Friday evening (January 6, 2017) at 7:00 P.M. Join us for a lovely evening, wonderful music and talented people. Help Needed
This Sunday (January 9, 2017) we need a bunch of folks to help move a bunch of stuff from the new Food Pantry to the storage room. The more folks we have moving things, the quicker the work will be finished. Let us meet following the 10:15 service and get to it as soon as possible. Food Pantry
The food pantry will be open just as soon as the stuff in the room is moved. The room will be used only for the Food Pantry. This pantry is an opportunity to do at least two things. First, we want to help members of our community when they are in trouble and need a little extra care. Second, we hope to adopt a family for the year with one grocery trip per month. So far we have been blessed with donations to the pantry. Now we need to stock the shelves and make it available. Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of St. Christopher's will be held on Sunday, January 22, 2017. Reports are due on January 15, 2017 and will be published on-line. A link will be available on our website. The web page is up and running at jacob.stchrisgrandblanc.org/am2017 and you are welcome to take a look anytime you wish. Most reports are not available as of yet. Vestry Nominees
A picture and bio of each of our three vestry nominees will be published as soon as we have the pictures and bios. They will be published on our Annual Meeting site as well as in the next edition of the "Trumpeter." Wednesday Night Meeting
Are you interested in Wednesday Night Fantastic? I hope so, it is really a neat concept. On Sunday, January 16, 2017 we will gather in the fellowship hall following the 10:15 A.M. service to discuss the current program, to plan for the future and to devise new methods of communication and coordination. We will also discuss the upcoming placement of a Wednesday Evening Coordinator. Wednesday Night Coordinator
Thanks be to God!! We have received a wonderful gift that will allow us to hire a Wednesday Night Coordinator. This person will be responsible to the Rector for the Wednesday Night Fantastic including the schedule, coordination of the various components and leaders, as the implementation of the youth formation part of the evening. The individual will need to be familiar with Christian Education, complete a background check and complete Safeguarding God's Children and Safeguarding God's People courses. A job description should be available by the end of the month. Those interested are asked to contact the office by e-mail. Trumpeter
The January edition of the "Trumpeter" is scheduled to be published on Tuesday. All articles are due no later than Monday. Due to the Annual Meeting we will not be able to wait for late articles. So if you have anything you wish to be published, please get it in to Elizabeth Sauvie (our Administrative Assistant) as soon as you can, but no later than Monday. Elizabeth's e-mail is email@example.com New, Shorter but Not a Change
Sometimes it is difficult to remember our e-mail and web domain name because it is long. So we have established a shorter version. The current version WILL NOT CHANGE. The shorter version is a short-cut and might be easier for some to remember. So, if you want to go to www.stchrisgrandblanc.org you can now also use www.stcgb.org or if you want to send an e-mail to me you can use firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also use email@example.com . Either address is good for just about anything, although there may be a few addresses where the secondary domain has yet to be fully established. If you find one of those, please let me know. On the Computer Topic
As most of you know, your interim rector (Priest-in-Charge) is a geek. I admit it. I have been since very early in life. Recently, I received a gift of some old computers, monitors and printers. Slowly, I am going through this equipment and seeing if it can be used. In addition to all the expensive software available from Microsoft and others, there is also operating systems that are totally free (called open source) and are amazingly stable. What's more this software works on older computers (the kind that sadly most businesses just throw in the rubbish). Although you would still need to pay for your own Internet connection, if a system like this would be helpful to you, or if you have an old computer (not too old please) that you would like to pass along, please let me know. I may have as many as four desktop units with monitors ready to go soon. I will try to set one up in the fellowship hall if you are interested in what this alternative looks like. Concluding Thoughts
Marcie and I had a chance to get away and visit Northwest Michigan for a week after Christmas. Having lived "out west" these last 30 years, I am truly taken by the beauty of "Pure Michigan." Watching the waves in the bay near Traverse City, and the big flakes of snow from the book store in Petoskey warmed my heart. I am pretty sure Marcie assisted the economy of the region somewhat, and we enjoyed the amazing renaissance of the Grand Traverse Commons, a true inspiration. Time away is a must for anyone, but for a priest it is time to reduce the daily stress and take a step back from the worries that are always a reasonable part of this vocation. Although it seems unnecessary to say, Priests are quite human. Sometimes we get angry and we laugh, we say the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person, we get in trouble and we make mistakes. Sometimes we priests are annoying as we cannot do something without your help and your leadership. No priest is or should be a "Lone Ranger" as that creates harm to the priest and to the parish. We try to follow our calling and listen as best we can to guidance of the Holy Spirit. We try to hear the concerns and the feelings of people without becoming overly emotional so that our spiritual sight and hearing are not compromised. I thank you, and I thank our Wardens for allowing me to have time away and I hope that each of you will love and care for your next Rector too.
Happy Epiphany everyone, let's all keep moving forward with God's help.
Amahl and the Night Visitors Friday Evening at 7:00 P.M.
"Amahl and the Night Visitors" is a short opera written by Itialian composer Gian Carlo Monetti. The story concerns the three magi and their journey to see the Christ Child. It was first performed on Christmas Eve, 1951 on the NBC Opera Theatre.
The opera is in one act and for non-opera lovers is quite short and easy to follow. The libretto was written in English by the composer. In the original cast album the following description was written by the composer:
"This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood. You see, when I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus. I suppose that Santa Claus is much too busy with American children to be able to handle Italian children as well. Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings, instead.
I actually never met the Three Kings—it didn't matter how hard my little brother and I tried to keep awake at night to catch a glimpse of the Three Royal Visitors, we would always fall asleep just before they arrived. But I do remember hearing them. I remember the weird cadence of their song in the dark distance; I remember the brittle sound of the camel's hooves crushing the frozen snow; and I remember the mysterious tinkling of their silver bridles.
My favorite king was King Melchior, because he was the oldest and had a long white beard. My brother's favorite was King Kaspar. He insisted that this king was a little crazy and quite deaf. I don't know why he was so positive about his being deaf. I suspect it was because dear King Kaspar never brought him all the gifts he requested. He was also rather puzzled by the fact that King Kaspar carried the myrrh, which appeared to him as a rather eccentric gift, for he never quite understood what the word meant.
To these Three Kings I mainly owe the happy Christmas seasons of my childhood and I should have remained very grateful to them. Instead, I came to America and soon forgot all about them, for here at Christmas time one sees so many Santa Clauses scattered all over town. Then there is the big Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza, the elaborate toy windows on Fifth Avenue, the one-hundred-voice choir in Grand Central Station, the innumerable Christmas carols on radio and television—and all these things made me forget the three dear old Kings of my old childhood.
But in 1951 I found myself in serious difficulty. I had been commissioned by the National Broadcasting Company to write an opera for television, with Christmas as deadline, and I simply didn't have one idea in my head. One November afternoon as I was walking rather gloomily through the rooms of the Metropolitan Museum, I chanced to stop in front of the Adoration of the Kings by Hieronymus Bosch, and as I was looking at it, suddenly I heard again, coming from the distant blue hills, the weird song of the Three Kings. I then realized they had come back to me and had brought me a gift.
I am often asked how I went about writing an opera for television, and what are the specific problems that I had to face in planning a work for such a medium. I must confess that in writing "Amahl and the Night Visitors," I hardly thought of television at all. As a matter of fact, all my operas are originally conceived for an ideal stage which has no equivalent in reality, and I believe that such is the case with most dramatic authors." —Gian-Carlo Menotti
Please come and enjoy this celebration of the Epiphany at 7:00 P.M. Friday evening. There is no admission charge.