One Bread, One Body May 27

OneBread OneBody

News from St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents

The Feast of Pentecost



Questions may travel the centuries unchanged, but the answers vary. In the memory that finds expression in the Bible, it is God who asked the first question when He asks Adam, “Where are you?” He asks each of us, no matter where, the same question. Is Adam a figure of myth? For me he is rather history’s first refugee. — Elie Wiesel

Summer schedule begins today. Wear red for Pentecost!

Worship is at 10. From the Memorial Day weekend through the Labor Day weekend, we will have a single liturgy at 10, with occasional adult ed or children’s ed programs. One advantage of the summer schedule is that it will offer us an opportunity to form stronger bonds of community. The single liturgy will be a bit different than both existing liturgies, but I am sure we are at a place where people are more important than a particular form of the liturgy. And we’ve got such really great people!

Our annual meeting is next Sunday, June 3.

Come and celebrate with us. There is so much to be grateful for – and even more to look forward to! We’ll talk about the reorganization of our leadership and governing structure to facilitate our growth during the coming year. We’ll have a lot to say about our building addition. And of course, there will be food – please bring a side dish, dessert, or salad to share. The main course will be provided.

Most of all, we need your input. There will be a chance to review the first five months of our new congregation and to hear everyone’s feedback. We’ll also revisit the question of the name of our parish. When we merged, we agreed “St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents” would be our provisional name, as there was no clear consensus about a new name. But it is a mouthful and so we will check in to see if there is sentiment for keeping it; or if you would prefer to choose a new name altogether. If we are going to change it, this year is the time to do it. So please make every effort to be present. This is too important a decision to make without a lot of reflection and input.

We’ll meet immediately following the 10 am liturgy – I guarantee a short homily – and go for no more than 90 minutes.

Mobile Healing Ministry Grant.

This year, the Congregations Commission of the Diocese is offering grant funding to small congregations to support new mission and ministry. Healing and pastoral care had always been a strong emphasis of the former St. Nicholas, and with the recent coming together of the two congregations, the time seemed right to expand the healing we bring to our community. For this reason, St. Nicholas with the Holy Innocents has submitted a grant proposal to the Congregations Commission to support a Mobile Healing Ministry, which would perform healing liturgies and pastoral care in hospitals, hospices, rehabilitation centers, and other venues. The Congregations Commission will decide which grant applications it will approve for funding at its meeting in June. A copy of the cover memo and proposal are attached to this edition of One Bread One Body.

What’s your story?

One of my projects in the coming months is to help us as a congregation tell our story more effectively. We do this in many ways and one way is through some great stories on our web site from members who share what led them to the parish. But we need more. Lots more. Would you consider adding yours? I would be happy to help you write or edit it, or if you don’t want to write it yourself, I will interview you and write it for you. Thanks!

Lift every voice and sing…your favorite hymns.

And to find out what those are, Mary has prepared a survey that will be available in church this week. To get a head start, begin thinking of your 5 most favorite hymns and 3 that you wish we’d never sing.

Summer choir schedule.

Choir rehearsals will be at 9 each Sunday.

Today is the last day to make a 2007 Easter offering.

There are envelopes on the table when you enter the worship space for Easter donations.

Rummage sale is getting closer.

Be saving furniture, clothing, and lots more for our annual rummage sale, which will occur this year on Friday and Saturday, July 20-21. We need everything you’ve got, but especially helpful are “big-ticket” items like furniture.

Elk Grove Parade.

Mark your calendars as we will again participate in the Village Parade, schedule for Saturday, June 16. Those of you who remember – especially the fully costumed “St. Nicholas Barlow” – the sweltering heat of last year’s parade will be pleased to know that the Village has moved the time of the parade to 6 pm. The theme of this year’s parade will be “Saturday Night at the Movies.”

Don’t forget the hungry.

Don’t forget to bring one or more non-perishable items each Sunday. Place what you bring on or beneath the table just inside the worship space so it can be part of the offertory.


Please feel free to use the lot at the school next to us. And be sure to save the parking spaces in front of the building for our older parishioners, families with young children, and visitors.

Schedule of events for the coming week:

Sunday the 27th

Worship at 10
AA meets at 7:30 p.m.

Monday the 28th

AA meets at noon
AA meets at 7 p.m.

Tuesday the 29th

AA meets at noon
AA meets at 7 p.m.

Wednesday the 30th

Structure committee meets at 11 a.m.
Executive committee meets at noon
AA meets at noon

Thursday the 31st

AA meets at noon
GA meets at 7 p.m.

Friday, June 1

AA meets at noon

Saturday the 2nd

AA meets at 1 p.m.
AA meets at 8:30 p.m.

Sunday the 3rd

Worship at 10
Annual meeting 11

One bread, one body.

Lately I have had several conversations with colleagues who head small churches (less than 100 average Sunday attendance). Some of these churches are lively and growing. Others are struggling. The difference between them is easy to see – and perhaps surprisingly, the quality of the clergy leadership is not a decisive factor. I know some excellent clergy in parishes that just tread water.

The single factor that over and over again makes the difference is the excitement and commitment of parish members. The small parishes that are moving ahead are doing so because their people are focused on what they can do for their church – and as a church.

In those that struggle, the difficulty is without exception that members primarily want to come to church on Sunday, get their spiritual tank filled, and go home. Their main question is: what can the church can do for me?

Of course, every church has – and needs — both groups of people, but few churches will survive and none will thrive in the coming years if their primary function is to be a filling station.

As we look ahead to our annual meeting next week, I am grateful that there are so many people in our congregation who ask: What can we do as a church? How can we help others? How can we make a difference?

Because of you – not me – our future is bright. How bright will depend in large part on our ability to excite and motivate even more of us to commit ideas, time, money, and more to our community. I don’t think we motivate by making people feel like they should, or must, or ought to do this or that.

We motivate by celebrating and loving and caring for one another — and that is my major goal for the coming year. That’s where most of my energy will be going.

Over the past several Sundays, I have found myself feeling deeply moved during our worship – even though two of the three have been our lowest attendance Sundays of the year. My emotion comes from the real affection I feel for you and my joy at being here. Thanks to each of you.

Lots of love,

— Steve

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