Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Whether you gather with family or with friends, travel or stay at home, I pray that you take some time to consider the blessings God has given you – most of all, the blessings of faith and of life.
This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent – and we will start with the Great Litany at both services – a “cleansing of the spiritual palate” as we begin the new liturgical year. There is Sunday School at the 10 am service. I hope you can be here and start the season and the year preparing for the coming of Christ as the Baby of Bethlehem and the Lord and Judge of the Universe.
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Please take a look at this week’s announcements, especially:
- Thanksgiving Day (Worship)
- Adopt-a-Family (Outreach)
- Annual Pledge Commitment (Stewardship)
- Advent Quiet Evening and Reflection Materials (Christian Formation)
- Mother Vicki’s 25th Ordination Anniversary (Worship)
- Winter Weather Alerts (Worship)
25th Ordination Anniversary, December 8. Join us to celebrate Mother Vicki’s anniversary at the 10 am service. It will be followed be a pot-luck lunch in the Parish Hall. We hope you can be part of the celebration on that day.
St. Nicholas Sunday – December 8: St Nicholas will visit our Parish House during the party after Mother Vicki's 25th Ordination Anniversary at the 10 am service. Party starts about 11:15 am. Oranges and chocolates for all!
Thanksgiving Day worship this week, Nov. 28 is at 10 am. A simple, warm service of Communion and hymns. Come and give thanks to God for all your blessings before you get on the road or put your turkey in the oven.
Greening of the Church after the 10 am service on Dec. 22 Come and help get the Church ready for our Christmas celebrations! There will be an opportunity to sing Christmas hymns and carols, as well.
Christmas Music & Christmas Flowers – envelopes to contribute for flowers and guest musicians at Christmas 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 12/19. The envelopes can be put in the offering plate, or dropped off at the Parish Office.
Children’s Nativity Pageant - 12/15 at 10 am: This is All Saints' traditional (and simple) telling of the birth of Jesus. We need kids to be Mary & Joseph, Gabriel, Kings/Magi, Shepherds, Angels, two older kids to be narrators, and the littlest ones can be animals. This does require a rehearsal. The main rehearsal is on Saturday, 12/14 at 9 am. There will be an additional/alternate rehearsal on Thursday 12/12 at 5:15 pm, if you can't make the Saturday. If neither rehearsal time is possible for your family, please speak with me about how else your child can participate - we don't want to leave anyone out! RSVP is required and essential; thank you!
Family Choir for Christmas Eve 4:30 pm Service - this is an opportunity for kids and adults to sing together on Christmas Eve (and it helps lead our congregation and visitors). Rehearsal for Family Choir is Sunday, 12/22, 11:30 am-12:30 pm in the choir room. On Christmas Eve the Choir should arrive at 3:45 pm to warm up and runt through the anthem again. Please RSVP to Alison Siener Brown (Director of Music) at email@example.com.
Christmas Eve Children's Procession to the Creche - kids are invited to carry Nativity figures to the Creche Table during the opening hymn of the 4:30 pm service, before going to sit with their families. If kids are singing with Family Choir they can participate in this! Kids should gather in the Narthex (lobby) at 4:20 to receive instructions and line up.
Winter Weather – with the snow season coming on, alerts will be sent out via e-mail by 6:30 Sunday morning and posted on the parish website if snow or ice will cause a cancellation of either the early service or both services. Safety of driving and walking are always our first concern. If all services are cancelled, Mother Vicki will hold a Facebook Live Morning Prayer at 10 am.
This Week! Advent Quiet Evening: Wed., Dec. 4. This will be a mini-retreat in the midst of the December hustle and bustle; time to catch your breath and prepare your heart for Christmas. It will be led by the Rev. Shawn Carty in the Lower Room of the Parish House. Soup & Bread Supper, 6:30 pm; Reflection, Discussion, and Compline, 7:00-8:30 pm. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
Advent Resources are available in the Narthex:
- Advent Calendar Poster - large Advent Calendar posters are available for free in the Narthex of the Church. They are great to put on your wall or fridge door at home and color in each day. Advent starts Dec. 1 this year.
- A Way to the Manger daily devotional
- Various short pamphlets for reflection in the tract rack on the bulletins table.
Bible Study meets this week, Wed. 12/4 at 10:15 am in the Rath House. We’ll discuss Revelation, Chapter 12. Come learn more about the Bible and its connection to our lives. Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
Adopt-a-Family – this is our annual program to provide needed items to struggling teens and ‘tweens, and a displaced family 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 12/8. Also, there will be a “wishing well” in the Narthex for small household kitchen items like sponges, vegetable peeler, spatulas, etc. for the family. Questions? Speak to Jackie Sullivan.
Annual Pledge Campaign for 2020: Building a Joyful Community – We are trying to wrap up our pledge campaign and still have a number of folks we have not heard from. If you need a pledge commitment form, please ask for one. You can even send your pledge in by e-mail, if that is more convenient. Thank you for being part of God’s mission here at All Saints’!
See the full listing of events at the Community of St. John Baptist at the end of this e-letter.
12/2 Adult Choir Rehearsal Choir Room, 7:30 pm
12/4 Bible Study Rath House, 10:15 am
Advent Quiet Evening PH Lower Room, 6:30 pm
12/5 Eucharist & Healing Prayer Church, 7:00 am
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.
~ A General Thanksgiving, BCP p. 836
CONVENT CORNER – continued
Fall Associates’ retreat:
From Commotion to Contemplation
Saturday November 23 2019 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
At the Convent
Leader: Sister Josita Marks, SCC - Sisters of Christian Charity https://scceast.org
Topic: “From Commotion to Contemplation.”
RSVP to Sr. Eleanor Francis 973-543-4641 ex.3 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Sister Eleanor Francis if you're interested in becoming a CSJB Associate.
Cultivating Compassion for the Environment
Sunday December 1, 2019
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
At the Retreat House
Compassion is a core belief in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. How do our traditions define compassion? How are we told to behave in order to live a life of compassion for ourselves and others? We will explore texts, stories and historical examples from our faith traditions that teach compassion and discuss how contemporary society presents challenges to us as we try to live a life of compassion. Join Sister Eleanor Francis, Rabbi Debra Smith and Dr. Shabiha Sheikh for an intriguing text study and discussion.
Contact Rabbi Debra Smith at email@example.com
Or Sister Eleanor Francis at 973-543-4641 x3 firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE HARMONIUM OUTREACH CHORUS
Sunday December 1, 2019
4:00 PM At the Convent - Main Chapel
Conductor: Dr. Anne Matlack
Discover new female composers, songs about peace, works of Marian devotion, some Christmas wassail carols, and spirituals in this delightful presentation.
Contact Sister Pamela at email@example.com Or call at 973-543-4641 x9
ADMISSION - any voluntary donation. All proceeds benefit our Capital Campaign to replace our 100+ year old roof at the Retreat House.
The Epiphany Party!
Sunday January 5, 2020
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM At the Convent
This event is for old and new friends of the Community. Enjoy an evening of music and fellowship with the Sisters.
Vespers and Reception of Associates 4 p.m. Informal Supper and Hymn Sing at 5. Come when you can! RSVP to Sr. Eleanor Francis 973-543-4641 ex.3 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celtic Journeys: Spring Retreat on Holy Island (Lindisfarne)
February 21-February 29, 2020
Steeped in history going back as far as the Saxon period, many well-known saints were associated with Lindisfarne, the island almost taking on an aura of its own (Aidan, Cuthbert, King Oswald, the Lindisfarne Gospels!). Lindisfarne is famous internationally for its medieval religious heritage, its picturesque 16th century castle, and for its wildlife. But many are simply attracted to the peace and tranquility which pervades this very special island.
For more information, contact Sister Margo Elizabeth:
Phone:973 543 4641 ext 4 Email: email@example.com www.celticjourneys.org/lindisfarne
Celtic Journeys: Ireland
May 20-May 31, 2020
From the ruggedness of Connemara to the spectacular seascapes of the Dingle Peninsula, from the buzz of Dublin to the silence of the Wicklow Mountains... Ireland is truly a magical land, filled with wonderment and delight. And the traditional music is truly the soul of this special country. We hope you can join us!
For more information, contact Sister Margo Elizabeth:
Phone:973 543 4641 ext 4 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.celticjourneys.org/ireland