A Joyful Noise | November 2020
Senior Warden Sylvia Sepulveda
You are my playground,mystic heart
breathe, my ladder; love, my slide.
No rules, only joy.
The prescient staff at Education for Ministry chose as the final interlude book for this year’s EfM curriculum Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, his 1938 reflections on the character of Christian community. In the chapter Service he speaks to “the complete diversity of individuals in the community” as “a reason for rejoicing in one another and serving one another.” He continues, “In a Christian community, everything depends on whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. The chain is unbreakable only when even the smallest link holds tightly with the others.” Our recent Diocese of Olympia convention focused on anti-racism and other ways we will now more intentionally consider and resource “diversity in areas of gender, sexual identity and orientation, physical ability, neurodiversity, age, race, ethnicity and income and wealth status.” If COVID-19 hadn’t already called us to become more elastic in our expectations, more open to innovation from unlikely sources, more mindful of our privilege, perhaps this year’s increased discussion and thoughtfulness around issues of anti-racism and diversity has.
One way to think about holding and honoring each spirit on a community chain is to reflect on the tensile strength, or flexible material, we hold in common. If Carl Jung surmised correctly, all humans share the same set of personality types, though with different innate/cultural/environmental behavioral preferences. You may know about or have completed a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) inventory. If you haven’t, you can read an introduction about the instrument at The Myers & Briggs Foundation and/or complete a free personality inventory at 16 personalities or humanmetrics. Each of us can and does use each of the eight parts of the MBTI personality types at least some of the time, but most have preferences, just as most have right or left-hand preference. Knowledge of personality types can help us understand our own innate or personal-history/environment-influenced preferences and to which kinds of spirituality we might be particularly drawn. We can also recognize how others’ preferences are useful and broadening. “Now other people, in the freedom with which they were created,” Bonhoeffer said, “become an occasion for me to rejoice, whereas before they were only a nuisance and trouble for me.” No perspective is always right or always wrong. Some churches have undergone community-wide personality typing to ensure all preferences are included as liturgies, formation programs, and gatherings are planned.
Many people find type provides a way of understanding their spiritual path and development: their natural gifts as well as potential blind spots. People of different types are drawn to various spiritual practices and have various ways of expressing their understanding of spirituality. Those who prefer Introversion, for example, might be more drawn to solitary or reflective practices, while those who prefer Extraversion might be more drawn to group or active spiritual practices.The Myers & Briggs Foundation
The traditional, communal/in-person style of our worship suits the sensing, thinking personality type that dominates in all cultures. Our physical-distancing protocol has constricted the majority of our community into what may feel like a “second-best” mode of spirituality, but solitude and quiet fits those introverted intuitives very well, who get energy through reflecting on information, ideas, and/or concepts. One positive outcome from Christ Church’s development of online ministries has been the growth of the Zoom-based Contemplative Practices community, particularly Centering Prayer and Contemplative Creativity in which we’ve recently welcomed guests from California, Colorado, New York, and North Carolina. If you’ve been thinking about dipping your extraverted toe into still, contemplative waters, find below a brief description of our current group practices – and join in! Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.
All Contemplative Practices use the same meeting ID, via Zoom.
If joining by phone: Meeting ID: 503 653 606 One tap mobile +12532158782,,503653606# US (Tacoma.)
Centering Prayer is a receptive method of silent prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.In observance of current health department guidelines, our centering prayer group practice meets on Thursdays at 1pm via Zoom. Through November 12 we are previewing Welcoming Prayer at 12:45 pm with Centering Prayer following at 1:00 pm. Beginning November 19 we will begin Welcoming Prayer Group Practice at 12:30 pm with Centering Prayer following immediately after at 1:00 pm.
Our usual Centering Prayer customary:
A one-moment opening prayer, a few moments of intercessory prayer, Monastic Lectio Divina* using 10-15 lines of scripture, twenty minutes of silence. After our silence, one person speaks the Lord’s Prayer for all. We leave in silence or remain for a few minutes to quietly chat.
*Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer are two distinct prayer forms. Lectio Divina is a reading, reflecting, responding (Monastic response is silent,) and resting in the word of God that helps one grow in relationship with God.
We have all been intrigued by what we’ve so far learned about Welcoming Prayer, finding the prayer method a compelling way to live through our current COVID-19 reality. The Welcoming Prayer has three movements:
Feel and sink into what you are experiencing this moment in your body.
“Welcome” what you are experiencing this moment in your body as an opportunity to consent to the Divine Indwelling.
Let go, by saying, “I let go of my desire for security, affection, control and embrace this moment as it is.”
Moving out of a reactive, agitated state prepares us for the receptive work of Centering Prayer or walking a labyrinth, opening to awareness of the Indwelling Presence. It also prepares us to experience peaceful interactions with others. “Welcoming Prayer is an intention to consent to God manifesting in whatever we’re experiencing in our body in the moment, without judgment, without fear, without resistance, without fear, allowing it to be what it is.”Mary Dwyer, Contemplative Outreach
Contemplative Creativity – is a new inter-spiritual practice at Christ Church, open to all faith traditions. We meet Thursdays at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Our purpose is to provide a peaceful setting for art and companionship – to explore spirituality through mindful creativity, focusing on process or experience as opposed to product or permanence. Once a month we offer an art lesson, followed by 30-40 minutes of contemplative practice – unstructured, non-directed response to the current lesson or a previous one, with quiet instrumental music in the background. Our sessions will conclude with a sacred space for sharing your experience. Four art-making topics will be covered, each over three-month segments: mandala, beading, SoulCollage, and intuitive painting. Our non-lesson meetings follow the same pattern. The Zoom meeting room will remain open after each session, offered for casual gathering – it’s your space, so enjoy whatever you pour: wine, tea, etc. Attendance is drop-in, no registration required. Scroll to the bottom of the Contemplative Creativity webpage to find descriptions and videos of the previous lessons.
Mindful Poetry Reading – Come and travel with us in pursuit of poetry! This new monthly offering will focus on the mindful reading of verse, concentrating on sensory experience, and spiritual connection. Instead of using analysis and explanation, we will approach poems with a sense of curiosity and openness, a holistic approach to appreciating the beauty and wisdom of a poem. The sessions will be offered via Zoom on the last Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., with Becky Lennstrom and Sylvia Sepulveda as co-hosts. Each session’s poems and a brief introduction to the various poets will be provided in advance. Please bring a notebook or journal for writing down impressions, sensory experiences, and connections. BYOW – Bring your own wine.
One way to start a contemplative personal practice: add a prayer corner or nook to a quiet area in your home. Set a small table with items that have meaning for you, maybe starting with a candle that reminds you of the light Jesus manifested in the world. A small twig might remind you of your connection to the earth. A picture or statue of a favorite animal might remind you of the other creatures God has brought into being. Most importantly, honor yourself in this tableau in some form: a finger labyrinth that symbolizes your inner journey, or maybe a set of matryoshka dolls which illustrate the unity of body, soul, mind, heart and spirit. Include a comfortable chair or meditation pillow. Schedule five minutes a day to spend in personal Sanctuary, knowing each moment spent in contemplative self-care centers and empowers your care for others. Don’t worry about the amount of time you set aside. Pray, read, meditate – rejoice in the moments you’ve surrendered to your connection with God, however brief, however long.
Our God of abundance is a God of relationship and offers many paths forward – to our best selves, to each other, to wholeness. It’s our gift and privilege to discern and choose the paths that bring us to richer connection. We all experience God differently and every connection belongs to God, whether it follows mainline tradition or travels the outline. It’s important for any religious or spiritual institution to meet all people where they are and invite them to go deeper, not as we do, necessarily, but in the way that speaks to their own distinct call. To repeat Bonhoeffer’s lovely words, “The chain is unbreakable only when even the smallest link holds tightly with the others.”
For you formed my inward parts;psalm 139:13-14
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Consider Your Spirit-Given Gifts: Part 2
Pastoral Leader June Cook
“… we don’t find our gift through self-examination and introspection and then find ways to express it. Instead, we love one another, serve one another, help one another, and in so doing we see how God has equipped us to do so.”russell Moore, Adopted for Life: The priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches
In the October issue of the Joyful Noise I wrote about the journey we’re embarking on to call new members to the Ministry Support Circle. Expect to receive a booklet later this month containing information on the Total Common Ministry model and the call process. Also in November, an informal meeting with Circle members is planned, an opportunity for interested parties to discuss the Circle experience.
In the meantime, consider the gifts you might share with church members, friends and family, or those in the wider community. You have gifts! I’m sure of it! The only question is how and with whom you want to share them. Spirit-given gifts are special abilities God gives to every Christian in baptism.
Here’s a list of gifts we’ll be reflecting on as we call new people to the Support Circle. It’s not comprehensive, but it will help us understand what’s meant by “spiritual gifts.” As you review the list, do any strike a chord with you? Do any definitions sound personal for you? Those may be your gifts . . .
- Ministry – Helping people make connections between God and their lives
- Teaching – Leading people into a deeper understanding of God
- Exhortation – Encouraging people in their lives and ministries
- Giving – Contributing financially to the work of God in the world
- Leading – Guiding and directing the people of God in mission
- Compassion – Empathizing with and assisting those hurting or marginalized
- Faith – Taking risks for God’s work and trusting in God’s will
- Prophesy/Justice – Telling difficult-to-hear truths in love
- Discernment – Seeing and expressing the inner dynamics of people and situations
- Craftsmanship – Making useful things for ministry
- Support – Making ministry possible or less burdensome for others
- Hospitality – Making people feel welcome in the name of Christ
- Communication – Sharing the gospel through personal contact, the media, and art forms
- Intercession – Praying on behalf of others
- Music Leadership – Leading and supporting others in making a joyful noise to the Lord
- Healing – Encouraging the restoration of peace and well-being among others
- Pastor – Guiding and nurturing people to be who God has made them to be
- Prayer – Holding themselves, others, and the world in God’s love
- Creativity – Artistic expression through art, music, and word
- Organization – Organizing groups and tasks and keeping in mind the main objective
- Administration – Facilitating the work of ministry through administrative support
“God has created us and our gifts for a place of His choosing. A TCM community exercising its gifts together learns to appreciate the differences in each other and to see where strengths offset weaknesses. It is an experience of connectedness and interdependence that fosters wholeness; it begins with the discernment of spiritual gifts and finds its wholeness in Christ’s reconciling love for the world.”Ministry Support Circle, November 3, 2011
The Reverend Carol Rodin & The Reverend Deacon Eric Johnson
At the beginning of Advent, we will begin our third round of carefully assessing and prayerfully discerning who is called to the Christ Church Ministry Support Circle. You might ask, “Why are we doing this now?”
First of all, those who were part of the first call for the Circle have served in this role for ten years, which is an appropriate milestone to think about whether it might be time to make room for new ideas and new directions.
Secondly, we are all called to ask the question, “Where is the Holy Spirit leading us now, and to whom might God have given the heart, skill and temperament for servant leadership in this congregation?”
Servant leadership manifests itself in as many ways as we have people in Christ Church. Although we are diverse in our skills and talents, we are united in our belief that God has given us all the gifts needed to enable our community to participate fully in God’s mission of healing the world. We have lived as a total common ministry congregation for over a decade. Now is the time to prepare for the next ten years.
Adult Faith Formation
The Jesus Fatwah: Love Your (Muslim) Neighbor as Yourself
Sundays, November 8 – December 20
11:45 am – 12:45 pm via Zoom
In The Jesus Fatwah, Islamic and Christian scholars offer reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we all can be about building relationships across the lines of faith.
In Arabic, the word “fatwah” simply means “opinion” and, in a religious context, a fatwah is a spiritually instructive opinion, usually given as the answer to a question about religious law. Jesus was a master of the art of fatwah. His opinions, revered by Christians and Muslims alike, remain among the most beautiful and powerful fatwahs ever issued. Jesus pronounced what is perhaps the most famous of his fatwahs when a lawyer asked Jesus to name the greatest of all the commandments. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”DAVID FELTEN & JEFF PROCTER-MURPHY
Please join in. All are welcome.
If joining by phone:
Meeting ID 503 653 606 One tap mobile +12532158782,,503653606# US (Tacoma)
Community Advent Celebration
One of the teams formed to work on developing our next Mutual Ministry Plan (MMP) developed the idea for a Diversity Committee*. (All the other MMP proposals are in a June Cook-authored article within this JN issue.) The first idea that emerged from the Diversity Committee team, The Virtual Blessing of the Animals, coincided with Bishop Rickel’s visit and the resulting video is posted on the website. Thanks to all who participated!
The next idea this team formed: a multi-cultural Community Advent Celebration to deepen relationship with the children in our community through prayer, story-telling, singing (hymns in the public domain,) crafts, and cooking! Based around a daily blog post, Christ Church families and others in the community who were interested would celebrate each day of Advent together, even if physically apart. Prior to November 29, the first day of Advent, each interested family would be sent an Advent Celebration Box containing: An Advent wreath with candles and accompanying booklet, craft supplies to stock a family art table, recipes, and other supplies required to do some of the activities recommended on the blog post.
We need a lot of help to pull this off in time! We’ve started imagining the promise in the following ways, but please let us know if you have additional ideas. Most importantly, please let us know how you’d be interested in helping. So far, we’ve come up with: chocolate coins on December 6 to honor St. Nicholas, “Make a Tilma” on December 9 to have fun with St. Juan Diego and a Mexican Wedding Cookie recipe to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. Eight paper bags and votive candles to light each night of Las Posadas, December 16 through 24, and saffron buns and crowns of battery-powered candles to celebrate St. Lucia on December 13.
What else? A Christmas Carol! Charles Dickens’ Christmas ghost story is in the public domain and the original print was only 82 pages. How much fun would it be if our community children got to know us from watching or hearing us read three pages from this book each day? Each reading can be recorded on a cell phone or tablet or via Zoom and then added to each daily blog post.
See below the tasks and associated talent and let me know if you’d be interested in participating in any way(s.) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (949)303-8500.
- Artwork for each Blog Post: Learning Pod children + children/grandchildren from community, and anyone interested!
- Brief prayer/verse for each Blog Post: Worship Team members, poets, and anyone interested!
- Advent Wreaths and Candles: Altar Guild and anyone interested!
- Advent Booklet – daily prayer: Worship Team members, artists/illustrators, and anyone interested!
- Activities Planning/Purchasing: Diversity Committee and anyone interested!
- Advent Box Assembly and Shipping: Hospitality & Diversity Committees, and anyone interested!
- Readers & Singers: Great voices, small voices, big voices, and anyone interested!
- Recipes: Hospitality team, cooks, bakers, and anyone interested!
- Blog Post production and publication: Sylvia
If you’re interested in receiving a Community Advent Celebration box for your own children, grandchildren, or beloved child(ren) of whatever affiliation, please contact me with the number of children in the family, ages, family name, and their mailing address.
You’ll be hearing more details as our plans progress…
Looking Forward to…
The 2021-2022 Mutual Ministry Plan
June Cook on behalf of the Bishop’s Committee & the Ministry Support Circle
Every two years Christ Church leadership spends significant time and insight developing areas of focus for the next two years. We’re now in that process. The Bishop’s Committee and Support Circle just completed a seven-session workshop facilitated by Assisting Bishop Brian Prior. We developed consensus statements and, working through them, have identified five for inclusion in the new Mutual Ministry Plan (MMP). Specific tasks for acting on these statements are being refined.
MMP consensus areas are not the only ministries in which we engage; they are supplemental to our on-going ministries of outreach, education, pastoral care, and so on. Consensus statements change from year to year, depending on the current faith environment and our response to community needs. This year, for example, the pandemic and racism are factoring strongly in our deliberations for a new plan.
Our draft consensus statements may be edited or modified as we continue to work on the final MMP. In the meantime, offered here is our first version.
Consensus Statement 1
- Foster a flexible, innovative community open to new people and new ministries, responsive to the needs of the local and diocesan community.
- Gather and financially resource a Diversity Committee with members who are interested in expanding offerings such as liturgies, gatherings, faith formation, etc. within and outside church walls.
- The Diversity Committee will collaborate with other churches or organizations to plan social justice gatherings, fundraisers, or other community events.
- The Diversity Committee will invite rotating/repeating speakers and preachers, especially BIPOC, with the hope of building relationships in our community and across the diocese.
- The Diversity Committee will be provided scheduled opportunities for alternative liturgies – i.e. four Saturdays a year.
- Diversity Committee examples: Blessing of the Animals video, Advent Community Celebration, Celtic (St. Patrick’s Day,) Jazz liturgies, etc.
Consensus Statement 2
Has been combined with Consensus Statement 6
Consensus Statement 3
- Track 1: Engage in the Diocesan process of recognizing and changing structural racism in the Church by:
- creating an image of a preferred future
- raising awareness of how/where racism shows up in the Church
- organizing dialogue and framing questions on race and faith
- offering services of healing
- examining intercultural diversity in leadership
- bringing Sacred Ground, a film-based dialogue series on race and faith, to the congregation
- searching out and providing resources for ongoing study and personal insight and growth (films, books, study groups, etc)
- Track 2: CEC leadership to commit to and complete the Intercultural & Diversity Inventory (IDI) and participate in group coaching.
Consensus Statement 4
- Call new members to the Ministry Support Circle
- publicize (primarily through the Joyful Noise and the TCM booklet) the need for calling new members, the call process, discernment, and the selection process
- offer a Spiritual Gifts Inventory to all members of the congregation
- offer Zoom gatherings to discuss the process and answer questions
- send ballots for congregational input on potential candidates
Consensus Statement 5
- Develop intentional connections and communication within our congregation and with Friends of CEC
- draw those not connecting to Zoom services into closer fellowship by phoning, sending notes, visiting with proper precautions, walking the labyrinth, organizing prayer groups, etc.
- offer social contact and pastoral care to congregants and friends of CEC. Listen and act intentionally. Discern
- prioritize, based on the CEC directory and other sources, people who should be contacted first (living alone, known to be facing challenges or ill health, etc)
- develop the “Wheat Team” as planters of faith (those who wish to share their faith through acts of kindness)
Consensus Statement 6 (& 2)
- Track 1: Invest in appropriate technology to share gatherings and reach a wider community (the New Community) with CEC ministries
- evaluate ramifications in terms of how we do and broadcast worship services, coffee hour, celebrations, and other gatherings
- Redefine the CEC community to include those who worship with us virtually, not as “supplemental” but as “expanded” community
- Ensure we have top-flight preaching, teaching, music, technology, etc.
- Develop creative ways to offer meaningful adult, youth, and children’s Christian education
- Track 2: Envision a new use of CEC property to better serve the church and the larger community. Step out and grow!
- partner with the City of Anacortes, the Family Center, FAE, the Anacortes Community Health Council, Gentry House, Red Door, etc.
- determine community needs for childcare, social services, housing, etc.
- identify project management team for renovation of current structures or construction of new facility.
Mark Perschbacher, 2021 Stewardship Chair
I would like to thank all of you who have committed your financial support to Christ Church. So much has changed in our lives this past year and I am grateful that our church family is still intact and courageous enough to maintain our commitment to carry out God’s work in our community. None of us know what the future will bring. By continuing to work and worship together, we can draw strength from one another, help those around us who are in need, and make it through this difficult time together. If you need a pledge form mailed or emailed to you, please contact Marcy at the church office, 360-293-5790 or email@example.com
Christ Church’s Stained Glass Windows
Jesus Calms the Waters
Reverend Deacon Eric Johnson
The fifth of a series of eight articles on the stained glass windows in Christ Church.
The Sea of Galilee has violent storms that arise when the east wind funnels cold air 3,000 feet downward from the Golan Heights to the semi-tropical warm air around the sea. In the telling of the story of Jesus calming the waters, Matthew, Mark and Luke used the terror and danger of these storms at sea as a metaphor of the dangers of crossing from the orderly and safe world of the Hebrews on the west side of the Sea to the world of the pagans and Hellenists who lived on the eastern side.
The violent waters of the storm in this window also make up the icon that Christ Episcopal Church uses in its website. These turbulent waters are a useful symbol for our life in the church, as well. Just as Jesus let the disciples fight the storm—who mistakenly were thinking that they were on their own—he also lets us fight with the adverse seas in our lives. Sometimes we find that it is in the struggling that the most significant learning takes place. This window also has a symbol that is so commonplace that I often miss seeing it—the halo behind Jesus head. Halos have been used in Hellenistic pictures in Greece and Rome in the centuries before Christ, when they were used to depict divine power and understanding. It was not until the 4th century that they were first seen in Christian art, particularly in icons of Christ, with the circular halo depicting the symbol of infinity, without beginning or end.
By medieval times, those who looked at stained glass pictures were able to tell who was who by their halos. God the Father was depicted with a triangular halo adorning his head, not a circular one. The Holy Spirit was typically represented by a dove with a halo that featured radiant light. Jesus Christ’s halo was divided into quarters by the lines of a cross. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was typically depicted with a halo made up of 12 stars, referring to the verse in Revelation that speaks of “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars…”
There are not one but three anchors in the border of the window, no doubt referring to the Trinity, who provides us with a divine anchor that will safely moor us in a peaceful harbor, where the wicked will cease from troubling and the weary will be at rest.
Remembering Peyton Whitely
The following article is reprinted from the Seattle Times.
Peyton Whitely, a Seattle Times Reporter for 41 Years and the First ‘Mobile Journalist’, Dies at 75
by Christine Clarridge, Seattle Times staff reporter
Man, was Peyton Whitely a storyteller.
Over the course of his 41 years as a reporter for The Seattle Times, he wrote thousands of articles on everything from breaking news, crime and transportation to Kurt Cobain’s death and hard-hitting investigative pieces on the Hanford nuclear reservation. Whitely died Aug. 6 of multiple myeloma. He was 75. Three decades ago, Whitely became The Times’ first “mobile journalist” (“mojo” for short) when he outfitted his little yellow Datsun 280ZX — which, at 6 foot 4, he already had to squeeze into — with a clunky cellphone, a laptop, a police scanner, a small desk and a folding chair.
“Peyton was a gadget guy long before anyone else, certainly in the newsroom if not in a lot of other places,” said Nick Provenza, a former assistant metro editor at The Times. The gizmos proved their worth on a Saturday in the early 1990s when Whitely learned — on his day off — that serial arsonist Paul Keller had been captured, a story all of Seattle was following. He broke the story from his car. Whitely was convinced working remotely was the future. He wrote a column suggesting it as a solution to the region’s transportation problems — after all, why would anyone put up with traffic in the face of such an obvious solution?
He was willing to teach the art of filing stories from the field to anyone willing to learn, and he urged bosses everywhere to consider allowing it. But his editors didn’t embrace the idea. In 2008, the year he retired, he was incredulous at still being asked to drive to the newsroom in Seattle to file a story from a murder scene two hours away. He finally got to see his vision for the future of work play out in the months before his death, albeit under terrible circumstances. “He was amazed we needed to have a pandemic to get what he was lobbying for all along,” said his daughter, Nancy Hacking. Perhaps he would be satisfied to know his obituary was filed remotely.
Whitely wanted to be a photographer when he got out of college and moved to the Seattle area, said his wife of 54 years, Kris Whitely. But, with no photo jobs available at the time, he applied to be a copy editor at The Times and then quickly became a reporter. “For years, Peyton was one of The Times’ most aggressive and prolific breaking news reporters,” wrote former metro editor John de Leon. “He had a hand in reporting some of the region’s major news stories in a career that spanned decades, first in the downtown Seattle office and later in the newspaper’s suburban bureaus.”
In 2002, Whitely was assigned to the newly reopened Snohomish County bureau with the launch of the Times’ community newsmagazine, The Times of Snohomish County. His specific assignment was to cover the community of Arlington, an area he wasn’t terribly familiar with, de Leon said. He spent two days driving around the town, talking with people at coffee shops, gas stations and small businesses. He returned with a dozen story ideas, including one about Paul Allen quietly assembling a collection of vintage World War II aircraft. No one would go on the record, but Whitely stuck with the story and eventually broke the news, long before Allen was willing to go public, de Leon said.
His empathy and earnestness won him interviews with survivors and victims who wouldn’t talk to anyone else, his daughter said. But by the end of his career, he believed he was suffering with something like post-traumatic stress disorder from all the tragedy he had covered. “It really got to him in the end,” his daughter said.
One of his former editors, Janet Horne Henderson, isn’t surprised. She remembers him standing next to her desk, choked up and with tears in his eyes, telling her the tragic details of a story he was writing. “Peyton was such a kind, gentle giant with a good heart,” former Times reporter Nancy Bartley wrote in an email. “His sincerity made him easy to talk to, and that was part of his gift as a reporter. But the steady stream of trauma took its toll on him.”
If his sensitivity and deftness as an interviewer were legendary in the newsroom, so too was his ability to write at length about those conversations. Once, when he was moving two large file boxes from one part of the office to another, a colleague quipped, “Peyton’s delivering his latest story to his editor.” Everyone laughed, including Whitely.
Rest in peace, Peyton.
A Convention Well Done in Difficult Times
Shirley Barrett and I were honored to be your delegates to the 110th Convention of the Diocese of Olympia. And it was a convention like no other! Roughly 425 lay and clergy delegates met for worship, learning, and doing the necessary business of the Diocese. Diane and John Guinn, alternate delegates, were ready to back us up had Shirley or I not been able to participate.
As many of you know, Convention was completely virtual because of the pandemic. There was concern that the business of this large assemblage would be difficult on a virtual platform. How to manage debate on resolutions, voting, and panel discussions, how to offer meaningful worship experiences, how to create the “feel” and social interaction of an in-person convention? These and other questions and concerns swirled in our heads. We need not have worried! Although there were a few hick-ups, the Convention flowed smoothly.
A very positive aspect of the virtual format was being able to see, up close, the faces of people speaking. At an in-person gathering, speakers are often on the other side of a large ballroom. It was especially important this year to see faces, as the focus was on racism. We heard a number of poignant stories from the targets of hate and discrimination within our own Diocese and elsewhere. These first-hand experiences would have had far less impact had we not been able to see their faces, the tears, the heart-break.
Jumping right into the heart, the meat, the substance of Convention . . . Nine resolutions were presented for an up-or-down vote. Resolutions 1-3 were routine issues that passed quickly – Diocesan assessment rate (remains at 14.5% of net disposable income), COLA for clergy salary (0.9%), and operating budget for 2021.
Resolutions 4-9, presented by Ethnic Ministries Circles of Color, had real substance with the potential to set a new course for addressing racism in our Diocese. Although these six inter-related resolutions surely won’t solve the blight of long-standing institutional and personal racism, they have the possibility of being the springboard for real, substantive change.
“In aggregate, Resolutions 4-9 point to a deep feeling that the current structures of the diocese, especially the structure of the Diocesan Council and the Commission on Ministry, have serious perceived deficiencies in regards to interaction with and inclusion of BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) and non-majority culture individuals. It is the hope of the committee that the committees and people of the Diocese, regardless of the outcome of the deliberations on the several resolutions, will take time for serious reflection on how these institutions can better serve the Mission of the Church, to restore all people to union with God and each other in true peace and true justice.”Report of the resolutions committee 2020
Go to the Diocesan website, ecww.org, Convention page, for complete resolution text
Resolution #4 Promoting Diversity on Diocesan Council
Resolution #5 To Make Diversity Explicit, Canon 17: Diversity in Appointments
Resolution #6 Toward a More Representative Partnership: A Resolution to Change Diocesan Canon 22
Resolution #7 Establishing a BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) Ministry Fund
Resolution #8 To Add a Cultural Interpreter to BIPOC Ordination Process
Resolution #9 Anti-Racism Covenant
The Resolutions Committee, after careful study and dialogue with resolution sponsors, makes a recommendation to Convention to DO PASS or DO NOT PASS. The Committee recommended DO NOT PASS for Resolutions 5-7, based primarily on the belief that the issues addressed were already covered elsewhere or that a problematic budgeting precedent would be set. There was no implication by the Committee that addressing these issues of racism and discrimination was not needed.
Because of the recommendations of the Resolution Committee, there was initially some concern that Resolutions 5-7 might not pass. It was soon evident those concerns were unfounded. Debate was over minor issues that were resolved. I was especially taken by support of Convention delegates for Resolution #7, sponsored by The Rev Jo Beecher. As supportive people spoke, Jo’s face went from concern to joy. Clearly she was validated in her passionate belief that monetary support is needed for BIPOC clergy.
That Convention voted to adopt all six resolutions tells us the Diocese is poised to make concerted effort to address, in a robust and meaningful way, institutional and personal racism at its very heart. Several initiatives are currently being considered here at Christ Church to help us do our part in the Diocesan push/invitation to strive for equality for all.
On another note, liturgies were exceptionally well done. The beauty and holy stillness of various church venues added so much to the worship experience. The opening liturgy with its mist and haunting music really did evoke the presence of the Holy Spirit. And we saw the Cathedral in a new way during the ordinations. With pews and almost all chairs removed, the expansive empty space focused our attention more keenly on the business of the day. The acoustics made the voice of the single female vocalist angelic. My only disappointment was in not being able to see the faces of the new deacons.
The keynote speaker, The Rev Dr Bradley Hauff, is Native American, enrolled with the Oglala Sioux, and is the Episcopal Missioner for Indigenous Ministries on Bishop Curry’s staff. His presentation was compelling, and my takeaway involves two concepts new to me – The Doctrine of Discovery and Land Acknowledgment. First seen in the late 1400s, the Doctrine of Discovery gave the church the right to take, by force, indigenous land, steal from native peoples, and perpetrate enforced indoctrination on them. This was a basis for slavery.
Land Acknowledgment simply means that we must recognize the Native Americans who lived on our land before us. I say “our” land, but indigenous people would insist that it’s impossible to “own” the land that exists for all people to enjoy and support their families. Dr Hauff made it very plain to me that the origins of our prejudice and racism go back a long ways and it will take generations to make real peace with the past.
I could go on and on about Convention! Overall, I was taken by the flow, the seamless integration of pre-recorded videos, and the intimacy of the virtual format. The focus was relevant, compelling, thought-provoking, convicting, and timely, given the recent wave of Black deaths at the hands of law enforcement.
Our heart-felt thanks to the Diocesan staff for, surely, hundreds of hours of planning, organizing, and coordinating! Not a perfect convention, but pretty darn close . . .
One parting thought . . .
It was revealing to see what’s on Bishop Rickel’s bookshelf – Ansel Adams, West Side Story, New Yorker Cartoons, Auschwitz – the Residence of Death, Indian Heritage, Where the Salmon Run, Churches of Rome, Mark Twain, Texas, Lost Seattle, Power and Peace, North American Indians . . .
Convention News, Part 2
To paraphrase the Bishop at this year’s convention opening, the Gospel, by which we live, is a living story for the common good. And to me this opening set the course for the 2020 Convention. Acknowledging and working towards that common good was, to me, the foundation of the unwritten theme of Diversity and Building Relationships-relationships that focus on listening, trust, honesty, creating new frameworks, acknowledging our past, looking towards a new future and ‘working and doing together.’
There were several workshops we were given the opportunity to take part in, which by the way are on the Diocesen website for the next 30 days for anyone to watch. I chose to take part in Sacred Ground: A Ministry for Racial Justice, Healing and Reconciliation, Pandemic Church and Racial Justice Through the Eyes of Young People and Navigating Mental Health During the Pandemic. I am so glad that, through the website, I am able to go online to view the others that were offered. In addition to these wonderful resources we heard two amazing keynote speakers: Dr. Hauff, Missioner of Indigenous Ministries and on the Presiding Bishop’s Staff, and Reverend Terry Kyllo and the Circle of Color Committee, the circle of love, acceptance and respect. The stories that were told by the speakers and in the workshops were so touching and yet, hard to hear. Yet listening to these stories is so critical in order for us to move forward.
Closing the Convention was the beautiful Eucharist and Ordination. Going into this time was so spiritual after two days of listening, hearing, responding to the stories of trials through prejudice and discrimination, yet open to hope and faith. I felt the presence of God and His Spirit, and the knowledge He is with us as we go out and get to work to bring His Beloved Community here and now.
I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to take part in this year’s convention and I hope you all take the opportunity to go-on line to ecww.org to listen to the stories, check out the workshops, and be inspired as I. Peace in Christ, Shirley
Day by Day
In this time of isolation, many have a heightened appreciation for the daily reflection and inspiration offered by the Day by Day publication. It’s another way we stay connected. Contact me if you haven’t been receiving copies of Day by Day and would like to be added to the mailing list. Please specify regular or large print edition. —June Cook, 360-333-9311, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop’s Committee Meeting Minutes Summary
Please remember you are always welcome to attend Bishop’s Committee Meetings, which typically occur the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. The meeting information and Zoom link can be found on the website calendar. If you have trouble finding any of this information, please contact Marcy for assistance.
Summary of October 12, 2020 Bishop’s Committee Meeting
- Treasurer’s Report – presented by Lorne Render
- For nine months of the year (75% for the year) we are at 83% for income and 57% for expenses. Last year income was 82% and expenses 68%.
- Maggie made a Motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report, Maegan seconded, and Motion passed unanimously.
- Maegan moved to accept the Treasurer’s recommendation that Red Door proceeds, August through December, be moved to Outreach Fund. Carleton seconded, and Motion passed unanimously.
- The new Red Door Thrift Shop has launched at https://reddoorthriftshop.com! Please support this important outreach ministry with donations and shopping. Send your family and friends – local shoppers can pick up, shipping can be arranged for out-of-area shoppers.
- Don made a motion to accept Diane+ recommendation for leadership (BC and Circle) and other interested individuals to participate in Intercultural and Diversity Inventory (IDI) and coaching. Judith seconded, and Motion passed unanimously.
- Calendar – Next BC meeting is November 9, 6:00 pm, via Zoom.
What Day is Your Birth Day? Birthdays, like the rising sun, Dawn’s radiant pink, soft blue, and gleams of gold Air pure, sphere full of blessings, Earth revives, Mr. and Mrs. Robin, their divinely spotted, turquoise eggs. Stars send crystal light...to mother earth with each new born, Sea-angels float in clear clean, bubbling foam, Bumblebees buzz pollen to the plum-purple foxglove flower. The sun is our ultraviolet musician. She paints our world with a variety of souls, We are all One. -Margo Huth I lift my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?(Psalm 121:1)
Happy Birthday to…
…Scott Ledbetter on November 5
……Siriana Simonsen on November 11
Please send the month & date of your birthday, baptismal date, anniversary, and/or other special occasions so we can help you celebrate your blessings in the Joyful Noise. Please send to People’s Warden Judith Render at email@example.com, 360-982-2770.
1 November 2020 All Saints’ Day 10:30 am Holy Eucharist Presider & Homilist: Rev. Carol Rodin Deacon: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson Readings Revelation 7:9-17 Psalm 34:1-10, 22 1 John 3:1-3 Matthew 5:1-12 8 November 2020 The Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost Proper 27 10:30 am Morning Prayer Presider & Homilist: Rev. Brian Lennstrom Deacon: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson Readings Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 Psalm 78:1-7 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Matthew 25:1-13 15 November 2020 The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost Proper 28 10:30 am Morning Prayer Presider: Rev. Diane Ramerman Homilist: Ms. Baudelina Paz Deacon: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson Readings Judges 4:1-7 Psalm 123 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Matthew 25:14-30 22 November 2020 Christ the King Sunday Proper 29 10:30 am Morning Prayer Presider: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson Homilist: Rev. Diane Ramerman Readings Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 Psalm 100 Ephesians 1:15-23 Matthew 25:31-46 Year B 29 November 2020 The First Sunday of Advent 10:30 am Morning Prayer Presider: Rev. Carol Rodin Homilist: Ms. Shirley Barrett Deacon: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson Readings Isaiah 64:1-9 Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 Mark 13:24-37 6 December 2020 The Second Sunday of Advent 10:30 am Morning Prayer Presider: Rev. Brian Lennstrom Homilist: The Rt. Rev. Sandy Hampton Deacon: Rev. Dn. Eric Johnson Readings Isaiah 40:1-11 Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 2 Peter 3:8-15a Mark 1:1-8