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Red Door Chronicles

From the Rector:

For several months now we have heard the following words in the prayers of the people at Sunday services:


As requested by the Standing Committee of the diocese of Montana, we pray for the election process for a new bishop: Loving God, raise up for the Diocese of Montana a shepherd who will lead with compassion, with courage and with comprehension of the needs of all your people, that we may be led by a bishop who is committed to ministering from the mountains to the plains, from cities to rural areas always remembering the poor, the marginalized and those with no voice.


This lovely prayer focuses on the role of the church in serving those in our communities. We ask God for a bishop who will have this focus, but we don’t have to wait for that new leader, the rest of us have a role to play also.


In that connection, I’d like to highlight an initiative from some nearby Episcopalians, with which we have been invited to participate. I mentioned this to the vestry in January, and their sense was that we should make the information available to our members.


The initiative comes from Holy Spirit parish in Missoula. After two years of discussion that congregation decided to undertake advocacy on behalf of the poor, the marginalized and those with no voice. In particular, they are approaching members of the Health and Human Services Committees of the Montana legislature, to requesting attention to one very focused matter.  They urge restoring funding for case managers to work with “Montanans who struggle with physical or mental disabilities or substance abuse issues.” The letter points out how helpful it is, and for that matter, how much public money it saves, when such persons receive attention and guidance in a proactive way from professional case managers, rather than being left to their own devices and ending up in the emergency room or in jails. Their letter makes an eloquent case: I have posted the full letter in the narthex of the church.


As it happens the vice-chairman of the Health and Human Services committee in the State Senate is from our town: Senator Al Olszewski. It is well-known that elected officials respond most to their own constituents! Thus a letter from those of us who are in his district will attract more attention than one, however well meaning, from Missoula. For that reason, the team from Holy Spirit parish has invited us to write to him as well and mention their request for restoring funding for case managers. We may do so by writing to Senator Olszewski at PO Box 8891, Kalispell, MT 59904.


Again, this is not an official action by Christ Church parish, simply an invitation to our consciences as individuals. There are a great many needs in the world to be sure—but in this case our fellow Episcopalians have paved the way to try to improve one of them, and I commend their work to our members.


Back on the home front, the upcoming election of a new bishop also played a role at our recent Annual Meeting. (See below for the minutes of that meeting). Because of the greater than usual interest in the election process, a number of persons put forward their names for election as delegates to this year’s convention. We actually had to vote on paper ballots to choose among them. This is a very good sign!


In any event, preparing for the nominations and the balloting focused attention on the underlying question of eligibility to be nominated, and eligibility to vote, in a parish meeting. As I explained at the time of the Meeting, we are not in a position to create a voters list that would pass muster under the bylaws of the parish. Thus I proposed that we as a parish commit to gathering the necessary information over the coming year. After some discussion, those present at the Annual Meeting voted a resolution calling on us all to do this.


So let me be specific about what will help. First, anyone who has previously been a member of another Episcopal congregation, and has not hitherto transferred their membership to Christ Church, can request that other congregation to send a letter of transfer to CCE. Copies of the form to request such a transfer are now available in the narthex. Second, anyone who has not previously been a member of another Episcopal congregation could search for their certificate of baptism and make a copy for us. If you don’t have a certificate, then the church where you were baptized should be able to provide some kind of documentation.


It may be that the records have been lost, and a good faith effort to locate them will not turn up anything. In that case, just give us your best guess about when and where you were baptized, and that will suffice.


As a side-effect of all this data gathering, I’d like to start adding thanksgivings for our baptisms to our weekly prayers. As we build up the list of dates on which our members were baptized, it would be simple but meaningful to recognize them just as we do birthdays and wedding anniversaries. This would be a lovely way to use our weekly prayers, to highlight the abiding importance of our baptisms, in our Christian lives.


Thank you in advance for the effort to get our membership information in good order, and blessings to all this February, yours faithfully,


Donnel O’Flynn +



Annual Meeting Minutes, January 27, 2019

The 112th Annual Meeting began at 11:42 a.m with an opening prayer by Father Donnel O'Flynn, Rector.  There were 41 voting members present, and 5 children.  

A motion to approve the minutes was made by Peggy Stout, it was seconded and approved by all.  The agenda was approved by acclamation.  

Elections:  Father O'Flynn stated that since we do not presently have a list of eligible voters, all those present are welcome to vote today.  Discussion ensued about the state of our parish membership rolls, particularly related to proof of baptism.  MB Bertram moved, and it was seconded, that we “resolve to get our membership rolls in order.”  Perhaps we can design a form.  Romy Loran urged us not to immediately confront potential new members, especially younger ones, with an official form.  The motion was adopted as presented.

Nominations for new Vestry members include Don Amundson, Kurt Larson and Larry Taylor.  No further nominations were made.  These three were accepted by acclamation.  Thanks were given to the Nominating Committee, David Curtis, David Reese, and John Bertram, vestry members whose terms have expired.  

Seven members stepped up for consideration as Convention attendees in July.  No further nominations were made.  Each individual expressed details about themselves.  Colby Wood read information provided by Janelle and Hillary Willet, who were unable to attend.  Don Amundson, Deb Hodges, JT Taylor, John Bertram, and Pat Sylvia spoke in person. Four members were chosen by paper ballot, which were counted by tellers David Reese, and Tom and Kathy Larson.  Elected were Deb Hodges, J.T. Taylor, John Bertram, and Pat Sylvia.  

John Bertram provided The Foundation Report.  The current Board will be retained excepting Tom Carlson will switch with Kris Carlson.  John explained how the Foundation functions, and how to donate.  He also showed a graph of the considerable investment advantage we have received from our investments versus what we would have received from savings alone.  We have had significant increases, even with sizeable yearly donation withdrawals.  

Treasurer, Sam Detwiler, gave a Budget Report.  Operating revenues in 2018 were $102,593, down from $104,730 the previous year.  However, since operating expenses also fell-- from $124,233 in 2017 to $105,505 in 2018-- the operating deficit actually shrank. The deficit was $19,503 in 2017 but only $2,912 last year.  This expense decrease was mostly due to a reduction in our priest package, ie, not paying for health insurance for the O’Flynns.  In the future, if we have a priest who is not on Medicare, this expense could be a problem.  The budget for 2018 was $110,000 with expenses of $105,500.  We have budgeted $105,000 revenue for 2019 with expenses of $110,000.   $1000 increase in maintenance and repairs is for needed upcoming deferred maintenance.  A new way the Diocese assessment is calculated was explained.  We now pay 19% based on a three year average.

As part of the Music Report, it was announced that an anonymous gift of stock valued at approximately $10,000 has been given for use, in whatever manner the vestry decides, related to the organ.  This will be added to the $5000 currently in the organ fund. Craig Hodges expressed appreciation to choir members and the congregation, and explained that volunteers are needed to help disassemble the old organ.   The facade pipes will be carefully stored until they can be repositioned.  The wood in the console will be reclaimed.  Some of the inner workings will be recycled at Pacific Steel, and some will be tossed away.  

In a Godly Play report, John Bertram expressed delight in the new upstairs space, newly painted, floored and full of sunshine.   Attendees range from 4 years old to 11.  The program is doing well.  

The Worship Scheduling Leader, Marilyn Ebberly, expressed thanks to Father O'Flynn for being heavily involved with instruction to new members who participate during services.  

Barb Myers, Worship Committee, reminded us that all congregants are part of this committee and are invited to all meetings.   She thanked Father O'Flynn for being open to creative ways for us to worship.  

Father O'Flynn thanked the Altar Guild for their quiet, faithful and loving service.

At 12:45, Julie Crandell moved, and it was seconded, the meeting adjourn.  

The 113th annual meeting of Christ Church Episcopal will be Sunday, January 26th, 2020, after the 10 a.m. service.  

Submitted by Kathy Larson

After the meeting there was a short gathering of the Vestry who will meet Wednesday, February 20th at 5:30.  This meeting will begin with a potluck gathering of out-going, and new, Vestry members.  Kathy Larson will continue as Clerk of the Vestry, Colby Wood will continue as Senior Warden, and a new Jr. Warden will be chosen at the next Vestry meeting.



February Birthdays & Anniversaries


     Birthdays                                Anniversaries


           4    Jeannie Fischer                                   4    Kurt & Carol Larson

           7    Nancy Faure                                      14    Tom and Kris Carlson

         17    Julie Pierrottet

         23    Fran Sommers

         27     Greg Scarff




Hildegard Invitation


When:  February 16, 2019 from 10am to 2pm

Where:  Christ Church Episcopal

Who:   Hildegard was a 12th Century German nun, mystic, prophet and political moralist

What:  We will spend the day learning about this saint and doctor of the church and especially about Hildegard’s beliefs and practice of Viriditas; about her concept of a new heaven and a new earth.


This experiential day will begin with Rev. Donnel O’Flynn discussing his research about this remarkable woman, and his appreciation for her teachings.   The remainder of the day will be a day of free choice of participation in learning about her art, writing, music, and gardening. Rev. Angel Bolling will offer the chance to learn about Hildegard’s cultivation and use of healing herbs       


A soup lunch will be provided.  There is no charge for this workshop, but a free will donation to the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation would be welcomed.


    Please RSVP with an email to Barbara Myers –



Special Events, February 2019


Sunday February 10: Nightcap for the Soul, 8:00 PM


Friday February 15:  Monthly midweek Eucharist at Noon


Saturday February 16: Hildegard of Bingen workshop, 10AM- 2PM


Senior Warden Share
I was recently shown this YouTube of Rev. Gregory J. Boyle giving a Commencement Speech at Notre Dame in 2017 and wanted to share. 




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