Our worship this Sunday will be at 8 am in the Memorial Garden and at 10 am on Zoom. Details are below, as well as some important information.
COVID Information - If you live in Long Hill Township you will have received a recorded phone message from Mayor Brendan Rae about the rise in COVID cases and the need for all of us to be as careful as we can for the sake of our families, our neighbors, our communities, and ourselves. One good website that tracks the cases reported by the US Dept of Health and Human Services on rolling seven-day average by county and state can be found here: https://covidactnow.org/us/new_jersey-nj/county/morris_county?s=1318327. For the last week Morris County has been at or near the “red zone” of active or immanent outbreak. Somerset County is not far behind. Long Hill’s municipal data parallels Morristown’s: 25 cases per 100,000 people. Please be sure to take all the precautions that the CDC recommends.
Here are the announcements and links for Sunday’s worship.
- Sunday Worship
- Update on Indoor Worship
- Annual Pledge Campaign
- Rummage Shoppe
- Bible Study
- Advent starts
8 am Service of the Word in-person in the Memorial Garden. Please register here: https://reopen.church/r/bloP83YN. Bring a folding chair and a copy of the bulletin.
10 am Service of the Word on Zoom, followed by Coffee Hour. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for the log-in. We'd love to have you join us!
Indoor Worship Update – the ultra-violet sanitizing light system for the Church ventilation system is scheduled to be installed on Thursday, Nov. 19. We hope that means we’ll be able to be indoors for the 8 am service on Nov. 22, and on Thanksgiving morning, but that will depend on everything working!
We will adhere to all state and diocesan safety guidelines which have changed in this past week, as per Bishop Hughes’ direction due to the rapid rise of COVID cases: 25 people; pre-register for attendance/contact tracing; temperature checks at the door; masks required; distanced seating from anyone not in your family; windows open for fresh air exchange; service length 35-40 minutes. For the two Sundays after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29 & Dec. 6) the indoor worship limit for our diocese will be 10 people, anticipating a surge after Thanksgiving. Bishop Hughes will re-evaluate at that point. Please see her fuller communication about this in the letter here: https://dioceseofnewark.org/bishops-vlog/updated-guidelines-person-worship-diocese-newark
Annual Pledge Campaign – Pledge packets were sent to you via US mail last week. They contain a brochure telling the story of All Saints’ during this pandemic time, as well as a letter from me, and a pledge form. Please read this material and make your pledge commitment for 2021. You may mail your commitment form in, or put it through the Rath House door slot, or use the on-line pledge form on our website.
It is your prayer and your pledge of financial support that makes the ministry and mission of All Saints’ happen. We know that we still have some challenging months ahead of us, and so we need everyone to participate.
If you did not receive a pledge packet in the mail, or is you have a question on the status of your current 2020 pledge, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. Thank you!
All Saints’ Rummage Shoppe – Our Rummage volunteers have been doing a wonderful job keeping up with all the donations and sales. Our shoppe will remain open until December 11, so time is limited! Reserve a 30-minute shopping time here: https://reopen.church/r/bloP83YN. Items are also being sold on-line here: https://www.facebook.com/AllSaintsRummageShoppe/. This is an on-going fund-raiser for All Saints’ ministries. The Shoppe will operate only until the middle of December, so take a look now and tell your friends.
Bible Study this week is on Wed., Nov. 18 at 10:15 am. We are reading and discussing Philippians, Ch. 3. We’d love to have you participate in this Zoom class. For the link please e-mail Mother Vicki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Practices: Advent
The season of Advent – our annual preparation for the Feast of the Incarnation (i.e. Christmas) – was originally seven weeks long, paralleling the season of Lent as the preparation for Easter. In the Middle Ages the season got shortened to four weeks.
In recent years quite a number of Christians and Churches have begun to recover a longer Advent – for several reasons. One reason is that so much of our spiritual preparation has gotten co-opted by the commercial rush and busyness of parties, shopping, decorating, etc. Our reflections tend to focus on the birth of the Baby in the manger (think “Away in the Manger”, and we lose track of the One who comes as Judge and Sovereign Lord (“Joy to the world the Lord has come, let earth receive her King”).
And yet Advent is about waiting and looking for, and longing for the coming of Christ at Bethlehem, in our own hearts and lives, and at the end of the present age. Keeping a longer Advent gives us the opportunity to focus on these different aspects of our spiritual preparation for Christmas.
Here at All Saints’ we have adapted this longer tradition for several years now, with six Sundays: the Second Sunday before Advent, the First Sunday before Advent, and then the four weeks of Advent proper. So this Sunday, November 15, we will begin our marking of Advent-tide.
May the season be filled for you with the hope and expectation of God’s love, peace, justice, mercy, and the coming of Christ.