Sunday Morning Service
11:00 AM

336 East Aurora Avenue
Ironwood, Michigan

Newsletter for the Western Region April 12, 2011


If someone asked you what the main source of conflict in the home is, what would you answer? Money? Children? In-laws? You'd be wrong. I heard a news report this week that a recent study showed that the number one source of conflict in the home is clutter and messiness. Now, I thought they may have interviewed only families with teens, but I was mistaken. It seems that men and women have different ideas about what constitutes clutter and that is the source of the tension.

I haven't noticed any particular strife in my home, so I asked Peggy about it. She said she'd given up hope of ever getting me to put things away. I usually put things exactly where I want them. If Peggy puts things away, I won't be able to find them again. The conversation goes like this: "Hey, where's the widget?" "I put it away where it belongs." "Okay, where's that?"

And I noticed that every time I brought the subject up, the women in the group became indignant and angry with their partners, claiming, "See, it's not just me," while the men became defensive and attempted to change the subject. It occurs to me that presenting this reflection may provide an occasion for domestic strife.

As I thought about this, it occurred to me that one of the reasons folks may have clutter in their homes is because we have too much stuff. Stuff we don't need. One guy told me that every new project deserves a new tool. But wouldn't you eventually run out of space? I started wondering about all the stuff people have in their homes and I realized that most of the "guy stuff" ends up in the garage or the basement. I would like to have my toys up in the sunroom where the grandchildren are allowed to play, but I have to keep my stuff in the basement. Of course, if I had my stuff where the grandchildren were allowed to play, then they'd play with my stuff. So, maybe there's a good reason for keeping it out of reach of children. In the old days, guy stuff went in the barn. Most of the guy stuff, tools and such...things people today like to call 'toys' (I've often wondered why when you buy a pan for the kitchen it's called a utensil, but when you get a Skil saw for the workshop it's called a toy) these 'toys' generally have to do with a singular project. The project gets completed, and the stuff gets put away...eventually. For example, you make a coffee table and the tools get put away when you're done...admiring your handiwork. "Guy stuff" seems to be associated with building or construction; projects that have definite conclusions.

On the other hand, things that are normally associated with "homemaking" do not involve projects so much as Sisyphean tasks. I don't know anyone who ever considered sweeping or mopping as a hobby. So, I guess we shouldn't be surprised when the person doing the cleanup gets annoyed to have to move the widget again to clean under it or around it. I still don't understand why I need to put the suitcase away when we both know I'm going to use it again for my next another month.

Scripture Reflection

MPby Al Pieper
Matthew 21: 1- 11;
Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29;
Isaiah 50: 4-9a;
Psalm 31: 9-16;
Philippians 2:5-11;
Matthew 26: 14-27:66 or Matthew 27: 11-54

The lectionary for Palm/Passion Sunday is extraordinary in that there are at least two portions of the Gospel, two Psalms, a reading from Isaiah, and part of Paul's letter to the Philippians. The Rev. Michael Hopkins comments that there is a temptation not to preach on Palm Sunday as "The liturgy is its own sermon. Some say it is but, in many ways, it is a sermon too subtle for most of us to get. "

Also Craig Kocher the associate dean of the chapel and director of religious life at Duke University comments "A common mistake in preaching is tackling too much in 20 minutes, leaving the congregation drowning in content without clear focus."

I remember several years ago when Ruth and I attended and worked through a Preaching workshop given by Manuel Padilla at St. Mark's Church in Crystal Falls we encouraged to concentrate on one facet of the lectionary and develop a single idea trying not to cover the waterfront. That being the case I agree with Craig Kocher when he suggests that in preparation for the sermon you could do one of two things:

Preach a thematic sermon on the significance of this Sunday to the life of faith.

The second option is to focus on a few verses of scripture that draw out a particular element of the story, character, moment, or element of the passion narrative.

One could use the reading from Isaiah as either in the original meaning or as Matthew uses Isaiah, that is to say how Matthew sees Isaiah as predicting Jesus the Christ which may not be as the writer originally viewed the passage.

We could always use one of the two psalms as a basis of a sermon for the day, and we should not over look Paul's letter to the Philippians which has a tricky phrase "Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

With all these possibilities I would recommend a short sermon that is goes straight to the point.

Pre-Ordination Event in Marquette

May 20, 2011

The Women's Federated Clubhouse
Ridge & Front Streets, Marquette

This two-part event is open to members of the Diocese, and is free of charge.


A conversation with Katharine Jefferts Schori, Prsiding
Bishop, about our relationship with the wider Anglican
Communion, with its challenges and opportunities.

11:30 am - 12:15 pm Lunch

A conversation with Fredrica Harris Thompsett, Mary Wolfe Professor of Historical Theology and faculty emerita of Episcopal Divinity School, about the meaning and creative challenges of baptismal living today.

Space is limited and registration is required!

To register, call Jane Cisluycis at 800-236-0087
via email at:

Post-Ordination Reception Tickets


The ordination of Rayford J. Ray on May 21, 2011 is open to all. No reservation or RSVP is required to attend the Ordination Liturgy. However, we do need to know how many people will be attending the reception that follows the Ordination.

Each congregation is asked to report the total number of tickets (one per person) needed for all who wish to attend. Jane needs to know no later than May 16, 2011. There is no charge for the tickets.

For your group tickets, please download the attached form (click on the link below), detach the bottom portion and send it to the diocesan office at 131 E. Ridge Street, Marquette, MI 49855. You may also call Jane at the office: 800-236-0087 or email her at:

Post-Ordination Reception

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

Click the link below to download the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer


In This Issue
Pre-Ordination Event
Manuel's Schedule
Something To Think About
Scritpure Reflection
Reception Tickets
Remembering Our Troops

Military Casualties reported in Iraq and Afghanistan this week:

Spc Gary L. Nelson III, 20
Cpt Wesley J. Hinkley, 36
Sgt Jorge A. Scatliffe, 32
Ssgt Quadi S. Hudgins, 26
Ssgt Christian A. S. Garcia, 30
Ssgt Jason A. Rogers, 28
Smn Benjamin D. Rast, 23
Ssgt Jeremy D. Smith, 26
Sgt Scott H. Burgess, 32
Sgt Michael S. Lammerts, 26
L Cpl Harry Lew, 21
1Lt Robert F. Welch III, 26

Christ Church, Calumet
Wednesday - 7pm - Lenten Study
Sunday - 10am - Worship
St. Mark's,
Crystal Falls
Wednesday - 6pm - Lenten Soup and Video Study
Sunday - 9am - Eucharist
Trinity, Houghton
Sunday - 10am - Eucharist
St. John's,
Iron River

Sunday - 10am - Worship


Thursday - 1:30pm - MST
Sunday - 10am - Worship

Grace Church, Ishpeming
Wednesday - 7pm - Lenten Study
Sunday - 10am - Bible Study
- 11am - Eucharist

Ascension, Ontonagon


Manuel's Schedule

Apr 05 - Calumet - MST
Apr 06 - Ishpeming - MST
Apr 07 - Iron River - MST
Apr 10 - Crystal Falls, worship

Something To Think About

"Some people go through life trying to find out what the world holds for them only to find out too late that it's what they bring to the world that really counts."
--Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Tell Us What's Happening
If you have something going on in your congregation you would like to share or if you would like to offer a book review, please contact Manuel to get your news into the

On the Web
Link to our diocesan website:
Diocesan Facebook page!/pages/Marquette-MI/Episcopal-Diocese-of-Northern-Michigan/224886262563
Website for Transfiguration, Ironwood:

Website for St. John's, Iron River:  

Are you looking for sermon ideas, commentaries, or helps?  Check out

If you need a prepared sermon to read for the Sunday liturgy look at