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May 2016 ~ St. Sebastian's by-the-Sea Newsletter

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Have you ever noticed what a busy month May has become? Most begin to think about the celebration of Mother’s Day. We stop by the Hallmark Card rack and look for that special card that expresses how much mothers are appreciated. Some men will stop by their local florist to brighten up the loved one’s day with flowers. Children will seek out something special to send to Mom as a thank you for being their through thick and thin. It is a time to celebrate.

The Sunday following, we will celebrate as Christians the birthday of the church in the Feast of Pentecost. This serves to remind Christians everywhere that God sent the counselor, the Holy Spirit to be with us always. His promise was never to leave us alone as the Spirit reminds us that God’s love shines on. On this day, God sends a gift to all who believe in Him. We have good reason to celebrate on this Sunday. Many will wear red to remind all that the Holy Spirit came upon us as the church was formed and the family of God had a place to gather and worship.

What are your plans for this month? Will you think about getting the pool ready for the summer or turn over the weeds so you can begin to plant a new crop for the season. Do you plan to say goodbye to neighbors who will return to their “northern” homes and share to love of God with others they left behind for the winter months? Maybe you will sit down as a family and begin to plan your summer vacation. Whatever your plans are, know that God will be with you. His promise is that he will never leave us alone.

I pray that all of you have a great summer, that you get to do the things you want as you find rest and relaxation in your lives. Please note that the church is always looking for people to use their gifts as we use these upcoming months to improve the campus and prepare for our fall season. You will hear more from our Junior Warden as he solicits help in the upcoming months. If you are going to be around, I pray that you will consider taking some of your time and talent and use it in the church. God bless you and remain safe in the months ahead.


Fr. Norman†


On Sunday, April 22nd, Ruth Chapter was very happy and grateful to be able to mark their 3rd anniversary of being re-instituted as a chapter.

We give thanks and praise to Our Father for all His blessings on our chapter and on St. Sebastian’s by-the-Sea. We offer our prayers for everyone at St. Sebastian’s and welcome all prayer requests.


Our next luncheon is Tuesday, May 10th, at 11:30 am. All are invited to join us at the Dustins Bar-B-Q, 411 N Wickham Road. The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall. See you there!


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Which books of the Bible include an account of Jesus’ ascension?

A. Luke and Acts
B. Matthew and Luke
C. Mark and John
D. All four gospels

Answer after birthdays


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Our Women’s Book Club has now been going strong for 4 years and it has been an enlightening experience. We are excited to welcome two new members, Deb List and Gail Picking. It is always wonderful to have some new insight and thoughts about the books we read. The book for May is Jane Eyre. The book club will be held on May 21 from noon – 2PM and Debbie Hopkins will be our host. Please bring a bag lunch and drinks and dessert will be provided. RSVP to Debbie so she knows how many to expect. Also start researching for your next book pick and we will talk about them at the May meeting. 

The Book Club will also be hosting a special event in August that will be open to the whole church. Watch the June newsletter for more details!


Chrismons proclaim our Lord Jesus Christ through the use of symbols. These are the decorations that adorn our tree at Saint Sebastian’s every Christmas. “Chrismon” is a combination of parts of two words: CHRISt and MONogram. A Chrismon is just that --- a monogram of Christ. All of the Chrismons are made in either white or gold or in a combination of the two colors. White, the Liturgical color for Christmas, suggests the innocence, purity, and perfection of our Savior. Scripture often uses white to portray purity and equates it with Light to donate completeness. Gold, as a symbol for the glory and majesty of God and the Son of God, is also derived from Biblical usage. (Information from “Chrismons, Basic Series”, by Frances Kipps Spencer)

Join us on Saturday, June 4 to hear more about the history of Chrismons and learn how to make Chrismons for your own use. The workshop will begin at 9:30 am in Smodell Hall and is open to all women, men and young adults. A sign-up sheet can be found in Smodell Hall. Registration is important so we can insure we have ample supplies and patterns. A small donation to help defray costs would be appreciated. Instruction will be provided by our own and very talented Jim Boyd. The workshop is being sponsored by the ECW of St. Sebastian’s.


As many of you know, I will be on the next Kairos Ministry’s weekend, 5/19-22. We have been preparing for several weeks, and we will continue to prepare until the day we enter the gates. Our team is coming together with 7 Clergy and a total of around 50 men.

There are more than enough applicants for the weekend from the prison. The Prison Chaplin is reaching out to those who are leaders of the inmates in the dorms so that they can take Christ back to where the inmates live. We will see 42 hardened criminals turn to Christ, and know that the recidivism rate for those who attend will be less than half of that of the general prison population.  

History indicates that we need 800 dozen cookies, about $5500 to $6000 and 400 yards of prayer chain to be Christ’s ambassadors inside the razor wire for those 3 days.

I have found that the people of St. Sebastian’s have been very gracious in their support for Kairos over the past 2 years and I am finding that the desire to support is just as strong for this weekend.

I know that visiting the prisoners is not something that many of us are called to, but you become a part of the ministry when you support those who do.

I think of the scripture found in Matthew 25:39-40 which says in Jesus's words: “39 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'…”, I think of you all who have a presence there by sending your Agape Love to the inmates.

Thank you for your support for the past and for the weekend to be held on 5/19-22.

In Christ,
Walt Koenig


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The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of St. Sebastian’s By-The-Sea supports Miles of Pennies (MOP), which provides free Christian literature to needy children worldwide. The MOP also designates grants to allow for the distribution of recycled children’s books. Please consider dropping your spare change into the collection jar located in Smodell Hall this month, as the ECW will be submitting our church family’s annual contribution to the diocese in early June. Your donation to this valuable effort is appreciated.


Our building and grounds are more than just a place to come together to worship and have fellowship activities. Standing as we are on Oak Street, we are a witness to the community of God’s presence in our lives and in the community. The external appearance of the grounds and building is an indication of who and what we are and whether someone might want to stop in and see what is happening here. In the same way, the appearance of the interior also speaks of our health as a congregation and can influence a visitor to come back again. Therefore, maintenance of our facilities is an important part of our mission. There have been great improvements made over the last few years, culminating in the driveway repaving last fall. Many persons have worked hard to bring us to where we are today, and I am asking for the assistance of anyone who might be able to perform some maintenance and repair tasks to help keep things going well. Below is a list of jobs that need to be done. Some are rather minor, and others require study and some expertise. However, I will assist as needed in any task.
  • Repair roof and rear wall of church to stop leaking. This may involve painting the rear wall with an elastomeric coating to seal the stucco.
  • Repair or replace the exhaust fan in the Men’s room in Smodell Hall. This is a larger fan in the attic.
  • Repair or replace the exhaust fan in the old kitchen.
  • Fix outside light by door to old social hall.
  • Fix three-way switch in hall outside chapel.
  • Repair or replace florescent light fixture in the hallway outside the Ladies’ room in the old building.
  • Install new piping to sprinkler pump with removable joints.
  • Survey all lawn sprinklers and repair or replace broken sprinklers.
  • Repair hole in classroom wall from door knob.
  • Paint panels at bottom of way in outside porch leading to the chapel.
  • Replace rotted molding at double door by choir room.
  • Patch Priest’s Sacristy door and door jamb where deadbolt was removed.
  • Investigate hot water heater for rest rooms in old building as to why it is not working. Drain and flush heater and do what is needed for it to heat water.
  • Investigate having hot water in sexton’s utility sink. The hot water pipe is there, but not connected to the sink.
  • Investigate all doors to see that they open and latch smoothly.
  • Refinish pews and replace upholstery. This is a longer-term project that will include disassembling the pews for refinishing and replacing the upholstery. With a few volunteers who are able to work on it for a few hours every week, we should have the nave shining and bright in time for Christmas!
  • Renovate old hall, rest rooms, and hallways in old building. This is also a longer-range task that will require many hands. Immediate needs include repainting and replacement of the drop-ceiling panels. However, we should take a broader look at the spaces, their current and future use, and see what we can do to give it all an up-to-date look.
In addition, we are forming a landscaping committee that will develop mid-term and long-range plans for improving the overall looks of our grounds.  Major issues include replacement of our sign, straightening the lighted brick posts at the entry to the driveways, but also adding bushes, flower beds, and other landscaping features. All of the work will not be accomplished immediately, but we should have a plan so that when opportunities arise, we will be ready to act in a coordinated fashion.

There is a lot of work to be done, but taking it one job at a time, we can work together to shorten the list. If you are willing to help out in any way, please email or call the Junior Warden, Bob Sielski at or telephone 321-220-0829.


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Brandon Lane, and the rest of the men’s tennis team at Reinhardt University, captured the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship on April 17th in Chattanooga, TN. Keep Brandon, and his teammates, in your prayers as they compete for the NAIA National Championship in Mobile, AL the week of May 16 – 21.


SFCR will hold its final weekend retreat for the 17 participants of our Personal Spiritual Deepening Program on May 14th at the Koenig home. This program has been ongoing since October meeting once a month to learn more deeply how to listen to Holy Spirit's work in our lives. Our participants include hospice chaplains, clergy, lay ministry and spiritual directors from many faiths. We are hopeful that we have enough interest to offer this again.
Our last Taize evening will be on May 9th at 7:15 PM in the chapel. We are most grateful to Debbie Bruckart who has led us in song with guitar since our inception 10 years ago. We will resume again in Sept. Always the 2nd Monday.
New book: Fr. Matt Linn, SJ has yet another book just published in April. It will be available on ebook on May 1st from Amazon and we will have hard copies for purchase at SFCR for $16.95. Fr. Matt has been on our Board for many years. He has written (with his brother and sister in law) over 20 books on healing. This one is titled "Near Death Experiences: News From Home". It includes the story of Dr. Jay Olsson from Holy Trinity Melbourne.
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1st - Eddie & Teddy Chandler
10th - William & Sheila Howard
17th - Kirk & Lisa Johnson
18th - Fred & Vivian Ritter
23rd - Doug & Sandy Burger
31st - Fr. Norman & Barbara Desrosiers


3rd - Polly Burchfield
10th - Stephen Bennett
10th - Mike Coles
15th - Ilona Hindsley
18th - Frank Thomas
22nd - Tonya Stempien
23rd - Jessica Blumberg
27th - Sharon Belsten

Answer to Bible Quiz: A (See Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:9)


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The church office is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 AM – 1 PM.
Phone number - (321) 723-3015, Fax - (321) 723-0009
Email -
Office -
Web site:
In case of emergency, you may call:
Priest: Fr. Norman Desrosiers – 321-243-4815 (cell)
Deacon George – 723-0069 (home); 890-6712 (cell)