The Rt. Rev. Brian R Seage, Bishop
The Rev. C.J. Meaders, Rector
The Rev. Cathy Halford, Deacon
Wardens: Tom Williams - Sr. Warden, Arrington Widemire – Jr. Warden
Vestry: Andre Ducote, Matthew Guinn, Debbie Hartzog, Tim McIntyre,
Bruce McKinley, Donna Nigro, Elise Stewart, Sharon Stewart, Holly Widemire,
David Jackson (Treasurer), Sarah Shelby (Clerk)
Staff: Andrea Tyre – Parish Administrator, Carleen Hicks – Sexton,
Edward Dacus – Organist / Choir Director
Tuesday, August 4
ANNOUNCEMENT: In-person services are limited to 10 people per service for the 5PM Saturday service and the 8AM Sunday service. The 10:30 service will be livestream only.
RECTOR'S REFLECTION: WHAT IS A FAITHFUL RESPONSE TO COVID-19?
Greetings people of God,
I hope you are safe and well. Thankfully, my family and I are both. I will admit though, like Jacob wrestling with God through the night, I’m struggling.
I recently viewed a video of a pastor from a large church who has ignored the ordinances of public officials and continued to hold in-person worship services. As the video loaded, I prepared myself to see a loon firing off random Bible verses defiantly. Instead, I saw a calm, experienced, and well-prepared leader explaining the reasons behind his church’s decision and all the mitigation strategies they had in place for anyone concerned. For him, in order to remain faithful to God, the church must always continue gathering in public worship. Looking at the number of people who showed up to his church, he is not alone.
This is a message I respect and admire. Honestly, since we first suspended public worship in March, I have wrestled with the question of how to respond faithfully. Many faithful Episcopalians have noted that church has never been suspended for any other major crisis in their lifetime.
The pandemic has placed a number of our beliefs under the microscope, as looking closely at our commitment to public worship reveals. For example, we believe in the Incarnation, and we stress the importance of God being with us in the flesh. I don’t think any of us would be interested in socially distancing from Jesus Christ if he came back today. We also believe that when we gather as God's people we are the Body of Christ, in both a spiritual and a physical sense. We are the “hands and feet of Christ” as we like to say. In our Baptismal Covenant, we also proclaim we will “continue in the apostles’ teaching, the breaking of bread, and the prayers.” It’s legitimate to ask whether that can be achieved virtually, though I believe it can. Finally, there is the tradition of martyrdom in the church which holds that facing danger while remaining steadfast in belief is the most faithful response possible. Martyrdom was a difficult teaching for us pre-pandemic, yet again the pandemic brings it more clearly into focus.
So, knowing these things… I’m struggling.
Yet, I am ever-encouraged by the breadth of our belief and our faith’s ability to adapt and evolve. For example, when we first entered into suspension of public worship, the Bishop asked us to consider observing Morning prayer and focus on the Liturgy of the Word. This meant taking a deeper dive into Scripture and letting the Word of God be our spiritual food in the absence of Holy Communion. It’s a tough sacrifice for Episcopalians, but one we can make that brings us closer to our Protestant brothers and sisters in practice. For me, this is a shining example of the breadth of our tradition and our ability to emphasize different aspects of Christian life in response to difficult circumstances.
To take that notion a step further, I believe we are in a season of discipleship. Discipleship means faithful service following the example of Jesus. It means putting love of God and love of neighbor into action. It means being a part of the healing, life-giving ministry of Jesus Christ. I’m reminded of how little Jesus said "go to church on Sunday” and how often he said “follow me.”
Therefore, I believe a genuinely faithful response to COVID-19 is a season of discipleship, actively loving and serving our neighbors by making decisions which preserve the life and health of individuals and our society.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the decision we are making as a church will negatively impact us in the future. Maybe the pandemic will accelerate the decline of the church, maybe not. Ultimately, God will be the judge, and, even though I admire that seasoned pastor for doing his best to faithfully respond, I’m willing to keep on struggling.
FROM YOUR DEACON
In the last month, the numbers of COVID have risen dramatically in Arizona where the largest part of the Navajo Reservation is located (the rest being in Utah and New Mexico). However, the curve has begun to flatten in regards to the Reservation in the last week. My vicar friend Rev. Cathlena Plummer, Good Shepherd Mission, Ft. Defiance, AZ, says that President Nez of the Navajo Nation has done a great job in getting things under control to help keep this vulnerable group of people safe. She said that he is out and about checking on people and their needs. Since food and water are still being taken to families who live in the rural parts of the Reservation and cannot get into town for supplies, donations continue to be welcomed for this reason. Thank you for your continued interest and generosity.
MEETING MATTHEW VIRTUAL BIBLE STUDY
Meet Matthew, writer of the first Gospel in the New Testament. This Wednesday @ 10 AM, Rev. CJ Meaders will discuss what we know about Matthew and the prevailing themes of the Gospel.
Six months ending June.
2020 Budget 2019
Revenue all sources $269,319 $283,926 $260,727
Total Expenses $266,713 $309,137 $270,551
Excess (deficit) $ 2,605 ($ 25,211) ($ 9,824)
COLUMBARIUM FLOWER VASES
The vases recently installed In the Columbarium were given by Delores McMillin in loving memory of her husband Malcolm McMillin, who loved this church. The vases were designed and created by Andy Young of Pearl River Glass Studio.
WE NEED HELP on Thursdays 9:00-10:30 filling bags with groceries and on Fridays 7:30-11:00 assisting with food distribution. Since the pandemic our workload has doubled and the number of volunteers has decreased by half. We are depending on the same handful of volunteers week to week. Please spread the word to family, friends and neighbors that we need help.
For more information call Cy Tandy.
If you are unable to help at IONA House, we always accept financial and food donations. This month's needs are small packages of pasta and canned vegetables.
CREATE A FACE MASK SHIELD FOR OUR HEROES IN THE HOSPITALS
One of our parishioners has been in contact with medical professionals who are interested in receiving face mask shields made from home. She wanted to share her ministry with us so that we can join in as a parish to supply this vital need. Here are her simple instructions:
- 2 liter soda bottle
- Tape (electrical, duct)
- T-shirt cut into strips, shoe laces, etc
- Cut around the top of the bottle and the bottom of the bottle so that you have a
7 inch long mid section (you can throw the top and bottom away)
- Make a vertical cut up the mid section
- Cut the mid section so that it is 11" wide (around) by 7" long
- Cover the edges of the face guard with tape so that it will not cut or scratch
- At the top corners attach Tshirt strips or shoe laces or something to tie the
guard onto the head - use the stapler
- At the bottom corners I cut the corners off at a slight angle, re-taped the edge
so the guard would fit better
Please email the church at if you would like help and want more information.
We are happy to report that a biotech company has invested in the research program to develop gene replacement therapy for SURF1 Leigh syndrome. With this corporate investment, the grass roots fundraising phase of our journey has been placed on hold. We wish to thank everyone who has made a contribution, attended and contributed to the Chili cook off for CURESURF1, as well as all who purchased a cookbook, a pork butt, jewelry or a meal at one of our events. We especially want to thank Dennie Grubbs and Debbie Hartzog for their idea and efforts to publish the CURESURF1 cookbook and all who provided recipes. We also want to thank the St Columb’s Men’s for their efforts in the Pork Butt sale and the ladies of the ECW for the Chili Cookoff. St. Columb’s is the definition of a church family.
The research to find a viable treatment for SURF1 Leigh syndrome is progressing as planned. We are optimistic that a follow up meeting between the research team and the FDA will occur this fall followed by a clinical trial in the first quarter of 2021. A successful gene replacement therapy for Leigh syndrome will improve the lives of many children as well as open the door for additional research to provide gene replacement therapy for other diseases.
When we went to Dallas last summer to meet the head of the research team, Dr. Steven Gray, Caroline asked him if she would be making history by being a clinical trial participant - a thought to which he agreed. It is clear that without your contributions, the research would not be in a position to garner corporate support and we would not be as close as we are to reaching our goal. You, too, are part of history.
Again, thank you for your prayers and support.
With much love,
Andre & Elizabeth Ducote
ST. COLUMB'S KID'S CORNER
Parents! Looking for a resource to continue Christian Education at home? We’ve got you covered. This website is great for giving activity sheets on Bible lessons. You could go through the whole story of Jesus with your child, one passage at a time. Here is a link to the site and one example of a lesson provided.
Altar Guild: Magruder, McKinley, Rahaim
Lay Eucharistic Visitation: Sabyna Mills
THE READINGS FOR THE NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm: Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b
Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
THE PRAYER LIST
For our Parishioners: Deanie Mills, Floyd King, Megan Mink, Peggy Wilkinson, Bethany Culley, Floyd Sulser, Jane Brooks, Billy Boykin, Tom Hardy
For our Family Members: Trisha Huddox, Edith Avenmarg, Jane Campbell, Meri Lee Halford, Burnice Jones & family, Sharon Duckworth,Jane Magee (Eilene Warwicks sister), Rhonda Earhart
For our Friends and those in our Community: Warren Strain, Heidi Smith, Eddie Monsour, Henry Lewis, Al Thomas, Emile Craig, Terry Taylor, Gerald Carter, Betty Langley, Eddie Booty, Robbie Buckhalter, Nancy, Pat, Susan, Waverly
For the Faithfully Departed: Gene Atchley, Carmen Simmons, Mark Sereduck, Emile Craig and all who have died from COVID-19.
The college students: Emma, Emily, Delaney, Lake, Grace, Caley, Haley, Charles, Luke, Noah, Alan, Zachary, Britain, Raegan, Connor
The vestry, officers, and wardens of St. Columb’s: Tom, Andre, Matthew, Debbie, David, Arrington, Bruce, Donna, Elise, Holly, Tim, Sharon and Sarah.
Those serving in our armed forces: Suzanne, Nicholas, Preston, David, Matthew Paul, Andrew, Chase, Beau, Casey, Matthew, Marc, Sarah, Patrick, Gus, James, Josh, Justin, Tad
Expecting Parents: Deenie (Katie) Hartzog-Mislock and Tim Mislock
For our clergy: our presiding bishop, Michael, our bishop, Brian, our rector, CJ, our deacon, Cathy.
Please contact the church email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any announcements to be included in the Cantor
by Tuesday no later than 10:00 am.