Newsletter

The Fisher’s Net

Catch the Spirit!

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

North Lake, WI  53064 

Helen Ackley, Sr. Warden Website: StPeteNorthLake.com

Peter Buerosse, Jr. Warden Phone: (262) 966-7312  

 Newsletter Editor:  Mary Buerosse (262) 691-3549  E-Mail: Mbread@att.net

The Rev. David C. Couper, Vicar (608) 444-7207; davidccouper@aol.com

August 2021

Pastor’s Pen    Fr. David  Couper

              Slowly… we feel we are returning to “normal.” Whenever I say the word “normal,” I am reminded of the saying the only thing normal is the setting on our clothes dryers. Often, what appeared yesterday to be normal, can come to be seen as not normal — even abnormal.

            Think about when you see on old black and white movie in which the main characters are smoking like chimneys. This was very normal at that time, not so normal today. Remember Jackie Gleason’s 1950s TV character, Ralph in “The Honeymooners”? When frustrated, he would show his fist to his wife, Alice, and shout, “One day, off to the moon!” And we all would laugh heartedly. Not so today. What was once normal is now unacceptable speech.

            And what was once seen as abnormal, women cops, women politicians, black physicians, gays, women clergy, and so on, is quite normal today.

            So what about our faith? Jesus seemed always to push for acceptance; to re-imagine that which was abnormal as being the desired normal in God’s Kingdom; that he invited the separated, those who were outcasts and vulnerable in society, to sit around his table.

            Paul tells us in his letter to the people of Ephesus that God’s hope is that we are to be no longer “Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.” Instead, we are to be one, together, in Christ Jesus. That is a magnificent picture of who and what God wants us to become! One and together.

            That is why Jesus touched the sick (and those nasty lepers!). That is why he communed and ate with prostitutes, the mentally ill, those outside his faith group, Roman soldiers, and those hated, turn-coat tax collectors. What the people saw was that Jesus loved to hang around and loved what his society determined were “abnormal.”

            So, who are the “abnormal” in our lives? How did they get to be labeled as so? Maybe that’s the tough work of being a Jesus follower (given the landscape today I am somewhat uncomfortable using the word “Christians.” I know our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry calls to practice, “the Jesus way.” I think that’s a good description of what we are called to do — do and follow Jesus as people of “The Way.”

            Paul calls us “new creations;” that the act of following Jesus makes us reborn beings. And as such, “abnormal” in our society. For when the world sees us and what we do, we are abnormal. And it is our abnormality that defines us as a people who “practice doing Jesus!” 

           Are we willing to act abnormally in order to make God’s dream for us a reality?

          Let us think and pray about this holy challenge.

St. Peter’s Annual Picnic — August 22 (may be cancelled due to infections)

COVID cancelled last year’s St. Peter’s Annual Picnic! But we are planning to celebrate it this year as scheduled on Sunday, August 22rd at Bauers Bays in Oconomowoc after service (thank you, Eric Dyrud!). Plan your day around swimming, games, good conversation and GREAT FOOD! There is a “suggestion” sign-up sheet in the Narthex for those attending to help everyone bring something besides dessert!  ALL ARE WELCOME!

Directions: From St. Peter’s go south on Hwy 83 and turn right on Cnty Rd K. Take “K” to Brown St/Cnty Rd “P”. Turn left onto “P” (traffic lights) and go to the next traffic light, which will be Lake Drive, and turn left. (You’ll see Piggly Wiggly off to your right as you turn). Travel east and take the third turn to your left (which is Bauers Lane). This street will dead end at the picnic area on the left. There are some benches, but you may want to bring your own chairs. If you have any questions, please call Eric Dyrud 262-567-5406. Everyone’s invited!!

Memorial Service for Sabine Lobitz

     On Sunday, September 12th, our church family will be placing Sabine’s ashes in our columbarium after worship at 11:00 am. You are invited to join us for a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 9:30 am. The inurnment will begin at 11:00 am after worship. Fr. Jim Kaestner has graciously agreed to be the officiant as I wish to be with my family and children. After the inurnment in our cemetery’s columbarium, you are invited to a luncheon and conversation in the church. 

     The pandemic has thrown so many of our common social and liturgical practices into confusion. Let us now return to the rhythms of both our sacred and secular lives as we honor and remember the life of this fantastic woman.  +David

An Empty and Full Life—St. Clare’s Radical Spiritual Vision    —excerpt

“Clare’s spiritual vision culminated in its grand and final assertion, uttered on her deathbed on August 11, 1253. She first whispered to herself, ‘Go securely and in peace, my blessed soul.’ Then she concluded, ‘And you, Lord, are blessed because You have created me.’ Not many of us reach the place in our spiritual journeys where our testimony is about the singular glory that God imparted to himself by creating us. Not many understand that our true mission is to give back to God this unique glory and to bless him by it.”  Clare’s “testimony arose from earth to reach heaven until she saw herself as she was meant to be seen, taking her singular place in God’s saving activity. ‘Glorify yourself’ is the prayer Jesus prays on the last night of his life. Imagine a human being so emptied of self-consciousness and filled with beatitude that one’s prayer is to see one’s life as God sees it.  Then imagine giving thanks for the gift of rendering back to God a life that blesses him. — by Wendy Murray,  The Christian Century, July 28, 2021, Wendy Murray’s most recent book is Clare of Assisi: Gentle Warrior

Calendar & Times                                Scheduled Reader

August   1, Sunday       9:30 am  Holy Eucharist                           Susan Medd   

August   8, Sunday       9:30 am  Holy Eucharist                          Dan Rosa

August 15, Sunday       9:30 am  Holy Eucharist                           Kathleen King

August 22, Sunday       9:30 am  Holy Eucharist                           Katy Luedke

                                         11:00 am  St. Peter’s Annual Picnic**

August 29, Sunday       8:00 am Vestry Meeting 

                                    9:30 am  Holy Eucharist                           Wanda Fobian

Lessons for August

            1st Lesson                                 Psalm              2nd Lesson                  Gospel

Aug.   1 2 Samuel 11:26—12:13             51:1-13             Ephesians 4:1-16           John 6:24-35

Aug.   8 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33        130                  Ephesians 4:25—5:2     John 6:35, 41-51

Aug. 15 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14             111                  Ephesians 5:15-20         John 6:51-58

Aug. 22 1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43              84                   Ephesians 6:10-20         John 6:56-69

Aug. 29 Song of Solomon 2:8-13              45:1-2, 7-10    James 1:17-27               Mark 7:1-8, 14-15,                                                                                                                                                        21-23

Remember in Your Prayers

 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (1John 5:14-15)

*The Covid-19 virus, Delta variant, is a major health concern in our communities and the   nation. Pray  for those who have contracted COVID. Pray for healthcare workers, chaplains,   medical staff and families affected.  Pray for those who have died of the virus.

*Pray for those caught in the deadly floods in Germany and China.

*Pray for the bicycle riders in this year’s MS Bike Ride taking place Saturday, August 7. Pray for those suffering from MS.

*Pray for peace, justice and civility in all the world.

*Pray for those who have lost their jobs; for the homeless and hungry; those with mental disorders and those who see no hope in their lives. Try to find ways to help them.

*Pray for refugees everywhere seeking a better life.

*Pray for our leaders, both national and local, to make good decisions for the welfare of our country, state and local communities.

*St. Peter’s Prayer Circle continues to raise your prayer requests to God during the church’s closure. If you have any need for prayer, please send it to Mary Buerosse at mbread@att.net

*Pray for St. Peter’s Church and its families, for this present time of isolation and for the hope of our future coming together again in community. Remember that we are Christ’s light to the world

Let’s Celebrate!          

Happy Birthday                     Happy Anniversary               

Aug. 17  Rev. Jim Kaestner           Aug.   2  Jamie & Beth McKay

                                                            Aug. 25  Eric & Dorina Dyrud

The Spirit at Work!

*Thank you to Dan Schneider and Pete Buerosse, with an assist from Andy Marks, for “deep-cleaning” St. Peter’s. Dan focused on the pews, washed the wood floors and window sills. Pete shampooed the carpets. Our church sparkles after so many months away due to COVID.

*Doesn’t the parking lot look great after being sealed coated? Stay within the painted lines!

*Fr. David and Christine’s “CELEBRATION” is August 14!  Look for the flyer in the Narthex for details. Please RSVP.

*Look for the Sign-up sheet in the Narthex for St. Peter’s Annual Picnic, August 22.

*St. Peter’s Vestry will meet Sunday, August 29 at 8:00 am.

*The newsletter will be going back to bi-monthly publication beginning with September-October. An exception may be made if deemed necessary. Remember, this is YOUR newsletter. Contributions are accepted and encouraged! Send to mbread@att.net

Senior Warden

St. Peter’s Senior Warden, Helen Ackley, is stepping down from her position for family health issues. St. Peter’s is looking for individuals who are interested in this ministry. Here is a short Job Description:

¨ Meet regularly with the rector to review the life and work of the congregation.

¨ Be available to discuss any and all concerns with the rector.

¨ Foster understanding, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

¨ Provide leadership so the Vestry can identify the mission, vision and goals of the             congregation.

¨ With the rector, announce a bishop’s pending visit and prepare information on the spiritual and temporal state of the congregation.

¨ Ensure that the worship services are being met (find a substitute priest when needed).

¨ Conduct vestry meetings when delegated by rector or pried

¨ Conduct Annual Meeting

            If you are interested in this position, please speak with Fr. David.

             The next Vestry Meeting is Sunday, August 29.

Outreach

The Outreach Committee will present the Vestry with recommendations for our fall outreach at the Sunday, August 29 meeting. The committee’s focus may include organizations such as Our Next Generation or other groups that support children’s educational needs. If you have any suggestions, please contact Rick Luedke, Jan Schneider or Denise Mikulak.

Pyx

The word “pyx” is derived from the Latin word pyxis, meaning box. In earlier times the term was applied to all vessels used to hold the Eucharist. In ordinary usage it now refers to the vessel in which the Host is carried to the sick. In Christian art, the pyx is an attribute of St. Clare of Assisi, who, according to legend, placed a pyx containing the Host of the threshold of her convent, whereupon the infidels who were besieging it threw down their weapons and fled.

What Is In Your Cup?

“A while back, I came across a teaching story, and months later, its lesson has stayed with me. It came back to me again this week …. about how what emerges from within us is directly related to that in which we choose to immerse ourselves. This teaching story is an additional way to think about what emerges from us, especially in times of stress or disruption. Here is the story:

   You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and accidentally bumps you and shakes your arm, making you spill coffee everywhere.

   Why did you spill the coffee?

   Because someone bumped into you, right?

   Wrong answer.

   You spilled the coffee because coffee was in the cup.

   If tea had been in it, you would have spilled tea.

   Whatever is inside the cup is what will come out.

   Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you, whatever is inside of you will come out.

   So each of us has to ask ourselves…. What’s in my cup?

   When life gets bumpy, what spills over?

   Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?

   Or anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions?

   We choose what’s in our cup!

Today, let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation to ourselves and others, kindness, gentleness, love, patience, peace, and understanding.”  —Scott Stoner, The Living Compass, 7/2/2021, The Samaritan Family Wellness Foundation

Worship

   Throughout the Scriptures, the people of God are called to worship. As the Psalmist writes, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.”  Just as God wants to enter into your lives and meet us where we are, so God desires for us to enter into God’s space together and be present there.

   Worship is an important part of the Way of Love, the practice that followers of Jesus have traditionally followed. Worship brings us out of our own space to walk on sacred ground. Worship brings us out of our loneliness into communion with fellow worshippers, as we become one Body of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Worship reminds us who we are, in light of the God who creates, saves, and sustains us.

   In worship, we can bring all of our selves before God, as a kind of offering. We can bring our hopes, our dreams, our joys and sorrows, our thanks and our praise. We can boldly proclaim ourselves to be who we are, and give public voice to what we believe, without reservation.

   By coming to the table together, we have the opportunity to break bread together, and in doing so, share a common experience to which all are welcome.

   Gathering together challenges us to leave our loneliness behind, and risk relationship with God and with those on our journey who also gather to seek God’s presence. As we join in worship together, we are experiencing the presence and glory and beauty of showing up boldly before God and sharing in the communal life of the multitude of followers of Jesus who have gathered here before us.  And we are one body. –The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Churc in the United States of America © 2020

Reflections    by Andy Marks

Joyful Stoi

            One morning, a couple of weeks ago, I woke up to begin an exceptional day.  Once a week I play golf with three friends whom I taught with for many years at Arrowhead High School.  On this particular day, I woke up at around 5 AM from an unrestful sleep and got our dog, Osa, to the dog park at sunrise for about an hour walk around the park with some dog-park friends and their dogs.  After the park, I headed home to have a cup of coffee with my wife, Kathy, on our deck while we watched the birds on our feeders.  Shortly after that I headed off to the golf course and met my friends for a round of golf and lunch afterwards.  This scenario has been a regular occurrence this summer of which I am deeply thankful and do not take for granted.  I’m generally a half-full glass kind of person and very grateful for these kinds of days.  But this day was different for me and hard to explain.  Although I was over-tired from a bad night of sleep, my senses were heightened.  The sunrise at the dog park was spectacular, the dogs played with immense joy and we all seemed to feel it as well.  Looking out at the world around me, even through the car window, it seemed more beautiful than ever.  Even the music on the radio sounded so clear that each instrument could be distinctly heard.  I told you it is hard to explain and no, Kathy didn’t slip something into my coffee.  The most amazing thing for me that day was the feeling of overwhelming happiness.  I felt so good just to be me and to have this wonderful life!

            One who studies philosophy might have described my happy day as having a stoic moment.  William Irvine is a professor of philosophy at Wright State University and is a practicing Stoic.  He explains: “Our practice of Stoicism has made us susceptible to little outbursts of joy.  We will, out of the blue, feel delighted to be the person we are, living the life we are living, in the universe we happen to inhabit.”

            Perhaps just being content with the life you’ve been given lends itself to being able to sense and experience the beauty that surrounds us.  In the book, ‘The Socrates Express’, Eric Weiner talks about something he refers to as the “Just-a-Bit-More-ism.”   He says “We don’t need a lot more — money, success, friends — in order to be happy.  Just a bit more.  When we get that bit more, however, we recalibrate and calculate we need … just a bit more.”  When is good, good enough?  If something is good, do we need more to be happy, to be content?  Good enough represents an attitude of deep gratitude for whatever happens in life.  Weiner goes on in his book to say that if a person follows the creed of good enough for a long enough time, something remarkable happens.  The enough simply drops away and all you have left is the good.

Contentment

*A great deal of what we see depends on what we are looking for.

*Unless we find beauty and happiness in our backyard, we will never find them in the mountains.

*He who lives content with little possesses everything.

*Contentment is not found in having everything—but in being satisfied with everything we have.

*Happiness is not having what you want—but wanting what you have.

Friends of Jesus

James, Son of Alphaeus

Who Am I?

I’m just a follower of Jesus,
one of those he chose
to learn from him and teach others,
to serve the many who came,
to tend the sick and poor,
to be a light to the nations,
or simply someone who listens
when another needs to talk.
My name may not be remembered,
my acts may fade with time,
but still I follow Jesus and pray
that your life is better because of mine.   © Holly Moseley, 2021

NOTES from Holly:    The Biblical encyclopedia I use mentions that James (with “son of Alphaeus” added to distinguish him from James, son of Zebedee) is listed first in the third group of the twelve disciples. I never really paid attention, but sure enough, the listings are fairly consistent with each other and seem to represent how prominent each of them is in the recorded history. And that is about all I can find out about James, son of Alphaeus and Mary.

    Yet, when we think about it, he is a lot like us, isn’t he? If people visited our church and then were asked about it, they would probably remember four people fairly easily. Peter, the leader or impetuous one, would stick out, as would the Sons of Thunder, James and John. Perhaps these would be louder parishioners, or more opinionated, or simply the readers for the day. Andrew would be the usher, I think.

    If pressed, visitors might recall four more. Philip might be the person behind them in the pew who helped them find the right page in the prayer book. Bartholomew would be someone who introduced him or herself at the passing of the peace, Matthew might be the one passing the collection plate or inviting visitors to coffee hour after the service. And Thomas would be that person who enthusiastically receives the Eucharist, perhaps with a bit louder “Amen” or a smile as he or she leaves the altar.

    After these folks, everyone else begins to blend together, at least to a visitor. James,

Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, and even Judas or Matthias (the guy chosen as one of the twelve to replace Judas later on) could be any of us. They showed up consistently and, when called, followed Jesus closely.

    Like them, Jesus has chosen us. We may not be the cornerstones of the Church, or the head of the Body of Christ, but we are members. We fit somewhere in the descriptions above. Our gifts and lives make a difference. Sometimes, we matter simply because we show up. Never underestimate the power, and the gift, of presence. Whether this is intentional on our part or we happen to be in the right place at the right time, we are Christ in the world. We, individually and together, are how love is shared with God’s people.

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

One day Israel Schwartz asked God, “Yahweh, is it true that for you a thousand years is just a minute?”  Yahweh answered, “Yes, Izzy, that is true.”  Izzy asked a second question: “And Yahweh, is it true that for you a million dollars is just a penny?” Yahweh replied, “Yes, Izzy, that is also true.” Extending his right hand with palm upturned, Izzy Schwartz said, “Yahweh, please give me a penny.”  And Yahweh said, “Certainly. It’ll take only a minute.

Adam was walking around the Garden of Eden feeling very lonely. God asked him, “What is wrong with you?” Adam replied he didn’t have anyone to talk to. God said, “I was going to give you a companion, and it would be a woman.” God described her to Adam: “This person will cook for you and wash your clothes. She will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you, and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and will freely give you love and compassion whenever needed.” Adam asked God, “What would a woman like this cost me?”  God said, “An arm and a leg.”  Adam asked, “What can I get for just a rib?”

 

One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm, a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, “Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?” The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. “Honey, I can’t,” she said. “I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: “The big sissy.”

WE’RE BACK!

Thanks be to God!

We are now having in-house worship!

We expect you to be fully vaccinated as you join us. If not, please wear a mask and keep social distance.

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Thanks to Mary Buerosse for her work compiling and editing our monthly newsletter!