Bags Go Out Next Week, Haunt Against Hunger Is Coming!

Second Family collection

Our next “bagging” will take place on Sundays October 25 and November 1. “Bagging” is shorthand for dropping a bag on neighbors’ doorsteps one Sunday and returning the next Sunday to pick it up after they have (we hope!) filled it with food for the pantry. Your help is much needed and appreciated.

Haunt Against Hunger

Children's choir

Tom Terranova has developed a great “food-raiser” for the pantry. The idea is simple. Children visit select homes and donate food. The more food they donate, the more opportunity they will have to win door prizes during a drawing at St. Nicholas – 3:30-4:30 on Halloween. Tom’s even developed a web site.

Tom is now lining up permission from local stores to hand out fliers in front of their businesses. This will be the main form of publicity. We need volunteers for a couple of hours on both Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25. Tom also appreciates any other ideas you might have for distributing the fliers in the community the week before Halloween. Finally, a few volunteers on Halloween from 3-4:30 would help build excitement for the drawing. Contact Tom via the web address above to volunteer or ask questions. Thanks!

(Blog editor’s note: website and contact information to be added as soon as possible)

Episcopal Network for Animal Welfare: St Martin’s

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As a volunteer for the Buddy Foundation, Gerry Dierks of Des Plaines has been a foster parent to dozens of homeless cats and kittens for the last several years. But then she heard a member of the Episcopal Network for Animal Welfare talk about ways to keep animals as a vital part of a church’s ministry, and from then on she knew that would be her mission. “The church has a reputation of being human centered. This was quite exciting,” she said. “This is a fledgling operation, but we hope to do more in the future.” For openers, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Des Plaines is now included in a directory of “Animal Friendly Congregations” and is the first church in Illinois to be listed. The Episcopal Network sees ending animal cruelty as an essential task of the church, especially where neglect, cruelty, degradation and commercial exploitation are concerned.

This is a good example of a simple program that churches can start that creates interest and excitement about the Good News and ways that it can be shared and lived.

At St Nicholas with the Holy Innocents, there is an annual pet blessing in the fall, usually on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St Francis, patron saint of animals. There is also often a spring event. 

Our own "simple program" is the Second Family supplemental food pantry. This is held every first and third Wednesdays at 6pm at the church, and anyone in need is welcome to drop by and pick up bags of groceries. There is no residency requirement or time limit mandated between visits, and the hours are scheduled so that working people may visit. 

Good for the people of St Martin's, Des Plaines!

One Bread One Body January 7


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 wont regret either.


Thank you.

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 —



Help with moving. Its easy. No, really! And were 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 its going to take some time to get things organized. So we can use your help if you are able.

Then on Sunday after Mass well 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 weve 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. Its going to be chaotic for a while. Everything isnt going to fit and not everything will be in place right away. Well work at it, but lets 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 theyll be my doing. And for some funky things like a Shrove Tuesday Renaissance Feast with liturgy conducted according to the !%$( — thats 1549 prayer book. I also encourage folks to try both the 9 and the 11 liturgies. Itll 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. Ive 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 Ive noticed lately will continue. What we are doing is exciting and folks sense it. So dont 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 its 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 Stay tuned for additional
enhancements to the Website as we live into our new shared life as one congregation.


Finally, one bread, one body.

Its 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, youve 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 Ive spent as a priest and I expect that will continue to be the case. Thank you.

— Steve