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
The Realities of Doing Church Today
As Advent approaches Sr. Warden Helen Ackley and I have been attending meetings of the nine parishes in our area; the Lake Country Episcopal Summit. Interestingly and positively, it is lay-led. A good sign for our future. The purpose is to talk about the things we are doing well and those which we need some help. That's a good start. But I think the problem is that we may be avoiding some of today's harsh realities. For me they are the following:
-- Most parishes in our diocese cannot afford a full-time priest. It's a fact and we need to realize it and get over it.
-- We are losing more members than we are gaining. This has been going on for a number of years now.
-- Nationally, about 30 percent of our fellow Americans indicate "none" when asked about
religion. We hear it all the time, "I'm spiritual, not religious." This number grows each year. In our culture, church attendance for both young and old, competes with hundreds of other busy, time-consuming activities and often falls short.
The irony is that a small church like ours is not only making it, bur appearing to thrive. We have a small building to maintain, we don't go into debt, we accept having less than full-time clergy and are willing to pick up administrative and pastoral duties. The old saying may be true, that God loves small churches because he created so many of them.
Here's some things churches in our area need to consider:
a. Call bi-vocational clergy. The parish begins team ministry when they call less than full-time clergy who supplement their income with work outside the church. And working as a ministry team, members provide necessary administrative, teaching, and pastoral services. (This is, of course, not a new idea.)
b. Merge or cluster church congregations to reduce expenses. (There are many models like West Bend is currently doing; a team of clergy serve a number of churches. There is also merging two or more parishes into one.)
c. Reboot. Close churches that cannot support themselves. Reorganize, start again in home churches. (This is how it all began -- in the homes of those who followed Jesus.)
d. Brutally rethink. Engage in a total, intense, spiritual, and prayerful re-thinking of who we are and where we are going as a denomination and way of following Jesus. (This will not be easy, but may be the one thing that will save us.)
Even when we try to support new church renewals (subsidizing parish budgets with diocesan dollars) does not assure parish growth or stability. (The money we have spent over the years trying to hold up the old church model by continuing to support failing parishes is difficult to defend.)
Over the years we have continued to do the same things hoping and praying the results will be different. They won't. The results will continue to disappoint us unless we create new methods of doing church.
Adding to our problems, I fear that we really don't know who we are and what is central to being an Anglican in this day and age. We confuse the non-essentials of our faith with the essentials. (Which is how to be Jesus to the world.) Those non-essentials have caused us to bicker and fight among ourselves and even go so far as to break communion and walk away from each other.
We Episcopalians are getting older. Most of us are white, fairly well to do, and set in our ways. And, for most part, our children and grandchildren have not followed us into church. The cold, hard fact for so-called "mainstream" Christians today is that if they don't change they will die.
Yet our mission remains -- to restore relationships among each other and with God through Jesus. We are further asked to do this work of restoration by prayer, worship, proclamation of the Gospel, and promoting justice, peace and love. How are we praying? How are we worshipping? How are we proclaiming the Good News of God through Jesus? How are we promoting justice, peace, and love? And, in this consumer society in which we live, how are we doing this better than, or at least as good as, anyone else?
That's the big question. What would we be willing to do -- to experiment with -- to turn this around -- to become God's Restorers?
-- Would we be willing to strengthen and expand our faith practice into more of a healing, charismatic, evangelical, youth-oriented, or inner-city ministry?
-- Would we be willing to focus on those both inside and outside our parishes who have need of restoration? Those with broken marriages, alienated children, disabled, sick, or unemployed?
-- Would we be willing to participate in a church which is, in reality, a field hospital on the edge of a great battlefield?
-- Would we be willing to change the things we do and live within our means?
All this reminds me of Jesus' story of the wineskins. We are told to pour new wine into new wineskins, not old ones. When new wine is poured into old wineskins they burst and break because the skins are brittle and inflexible. What kind of skins are we? Jesus also told us that unless we die, we will never rise to the new life. Death is scary. All we willing to consider this kind of death?
Brothers and sisters, when we do the new and not the old, when we die in order to live, when we work to restore things, we do Kingdom work -- we bring the reign of God closer. So let's roll up our sleeves, say a prayer, and continue to move forward.
Calendar & Times
Dec. 1, Sunday 9:30 AM Holy Eucharist
Dec. 4, Wednesday 6:00 PM Supper & Advent Study
Dec. 8, Sunday 9:30 AM Holy Eucharist
Dec. 11, Wednesday 6:00 PM Supper & Advent Study
Dec. 15, Sunday 9:30 AM Holy Eucharist
Dec. 18, Wednesday 6:00 PM Supper & Advent Study
Dec. 22, Sunday 9:30 AM Holy Eucharist
Decorating and Preparing the church for Christmas Eve
Dec. 24, Tuesday 7:00 PM Singing Christmas Carols
7:30 PM Christmas Mass
Dec. 25, Wednesday No Service at St. Peter’s
Dec. 29, Sunday 9:30 AM Holy Eucharist
Dec. 1 Helen Ackley
Dec. 8 Charlie Brumder
Dec. 15 Pete Buerosse
Dec. 22 Andy Marks
Dec. 24 Kathleen King
Dec. 29 Katy Luedke
Lessons for December (Year A)
1 Lesson Psalm 2nd Lesson Gospel
Dec. 1 Isaiah 2:1-5 122 Romans 13:11-14 Matthew 24:36-44
Dec. 8 Isaiah 11:1-10 72:1-7, 18-19 Romans 15:4-13 Matthew 3:1-12
Dec. 15 Isaiah 35:1-10 146:4-9 James 5:7-10 Matthew 11:2-11
Dec. 22 Isaiah 7:10-16 80:1-7, 16-18 Romans 1:1-7 Matthew 1:18-25
Dec. 24 Isaiah 9:2-7 96 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14
Dec. 29 Isaiah 61:10—62:3 147 Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7 John 1:1-18
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 5:14-15)
*Pray for the families who lost homes in the recent tornadoes in Illinois. Pray for those who died
*Pray for the people of the Philippines who were hit by Typhoon Haiyan, the worst storm in history. Give thanks for those who are providing aid. Pray for those who have died.
*Give thanks to God for sending us his Son at this Christmas time.
*Pray for the safety of those who will be traveling during the Christmas holidays.
*Pray for the homeless, the hungry, the jobless and those who see no hope in their lives. Pray for those who will be present at food kitchens this Christmas, both serving and being served.
Seek ways to use your talents, riches and resources to help those around you in any kind of need, that they may be filled with new hope and faith during this Christmas season.
*Remember and support those who help at Food Pantries and the families they serve.
*Pray for the Millennium Goals, especially to eradicate hunger and poverty by 2015.
*Pray for peace in the world, especially the Middle East.
*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.
*Keep St. Peter’s Prayer Circle in your prayers as they continue to lift up your concerns to God.
The Spirit at Work!
*Mark your calendars for Stewardship Sunday, December 8.
*We are asking everyone to bring a poinsettia to church on December 22 to “green” St. Peter’s. You pick the color. Red, pink or white. Many thanks!
*We’ve only had a bit snow, but you know it’s going to come. Remember to park several feet back from the edge of the side yard so individuals can walk in front of their vehicles. Thanks.
*Did you notice the beautiful enhancement to the Brumder plot in the cemetery? You can’t miss it as you walk to the front of the church! There are two benches which you may use to meditate.
Advent Bible Study
St. Peter’s Advent Program begins on Wednesday, December 4 with soup and bread dinner at 6:00 PM. The program will end at 8:00 PM. We will be discussing the book “The Case for Christmas” by Lee Strobel. Consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy, Lee Strobel searches out the true identity of the child in the manger. If Jesus really was God in the flesh, then there ought to be credible evidence, including eyewitness, scientific and profile evidence. Join us for this enlightening discussion. We are only meeting three Wednesdays to discuss the book. Look for the sign-up sheet in the Narthex.
Greening of St. Peter’s — December 22
Please plan to stay after service on Sunday, December 22 to decorate St. Peter’s for Christmas. We will put up our Christmas tree, wreaths, garlands, and place the poinsettias around the church. Remember to bring your poinsettias too. Thank you!
As has been tradition for several years, St. Peter’s Christmas Eve service will begin with singing some of our favorite carols at 7:00 PM. The Christmas Eve Mass will begin at 7:30 PM. There is no scheduled service on Wednesday, December 25, Christmas Day.
Happy Birthday Happy Anniversary
Dec. 2 John Ackley Dec. 29 David Couper & Sabine Lobitz
Dec. 12 Kathryn Medd Dec. 30 Scott & Holly Moseley
Dec. 19 Callum McKay
Dec. 27 Eric Dyrud
New Books Available in St. Peter’s Library
The library at St. Peter’s has exploded with new titles! We are grateful for the donation by Dorothy and John Brady of several boxes of books from Peg Leitgabel’s estate. We also received a number of books from the Luedke’s. They will be alphabetized soon! Take what you would like to read, enjoy, and bring it back to the library. And then tell a friend about the book so they may enjoy it too!
Dedication of Memorial Monument
The Memorial Monument was dedicated on Sunday, November 10 after service. Fr. David used the following prayer from the Book of Common Prayer:
“We give thanks to you, O Lord our God, for all your servants and witnesses of time past: for Abraham, the father of believers, and Sarah his wife; for Moses, the lawgiver, and Aaron, the priest; for Miriam and Joshua, Deborah and Gideon, and Samuel with Hannah his mother; for Isaiah and all the prophets; for Mary, the mother of our Lord; for Peter and Paul and all the apostles; for Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdalene, for Stephen, the first martyr, and all the martyrs and saints in every age and in every land. In your mercy, O Lord our God, give us, as you gave to them, the hope of salvation and the promise of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the first-born of many from the dead. Amen”
(A red memorial book has also been purchased for more definitive information concerning the names on the monument.)
Christmas Outreach (more at the end of the newsletter)
St. Peter’s Vestry discussed Christmas outreach and is asking parishioners to purchase Gift Cards in $10.00 values at local stores such as Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Pick ‘n Save, Aldi’s and any other stores in the area. These cards will be distributed to a number of organizations in the area. We will also accept used cell phones to be given to appropriate organizations. It was also voted to provide a Christmas dinner and gift cards to the family in Hartland we supported last year. We ask that you prayerfully consider making this a part of your Christmas giving.
Outreach Sunday is December 15 when we will gather and bless your gifts.
Christmas — At The Midnight Mass
—The Rt. Rev. William C. R. Sheridan, Sometime Bishop of Northern Indiana in A Gathering of Homilies via The Anglican Digest, Advent-Christmas-Epiphany, 1997
Do not tinker with the reality of the Divine Saviour come to save us. Flee from anyone, or anything, that suggests that Christmas is a pretty myth, or simply a happy holiday with friends, or that “Christmas is really for children.” Flee from everyone and everything that tries to destroy, or pervert, or capture for their own self-serving interests, the mighty act of God which is Christmas, this self-emptying act of the Lord of all life coming into His universe—in the same way that all other humans must come. Our Saviour, “Who is Christ the Lord” did not remain a pink-cheeked infant. We must be careful not to dwell too much on His passing infancy. There are sentimentalists who—perhaps unconsciously—want Christ the Saviour to remain a cuddly controllable “Holy Infant” of Bethlehem for all time! But the Saviour—God in human form—came into His world “for us men and our salvation” not to enchant us as a temporarily helpless infant. Our Saviour—God in the human flesh of a newborn baby—grew up! He grew up to be God in adult manhood, ready to offer His life, in order to save us from everlasting despair and final death. His sacrifice of Himself on Good Friday and His rising from the dead on Easter is the most important event in all recorded history! Christian artists have always understood how Christmas and Good Friday are two sides of the same truth, are two sides of the same eternity. More than one Christian artist has painted the Saviour of the World—showing Him temporarily as the Holy Infant at Bethlehem, but with the Cross of Calvary over the baby’s head. Christmas and Calvary’s Cross are twin parts of the same God’s plan for our salvation. Whenever Christmas and Calvary seem unrelated it is because an uncomprehending humanity has misunderstood these two “mighty acts of God,” and has tried to separate that truth, which cannot be separated!
It’s Hard to Belong to a Small Church
It’s hard to belong to a small church—
You have to vacuum the rugs yourself,
Paint the woodwork, provide the flowers, coffee and the wine,
See yourself scrubbing bathrooms mirrors — You have to be a caretaker of the Lord’s house.
It’s discouraging to belong to a small church—
You have to scrape up cash for it yourself,
Argue decisions with the Vestry, try to keep the books,
Hear your own voice murdering the hymns — You have to be a servant in the Lord’s house.
It’s dismaying to belong to a small church—
You have to search for Sunday School materials and programs for Lent,
Find yourself alone with one or two in the study groups— You have to be a minister in the
It’s blessed to belong to a small church—
You may get to meet the Lord yourself,
With all your pride, jealously and greed, laziness, fear, loneliness and need.
You may be asked to join in His great work of Love— You may get to be a disciple in the
Lord’ house, AND beyond!
-by Janet Adkins
The Small Church
In a big world, the small church has remained intimate.
In a fast world, the small church has been steady
In an expensive world, the small church has remained plain.
In a complex world, the small church has remained simple.
In a rational world, the small church has kept feeling.
In a mobile world, the small church has been an anchor.
In an anonymous world, the small church calls us by name.
The Anglican Digest, 1989
Tithing: What must I give?
Vocation: What must I be?
Evangelization: Whom can I reach?
Faith: How can mine be made real and operative?
Prayer Book: What does it tell me to do?
The Bible: Is it for the shelf or for the hands?
Life: A succession of days and years, or a thrilling adventure in spiritual maturity?
The Church: Is it an organization or an organism?
Charity: What is it — heart and hand, or purse and penny?
Christ: A misty figure lost in the dimness of centuries, or a living, present Being of power and light and love?
What We Sing: # 79 “O little town of Bethlehem”
Phillips Brooks was born in Colorado’s Journal via Anglican Digest, Winter 2009Boston, Massachusetts in 1835 to William Gray and Mary Ann Phillips Brooks. He was descended from the Rev. John Cotton and great-grandson of Samuel Phillips, Jr., founder of Phillips Academy, Andover Massachusetts. Of the couples’ six sons, Phillips, Frederic, Arthur and John Cotton were all ordained in the Episcopal Church. Phillips Brooks prepared for college at the Boston Latin School and graduated from Harvard University in 1855 at the age of 20, where he was elected to the Alpha Delta Phi. He worked briefly as a school teacher at Boston Latin, but, upon being fired, felt he had failed miserably. In 1856 he began to study for ordination in the Episcopal Church in the Virginia Theological Seminary. He graduated in 1859, was ordained deacon by Bishop William Meade and became rector of the Church of the Advent, in Philadelphia. In 1860 he was ordained priest, and in 1862 became rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia, remaining there for seven years. In 1869 he became rector of Trinity Church, Boston. On April 30, 1891 he was consecrated sixth Bishop of Massachusetts. He died unmarried in 1893 after an episcopate of only 15 months. His death was a major event in the history of Boston. One observer reported: “They buried him like a king. Harvard students carried his body on their shoulders. All barriers of denomination were down. Roman Catholics and Unitarians felt that a great man had fallen in Israel.” He is remembered in the Episcopal Church with a feast day on January 23. Today, he is probably best known for authoring the Christmas carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem". He was inspired by visiting the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in 1865. Three years later, he wrote the poem for his church and his organist, Lewis Redner, added the music. Redner's tune, simply titled "St. Louis", is the tune used most often for this carol in the United States.
Note: This is the last of the “Musical” series. Next month I will begin a series on “Herbs of the Bible”, utilizing a book from Peg Leitgabel who was well versed on growing herbs.
The Lord Be With You
This Divine Salutation taken out of holy Scripture, Ruth 2:4, was frequently used in ancient liturgies before Prayers, before the Gospel, before the Sermon and at other times, and that by the direction of the holy Apostles, says the Council of Braccarea. It seems as an Introit or entrance upon another sort of Divine Service, and a good Introduction it is, serving as a holy excitation to Attention and Devotion by reminding the people what they are about, namely such holy Services, as without God’s assistance and special grace cannot be performed, and therefore when they are about these Services, the Priest reminds them of it by saying, “The Lord be with you. The people answer, “And with thy Spirit.” The form is taken out of II Timothy 4:22, and is as much as this Thou art about to Offer up Prayers and spiritual Sacrifices for us, therefore we pray likewise for thee , that He without whom nothing is good and acceptable may be with thy spirit while thou art exercised in these Spiritual Services, which much be performed with the Spirit according to St. Paul I Corinthians 14:15. Thus the Priest prays and wishes well to the people , and they pray and wish well to the Priest. And such mutual Salutations and Prayers as this and those that follow, where Priest and people interchangeably pray each for other, are excellent expressions of the Communion of Saints, Both acknowledging thus, that they are all one body, and each one members of one of another. —Anthony Sparrow, Bishop of Norwich 1672
Praise The Lord
An effervescent woman one Sunday wandered into an Episcopal Church and took her place in the pew. She had been there only a few minutes when she raised her arms and shouted, “PRAISE THE LORD1” Another woman in the pew behind her leaned over to whisper, “Pardon me, but we don’t ‘Praise the Lord’ in the Episcopal Church. Please control yourself!” A few minutes went by and again she raised her arms in the air and let loose with “PRAISE THE LORD.” This time stronger measures were called for. The head usher appeared and told her in a voice which would have frosted ice: “I don’t believe you understand. This is an Episcopal Church and we don’t ‘Praise the Lord.’” But a man down the pew corrected him: “Oh yes, we do,” he said. “On page 806! (We do a lot of “Bless the Lord, though. “Praise the Lord was used in the 1928 Prayer Book!)
Memo from God:
I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFGTD (Something For God To Do) box. It will be addressed in My time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution. Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest my child. If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away.
MORE CHRISTMAS OUTREACH
The Season of giving is fast approaching, and St. Peter’s is thrilled to be helping make the holidays a little brighter for children at the C.A.R.E Center (Child Advocacy Resources and Empowerment) in Waukesha. Located in downtown Waukesha in the Big Yellow House, the C.A.R.E. Center provides services to children and adolescents who are suspected victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or neglect. The C.A.R.E. Center is a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center, and the only program in Waukesha County which provides these services.
The complete C.A.R.E. Center Wish List will be posted on the bulletin board in the Narthex, a partial list shown below. Please take a moment to review the list and see how you can help. If you choose to provide an item(s), please cross it off the list so that we may provide as many items as possible without duplicates. Please DO NOT wrap the items. You may bring them to church at anytime and place in the box provided. The last date to bring your donations is Outreach Sunday, December 15. If the thought of doing any more shopping makes you cringe, please consider picking up gift cards in $10.00 denominations. Thank you for your generosity to this worthy cause.
Items for use in Play Therapy
Large body pillows
Simple animals (jungle, farm or wild animals, dinosaurs)
Miniature people for sand tray play (not army, but warriors (including ancient warriors), village people, peasants and farmers, houses/people/dishes/furniture/cars/etc.
Items for dollhouse therapy: fences, crosses, trees, animals, dog house, dog, dragons-small items that represent scary things, angry things and loving things.
Doll house furniture
Doll House families (white, brown, tan- all age children)
Beanie babies, or any type of small stuffed animal
Any type of small giveaway toys for children
Take apart toys (cars, and other things to put together)
Puppets- scary animals (lion, crocodile, dragon, witch) and fun (princess, prince, cat, dog, bunny)
Games: preferable games with fewer pieces
Trouble Don’t Break the Ice
Life Chutes and Ladders
Therapy Games from Catalogs (anger control, social skills, self esteem)
Sticky situation books (4 volumes)
Jumbo and regular coloring books
Puzzles 100 pieces and under
View Masters and Pictures for view masters
Little People: people and animals
Match box cars
Paint by # or velvet color/paint pictures
Craft/Art kits for all ages
Construction paper – colored AND white
SMELLY MARKERS, regular markers, fine and broad crayons
Reams of plain white paper
2x2 yard of cut fleece
Glitter glue, glue sticks and Elmer’s liquid glue
2 oz. bottles of squeeze paint
Beads (w/large openings) and beading thread
Styrofoam balls (to make ornaments, etc)
Craft supply organizer boxes
Gift cards to: The Learning Shop, Half-Price Bookstore, Michaels, JoAnn’s, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com
Magazine Subscriptions for Waiting Rooms:
Parenting Family Circle
Better Homes & Garden Midwest Life
Parenting books for parent to borrow: on self-esteem, positive parenting:
Love and Logic Beyond Consequences
Logic and Control Dare to Love
Whole Brain Child
Kleenex, toilet paper, toilet bowl cleaner, glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, tall kitchen garbage bags, Styrofoam cups, stamps, copy paper, Post-it notes, paper clips, white out, Batteries: 9-volt, D, C, and AA
Any type of general office supply