News from St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Worship at 10 today
Today we will hold a Welcome Liturgy and worship for the first time officially as one congregation – St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents. Our name is provisional. Later we will see if we wish to keep or change it.
Full day for choir – and prospective choir – members
Choir members are asked to arrive no later than 9 this Sunday. Kris Abels will be our guest pianist this day and he will be here at 8:30 ready to roll. Then, following the liturgy, Mary Fletcher-Gomez will be dropping by to meet choir members – and anyone who has ever thought they might like to be a choir member. She even promises a mini-rehearsal. So plan to come early and stay a bit late. You won’t regret either.
To all who participated in the grand liturgy last Sunday at Holy Innocents. I think I speak for everyone when I say it was a glorious celebration that did justice to all that Holy Innocents has been for so many years – and all it will be in the years to come. Thanks also to all who helped with packing and moving. I personally found that part emotionally grueling and I especially thank the members of Holy Innocents who bravely participated in this aspect of the closing. I can only imagine how hard it was for you.
Help needed to transport a family of 4 from Hoffman Estates to St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents.
The Bollyn family – two adults, two children — does not have a car and will need a ride to get to the new building. They live just a couple of blocks from the Holy Innocents building. Let me know by email ASAP if you can help — firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help with moving. It’s easy. No, really! And we’re almost done.
We are going to be working from 4 to 8 p.m. this Wednesday January 3 to get the space arranged for our first Sunday liturgy as St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents. We brought a lot of things from the Holy Innocents building and it’s going to take some time to get things organized. So we can use your help if you are able.
Then on Sunday after Mass we’ll need a few folks for about 90 minutes to make a trip to the Holy Innocents building and bring back those few remaining things that are going to go into the new building – and to organize a few things there for later transport.
But we are NOT going to move anything to storage ourselves. Our diocesan staff liaison suggested we utilize some people from an Episcopal Charities program who would be glad to help with the move for a small contribution to their work. We will do that rather than spend any more of our energies – emotional as well as physical — on building issues. Our energy needs to go fully to building our new life together.
Help at the Food Pantry at St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents.
The Holy Innocents Food Pantry now belongs to our new congregation – and we’ve doubled its frequency. We need a few volunteers this Wednesday the 3rd from about 5:30 to 7:30. Thanks.
Some things to expect.
Chaos. It’s going to be chaotic for a while. Everything isn’t going to fit and not everything will be in place right away. We’ll work at it, but let’s remember the most important thing is getting to know one another.
Bishop & Trustees. On the 16th I will be part of a presentation to Bishop & Trustees of the Diocese in which we lay out our plans for growth and speak forthrightly about what we need in order to do it. In particular, I will be asking for money for a new digital organ and money for a small addition to our building. Both of these would come from funds generated by the sale of the HI property. Assuming both are approved – I expect they will be, as they already have been endorsed by the Congregations Commission
– we will move speedily on both fronts. In particular, there will be an organ in place before Easter.
Lots of emphasis on connecting. One way you can do this is by making sure you and your family are present – starting on the 14th – for our education hour between liturgies. That will be a great initial time to begin to connect. Look also for some silly things – they’ll be my doing. And for some funky things – like a Shrove Tuesday Renaissance Feast with liturgy conducted according to the !%$( — that’s 1549 – prayer book. I also encourage folks to try both the 9 and the 11 liturgies. It’ll provide a chance to
connect with different people, but you also may find you prefer one style or time over the other.
A different feel to the later liturgy. Now that we have a solid, mainstream Episcopal liturgy at 9, we will move the later liturgy in a more contemporary direction. Look for two readings instead, of three; more time for contemplation and silence; affirmations of faith rather than the Nicene Creed every Sunday, music of Taize fairly frequently. Overall, this liturgy will be shorter and more contemplative, while retaining many of those things people have said they like most about what has been the 10:30 liturgy
at St. Nicholas.
Speaking of contemplation – and the quiet that goes with it….When Mary Fletcher-Gomez arrives in February, she will begin incorporating preludes and postludes before and after the liturgies. I’ve noticed at Holy Innocents the St. Nicholas people – a social, friendly group if ever there was one! – sometimes tend to visit during both. I would be grateful if our conversations could be moved into the next room so that those who wish to enter or exit worship gradually and more contemplatively can do so. Thanks. PS,
Mary has told me not to worry; she can do postludes so loudly that conversation will be impossible.
Growth. While I am not gong to push us to do a lot of evangelism these first few months, I expect the uptick in visitors that I’ve noticed lately will continue. What we are doing is exciting and folks sense it. So don’t just assume that everyone here is from the other parish – there will be newcomers in our midst from the get-go.
Bring a non-perishable food item to church.
Our food pantry will benefit greatly if we all remember to do this each Sunday.
Make yourself a nametag whenever you worship.
It will help us get to know one another faster, and it’s a great way to make guests feel welcome.
Contribution statements and pledge envelopes.
St. Nicholas Contribution Statements for 2006 are on the gray table in the gathering space. Any statements not picked up by 1/21/07 will be mailed. So save the church postage money and pick up your 2006 statement. Thank you. If anyone wants contribution envelopes for 2007, they can see Laura Lampe after the 10:00 service on Sunday, Jan 7 or the 11:00 a.m. service on Jan. 14.
New Website launched.
The new Website for the combined congregation of St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents is now live. It has been designed to serve primarily as an evangelism tool to attract newcomers. Since we learned that almost all visitors to St. Nicholas found us through the Website, having a new Website for the combined congregation focused on the needs of the newcomer was especially important if we are to grow our membership and our mission. The URL for the new Website is www.onebreadonebody.org Stay tuned for additional
enhancements to the Website as we live into our new shared life as one congregation.
Finally, one bread, one body.
It’s been a long journey to get to this point. I know those of you who have been a part of Holy Innocents have gone through a lot of pain to come this far, and I respect your courage and your hope. You are remarkable people with a deep spirituality. I also am grateful for the flexibility and patience of the St. Nicholas group. Not only have you shared me without complaint, you’ve also reached out with compassion and love to your brothers and sisters. You are gracious and kind.
I will be doing everything I can in the months and years ahead to help build a congregation that brings together the best of Holy Innocents and the best of St. Nicholas. I know you will, too, and that is a tremendous gift you are giving me. As hard as this has been for me, too, these months have been the most gratifying I’ve spent as a priest and I expect that will continue to be the case. Thank you.