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Episcopal Church of the Holy Family
A Message from the Senior
Every day we can see progress on our new church buildings and soon they will be finished. Completion can be attributed to a great deal of hard work and dedication by many people, some of whom are less visible than others, but all of whom are due our heartfelt thanks and gratitude. Additionally, completion could not occur without the entire parish family’s participation and support. Thanks to everyone for their patience, support and contribution.
The new church will be a magnificent place to worship. It also will be the hub for the broadening of Christian education, expanded outreach, and service within our community. However, the new church should not be an end in itself; rather, it should be the center of energy for expansion of God’s kingdom on earth.
About thirty members of our congregation gathered in the church on the evening of Tuesday, January 29 in response to a congregation-wide invitation to take part in this brainstorming and initial planning session about what might be the best uses of our current facilities after we move in the new church. Those present reviewed copies of the final report from the Long-Range Planning committee, after which several members offered their suggestions for our priorities. An outstanding proposal by Nancy and Joe Satterfield stimulated a healthy discussion and found much support. After the open discussion and exchange of ideas, consensus seemed to exist around two general ideas: (1) there is support for keeping the current modular facility because of its adaptability for a wide range of future uses that we envisioned in our long-range planning, and (2) there is support for our education committee to investigate the feasibility of using some of the modular facilities to offer some type early childhood program during the week. Considerable support also was voiced for using the existing facilities to help expand our programs to young people. The broad support that surfaced should help provide energy for more specific plans as we begin to expand our offerings.
For years Carol Tholen has served this congregation and this community well responding to and ministering to hurting or desperate people who would call Holy Family seeking help. Sometimes they would say that they needed help paying a utility bill. Sometimes they were unable to pay rent and were about to be evicted from their home. Sometimes a doctor had prescribed prescription medications for an illness; yet, they were without the resources to pay for the medicines they needed. We have even been called upon to help defray the cost of funeral expenses.
It was 'sometimes,' but it was always something that just seemed bigger than the person calling could imagine how to handle. Sometimes Carol would refer the caller or the visitor to a more appropriate resource. Sometimes Carol could and would respond with direct financial aid. This aid, together with contributions from other churches she might call upon, would often be enough to avert a crisis. Sometimes what the caller seemed most in need of was a person to talk to - a person who seemed to care.
Up until recently, Carol's would be the only voice on the other end of the line. But now the voice of caring may go by any number of names - Anne, Jeanne, Brenda, Mary Ann, or Carol. This is because this ministry has now expanded to include Anne Spitznagel, Jeanne Nissen, Brenda Farr, and Mary Ann Bracegirdle. Each of these parishioners recently attended a series of three seminars sponsored by Holy Family where they (as well as persons from other area churches) heard directly from area agencies. During these seminars, each agency representative explained in detail the services they provide and how these same services can be accessed.
Attendees heard from representatives from such agencies as the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFACS), North Georgia Community Action, Head Start, and St. Vincent DePaul Society—to name only a few. The purpose of these seminars was to help our Outreach Ministers to become intimately aware of the various programs and ministries available to the citizens of Jasper and Pickens County.
Following these sessions, the newly formed Holy Family Outreach Minister's Team met with Associate Rector Frank Wilson to discuss and develop systems and protocols as well as the philosophy and theology on which a ministry of direct emergency aid takes place.
The Community Outreach Office is located in the Welcome Center and has its own phone number: 770-893-3088.
Each volunteer staffs the telephone and office for several hours, once each week. During this time the volunteer may respond to several persons who have called or who visit seeking aid and assistance. In addition, a volunteer is always on site and available to persons who come to the Community Food Pantry on Friday mornings.
The ministry team meets weekly to discuss the best utilization of resources and to ensure an on-going dialogue regarding the activities taking place within this ministry.
The team utilizes many different resources and has established a good and positive working relationship with most all other area agencies.
Many referrals are made -- a service made easier with the use of the Community Resource Guide recently published by the Holy Family Outreach Committee.
Additionally, both the church and the Community Food Pantry support and administer Discretionary Funds to which the counselors have access. Whereas the Priest Discretionary Fund is directly supported by Holy Family parish, The Food Pantry Counselor's Discretionary Fund is largely dependent upon grants. Volunteer and Board Chair Frank Nissen, has been instrumental in identifying, writing, and submitting grant applications over the past three years. Last year, due to the efforts of all involved and by the grace of God we were able to distribute in excess of $30,000 in direct emergency aid to the poor and needy in our community.
Contributions can be made to either of these funds by making checks out to Holy Family Episcopal Church AND by denoting either Priest Discretionary Fund or Counselor's Discretionary Fund on the memo line.
Ministry, of course, takes many different forms.
Jesus said there are two great, that is to say over-arching, commandments: That we love God with all that we are and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. He also said that when we do for the least among us we have also done for him.
To love God and neighbor sometimes means giving a helping hand to a stranger. Sometimes it means being a caring voice or presence in the midst of despair. Sometimes it means giving food or providing some form of financial assistance.
Sometimes it means saying, 'yes.' Occasionally, it means saying 'no' because a given situation calls for an expression of 'tough love.' Sometimes it means saying 'no' because although we would like to help, there are no funds available.
But always it means being an agent of God's Peace in the world.
We thank these persons who are giving of themselves and who have volunteered to be God's hands in the work that he has given us to do in this place.
Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body of spirit and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer from page 826 of the Book of Common Prayer
The Rev. Frank Wilson
Please join me in expressing our appreciation to out-going treasurer, Jack Kerley, for his wonderful and highly dedicated work this past year. Jack took over this job when we were moving into the ACS accounting system and effectively made the transition and succeeded in getting all of our accounts in order. We owe Jack a great deal of praise and gratitude for the many long hours of work spent in this job.
We welcome Mary Porter who has agreed to take over the position of Treasurer for 2002. She brings a wealth of experience and skill from her CPA profession. Let us all support Mary as she undertakes this important assignment.
We owe a debt of gratitude to John Spitznagel for his 3 years of dedication and service as Chairman of the Education Committee. During this time John has arranged for an excellent level of Christian education for our parish family. John’s leaves a solid foundation from which to carry on; his leadership and fine efforts are to be commended.
Ann Burger has agreed to take over as Chairman of the Education Committee for 2002. We are grateful for Ann’s bringing her background and experience into this key position. Her leadership will be critical as we move into our new church and undertake new programs for Christian education.
After many months of research, planning and hard work, the volunteers of Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center will see their first patients in April. Plans are well under way for the Grand Opening, which is set for Tuesday, April 9.
Good Sam, as it is affectionately called by those who gave birth to the idea at Holy Family over two years ago, will be a unique clinic that will provide basic medical and dental care. Patients will not be charged or billed for the services, and insurance will not be accepted. There will be a Contributions Box for those who wish to help defray the cost of the care, but payment will be strictly voluntary.
Good Samaritan has as its model the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in Hilton Head. Several other free clinics that are now in operation are based on that model. However, when Good Sam opens it will be the first one that has opened with an all-volunteer staff. (In the other free clinics several of the key personnel are on salaries.)
The Good Samaritan Center will see patients who have lived or worked in Pickens County for at least the past three months. To be eligible for care, patients must not have health insurance, and their family income must be below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Additional volunteers are needed in all areas, and experience or training in health care is not necessary. The Center will be open to see patients from 9 until 12 noon. Volunteers will work 4-hour shifts and are encouraged to work two or more times a month. For more information and for an application form, call the temporary office at 706-579-1226.
Also, funds are needed for completion of the renovation and for the day-to-day operation. If you would like to fund an entire room or a portion of a room, please notify Director of Fund Development Joyce Dewey. Good Samaritan is a charitable, tax-exempt corporation, so your checks are fully tax-deductible. Please send them to Good Samaritan, PO Box 579, Jasper GA 30143.
It won’t be long…. Before we start purchasing the items on the wish list developed by the Furnishings Council last fall. Furnishings and equipment—tables and chairs for the gathering hall, library requests, toddlers and nursery furniture, audio-video equipment, choir and vesting area needs—all will be ordered and put in place in our new facilities.
The chairs for the nave are ready, awaiting a finish date of the building to have them delivered. These are the items on the initial needs list. The Furnishings Council developed this initial list knowing there will be additional needs—best be determined once we are living in our new surroundings. Thanks to the generosity of the people of Holy Family and the donors of the matching challenge—many furnishings be in place when the doors are opened!
NOMINATIONS NEEDED FOR THE 2002-03 VESTRY….
Do you have someone in mind as a potential vestry member? Look around you on Sunday morning and at meetings during the week and you will probably be able to pick out several people who might “fit the bill”. Being elected to the vestry is an honor, but most of all it is a commitment and a responsibility.
If you are interested in running for the vestry, or if you know someone who would be a good member, check out the responsibilities listed on the vestry nomination form (can be found in the Narthex). Completed nomination forms should be given to Senior Warden, Ed Dewey or Jr. Warden, Andy Edwards on or before. April 1st. The new vestry members will be elected at our Annual Meeting scheduled for Sunday, April 28th.
Lenten Calendar of Events
Wednesday Evenings During Lent
March 6 , 6:30 p.m.
Palm Sunday, March 24, 8:00 a.m.
Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
Maundy Thursday, March 28, 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday, March 29, 12:00 noon
Saturday, March 30, Prayer Vigil
Easter Egg Hunt, 9:30 a.m.
Easter Sunday Festive Holy Eucharist, 10:30 a.m.
The Altar Guild and Flower Guild will be decorating the church for Easter. You are invited to make a financial contribution for these decorations in honor of or memory of a relative, loved one or friend. Names will be printed in the bulletin for the Easter Morning Services. Please call the church office to make arrangements.