News from Trish

To every thing there is a season
And a time for every purpose under heaven… 

Quoheleth, author to whom the book Ecclesiastes is attributed, and Pete Seger

Greetings everyone as we enter September! 

Autumn has always been my favorite season, for so many reasons. This year, I’m torn, as the rain has slightly revived the garden, and all the yellow and brown on the landscape these past two months have had me in a sort of unappreciative “fall too early!” mode.

September has always been a gear up month for me. I attribute that to starting school at that time for a whopping 25 years! And that doesn’t count the decades of snapping first-day photos of my three near the apple tree, or a Fall semester start for me at St. Kate’s. I’m programmed!

There are a few things approaching this Fall that I’d like to fill you all in on, so this week I’m not going to do a Gospel reflection. Fr. John and the community will be gathered this Sunday for Mass at EPUMC at 5 while I’m wrapping up  representing Pete at an Art Crawl up north. I know he’ll have wonderful things to  say.

Here;s what I’m focusing on right now:

  • Working with Beth and others to finalize a new home for us. Please keep this in our prayers! It’s been a winding, sometimes unclear road!
  • Working with Brian to smooth and improve our Zoom hybrid presence. We are deeply committed to having our Mass be completely inclusive and a wonderful experience whether you are with us in person or dialing in remote from far or near.
  • Helping Diana and others sort through the “keep, divest, throw” issue regarding what is in storage as we look at new digs. We accumulated a LOT of stuff, but almost all of it was donated or purchased for a song. So we will be generous as we think through what we need to keep and what we need to let go of.
  • Now that my summer course at St. Kate’s is done (love teaching, oy veh, I hate grading!) I am going to turn my attention to getting an Advent reflection book done, hopefully this time well in advance so I can encourage other communities to use it.
  • I will be offering a six week course on Women in the Early Church this fall (signups on our website!) and
  • I will be doing multiple talks for the ECC and the greater Independent Sacramental movement, particularly as a representative to the House of Pastors. 
  • Continuing to do my weekly outreach, prayer prep, homilies and leadership, with a very big THANK YOU to Dale O’Brien who will be planning our music and coordinating our ensemble. Such a blessing. Big thanks Dale, and thanks too to Michael Betz for his playing, and so far, Sasha Warbritton, Justin Vanni, and Nora Vanni singing along with Dale. Others are wanted and welcome! Just drop a note to Trish or Dale at dale@daleobrienmusic.net.

There are a few other things bubbling about which you need to be aware.

  • Sally Kline, a cherished founding member, has resigned from the Community Council after four very dedicated years of service as professional and personal demands limit her available hours. Sally, I know I speak for everyone in saying you are so deeply valued and we have been blessed by your leadership and service. And we want to be there for you, as always, as needed! 
  •  We  now have three openings on the Council. It’s really important to get the group up to the full complement required by our bylaws. Not only to be compliant, but to make sure the labor is shared and not focused on a few people! Are you one of the people who can step up? Please let any council member or Trish know. Emails, below.
  • As we look at the Fall and returning to a site where we can welcome new people, we might want to think about a few things. One is a more thoughtful, concerted outreach so people know we are here! Are you one of the people who could take that on, with me as an asset in your corner?
  • We have one of two finance committee spots filled but only on an interim basis. We now have a professional helping us with books and reporting, so this will not be the heavy lift that it once was. Having two people keep an eye on this with the help of Kevin Lungay finally moves it completely off my desk, a very, very important pastoral need. Are you one of the two people who could review Kevin’s reports and report to Council?
  • We will pay someone to run zoom, but have had the hardest time replacing Maggie and Mairead. Do you know a tech savvy older teen who would like an easy, good paying job for two hours at the most on Sundays? Please let Trish know! Does not have to be a Catholic!
  • Taking on overhead once again will increase, appropriately, our focus on giving. Right now, four households shoulder half of our income. I hope you will take your financial support of Charis to your prayer — our revenue is about $3200 per month (annualized). I have been harshly criticized for talking about money in the past, and that’s probably deserved. The pastor person should really not be involved, but for almost five years it’s been hard to find someone to step up. Could you join a small group to manage an outreach to the remaining 20 households doing 50% and the 25 households that have not set up giving? We have a challenge grant ready to back this effort up!

We have relied so heavily on a few key lay leaders. I want to do a particular shout out to Karen Goon, who as we say in the 12 Step movement, has been a PRODIGY OF SERVICE. But our circle is larger now, and we need more people involved not only because of the amazing gifts, but because, as Grandma used to say, “Many hands make light work.”

You can write to me at trish.vanni@charisecc.org and to the council directly at community@charisecc.org.

Thank you for what you can bring to building awareness of our wonderful community to people waiting on the Good News.

In gratitude for who you are in the world, Trish
Pastoral Director

Charis
An Ecumenical Catholic

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