Advent is well underway, and there are many ways to prepare for the coming of Christ. This Sunday we will be reminded of the spiritual nature of gift-giving by our visit from St. Nicholas at the end of the 10 am service. Whatever we can do to help those around us in need is a sharing of God’s love for us. And, in the midst of all the business and bustle of December, if you can take some quiet Advent time for reflection that will feed your soul After all, as we wait with the stars and planets of deep space for the coming of Christ we have all the time in the world.
+ + + + + + +
St. Nicholas Sunday will be celebrated this Sunday December 8, at the 10 am service. St. Nicholas is an Advent saint who helps us remember that our Christmas gift-giving is to honor Christ, and that our assistance to the poor and needy is an expression of God’s love and compassion. At the end of the service (10:50) the youngest children will join the rest of the congregation in Church to wait for a visit from St. Nicholas.
Pageant of the Nativity – Sunday, December 22 at 10 am. All parish children (as young as age 3) are invited to participate. There is one rehearsal on 12/21 at 9 am, and no one needs to memorize any lines. Please sign –up your children to participate on the sheet in the Narthex, or e-mail the Parish Office.
All God’s Children, December 15, our monthly service for special needs kids and their families at 12 noon on the third Sunday of the month. Please extend an invitation to others in the wider community who might be interested; all are welcome! Contact MotherVicki with questions.
Christmas Flowers and Decorations may be donated in memory of loved ones and/or in thanksgiving for God’s blessings. Flower donation envelopes will be in the pews on Sunday. They need to be returned to the office (along with the names to be included in Christmas bulletins) by 12/16.
Ditty Bags – every December we collect travel size toiletries (the kind the hotels give you), hand lotion, playing cards, small note pads, etc. to go into Ditty Bags for the residents of Morris View, the county nursing home. Contributions may be left in the basket in the Narthex. Questions? Speak to Pru Peterson.
Long Hill Township Schools Coat Drive – the three township schools are once again partnering with All Saints’ for a winter coat drive. Clean, gently-used coats for kids and adults may be dropped off in the side entrance of the Church. All coats will be donated to the food pantry at St. John’s, Dover.
Adopt-a-Family – this is our annual program to provide new clothing and household items to a struggling family, as identified by Union County Social Services. There is a board in the Narthex with envelopes containing a card with the needed items. Please take one and return the gifts wrapped and labeled by 12/15. If you need more information, speak to Jackie Sullivan. Thank you for making this family’s Christmas a little happier.
Food for Friends The food pantry has seen an up-tick in people looking for assistance – particularly as food stamps have been cut back. All Saints’ and St. John’s are the only providers to this food pantry, so if you can remember to bring a can or box of something each week you will be helping hungry families and individuals. In addition, North Porch (the diocesan ministry for mothers and babies) is housed at St. John’s, Dover. They have a continual need for Enfamil baby formula, diapers (all sizes), wipes, baby food (Stage 2), and lotion (15 oz size). North Porch donations may also be left next to the food barrel.
Make-A-Wish Jewelry Sale – this Friday (3:30-8:30 pm) and Saturday (10 am-5 pm) in the Parish Hall. Lynne Kaplan’s semi-annual jewelry sale to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A great place for kids to shop for Christmas gifts, and for you to get some good bargains…and help a good cause – all at the same time!
Epiphany/Twelfth Night Soup & Sandwich Lunch – January 5, 11:30 am. Celebrate the last day of the Christmas season with a simple, festive lunch and a piñata for the kids. Cost: $5 per person; kids under age 3 free; maximum $20 per family. We’ll order sandwich makings. Any soup chefs out there? (Hint: Campbell’s is OK). Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
Save the Date! Please plan to come to our parish adult fellowship Grateful Gathering on Saturday, January 25 at 6 pm. We will have games & dinner. It is sure to be a fun & lively time that shouldn’t be missed! Watch for more information and an invite to come!
Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge of financial and time & talent support to All Saints’ for 2014. If you have not yet done so it is important to have everyone on board with God’s mission through this parish as we head into next year.
And a note from the Finance Committee – if you are interested in making a gift of appreciated stock (either as a year-end donation or in fulfillment of your pledge) we are equipped to help you with that. It would be very much appreciated, and be a tax advatage to you. Speak to David Thursfield for details.
The High School/ J2A Class will meet on 12/8 and 12/15 (but not on 12/22).
The Bible Challenge /Bible Study – December 9 is Day 302. The readings are Daniel 11-12, Psalm 97, and Revelation 21. A discussion group meets each week on Wednesday at 10:15 am in the Rath House; newcomers welcome! The evening group is taking a break for a while. And if you started the Bible Challenge and got bogged down, or just did the “fun run” portion of this project, or weren’t able to begin, join us for the final sprint! During Advent, the Bible Challenge Psalm of the day will be the basis for our daily e-mail reflections. And on 12/11 (Day 304) the New Testament reading starts again with the Gospels: Matthew, Mark and nine chapters of Luke. So join us for the final two months by reading a chapter a day (Sundays off) until February 10 when we’ll cross the finish line. Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
Confirmation& Reception into the Episcopal Church – is available for youth and adults. It is the time in our spiritual life when we make a (more) mature affirmation of faith and claim our baptismal promises for ourselves. Each candidate for Confirmation is presented to the Bishop at Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral in Newark in May. Adults who have been confirmed in other denominations but who would like to formally affirm their membership in the Episcopal Church (by Reception) are also presented. A Confirmation Class for youth (Grade 9 and older) will begin in January – details of day and time to be worked out with the class. Adults wishing to be Confirmed or Received will also meet with the Rector – in a group or individually, as needed. Even though the event is in the spring, the Bishop’s office needs to know by Dec. 14 who might possibly be participating. Please e-mail the Rector email@example.com by 12/13 if you or your teenager are interested or have questions.
Women’s Book Group will meet again on the third Wednesday in January – 1/15 at 7:30 pm in the Rath House. The book for the month is “A Race to Splendor” by Ciji Ware, about the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. Come for a fun evening of conversation and friendship.
Parish Calendar this Week
Does not include community and private groups that meet in our facilities. For a full listing check our Google calendar on the parish website www.allsaintsmillington.org.
Tues 12/10 Finance Committee 7:30 pm, Rath House
Wed 12/11 Bible Study 10:15 am, Rath House
Thur 12/12 Holy Eucharist 7:00 am, Church
Junior Choir 5:00 pm, Choir Room
Hand Bell Rehearsal 6:15 pm, Church
Adult Choir 7:30 pm, Choir Room
+ + + + + + +
Advent – Day 5
1 O LORD God of vengeance, *
O God of vengeance, show yourself.
2 Rise up, O Judge of the world; *
give the arrogant their just deserts.
3 How long shall the wicked, O LORD, *
how long shall the wicked triumph?
4 They bluster in their insolence; *
all evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, O LORD, *
and afflict your chosen nation.
6 They murder the widow and the stranger *
and put the orphans to death.
7 Yet they say, "The LORD does not see, *
the God of Jacob takes no notice."
8 Consider well, you dullards among the people; *
when will you fools understand?
9 He that planted the ear, does he not hear? *
he that formed the eye, does he not see?
10 He who admonishes the nations, will he not punish? *
he who teaches all the world, has he no knowledge?
11 The LORD knows our human thoughts; *
how like a puff of wind they are.
12 Happy are they whom you instruct, O Lord! *
whom you teach out of your law;
13 To give them rest in evil days, *
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the LORD will not abandon his people, *
nor will he forsake his own.
15 For judgment will again be just, *
and all the true of heart will follow it.
16 Who rose up for me against the wicked? *
who took my part against the evildoers?
17 If the LORD had not come to my help, *
I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence.
18 As often as I said, "My foot has slipped," *
your love, O LORD, upheld me.
19 When many cares fill my mind, *
your consolations cheer my soul.
20 Can a corrupt tribunal have any part with you, *
one which frames evil into law?
21 They conspire against the life of the just *
and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the LORD has become my stronghold, *
and my God the rock of my trust.
23 He will turn their wickedness back upon them and destroy them in their own malice; *
the LORD our God will destroy them.
~ Bible Challenge, Day 298
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyp7C-tJ79k - This translation of the psalm is from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (slightly different from the King James Version). This is an Anglican chant setting.
And the link to the Hubble Telescope Advent calendar: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/12/2013-hubble-space-telescope-advent-calendar/100637/