Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. We will celebrate it here with worship at 10 am – a simple, intimate service of Communion and Hymns – all played on the piano. If you are traveling for the day or the weekend, my prayers for a safe journey are with you.
As much as Thanksgiving is a celebration with friends and family, we know there are often differences with those we love or are related to, and sometimes conversation can become fraught. That is especially true this year after the election! I was interested to come across a podcast and article with some suggestions for getting through Thanksgiving dinner without arguing about politics. The link is here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/how-thanksgiving-six-easy-steps. All the suggestions are good. Step 3 & 4 are particularly helpful – and not just for politics, but for any topic that may be touchy or difficult. They both have to do with listening – not just waiting for the other person to finish – really listening to the meaning that the person is trying to convey.
- When we talk with someone else we can be curious (not nosey!) about why they think and feel as they do; try to see things from their perspective – and hope they will want to see things from yours. That doesn’t mean you’ll change each others’ minds, but you might get to greater understanding.
- Speaking personally (I think, I feel, I have experienced.... vs. You should, Everyone knows, That’s dumb), rather than making a blanket statement can keep our words from sounding like an attack on the other person. Focus on the values that you share: a loving family, “a strong economy, to feel safe at home, to have educational opportunities for our kids. Focus on that instead of ideological differences.”
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Advent & Christmas Mini-Ministries – the Church has a “to-do” list in order to get ready for Advent and Christmas! It’s on the table in the Narthex. Take a look and see what you can help us with. Thanks so much!
Make an Advent Table Wreath for your Home – this Sunday, 11/27 at 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. This is a way that you can keep Advent simply and prayerfully at home, lighting another candle each week as we wait and watch for Christ. We provide greens, forms, candles & ribbons. We’ll also have a card with prayers for lighting the wreath. Cost is $7. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
“What Are You Waiting For?” – a daily Advent devotional by Christine McSpadden is available for you to pick up in the Narthex. Advent is an important time of spiritual preparation for the Feast of the Incarnation (aka Christmas). This devotional will help you to focus your prayers, your hopes, and your waiting.
Advent Wall Calendars (the kind you see around the Church) are also available in the Narthex for you to take home and put on a wall or door. You can color them in! Each day has a message, an illustration, and sometimes a suggested practice or activity.
Advent Prayers ~ Morning and Evening Prayer in virtual community. Pray the Daily Office with your Rector and other parishioners at a time and place that works for you. Advent is always a good time to give some fresh attention to your prayer life. There is an Advent Daily Office brochure in the Narthex, and PDF version attached to this email. – in print or electronically.
How does this work? Plan to pray Morning Prayer and/or Evening Prayer or some other form of daily devotion. You can use the following:
- The Book of Common Prayer
- The prayer forms in the brochure
- The Daily Office on your computer, phone, or tablet at
Mission of St. Claire http://www.missionstclare.com/english/
Forward Movement http://prayer.forwardmovement.org
- The Forward Day by Day booklet
- Some other daily devotion of your choosing
Choose the time that will work for you – at home, on the train, sitting in the school pick-up line, etc. Mother Vicki will send an e-mail to the participants when she starts her prayers, morning and evening which says: Let us bless the Lord. Participants e-mail back when they have finished theirs: Thanks be to God.
If the first e-mail doesn’t come until 8 am and you have already finished your prayers, send the answer back as soon as you receive the e-mail. If the evening e-mail gets sent at 3 or 4 pm, and you don’t answer until 10 pm, that is fine! What matters is that we are praying together, as a community, as the Body of Christ preparing for the birth of our Savior.
How do I join this? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: Advent Prayer. Indicate if you will pray Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, or both.
Thank you to everyone who has returned a pledge card for 2017. We are still waiting to hear from a number of parishioners. Everyone’s support and commitment is needed and appreciated. Please continue to pray for the financial support of our parish and ask God’s guidance as the Vestry prepares to make the budget for the new year. Thank you.
Mid-Winter Adult Fellowship Party – we’ve had a number of requests for an event in the January -February time frame. If you would like to be part of the planning group for this event, please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. Thanks!
This Sunday the Sunday School classes will meet in the kitchen of the Parish House to make Christmas cookies. Please take your kids directly to the kitchen. Thanks.
Pilgrim - A Course for the Christian Journey. This group will meet Monday nights at 7:00 until 12/12. Prayer and soup will be available before for those who want it!
6:00 pm – Evening Prayer, Church
6:30 pm – Simple Soup Supper, Rath House
7:00 pm – Pilgrim Discussion Group, Rath House
Bible Study meets this Wed., Nov. 23, 10:15 am, in the Rath House. We’ll be reading Acts, Chapter 12. New folks are always welcome to be part of the conversation! No experience in Bible reading is necessary.
Save the Date: Pageant of the Nativity – Sunday, 12/18 at 10 am. All Sunday School children of any age are invited to play a part: angels, shepherds, readers, Mary, Joseph, Magi/Kings, birds and animals. There is one rehearsal at 9 am on 12/17.
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. Next week there will be a board in the Narthex with envelopes containing the needed items. Please take one and return the gifts wrapped and labeled by 12/18. Questions? Speak to Jackie Sullivan. Thank you for helping make this family’s Christmas a little happier.
Winter Soup is now available to take home after Church on Sundays during coffee hour ($5 quart/$3 pint – frozen; please return the containers). Speak to Barbara Barbeau. It is also available to take to sick or shut-in parishioners.
around the neighborhood
Our next V.A. event on 12/10 is Dinner and a Movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” If you would like to help with the December event, speak to a member of the VA Dinner Team: Candy Pecoraro, Steve Kowalik, Afsaneh Thursfield, Jane Hayden, or Betsy Wallace. Thanks.
An Outreach Invitation from the Christian Community. Please join us for a unique opportunity to be a force for good in the world: A reception/fundraiser for the Hezekiah Program, run by Fr. Joe McDonough, S.T., a gentle, big-hearted, and remarkable man dedicated to freeing people from the grips of drugs and alcohol in one of Baltimore’s most dangerous areas. Sunday Dec. 4th, 1 pm, at the home of Elizabeth & Skip Richards, 48 Vanderveer Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ. See the flyer in the Narthex for more info.
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11/24 Thanksgiving Worship Church, 10:00 am
11/28 Evening Prayer Church, 6:00 pm
Simple Soup Supper Rath House, 6:30 pm
Pilgrim Discussion Group Rath House, 7:00 pm
Yoga Parish House, 6:15 pm
11/30 Bible Study Rath House, 10:15 am
12/1 Holy Eucharist Church, 7:00 am
Small Saints’& Junior Choirs Choir Room, 5:15 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room, 7:30 pm
Parish Office Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs. from 9:30 am-4:00 pm
This Week Office is closed Thursday and Friday.
Rector’s Sabbath day: Friday
Remember to “Like” us on Facebook: All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Millington, NJ
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CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
“The season of Advent celebrates waiting, in ways simple and sublime, practical and theological. We wait for the birth of Jesus in a straw-filled barn in the Judean backwater of Bethlehem. We wait for the consummation of the cosmos in the final coming of God’s kingdom. We wait for the feast of Christmas and the flesh-and-blood reminder that God sent his beloved Son into the world so that we mortals might have new life and that our future lies open to possibilities beyond what we can ask or imagine.
We rarely think of waiting as a positive experience. Waiting often feels like time wasted, time robbed from things we would rather be doing. So often waiting is filled with dread, anxiety, or confusion. It elicits restlessness, distress, or fear. So often, waiting feels endless or prolonged.
...For these four weeks – plus a few days more or less depending on the year – we have the opportunity to contemplate time differently.
We are part of a much bigger story unfolding in real time within an eternal, cosmic context. The story stretches over millennia, but takes place in nanoseconds. Each moment offers a new opportunity to choose life. And that new life is waiting for us.”
~ Christine McSpadden, from the introduction to What Are You Waiting For?
this year’s Advent devotional.
And here a link to an utterly peaceful, beautiful piece of music, Edward Elgar’s Nimrod theme, setting the text of Lux Aeterna (Light eternal), as sung by Voces 8, Britain’s best young a cappella group. It’s not specific to Advent, but it has all those themes of waiting and eternity. Enjoy! http://www.classicfm.com/composers/elgar/news/voces8-nimrod/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral#1ylBlJBPuv63WV74.97