The Fisherman’s Net
“Catch the Spirit”
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
On Highway 83
North Lake, WI 53064
Helen Ackley, Sr. Warden Website: StPeteNorthLake.com
Pete Buerosse, Jr. Warden Phone: (262) 966-7312
Newsletter Editor: Mary Buerosse (262) 691-3549 E-Mail: Mbread@att.net
Pastor’s Pen Fr. David Couper
Talk is Cheap
Once in a while I get together with other clergy. Invariably, we talk about how our life in Christ is going which involves sharing new ideas, things that appear to be working, developing new ministries and strengthening the old ones, attracting newcomers, and trying to see where God, through Jesus, is leading his Church. Needless to say, this discussion is often marked by scriptural “gnashing of teeth and rendering of garments.” Being a disciple of Jesus is hard enough – leading others to him is, well, challenging.
From time to time, you have heard me talk about having a spiritual “checklist;” a method to remind us about the important things in life and a way not to fall too far behind. It is also a list for those folks who say they want more – they want to move from being simply an admirer of Jesus to becoming one of his disciples.
It’s not an easy journey. If it was, the world would be a lot different, a lot better. Jesus asks much of those of us who wish to step up. Remember? “Unless you take up your cross…” What would you say to a person who asked you what a disciple of Jesus is? In reality, it’s like a weekend jogger deciding to run a marathon. It can be done, but not without a schedule of discipline – a lot of effort, and, yes, some pain. When I decided to run the Boston marathon a number of years ago, I couldn’t just tell people I was a marathon runner because I was going to run one, I had to start training. And running more miles in that year of preparation than I had ever done before.
This is what I think this is what needs to happen to those who say they are Christians. Sure, it’s easy to say I am a marathon runner or a Christian. But doing it is another thing.
Here’s a program that those who are willing to move from admiration to discipleship: The program involves seven vital action areas (listed in alphabetical order, not importance):
1. Examining. Periodically and regularly take a good, hard look at your life Asking the important people around you, “How am I doing?” (Try Galatians 5:19-23 for a template). Then deeply listening and acting on what you hear. Where you have fallen down, you confess, ask for God’s forgiveness, and act on eliminating the negatives in your life. All of us who say we follow Jesus should work to continuously improve all aspects of our lives and relationships.
2. Giving. Most of us in North America have too much stuff. Giving is not only about ourselves, but also our stuff. The biblical standard is the tithe. Ten percent of your income should be given to others who are in need. It doesn’t have to all go to the church, but at the end of the year, you should note that ten percent of your income went to help others less fortunate than you are.
3. Praying. If you aren’t taking time to pray each day you will fall behind your spiritual goals. John of the Cross said this about prayer: “You say you have no time to pray, then double it.” We all need time in quiet, with God, giving first thanksgiving, then supplications our families, church members and the world. Pray like your life depended on it.
4. Serving. This is what comes “out the spout.” Christians serve others. A spiritual life without service is not a life to be lived. It’s what a Jesus-followers does. Engage in an activity that serves others. It’s a wide-open field.
5. Studying. In order to grow in your faith you need to know about it. Study involves the Bible (what God has revealed to about himself) and books (what others have said, and are saying, about God.) When you study God you must always be open to listening what God may say in response. For example, the Benedictine practice of Lectio divina (meditative reading) is digesting a passage or two from scripture, meditating on it, praying, and then silently contemplating what you have heard.)
6. Solitude. We live in a busy, often frenetic, world. Spiritually questing people simply cannot find what they are looking for being engaging in today’s society. Since the earliest times, men and women have gone into the quiet of the desert to find God. Scripture tells us God often speaks more clearly there. To grow, you need to find time alone – not in loneliness, but in solitude with God. No excuses.
7. Worshipping. Much of our spiritual growth as a disciple of Jesus can be done alone except for two of them – serving and worshipping. Being with Jesus is not a solitary discipline, it is what you do with others, building relationships among other disciples, serving and worshipping with others. A Jesus man or woman does both, just as Jesus did. Growing in Christ is a life process of engagement-retreat-engagement. That is how we find strength and it is also how we grow – and, most importantly, finish the race.
What do you think?
Are there other things a disciple of Jesus should do?
What is your growth plan?
Calendar & Times Scheduled Reader Altar Flowers
March 2, Sunday
9:30 AM Holy Eucharist Helen Ackley No flowers during LENT
March 5, Wednesday 6:00 PM
ASH WEDNESDAY Helen Ackley
March 9, Sunday
Daylight Savings Begins!
9:30 AM Holy Eucharist Charlie Brumder
March 12, Wednesday
6:00 PM Supper/Lenten Study
March 16, Sunday
9:30 AM Holy Eucharist Pete Buerosse
March 19, Wednesday
6:00 PM Supper/Lenten Study
March 23, Sunday
9:30 AM Holy Eucharist Andy Marks
March 26, Wednesday
6:00 PM Supper/Lenten Study
March 30, Sunday
9:30 AM Holy Eucharist Katy Luedke
Lessons for March
1 Lesson Psalm 2nd Lesson Gospel
March 2 Exodus 24:12-18 2 2 Peter 1:16-21 Matthew 17:1-9
March 9 Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 32 Romans 5:12-19 Matthew 4:1-11
March 16 Genesis 12:1-4 121 Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 John 3:1-17
March 23 Exodus 17:1-7 95 Romans 5:1-11 John 4:5-42
March 30 1 Samuel 16:1-13 23 Ephesians 5:8-14 John 9:1-41
Remember in Your Prayers
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (1John 5:14)
*Pray for Randy Medd and family. Randy’s mother, Joan, died on February 24.
*Pray that warmer weather will not create massive flooding.
*Pray for our confirmation candidates and Sabine who is teaching and guiding them.
*Pray for peace and justice in all the world.
*Pray for the hungry, the jobless, the homeless and those who see no hope in their lives.
*Pray for our leaders, both national and local, to make good decisions.
*Pray for the Millennium Goals, especially to eradicate hunger and poverty by 2015.
*Pray for St. Peter’s and its families, for the present and the future, that we may grow in Christ and be his light to the world.
Happy Birthday Happy Anniversary
March 1 Molly McKay March 3 John & Sheila Campbell
March 3 Stephanie Naze
March 8 Debbie Stone-Marks
March 13 Jamie McKay
March 14 Kate Pieper
March 31 Dan Schneide
The Spirit at Work!
*Daylight Savings begins Sunday, March 9 at 2:00 AM. Be sure to turn your clocks AHEAD!
*Thanks to all for remembering our winter parking rules: to park your several feet away from St. Peter’s side-yard to allow individuals to walk in front of vehicles so they won’t have to walk in water, slush or on ice.
*We do not have flowers on the altar during Lent, but the FLOWER CHART still has plenty of openings for you. Please sign-up now! And look at the Breakfast Chart too!
*Prayer Request cards are available in the Narthex on the table with the Service Bulletins. If you have a request, it may be placed in the Offering or given to Mary Buerosse. Prayer requests will remain on the Circle for 3 months. If you need to extend your request, please let Mary know.
Lenten Bible Study
Wednesday’s: 6—8 PM
St. Peter’s Lenten Bible Study begins on Wednesday, March 9 at 6PM. We will be studying the book of Acts using the book “Acts: The Good News of the Holy Spirit” by Mr. Kevin Perrotta. All are welcome! The evening starts with a simple supper of soup and bread. Look for the sign-up sheet in the Narthex to share your best recipe for soup or bread and join us for some good food and great conversation!
A new Reader’s Schedule will be published at the end of March. Are you interested in reading the lessons on Sunday mornings? Typically you would read 6 to 7 times a year! If you would like to be included in this ministry, please contact Mary Buerosse (262-691-3549) or (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the end of March!
North Lake Food Pantry
The winter just seems to go on and on, the cold and snow relentless and the need at the food pantries is great. St. Peter’s contributed $95.00 in January and $65.00 in February with additional funds of $20.47 from the Sentry receipts for a total of $180.47. Thank you so much for your generosity and thoughtfulness. The North Lake Food Pantry clients are very appreciative.
St. Peter’s Annual Meeting
St. Peter’s Annual Meeting was held on February 23 with 32 parishioners (all ages) attending.
Delegates to Diocesan Convention: Helen Ackley, Kathy and Andy Marks, Charlie Brumder.
Alternates to Diocesan Convention: Holly Moseley, Susan Medd, Sheila Campbell, Sabine Lobitz. Worship times for major Feasts were discussed and changed: Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Thanksgiving Eve will begin at 6:00 PM. Christmas service will begin at 5:30 PM with the singing of popular Christmas Hymns and Carols. The Service will begin at 6:00 PM. Pete Buerosse will be looking for some able persons to help sealcoat the parking lot. Reminder that the Bishop is coming June 29 to confirm our three candidates, Tyler and Lindsay Naze and Evan Medd.
St. Peter’s Survey Summary (Jan-Feb 2014)
Here is a summary from 11 anonymous respondents to the survey questions:
WHAT DO YOU WANT FR. DAVID TO DO MORE OF?
He does enough, terrific pastor… Sermons that require participation… I like interactive sermons. Esp. Jesus’ time period and customs then… Nothing – could not be better… Live life to its fullest… Opportunities for us to share and participate… Blessing the beasts. (St Francis Day??)… Same things he is doing… Interactive sermons, book studies, meditative worship… Don’t know how he could be better.
WHAT DO YOU WANT HIM TO DO LESS OF?
New Zealand Creed and contemporary Lord’s Prayer… Worry about us… Interactive sermons. No more than once a month. I want to learn from him… Nothing… Interactive sermons (I’m never prepared)… Nothing.
WHAT DOES HE DO BEST?
Church services and homily… Doesn’t shy away from the difficult conversations… Make sense of what it means to be a Christian and how we are doing on our spiritual journey… Brings scripture to the everyday world on a personal level based on experience… Demonstrates living/acting on his Christian beliefs… Helps us to understand the Gospel lessons; smiles and laughs a lot!... Stretches me and my family, brings me out of my comfort zone… Challenges us to learn how to answer our own questions and fix problems ourselves. I like his “you’re not going to change THEM, what should YOU do to make better… Messages/sermons/Celtic blessings… Leads conversations on difficult topics while maintaining a respectful environment… Being Christ-like, open, compassionate, honest.
WHAT DO YOU WANT THE PARISH TO DO MORE OF?
Do more locally with people in need… Use our resources, be more generous, get our hands dirty with local needy… Come together more to build more strong relationships. The church to look like home and we take ownership and that love abides… Nothing. People are here because they like things that way they are. Change and we may loose what we have… Invite folks to “come and see.”… Have more social events. Potluck suppers, game night, even regular cleaning inside and out… Active participation in local food pantry… Amp up community service—gives us a chance to bond and pay back… Considering our size, we do quite a lot… Outreach…outreach…outreach!.. Being more Christ-like; each in our own way.
We quickly gave to the monument we hesitated in opening our pockets to families and organizations in need. Less of that, please… Can’t do less… Thinking that we cannot do Christ’s will because we are a small church… Nothing… Less church events during severe weather days (sometimes you have to cancel.)… Nothing… Big money expenses on things not necessary for upkeep… Repeated, rambling announcements.
WHAT DOES OUR PARISH DO BEST?
We do well. We are cohesive and welcome newcomers with open arms… Our group discussions during worship and book studies open up precious dialogue that bonds us as a family and souls in Christ… We do fellowship best, come together in time of need and go outside our comfort zone… Getting people involved at a level they are comfortable with without too much pressure
WHAT DOES OUR PARISH DO BEST?
Live the Gospel message… Being one community without cliques and being truly interested in and concerned about one another… Makes everyone feel welcome… Accepts all without judgment; lives the power of prayer… Even when we’re working we’re having fun… Welcoming others, accepting, warm, loving… Accepts all w/o judgment, lives the power of prayer.
Stay with us as long as you can. We all love you and Sabine… Tea at coffee hour. PG Tips. I feel disfranchised… In our small church everyone seems to find something they can do to keep it alive. A viable place to worship… Keep up the great work and thank you for all you do… How nice it would be if we could keep things going well forever!.. We are practicing what we are preaching; that’s why I consider St Peter’s one of my strongest communities… I/we love our church and church family… Concerned about a local family we supported. We voted to give both a dinner and gift. I don’t think the gift was given. We need to be honest, do what we say. Gratitude does not determine need.
by Andy Marks
The first I heard of the term sliding unconscious was in the book ‘Wherever You Go, There You Are’ written by Jon Kabat Zinn. The book centers around the concept of awareness and how to learn to be fully present in each moment of your waking hours. Being fully present means being fully aware of not only yourself, but also being keenly aware of the others around you. Looking deeply without judgment can open your eyes to a whole different dimension. Mindfulness allows one to see things as they really are freeing up energy that can easily be wasted on undesired emotions and misconceptions. This energy can then be applied to matters that are more meaningful and significant.
Mindfulness can also help a person grow spiritually. It is only when we put aside, or at least tame, all the issues that seem to bombard our daily lives are we then able to be free to love and give of our selves. This past weekend I along with 8 other men took part in a retreat organized by Father David at Nashotah House. Taking the time to reflect upon and discuss the human and spiritual questions that effect us all was a very meaningful experience. Growing in God’s grace and feeling His presence in our daily lives is a constant challenge, but can be attained. There have been times when I have felt the love of God residing in my heart, but then that feeling somehow just seems to slip away. And I slide unconscious. Sliding unconscious as Dr. Kabat Zinn states means “falling back into an automatic- pilot mode of unawareness”. I believe many of us spend most of our time living life in this mode. We simply act and react It is not until we are faced with a major calamity that we seek some kind of awareness beyond our near-sighted horizons.
Spiritual growth requires effort. St. Peter’s, led by Fr. David, has been a great source of inspiration. Each service helps to remind me of where I have been and where I am going. It refocuses my desire to be better. As the Lenten season approaches, I am looking forward to the opportunity to try and inch my way a little closer. The ultimate goal is “The Peace that passes all understanding”. Staying conscious and being fully present is the key.
Herbs of the Bible: Garlic
“We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Numbers 11:5-6
The strength and spirits of the Hebrews following Moses out of Egypt and through the desert were flagging. They needed garlic, leeks, and onions to give them strength and stamina. An inscription on one Egyptian pyramid reads that 100,000 men were employed for thirty years in its construction and the laborers were fed garlic, leeks (fenugreek), and onions as part of their stipend. The ancient Israelites spent forty years struggling through the desert to the promised land without even one clove of garlic!
The Hebrews have relied on garlic to be able to “be fruitful and multiply” as Genesis directed. They have believed consuming garlic increases virility. According to the Talmud, there are five properties of garlic consumed on Fridays (Shabbat):
(1)It keeps the body warm. (2) It brightens the face. (3) It increases semen (4) It kills parasites. (5) It fosters love and removes jealousy. Why consume garlic on Fridays? The women would have their ritual bath or mikvah on Friday. The men could then have relations with their wives with their consent. And the use of garlic increased their virility.
Since earliest times garlic has been cultivated in Egypt and Near East for its pungent bulb. It was a staple food in Egypt, grown as a vegetable on a large scale. Garlic was consumed fresh, dried, or powdered as a seasoning. It continues to be one of the most popular vegetables in the Mediterranean countries today.
No Flowers at the Altar in Lent? What else?
We don’t decorate the altar with flowers during Lent. This is a tradition in most Churches. The custom of decorating the altar with flowers goes back to the early days of the Church during the reign of Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, in 604 AD, (Feast day is March 12). He reformed the liturgy and sent St. Augustine on his mission of conversion to Britain. Gregory found it to be a universal custom of hospitality and beauty that could be given Christian meaning. Flowers on the altar have come to mean the resurrected life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The beauty of the flowers has come to mean the grace and truth of life in Christ. Lent is traditionally a penitential time, and this austerity is part of the vestments of the altar. The traditional color for Lent is purple, the color of penitence. During Lent the following customs are suspended:
-- The word “Alleluia” is neither said or sung.
-- The Gloria in excelsis is not used at Holy Communion.
-- Baptisms and weddings traditionally are not performed during Lent
-- The organ is not played in some traditions, from Ash Wednesday until Easter.
-- Fasting is encouraged.
Lent begins with the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday as a sign of mortality. A symbolic bouquet of the resurrection would be awkward. The disappearance of such treasured symbols of life and hope exists to encourage us all to look for the coming of Easter and the resurrection. -from St. Peter’s, Ft. Atkinson, WI
On the sixth day God turned to the Archangel Gabriel and said: “Today, I am going to create a land called Wisconsin. It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty; a land of 40,000 beautiful lakes, each one full of fish. It shall have tall majestic pines, peacefully flowing rivers, landscapes full of buffalo, tall grass, and eagles, beautiful blue skies, forests full of bear, moose and deer and rich farmland.” God continued, “I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the inhabitants prosper and they shall be known as a most friendly people, people who practice being “Wisconsin Friendly” every day.” “But Lord,” asked Gabriel, “don't you think you are being too generous to these Wisconsinites?” “Not really,” replied God. '“Just wait and see the winters I am going to give them.”
The Secret of Getting into Heaven
An exasperated mother whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, “How do you expect to get into Heaven?” The little boy thought it over and said, “Well, I’ll run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, “For Heaven’s sake, Dylan, come in or stay out!”
***This is a test. It is only a test. If this were your actual life, you would be given better instructions.
***Life is like riding a bicycle. You don’t fall off unless you stop pedaling.
***God believes in me, so my situation is never hopeless. He walks beside me, so I am never alone. God is on my side so I can never lose.
*You can’t hide from God by missing church.
*Religious differences are not nearly so disastrous as religious indifferences.
*Man weighs the deeds, but God weighs the intentions.