Knead Bread

Aidan Kavanagh, a liturgical scholar, has been quoted as saying that he never had any trouble believing communion was the Body of Christ; he had trouble believing it was bread! One is not likely to have that issue at St. Nicholas. Our fragrant and fresh communion bread is baked by members of our community. We are seeking more hands to bake the bread for our liturgies. If you are interested, there is a sign-up sheet in Holy Innocents Hall. If you would like to find out more about what is involved, ask any one of our current bread bakers: Anna Stefaniak, Denise Butera, Hal Stratton, Steve Raftery, Katie Black, Donna Tamaski, Jennifer Garcia, Douglas VanHouten, Manny Borg, Sean Khor and Mike Craig.

Our own bishop, Jeffrey Lee, writes in his book, Opening the Prayer Book that “the quality of a liturgical experience has to do with the quality of its fundamental signs. Sacraments effect by signifying. Sacraments make real; they do not make true . . . the bread and the wine of the eucharist do not make the presence of Christ true, they make it real. And if the purpose of sacraments is to make these things real, then the quality of the signs themselves matters very much.”

We knead you! Please consider joining our happy rota. There is a sign-up sheet in Holy Innocents Hall.

The Chrism Mass: Let’s Send A St Nick’s Contingent To St James Cathedral!

Glass jar of oil to be consecrated for blessings

Bishop Jeffrey Lee and Canon for Lifelong Christian Formation Vicki Garvey will be the keynote presenters at this celebration of baptismal life on Saturday April 2 at St. James Cathedral in Chicago (65 E. Huron). Anointing with the Spirit: A Program for Adults and Children will explore a catechumenal approach to evangelization and Christian formation. Catechumens (those preparing for baptism) and their families, sponsors and godparents are especially encouraged to attend this event. The day begins with registration at 9 am in Burrill Hall of St. James Commons, followed by the program at 9:30 am. The Chrism Mass liturgy begins at 11 am in the cathedral.

How about a St. Nicholas contingent? If you’d like to attend this diocesan-wide event, at which we’ll also receive the chrism oil the Community of St. Nicholas will use for baptisms this year, please contact Manny. This event is also great for those who might be looking to re-affirm their faith, or be received or confirmed into the Episcopal church.

A Year Later

Getting Ready

Flickr: Getting Ready

There have been a lot of amazing changes at St Nicholas over the past year, and now seems as good a time as any to break the silence and get back into the swing of things.

First off, we’re back on a 2-service schedule after the summer’s excursion into several different musical genres, and the early service at 9am is back with traditional music in a somewhat more “High Church” way than we’ve done previously at St Nicholas, using some of the brass and altar clothes from the former Holy Innocents mission parish that became one with St Nicholas several years ago. The later service at 11am will continue to use the more contemporary music and is popular with families that have small children. The “Yummy Hour” takes place after both services, but the Education Hour also takes place inbetween, with a couple of adult discussion groups and committees meeting, plus activities for young people.

Second of all, we’re visibly growing, as the building project continues at a faster pace than projected (once the project got approved and actually started, that is)!

Church Addition And Subtraction

Flickr: Church Addition and Subtraction

The addition will give us much-needed program space for youth education, meeting space, and choir storage, along with a planned re-sale shop that will be coming soon. The new addition will be named Holy Innocents Hall, and we’re all looking forward to the many new ways we’ll expand into the space.

Construction Outside, God Inside

Flickr: Construction Outside, God Inside

With the construction activity and a major floor plan change inside, the main entrance will be moved and the current entrance is blocked off, so that we currently have to direct people “round the back” to the rear entrance. We’ll end up with a wheelchair accessible entry way WITH A RAMP to get down the interior stairs to the worship space. Much of the interior is taken up with the construction changes, aside from the kitchen and the actual sanctuary, but at least we now have access to the restrooms again and don’t have to traipse across the back lawn to the vicarage, where the Second Family Food Pantry is located.

With the new program year, we’ve got a lot planned and the music programming will be showcasing a lot of new pieces going into All Saints and then Advent.

There will be 2 morning services on All Saints rather than one evening service, as it falls on a Sunday, and special music is planned. During October, the Memory Tree will be displayed; members and visitors may write the names of loved ones who’ve passed away on the banner and they will be remembered in our prayers.

Special music is also planned for every Sunday in Advent, which begins just after Thanksgiving.

Bishop Lee is coming! He will be with us on December 6th, the Feast of St Nicholas, which also falls on a Sunday this year. There will be a single service that day, probably at 10am. We previously were honored to have Bishop Lee with us for the reception of Fr. Manny Borg into the Episcopal Church, which was a wonderfully festive and emotional event for all of us. He will help us celebrate our saint’s festival, and also have a look at the progress the addition is making toward completion. Sometime after New Year’s, the building will be certified for occupation and there will be some kind of celebration and dedication planned.

We haven’t forgotten about our beloved pets! Although the Feast of St Francis falls in early October, it’s been decided that with all the hubbub of the construction project, the annual Blessing of the Animals will be moved to sometime in May, when the weather will be better. We’ll be able to use the outdoor altar if it’s a nice day, too.