I hope your Advent is an opportunity for you to draw closer to God. One spiritual practice from the Way of Love Advent calendar under the heading of PRAY may be helpful for you. Set a timer for five minutes, sit quietly, and repeat slowly (or silently) the words “Come, Lord Jesus.” Notice how this changes your attitude toward God, yourself, and others.
This Sunday at the 10 am service the children of the parish will help us prepare for Christmas by telling the story of Jesus’ birth in our annual Pageant of the Nativity. Please join us for this wonderful All Saints’ tradition.
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Here are this week’s announcements:
- Epiphany Soup & Sandwich Lunch, Bake-off (Christian Formation)
- A Narnia Nativity: Reader’s Theater Play at Epiphany Party (Christian Formation)
- Christmas Flower and Music Envelopes (Worship)
- Christmas Caroling (Advent)
Christmas Caroling – on Sunday afternoon 12/16 the Choir and friends will be going caroling to some of our more senior members’ homes, and you are invited to join us! We’ll gather in the church parking lot at 1 pm (bring a bag lunch to Church if you like) and we’ll be finished by 3 pm. This is a great way to stay connected with members of our parish. Questions? Speak with Alison Siener Brown.
Greening of the Church - Sunday, 12/23 at 11:15 am. Come help the Altar Guild decorate the Church for Christmas. We need both men and women to put up the pew candles, hang the garland from the rafters, put candles and greenery in the windows, and set up the table for the Christmas Créche. Kids can help, too! Coffee Hour will be served in the Narthex, so refreshments will be close at hand, and Alison will be available to play Christmas carols as we decorate!
Adopt-a-Family – gifts for teens and 'tweens from struggling families are due back 12/16.Thank you for helping make Christmas a little happier for these young people.
Flower Envelopes & Music Envelopes for Christmas flowers and decorations, or to contribute to Christmas Eve music when we have guest singers and instrumentalists, are in the pews and on the table in the Narthex. 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 12/17. The envelopes can be put in the offering plate or dropped off at the Parish Office.
The Peace Light from Bethlehem arrived at All Saints’ on Thursday. It comes from the eternal flame that burns in the grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born and is intended to be carried into homes and places of worship and kept burning through Christmas Day (or longer) as an expression of peace. We’ll share the Peace Light after the 10 am service Sunday. If you want to take the Peace Light home with you please make sure you have a lantern or candle holder, and a safe way to transport the flame.
A Gift of Preachers! All Saints’ is blessed to have some fine preachers join us recently. Sister Deborah Francis will be the preacher at our 10 am service Sunday. The Rev. Shawn Carty will preach next Sunday, 12/23 at both services. Shawn is the Manager of the Guest House at the Convent of St. John Baptist where Sr. Deborah Francis is a member of the Community. We thank them both for sharing their wisdom and insight with us.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION & SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Epiphany Soup and Sandwich Lunch & Fruitcake Bake-off, Sunday, January 6 at 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. Come share a relaxed meal with your fellow parishioners, pull a Christmas party “cracker,” and join in a Christmas fruitcake bake-off – either as a baker or as a judge! Recipes and directions for the bake-off are on the table in the Narthex. Sign up sheets for the event are there, also. We’ll need a bit of help: pick up the sandwiches, make a pot of soup, set up the tables, clean up, etc. The cost of the event is $5 per person; $20 maximum per household. Kids under age 3 are free.
We’ll also have a short play at the Epiphany Lunch, done reader’s theater style: “A Narnia Nativity”. We have 10 roles to fill – some larger, some smaller; they can be done by adults or kids in middle school and older. The roles are: Professor, Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, Mary, Joseph, Gabriel, 1st Shepherd, 2nd Shepherd. If you are interested in reading a part, please speak to Alison Siener Brown or Mother Vicki. The Epiphany Lunch is a fun way to close out the holiday season and start the New Year!
From the Finance Committee – Year-end Contributions: Please make sure your 2018 pledge is fulfilled or year-end donations to All Saints’ (including gifts of appreciated stock or mutual funds) reaches us by Dec. 31 so it can count in the 2018 tax year. Thank you!
2019 Pledge Update – we have now heard from nearly everyone in the parish about their financial commitment for 2019. Every pledge commitment is important and makes a difference in the ministry at All Saints’. If you have not yet made your 2019 pledge, we invite you to prayerfully do so. Pledges are the largest and most reliable portion of our funding. You may make a pledge via e-mail, or by sending in your card. Your financial and prayer support enable All Saints’ to do God’s work in our community. Thank you.
FUN & FUNDRAISING
ShopRite gift cards make great Christmas gifts – everyone needs groceries! You may purchase ShopRite cards as a gift or for yourself on Sundays during Coffee House or at the parish office. You pay face value and 5% goes to All Saints’ ministries. Please speak to Barbara Barbeau.
12/18 Vestry Rath House 7:30 pm
12/17 Advent Study Church 10:15 am
12/18 Communion & Healing Prayer Church 7:00 am
Junior Choir Choir Room 5:15 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room 7:30 pm
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar.
Gaudete Sunday – the Third Sunday of Advent is sometimes called by its Latin name: Gaudete (pronounced gow-day-tay), which means “rejoice” – from the opening chant (introit) of the service from the Middle Ages. This is the day we begin to look forward to the coming joy of Christmas. We light the pink candle on the Advent wreath, and in some parishes rose-colored vestments and altar hangings are used. “The theologian Henri Nouwen described the difference between joy and happiness. While happiness is dependent on external conditions, joy is ‘the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing – sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death - can take that love away.’ Thus joy can be present even in the midst of sadness.” ~ Wikipedia