"Where We Are" by Rev. Lyn

Each week in both the Epistle and the Sunday bulletin, there will be a brief update on “where we are” during this period of active transition to a new location. 

St. Paul’s leadership and a number of groups, especially the “Being Church” group, and the New Properties Team continue to work exceptionally hard to fulfill their respective charges – the “Being Church” group to deliberate prayerfully and deeply on articulating St. Paul’s mission; the New Properties Team to explore new opportunities for a future location.  For several months, the “Being Church” group has engaged in a challenging and creative process under the leadership of Brianna Van Dyke which is proving to be deeply fruitful.  As we move forward, Laurie Gudim, who has provided steady spiritual leadership for the group, and Briana, will collaborate with Ann Fleming from the Diocese, with a view to engaging the congregation in an all-parish discussion to finally state St. Paul’s purpose and mission.  We hope to schedule a date for this discussion (on a Sunday) for August.  Details will be provided to you as soon as possible.  


The New Properties Team, under the energetic leadership of Terry Birdsong, Becky Sheller and Charlotte Leighton, is in the process of gathering all the financial and other important details on a piece of land that that holds potential before presenting this information to the congregation.  Currently preliminary discussions are underway with Trinity Lutheran Church to determine whether our sharing space during an interim period is viable.  Please note that you are invited to take a tour of Trinity (301 E. Stuart Street) during their office hours – Monday to Thursday, 9:00 am-3:00 pm.  Rev. Lyn has met with the pastor of Shepherd of the Hills, as well.  This congregation has also expressed openness to sharing space. 

Many individuals continue to work on specific tasks, including moving the columbarium; capturing the history of St. Paul’s in pictures and words, as well as assessing costs, taking inventory, and planning all the logistics for the move - a major undertaking on which Karin Wangberg Rogers has taken the lead.

At the same time, we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we are God’s church, and the business of being church continues … we continue to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world, listening to one another, comforting one another during this time of heightened uncertainty and anxiety.  We continue to focus on prayer and on deepening our spiritual lives as this is what will keep us grounded and energized and hopeful.  We continue to trust God, our Creator, Comforter, Sustainer, who guides us minute by minute – second by second – through these exciting, yet turbulent times.  


Thank You To the Artists

Our thanks to Laurie Gudim, who, last Sunday, did a book signing of her newly published novel, “Loving the Six-Toed Jesus; to Yash Seyedbagheri, who read several of his short stories, and to to Victoria Kempft, whose art was displayed for sale in the Parish Hall.

We were all blessed by your gifts. 


Social Justice Update

Following are dates of upcoming events:

July 17 - Immigrant Labor and Agriculture in Northeastern Colorado
Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., Fort Collins - 6:30-8:00 pm
Sponsored by Fuerza Latina
Panelists: Jon Slutsky and George Wallace

Panel discussion with members from the agricultural community who will speak about the critical need for farmworkers, and how a shortage of labor adversely impacts our entire community. Panel members will describe the skills needed for farm work, which has become increasingly demanding and complex. They will explain the “guest worker” program and the ways in which it is broken. They will also present the facts and address the myths surrounding immigrant labor.
 

August 12 – Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition (IFSC) General Meeting
Foothills Unitarian Church, 1815 Yorktown Ave., 9-11:00 am
 
August 20th –Immigrant Detention and the Aurora Detention Center
How has detention and removal changed in the last few months?
Plymouth Congregational Church, 916 W. Prospect, 2-4:00 pm
With RMIAN (Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network) and Casa de Paz.


For Such a Time as This:
A Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy

In early May this year, The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, and The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), issued a joint statement calling for prayer, fasting and advocacy as one way to address cuts to public programs that are vital to hungry people who are living in poverty.

The statement "For Such a Time As This" calls for fasting on the 21st of each month through December 2018, at which time the 115th Congress will conclude. The 21st of each month is targeted because by that day about 90 percent of Supplemental Nutrition Benefits Program (SNAP) benefits have been used.

The call to fast was launched by a group of national and local leaders who participated in a three-day fast from May 21-23 in anticipation of the May 21 Global Day to End Famine.  

Click here to hear a short video by The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry about “For Such a Time as This,” and here to hear The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton.


Update on Funding for Colorado Haiti Project

 

 WE HAVE NOW REACHED $5,375! 

THANK YOU!

For further information, please contact Lawrence Baietti at the_baiettis@hotmail.com.  For more information on the Colorado Haiti project see here.


Total Eclipse – August 21

by Laurie Gudim

In Fort Collins, we'll only be able to see a partial eclipse, meaning that there isn't anything dramatic that will happen, other than being able to observe, through special glasses only, the moon cover most of the sun.

North, however, in Wyoming, the eclipse will be total.  This means that the sky will get dark, the air will cool, and f it's a clear day we will be able to see the sun's corona around the edges of the moon, which will block it out entirely.  It should be an awesome visceral experience.  It's going to be a once in a lifetime event. 

Glendo, about 2 1/2 hours away, might be a good destination.  See their websitehere

The second part of the plan is to have a special worship service at St. Paul's after the event - a special thanks and praise celebration of God's awesome grandeur and intimate connection to each of us.  

More details to follow.

If you are interested in participating in this adventure to northern Wyoming to witness this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon, please contact Laurie Gudim at roseanlaurie@gmail.com.


 Adult Ed - Mindfulness

 

On Sunday, July 30, Nancy Severin, Director of Spiritual Formation at St. Charles in Fort Morgan, and author of the Prayers of the People that we are currently using during Sunday worship, will lead a program entitled:  "An Introduction to Mindfulness: Living Ordinary Life with Extraordinary Awareness." 

Nancy is a certified spiritual director and has training in centering prayer and contemplative living. She is also a Benedictine oblate, and is serving as Worship and Devotions Chair on the National Board of the Daughters of the King.

Nancy will be also with us on Saturday, July 29 to talk to Daughters from St. Paul's and other Episcopal churches, including St. Luke's, All Saints in Loveland, and Trinity in Greeley.

Message from Your Senior Warden, Rhoda Robinson

A wise elder on the Vestry regularly reminds us that when the whole idea of leaving Elizabeth Street came up, we, the people of St. Paul’s, through many conversations, came to one very clear consensus:  we want to stay together as a group.  And, throughout this past year of dialogue, discovery, and at times dissension, we have remained together as a group.  I am extremely proud to be a part of a church that works together as a group, trusting, respecting, valuing and honoring one another.  

As many of your know, both John (our Junior Warden) and I were out of town when the time for “closing” the sale of Elizabeth finally arrived — but you, the ‘group’ called St. Paul’s, carried on with the work God had set before us.  We both were able to leave and fulfill long-standing obligations, knowing that St. Paul’s and its business affairs would fare well in spite of our absence.  Our sincere thanks to all of you for supporting and helping one another to do the work God had sent us to do.  

And now we move forward, building on the conversations, meetings and study done by so many over the past year.  We move forward in the full knowledge that God always has been and always will be with us on this journey.  We move forward to find our Place where we can plant this very special group called St. Paul’s Church; we move forward to find our Priest who will serve and lead us in this new Place; and as we move forward, we continue to more clearly articulate our Purpose, which is God’s mission for us.

Where will we be celebrating All Saints Day in 2017?  More conversations to follow.


This Sunday - Honoring the Artists in Our Midst

Three artists, representing different art forms, will be featured after each service on Sunday, July 9.  They are:

  • Victoria Kempf, whose art will be on display and available for sale (a percentage will go to St. Paul’s)
  • Laurie Gudim, who will do a book-signing of her recently published book, “Loving the Six-Toed Jesus.”  
  • Yash Seyedbagheri, in his final year as a Creative Writing Master’s student at CSU, has had a number of his short stories published.  He will read one of his stories to us.
  • Information about the magazine, Ruminate will also be available.  The Editor-In-Chief of this publication is parishioner, Brianna Van Dyke.  

More on Victoria Kempf, Abstract Artist

I have been an Episcopal priest, workshop and retreat leader, writer. I was the Interim Rector of St. Paul’s from 2002 – 2004 where I thrived on the written word, and had a public persona.Retired from parish ministry, I now find myself intrigued by color and shape and ways of expression without words. Thanks to a group offered many years ago by Laurie Gudim, I began a journey toward an artisticexpression of my deeper self despite a lack of formal art training.

The dance of color, texture, shape and pattern fascinates me. As an intuitive abstract artist, I respond to that dance, and the direction to which the work itself calls me. Mostly self-taught, I am more energized by the creative process itself than by consistency, resulting in art that is ever-changing and inspiration that comes in the moment. I often find it unsatisfying to do the same thing twice, as I am constantly being pulled into the next experience. I am messy and easily distracted by new ideas but love the challenge and love the paint!I hope you enjoy my work.


Update on Funding for Colorado Haiti Project

 $5,300! THANK YOU!

For further information, please contact Lawrence Baietti at the_baiettis@hotmail.com.  For more information on the Colorado Haiti project see here.


Social Justice: Immigrant Labor and Agriculture in Northeastern Colorado

Sponsored by Fuerza Latin

 When:  July 17, 2017, 6:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.

Where: Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., Fort Collins

Panelists: Jon Slutsky and George Wallace

Immigrant farmworkers play an essential role on farms, dairies and ranches in Northeastern Colorado. Some livestock producers, horticultural farms, and dairies depend almost exclusively on immigrant labor.

Join us for a panel discussion as members from the agricultural community speak about the critical need for farmworkers, and how a shortage of labor adversely impacts our entire community. Panel members will describe the skills needed for farm work, which has become increasingly demanding and complex. They will explain the “guest worker” program and the ways in which it is broken. And they will present the facts and address the myths surrounding immigrant labor.

Sale of 1208 W. Elizabeth is Finalized

Just after 2:00 pm yesterday, in the absence of our Senior and Junior Wardens, both of whom were out of town, Geneve Huxley, Treasurer of St. Paul’s, and I signed the required documents for the sale of our property at 1208 W. Elizabeth at the First American Title Insurance Company in Fort Collins.  Also present at the signing were Becky Sheller, Jim Steinborn, Charlotte Leighton and Judy Matthews, faithful pilgrims on the journey.  Our buyer, EdR, signed the final paperwork today, and the money is in our savings account.  

This part of our journey is finally over!

It is an overwhelming moment for all of us for so many reasons.  It will, no doubt, take a while for us to collect our thoughts and begin to process what has just happened before we embark on the next phase – where to next?  I urge you to take this time just to be.  Much work lies ahead, but for now, let us all just rest in this space, trusting that as God has brought us to this point, so God will take us to the next.

Of all the many feelings I felt yesterday as I drove along the foothills of the Rockies in the glorious evening light, uppermost was a profound sense of gratitude.  For the journey.  For all of you.  For everything!

So, I would like to take a moment, in my role as your Interim Rector, to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone at St. Paul’s for the vital roles you have played in getting us to this place.  I am sure I speak on behalf of the parish in extending very special thanks to Mike Werner and Becky Sheller, our 2016 Wardens, and Rhoda Robinson and John Williams, our current Wardens, whose intense engagement, dedication and skills have been pivotal in bringing our period of exploration and discernment to completion.  I want to thank two extraordinary Vestries whose willingness to speak openly and honestly, to ask hard questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, while remaining connected in a spirit of respect and love, has done you all proud.  Thank you to those who have participated in groups created in response to our unique and constantly changing situations.  The momentum resulting from your energy and wisdom has contributed significantly to our corporate health and strength over these many months.  I want to thank every one of you whose presence and prayer week in and week out have continued to lift us all up, and to remind us of why we are who we as beloved children of God.  And, of course, thank you to God, to whom we owe everything!

Like all transitions, there have been challenging moments, yet you have persevered.  Your faithfulness, your willingness to “live in the question,” and to “keep on keeping on,” your openness, your charity and your grace bear testament to the unique gift you are to this world, and to God’s light in you that will continue to shine as long as you let it.

 As you move forward, you take with you the spirit of all St. Paul’s saints - Malcolm Boyd and Father Bacon – to name a few, who laid the foundations for a community that stood up for justice and peace, and who bore witness to authenticity and integrity, regardless of the cost.  I believe that these values are part of St. Paul’s DNA.  They are Gospel values – and as long as you continue to live in the spirit of God’s truth and love, you can never go wrong.  As much as in any time in human history, St. Paul’s and this Episcopal Church are needed in this world.  In the power of God’s Holy Spirit, we are called to bear prophetic witness to God’s values with single-mindedness.  We are called into solidarity with all our brothers and sisters on this planet; we are called to participate in God’s mission of healing, reconciliation, and renewal; we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves; we are called to love God.  Each one of us is called by name to continue to follow Jesus, in whose name and power we continue our journey.

As we take our next steps, may we allow God’s words, said in so many ways, to so many people, throughout the ages, direct our hearts and minds:   “Be not afraid - I will strengthen you - I will help you - and remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Blessings to you all.

Lyn+

 

Property Update by Rhoda Robinson, Senior Warden

Your Vestry has been especially busy over the past month.  Issues related to the sale of our 1208 W. Elizabeth church building, as well as issues related to new properties identified and being researched, have required two special meetings as well as our regular monthly meeting last week.  

Work on the sale is very close to completion now.  We learned this week that agreements on the part of all the other players in the sale’s transaction were reached before the final due diligence date of June 20.  Now John Williams, and our lawyer, Larry Hitt, are working on final paperwork in preparation of the official closing at the end of this month.  

The task of finding a new place for our church family continues with lots of research and meetings with various people, including our dedicated Cushman and Wakefield realtor.  Terry Birdsong’s latest report shows that we have already looked at 88 properties — some just land, some with buildings and land. Some good opportunities have recently emerged, details of which we will share with all of you as soon as possible.  The good news in the meantime is that, even though the sale will be complete this month, we do not need to vacate the property for another six months — we still have time to find the “right” place to re-plant St. Paul’s!

Not only has the Vestry been busy but many parishioners have been quite busy this month!  

  • The Youth Mission trip was a wonderful success — and, as we all know, that doesn’t happen without a lot of planning and coordination.  If you were unable to hear about the trip when youth members and leaders spoke in church June 18, be sure to ask one of the young people or Jacki or Logan, their leaders, about it — a wonderful time was had by all!  
  • The Food Bank ministry not only continued collections and deliveries but also gathered a group to work at the Food Bank for a shift in June.
  • A variety of people continued work on cleaning, sorting and organizing things as well as gathering data about costs for moving and storage. 
  • Between snowstorms, spring rains and warm Colorado sunshine, the grounds have continued to keep our dedicated groundskeepers busy — they have put in multiple hours to keep everything looking absolutely wonderful!
  • Hospitality folks worked hard for the June luncheon and for every coffee hour.
  • And all who contribute so much to make our St. Paul’s family not only function well but thrive in these tumultuous, traffic barrier times!

Both John and I will be out of town next week (June 24-July 2) so if you have any questions about either the sale or new properties during that time, please contact Rev. Lyn. Terry will be out of town most of the summer; Becky Sheller and Charlotte Leighton are getting up to speed to take leadership of the New Properties Team over the summer.

Thanks to all for your contributions to the life and work of our church.  May we all feel the presence of God who holds us close as we travel unknown roads in search of the place we are called to be.

 


Reflections from Rev. Lyn

I took this picture from Plymouth Congregation Church - the mosque is in the background.  This beautiful view is a reminder to me of who is really in charge! Always has been, always will be. AMEN.

God bless you all!