Big News from Nick This Week: A Mysterious Benefactor, A Moving Altar, and A Momentous Occasion

Sometimes, a simple report from the Senior Warden about the most recent Bishop’s Committee meeting contains the most astonishing news:

The Bishop’s Committee met on August 11 prior to the Sunday morning liturgy.

After an Opening Prayer and before we delved into the actual agenda, Manny shared a letter of appreciation sent (anonymously) by an individual he had visited in the hospital. Along with the letter was a most generous donation in the amount of $8,000 to help with needed repairs and assist in our “good works.”
Certainly, we will offer prayers of thanksgiving and pray for all who share their treasures with others. And, we will do as our anonymous donor intended and use these funds to further the efforts of rebuilding and strengthening our St. Nicholas.

A proposal to have the Holy Innocents altar re-furbished and moved into the worship space was approved. It should be in place by the 50th Anniversary celebration where it will be re-consecrated.

We received word from our Bishop and Trustees representative Michael Ruehle that the diocese has approved a grant request to help pay a portion of the cost to replace the windows in the Noah’s Ark area, complete fixes needed on the south windows in the worship space and cover costs to evaluate the HVAC issues.

The landscaping project being done by Richard Franzen and his family will be completed in the next few weeks. The project is Richard’s Eagle Scout project.

50th Anniversary celebration is coming along. The e-vites and mailed invitations have been sent out. If you have not responded to your e-vite, please do so soon. You do not want to miss a wonderful celebration. Reception details are in progress.

-Steve Raftery, Senior Warden

The announcement about the anonymous gift was given during last Sunday’s announcements (not sure if it was announced the same way at Saturday’s liturgy. This blogger can tell you that when Lynnette, our treasurer, told the story of how Manny found the letter of appreciation and the remarkable enclosure in his inbox (in a plain envelope) in the office, there was an outcry of amazement and joy, and laughter, too. Because as Manny went on to tell it, he was so shaken by the discovery that he ran to the men’s room and locked the door to count it again. Lynnette had to stop and collect herself before she could finish.

We were crying and laughing; this means great things for our programs, and also for some looming repairs. However, the other good news (as opposed to the Good News we usually hear) is that the diocese will help with some of the costs to repair and install some windows that had fallen into disrepair. There’s also some talk of help getting some of the stained glass windows from St Bede’s installed or hung in front of the newly rebuilt exterior windows. All these things, plus other issues, can keep small congregations like St Nicholas focused on material and financial matters, instead of on the real issue of being about the work we’ve been commissioned to do. As our new mission statement puts it:

“In the spirit of St. Nicholas, we welcome all to share in this Episcopal community of faith: To joyfully love and worship the Lord, to find and to nurture His spirit in one another, and to take Christ’s love into the world.”

Thanks to this most generous and astounding gift, we can continue to expand our programs and offer more to the community of Elk Grove Village through our food pantry, through the support groups we host, and through the love of Christ in whose footsteps we follow.

Good things are happening at St Nicholas; we welcome all and all are welcome. And we welcome change, rather than fear it. In this our anniversary year, we remember the past, we celebrate the present, and we look with hope to the future.


But the gift from a mysterious benefactor and the generousity of the diocese was not the only big news, as a momentous decision was taken to move the former Holy Innocents altar, which is currently installed in front of the building, into the sanctuary. There’s a long story about what happened to the original altar at St Nicholas, parts of which were made into our current font, and another long story about how the Holy Innocents altar was built by the men of that mission, then dismantled and moved at the time of that merger. All this and more will be explained more fully in the expanded history of our mission parish, which is being updated as part of our 50th anniversary celebration. It’s hoped that moving the outdoor altar in will make a satisfying end of both stories.

Not least is the landscaping work being done, which is so generously being donated by Richard Franzen and his family. There are other plans to freshen the face we turn to the world, and refurbish some areas.

This is not all the News from Nick, there’s even more. Clearly, there’s something tremendous going on at St Nick’s!

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