Monthly Newsletter

a group of people standing around a buffet table with food

Emmanuel members enjoying an evening of fellowship at the Bread Breakers Potluck on Sunday, January 29, 2023.


Volume 9 Issue 2


Beloved in Christ,

It seems like just yesterday I wrote to you with opportunities for Advent, and now I write to you with invitations for Lent (which begins with Ash Wednesday on February 22).

Forgiveness is a natural theme to explore as we move through 40 days of reconciliation and renewal. Accordingly, on Sunday mornings in Lent the Adult Forum will dwell in the wisdom of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Rev. Mpho Tutu, as shared in The Book of Forgiving. More information will be shared soon.

Beginning on February 28, the Lent study will take place on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 PM via zoom, and our sharing will be based on Gregory Boyle’s book Forgive Everyone Everything. Boyle’s collection of writings are tender, exquisite, and deeply rooted in compassion. The stories originate in his work with Homeboy Industries, a ministry in Los Angeles working with formerly gang involved and incarcerated people. More than one of these story snippets have brought tears to my eyes, while affirming my faith in the powers of love and connection. If you’d like to join me in an hour of prayer, reflection, and conversation, RSVP to

On Saturday, March 4 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, experience contemplative space in the company of peace-seekers on a shared journey of healing. Hosted by Rev. Kay Houck, Betsy Lawrence, Dianna Heinzelman, and Heather Rauenhorst, the Lent Quiet Day will include interactive prayer stations, small group sharing, and quiet time for personal reflection. Lunch will be provided. Due to the nature of this event, space is limited to 30 participants. Please register by February 22. To reserve your place, email or book online at:

May your season be blessed by the holy love that sustains us.




The 135th Annual Meeting of Emmanuel Episcopal Church was held Sunday, January 22. We had excellent attendance far exceeding the 32 needed for a quorum. Leah Cell was appointed as Clerk. The minutes of the 2022 annual meeting were approved.

Vestry Elections. Rusty Carpenter, Terry Hebert, and Heather Rauenhorst were elected to three-year terms by acclamation.

Vestry Nominating Committee. Sandy Sutton and Diana Heintzelman volunteered to co-chair the 2023 Nominations Committee as Vestry members. Betsy Lawrence and Nancy Nicholson were elected as parish lay representatives.

Convention Delegates. Bruce Turner, Nancy Turner, and Hal Lawrence were elected to serve as our delegates to the 2023 Diocesan Convention in Saginaw. Betsy Lawrence, Frances Shepard and Terry Hebert were elected as alternates.

Reverend Kay thanked Bruce Turner, Dennis McGeath and Sharyn Olliffe for their three years of service on Vestry. She acknowledged and thanked Fr. Bill Nicholson for his leadership of Liturgical Arts and for the impact this group has had enhancing Emmanuel.

Reports from Senior Warden - Hal Lawrence, Junior Warden - Jamie MacKenzie, Assistant Treasurer - Franz Neubrecht, Stewardship Co-Chair - Dennis McGeath and Memorials and Gifts update by Wendy Armstrong, were received. The Stewardship Committee and the Finance Committee did outstanding jobs. Emmanuel finished 2022 with only a $3,000 deficit vs the $15,000 predicted. The 2023 budget is approaching being balanced, enabling the vestry to reconsider the Music and Outreach budgets. Steve Selden and DJ Jones gave a report on the need and impact of Planned Giving. They pointed out the positive impacts Planned Giving has had for Emmanuel. We were all encouraged to consider planning a gift for Emmanuel.

If you have not, I encourage you to review the Annual Meeting Agenda Book to read the excellent submitted reports.

All the staff, Reverend Kay, Music Director - Andre’ Strydom and our Office Manager - Leah Cell were congratulated on the excellent jobs they do every day for Emmanuel and our parish. I also want to thank Matthew Neddo for the multitude of things he accomplishes for our church.

Following the meeting, the Vestry met to elect officers for 2023. They are:

  • Senior Warden, Hal Lawrence

  • Junior Warden, Jamie MacKenzie

  • Clerk, Mary Street

The Vestry will have its Annual Retreat on February 11, 2023.

Respectfully submitted,

Hal Lawrence, Senior Warden


We are so excited to resume Emmanuel’s Shrove Tuesday feast after a two-year pause. The dinner includes crepes, jambalaya, salad, bread, and dessert, with proceeds to benefit youth ministry in the parish. There are two ways you can help: buy tickets for the event and/or volunteer to serve, cleanup, or sell tickets. Beginning on February 5, tickets purchased in advance are $15 for one, $25 for a couple, and $35 for a family. Tickets purchased on the day of the event are $20 for one, $30 for a couple, and $40 for a family. Signup sheets for volunteers are located on the bulletin board in Wood Fellowship Hall. Save the date for February 21 from 5-7 p.m.


Adult Forum meets at 9:00 to 9:45 on Sunday mornings in Wood Fellowship Hall. After taking a winter break, Adult Forum resumes on January 29 with the series Better Conversations, civil dialogue in this day and age. This is also a live stream available on Zoom,


A HUGE thank you to all those who submitted names for our 2022 Advent Angels. This year was rather bittersweet. It was by far the largest group we have ever had, which was wonderful, but also sad to know that so many people in 2022 were struggling in some capacity. Thanks to our wonderful EEC family, we were able to reach out to those in need. We had 23 recipients that had their advent season brightened by some very kind “angels” this year. A very special thank you goes to those who generously volunteered to be an angel this year: Mary Street, Nancy/Bruce Turner, Joy McBride, Katie MacInnis, Daphne Weston, Hal/Betsy Lawrence, Wendy Price, Jamie MacKenzie, Barrie Bates, Carol Coursey, Leah Cell, Joan/Franz Neubrecht, Louise Graham, Pat Emmendorfer, Nancy Nicholson, Laurie Blatt, and Sandy Selden. We have received wonderful notes/comments of appreciation from many of the recipients and without your help, would not have been able to continue this ministry. Thanks for your kind and caring hearts. -- Wendy Price


This year, we plan to have a special Easter service for children, on Saturday, April 8, beginning at 4 p.m. We will have darkness, fire, song, prophesies, asperges, renewal of baptismal vows, processions, and the first Holy Communion of Easter Day—and all in about an hour! While adults are most certainly welcome, there are ample opportunities for kids of all ages to participate by singing, holding candles, dancing, and serving as acolytes, among many other things. Mark your calendars now: Saturday, April 8, beginning at 4.

For more information, contact the Revs. Kay Houck or Barrie Bates.





PASTORAL CARE – January 2023

Building and Practicing the Habit of Prayer

We associate the month of February with showing love and kindness to the special people in our lives. As Christians we look for opportunities to be kind throughout our day and toward everyone we meet. By sharing compassion, understanding and goodwill with others, we have the power to heal and to make our world a better place for everyone.

Our Pastoral Care ministry offers kindness by giving rides to appointments, making and delivering meals, calling to check on those who are homebound, sending cards of encouragement, and offering ongoing prayers for peace and healing. There are so many other ways of showing kindness as well, such as: giving a compliment, waving to a stranger, holding the door open for someone, paying for someone’s coffee who is in line with you or sitting next to someone who is alone at a party or a gathering. Consider showing kindness to others by being a good listener and giving them your full attention.

There are plenty of ways to show kindness if you enjoy being outdoors. Raking leaves or shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor, walking a friend’s dog, helping plant or weed a garden are just a few ideas. As you practice being kind throughout your day, God will open your eyes to a multitude of opportunities!

If you are in need or know of someone in need, please reach out to Sharyn at 248.909.5862, Nina at 231.881.2630, Rev. Kay at 231.487.2199 or Leah 231.347.2350 ext. 110 in the church office.


Women’s Gathering will convene via Zoom at 9:00 am on Friday February 10 and 24. All women are welcome. For more information and the Zoom link please contact Betsy Lawrence at


As the Diocese of Eastern and Western Michigan explore collaboration in ministry, the Building Bridges team is reaching out to people across our two dioceses to hear what is important to you and dream about what we might do together. To that purpose, Bishop Singh invites you to join him for in-person and virtual listening sessions in February 2023.

The virtual sessions will run from 7:00-8:30 p.m. and are scheduled for:

Monday, February 6, 2023

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Visit this link to RSVP for the session that works best for you. These conversations will be a critical part of our discernment to how we move forward together, and the Building Bridges team really wants to hear from you. I hope you can make it to one of the sessions to share your ideas and connect with other Episcopalians in our diocese.

Volunteers are needed for both the 12 noon and 7:00 p.m. services on Ash Wednesday. Please contact the Church Office at 231.347.2350 ext. 110 if you are able to serve at either or both services. Thank you.



  • Hal Lawrence, Sr. Warden

  • Jamie MacKenzie, Jr. Warden

  • Mary Street, Clerk

  • Dottie Hawthorne

  • Dianna Heinzelman

  • Sandy Sutton

  • Rusty Carpenter

  • Terrell Hebert

  • Heather Rauenhorst


  • Rector - The Reverend Kay M. Houck

  • Director of Music Ministries - Dr. Andre Strydom

  • Office Manager - Leah Cell

  • Nursery Care Provider - Lindsey McVicker


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  • 18 March 2021
  • Author: Leah
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  8:30 AM Sunday
10:00 AM Sunday
11:00 AM Thursday



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