Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent, the start of the new Church year, and a new liturgical cycle (Year C) in which we’ll primarily be reading from the Gospel of Luke. The Advent Wreath will hang in our chancel, and we'll begin both services with the Great Litany. This Advent time is our opportunity to prepare for the Coming of Christ – both as the Christ Child at Christmas, and as the Savior and Judge of the universe in the fullness of God’s time. I hope and pray that this Advent will be a blessing to you; an opportunity to love and be loved by God more deeply, and to know the Truth of Christ’s Incarnation more fully. And Advent is a wonderful time to invite someone to come to Church with you, and to pray that those dear ones and neighbors in your life will come to know the peace and joy of Christ’s presence.
Please remember the Narnia film is this Saturday night! Here are the week’s announcements.
- Adopt-a-Family (Advent)
- Music/Flower Envelopes (Worship)
- Spiritual Direction (Christian Formation)
- Confirmation/Adult Inquirer’s Classes (Christian Formation)
Calendars and Meditation Books for Advent are available on the table in the Narthex:
- Advent Calendar Poster, Slow Down. Quiet. It’s Advent.
- Small Way of Love Advent Calendar
- Advent Meditation Booklets, O Wisdom: Advent Devotions on the Names of Jesus.
St. Nicholas Sunday, December 9 – What do St. Nicholas, Narnia, and Father Christmas have to do with each other? Come and find out from St. Nicholas himself when he visits us at the 10 am service! This is especially good for kids.
Adopt-a-Family – this is our annual program to provide needed items to struggling teens and ‘tweens, as identified by Union County Social Services. There is a board in the Narthex with envelopes containing the needed items. Please take one and return the gifts wrapped and labeled by 12/16. Questions? Speak to Jackie Sullivan. Thank you for helping make this family’s Christmas a little happier.
Flower Envelopes & Music Envelopes for Christmas flowers and decorations, or to contribute to Christmas Eve music when we have guest singers and instrumentalists, will be in the pews and on the table in the Narthex on Sunday. Please make sure you include the name (s) of those you would like remembered or for whom you are giving thanks with your gift. We need that information by 12/17.The envelopes can be put in the offering plate, or dropped off at the Parish Office.
Pageant of the Nativity – December 16 at 10 am. The children of the parish will help us prepare for Christmas by telling the story of Jesus’ birth in story, song, and tableau. There is one rehearsal at 9 am on 12/15. All parish children of any age are invited to play a part: angels, shepherds, readers, Mary, Joseph, Magi/Kings, birds and animals. Parents whose children are interested in participating should sign up by e-mailing the Parish Office.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION & SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
This Saturday! Narnia Movie Night-“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” December 1st, 5:30 pm in the Parish House Lower Room.
Everyone is invited for this wonderful family-friendly movie. Pizza and popcorn will be served. Please RSVP to let us know you are coming. Hope to see you there!
Advent Study – Wed., 10:15 am. During the season of Advent we’ll take a break from reading the Gospel of Mark and spend time in an Advent study based on the Way of Love materials. We’d love to have you join us. Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
Sisters Offer Spiritual Direction – Sr. Monica Clare and Sr. Deborah Francis (who worship with our 10 am congregation) are both trained spiritual directors and offer this ministry to anyone who would like to further explore and develop their relationship with God.
What is spiritual direction? "...it is the practice of being with people as they attempt to deepen their relationship with the Divine or to learn and grow in their own personal spirituality."(From Spiritual Directors International). It is not therapy or pastoral counseling, but is a ministry of accompaniment and listening – a safe place to speak about private spiritual matters and grow in the love and grace of God.
Sr. Deborah Francis was raised in a secular Jewish family in New York and became a Christian while in college. She joined the Community of St. John Baptist in 1988, and studied spiritual direction at General Theological Seminary.
Sr. Monica Clare is originally from Georgia where she was raised as a Baptist before becoming an Episcopalian while living and working in Los Angeles. She came to CSJB seven years ago. Her spiritual direction training was at the One Seminary, an inter-faith center in New York.
To contact either Sister, speak to them after the 10 am Sunday service, or by e-mail:
Sr. Deborah Francis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr. Monica Clare: email@example.com
Confirmation/Adult Inquirer Classes – Youth Confirmation Classes for students in Grades 8 & 9 (and older) will start in January, preparing for the rite of Confirmation by Bishop Hughes in May. Adults who have not been Confirmed or would like to be formally received into the Episcopal Church, or who have been away from the practice of their faith and would now like to make a renewed commitment, are invited to participate in an Adult Inquirer’s class which will begin in February, leading to Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation with the Bishop in May. Please contact Mother Vicki to indicate your interest. Details will be coming soon.
FUN & FUNDRAISING
ShopRite gift cards for your grocery purchases are available in $25 increments on Sundays during Coffee House or at the parish office. You pay face value and 5% goes to All Saints’ ministries. Please speak to Barbara Barbeau.
12/5 Advent Study Rath House 10:15 am
12/6 Communion & Healing Prayer Church 7:00 am
Junior Choir Choir Room 5:15 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room 7:30 pm.
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org
Advent Calendars are a way to thoughtfully, prayerfully prepare your heart and mind for the Coming of Christ (unless, of course, you are using a chocolate calendar!). Many of them have a door for each day, with a seasonal picture or Scripture verse behind it. Other Advent calendars (like those mentioned earlier in the e-letter) are printed with a thought, prayer, or action for each day.
This year, I’ll be sending out a word and accompanying photo for each day of Advent. This is connected to Advent Word, a global, on-line Advent calendar that everyone can participate in, add to, and enjoy. Here’s the link with more information: https://www.adventword.org/
Here is a link to a recording of “I look from afar” the traditional Matins Responsory for the First Sunday of Advent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_qtwOhu3C4
“I look from afar: and lo, I see the power of God coming, and a cloud covering the whole earth.
Go ye out to meet him and say: Art thou he that should come to rule thy people Israel?
High and low, rich and poor, one with another: go ye out to meet him and say:
Hear, O thou Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep: art thou he that should come?
Stir up thy strength and come to rule thy people Israel.
All glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Alleluia.”~ Matins Responsory