Time, Talent, and Treasure
For the last year we have been honoring stewards of St. Dunstan’s. You remember. We celebrated the choir, ushers, bakers, acolytes, the lay-readers, lectors, altar guild, flower guild, the people who support our Syrian family, Family Promise, and so many others.
If there were a stewardship test to get into heaven, St. Dunstan’s parishioners would pass with flying colors. You all make me proud to be a part of your championship activism as you exercise time and talent…..the backbone of stewardship.
Now comes the time of year we get around to the third leg of stewardship – after talent and time. Now is the time we talk to you about “treasure” – the financial underpinning of this church.
Each year we ask you to fill out a pledge that goes in confidence directly to our treasurer, Lee Morris. Lee, in partnership with the senior warden and Tricia, present a budget to the vestry, which makes the financial decisions for the parish.
It is the responsibility of your vestry to make sure we represent YOU as we set goals to achieve all the activities YOU have told us you want. Without your pledge, we are flying blind when it comes to the 2019 planning process. We would have no way of knowing if we could fund outreach, the choir, even the coffee we serve on Sunday morning.
Here comes the banner headline. St. Dunstan’s is in the remarkable position of having no debt.
Let that sink in…We have no debt.
You can thank our budgeting process, our treasurer’s guidance, the oversight of our rector, and a vestry that is committed to running the business of St. Dunstan’s the way we feel our religious values dictate. We are in the enviable position of financial stability.
I stood before the congregation Sunday morning to kick off the stewardship campaign, asking that you be prayerful in your giving, and thoughtful in your pledging.
When you receive your pledge card in the mail, please understand the sooner you send it back, the sooner our annual budget deliberations can take shape. You may mail your card back in the enclosed envelope or bring it to church and drop it in the pledge basket in the hallway. We will also have extra pledge cards available if you misplace yours or did not receive one.
If you decide to use our new EFT (Electronics Funds Transfer) program, you will soon be able to go to our website, hit the “parishioner information” button at the top of the page and make your payment automatically. Pay weekly, monthly, or yearly…or any other way you want to set it up.
This EFT link will go directly to St. Dunstan’s bank account and will automatically notify our treasurer of funds deposited. Be reassured that firewalls and security are of the highest grade. And if EFT is not your cup of tea, we will gladly accept your checks as we have always done.
I want to say in closing that being your stewardship chair these last two years has been a wonderful experience for me. You have taught me how generous, compassionate, and loving you are. You have risen to the challenge every time we have been in need. You have fixed the organ, funded backpacks for immigrants, and come to the rescue of your fellow parishioners.
You remind me of my mother’s saying as I was growing up, “Harriett you will be judged by the company you keep.” Well Mom, I chose this place this time and these people.
New Worship Times
Sunday, September 9, we go back to our program year schedule. Worship times are at 8:30 and 10:45. Sunday School for all ages is at 9:30.
The Apostles’ Teaching
A life of faith requires more than just an assent to a list of beliefs. Being a Christian comes with responsibilities. Our baptismal covenant spells them out – to be faithful in worship and prayer, to persist in resisting evil, to work for justice and peace, to treat all people with dignity and respect. And there is one other – “to continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.”
“Continuing in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship” means that studying is part of what it is to be a Christian. The apostles’ teaching includes the study of scripture, of course, but it is much more than that. It means studying the history and traditions of our faith, and what our faith has to say about contemporary issues and how we should respond. And “fellowship” means that we don’t study in a vacuum. We come together to study and discuss, to share ideas and learn from one another.
This fall we have a number of ways to continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.
- Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis. “We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.” So begins a statement of faith issued earlier this year by a number of Christian leaders, including our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. In Adult Sunday School we will study and discuss this statement, including the six tenets of belief it outlines, and what those beliefs say we must embrace and reject. All teens and adults are encouraged to come join the discussion. We’ll meet in the Founders’ Room beginning at 9:30 a.m.
- Godly Play – Gilda Morris will lead this class focused on the stories of our faith for our children, aged 2.5 through 5th grade, at 9:30 a.m. in the Godly Play classroom on the Beech Grove side of the parish hall.
Tuesday Morning Study Group
The Tuesday morning women’s study group will begin the new program year with a discussion of James Cone’s book The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Studying this book will prepare us for a pilgrimage to the new Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, which commemorates African American victims of lynching from 1877 to 1950. Classes begin September 4 at 10 a.m. in the parish hall.
Tuesday Night Bible Study
The weekly study of the gospel of Luke resumes on Tuesday, September 11, at 7 p.m. in the Founders’ Room. We will begin with a review of the first seven chapters of the gospel, so no previous participation is necessary. Our study looks at the gospel using archaeology, literary and linguistic study, as well as feminist theology, art, music and more! For a study guide, contact Susan Lee Hauser (email@example.com)
Pigs Are Flying!
One of St. Dunstan’s most beloved traditions, the annual Flying Pig BBQ, is coming up. Joins us in the Beech Grove on Sunday, September 30, for fantastic food and fellowship.
Tickets are $15; $5 for children under 10. Bring a side dish or dessert to share. Look soon for sign up sheets in the parish hall for food, and help setting and cleaning up.
John Gimson is our chief BBQ guru. If you’d like to help keep the fires stoked and the meat cooking, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can use all
- Thanks to all who made it possible for us to host Family Promise for two back- to-back weeks in August: Fair Sutherlin; Julia Koenig; Shirley Morgan; Bob Longino; Lori Westphal; Alexander Changus; Erik Kleven; Harriet Smith; Gilda Morris; Tommy and Mary Jane Hannah; Lindsey Reece; Elise MacIntyre; Joni House; Susan and Steven Hauser; Jeanne Taylor; Pam Weed; Mary Kathryn and Bob Wolfson; Tiffany Dorsey; Jace, Wallis, and John Kaltenbach; Peggy Rogers; Daria Jones; Maggie Harney; Mary Hunter Maxwell; Charis Bowling; Nancy Dillon; Sherri Crawford; Lynn Hood; Elizabeth Wong Mark; and, as always, our fabulous Family Promise coordinators: Mimi Gold; Lucy Kaltenbach; Vivian Siggers, and Ellen Taratus.
- Thanks to all who contributed to our project to provide backpacks filled with toiletries, clothing and other necessities to immigrants being released from the ICE detention center in Ocilla, Ga. We raised $3,000, which helped provide 300 backpacks! A special thanks to Misty Bentz, who brought this project to our attention and organized our efforts, and to Jill Knight, who drove her car stuffed with backpacks to Ocilla. And to those who helped pack them: Susan and Steven Hauser, Mary Jane and Tommy Hannah, Whit and Harriet Smith, Jill Knight, James Tran, Shirley Morgan, Misty Bentz, and Tricia Templeton.
- Thank you to Harriet Smith for washing all the acolyte and lay reader robes, and straightening and reorganizing the vesting room.
- Thanks to Max Changus for agreeing to coordinate and head our acolytes.
Our condolences to Martha O’Brien on the death of her brother, Will O’Brien.
A New Role for Billy DuBose
About this time last year Billy DuBose moved from South Carolina to Decatur to begin studies at Emory’s Candler School of Theology. He also became a member of St. Dunstan’s. This year as part of his studies he will officially become our seminarian. That means he will assume some new roles, including preaching a couple of times this semester, looking at different areas of church life, and meeting regularly with Tricia. We welcome him in this new role!
The Flower Guild Wants You!
Does the beauty of the flowers each week add to your sense of worship at St. Dunstan’s? The flowers are arranged each week by members of the Flower Guild. If you enjoy arranging flowers please consider joining this group. If you’ve never arranged flowers, but would like to learn they will teach you! Contact flower guild chair Gilda Morris at email@example.com if you are interested.
And if you’d like to donate flowers to the glory of God, and in memory or honor of someone, sign up in the narthex.
Angel Yoga on Mondays
Join us on Monday evenings at 6 for Angel Yoga, a gentle, spiritual yoga using chairs. Classes are led by Gilda Morris. A $10 donation to the rector’s discretionary
fund is suggested.
Harriet Smith, our senior warden, recently called my attention to an article in the Economist which notes that attendance is up at choral evensong services in English cathedrals. This is good news both for the general health of the church and specifically for the importance of church music in that improving health.
These services typically contain fine choral singing, not much congregational participation, and loads of that British pageantry we all love to experience. Choral evensong is also offered in parish churches, where the choral singing can also be quite fine, and the congregation is often a more integral part.
It has been a few years since choral evensong has been offered at St. Dunstan’s, but it will happen again on October 21 at 4 p.m.
Basically a sung service of evening prayer (see the Book of Common Prayer, pp. 62-71 and 115-126, evensong typically contains hymns appropriate for evening; a psalm; scripture readings; the New Testament canticles known as Magnificat (Song of Mary) and Nunc dimittis (Song of Simeon); the Apostles’ Creed; sometimes a homily; one or more choir anthems; and various prayers.
The overall tone of the service is contemplative: it is prayer time for evening. For the service on October 21, the choir will sing canticles in the traditional language of the Book of Common Prayer from 1662. The psalm and prayers will be in more familiar modern English and will be sung by all.
What it means to be an Episcopalian is constantly changing, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if you want to connect with the deepest and most lasting worship traditions of the Episcopal church, and of the Anglican church worldwide, then choral evensong is for you. Please consider coming.
Atlanta Chamber Players
The Atlanta Chamber Players will open their 2018-2019 season with a concert on Thursday evening, September 27, at St. Dunstan’s. If you have heard their superb performances here in the past, you know that St. Dunstan’s is the perfect setting for chamber music, both aurally and visually. The concert begins at
7:30 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling 404-594-3445.
Time & Talent – Want to be more involved?
Sundays at St. Dunstan’s are not possible without a large number of volunteers. There are plenty of opportunities to lend a hand. Feel free to contact the following people to get more information on ways you can help.
Coffee / Hospitality
Lay Readers / Lectors
A Prayer for Autumn
God of all seasons, we thank you for Autumn.
We thank you
for the touch of coolness in the air that gives us a new burst of energy,
for the coloring of trees that shows the creativity of the Divine Artist,
for the falling leaves that reveal the strength of the branches,
for the hues of fields that bring peace to our souls,f
or the smiles on pumpkins that bring joy to children,
for the fall harvest which that brings us gratitude for the bounty of our land,
for this change of seasons that reveals the circle of life.
God of all seasons, as you transform the earth, transform us by your Spirit.