From the Rector:
The word “Episcopal” and the word “Bishop” come from the same Greek root. The name of our church (Episcopal) means we are a church that has—bishops! Our identity is all wrapped up in having bishops, you might say. So whenever we elect a new bishop, as we just did for Montana, Episcopalians pay a lot of attention and work hard to try to get it right.
I can testify that the convention of the diocese of Montana worked hard and tried to get it right on July 26, when we met in Bozeman to elect our 10th Bishop. The 103 lay delegates and the 50 clergy delegates had all met the three candidates at one or more of six “walk-about” sessions held the preceding week. (Those who couldn’t watch in person saw video recordings). We all listened carefully, both to our own hearts, and to what others had to say. We prayed, and then we voted. In the end, it took only three ballots to elect the Rev Marty Stebbins, rector of St Timothy’s Church in Wilson, North Carolina. It was close! She edged out the Rev Nina Pooley by only one vote in the lay order, and only four votes among the clergy. But Rev Marty got more than half the votes in each order, and that’s all it takes to be elected.
The closeness of the balloting reflects how good the candidates were. EVERYONE who met the candidates said the same thing: they are all great. Any one of the three who were presented by the search committee would have made a good bishop for Montana. We are lucky that this is so, both that the search committee did such a good job, and that there are so many talented priests serving today in the Episcopal church. The two priests who did not get elected, in the view of many people I spoke with, have good prospects for being considered for other high offices in the future.
Bishop-elect Stebbins will be ordained in Helena on December 7. The space where the ordination will occur seats 700, so my guess is that everyone who wants to attend will be able to do so. We will have a sign-up sheet for those who want to attend from CCE—perhaps we can carpool and/or share hotel rooms.
What will it mean for the Episcopal Church in Montana? Well, that is up to Bishop Stebbins and to us all. There are many signs that a time of renewal and progress is at hand. There will be new energy and new focus. Bishop Stebbins can’t do it all by herself however. All the rest of us need to do our own part, whatever that happens to be. If we do all continue to pay attention, and do all work hard to get it right, I think we will be OK. So keep it all in prayer, and stay tuned!
June Vestry Minutes
Present: Fr. Donnel O'Flynn, Jesse Newby, Julie Crandell, Colby Wood, Sam Detwiler, Nancy Faure, Don Amundson Larry Taylor, Kurt Larson, Holly Ward. Absent:Kathy Larson
Reflection: A reading by Donnel from “Centuries” of Thomas Traherne.
Clerk: Don and Kurt moved and seconded, and all accepted the April minutes.
Treasurer: Sam reported and explained questions on the negative General Fund. The consolidated funds include the organ balance of about 15000. Holly and Jesse moved to accept and 2nd and all approved.
Junior Warden: Nancy reported that the switch for the ceiling fans in the church has been fixed.
- Due to the fire at St. Matthew’s, suggested having someone come in to perform a safety check for our buildings.
- Note of mildew on bricks and Kurt will check with his cousin who is a brick expert to get ideas for the old brick care and concerns
- The outside faucet needs to be fixed and Nancy will call a plumber.
- Larry Taylor pointed out the concrete pad near the back door is shifting and a tripping hazard and volunteered himself and Jesse Newby to fix it together.
- Larry suggested repairing kick plates on the front doors and will meet with Nancy to discuss.
Senior Warden: Colby hasn’t had a chance to look into new chairs for Griffiths Hall. It is still on her list and no other items to report.
Rector: Donnel said he is pleased with the congregation’s response to care for the lawn and gardens.
-Jamie Loran and Rick Johnson (a Deacon serving at the cathedral in Helena) will perform the audit this year for 2018.
-Keeping children safe- consider adding windows to the Godly Play room- Nancy will check with John Bertram.
-Inventory has not been started yet. Holly still intends to begin with assistance.
-Objectives discussed and spiritual growth is a top priority
-Summer fund raiser discussed: month of August will be used to request for “Pay not to work” instead of the yard sale.
Creation Care: Jesse reported on the meeting planned for the 30thafter pot luck for discussion and creating a template or plan for funds. Donnel commented on a filmed creation care conference that resulted in a grant getting solar panel on their church by Rev. Jean Collins.
Organ: the loft is empty and Craig had 3 pickups to haul everything away. He has ordered $8700 worth of stuff for the organ set up and hopes to have it up and running this fall. The Cobb Foundation donated $2000 to the organ fund. Don and Julie will organize the fundraising committee for piano & organ payoff plan. Don made a motion to use the Memorial Fund to help pay for the organ, with intent to pay it back to the memorial fund. It was discussed, Don and Holly moved and seconded with all in agreement.
Paid Youth Group Leader: Possible Janelle Willett 4 hours per week, $10 per hour approx. $2000 per year. Volunteer second adult needed. $160 per month allotment suggestion. Holly & Julie moved and seconded with all approving. Donnel will interview Janelle as per personnel guidelines.
Bulletin & News Letter: Colby stepped down and explained how she set up the bulletin. It takes approximately 1 ½ -2 hours per week. She combines information with cut and paste and then additional 1-1 ½ hours for printing and folding. Donnel suggested a card in pews for the order of services and just update the announcements portion and music.
Worship Committee: A recent meeting of the committee resulted in several changes for Holy Week and Easter next year.
- Maundy Thursday: Instead of using the pre-printed bulletin, follow the Prayer Book format for Eucharist in the church. The Agape meal would follow in Griffiths Hall, and then back upstairs for stripping of the altar.
-Good Friday- Principal Liturgy at noon and then repeated at 5:30 PM
-Easter Day- Easter Vigil Saturday Night and 10:00 AM Easter Service. (No 8AM service that day).
Policy for Alcohol at church events: Vestry reviewed 78thgeneral convention policy and decided to continue in moderation.
-Fr. David will be supply priest next two weeks.
June 23: Begin combined 9:00 AM services. Alternate Eucharist format the first Sunday of each month during the summer, and “no music” on three different Sundays.
July 15: 6:00-8:30pm All Saints Church in Whitefish to meet the Bishop candidates.
Trinity Sunday- Colby will have colorful art for her final bulletin cover
August 21 next Vestry meeting (no meeting in July). Jesse will give reflection.
June / July Birthdays & Anniversaries
August 8 Sharyn Curtis August 10 Jay & Catherine Flynn
August 11 Marilyn Eberly August 28 Gary and Maryann Treweek
August 18 John Bertram August 30 John and Nancy Faure
August 25 Levin Newby
August 31 Peg Stout
Meanwhile, Back at CCE...
While it is natural to get excited about electing bishops, we all know the real work of the church happens in the congregations. So let us not forget a few important items here at home:
Sunday services remain at 9:00 AM all month long. We go back to the 8 & 10AM schedule on September 8.
There will NOT be a rummage sale this summer. Instead, we will be passing the hat for a special Collection of Gratitude: gratitude for not having to work so hard out under the hot sun, that is. Sometimes it is easier just to write a check than to do all that sorting and pricing and setting up and taking down, and then still have to get rid of the unsold stuff once it’s over. Hopefully the folk who are grateful for this easier path will show how glad we are, by raising something like the $1300 we have netted in recent years. Your contribution will be most welcome! A special offering plate will be available in the church each Sunday in August, or you can mail in your gift. As always, your support is appreciated.
The Season of Creation is coming soon.Sunday September 1 is the first day of the Season. We will kick things off by having our last 9AM service of the summer outside on the grass. Our celebration of Creation in the fresh air will feature songs led by Tom Carlson on guitar. This should be a nice event, so please plan to come. Other activities for the Season (which runs until October 4) will be announced later on.
The parish retreat is coming. It’s not too early to save the dates, Friday September 13- Saturday September 14 at Camp Marshall. The full schedule will be announced soon, but expect the usual focus on getting to know one another better, at the camp’s beautiful setting on the shores of Flathead Lake. Expect also some practical focus on how CCE can improve our care for Creation, as we are trying to do.