Thank you, again, for a great Sunday with Bishop Beckwith. In my follow-up phone call with him on Tuesday he commented again on the vitality of our worship, the fact that we genuinely enjoy and care for one another, the work we have done to be good stewards of our buildings, and our role and ministry as a center for the wider civic community. I saw the Bishop again today at a meeting and he mentioned to me how much his visit and worship with us has carried him through his week. “Well done, good and faithful servants!”
Friday and Saturday are our Diocesan Convention, meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Parsippany. Please pray for the work of our Diocese, our Bishop, and lay and clergy deputies. For more information about Convention, take a look here: http://www.dioceseofnewark.org/content/preview-141st-annual-diocesan-convention
Here are this week’s parish announcements and reflection pieces. Please take a look at them and note these particular items:
Annual Parish Meeting ~ see Events
Flower Minister Needed ~ see Christian Formation
Birthday Party for Charlie White ~ see Events
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper ~ see Christian Formation
Souper Bowl of Caring ~ see Helping Hands
And as always: if there is snow and/or ice on a Sunday, please check your e-mail in case there is a cancellation. You can also check the parish Facebook page, and listen to the church answering machine for an update.
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The Annual Parish Meeting will take place Sunday, Feb. 1 at 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. (Yes, we know it is Super Bowl Sunday) The Annual Report will be presented, Vestry members and Diocesan Deputies will be elected, and we will hear from our parish leadership, as well as have time for conversation about life at All Saints’ and God’s purposes for us. There will be child-care available during the meeting. Please put the date on your calendar. This is an important time in the life of our parish.
Charlie White is turning 90! Come to his party on February 8 at 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. We will have a birthday card for you to sign on 2/8 in the Narthex as you come into church. As part of our parish gift, we will be giving Charlie a gift card to Shop-Rite. If anyone would like to contribute to that card, please send/put in offering plate/drop through Rath House mail slot a check made out to All Saints’ with the notation “Charlie White.” Most importantly, please come to Charlie’s party and give him your birthday greetings!
Musikgarten Spring Semester Classes Starting on Feb. 4! There are two classes available: Family Music for Babies and Toddlers (Ages 0-3) on Wednesday, 11-11:30 am; and Piano Explorers (Ages 4-6), Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30 pm. Both classes meet in the Choir Room at All Saints’. The classes are offered in conjunction with Music in the Somerset Hills. For more information, please speak to Alison Siener Brown or go to the website http://musicsh.org/musikgarten/.
Valentine’s Boutique to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation Feb. 7, 10-5 pm in All Saints’ Parish House. Lynn Kaplan is offering costume jewelry and beautiful scarves from all over the world. Take a look!
Souper Bowl of Caring – on Sunday, Feb. 1 our Rite-13 class, along with teens all over the country, will collect canned goods or cash contributions for our food pantry. The amount of food collected will then be called in to a central national number so that we will know how much food was collected nation-wide. At a time when so many people gather with friends and family for parties, it is good to remember those who go without even the basics in life.
Girl Scout Cookies will be on sale Sunday in the upper hallway of the Parish House during Coffee Hour/Annual Meeting. Any Girl Scouts who want to participate in the sale should bring their cookie order sheet on Sunday and wear their uniform vest or sash. Thank you for supporting the Girl Scouts of our parish and community!
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Tuesday, February 17 from 5:30-7:15 pm (continuous servings). Cost is $5 per person (Kids under 3 eat free); maximum $20 per household; in the Lower Room of the Parish House. Pancakes, sausage, applesauce….yum! Come and join in this traditional meal that ends the Season after Epiphany before the start of Lent. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex so we know to count you in! And middle school/high school youth are asked to set tables, decorate the room, and serve the meal. Please put that in your calendar now.
Flower Minister Needed to deliver flowers from the altar to parishioners after Church on Sunday, once a month. This ministry brings hope and encouragement to people all year through. If you are interested, please speak to Mother Vicki.
Lenten Daily Devotions – Lent starts on February 18, and this year’s daily devotional is Good Lord, Deliver Us, a series of short meditations based on the Great Litany. It is written by the Revs. Len and Lindsay Freeman, who live in Minnesota, and with whom our Rector used to work! The booklets will be available by 2/15 and are free.
Lenten Reflection Book – Windows Into the Light, A Lenten Journey of Stories and Art, by Michael Sullivan (no, not our Mike Sullivan!). Each chapter “begins with a prayer or poetic excerpt, followed by scripture for the day or week. A narrative then expands on the themes introduced by the prayer and scripture. Exercises following the narratives are simple—mostly collage exercises using differing techniques.” We’ll also be able to discuss the questions on-line via the parish’s closed Facebook group. The books cost $18 for the print edition; or get it as an e-book version. Please see the sign-up sheet for further information.
Forward Day by Day - these devotional booklets, published quarterly, contain a brief passage of Scripture and a reflection for each day, as well as a few prayers. It is small enough to put in your pocket, purse or back pack. The booklets are free, and the new quarter’s edition is now available on the table in the Narthex, and in other spots around the parish campus. Check it out!
Parish Communications – Please remember to “like” our Facebook page, “All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Millington, NJ”! And if you take photos (phone camera photos are fine!) around church of activities, coffee hour, meetings, worship, etc. please share them by posting them to the Facebook page or e-mailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Women’s Book Group – has been cancelled for February, because of Ash Wednesday. It will resume on March18 at 7:30 pm in the Rath House. The book for discussion is Deep Down Dark: the Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free, by Héctor Tobar. Come for an evening of fellowship and learning.
February Retreat Days – two day retreats will be offered in February by Fr. Peters Krebs, S.T. of Sacred Thread Ministries. The dates are Friday, Feb. 20 & Saturday, Feb. 28 from 9:30 – 3:30 pm. The retreats will be held in the Lower Room of All Saints’ Parish House, and lunch is included. The topic for the retreats and the cost will be announced shortly. Watch for more info!
WORSHIP and MUSIC
Special Needs Worship - All God's Children Service, at 12 noon on the 3rd Sundays of the month. Designed for children and families with a range of special needs – including anyone who has a hard time sitting still! A 30-minute service, no segment is longer than 3 minutes each; optional Communion. Pass the word to friends and neighbors who can benefit from this. Our next All God’s Children Service is February 15. Contact Mother Vicki for details.
Ash Wednesday is February 18th. Services are scheduled for 9:30 am and 7:30 pm.
Child Care During Worship – Babies and toddlers are always welcome in Church, but sometimes they or their parents need a little break. Our Nursery is located in the Undercroft (lower level) of the Church and is staffed during the 10 am service. Our babysitters Jill and Ella look forward to playing with your children, as well as supervising them. If this would be helpful to your family, please check it out!
Scout Sunday, March 1, Save the Date! All Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and their leaders are welcome to worship with us March 1, 10 am as we celebrate Scout Sunday. All Saints' is the chartering organization for BSA Troop 56 and Cub Scout Pack 56.
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PARISH CALENDAR THIS WEEK
2/4 Bible Study 10:15 am, Rath House
2/5 HE & Breakfast 7:00 am, Church
Junior Choir 5:00 pm, Choir Room
Adult Choir 7:30 pm, Choir Room
And please check the calendar on our website for the full listing of groups and events in our buildings.
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For All the Saints – February 2, The Presentation of Our Lord
Today’s Feast is sometimes known as the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, sometimes as Candlemas. In the Eastern Church it has been called the Meeting of Christ with Simeon. Such a variety of names is sufficient testimony to the wealth of spiritual meaning that generations of Christians have discovered in this small incident.
The title, “The Presentation,” reminds us of the Jewish law (Exodus 13:2; 22:29) that every firstborn son had to be dedicated to God in memory of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt, when the firstborn sons of the Egyptians died and those of Israel were spared.
When Mary placed her small son into the arms of Simeon, it was the meeting of the Old and New Dispensations. The old sacrifices, the burnt offerings and oblations, were done away; a new and perfect offering had come into the temple. God had provided himself a lamb for the burnt-offering (Genesis 22:8), his only Son. The offering was to be made once for all on the cross. At every Eucharist those who are in Christ recall that sinless offering and unite “themselves, their souls and bodies” with the self-oblation of their Lord and Savior. ~ Lesser Feasts and Fasts
Question for reflection: Where do you meet Christ in your daily life? And what do you offer to God?
We know the Song of Simeon as the Nunc dimittis (Latin for “Now dismiss…), Luke 2:29-32. It is the canticle that it sung at Evensong, and recited at Compline. And here is a setting of it by C.V. Stanford, sung by the Choir of Guilford Cathedral: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EduJBZ6vOBQ
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word;
for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
which thou hast prepared before the face of all people,
to be a light to lighten the Gentiles,
and to be the glory of thy people Israel.