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THE MESSENGER February 2016 Volume XXXI, Number 2 Global Impact Celebration St. Michael’s Church Acts 1:8 Global Impact Celebration January 24 - February 7, 2016 www.stmichaelschurch.net/GIC

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St. Michael's Church monthly newsletter



    February 2016Volume XXXI, Number 2

    Global Impact CelebrationSt. Michaels Church

    Acts 1:8

    Global Impact CelebrationJanuary 24 - February 7, 2016www.stmichaelschurch.net/GIC


    Register Today for the GICEvents, Prayer Walks and Mission Tours

    at www.stmichaelschurch.net/gicor call the Church Office at 843.723.0603


    Monday, January 25 6:30 pm (Chapel)

    Kenya - The Rev. Simon Mwaura live India - The Rt. Rev. Probal Dutta video Burundi - Simon Guillebaud video


    THE GATHERINGWednesday, January 27

    6:30 pm Dinner, Praise & Worship,

    Message & Small Group Discussion (Kinloch Room & Chapel)

    Guest Preacher: The Rev. Simon Mwaura

    Wednesday, February 36:30 pm

    (Kinloch Room & Chapel)Preacher: The Rev. Dr. Peter C. Moore from the Anglican Leadership Institute


    JANUARY 24 Guest Preacher All Services

    The Rev. Dan RogersPastor of Christ the King, Dorchester

    JANUARY 31 Guest Preacher All Services

    The Rev. Chris Royer, Anglican Frontier Mission

    TOOL TIME 9:15 AM

    Islam Today: An Insiders Perspective

    Speaker: Sherif Yacoub (Kinloch Room)

    12:00 N BBQ LUNCH (Kinloch Room)

    Speaker: Chris Royer___________________

    FEBRUARY 7 Guest Preacher All Services

    The Rev. Claire Sullivan, The Hope Center, MA

    TOOL TIME 9:15 AMThe Hope Center(Kinloch Room)

    Speaker: Cisco Paulino

    12:00 N Celebration Lunch & GIC Final

    (Churchyard/Kinloch Room)Speaker Simon Mwaura

    MENS LUNCH Wednesday, February 3

    12:00 N (St. Philips Church

    2nd Floor Parish Hall) GIC Speaker:

    The Rev. Chris Royer

    WOMENS LUNCHSaturday, February 6

    11:00 am Faye Hill

    The Rev. Claire SullivanTrish Lawrence (Kinloch Room)


    Global Impact CelebrationSt. Michaels Church

    Acts 1:8



    12:00 pm Prayer Walk ~ Register(Meet in Kinloch Room)


    Family Prayer Walk ~ Register (Meet in Kinloch Room)


    Lowcountry Pregnancy Center Tour

    MacDougal Prison Tour with Tim Terry ~ FreshStart Ministries

    Kingdom Kids Bible Study Tour at Sanders Clyde

    St. Johns Chapel & Agape Ministries Tour

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 3

    From the Rector St. Michaels Sanctuary and Cole Farms2 Corinthians 9:13

    Because of the ministry you have provided, others will Praise God for the obedience that accompanies your profession of the Gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

    When you walk into St. Michaels Church during Advent, it

    increasingly takes your breath away. The flower guild does a

    magnificent job of building anticipation to Christmas! Each week,

    the sanctuary looks a bit different, as more and greenery and color is

    added. In addition to the flower guild, I would like to thank Roy and

    Patty Cole, as well as Hal and Dale Frampton and the team at Cole

    Farms for donating all the greenery once again this year. From the

    trees to the trim, it was all once again magnificent!

    Thank you everyone!

    Tuesday Courage for Our Confirmation Candidates1 Peter 3:15Always be ready to give the reason for the hope you have within you.

    Picture the scene: Its a dark and chilly Advent Tuesday morning, at

    the very unholy time of 6:30, and Im going where? Each Tuesday

    during advent, one of our confirmation candidates faithfully gave

    witness at the early morning service. It was so inspiring! Many thanks

    to our confirmation candidates, including Greyson Hull, Coles Buyck,

    Laura Gruber, and our Confirmation Shepherd Potter Seibels. While

    the reward was a hot breakfast following, I continue to be humbled

    by their courage to speak their heart to many of whom they do not

    know. Well done, everyone! While Im thanking our youngers, let me

    also say thank you to our Tower Bell team and friends who cooked

    the breakfasts. Thank you, C.J. and your team!

    Christmas Life Group Blessing One of the joys of this year has been not only talking about the Life

    Group ministry, but also actually being part of one! Libby and I have

    hosted our group for two years, and it has become the one of the

    highlights of our lives. But this past week, our group turned a corner:

    While we normally use the discipleship toolbox of the church for our

    studies, we instead listened to a podcast by the Rev. John Eldredge,

    The Rev. Rich Giersch with Laura Gruber, one of our youth confirmands

    Fr. Al stares at his Christmas tree while reflecting on a John Eldridge podcast

  • 4 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ

    From the Rector called Finding Life at Christmas. I absolutely recommend it to

    all, and you may find it online at http://www.ransomedheart.com/


    This podcast produced very powerful discussion in our group for

    two reasons. First, the authors were vulnerable enough to say that

    Christmas, even for clergy, can be painful and at times even dreaded,

    because of all the pressure, expectations, and spiritual battles.

    Secondly, Eldredge talked about the agreements we all occasionally

    make. He names what many of us, especially those who have gone

    through tragedy, are secretly thinking within our hearts: Christmas

    will be horrible again this year because _______________. The

    problem with such an agreement is that we then often find ourselves

    living into such an agreement! The prophecies come true! Eldredge

    ended the podcast by challenging the listeners to consecrate Christmas, dedicating it to Jesus, making it holy, joy-filled.

    I remember listening to the podcast with our Life Group, staring at

    our Christmas tree and the ethereal lights, the quiet of the night giving

    way to the challenge over the speakers. The ensuing conversation was

    one of the richest, most life-giving conversations weve ever had. It

    reminded us once again that Jesus was born not just to bring comfort,

    but also to redefine our lives, giving us the needed do-overs!

    Praying from Atop the SteepleYou may not know this, but the Diocese of South Carolina is

    divided into deaneries, which are groups of regional parishes. Our

    deanery consists of St. Philips Church, St. Johns Church (Hanover

    Street), The Cathedral, Holy Cross (Sullivans Island) and Christ

    Church (Mt. Pleasant). About every six weeks, the clergy of the

    deanery get together for lunch in one of our churches. We hosted

    this past week, providing a hot lunch, followed by a prayer session

    at the top of our steeple. In unity, we prayed for each church in

    the deanery by facing the direction of that church. It was quite

    moving and powerful. You may not know this, but our nearly

    300-year old (and newly painted) steeple not only looks beautiful,

    but is also a great place in which to pray for the rest of the world!

    Rectory Yard Being Redeveloped Along with DependencyIt really takes your breath away. The next time you drive into the

    parking lot, take a look at the Dependency, and you will find a whole

    new look! The next phase of the Dependency renovation is complete,

    Clergy from our deanery in St. Michaels steeple

    The Rectory backyard - before and after

    Working on the sidewalk

    A new fence is put up

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 5

    From the Rector having removed trees, shrubs, and the muckity muck in the Rectory

    yard. The work of clearing out the yard had to happen to maximize

    sun exposure on the nearly 300 year-old building. And now that we

    have a larger open space, we also can host more events in the Rectory

    yard. The next phase of the project is to finish repointing the bricks on

    the alley side to keep moisture from entering the building. Stay tuned

    as we continue to make progress toward its completion.

    Disturbing TrendBecause Charleston has a such a strong heritage of faith and

    faithfulness, we are normally behind the averages when alarming

    statistics about faith and church pop upbut not this one. In his

    article below, Art Heinz points out a very troubling statistic that is

    red-hot nationally and locally: a trend where more and more folks are

    going to church monthly if they feel like it, instead of the faith-filled

    Sunday by Sunday.

    Now I know that we are on tricky ground here. Its easy to fall into

    legalism on the one hand, and cheap grace on the other. But if we

    believe we were created to worship the ever-living God, skipping it

    for other things can do great damage to our spiritual lives. Read on

    Skipping ChurchBy Art Heinz

    The overwhelming consumerist mentality in our nation has spilled

    over and saturated the thinking of Christians throughout the Church

    in the United States. More and more believers in America approach

    the concept of finding and remaining in a church the same way they

    would handle buying a car, shopping for the latest technological

    advancement, or choosing a movie to watch. An institution whose

    founder came not to be served, but to serve, has been tainted by a

    ceaseless drum beat of what can you do for me? The worship

    environment, the style of music, the dress code, the church

    programming, and the overall focus of the church, is no longer about

    the Lord and His agenda, but about the personal preferences of

    individual church shoppers.

    The crisis of commitment and ownership in the American Church

    is reflected in the 2015 Pew Research Study that showed a serious

    decline in Americans self-identifying as Christians. The problem is

    demonstrated any given month as families who used to attend church

    weekly and even several times a week now attend services one to two

    times a month (and Im not referring to the shut-in, the sick, or those

    who must work). It is impossible to build anything of consequence in

    any sector of society with such inconsistency.

    Imagine if a construction crew showed up to a building site only once or twice a month. Think of what would happen if physicians and nurses manned the hospitals and ERs only a couple of times a month. Consider the

    problems in education if our teachers worked only two days a month.

    And yet, the welfare and future of our great nation hangs in the

    balance as rabid hedonists, religious fanatics, and ignorant young

    socialists and progressives march on fully committed to their causes.

    We cannot build godly, committed, and society-changing future

    generations with a selfish hit and miss approach to church.

    The key to the restoration of our culture and society is not the

    economy, our healthcare system, or even education, but the tone and

    temperature of our nation spiritually. How can cold, lifeless, church

    skipping Christians possibly be the catalyst for fanning the flames

    of spiritual renewal and fire in the United States? This coldness and

    lifelessness is reflected in the attitude of the Christian who says I dont

    need to attend church all that much because I can get my spiritual

    food online or through broadcast media. The attitude is reflected in

    the individual who says I dont need to go to church because I can

    commune with God in nature on my own. Its reflected in the family

    that emphasizes every other kind of activity and pursuit other than

    spiritual education in the name of putting the family first. Its reflected

    by the one who points to their hurts, their disappointments, or their

    needs as an excuse to be absent from church. Its reflected in church

    workers who only show up to church when they are scheduled to

    serve, teach, or lead. Its reflected by parents who teach their children,

    by ungraciously and habitually leaving church after church, that the

    Church and its people are fatally flawed.

    Its reflected in the people who pursue amusement, recreation,

    and entertainment to the detriment of their spirituality and places of worship.

    So, whats the issue here? The primary issue is a fundamental

    misunderstanding of why we gather as Christians. True, we gather

    to worship God, learn the principles of Gods Word, and fellowship

    with one another. But if you read the words of the writer of Hebrews,

    our priority is gathering so that we can encourage and help one

    another to progress spiritually in an increasingly secular, pessimistic,

    and antagonistic culture: And let us consider how we may spur one

    another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting

    together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one

    anotherand all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews

    10:24-25). Luke tells us Jesus, the one we say we are following, left an

    example of faithful attendance explaining, on the Sabbath day he

    went into the synagogue, as was his custom (Luke 4:16). Think about

    that. Jesus, the Son of God, had a habit of going to the house of God.

    How much more do His followers need to develop that habit?

    The culprits in the current spiritual malaise and indifference in our

    country are the selfish Christians who fail to consider how they

    can help, assist, and encourage someone else by coming faithfully

    to church instead of focusing on and serving their own wants,

    preferences, needs, and schedules. That single mindset of coming to

    church not for what you can receive, but for what you can provide is

    the key to a true spiritual renewal in our land. When you are not in

  • 6 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ

    From the Rector church the gifts and abilities in you are not made available to others.

    Thats why skipping church is selfish and the complete opposite of

    the example of Jesus, the mission of Jesus, and the commands of

    Jesus. If you are a consistent, constant, and faithful church goer, dont

    let anything stop you from continuing in your dedication. If you have

    become distant, cold, lifeless, and selfish in absenting yourself and

    your family from the Church, repent and return to a faithful lifestyle

    and relationship with your local church. As the writer of Hebrews

    challenged us, we should become more diligent and dedicated to one

    another as we see the end coming, not more selfish.

    A Brief Reflection on Skipping ChurchHeinz makes the key point that worship is about advancing our

    spiritual lives, and that often comes at a cost. This is evident in the

    following real-life testimony of a parishioner, who has given me

    permission to share her experience.

    Dear Fr. Al:This past Sunday, you caught me as I was rushing in with baby Finn (and the Operation Christmas Child boxes), so as not to be late for the 9:30 service.

    When you asked how we were doing, I gave a typical, rushed mom response of how my kids are and that we had made it. What I should have said was, We are glad to be here! and then asked about what is new with Al! Ive been thinking all day about the conversation that I cut short because I was in a hurry, and I am so sorry if I offended you by not chatting longer. I sure am

    bummed I didnt slow down and catch up with you... Its been a while since weve talked, and that was the perfect opportunity! Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for your response, first of all, for recognizing that it does

    take work to get to church (or anywhere with young kids, for that matter!).

    But I also wanted to let you know that once I settled in upstairs, I was

    relaxed, filled with joy, and thoroughly enjoyed the 9:30 service, as I always

    do. I know it takes a lot of work to put on the service and wanted you and your team to know that it is much appreciated. The time and atmosphere of that service are perfect for our family life. I always come in breathing a sigh of relief that I even made it there (and that I didnt forget to change out of my slippers!) and leave feeling fulfilled, rejuvenated, and refocused on Gods word.

    So thank you, thank you, for continuing to provide an amazing environment

    in which we can worship. Until next time... when I will slow down and spend more time chatting,

    Megan Louis

    May this be an encouragement, and an inspiration to all for 2016!

    Sabbatical LeaveIn remaining obedient to Scripture and the biblical policies of

    the Diocese of South Carolina, the Zadig family will be going on

    sabbatical for three months, beginning Sunday, June 5. Our diocesan

    policy on sabbaticals is as follows:

    In the Lords life we see intense activity and contact with people alternating with time apart, time to listen and to be replenished. Clergy sabbatical time is necessary for the ongoing growth, nourishment and renewal of those who are ordained to lead the people of God and the congregations which they serve.

    Purpose:The Diocese of South Carolina strongly encourages parishes to join in a covenant with their clergy to provide for periods of a more stimulating and regenerative experience than is possible during short periods of continuing education.

    Sabbatical leave is a carefully planned period of time, usually three months after the first seven years service to a congregation, in which the clergy is

    granted leave away from normal duties in order to spend an extended period of time in study, reflection, and renewal. Sabbatical leave is not a vacation,

    nor is it only continuing education; it is to promote a priests spiritual, intellectual and emotional renewal and growth. Sabbaticals are also a time for the clergy to reflect on his or her life, parish, mission, call and goals for

    the future, in order to be a more effective minister of the Gospel and shepherd

    Gods people.

    So, in keeping with this biblical best practice, we will head out in

    June. I have divided our time away into three parts.

    The first is Faith and Family. We will begin in Boston on June 12, where I will preach for my fathers official retirement service

    at Grace Church Oxford. That week, we will all gather around

    the baptismal font at the Church of the Advent in Boston, where

    my father converted from Judaism. Our sabbatical will officially

    begin as he recounts his own baptism as an adult, retelling the

    story of his conversion to Christianity. That will be our launch

    into a month of faith pilgrimage to the beginnings of Anglicanism

    in England and Scotland. We will also go to Eilean Donan Castle

    on Loch Duich, near the Isle of Skye, where Libby and I were

    engaged 22 years ago!

    The second part will be solo and focus on my own continuing education. I will travel to Regent Seminary (home of J. I. Packer)

    and enter summer school on biblical leadership.

    The third part will be writing and reflection.

    Bishop Lawrence took his 2015 summer sabbatical and has been a

    great help in creating mine. The Rev. Mark Avera will take over while Im away, supported by our excellent clergy team, Vestry and staff.

    More details to come!

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 7

    From the Clergy New Lifeby Robert BurnettI had the privilege recently of participating in the funeral of a

    longtime St. Michaels member who had, in recent years, taken ill

    with a degenerative disease. I say privilege because it is an honor

    to share such an intimate event with a family.

    The day began at the graveside in Magnolia Cemetery, overlooking

    a tributary of the Cooper River. The service included communion for

    the family and a handful of friends, followed by interment. Surely

    this last act has to be the most wrenching and emotional moment of

    any service because the utter finality it signals...it feels as if the hand

    of someone you love deeply slips loose from your grip, and they are

    truly gone forever. The loss feels brutally real.

    And yet there was an unmistakable, almost palpable feeling of

    renewal that morning--not because of readings from Scripture, or

    prayers recited in unison, or even the words of tribute--but because

    the finality of burial was paired with the celebration of Communion:

    it felt as if sharing the Eucharist linked everyone beyond their shared

    grief, and reminded us of the new life that awaited.

    Later in the day was a large and very public service at St. Michaels

    beautiful in a very different way, and more overtly celebratory of this

    kind mans life and legacy. I wondered as I looked around if he had

    known how many people hed obviously touchedand by extension,

    if any of us still alive really have any idea of how many people we

    may impact, for better or worse, as we navigate our own lives. And

    who...to be honest...doesnt wonder how many people would show

    up at our own day?

    Memorial services not only commemorate the lives of those who

    pass, but can help the still-living remember how short our days are,

    how they can be better spent, and the guidance that Christ can give

    us if we let Him. That kind man, so obviously beloved by his family

    and community, gave both one last gift that morning.

    Robert Burnett is an active member of St. Michaels who serves as a

    Eucharistic Visitation Minister, bringing communion to housebound and

    incapacitated members of the congregation. He resides downtown with his wife Susan and their two daughters.

    Did You Know?Shes a lovely ole gal, isnt she?

    Our church has graced the

    skyline of Charleston with her

    fine lines and proportions for

    over 250 years. And as you might

    imagine, it takes a lot of paint

    and some unusual equipment

    to get her painted. The recent

    steeple painting by steeple jacks

    from Robert Morgan & Co. was amazing to watch, and the

    corner of Broad and Meeting

    found many people stopping

    and looking on with a childlike

    wonder. Believe it or not, this

    group of professionals gave the

    steeple the best paint job she

    has had in recent memory at a

    savings of nearly $60,000 over

    the next lowest bid we received.

    Still not cheap, but a wise use of funds.

    Funding for the steeple painting

    this year came from The St.

    Michaels Church Declaration of

    Trust (the Trust). This Trust is

    a separate 501(c)(3) corporation

    currently comprised of two

    funds: the Foundation Fund,

    and the Education Fund. The Education Fund supports members

    of St. Michaels Church that are at seminary preparing for ordained

    ministry. The Foundation Fund supports improvements to, restoration

    and maintenance of, and the care and preservation of the facilities,

    buildings, grounds and equipment which further the mission and

    vision of St. Michaels Church. It was this latter Foundation Fund that

    provided the monies for the recent steeple painting.

    The Trust is funded largely by estate and memorial gifts. Currently

    only a maximum of 5% of the average of the last three years ending

    balances may be granted for the above purposes. Our hope is to grow

    the Trust to such a level that we will always have the resources to keep

    St. Michaels standing tall as a witness to the Holy City and beyond.

    You can be a part of strengthening the legacy of our lovely ole gal by

    remembering St. Michaels in your will or making a contribution to

    the Foundation Fund.

    ~ The Rev. Mark Avera

  • 8 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ

    From the Clergy The Chance of a LifetimeIn this season of Christmas, Im reminded of a scene from my favorite

    Christmas movie, Its a Wonderful Life. George Bailey is paying a special visit to his friend Mary, with something like courtship (at least

    unconsciously) in mind. However, things to do not get off to a good

    start, and then, as emotions intensify, one of Georges friends calls

    up on the telephone out of the blue and offers George The Chance

    of a Lifetime. What is this amazing opportunity? Getting in on the

    ground floor of a business venture involving plastics. Fortunately,

    George drops the telephone, and what follows is one of the great

    loves scenes in the history of cinema.

    Chances of a Lifetime, by definition, do not happen every day (and

    often, they are grossly exaggerated, as in the story above). But this

    does not mean they never happen. Indeed, I was recently presented with an opportunity that has led me to think in these superlative

    terms. I was asked if I would consider being part of the inaugural

    Anglican Leadership Institute, an invitation extended by our very own Very Rev. Dr. Peter Moore, the Director of this initiative.

    Briefly, the Anglican Leadership Institute is an outgrowth of Mere Anglicanism. Bishop Mark Lawrence, in his 2014 Convention Address, called for the creation of a leadership training initiative that would

    bring future leaders in the Anglican Communion to South Carolina

    for periods of study, teaching, reflection, and nurture.

    According to the A.L.I. website:

    Leadership is linked to character even before it is linked to competence. So, our four-week intensive training will focus on who leaders are supposed to be as much as what they are supposed to do.

    Each day, we will emerge from worship to hear and interact with

    thoughtful teaching from experienced faculty. Out of their training and giftedness, they will apply the message of Jesus Christ to church history, theology, preaching and modern culture.

    Afternoons will culminate in a two-hour colloquy where we will interact in small groups with the theme of leadership as brought to us by gifted leaders from both church and society. Some of our discussion will be shaped by case studies where realistic challenges call for wise responses.

    Evenings will include special guest speakers, while weekends will bring

    opportunities for ministry in local churches.Finally, the January 2016 Semester will culminate in a three-day

    immersion on the subject of Islam presented by a phalanx of scholars at the Mere Anglicanism Conference.

    Of course, I feel honored and humbled to be invited. For one thing, I

    will have the opportunity to sit at the feet of the great Anglican leaders

    in the world today (folks like the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, the Rt.

    Rev. Alden Hathaway, the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir Ali, the Very Rev.

    Peter Moore, the Rev. Rob Sturdy, Dr. Allen Ross, Dr. Paul Marshall,

    and our own Dr. Melody Martini and Bill Hewitt). For another, I

    will be able to rub shoulders on a daily basis with fourteen risings

    stars within Anglicanism today

    (many of whom are bishops).

    If even a little of their character,

    wisdom, and grace rubs off on me

    during this season of training and

    fellowship, you may not recognize

    me come February! Incidentally,

    while I wont be the youngest of

    the fifteen participants (only the

    second youngest!), I will be the

    only North American representative. Again, it will be a wonderful

    opportunity to step outside of my provincial comfort zone and into a

    broader network of relationships in Christs global body.

    What this means practically for the pastoral ministry of St. Michaels

    is that while I will continue to serve at St. Michaels liturgically on

    Sundays throughout the month of January, during the workweek, I

    will be fully immersed in the Leadership Institute (held on Sullivans

    Island) and will not be accessible by phone or email.

    In my absence, the Rev. Ted McNabb has graciously agreed to serve

    in an interim capacity as our priest for pastoral care. Therefore, if any

    pastoral needs arise, please feel free to call the church office or reach

    out to Fr. Ted directly at [email protected] Fr. Ted is a dear

    friend and mentor, and I have every confidence that our flock will

    receive the very best of care in his capable and compassionate hands.

    Finally, a great thank you to Fr. Al, Fr. Peter, Fr. Ted, our clergy team,

    our vestry, our staff, and our parishioners, for making this possible

    and for graciously sending me forth with your blessing. Please pray

    with me that the fruits of this unique opportunity will be reflected

    throughout our parish in the years ahead.

    With gratitude and love,

    The Rev. David Booman

    Worship on WednesdayHealing Service 5:30 pm in the Church

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 9

    From the Vestry & Mobilization Vestry NewsAfter months of hard work and combing through details, the Vestry

    passed a balanced budget for the 2016 fiscal year at its December

    meeting. We have tightened the belt to bring expenses in line with

    income projections based on years of data, and with Gods help

    we anticipate a solid ministry year undergirded by solid fiscal

    responsibility. Thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the

    ministries of St Michaels. It is your tithes and offerings that enable

    everything to happen. There is no endowment fund that helps with

    operations. It is the simple faithfulness of our parishioners that allows

    St Michaels to be a lighthouse to the Holy City and beyond so that

    lives are transformed for the glory of Jesus Christ.

    The vestry also approved plans to continue and complete the

    renovation of the dependency. Please check out the progress next

    time you are near the parking lot off St Michaels Alley.

    Work is currently underway to establish a comprehensive safety

    plan for the church. Thanks to Greg Kitchens and his safety team for

    laying the groundwork for this plan.

    The Vestry thanks you for the privilege of serving St Michaels in

    2015. We trust that God will continue to provide for the work He has

    purposed in us as we move into the new year.

    Volunteer OpportunityChurch ReceptionistLooking for a purposeful volunteer opportunity in a joyful,

    encouraging, Christ-centered environment?

    Well, we are looking for you!

    The St. Michaels Church office would love to have a few volunteers

    who would be interested in volunteering their time serving as the

    Church Receptionist. This position would work alongside our

    Information Specialist, Brittany Gordon, assisting with answering

    phone calls and relaying information regarding church happenings.

    If you enjoy people, have a desire to get to know your church family

    better, dont mind chatting on the phone, and have 2-3 hours a

    day, once or twice a week, then we would be blessed to have you

    on our team. Office hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am4:30 pm,

    and Friday, 8:30 am3:00 pm. If interested, contact Brittany Gordon

    in the office by calling (843) 723-0603 or email her at [email protected]


    Other Volunteer Opportunities: Communication Ministry

    Social Media Posting Photographer Photo Editor Photo Librarian Slideshow Creator

    Births: Welcoming!December 7, 2015 Nelson Heyward Davenport Grimball, son of

    Francis Heyward Grimball and Paige Nelson


    Marriage: Congratulations!December 5, 2015 William Johnson Stevens, III and Angela Hamer

    Dillard Salmons at St. Michaels Church by The

    Rev. Alfred T.K. Zadig Jr.

    December 26, 2015 James Edwards Groetzinger and Candice Arren

    Jeffords at St. Michaels Church by The Rev.

    Mark W. Avera

    Deaths: Rest EternalDecember 25, 2015 Constance Davis Hare

    Transfers In: Welcome! December 7, 2015 Kevin S. and Virginia Ginny Lomel Conlon

    and their daughter, Alexa McClure Conlon

    from St. Philips Church, Charleston, SC

    Margaret Jane Maggie Conlon from St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC

    December 22, 2015 Elizabeth Anne Betty Schaffer from the

    Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston,


    Drs. Sherif Zaghloul and Elena Nareika

    Tarasowa Yacoub and their children, Sophie

    Michelle, Veronica, and Dimitri from

    Mountainview United Methodist Church,

    Kingsport, TN

    Transfers Out: God blessDecember 7, 2015 Elizabeth Roemig Cooper to The Cathedral of

    St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston, SC

    December 14, 2015 Robert Layton and Gwen Atkinson McCurdy to

    Grace Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC

    ~ Barbara Miller, Database Volunteer

    PAROCHIAL UPDATESDecember 2015

    From the Parish Register

    To read details, sign up, or to view more opportunities to serve visit www.stmichaelschurch.net/serving and click on View Serving Opportunities

  • 10 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ

    Mobilization ~ Worship & Transformation ~ Alpha

    Got questionsabout lifeJoin us for

    AlphaTuesdays & Thursdays

    [email protected]

    Spring Alpha DirectorDavid GilkesonI first heard of Alpha from my

    sister-in-law from England

    where she was taking the course.

    Upon moving to Charleston and

    visiting churches, my minister

    from Virginia recommended St

    Michaels. My late wife and I

    started coming to St Michaels in

    2012 and attended Spring Alpha

    in 2013. Being a Christian for

    many years, I was intrigued with the concept. It was basically presenting the gospel in a non-threatening

    way to unbelievers and new Christians. As with anything, I learned a lot through the talks. It strengthened

    my faith. After my wifes passing, I felt led to help with the Spring Alpha in 2014 and became a helper. It

    was a great blessing and a wonderful way to connect with people. Since then, I became a leader and have

    been blessed tremendously in seeing people grow in the Lord. The Lord really blessed the Fall Alpha, and

    we all felt the Holy Spirit move in a mighty way. I encourage anyone searching for meaning in life to come

    to the Spring Alpha. You will be truly blessed.

    Ash Wednesday7:30 am | 12:00 N | 5:30 pm Holy Communion with the Imposition of the Ashes(Evening time changed due to The Gathering at 6:30 pm)

    Last 4 Lenten TuesdaysMarch 1, 8, 15, 22 | 7:00 am

    Holy Communion, Rite II / Breakfast follow

    Community Lenten ServicesWednesdays in Lent | 12:00 pm

    February 24 at St. Michaels March 2 at First Baptist ChurchMarch 9 at St. Johns LutheranMarch 16 at First (Scots) Presbyterian

    Theme: Why Does It Matter? Lunch follows

    A Lenten Quitude Service5:30 pm Wednesday, March 2 This service will help us quiet our minds for this holy and penitential

    season, through a night of contemplation, silence, and prayer.

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 11

    Transformation Ministry of Women Advent Brunch a ReflectionOn Saturday, December 7, 2015, St. Michaels Ministry of Women

    hosted the annual ladies Advent Brunch made remarkable this year

    by the Brunch prepared by our own Director of Missions and chef

    extraordinaire, Andy Hein! The men of the Church (Andy Hein, Jay

    Siebels, Rev. Mark Avera, Tom Acker, Bruce Bahlav, Matt Ozment,

    Gary McLauren, Rev. Al Zadig and Mikell Scarborough) helped in

    the kitchen and became first-rate waiters.

    The Kinloch Room looked ready for Christmas, adorned with

    wreaths hand-made by Judi Brantley hanging in the windows, and

    with luxuriant greenery as table centerpieces also carefully crafted

    by Judi, who made spectacular red bows for each, as well. The

    entire setting made us all feel that special spirit that only comes at

    Christmas, thanks to Judi and her gifts to us all.

    Nearly 100 ladies attentively listened as Dr. Allston Kitchens shared

    the story of her life of faith, sprinkled with glimpses into her life as

    a medical doctor, Peace Corps volunteer, mother, wife and daughter

    of Rev. and Mrs. Fitzsimmons Allison. We would so easily see her

    humanity as she illustrated some of her ups and downs thus far in

    her journey. Allston warmed our hearts as she opened hers to us so

    freely and with such good humor.

    The Committee that made this possible and wonderful included: Joy

    Avera, Judi Brantley, Pam Klein, Pam Smith, Elizabeth Zadig, Angela

    McLester as well as Susan Waring and Vicki Vzquez, as our staff

    support. Thank you one and all for your heart and help this year!

    ~ Duval Acker

    Baby Shower for the Lowcountry PregnancyCenterOn Sunday, February 28, 2016,

    from 2:00-4:00 pm, please join us

    for a Baby Shower (in the Kinloch

    Room) for the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center, to help their disadvantaged moms/clients!

    We will enjoy tasty treats, stories,

    wonderful fellowship and

    the fun of unwrapping all the goodies you bring to give. Those

    gifts can be anything: disposable

    diapers, formula, bottles and accessories, books for Mom to read to

    her little one, baby necessities, clothing, toys and even larger items

    like strollers, pack and plays or cribs (must be new and meet safety

    guidelines). If you are a parent or grandparent, youll fondly recall

    the precious moments of baby life. Here is our chance to help those

    who cant provide with the bounty God has given to us. Please

    RSVP to Brittany - thank you! Susan Burnett (843) 327-7908 or Duval

    Acker (843) 693-0690. May God richly favor you and those you love!

    Life Group MinistryAn Invitation to Join a Womens Neighborhood Bible StudyBeginning the first week of January 2016, weekly neighborhood Bible

    studies will be held in homes around the Lowcountry. These groups

    are designed for women of all ages who are looking to study Gods

    word and fellowship with other women of St. Michaels. All groups

    will follow along with the Toolbox (www.stmichaelschurch.net/

    toolbox) that the St. Michaels Clergy and Staff have organized. We

    will come together in May for a closing ceremony to celebrate our

    friendships and share what we have learned. Please sign up for the

    group that is most convenient for you to attend. You will be contacted

    by your group facilitator with further details.

    To join a Bible study, please email or call

    Lynda Panaretos, Volunteer Life Group Administrator

    [email protected] or Cell: 248-229-4570

    Downtown CharlestonWednesday evenings 7:00 pm- 8:30 pmFacilitator: Martha DaughertyHostess: Lois DaughtridgeLocation: 77 King St

    Mount PleasantTuesday evenings6:30 pm - 8:00 pmFacilitator: Pam KleinHostess: Beth StuckeyLocation: 1291 Chatfield St.(between Long Point Rd and Mathis Ferry Rd)

    Isle of PalmsWednesday mornings 9:30 am Hostess and Facilitator: Joy AveraLocation: #9, 19th Ave.

    Johns IslandMonday Evening6:30 - 8:15 pmHostess and Facilitator: Alice GordonLocation: 2780 August Rd

    West Ashley/James IslandTuesday evening 7:00 - 8:30 pmFacilitator: Julie Akers and Merrilee KinneyHostess: Audrey BuckLocation: 5 Beverly Rd, Charleston(In Old Windemere)

  • 12 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ


    Join us at St. Christopher for a refreshing time of encouragement

    and equipping as we learn about leading and following as men of

    God. This years conference will include teachings by Shay Gaillard,

    Rector at Church of the Good Shepherd, Charleston; a testimony

    and workshop on radical mentoring from Regi Campbell, author of

    Mentor Like Jesus (radicalmentoring.com); a talk on Family Ministry

    by our very own St. Michaelite, Scott Cave, worship and a workshop

    from Todd Fields, worship leader for North Point Community

    Church (toddfields.com).

    Enjoy spending time with men from all over in a beachfront

    envrionment. This has become a favorite conference for fathers and

    sons throughout the years.

    All men 13 and older are welcome to join in this time of spiritual

    growth and fellowship.

    Register at www.diosc.com

    Daddy Daughter Dance in Mount PleasantSt. Peters ChurchFriday, Feb 19, 6:30 8:30 pmThis special evening is designed for fathers and daughters. Grand-fathers and other significant father figures are encouraged to join in

    on the fun. The evening will include music and dancing, dinner and

    a chance for special pictures. Dont miss this opportunity to take

    your little girl out on a date and show her how a gentleman treats a

    lady! Also dont forget to invite your neighbors and friends to join

    you with their daughters on this special night.

    Tickets are $25 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter. All

    proceeds will benefit our friends in Honduras who live in the Chil-drens Home at LAMB Institute

    The link to buy tickets is as follows: http://www.saintpeters.me/


    ~ Cyndee Cave, Children and Families Ministry

    4 Generations Baptized at St. Michaels

    On January 17, we baptized Tucker Gadsden Thornhill son of Au-tumn and Christopher Thronhill. This will mark the 4th generation

    of Thornhills to be baptized at St. Michaels Church. Please join us

    to pray for all our Baptized families. Visit our Baptism board near the

    Kinloch room to see all who have been newly Baptized. The greatest

    gift that God could send, He sends with love to you: A sweet and

    helpless little child, an obligation, too. Each baby that God gives to us

    is merely lent a while to cherish, love, protect, and guard from every

    snare and wile. To form within this childs heart HIS image good and

    true. God bless this tiny new loved babe and may He bless you too.

    ~ Cyndee Cave, Children and Families Ministry


  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 13

    Transformation Childrens Ministry Tool Time Track 2 The Truth Project (Chapel)Sundays at 10:45 amLed by David Booman & Scott Cave

    The Truth Project by Dr. Del Tackett

    This study is the starting

    point for looking at life from a biblical perspective. Each lesson

    discusses in great detail the

    relevance and importance of living

    the Christian worldview in daily life.

    Focus on the Family produced.

    Sunday School10:30 amKids Club ~ 4th & 5th Grade (203)5k (Room 201)1st - 3rd Grade (204) ABC 3s and 4s (202)Parents must pick up their child during the 10:30 am service announcements (around 11:20)

    4 - 5 Grade

    Toddler Time has Expanded!Our philosophy is to promote the needs of the

    individual child through developmentally

    appropriate activities enhancing spiritual,

    physical, emotional, social and cognitive

    growth in a nurturing Christian environment. Our purpose is

    to further St. Michaels mission statement: Transforming Hearts

    Through Jesus Christ.

    Toddler Time 1, 2, 3 & 4 is a one year program designed specifically

    for children who are 11 through 48 months old by September 1st.

    Toddler Time 1 meets on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and

    Thursdays from 8:30 to 11:30 am and Toddler Time 2, 3 & 4 the same

    except extended until 12:30 pm. Contact Cyndee Cave 843.724.7579 [email protected]





    Transforming Lile Hearts Through Jesus Christ

    A Huge Turnout for the Gingerbread Nativity Workshop!

    Movie Night for KidsDate night for parents!

    Friday, February 126:00 pm - 9:30 pm

    The ChapelDinner, Games and Movie time

    Cost $10 per family

    Ages 5 - 12

    RSVP: Cyndee Cave, 843-693-0355

    [email protected]

  • 14 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ


    Christmas PageantChristmas Pageant

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 15

    Building A Legacy That Matters

    June 20-24, 2016

    GrandCamp is an amazing inter-generational adventure designed to transport grandparents and their grandkids away form the daily distractions of life to a place where God can do something extraordinary in building a legacy of faith from one generation to another.

    June 20th24th, 201 at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Centeron Seabrook Island, SC.

    Grandparents and Grandkids target age: 6-12 years old

    $349 per person: includes all meals, lodging, and events

    What is GrandCamp?

    When and Where?

    Whos invited?


    Register with Cheryl Cargill at 843-276-1427 or [email protected]



  • 16 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ


    We are heading to Recife, Brazil this summer to partner with YWAM

    (Youth with a Mission) June 13-21. This will be a life-changing St.

    Michaels youth experience. Heres what well be up to.

    Information from YWAM:Our program for volunteers is bilingual, just like our training schools

    and is a full-time program. The focus of the program for volunteers

    is to provide short term missionary experiences for those that have a

    heart for missions. Our program and activities will strengthen your

    relationship with God and give you a lot to reflect on about the needs

    of this world. We hope you will leave a different person then when

    you arrived, holding onto the principles and experiences you received

    on the mission field. Below you will find practical information about

    our program.


    These are some of the different areas that you could be involved in:

    Outreach/Evangelism - We have been doing outreach since 1992 with the children on the streets of Recife, touching their hearts through

    friendship, Bible stories, first aid and games. The team makes first

    contact with the children on the streets.

    Love Project works with families, women, girls and pregnant teens to help them discover their potential and personal value. We reach

    families by doing home visits, counseling, workshops, and crafts.

    This allows them to be capable and productive, and in turn creates a

    good family structure. Empowering them to be self-supporting and

    free from addictions is also one of the goals.

    Christian Heritage School - Educating children has been a strategy we use to reach and transform this generation. CHS receives little ones

    starting at the age of 2 years old from six different neighborhoods in

    Camaragibe, where there are the highest rates of encroachments and

    slums in the city and huge rates of social inequality. The school offers,

    education, personal care, snack, tutoring etc. As well as reaching out

    to the families of the children through events and regular meetings.

    The school is functioning in a three-story building with the capacity

    to receive 300 students, up to Grade 12.

    Soccer Show Project - Currently serves 200 kids and teens between 9 to 18 years old with social and educational activities through our

    soccer school. Besides developing soccer skills, the participants and

    their families receive ministry about the love of God.

    We also provide personal and group discipleship and home visits.

    Meeting - February 7 4:30pm - 5:30pm Parent(s) and youth need to

    be present. Sign up today! Contact Rich Giersch | [email protected]

    All Senior High Students and Some Adults! Mission Trip to Recife, Brazil June 13-21

    Coming in March!The Order of St. LukeA Seven-Week Course on the Healing Miracles of Jesus

    Please read below the testimony of one of the many, many people who

    have been blessed and had their relationship with Jesus enriched, by

    this Bible study of His healing ministry in the gospels. This class is

    facilitated by Johnnie and Jean Corbett. The Corbetts know that Jesus

    still heals today. They have seen and experienced His healing grace

    during mission trips to the Ukraine and India as well as right here at

    St. Michaels church.

    To sign up for this 7-week course, please contact Jeanine Branham at

    [email protected]

    The cost is $45.00 for individuals and $55.00 total for couples.

    Materials must be ordered ahead of time, so please sign up early!

    Open to all Alpha graduates. Specific dates and times forthcoming.

    Life Groups Grow in your understanding and experience of Jesus

    healing ministry by taking this class together as a Life Group!

    An OSL testimony from Scott MyersFor most of my adult life, I wondered how it must have felt to be one of Jesus twelve disciples. Sitting at the feet of the Master, living history as it unfold-ed, and, of course, witnessing the healing power of God Almighty in person.

    A few years ago, after completing the Alpha Course at St. Michaels, my heart was set on digging deeper into my faith. I studied and attended several

    extraordinary courses that did a wonderful, if not blessed, job of introducing and indoctrinating me on the subject of discipleship. But I always felt that I was missing something, something that would further open my heart and my mind to the love of the Lord.

    At about the same time I was searching for this missing something, my friend Paul Lankau began asking Jean Corbett about the OSL course. I had

    never heard of the OSL course, but when Jean and Paul informed me that it was an in-depth study of the healing miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ, I immediately signed up.

    The next thing I knew, I was immersed in an environment where forty new friends and I were learning the who, what, where, and when of Gods healing power here on earth. Through discussion with my OSL classmates and the wonderful teachings of Johnnie and Jean, this study truly changed the way I viewed the power of prayer and opened my eyes to the reality that God abso-lutely, positively, still heals today!

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 17


    I am so excited that our classes began, as

    Worship on Wednesday returned this winter.

    What a wonderful way to be refreshed during

    the week. WOW began January 20, 5:30 -

    6:30 pm. After WOW, a casual meal will be

    served in the Kinloch Room from 6:15 until

    7:00, for those who wish to eat before class

    ($5.00 donation). The meal is open to everyone, whether or not you attend WOW or are enrolled

    in a class. It is our hope that this will be a time to fellowship with others and reconnect with our spouses. CoupleTalk begins at 7:30 pm and will finish promptly at 8:30 pm. Childcare

    will be provided by reservation.

    CoupleTalk is a tested, structured, biblically

    based video series where couples learn better

    communication skills, build greater empathy,

    and effective resolution to the problems

    that all couples encounter. This is a couple

    experience, even though we will be viewing

    the videos as a group. There are breaks in

    the video where you will spend time with

    your spouse practicing the concepts being

    presented. No one will be asked to share

    within the group. We are asking that couples

    sign up for five weeks. If after completing

    the first five weeks you wish to continue, an

    additional five-week course will follow. This

    course is available to engaged as well as

    married couples, no matter how long you

    have been married. If you have questions

    or are interested in signing up, call Melody

    Martini at 843-597-3999. There is no charge to

    participants, and workbooks for use during

    the videos will be provided.

    Please pray about your attendance! Improving

    your marriage is a great way to start off the

    New Year.

    ~ Melody Martini

    [email protected]

    Prayer CornerPlease pray for St. Michaels Church and

    our mission, which is to transform every

    heart and home, the Holy City, the Hurting

    Coast, and the Hungering World through

    Jesus Christ. Pray specifically for the Rt.

    Rev. Mark Lawrence and his family; for

    Lowcountry Pregnancy Center, Barnabas

    Ministries of Charleston, Living Hope, The

    Pink Bus Ministry with St. Johns Chapel,

    Sanders Clyde School -Lunch Buddies &

    Alpha Sprouts; Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy;

    Meals on Wheels; Star Gospel Mission,

    Rural Mission, and for the Rev. Hamilton

    Smith and his church plant in north Mt.

    Pleasant; for the Rev. Dan Rogers with Christ

    the King, Dorchester and for Pastor Claire

    Sullivan and The Hope Center in Lynn MA,

    for Freddie, Onesphore, and Simon and the

    church in Burundi, Tabitha and her mission

    in China; Bishop Dutta and the church in

    India; Cornelius and Zira Jacobs and Caleb

    and Rebecca Hudson and their mission in

    the 10/40 Window with Anglican Frontier


    Prayers for Deployed MilitaryChris Phelps, deployed to Afghanistan

    (brother of Danyelle Phelps)

    Alex Gora, 2nd Class Nuclear Submarine

    (grandson-in-law of Beverly Howell)

    William M. Richardson, George HW Bush

    Carrier (son of Shelly Richardson)

    2nd Lt Matthew Hendley,

    Son of David & Doreen Hendley

    Parents-to-Be Prayer ListGod said, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Jeremiah 1:5Vicki & Yan Vazquez (March 2016)

    Caity & David Booman (March 2016)

    Justin & Kristina Baker (May 2016)

  • 18 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ


    Advent is the season of

    expectation. We are waiting in

    wonderment and watching for

    the Christ Child the greatest

    gift ever given!

    My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him (Psalm 62:5).

    I spent yesterday in Charlotte,

    North Carolina, at the processing

    center for Samaritans Purse

    Operation Christmas Child. It is one of nine processing

    centers in the United States. The

    Charlotte facility will process

    more than 2 million shoeboxes,

    destined for children around the

    world. Around 11 million are

    expected to leave the U.S. this

    season! The shoebox honors and celebrates the child who receives the shoebox and The Child who provided the shoebox. As of yesterday, Charlotte had

    processed 1,995,000 shoeboxes.

    We can look out at the night sky

    and experience the greatness

    of our God. We can look into

    the tiny face of a newborn and see another miracle from

    our God. We can learn about

    another healing from cancer and know the goodness of our

    God. And through the stories

    from Operation Christmas

    Child, we can come to the truth of the sovereignty of our God.

    Some facts about Operation

    Christmas Child: Daily, and

    constant, prayer covers this

    project. Samaritans Purse

    believes, as do I, that the Holy

    Spirit directs and mightily

    oversees these precious boxes.

    Each box is checked for anything

    that might endanger the child or

    their families. Sometimes, items

    will be added to the shoebox;

    otherwise, the contents go out

    undisturbed. This reflects the

    strong belief that the Holy Spirit

    has provided, through the giver,

    what the receiver needs.

    Pastors in the village churches

    count the number of children

    in their churches and let

    Samaritans Purse know how

    many shoeboxes they need. The

    quality control and accounting of

    these shoeboxes are incredible.

    And now, past stories from Samaritans Purse:

    On the day the shoeboxes

    arrived, the children gathered

    at the village church. Their expectations were high.

    The children knew what was

    happening. The staff of the

    church noticed a young child

    peering through the window.

    A child they had not expected.

    A child they had not counted

    and planned for. They dared not

    invite the child in, as they would

    not have a shoebox to give. Still,

    the child waited and watched.

    The shoeboxes were distributed,

    one by one, to each of the counted children. And then, one

    shoebox remained. The child

    waiting in wonderment, and

    watching, had not been forgotten

    by the Christ Child. The waiting, watching child had been counted

    by the One who counts!

    At another time, in another village, the children gathered.

    The shoeboxes were distributed.

    There were two little girls left.

    There was only one shoebox.

    Excitedly, the little girls said,

    Its OK. Well share it. They

    opened the box. There was two

    of everything! El Roi the God

    who sees the Child who knows provided enough.

    A shoebox was opened at the

    processing center for inspection.

    Among other things, there was

    one shoe.

    The volunteers were baffled.

    But believing the Holy Spirit

    knew where the box was going,

    and knew the child who would

    receive it, they let it go through. Then, another box was opened.

    The other shoe was among the

    items. They let it go through.

    These particular boxes were

    destined for a war-torn country.

    You know the rest two children

    had lost a leg, due to injuries

    received during the war. Those

    two children received the right

    box one with the left shoe, the

    other with the right shoe. Here in

    the land of the living we cannot

    know what He knows. Blessed be

    our God Father! Son! and Holy

    Spirit! The One who knows!

    A little boy in the Ukraine waited.

    He shivered in his raggedy thin

    shirt. He opened his shoebox. A

    winter coat!

    For every child who has ever

    received a shoebox from

    Samaritans Purse Operation

    Christmas Child there is story

    that counts! If you have never

    been involved in Operation

    Christmas Child, I urge you to

    plan now to be involved next

    year. Filling a shoebox its a

    small thing and we all know,

    its the small things that count!

    Dont let anything steal your blessing, from being a blessing!

    You have received this message

    because The One for whom we

    wait loves you!

    Blessings, love, grace, and

    healing to you, during this holy

    season of expectation Advent.


    Judi Brantley

    Operation Christmas Child: a Reflection

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 19


    When I received an invitation to

    take a tour of the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center (LPL) in North Charleston, I knew this

    was a great opportunity for me

    to grow in my knowledge of

    what healthcare resources are

    available to women in our city. As a young woman myself, I am

    very much aware of the concerns,

    limitations, and fears that face

    many women when it comes to

    healthcare and, in this case, those

    issues that arise in the realm of

    family planning, pregnancy, abortion, adoption, and sexually

    transmitted infections (STI)

    testing. These concerns are

    universal and are not prejudiced

    to age, race, income, or marital status, so knowing what is

    available is key to making wise

    choices and helping others do

    the same.

    Upon my arrival, I was

    immediately impressed with the

    space out of which LPC operates.

    The office was immaculate,

    and it was furnished in a way

    that created a sense of being in

    an upscale doctors office, as

    opposed to a sterile clinic. The

    staff were extremely personable,

    and their warm dispositions

    created a sense of ease

    throughout the office. I share all

    of this, because I quickly learned

    the office space decor was

    intentionally thought through with the hopes of providing an

    atmosphere where women felt

    welcomed and comfortable,

    as well as valued, despite the

    not-so-ideal journey they may be facing.

    As we toured the facilities, we

    learned the reasons behind the

    Lowcountry Pregnancy Center,

    and the word love permeated

    the conversation. It was apparent

    that the staff and volunteers at

    LPC do what they do because

    they love women and children

    and families. It is obvious that

    they do not look at their work as

    just a job, but instead as a calling

    and an opportunity to show

    compassion, share the love of

    Christ and the hope found in a

    relationship with Him, and offer

    tangible help to woman as they

    make difficult choices that will

    affect their own lives and the

    lives of their children.

    One of the most encouraging

    things I learned about LPC is

    that the staff and volunteers

    walk with mothers through the

    full term of their pregnancy and even up to more than two

    years after the mother gives

    birth to her child. Along with

    free pregnancy testing, nursing

    consultations, STI testing and

    treatment, ultrasounds, and a

    childrens boutique which offers

    the necessities and then some

    at no charge, LPC provides

    parenting classes to mothers and

    fathers. The staff at LPC strive

    to make sure no woman feels

    alone in her journey to becoming

    a mother and raising her children well.

    In a time when the womens

    right to choose seems to be what

    we hear most, I am so grateful

    to have learned of Lowcountry

    Pregnancy Center that gives

    women the right, and most

    importantly the ability, to choose

    life for herself and her child.

    ~ Brittany Gordon

    Lowcountry Pregnancy Center: a Reflection

    August 15th, 1947, was one of the great days in world history.

    One-fifth of the population of the

    world gained its independence

    on that day from Great Britain.

    India was split into two countries,

    Pakistan and India. Most of the

    90 million Muslims moved to the

    northwest portion the country,

    the newly created Pakistan. The

    250 million Hindus, 6 million

    Sikhs along with Christians,

    Buddhists, and other smaller

    religious groups, remained in

    the new India.

    Today, India is approximately

    82% Hindu, 12% Islam, and 2.5%

    Christian, with the balance of the

    population Sikh, Buddhist and

    smaller religious sects. While

    the country is still very poor,

    the economy is booming, and

    millions of people are moving

    from poverty to the middle class.

    The Rt. Reverend Dr. Probal

    Kanto Dutta became the Bishop

    of the Diocese of Durgapur,

    which was on the verge of being

    closed down, in September,

    2003. Bishop Dutta told me he

    felt lucky that God had chosen

    him to take over this Diocese and

    spread the good news of Jesus

    Christ to so many people.

    The Diocese of Durgapur

    is a church body that spans

    approximately 43,340 square

    kilometers. The Diocese is on

    fire with activity as they seek to

    meet the practical and religious

    needs of so many of the people

    who live in this area. Some of the

    things they do include managing

    a college, several elementary and

    high schools, hospitals, an eye

    clinic, a nursing school, and

    The 2015 Healing Mission to Durgapur, IndiaTestimonies from the Team

    David Richardson and Arthur Ravenel

  • 20 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ

    Action over 180 churches. Recently,

    the Diocese of Durgapur took

    over operational control of an additional 58 churches started

    by the Indian Missions Society.

    We attended the grand opening

    of two new churches that were

    funded by St. Michaels Church.

    They help people of all religions,

    have hundreds of full-time

    evangelists and an amazing staff,

    and are doing great works to

    meet the needs of so many people

    in this area and spread the good

    news of Jesus Christ. They value

    St. Michaels Church as one of

    their biggest supporters.

    ~ Arthur Ravenel, III

    On a Sunday, a week or so before leaving for India, I was praying

    with our prayer walking team in the St. Michaels graveyard. My

    prayers and thoughts turned to

    the India Mission trip ahead of

    me. My prayer was a plea for

    help. To quote the Rev. John

    Barr from our November 14 Day

    of Healing Prayer, I needed to

    get me out of the way, so that I

    could get Jesus in the way. For

    a brief moment, I found myself

    in a state of unconsciousness,

    until I heard the words very loud

    and clear in my mind, Bloom in the Resurrection. I had no clue where this came from, but

    I woke up to find myself at the

    Meeting Street side entrance

    to the graveyard, staring at the

    dark brown, tightly wrapped

    Camellia flower buds located

    deep in the center of a large

    Camellia bush. In the middle of

    these rather non-descript buds

    was a large, radiantly beautiful

    Camellia bloom, basking in the

    light; it was the only bloom on

    this entire bush. I found myself

    repeating the words out loud

    and questioning their meaning:

    Bloom in the Resurrection, Bloom in the Resurrection.

    What immediately came to mind

    was an answer, If I can take

    these brown buds, hidden deep

    in and among the dark spaces

    of a Camellia bush, expose them

    to my light and produce this

    gloriously beautiful flower from

    it, just think what I am going

    to do for you in India. At that

    moment, I felt a release Such

    encouragement could only

    come from God and answered

    prayer. I could not wait to

    uncover the real meaning behind this message.

    My report for India Mission 2015

    is about a simple witness and

    message of Gods amazing grace

    to bring thousands of people out

    of darkness and into the light for

    the hope that is found through a

    saving knowledge and personal

    relationship with Jesus Christ.

    It was incredible to experience,

    from tribal village to tribal village, how much our team was

    welcomed and honored. There

    was no question that the love

    of Christ and hearts had been

    prepared by the loving hands

    of Jesus well before we stepped

    foot in India. Bishop Probal

    Dutta and his team of pastors

    and evangelists, along with

    the generous financial support

    from St. Michaels, had moved

    thousands of people in India

    out of darkness and into the

    light and love of Jesus Christ,

    through education, clean water,

    the construction of churches and

    a Safe House, nurses training

    facilities, doctors for community

    health, the distribution of Bibles

    and blankets, medical care, the

    new construction of churches,

    music training, and overall care

    for the poor, sick, and needy.

    At each Festival of Hope, we

    heard stories of people traveling

    great distances by foot to hear

    from the Americans from St.

    Michaels, Charleston, SC, who

    had traveled halfway around

    the world to share the healing

    light and hope found in Jesus.

    The word definitely got out,

    and people came in large

    numbers of both Christians and

    non-Christians. Everyone was

    well fed, both physically and

    spiritually. There was singing,

    dancing, and an atmosphere of

    joy. Praise and worship songs

    filled the large covered area, and

    the people raised their hands high

    into the air to shout, repeatedly,

    the one word we all understood

    at the end of the praise and

    worship music: Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah!

    Jean and Johnnie Corbett, our

    leaders, had clearly established

    the core message that would be

    taught, preached, and witnessed

    over the course of our ten-day

    ministry at the five Festivals of

    Hope in Sarenga, Baldahura,

    Koonor, Jargo, Koreng, and

    Jhalda: Jesus Christ stands

    outside the door of your heart,

    waiting and knocking, and only

    you can invite Him in. You could

    feel the presence and power of

    the Holy Spirit at each Festival.

    Many people were healed, and

    you could see the hope and

    light of Christ swell up through

    the tears, smiles, and hugs of

    gratitude from all of the people

    we anointed and laid hands

    on through healing prayer.

    As the Festival of Hope got

    underway in the Tribal Village

    of Coonor, I experienced first-

    hand what I believe God meant

    by His message, Bloom in the

    Resurrection. Our team was on

    stage, under a large canopy filled

    with hundreds of children and

    adults praying and worshiping

    Jesus. I could feel the Gods

    presence through the prayers

    and the music, so I felt compelled

    to open my eyes to witness and

    better understand what I was

    feeling. My eyes went directly

    to a little boy in the front row

    of the congregation who could

    not have been more than 9 or 10

    years old. He was weeping and

    praising God with his hands

    held high above his head. Other

    young children around him

    were also singing and praying,

    but not like this little boy. What

    an amazing sight. I couldnt help

    but think back to my experience

    in the graveyard at St. Michaels

    when I witnessed the miracle

    of God taking an obscure little

    bud to a gloriously beautiful

    bloom through the love and

    resurrection of Jesus Christ. It

    was definitely the confirmation

    David Richardson, Heidi and Arthur Ravenel

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 21

    Actionof Gods message that I had been

    looking for.~ David Richardson

    What a blessing it was to be part of the Healing Prayer Mission to

    India! Our team was wonderful,

    and it was especially meaningful

    to be on a mission with my

    husband, Arthur. It was a long

    trip over, flying to Newark,

    Delhi, and then Calcutta,

    where Trishikh Dasgupta,

    Bishop Duttas brilliant, young

    communications director,

    collected us for the three-hour

    drive to Durgapur. Trishikh

    organized all of our activities and

    accompanied us everywhere we

    went, attending to every detail

    and ensuring our comfort on

    many long journeys. He is also a

    wealth of knowledge and helped

    us to learn and understand a

    great deal about India.

    Calcutta is the capital of the state

    of West Bengal, and Durgapur

    is three hours north of there.

    The diocese of Durgapur is very

    large and extends north almost

    to Nepal; it is bordered on the

    east by Bangladesh. We traveled

    throughout the diocese by train

    and van, proclaimed the Gospel,

    taught healing prayer, and

    prayed with thousands of people

    at Festivals of Hope, organized

    by the diocese at rural churches.

    We ministered to Bengali people

    and to members of the Santhal

    tribe, so everything had to

    be translated into those two

    languages. The Santhal are one of

    the largest tribes in India and are

    indigenous to northern India and

    Nepal. There are more than two million Santhals in West Bengal,

    many of whom are Christian

    but still celebrate many of their

    tribal traditions in dance, music,

    greetings, and hunting. We were

    very blessed to be welcomed to

    their churches and to worship

    and pray with them.

    When we arrived near the

    church in Sarenga that was

    built with GIC funds from St.

    Michaels, we were greeted by

    parishioners singing, dancing,

    and drumming. The dancers

    formed a procession and led us

    towards the church, while others

    brought us flowers and showered

    us with marigold petals. They

    asked us to be seated, and then

    washed our feet as part of their

    traditional greeting. Afterwards,

    we dedicated their church, which

    was newly built by the diocese,

    and had lunch. In the afternoon

    and evening, the team did a

    series of preaching and teaching,

    and then we prayed with more

    than a thousand people.

    The translators told us their

    prayer requests, and we anointed

    them with oil, laid hands upon

    them, and prayed for them.

    What a privilege it was to pray

    with these precious people! And

    thanks to the Bible fund at St.

    Michaels, we were able to leave

    them with Bibles in their native

    Santali language.

    We spent that night at the nursing

    school that Bishop Dutta had

    established to serve the medical

    clinic in Sarenga. Young women come to the nursing school

    from villages in the area and

    receive four years of training,

    with the caveat that they must

    return to their villages after

    graduation and provide medical

    care there. They have wonderful

    opportunities for clinical

    experience at the hospital and are

    well qualified upon completion

    of their training. They also

    participate in community health outreach led by the missionary

    doctor husband and wife team

    who serve at the hospital.

    Our team was awed and amazed

    by the number of ministries that

    Bishop Dutta and his team have

    implemented in the Diocese of

    Durgapur. They serve so many

    people, no matter what their

    faith, and they give wonderful

    Christian education, preach the

    Gospel, and show the light and

    love of Christ to all in an area of

    darkness and great need. We were

    very humbled by the opportunity

    to minister alongside these amazing Christians.

    ~ Heidi Ravenel

    People want to go to big cities to minister. They dont want to

    come to this area, but the people

    are hungry. The India people

    are spiritual. They will come

    and pray. Bring them to Jesus!

    Bishop Dutta shared his hearts

    desire as we drove to Sarenga.

    Upon arrival, we celebrated

    with Khayerpahan Wesley

    congregation, who only a year ago sought for a replacement of

    their deteriorated mud church.

    We joined them in praise and

    prayers in their beautiful new

    church building.

    At the KSN Nursing Training

    School, we were warmly welcomed by the Director Mrs.

    Sangita Gorai and a hundred

    students. Hospitality abounds

    in India! Dr. and Dr. Bose,

    Indian Missionaries serving

    in the 150-bed hospital at the

    School, invited us to tea. He

    said hospital patients only pay

    30 cents for excellent care. Dr.

    Bose shared his hearts desires to

    teach basic health protocol to the

    surrounding villages.

    In April, Nepal was struck by an

    earthquake that killed thousands

    of people. Small mud houses in

    the northern most part of the

    Diocese of Durgapur crumbled.

    One night, we followed a trail

    by flashlight to a new bamboo

    and tin home, donated by St.

    Michaels. The team gathered

    in the small space and prayed

    Gods blessings upon the home

    and the family. A tiny cross is

    imbedded in the concrete wall, a

    reminder of Gods grace.

    Heidi Ravenel

  • 22 Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ

    Action In the village of Koonor, we prayed with more than a

    thousand people at the Festival

    of Hope! There were many

    testimonies given, thanking

    God for healing their bodies of

    disease, pain, and distress in

    various forms, such as stomach

    and digestive issues, acid

    reflux, back and neck pain, and body pain.

    During a Festival, I looked to

    my left and my right, checking

    on the team members. Everyone

    was praying for masses of

    people. Then, I looked in front of

    me and was overwhelmed by the

    view a sea of pain.

    We prayed with people with

    tuberculosis, leoprosy, a 15-year

    old with a brain tumor, a 9-year

    old with a stomach tumor, babies

    with fever in their mothers arms,

    barren women, and students

    who asked for prayers for their

    studies. (Note: If students do not

    pass their government exams,

    they cannot move up to the next

    level of study.)

    A teaching moment! After a

    morning teaching, each team member was paired with a

    pastor or translator and led to

    the shade of a tree where those in

    attendance could go to a prayer

    team and state their requests.

    A little boy about 7 years of

    age and two lay evangelists

    became part of my team. When a large crowd surrounded us,

    each one taking turns sitting in

    a plastic prayer chair, I sensed

    the Lord was directing me to

    instruct everyone in the laying

    on of hands. I invited everyone

    to touch the person receiving

    prayer. My little boy touched

    each person on the arm with the

    face of an angel as he silently

    prayed. I wish I had a photo to


    We met with about 34 Indian

    Lay Evangelists from the Indian

    Missionary Society who wanted

    our prayers of blessings! They

    serve under the authority of the

    Diocese of Durgapur.

    I left India with the knowledge

    that many foreign and Indian

    missionaries have gone before

    us and paved the way with

    their lives and with prayer. The

    Diocese of Durgapur is on fire

    with the passion to share Jesus

    Christ with everyone who will

    listen. Their leader, the Rev.

    Dr. Probal Kanto Dutta, serves

    under the headship of our Lord.

    Please pray for Pastor Amiya

    Das, Bishop Duttas Assistant,

    who will have heart surgery in January.

    Thank you, Intercessors and

    Financial Donors, for supporting

    the Third Healing Prayer Mission

    to India!

    ~ Jean Corbett

    We left Charleston on November 30, for the Diocese of Durgapur,

    West Bengal, India, and arrived

    December 2. We rested that

    evening and had breakfast the

    next morning at 5:30. The team

    traveled by van to Sarenga, where

    we dedicated a renovated church

    and parsonage, funded by St.

    Michaels, Charleston. Next, we

    drove to Khayerpuhari Wesley

    Church for the inauguration of a new church, again funded by

    St. Michaels, Charleston. In the

    afternoon, we held a Festival

    of Hope in a large field. The

    tent accommodated a portion

    of the more than one thousand

    people in attendance. We taught

    on Who is Jesus? The Team

    prayed for everyone. Many

    were healed of various diseases and ailments.

    Friday, we returned to the

    Diocesan compound and

    enjoyed a beautiful Christmas

    concert presented by the children

    of Diocesan Child Development

    Center in Durgapur.

    Saturday, we left at 6:00 a.m.,

    for the train to Malda (English

    Bazaar) which is about 300 miles

    north of Durgapur. We spent two

    nights in Malda Government

    Guest House.

    Sunday morning, we dedicated

    Shoglepara Church. Musicians,

    drummers, and dancers led

    the procession through the

    street lined with hundreds of

    children and adults showering

    us with flower petals. Village

    girls washed and anointed our

    feet a humbling event. After

    the dedication, we drove to

    the St. Michaels Safe House

    in Baldahara, for an afternoon

    Festival of Hope under a tent

    for teaching and prayers. We

    distributed Bibles to adults and

    children. Warm blankets were

    presented to children.

    Monday morning, we drove to

    Koonor and held a Festival of

    Hope for more than one thousand

    people. Everyone received

    laying on of hands and prayers

    for healing. The following day

    began with testimonies from

    many who had received a

    healing touch from the Lord. A

    pastor who was blind and led

    to the Festival the previous day

    testified that he could now see

    and did not need to be led. After

    the customary lunch of rice and

    dahl, we had another service for

    hundreds of people who were

    healed by the Lord.

    Wednesday morning, we

    returned to Durgapur by train.

    Thursday at 6:00 a.m., we headed

    out to Purulia for a Festival of

    Hope. People from three Villages

    filled the tent to overflowing.

    We witnessed God touching

    and healing physical, emotional,

    mental, and spiritual needs of

    the people.

    Friday we drove to Kolkata

    (Calcutta) for our flight to Delhi,

    then to Newark, and back to


    On this trip, we dedicated

    two new churches and one

    renovated church funded by

    St. Michaels Church. We saw

    the construction progress of

    the new Music Room for the

    Children; the Good Shepherd

    Eye Hospital Administration

    Room; and the new hostel for 25

    students at the Nurses Training

    Center in Sarenga. Through GIC and special generous

    Johnnie and Jean Corbett with Bp. Probal Dutta

  • Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ 23

    Action contributions, St. Michaels has

    made a significant impact on

    West Bengal.

    St. Michaels has funded:

    Six new church plants A Safe House for young girls

    (the youngest is 8 years of age)

    rescued from sex trade

    A hostel for 25 girls at Nurse Training College. The girls

    receive four years of training

    and return to their village

    where they may be the only medical resource for the

    community. Good Shepherd Eye Hospital

    and Administrative Office

    (The Government recognizes

    the hospital and requires an

    Administrative Office to be

    located on the premises.)

    Several hostels for boys and girls who came from slums.

    This gives them a safe place to

    study, learn, have recreation,

    and for some, a place to live.

    Distribution of 1000s of Bibles in tribal languages for children

    and adults.

    Thank you, St. Michaels, from

    the Diocese of Durgapur!

    ~ Johnnie Corbett

    India an assault to the senses! There is so much to see, so many

    colors, so much activity, so much

    noise! Then there is the driving

    at first it appears to be sheer

    chaos on the roads, but after a

    while you begin to understand

    the unwritten rules of the roads.

    Everything is on the roads

    trucks, vans, cars, scooters, and

    bikes. In the country, add ox

    carts, pedi cabs, dogs, goats, pigs,

    cows, chickens, and children.

    Thank you to our intercessors

    who prayed for us each day.

    Prayers worked! The size of the

    country is overwhelming, the

    number of people (1.2 billion) is overwhelming, and the need

    is overwhelming. But our God

    loves these people, and so do we.

    I am completely awed by the

    number of ministries the Diocese

    of Durgapur is involved in.

    It is as if Bishop Dutta sees a

    need and immediately finds a

    way to meet it. At the Diocesan

    compound, my small guest

    room was located at the far

    end of the recovery room of the

    Good Shepherd Eye Hospital. To

    get to my room, I walked past

    classrooms filled with children.

    Every day, numerous children

    would greet me as I walked to

    and fro. I was charmed. The

    children practiced their music

    in the courtyard, because they

    dont have a practice space yet.

    These are children from the area

    slums, and at this school, they

    are being given a good education

    and a chance at making a good

    life for themselves and their

    families. Our team had an

    opportunity one day to pray for

    all the patients awaiting their

    eye surgeries. We toured the eye

    hospital facilities and laid hands

    and prayed with each patient. A

    renowned eye surgeon donates

    his talent to help the least. In

    the past year, I have had three

    eye surgeries, so I was humbled

    to be able to pray with these precious people.

    At Sarenga, we stayed overnight

    at the Diocesan Nursing School.

    Right now, one hundred girls

    from the villages are enrolled in

    the four-year nursing program.

    The school is actually a hundred

    years old but had closed; the

    bishop reopened it when he

    came to Durgapur. The girls are

    given a good education and then

    return to their villages to provide

    medical services where none are

    currently available. Therefore, the nursing program serves not

    only the students but also their

    communities. St. Michaels GIC

    funds are building additional

    dormitory space so that the

    school can take on an additional

    twenty-five girls. My guest room

    was in the current girls dorm

    an old, retrofitted building with

    iron gates at the front door that

    are locked with a padlock at

    night. My morning was filled

    with the sound of girls as they

    got ready for school, such a

    sweet sound.

    We conducted our first Festival

    of Hope in Sarenga for over 1,000 people. The people of West

    Bengal love their festivals.

    There was praise and worship

    and singing and dancing. We

    did teaching and preaching,

    followed by our team laying

    hands on and praying with those

    1,000-plus precious people. They

    all wanted pra