From the Rector’s Study— Perhaps because I have been serving here in the Panhandle for the past nine months or perhaps because we have entered into a Post-Easter Season, I feel confident enough to share some challenging and potentially difficult issues with you now. The Vestries of St. Matt’s and Calvary Churches and I have done well—I believe—in adjusting to the retirement of Suzi Lore and I feel blessed that Dixie Nelson is our new Parish Administrator. We are so grateful for her exceptional church leadership before and after Father Don’s move to New York State and for Suzi’s wonderful assistance to me. Now our parishes face an equally serious matter in adjusting to the retirement of Deacon Cheryl Harris. And I am grateful that Cheryl speaks of a “partial” retirement as she will still be very much involved in the life of St. Matthew’s parish, but it’s a momentous change as she will no longer lead Sunday morning services of worship. I am writing now requesting your prayers as we face together a problem of how to function well with a 50 percent reduction in clergy personnel for Sunday mornings! From all reports, there is no current back-up plan to deal with this radical change. Page 1
It’s no secret that it’s not easy to become an Episcopal Deacon or an Episcopal Priest. The Diocese of Nebraska--like all Episcopal Dioceses—faces a delicate balance of attempting to recruit good people and then subjecting them to a strenuous process of spiritual discernment before ordaining them. But if you have an itch or would like to pursue what you believe is a call to ministry, I would be eager to have a conversation with you given Deacon Cheryl’s well-deserved semi-retirement. A few years back, an Amish friend told me about their church’s unusual procedure for choosing a minister. She was from Lancaster, Pennsylvania where few Amish acquire education beyond the eighth grade, and almost none have theological training. The entire congregation votes for any men (among the Amish, only males need apply) who show pastoral potential, and those who receive at least three votes move forward to sit at a table. Each has a hymnbook in front of him, and inside his randomly chosen hymnbook, one of the men finds a card designating him as the new pastor for the next year. “What if the person selected doesn’t feel qualified?” I asked my Amish friend. She look puzzled, then replied, “If he did feel qualified, we wouldn’t want him.” At this time in the life of our churches, we are looking for new leaders who aren’t expecting a call. It’s very clear to me that our Episcopal Church depends on leaders—either ordained clergy or active laypeople—who have decided to live authentically as disciples of Christ. Jesus isn’t looking for the qualified; he’s looking for the available. He isn’t looking for the fearful; he’s looking for the fearless. May God help us in meeting the immediate challenge facing our parishes. Blessings and peace, Father Coke McClure
Holy Week in Retrospect Lent and Holy Week is over and I hope that all of you chose at least one of the special services or studies to attend. This is how we become closer to God in Christ – by praying and studies. There are two special services that I look forward to during the Church year. One is Christmas Eve and the story of the birth of Christ and the other is the Great Easter Vigil which is the lighting of the new fires; the story of salvation and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is proclaimed. When I looked the definition up on the trusty internet – this is what I found. Episcopal 101: What is the Easter Vigil? Only the most beautiful, soul-stirring, ancient, and important liturgy (worship service) of the Christian Faith! Like the Resurrection of Christ, which it celebrates, the Easter Vigil begins in the darkness of the night of Holy Saturday. A new fire is kindled outside and from it the great Paschal Candle and then our own candles are lit. We await our Master’s return with our lamps full and burning (Luke 12:35ff). The great hymn The Exsultet is sung, the sweeping story of salvation history is recounted, the Resurrection of Jesus is proclaimed (loudly!) with the ringing of bells. Then follows the year’s principal rites of Baptism and Eucharist. Not to be missed! The Great Vigil, when observed, is the first service of Easter Day. It is celebrated at a convenient time between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Morning. The service normally consists of four parts: 1. The Service of Light. 2. The Service of Lessons. 3. Christian Initiation, or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows. 4. The Holy Eucharist with the administration of Easter Communion.
SERVICE SCHEDULE FOR ST. MATTHEWS MAY 4TH: 10:00 AM HOLY EUCHARIST THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER CELEBRANT: FR. COKE MCCLURE DEACON: CHERYL HARRIS LEADERS: KATHY GRAHAM (L) KRISTY DEANS (P) ACOLYTE: PAT ZOBEL MAY 11: 10:00 AM HOLY EUCHARIST MOTHER’S DAY – FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER CELEBRANT: FR. COKE MCCLURE LEADERS: BILL RENO (L) SUZI LORE (P) MUSICIAN: CYNTHIA HORN ACOLYTE: ANNE ADAM BACCALAUREATE 7 PM MAY 13: VESTRY 5:30 PM MAY 18: 10:00 AM HOLY EUCHARIST FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER CELEBRANT: FR. COKE MCCLURE LEADERS: CHARLES PLANTZ (L) KATHY WORLEY (P) MUSICIAN: SUE DIMMITT ACOLYTE: KATHY GRAHAM MAY 25TH: 10:00 AM HOLY EUCHARIST SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER CELEBRANT: FR. COKE MCCLURE LEADERS: PAT ZOBEL (L) BILL RENO (P) ACOLYTE: JAKE MCCAFFREY
SPRING INGATHERING OF THE
This is a beautiful service but not a service that is always well attended. This year it was even less well attended because of the concert at the PAC that was going on at the same time. I hope that next Easter this will be one of your choices during Holy Week. I think you will be glad you went. Blessings, Deacon Cheryl Page 2
UNITED THANK OFFERING
The United Thank Offering is a way to raise the consciousness of the whole church to the daily discipline of offering thanks to God. By dropping a coin in the UTO Blue Box, we can give thanks through our daily prayers for the abundance that is received through our relationship with Christ.
(UTO cont’d) Give thanks for: The bread and wine, recovery from an illness, the gift of life, laughter, friends, autumn leaves, spring flowers, my friend, “Fido!”, a letter from a friend, an answered prayer, respect, a hole-in-one, freedom, the Church, a safe trip, rain showers, rainbows, snowflakes, Christmas, Easter, weekends, God’s love, family, etc. Gratitude takes three forms: a feeling in the heart, an expression in words and giving in return. God gave you the gift of 86,000 seconds today – have you used one to say “thank you?” Thou hast given me so much…..give me one thing more, a grateful heart. Please remember during the year to give thanks through daily prayer by dropping a coin in your “Little Blue Box”. The annual UTO Ingathering is planned for Sunday, May 18. UTO envelopes will be available in the Sunday bulletins May 4 & 11 for your use or you may send a check to St. Matthew’s Church P.O. Box 430 Alliance NE 69301 marked for UTO Fund. Extra Blue Boxes are on the table in the Narthex – please help yourself if you do not have one or need a new box. Janice Lawrence
May 17 Beth Graham May 17 Bill Thurston May 17 Shawn Mooney May 19 Charles & Chris Plantz May 20 Gayle Dietrich May 22 Caitlin Feddersen May 27 Mark & Leslie Roseberry May 29 Sarah Boysen May 30 Desseray Monroy May 31 Sara Watson
CALVARY SERVICE SCHEDULE May 4: 2:00 PM HOLY EUCHARIST CELEBRANT: FR. COKE MCCLURE LECTOR: MARINA GARNER GREET & TREAT: APPLEGARTH’S May 11: 10:00 AM HOLY EUCHARIST CELEBRANT: DEACON CHERYL HARRIS LECTOR: KATHY COVER GREET & TREAT: DREDLA’S
UTO Chairman for St. Matthew’s Guild
May 18: 10:00 AM MORNING PRAYER LEADER: LESLIE ROSEBERRY GREET & TREAT: ROSEBERRY’S
St. Matthews and Calvary Birthdays & Anniversaries
May 22: 4:00 PM VESTRY MEETING
May 2 Judy Kennedy
May 25: 2:00 PM HOLY EUCHARIST CELEBRANT: Fr. Coke McClure LEADER: JOY BOYER GREET & TREAT: TBA
May 3 Jared Mracek May 4- Bill Graham May 7 Susi Ehrett Tom Dredla
CALVARY- 1ST SUNDAY’S OF EACH MONTH IS NOW AT 2:00 PM INSTEAD OF 4:00 PM. ALL OTHER SERVICES WILL BE AT THE REGULAR 10:00 AM TIME.
May 9 Archie & Janice Lawrence May 14 Dan Dietrich May 15 Kathy Cover Page 3
BACK PACK DONATIONS
GREET & TREAT – THE SIGN UP SHEET IS IN THE PARISH HALL FOR APRIL AND MAY. IF YOU COULD PROVIDE TREATS ONE SUNDAY PLEASE SIGN UP!
Thank you so much for supporting the Backpack Program!! Food Donations for April through August May – Fruit cups June – Pudding July – Chef BoyArDee meals August – Individual cereals
The Missive’s will be mailed out May 28th. If you have items for that issue please get them to the office in Alliance by Friday, May 23rd.
Are you looking for adventure? Willing to help someone in need? Hearing a call to do God’s work? If any or all of these things apply to you – keep these dates in mind. SEPT. 25TH – 28TH.
MAY 2014 AT CALVARY CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CONFIRMATION CLASS FOR COMPLETING THE STUDY SERIES. CONFIRMATION WILL BE HELD THIS FALL WHEN BISHOP BARKER COMES TO THE PANHANDLE. THE CANDIDATES ARE CODY CLARKE, ZAC ASH & BRITTNEY ASH, AND THEIR SPONSORS LESLIE ROSEBERRY, KATHY COVER, & JOY BOYER.
We will be gather a Mission Team to go to Omaha to work at the Open Door Mission and the Table Grace Café. We would drive down on Thursday, work Friday and Saturday, and come home Sunday (after church at the Cathedral?) We are beginning meeting starting Sunday May 4th following the service. If you would be interested in joining us, call Deacon Cheryl at 762- 4346 or 760-7629. Think about it and pray about it.
DON’T FORGET THE MOTHER’S DAY PROJECT WITH THE MISSION TEAM!
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GRADUATING SENIOR!
SHONTELL ROSEBERRY SUMMER LAWN CARE WILL BE ON A VOLUNTEER BASIS. IF YOU CAN HELP MOW THE YARD OR HIRE SOMEONE TO DO IT, PLEASE SIGN UP. THE SPRINKLERS HAVE BEEN TURNED ON AND WE ARE PRAYING AND HOPING FOR SEASONAL MOISTURE.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching and the St. Matthew’s Mission Team would once again like to sponsor the Mother’s Day Bulletin. Because we were in transition last year, (and because someone forgot), we neglected to print the booklets. We would like to continue this tradition of honoring our mother’s. A loved one may be remembered in honor, or in memory if they are no longer living. We ask that a $10.00 donation be made for each name placed on the list. There are forms in the narthex right now!l Please complete and return the forms by May 7. Thanks for your support – The Mission Team
St. Matthews Vestry Meeting Overview Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Vestry members attending the meeting were Melba Dickenson, Mike Dietrich, Dean Huckfeldt, Janice Lawrence and Aaron Wood with Father Coke McClure calling the meeting to order at 5:35 pm. Following an opening prayer for Church Leadership the minutes of the previous month were reviewed and passed. Due to transition there was no parish administrator’s report with Suzi Lore training Dixie Nelson for the position. Dean Huckfeldt (Junior Warden-Buildings and Grounds) gave a report on the recommendations from KONE, the company that provides elevator maintenance services.. Corrective actions recommended were to: perform annual safety test, install emergency light and bell, install ladder in pit and install a handrail on top of elevator. Dean also reported that KONE’s fees have increased by 3.5% for 2014. Dean reported that Church Insurance would provide an independent appraisal of the church buildings by American Appraisal Associates with an appraisal report to be sent to the church in 3 to 4 months. The vestry was informed Wayne Zobel will be doing the lawn care for the summer. Other items include that the vestry discussed bids for the remodeling of an ADA compliant bathroom in the Undercroft. Bids will be brought to the May meeting to aid in making a good fiscal as well as quality decision. Improvements have been made to the roof to prevent leakage. Electrical ballasts for chandeliers in the sanctuary were repaired with bids being sought for consistent white lighting (bulbs) for the lights. There have been positive comments on the banner in the niche giving information on service times. Under Father Coke’s report, he stated that there will be a wedding in October which was good news. With Deacon Cheryl retiring that raises scheduling issues. Correspondence was received from the Nebraska Choice Gas program. The application for the program runs from April 11 to April 24. Dean and Mike will meet to select a natural gas provider for the church. Dean will fill out the application and send it in. Father Coke shared the completed parochial report for 2013 with the Vestry which was approved by the Vestry. The Vestry reviewed the cash activity report for March and the treasurer’s report for Page 5
January of 2014 through March of 2014. The investment fund status was reviewed, with $105,319.74 in the fund for March. Mike Dietrich volunteered to serve as the Vestry Representative on the Finance Committee due to a request by that committee for Vestry representation. Members currently serving on the finance committee are Father Coke, John Cover, Mark Cover, Helen Dafney, Kristy Dietrich and Ken Wood. It was suggested they develop a long-range investment plan for the Capital Reserve fund as soon as possible. The Vestry meeting was adjourned at 6:49 PM. The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM. This is a “Reader’s Digest” version of the official minutes prepared by Melba Dickenson, Clerk of the Vestry.
Condensed by Dixie Nelson
Circle Your Calendars: Bishop Scott will be at St. Matthew’s on September 21st!