We’re so excited to share our success! Local television station KOTA was even on hand to highlight the festivities.
- Know Our Lord
- Make Him Known
- VIEW MEDIA
HISTORY OF THE LETTER CARRIER FOOD DRIVE
The Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the outgrowth of a tradition of community service exhibited by members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) over the last 125 years. Carriers, who go into neighborhoods in every town six days a week, have always gotten involved when something needs to be done. Whether it is collecting funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA); watching over the elderly through the Carrier Alert Program; delivering needed antibiotics (if called upon); assisting victims of natural disasters, or rescuing victims of fires, crime, and other mishaps, letter carriers are the eyes and ears in every neighborhood and often life savers in the community.
Over history, a number of branches collected food for those in need as part of their community service effort. Discussions were held by the NALC, USPS, and AFL-CIO to explore a more coordinated effort. A pilot drive was held in October 1991. It proved so successful, the parties worked to make it a nationwide effort. Food banks and pantries suggested that late spring would be the best time for the drive, since most of their food donations are received over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods, leaving the food shelves depleted by spring. Making matters even worse for many, school breakfast and lunch programs are not available during the summer, placing an even greater responsibility on local food pantries and food shelves.
A revamped drive was organized for the second Saturday in May 1993, with a goal of at least one NALC local branch participating in each of the 50 states. The results were astounding. Over 11 million pounds of food were collected by over 220 union branches — a one day record in the United States. From Alaska to Florida and Maine to Hawaii, letter carriers did double duty by delivering the mail and picking up donations. In 2016, NALC branches collected over 80 million pounds of food for a cumulative total of 1.5 billion pounds over the history of the drive — an awesome achievement.
Each year, groups, businesses, and organizations join the NALC at the local, regional, and national levels, to help grow a campaign of hunger awareness and community action in conducting this one day, record making food drive. From the beginning, at the national level, we have had the steadfast support of the USPS, United Way, and AFL CIO. This year, United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) is the national premiere partner, adding the largest food union in the country to our efforts. Locally, the Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive enjoys partnerships with many church and faith groups, Rotary and Lions Clubs, grocers and youth groups, and those who work to provide help and hope to those in need.
We look forward to another record breaking 25th year in 2017, as we are…
BUILDING ON A BILLION!
Adult Forum beginning on Sunday, January 22 at 9:15 a.m.
Please come and be part of this new series. We all have questions or know unchurched friends/family who have questions about the Christian faith and this will be an excellent opportunity for learning, sharing, and connecting with others in our parish. If you are interested in attending, there is a Sign-Up Sheet available outside the parlor.
Please sign-up so we know how many books to order. The books are less than $10 each and anyone who needs a scholarship will be covered. Please sign up by January 11 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 342-0909.
It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but not for everyone. For some people, perhaps more than we realize, the holiday season from Thanksgiving through the New Year is particularly difficult and stressful because so much of the emphasis is centered around family. But for those who have suffered the death of a loved one, inevitable family difficulties or job or financial loss there may be sadness. Emmanuel Church will address this need both liturgically and pastorally by offering a contemplative celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the Winter Solstice, December 21. All are invited to attend and participate in our Silent Lights Eucharist, but particularly those who are feeling personal loss. We want to encourage everyone in our community to come, if not for yourself, to support others. This is also an excellent opportunity to invite a friend who may benefit from this offering. We will gather on this day when there are the fewest hours of light shortly after sunset at 5:30pm.
There will also be a Bake Sale & Treasure Sale. The cost is $7.00 at the door. There are no advanced ticket sales.
Please donate a salad, a bake sale item or a “gently used treasure” for resale. Salads & Bake Sale items can be dropped off beginning at 7:00am on Wednesday, October 19. Items for the Treasure Sale can be placed on the stage beginning Monday, October 17.
Questions? Contact Cora Koss at 484-7517.
Beginning September 25, 2016, Fr. Chris Roussell and Canon David Seger will be leading the Adult Forum in an exciting new study, “Follow.” The study will be more of a round table discussion and hope that many will come and be part of the discussion.
If you would like a Study Guide they are available for $10 through the church, the Study Guide is not required for participation.
Dear Siblings in Christ Jesus our Lord,
“…a woman named Lydia…listened, and the Lord opened her heart…” (Acts 16:14).
Do you have meaningful spiritual experiences at Emmanuel? In what ways do you experience the transforming power of Christ’s love through Emmanuel? How is your heart opened by the Lord because of your participation at Emmanuel?
These aren’t trivial questions. These questions strike at the heart of why we call Emmanuel our spiritual home. In a recent Strategic Planning meeting that was focused on communications at Emmanuel, it struck us that we should be doing a better job of communicating how upcoming events will provide a spiritually meaningful experience for those who attend. Furthermore, in our newsletter and on our website, we need to do a better job of articulating in words and showing in video and pictures how a previously held event was a spiritually meaningful experience for those who attended. It sounds like a simple concept, doesn’t it? But, sometimes it’s the simple, most basic things that can easily slip beyond our grasp or recognition.
Let me offer one hypothetical example. Instead of simply advertising that there is a Celebration Dinner upcoming, we should do more to illustrate that by breaking bread together over a meal, we participate in the same kind of fellowship that Jesus and the disciples had with the multiplication of loaves and fishes, at the Last Supper, and after our Lord’s resurrection. Who wouldn’t want to participate in that kind of experience? By looking at such an event with spiritual eyes and hearts, we begin to better appreciate that attending something like Celebration Dinner (which is only an example here, by the way) then we participate in the life of the community.
So often we convince ourselves that our presence at such an event ‘doesn’t really matter.’ Though you might feel that way, the truth is that your absence from such an event matters even more. When you are not with us, we miss the opportunity to engage with you, to see and hear how you’re doing, to connect with you, to offer you support and encouragement when you need it or to get your support and encouragement when we need it, and to hear your story, your words of wisdom, or learn from your experiences. Of course, if you come and simply eat your meal and dash off without engaging with the rest of those around the table, or if you only sit with those whom you know well and always visit with, then certainly your attendance is for naught. But, standing in the service line, sitting at a table with people you’ve not yet met, putting yourself out there to engage with fellow Christians who worship at Emmanuel, the Body of Christ is built up and becomes stronger. By being an active participant in this kind of activity (or any kind of activity at Emmanuel) is like sending the Body of Christ to the gym where strength and endurance is experienced!
After an experience at Emmanuel, whether it be a prayer service, a Sunday service, a special event, or a meeting of some kind, it’s imperative that each of us contemplate how we came to “Know the Lord” in that moment. We can also ask how it was that we “Made the Lord Known.” If each of us makes a commitment to getting into the habit of such evaluations and then articulating those experiences in our conversations with others, in our bulletins and newsletters, and in our ministry reports, our parish will begin to take on a culture of evangelization.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church has so much to offer, not just in terms of activities and ministries, but in terms of really coming into contact with the Risen Jesus Christ who is the Lord of our salvation. Our liturgical tradition, our steadfast history, our deep and abiding prayer life together, and our sense of identity are all strengths that we want to share with the world. But, if we can’t articulate (or don’t articulate) the meaningful spiritual experiences we have in our church and its various ministries and organizations, how can we ever expect others to want to join us?
When has the Lord opened your heart here among us at Emmanuel? How does working in collaboration with other parishioners on projects ‘Make the Lord Known’ to you and others? These questions are important and urgent!
If you need help understanding what this means for you individually or for your committee or ministry, come see me. My office door is always open to discuss how God is revealing Himself through Christ at Emmanuel and through you!
With an Opened Heart,
Fr. Chris Roussell
On Tuesday, August 30, we hosted a commemoration of the visit of President Franklin Roosevelt to Emmanuel on that date in 1936. We celebrated with a community-wide prayer service addressing our current political climate and for peace and safety for those who serve our community and nation. South Dakota Bishop John Tarrant and dignitaries from Rapid City and the state were in attendance.
Check out some of the highlights below:
Dearest Siblings in Christ Jesus,
“1936 should be remembered for long years in our Parish because of the visit of the President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his two sons, and his daughter-in-law, occupied the fifth pew from the rear on the right hand side of the Church. There were about forty members in all in the President’s party, secret service men, reporters, etc. This event was given wide publicity and pictures of the Church and choir appeared in all the leading daily papers of the country as well as in leading magazine weeklies, along with accounts of the service.”
It’s easy to be lulled into the belief that America and the world was living in an idyllic time compared to our current situation. The truth is that things were as chaotic, uncertain, frightening, and dire as they appear to be today. Here are some things that were going on at the time of President Roosevelt’s visit to Emmanuel on August 30, 1936:
President Roosevelt’s visit was primarily to survey the drought conditions in the Great Plains. The unveiling of the Thomas Jefferson face on Mt. Rushmore was his specific reason for being in the Black Hills. As a faithful Episcopalian, he attended Sunday worship at Emmanuel. The recently added picture in our hallway shows Rev. Mr. Pipes, the choir, the President and the President’s family next to him. That picture appeared in many newspapers around the country the following day.
President Roosevelt’s visit provided hope and encouragement in a time of great uncertainty. On August 30, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. we will hold an ecumenical Prayer Service officiated by Bishop John Tarrant. The Prayer Service is not only designed to commemorate the visit of President Roosevelt, but it’s also to take time and acknowledge our need for community-wide prayer for the state of our nation. With a presidential election this year, there is no better time to gather for prayer and demonstrate our dependence on God alone than now!
“Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, for there is no help in them” (Psalm 146:2). As people of faith, we are to put our trust in the providential care and eternal love of God our creator and our only Savior, Jesus Christ. Uncertainty and fear about the human situation on earth is not new or unique to our generation. Joshua, the successor to Moses, was told “be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Let us gather together as a people of faith and place the fullness of our trust in God. Join us at Emmanuel on Tuesday, August 30 at 11:00 a.m. for our community-wide prayer service. A luncheon will follow.
Trusting in Christ’s Peace,
Dearest Siblings in Christ Jesus,
Alison, the girls and I were blessed to attend a Young Life camp in Colorado during the first week of June. The goal of Young Life is to meet adolescents disconnected from Christ. Kids with troubled histories, who don’t fit the ‘church mold’, or seem lost, are the kinds of kids that Young Life seeks to engage.
Some time ago, I announced at our services that we were discussing a possible partnership opportunity with Young Life. It was our original hope that Emmanuel and Young Life could share the cost of a staff member, but the local Young Life board does not currently have a need for an additional staff person. Although disappointed that our original plan will not come to fruition in the immediate future, Emmanuel’s support of and engagement with Young Life remains important and fruitful.
Because Young Life is not a church, it stops short of directing them towards baptism and the experience of living out their Christian faith in a specific church community. Young Life does not prevent kids from joining churches; they simply don’t promote a church or denomination. Young Life is very dynamic and evangelical, tapping into the deep emotional well of young people. Young Life is highly successful in recruiting new Disciples of Christ among the young.
Where, then, does that leave us as traditional, sacramental, and liturgical Episcopalians? It leaves us in a prime position to openly and lovingly welcome these young people into our community. To do so successfully, however, we must not be viewed as (nor view ourselves as) the ‘Frozen Chosen’. That antique term used to describe Episcopalians of the mid-20th Century, hints at stoicism in theology, liturgy, and spirituality. Is it a fair characterization of us? Yes and no.
Let me be very clear: I am NOT promoting the changing of any theological, liturgical or spiritual practices, traditions or approaches. We are a church who joyfully retains traditions that date back to the time of the apostles and the early Church.
What I AM promoting is each of us taking a personal inventory of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Those within the Evangelistic tradition have a clear sense of their relationship with Christ and proudly proclaim that relationship in word and action. I believe that we can learn lots from our Christian brothers and sisters who are not shy, reserved or private about their faith!
What should be sought is a balance between Evangelism and Episcopalian-ism, another ‘Via Media’. Where ‘Via Media’ originally referred to the balance between Catholic and Protestant in the Church of England, today’s Episcopal Church needs to find a balance between ‘Traditional’ and ‘Evangelical’, between ‘intellectual’ and ‘emotional’. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is an excellent example of leadership in the Church who is providing this balance. But, it’s not enough for Bishop Curry (or for me) to preach with passion and zeal if Episcopalians refuse to be moved by the Holy Spirit.
Embracing a more evangelical spirituality does not mean that we become a carbon-copy of the non-denominational churches that have a more ‘casual’ worship style with rock bands, stage lights, or arena style seating. What it means is that as practicing Christians, we should examine our hearts, explore our faith, and exhume our emotions!
Evangelical spirituality is a blessing to the world. Evangelical Christians clearly declare how it is that Jesus has changed their lives for the better. Could we give such a testimony? Do we see, acknowledge, and proclaim how our lives are improved by our faith in Jesus as Lord? Do we dare share that with the world in word and action?
My dearest brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, may the fire-breath of the Holy Spirit melt the ‘Frozen Chosen’ so that the baptismal waters may flow out of us into the world like a raging force of peace, joy, and love! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Amen.
In the Risen Christ Jesus our Lord,