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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Marian Devotion

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
12 October 2017

Tomorrow and Saturday we will celebrate our annual pilgrimage here at the American Protoshrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.  (“Protoshrine” indicates that this is the first shrine established in The Episcopal Church.)  The number of parishioners who participate in the pilgrimage is, of course, gratifying, but what of those who choose not to?  Perhaps this is because of a level of discomfort or lack of familiarity with Marian devotion, particularly for those who consider such devotion “too Catholic”.
Let’s look at the “credentials” that attach to devotion to the Blessèd Virgin Mary, even for the most proud Protestant, and even for that most “Catholic” prayer, the Hail Mary.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee:  The opening of the prayer echoes the words of the archangel Gabriel, as recorded at Luke 1.28.  In other words, this opening of the prayer in biblical, as is what follows immediately (Blessèd art thou among women, and is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus), which is taken from Luke 1.43.
Holy Mary:  “holy” means no more (and no less!) than “set aside for God”.  This echoes the Old Testament usage for what is dedicated to God (korban), and is used through the New Testament, including as a form of address (e.g., when Paul addresses the recipients of letters as “the holy ones” or “saints” in a given town).
Mother of God:  Mary is unquestionably the mother of Jesus Christ, who is God.  Unless we reject the testimony of scripture entirely, calling Mary “mother of God” is an exercise in stating fact.  This fact was also recognized in the pronouncement of the First Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), one of the first four ecumenical Church councils recognized by virtually all Christians, which declared Mary to be Theotokos (literally “God bearer”).
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.  In every celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we recognize our communion with the saints in heaven when we pray “Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven …”)  Asking Mary to pray for us (note that we do not pray to Mary, but ask her to pray) is, therefore, as natural as asking anyone in communion with us to pray for us.  We ask that she pray for us at all times, especially in our hour of greatest need, and we pray this in confidence because: (a) as an inhabitant of heaven Mary is timeless; and (b) we must in all prayer acknowledge our own need for prayer, for blessing.

Grace aboundsPlease thank: 
§  Bobbie May for the Sunday coffee hour.
§  Ben Dobey for gardening.

Special “Thank You’ s” :  A supply of Thank You note cards can be found on the table at the back of church nave.  When someone in the parish does something special, take the time to write them a personal note.  Also, from time to time, think about who you might want to thank for ongoing service, and let them know you have noticed!

Call for ContributionsIf you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshipers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.

Don’t forget “Something Extra for Grace”:  Supplemental giving envelopes can be found in pews.  If you want to give something extra, please use an envelope to ensure that you are credited.

Music this Week:          The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 23A)
                                       Organist:  R. Benjamin Dobey

Prelude      Chorale Partita onBlessed Jesus, we are here”
                                                                                       Johann Gottfried Walther
Entrance        518  “Christ is made the sure foundation, “          Westminster Abbey  
Offertory        645  “The King of love my shepherd is”                          St. Columba
Communion Motet   Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all                         Joseph Barnby
Communion   321   “My God, thy table now is spread,”                        Rockingham
Closing          544   “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun”                       Duke Street
Postlude              Fanfare; Galliard                                                Herbert Howells

Parish Notices

§  Adult Formation – How to be Holy: There will be no adult formation on Sunday, October 15, 2017.  Classes will resume October 22nd.
§  Third Quarter Pledge Statements: In order to save money on postage, please pick up your third quarter pledge statements from the table in the Narthex.
§  Coffee Hour: Thank you to all who have volunteered for coffee hour and all who have stepped in and made coffee and put out snacks. Some of the upcoming Sundays have been taken but we are still in need of more volunteers. The weeks that are open are 8:00am: 10/22, 11/19, 11/26, 12/24 & 12/31. For 10:15am: 10/29, 11/5, 12/10 12/24, & 12/31. If you can help please sign up on the sheet in the white binder on the Narthex table. Thank you so much.
§  Defibrillator Training: Grace Church has received a donated defibrillator. Judging by the response at the late service on Sept 30th, very few of us know how to use one. Who knows the day or the hour when we might need it? There are directions on the equipment, but reading them in an emergency would take up critical time.
§  We have contacted Pat Nicholaus, chief of the fire department EMS group to come and help us get acquainted with the defibrillator, and answer questions we might have. The training is scheduled for Saturday, November 4th at 9:45 in St Nicholas Hall. It will take about an hour.
§  While this is mainly intended for the ushers and vestry, ALL interested people are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please put this on your calendar!
§  Love INC Monthly Bulletin is now available online at:
§  Grace Notes is here: http://gracechurchgracenotes.blogspot.com/.  You can sign up to receive the blog every Thursday
§  Grace Abounds: http://www.graceabounds.online Sermons, podcasts, the Bible Challenge
§  Like Grace Church on Facebook: @gracesheboygan
§  We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!


          

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Subject and Object

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
5 October 2017

Whenever we are shocked by violence we grope for answers.  In the wake of the mass murder and mayhem in Las Vegas, news reports abound with speculation over the killer’s motives.  It is tempting, from a secular perspective, to speak of madness and psychopathy—a sane person does not fire into a crowd of human beings—but such an answer is too convenient in how it takes us off the hook for the broader problem of how the intersection of mental illness and acts of violence requires us to take seriously the identification and treatment of mental illness in ways which we have avoided.  It is tempting, from the perspective of faith, to speak of fallenness, and how evil “just is”, but a “just is” equation ignores that evil is the negation of/absence of good, and lacks any positive being.
As human beings we are each created in the image and likeness of God.  As those living in a fallen world we all cloud and shade this image with sin.  As a result, even when in faith we do strive “to seek and serve Christ in all persons” we may focus more on the clouding, the shading, and not come to know the person.  We may come to treat other people as objects, which, in secular thinking is one of the classic hallmarks of psychopathy, but which within faith is a sure symptom of negation, of sin.
In the sentence, “Karl handed the book to Elizabeth” I (Karl) am the subject of the verb.  I do the action of the verb.  The book is the direct object, and Elizabeth is the indirect object.  Every human being participates in the supreme Subject, that all being begins and is complete in God; that our humanness and capacity to act is a participation in the Subject.  But our society tempts us continually to treat fellow humans as objects.  The killer in Las Vegas, from whatever “motive”, looked through a gun sight and saw not people but objects, things.  In Christ we are called to, mandated to, equipped to, look upon every other human as a person, never an object; a person against whom violence is a violation of our own personhood.
By the grace of God the overwhelming majority of human beings have never looked through a gun sight and seen another human being, because there is never any reason to do so save the intention to loose destruction on this other person.  When this happens in warfare, the soldier must himself come to view the other as an object, as “the enemy”.  (Despite this, many soldiers come to be haunted by pulling that trigger!)  The very idea of pointing a firearm at another human being should horrify us, even if we allow for the extreme circumstances of warfare and defense against murderous attack.  But before we become too pious in our horror over such objectification of the other, let us examine our own consciences and pray about all of the ways in which we continually objectify each other.  Do I look upon another person and see a label, whether this be one of race, age, gender, class, origin, faith or lack thereof?  When I do, do I—by God’s grace—catch myself, and then strive to seek and serve Christ in that person?  If I don’t (when I don’t) may I, by God’s grace take a spiritual pause to recognize how objectification is contrary to God’s plan, and then pray that, by God’s grace, I may always encounter another subject (a person), and with this person encounter the supreme Subject, God with us.

A Prayer for the Human Family (BCP p. 815):

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Grace aboundsPlease thank: 
§  All who worked to make the Sunday coffee hours (Bob and Anne Hanlon) and stewardship luncheon such a success:  Ellen Aparicio, Mary Clabots, Katy Larson, Mary Snyder, JoAnn and Zach Sorenson, Mary Tasche, with cleanup by Sutton Cecil, Julie Davidson, Bobbie May, Elizabeth Schaffenburg and Mary Tasche.
§  Julie Davidson for janitorial help.
§  Ben Crouse for lawn care.  Ben Dobey and Bobbie May for gardening.

Special “Thank You’ s” :  A supply of Thank You note cards can be found on the table at the back of church nave.  When someone in the parish does something special, take the time to write them a personal note.  Also, from time to time, think about who you might want to thank for ongoing service, and let them know you have noticed!

Call for ContributionsIf you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshipers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.

Don’t forget “Something Extra for Grace”:  Supplemental giving envelopes can be found in pews.  If you want to give something extra, please use an envelope to ensure that you are credited.

Music this Week:          The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 22A)
                                       Organist:  R. Benjamin Dobey

Prelude                Jesu, dulcis memoria                                         Walford Davies Entrance                495  “Hail, thou once despised Jesus! “                            In Babilone
Offertory        448  “O love, how deep, how broad, how high”  Deus tuorum militum 
Communion Motet   Ave Verum Corpus                                                W. A. Mozart
Communion   313   “Let thy Blood in mercy poured”             Jesus, mein Zuversicht                                      
Closing          598   “Lord Christ, when first thou cam’st to earth     Mit Freuden zart
Postlude              Prelude and Fugue in F Minor                                J.K.F. Fischer


Parish Notices
§  Third Quarter Pledge Statements: In order to save money on postage, please pick up your third quarter pledge statements from the table in the Narthex.
§  Adult Formation – How to be Holy: There will be no adult formation next Sunday, October 15th. Classes will resume October 22nd.
§  Coffee Hour: Thank you to all who have volunteered for coffee hour and all who have stepped in and made coffee and put out snacks. Some of the upcoming Sundays have been taken but we are still in need of more volunteers. The weeks that are open are 8:00am:,10/15, 10/22, 11/19, and 11/26. For 10:15am: 10/29, 11/5, and 12/10. If you can help please sign up on the sheet in the white binder on the Narthex table. Thank you so much.
§  Walsingham Pilgrimage Music and Flowers: The Walsingham Pilgrimage is October 13th & 14th. Music will include the Gaudete Brass. As you are able, please donate so we can once again offer beautiful music that has become so much a part of the pilgrimage and the flowers that add so much to the beauty of holiness. Please make your check out to Grace Church with Walsingham music or flowers or both in the memo. Reservations are required for lunch - $20 per person and will be served at noon on Saturday October 14th. Please make your reservations by using the sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex or by calling Grace office at 452-9659.
§  Walsingham Volunteers Needed: There are many opportunities to help with hospitality for the Walsingham Pilgrimage. We will need volunteers to greet pilgrims as they arrive for both the quiet day on Friday as well as Saturday morning for the Solemn Mass and for the musical offering, healing prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. We will need help with the set-up of St. Nicholas Hall for lunch and especially for clean-up after lunch. Please sign-up on the sheet on the Narthex table.
§  Our Lady of Walsingham Pilgrimage
§  Friday, October 13, 2017 
§  Quiet Day of Prayer and Meditation.
    • 12:00pm Service for Noonday and Meditation
    • 3:00pm Service of Prayer and Meditation
    • 5:15pm Holy Rosary
    • 6:00pm Solemn Evensong and Meditation
    • The Meditations will be led by Ms. Adwoa Lewis-Wilson,
    • Episcopal laywoman active in Boston, Massachusetts and an Oblate of the Order of Julian of Norwich.
    • Solemn Evensong will include the choirs of the parish and of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, under the direction of The Rev. Fr. Alexander Prior, Director of Music at the Seminary
§  Saturday, October 14, 2017 
§  Pilgrimage
    • 10:30 am Solemn Pontifical Mass with procession of Our Lady
    • Celebrant is The Right Reverend Matthew A. Gunter,
    • Eighth Bishop of Fond du Lac.
    • The preacher is The Rev. Jeffrey Queen,Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky
    • Choral and organ music will include Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey Organist
    • and the Gaudete Brass Quartet of Chicago.
    • 12:00 pm Harvest Lunch. The cost is $20.00.
    • Please make reservations by October 7, 2016.
    • 2:00pm Anointing with Walsingham water and Healing Prayer,
    • musical offering, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
§  To register and for more information:  (920) 452-9659 office@gracesheboygan.com www.gracesheboygan.com
§  Paper Drive: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Plymouth is having a paper drive! Please bring in ONLY newspapers (inserts included). We cannot accept magazines or anything with a binding. A semi-trailer will be in the Plymouth Furniture parking lot, 2133 Eastern Av, Plymouth, the middle of October. Drop off times are Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00 – 6:00pm and Saturdays 9:00 – 4:00pm. Pickups can be arranged by calling Jesse Cortinaz at 920-464-0303.
§  Something Extra for Grace: Envelopes are available in the pews if you are moved to give an extra gift, beyond your pledge or regular plate donation, toward the life of the church. Gifts are tax deductible if you write your name on the envelope.
§  Love INC Monthly Bulletin is now available online at:
§  Grace Notes is here: http://gracechurchgracenotes.blogspot.com/.  You can sign up to receive the blog every Thursday
§  Grace Abounds: http://www.graceabounds.online Sermons, podcasts, the Bible Challenge
§  Like Grace Church on Facebook: @gracesheboygan
§  We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!


          

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Angels

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
28 September 2017

Tomorrow’s Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (Michaelmas) makes it timely to review what scripture reveals about angels.
The Greek word for angel (‘αγγελλος/angellos) means “messenger”.  Angels are supernatural created beings (not gods, Col. 1.16).  They are pure spirit (Heb. 1.7, 14), lacking any physical body.  As such, they can assume different forms (normally as a human being) to act as agents of God’s will, and are generally described with terms that refer to bright light, precious stones, and shining fire, i.e. as reflecting God’s glory (Dan. 10.5-6), and as dressed in white (Dan. 12.6).  Angels lack gender and transcend time (Mtt. 22.30ff.)  Their knowledge is superior to that of humans, but not unlimited (1 Pet. 1.12).  Their strength is greater than that of humans (2 Thess. 1.7), and they speak a language of their own (1 Cor. 13.1), but can speak to humans.
The Bible says there are seven ranks of angels.  These are angels, archangels, thrones, powers, dominions, cherubim and seraphim.  Lucifer was the highest seraph, i.e., the highest created being, before he fell, and he can appear disguised as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11.14).
The three archangels named in Scripture include Michael (the name means “Who is like God?”), the captain of the host of heaven, as described in Revelation, Gabriel (the name means “Messenger of God”), mentioned, e.g., in the Annunciation to Mary in Luke 1,  and Raphael (the name means “God has healed”), who is in The Book of Tobit.  Tobit is found in the Apocrypha in Protestant bibles.  This raises the issue of the fourth archangel, Uriel (“the light of God”).  Uriel is not found in the Bible, but in a deuterocanonical work of the Old Testament period, The Book of Enoch,  and is recognized in Judaism.  His name is invoked in the version of hymn 282 (“Christ, the fair glory”—an eighth century hymn) found in The English Hymnal, but not in our hymnal.  This may be because he was recognized by Pope Gregory the Great, who sermonized about the four archangels in the context of the four cardinal points of creation.
No archangel is thought to rank the others.  Michael is generally thought of first because of his being described as the captain of the army fighting Satan.  Note, as well, that the archangels are not the highest order, but the second lowest.  We have no names for any in the other orders, other than Lucifer/Satan.
In terms of angels who interact with us, the rank is not defined.  We think of them as ordinary angels, but remember that the word angel just means “messenger” (making Gabriel’s name rather redundant).  Angels have free will, with those in heaven choosing to obey God (Mtt. 6.10).  Angels worship Jesus Christ (Heb. 1.6).
Much outside of scripture has been written about angels.  This includes the writing of saints, but also a lot of speculation that can border on the deranged.  But before you dismiss the reality of angels, consider again that the word means “messenger”.  For God, nothing is impossible (Mtt. 19.26; Mk. 10.27; Lk. 18.27), so why should we question His ability to appoint any messenger?  Such messengers will normally be other humans given words for us, but we cannot dismiss the existence of supernatural beings without dismissing the supernatural.

Grace aboundsPlease thank: 
§  Mary Snyder for the Sunday coffee hours.
§  Mike Burg, Mary Snyder and Connie Stanley for the newcomers’ welcome reception.
§  Julie Davidson for janitorial help.
§  Paul Aparicio, Randie Barrows, Jim Gardner and Bryan Stenz for moving services for donated property.

Special “Thank You’ s” :  A supply of Thank You note cards can be found on the table at the back of church nave.  When someone in the parish does something special, take the time to write them a personal note.  Also, from time to time, think about who you might want to thank for ongoing service, and let them know you have noticed!

Call for ContributionsIf you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshipers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.

Don’t forget “Something Extra for Grace”:  Supplemental giving envelopes can be found in pews.  If you want to give something extra, please use an envelope to ensure that you are credited.

Music this Week:          The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 21A)
                                       Organist:  R. Benjamin Dobey

Prelude                         Prelude on “Malabar’ (“Strengthen for service, Lord”)
                                                                                                         Leo Sowerby
Offertory no. 435           “At the Name of Jesus”                              King’s Weston
Communion Motet        Thy perfect love                                             John Rutter
Comm. Hymn no. 564    “He who would valiant be”                           St. Dunstan’s
Postlude                        Toccata in G                                               Johann Speth

Parish Notices    
§  Stewardship Kick-Off Event:  After the 10:15 a.m. mass coffee hour on Sunday, a presentation will be given by the Stewardship Committee in addition to a meal of Italian cuisine prepared by the Hospitality Committee.
§  White Board Selfie Project.  Following Mass on Sunday, a member of the vestry will be present in St Nicholas Hall to take a photograph of each parishioner. We ask that you hold up a white board with a word or phrase you choose to express what you are passionate about at Grace Episcopal Church. This will be an ongoing project to help us discover connections and priorities amongst ourselves. 
§  Parish Directory: As you may know, a picture directory is ‘in the works’ for this fall. The first step is to get the written information up to date. A print out of what we have can be found on the table in the narthex. Please check your entry. Initial the entry if it is correct, or write in any corrections necessary. 
§  Coffee Hour: Thank you to all who have volunteered for coffee hour and all who have stepped in and made coffee and put out snacks. We do have a sign-up sheet in the white binder on the Narthex table. Some of the upcoming Sundays have been taken but we are still in need of more volunteers. The weeks that are open are 8:00am: 10/8,10/15. 10/22, 10/29, 11/12. 11/19, 11/26, 12/10, and 12/17. For 10:15am: 10/15, 10/29, 11/5, 12/3 and 12/10. If you can help please sign up on the sheet in the white binder on the Narthex table. Thank you so much.
§  As a community, are we really helping?  Love INC is sponsoring a community event and volunteer training.  The community event is entitled “The Defining Difference: Helping in Ways that Transform, based on the book Redemptive Compassion, by author, Love INC of Treasure Valley Executive Director, Lois Tupyi. This community event will take place at First Reformed Church, 927 Superior Avenue, Oostburg on Friday, October 6th 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Registration fee is $10 The following day, Saturday, October 7th volunteer training will be held, details of which can be found on the notice board in the narthex, and at  www.loveincsheboygancountry.org  For those of you who would like to attend, four free tickets are available by calling Grace Church office.
§  Walsingham Pilgrimage Music and Flowers: The Walsingham Pilgrimage is just around the corner and preparations are being made. Music will include the Gaudete Brass again this year. As you are able, please donate so we can once again offer beautiful music that has become so much a part of the pilgrimage and the flowers that add so much to the beauty of holiness. Please make your check out to Grace Church with Walsingham music or flowers or both in the memo. Reservations are required for lunch at a cost of $20 per person and will be served at noon on Saturday October 14th. Please make your reservations by using the sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex or by calling Grace office at 452-9659.
§  Walsingham Volunteers Needed: There are many opportunities to help with hospitality for the Walsingham Pilgrimage. We will need volunteers to greet pilgrims as they arrive for both the quiet day on Friday as well as Saturday morning for the Solemn Mass and for the musical offering, healing prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. We will need help with the set-up of St. Nicholas Hall for lunch and especially for clean-up after lunch. Please sign-up on the sheet on the Narthex table.
§  Walsingham Accommodation:  We need accommodations for 12 choir members from Nashotah House (eight men and two couples) for Friday, 13 October.  If you can take 1—2 choristers, please see the sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex. You will not need to provide dinner. (A light breakfast on Saturday, 14 October will be appreciated.)  You will need to provide pick-up and drop-off at the parish.
§  Our Lady of Walsingham Pilgrimage
§  Friday, October 13, 2017 - Quiet Day of Prayer and Meditation.
o   12:00pm Service for Noonday and Meditation
o   3:00pm Service of Prayer and Meditation
o   5:15pm Holy Rosary
o   6:00pm Solemn Evensong and Meditation
§  The Meditations will be led by Ms. Adowa Lewis-Wilson, Episcopal laywoman active in Boston, Massachusetts and an Oblate of the Order of Julian of Norwich.
Solemn Evensong will include the choirs of the parish and of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, under the direction of The Rev. Fr. Alexander Prior, Director of Music at the Seminary
§  Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Pilgrimage
§  10:30 am Solemn Pontifical Mass with procession of Our Lady.  Celebrant is The Right Reverend Matthew A. Gunter, Eighth Bishop of Fond du Lac.
§  The preacher is The Rev. Jeffrey Queen, Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky
§  Choral and organ music will include Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey Organist and the Gaudete Brass Quartet of Chicago.
§  12:00 pm Harvest Lunch. The cost is $20.00.
§  Please make reservations by October 7, 2016.
§  2:00pm Anointing with Walsingham water and Healing Prayer, musical offering, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
§  To register and for more information: (920) 452-9659,
office@gracesheboygan.com
www.gracesheboygan.com
§  Paper Drive: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Plymouth is having a paper drive! Please bring in ONLY newspapers (inserts included). We cannot accept magazines or anything with a binding. A semi-trailer will be in the Plymouth Furniture parking lot, 2133 Eastern Av, Plymouth, the month of September. Drop off times are Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00 – 6:00pm and Saturdays 9:00 – 4:00pm. Pickups can be arranged by calling Jesse Cortinaz at 920-464-0303.
§  Something Extra for Grace: Envelopes are available in the pews if you are moved to give an extra gift, beyond your pledge or regular plate donation, toward the life of the church. Gifts are tax deductible if you write your name on the envelope.
§  Love INC Monthly Bulletin is now available online at:
http://mailchi.mp/538d2add4a38/love-inc-monthly-bulletin-1109929.
§  Grace Notes is here: http://gracechurchgracenotes.blogspot.com/.  You can sign up to receive the blog every Thursday
§  Grace Abounds: http://www.graceabounds.online Sermons, podcasts, the Bible Challenge
§  Like Grace Church on Facebook: @gracesheboygan
§  We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!