The profile for the Episcopal Church of the Nativity has been compiled after much prayer and discussion with parish members, leaders, and friends of Nativity. The discerning aspect of this process allows us to carefully and thoughtfully consider all interested candidates. We feel a sense of excitement as we anticipate the vision God has for us in this new chapter of our life together as a faith community and we trust that someone is being prepared to accept our invitation to become Nativity's new rector. If you are interested and feel a calling to partner with Nativity, we want to hear from you.
We feel it is important to share with you the beauty of where we live and worship and to introduce to you some of the things that make our area special. The community of Boyne City is situated on Lake Charlevoix with the adjoining Boyne River running right through the city. Many natural and recreational areas surround Boyne City and include but are not limited to parks, nature preserves, trails (both motorized and non motorized) skiing and winter sports. A bike trail is nearly complete that will eventually link Boyne City with other trails throughout neighboring communities. Young State Park is located on Lake Charlevoix just a couple of miles outside of the city limits and Whiting, a county owned park, is located on the other side of the lake and is a popular stop for those seeking a more relaxed visit.
Boyne City boasts a K-12 public school and a charter school. There is a county owned bus that links Boyne City and neighboring comnmunities. A small medical center and free clinic are located within the city limits, as well as dental and veterinary services. McClaren Northern Michigan Hospital is just 17 miles away in Petoskey and Munson Charlevoix Area Hospital in Charlevoix is about the same distance. Nativity is fortunate to be located 1 block from the downtown area and directly adjacent to the Boyne City Public Library. We are within walking distance from surrounding neighborhoods.
The building of Nativity was originally Boyne City's first schoolhouse. Over the years, the building served as a many churches and, at one time, was a teen center. Dr. Walter Webber purchased the building for the purpose of starting a church. His intent was to name the church Grace in tribute to his mother Grace Fern Webber. Meanwhile, the Rev. James Hempstead of Emmanuel of Petoskey was charged by his bishop to establish a new congregation in Northern Michigan. Rev. Hempstead developed a committee and together he led a door-to-door survey to determine if there was enough interest in starting an Episcopal church. Initally, the first meeting was at the home of the Honorable Judge Harvey and Genevieve Varnum. In 1985, the Church of the Nativity was established and Nativity celebrated its first service on Christmas Eve in the home of the Varnums. Dr. Webber offered to lease the building to Nativity and eventually a purchase agreement was arranged. A plaque designates Nativity as listed on the Michigan Historic Register.
We are a small but welcoming congregaton, involved in our community, and recognize the great opportunity to be a witness for Christ. We are debt free and continue to operate within our annual budget. We are committed and have achieved meeting our annual apportionment to the Diocese of Western Michigan. For this we are truly grateful.
Mission & Outreach
Good Neighbors Food Pantry
2015 - Nativity parishioners have been involved in the formation of the Good Neighbors Food Pantry. Working closely with Manna, whose mission is to feed the hungry in Northern Michigan, the food pantry serves a growing need in Boyne City and surrounding areas. In addition, Nativity has offered up a piece of their property for a Pantry Garden which is scheduled to be planted in the spring of 2016. The garden will be cared for by parishioners, pantry and community volunteers. All produce harvested will be donated to the food pantry.
Nativity established the Helping Hands ministry to assist parishioners and friends in the community with needs such as rides to the grocery store, doctor's appointments and other needs. This ministry is funded by a monthly loose change offering
Assembled and distributed to friends in the community who Nativity wishes to remember at Thanksgiving time.
Boyne Area Community Christmas
Nativity participated in providing lunch for volunteers who were working as well as helping with collecting needed items.
Pajamas for Foster Children
Nativity has partnered with Faith Community Coalition for Foster Care and other area churches in providing pajamas for children between the ages of 4-16.
Faith in Practice - John and Wilma Tysse, Nativity Parishioners - For the past 12 years, the Tysses have been organizing volunteer teams on short term medical mission trips which serve the poor in Guatemala. Each year, more that 1,100 medical professionals and support personnel work beside 700 Guatemalan volunteers and see more than 25,000 patients annually.
In 2016 Nativity financially supported 6 community ministries and organizations. They are as follows: Boyne Area Deacon Fund, Hospital Chaplain Fund, Good Neighbors Food Pantry, Boyne City Free Clinic, Episcopal Relief and Development and Faith In Practice.