Next NEW photo number for this month: 1
More photos from mission to Haiti
Michele Edwards, one of the key figures in the Virginia Haiti Collaborative, was kind enough to share more of the photos that she took during the recent mission trip to Haiti. The images give one a much more vivid sense of the struggle of the Haitian people to make a better life for themselves and for each other.
Missionaries return from Haiti
Michele Edwards and four other participants in the Virginia Haiti Collaborative mission have returned, "exhausted but happy," from several weeks working at St. Marc's School in Cerca-la-Source, Haiti. Michele reports, "The four St. John's folks seemed to have a terrific time and everything went smoothly. Thanks to Fr. Walin and Kenite for their warm and loving hospitality. Thank you all for your support of this mission trip."
We expect a full trip report in the next week or so.
Annual parish picnic
On Saturday, June 1, Emmanuel held its annual parish picnic at the home of Robin Boylan and Charlotte Story, in Swoope. The weather was almost perfect, and at least forty parishioners and friends joined in the fellowship, savoring tasty barbecue chicken and a variety of dishes brought by church members. As the evening progressed, some of the church's musicians filled the air with pleasant sounds. Many thanks to the members of the Outreach Committee who arranged this very successful fund-raising event, and to the hard-working barbecue grill crew: Matthew Poteat, Colin Hester, and Randy Hamblett. Proceeds from this event will go to our outreach fund, taking care of those in our community who are most in need.
Bible study group
[UPDATED] Rev. Shelby Owen is continuing the Bible study which she began in Lent. The discussions initially focused on the book of Exodus, and then (during Easter season) shifted to the Gospel chapters dealing with the Resurrection. During the first four weeks of the Pentecost season, the group studied Paul's letter to the Colossians. Bible study is held every Wednesday at 11:00.
Pentecost Sunday, 2013
Emmanuel celebrated the Day of the Pentecost (Whitsunday) this year with a rousing service filled with vibrant red colors and a variety of musical styles. Red symbolizes the fiery tongues that descended upon the apostles of Jesus as they were filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time. From the second scripture reading for that day:
Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. (Acts 2: 3-4)
As a prelude to the service, the Harvest Band performed "Brethren We Have Met to Worship" and "Holy Ghost Excitement in My Soul." Then the service began with a banner-filled procession around the perimeter of the pew area. Later, the younger children led the congregation in the spiritual hymn "I'm Gonna Sing." PAX youth group members Abbey Kincheloe and Wren Freuh gave a special sermon to the children, followed by Rev. Shelby Owen's regular sermon. After the service, a reception was held in Memorial Hall, with hors d'oeurves and a cake congratulating the four church members who are graduating this month: Allison White (Lee High School), Evan Clough (Buffalo Gap High School), Kate Cianciolo (B.A., University of Pittsburgh), and Joel Brewer Brown (DPT, Medical College of Virginia).
Work day: Emmanuel members "git 'r done"
This year's first work day on Saturday April 13 was blessed with fine weather, encouraging a big turnout of parishioners to take care of various maintenance tasks inside and outside the church building. Weeds were pulled, the columbarium was tidied up, and a new cherry tree was planted in the corner after the stump of the old tree was removed. Periwinkle was planted on the dirt slope on the east side of the church, and retainers were put in to minimize erosion. Finally, broken and unneeded items such as spare slate tile were removed from closets and storage spaces.
PAX annual soup competition
After the 11:00 service on Sunday April 14, Emmanuel's PAX youth group held its annual soup competition in Memorial Hall. Church members voted for their favorite soup among the four entrants. After a tie vote forced a recount by show of hands, this year's PAX Golden Ladle award went to Mary Evans Lott for her delicious Curry Chickpea Cauliflower soup.
Easter Sunday 2013
On March 31, Emmanuel Episcopal Church celebrated the first Easter Sunday with our new priest, Rev. Shelby Owen. Spirits were high as the traditional Easter hymns were sung, and the scent of fresh Easter lilies filled the church. The observance of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ marked the new season of renewal, hope, and redemption.
Mark Bourlakas is chosen as new bishop
At the Special Electing Council in Roanoke on March 9, the Very Reverend Mark Bourlakas was chosen as new bishop of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. He will begin his duties at the consecration ceremonies in Christ Episcopal Church, Roanoke on Friday, July 19. For more details, see the Roanoke Times and dioswva.org.
Bishop candidates visit Staunton
On Saturday, March 2, five candidates for the clerical office of Bishop of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia visited Staunton. They appeared at a special gathering known as a "walkabout," hosted by Stuart Hall School, which is located across the street from Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Attendees (approximately 100 in number) came from congregations throughout the Augusta Convocation, which also includes parishes in Rockbridge, Alleghany, Bath, and Highland Counties, and from other areas in the Diocese. During the same weekend, walkabouts were also held in Abingdon, Lynchburg, and Salem. For more information, see the diocesan Web site, which includes a link to a video of the walkabout in Lynchburg. Here are some basic biographical facts taken from the Nominee Profiles report, available from the diocesan Web site:
- The Very Reverend Mark Allen Bourlakas:
Ordination date -- December 6, 1997
Currently -- Dean, Christ Church Cathedral, Louisville, KY
Age -- 49
- The Reverend David Cox:
Ordination date -- December 16, 1972
Currently -- Rector, St. Luke's, Hot Springs, Virginia
Age -- 65
- The Reverend A. Jeanne Finan:
Ordination date -- December 20, 2003
Currently -- Rector, St. John's Episcopal Church, Asheville NC
Age -- 62
- The Reverend Gail Greenwell:
Ordination date -- December 1, 2001
Currently -- dean, St. Michael and All Angels, Mission, Kansas
Age -- 57
- The Right Reverend David Rice:
Ordination date -- July 27, 1997
Currently -- Bishop, Diocese of Waiapu, The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Age -- 51
Headmaster Mark Eastham of Stuart Hall School welcomed the participants who assembled in the auditorium, and thanked the five nominees for coming. He also introduced the Stuart Hall students who had volunteered to help his wife Kathy Eastham facilitate the event. Rev. John Lane led in prayers, asking for Divine help in the task of discerning which of the candidates is best suited to assume the responsibilities of being our next bishop.
After the nominees introduced themselves and their spouses to the assembly, Emmanuel's new Priest In Charge Rev. Shelby Owen invited the walkabout participants to our church across the street for a post-walkabout discussion. The big group then broke up into five subgroups meeting in separate rooms, and the five nominees spoke to each subgroup in succession, answering questions that had been submitted in advance. It was a fine opportunity to get know the nominees on a more personal basis.
A Special Electing Council will choose the new bishop on Saturday, March 9 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Roanoke. Consecration ceremonies will take place at noon on Friday, July 19, 2013, in Christ Church, Roanoke. Our own former rector, Rev. Edward Covert, was chosen last year to serve on the Search and Nominating Committee, as the first step in the selection process. All of the clergy and lay persons who served on the Search and Nominating Committee deserve great thanks for all their hard work over the past year.
The following photographs are in order of their appearance at the beginning of the walkabout:
Emmanuel welcomes Rev. Shelby Owen
On Sunday, February 3, Emmanuel held a special service to welcome our new priest in charge, the Rev. Shelby Ochs Owen. The service began with the Harvest Band playing "Turn, Turn, Turn" and a "special" version of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." After Senior Warden Allan Hadfield and Rev. Owen solemnized the new ministry with a special liturgy in the middle of the Holy Eucharist service, the children's choir sang "Open Our Eyes, Lord."
After the service, a reception for Shelby was held in Memorial Hall, capping off a happy day of warm fellowship. Church members brought a wide variety of fried foods, hors d'ouerves, and other treats. Many thanks to Elizabeth Cianciolo and Eileen Freuh for their work in coordinating this big event.
Transition comes to an end
Last Sunday, January 27, marked the end of the challenging period during which our church services were led by "replacements" -- in this case Allan Hadfield, Senior Warden. This coming Sunday, February 3, will mark the beginning of a joyous new era, as services will be officiated by our new priest in charge, the Rev. Shelby Owen. There will be special musical performances at the 10:30 service, and a reception in her honor afterwards.
Our congregation has been blessed over the past several months by a large number of clergymen and women who were kind enough to lead our services. In some cases, they traveled a great distance to come to Staunton, and we are deeply grateful for their devoted efforts:
- Rev. Dr. Roger Bowen
- Rev. Shelby Owen
- Rev. Paul Nancarrow
- Rev. Howard Ratcliffe (ELCA)
- Rev. Lauren Stanley
- Rev. Jane Sigloh
- Rt. Rev. Neff Powell
- Rev. Bob Gillman
- Rev. Dr. John Lane
- Rt. Rev. Heath Light
In addition, five lay members of our own flock have led Morning Prayer services during the transition period: James Lott, Susan Peyton, Preston Manning, Emily Cox, and Allan Hadfield.
Diocesan Annual Council
Several members of Emmanuel went down to Roanoke last week (January 24-27) for the Annual Council of the Diocese of Southwest Virginia. This will be the final Council during which the Rt. Rev. Neff Powell serves as Bishop. The process for selecting a new bishop is well underway, and will be completed in March. The keynote address was given by Bishop Daniel of East Carolina.
On January 6, the children of Emmanuel marked Epiphany Sunday with a pageant, "Old Befana," based on an old Italian legend. Many thanks to Mary Evans Lott, Dana Cormier, Symmonie and Don Preston for their work in putting together this production.
One of the visiting members of the clergy who have led our services in recent months, the Rev. Lauren R. Stanley, has been appointed as Priest-in-Charge of the Rosebud West Mission on the Rosebud Reservation in Mission, South Dakota. We wish her the very best as she begins her new work in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.