A Note from Liz Klein

Dear Members of St. Michael’s,

Thank you for welcoming me as your Deacon Intern for the last year. My Field Education at St. Michael’s is ending May 31st. You have welcomed me, guided me and allowed me to grow as a Deacon Postulant. Thank you for your support, your kindness and your gentle instruction when I needed some guidance.

A special thanks to my Deacon Support Team including Rev. Charlie Foss, Rev. Carol Howser, Lynn Baker, Lynn Montgomery and Gary Davis. I appreciate each one of you and your willingness to meet with me monthly and encourage me along the way.

You are an amazing community of caring individuals. You reach out into the world in so many ways. I enjoyed participating with The Green Team and Environmental Stewardship and the St. Brigid’s Healing Team.  I will always remember all the stuffed animals we collected for the children, and the many backpacks that we filled for DHS. Thank you, 7:30 am church members who listened to my sermons and encouraged me and gave me feedback.

I have been through some tough times with you all too. I will always remember the beautiful funerals. I enjoyed walking with you in SW Portland with the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice. I have learned so much from Chris and James and Matthew David in ways to preach and lead adult forums. I enjoyed your engagement at the End of Life Forum. I love your Taizé services and enjoyed playing piano for the service in February.  I have appreciated the Angel groups and the sharing among so many of you.

I need your help. I helped start a Caregiver Support group at St. Michael’s. It is a small group, at this time. I think there is a great need for Caregiver Support at St. Michael’s and in our community. Please contact James if you have interest in participating in this group.

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and our hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it,” by Arundhati Roy.  My hope is that we grieve and lament deeply enough to imagine a better future for all.

I hope and pray that we can hold onto some of the changes that have happened as we have stayed home. I hope that people in the world who are seeing blue sky for the first time will appreciate this and be willing to make changes to help our Mother Earth. I hope that I will continue to check in on my neighbors and make sandwiches for the homeless. I hope we can continue to listen and care for each other and that we can be a little kinder to each other.  We need this. The world needs this.

I believe God is present and with us in the midst of COVID 19. I pray that you may know and feel God’s presence today, and in the days to come. I look forward to our paths crossing in the future.

Blessings, Liz Klein

Caregiver Support Group

40 million adults in the US identify as caregivers. Caregivers often find themselves overwhelmed, lonely and depressed. If you are a caregiver or know of someone who is, please consider joining St. Michael’s Caregiver Support Group.  Our goal is to make the group a supportive environment where people can talk about a broad range of issues, where people are accepted and cared for and where people can learn from each other. The idea is to help people feel less isolated and provide and receive support and encouragement and insight.

St. Michael’s Caregiver Support Group continues as we support each other through the COVID-19 pandemic and this difficult time. We are reaching out to each other with phone calls and emails to encourage and support each other and try to help each other feel less isolated. We continue to talk about good self-care and resiliency.

Please email Liz Klein, Deacon Intern or the Rev. James Joiner  if you are interested in being part of this group.

Bishop’s Visitation this Sunday

Bishop’s Visitation in May 2019

On Sunday, May 17, Bishop Michael Hanley will join us for our 10:00 am worship, which will include the renewal of our baptismal vows. He will participate in the service with Chris, James and Hannah (at a safe distance) and will preach. This is Bishop Michael’s last visitation at St. Michael’s, at least as bishop. He is retiring by the end of the year, and a new bishop will be elected this summer and will spend time with Bishop Michael getting to know the diocese.

In addition, Music Director & Organist Hannah Brewer has a musical surprise for us which will be unveiled on Sunday during the service. You don’t want to miss it!

Angel Groups Adopt a Nursing Home

A few folks from the St. Michael’s Angel Groups have decided to “adopt” Creekside Rehab & Nursing Home, a 40-bed nursing home located at SE 49th & Belmont. They are taking this action to support the staff who are working tirelessly to keep the residents healthy and safe during this pandemic. Since the residents are quarantined, the staff has additional responsibility to provide social and emotional support to each of the people for whom they provide care.

Last week, a couple of folks brought masks made by several Angels, posters, flowers and goodie bags for the nursing staff to celebrate National Nursing Week. Staff members have expressed their deep appreciation that we know they are there and working so hard to care for these residents and themselves in this challenging time.

There will be another visit this week, probably Wednesday or Thursday, May 13 or 14, to bring more masks and cheer the staff at their 2:00 pm shift change. The organizers welcome assistance and donations with this project from any Angels. If you’re interested, please contact Janet here or by text (check your directory). Thank you for your help with this.

Ordination of Matthew David Morris

Interior of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

All are invited to the virtual (but entirely real) ordination of Matthew David Morris. Matthew David was sponsored by St. David of Wales, but he has been with us since the fall – participating in both the English- and Spanish-language services as Deacon in most of our in-person services as well as behind the scenes in the last month and a half. He has been a valued member of the St. Michael’s staff while at the same time completing his seminary training. Matthew David’s ordination is the culmination of many years of training and study, and we offer him our most sincere congratulations.

The ordination will be live-streamed from Trinity Episcopal Cathedral at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 9. Please check Matthew David’s website to read more.

The ordination is over, but the video lives on! You can watch the entire service here.

Easter Season Book Group

All are invited to participate in the next session of Rector Chris Craun’s Wednesday Book Group. It will happen at Zoom at 12:00 noon beginning May 6 and running through June 3. The group is reading How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, by Jenny Odell.  

What better time to learn how to do nothing! Described as a thrilling critique of the forces vying for our attention, this book redefines what we think of as productivity, shows us a new way to connect with our environment and reveals all that we’ve been too distracted to see about ourselves and our world. Please read Chapter 1 for the May 6 gathering if possible.

Invitation from Team L.I.F.E.

Team L.I.F.E. here!  While we continue to encourage you to share your Labor… Influence… Finances… and Expertise with the St. Michael’s community, we know our lives have changed dramatically in the past few weeks.

Team L.I.F.E. 2.0 (COVID edition) now encourages you to share your Laughter…Improvements…Freak-out moments…and Excitement!

Upload your photo or very short video (or story in text format) Click here. If you want to share a link to a video or send in a short Word document, please email here. Please do not email videos.

To see what has been shared so far, click here.

Go-the-Distance Discipleship Groups

When the shelter-in-place orders started rolling, several of St. Michael’s weekly groups began meeting online. Associate Rector James Joiner’s Tuesday night group found this to be a nice way to check in with each other during the week and center themselves in prayer and some bible study.

Now that group has finished its course, and they’re looking for other ways to connect. These new groups will be smaller, with about four to six people each, and will meet once a week for four to five weeks. They will be offered at different times throughout the week based on participants’ schedules organized somewhat by affinity. The format will include time for checking in with each other and some meditations for reflection based around the Sunday readings and sermons. Each will be led by James or another clergy or pastoral staff person. You can sign up with the link here.

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Ways to help during the pandemic

There are many ways that you can serve others during this time of lay-offs, social-distancing and general concern and anxiety. One of our community partners for many years is the Northeast Emergency Food Program (NEFP), which very much needs volunteers. In order to simultaneously practice safe physical-distancing guidelines (both for volunteers and clients), NEFP has to limit how many people are there on any given day.  In order to coordinate and organize what they need on each day of service, Please check the email from Steven Garcia below.  This has a link to a google sign-up sheet and some other basic information.  NEFP is located at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church (4800 NE 72nd Ave. Portland, OR 97218). To read more about NEFP, a ministry of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO), click here.

Continue reading “Ways to help during the pandemic”

Holy Week & Easter from Taizé

We’ve been celebrating monthly Taizé services at St. Michael’s for many years. Our services include live music and chants from the Taizé community in France as well as prayers, readings and times of contemplation and silence. While we wait during this time of physical separation for the opportunity to meet together for Taizé Prayers, please check the website of the Taizé community for evening prayer and biblical meditation.