From the Rector:
Happy New Year to friends and members of Christ Church Episcopal! May the Lord bless and keep you and your loved ones in the coming year.
As you’ll see, this is a not-very-flashy substitute for the newsletters you have grown used to. The very basic appearance is because our editor Cathy Walston, who use to create such works of art each month, isn’t quite ready to resume her role. Until we find a more skilled replacement than yours truly, this is how the Red Door Chronicles will look. Cathy wants us to know that she continues to work hard at physical, occupational and speech therapy, and looks forward to resuming a more normal life. Meanwhile she sends her love to all.
I also wish to thank Catherine Flynn for trying out the editor role for the month of December 2018. After producing a great issue for that important month, she found it was more than she could handle on a regular basis. So we are in quest of someone who has graphics and editing skills to take over in 2019. If you are interested please speak up!
Here are some important things to know for January of 2019.
First, we are going to try an idea that emerged from recent discussions on what to do with our now-defunct organ: why not just use our new piano to accompany the hymns? Instead of Craig Hodges working so hard each week to continue supplying organ accompaniment, by downloading pre-recorded hymns from online, we could try something simpler. Meghan Hodges is quite capable of providing a lovely accompaniment on the piano, for which we are equally grateful, so why not ask her to do so, and see how we like that sound? Meghan says she is happy to give it a try.
For the season of Epiphany then, which starts on January 6, we’ll use the piano exclusively. After a month or two we’ll evaluate. We might decide that we like the piano just fine. Or we might realize we miss that special sound that only an organ can provide. In that case, we could move ahead on a capital campaign for a new digital organ of the kind Craig found for us to look at. These “Hauptwerk” organs cost about $20,000 and give really excellent acoustics. Meghan could play it too, as could any keyboard player. Whatever we decide after the trial period, we’ll be on stronger ground for knowing our collective feelings on the matter.
Meanwhile, as you will notice in the December vestry minutes, the vestry did vote to authorize removing the current organ. Removal is important to create more space in the organ loft, both for our own choir and for the Kalispell Compline Choir. We will do the removal with care, bearing in mind the many people who contributed to bringing the organ to Christ Church in the first place. Plaques honoring their gifts will be retained. The pipe façade will be moved back several feet, but will still be fully visible from below. Stay tuned for details how this will all happen.
Let me add a word of thanks to all who have contributed to our discussions on this important topic. I think we are coming out in a good place, and everyone’s input has been helpful.
Second, the Annual Meeting of the Parish is January 27, following the 10AM service and potluck. This will be an especially important annual meeting: we must choose our delegates to the convention in Bozeman which will elect the next bishop of Montana on July 25- 28. The delegates we elect must be free to attend at this unusual time, and should also commit to attending one of meet-the-candidate forums. The forum in our area will be either July 15 or July 19. Please pray and consider if you wish to be nominated for convention delegate this year.
In addition to seeking convention delegates, we must also elect persons to serve three-year vestry terms. According to the parish bylaws, in order to be eligible for election an individual must be a “duly enrolled communicant of the Parish.” The Bylaws also stress the importance of faithful attendance at meetings: “Two absences in a row without good cause, or more than three absences during one year shall automatically result in loss of membership.” In other words: vestry membership is an important privilege!
This year’s nominating committee are David Reese, John Bertram, and David Curtis. Please speak to one of them if you wish to be on the ballot.
Annual Meetings are a great opportunity to find out more about what happens behind the scenes in church. I always encourage people to attend. You can learn things and ask questions, plus get to know your fellow parishioners. Be sure to put January 27 on your calendar.
Third, some important odds and ends:
I’m happy to announce that treasurer Sam Detwiler will be back on the job this month, after being out of commission after a fall. (Many thanks to John Bertram and Jamey Loran for filling in). Sam has recovered well enough to drive and soon won’t even need that cane.
The vestry joins me in thanking P J Taylor for his many years of service as our janitor. PJ took over when his father, former Rector Rev Paul J Taylor, was in office, and has served faithfully ever since. Since PJ usually did the cleaning late at night many of us never got to know him very well. However those who did get to know him appreciate all he has done, up to his retirement on December 31. The vestry has given him a small gift in token of their appreciation, and parishioners are being asked to sign a thank-you card on December 30. If you didn’t have a chance to sign the card PJ would no doubt enjoy hearing from you directly.
We also wish to welcome Roger Blair into the role of sexton beginning on January 1. Roger is known to many of us at CCE, and we look forward to his contributions too. He is very familiar with CCE, having had a leading role in kitchen renovations among other things.
Fourthly, I’m pleased that January 6, the first Sunday of the secular new year is also a principal feast of the church year: the Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ. This festival celebrates the three Magi and their seeking out of the infant Christ. It is an important day but one that often gets overlooked. However since it falls on a Sunday this year we’ll do it up right. Be sure to join us at 8AM or 10AM. As a bonus, my wife Janet will show some pictures from her recent trip to St Nicolas school in Haiti. Memorable images, including her mountain ascent on mule-back, will be presented after both services. (Janet goes back to Haiti on January 7).
*******A Very Special Thank You to all who donated gifts to helped make our two little boys from Adopt A Family/Salvation Army celebrate a Happy Christmas. Also donations for their Christmas dinner totaled $170....$85 for each family. Two Debit Cards were purchased from Smiths Grocery Store. Bless you for your most generous giving....Barb Alsbury*******
1 Taylor Jackson
12 Jamey Loran
14 Thomas Bertram
21 Pat Sylvia
23 Jackson Reese
25 Sam Detwiller
26 Doris Warrant
27 Kelly Koski
Draft minutes of December 19 vestry meeting
John B will be January’s meditation leader.
PJ Taylor’s years of service: PJ will be given a card of thanks which we have signed. Fr O’Flynn purchased a $50 gift card for art supplies to enclose with the card. Colby moved and Julie seconded that we also include a $100 bonus in PJ’s Dec paycheck.
2019 Annual Meeting: Will be Jan 27th. The nominating committee for new Vestry members are John Bertram, David Curtis and David Reese.
2019 Budget. John reports that Foundation totals will decrease because of decreases in the stock market. Next month we will have actual budget figures after adjustments have been made to tonight’s budget report. We need to consider some category changes.
Organ: Craig has learned that the inexpensive Hauptwerk digital organ he had discovered is no longer available, so that particular option is “off the table.” As a next step, Fr O’Flynn and senior warden Colby Woods suggest a trial period of using only the piano to accompany hymns and service music. Meghan Hodges has agreed to this trial period during the season after Epiphany. We will monitor how the congregation likes this, and will resume discussion about replacing the current organ in a couple months. Colby moved and Julie seconded that we move ahead with deconstruction of the old organ in the loft. The organ facade/pipes will remain. Craig has parishioners who will help with deconstruction and removal, and has said he will be careful to keep plaques of memorial donations. The motion passed unanimously.
New Sexton: Fr O’Flynn reported that he spoke with Roger Blair and offered him the job beginning Jan 1st. Discussion of the appropriate hourly rate followed. Julie moved we pay Roger $14/hr and re-evaluate this arrangement in 3 months. David Curtis seconded. Fr. O’Flynn has given Roger a list of duties and Roger has agreed to keep a time sheet.
John reports we have 30 pledges, 7 new, 8 increased since last year. However two reductions and four persons who did not pledge partially offset the gains, leaving us with a net increase of $2740 for a total of $64,144. John suggests that, in the future, we have folks print, as well as write, their names on pledge forms.
Prayer for the Raising Up of Deacons was said.
David and Sharon have a non-profit organization that works in Uganda and the Czech Republic and have written bilingual books that express Bible stories for parents and children.
David Curtis offered a reflection his evolving understanding of stewardship. David Curtis talked of how the Lord has worked in his life, and says the greatest resource of our church is people. Jesus has called various people to come together to serve CCE. What is Jesus doing in our midst? How can we facilitate biblical growth here? How can the Vestry identify and facilitate individual gifts? Stewardship is year-round endeavor. Finances should be secondary. Finances will flow when we do our work.
John B. suggests we coordinate our data bases/website/directory to facilitate communication, mailings, etc. John will get Colby a list from Church Windows, and Colby will make a new master list. We do not have a designated parishioner to coordinate the Directory. Fr. O’Flynn will get a group to update our database in 2019. Colby asked who is hosting our website. John reports Montana Sky hosts. John will contact Greg to further coordinate this.
Catherine Flynn will not continue doing the newsletter. Colby will help as Cathy W. continues to recover. Fr. O’Flynn is grateful when people step up so often to take care of church business.
Rector: The Advent Quiet Day was well attended and Compline has been packed. We will continue to keep community needs in mind as these kinds of activities appear to be appreciated.
Sr. Warden: business will be covered as the meeting progresses.
Jr. Warden: no report
Treasurer: John B. and Jamie L. continue to monitor finances as Sam recovers. Quarterly insurance and maintenance (lights and elevator) made expenses higher than income. We paid $1800 more in insurance this year to cover the deficit at the end of 2017. The Diocese and scholarships pledges have been paid. We likely will have a deficit at the end of 2018. Julie questioned if we notify people whose pledges are incomplete. We do not. Feelings are mixed as to whether this is a good idea or not. Report was accepted by acclamation.
Minutes: Colby moved, Julie seconded Nov minutes be approved and accepted.
Refection: Colby shared a reflection--”Don’t skip the grit to get to the gifts.”
Present: Fr. Donnel O’Flynn, David Curtis, Jesse Newby, Julie Crandell, Colby Wood, John Bertram, Kathy Larson, Holly Ward, Nancy Faure. Absent: David Reese, Sam Detwiler.
Fr. David will be celebrant at the 4 pm Christmas service.
Christmas caroling, Dec 20, 4-6 pm.
Christmas Eve service, 4pm and 10:30 pm
Christmas Day: Feed the Flathead at CCE. Need more green bean casseroles.
5th Sunday potluck Dec 30th. 8 am service cancelled
Feast of Epiphany, Sun Jan 6th
Next Vestry: Jan 16, 2019
Special Events, January 2019
Sunday January 6: The Epiphany, Holy Eucharist 8AM and 10AM
“A visit to St Nicolas school in Haiti” talk by Janet O’Flynn 9AM and 11:15 AM
Friday January 11: The worship committee meets at noon, all welcome to participate.
Sunday January 13: Nightcap for the Soul, 8:00 PM
Friday January 18: The monthly midweek Eucharist at noon: the Confession of St Peter the Apostle
Sunday January 27: Annual Meeting of the Parish, following 10:00 Eucharist and potluck.