Dear Family and Friends of St. Philip’s,
We arrived in Milwaukee about 10 pm last night. It is now 31 degrees. We expect a
major snow event tomorrow followed by some very cold weather. Sunday and Monday
mornings are expected to be around 2 degrees. I knew this before, but my decision to live in
Florida is once more confirmed. We live in paradise—especially when compared to this! May
Ruth and I plan to head south Monday morning and arrive home on Tuesday evening.
I hope you are enjoying a very good Christmas. One of the very best parts of Christmas
for May Ruth and me was in attending the Christmas Eve Service at St. Philip’s. The Church
was beautiful, and you couldn’t be with better people for worship! I thank Cedric and the Choir
for the beautiful music and singing. Porteh had never worked with me as Thurifer. We never
even had a rehearsal together. You could say in the Christmas service the two of us were great
minds that worked alike. Every time I needed incense, he anticipated my need and was there.
Amazing! I thank the altar guild, acolytes, lay eucharistic ministers, technology team, and
everyone else who helped make the service so special!
I felt that Percy Holder’s funeral on Tuesday went smoothly. Dorothy moves between
being emotionally upset and being okay. Trauma is a normal response to an abnormal event.
Percy’s sudden passing is such an event. Please keep praying for Dorothy. It is said that time is
a healer. That may be true, but there is a wounding here, and I have encouraged Dorothy to
honor that wound. It is right to grieve over the wound at any time whether it be today or ten
years from now.
Fr. Eric Kahl will be your supply priest this Sunday. I met Eric at the Diocesan Clergy
Conference last October. He has spent a lot of time in Tampa, so we had a good time talking
about the Diocese of Southwest Florida and some of the clergy we both know there. I think you
will enjoy him as your preacher and celebrant.
We will have a service at 6:30 pm this Thursday, the Feast of the Epiphany. I hope you
can come and celebrate with us the 12th day of Christmas Season.
In mentioning the 12 Days of Christmas, please check out the children and young
people’s Twelve Days of Christmas song as their Christmas offering to the parish. It is
wonderful! As I said last Sunday, it lasts about 7-8 minutes and is time better spent than
watching a football game! The graphics and script are superb. The actors and singers were
very special. I know I will forget to thanks some of those who put this together, but I thank
Linda Baker, Jackie Jones, and Dorothy Holder for their help.
I hope you have a great weekend and a happy New Year. May 2022 be meaningful,
prosperous, and healthy for St. Philip’s and for each of us. With my love and best wishes, I
Your brother in Christ,
P.S. Back in 1992 my younger daughter and middle child, Lydia, finished opening her presents
on Christmas morning. She was five years old. She crawled up onto my lap and said, “Papa, I
haven’t been a very good girl this year, but he brought the presents anyway!”