For many years, the women of the church via the ECW and then the Helpful Shop’s Board have operated the Helpful Shop as their outreach to the Santa Cruz County community.
For the last ten years, the Helpful Shop has operated under its bylaws and has elected officers each year. Six of the seven current members of the Helpful Shop Board are listed in St. John’s church directory.
Andy Pudan is the current president of the Helpful Shop Board. Other Board members are: Floyd Bishop; Margy Cottle; Eileen Fernald; Esther Meister; Joanne Peterson and Nancy Shepard.
One effect: there’s no more specific participation by community members in decisions as to the distribution of monies. The Helpful Shop’s bylaws require two (2) community members. A current community member is the former secretary of the church who resigned without warning during 2016.
Each year, the Helpful Shop Board distributes substantial money to many local charities: $19,400 was distributed in 2016. In 2015, $28,000. was distributed. In 2014 $32,000. was distributed. Decisions are made by a Grant Committee.
History: Many years ago, the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) decided at a High Tea held that December that all money that could be distributed would be decided by the members present for High Tea that day. Women present that day suggested various charities and a vote taken. It was an amicable and memorable High Tea. Delicious food and everyone got along.
Subsequently, a more formal Helpful Shop Board evolved and a more formal process put in place how to choose charities. A couple years later the first manager of the Helpful Shop was hired.
There are numerous scenarios as to what’s currently going on. Wanting control of the money — which organizations receive how much — may be an issue underlying the decision to disband the Helpful Shop Board.
The Helpful Shop Board and its cadre of faithful volunteers are largely women.
This probably is one of the last major acts Rev. Merritt Greenwood will do.
At the Feb. 2017 vestry meeting, the Rev. Merritt Greenwood in conjunction with Bill Kell (Sr Warden), Andrea Seitz (Jr. Warden) Jon Showalter and others voted to take all legal authority to operate from the Helpful Shop Board.
Information: In an episcopal church such as this, the Junior Warden is the ‘voice for the People’; the Senior Warden typically assists and promotes the Rector’s agenda. Each vestry member has one vote.
Disagreeing with the majority, one-third of the Vestry voted “no” to killing the Board.
Why take such action at this time? There was no immediate crises and a new Rector will be coming soon.
One wonders whether this action involves gender issues? Several men were instrumental implementing this decision to dismantle this outreach activity, long the principal outreach of women in the church.
Over the last year, there have been allegations of disturbed/ distressed volunteer work relationships related to the rector’s and/ or partner’s volunteer activities. One would think these issues would resolve naturally with the coming of a new Rector.
The Helpful Shop board puts on various events during the year and reaches out seeking volunteers.
Through outreach by the Board, numerous persons have chosen to help out at the Helpful Shop.
Who will do the substantial work which Board members have done? Who will find the volunteers? Who will put on the events?
The church vestry dismantled i.e. killed the Helpful Shop Board. So, let the St. John’s vestry do the work necessary to find volunteers and put on events?
Rev. Merritt Greenwood — who has been at St. John’s somewhat over a year as temporary Rector — will leave St. John’s with the coming of a new Rector.
From the newsletter of St. John’s:
“The shop has not been without controversy over the years. The level of autonomy of the advisory board has become an issue from time to time in its history. Most recently this has caused division and conflict within the parish, which the Vestry recognized as impeding the church’s missionand presenting a major difficulty for our new Rector …” written by A. Seitz
Checking out what St. John’s mission is:
“Our mission statement goal is to equip all of our members for life and service to others.”
Monterey Bay Forum: My, my. What to do when there’s conflict in a church?
Does the vestry think it can dismantle the Board that has run the Helpful Shop and expect those who have done it for years to just keep on chugging along?
Is this the way a pastor ‘tends his sheep’?
There was no crises which required immediate action.
The issue of management of the Helpful Shop should have been left to the incoming Rector — coming soon — to address and seek healing for all.
Why hurt fellow church members?
Church boards, one hopes, will reach out to heal — not hurt.
Power. Winners and losers. Will the powerful have their own way? What agenda will be followed?
Read below and you decide.
To discuss and accept revisions to the church Bylaws and nominations for the board, the church Vestry held a meeting Nov. 22, 2016 at 6:45.
Very short ‘notice’ of the November Vestry meeting: An email was sent the afternoon of 11/22 which stated that a Vestry meeting was happening at 6:45 pm that day. No prior notice of the Nov. Vestry meeting put on the church website or in the 11/20/2016 church bulletin.
At the beginning of the meeting C. Jackson asked that two handouts be given and discussed. One is a Letter from a member which states that she regularly sees the monies given weekly by an applicant for Vestry. The other is a Statement by C. Jackson detailing reasons why an applicant meets criteria for nomination ‘from the floor’.
Both handouts were passed out to all of the Vestry members present at the beginning of the meeting. [The Treasurer came later — and did not hear what C. Jackson said nor did she receive the two handouts.]
Early on in the meeting the Vestry discussed the criteria persons who self-nominate must meet to run for election to the corporate board of the Parish.
The current Bylaws rules state that any contributing member who gets X number of persons to support them can stand for elections from the floor.
The existing Bylaws are ambiguous. They do not define a ‘Member’ as someone who has donated money via a specified manner , i.e., via a Pledge or putting in the collection basket an envelope containing money with one’s name on it.
C. Jackson was given the opportunity to speak and stated that overall communications need to improve. In the past, there have been allegations of possible spiritual abuse and not taking care of staff and volunteers. No discussion of these allegations or how they were being addressed had been discussed at the last 2 Vestry meetings stated Jackson.
One way to improve communication during church meetings was suggested by Jackson: Simple changes in communication: Use a format of
“I feel [ ] when [ | ] happens” reduces finger pointing and encourages individuals to take responsibility for their feelings.
Notice and Agendas: C. Jackson noted that providing better Notice of meetings, and providing Agendas ahead of time will improve communication.
C. Jackson asked: Does this church want to tell the world that you gotta pay money via a Pledge to be considered a Member and ‘be one of us’?
Stacking the deck: Controlling who can stand for election is one way to ‘stack the deck’. At the national level many people are aware that the Democrat National Party ‘stacked the deck’ in favor of Hilary. The system is rigged claimed Bernie Sanders.
Will the current Vestry successfully stack the deck — shape in advance — the church elections on Dec. 4, 2016? Who can stand for election and who cannot is one way to ‘stack the deck’.
Did you know? Under the new, revised Bylaws to be a ‘member’ you must take communion 3 times …. Who will count the wafers eaten?
Of course proof of Communion will be on the honor system. What about proof of giving/ donating also on the honor system?
See pg. 20 of the Dec. 20, 2016 church bulletin: No Notice is in the bulletin concerning upcoming Vestry meeting in two days. The next Vestry meeting is listed as Dec. 14, 2016.
To summarize: Very short notice was given to the congregation that who is a church “Member” becomes …. You have to Pay to Pray as a ‘Member’ of the Corporation.
If the Vestry makes these changes then — after the fact — the church gives itself a Good Housekeeping stamp of approval for current nominations and proposed changes to the Bylaws.
During the election cycle, the Democrat operatives –called journalists — shaped what the general public got in the way of news. Similarly, their are ‘church operatives’ which shape the “news” that the church attendees get.
‘Don’t publicize this stuff’ a few people said to C. Jackson. ‘It makes the church look bad’ they said. Oh? My response: Then read and re-read the Book of Acts. The apostle Paul had a lot to say about the early Saint/ Sinners and their antics: including dishonesty, laziness and mis-guided actions.
So — who will be the winners and losers at St. John’s Episcopal church in Aptos, CA?
**** The Vestry decides at the Tuesday, Nov. 22 meeting at 6:45 pm (in the Cafe) whether to change the rules — or stay with the existing rules. Come if you are able. What do you think? Here’s the names to contact:
Billl Kell – Senior Warden (appointed by Merritt)
Andy Pudan – Junior Warden (elected by Vestry)
Jane Dawson – Adult Education
Diane Scofield – Outreach
Suzanne Krakover-Nickel – Stewardship
Jon Showalter – Building & Grounds
Vicky Wilson – Hospitality
Andrea Seitz – Newcomers
Debra Spencer – Worship
Anne Baker – Treasurer
Eileen Fernald – Finance
Peter Goodman – Children & Youth
Nancy Shephard – Clerk
Back to basics: Who is a ‘member’ of an Episcopalian church?
To become an Episcopalian — what does a person have to do? The following is from Forward Movement which is a general resource for Episcopalians.
“How Can I become a Member of the Episcopal Church? How can you become a member? First of all, we would love to have you join Grace and Holy Trinity Church! Please contact the Rev. Bo Millner or Carolyn Chilton and they will be happy to help you.
“Here is some general information about membership in the Church. Baptism makes us members of the Church. And, we can then live into the meaning of our baptism within specific congregations and Christian denominations. The five sections below will spell this out more fully.
1. “Most importantly, the sacrament of Holy Baptism, makes you a member of the Universal Christian Church. The Episcopal Church recognizes as Christian all persons who have been baptized with water and in the name of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).
2. “If you were baptized into the Universal Church in an Episcopal congregation then, in addition to becoming a member of the Universal Church, you were enrolled as a member of that particular congregation and also became an “Episcopalian.” You are member at the church where you were baptized until death or until you transfer to another congregation. So, if you were baptized at Grace and Holy Trinity Church, you are a baptized member here. If you have asked that the record of your baptism be transferred here, then you are a member here as well.
3. “If you were baptized with water and in the name of the Trinity in another Christian communion or denomination, you can become a member of Grace and Holy Trinity Church by asking that your letter of baptism be transferred so that you can be enrolled on the books of this parish. This makes you a baptized member of the Episcopal Church in general and a member of Grace and Holy Trinity Church specifically.
4. “All baptized members are encouraged to receive the sacrament of confirmation, either when they reach maturity or in connection with baptism if they are baptized as adults. In confirmation ‘we express a mature commitment to Christ and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.’ After confirmation, a person is a confirmed member.
5. “If you were baptized and confirmed in another church you may be received (rather than reconfirmed) by a bishop of The Episcopal Church. This makes you a confirmed member of The Episcopal Church.
Adult (16 years of age and older), confirmed, communicants in good standing(you have been faithful in attending corporate worship and in praying, working, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God) may vote for Vestry (the ruling body of the congregation), run for the Vestry and represent the congregation in the diocese.
“We hope this answers some of your questions. And we encourage you to be in touch. You are most welcome at Grace and Holy Trinity Church! (Much of the information above was taken from the Forward Movement brochure on “Membership in the Episcopal Church”. Forward Movement is an official, non-profit agency of The Episcopal Church and is sustained through sales of tracts and through tax-free contributions. They can be reached at 300 West Fourth Street, Cinicinnati, OH 45202-2666, 800-543-1813; www.forwardmovement.org)
written by Cameron Jackson, Ph.D., J.D. DrCameronJackson@gmail.com
Yes, Pokemon Go may be good for spiritual maladies. And some physical maladies. And many mental maladies.
And you don’t have to play it the way you are told to play it.
You can play Pokemon Go just for fun and skip all the stuff about going to ‘gyms’ or doing battle. Just play Pokemon for fun. Gather the funny little critters and walk around your community. See your community with fresh eyes.
This post focuses on playing Pokemon Go in Aptos, CA. Places to find — gather — Pokemon Balls in Aptos, CA are listed farther down in this post. To play the game you need a cell phone with a GPS on it and you have to download a free app.
So– are you someone experiencing some spiritual malaise? Some mild depression? Not doing the things you like to and feel down in ‘the dumps’? What to do? Remember the daily routine that you had when you felt fine? Write those things down and start doing them again. Best you can.
Very important to reduce symptoms of depression: add something new each day — something that you have not done before. If you are over age 40 probably you have not played Pokemon Go. That can be ‘something new’ that you include in your daily routine. How about some mild anxiety symptoms? Not sleeping as well as you typically do? Pokemon just might help you feel mentally better.
What about some spiritual maladies? Are you spiritually wondering what’s going on in your life, or the life of your church?
Here in Aptos, CA there is a plethora of Christian churches. Near the entrance to Seacliff Beach there is Coastlands Foursquare church, an Episcopal church and a Catholic church.
Let’s compare how two of them — the Catholic one and the Episcopal one — currently handle transition in leadership of their church.
The Catholic church in Aptos, CA got one month transition time between the leaving of Fr. Ron and the coming of Fa. Romeo. People in the congregation were told way ahead of time what was coming down the pike. The bishop called the plays. The priest of 14 years must retire. A new priest who was selected by the bishop will start on a particular date. The new priest at the catholic church is called a Parish Administrator. Later on, if the bishop chooses he will become the Pastor. Do people in the catholic congregation miss who used to be there? Of course.
In contrast, the Episcopal church in Aptos, CA said ‘good-by’ to their Rector, Fa. Steve, last summer. That church has had an interim priest/ rector for more than a year. No concrete information has come down the pike. The Episcopal bishop has not weighed in on local decisions. And the Board of Directors holds closed, i.e. secret meetings. Nobody in the pews knows anything as to who might become the next priest/ rector.
Recently, allegations of spiritual abuse have surfaced at the Episcopal church in Aptos, CA concerning the interim priest/ rector. So yes, more than likely quite a few attendees at that church currently feel some spiritual malaise. Probably some are ‘down in the dumps’.
“We just need a new CEO for this church and get things re-started” one parishioner from the Episcopal church said that he told Bishop Mary when he met with her recently.
There are applicants for the job as Rector for the Episcopal church in Aptos, CA. However, no information has been provided back to the congregation as to who they are. Recently there have been allegations of spiritual abuse circulating via email and Facebook. The Board of Directors does not follow their by-laws which require that 10 days ahead of time that they publicly post concerning Date, Time and Location for meetings.
Big issues causing spiritual malaise: Will this church face the allegations of spiritual abuse — or will they push it all under the rug and keep muddling on? Who are the applicants for the job? What is the contract that the interim priest signed?
Here we have two very different churches handling transition is quite different ways. And probably some people in both churches currently feel ‘down in the dumps’ about the changes that are happening around them.
So — how can Pokemon Go help people in general to simply feel better? Whether you go to a church or you don’t attend a church?
Well, daily exercise is not just good for the body — it’s also good for the soul and spirit. We know that kids laugh and run around and play all sorts of games and learn from playing games. So can adults. It’s good for adults at times to laugh and be playful and learn from playing new games. Especially a game that gets you moving around.
Think of Pokemon Go as something that gets you walking around your community and ‘seeing’ things differently. Take walking. How many times have you told yourself — or your doctor told you — that you should walk more? You don’t have to buy an expensive $100 thing for your wrist to measure how far you walk. Just download the Pokemon Go app for free and you will know how much you walk.
Good news where to get Pokemon Balls in Aptos, CA. There are lots of what are called PokeStops where you can get more Pokemon Balls which you need to play the game.
Here’s how to find Pokemon Balls in Aptos, CA.
Start by going to St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church located near the entrance to Seacliff Beach in Aptos, CA.
Come any time. Just so you know, church services are at 8 and 10 am every Sunday at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Aptos, CA
Tonight, Tuesday Sept. 27, 2016 there is a Vestry meeting in the Cafe. Probably at 7 pm.
1) Drive or walk to St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church and go stand in front of the large bell. Look at your cell phone with the Pokemon app open . You will see a blue circular thing appear on your cell phone. Swipe it — it will rotate. As it rotates around you will receive typically a couple Pokemon Balls. Swipe them and they are now yours to continue playing the game. That’s how you get free Pokemon Balls.
Want more Pokemon balls close by in Aptos, CA?
2) Now walk or drive across the street from the Episcopal church to Coastlands Four Square church islocated. Walk or drive up to where you see the large Cross.
You have to be right in front of the large Cross. Again, you can gather couple Pokemon balls there, typically.
3) Now walk or drive down the street just past the Stop sign. You willsee a large Seacliff sign entrance to Seacliff Beach. Open the Pokemon app and point your phone at the sign. You can gather a couple more Pokemon Balls.
4) Another spot near by to gather apps: At the mural on the wall around the corner from Manual’s Restaurant and across the street from The Word Shop for gently used books. Ah, you can gather more Pokemon Balls.
So what’s good for spiritual malaise? Pokemon Go can’t cure spiritual malaise. It can get you moving around more and looking at your community from a different perspective. So — go have fun! Catch those critters.
written by Aptos Psychologist, Cameron Jackson DrCameronJackson@gmail.com