Dea Podhajsky

Dea Podhajsky

an essay by Cathy Haig

 

A while ago, I took a credit course from the ‘Deep Green Faith’ group of the University of the South, Theological Seminary in Sewanee, Tennessee. ‘Rooted and Rising’ was the textbaook for the course that we had to read prior to the first session. The title, I thought to myself, seemed rather odd to be used for a course on Environmental Ecology. As I progressed through the book realized that it was most fitting as it was about climate disruption because of the universal symbolism of the tree.

Nearly every religion uses the image of the tree to convey the mysterious linkage between sky and earth, the realm of the divine and the realm of humanity. The tree embodies the mysterious interchange of birth, growth, death, and new life; of soil, water, air and sunlight; of reaching into the depths while also rising toward the heights. As we witness the ongoing and accelerating degradation of the planetary life systems that support trees, along with all other life forms, such as butterflies and spade-footed toads, these great woody plants are telling us what we need to do in this perilous time. And it is even more prevalent when the forests, are being desecrated with wildfires and in particular those cause by human carelessness. We, who are all created in God’s image must reach deep into our soil of scriptural and spiritual wisdom to draw on the life-giving water and nutrients that can sustain the trunk, branches and leaves of the whole “family tree” that makes its home on Earth.

In the origin story of the Abrahamic faiths, human beings faced with a choice that was symbolized by the tree of knowledge and made a decision that forever shaped their future with each other, with God and with the natural world. Do you remember that story? If you do, it wasn’t really Eve’s fault you know. Today humanity is confronting a similar life-and-death decision. Will we choose self-restraint that allows life to flourish, or will we grab everything for ourselves and sentence ourselves and other creatures to planetary collapse? Look around us.

Humanity has gorged of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and has driven our precious Garden of Earth into ruin. The climate crisis now scorching the Earth is killing not only trees, but also glaciers, entire species of flora and fauna, and even humans. Have you ever lived in 45C heat in the Okanagan without air conditioning? Wildfires, propelled by drought, torch vast stands of forests and towns. Oceans are warming and are no longer being contained by shorelines and floods are raging through subway systems and wash away roads and homes as in Germany. Monster hurricanes continue to pummel us. Our once orderly seasons are becoming weirdly unpredictable. The songbirds at our feeders go missing. So, we say things like: “Things aren’t that bad, the scientists are exaggerating, or this isn’t my problem, I have other things to worry about.” It’s the moment when the fruit from the tree of knowledge falls from our hands and we realize what we and a society based on fossil fuels have done.

After finishing the course, I found myself more open to that which is Sacred and Holy and wanted to know more, so I enrolled in another course at Sewanee called “Greening The Apostles Creed”. What a wonderful experience of that which is Holy. My prayer is that each of you chose to learn more and listen to what area of your life God is calling you to.

                                Episcopal Church of Transfiguration, Mesa, AZ

                                       Vestry Meeting Minutes,   June 8, 2021                                     

  1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Fr. Bob Saik. A quorum was present. The meeting was held at the parish hall with some members appearing via zoom.

  1. Roll Call. The following vestry members were in attendance. Barbara Press, Bill Paleck, Peg Wier, Caryll Prokosch and Catherine Schuyler were present in person, Jo Laslo and Ellen Jackelin were present via zoom. Also present in person were Bob Saik, Rector, and Diane Klock, Clerk. Lynn Graff, Senior Warden, appeared via zoom.
  • It was moved, seconded and passed that the May minutes be approved, as corrected. It was also moved, seconded and passed that the minutes of the special meeting held on May 17, 2021 be approved.
  1. Financial Report.
  2. Treasurer’s Report for May 2021 was included in the meeting packet.
  3. Bob pointed out that the Report shows that church income is exceeding expenses by $2,558.63 for May and by $6,294.34 year to date.
  4. In response to a question by Catherine Schuyler regarding water, Fr. Bob stated that the water bill has been less than budgeted. The chili garden has a new irrigation system which is using less water.
  5. Balance Sheet
  6. Bob stated that there is an increased amount in the checking account.
  7. Bob also pointed out that the balance sheet reflects a chili garden expense for fencing.
  8. It was moved, seconded and passed to approve the Financial Report, subject to audit.
  9. Daughters of the King Report. (Submitted by Linda Soper and included in packet.)
  10. Lynn Graff stated that the Daughters of the King are continuing to meet via zoom.
  11. They will continue to meet.
  12. ECW Report (Submitted by Jo Laslo and included in packet.)
  13. Jo Laslo reported that they met physically and virtually on June 5 and discussed the use of the money in their account.
  14. The Report reflects money to be donated. They also have $5000 available for the church.
  15. The Fashion Show luncheon will be held March 12, 2022.
  16. ECW’s next meeting will be September 11, 2021.
  • Social Media Report. (Submitted by Dea Podhajsky and included in packet)
  1. Bob stated that the Report shows a slight increase in YouTube, Twitter and Web Page usage.
  2. Dea is asking for help with Instagram.
  3. A discussion was held about a bluish tinge on the video service. Fr. Bob reported that Gary Quamme is working on it. It may be a problem with the camera.
  • Crazy Chili Farm Update (Submitted by Bill Robinson and included in packet.)
  1. Junior Warden Report
  2. Bob stated that Pat Mack was unable to attend the meeting but sent him a text with the information for a report.
  3. Bob stated that thanks are in order for Walter, who is wonderful. He sprayed for bugs inside and out, replaced bait traps inside and out, sprayed the ground for weeds, and got water turned on all around the building. He put two new water spigots on. He also worked on the curtains in the parish hall building so they are now attached more firmly.
  4. Bob reported that the human door in the garage has been replaced. It will be an expense item on next month’s expense report. The work was done by Andrew, who was recommended by Catherine Schuyler.
  5. Bob stated that Pat completed monthly maintenance at the church.
  6. The air conditioners were checked last month and checked out okay. The air conditioners in the church are getting old but there is no need to replace them until one goes out.
  7. The stanchion work still needs to be done but Pat has had trouble finding someone to do the work.
  8. Senior Warden Report: Lynn Graff
  9. Lynn stated that she had a great trip.
  10. She is now out of the hills and mountains and should be able to stay in touch.
  11. Rector’s Report.
  12. Bob stated that his vacation schedule has changed slightly. He will be on vacation June 17 through June 26, and July 1 through July 6. Philip Stowell will fill in.
  13. Gary Quamme will be gone on Sunday. Mark DePasquale will be the guest organist.
  14. There is no replacement for Bob Wilk’s position on the Vestry yet.
  15. Bob discussed Safeguarding God’s Children, a program of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, which maintains a zero tolerance policy of sexual misconduct for clergy, employees and church workers. Material regarding this program was included in the packet.
    1. Bob stated that this program applies to sexual harassment of any person of any age. It will not be accepted from anyone.
    2. Bob stated that the material has been reviewed by the church staff.
    3. The program includes online training programs. Anyone in leadership who works with children must complete the training. A document was included in the packet which listed everyone who has completed the training.
    4. New members of the Vestry need to complete the training. Catherine Schuyler stated that she completed the online training in three evenings. Vestry members who need to do the training should contact Linda Ostmeyer and get an ID and information.
  16. Bob reported that he met with an independent contractor from Direct TV who inquired about putting a small cell phone tower on top of the church. The contractor stated that they would pay $750 per month. Fr. Bob will let the Vestry know if he hears from the contractor again.
  17. Bob told the Vestry that he has decided to retire on September 1, 2021.
  • Open Items.
  1. Audio Visual Equipment. A quote for audio visual equipment from Audio Visual Experts was provided to the Vestry. Fr. Bob stated that we will consider the quote at a later meeting.
  2. Benefits for clergy and staff and Employee Handbook.
    1. Peg Wier reported that she and Fr. Bob have been working on general policies, which will be presented later. The policies will eventually be posted and kept in binders.
    2. Peg stated they will then tackle the issue of an employee handbook.
    3. There are two areas where training will be required.
    1. The Vestry discussed the issue of changing the requirement that people wear masks during the church service.
    2. Following this discussion, it was moved, seconded and passed that masks will continue to be required at the church services, with masks optional for small group meetings.
  3. Food Distribution – POW WOW.
    1. Bill Paleck reported that he met with Tracy from St. John the Baptist and obtained additional information about POW WOW.
    2. Versions of this program have been around since 1994 and they have been doing the current version for 7 years. They have a mailing list of 100,000 people and have distributed 559 million pounds of produce. They need sites, volunteers and money.
    3. The way it works is that a driver brings the produce on pallets 90 minutes before the event. The event site provides volunteers for traffic control, money handling, setting up and taking down. It is run like an assembly line. Signage is also needed.
    4. Bill stated that the program would require 2 coordinators. He stated that he is sure people would come and that it would give people an opportunity to find out about the church.
    5. Bill stated that there is an option to hold an event just during months with 5 Saturdays. We would need 12-15 volunteers for each event. Paul Kwan is the contact person.
    6. Jo Laslo stated that she would go to an event this coming Saturday at Ocotillo and Ironwood.
    7. This will be kept on the agenda for next month.
  4. Racial reconciliation.
  5. Bob stated that the Tuesday morning Bible study is using Sacred Ground, a 10 session program focused on racial reconciliation. He stated that the session used that morning related to indigenous people.
  6. A Leaders’ Guide for Anti-Racism Training was provided to the Vestry. Also, the Diocesan Anti-Racism Training Policy was included in the meeting packet. Fr. Bob stated that training will be required under the policy but is not ready yet.
  7. Review of Vestry Plans from Planning Meeting.
    1. Bob stated that there are questions about what we want to do together.
    2. There will be a discussion with the Vestry in July.
  • Included in packet.
  • Vestry contact for the month is Barbara Press.
  1. The meeting was adjourned.

 

Next meeting July 13, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

Announcements

 

Today we welcome Mark DePasquale as our guest organist.

 

Masks are no longer required in Church if you have been vaccinated. People who have not been vaccinated are required to wear a mask. Of course, anyone can wear a mask if they wish.

 

Forward Day by Day for August, September & October is available to pick up in the Narthex.

 

Please join us for coffee hour in the Parish Hall following both services.

 

The Altar Guild of Transfiguration would love you to consider being a member.  We are all team players and always there to help each other. Please think about joining our family to work harmoniously together while lovingly preparing our Lord’s table for the Eucharist celebrations as well as other services. Feel free to contact me: Ruby Seyffert at (602)318-0568 or any of our altar guild members.

 

The City of Mesa has published a series of public workshops to discuss the redrawing of City Council district lines based on the 2020 census. All are welcome to attend. A copy of the announcement is available at the back of the church or you can call the office for more information.

 

Church Finances – things can change very quickly.  During the month of June are income went down dramatically.  Instead of having a surplus we now have a deficit.    At the end of June, our year-to-date income is $97,400 and our year-to-date expenses are $102,170.  We appreciate any help you can give us to overcome this deficit.    Fr. Bob

 

Suggested donations for the Food Bank are cereals, crackers.

 

Food will be provided in the Parish Hall following both services. We would appreciate volunteers to provide food and help set up prior to the 8:00 and clean up after the 10:00. Please add your name to the sign-up sheet if interested. Thank you.

 

Aluminum cans and clear plastic bottles for recycling may be brought to the Parish House and left in designated bins in the garage.

 

Donations to the Birthday Church Bank go to Project Help, an organization that assists needy families in the Apache Junction School. Please consider making a donation when you go up for your birthday blessing.

 

Chile Garden help needed: We are desperately in need of workers for the Chile garden. If you would be available to assist, please contact Bill Robinson or Lynn Graff.

 

Hydration Campaign-I hope that some of you will join me to provide water for people in need this summer. We will collect bottled water and deliver it through United Food Bank. You may drop off water outside church or in the Parish Hall. Thanks for your help.  Fr. Bob

 

Upcoming Events

 

Compline and morning prayer will be offered during the week through ZOOM.

Call or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign-up.

 

Tuesday, August 3 at 10:00 a.m. is Adult Bible Study via Zoom.

 

On Wednesday, August 4 at 2:00 p.m., we will be showing the film, “Son of God”. The movie is described this way: “The life story of Jesus is told from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection”. Please come and join us as we watch the movie in the Parish Hall.

 

Thursday, August 5 at 11:00 a.m. will be a DOK meeting via Zoom.

 

Saturday, August 28 at 3:00 will be a reception for Fr. Bob & Jan in the Parish Hall.

 

Friday, September 17 at 10:30 a.m. will be a Memorial Service for Janet Zuber followed by a luncheon.

 

We ask your prayers for those in our Prayer Circle, others whose names we do

not know and for the following who have requested prayers:

 

Clint

Nori

Mary Ann

Bobbie

Carm/Don

Bill & Nancy

Tim

Del

Allen

Frances

D’Ann

Beth & Alex T.

Ruby

Kim

Michael

Jen

Mason

Koerner Family

Jim

Ian

Pam

Susan

Peter

Rachel/Ronnie

Doug

Janell

Roy

Tarod

Tommy

Drew&Margrethe

Cherie

George

Harry

Dan

Casie

Ken & Lydia

Jean

Clarence

Randy

Danny

Gregg

Hartford Family

Kristen

Norma

Shona

John

Kent

Tiffany Ann

Liz

David

Ben

Steve

Birthe

Chet & Margie

Beth

Dawna

Liz

Miriam

Arlo

Jerry & LeAnn

Chip

Lisa

Janice

Carolyn

Paul

Helen H.

 

Prayer Circle names will remain on the list for at least a month.

Please call the office at 480-986-1145 or record on the sheet additions or deletions, noting those who should stay on the list.

Thank you for understanding when names are removed.

 

Next Week’s Readings – August 8, 2021 – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

1 Kings 19:4-8 - Psalm 34:1-8 - Ephesians 4:25-5:2 - John 6:35, 41-51

 

 

The Reverend Bob Saik, Rector  480-980-1981 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Gary Quamme, Music Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      

Ms. Debbi Bloom, Treasurer

Ms. Linda Ostmeyer, Office Manager 480-986-1145 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office Hours: Mon-Thurs 8:00 a.m.-Noon   www.transfiguration-mesa.org

 

Vestry Members

 

Lynn Graff-Senior Warden   Pat Mack-Junior Warden   Diane Klock,-Clerk

Jo Laslo, Catherine Schuyler, Heidi Kinney, Ellen Jackelen, Bill Paleck,

Barbara Press, Peg Wier, Caryll Prokosch

 

 

Episcopal Church of Transfiguration, Mesa, AZ

Vestry Meeting Minutes,   May 11, 2021

I.               Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Fr. Bob Saik. A quorum was present. The meeting was held at the parish hall.

II.            Roll Call. The following vestry members were in attendance. Jo Laslo, Heidi Kinney, Barbara Press, Ellen Jackelen, Bill Paleck, Peg Wier, Catherine Schuyler. Also in attendance were Bob Saik, Rector, Lynn Graff, Senior Warden, Pat Mack, Junior Warden, and Diane Klock, Clerk.

III.          Minutes. It was moved, seconded and passed that the April minutes be approved, as corrected.

IV.         Financial Report.

1.     Treasurer’s Report for April 2021 was included in the meeting packet.

a.     Fr. Bob pointed out that the income for April was less than expected. However, income in March was higher than expected and the year to date income is ahead of what was budgeted. Fr. Bob stated that the church is in a good space for income. Also, expenses were less than the amount budgeted so income has exceeded expenses on a year to date basis and the church’s financials are good.

b.     Fr. Bob stated that the problem with the office phone expense has been fixed. The repair and maintenance expenditures are way below budget.

2.     Balance Sheet

a.     The Balance Sheet as of April 30, 2021 was included in the meeting packet.

b.     Fr. Bob stated that the checking account balance is down some but the investment accounts are strong.

c.     In response to a question from Catherine Schuyler, Fr. Bob stated that a portion of the money in one of the investment accounts is in a money market and is easily accessible.

3.      It was moved, seconded and passed to approve the Financial Report, subject to audit.

V.             Daughters of the King Report. (Included in packet.)

1.     Lynn Graff stated that the May meeting was a hybrid meeting with four on Zoom and five in person.

2.     A new member, Jane Stoneback, is transferring from Reno and joining the group.

3.     Prayers continue as part of their service to the Transfiguration family.

VI.          Social Media Report. (Submitted by Dea Podhajsky and included in packet)

1.     Fr. Bob discussed Gary Quamme’s work to keep the online services going.

2.     It was noted that there may be a title problem on YouTube.

VII.         Crazy Chili Farm Update (Submitted by Bill Robinson and included in packet)

1.     Lynn Graff stated that there has been a learning curve as far as using the new irrigation system. She also stated that crops are coming up. There have been problems with rabbits and pests.

2.     Catherine Schuyler stated that fencing is needed for Field #2 and fence installation was discussed.

3.     Fr. Bob stated that the Chili Farm is in desperate need of volunteers. Part of the problem is that some workers have left for the summer.

4.     In response to a question from Peg Wier, it was confirmed that Native American customers will be provided with our crop as part of the seed sharing project outlined in the Report.

VIII.       Junior Warden Report

1.     Pat Mack reported that Walter has put insulation around all pipes and has replaced all faucet handles. He also did the PVC pipe for irrigation in the Chili Garden. Pat stated that regular maintenance on the septic system has been done.

2.     Pat stated that the door to the garage needs to be replaced. This is a carpenter’s job and it is not easy to get people to come to the church for a small job. Suggestions regarding people who might be willing to do this work were made. Pat will follow up.

3.     Pat also noted that the stanchions behind the house off of the concrete need to be repaired.

IX.           Senior Warden Report: Lynn Graff

1.     Lynn stated that the church is in a good situation where people feel connected, activities and groups are still going.

2.      Lynn will be on vacation from late May to early August.

3.     Lynn reported that bottle caps keep coming in. They either need to be donated, if that is feasible, or discarded. She stated that they would be putting something in the bulletin so people stop bringing them.

X.             Rector’s Report.

1.     Fr. Bob stated that the coffee hour outside has been a nice thing for the church. Jane Stoneback, a new member, brought food.

2.     Fr. Bob is going to Colorado on vacation from June 15 through June 29. Philip Stowell will fill in.

3.     A replacement for Bob Wilk’s position on the Vestry needs to be identified. There is a year and a half left on his term. Suggestions were made regarding possible replacements.

XI.          ECW Report.

1.     Jo Laslo reported that the rummage sale was a success with over $2,200 raised and many items donated to a charitable organization which picked up everything that was left. At the rummage sale, there was a section that was priced and a section that was freewill. Jo stated that this worked very, very well.

2.     The spring luncheon and fashion show will be held the second Saturday of March 2022.

3.     The November rummage sale is scheduled for November 19-20.

4.     The secret sister reveal will be held Wednesday, June 9. Everyone will bring their own sack lunch.

XII.        Open Items.

1.     Audio Visual Equipment. Fr. Bob reported that the church now owns most of the equipment that is being used. The equipment is much improved and uses fewer wires. Fr. Bob stated that he would like to be able to have viewers hear the congregation and the choir. This will require microphones which drop down from the ceiling. A proposal will be made regarding purchasing the equipment and installation. He would also like to upgrade the ability to put things up on screens, which will require an additional screen. A proposal will be made about this as well.

2.     Benefits for clergy and staff and Employee Handbook.

a.     Peg Wier reported that the church does not have an Employee Handbook or personnel policies. She and Fr. Bob are going through the Diocese Employee Handbook and an Employee Handbook from Michigan. They will be looking at what policies the church needs for employees, vestry members, and volunteers.

b.    As far as benefits, a task force has been looking at whether benefits are being done in an equitable way. There are three levels of medical coverage available and the concern is that they are not being implemented in an even way throughout the Diocese. Clergy have sometimes been treated more favorable that lay employees. The national church does not like that. This is something that may be voted on at the diocesan convention.

3.     Food Distribution – POW WOW. (Report included in packet).

a.     Jo Laslo reported that she received information about POW WOW (Produce on Wheels Without Waste) from Paul Kwan. The church would have to be approved as a distribution site because distribution centers cannot be within 10 miles of another center.

b.    Food distribution takes place one Saturday a month from October to May and requires 15-25 volunteers. The hours are 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Distribution opens at 6 a.m. for veterans and is then open to everyone else from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

c.     Jo will call Mr. Kwan about whether approval would be possible. Then it will be brought to the congregation to decide whether to go forward.

4.     Racial reconciliation. Fr. Bob stated that the church will be using Sacred Ground, a 10 session program focused on racial reconciliation. This program was recommended by Monica Whitacre and has been used a lot in this Diocese. The Vestry agreed with this idea. Fr. Bob will put a program together which may be a mix of Zoom and in person.

5.      Review of Vestry Plans from Planning Meeting. (Planning document provided to Vestry).

c.     Help with scheduling vaccinations was positive.

d.     Transition. What is needed is to identify things done in the past and things that are new. It may be good to continue some of the new ideas, maybe combine Zoom and in person for Wednesday services and Bible studies.

e.      The Outreach balance will be an agenda item for the next meeting.

4.     Calendar. Included in packet.

5.     Vestry contact for the month is Pat Mack.

6.     The meeting was adjourned.

Next meeting June 8, 2021

 

                                   Special Vestry Meeting Minutes,   May 17, 2021                                     

I.               Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Fr. Bob Saik. A quorum was present. The meeting was conducted via Zoom.

II.            Roll Call. The following vestry members were in attendance. Jo Laslo, Heidi Kinney, Barbara Press, Ellen Jackelen, Bill Paleck, Peg Wier. Also in attendance were Bob Saik, Rector, Lynn Graff, Senior Warden, and Diane Klock, Clerk.

III.           The meeting was called to discuss the new CDC guidelines regarding masks and the Bishop’s guidance on how churches can implement the new guidelines. Following this discussion, Bill Paleck made a motion to continue to require masks for the 8:00 and 10:00 services, with this decision to be revisited at the next Vestry meeting on June 8. Groups meeting at the church can make their own decision regarding whether masks will be required. Masks will not be required at the outdoor coffee hour. Ellen Jackelen seconded the motion and the motion was approved by the Vestry.

IV.          The meeting was adjourned

Altar flowers are given today by Cleta Robbins in celebration of the birthday of her daughter, Julianna.
 
We are deep saddened to share with you that Pat Gutsch, a long-time parishioner, died in her on sleep on June 1. At the time this bulletin was printed plans for a service had not been finalized. May the angels take her into paradise.
 
Suggested donations for the Food Bank are canned or dehydrated soups.
 
Food will be provided outside following both services. We would appreciate volunteers to provide food and help set up prior to the 8:00 and take down after the 10:00. Please add your name to the sign-up sheet if interested. Thank you.
 
Mesa Hydration Campaign-I hope that some of you will join me to provide water for people in need this summer. We will collect bottled water and deliver it through United Food Bank. You may drop off water outside church or in the Parish Hall. Thanks for your help. Fr. Bob
 
Donations to the Birthday Church Bank go to Project Help, an organization that assists needy families in the Apache Junction School District. ECW sends all contributions from the bank to Project Help.
 
Aluminum cans and clear plastic bottles recycling may be brought to the Parish House and left in designated bins in the garage.
 
If you know someone who could use soup, please stop by the office. It has been made available by The Lords Soup Kitchen workers.
 
Chile Garden help needed: We are desperately in need of workers for the Chile garden. If you would be available to assist, please contact Bill Robinson or Lynn Graff.
 
Plastic bags and tablecloths requested--Eileen Chandler has a need for plastic bags to use for a project making plastic mats for the homeless. Please leave donations in a designated box in the narthex or drop them off in the office Monday through Thursday mornings. You may contact Eileen at 480-983-2336.
 
Compline and morning prayer will be offered during the week through ZOOM. Call or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign-up.
 
Tuesday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. is Adult Bible Study via Zoom.
 
Tuesday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m. is Vestry in the Parish Hall.
 
ECW Secret Sisters reveal will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 9 in the Parish Hall. Please bring your own sack lunch.

 

a personal opinion reflection

by Dea Podhajsky

 

As more people are vaccinated and COVID restrictions are lifted, we are faced with new challenges. The year has taken its toll on the mental health of many. In a recent issue of the New York Times Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, wrote an article entitled There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing. Languishing is defined in that article as “a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield”

Our Transfiguration book group recently read The Rent Collector. It was about life in the Phnom Penh dump. The members of our group were universally impressed with the message of hope that permeated the novel. Sang Ly’s, the protagonist, learning to read was the catalyst for many positive changes in the lives of the characters. The author’s description of the moment in which Sang Ly first realized that she was reading was beautifully written and poignant.

I was transported back to firsts in my life. I believe that “first” are the opposite of languishing. Think back to some firsts in your life: the first time you rode a bike, the first day of kindergarten, the first time you fell in love, the first time you held your child. Everyone’s list will differ, but firsts are never stagnant, foggy, or muddled. Even when the first is negative like the first time a friend died, the first time you were turned down for a job you really wanted, or the first time you were bullied, the experience is focused, intense, and powerful.

Roberta Flack’s song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face employs beautiful images to capture a first.

 

The first time, ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars
Were the gifts you gave

And the first time, ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move in my hands
Like the trembling heart
Of a captive bird

That was there, at my command
My love

 

John Denver’s hit of the early 70’s Rocky Mountain High powerfully described a first,

 

He was born in the summer of his twenty-seventh year
Coming home to a place he'd never been before
He left yesterday behind him
You might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for ev'ry door

r

When he first came to the mountains his life was far away
On the road and hangin' by a song
But the string's already broken, and he doesn't really care
It keeps changin' fast, and it don't last for long


I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight
Is softer than a lullaby
Rocky Mountain high
Rocky Mountain high

 

He climbed cathedral mountains
He saw silver clouds below
He saw everything as far as you can see
And they say that he got crazy once
And he tried to touch the sun
And he lost a friend but kept his memory

 

Now he walks in quiet solitude
The forests and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside
Himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

 

And the Colorado Rocky Mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky Mountain high
Rocky Mountain high

 

There is nothing stagnant, empty, muddled or foggy in these songs. The artists are engaged with their lives. Later in the article by Grant, he states “Part of the danger is that when you’re languishing, you might not notice the dulling of delight or the dwindling of drive. You don’t catch yourself slipping slowly into solitude; you’re indifferent to your indifference.” Again, the songs do not describe dulled delight nor is there a slow slide into solitude or indifference.

Experts have given steps to combat languishing which can be found on the internet. But I want to suggest Rabindranath Tagore advice, “Do not say, 'It is morning,' and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.”

And if you are having difficulty recreating the feeling of a first, try taking time to remember important firsts in your life. This is a reflection on a church web page here are some religious possibilities for reflections.

  • First communion
  • First solo in the choir
  • First day at church camp
  • First day at Sunday School
  • First time you had a part in the Christmas pageant
  • First time you deeply felt the power of communion
  • First miracle
  • First time you were angry with God

 

Although cliches are often derided as simplistic and without nuance, image this to be the first time you’ve heard this and feel its power. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

The  the bulletin is available under the About Us Menu. The video of our services can be found under Worship. Vestry Minutes can be found under News and Information.

Announcements

 

Altar flowers are given today by Jan Saik in celebration of  Fr. Bob’s birthday.

 

Suggested donations for the Food Bank are canned fruits, puddings, gelatin.

 

Food will be provided outside following both services. We would appreciate volunteers to help set up prior to the 8:00 and take down after the 10:00. Please add your name to the sign-up sheet if interested. Thank you.

 

Donations to the Birthday Church Bank go to Project Help, an organization that assists needy families in the Apache Junction School District. ECW sends all contributions from the bank to Project Help.

 

A new batch of soup: Chicken Noodle (gluten free) has been prepared by The Lord’s Soup Kitchen. You may pick some up in either the Parish Hall or Parish House. Thanks to all who give their time to this ministry?

 

Chile Garden help needed: We are desperately in need of workers for the Chile garden. If you would be available to assist, please contact Bill Robinson or Lynn Graff.

 

We are so thankful to everyone who has contributed bottle caps for the children in Mexico who need cancer treatments. We must stop our bottle cap collection because COVID-19 has made it too difficult to get the caps to Mexico. Please do not bring any further bottle caps to the church. Fr. Bob

 

The Church received a generous donation of a motorized scooter. We are deciding how it may be best used. Please let us know if you have someone in need.   Fr. Bob

 

Pat Mack is the Vestry contact for May. You may call him at 480-404-4541.

 

Aluminum cans and clear plastic bottles recycling may be brought to the Parish House and left in designated bins in the garage.

 

Plastic bags and tablecloths requested--Eileen Chandler has a need for plastic bags to use for a project making plastic mats for the homeless. Please leave donations in a designated box in the narthex or drop them off in the office Monday through Thursday mornings. You may contact Eileen at 480-983-2336.

 

Upcoming Events

 

Compline and morning prayer will be offered during the week through ZOOM. Call or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign-up.

 

Tuesday, May 25 at 10:00 a.m. is Adult Bible Study via Zoom.

 

Wednesday, May 26 at 11:00 a.m. is Cursillo Grouping in the Parish House. We have

a group for women and a group for men. All are welcome.

 

ECW Secret Sisters reveal will be at June 9 in the Parish Hall. Please bring your own lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ask your prayers for those in our Prayer Circle, others whose names we do

not know and for the following who have requested prayers:

 

 

Clint

Nori

Mary Ann

Bobbie

Len

Carolyn

Tim

Del

Allen

Rene

Bill

Frances

Ruby

Kim

Michael

Jen

Robbie

Koerner Family

Nathan

Shirley

Marge

Susan

Catherine

Elaine & Rich

Doug

Mari

Pam

Tarod

Patricia

Robin & Nate

Cherie

George

Nancy

Dan

Casie

Ken & Lydia

Jean

Todd

Roy

Danny

Gregg

Hartford Family

Kristen

Norma

Harry

John

Jim

Bert & Tiffany

Liz

Sara

Randy

Steve

Carol

Chet & Margie

Beth

Debbie

Shona

Miriam

Arlo

Jerry&LeAnn

Jerry

Janell

Ben

Liz

Peter

 

 

Prayer Circle names will remain on the list for at least a month. Please call the office

at 480-986-1145 or record on the sheet additions or deletions, noting those who

should remain on. Thank you for understanding when names are removed.

 

Next Week’s Readings – May 30, 2021 – First Sunday after Pentecost

Romans 8:12-17 - John 3:1-17 - Psalm 29 - or Canticle 13 (or Canticle 2) -  Isaiah 6:1-8

 

The Reverend Bob Saik, Rector  480-980-1981 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Gary Quamme, Music Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      

Ms. Debbi Bloom, Treasurer

Ms. Linda Ostmeyer, Office Manager 480-986-1145 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office Hours: Mon-Thurs 8:00 a.m.-Noon   www.transfiguration-mesa.org

 

Vestry Members

 

Lynn Graff-Senior Warden   Pat Mack-Junior Warden   Diane Klock,-Clerk

Jo Laslo, Catherine Schuyler, Heidi Kinney, Ellen Jackelen, Bill Paleck,

Barbara Press, Peg Wier, Caryll Prokosch

 

 

 

By Cathy Haig
Currency of truth is what ignites the passion behind the justice work in which the church must engage in order for the church to be relevant in restoring the spiritual, economical, and social wellness in our communities. I often wonder why Jesus put the word “the truth” between “the way” and “the life”. Both way and life are multi-dimensional. A way is traveled through time; there is a direction, a movement from one place to another.

A life is lived over a period of time in different places. A life involves a past, a present and  a future. The way also has a beginning, a movement through different environments, and a destination. The “spirit of truth” in John 14:16-17 is a difficult concept for the world to receive. Why? Because we live in a world conditioned by the paradigm of either or thinking – something is true or false. Remember all those “true or false” tests we took is school. It is not black or white. The spirit of truth calls us to attempt to understand multiple points of view. The truth emerges out of the exploration and understanding of the many different points of view based on different experiences of the people in the community. Truth is a way of being – a journey, a process, a spirituality, a relationship with God through Christ. A way to see the world as God sees it, and a way that leads to action to restore the blessings that flow from God to all. So how can we get to this truth process? Perhaps this chart will help.

The currency of truth challenges church members to rethink how they use their time, and the places to which they have access. It also ignites church members’ passion for justice. The ability to discern the truth with the neighbourhood, town, city or even wider environment will create social, economic and ecological wellness.
- Cathy Haig

Announcements

 

Altar flowers are given today by Chet & Margie Wauters in celebration of their 51stwedding anniversary and Cleta Robbins in celebration of the birthday of her daughter,Bonnie.

 

Suggested donations for the Food Bank are canned vegetables, instant potatoes, rice.

 

Next Sunday is the Day of Pentecost. We often read the passage from Acts in multiple languages. If you would like to read the scriptures in a language other than English, please contact Fr. Bob.

 

Food will be provided outside following both services. We would appreciate volunteers to help set up prior to the 8:00 and take down after the 10:00. Please add your name to the sign-up sheet if interested. Thank you.

 

Donations to the Birthday Church Bank go to Project Help, an organization that assists needy families in the Apache Junction School District. ECW sends all contributions from the bank to Project Help.

 

A new batch of soup: Chicken Noodle (gluten free) has been prepared by The Lord’s Soup Kitchen. You may pick some up in either the Parish Hall or Parish House. Thanks to all who give their time to this ministry?

 

Chile Garden help needed: We are desperately in need of workers for the Chile garden. If you would be available to assist, please contact Bill Robinson or Lynn Graff.

 

The Church received a generous donation of a motorized scooter. We are deciding how it may be best used. Please let us know if you have someone in need.   Fr. Bob

 

Pat Mack is the Vestry contact for May. You may call him at 480-404-4541.

 

Aluminum cans and clear plastic bottles recycling may be brought to the Parish House and left in designated bins in the garage.

 

Plastic bags and tablecloths requested--Eileen Chandler has a need for plastic bags to use for a project making plastic mats for the homeless. Please leave donations in a designated box in the narthex or drop them off in the office Monday through Thursday mornings. You may contact Eileen at 480-983-2336.

 

Upcoming Events

 

Compline and morning prayer will be offered during the week through ZOOM. Call or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign-up.

 

Tuesday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. is Adult Bible Study via Zoom.

 

Wednesday, May 19 at 11:00 a.m. is Cursillo Grouping in the Parish House. We have

a group for women and a group for men. All are welcome.

 

Friday, May 21 is a 10:00 a.m. meeting of Book Club via Zoom using “The Rent Collector”. Contact Dea Podhajsky if you wish more information about this activity.

 

ECW Secret Sisters reveal will be at June 9 in the Parish Hall. Please bring your own lunch.

 

 

We ask your prayers for those in our Prayer Circle, others whose names we do

not know and for the following who have requested prayers:

 

 

Clint

Nori

Mary Ann

Bobbie

Len

Carolyn

Tim

Del

Allen

Rene

Bill

Frances

Ruby

Kim

Michael

Jen

Robbie

Koerner Family

Nathan

Shirley

Marge

Susan

Catherine

Elaine & Rich

Doug

Mari

Pam

Tarod

Patricia

Robin & Nate

Cherie

George

Nancy

Dan

Casie

Ken & Lydia

Jean

Todd

Roy

Danny

Gregg

Hartford Family

Kristen

Norma

Harry

John

Jim

Bert & Tiffany

Liz

Sara

Randy

Steve

Carol

Chet & Margie

Beth

Debbie

Shona

Miriam

Arlo

Jerry&LeAnn

Jerry

Janell

Ben

Liz

Peter

 

 

Prayer Circle names will remain on the list for at least a month. Please call the office

at 480-986-1145 or record on the sheet additions or deletions, noting those who

should remain on. Thank you for understanding when names are removed.

 

Next Week’s Readings – May 23, 2021 – Day of Pentecost

Ezekiel 37:1-14 - Acts 2:1-21 - John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15 - Psalm 104:25-35, 37

 

The Reverend Bob Saik, Rector  480-980-1981 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Gary Quamme, Music Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Debbi Bloom, Treasurer

Ms. Linda Ostmeyer, Office Manager 480-986-1145 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office Hours: Mon-Thurs 8:00 a.m.-Noon   www.transfiguration-mesa.org

 

Vestry Members