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

JULY 2021

Pastor’s Pen    Fr. David  Couper

It’s a Grand Old Flag

Driving towards Madison last week, I had a strange feeling when I came upon a home with four large American flags planted in the front yard close to the highway. As a young boy, and later as a Marine, I was taught to respect and honor our flag. As a young boy, I recited the Pledge of Allegiance tour flag each and every school day. As a Marine serving aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Boxer, I served on numerous “color details” which raised and lowered our flag each day. As a police leader, I attended yearly flag day ceremonies in my city on June 14th.

         But as we drove by those flags I began to wonder if those who lived in that house meant them to be something different than what I had always felt our nation’s flag represented? Was it because of the acrimonious political elections in 2016 and 2020?

   Because when I saw those flags I thought they were there to support some ideas about America that I did not hold as a student, veteran, public servant or priest. Before 2016, when someone called out to “rally around the flag”, I would immediately think about our shared values embedded in our Declaration of Independence, Pledge of Allegiance, and in our Constitution and it’s Bill of Rights— ‘one nation, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all” equality, fairness, a  nation under God.

   Today, I not only wonder if my flag has been stolen and desecrated, but also important symbols of my faith when I saw people carrying a large wooden cross and waving an enormous Jesus flag as a they stormed our nation’s Capitol building on January 6th.

   As a person of faith, symbols are important to me. Many of these symbols are also sacramental in that they point to things holy’ an “inward and spiritual grace.”

   As a Christian who happens to live in America, I intend not to let others change my understanding of the meaning of our nation’s flag or of God or Jesus.

   For me, our nation’s flag is a sacred symbol of the values inherent in our system of democratic laws and way of life. The cross and the name of Jesus is holy. These important areas of our life together need protection. When I see desecration, I will call it out for what it is. I hope you do, too.

   God, upon creating this earth, said it was good. And when God created humankind, God said it was VERY good. God intends us to be as G od created us. We need to remember that and pay attention to and respect those things which represent who we are first as Christians, then Americans! Have a blessed 4th of July as we celebrate our nation’s independence and freedom from tyranny.  

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events

*August 14, Saturday

A joyous reception party for Fr. David and Christine is planned for Saturday, August 14 in Blue Mounds. More information and directions will be available in the August newsletter.

*August 22, Sunday

  St. Peter’s Annual Picnic will be held again at Bauers Bay in Oconomowoc after service.  We missed last  year due to the pandemic! Plan on swimming, eating, playing games. More info in August newsletter.

*September 12, Sunday

Memorial service for Sabine Lobitz. — see article below

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 Fr David wishes to be with his 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.

Let’s Celebrate!                     

Happy Birthday              Happy Anniversary

July   3 Helen Ackley               July  6  Dan & Stephanie Naze

July   3  Elly Wege

July   5  Karen Maahs.

July   6  Paul Fobian

July   8  Kate Dlobik

July 14 Lindsey Naze  

July 26 Katy Luedke

 

Calendar & Times                                             Scheduled Reader

July   4             9:30 am  Holy Eucharist              Helen Ackley

July 11             8:00 am  Vestry Meeting

                        9:30 am  Holy Eucharist                  Andy Marks

July 18            9:30 am  Holy Eucharist                 Dan Schneider

July 25             9:30 am  Holy Eucharist                Peter Buerosse

 

Lessons for July

  1 Lesson                                      Psalm             2nd Lesson                           Gospel

July   4  2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10           48                  2 Corinthians 12:2-10             Mark 6:1-13

July 11  2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12-19         24                   Ephesians 1:3-14                    Mark 6:14-29

July 18  2 Samuel 7:1-14                  89:20-37       Ephesians 2:11-22                  Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

July 25  2 Samuel 11:1-15                   14                 Ephesians 3:14-21                  John 6:1-21

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)

*Pray for those who died in the condo building collapse in Miami, Florida. Pray for strength and healing for their families and friends.

*Covid-19 and its variant, Delta, still remain a healthcare concern in our communities and nation. Pray for our medical community, doctors, nurses,and specialists, who continue to care for many patients still contracting the disease.

*Pray for chaplains called to bedsides to comfort the dying.

*Remember what Independence Day means to your freedoms. Appreciate the price paid in lives lost as you honor those freedoms on the Fourth of July. Pray for our service men and women stationed here and abroad.

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

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

*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. 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. Remember that we are Christ’s light to the world.

Who is Worthy?

**“I don’t understand “withholding communion.”  It’s not a prize for the best performance. It isn’t a gold star for top marks. It’s grace and we’re not the ones giving it. “But what if somebody unworthy receives it?”  Uh, that would be “everybody”.– @RevDaniel via The Internet

The Spirit at Work!

*The tuck-pointing of the church done by Holton Brothers Inc. is 99% complete. There are a couple of areas that need a little extra attention. Now on to the next 150 years!!!

*St. Peter’s received a “Thank You” from Mr. Bob from Mr. Bob’s Under the Bridge for our outreach donation. In addition, he sent us a beautiful, hand-crafted cutting board to be used in our kitchen.  If you are interested in the craftsman/company who made this board, please check out ABCraftery.com, abby@abcraftery.com or @abcraftery

*Do you every wonder what your Vestry is doing and the decisions it is making for St. Peter’s?

  Minutes of the Vestry Meeting and Treasurer’s Report are posted on the “leftmost” bulletin board in the Narthex. Additionally, anyone may attend Vestry meetings.

*St. Peter’s reminds everyone that you need not wear a mask if you are fully vaccinated for Covid-19. Others should continue the practice of wearing a mask and social distancing. Thank you.

*Please consider signing up for the Flower Ministry (flowers on the altar) and Coffee Hour (now held in the Narthex).  Sign-up charts are available on the bulletin board in the Narthex.

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Fr. David Couper and Christine Brown who were married in a private family ceremony on June 1 at New Journey Farm in Blue Mounds.  The Rev. Jeff Billerbeck officiated.  A joyous reception is being planned for Saturday, August 14 at Blue Mounds.  More info in August newsletter.

Burial at St. Peter’s Cemetery: Caroline Anne Apker

Caroline Anne Apker, 83, “went home to be with the Lord Jesus Christ on June 4. She was the beloved wife of the late David Apker (former Deacon at St. Peter’s) and precious mother of Jennifer (Christopher) Reese, James A. Poh, and Daniel H. (Nicki) Poh and grandmother of five. She is also survived by sisters Andrea (Robert) Bauman, and Christine (David) Regner. A private memorial service was held June 10.

Everything Is Not Okay

In a book review in The Living Church, June 13, Stewart Clem writes that author Graham Tomlin in “Why Being Yourself Is A Bad Idea”, “dismantles the widespread notion that the absence of coercion is the essence of freedom. If freedom ultimately means that I am not bound by any obligations or responsibilities to others, then solitude is the pinnacle of human existence. But this clearly flies in the face of our social nature, which inherently longs for community and belonging. To be truly free, Tomlin argues, is to be given the ability to live as we were created to be: to be in fellowship with others and to be oriented toward something beyond ourselves.”

“Being yourself” is a dead end, because it can only turn us inward when we need to turn outward.”  This might be an interesting book to read:  “Why Being Yourself Is A Bad Idea” by Graham Tomlin

   ** St. Augustine discovered many centuries ago: our hearts are restless until we rest in God.

St. Peter’s Vestry

St. Peter’s Vestry meets every other odd-numbered month on a Sunday morning beginning at 8:00 am. The Vestry is comprised of the Sr. Warden, Helen Ackley, Jr. Warden, Pete Buerosse and seven members: Eric Dyrud, Rick Luedke, Karen Maahs, Andy Marks, Kathy Marks, Stephanie Naze, and Dan Schneider. Clerk of the Vestry is Wanda Fobian and Treasurer is Mary Buerosse. Our  Cemetery Administrator is Dan Naze. The Vestry will meet on Sunday, July 11 at 8:00 am. There are four major items on the agenda:

1)  Discussion of the Diocesan Financial Review.

2)  Review the Cemetery Rules and Regulations.

3)  St. Peter’s has received an anonymous gift designated to be used to remodel and update our     kitchen. Ideas or recommendations for this project are welcomed. Speak to a Vestry member.

4)  Landscaping needs around the church to include: overall weeding and additional mulch; lawn seeding, filling depressions with attention to sidewalk edges, cleaning gutters, and staining the entrance sign.

Anyone may attend St. Peter’s Vestry meetings.

Bike MS!

News about 2021 MS Bike Ride:  It will be a one-day ride!

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Wisconsin Chapter’s “Bike MS” is scheduled to take place August 7.  Pete Buerosse and Andy Marks along with their team, The Peppy Pedalers, will be making the one day ride this year, riding a variety of 50 and 70 mile routes around the area. Donations may be given to support either Pete or Andy by making your check out to “National MS Society-Wisconsin Chapter”:

Mail it directly to: National MS Society-Wisconsin Chapter, 1120 James Drive, Suite A, Hartland, WI 53029  (Note which rider you are honoring)

Go online to http://main.nationalmssociety.org.  (Go to “Donate Now” and look for ‘participant’ or ‘team’.) Thank you for your support!

Can Christianity Survive?   (Condensed)

     An aggressive and outspoken segment of modern society is doing everything in its power to destroy Christianity. The first wave is to push it out of the public forum, and the next will undoubtedly be a movement to suppress it altogether. The question is often asked today as to whether Christianity (or religion itself) can survive this onslaught. The answer is simple: Yes! Throughout history the Church has faced enemies who have sought to destroy it, and all they have ever accomplished is to strengthen it. Times are changing and the days of easy and socially acceptable Christianity may be on their way out, but the Faith will persist. Christianity is that Faith deposited once and for all time with the Apostles. It was given to us by God, and it is for all people. As the rabbi Gamaliel observed two thousand years ago, if it is of God it cannot be stopped, and if it is not, there is no need to fight it because it will die by itself (Acts 5:33).

When we consider that the Church’s mission is to bring us to everlasting life, we have to realize that this is serious business. The work of the Church is not to sponsor soup kitchens and promote social justice. These are signs of faith, not its purpose. The work of the Church is to save souls. This requires prayer, and understanding of what the Church teaches, and a willingness to put those teachings into practice. To live up to those expectations requires discipline and a conscious attention to one’s spiritual life. It takes very little effort to be a part of Christendom, but to be a Christian is hard work. It’s good work, though and the pay is extraordinary!  -The Rev. Richard R. Losch, St. James’, Livingston, AL via The Anglican Digest, Summer 2013

Reflections    by Andy Marks

When Close is Close Enough

            There are many words and phrases in our liturgy and prayer book that are thought-provoking and mind-bending.  While growing up in a strong Catholic family and attending a Catholic grade school, I spent many hours in church.  It was in settings like this that my mind would wonder and question. Words and phrases like, almighty, now and forever, heaven, eternal life, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, immortal, infinite, Lord of all, grace, and of course, God, puzzled me.  And while I was trying to understand the meaning and significance of these words, I also pondered my own existence and my purpose in this world.  I held on to the belief that someday I would make sense of it all; I’d figure it out. Now at 70 years of age, having witnessed and experienced a lot of life, am I any closer?  The key word here is closer.  In mathematics this can be called a limit.

            Limit is a mathematical concept based on the idea of closeness and is used primarily to assign values to certain functions at points where no values are assigned.  One example of a limit used in some math textbooks poses a hypothetical question:  Suppose a person standing at a wall on one side of a room begins walking toward the other wall.  And suppose he only goes half the distance and pauses before he begins walking again. And after each pause, he continues to only go half the remaining distance.  If the person continues in this manner, will he ever touch the other side? After his first start, the person will have covered ½ the distance.  On his 2nd start, he will have walked another ½ of the remaining ½ which is ¼ and in total would have covered ¾ of the total distance (½ + ¼ = 3/4). The sequence that follows represents the total of the distance covered after each interval:  { 1/2,  3/4,   7/8,   15/16,   31/32,   63/64, . . . }

            When you look at the numbers in the sequence you might notice that each progressive number is getting closer to the number 1.   Here, “1” would represent the total distance covered and that would be when the person would actually reach the other side.  If allowed to continue forever, would this sequence eventually reach one?  In mathematics we could conclude that the limit of the sequence as the number of starts and stops approaches infinity is one.  In other words, for all practical purposes, the person is close enough to the wall.

            In mathematics as well as in spirituality, the concept of infinity or foreverness is essential.  And as I continue on my spiritual journey my hope is that I’ll continue to grow and get closer. Closer to what? I don’t know.  I’ll know when I’m close enough.

Generous Listening

            “May you never be the reason why someone who loved to sing, doesn’t anymore. Or why someone who dressed so uniquely, now wears plain clothing. Or why someone who always spoke so excitedly about their dreams, is now silent about them. May you never be the reason someone gave up on a part of themselves because you were demotivating, non-appreciative, hypercritical, or even worse—sarcastic about it.  —Mostafa Ibraham , via St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, El Cajon, CA

** Having somewhere to go is home. Having someone to love is family. And having both is a blessing.     -Irish Proverb

*Your life is God’s gift to you; what you do with it is your gift to God.

*The greatest pleasure in life is to do a good turn and have it discovered by accident.

Friends of Jesus—Matthew

Paid In Full

Matthew collected taxes, a thankless job at best.
He worked for the oppressors, taking money every day.
His neighbors grumbled at the rules, but paid like all the rest.
Their labors supported Herod and provided Matthew’s pay.
But change was in the air when Jesus stopped to say,
“Follow me.” Not a challenge to put Matthew to the test,
instead the invitation of a friend to live a different way.
And Matthew followed happily; fully loved and blessed.

© 2021 Holly Moseley

You Are the Beloved

Dear God,

I so much want to be in control.

I want to be the master of my own destiny.

Still I know that you are saying:

“Let me take you by the hand and lead you.

Accept my love

And trust that where I will bring you,

The deepest desires of your heart will be fulfilled.”

Lord, open my hands to receive your gift of love.

Amen                          

– – With Open Hands,  by Henri Nouwen

Notes on Matthew

Matthew doesn’t get a lot of “press time” in the Gospels, but what we know is significant and memorable. Even though there’s a lot of confusion over his name – is he Matthew or Levi or Matthias – it is clear he is a tax collector. The significance of this is that he is a Jew working for the oppressors. His boss, ultimately, is Herod. Though Herod may have had some Jewish heritage, he was all about power, property, and promoting himself. The tax collectors helped him by collecting money from the Jews for much of their everyday activities. The religious leaders also seemed to cultivate a working relationship with the Roman occupiers. While the average person hoped and prayed for a Messiah, the High Priest, Scribes, and Pharisees seemed to almost enjoy life as it was under Roman rule. Even the hope of a Messiah was more military than transformative. We see many mentions of an expectation that Jesus will lead a rebellion and return Israel to Jewish rule. Yet Matthew seems to recognize something completely different. Used to being scorned and sometimes even abused by his fellow Jews, his interaction with Jesus becomes a turning point. Jesus doesn’t engage him in a debate about why he works for the wrong people. Jesus doesn’t even ask if he cheats his neighbors to line his own pockets by demanding more than the set tax. These would have been fair arguments. Jesus says to Matthew, as he does to each and all of us, “Follow me.” And the Gospel accounts indicate that Matthew did exactly that, right then and there. He didn’t make excuses, ask for time to settle his affairs, or even proclaim him as Messiah. Matthew then hosted Jesus at his own home (in Luke’s version), along with the disciples and “many tax collectors and sinners.” As it turns out, some Pharisees must have shown up too, because they asked the disciples why Jesus hung out with such a questionable crowd. Jesus himself answers that “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick [do]. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” Too often it seems we judge people rather than love them.   –  Holly Moseley

 More Signs from Indian Hills Community Center

Groaners!

*A perfectionist walked into a bar. Apparently it wasn’t set high enough.

*I was kidnapped by mimes. They did unspeakable things to me.

*Why can’t you trust an atom? Because they make up everything!

*Police car loses wheels to thief! Cops are working tirelessly to nab suspect.

*Man injured in bizarre peek-a-boo accident! He’s in ICU.

*My friend was explaining electricity and I was like Watt?

*I wanted to be a monk, but I never got the chants.

*Cold? Go stand in the corner. It’s 90 degrees.

*The finest shoes are made of smooth leather. My opinion will never be suede.

*A few puns make me numb, but math puns make me number.

*And if your guy doesn’t appreciate fresh fruit puns, let that mango!

*My friend David had his ID stolen. Now he’s just DAV.

*Have you notice “THE” & “IRS” spells THEIRS?

*To the thief who stole my glasses, I will find you…..  I have contacts!

*If any of you know how to fix broken hinges, my door is always open.

**You can always tell a golfer in church. He is the one who uses an interlocking grip when he puts his hands together to pray.

**”I’d move heaven and earth to break 10”, moaned the golfer as he desperately banged away in a sand trap. “Try heaven,” remarked his partner. “You’ve already moved enough earth.”

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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!