If you have not yet returned your pledge card for 2016, please do so as soon as possible so we can begin to put together a budget for the coming year.
How are we doing so far?
- The 2015 pledge income was 69 pledges = $142,232; an average pledge of $2,061.
- We know that eight individuals or families have moved, had personal circumstances, or have left the parish = approximately $20,000 in pledge income.
- As of 11/12/15 we have received 47 pledges, including 9 new pledges = $84,849.
- The 21 pledges outstanding from last year = $43,536 (last year’s pledge amounts). If those pledges come in at the 2015 levels, and no other new pledges are added, we will be facing a pledge income gap of $14,447 – and that does not include the $6,800 budgeted deficit we had for 2015. [Note – some of this information is printed in this Sunday’s announcements, but the budget gap is not accurately indicated; it omitted the income from the people who left. Apologies for my error. VGM+]
- We have had excellent success with our fund-raising this year, we have had very good income from the Parish House, and our expenses have been right on budget – if not slightly below.
- While the Vestry is exploring some other funding streams, and will continue to look for efficiencies where ever possible, this is really a question of how parishioners support their faith community.
- We have about 90 active households at All Saints’ as well as others who are not active, so it is clear that not every active family pledges. Some who don’t pledge do give, either in the offering plate, or as mailed-in check. Some of those donations are substantial and regular, but others are very irregular. Some don’t contribute anything.
- Of course, every donation is welcome, and support comes in many ways in addition to financial support. Also, every family’s budget has its own blessings and challenges. But here is some food for thought: If you buy one cup of coffee at Starbucks (grande) it costs about $2.15. Five cups a week equals $10.75. For the year that comes to $559. Compare that to the role that God, and faith, and All Saints’ Church (the parish family, the worship, the buildings and grounds, the pastoral care, the opportunities to care for others) play in your life. How can you best show your gratitude to God, and your support for one another?
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Please look at these announcements:
- Food for Kids – Helping Hands
- Quiet Evening Mini-Retreat – Worship and Music
- "Crazy Christians" Book – Christian Formation
- Planting Spring Bulbs for Charter Day: THIS SUNDAY - Stewardship
- Advent Doings – Looking Ahead
WORSHIP and MUSIC
All God’s Children Service this Sunday for special needs kids & families – 12 noon in the Church. It’s also a great, simple, low-key experience for all young children (toddlers, included). Lasts 30 minutes. Hope to see you there!
Quiet Evening: Compline & Mini-Retreat, Thurs., Nov. 19. Need a quiet break during the week? Want to de-stress? Come for 30 mins. of reflective activity – this month is Imagination & Bible Reading; followed by 15 mins. of quiet prayer & meditation by candlelight; ending with the service of Compline, sung with members of our Choir. We’ll finish by 9:20 pm. Sign-up on the sheet in the Narthex to let us know you are coming. And for our December Quiet Evening (12/17) we’ll have Holy Yoga, led by Jen Kimak.
Thanksgiving Day Worship - November 26, 10 am. Hymns – including some American “heritage” hymns, Scripture, Communion in a relaxed and intimate setting. Wondering what a heritage hymn is? Ask Alison Siener Brown, and come to the service. Give thanks to God for all the Lord’s blessings!
Parish Christmas Choir – We are trying something a little different for our early Christmas Eve service. Anyone who likes to sing is invited to be part of our Parish Christmas Choir for the 4:30 pm service ~ adults, teens, kids. Our Small Saints & Junior Choirs will be singing, too! There will be an anthem that is easy to learn, lots of carols, and a few hand bells! No need to wear choir robes, just come and sing, and help support the congregation! The rehearsal schedule and sign-up sheet are in the Narthex.
And we’re streamlining the service to be more family friendly:
4:15 pm Congregational Carols & Blessing of the Créche
4:30 pm Christmas Eucharist (finishes in an hour)
Questions? Speak to Alison Siener Brown.
Stewardship Prayer ~ Gracious and Loving God, you have given us yourself so freely and blessed beyond measure this world you have made; and you call us to a life of joyful generosity. We give you thanks, and pray that your Holy Spirit would inspire and guide us as we make plans and provisions for this church, our spiritual home. And we ask that as we give of ourselves to others, we may become more like your Son Jesus, in whose holy Name we pray. Amen.
Planting Spring Bulbs for Charter Day - In 2016 Long Hill Township will be celebrating its 150th anniversary. The township and Historical Preservation Advisory Committee is asking everyone to plant Daffodils and Blue Squill bulbs in their yards and gardens in November so that next spring our community will be a sea of blue and yellow on March 23, 2016: Charter Day! We have received a large donation of bulbs from Town Hall, and we will plant them THIS SUNDAY, November 15 out on the front lawn: a cross of yellow Daffodils surrounded by a circle of Blue Squill. Bring a trowel, stay after church, and plant a few bulbs. Help us to get ready for spring blooms all over town next March!
Parish House Coat Room Update Sam Litra’s Scout crew has painted most of the coat room and built the shells for the wooden storage cupboards. They will be back to finish next weekend. Thanks, Sam!
Thanks to Ray Clark and Scouts from Troop 56 for digging out the storm water drainage ditch behind the Rath House. Now the water that comes off Church Road and runs out to Basking Ridge Road will not overflow and flood our property and our neighbor’s garage!
Family Promise Homeless Shelter – Tuesday, Nov. 17. It’s our turn to serve the families who are staying at Trinity House in Stirling this week. We have the help we need for the day, but please pray for this ministry and the families. Interested in helping in the future? Speak to Kathy Pfeil.
Food for Kids is our annual ingathering of non-perishable foods for kids by our Sunday School for St. John’s, Dover – November 22. All children and youth should bring a donation with them to Church and meet in the Narthex at 9:55 am. They will carry their food in the procession, leave it at the altar and then go to their classes. What foods are particularly good for kids? Peanut butter, crackers, jelly, juice boxes, canned fruits (no heavy syrup) & vegetables, Chef Boyardee, Spagettios, mac & cheese, soups, cold cereal, hot oatmeal packets, etc. Thanks!
Knitting for Seafarers – do you enjoy kitting? Would you like to participate in an outreach effort that you can do at home, or take with you? Knit for the Christmas-at-Sea project of the Seaman’s Church Institute. Janet Mansfield collects all the hats and scarves our knitters make and send them to Port Newark where they are distributed to merchant seafarers. To volunteer speak to Janet. For more information look here http://seamenschurch.org/.
Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus is a book written by our new Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. It is based on some of his addresses and sermons from his time as the bishop of North Carolina, and is well worth the read ~ very inspiring about what it means to be “the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement.” Copies of the book are available for $15 (or you can get it as a Kindle download) by signing up on the sheet in the Narthex. On two Wednesdays 12/2 & 12/9 at 7:30 pm we’ll gather in the Rath House to discuss Bishop Curry’s vision and inspiration. Sign up to let us know you are coming.
Bible Study - meets Wed. 10:15-11:30 am in the Rath House. We’ll discuss the Widow of Zarephath, Jezebel, and the Wife of a Prophet: pages 245-249 in Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter. We are always happy to have new people join the group. Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki.
Women’s Book Group will meet Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 pm in the Rath House. The book for discussion will be A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson. We are catching up from last month, which was cancelled at the last minute. Come for a relaxing and informative evening. Friends are welcome, too!
And looking ahead to Advent….
Here are some dates to keep in mind and spiritual practices to look forward to.
More info will come next week.
Advent Wreath Making – 11/29, 11:15 am
St. Nicholas Skit – 12/6, near the end of the 10 am service
Carol Sing in the Parish Hall – 12/13, during Coffee Hour
Church Ladies Christmas Tea – 12/13, 2-4 pm, Kathy Pfeil’s home
Sunday School Nativity Pageant – 12/20, 10 am service
Daily Office in Virtual Community - Morning Prayer and/or Evening Prayer, 11/30-12/23
Advent Daily Reflections – via e-mail
Crazy Christians Book Reflection – 12/2 & 12/9, 7:30 pm; preceded by (actual) Evening Prayer in the Church, 7:00 pm
Quiet Evening/Mini-Retreat (Holy Yoga) & Compline – 12/19, 8:15 for yoga; 9:00 for Compline.
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11/17 Vestry 7:30 pm, Rath House
11/18 Bible Study 10:15 am, Rath House
11/19 Holy Eucharist 7:00 am Church
Small Saints & Junior Choirs 5:15 pm Choir Room
Adult Choir 7:30 pm Choir Room
Quiet Evening 8:15 pm, Church
Compline 9:00 pm, Church
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
Parish Office Hours: 9:30 am-4:00 pm, Mon., Tues., Thu.
Rector’s Sabbath day: Friday
FOR ALL THE SAINTS
Margaret, Queen of Scotland~ November 16, died 1093
Shakespeare made familiar the names of Macbeth and Macduff, Duncan and Malcolm; but it is not always remembered that Malcolm married an English princess, Margaret, about 1070.
With considerable zeal, Margaret sought to change what she considered to be old-fashioned and careless practices among the Scottish clergy. She insisted that the observance of Lent, for example, was to begin on Ash Wednesday, rather than on the following Monday, and that the Mass should be celebrated according to the accepted Roman rite of the Church, and not in barbarous form and language. The Lord’s Day was to be a day when, she said, “we apply ourselves only to prayers.” She argued vigorously, though not always with success, against the exaggerated sense of unworthiness that made many of the pious Scots unwilling to receive Communion regularly.
Margaret’s energies were not limited to reformation of formal Church practices. She encouraged the founding of schools, hospitals, and orphanages, and used her influence with King Malcolm to help her improve the quality of life among the isolated Scottish clans. Together, Margaret and her husband rebuilt the monastery of Iona and founded Dunfermline Abbey, under the direction of Benedictine monks.
In addition to her zeal for Church and people, Margaret was a conscientious wife and the mother of eight children. Malcolm, a strong-willed man, came to trust her judgment even in matters of State. She saw also to the spiritual welfare of her large household, providing servants with opportunity for regular worship and prayer.
Margaret was not as successful as she wished to be in creating greater unity in faith and works between her own native England and the Scots. She was unable, for example, to bring an end to the bloody warfare among the highland clans, and after her death in 1093, there was a brief return to the earlier isolation of Scotland from England. Nevertheless, her work among the people, and her reforms in the Church, made her Scotland’s most beloved saint. She died on November 16, and was buried at Dunfermline Abbey. ~ Lesser Feasts and Fasts
Question for reflection: How does your faith help you to seek the common good in the civic community, as St. Margaret did?
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I saw a stranger today.
I put food for him
in the eating-place
in the drinking-place
in the listening-place.
In the Holy name
of the Trinity
He blessed myself
and my family.
And the lark said in her warble
Often, often, often
in the stranger's guise.
O, oft and oft and oft,
in the stranger's guise. ~ Ancient Celtic Rune of Hospitality
And here is a musical setting of the rune https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2ORR3HMpcY