5 Oct

All the Saints, All the Time

We are a month away from the “real” All Saints Day, Nov. 1, so it is a good time to remind everyone of women you would like to remember in a special way at that time.  Saints don’t have to be living in the church triumphant; they can still be here as part of the church militant.  But typically we remember those deceased people that we shared life with as recently as last All Saints Day.  Think of those people whom you have loved and no longer see.  Is there a woman or two who you would like to remember in our newsletter so that others could share in your loss and your celebration of their life?

Barbara and John Schnorrenberg have given a generous gift to EWHP in memory of The Rev. Dr. Mary Marguerite Kohn and Ms. Brenda Brewington who were shot and killed in the parish office of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ellicot City, Maryland, in May of 2012.  Mary Marguerite was co-rector of the church and Brenda Brewington was the parish secretary.  They were shot by a homeless man who was a frequent user of the food pantry services of the church.  He had been told that he had used up his food allotments according to food pantry policy and he became angry.

A homeless man with a history of mental health issues who has a gun is a victim also, a victim of a society that does not know how to care sufficiently for those with special needs.  He was found dead in a nearby woods.  We sometimes think that martyrs for the faith occurred only in times long ago or in far away less civilized places.  We tend to think that church work of any kind is a pretty safe occupation and that a church building is a fairly safe place to be.  Sometimes it is not.

This tragedy will hopefully make us all think of how connected we are to all of our brothers and sisters, no matter their situation.  We join Barbara and John and their daughter who is a member of St. Peter’s, all the parishioners, and especially Mary Marguerite and Brenda’s families in remembering them this All Saints Day.  Light a candle for them wherever you are.

I hope that others you want to remember may have had more peaceful deaths and longer lives.  Whoever they are, please share a bit about them, a picture if possible, and send their story and picture to me electronically at b.schlachter@mchsi.com.  You can mail a donation made out to EWHP to me also at 7 Glenview Knoll NE , Iowa City, IA 52240.

Here is a living saint I choose to remember this year:  Her name is Leslee Sandberg, and she lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  I honor her for her ministry as Jubilee Officer in the Diocese of Iowa, a position she held for 11 years before stepping down recently.

During that time, the floods of 2008 made one quarter of the population of Cedar Rapids homeless.  The next year the Diocesan Jubilee officers from all over the Episcopal Church met at Leslee’s invitation at Christ Church, Cedar Rapids, to work in flood recovery and strengthen their expertise and commitment to Jubilee Ministry.

Leslee also headed up Jubilee  Ministry at Christ Church for over 15 years.  She has stepped down from both of these positions but is still passionate about Jubilee Ministries, especially Reading Camp. During her years of service she has inspired many parishes and other programs to become Jubilee Centers.   Jubilee Ministries serve the poor, seeking a balance between charity and justice.  Advocacy is an important part of its mission. I honor her as a witness to compassion and empowerment.

Let us hear about your saints.  Remember that all donations go to help fund the grants that EWHP gives to individuals and groups working on projects or papers related to women’s history.

Peace and Joy

Barbara Schlachter, All the Saints, All the Time  Appeal Chair

EWHP Board member Rev. Barbara Schlachter retired recently after 35 years in parish ministry, and was the first woman ordained in Westchester County, New York. Her current passion (aside from women’s history) is the Iowa City Climate Advocates and Citizens Climate Lobby.

So, what do you think?