This Sunday begins our final week of Advent. Our children’s Pageant of the Nativity is this Sunday morning, and our Community Peace Light form Bethlehem Ceremony is in the late afternoon.
I hope and pray that in your plans and preparations for Christmas celebrations with family and friends you will make time for worship on Christmas Eve at 4:30 pm or 10:30 pm; or on Christmas Day at 10 am. The birth of Christ – and all that it means – is, of course, “the reason for the season.” Christmas worship is not only a remembrance of Jesus’ birth, but it centers us and re-focuses us in our life as followers and practitioners of the Way of Jesus as our hearts our drawn to God.
I have some sad pastoral news to share. Parishioner Kathy Hunt’s dad, Gerald Darling, died this past Monday. He will be remembered in the prayers this coming Sunday. Please keep Kathy, Bob, Matthew and Brandon in your prayers. May Gerald rest in the Peace of Christ and rise in the Glory of God.
Please look below for the announcements and the Advent Reflection, especially:
- Peace Light Ceremony (Around the Neighborhood)
- Adopt-a-Family (Advent)
- Greening of the Church (Advent)
- Flower & Music Envelopes (Worship)
- Pageant of the Nativity (Worship)
- Epiphany Lunch & Bake-off (Christian Formation)
Adopt-a-Family Gifts for teens and tweens identified by Social Services - gift cards to popular stores – are due back Monday morning. Please make sure the cards are wrapped and labeled with the name of the child. We are also collecting packages of diapers, as well as several Walmart gift cards for clothes and shoes for a single dad and his special-needs daughter. If you have questions about the teens & tweens or diapers, speak to Jackie Sullivan. If you want to know about the dad & daughter, speak to Mother Vicki. Thank you for helping make Christmas a little happier for these folks!
Greening of the Church – Thursday, 12/21 at 6 pm. 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! Light refreshments will be provided.
Pageant of the Nativity - Sunday, 12/17 at 10 am. All Sunday School children of any age are invited to play a part in our beloved parish tradition: angels, shepherds, readers, Mary, Joseph, Magi/Kings, birds and animals. There is one rehearsal, Saturday, Dec. 16 at 9 am. Please come and receive this beautiful gift the parish children will share with the rest of us.
Flower Envelopes & Music Envelopes for Christmas flowers and decorations, or to contribute to Christmas Eve music when we have guest singers and instrumentalists, will be in the pews and on the table in the Narthex on Sunday. 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 12/18. The envelopes can be put in the offering plate, or dropped off at the Parish Office.
AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Community Peace Light Ceremony, Dec. 17 at 4:30 pm. The Peace Light from Bethlehem is an international movement that passes light lit by candle or oil lamp from the eternal flame that burns in the grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Our Peace Light Ceremony is an opportunity to share a commitment to being peace-makers in ourselves, families, community, and the world, in the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.The Peace Light is intended to be carried into homes and places of worship, and kept burning through Christmas Day as an expression of peace.
Our ceremony will include the story of the Peace Light, songs, readings, and prayers. If you want to take the Peace Light home with you please bring a lantern or candle holder, and a safe way to transport the flame. For more information, go to the home page on our website. Tell a friend and plan to come!
Bible Study, Wed., Dec. 20 at 10:15 am in the Rath House. In this session we’ll read and discuss 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. Then we’ll share a yummy pot-luck lunch.You are most welcome to join us!
The Pilgrim study group has finished for 2017. We will pick up again on Monday, Jan. 15 at 7 pm in the Rath House. The new six-week topic is the Bible. Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey is for anyone who wants to know more about following the Christian Way of Jesus. This will be a good way to start the New Year! Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex so we know to expect you and save you a book (cost is $10).
Epiphany Soup and Sandwich Lunch & Fruitcake Bake-off, Sunday, January 7 at 11:15 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. This is a fun way to close out the holiday season and start the New Year!
FUN & FRIENDSHIP
Mah Jonhgg, Anyone? Mahjongg is a game of skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance, akin to rummy, that originated in China. Kathy Pfeil is offering beginning lessons (a series of three) to All Saints’ folk for a small fee. A group would gather at a mutually convenient time: week days, week nights, or weekends – and could grow into monthly or weekly games. You will need to purchase outdated American Mah Jongg cards (2017-2017) to learn on. They can be found at the National Mah Jongg League here: https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org/store.aspx#
Please e-mail or phone Kathy with comments or questions, including preferred times and days for meeting – 908-350-8012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Finance Committee: If you would like to make a gift to All Saints’ of appreciated stock or mutual funds – either as a 2017 year-end gift before Dec. 31, or as your 2018 pledge contribution – we are able to receive such a gift. For information about how to do this, please contact David Thursfield, email@example.com. Thank you!
2018 Pledge Update – as of 12/14 we have still not received pledge commitments for next year from 17 households who pledged in 2017. That is about 30% of our expected income. In addition, due to death, moving, job loss, etc., the pledges we have already received are about $10,000 less than they were last year. Every pledge commitment is important and makes a difference in the ministry at All Saints’.
If you have not yet made your 2018 pledge, please do so as soon as possible. If you have not made a pledge before to All Saints’, please prayerfully consider doing 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.
Advent IV, December 24th
No 8:00 am service today
10:00 am, Advent Morning Prayer & Hymns
4:30 pm, Family Eucharist and the Blessing of the Crèche
Children are invited to carry the Nativity figures to the Crèche
10:15 pm, Candlelight Christmas Concert
Adult Choir will present choral music, for your Christmas meditation.
10:30 pm, Festive Holy Eucharist
The traditional “Midnight Mass” with carols, candlelight, oboe, and handbells
10:00 am, Holy Eucharist with Carols and Blessing of the Christmas Gifts
Bring a gift that you have received to be blessed as a reminder that all the things that delight our hearts are gift from God!
First Sunday after Christmas, December 31st
8:00 am, Holy Eucharist II
10:00 am, Lessons and Carols
12/19 Vestry Rath House 7:30 pm
12/20 Bible Study Rath House 10:15 am
12/21Communion & Healing Prayer Church 7:00 am
Junior Choir Choir Room 5:15 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room 7:30 pm
Greening of the Church Church 6:00 pm
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
Advent Reflection 28 (12/16)
1. The snow lay on the ground, the stars shone bright,
when Christ our Lord was born on Christmas night.
Venite adoremus Dominum.
Venite adoremus Dominum.
Venite adoremus Dominum.
Venite adoremus Dominum.
2. 'Twas Mary, daughter pure of holy Anne,
that brought into this world the God made man.
She laid him in a stall at Bethlehem;
the ass and oxen shared the roof with them. (Refrain)
3. Saint Joseph, too, was by to tend the child;
to guard him, and protect his mother mild;
the angels hovered round, and sang this song,
Venite adoremus Dominum. (Refrain)
4. And thus that manger poor became a throne;
for he whom Mary bore was God the Son.
O come, then, let us join the heavenly host;
to praise the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Refrain)
~ Hymn #110 is a traditional carol from the western part of England (Somerset, Devonshire, Cornwall). The tune is “Venite adoremus,” named after the refrain. This is a true carol, a folk-based song with a refrain that originated in circle dances. This particular carol, with it’s Christmas text, has a Latin refrain: Venite adoremus Dominum – Come let us adore the Lord. When a carol uses a mixture of languages (in this case, Latin and English) it is called a “macaronic carol” – but those of you who came to the Carol Sing last Sunday during coffee hour already knew that!
This is the Children's Chorus of Washington's Treble Chorus: https://youtu.be/_xIlIZlDDKY
The carol makes mention of St. Anne, Jesus’ grandmother. What did your grandparents teach you or show you about the love of God? How do you share that with others? (The picture at the top of the post represents Anne and Joachim, Mary's parents, Mary and Joseph, the new-born Jesus, a sheep and a dog.)
Advent blessings, Vicki+