Thank you to everyone who was able to come to last night’s Compline service, which included prayers for David Bird and his family. It was the opening night of the high school play (kudos to all the cast and crew!), but we had more than 40 people, in addition to the choir – most of who turned out to pray for David and comfort one another. In addition to parishioners, there were also neighbors and Scouting families in attendance. Thank you for being people and a parish that can respond with grace and love to those who are hurting.
A Death in our Parish Family - our prayers also go out to our parishioner Alisa Phillips and her family. Alisa’s father Larry Tranquilli died on Wednesday, after struggling bravely with kidney cancer for many years. While not an All Saints’ parishioner, Larry loved to worship with Alisa’s family whenever they visited. His funeral will be here on Saturday, March 28 at 10 am. Please keep Alisa and Bob, their children Alaina and Kara, the Tranqilli family, and Bob’s parents Nancy and Bob Phillips in your prayers. May Larry rest in peace and rise in glory.
Here are this week’s announcements, For All the Saints’, and the daily prayer for Lent.
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WORSHIP and MUSIC
Easter Flowers - If you would like to make a donation for Easter flowers in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving for a particular blessing, please use the envelopes found in the pew on Sundays. Please be sure to include the names of the people being remembered or honored; they will appear in all the Easter bulletins. You may also e-mail or call in the names of those you want remembered, or drop your check and list through the mail slot in the Rath House door. The deadline for the names is March 26. Thank you.
Special Needs Worship – All God's Children Service, at 12 noon (on the 3rd Sundays of the month). Designed for children and families with a range of special needs – including anyone who has a hard time sitting still! A 30-minute service, no segment is longer than 3 minutes each; optional Communion. Pass the word to friends and neighbors who can benefit from this. The next service is April 19. Contact Mother Vicki for details.
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER
Palm Sunday, March 29 – 8 am worship begins at the front door of the Church, with the distribution of palms and procession into the Church. 10 am worship meets at the Parish House front door for distribution of palms and a procession with bagpiper. Kids in Prek-Grade 1 go to class after the procession. All other children and youth go to worship for the whole time. At the end of each service the Passion Drama will be read.
Maundy Thursday, April 2
Agapé Meal, 6 pm– Come for a pot-luck meal before our Maundy Thursday worship. Agapé is the Greek word for God’s love – and the way we share it in community. A change from last year – there will be some Middle Eastern-themed foods as part of the menu, but feel free to bring whatever you like, except dessert which will not be part of the meal. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex to let us know what part of the meal you can bring and how many people will be attending.
Maundy Thursday Liturgy: Foot Washing, Holy Eucharist, and Stripping of the Altar, 7:30 pm – commemorating Jesus’ Last Supper. Foot Washing is an ancient and traditional part of this liturgy. It is a sign of our intimacy in community life, and humility in serving one another. You can choose whether or not to participate in this part of the service. As you come forward, you’ll be seated on a chair in front of the pews, remove a single shoe and sock , have water poured over your foot and dried with a towel, and then you’ll wash the foot of the person who comes after you. While this is going on, there will be congregational singing. The Holy Eucharist is celebrated this night with Christians of all traditions around the world – the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The Stripping of the Altar takes place as we sing a Taizé chant, preparing the Church for the starkness of Good Friday.
Prayer Watch, 8:30 pm-12 midnight – Jesus asks us to keep watch with him in our own Garden of Gethsemane (Altar of Repose) on Maundy Thursday night. Please sign up for a 30-minute time slot of personal prayer and meditation as we keep watch, making sure that there is always someone in the Church during that time. Please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
Good Friday, April 3
Stations of the Cross, 12 noon – this interactive service lasts 45 minutes and is good for all ages, especially kids, and people who don’t like to drive at night. At each station there will be things to do, say, touch and see.
Good Friday Liturgy, 7:30 pm – a simple but powerful service of readings, and hymns. This year we’ll have a music mediation of Mozart played on flute and violin by Ellen Lewis and Martha Story. The Cross will be venerated by candle light.
Holy Saturday, April 4
Kids’ Service, Easter Egg Hunt and Ribbon Banner Making - 10 am. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. And we need donations of candy for the eggs, volunteers to hide the eggs, and provide refreshments; and older kids and adults to make the banners and hang them on the lamp posts. Please sign your kids up on the sheet in the Narthex and let us know how you can help. Thanks.
The Great Vigil of Easter, 7:30 pm. We light the new fire in the Memorial Garden and process into the darkened church by candlelight. Scripture, song, renewal of our baptismal vows, and the first Eucharist of Easter. Bring a bell to ring at the Easter Acclamation! The best service of year, and the center of our faith.
The First Party of Easter follows the Easter Vigil. We need some simple refreshments to continue the best service of the year! Take a look at the sign-up sheet for what we need.
Easter Day, April 5 – 8 & 10 am. All the glories of Easter Day! Come and be renewed in your faith!
Women’s Book Group will meet on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 pm in the Rath House. The book for discussion is The Scarlett Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Come for an evening of fellowship, discussion, and learning.
Bible Study, Wednesdays, 10:15-11:30 am in the Rath House. We are currently reading through the Gospel of John. Come and explore Scripture and your faith in a relaxed setting where your questions are welcome and laughter and sharing is expected. Use one of our Bibles or bring your own!
Communion Class – 2nd graders (and older children who may have missed it previously) are invited to join this 3-week class to learn more about the Eucharist. Classes meet on Mondays from 4-5:15 pm with Mother Vicki in the Rath House, 4/13, 4/20, and 4/27. On May 3 the children who have completed the class will be recognized at the 10 am service. To enroll your child, please e-mail the Parish Office. If you want your child to participate but have a scheduling conflict, please speak to Mother Vicki. This is an important aspect of your child’s Christian education.
Save the date! April 26, 2-4 pm. A Baby Shower for Jody Velloso (our former Director of Music, but still parishioner). Watch for the E-vite. Families and kids invited, too!
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PARISH CALENDAR THIS WEEK
3/25 Bible Study 10:15 am, Rath House
3/26 HE & Breakfast 7:00 am, Church
Junior Choir 5:00 pm, Choir Room
Adult Choir 7:30 pm, Choir Room
And please check the calendar on our website for the full listing of groups and events in our buildings.
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For All the Saints – March 25, The Annunciation of Our Lord
“Today’s feast commemorates how God made known to a young Jewish woman that she was to be the mother of his Son, and how Mary accepted her vocation with perfect conformity of will. It has been said, “God made us without us, and redeemed us without us, but cannot save us without us.” Mary’s assent to Gabriel’s message opened the way for God to accomplish the salvation of the world. It is for this reason that all generations are to call her “blessed.”
The Annunciation has been a major theme in Christian art, in both East and West. Innumerable sermons and poems have been composed about it. The term coined by Cyril of Alexandria for the Blessed Virgin, Theotokos (“the God-bearer”), was affirmed by the General Council of Ephesus in 431.
Mary’s self-offering in response to God’s call has been compared to that of Abraham, the father of believers. Just as Abraham was called to be the father of the chosen people, and accepted his call, so Mary was called to be the mother of the faithful, the new Israel. She is God’s human agent in the mystery of the Incarnation. Her response to the angel, “Let it be to me according to your word,” is identical with the faith expressed in the prayer that Jesus taught, “Your will be done on earth as in heaven.”
Gerard Manley Hopkins, comparing Mary to the air we breathe, writes:
Wild air, world-mothering air ...
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now,
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve,
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn--
~ Holy Women, Holy Men
Question for Reflection: Where do you see Christ being made incarnate in your life? How do you experience/consider Mary as “the mother of the faithful”?
Grant us grace, our Father, to do our work this day as workmen who need not be ashamed. Give us the spirit of diligence and honest enquiry in our quest for the truth, the spirit of charity in all our dealings with our fellows, and the Spirit of gaiety, courage, and a quiet mind in facing all tasks and responsibilities. Amen.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr, 1892-1971
You can read more about Niebuhr here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhold_Niebuhr