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Our previous newsletter Voices is currently on hiatus. In celebration of twenty years as Emmanuel’s periodical publication Voices’ last issue explored the connections between beauty and holiness.  View any of its complete issues by clicking on them to the right. They will open in PDF format in a new window. Feel free to download them to your computer. You may also read selected articles from issues past and present.


Letter from the Editor for Summer 2014

As I reflect on my decade at Emmanuel, I fill with gratitude for the holiness and beauty I have experienced. Holiness can mean consecrated, sacred, set apart, but it also derives from the Old English “Hal”, meaning whole, healthy, complete. I experience holiness as a way of being, an essential wholeness—a communion with the particular and the universal, the ephemeral and the eternal, the intimate and the immense. Beauty transports me to holiness.

The contributions in this issue approach holiness and beauty from a spectrum of perspectives. Many don’t use the words holiness and beauty.  Jaylyn Olivo muses on the holiness of beauty. Her insight and conversational style make me imagine walking with her in a garden, perhaps brushing beautiful irises, like those she photographed yesterday. Our rector, Pam Werntz, continually works to infuse worship services with beauty and holiness. Her column brings inspiration from The Velveteen Rabbit alongside the inspiration of Holy Scripture. Pam often urges us to remember that laughter is part of holiness, and Carolyn Roosevelt’s review of When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It will provide chuckles.

Assuring that Emmanuel remains a place of beauty and holiness requires commitment. Gail Abbey and Jim Bartlett update us on the Together Now campaign and the Development Committee. Appropriately, Gail offers a remembrance of Priscilla Young, whose legacy supports music at Emmanuel Church, especially Emmanuel Music, our wonderful ensemble of professional musicians. Emmanuel Music has been offering its series of Bach Cantatas for over forty years.

Frank Bunn’s piece about his trip to Uganda, and Betsy Bunn’s memoir about her childhood experience of World War II provide us with insight into the wider world and into another time.

John Mears returns with musings on time, love, and God. Michael Scanlon shares some wisdom from his Book of Conundrums. Tom Barber read his poem, “El Flamboyant” at last week’s Chapel Camp. He considers a tree, mostly dead, but bearing a few glorious flowers. Is it an annunciation, or just a tree? Every time I read this poem, I ask myself this question, which emphasizes the importance of opening ourselves to truth and beauty in the most ordinary experiences.

The last page is a collage of images from twenty years of Voices publications.

The people who have contributed musings, poetry, prose, photographs, drawings, and even crossword puzzles and cartoons over the years have been blessings to us all.

This is my last issue of Voices.  I hesitate to start naming all of those who made this job a rich and delightful experience, but I must thank Don Kreider, my original graphic designer and layout editor, Bill White, who took over after Don died, Matt Griffing who has continued to offer his talents in print and digital publications. Jaylyn Olivo and Carolyn Roosevelt have been part of the newsletter for twenty years. In fact, I heard that the first issue was planned around Jaylyn’s kitchen table.

Keep discovering and creating beauty and holiness. Emmanuel’s a great place to find opportunities for both.

– Margo