CONNECTING WITH OUR TIME
Friendship is one of the most essential and important aspects of humanity in general and Christianity in specific. Through genuine, authentic, mutually vulnerable friendship, we are experiencing Trinitarian Love. Friendship with others is friendship with God. Therefore, we are resolved to build circles with one another and to be good neighbors to those near and far.
THROUGH BUILDING CIRCLES WITH ONE ANOTHER
Every Sunday our Eucharist is extended into Hand Hall where we gather for coffee, light refreshments, and time to get to know one another better because “life is short. And we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who journey the way with us.” So when you come and join us on Sunday mornings, make plans to stay after for a cup of coffee and meet a few folks! St. Philip’s provides coffee from sustainable sources that line up with Kingdom values (caring for the poor, the widow, the sick, the orphan) and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Saturday Nite Social
Once a month on a Saturday evening, St. Philip adults gather in one of the homes of a parishioner from 6pm-8pm. Much of the intent of this evening is based on our desire to be together more often, but it’s also a wonderful way to introduce your friends to our community in a relaxed atmosphere. The date and location are usually announced in the Monthly Newsletter (The Apostle) or you can always contact the office for more information by leaving us a note on the “contact us” form.
On every Tuesday, women of the parish and their neighbors, gather together over the lunch hour to be together. Conversation in the quaint atmosphere of one of the locally owned restaurants is a bright spot of this circle of ever-expanding friends. Join Lunch Bunch at 12pm. The location is May-October at The Cherry Hut in Beulah and October-May Ursa Major in Beulah.
Men of St. Philip’s
On the first Tuesday of the month, men of the parish and their neighbors, gather together over the lunch hour for a meal. They are often dreaming up ways to be better neighbors, tend to the needs of the physical grounds at our parish, and build friendships. Join Men’s Club at 12pm at Papa J’s in Honor.
At other times, men of the parish host a time to gather for a meal, in the evening. Those times and dates are usually announced in our Monthly Newsletter “The Apostle”.
The vestry is the legal representative of the parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. The number of vestry members and the term of office varies from parish to parish. For specifics on how St. Philip’s operates, please visit our By-Laws page.
Vestry members are elected at the annual parish meeting. The presiding officer of the vestry is the rector. There are usually two wardens. The senior warden is often referred to as “The Rector’s Warden” and is a support person for him/her. The junior warden is commonly referred to as “The People’s Warden” and oversees the committees responsible for church property and buildings. A treasurer and a secretary or clerk are elected by the Vestry each year following the Annual Meeting. The officers of Treasurer and Secretary/Clerk are not necessarily members of the vestry.
The basic responsibilities of the vestry are to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church’s mission by word and deed, to select the rector, to ensure effective organization and planning, and to manage resources and finances. (Source: An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church)
One of the ways we accomplish the work of the church is through organizing ourselves around areas of mission that help us accomplish what we say we are all about. Our Vestry and Co-Rectors work together to cast the vision for what work we will tend to and how we will fund it. Below is the diagram of what that work is striving to look like and the invitation for you to contemplate where your gifts and talents could help meet the needs of the church and world.
If you are interested in deepening your commitment to the parish life, we have a few different committees you can talk to the co-rectors about joining. Some of the current groups we have going are:
- Buildings and Grounds
- Church Family & Fellowship
- Congregational Care
- Christian Education & Formation for the Parish
- Outreach, Evangelism, & Kingdom Justice
The Stewardship Committee, with the help of Vestry, has developed a “Time & Talent” Survey to help assist the leadership in knowing how you would like to get involved. To take this brief survey, simply go to Time & Talent Survey.
THROUGH BEING GOOD NEIGHBORS
With a portion of our personal time, we have committed to reaching out beyond our brick and mortar to be good neighbors. Some of the organizations and ministries we support with our time include:
BENZIE COUNTY BABY PANTRY
The Benzie County Baby Pantry began in 2003 as a project by our Deacon, The Venerable Reverend Marilou Schlotterbeck. The BCBP serves as the only, countywide, “store” serving the holistic care (physical, emotional, and, if desired, spiritual) of our neighbors with babies and young children. The BCBP is open to parents of newborns and children up to age five who live in Benzie County and surrounding communities. Items provided range from diapers and baby food to clothing and books. The BCBP also hosts a Car Seat Safety Check and Community Health Fair annually, at which families receive new car seats (if needed) for their children and are instructed in the installation and use of the car seat. For more information please contact Archdeacon Marilou.
THE CHRISTMAS STORE
Each year, approximately 600-700 children have a brighter Christmas morning thanks to this HUGE effort, coordinated by Archdeacon Marilou. The Benzie County Christmas Store is a partnership between St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, BACN, and Toys for Tots. Because Archdeacon Marilou is the Benzie County Representative for Toys for Tots she serves as the coordinator of the drop-off sites throughout the county for business and individuals. Thousands of toys are donated at these drop-off sites by area businesses, individuals, and the Marines’ Toys for Tots Program. In addition, the Salvation Army donates vouchers for food. Two huge shopping trips and a semi-truck full of bikes, toys, games, and stuffed animals are delivered to St. Philip’s, where the Christmas Store is located. The blessing this experience provides for families couldn’t happen without parishioners of St. Philip’s, ecumenical relationships in the area, and our local media outlets who help recruit and spread the word. We send out 800 letters to households who might benefit from this ministry and on average have approximately 350 households return appointment slips for the store. One very unique aspect of this ministry is the agency for choosing gifts that their children would like. With the help of our “elves”, the parents are able to pick out their own gifts and even get them wrapped if they desire. To sign up as a volunteer for this effort, please contact Marilou.
Since joining the Reading Camp Network through the diocese, St. Philip’s has held two Reading Camps in Benzie County. In 2015 our camp had six students and 14 adults. In 2016 we were delighted that it had more than doubled, serving 16 students with the continued adult support of 14 St. Philipites. We look forward to having more and more summers of building relationships with these children and their families as we grow and grow. If you would like to learn more about the Reading Camp in Benzie County, please contact our office with the “contact us” form.
THE ORDER OF NAUCRATIUS – WEST MICHIGAN
The Order of Naucratius- West Michigan (ONWM), was created two years ago, in Holland, Michigan, to assist local hunters and fishers in the collection and distribution of God’s abundance from the woods and waters of this great state. ONWM donates this protein to vetted organizations engaged in alleviating Food Insecurity, whether that be a meal program or food pantry or direct delivery to individuals in need. If you would like to explore a new outpost in your parish or if you’d like more information please go to www.onwm.org or contact our Rectors.