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St. Mary’s, Christmas 1925

Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church Newsletter December 2013 | January 2014

SAVE THE DATES! Lessons and Carols Sunday, December 15, 4:00pm followed by a holiday feast (pg. 4)

Christmas Eve Ser vices Tuesday, December 24, 4:30, 7:30, and 9:30pm with carols 30 minutes prior to each service

Christmas Day NO SERVICES

Festival of Lights Combined Worship Service* Sunday, January 5, 10:00am followed by Children’s Epiphany Party *This will be the one worship service of the day. Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014

Caring for Newcomers and Visitors



ear St. Mary’s,

You do not know me, but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate the service you provide with your podcasted sermons. I live in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston and attend an Episcopal Church that seems very similar to yours. Recently, I’ve become frustrated with the 45-minute to 1hour long commute each way to and from work and tired of listening to the radio. Also, I realized recently that I am missing a down time of daily spiritual growth. I have three kids six and under so a very busy household and not much time to be at peace. I was initially searching for something “spiritual” to listen to in the car while commuting. So, I found your sermons last week and have been listening to them as I go to and from work. I just wanted to say thank you and let you know that your ministry is touching someone who you do not even know. Peace to you.

he Year in Review

Well, it was a long road to the finish, but the new upstairs carpeting is installed. Thanks for all of the compliments on the updated look in the St. Mary’s room. We’d like to thank everyone that had a hand in helping along the way. You may have been one of the many that moved a piece of furniture, or picked up a paint brush. Thanks to church members, as well as our great tenants, for putting up with the mess and inconvenience. Coming soon, look for new furniture to replace the existing couches and chairs in the southeast corner—made possible through the funds collected to honor the memory of Lucille McGill. The staff office is also in line for new furniture, a fresh coat of paint, and new lighting. LONG overdue! Thanks to those that helped us get things ready for the coming cold weather, including our new shoveling recruits!

—David Varner

2013 also brought us new, energy efficient toilets, the new irrigation system, new nursery carpet, and air conditioning. Budget planning is starting for 2014. Stay tuned.

—Susan Russell and Bruce Anderson, Building and Grounds co-Chairs

Congratulations Tammy and Ellen Quant, married October and expecting twins, soon!


Building and Grounds

hat’s an Episcopalian Anyway?

There are a couple of nifty—and short!— books on Episcopal identity. We have a bunch in the office we could either loan you or sell to you. One is Unabashedly Episcopalian by the Bishop of Texas, and it’s really basic, easy to read. The other one is People of the Way by the Rev. Dwight Zscheile, a local Episcopal priest, who does a more thoughtful analysis of the core Episcopal identity and how it is being changed and shaped by the times. If enough people like his book, we could have him in to do a sermon or forum or something.

Will and Michael

—LeeAnne Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014

Caring for Our Community


Many thanks to Jessica and all those who submitted updated photos—the new directory is printed! I am amazed at how big our directories are getting—so many new smiling faces!

Scan this to donate to St. Mary’s!


Starting Advent 1, I will be praying the directory. That means that I will take a page a day, when I sit with my morning coffee, and hold each person in prayer, surrounding them with the Spirit’s light and love. Maybe this idea of praying the directory you would like to do as well!

ear St. Mary’s,

Thanks for all you do for so many, you are a true inspiration. Peace, prayers and blessings to you as you continue to touch hearts and make God’s loving presence come alive.


—The Christian Brothers Mike, Tom, and Andrew (These are our next door neighbors;in the letter was a generous contribution to our ministry)


ear LeeAnne and the St Mary’s, We cannot thank you enough for the lovely and beautiful vow renewal, and baptism for baby Evie. It was such a special day that we will always cherish. LeeAnne, you made the legalization of our marriage into a celebration, and we felt the arms of the St. Mary’s community wrap around us with love and support. It can be hard to be so far away, and yet whenever we are there, we feel like there has been no time or space between us. You have an incredible gift. Thank you for sharing it with us. And thank you as well for the great books you sent for Bennett and Evie. I asked Bennett the other day, “Who are your parents?”, (trying to teach him our names in case of emergency), and he replied “Jesus”! So, I guess he’s learning something!

James, Tim, and William


raying the Directory

ablecloths and Napkins!

Maybe you are one of those people who have a drawer somewhere with old tablecloths and napkins you no longer use. If they are white, I’d love to take them off your hands! I’ve been dying these vintage linens, and St. Mary’s will be giving them, along with a pretty booklet of table graces, to St. Marians who are moving to a new home.

Our heartfelt thanks for the great work you do and sharing it with us. We feel so blessed to be a part of it all. Much Love, Kate and Annie

Thank you in advance! LeeAnne

SUPPORTING A CAPACITY TO CARE WITH COMPASSION: SETTING BOUNDARIES What are my personal boundaries? Do I have them? How do I know when I have overstepped them and caused harm to myself or others? If you are curious about any of these questions and would like to learn more; please join us on January 5 at 12:00pm. LeeAnne Watkins and Anne Murphy will be discussing some of the ways in which we can stay attentive to ourselves during difficult times. We will also be discussing church protocol around safety and privacy in supporting our church community. This afternoon is open to anyone. Questions? Contact Anne Murphy at 651-964-9128 or Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014



rightest and Best: A Service of Lessons and Carols Sunday, December 15, 4:00pm; Dinner to follow St. Mary’s is again presenting the much loved Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent/ Christmas. Mark your calendars for one of the biggest events of the parish year! Choirs, handbells, and instrumentalists will inspire us on our own journey into the meaning of the season. The traditional scripture readings and beloved carols will be seen through the lens of the Magi’s journey to the Christ Child guided by the star of Bethlehem, reminding us of our own seeking after the Light that guides us through our own life’s night—a Light which St. John’s Gospel tells us “shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overwhelm.” So, “don your gay apparel,” practice your “fa-lalas,” and be sure to stay for the festive feast which will follow. And, bring a friend or a neighbor, and rejoice in the warmth of the “holy tide of Christmas!”

apostle nor an eyewitness) is based heavily on the Gospel of Mark and is clearly written for the Jewish community (probably 80-90 AD, after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD). The writer was most likely well educated and informed of Jewish law and customs. In our tradition, we use a three year rotation, called the Lectionary. We currently use the Revised Common Lectionary which is shared by Roman Catholics and most liturgically-based American and Canadian Protestant denominations. There are other Christian Lectionaries as well in the Orthodox (Eastern) tradition. In the Jewish tradition, there are the Mishnah, Torah, and Haftarah, which corresponds to the Christian lectionary. The Jewish community has used both a one- and three-year lectionary, probably starting during the exile. The three year cycle of readings called Pericopes (cutting out) consist of passages from the Gospel, Epistles (letters), Psalms, and Old Testament books. There is a theme for each week that together form a composite set of readings. Prior to the Revised Common Lectionary, we used the lectionary in our Book of Common Prayer (BCP). There is also the two year daily lectionary, called the Daily Office, which can be found in the BCP. The use of a lectionary dates back to the early church, and to pre-Christian Judaism.

—Bjorn Gustafson, 10:30am Music Director


dvent is Here, Happy New Year! I confess that I get bored with the never ending season of Ordinary Time, the multiple weeks after Pentecost. As I write this column, we are on the eve of 25 weeks after Pentecost. In this long liturgical color green season, we hear the various stories of Jesus both before and after the Easter Season. But Advent is when we start the journey over again. We move through Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter, and experience the movement of Jesus and his mission and ministry. In ordinary time there is stillness and reflection, however, beginning with the season of Advent, there is movement; the balance of being and doing. This year we begin again with Year A, Matthew’s Gospel, passages from Isaiah, and the Letter to Romans. The Gospel of Matthew (probably not the Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886

I have found that practicing reflection on the weekly lectionary is a good starting point for a discipline of going deeper into scripture (not to mention that you will get a head start on the homily for the week and most likely the musical selections). I like using the Gospel Based Discipleship discipline—three basic questions: what caught my attention, what is the passage saying to me, and, finally, what is God (Gospel, Jesus, Word, Prophet) calling me to do. I encourage you try it out for Advent. Check in with me and share what God is calling you to do!

Blessings, Rex 4

December 2013 | January 2014


hy I Attend the 10:30am Service I attend the 10:30am service because it is familiar to me; the words are like a meditation. Even though it has changed and evolved over the years, the base is still there (the tree) and the words and even music grows (the leaves). I like that it has two lessons and a gospel reading and that often the Ann Kinsella sermon pulls some or all of this together for me and teaches me something about scripture and the history of the church or the world. Other times, the sermon comes from something else entirely and teaches me something else entirely. I like it when we chant the opening parts of the Eucharistic prayer—I am transported across time to many other pews and many other parish churches I have attended. I am standing by family members with me today, by family members still here, but in another geographic place, and by family members no longer here and in another physical place. Time briefly stands still. I was born and raised an Episcopalian, but I do not think that has to be the case in order to love the rhythm and tradition of the 10:30am service. I find comfort in the fact that the words and order of things have been passed down for generations—a worn quilt that we mend and add to when needed. Personally, I think back to a much different type of congregation, and different era, when all were pressed and polished, my hair had been rolled up, and my grandmothers would have fainted at the sight of flip flops in church. But “we” are still here, going through the same rituals, and that’s really all that matters. I like that during the 10:30am service there are ceremonial moments, joyous moments, quiet/ alone moments, community moments, learning moments, and praying moments—all while we sing. There is a part of the service when we can ask for a blessing or prayers, and I’m always humbled by the sheer breadth of what is going on. Maybe others think it odd that we pray for a new driver’s license, or a lost tooth, or work travel, right next to praying for healing of serious illness, comfort to someone whose marriage has unraveled, or grace during the grieving of a loved one or family member, but I love it. It is the ying and yang of life, the paper cuts, and the gaping wounds we all go Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886

through. It’s perspective. I’ve come to think of church as yoga for my soul and if I miss a week, it’s like I skipped a workout or ate a bag of chips. I’m not quite whole; I am not quite set right for the week. I haven’t taken time out of my life to be quiet, and to quiet my brain’s hum of worry about my daily bothers and listen to something else, someone else (God), and gain some perspective. —Ann Kinsella

Congratulations to Kim Locke and Monica Powers, legally married in Minnesota. Wedding cake designed by St. Mary’s own Julie Thomas!


hy I Attend the Contemplative Liturgy* The new Contemplative service gives me the rare chance to settle into silence with a few other people. Quiet outside and around me opens up a quiet within, and I can allow the busyness and thoughts of the weekend and the week fall away. I like the simple structure of the group—a couple of short readings and singing bell to open and close. It feels like a cocoon of peace. Being in community in this way is sacred for me. Because it is less than an hour from the time I walk into the church until I leave, it doesn’t take too big a bite out of my Sunday evening family time. I look forward to going to this service to help prepare me for the week ahead. —Jennifer Pedalty *Contemplative Liturgy—1st and 3rd Sundays Gather 6:45pm; Liturgy 7:00pm 5

December 2013 | January 2014


inging Bowls, Singing Souls By Erika Scheurer I hate shopping. I lack the confidence in my choices and the patience necessary to enjoy the process. My best experiences are those in which I know exactly what I want, so there is a minimum of browsing.

The shopkeeper noticed me wandering and asked if she could help. When I explained my dilemma, she pointed me to the singing bowls. I started trying them out, tapping them gently and enjoying their mellow sound. She came back and explained to me that no, these are singing bowls and demonstrated how to make one sing, whisking a wooden mallet around the edge in a seemingly effortless manner. A deep, rich tone emanated from the bowl— something far more complex than my simple tap could evoke.

Therefore, it was decidedly NOT with a sense of excitement that I took on the job of finding a chime for the new contemplative liturgy.

She then invited me to try to make a bowl sing, again demonstrating how to do it. Of course that bowl had nothing to say, much less to sing, to me. I set it down, satisfied with my simple tap. I was ready to buy one of these bowls and bring this shopping trip to an end.

At our first service, the huge gong-like bell at St. Mary’s—since named the “too-much bell”—was so loud we practically leapt out of our chairs when it was used to mark the transitions between silence and words. We clearly needed something else. All I knew was that we needed something softer yet not tinkly. This minimal knowledge felt like a recipe for disaster in my world of fast, in-and-out shopping. What was I looking for? Where would I find it?

But the shopkeeper, now my teacher, insisted that I stay and learn how to make the bowl sing. I did all sorts of things wrong: the fingers of my left hand, the one holding the bowl, would interfere with the sound, the pressure I exerted with my right hand, the one rubbing the wooden mallet around the rim of the bowl, would be too light, then too heavy. I tried again; no luck.

Luckily, our rector IS a shopper. LeeAnne pointed me to a Tibetan store on Grand Ave. Things were looking better: I had a destination! Of course, it still took me a while to haul myself there—I arrived just a few days before the next contemplative liturgy. The pressure was on. I wandered around the store feeling somewhat out of place. See, even though I helped to put together our contemplative liturgy, I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a meditator. I can only meditate if I am pinned to the spot by the presence of other people doing the same thing. All my attempts at solo meditation have ended in absolute failure. Yes, I’ve been told there is no success or failure with meditation, but if I have wandered off to compose a grocery list (again, the shopping!) or answer work emails—if I am no longer even trying to meditate-then that is failure. I no longer attempt solo flights with my soul.

Once more, I attempted to escape (did I mention I hate shopping?), but my teacher insisted that I needed the bowl to sing for me just once. Finally, she said, “You just do this…” and she whirled the mallet on the bowl,” and it sings as a response to what you do. But you can’t make it sing.” I tried again—or maybe it was my lack of trying, just doing—and yes, the bowl did sing, just a little. But even that little bit gave me an indescribable feeling. It wasn’t of power exactly, since, as my teacher said, I wasn’t making the bowl do anything. If I had to put it in words, I’d say that the vibrations of the bowl singing in my hand left me feeling empowered.

Even when I’m actually meditating with others, the only thing I understand about it is that I’m supposed to focus on my breathing and be in the present moment. For me, this minimalist approach presents plenty of challenge. It is enough. Meditating for even just a few minutes fills my spiritual tank and I feel renewed.

And that is what the contemplative liturgy—which now begins and ends with the singing bowl—is teaching me: I don’t always have to try to make things happen. I can be patient. I can feel confidence. I can simply BE in the present moment. In the rare silence that saturates the corner of the church where together we sit, I can hear my soul singing.

So there I was, novice of novices, surrounded by all the paraphernalia of serious contemplative people. Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014


he All Saints Day sermon about the soul prompted some response. Here’s Ava’s. What’s yours? [Editor’s note: Ava’s response left unedited.]


“Your Soul is something you can count on. IT makes you strong, powerful, and healthy. It is a big part of you that never wares out. It is what makes you trustworthy and beautiful you. It is a big part that never ends. It is what makes you you.”

pprehended on the slant of air between two trees crow-fractured morning after morning, I would name you if I knew how. I don’t. Know. How

—Ava, age 8

you leap over naming, sidle under, squeeze around, you lilac, thistle, burr, belonging to no species,


any thanks to LaVonne Mayer and all those St Marians who attended the fundraising breakfast for St. Paul Area Council of Churches. Good food, great way to improve our communities!

you chipmunk-sudden, slug-utterly unaccommodating – you rainfall prism beautiful, earthquake terrifying, still of night-deep darkness comforting, you rock, you rock, you unnamable, unknowable known how you scamper/swim creep/crawl soar/sink stride/fly – you mountain, you desert, delicious, delirious madness-making laughter you ocean you faucet, you ripple erupt! Spray! Spout, you silence, you suggestion, you


impossible, unbelievable God.


any thanks to all of those who attended the fall Ladies Who Lunch! A good time was had by all!

Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886

—Pat Schneider, How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice


December 2013 | January 2014

SANCTUARY UPGRADE PROCESS FAQ What were the presenting issues? We have maintained the rest of our building very well over the years, and now it is time to spruce up the sanctuary. The space needs safety upgrades for our electrical system, as well as better sound, better lighting, increased flexibility for use of the space, and a new floor. Why? St. Mary’s is a growing, vibrant community with a mission to express God’s love for all people. Our physical space isn’t adequately in congruence with our vision. How was the team chosen? The vestry brainstormed the gifts and skills needed for the team as well as considered demographic balance. We tossed around names until we had a nice balance of young and old, recent arrivals to St Mary’s, and people who have been here a long time. We wanted representatives from all three of our worship expressions, as well as from the altar guild, acolyting, and music. Because there are so many talents at St. Mary’s, from fundraising to sound to lighting to project management and communication, it was logical to invite them to be on the team. In the end, we have a highly skilled and balanced team of 11. Ron Brown – Ron possesses much experience in Episcopal Church development, specifically with the University Episcopal Center, Episcopal Homes, and St. Christopher’s in Roseville. He has served in various roles on vestry teams, including treasurer, and both junior and senior warden. He retired from 3M as an industrial engineer, with additional experience in quality management. Ron is also a part of the 10:30am worship team. He has been at St. Mary’s for a little over two years. Sarah Youngerman – She is in charge of the marketing/communications for the University of Minnesota Foundation. She and her family have been a part of St. Mary’s for over a year, and attend the 9:00am service.

William W. – William is an experienced acolyte for our 9:00am service, has assisted the deacon on multiple occasions, is active in the youth group, sometimes plays his instrument with the music team, and has been attending St. Mary’s for over a couple of years. He will solicit feedback on design proposals from the children and youth of St. Mary’s. Marina Lyon – Marina has many years in fundraising, specifically for the Roman Catholic Cathedral’s capital campaign. Professionally she is the Vice President of the Pohlad Foundation. She (mostly) attends the 7:45am service, and has been a part of St. Mary’s for several years now.

Laura-Lee Farrell-Brown – Laura-Lee has been an active part of St. Mary’s for many years now. She has experience in working with the youth group and also the 9am worship team. She is an experienced lay leader, greeter, usher, and verger, and therefore is very familiar with how the space functions for both the 9am and the 10:30 worship services. Jim DeLuca – Jim has been a member of St. Mary’s for over 20 years. During that time, he has taught Sunday school, has played his recorder with the recorder ensemble, has been a lay reader, and has served on the vestry. Along with his family, Jim participates in the 10:30am service, and is serving on the 10:30am worship team.

Nancy Driscoll – Nancy has been an active member of St. Mary’s for about 12 years. She has served on the vestry, is familiar with fundraising through the garage sale and auction, sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, is currently on the altar guild, and tutors at Galtier Elementary. She is a verger who attends the 9:00am service, and was one of the co-leaders of the latest rector’s sabbatical process.

Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014

Bob Butterbrodt – Bob has been an active part of St. Mary’s for 20+ years. He has served on the vestry, has been senior warden, is the King of the Garden, co-led the process to replace our roof, and serves on the finance committee both as a member and as its chair. Bob is a verger and attends the 10:30am service and is a member of the 10:30am team. Cassidy Edstrom – Cassidy and her family have been members of St. Mary’s, attending the 9am service, for a couple of years now. She has much experience in business management. Julie Philips – Julie and her family have been attending St. Mary’s for a couple of years, after moving from Virginia in 2011. Professionally, Julie is an accomplished theatre actor and director, and attends the 9am service. She attends with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Anika, age 5. Julie also works in the training department at Lifetouch, the company who takes school photos. Todd Reemtsma – Todd and his family have been a part of St. Mary’s for over 6 years. Professionally Todd has an MPA in theatre lighting, and currently works for a commercial lighting company. He sings in the choir and attends the 10:30 service. He is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society and is Lighting Certified by the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions.

Is it just the sanctuary we are talking about? The process started out just being about the sanctuary, but it is also becoming more clear that our entrance could be adapted to be more welcoming, so there is a possibility that we will include some of that as well. What has happened so far? *Vestry launched the process, wrote a job description for the team, and brainstormed names. * Team was assembled. * Team has interviewed 3 out of the 3 recommended architects, and will make a recommendation to the vestry for approval. * The Rev. Canon Michael Pipkin, Missioner for Missional Management, has met with the vestry and will meet with the team to offer encouragement and support. What will happen now? *The architect will frame our congregational conversations, asking the right questions that will help his firm in creating a plan. This will last several months and everyone is eagerly encouraged to participate. *Sometime around late January or February, the congregation will be able to see pictures of possibilities. We will all discuss and adapt and recommend a final plan to the vestry. *Fundraising will begin after the plan is approved. *Implementing the plans will most likely occur in phases, but we have hopes of beginning early summer 2014. *The vestry will write a letter to the Trustees of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, who actually own our building (as they do for all for all church structures in Minnesota). The letter will request permission to do the upgrade. We don’t anticipate they will say anything but yes. Hey, I have opinions, ideas, and concerns, and I’m not on the team—how can I engage this process? This undertaking will require everyone to participate! There will be several months and many opportunities for everyone to offer their thoughts. In the meantime, please do share your thoughts with Nancy Driscoll or Bob Butterbrodt. If we can raise money to do this, why shouldn’t we give it to the poor? Such a good question! There is a part of the story of Elijah, where an angel comes to him as he was in the middle of a large and exhausting journey. The angel says, “Sit down and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you” —I Kings 19:7-8. We all need to sit and eat, so that we can do the work that God has given us to do. That is what happens in our sanctuary. Church exists as a place for people to come together, hear words from our ancestors in scripture, pray for wisdom and strength, and be fed by friendships and sacrament, so that we may go back into the world to make it a better place. Look for further updates in upcoming Fishtales, emails, and bulletins. Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014


Doing Good Please bring your gifts to church and place them under the tree by Sunday, December 15. Thank you very much for your consideration and participation. Merry Christmas!

ngel Tree… It’s Brighter with Books

This year we will be giving in two ways. Along with St. Clement’s and St. Anne’s Episcopal Churches, we will continue to provide Christmas gifts (toys and clothing) for 40 children at St. Paul College Day Care Center and Hubbs House and gift cards for their parents. As you may recall, the children are from low income, often single parent families. Money is always in short supply for these families, and the holidays can be especially difficult with the extra demands on the dollars at that time. We have partnered with these churches and children’s centers for 20 years!


he Latest at Galtier Elementary School There are thirty-two volunteers currently working their weekly turns at Galtier. We are all enjoying having small classes and fewer crises and more learning. The teachers are really taking advantage of this time when they have fewer kids to make tracks on literacy skills. We have given out $300 grants to eleven classroom teachers and at least three full-time specialists, in science, physical education, and art.

Additionally, we will collect books for the library at Galtier Elementary School. As you may know, we are in our fourth year supporting Galtier School. Three years ago, we reopened their library with 100% volunteer support. We want to continue assisting in making the library more current and culturally relevant. Book recommendations have come from teachers, staff, library volunteers and from a recommended book list created by the Givens Foundation and Red Balloon highlighting African American Children’s literature. And… if you purchase your book at Red Balloon, they will donate an additional 20% of book sales which will allow us to purchase additional books for the library!

The phys. ed. teacher wants a Wii to teach dancing—she has done it at other schools. The pre -k teachers have gone in together on a field trip. The school system provides one field trip a year, and this will make two. They plan to go to a nature center, which is a big deal to city four-year-olds. The art teacher is buying drying racks. Last year we had no art second semester and the materials and equipment mostly disappeared.

So this is how it works: Beginning on Sunday, December 1, our “Angel Tree” will be in the St. Mary’s Room. You’ll find it decorated with paper book ornaments and paper angels. The paper book ornaments will have a title and author of a book listed. Please purchase that particular book and bring it back to church unwrapped.

We are planning to give out more specialty grants to other specialists: English Language Learning, Reading, Literacy coordination... We have bought uniforms twice this year for crisis management. When Johnny has an accident, he can be washed up, reclothed and sent back to class in a few minutes. Much less traumatic than having to call a parent, the parent has to get off takes the rest of the day: many parents don’t have cars.

The paper angels will have a name, age, gender, and size (for clothes) on the front of the Angel and information on the back. Please wrap these gifts (gift bags preferably) and attach the Angel to the package so it will get to the right child. There are also angels marked “Target/Food check/Gift card” for the parents. Please make checks out to St. Mary’s with “Angel Tree” in the memo line (and gift cards will be purchased). Gift cards and checks should be placed in the red stocking hanging from the tree. Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886

—Paulette Briese

The book drive is going forward, and you will soon hear about it. The volunteers planning it have lists of books--and lists of lists! We are also sorting used books already donated by the churches and the school so that we can give each child a book to read over winter break. —Jane Wells, 10

December 2013 | January 2014


is the Season I’ve noticed that after moving into the role of being an adult and parent that the holiday season has changed. The days of over receiving are long gone, and I find myself in over giving mode. This can lead to some serious un-holiday like behavior. I become angry, frustrated, exhausted, and down right displeased. This is my warning flag that things are out of balance and I need to stop what I am doing and take care of myself. I found this list and co-opted it from Wiki with a holiday twist. I hope that these suggestions support you as well:

community with a mission that states that we are “A Christ-centered community with a mission to express God’s love for all people.” Be that expression to yourself and others. ‘Tis the season.

—Anne Murphy, Pastoral Care Chair

Focus- Show up and choose to be present. Try to stay in gratitude and out of anything that takes you out of it. Make good choices- Trust yourself and give into your gut. There are many choices around food, family, folly, and funds. You know what’s best for you; allow that to show you the way. Be respectful- Some of us will be spending hours, if not days around family and friends. Take good care of yourselves and others. Spending time at Mom and Dad’s? Be aware of reverting back to your childhood ways. Always return back to love. Be responsible- There is a lot of doing during the holiday dash. Create a list that is manageable, kind, and realistic. This will support you to follow through.

Trick or treating with Grant and Meredith at Episcopal Homes

Communicate- Keep your communication clear and bright. Even with technology, families’ communication can get distorted and channels can get lost. Do your part to maintain a good connection with all.


hat is True about God By Kirby I was asked by LeeAnne and Erika what I think is true about God. You might think this is a silly question if you think everything in the Bible about God is true. But for me, there are some things I don’t quite understand. I think God did create the simple, yet important things like the grass, water, trees, and flowers. A lot of people say “If God doesn’t like it he wouldn’t have created it,” which is true for some things, but others, such as wars and certain weapons, were created by man, not God. Although He has the power to change it, He wants people to see why they are not good. He does things to help people and teach them lessons. He sees and knows what goes on and He will step in as necessary. You may not see him but He’s there. That’s what I think is true about God.

Be healthy- Eat right, exercise, rest, and repeat. Be mature- Stay of out blame and judgment. Avoid activities such as eye rolling, whispering, and drudging up old stories that disempower yourself or others. Know when to act goofy and when to be serious– The holidays can be very celebratory, and a hearty laugh is good medicine. It can also be a difficult time for some; a knowing glance or an enduring hug might be the way to go. And finally, if you are feeling alone, know that you are not. You are a part of a congregation and made the choice to belong. Saint Mary’s is a generous Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014

and support the idea that God has a feminine side, believes we are good and whole as we are (and not in need of saving), and has an agenda for social justice and inclusion (and not royal aspirations for world domination)? I am hopeful, but the sea of critics on the side of tradition threaten to swamp the boat. I have hope that we can agree that following Jesus is essential, but hard. Especially since the world view he lived in is so different from ours: no everyday paper, only handwritten scrolls of Hebrew scriptures and official edicts from the Roman government; speaking the local Aramaic dialect, not the Greek of the first gospel writers decades later or even the English of the early 1600’s when the King James Bible was translated. Join me in digging into the essential Jesus. Try out the strange words from Jesus’ most commonly known prayer at our next meeting on January 19, 2014 from Noon-1:00pm in the undercroft. Let us dance together to practice living in community. May these practices take root and blossom into new fruits of lyric phrases that reflect the emerging understanding of Jesus’ delight in justice for the many seasons of the church.

Our happy little Choristers—Raina, Cecilia, Vivian, Ava, and Elias


ramaic Lord’s Prayer Series LeeAnne asked me to write more about the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer series for this Fishtales. In pondering my words, I’m struck by the common link of repetition in this Zikr practice and the carols for the Christmas season I’m in the midst of preparing for. Both use repetition to form and reform beliefs, to solidify and expand the ideas of God and Jesus. What is Zikr exactly? Zikr is the repeated chanting of a sacred phrase, spoken or sung, accompanied by easy movement and a relaxed attention focused on the heart. Does it sound like something you don’t want to do? It’s actually not that different than standing and singing an “Alleluia” before the reading of the gospel or for a choral singer to sing “Selig sind” (Blessed are) repeated in Brahms’ German Requiem. Essentially a meditation, the practice of Zikr imbues the joy and compassion of our hearts into the actions of our body while integrating the thoughts of our head. Sufis translate Zikr for Westerners as “the remembrance of God.” To me, it sounds quite a bit like Sunday morning worship service. The Christmas carols we have sung for centuries (and listened to passively in stores and on the radio since Halloween) play a teaching role in helping us remember the stories of Jesus and cement beliefs of our faith tradition. But what happens when our beliefs and understandings of God and Jesus change? Do we have to toss out the baby with the bathwater? Is it possible to satisfy and preserve the melodic traditions of yesteryear Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886

—Conie Borchardt, 9:00am Music Director Twitter: Mary9music

Joe, Laurel, and Emily


December 2013 | January 2014


y custom each Advent is to select a prayer or poem and ‘sit with it’ through the season… usually I pray the poem twice per day, and post it on my desk... often it is included in my Iphone and Ipad where I can find it easily. I use the Gospel Based Discipleship questions to assist my discernment: What captured your attention? What is the passage saying to you? What is the passage (Gospel) calling you to do? Consider creating your own Advent practice.. A reading from Jeremiah 23 We are among your called. We have heard and answered your summons. You have addressed us in the deep places of our lives. In responsive obedience we testify, as we are able, to your truth as it concerns our common life. We thank you for the call, for the burden of that call, for the risk that goes with it, for the joy of words given us by your growing spirit, and for the newness that sometimes comes from our word. We have indeed been in the counsel of your summoning spirit, and so we know some truth to speak. But we are, as well, filled with rich imagination of our own, And our imagination is sometimes matched and overmatched by our cowardice, by our readiness to please, by our quest for well-being. We are, on most days, a hard mix of true prophet and wayward voice, a mix of your call to justice and our hope for shalom. Here we are, as we are, mixed but faithful, compromised but committed, anxious but devoted to you. Use us and our gifts for your newness that pushes beyond all that we can say or imagine. We are grateful for words given us; we are more grateful for your word fleshed among us. Brueggemann, Walter (2008-08-01). Prayers for a Privileged People (p. 127). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition. —Rex McKee,, Deacon Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014

Christian Formation

they are welcome to be in the pageant. If the student is in 2nd-6th grade they will have some type of special part (singing, dancing or acting). If they are 3 years old through 1st grade, they will be a part of the chorus and get to decide if they want to be a shepherd, sheep, animal, or angel. To help your child out, you may want to practice the songs for the Pageant. We will send home the names of the songs they will be singing on November 17! We have a Sunday School pageant practice schedule that is in effect for the remainder of the year. December 1 Pageant practice December 8 Pageant practice December 15 Pageant practice December 22 Final mandatory practice 9am-Noon (pizza provided) The Christmas pageant will be on December 22 at 10:00am between the 9 and 10:30am services!

Marcus, Nevalie, Deleela, and Max


unday School Update Our first semester of Sunday School is at a close. A big thank you to Stephanie Neuhaus, Claire, Kelley Stoneburner, Kirby, Shannon Langenfeld, and Erika Scheurer, and Sarah Ann Weaver for working with our children the first quarter. Littlest Classroom: Stephanie and Claire worked with the 3-4 year olds and taught Old Testament stories this quarter. These are the classic stories that kids should know and they are taught using a Godly Play curriculum. After Christmas, the lessons will continue and focus on the life of Jesus. Kindergarten/First: Kelley and Kirby worked with our Kindergarten and First graders and also worked on Old Testament stories. The stories are reinforced and discussed a bit more at length. This classroom will also focus on Jesus stories when classes resume after the Christmas pageant. Second/Third: Shannon worked with our Second and Third graders and taught about Saints. Shannon helps the kids go beyond the story to find out even more about the Saints in this curriculum. Fourth through Sixth: I worked with our Fourth through Sixth graders and we learned about Psalms, Proverbs, and other Wisdom in the Bible. The fourth through sixth graders are also working on a special Christmas acting project, and memorizing Psalms 23. Coming Up in Sunday School: Now it is time to shift gears. We are getting ready for the Christmas Pageant. If you have a Sunday School aged student, Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886

Claire, Ava, Joe, Charlie, Charlie’s friend, Ava, Molly, Katherine, and Rachel


weeners Update Good Times: Our tweens started out the year going to Good Times park. Charlie, a tween himself had the idea to go. It was a big hit and a special thanks to the Kakers and the McCallisters for chaperoning the event. Monster’s University: We had a group of kids stay after church to watch Monster’s University and eat pizza. Our parent hosts were the Reemstma family and the Hodgeman family. Thank to them for making the event go so smoothly! Coming Up in Tweeners: December 1 Tween Ice Skate at the Depot December 21 Christmas Pageant Practice January 5 Tween Bowling 14

December 2013 | January 2014

Molly trick or treating with Jean


Stephanie, Kinsey, Michael, Noah, Lucien, Kirby, Aaron, John, Bella, Margaret, Claire, and Zach (L-R, Back-Front)

ooke Household (Episcopal Homes) Update

Ice Cream Party: We kicked off our time at Cooke Household with an ice cream party. This is a crowd pleaser for both the residents and the kids. Despite the cold weather, everyone had some ice cream. We also had a chance to walk around the home and visit with some of our Saint Marians who don’t get out to church much anymore. We said hi to Jean and Marianne, and they were happy to see us! Trick or Treating: A group of Saint Mary’s folks made their way over to Episcopal Homes on the Tuesday before Halloween for some trick or treating! We had some wonderful costumes, and the kids sang a Halloween song (led by Ginny DeLuca) which the residents loved! Thanks to Erika Scheurer, Kris Hennelly, Ginny DeLuca, and Kirby for chaperoning the event! Coming Up at Episcopal Homes: December 8: Gingerbread Houses


had a Halloween party. There was a gummy worm eating contest, a mummy making contest, a doughnut eating game, and cookie decorating. Finally, the first week in November, the youth group had a discussion on leadership. We broke up into two groups—junior and senior high—and talked about the qualities we value in leaders. We thought of good leaders that we knew and talked about why they were good and the qualities that they had. We debated whether leaders are born or made and how the country you live in might impact the qualities you admire in a leader. We talked about leadership qualities in youth and adults and whether they are different. As always, our youth had important, intelligent, and thoughtful things to say. Thanks: Thank you to Margaret Thor and Stephanie Neuhouse who have been helping with youth group each week. Thank you also to Dan Brown, John O’Brien, and Joe Juvland for their support of youth group throughout the year. Also, a special thanks to the youth that have been taking on more leadership within the group by doing the announcements, question of the day, and closings. Well done! Coming Up in Youth Group: December 4 Ice Skate at the Oval (Indoor) December 11 Discussion: Panel on Careers December 18 Feed My Starving Children December 25 NO YOUTH GROUP (Christmas Break)

outh Group Update

Year In Review: So, for those of you that might not know, our youth group is set up so that we can have service projects, parties, activities and important discussions. We alternate these types of activities so that we have a good variety in our group. October was a big month for youth group. We started in October with a service project to give back to Saint Marys. The youth group spent time cleaning the pews in the sanctuary—so if you noticed a friendly lemony smell—that is why! They also cleaned all of the windows on the inside of the church and some on the outside (the ones that didn’t require going on to roofs, etc). The next session in October we went climbing at Vertical Endeavors. Our youth group proved to be exceptional climbers and had a great time too. The last week in October, we Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886

—MiaLisa E. McFarland Childrens and Youth Minister 570-269-9688 (cell) 15

December 2013 | January 2014


Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church 1895 Laurel Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55104



Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church is Christ-centered community with a mission to express God’s love for all people. You are always welcome to worship with us! Sunday morning service times are 7:45, 9:00, and 10:30am and our new contemplative liturgy is on the first and third Sundays of the month; we gather at 6:45pm, and the liturgy goes from 7:00-7:45pm.

The Submission Deadline for the February and March Fishtales is SUNDAY, JANUARY 12 by Midnight to Fishtales Newsletter | Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church founded in 1886


December 2013 | January 2014

Fishtales December 2013 and January 2014  
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