All posts by office

Announcements, December 13

THIS WEEK…

Advent Thursday Suppers: You’re invited to gather for a simple meal at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 13 and 20. We’ll conclude with simple evening prayers. Soup and bread/crackers provided. All are welcome!

Sunday school at St. Dunstan’s: Our Sunday school classes meet on the second and third Sundays of the month (December 16; January 13 & 20; and so on). We have three classrooms: one for kids ages 3 through kindergarten; one for kids in grades 1 – 3; and one for kids in grades 4 and 5. All kids are welcome to participate; parents can come too!  On Sunday school Sundays, we begin worship together and then send the kids forth to their classrooms; they return to share Eucharist with the full congregation.

Las Posadas Party, Sunday, Dec. 16, 4-6pm: Las Posadas (Spanish for “the inns”) is an Advent celebration practiced in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, revolving around the concept of hospitality. We learn from the Posadas that by welcoming the poor and the needy, we are welcoming Jesus in our midst. We’ll celebrate Posadas with an intergenerational gathering for food, fellowship & fireworks! All are welcome!

Christmas Flower Dedications: Bring Christmas Cheer to St. Dunstans! Celebrate what’s important to you with a gift that helps us decorate for Christmas and honors a loved one or a special event. Please see the  Christmas Flowers sign-up sheets in the Gathering Area. Write “Christmas Flowers” on the memo line of your check or on the envelope containing cash. Suggested donation is $25.

Young Adult Meetup at the Vintage, Sunday, December 16, 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!

The Longest Night: A Liturgy of Light in Darkness, Thursday, December 20, 7:00PM: We will gather together out of the darkness of the season for a quiet, meditative worship service. Feel free to invite friends who might appreciate this time set apart to name the darkness in the world and in our lives, and prepare our hearts for the coming of the light of Christ.  Contact Rev. Miranda with any questions. There will be an Advent Dinner at 5:30pm this evening; those who come for dinner are invited to assist with preparing for the liturgy as a practice of prayerful hospitality.

Lighted Labyrinth: A Lighted Labyrinth will be available in the Meeting Room from 4pm till 9pm on Thursday the 20th. Come after work, or before or after the Longest Night service, for a practice of meditative walking.

Caroling, Saturday, December 22: In recent years, a group of singers from St. Dunstan’s has enjoyed visiting a few of our members and singing Christmas carols. We’d like to do the same this year. All ages are welcome to participate. We are still working on the details, but if you would like to help make music OR would appreciate a visit by our carolers, please call 238-2781 or email Rev. Miranda.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Worship

Christmas Service with Pageant, Monday, December 24, 3pm

Festal Eucharist, Monday, December 24, 9pm

Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25, 10am

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

You are Invited! December 29th from 1-4pm for a celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of John and Rose Rasmus.  Please no gifts – your participation is gift enough!

Epiphany Service of Light, Sunday, January 6, 6pm: Join us as we share the story of the Wise Men who came to honor the infant Jesus, and of how the light of Christ has spread through time and space all the way to here and now! All are welcome. We’ll share a light dinner after the service; feel free to bring something to share. Talk to Rev. Miranda or Sharon Henes if you’d like to be a reader for this service.

Call for Annual Reports: Every year in December/January, we invite our ministry leaders to submit a paragraph or two about what their ministry is and what they’ve done in the past year. We then compile those reports into an Annual Report, and share it with the congregation in advance of our parish Annual Meeting (9am on Sunday, January 20). If you have something you’d like to share, as a special moment, thanksgiving, or success to share, whether from a particular ministry of just something from the life of this household of faith, you’re welcome to submit it to office@stdunstans.com. The deadline for all Annual Report materials is Monday, January 14.

Vestry nominations are open! Would you be interested in serving on our vestry, our church’s governing body? Is there someone else you think would be a great candidate? Job descriptions and a box for nominations are in the Gathering Area. Open nominations will run throughout December.  We will be electing two new vestry members in January 2019. Wardens and Diocesan Convention deputies must be elected every year, so candidates for Junior and Senior Warden may also be nominated.

Men’s Book Club, January 12that 10am: Bring your favorite short story!  A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a “single effect” or mood.

Epiphany Pageant, Sunday, January 27: The children of St. Dunstan’s will present a pageant telling the story of Jesus’ birth and the visit of the Wise Men on Sunday, January 28. There will be a rehearsal after church on Sunday, January 21. All kids are welcome to participate!

Taking Communion to the Homebound or Ill: If you or a loved one are unable to get to church and would like someone to visit and bring Communion, contact the office at 238-2781 or office@stdunstans.com and we will ask one of our Lay Eucharistic Visitors to plan a visit.

Announcements, December 6

THIS WEEK…

Advent Thursday Suppers: You’re invited to gather for a simple meal at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 6, 13, and 20. We’ll conclude with simple evening prayers. Soup and bread/crackers provided. All are welcome!

Youth Group Babysitting, Saturday, December 8, 9am – 12pm: Drop off your child and go Christmas shopping or just enjoy some quiet time! The St. Dunstan’s Youth Group (with adult supervision) will care for and entertain your kids. Free; any donations will support youth group programming. Thank you!

Reminder: Bring Back your Sharing Christmas Gifts! If you took one of the colorful tags for our Sharing Christmas ministry, please bring the gift, wrapped & with the tag firmly attached, to church no later than this Sunday, December 9. The gifts will be taken to the Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) office and the families will pick them up there. Questions? Janet Bybee or Connie Ott can answer them!

Children’s Choir Practice: Our Children’s Choir will rehearse briefly following the 10am liturgy this Sunday. They will introduce a new song to the congregation next Sunday, December 16. The Children’s Choir is open to any interested child who can read words & stay focused to learn and make music together.

Caroling, Saturday, December 22: In recent years, a group of singers from St. Dunstan’s has enjoyed visiting a few of our members and singing Christmas carols. We’d like to do the same this year. All ages are welcome to participate. We are still working on the details, but if you would like to help make music OR would appreciate a visit by our carolers, please call 238-2781 or email Rev. Miranda.

Please wear your name tags! It’s helpful to both newer members who are trying to get to know folks, and to long-time members who might still need a hint. If you don’t have a name tag, or have lost yours, you can sign up to get a name tag on the bulletin board just around the corner from the big calendar.

Our weekly E-news goes out by email every Thursday. The E-news has notes about the coming Sunday and other upcoming events and opportunities, in our parish and sometimes in our sister Episcopal churches and the surrounding community. Subscribe by calling the office at 238-2781 or emailing our Office Coordinator at office@stdunstans.com .

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

Madison-Area Julian Gathering,Wednesday, December 12, 1:00 – 2:45 PM: Julian of Norwich was a 15th Century English mystic and anchoress. Little is known about Julian’s life, but she wrote a book, as far as we know the first in English written by a woman, about a series of revelations which opened her to the depths of God’s unconditional love for us in Jesus Christ.  At a Julian Gathering we support each other in the practice of contemplative prayer and contemplative spirituality.  They are open to beginners as well as those already practicing. Each meeting includes time for contemplative prayer, fellowship, and reading/discussion of Julian’s book.  We meet the second Wednesday of each month.  For additional information, contact Susan Fiore, ObJN.

Las Posadas Party, Sunday, Dec. 16, 4-6pm: Las Posadas (Spanish for “the inns”) is an Advent celebration practiced in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, revolving around the concept of hospitality. We learn from the Posadas that by welcoming the poor and the needy, we are welcoming Jesus in our midst. We’ll celebrate Posadas with an intergenerational gathering for food, fellowship & fireworks! All are welcome!

Young Adult Meetup at the Vintage, Sunday, December 16, 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

The Longest Night: A Liturgy of Light in Darkness, Thursday, December 20, 7:00PM: We will gather together out of the darkness of the season for a quiet, meditative worship service. Feel free to invite friends who might appreciate this time set apart to name the darkness in the world and in our lives, and prepare our hearts for the coming of the light of Christ.  Contact Rev. Miranda with any questions. There will be an Advent Dinner at 5:30pm this evening; those who come for dinner are invited to assist with preparing for the liturgy as a practice of prayerful hospitality.

Lighted Labyrinth: A Lighted Labyrinth will be available in the Meeting Room from 4pm till 9pm on Thursday the 20th. Come after work, or before or after the Longest Night service, for a practice of meditative walking.

You are Invited! December 29th from 1-4pm for a celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of John and Rose Rasmus.  Please no gifts – your participation is gift enough!

Men’s Book Club, January 12th at 10am: Bring your favorite short story!  A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a “single effect” or mood.

Taking Communion to the Homebound or Ill: If you or a loved one are unable to get to church and would like someone to visit and bring Communion, contact the office at 238-2781 or office@stdunstans.com and we will ask one of our Lay Eucharistic Visitors to plan a visit.

Looking for Coffee Hosts for December 16 and 23! Consider being a coffee host and talk with Janet Bybee at for more information.

Vestry nominations are open! Would you be interested in serving on our vestry, our church’s governing body? Is there someone else you think would be a great candidate? Job descriptions and a box for nominations are in the Gathering Area. Open nominations will run throughout December.  We will be electing two new vestry members in January 2019. Wardens and Diocesan Convention deputies must be elected every year, so candidates for Junior and Senior Warden may also be nominated.

Announcements, November 29

THIS WEEK…

Ladies’ Night Out, Friday, November 30, 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 Imperial Gardens, 2039 Allen Blvd, Middleton. Please contact Kathy Whitt  or Debra Martinez for more information or to RSVP.

Advent Begins on Sunday, December 2! Advent is the beginning of the church’s new year. Advent candles, prayer booklets, calendars and other materials are available in the Gathering Area! Please take whatever you will use.

Intergenerational Conversations II, Sunday, December 2, 9am:  Continuing the conversation we started in October, please join us to share and learn from others about living and worshipping together across generations. You don’t need to have attended the first discussion to join in. See you at 9am this Sunday! All ages welcome.

Military and College Student Care Packages: The Youth Group is collecting donations during November to be included in care packages for military personnel and college students. There is a list of suggested items by the donation box. If you have a college student or service member who you would like a care package sent to, please provide name and address to Sharon Henes. The youth will be assembling and mailing the care packages the first week of December. Thank you for your support!

Caroling 2018: In recent years, a group of singers from St. Dunstan’s has enjoyed visiting a few of our members and singing Christmas carols. We’d like to do the same this year. All ages are welcome to participate. Date will be determined by folks’ availability. Please sign up and indicate your availability in the Gathering Area, or email Rev. Miranda .

Sharing Christmas 2018: Outreach Committee has chosen Middleton Outreach Ministry’s Sharing Christmas for its giving opportunity. We have 4 families with a total of 19 people this year. The gifts requested are found on the ornament garland on the window in the Gathering Space. Check the ornaments and pick a gift you would like to purchase for one of the family members. Bring it back wrapped with the ornament firmly attached to St. Dunstan’s no later than Sunday, Dec. 9th. The gifts will be taken to the MOM office and the families will pick them up there. After you select an ornament, please write your name on the list to the right of the garland so we know that you have taken that ornament. Questions ? Janet Bybeeor Connie Ott can answer them!

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

Liturgy Imagining & Planning Meeting, Wednesday, December 5, 7:15pm: Come reflect on our worship and how we could make it more engaging for worshippers of all ages! All interested folks are welcome to attend.

Advent Thursday Suppers: You’re invited to gather for a simple meal at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 6, 13, and 20. We’ll conclude with simple evening prayers. Soup and bread/crackers provided. All are welcome!

Youth Group Babysitting, Saturday, December 8, 9am – 12pm: Drop off your child and go Christmas shopping or just enjoy some quiet time! The St. Dunstan’s Youth Group (with adult supervision) will care for and entertain your kids. Free; any donations will support youth group programming. Thank you!

Madison-Area Julian Gathering,Wednesday, December 12, 1:00 – 2:45 PM: Julian of Norwich was a 15th Century English mystic and anchoress. Little is known about Julian’s life, but she wrote a book, as far as we know the first in English written by a woman, about a series of revelations which opened her to the depths of God’s unconditional love for us in Jesus Christ.  Nearly forgotten for 600 years, Julian’s insights and gentle wisdom are becoming ever more widely known and appreciated.  Thomas Merton called her “the greatest theologian for our time.” Julian prayed often in silence, and at a Julian Gathering we support each other in the practice of contemplative prayer and contemplative spirituality.  They are open to all who want to deepen their life of faith through the practice of contemplative prayer, for beginners as well as those already practicing.  Each meeting includes time for contemplative prayer, fellowship, and reading/discussion of Julian’s book.   We meet the second Wednesday of each month.  For additional information, contact Susan Fiore, ObJN.

Las Posadas Party, Sunday, Dec. 16, 4-6pm: Las Posadas (Spanish for “the inns”) is an Advent celebration practiced in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, revolving around the concept of hospitality. We learn from the Posadas that by welcoming the poor and the needy, we are welcoming Jesus in our midst. We’ll celebrate Posadas with an intergenerational gathering for food, fellowship & fireworks! All are welcome!

The Longest Night: A Liturgy of Light in Darkness, Thursday, December 20, 7:00PM: We will gather together out of the darkness of the season for a quiet, meditative worship service. Feel free to invite friends who might appreciate this time set apart to name the darkness in the world and in our lives, and prepare our hearts for the coming of the light of Christ.  Contact Rev. Miranda with any questions. There will be an Advent Dinner at 5:30pm this evening; those who come for dinner are invited to assist with preparing for the liturgy as a practice of prayerful hospitality.

Lighted Labyrinth: A Lighted Labyrinth will be available in the Meeting Room from 4pm till 9pm on Thursday the 20th. Come after work, or before or after the Longest Night service, for a practice of meditative walking.

Taking Communion to the Homebound or Ill: If you or a loved one are unable to get to church and would like someone to visit and bring Communion, contact the office at 238-2781 or office@stdunstans.com and we will ask one of our Lay Eucharistic Visitors to plan a visit.

Vestry nominations are open! Would you be interested in serving on our vestry, our church’s governing body? Is there someone else you think would be a great candidate? Job descriptions and a box for nominations are in the Gathering Area. Open nominations will run throughout December.  We will be electing two new vestry members in January 2019. Wardens and Diocesan Convention deputies must be elected every year, so candidates for Junior and Senior Warden may also be nominated.

Announcements, November 15

THIS WEEKEND…

Piece Be with You! Fall Giving Campaign Celebration Pie Brunch, November 18th, 9:00am: Please join us for a festive, all-parish potluck brunch celebrating the ingathering of pledges of financial support for St. Dunstan’s in the coming year. We will enjoy fellowship, delicious pies, quiches, and other offerings. If you’re bringing something to share, please pre-cut it and label your dish and serving utensils!

If you would like to make a pledge and have not yet done so, blank packets are available on the way into church, or you can email your pledge to pledges@stdunstans.com .

Hats & Gloves for Falk School: We are welcoming donations of new or like-new kids’ hats, gloves, and mittens, for our partner school Falk Elementary. Sizes needed are preschool through 5th grade. Hats should be warm & gloves/mittens are ideally waterproof, not just knit. Thanks so much for your generosity!

Military and College Student Care Packages: The Youth Group is collecting donations during November to be included in care packages for military personnel and college students. There is a list of suggested items by the donation box. If you have a college student or service member who you would like a care package sent to, please provide name and address to Sharon Henes . The youth will be assembling and mailing the care packages the first week of December. Thank you for your support!

It’s Pageant Planning Season!  St. Dunstan’s has two winter pageants: The Christmas (Nativity) Pageant, performed on Dec. 24 at 3pm, and the Epiphany Pageant, tentatively planned for Sunday morning, January 27. All kids and youth are welcome to participate! Kids with speaking parts will be asked to attend one or more rehearsals.

Does your child have a special talent to share? If your child has a special skill they’d like to use in one of our performances (like music, stilt-walking, or…?), talk to Rev. Miranda & we’ll see how we can work it in!

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

Our annual Black Friday Craft-In, a free all-ages crafting and gift-making event that we open to the wider community, will be Friday, November 23, from 1 – 4pm. If you’d like to help out, with a craft station of your own, or as a helper at somebody else’s station, sign up in the Gathering Area or email Rev. Miranda!

United Thank Offering (UTO) ingathering will be Sunday November 24th.  The UTO OFfering is a program that is over 125 years old for the women of the Episcopal Church to give thanks for the blessings in their lives – from new grandchild to completion of chemo, from child’s acceptance at the UW to a new job, from safe travel to a fantastic new book. Contributions of coins (and paper) are placed in the little blue boxes provided by UTO, as a symbol of the thanks. Once a year these boxes are gathered in and the contents are sent to the national UTO board for distribution in the following year as grants. Every penny contributed is granted. If you need a new box – or would like more information, check the display under the bulletin board across from the kitchen or contact Connie Ott.

Last Sunday All-Ages Worship: The Feast of Christ the King, Sunday, November 25, 10am: Our last Sunday worship is intended especially to help kids (and grownups who are new to our pattern of worship) to engage and participate fully. NOTE: Our 8am service always follows our regular order of worship.

Ladies’ Night Out, Friday, November 30, 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 Imperial Gardens, 2039 Allen Blvd, Middleton. Please contact Kathy Whitt or Debra Martinez for more information or to RSVP.

Advent Begins on Sunday, December 2! Advent is the beginning of the church’s new year. Advent candles, prayer booklets, calendars and other materials are available in the Gathering Area! Please take whatever you will use.

Advent Thursday Suppers: You’re invited to gather for a simple meal at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 6, 13, and 20. We’ll conclude with simple evening prayers. Soup and bread/crackers provided. All are welcome!

Outreach Committee has chosen Middleton Outreach Ministry’s Sharing Christmas for its giving opportunity. We have 4 families with a total of 19 people this year. The gifts requested are found on the ornament garland on the window in the Gathering Space. Check the ornaments and pick a gift you would like to purchase for one of the family members. Bring it back wrapped with the ornament firmly attached to St. Dunstan’s no later than Sunday, Dec. 9th. The gifts will be taken to the MOM office and the families will pick them up there. After you select an ornament, please write your name on the list to the right of the garland so we know that you have taken that ornament. Questions ? Janet Bybee or Connie Ott can answer them!

Young Adult Meetup at the Vintage, Sunday, December 16, 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.

Caroling 2018: In recent years, a group of singers from St. Dunstan’s has enjoyed visiting a few of our members and singing Christmas carols. We’d like to do the same this year. All ages are welcome to participate. Date will be determined by folks’ availability. Please sign up and indicate your availability in the Gathering Area, or email Rev. Miranda .

Liturgy Imagining & Planning Meeting, Wednesday, December 5, 7:15pm: Come reflect on our worship and how we could make it more engaging for worshippers of all ages! All interested folks are welcome to attend.

What I Did During My Sabbatical, by Rev. Miranda – Thanks to all who helped out and attended our Ice Cream Social last Sunday! If you weren’t able to attend but you’d like to know what I did and what I came home thinking about, I’ve posted an outline my thoughts on our parish website:

https://stdunstans.com/seeking-learning/rev-mirandas-sabbatical-report/

While it’s just an outline, I hope it gives the gist. If you’d like to hear more, or have your own ideas to share, let’s talk! And look for opportunities ahead to gather & share ideas.

If you’d like a more informal and visual look at our travels and time away, there’s a photo album in the church Facebook group, St. Dunstan’s MadCity. If you’re on Facebook and aren’t a member of the group yet, look it up & ask to join. If you want to see the photos and you’re not on Facebook, email me  and I’ll find another way to show you!

Announcements, November 8th

THIS WEEKEND…

Ice Cream Social, November 11th, 3:00 – 5:00pm: Let’s share an intergenerational event (and stories) with the Hassetts and discover what Miranda (and family) did while she was on sabbatical. You are encouraged to bring a favorite ice cream topping to share.

Hats & Gloves for Falk School: We are welcoming donations of new or like-new kids’ hats, gloves, and mittens, for our partner school Falk Elementary. Sizes needed are preschool through 5th grade. Hats should be warm & gloves/mittens are ideally waterproof, not just knit. Thanks so much for your generosity!

NO FOOD DOWNSTAIRS – IT’S MOUSE SEASON! This time of year, field mice often try moving indoors for warmth. While we appreciate our mouse neighbors, we do not wish to encourage them to share space with us. People often take food downstairs during Coffee Hour and leave it there, which attracts mice and other critters. Please, NO food downstairs for the time being!

Military and College Student Care Packages: The Youth Group is collecting donations during November to be included in care packages for military personnel and college students. There is a list of suggested items by the donation box. If you have a college student or service member who you would like a care package sent to, please provide name and address to Sharon Henes. The youth will be assembling and mailing the care packages the first week of December. Thank you for your support!

Annual Giving Campaign: We are currently collecting pledge cards from members, to help us plan our church’s 2019 budget. These pledges are for our regular staff, building, and program expenses, not the Open Door renovation project. If your household has not yet picked up a pledge packet or received one in the mail, pick up a blank packet at church or contact the office (608-238-2781, office@stdunstans.com). We hope to have all pledges gathered by Sunday, November 18! Need to check last year’s pledge? As you consider your pledge for 2019, if it would help you to know what you pledged last year, contact the office (see above) and Ann will get back to you!

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

Madison-Area Julian Gathering Wednesday, November 14th, 1:00 – 2:45 PM: We welcome everyone who is interested in learning more about contemplative spirituality in the Christian tradition.  We meet the second Wednesday of the month for a period of 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.”  We would love to have you join us.  If you have questions, contact Susan Fiore, ObJN.

Piece Be with You! Fall Giving Campaign Celebration Pie Brunch, November 18th, 9:00am: Please join us for a festive, all-parish potluck brunch celebrating the ingathering of pledges for our prayers, hopes, and financial pledges for our parish life in the coming year. We will enjoy fellowship, delicious pies, quiches, and other offerings. Please sign up in the Gathering area to bring your favorite pie or quiche. (Precut pies with labeled pie servers appreciated!) Thank you!

Our annual Black Friday Craft-In, a free all-ages crafting and gift-making event that we open to the wider community, will be Friday, November 23, from 1 – 4pm. If you’d like to help out, with a craft station of your own, or as a helper at somebody else’s station, sign up in the Gathering Area or email Rev. Miranda!

It’s Pageant Planning Season!  St. Dunstan’s has two winter pageants: The Christmas (Nativity) Pageant, performed on Dec. 24 at 3pm, and the Epiphany Pageant, tentatively planned for Sunday morning, January 27. All kids and youth are welcome to participate! Kids with speaking parts will be asked to attend one or more rehearsals.

Does your child have a special talent to share? If your child has a special skill they’d like to use in one of our performances (like music, stilt-walking, or…?), talk to Rev. Miranda & we’ll see how we can work it in!

Looking for Greeters: Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s off to work we go! Well it’s really not work, more like fun. We’re looking for some of you who might be interested in Greeting on Sunday mornings at the 10am service. If you are interested, talk to Bernice Mason.

Looking for Coffee Hosts for November and December 2018! Consider being a coffee host and talk with Janet Bybee  for more information.

Altar Flowers: November and December dates available! Honor a loved one or a special event with altar flowers. Reserve your special date by writing your dedication on the sign-up sheet. Suggested donation is $35. Write “flowers” on the memo line of your check or on envelope containing cash, or donate online at donate.stdunstans.com.

Announcements, November 1

THIS WEEKEND…

Celebration of Life for Virginia DeGolier, November 2, 10:30am: All are welcome to attend the memorial service for Ginny and the luncheon to follow. If you would like to help with the lunch, please contact Connie Ott.

Men’s Book Club, November 3rd, 10:00am: Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard – Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before ― supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars.

Annual Giving Campaign: We are currently collecting pledge cards from members, to help us plan our church’s 2019 budget. These pledges are for our regular staff, building, and program expenses, not the Open Door renovation project. If your household has not yet picked up a pledge packet or received one in the mail, pick up a blank packet at church or contact the office (608-238-2781, office@stdunstans.com). We hope to have all pledges gathered by Sunday, November 18! Need to check last year’s pledge? As you consider your pledge for 2019, if it would help you to know what you pledged last year, contact the office (see above) and Ann will get back to you!

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

MOM Special Offering, Sunday, November 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 a few current most-needed items: toilet paper; ketchup and mayonnaise; baking soda & powder, salt & vanilla. Thank you for your generous support!

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

Military and College Student Care Packages: The Youth Group is collecting donations during November to be included in care packages for military personnel and college students. There is a list of suggested items by the donation box. If you have a college student or service member who you would like a care package sent to, please provide name and address to Sharon Henes. The youth will be assembling and mailing the care packages the first week of December. Thank you for your support!

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

Ice Cream Social, November 11th, 3:00 – 5:00pm: Let’s share an intergenerational event (and stories) with the Hassetts and discover what Miranda (and family) did while she was on sabbatical. You are encouraged to bring a favorite ice cream topping to share.

Madison-Area Julian Gathering Wednesday, November 14th, 1:00 – 2:45 PM: We welcome everyone who is interested in learning more about contemplative spirituality in the Christian tradition.  We meet the second Wednesday of the month for a period of 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.”  We would love to have you join us.  If you have questions, contact Susan Fiore, ObJN.

Piece Be with You! Fall Giving Campaign Celebration Pie Brunch, November 18th, 9:00am: Please join us for a festive, all-parish potluck brunch celebrating the ingathering of pledges for our prayers, hopes, and financial pledges for our parish life in the coming year. We will enjoy fellowship, delicious pies, quiches, and other offerings. Please sign up in the Gathering area to bring your favorite pie or quiche. (Precut pies with labeled pie servers appreciated!) Thank you!

Our annual Black Friday Craft-In, a free all-ages crafting and gift-making event that we open to the wider community, will be Friday, November 23, from 1 – 4pm. If you’d like to help out, with a craft station of your own, or as a helper at somebody else’s station, sign up in the Gathering Area or email Rev. Miranda !

Looking for Greeters: Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s off to work we go! Well it’s really not work, more like fun. We’re looking for some of you who might be interested in Greeting on Sunday mornings at the 10am service. If you are interested, talk to Bernice Mason.

Looking for Coffee Hosts for November 2018! Consider being a coffee host and talk with Janet Bybee.

Altar Flowers: November dates available! Honor a loved one or a special event with altar flowers. Reserve your special date by writing your dedication on the sign-up sheet. Suggested donation is $35. Write “flowers” on the memo line of your check or on envelope containing cash, or donate online at donate.stdunstans.com.

MINISTRY UPDATES…

How’s the Open Door Project Going? The Open Door Project is moving forward! In September, we sent a Request for Proposals to five general contracting companies. Our interview committee met with our top three choices later that month. The committee strongly recommended moving forward with Findorff and the vestry passed that motion on October 1st. We are currently working with Findorff and Engberg Anderson (our architects) to finalize the construction contracts and begin planning for a kickoff next spring! If you have any questions about the Open Door Project, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Celia Fine, John Laedlein or Krissy Mayer.

Outreach Gift to Honor Those Killed in Pittsburgh: The Outreach Committee has voted to send $1500 (most of their remaining annual funds) to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a national nonprofit committed to helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh was targeted for violence last weekend because of their support for HIAS.

Announcements, October 25

THIS WEEKEND…

Ladies’ Night Out, Friday, October 26, 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 La Mestiza, a Mexican restaurant, at 6644 Odana Road. For more information, or to arrange a ride, call Debra Martinez.

Inquirers’ Group session 4: Engaging the World, Sunday, October 28, 9am: This group is for those new to the Episcopal Church, as well as long-time members who’d like to learn more. At each session, we’ll discuss a short book, read ahead of time. Our fourth book is “Church Meets World,” by Winnie Varghese.  A leading thinker and vibrant presence at the intersection of church and world, Winnie Varghese explores the “what,” “how,” and “why” of Episcopal engagement with contemporary social issues. Several copies of the book are available for pickup in the Gathering Area, or you can buy it online in print or Kindle editions. It’s OK if you haven’t come to previous sessions. Just read (or skim) the book, come and join in! As Rev. Miranda is on sabbatical Fr. Tom will be facilitating the session.

Please Pick Up Your Pledge Packet if you have not already done so. Packets not picked up will be mailed out the week of 10/29.  Thank you!

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

Celebration of Life for Virginia DeGolier, November 2, 10:30am: All are welcome to attend the memorial service for Ginny and the luncheon to follow. If you would like to help with the lunch, please contact Connie Ott.

Men’s Book Club, November 3rd, 10:00am: Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard – Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before ― supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars.

Ice Cream Social, November 11th, 3:00 – 5:00pm: Let’s share an intergenerational event (and stories) with the Hassetts and discover what Miranda (and family) did while she was on sabbatical. You are encouraged to bring a favorite ice cream topping to share.

Madison-Area Julian Gathering Wednesday, November 14th, 1:00 – 2:45 PM: We welcome everyone who is interested in learning more about contemplative spirituality in the Christian tradition.  We meet the second Wednesday of the month for a period of 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.”  We would love to have you join us.  If you have questions, contact Susan Fiore, ObJN.

Piece Be with You! Fall Giving Campaign Celebration Pie Brunch, November 18th, 9:00am: Please join us for a festive, all-parish potluck brunch celebrating the ingathering of pledges for our prayers, hopes, and financial pledges for our parish life in the coming year. We will enjoy fellowship, delicious pies, quiches, and other offerings. Please sign up in the Gathering area to bring your favorite pie or quiche. (Precut pies with labeled pie servers appreciated!) Thank you!

Looking for Greeters: Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s off to work we go! Well it’s really not work, more like fun. We’re looking for some of you who might be interested in Greeting on Sunday mornings at the 10am service. If you are interested, talk to Bernice Mason.

Looking for Coffee Hosts for November 2018! Consider being a coffee host and talk with Janet Bybee.

Altar Flowers: November dates available! Honor a loved one or a special event with altar flowers. Reserve your special date by writing your dedication on the sign-up sheet. Suggested donation is $35. Write “flowers” on the memo line of your check or on envelope containing cash, or donate online at donate. stdunstans.com.

How’s the Open Door Project Going? The Open Door Project is moving forward! In September, we sent a Request for Proposals to five general contracting companies. Our interview committee met with our top three choices later that month. The committee strongly recommended moving forward with Findorff and the vestry passed that motion on October 1st. We are currently working with Findorff and Engberg Anderson (our architects) to finalize the construction contracts and begin planning for a kickoff next spring! If you have any questions about the Open Door Project, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Celia Fine, John Laedlein or Krissy Mayer.

STAFF NEWS…

Clergy Office Hours: If you would like to visit with one of our clergy, they would like to visit with you! Father Jonathan Melton will hold weekly “office hours” on Mondays from 9 – 11am, at the MOKA at 5227 University Ave. Father John Rasmus will be at St. Dunstan’s on Thursdays from 9 – 10:30am. Father Tom McAlpine will be available on Thursdays from 1-3pm at the Starbucks at 3515 University Ave.

Sermon, October 14

Trust, Entitlement, & the Terrifying Possibility of the Second-Best Taco

Dev and Arnold are friends in a Netflix series I enjoy called Master of None. In an early episode, the two friends are shown wondering what to do next. Tacos, they decide. They’re going to go eat tacos for lunch. But there’s a big problem. An exasperated Dev explains the situation: “There’re so many taco places, we’ve gotta make sure we go to the best one! Let’s research.”

“Great,” says Arnold. “I’ll sit here and do nothing.”

Hours pass in a dramatic, condensed time-lapse scene in which we see a series of images from the “research”: Yelp reviews, Instagram posts, photos and hashtags, desperate texts to friends, “Yo! Where the best tacos at?” The agony is palpable and real. Dez cannot imagine not eating the best taco for lunch. Finally, satisfied that he’s found it, Dev wakes his napping friend to announce the verdict.

“Great, let’s do it,” says Arnold.

But tragically, by the time the friends arrive, the taco truck is closed.

Dev protests to the food cart owner who is in the process of closing up shop: “What are we supposed to do, huh? Eat the second best tacos in New York?

The struggle is real.

And not just for Arnold and Dev.

It’s seemingly part and parcel of the information age: that you and I can see and know and potentially have the best, like never before in history. There’s an app for everything, true, and, more specifically, most of the apps exist to help us purchase different aspects of our lives more efficiently. There are even websites that allow students to scope out and rate the best professors, maximizing experience, living your best life, your perfect life. Because what else are you supposed to do? Enjoy the second best taco? And if you can’t enjoy the second best taco, if you can’t be sure there’s not a better taco truck than the one you’re at, how can you be expected to be present, really present, to anything at all?

Poor Dev and Arnold. Poor us. But also, poor rich man today in Mark’s gospel; rich man who is in a lot of ways a prototype of our ourselves; rich man who is our forbearer in following and all its difficulties; rich man who is our ancestor in acquisition and all its attending anxieties. He’s asking Jesus about eternal life, but from the get go we sense that something about the conversation is off. He’s asking about eternal life, but the conversation reads like a checklist confirmation, like he’s providing appropriate documentation at the DMV in order to receive a license he plans to pick up on the way home from work or proving his qualifications to the bank, in order to secure the mortgage to finance his next venture, operating under the assumption that there is some combination of deeds or depository of reputation and respectability that would make him deserving of eternal life. That is, he’s bringing his righteousness with the expectation of a successful transaction. Now, he’s open to the possibility that he might not have enough (yet), but he is also confident that there’s nothing out there that Jesus might add that he can’t yet acquire and later contribute to the equation. But what combination of deeds is equal to life with God? It’s not just that the math won’t square, but also that the rich man’s attempts to solve the puzzle this way reveal that he can’t imagine eternal life as anything other than yet another material good to add to the ones he already has. Conceiving of life with God this way, as a prize to win from God for behavior, rather than a life to live with God, and – God forbid – supposing he’s denied this transaction, what’s the man supposed to do? Live his second best life now?

But what if eternal life, life with God, is not something acquired by grasping?

Jesus looks at the man, loves him in the midst of all that’s rattling on inside him, and invites him to acquire the one thing he doesn’t have: awareness of his own lacking or, put better, a sense of God’s overwhelming goodness. Trust this, Jesus says, and live your trust in God toward your neighbor by a generosity that is a kind of grateful echo of God’s own. Let your gratitude be manifest in generosity and so make space in yourself, in your soul, for the possibility of a living trust of the Kingdom of God.

Give away what you have. Not just the things, but with them the admiration and affirmation of others who conflate your wealth with your deserving. Give up your standing. Hold nothing tightly. Forsake false guarantees that isolate you from other members and other parts of the Body of Christ. Be generous, and be open. Risk needing help and risk being helped, both by God and those around you in the community of faith. Make room to be loved, even on the days you are sure you are a fraud. Do not be afraid to celebrate the riches and gifts of others, for they do not condemn you. Eternal life is not a game to win or lose but a gift to be received.

“You lack one thing,” Jesus says. “Namely, you don’t lack anything yet. There’s no room for gifts or grace or surprises of God in you. But wait, I have an idea: go, sell what you own, give the money to the poor, you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

The rich man’s response is uncomfortably predictable. All silence. “How terribly shocking,” observes Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, “to discover that, after all, you love [something] more than you love eternal life.”

How difficult to discover that the thing you lack is all you have.

The man is crestfallen, and the disciples are terrified. Once they’ve gotten out of earshot of the rich man they ask Jesus, “If not this dude, Lord, who can be saved?” Jesus’ answer gives hope, but it’s not a hope that backs away from the difficulty presented by wealth and his earlier invitation to leave it: “With God all things are possible.” Trust God, then, and not these other things. Trust God, then, and live your trust in God toward your neighbor by a generosity that is a kind of grateful echo of God’s own. Let your gratitude be manifest in generosity. Let your love be sourced in God’s. Rest in the love of him who, though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God as something to be grasped but emptied himself. Breathe this love. Receive this love. Let it be your balm and greatest confidence, that this love is for you. Walk in this love. St. Paul puts the invitation this way, in words so familiar you know them by heart: Walk in love, as Christ loved us, and gave himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard liked to tell the story of a man who owned a shop, like a general store. One day, it’s late, and the shopkeeper puts things in order and calls it a day. He closes shop and goes home. But sometime that evening, or maybe even deeper into the night, some thieves break into the shopkeeper’s store. Bizarrely, the thieves don’t steal anything. Instead, they meticulously rearrange all the labels, the price labels, on every item in the store. So cheap things now have four digit tags. And really precious things are made to look cheap. The next day, the shopkeeper arrives at the store and doesn’t notice the hoax. Nothing appears any less in order than it had the night before. From the shopkeeper’s perspective, protected from critical reflection by the mundaneness, the ordinariness, of the rhythms of life, it’s just another day. Then the customers start arriving. They, too, don’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Instead, all of them begin interacting, shopping, purchasing, exactly as they had on the previous day, but with the labels as they now are, as if the mislabeled labels reflect the true values of things. And they’re still doing this thing, misjudging the true worth of things, to this very day, still shopping in the store not knowing that none of the labels are true.

“You lack one thing,” Jesus says. “Go, sell what you own, give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

Amen.

Announcements, October 18th

TODAY AND THIS WEEKEND…

Campfire, October 18th, 6-7pm: Join us for our last campfire of the season! Join us for food, fun and fellowship. We will roast hot dogs and marshmallows. An experience you will not want to miss!

2019 Pledge Campaign: Our Fall Giving Campaign begins this weekend! We’ll be hearing a message about pledges and stewardship at both services today. Please pick up your pledge packets in the Gathering Area and prayerfully consider how you can help. THANK YOU for your support!

Tea Party, October 21st at 3:00pm: Celebrate all of the intergenerational friendships formed and all we accomplished during our sabbatical renewal season with an Afternoon Tea!

Young Adult Meetup at the Vintage, Sunday, October 21, 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.

Evening Eucharist, October 21st: This evening service has been cancelled. If you have any questions, please speak with Jonathan Melton.

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

Ladies’ Night Out, Friday, October 26, 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 La Mestiza, a Mexican restaurant, at 6644 Odanan Road. For more information, or to arrange a ride, call Debra Martinez.

Inquirers’ Group session 4: Engaging the World, Sunday, October 28, 9am: This group is for those new to the Episcopal Church, as well as long-time members who’d like to learn more. At each session, we’ll discuss a short book, read ahead of time. Our fourth book is “Church Meets World,” by Winnie Varghese.  A leading thinker and vibrant presence at the intersection of church and world, Winnie Varghese explores the “what,” “how,” and “why” of Episcopal engagement with contemporary social issues. Several copies of the book are available for pickup in the Gathering Area, or you can buy it online in print or Kindle editions. It’s OK if you haven’t come to previous sessions. Just read (or skim) the book, come and join in! As Rev. Miranda is on sabbatical Fr. Tom will be facilitating the session.

Celebration of Life for Virginia DeGolier, November 2, 10:30am: All are welcome to attend the memorial service for Ginny and the luncheon to follow. If you would like to help with the lunch, please contact Connie Ott.

Men’s Book Club, November 3rd, 10:00am: Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard – Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before ― supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars.

Madison-Area Julian Gathering Wednesday, November 14th, 1:00 – 2:45 PM: We welcome everyone who is interested in learning more about contemplative spirituality in the Christian tradition.  We meet the second Wednesday of the month for a period of 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.”  We would love to have you join us.  If you have questions, contact Susan Fiore, ObJN.

Looking for Greeters: Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s off to work we go! Well it’s really not work, more like fun. We’re looking for some of you who might be interested in Greeting on Sunday mornings at the 10am service. If you are interested, talk to Bernice Mason.

Altar Flowers: November dates available! Honor a loved one or a special event with altar flowers. Reserve your special date by writing your dedication on the sign-up sheet. Suggested donation is $35. Write “flowers” on the memo line of your check or on envelope containing cash, or donate online at donate.stdunstans.com.

STAFF NEWS…

Clergy Office Hours: If you would like to visit with one of our clergy, they would like to visit with you! Father Jonathan Melton will hold weekly “office hours” on Mondays from 9 – 11am, at the MOKA at 5227 University Ave. Father John Rasmus will be at St. Dunstan’s on Thursdays from 9 – 10:30am. Father Tom McAlpine will be available on Thursdays from 1-3pm at the Starbucks at 3515 University Ave.

Announcements, October 11

THIS WEEKEND…

Museum Trip, October 13th at 2:00pm: Everyone is invited to learn together at the Chazen Museum on Saturday, October 13th.  Sign up in the Gathering space so we can let the museum know our numbers!  Please contact Sharon if you need/want to car pool.

Learning and Sharing: Boomers, Xers and Millennials on October 14th at 9:00 a.m. Understanding our generational perspectives helps us understand each other. (Facilitated by Debra Martinez)

Annual Buildings and Grounds Work Day, Sunday, October 14th after 10:00 service: Please dress in outdoor work clothes that day and plan on a light lunch and to assist in chores around the church afterwards.

Bread for the World Sunday, October 14thPeg and Dan Geisler will share about Bread for the World’s advocacy to reduce hunger in the United States and around the world and how we can be part of it. We are invited to participate in Bread for the Word’s annual Offering of Letters, to advocate to our politicians for programs that will reduce hunger in the United States and around the world. Following the 10:00 am service, those wanting to write their Congressional representatives may take letter-writing materials. Further information, writing materials and sample letters will be provided.

The St. Dunstan’s Youth Group is walking in the Trick or Trot 5k on Oct 14th to raise funds for GSAFE and its mission to create safer schools and communities for LGBTQ+youth of all racial and cultural backgrounds across Wisconsin. You can support their effort by donating at www.runsignup.com/stdunstans. If you would like to help fund their registration fees please contact Sharon Henes.

THE WEEKS AHEAD…

Campfire, October 18th, 6-7pm: Join us for our last campfire of the season! Join us for food, fun and fellowship. We will roast hot dogs and marshmallows. An experience you will not want to miss!

Tea Party, October 21st at 3:00pm: Celebrate all of the intergenerational friendships formed and all we accomplished during our sabbatical renewal season with an Afternoon Tea!

Inquirers’ Group session 4: Engaging the World, Sunday, October 28, 9am: This group is for those new to the Episcopal Church, as well as long-time members who’d like to learn more. At each session, we’ll discuss a short book, read ahead of time. Our fourth book is “Church Meets World,” by Winnie Varghese.  A leading thinker and vibrant presence at the intersection of church and world, Winnie Varghese explores the “what,” “how,” and “why” of Episcopal engagement with contemporary social issues. Several copies of the book are available for pickup in the Gathering Area, or you can buy it online in print or Kindle editions. It’s OK if you haven’t come to previous sessions. Just read (or skim) the book, come and join in! As Rev. Miranda is on sabbatical Fr. Tom will be facilitating the session.

Men’s Book Club, November 3rd, 10:00am: Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard – Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before ― supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars.

Madison-Area Julian Gathering Wednesday, November 14th, 1:00 – 2:45 PM: We welcome everyone who is interested in learning more about contemplative spirituality in the Christian tradition.  We meet the second Wednesday of the month for a period of 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.”  We would love to have you join us.  If you have questions, contact Susan Fiore, ObJN.

Altar Flowers: October dates available! Honor a loved one or a special event with altar flowers. Reserve your special date by writing your dedication on the sign-up sheet. Suggested donation is $35. Write “flowers” on the memo line of your check or on envelope containing cash, or donate online at donate.stdunstans.com.

STAFF NEWS…

Clergy Office Hours: If you would like to visit with one of our clergy, they would like to visit with you! Father Jonathan Melton will hold weekly “office hours” on Mondays from 9 – 11am, at the MOKA at 5227 University Ave. Father John Rasmus will be at St. Dunstan’s on Thursdays from 9 – 10:30am.