About Fr. Manny

Father Manuel "Manny" Borg is the Vicar of St Nicholas, Elk Grove Village

Annual Stewardship Campaign: How To Do It (Squirming Not Required)

Late into summer the days are shorter and the nights are blessedly cooler and much, more comfortable. The kids have ‘joyfully’ returned to school. College football is back. Department stores already have Halloween, Thanksgiving and even some Christmas decorations out on the shelves. “Time and tide waits for no one,” or so did say St. Marher in the year of our Lord, 1225. Or, was it Goeffrey Chaucer in his “The Prologue to the Clerk’s Tale” of 1368? Regardless, some one said it and it fits.

At St. Nicholas, it is time for us to begin the conversation about Stewardship.

We, as a community, have been extraordinarily and graciously generous. This community of faith, our St. Nicholas Church family understands the need for financial support in order for us to continue to provide ministry and worship both within and outside the church. The kindness shown St. Nicholas by each member allows us to keep the lights on, heat and air to keep us comfortable and safe, make necessary repairs and improvements, grow our gardens for the greater glory of God, purchase the necessary items needed at worship and helps to keep our food pantry shelves stocked. And yes, our generosity helps finance our staff’s salary. We are exceptionally fortunate that the Support Groups that call St. Nicholas home continue to share their bounty with us as well. Their generosity helps defray some of the cost of utilities and other such expenses.

Finances are a very personal matter. It is a delicate and sensitive subject. Truthfully, it makes us all squirm a bit and personally, I do not feel comfortable bringing up the subject. Nonetheless, it is a necessary and important conversation that must be had. Without the financial support of our church family, we would be unable to accomplish all that we do.

We will begin our Annual Stewardship Campaign in early October. I ask us all to pray, to discern and to think about how we can continue to help and support our church. Let us all consider how best we can create a healthy and vibrant house of worship. There are various way to pledge to the church. This will all be explained with inserts and articles in upcoming editions of News From Nick and mailings. Please; it is not our intention to burden any one. We ask that we all give, as we can and what we can. Time shared in ministry and volunteering, along with the sharing of talent for the betterment of others is just as important as the financial, “bottom dollar.” All that is received helps us to not just exist, but to grow stronger and healthier. Any questions, concerns or thoughts, please do not hesitate in approaching any one of our finance team members, (Bob Kalicki, Ray Malecek and me) we’re here to help and assist as best we can.

“Therefore I say unto you, What things, soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.”
Mark 11: 24

In advance, thank you everyone for your consideration, your thoughtfulness and your willing generosity.

Amen.

manny@stnicholasepiscopal.org

Manny

Father Manny150

Father Manny: A Penny For Your Thoughts for the Children of Syria


A single penny may not be much of a thing to us. If you live on the streets and are hungry more often than sufficiently fed, a penny may well make a huge difference.

The children of Syria have suffered untold and unspeakable horrors. The civil war that has literally torn that nation to shreds has taken its toll on everyone there, yet most especially the children. No child, whether in Syria, the Sudan or South Carolina should endure deprivation and poverty of such unimaginable proportion and depth.

Our Lenten exercise of “A Penny for your Thought” was our effort, albeit a figurative drop in a seemingly bottom-less bucket at trying to make a change in the lives of children living in a foreign land most of us will never visit or come to know too well. Nonetheless, it was OUR effort. It was OUR intention, prayerfully guided and divinely inspired to make a difference, to bring the basic staples to kids that need any and all help possible. The good, loving and generous people of this church, this Community of St. Nicholas once again, came to the fore and showed what we are made of.

The final total provided us by our Jennifer Brundige…drum roll, please, comes out to $175.00 raised. Now, St. Nicholas will match that total. The funds we shall use will not come from any department that will put us in a tough spot. Rather, we shall use funds that were given to me, for my personal use when I was installed as vicar. I tell you, I can’t think of any better way to share something gifted to me than with kids who desperately need our help.

The Community of St. Nicholas will cut a check in the amount of $350.00 and send it off to the Episcopal Relief Fund. They, in turn, will see to it that every single penny will go toward aid and assistance for the children of Syria who need it most.

From my heart to yours…thank you, everyone, for caring and sharing so generously and so lovingly. We profess that at St. Nicholas, all are welcome…period. How blessed to extend this invitation to children in a far-away country who have probably never heard of Elk Grove Village or who St. Nicholas is. But, with this small but powerful token of our love and care, kids will get a little dose of who St. Nicholas really is, become part of our family and hopefully, change their lives for the better.

Amen.

Important Dates We Remember

75 years ago last week, the U.S. formally entered battle in World War II when the Japanese attacked the naval installation at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. In all, 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 were injured. The U.S.S. Arizona, the “pride of the American fleet” suffered the greatest number of casualties and today, it rests in the harbor where it sank on that fateful Sunday morning, December 7th, 1941.

Dates fascinate us. We remember the day of our birth, though as we mature, some of us choose not to be so celebratory about it. Perfectly understandable. We memorialize the anniversary of a loved one’s passing, as we place flowers atop their grave markers and pray to their beloved memory. For me, it is hard to forget that both my Mom and Dad passed away at the 10 o’clock hour on the mornings of December 22, 1985 and June 16, 2007. I shall not forget, as my heart reminds me each day. This is as it should be, for I love them beyond telling.

What of those other dates, you know, the date of our baptism and confirmation? Can we recall those sacramental occasions? I admit, this is pretty unfair of me to ask such a question. Still, it provides us food for thought, does it not? Truth be told, if I didn’t look at my records, I’d not remember either. And this is my point exactly. We celebrate our birth and other such anniversaries. Yet, as people of God, sisters and brothers to one another through Christ, we forget those times when we committed ourselves to serve God in worship and in ministry and be part of the body of the Church, engaged and active in the life of the Church. These events, along with marriage and ordination (marriage anniversaries may be the exception as most do remember this event) are occasions for rejoicing. Sadly, we forget and said anniversaries pass by without any recall, remembrance or rejoicing.

We are well into the sacred season of Advent. Last weekend we lit the Rose Candle, celebrating Gaudete Sunday. Translated from the Latin, Gaudete means “rejoice,” and is taken from a verse in St. Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi, Greece, “Gaudete in Domino semper,” that is, “rejoice in the Lord always.” For this is what we do as a people of faith: we watch and we wait. We continue to prepare ourselves for the anniversary of Christ’s celebrated birth on the 25th of December. This is the day chosen long ago and it is cherished by millions of faithful followers of Christ Jesus, the Redeemer. Yet and more importantly, let us continue to remind ourselves Advent calls us to prepare for the Lord’s return to our world, to once and for all bring us to eternal glory. As we wait, let us also remember to celebrate the anniversary of our ‘new birth in Christ,’ that is, our baptismal and confirmation anniversaries. It is in these sacramental exercises that we became part of this family we call Christian and members of this church we celebrate and honor as St. Nicholas Episcopal.

Incidentally, I was baptized on the 5th of October, 1958 and made my Confirmation on the 23rd of November, 1971 at Detroit Holy Redeemer. Anyone else wish to share their dates with us? After all…all are welcome…

Amen.