Monday, November 24, 2008

Joint Thanksgiving Service Nov. 23

Each year Compton and Tyler Place Presby- terian hold a joint Thanks- giving worship service on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Both churches are partners in Isaiah 58 Ministries as well as other community projects. This year, we added a new ecumenical twist. The Rev. Bob Hagel from Tyler Place (at right in photo) and his wife Kate asked Jacque if she would baptize their baby daughter in the Presbyterian tradition. After the elders gave Jacque a resounding "yes," arrangements were made to bring the font over from Tyler Place. Disciples of Christ practice believers baptism by immersion, but we are part of a covenant of 7 denominations that recognize each other's baptism and share open communion.

Our sanctuary was packed with members of Compton and Tyler Place and a large number of Hagel relatives. Rev. Hagel gave the sermon. Jacque and our elders officiated at the communion service. All undesignated offerings were given to Isaiah 58 Ministries and totaled $497. After the worship service, about 80 people gathered in Fellowship Hall for traditional turkey and all of the delicious carry-in trimmings. A good day.

November 21: Recital

Friday night, Nov. 21, CHCC member Talya gave a faculty recital at Forest Park Community College, accompanied by David, our organist. A large group of Compton folk came out to support the event, along with many of Talya's students and her proud family. The lighting wasn't the best for shooting with available light, but Talya was stunning both visually and vocally. We are so blessed to have Talya as part of our congregation: this talented mezzo-soprano hits all the high notes in our anthems and brings a wealth of experience from appearances with many local musical productions, including the Muny. The best part: Talya turned the recital into a benefit for Isaiah 58 Ministries as those who attended brought enough non-perishable food to fill at least 4 boxes for the food pantry. Thank you Talya, for all you do!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16: Wonder and Blessing

Something new has been added to worship this month, called Time of Wonder. We have three or four children now in worship regularly and our student associate pastor, Lorrie Kovel, has started this time especially for them. Today she is reading the story Stone Soup before we take up the Thanksgiving special offering. Children and youth are encouraged to take part in the life of the church and worship in various ways, including acting as acolytes, bringing in the light and carrying it out.

For almost a year now, the Rev. Bob Miner has been an active member and parti- cipant at Compton. He has accepted a call to be the pastor of First Christian Church in Osceola, Iowa, and we gave him a special blessing at the end of today's worship service. Pastor Jacque Foster presents him with a book of Advent readings on behalf of the congregation, since he is moving this week and begins his ministry in Iowa on the first Sunday of Advent. Godspeed, Bob; you will be missed but we know you'll bring many gifts to your new congregation.

One of Bob's gifts we have enjoyed at Compton is his musical ability and wonderful singing voice from the pews. Last Sunday, he brought the special music during worship. Bob's daughters, Kim and DebE remain as active members and deacons at Compton, and Deb and her husband David are anticipating the birth in the spring of baby #4. We are grateful for this talented and gifted family.

November 9: Baby Dedication

On Sunday, Nov. 9, Jenn and Josh brought baby Elizabeth to be dedicated, and to dedicate themselves as parents. Elizabeth is the second of four babies born or expected in the congregation within a year. We do not baptize infants, but have this ceremony of promises to nurture children as they mature in the community.

Pastor Jacque Foster introduces Elizabeth to everyone in the pews, as we all sing Jesus Loves Me. Elizabeth likes music, it seems, because she quit fussing and just enjoyed the attention.

Also on this day, Sarah and Bryan became parents of Peter Eliot, who came into the world around 4 a.m. Peter is baby #3! We hope to have photos of him soon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

All Saints and More

Our garden at the corner of Flora Place and Grand is vibrant with changing color this week, including this lovely sweet gum tree. One of the newer flower beds is in the foreground and in the distance, two of the benches are visible. Sunday was warm and the space was inviting. You may click on the picture to enlarge it and see more detail.

In services we remembered those saints who have shown us the face of God and who have gone before us. Many former members were named aloud in the service, and other saints known perhaps only to the individual thinking of them were named silently. It was a joy to have Elizabeth and her parents, Josh and Jenn, with us, as well as several visitors.

In the figures at right, some numbers have been changed this week. GoodSearch has inexplicably lowered our total earnings on the web site by about $35, so that amount is now lower. The change came in estimated earnings from GoodShop, and could be due to an error in the original estimate or perhaps someone returned items previously bought, which also would result in a deduction. Usage of the site increased in October so we hope more people will use the search and shopping functions to benefit Compton Cares.

The amount listed the past two weeks for the initial pledges was also incorrect--I had mistakenly picked up the amount received to date on pledges instead of the original amount pledged. That has been corrected. On Sunday, Dave B. announced that we now have 8 full bags of aluminum cans in his and the Rev. Jacque's basement. We need only 7 more to make a trip to the recycler with over 100 pounds. The other day I spied 4 empty fruit punch soft drink cans next to a parking space and I jumped out of the car and grabbed them. Empty cans are everywhere. Be on the lookout! You can collect cans even if you never touch soft drinks!

Upcoming: Comptonites will celebrate the Rev. Bob Miner's call to serve a church in Iowa and give him a proper sendoff on Nov. 16 in worship and coffee hour. Bob's daughters, DebE and Kim, are active members at Compton. And Compton will host the Thanksgiving service and dinner for our partner churches on Nov. 23. Bring a dish to share and join us.