Announcements, June 29

NO SANDBOX TONIGHT, JUNE 29: Many of our regulars are scattered this week, so we’re taking a brief early summer hiatus. We will gather again on Thursday, July 6.

THIS WEEKEND…

Birthday and Anniversary blessings and Healing Prayers will be given this Sunday, July 2, as is our custom on the first Sunday of the month.

MOM Special Offering, Sunday, July 2: This Sunday, half the cash in our offering plate and any designated checks will be given to Middleton Outreach Ministry’s food pantry. Here are the current top-ten, most needed items: dried, freeze-dried and canned fruit; shelf-stable dairy/non-dairy beverages; toilet paper and paper towels; mayonnaise and ketchup; herbs, spices and salt; spaghetti and pizza sauce; whole grains including rice, quinoa, gluten free pastas; quick cook prepared sides ex. Knorr’s (veggies/pasta, Zatarain’s (beans/rice); heart healthy oil; nut butter – other than peanut (allergies). Thank you for your generous support!

Evening Eucharist, Sunday, July 2, 6pm: Join us for a simple service as the week begins. All are welcome.

Lake Field Trip, Sunday, July 2, 12pm: As part of our Creation Care commitment to understanding our local water systems better, we will walk over to Marshall Park on Lake Mendota after church on July 2nd. It’s an easy seven-minute walk. We’ll “meet” the lake and talk a little about stormwater and lake health. Bring a brownbag lunch if you’d like to hang around at the park for a while!  (And there are now boat rentals at Marshall Park, so you could make a whole afternoon of it – bring sunscreen!)

Grownups, are you a little jealous that you can’t come to our Summer Bible, Arts & Science Camp? Well, guess what: you CAN! We are seeking 2 – 3 more grownups to help out during our camp (5:30 – 7:30pm, July 30 through August 3). You can dig deep into the story of Jonah, make crafts, try science tricks, sing and play games right alongside the kids! If you’d like to help out, talk with Rev. Miranda or Sharon Henes.

1 Samuel Study Group, Wednesday nights, June 21-July 26, 6:30-8:30 PM: Gather with a friendly group to explore the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel – a rich and complex tale of the rise and fall of kings. The study group is hosted by the McAlpines at their home in Fitchburg, about five minutes from the intersection of the Beltline and Verona Road.

THE WEEK AHEAD & BEYOND…

The office will be closed July 3rd and July 4th for the Independence Day holiday.

JULY 9 CAPITAL CAMPAIGN MEETING POSTPONED: We had hoped to present draft plans for our building and grounds on Sunday, July 9, but as we work with our architect and campaign consultant, it’s clear we simply need a few more weeks to be ready to do this well. We are looking for the next date when our Capital Campaign leadership and consultants are all available to gather with the parish and review our plans and ideas. We’ll announce the new date as soon as possible! Thanks for your understanding and patience, and feel free to ask questions to Rev. Miranda, Celia Fine, or John Laedlein.

Madison-Area Julian Gathering, Wednesday, July 12, 1-2:45pm: We meet monthly for contemplative prayer, after which we discuss a reading from Julian of Norwich, a 14th Century English mystic who has been called “a theologian for our time.” All are welcome. For more information, contact Susan Fiore.

Timbergreen Woods Full Value Forestry Workshop, Saturday, July 15, 9am – 4pm, Timber Green Woods, Spring Green: A group of St. Dunstan’s folks are headed to Spring Green to learn about managing and harvesting trees, and some creative ways to use timber. This will be both fun and informative! The only cost is a $5 contribution for lunch. Responsible older kids may come too. If you’d like to come, sign up in the Gathering Area or contact the office at office@stdunstans.com or 238-2781.

First Good Books” Book Group Meeting, Sunday, July 16, 9am: We’ll have donuts, coffee, juice, and conversation. Our first session will focus on “Cherries and Cherry Pits”. We’ll read the book together and talk about it. All ages are welcome!

Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee Haiti Project Fundraiser, Verona, Sunday, July 23, 1-5pm: Come to the Wisconsin Brewing Company at 1079 American Way in Verona to enjoy micro-brews, help support our diocesan partnership with St. Mark’s School in Haiti, and meet Arol Ilerand, a guest from Haiti. Arol is the lead agronomist on the Clean School Green School project at St. Marc’s.  We would love a critical mass of supporters to attend and hope you will invite your friends out to enjoy the venue, listen to live music, sample brews and food cart delicacies, and shop Haitian art and jewelry.

Evening Bible, Arts & Science Camp: The Story of Jonah, July 30 – August 3: Our Vacation Bible School this summer is planned for Sunday, July 30, through Thursday, August 3. We’ll meet in the evenings – likely 5:30 to 7:30pm, as in previous years. We’ll use drama, music, art, and science to explore the Biblical story of Jonah. Kids ages 3 to 10 are welcome to participate; middle school and older kids will be involved as actors and helpers.

41st Annual Women’s Mini Week: Courageous Women of God! August 10 – 13, 2017, Camp Lakotah, Wautoma, Wisconsin: This is your time to retreat from your everyday routines, to allow discoveries and friendships to refresh you, to find comfortable activity or blissful quiet. Registration forms are in the Gathering Area. For further information please contact Rose Mueller, Ellen Rishel or Robin Ertl. Others who can share info are Joan Knudson, Shirley Laedlein, Kathy Whitt, Connie Ott, Dianne McCoy. You can also visit the website at http://www.womensminiweek.org .

 

Announcements, June 22

NO SANDBOX TONIGHT & JUNE 29: Many of our regulars are scattered this week & next, so let’s take a brief early summer hiatus. We will gather again on Thursday, July 6.

THIS WEEKEND…

Ladies’ Night Out, Friday, June 23, 6pm: Come join us for good food and good conversation among women of all ages from St. Dunstan’s. This month we will meet at Biaggi’s, 1611 Aspen Commons, in Middleton’s Greenway Station.

Clergy Presence during Rev. Miranda’s Travel:  Rev. Miranda will be away from June 24 through July 1. Father Tom McAlpine will celebrate and preach on Sunday, June 25. If you need the care or counsel of a priest during Rev. Miranda’s absence, you may reach Father Tom or Father John Rasmus at (608) 238-2781.

Grace Shelter Dinner, Sunday, June 25, 7pm: Every fourth Sunday, a loyal group of St. Dunstan’s folk provides dinner for residents at the Grace Church shelter, and breakfast the next morning. See the sign-up sheet in the Gathering Area to help out. To learn more, talk with Rose Mueller.

Grownups, are you a little jealous that you can’t come to our Summer Bible, Arts & Science Camp? Well, guess what: you CAN! We are seeking 2 – 3 more grownups to help out during our camp (5:30 – 7:30pm, July 30 through August 3). You can dig deep into the story of Jonah, make crafts, try science tricks, sing and play games right alongside the kids! If you’d like to help out, talk with Rev. Miranda or Sharon Henes.

1 Samuel Study Group, Wednesday nights, June 21-July 26, 6:30-8:30 PM: Gather with a friendly group to explore the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel – a rich and complex tale of the rise and fall of kings. The study group is hosted by the McAlpines at their home in Fitchburg, about five minutes from the intersection of the Beltline and Verona Road.

THE WEEK AHEAD & BEYOND…

Birthday and Anniversary blessings and Healing Prayers will be given next Sunday, July 2, as is our custom on the first Sunday of the month.

MOM Special Offering, Sunday, July 2: Next Sunday, half the cash in our offering plate and any designated checks will be given to Middleton Outreach Ministry’s food pantry. Here are the current top-ten, most needed items: dried, freeze-dried and canned fruit; shelf-stable dairy/non-dairy beverages; toilet paper and paper towels; mayonnaise and ketchup; herbs, spices and salt; spaghetti and pizza sauce; whole grains including rice, quinoa, gluten free pastas; quick cook prepared sides ex. Knorr’s (veggies/pasta, Zatarain’s (beans/rice); heart healthy oil; nut butter – other than peanut (allergies). Thank you for your generous support!

Evening Eucharist, Sunday, July 2, 6pm: Join us for a simple service as the week begins. All are welcome.

Lake Field Trip, Sunday, July 2, 12pm: As part of our Creation Care commitment to understanding our local water systems better, we will walk over to Marshall Park on Lake Mendota after church on July 2nd. It’s an easy seven-minute walk. We’ll “meet” the lake and talk a little about stormwater and lake health. Bring a brownbag lunch if you’d like to hang around at the park for a while!  (And there are now boat rentals at Marshall Park, so you could make a whole afternoon of it – bring sunscreen!)

SAVE THE DATE: SUNDAY, JULY 9! 
Possibilities for our Capital Campaign
 will be presented to the congregation at 10:30, after a short 10am service. Meet our architect and our consultant, and see visions of what we could do with our buildings and grounds. Please plan to attend!

Timbergreen Woods Full Value Forestry Workshop, Saturday, July 15, 9am – 4pm, Timber Green Woods, Spring Green: A group of St. Dunstan’s folks are headed to Spring Green to learn about managing and harvesting trees, and some creative ways to use timber.  This will be both fun and informative! The only cost is a $5 contribution for lunch. Responsible older kids may come too. If you’d like to come, sign up in the Gathering Area or contact the office at office@stdunstans.com or 238-2781.

First Good Books” Book Group Meeting, Sunday, July 16, 9am: We’ll have donuts, coffee, juice, and conversation. Our first session will focus on “Cherries and Cherry Pits”. We’ll read the book together and talk about it. All ages are welcome!

Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee Haiti Project Fundraiser, Verona, Sunday, July 23, 1-5pm: Come enjoy micro-brews and help support this ministry at the Wisconsin Brewing Company at 1079 American Way in Verona.

Vacation Bible School: The Story of Jonah, July 30 – August 3: Our Vacation Bible School this summer is planned for Sunday, July 30, through Thursday, August 3. We’ll meet in the evenings – likely 5:30 to 7:30pm, as in previous years. Keep these dates in mind as you make your summer plans! Kids ages 3 to 10 are welcome to participate; middle school and older kids will be involved as actors and helpers.

41st Annual Women’s Mini Week: Courageous Women of God! August 10 – 13, 2017, Camp Lakotah, Wautoma, Wisconsin: This is your time to retreat from your everyday routines, to allow discoveries and friendships to refresh you, to find comfortable activity or blissful quiet. Registration forms are in the Gathering Area. For further information please contact Rose Mueller, Ellen Rishel or Robin Ertl. Others who can share info are
Joan Knudson, Shirley Laedlein, Kathy Whitt, Connie Ott, Dianne McCoy.

 

 

Sermon, June 18

When have you felt welcome? What made you feel that way? In today’s passage from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus sends out the Twelve to preach the Kingdom, to spread the good news that God is still present, still acting, still saving. The way he tells them to do it is really interesting. He says, Stay in people’s homes. Matthew says, ‘whoever is worthy,’ but in Luke’s parallel passage, Jesus says, Just stay with whoever will welcome you. Whoever lets you in, and gives you a corner to sleep in. (And honor their hospitality by staying with them until it’s time to move on; don’t move to a nicer house even if it’s offered!) Don’t bring money, or food, or even extra clothes or shoes. Don’t be self-sufficient. Depend on the kindness of strangers. Jesus knows this will be hard and scary! – “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves!” But he’s very clear about it.

We name welcoming as one of the discipleship practices of our congregation. Receiving one another, for the first or the thousandth time, with warmth and generosity. Embracing people in the fullness of who they are, the scars they carry, the gifts they bring. And we have an icon of welcome hanging near the door to our nave: this little icon, a reproduction of an icon that was painted for St. Francis house, our sister faith community over on campus. Iconographer Drazen Dupor painted that image for St. Francis House, based loosely on very famous icon of the Three Angels visiting Abraham and Sarah, today’s Old Testament passage. This story is especially significant in Christian thought because those three angels have long been seen as foreshadowing the Trinity. The scene becomes an icon of hospitality because of Abraham’s ready, no-questions-asked welcome for these three strange guests. It joins countless folktales from around the world of people who responded with kindness towards strangers who turned out to be powerful beings, and rewarded hospitality with blessings – in Abraham and Sarah’s case, their much-wanted, long-awaited child.

The artist told me something about this image that I really enjoy, a significant detail: the napkins are messy. He explained that according to Near Eastern tradition, at the end of the meal, if you’re the guest, and you fold your napkin and neatly place it on the table, it means that you still feel like a guest. Whereas if you just toss your napkin on the table any old how, it means that your hosts succeeded in making you feel like family. You felt truly welcomed. It’s hard to see in this small version, but the iconographer painted the napkins in this image as messy napkins. A detail that calls our attention to the grace and responsibility of being a guest, rather than a host.

This story from the book of Genesis is just one of many examples in Scripture when God comes to humanity as a guest. When God allows humans to set the table, and preside at the feast. Jesus is fundamentally God incarnate as a guest among us. And he’s constantly a guest at some feast or another. Even at the Last Supper, where we imagine him at the head of the table, it was not his table, not his home, not his food. Someone else prepared that meal and made that room available for Jesus and his friends, that evening. God makes Godself our guest, in Genesis, in Jesus; and in today’s Gospel Jesus tells his followers to do the same. Welcoming is well and good; a few verses later Jesus will promise God’s favor to those who practice hospitality. But here he his directions are: Go be a guest. Why?

It would be so easy to take today’s Scriptures and preach on the virtues and practices of hospitality and welcome. I feel the gravity of it, like a coin circling one of those big plastic funnels at a science museum. But this gospel is not calling us to hospitality. In the language of our Discipleship Practices – conveniently listed on our church fans – this lesson is about proclamation rather than about welcoming. About proclaiming, by word and example, the good news of God’s love and God’s hope for the world, to those outside our community of faith. Evangelism: which means that we take what this all means to us, how it’s touched our lives, given us strength or hope, whatever it is that keeps us coming back, and we carry that with us as part of the story we tell about ourselves, part of the answer we give when someone asks us, How are you? What’s giving you joy? What’s keeping you strong? Evangelism, which in its simplest shyest gentlest form simply means letting the people around you know that God has a place in your life.

Churches, at least mainline Protestant churches like the Episcopal Church, are by and large much more comfortable with welcoming than with proclamation. In fact we’d sort of like to think that the former can substitute for the latter. And for the people who actually walk up to our doors looking for a community with which to puzzle out this whole God business, maybe it can. But there are a whole lot of people wondering and seeking and struggling who are not going to walk up to these doors, for all kinds of reasons. They’ve been burned by church in the past, or simply found it boring and irrelevant. Or their lives have just never taken them close enough to church and faith for it to occur to them that they might find strength, solace, grace, purpose, in a community of faith and in relationship with the Divine. And there are people who are genuinely not in the market for a church, but who might still be looking for God.

Think about the task of evangelism that Jesus gives the disciples. It would have been much easier to go to each village, rent the Elks lodge, hold a big dinner, invite everybody, and then while they’re sitting there between dinner and dessert, and feel like they owe you their attention in exchange for the meal, that’s when you stand up and talk about Jesus.

Being the host is a position of power. Being the guest means making yourself beholden. Entering someone else’s home, and life, and story. When we are the guest – whether it’s at a meal in someone’s home, or out at a coffee shop, or hanging out at a community picnic, or any time when the setting and occasion are not our own – when we are the guest, we set aside the security of our own familiar space, and the comfort of being the people who called the meeting, with the implicit right to frame the conversation and set the agenda. When we’re the guest, we feel keenly that we can’t sit at someone’s table, eat their food, and then push back our plate and say, I’d like to tell you about Jesus. You can’t demand your host’s attention or cooperation. That’s not how hospitality works, for host or guest.

Jesus sends his disciples out to share the good news that God works for good for and around and within and among us; and to share that good news from the vulnerability, the beholden-ness, of being a guest. Just as he did. I think that approach was wise then; I think it may be even wiser now. We live in a capitalist society which has trained all of us to be keenly aware of when we are being sold something. Americans are very sensitive to being treated as marks, as potential sales. And generally speaking, we don’t much care for it. Even when I actually want to buy a sofa, having a saleswoman sidle up to me with a big smile makes me a little uncomfortable.

But if we can’t enter the conversation with our plans laid out and our speeches prepared, then what can we do? Well – we can listen to our hosts, or fellow guests. Their hopes, their hurts, their longings. We can be open to moments when we might speak God’s love into someone’s life, through relationship rather than agenda. Genuineness instead of preparedness. Presence instead of power. Small moments instead of big speeches. As Rob Chappell said last year, just saying, “I’ll pray about that,” says a lot.

It helps if you can manage to think of what you have to say about God in your life – your testimony, friends – as a gift instead of an imposition. It’s a truth you have to tell about yourself – and listen, I know y’all; I know that those stories range from “God saved my life” to “I’m not sure why I’m here or whether I believe any of this stuff but something keeps bringing me back.” All those stories are gifts; all those stories contain grace; they’re all worth telling. Trust me.

Matthew’s gospel doesn’t tell us how this mission turned out, how it all went for those disciples sent forth as sheep among wolves. But Luke does, in his telling. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus sends out not twelve but seventy disciples, empty-handed, unprepared, to find someone who’ll house them and feed them, and look for opportunities to talk about God. And Luke says, They returned with joy.

They returned with joy. Amen.

Announcements, June 15

Evening Arts & Music Fundraiser, Friday, June 16, 6:30pm: You’re invited to an evening of music performances and an art/craft sale, to raise funds for Voces de la Frontera, a community organization that focuses on the needs of immigrants in Wisconsin. If you’d like to contribute items for the sale, or share a performance of music or other original work, sign up in the Gathering Area or contact Phil Hassett, phil@hassetthome.org or 608-469-6739.

THIS WEEKEND…

Outreach Committee Meeting, Saturday, June 17, 8-10am: All are welcome to join our conversations about how St. Dunstan’s can best serve the world with our resources and our hands. We begin with an optional potluck breakfast at 8am.

Men’s Book Group, Saturday, June 17, 3pm: Candice Millard’s third book, “Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill,” would make a fine movie, though Richard Attenborough did, in a sense, get there first. In 1972, he made “Young Winston”, drawn from Churchill’s own account of his early life, and it includes the same material Ms. Millard recounts so thrillingly: the future prime minister’s brash heroics in the South African Republic in 1899, which culminated in a prison break and nine days on the lam. Have a good read.

Rector’s Discretionary Fund Offering, Sunday, June 18: Half the cash in our collection plate, and any designated checks, will go towards the Rectory’s Discretionary Fund this day and on every third Sunday. This fund is a way to quietly help people with direct financial needs, in the parish and the wider community. Please give generously.

Evening Eucharist, Sunday, June 18, 6pm: Join us for a simple service as the week begins. All are welcome.

No Spirituality of Parenting Lunch or Vintage Night this month: These gatherings will resume in the fall. Thanks for your participation and support!

Grownups, are you a little jealous that you can’t come to our Summer Bible, Arts & Science Camp? Well, guess what: you CAN! We are seeking 2 – 3 more grownups to help out during our camp (5:30 – 7:30pm, July 30 through August 3). You can dig deep into the story of Jonah, make crafts, try science tricks, sing and play games right alongside the kids! If you’d like to help out, talk with Rev. Miranda or Sharon Henes.

Coffee Hosts Needed July 2 and 25: Please consider being a coffee host. For more information, talk with Janet Bybee.

St. Dunstan’s Second Annual Diaper Drive, May 14 – June 18:  We are having a diaper drive for sizes 4, 5, and 6 from Mother’s Day, May 14 to Father’s Day, June 18. We will donate the diapers to pantries around the area, including Allied Drive Food Pantry and MOM. You can shop around for a great deal ($.20 or less per diaper) or make a check or online donation to St. Dunstan’s designated for the Diaper Drive and let our skilled diaper shoppers do the shopping! We’ll dedicate all our gifts on Father’s Day. Thanks for your support!

THE WEEK AHEAD & BEYOND…

Ladies’ Night Out, Friday, June 23, 6pm: Come join us for good food and good conversation among women of all ages from St. Dunstan’s. This month we will meet at Biaggi’s, 1611 Aspen Commons, in Middleton’s Greenway Station. For more information, contact Kathy Whitt or Debra Martinez.

Clergy Presence during Rev. Miranda’s Travel:  Rev. Miranda will be away from June 24 through July 1. Father Tom McAlpine will celebrate and preach on Sunday, June 25. If you need the care or counsel of a priest during Rev. Miranda’s absence, you may reach Father Tom  or Father John Rasmus at (608) 238-2781.

Grace Shelter Dinner, Sunday, June 25, 7pm: Every fourth Sunday, a loyal group of St. Dunstan’s folk provides dinner for residents at the Grace Church shelter, and breakfast the next morning. See the sign-up sheet in the Gathering Area to help out. To learn more, talk with Rose Mueller.

Lake Field Trip, Sunday, July 2, 12pm: As part of our Creation Care commitment to understanding our local water systems better, we will walk over to Marshall Park on Lake Mendota after church on July 2nd. It’s an easy seven-minute walk. We’ll “meet” the lake and talk a little about stormwater and lake health. Bring a brownbag lunch if you’d like to hang around at the park for a while!  (And there are now boat rentals at Marshall Park, so you could make a whole afternoon of it – bring sunscreen!)

SAVE THE DATE: SUNDAY, JULY 9! Plans, pictures and possibilities for our Capital Campaign will be presented to the congregation during our 10am worship time. Meet our architect and our consultant. Please plan to attend! There will be a follow-up session and an opportunity to review materials online.

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES

Timbergreen Woods Full Value Forestry Workshop, Saturday, July 15, 9am – 4pm, Timber Green Woods, Spring Green: A group of St. Dunstan’s folks are headed to Spring Green to learn about managing and harvesting trees, and some creative ways to use timber.  This will be both fun and informative! The only cost is a $5 contribution for lunch. Responsible older kids may come too. If you’d like to come, sign up in the Gathering Area or contact the office at office@stdunstans.com or 238-2781.

“Good Books” Summer Reading!

People sometimes call the Bible the “Good Book” – but there are many, many good books that can feed our minds and souls. This summer you’re invited to join an all-parish Summer Reading program! We have selected four books: Cherries and Cherry Pits for kids ages 0 – 6 or 7; Return to Sender or The Door in the Wall for middle-grade kids comfortable with chapter books; and Good Omens for older kids and adults. Pick up a book at the church, or find a copy at the library or on your e-reader. A donation of $5 per book is welcome to help cover costs.

If you’d like to gather to talk about what you’re reading, we’ll have three Book Club Sundays this summer, meeting at 9am with donuts and lemonade:

Sunday, July 16 – to discuss “Cherries and Cherry Pits”

Sunday, August 6 – to discuss “Return to Sender” and “A Door in the Wall”

A Sunday in late August 27  – to discuss “Good Omens”

Although we’re reading different books, we encourage everyone to come to any and all discussions, so we can hear about the books others are reading & what they’re finding in them!

You can also join our “St. Dunstan’s Summer Reading” Facebook group to share favorite passages, thoughts and questions from the book(s) you and your household are reading.

1 Samuel Study Group, Wednesday nights, June 21-July 26, 6:30-8:30 PM: Gather with a friendly group to explore the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel – a rich and complex tale of the rise and fall of kings. The study group is hosted by the McAlpines at their home in Fitchburg, about five minutes from the intersection of the Beltline and Verona Road.

Summer Flower Sign-Up: From June through August, we are trying something new with our altar flowers. We invite members to sign up to *bring* flowers, instead of ordering them through our florist as usual. During these months, local flowers are readily available, at the farmer’s market or in your own gardens. We are planting some flowers on the church grounds as well, which can certainly be used! If you’d like to contribute flowers, simply sign up for your chosen Sunday. You can still make a dedication, and we will include it in the bulletin as usual. You may use your own vase, or one of the vases here at church. Please take your flowers home, or give them to a friend, after the 10am service. Questions? Talk with Gail Jordan-Jones or Rev. Miranda.

Vacation Bible School: The Story of Jonah, July 30 – August 3: Our Vacation Bible School this summer is planned for Sunday, July 30, through Thursday, August 3. We’ll meet in the evenings – likely 5:30 to 7:30pm, as in previous years. Keep these dates in mind as you make your summer plans! Kids ages 3 to 10 are welcome to participate; middle school and older kids will be involved as actors and helpers.

41st Annual Women’s Mini Week: Courageous Women of God! August 10 – 13, 2017, Camp Lakotah, Wautoma, Wisconsin: This is your time to retreat from your everyday routines, to allow discoveries and friendships to refresh you, to find comfortable activity or blissful quiet. Registration forms are in the Gathering Area. For more information, see the website at www.womensminisweek.org.

Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee Haiti Project Fundraiser, Verona, Sunday, July 23, 1-5pm: Come enjoy micro-brews and help support this ministry at the Wisconsin Brewing Company at 1079 American Way in Verona.

Sermon, June 11

Today churches around the world – Anglican and Episcopal, Orthodox, Catholic, and others – celebrate the feast day dedicated to the Holy Trinity. To celebrating and – often – attempting some explanation of our Christian doctrine that God is One but also Three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The setting-aside of the Sunday after Pentecost to honor the Trinity goes back at least a thousand years. If you Google it, the simple historical explanation that everyone’s church websites have is that the observance of Trinity Sunday was instituted by Archbishop Thomas Becket of Canterbury in the 12th century. That seemed both too tidy and incomplete, so I tried to dig a little deeper online and found this sentence in a book review in a 1954 religion journal: “Much is made of the alleged origin of the feast of Trinity Sunday at Canterbury under Thomas Becket. Actually, the office… had been followed in the English monasteries (and doubtless elsewhere) from the time of St. Dunstan.”

Our hymnal is full of hymns to the Trinity that poetically explore the mystery of God in three persons. We’ll sing several of them today. The fact is, the Trinity is really a better subject for poetry than for exposition. It’s notoriously hard to explain clearly. Every year amongst my clergy acquaintances on Facebook, there’s a round of finger-shaking: “Make sure you don’t commit heresy!” I can’t get too worked up about it, myself. Both heresy and doctrine are creations of the Church, a human institution. And the words we use – Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit – they’re just words. The doctrine of the Trinity is an effort to capture the mystery of God in human language and concepts. To eff the ineffable, if you will.

But that’s not to say I think the truth behind the words is unimportant. I think it’s very important – so important that we should be mindful of how the words we use can obscure the truth we’re trying to name. What do Christians mean when we name God as a Trinity? Christians have come to understand God as One, and yet also Three.

And the Three are not interchangeable but have distinct personhoods: God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Ground of all being, the One who holds all time, all space, in the palm of their hand…. God at God’s biggest, beyond all knowledge and all thought.

God, the Incarnate, the Immanent. The movement of Divine thought into substance, who was with God in the beginning, by whom all things were made. Emmanuel, God-With-Us, who comes into the immediacy and mess of human life, walks with us, eats with us, shares the experience of being embodied, limited, breakable. Is broken. But not ended, because although one of us he is also still God.

God, the Spirit, breath, wind, flame, wisdom, whisper, shout. The still small voice. The presence gentle as a dove. The Wind that moved over the face of the waters, when as yet there was nothing but that primordial sea. The Holy Spirit: how we name the Divine When it stirs something within or among us, Inspiring, converting, healing, transforming, making possible.

Creator, Incarnate One, Divine Breath. Father, Son, Spirit. Two of our Scriptures today use that set of names, what’s called the Trinitarian formula: The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A huge part of the conflict between early Christianity and Judaism was the notion that Jesus was somehow also God, which challenged Judaism’s deep belief in only one God. Early Christians had to wrestle with their language, to make room in monotheism for a God who is somehow, mysteriously, more than One. By the 50s or 60s, when Paul wrote the second letter to the Corinthians, early church leaders had worked out this way of naming God as Three in One. (The Gospel of Matthew was likely written down a couple of decades later. It’s hard to know whether Jesus actually spoke the Trinitarian formula himself, or whether Matthew gives him those words that had become central to Christian baptism and teaching by the time Matthew is writing.)

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… The terms Father and Son come to us directly from Jesus. Interestingly, Father was not a dominant metaphor for God in the Old Testament. God is named as a Father a few times, but God is much more often a husband, sometimes a mother, sometimes a master. It’s Jesus who gives Father language to Christianity, by naming God as his Father and teaching his followers to do the same. There’s a sticky translation issue here – Jesus used an Aramaic word for Father, Abba. That was a familiar word, not a formal word – You’d actually call your father “Abba,” Whereas to call your father “Father” sounds odd to most of us. But we don’t have a good equivalent to “Abba” in American English. “Daddy” is a little too childish, “Dad” maybe a little too informal, though it may be our best option. In any event, the term “Father” in our cultural context carries some sense of formality and distance, and that’s a pity, because that wasn’t Jesus’ intention in giving us this way to name God. He wants us to think of ourselves as children of a loving father – a loving daddy? – who cares for each of us, is always ready to hear our concerns and share our celebrations, always waiting for us to wander home.

The Father; the Son. That’s straightforward enough; the Gospels name Jesus as the Son of God – though not in the way of Greek mythology, for example, that led to many half-gods wandering around the earth. Jesus is God’s Son is a less literal, and a more eternal and fundamental, way. The first chapter of the Gospel of John picks up the threads of the Creation story, as John tries to describe who and what Jesus is:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son.” Gazing into the mystery that John’s Gospel poetry evokes, it becomes clear that the Sonship and the Fatherhood that we name in the Trinity are only the best effort humanity and divinity could make together, at a certain moment in our shared story, to describe what’s going on inside of God.

And then there’s the Holy Spirit, which has the benefit of seeming elusive and confusing right up front, unlike Father and Son, which sound misleadingly concrete. The Spirit is announced and named by Jesus, but Pentecost is not the Spirit’s first appearance; there are times in the Old Testament too when the Spirit of God is named as an agent or an aspect of God.

That’s the question, really – always has been. What are these different things that we name with these clumsy terms, Father, Son, Holy Spirit? Are they manifestations, avatars? Are they different colorful masks worn by one God? That would be much simpler than what Christians came to understand, and have struggled to believe ever since: This isn’t just one God wearing different costumes. These are three distinct Persons within One God. If you’d like a glimpse at the historical struggle to define and defend that paradox, read the Athanasian Creed sometime; it’s on page 864 in the Book of Common Prayer.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The truth behind the words matters: the truth that relationship is at the core of everything. That Divinity is community. That the heart of God is not a oneness sufficient to itself, but a plurality dancing with itself. So we, created in God’s image, are made for diversity, for relationship, for belonging. That is a truth that matters deeply right now. Always does, really.

The truth behind the words is powerful, paradoxical, and gracious. The words themselves… have their limitations. Human concepts come with human baggage. Few serious theologians would assert that God is actually male, but our language has led us to imagine God as an old guy with a beard, for millennia. Using the language of a patriarchal society to name God has served to reinforce patriarchy, for a long, long time. In addition to those big-picture issues, naming God as Father is really hard for some people because of their family history. We are simple animals, really; if the father we have known in real life was unloving or even abusive, then when we hear God named as Father, we cannot help having our experiences contaminate God.

I can’t see abandoning the Trinitarian formula, Father, Son, and Holy Spirt, because it’s so deeply rooted in Scripture and tradition. But when we recognize that those terms were just one attempt to wrap human language around divine mystery, it frees us up to try other formulas, other language. You’ll sometimes hear Trinitarian formulas that focus on how humans have experienced those three Persons. Maker, Redeemer, Sustainer. The One who creates, the One who befriends, the One who inspires. The anti-heresy brigade frets about modalism: the heresy that the Trinity is after all only one God acting in three different ways, as one human being might cook dinner, do the laundry, and feed the dog. What I like about those formulas, Maker, Redeemer, Sustainer, and others, is that they remind us of the kinds of things God does. They remind me to give thanks for, and look for, God’s ongoing presence and action in the world. So maybe we could all just promise not to commit the modalist heresy and to remember that there are three Persons in the Trinity? Okay?

Just the other day, my son Griffin and I were talking about pronouns. We both have friends who prefer the use of the non-gendered pronoun “they”, and we’re working to get used to that, because we respect our friends. And it dawned on us both that if you met God at the GSAFE banquet, where your name tag says both your name and your preferred pronouns, God’s name tag would say “they/theirs.” Because God is gender non-binary – not a boy or a girl – and God is plural. I’m trying that on, using “they” as my God-pronoun. It breaks open my thinking a little, makes me notice and wonder, and that’s a good thing.

The Trinity is beautiful, and holy, and true, and we really don’t understand it at all. But we celebrate it, with gratitude – the mystery and the truth of community in the heart of God, who is our Source, our Grace, our Love, our Table, our Food, our Host, our Light, our Tree, our Treasure, Our Life, our Truth, our Way. Amen.

The quotation about Dunstan came from this article:

Review: Algemene Geschiedenis der Nederlanden Deel VI, De Tachtigjarige Oorlog 1609-1648.  Reviewed Work: Algemene Geschiedenis der Nederlanden Deel VI, De Tachtigjarige Oorlog 1609-1648. Review by: G. N. Clark, The English Historical Review Vol. 69, No. 271 (Apr., 1954), pp. 318-320

Announcements, June 8

THIS WEEKEND…

Community Event: Faith, Fasting and Friendship: An Interfaith Community Potluck, Saturday, June 10, 7:30pm: People of all faiths are invited to this interfaith meal, learning and fellowship opportunity. We will hear about the role of fasting in different faith traditions and break the fast together during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. This is a free, family-friendly event open to the community, and will be held at the Madison Labor Temple at 1602 South Park Street. Donations will be collected for Second Harvest Food Bank. For more information or to register, visit www.facebook.com/WisconsinFaithVoicesForJustice/

Herb Walk at St. Dunstan’s, Saturday, June 10, 10am: Come enjoy the beautiful grounds and see all the wonderful herbs growing at St. Dunstan’s! Pamela, from the office, will talk about some uses of the herbs. As it’s tick and mosquito season, it’s recommended that you wear protective clothing, including shoes and socks, long pants, hat, and a light covering for your arms.

Parish Picnic, Sunday, June 11, 12:00pm: Come for good food and good conversation at our annual June parish picnic. We’ll have fun activities for all ages, including our favorite face painter, shaved ice, and a disco room! Bring something to share, if convenient – a bag of chips, a salad, a favorite dessert. Drinks and a main dish will be provided. The picnic will happen rain or shine. We will also be taking photos that day for a potential photo directory.

Sunday School, Sunday, June 11, 10am: This Sunday, our 3 year olds to kindergarten class will learn about The Part That Hasn’t Been Written Yet, while our elementary classes will learn about the story of Creation in the book of Genesis. This is our final Sunday school lesson before our summer recess.

My Immigrant Story: You shall love the stranger living among you, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Leviticus 19). Our Scriptures and our God call us to treat immigrants with kindness and respect – remembering that we or our ancestors were once immigrants seeking a new home. To help us understand the lives, needs, and fears of our immigrant neighbors, members of St. Dunstan’s will be sharing their own “how I got here” stories in the weeks ahead, during our Announcement time. This Sunday, Julie Loeffler will reflect on her family’s story. If you have a story to share, talk to Rev. Miranda or Evy Gildrie-Voyles.

Evening Arts & Music Fundraiser, Friday, June 16, 6:30pm: You’re invited to an evening of music performances and an art/craft sale, to raise funds for Voces de la Frontera, a community organization that focuses on the needs of immigrants in Wisconsin. If you’d like to contribute items for the sale, or share a performance of music or other original work, sign up in the Gathering Area or contact Phil Hassett.

St. Dunstan’s Second Annual Diaper Drive, May 14 – June 18:  We are having a diaper drive for sizes 4, 5, and 6 from Mother’s Day, May 14 to Father’s Day, June 18. We will donate the diapers to pantries around the area, including Allied Drive Food Pantry and MOM. You can shop around for a great deal ($.20 or less per diaper) or make a check or online donation to St. Dunstan’s designated for the Diaper Drive and let our skilled diaper shoppers do the shopping! We’ll dedicate all our gifts on Father’s Day. Thanks for your support!

THE WEEK AHEAD & BEYOND…

Rector’s Discretionary Fund Offering, Sunday, June 18: Half the cash in our collection plate, and any designated checks, will go towards the Rectory’s Discretionary Fund this day and on every third Sunday. This fund is a way to quietly help people with direct financial needs, in the parish and the wider community. Please give generously.

Spirituality of Parenting Lunch, Sunday, June 18, 11:45am: All who seek meaning in the journey of parenthood (at any age or stage) are welcome to come for food and conversation. Child care and a simple meal provided.

Evening Eucharist, Sunday, June 18, 6pm: Join us for a simple service as the week begins. All are welcome.

Young Adult Meetup at the Vintage, Sunday, June 18, 7pm: The younger adults of St. Dunstan’s are invited to join us for conversation and the beverage of your choice, at the Vintage Brewpub on South Whitney Way. Friends and partners welcome too.

Coffee Hosts Needed July and Beyond: Please consider being a coffee host. If you would like to partner with someone for coffee host, put your name in the column for a partner on the sign-up sheet. For more information, talk with Janet Bybee.

Madison-Area Julian Gathering, Wednesday, June 14, 1-2:45pm: Julian understood the human heart and, through her sixteen revelations of Jesus, she understood the heart of God. Thomas Merton called her “the greatest theologian for our time.” Come to one of our monthly meetings and find out why—and learn about contemplative prayer. We’d love to see you. For more information, contact Susan Fiore.

Men’s Book Group, Saturday, June 17, 3pm: Candice Millard’s third book, “Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill,” would make a fine movie, though Richard Attenborough did, in a sense, get there first. In 1972, he made “Young Winston”, drawn from Churchill’s own account of his early life, and it includes the same material Ms. Millard recounts so thrillingly: the future prime minister’s brash heroics in the South African Republic in 1899, which culminated in a prison break and nine days on the lam. Have a good read.

Outreach Committee Meeting, Saturday, June 17, 8-10am: All are welcome to join our conversations about how St. Dunstan’s can best serve the world with our resources and our hands. We begin with an optional potluck breakfast at 8am.

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES

Timbergreen Woods Full Value Forestry Workshop, Saturday, July 15, 9am – 4pm, Timber Green Woods, Spring Green: A group of St. Dunstan’s folks are headed to Spring Green to learn about managing and harvesting trees, and some creative ways to use timber.  This will be both fun and informative! The only cost is a $5 contribution for lunch. Responsible older kids may come too. If you’d like to come, sign up in the Gathering Area or contact the office at office@stdunstans.com or 238-2781.

“Good Books” Summer Reading!

People sometimes call the Bible the “Good Book” – but there are many, many good books that can feed our minds and souls. This summer you’re invited to join an all-parish Summer Reading program! We have selected four books: Cherries and Cherry Pits for kids ages 0 – 6 or 7; Return to Sender or The Door in the Wall for middle-grade kids comfortable with chapter books; and Good Omens for older kids and adults. Pick up a book at the church, or find a copy at the library or on your e-reader. A donation of $5 per book is welcome to help cover costs.

If you’d like to gather to talk about what you’re reading, we’ll have three Book Club Sundays this summer, meeting at 9am with donuts and lemonade:

Sunday, July 16 – to discuss “Cherries and Cherry Pits”

Sunday, August 6 – to discuss “Return to Sender” and “A Door in the Wall”

A Sunday in late August TBD – to discuss “Good Omens”

Although we’re reading different books, we encourage everyone to come to any and all discussions, so we can hear about the books others are reading & what they’re finding in them! You can also join our “St. Dunstan’s Summer Reading” Facebook group to share favorite passages, thoughts and questions from the book(s) you and your household are reading.

1 Samuel Study Group, Wednesday nights, June 21-July 26, 6:30-8:30 PM: Gather with a friendly group to explore the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel – a rich and complex tale of the rise and fall of kings. The study group is hosted by the McAlpines at their home in Fitchburg, about five minutes from the intersection of the Beltline and Verona Road.

Summer Flower Sign-Up: From June through August, we are trying something new with our altar flowers. We invite members to sign up to *bring* flowers, instead of ordering them through our florist as usual. During these months, local flowers are readily available, at the farmer’s market or in your own gardens. We are planting some flowers on the church grounds as well, which can certainly be used! If you’d like to contribute flowers, simply sign up for your chosen Sunday. You can still make a dedication, and we will include it in the bulletin as usual. You may use your own vase, or one of the vases here at church. Please take your flowers home, or give them to a friend, after the 10am service. Questions? Talk with Gail Jordan-Jones or Rev. Miranda.

Vacation Bible School: The Story of Jonah, July 30 – August 3: Our Vacation Bible School this summer is planned for Sunday, July 30, through Thursday, August 3. We’ll meet in the evenings – likely 5:30 to 7:30pm, as in previous years. Keep these dates in mind as you make your summer plans! Kids ages 3 to 10 are welcome to participate; middle school and older kids will be involved as actors and helpers.

41st Annual Women’s Mini Week: Courageous Women of God! August 10 – 13, 2017, Camp Lakotah, Wautoma, Wisconsin: This is your time to retreat from your everyday routines, to allow discoveries and friendships to refresh you, to find comfortable activity or blissful quiet. Registration forms are in the Gathering Area. For more information, see the website at www.womensminisweek.org.

Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee Haiti Project Fundraiser, Verona, Sunday, July 23, 1-5pm: Come enjoy micro-brews and help support this ministry at the Wisconsin Brewing Company at 1079 American Way in Verona.

 

 

 

Announcements, June 1

NEW CONSTRUCTION TRAFFIC PATTERN ON UNIVERSITY  AVENUE: It is now impossible to turn left off of University Avenue, into St. Dunstan’s or properties west of the church. Consider approaching from the west (to turn right into the church) or via Countryside Lane.

THIS WEEKEND…

Bat Count, Friday, June 2, 8 – 9pm:  Come hang out and count the bats emerging from the colony on our property. This is part of a statewide bat count to monitor bat populations, so it’s both science and a chance to get to know our (flying) neighbors. All are welcome!

Pentecost Sunday All-Ages Worship, June 4: On this feast day we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, and celebrate the Spirit’s continued action among us. Red is the church’s color for this holy day; consider wearing something red for church! Come at 9:30 if you’d like to help act out one of the readings!

Anniversary and Birthday blessings and Healing Prayers will be given this Sunday, June 4, as is our custom on the first Sunday of the month.

My Immigrant Story: You shall love the stranger living among you, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Leviticus 19). Our Scriptures and our God call us to treat immigrants with kindness and respect – remembering that we or our ancestors were once immigrants seeking a new home. To help us understand the lives, needs, and fears of our immigrant neighbors, members of St. Dunstan’s will be sharing their own “how I got here” stories in the weeks ahead, during our Announcement time. This Sunday we’ll hear from Peter and Nana Hewson. If you have a story to share, talk to Rev. Miranda or Evy Gildrie-Voyles.

MOM Special Offering, Sunday, June 4: This Sunday, half the cash in our offering plate and any designated checks will be given to Middleton Outreach Ministry’s food pantry. Here are the current top-ten most needed items: toilet paper & paper towels; shelf-stable dairy/non-dairy beverages; oil and butter; whole grains (rice, quinoa, barley); nut butter (other than peanuts – allergy); ketchup & mayonnaise; dried lentils, garbanzo or black beans; canned tomato products; prepared meals in cans or boxes; baking supplies and mixes. Thank you for all your support!

Evening Eucharist, Sunday, June 4, 6pm: Join us for a simple service as the week begins. All are welcome.

Community Event: Faith, Fasting and Friendship: An Interfaith Community Potluck, Saturday, June 10, 7:30pm: People of all faiths are invited to this interfaith meal, learning and fellowship opportunity. We will hear about the role of fasting in different faith traditions and break the fast together during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. This is a free, family-friendly event open to the community, and will be held at the Madison Labor Temple at 1602 South Park Street. Donations will be collected for Second Harvest Food Bank. For more information or to register, visit www.facebook.com/WisconsinFaithVoicesForJustice/

Evening Arts & Music Fundraiser, Friday, June 16, 6:30pm: You’re invited to an evening of music performances and an art/craft sale, to raise funds for Voces de la Frontera, a community organization that focuses on the needs of immigrants in Wisconsin. If you’d like to contribute items for the sale, or share a performance of music or other original work, sign up in the Gathering Area or contact Phil Hassett.

St. Dunstan’s Second Annual Diaper Drive, May 14 – June 18:  We are having a diaper drive for sizes 4, 5, and 6 from Mother’s Day, May 14 to Father’s Day, June 18. We will donate the diapers to pantries around the area, including Allied Drive Food Pantry and MOM. You can shop around for a great deal ($.20 or less per diaper) or make a check or online donation to St. Dunstan’s designated for the Diaper Drive and let our skilled diaper shoppers do the shopping! We’ll dedicate all our gifts on Father’s Day. Thanks for your support!

THE WEEK AHEAD & BEYOND…

Parish Picnic, Sunday, June 11, 12:00pm: Come for good food and good conversation at our annual June parish picnic. We’ll have fun activities for all ages, including our favorite face painter, shaved ice, and a disco room! Bring something to share, if convenient – a bag of chips, a salad, a favorite dessert. Drinks and a main dish will be provided. The picnic will happen rain or shine. We will also be taking photos that day for a potential photo directory.

Sunday School, Sunday, June 11, 10am: This Sunday, our 3 year olds to kindergarten class will learn about The Part That Hasn’t Been Written Yet, while our elementary classes will learn about the story of Creation in the book of Genesis. This is our final Sunday school lesson before our summer recess.

Coffee Hosts Needed June 25 and Beyond: Please consider being a coffee host. If you would like to partner with someone for coffee host, put your name in the column for a partner on the sign-up sheet. For more information, talk with Janet Bybee.

Madison-Area Julian Gathering, Wednesday, June 14, 1-2:45pm: Julian understood the human heart and, through her sixteen revelations of Jesus, she understood the heart of God. Thomas Merton called her “the greatest theologian for our time.” Come to one of our monthly meetings and find out why—and learn about contemplative prayer. We’d love to see you. For more information, contact Susan Fiore.

Men’s Book Group, Saturday, June 17, 3pm: Candice Millard’s third book, “Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill,” would make a fine movie, though Richard Attenborough did, in a sense, get there first. In 1972, he made “Young Winston”, drawn from Churchill’s own account of his early life, and it includes the same material Ms. Millard recounts so thrillingly: the future prime minister’s brash heroics in the South African Republic in 1899, which culminated in a prison break and nine days on the lam. Have a good read.

Outreach Committee Meeting, Saturday, June 17, 8-10am: All are welcome to join our conversations about how St. Dunstan’s can best serve the world with our resources and our hands. We begin with an optional potluck breakfast at 8am.

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES

“Good Books” Summer Reading!

People sometimes call the Bible the “Good Book” – but there are many, many good books that can feed our minds and souls. This summer you’re invited to join an all-parish Summer Reading program! We have selected four books: Cherries and Cherry Pits for kids ages 0 – 6 or 7; Return to Sender or The Door in the Wall for middle-grade kids comfortable with chapter books; and Good Omens for older kids and adults. Pick up a book at the church, or find a copy at the library or on your e-reader. A donation of $5 per book is welcome to help cover costs.

If you’d like to gather to talk about what you’re reading, we’ll have three Book Club Sundays this summer, meeting at 9am with donuts and lemonade:

Sunday, July 16 – to discuss “Cherries and Cherry Pits”

Sunday, August 6 – to discuss “Return to Sender” and “A Door in the Wall”

A Sunday in late August TBD – to discuss “Good Omens”

Although we’re reading different books, we encourage everyone to come to any and all discussions, so we can hear about the books others are reading & what they’re finding in them!

You can also join our “St. Dunstan’s Summer Reading” Facebook group to share favorite passages, thoughts and questions from the book(s) you and your household are reading.

 

1 Samuel Study Group, Wednesday nights, June 21-July 26, 6:30-8:30 PM: Gather with a friendly group to explore the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel – a rich and complex tale of the rise and fall of kings. The study group is hosted by the McAlpines at their home in Fitchburg, about five minutes from the intersection of the Beltline and Verona Road. There will be a sample lesson on Sunday, June 4, at 9am; come try it out!

Summer Flower Sign-Up: From June through August, we are trying something new with our altar flowers. We invite members to sign up to *bring* flowers, instead of ordering them through our florist as usual. During these months, local flowers are readily available, at the farmer’s market or in your own gardens. We are planting some flowers on the church grounds as well, which can certainly be used! If you’d like to contribute flowers, simply sign up for your chosen Sunday. You can still make a dedication, and we will include it in the bulletin as usual. You may use your own vase, or one of the vases here at church. Please take your flowers home, or give them to a friend, after the 10am service. Questions? Talk with Gail Jordan-Jones or Rev. Miranda.

Vacation Bible School: The Story of Jonah, July 30 – August 3: Our Vacation Bible School this summer is planned for Sunday, July 30, through Thursday, August 3. We’ll meet in the evenings – likely 5:30 to 7:30pm, as in previous years. Keep these dates in mind as you make your summer plans! Kids ages 3 to 10 are welcome to participate; middle school and older kids will be involved as actors and helpers.

41st Annual Women’s Mini Week: Courageous Women of God! August 10 – 13, 2017, Camp Lakotah, Wautoma, Wisconsin: This is your time to retreat from your everyday routines, to allow discoveries and friendships to refresh you, to find comfortable activity or blissful quiet. Registration forms are in the Gathering Area. For more information, see the website at www.womensminisweek.org.

Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee Haiti Project Fundraiser, Verona, Sunday, July 23, 1-5pm: Come enjoy micro-brews and help support this ministry at the Wisconsin Brewing Company at 1079 American Way in Verona.