The Missionary

February 2015
T he M i s si o nar y
St. James Church
An Episcopal Church in the City of West Bend
and Diocese of Milwaukee
Joyfully Proclaiming, Living and Sharing Christ’s Love
The Missionary, February 2015
Page 1
A Note from Father Richard
"... and so it goes"
That is the signature closing statement or signoff uttered by Linda Ellerbee, an American journalist.
It speaks to our existence and the traditions and customs we follow as Christians. No sooner has
Christmas ended for us in the West than we enter a green season of Epiphany, the season when the
Christ child is manifested to the world (Wise men greet the child in Bethlehem), the season when we
look to see how God has manifested himself in the Person of the Christ. I will attempt to put that in
context in my sermons throughout this season.
Lent and Easter are early this year, and once again, a group of us is working to give you a tool you can
use as you observe a holy Lent. This will be our fourth devotional booklet for use in the "weekdays of
By this time, you may have experienced the annual parish meeting and read or heard all the reports
about us and our existence as the people who are St. James' Episcopal Church. The vestry may have
been installed and had its first meeting of the year. Christian formation classes continue under Lisa
Simmelink’s guidance.
We will have begun winding down our use of Eucharistic Prayer D, an iconic and fully expressive
prayer of thanksgiving that presents the Faith in a nutshell. In Lent, we will turn to the historicallybased Rite One services of the Holy Eucharist. This will be for all men and women on all Sundays. In
the depths of those 40 days, on the Fourth Sunday in Lent, we will once again conduct a healing
service at the Sunday morning worship time.
The greatest of all the feast days, Easter, is just around the corner, but leading up to it we will have
The Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday and Holy Week. Inside those seven days, we will celebrate
the institution of the Holy Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, and the crucifixion of Our Lord on Good
Friday with the traditional three-hour service at noon.
On Easter, we will encourage you to participate in our now annual group sermon. Surely that is one
time when Christians, young and old, have something to say about that great feast day and what God
has done for us. We look forward to what you have to say.
While I am the first person in 2015 to tell you that soon it will be Christmas, a number—a plethora in
fact—of very important events will occur before we get to that distant feast.
"... and so it goes."
Richard +
a servant of God
The Missionary, February 2015
Page 2
A Note from Clergy Associate Anna Doherty
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Lent, my husband Jeremy and I gave up watching television. Yes, you saw that right. Even though
Downton Abbey was on television, Jeremy and I didn’t watch it. Now, giving up television may seem like a
pretty silly Lenten discipline. We weren’t watching anything harmful or bad. We were just relaxing in the
evenings like so many people do. We might have done something more edifying for Lent, like taken up a prayer
practice, or given up something even more potentially harmful, like alcohol. So why, you might ask, did we
choose to give up something as trivial and harmless as television for Lent?
Confession time: Television, for my husband and me, had gotten to be somewhat addictive. It was like we were
incapable of relaxing of an evening, if we didn’t have some TV time. Television was actually taking us away
from some important things, like rushing through dinner, or neglecting to call a family member. That’s why we
chose to give it up for Lent.
Instead of watching television as family in the evenings, we laid in a supply of board games. We played games
together. We both got caught up on our reading. I knit a blanket. Jeremy played the piano. We had nice
conversations. We went to bed earlier. You get the idea. Some nights felt a little long, but it was never
unpleasant. In fact, Lent was a restorative time, a time of reconnection and renewal.
I share this story with you, not to tell you to give up television for Lent. I share this story with you in order to
show you what Lent is meant to be—a time of reconnection with God, and with those we love. A time of
restoration into who were are meant to be as human beings. A time of renewal, whether spiritual or physical.
If you are the kind of person who likes to give something up for Lent, give up something that is taking you
away from living a little more fully as the person God has called you to be. For me, it was television that was
addictive, and was keeping me from being free to do other things. For you, it may be something else—a kind of
food or drink for example. It may be another kind of habit like sleeping too late, or not making time for
exercise or prayer. If you give something up, chose to give up something without which, you may find yourself
needing to live with a little more intention. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with changing a habit or a
routine, Lent is a great time to do that!
If you are the kind of person who chooses instead to add something for Lent, chose also with intention. What
will reconnect you with God or your loved ones? What will lead you to a sense of renewal in your spiritual or
physical life? A lot of people choose to take up a prayer practice for Lent. That’s a wonderful thing to do! I had
one friend who chose, instead of taking up prayer, to call someone each week, who she hadn’t spoken to in a
And, if you’re the kind of person who chooses to observe Lent not by giving up or adding things, but instead
simply by awareness and observance, then do that also, with intention. Be aware of the ways in which you feel
connected to God in your life, and where also you feel farther away from God. Just being aware of God’s
presence in our life can change the way we live in this world.
Have a blessed Lenten season!
Pastor Anna
The Missionary, February 2015
Page 3
A Note from Deacon Cathy Milliken
It’s barely begun, but 2015 is already a difficult year. We are mourning several parishioners and other special
people associated with St. James who recently died in the span of just a few weeks. As individuals and
collectively as a parish, we feel their absence acutely and miss them dearly. St. James isn’t the only congregation
dealing with multiple deaths. Other clergy have told me that they, too, have had funerals in quick succession.
It’s a rough start to a new year. With one funeral after another, we are affected, directly or indirectly, by
lingering sadness. It may be harder than usual to recover and keep a bright outlook in this cold season that
leaves us in more darkness than light. So how do we stay upbeat when grief brings us down?
The standard response is that things will get better if we just “hold on in faith.” This is a simple but true
statement. It can also be pastorally unsatisfying as a trite and pat answer to the pain and struggles in life. Hold
on to what? How do we hold onto something that is intangible? Or grasp something that is incomprehensible?
How do we keep our eye on the “prize” when we’re not even sure what it looks like or where it is. Lost in the
complexity of how God works, it’s as if we’ve been thrown a lifeline that we can’t find. From a distance (or so it
seems), our Savior keeps saying, “It’s over here.” So we move in what we think is the right direction only to hear
once more, “No, go that way.”
Our relationship with God doesn’t have to be so complicated. All we have to do in the first place is reach out.
We need to be ready to catch the lifeline before we can hold on, and trust that God always hits the target. The
beauty of grace is found in simplicity. There is no need to analyze or to impose our own understanding. We
don’t have to know – and we’re not meant to know – how grace works in order to be blessed. That’s not in our
part of the covenant. In our dark hours, we only need to be still (ready to make the catch) and know that he is
God. That’s it. God will handle the rest.
Jesus taught us to have faith like a child. And how does a child believe? Openly, with wonder and joy, not with
convincing and logic. It’s not a hard sell. But, eventually, most children put their parents to the test and begin
to question. Whenever we doubt and ask why we should believe, because human reasoning can go only so far,
may grace allow us to accept the answer given time and again: “Because your Father said so.”
The Christian faith is based on life, not death. We aren’t Christians only because Jesus died on the cross. While
that was indeed the greatest act of love that humanity has ever known, we call ourselves Christians because
Christ rose from the dead and defeated death. We know that Christ died, but we believe that he lives so that we
might have everlasting life – and that’s something you can hold on to.
Faithfully yours,
Deacon Cathy
The Missionary, February 2015
Page 4
Senior Warden’s Report
I am writing this right after our annual meeting. A few people asked me if I was nervous about being ‘in
charge” and I could actually say “no.” I compared it to my first pregnancy. I wasn’t nervous at all. I was a
bit apprehensive but excited more than anything. I really had no clue of what to expect. That’s how I felt
about this meeting. I’ve attended the meetings but I have never been in charge of one. I really had no clue
of what to expect so how could I be anything but a bit apprehensive and more than anything, excited.
There were 42 people at the meeting, a better showing than last year. The room was full. There was so
much food, so many desserts, a BIG THANK YOU to all who participated in bringing the goodies and for
showing up!!
In my opinion, I thought the meeting went very well. There were many questions raised; most of them Jim
Knaak or I could explain, but there were some that may need more consideration whether it be by the
Vestry or the Finance Committee. I think it showed that many people really care about what’s going on.
(By the way, for those of you who don’t know, the financial statement and minutes of the Vestry meetings
are always posted on the bulletin board outside the office). THANK YOU, Jim, for your continued
dedication in your administrative duties. One thing I’d like to mention is that your concerns and
questions do not have to wait for the annual meeting. The Vestry meetings are open for anyone to come
and share their thoughts, to observe what we do, and to watch how the meetings are run. It is also an
opportunity to see if it’s something you would interested in doing in the future. This is an open invitation
for all of you.
On a personal not, I had every intention of not putting my name in for nomination up until this last
week. I was looking forward to having more free time to venture out and see what God would bring into
my life “out there.” As the week unfolded, and I truly listened to what God’s messages were, through
conversations with certain people, through my quiet time and meditation, through Father Richard’s past
two sermons, and most importantly the Holy Spirit working within, I knew deep down that the position of
Senior Warden was where I was to stay. God was very clear with me, and that is what I pray for most. I
pray he is clear with me, because I am not good with subtlety!!
I hope I have your total support as Senior Warden. I will try my best to fulfill this role with St. James’ best
interest at heart. I hope my love for this church and for all of you shows through in all of my words and by
my actions.
Jennifer Cechvala, Senior Warden
Church Record
February Birthdays
Chuck Milliken
14 Scott Heibler
Jeff Kylar
25 Diane Jordan
Laurie Wagner
Mackenzie Janisch
28 Kathy Michaels
February Anniversaries
16 Pam Sheppard
14 Rich & Mary Miller
21 Mary Janisch
16 Jim & Gale Scott
25 James Scott
The Missionary, February 2015
Kurt & Jenny Opelt
Page 5
What’s Happening
Annual Parish Meeting
Women’s Friendship Circle News
The St. Annual Parish Meeting took place Sunday,
January 25th, following the Eucharistic service. The
meeting was led by Senior Warden Jennifer Cechvala,
and there were forty-two adult parishioners in
Jennifer called the meeting to order, and Fr. Richard
Craig led the Opening Prayer. Minutes from last year’s
meeting were read and approved. Clergy, Junior, Senior,
and Vestry Clerk Reports were made available in the
meeting booklets. The Annual Parish Statistics were read
by Parish Administrator, Jim Knaak, as well as the year
end financials, and the 2015 Approve Annual Budget.
The yearend financials for the St. James Foundation
were presented by Tom Wagner, the Foundation
Treasurer. Committee reports from Harvest House, The
Friendship Circle, Hospitality, and Acolyte were also
made available in the handout.
Elections took place to fill the Senior Warden, Junior
Warden, and three regular Vestry positions. The Senior
Warden position was once again filled by Jennifer
Cechvala, while Laurie Wagner was elected as Junior
Warden. The Three newly elected Vestry members for
three year terms are: Nina Radcliffe. Sue Opelt and Clare
Groh. Congratulations to all, and thank you for your
dedication and service. Elections also took place for
delegates to the 2015 Annual Diocesan Convention, for
a two year term. Nina Radcliffe and Betty Kendgia were
elected as Lay Deputies, as well as Lisa Simmelink and
Clare Groh as Alternate Lay Deputies.
The meeting ended at 12:20 p.m. with a Closing Prayer,
once again by Father Richard, and was adjourned by
Senior Warden, Jennifer Cechvala.
Jim Knaak
Men's Study Group
The Men's Study Group will be meeting on the third
Saturday of every month at 9am in the Common Room.
All men in the parish are invited to participate.
The Missionary, February 2015
The women of the church met on Monday, January 26th
to set the calendar for 2015. The upcoming events are as
Victorian Tea - Saturday, May 9th
Pot Luck at Sue Opelt's - Monday, May 18th
Salad Lunch - Wednesday, September 23rd
Heavenly Bake Shoppe - Saturday, December 5th
We've been meeting the second Monday of the month at
9am for breakfast out. We are changing our meeting
place from Perkins to Idle Hour cafe (same day, same
time). This will start on March 9th. All women of the
church are invited to join us. We have fun sharing
stories and laughing a lot. It's great therapy!
On Monday, February 9th we will not be meeting for
breakfast, but will be meeting for lunch at noon at the
Idle Hour. Deacon Cathy holds a service at 10:30am at
Cedar Bay West on the second Monday of the month
that makes it difficult to do breakfast and attend the
service. On February 9th, some of us will be attending
the service at Cedar Bay and then going to the Idle Hour
for lunch with Cedar Bay residents who can make it.
You can join us at noon for lunch even if you don't go to
the service at Cedar Bay. Please call Sue Opelt at
262-338-0058 if you plan on going to the Idle Hour for
lunch so she can make reservations.
Our meeting dates for the year are on the forth Monday
of the following months:
March 23 - discuss the "Victorian Tea"
April 27 - finalize tea and plan May 9th pot luck
August 24 - salad lunch planning
September 28 - salad lunch report
October 26 - cookie sale planning
November 23 - finalize cookie sale details
December 14 - distribute funds from 2015
Note of interest: from 2008-2014 the Friendship Circle
has given a total of $23,010 to 18 local, national and
international organizations. Thank-you to St. James'
Parish for helping us raise money for many worthy
out-reach programs.
Sue Opelt, President
Page 6
In Remembrance of
St. James Book
Catherine Rutledge
The passing of
Catherine has been a
loss to all who knew
her. She is missed
greatly for her sweet
nature and her kindness to others. Not a
Sunday went by without Catherine bringing several items for the Sunday morning
food basket offering.
In remembrance of Catherine, her friends in
the Friday morning prayer group are donating $100.00 in her name to the Food Pantry.
The Friday Morning Prayer Group
Missionary Deadline
All articles for the March Missionary should
be submitted no later than Wednesday,
February 18, 8:00 am. You can either leave
the articles in the Secretary mailbox in the
Common Room or email them to the Parish
Office. Thank you!
St. James' Book Club
will be reading, "Still
Alice" by Lisa
Genova. It is a
moving story of a woman in her 50's who
develops Alzheimer's disease. We will meet at
The Idle Hour on Friday, February the 13th
at 1:00. Please join us for lunch and discussion. No cheating and going to the movie.
Any questions call Geri Kelly @262-6857774.
Vestry Clerk Needed
We are looking for someone to step-up and
fill a one year term as St James’ Clerk of the
Vestry. This position was vacated by Pam
Rose after 2 ½ years of service, so she could
take on more duties as Parish Treasurer.
The position requires that the Clerk attend
monthly Vestry meetings and take and
record meeting notes. The Clerk also takes
the minutes at the Annual Parish Meeting.
Please contact Sr. Warder Jennifer Cechvala
if you are interested.
Treasurer’s Report
as of January 28, 2015
The Missionary, February 2015
Page 7
St. James Episcopal Church
148 South 8th Avenue
West Bend, WI 53095
Sunday Service
9:00 a.m.
1st Sunday of the month:
9:00 a.m. Rite 1
What’s inside this issue:
The Missionary, February 2015
Page 8