We continue to be in a time of transition and change that we began last year when we began to question the necessity of the committee structure as a means to be church together. This has lead to a streamlining of our council and the creation of more fluid forms of being together and working together as a church community. As we have made these changes and have found other challenges to our original vision conversation with the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and the Central Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church has picked up again. We find ourselves in a good place to continue the conversation of continued relationship with the three denominations even as we are without an Episcopal Priest and have put on hold our search for an American Baptist pastor.
A week ago today I met with the Rev. Cannon Scott Hayashi, Canon to the Ordinary of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago (A Canon is a person who may be lay or ordained who serves on a Bishop’s staff or a cathedral. The Canon to the Ordinary is a person whose ministry is directly answerable to the bishop and who can function as a sort of chief of staff). We had a lively and helpful discussion about Reconciler and the possibilities of a continuing relationship with the Diocese. In the coming months as we reflect together on who we are as a congregation and how we wish to continue to be an ecumenical congregation Rev. Canon Hayashi's thoughts and reflections will be helpful. Though in our conversation it was made very clear that the way I and the founding pastors had conceived of affiliation with the three denominations a little over four years ago is not a possibility. So, as we live into some of the changes of the past year and decide how we want to move forward these changes I think our in line with what the three denominations we have been in conversation with about affiliation will be able to accept and may lead us to a more creative way of connection with Christians of various traditions outside our small congregation.
Also, Rev. Jolene Bergstorm Calrson is planning to visit us and Preside at Table on May 17th. Jolene has attempted to visit us several times in the past year and a half and has ended up have various scheduling conflicts that prevented the visit. The Central Conference remains supportive of Reconciler and we will have an opportunity to meet Jolene and let her get to know us a little better in a couple of weeks.
So in this season of Easter there is life but like when the disciples encountered the living Risen Jesus of Nazareth it is also life that at least I was not expecting. But then Resurrection life is like that, I suppose.
Rev. Jolene Bergstrom Carlson, Associate Superintendent of the Central Conference of the ECC will be visiting us and presiding at Table Sunday May 17th.
This Wednesday May 6th members of Reconciler are providing the meal for the Community meal with Immanuel Lutheran Church. Come and join us at 6 pm.
Following the meal The Community of the Holy Trinity* is leading a Vespers service using Taize music at 7 PM. Holy Trinity will lead the 7 pm Evening prayer service at Immanuel service the months of May and June.
You are invited by The Community of the Holy Trinity*to an Ascension Vespers with Holy Communion on Thursday, May 21st at 7 pm in the side Chapel of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Our Next Council meeting will be a week from this Thursday, May 14th. 7:30 pm, all are encouraged to attend. Remember if you show up you are a member of council.
* The Community of the Holy Trinity is an intentional community that was founded by Rev. Larry Kamphausen and Kate Setzer Kamphausen in 2003 and another couple. Larry is both the Prior of the community as well as Pastor of Reconciler. While currently only Kate and Larry are both members of Reconciler and of Holy Trinity, over the past 4 years Reconciler and Holy Trinity have shared members from time to time. Holy Trinity has been a partner in ministry with Reconciler in various ways including providing space for our meetings and early on, before Reconciler and Holy Trinity moved to the Immanuel church campus, Reconciler used the community's chapel for its worship space. Currently both Holy Trinity and Reconciler use Immanuel's chapel for their worship space.