the grapevine - The Presbyterian Church of Okemos

The Presbyterian C hur ch of Okemos
Volume 16, Issue 11
November 2016
Some Thoughts on Faith
On the last Sunday in October—a Sunday that Protestant
Churches around the world set apart as “Reformation
Sunday”—Pope Francis went to Lund, Sweden. Lund was the
city where Christians built the first cathedral in Scandinavia,
and it was the center of Christian missionary activity to
Northern Europe.
During the Reformation, the Lutheran Church became
the predominate form of Christianity practiced in Norway and
Sweden. Up until 1996, children born into a home with at
least one Lutheran parent were automatically considered
Lutheran by the state. Today, less than 4% of Swedish people
attend worship each week, and as a nation, Sweden has one of
the highest rates of atheism in the world.
Nonetheless, Pope Francis went to Sweden as a place to
begin mending a division that is almost 500 years old. In
1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses—complaints against
the Catholic Church and the Pope—on the door
of the Wittenberg church. Next year will mark
the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Pope
Francis intends to “celebrate” the Reformation
over the course of this year. That is causing
some concern among many Roman Catholics.
In 2008, Pope Benedict officially declared
that Martin Luther was no longer a heretic. This
summer, a statue of Luther was unveiled in Vatican
City. And on his way to Lund, Pope Francis expressed
some understanding for the protest led by Martin Luther:
"The church was not a role model. There was corruption;
there was worldliness; there was greed, and lust for power. He
[Luther] protested against this… he was an intelligent man."
Luther’s protest focused on what he called, “the economy
of salvation.” He took aim against the practice of indulgences,
and in so doing, he was attacking a hugely important
institution. An indulgence was the sale of pious acts of
contrition designed to insure salvation and shorten the length
of time a loved one would suffer in purgatory. Priests,
cardinals, and the Pope sold these indulgences; but this was
also lucrative business for printing presses. Johannes
Gutenberg printed indulgence certificates—printed papers that
explicitly declared the terms and length of remission from
purgatory attached to a pious act of charity.
Martin Luther comes along in 1517 and argues that if the
Pope can, by means of a letter, assure a person of life in
heaven, why would not the Pope simply give this gift to
everyone, free of charge? Luther derided a popular Catholic
saying at the time: “When a coin in the coffer rings, another
soul from purgatory springs.”
Luther denied that the Pope actually held the power of
such pardon. Such power belonged to God alone. So instead
of increasing the faith of people, the sale of indulgences only
increased the greed of corrupt clergy.
Andrew Pettegree, a Scottish historian, makes a case that
Martin Luther was in the right place at the right time. There
had been a number of men and women of faith who had
sought to reform the church in previous generations. But
Wittenberg had a printing press, and there were a number of
printers who were willing to publish Luther’s pamphlets for
wide distribution. The artist, Lucas Cranach was nearby as
well. Together, these printers and illustrators created what we
call today, a “brand name.” Martin Luther
became the most read, the most famous man
in all of Europe. What began as a brief
critique of Roman Catholic theology and
practice soon became a revolution that
effected not just the Church, but German
statecraft, economic life and European
There remain theological disputes today between
Protestants and Catholics. Those disputes, however,
are inching closer to consensus. Catholic, Protestant, and
Evangelical Christians have gathered in the last two decades
under the title of “The Princeton Project.” In 2003, this body
proposed 72 theses toward Christian unity, culminating with a
declaration that “Unity… will require our church to embrace
a spiritual poverty that has the courage to forego genuine
riches of a tradition for the sake of a more comprehensive
unity in the truth of the gospel.”
It is a word that both Martin Luther and Pope Francis
might embrace.
See you in church,
Page 2
The Grapevine
To New Members recognized on Sunday, October 23
 Sarah and Brandon Hubbard
 Kent and Michelle Nessa
 Irene Yoder-Best
On the baptisms of Luke James and Joseph Clifford,
twin sons of Sarah and Brandon Hubbard, on
October 30.
On the birth of William Thomas to Ryan
and Maggie Schaberg Walder,
and their daughter Louise, on
October 23. Grandparents include
Tom and Jill Schaberg.
Please hold in prayer those with health
Glen and Delores Berkheimer, Burcham Hills
Lowell and Jo Ewart
Harriett McDaniel
Edwin Ortiz-Martinez, adult son of Judi Harris
Kristin Phillips
Phil Prygoski
Maxine Thompson, Linda Sirmeyer’s mother
Pete and Jean Weinert
Our Sympathy to Eunice Creswell and family on the
death of her brother, Larry Richards on October 16
in Raleigh, NC.
Thank you!
Some of the blessings for which I am thankful are the
many, many helpful volunteers at PCO. Along with our
Elders and Deacons, there are unsung heroes who help me
in the office by proof-reading printed materials, “stuffing”
the bulletins, and stocking the pew envelopes. We also
have a team of offering counters who stay late most
Sundays to make sure our giving records are in order.
There are many others I have seen take care of our
building and property: changing light bulbs, pruning trees
and bushes, weeding our gardens, fixing the plumbing,
keeping our kitchen tidy, setting up and taking down tables
in Fellowship Hall, stocking the pantry… The list goes on
and on, but be assured that your work is appreciated by us
all, whether or not I listed it here.
Thank you all so much!
Laurie (a.k.a. Church Office)
Agape Feast, Sunday, November 20
When Christians began to write down the life and
teachings of Jesus, the Greek language offered them a
number of choices of words that expressed the idea of
love. Christians chose the word Agape, and defined it
as a self-giving love; the sort of love Jesus had for his
disciples—the sort of love that God has for human beings. It was a short time before Christians began to refer
to their Sunday evening worship as an “Agape Feast”
or, a Love Feast. The first Christian church used worship as a time to gather for teaching, reading of Scriptures, and sharing at table—not just sharing bread and
wine of the Eucharist, but sharing breads, fruits, and
ordinary, everyday foods within the liturgical acts of
It is a long standing tradition in our congregation
to observe this worship practice every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So on Sunday, November 20,
we are inviting all church members to bring some food
that can easily be shared in worship: breads, muffins,
fruits, and other foods that can easily be eaten. We will
have three table buffets set up in Fellowship Hall, and
before the end of worship, we will leave the sanctuary
and go into Fellowship Hall to eat together, share conversation, and conclude our worship with prayer and
song. Please bring your food items to share to the kitchen that Sunday morning before worship.
We will also be dedicating our tithes and gifts for
the 2017 budget year at that service. Baskets will be
placed at the front of the sanctuary so that we can enact
our giving by walking forward and placing our
“Estimate of Giving Cards” as well as our Sunday offerings in those baskets. Both of these practices are ways
that we live out our gratitude to God in acts of thanksgiving and praise.
Christmas Poinsettias
As we all enjoy our blessings,
families and friends in this upcoming
Thanksgiving holiday, it seems a bit
early to begin our Advent and Christmas
However, because our marvelous annual advent
program, An Evening of Lessons and Carols, is scheduled
for December 11 (be sure it is on our calendar), and we
would like to have our sanctuary beautifully decorated
for that evening, we need to collect our Christmas
poinsettias orders earlier than usual.
Please watch the November weekly bulletins for
more information regarding poinsettia order dates,
choices and prices.
Thank you, Sally Belloli
Volume 16, Issue 11
CROP Walk Report
Once again, very good weather greeted walkers
at the STEM Academy for the CROP Walk on
Sunday, October 9: 60 degrees, sunny, bright, with a
nip in the breeze. Between 35 and 40 walkers from
our church participated. They seemed to be evenly
balanced between adults and kids. The youth were
trying to match a challenge of $2,000 by two
anonymous donors.
Thanks to all who walked, who prepared the
wonderful lunch at church before the walk, and all
who have contributed to this effort to combat
Please collect the money pledged to you, put the
money and names of donors in the donation
envelope, and return the envelopes to Ron Dorr by
Sunday, November 6.
Page 3
2016 Has Been a Year of Generous Gifts and
Growth for the Endowment Committee.
Some highlights from 2016 include:
Received generous gifts from the estate of Chris
Doemel and Wayne and Barbara Scott
Reviewed several applications and then approved
and funded 5 separate projects this year
--Support of the AFAR (All Faith Alliance for
Refugees) event in May
--Funding youth summer campers at Camp
--Funding laptops for Edgewood Village
--Funding website and technology initiatives
--Funding the Christian Ed Art Room
Our committee is currently planning for 2017 as
we review the application process and funding
options and review plans to effectively manage
the growth of the fund in serving our community.
Please feel free to contact a member of the
committee with any questions.
Kelly Locke
Another Way to Give
Those of you either approaching 70 years of age or
already over 70 know about “RMD” (required
minimum distribution). This is the amount that you
must withdraw each year from your traditional IRA or
employer-sponsored retirement plans. (Roth IRA's are
excluded). The money you withdraw gets added to your
taxable income for the year it is withdrawn. Failure to
take your RMD by year end can result in a stiff IRS
penalty – 50% of the amount you should have
If you're required to take a minimum distribution
from your IRA, you have the option to make that
distribution tax free by directing it to the charity of your
choice. President Obama has signed a legislative
package that included making permanent "qualified
charitable distributions" (QCDs).
These distributions can be a convenient way to
support charitable causes such as the Presbyterian
Church of Okemos and get a tax break while meeting
tax requirements for IRAs. Under the renewed QCD
rule, beginning at age 70½, you can have all or part of
your distribution made directly from your IRA to a
qualified charity (up to $100,000 per taxpayer, per year).
Unlike conventional RMDs, QCDs aren't subject to
ordinary federal income taxes.
Be aware that you cannot also claim the qualified
distribution as a charitable tax deduction—the amount
is simply excluded from your taxable income.
If you would like to avoid ever paying taxes on a
portion of your deferred retirement savings, consider
donating all or part of your RMD to the church.
Contact Doug Paterson, our church bookkeeper, if you
desire more information. Doug can be reached at
517-351-8325 or you can contact him by email at
[email protected]
As you begin your year end tax planning, please
consider this option.
Page 4
The Grapevine
November Adult Education Opportunities
Adult Church School, Sunday mornings at
11:30am in Kehde Chapel
November 6: Rev. Carlson will lead the 3rd
part of a 3 week discussion-- Politics and the
Church. What voice can the church claim in
the public square? What stake does the
church have in any election? What do we
mean when we advocate "civil
November 13: Steven Keizer, our regional
representative from The Presbyterian
Foundation will be with us to talk about
stewardship and creating a church budget.
Mr. Keizer has been working with our
Stewardship Team for the past 18 months.
He will be with us to give a Minute for
Stewardship in worship and then lead a
follow-up conversation in the Chapel at
11:30 a.m.
November 20: Writer’s Workshop for Lenten
Devotional. We would like to compile
reflections, poetry and art from our
congregation to use during Lent. We will
have questions to use as writing prompts as
we begin this process. All are welcome.
November 27: No Church School
Other Adult Education Opportunities
Conversation & Contemplation: Alice Townley
facilitates this group which meets at 10:00 a.m. each
Wednesday morning. This is a time for centering prayer,
lectio divina and holy listening. All are welcome.
Childcare is available on request.
Thursday Morning Adult Bible Study
We meeting each Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in Room 108
with Rob Carlson.
Writing Life Stories will meet at 12:30 p.m. on
November 6 in Room 108.
Book Club will discuss Silence, by Shusaku Endo, at
11:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 20, in Room
108. Copies of the book will be available at
Schuler's bookstore.
CE Staff Meeting
November 10—7:00 p.m.
Youth & Children’s Ministries
Women’s Connection meets 12:30 on
Sunday, November 20 (third Sunday instead of
our usual fourth because of Thanksgiving).
Barbara Hansen, life-time Presbyterian and
long-time member of PCO, will be the speaker.
Please plan now to join us for fellowship,
lunch, and to get to know more about Barb
through her presentation.
Women’s Supper Out
Monday, November 21, 5:30 p.m.
We will meet at the Cancun Mexican
Grill, 1754 Central Park Dr., Okemos.
Please contact Barbara Dorr if you can
attend, so she can make arrangements.
Youth Group calendar
Sunday, November 6, 12:30 p.m.: Board Games
Sunday, November 13, 12:30 p.m.: Youth Group
Sunday, November 20, 12:30 p.m.: Make hats for
Sunday, November 27, 12:30 p.m.: Glaze bowls with
Upper Elementary students for Souper Bowl
Christmas Pageant
Sunday, December 11, 12:30.p.m.: Practice
Sunday, December 18, 11:30 a.m.: Dress
Saturday, December 24, 5:00 p.m.: Pageant
actors arrive!
Volume 16, Issue 11
Thanks to everyone who helped with the CROP Walk lunch
and took part in the walk itself, either by walking or by making
donations. Our youth more than met their challenge, and the
weather was beautiful. It was wonderful that Ron Dorr, who has
contributed so much to this event over the years, was this year’s
marshal. Great leadership, Ron!
Extra food from the luncheon was taken to Haven House by
Wayne and Barbara Scott.
At the most recent Mission Committee meeting, we were
guided by 1 John 4:7-- Behold, let us love one another, because love
is from God. This prayerful command led us into these
The Committee spent some time talking about the impact of
the hurricane in Haiti, a concern we have heard from a
number of members, and how we can best help. We
determined that unless members provide specific direction,
donations for Haiti relief should be divided equally among
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (directed to Haiti), Haitian
Artists for Peace (HAPI, the site of Alice Townley’s recent
trip) and the Haiti Nursing Foundation.
Please be ready to sign up to help with the
Thanksgiving baskets of food that our church
delivers to Meridian Township families in need.
November 20 is the date that donations will be
gathered up for delivery, under the careful
guidance of Becky Gillespie.
Alternative Christmas Market is not that far away, December
4. Barbara Scott heads up a subcommittee that will be
bringing us some exciting new items. The Mission
Committee will have the “giving” tree up the following
Sunday, December 11, thanks to the work of Becky
Gillespie and Andrea Kaitany.
Our church received a thank you note from St. Vincent’s for
the 12 boxes of diapers, 18 boxes of baby wipes, and two
plastic storage tubs for the program for foster children. The
gift certificates were sent separately and somewhat later.
Judi Harris mentioned that the admission passes for
Impression 5 were given to a mother who was being
reunited with her child, so we have added joy to an already
happy event for one family. Other gift cards contributed
included three for Potbelly sandwiches and six $25 Meijer’s
cards. Thank you to members for again helping others!
The Mission Committee has finalized a date for a Cass
Community mission trip for Saturday, February 18—
Sunday, February 19, Presidents’ Day weekend. In
December, Rev. Sue Pethoud will let us know what project
she would like us to tackle. She did indicate that we can still
“overnight” at Mom’s Place, where there are beds for 18
available. Our plans are to leave from our church on
Saturday morning and return Sunday afternoon; however,
members who wish to participate for one of these two days
are welcome to do so. Cass’s executive director, Rev. Faith
Fowler, is being inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall
of Fame this month. It is great to see this recognition of a
religious leader who has devoted her life to helping people
in need in Detroit.
Many of us had an opportunity to hear about Alice Townley’s
work in Haiti. One unanswered question that the Mission
Committee discussed is how the other half of the education
program can be made available so that Haitian pastors can
Page 5
complete the coursework and become certified. They
decided to prayerfully consider how PCO can help make
that happen.
Please be sure to put on your calendars the fundraiser for the
Global Institute of Lansing (GIL) on Saturday, November
5, 5:30-7:30 at the AA Creative Corridor in Reotown;
tickets are $25 apiece. Ethnic food and live music will be
featured, and we will hear from a young refugee, on his way
to become a doctor, thanks to GIL and to our church for
providing him funding to pay for an exam required for
admission to medical school. GIL is the program that
provides high school to refugees who arrive in the US too
old to attend public schools. If anyone has an item to
contribute to GIL’s auction, there is still time to let Paula
Franz know at [email protected]
The committee also discussed where it would like to make
future contributions, should the church’s budget permit.
Priorities included contributions for Haiti’s hurricane
victims, funding to purchase much needed furniture from
Habitat’s resale store for incoming refugees, a second
installment on funding for Edgewood Village’s “scholars
program, and our mission co-partners in Niger (Rev.
Michael and Rachel Ludwig, who were recently Skyped
into a Christian education class). However, the committee
recognized that none of these additional contributions will
be possible unless the summer lag in PCO donations is
caught up.
When our youth did the “Souper Bowl Supper” much earlier
this year, they raised $735. This money has been sent to the
Greater Lansing Food Bank, with instructions to divide
“credit” among three local pantries: the Okemos
Community Church pantry, the Haslett food pantry, and
the one operated by the First Presbyterian Church of
Lansing. Some sources indicated that food banks can
purchase a dollar’s worth of food for a five cent donation.
On October 22, the youth served at Advent House; this
together with their great participation in Crop Walk
exemplifies their energy and desire to serve.
Dar Si Hmad, a Moroccan nonprofit previous supported by
our church has recently received recognition and a prize
from the United National Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCC). They were recognized for their
project in helping rural women in an arid part of that
country collect fog for water to reduce reliance on distant
The Mission Committee sent a letter of congratulations to
Representative Sam Singh, who is the state representative
for many members of our congregation. Together with a
legislator from another part of the state, he sponsored
legislation that expands the exemptions from prosecution
for possession of controlled substances if an individual is
seeking medical attention for substance abuse. Previously,
state law had age limitations and limited exemptions to
situations where the individual is seeking help for himself/
herself and not for others. These two bills remove the age
limitations and extend the exemptions to situations in
which a person is acting as a “good Samaritan,” and are a
great example of lawmakers working in a bi-partisan
manner for social justice. Rep. Singh’s bill was HB 5650,
now PA 308.
continued on Page 6
Volume 16, Issue 11
Page 6
Sweet Sounds of American Spiritual Music
Lessons and Carols 2016
Dr. David Stowe, from MSU's Departments of
Religious Studies and English, visited us last year to
discuss Psalm 137. On November 3 at 7:00 p.m. at
PCO, Dr. Stowe will discuss ideas from his book
How Sweet the Sound: Music in the Spiritual Lives of
Americans, which examines how our cultural
diversity has contributed to a rich tradition of sacred
and spiritual music. He includes discussion of many
musical traditions including spiritual music
of Indians, Shakers, Mormons, African-Americans,
Jews and others to trace the threads of American
spiritual music through time and culture. The
presentation is open to the public, so please invite a
friend or neighbor.
Christmas is fast approaching and the
PCO musicians are busy preparing for the
2016 Festival of Lessons and Carols
which will be presented Sunday,
December 11th at 7:00 p.m.
This year in addition to our own Chancel
and Handbell Choirs, we are delighted to welcome back
the MSU Children's Choir.
Each year the King's College Festival of Lessons
and Carols introduces new music for Christmas. In
keeping with that tradition, PCO has commissioned a
work by Dr. Philip Rice in memory of Chris Doemel.
Please mark the date on your calendars, and invite
friends and family to attend this very special service.
Parish Life November Events
Parish Life invites you to join us for a Chili
Night in November! We
will gather at 5:30 on
Sunday, November 13th to
sample a variety of chili
recipes prepared by
members of our congregation!
Following dinner, we will enjoy a musical
performance by several of our new choir members
from MSU! Please sign up to bring your favorite
chili, salad, or dessert. The sign up sheet can be
found on-line at
(Coordinator Name: Stokes;
Password: Chili).
We hope to see you there!
On Sunday, November 20th, we will give thanks
for all of you who were born in the month of
November! Cake and punch will be served
immediately following the worship service! Please
check the list on the kiosk to ensure that your name
will be included on the cake. All are welcome to stay
for this time of fellowship!
New Organ Music
During the next several months you will be hearing
organ works by the contemporary Canadian composer
Denis Bédard.
Born in Quebec City in 1950, Bédard began his
musical studied at the Conservatoire de Musique where
he excelled in organ, harpsichord, and composition. He
later pursued study in Paris, Montreal, and the
Netherlands, and joined the faculty at the
Conservatoire in Quebec and the University of British
Columbia in Vancouver. In addition to teaching and
composing, Bédard served as organist and music
director at Saint-Roch Church in Quebec and Holy
Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver.
His compositions include many organ works and
chamber works as well as orchestral and vocal music.
He has received commissions from many countries, and
his compositions are performed internationally.
Many of Bédard's organ works are based on familiar
hymns which makes them ideal for the worship service.
While his style is essentially tonal, melodic, and
structurally formal, there is a contemporary edge which
adds freshness and vitality to his music.
Mission Update continued
The Michigan legislature is in session very briefly until after the election. All 110 House seats are
“up” and the House will be in session only one day, October 19 until November 9, the day after the
election, when bleary-eyed members stumble in to elect their leadership teams. The Senate, which
is not up for re-election, is in session October 18-19 and, like the House, back in session on
November 9. While the state senate is not “up” for re-election (serving concurrent four year
terms), all 110 members of the state house are “up” with a number of members being term-limited.
Volume 16, Issue
The Book Nook: MACBETH, by William Shakespeare
The words are as fresh and original as they were when I
first read them 60 years ago in Mrs. Floy Johnson’s English
class. “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” “Double, double toil and
trouble.” “Duncan is in his grave, / After life’s fitful fever he
sleeps well.” “Out, damned spot! out, I say.” Some sayings
have become commonplace: “At one fell swoop.” “This is a
sorry sight.” “But like a man he died.” The granddaddy, of
course, is Macbeth’s reaction to the death of Lady Macbeth:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
On September 18, I joined 40 students, faculty, and staff
members from James Madison College on our annual trip to
the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario. The performance
of Macbeth was exemplary. The theatricality was spectacular,
even stunning. “Instruments of darkness” prevailed. Few
daytime scenes appeared. Thunder and lightning lit up the
stage. Knocks on the palace door as well as on a guilty
conscience reverberated throughout the theater. Instead of
crowded military scenes, colorful sets of two soldiers fighting
each other darted around the stage. At one point a boy’s head
appeared as an apparition in the cauldron of one of the
witches. By the time that Macduff had beheaded Macbeth,
however, I felt that the horrible deed was tamed and not
faithful to the tradition of the time, which was to put such
heads on pikes and display them publicly.
The acting was solid, solid, solid. Lady Macbeth’s
cruelty, dismissing “the milk of human kindness,” was more
forceful than Macbeth’s initial indecisiveness about killing
King Duncan. The appearance of two Banquos as ghosts at
Macbeth’s palace was an original touch. The ghost of Banquo
walking on the table was chilling, sending shivers down my
spine. Malcolm’s speech, quickly switching from selfflagellation to revenge to be wreaked on Macbeth, showed
how quickly human nature changes. In the most humorous
part of the performance, Macduff’s boy stole the show with
his witty response to mistaken news that his father had died.
The death of old Siward’s son, who “paid a soldier’s debt,”
someone said, “must not be measured by his worth, for then /
It hath no end.” “Why then, God’s soldier be he!” Siward—
the English general—responded: “Had I as many sons as I
have hairs, / I would not wish them to a fairer death.” Oh,
how I wish Shakespeare had written as well about
peacemaking as he did about death, grief, and the making of
Two impressions about this performance stood out. First
and foremost, Shakespeare is a master of the English
language. Look at his figures of speech. Witches are “weird
sisters.” Macbeth is a “fiend of Scotland.” Seasons have fits.
Page 7
“O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!” Macbeth
confesses. Here is “vaulting ambition which o’er leaps itself”
and conquers conscience; there is “thriftless ambition,” which
devours greedily the goods of life. Here is a simile fragrant
with ambiguity: “Look like the time; bear welcome in your
eye, / Your hand, your tongue: Look like the innocent
flower, / But be the serpent under ‘t.” And here is an
extended metaphor:
Macbeth does murder sleep—the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravel’d sleave [unraveled thread] of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
Alliteration is as brief as “tempest-tost”
and extensive as “there shall be done / A
deed of dreadful note” and “nine times
nine / Shall he dwindle, peak and pine.”
Personification appears: time is never
overtaken. Oxymorons such as “joyful
trouble” surface. So does a chiasmus
involving “foul” and “fair.” I especially enjoy
Shakespeare’s balanced sentences: “What he hath lost, noble
Macbeth hath won.” “False face must hide what the false
heart doth know.” “The night is long that never finds the
day.” “All is the fear, and nothing is the love.” “That which
hath made them drunk hath made me bold.” All of these
sentences balance four syllables on the left with six syllables
on the right, or vice versa.
My second major impression was the vigorous discussion
on the bus ride from Stratford to Sarnia. Students and faculty
picked up Shakespeare’s doubleness, ambiguity, and multiple
interpretations appearing simultaneously. Power appeals, yea,
it beckons, until, blinded by ambition, it corrupts. Love works
best in partnership, even conspiracy—partnership that ends,
unfortunately, in death (e. g., the Macbeths, Macduff’s family,
young Siward). Prudence has its place but, oh, at what a cost
(Macduff abandons his family, and Macbeth’s thugs kill the
Macduffs). Fear abounds: fear of oneself (Macbeth), fear of
another (Banquo’s ghost), fear of fate (the weird sisters’
prophecies). Fate is fickle: where is the place for free will?
Wit, truth, and wisdom come from the mouth of a boy.
Death, darkness, and deceit—all these prevail until the very
end when tempered love of country (and 10,000 English
troops) restore the reign of Duncan’s family and call for
“grace of Grace.”
In my lifelong writing about Colombia, death, grief, and
renewal, the teaching of writing, Abraham Lincoln, and
Shakespeare’s plays, I have been faithful to Floy Johnson.
She taught hundreds of us to diagram sentences, to stretch our
minds, and to love the English language.
I am deeply grateful to my high school teacher for what she
has meant to me and my family. “Continue to think clearly
and you will live your life wisely. A plan for life needs a
foundation just as a diagram does,” Floy Heinrich Johnson
wrote my mother in August of 1936. Her words —like
Shakespeare’s—live on.
The Presbyterian Church of Okemos
2258 Bennett Rd
Okemos, Michigan 48864-3233
November 2
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Monday, November 21 , 7:00 p.m.
St. Thomas Aquinas Church
955 Alton Road, East Lansing
(across from Patriarche Park)
We are blessed in East Lansing by the cooperative
interfaith collaboration between our many communities
of faith! Come celebrate this connectivity, mutual
support, and witness of unity as we gather on Monday
evening, November 21 at 7:00 p.m. for our annual
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service.
This year’s service will be held at St. Thomas
Aquinas Church and will feature a community choir,
refreshments and fellowship, and expressions of thanks
from a variety of faith traditions. Our speaker this year is
Rev. Andrew Pomerville, the senior pastor at The
Peoples Church.
A special offering will be collected to benefit
“Connect for Kids: Feeding Lansing’s Children.”
All are welcome!
The Grapevine is a
monthly newsletter of
Phone: 517-349-9536
Email: [email protected]
Sunday Worship: 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Robert T. Carlson, Jr.
Rev. Alice Fleming Townley
Sue Schnackenberg
Laurie Horstman
Office Hours:
Tuesday—Thursday, 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.
Friday, 9:00 a.m.—12 noon
PCO Events
November 2016
6:45am Men’s
1-3pm Artist Way
All Saints Day
10am Worship &
11:30am Church School Hour
12:30pm Endowment
12:30pm Writing Class
12:30pm Youth Group
10am Worship
11:30am Church School
12:30pm Youth Group
5:30pm Chili Supper and New
Choir Singers
10am Worship & Agape Feast
Pledge Cards Due
Thanksgiving Baskets
11am Birthday Cake
11:30pm Church School
12:30pm Women’s
12:30pm Youth Group
First Sunday of
10am Worship &
No Church School
6:45pm Monday
8 – Election
6:45am Men’s
1-3pm Artist Way
6:45pm Monday
6:45am Men’s
7pm Worship &
5:30pm Women’s
Supper Out
6:45pm Monday
7:00pm Community
6:45pm Monday
6:45am Men’s
6:45am Men’s
10am Conversation &
7pm Parish Life
10am Conversation
& Contemplation
7pm Mission
10am Conversation &
6pm Administration
7:30 pm Session
10am Conversation &
10am Conversation &
7pm Personnel
9:30am Adult Bible Study
6:15pm Level I Bell Choir
7pm David Stowe
7:30pm Chancel Choir
9:30am Adult Bible
6:15pm Level I Bell Choir
7:00pm CE Staff meeting
7:30pm Chancel Choir
9:30am Adult Bible Study
6:15pm Level I Bell Choir
7:30pm Chancel Choir
24 - Thanksgiving
2pm Prayer Shawl
5:30 – 7:30pm
GIL “Fund the
Future ”AA
Corridor, 1133
S Washington,
11 Veterans
2pm Prayer Shawl