Here are this week’s parish announcements, as well as a poem and “For All the Saints” for your reflection. Please note in particular the following items:
Sunday School Food Ingathering this week, see below
The Other Wise Man performance, see below
Advent Wreath Making
High School Youth for St. Nicholas skit
Thanksgiving Day Worship
Stewardship Pledge Cards
Festive Advent Evensong and Pot-Luck Supper
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WORSHIP and MUSIC
Thanksgiving Worship – Thursday, November 27 at 10 am. November 27 at 10 am. Come and give thanks to God for all your blessings on this Prayer Book holy day. Communion, hymns, piano and organ music. Then there is still time to put your turkey in the oven, or get on the road to wherever you are going. Blessing to you and your family!
High School Youth/St. Nicholas Skit – We need high school students to do a simple St. Nicholas skit (scripts in hand!) on Sunday, December 7 as part of the 10 am service. There will be one rehearsal after church on November 23. Interested youth should e-mail or speak to Mother Vicki. Thanks!
Celebration: Festive Advent Evensong, December 7, 4 pm to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Mother Vicki’s ordination to the priesthood. The Rev. Anne Bolles-Beaven will be the guest preacher, our choir will be augmented by some friends, clergy from the diocese have been invited, and Alison has written a new hymn for the occasion – a wonderful celebration! It will be followed by a Parish Pot-Luck Supper. Sign-up on the sheet in the Narthex to bring an appetizer, side-dish or dessert. Hope you can come to this festive event!
All God’s Children is our monthly service for special needs kids and their families. December’s service will be on the second week: 12/ 14, at 12 noon. Please extend an invitation to those who might be interested; all are welcome! Contact Mother Vicki with questions.
Jewelry Sale - Lynne Kaplan (from Central Middle School) will be holding her bi-annual jewelry sale to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Saturday, November 22 in the Parish House – 10 am-3 pm. Come and explore her wonderful pieces from all over the world. There is something for every taste and price range.
This Sunday, Food for Kids – our annual Sunday School ingathering of non-perishable food for the food pantry at St. John’s, Dover. Children should gather in the Narthex at 9:55 am, present their food at the altar and then go to their Sunday School classes. NOTE – the PreK-Grade 1 will meet in the Undercroft (downstairs of Church), in the large classroom.
Knitting for Seafarers – All Saints’ knits for the Seaman’s Church Institute Christmas at Sea program. If you are interested in knitting for this ministry, please speak to Janet Mansfield. She can give you directions and yarn, and then you work on the project on your own time. Your gift will help keep a seafarer warm this winter.
Family Promise Homeless Shelter – Thanks to everyone who helped out. There will be several more opportunities to serve in 2015. Your participation supports homeless families who are struggling to get back on their feet. Thanks you!
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 the needed items. Please take one and return the gifts wrapped and labeled by 12/15. Thank you for helping make this family’s Christmas a little happier.
Ditty Bags – every December we collect travel size toiletries, playing cards, cosmetics, jewelry trinkets, small note pads, etc. to go to the residents of Morris View, the county nursing home. Contributions may be left in the marked box in the Narthex. Questions? Speak to Pru Peterson (see Pru’s Ditty Bag article below!).
Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge of financial and time & talent support to All Saints’ for 2015. If you have not yet done so and need pledge materials, they are available on the table in the Narthex. 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.
Advent Theater Production The Other Wise Man, Friday, Dec. 5, 7 pm . Tickets are $10 /$5 for kids age 12 and under. This is a Christmas tale in which a fourth Wise Man goes in search of the Christ Child, but at every turn encounters people in great need. It’s a story for adults that kids will enjoy as well. Written by Henry Van Dyke (the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London in the 1920s), it has been adapted for the stage by William Ward, specifically for All Saints’. This costumed reading by professional actors will take place in the Church. There will be an opportunity to meet and talk with the performers during refreshments following the play. We’ll need a few people to staff the box office and usher; please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex, or respond to this e-mail.
Proceeds will benefit North Porch, which provides emergency supplies to babies and toddlers. We’ll also be collecting jars of baby food for all ages: fruit, veggies and first foods. Please take a flyer and post it in a store or business in your neighborhood. Thanks!
Advent and Christmas Mini-Ministries are the way All Saints’ gets ready for our parish worship and celebration of the birth of Our Lord Jesus. There is an info flyer and a sign-up sheet in the Narthex, outlining the different roles, jobs and opportunities for service during the Advent and Christmas seasons. Take a look, and see how you can help. Thanks.
Advent Wreath Making – Sunday, November 30 at 11:15 in the Parish Hall. Make an Advent Wreath to use at home – a simple green wreath, with four candles to mark each Sundays in Advent. The cost is $7 which includes the wreath form, fresh evergreens, ribbons, candles, wire, etc. And we’ll give you a brochure with prayers for a simple home-based Advent liturgy. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex to reserve your materials. This way we know how much to order. Note – you may pick up your materials on the 30th and then assemble them at home. Questions? Speak to Kimberly Celeste.
Wednesday Bible Study Group is not meeting on November 26. We’ll pick up again on December 3.10:15-11:30 am in the Rath House. This fall we are reading the Gospel of John. Newcomers to Bible reading are welcomed and encouraged. We’ll provide you with a Bible if you need one. Come and try us out! Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
Coffee Hour hosts needed for Sundays after the 10 am service. What do you need to do? Provide sweet and/or savory snacks, juice, hot water for tea, and coffee. Instructions are available and John McGrath can walk you through a demo! Coffee Hour is a wonderful time to meet and greet fellow parishioners and newcomers. Please sign up on the sheet in the narthex.
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Ditty Bag Time is Here!
Thirty years ago or more, the Diocese of Newark decided to give “Ditty Bags” to residents of Morris View, the county nursing home. The bags were handmade (those were the days!) and contained little things that would be of use to the residents. We had a lively ECW group of the church at that time and we all got behind it. And we are still doing it! – All Saints’ and one other parish in the diocese.
Karen Hogan, the Director of Volunteer Services at Morris View, tells me the residents still love to get the surprise Ditty Bag stuff, although we no longer provide it in bags. Part of the enjoyment is for some of the more capable residents to sort it out and distribute it themselves.
So, if you can, please fill the Ditty Bag box (in the Narthex, under the coat rack) with little gifts: cosmetics, toiletries, perfume, trinkets of jewelry, paperback books, deck of cards, etc. (Note – nothing sharp, nothing to eat because of many special diets).
Please fill up the Ditty Bag box, and Henry and I will deliver the donations the week before Christmas.
Pru Peterson, remaining Ditty Bag Chair!
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PARISH CALENDAR THIS WEEK
Wed 11/26 No Bible Study
Thu 11/20 Thanksgiving Worship 10:00 am, Church
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 – C.S. Lewis, Apologist and Spiritual Writer, 1963 - November 22
“You must make your choice,” C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity. “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up as a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.”
Lewis did not always believe this. Born in Belfast on November 29, 1898, Lewis was raised as an Anglican but rejected Christianity during his adolescent years. After serving in World War I, he started a long academic career as a scholar in medieval and renaissance literature at both Oxford and Cambridge. He also began an inner journey that led him from atheism to agnosticism to theism and finally to faith in Jesus Christ.
“Really, a young Atheist cannot guard his faith too carefully,” he later wrote of his conversion to theism in Surprised by Joy. “Dangers lie in wait for him on every side ... Amiable agnostics will talk cheerfully about ‘man’s search for God’. To me, as I then was, they might as well have talked about the mouse’s search for the cat. You must picture me all alone in that room at Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” Two years later, his conversion was completed: “I know very well when, but hardly how, the final step was taken. I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out, I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo, I did.”
Lewis’s conversion inaugurated a wonderful outpouring of Christian apologetics in media as varied as popular theology, children’s literature, fantasy and science fiction, and correspondence on spiritual matters with friends and strangers alike.
In 1956 Lewis married Joy Davidman, a recent convert to Christianity. Her death four years later led him to a transforming encounter with the Mystery of which he had written so eloquently before. Lewis died at his home in Oxford on November 22, 1963. The inscription on his grave reads: “Men must endure their going hence”. ~ Holy Women, Holy Men
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Each day the engine of my gratefulness
must be coaxed and primed into action.
Of course like any old clunker,
it would just as soon stay put.
For even after the labored start beats the inertia,
and the plume of white smoke struggles upward,
the same hills always appear,
soaring daily – tall and ominous as before.
There is the long slow hill of “aging”
so gradual and smooth at first.
And then that steep grade called “the news.”
Yes, and always some mountain of a war
looming out there, never too far in the distance.
Even an old idea or a feeling long abandoned
might conspire to halt this fragile progress –
valves sputtering, tires flattening, clutch slipping.
But the old “potato, potato, potato” sound
of the engine, and all its mysterious fuel,
for which I am truly grateful
keeps stumbling along. -- Dale Biron