Church. In 1914 Rev. Albert Broadhurst, Rector of St. James in Titusville, supplied services on Sunday afternoons at CPE. Rev. Broadhurst was accompanied by the choir from St. James as well as several parishioners who supplied transportation for the choir. Upon Rev. Broadhurst's retirement from St. James in 1947, he moved near Townville and continued to serve CPE on Sunday evenings during the summer months. Rev. Broadhurst died in 1966. The information I have states that no services were held at CPE after Rev. Broadhurst's death. I discovered through conversations with Eda Scales and Vic Kinnunen there were services held at CPE after the death of Rev. Broadhurst. Vic recalled two Episcopal ministers from Christ E piscopal Church in Meadville provided services on occasion at CPE. In fact, Vic filled in for one of the ministers at CPE when the assigned minister was not available for the scheduled service.
Here is some additional information about items in the CPE and whom they are in memory of. The Baptismal Font is in memory of Rev. S. Lord, who was a minister from the Meadville Episcopal Church. The Deacon Bench is in memory of Peter Rose, who was Sr. Warden from 1867-1882. There is a kneeler in front of the church in memory of Eliza Rose wife of Peter Rose. The altar was dedicated in memory of Rev. Maycock in 1884. He provided services at CPE. There are several stain glass windows in the church. One of the windows was given
by St. Stephens S.S. in New Hartford, NY. Another one of the windows is in memory of Ann T. Costa given by the Girls of the S.S. of Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA. There is letter in the Narthex from the PA Historical & Museum Commission that states the church and its contents have been evaluated by the staff and determined worthy of inclusion as a historic place. The letter was addressed to the then owners of the CPE Mr. and Mrs. James Gillette, Freemont St., Townville. The Gillette's lived next to the church for several years. The church has been owned by a few Townville families. The current owners are Wilbur & Gladys Graybill.
A note of interest re: the graveyard at CPE. When I first began my work there, you could not read the names, dates of birth & death of those buried there. You can now read the information on each headstone. With the help from a couple friends we cleaned-up around the headstones, raked leaves, used a chain saw to cut limbs, etc. Even though the cemetery is small it looks respectful and peaceful. As I went about my work at the CPE, I couldn't help but think of those faithful parishioners who are buried there.
In the Baptismal Covenant, two promises we make are especially meaningful to those who serve at the Soup Kitchen on Tuesdays. 'Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?' And 'Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?' Preparing and hosting a meal every week for one hundred plus people of diverse background and experiences presents challenges and opportunities to our living into our Baptismal Covenant. Add to that mix, twenty volunteers with various opinions and expectations, situations occasionally arise that cause us to pause and ask ourselves, "What would Jesus do?" or WWJD. Living into our Baptismal Covenant is not hypothetical but is played out in real time every Tuesday. Serving Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor, and respecting the dignity of every human being are not always easy but the spiritual rewards are always great. God has truly blessed the Soup Kitchen by providing an abundance of food for our Titusville community, providing the willing hands to serve and giving us abundant opportunity for spiritual growth as individual children of God and as a church.
Next Bag Day food give out -- May 9 and 23 Barb Ives visit to help with VA, SSA, Medicare and Housing questions -- May 2 and 16 A limited number of grocery store gift certificates are available for those with food emergencies.
Comunicant: A communicant of the Episcopal Church is a member who has received Holy Communion in the church at least three times in the past year. An adult communicant is someone who meets the basic requirement and who is also sixteen years of age of older. A communicant in good standing is one who has received Holy Communion at least three times (“unless for good cause prevented”) and who has also been “faithful in working, praying and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God.” One must be a communicant in good standing to be eligible for election to the vestry or mission committee. All parishes and missions are required to keep rosters of their members and communicants. See member.
Member, Membership: Because the church is both the Body of Christ and a very human institution which has to care about membership numbers, the definition of what makes one a member of the Episcopal Church has recently undergone change. At one time, only those w ho had been confirmed by and Episcopal bishop could receive communion. Those who had been baptized as Episcopalians were m embers of the church but were not communicants until they were con firmed. Those baptized in non-Episcopal churches were considered Christians but not Episcopalians until they were confirmed by an Episcopal bishop (or received into the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Churches). Recently, however, we have recovered the full implications of Baptism as the full rite of initiation into the Body of Christ. The institutional consequences of this are still being worked out, and
consultation with the rector or vicar is recommended.
At the moment, however, a member of the Episcopal Church is one who has been baptized by water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in the Episcopal Church or in another Christian church and whose Baptism has been duly recorded in the Episcopal Church. An Adult member is a member sixteen years of age or older. The Episcopal Church also expects that its adult members will have made, after appropriate instruction a mature public affirmation of faith and commitment to the responsibilities and promises made by or for them at Baptism and have been confirmed or received by a bishop of the Episcopal Church or a church in communion with the Episcopal Church (such as another member church of the Anglican communion). Members who have received Holy Communion at least three times in the past year are also considered communicants. See communicant.