The New Year 2016 is here and in full swing! Tonight and tomorrow morning a ministry team from All Saints’ will be serving at Family Promise Homeless Shelter at Trinity House/Shrine of St. Joseph. Please keep these folks and the families of the shelter program in your prayers.
This Sunday our Sunday School classes start up again, and the Confirmation class will meet at noon. We’ll renew our baptismal vows as part of worship for the First Sunday after the Epiphany: the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. And at the 10 am service (and for the remainder of this liturgical season) we’ll use one of the Eucharistic Prayers from Enriching Our Worship, including the contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer.
Here are links to two different articles you may find helpful and interesting. The first is a brief explanation of blessing chalk at Epiphany in order to write a blessing on your door post at home, which we did last week. We still have some small packets of chalk and the accompanying prayers available in a basket in the Narthex if you missed yours last week: http://interruptingthesilence.com/ .
The second is an article about the central traditions of Christian worship that I posted on the parish Facebook page earlier today. The article outlines the spiritual, theological, and discipleship/Christian formation reasons for the tradition of Christian liturgy, while acknowledging the need to always be open to the Spirit of God prompting us to renew and refresh our worship. Take a look! The message, in a nutshell, is this: "We don’t keep tradition because it’s tradition, or because it’s old, or because it’s comfortable, or because we like it. We keep tradition because it’s worth doing. Because it anchors us. Because it’s bigger than us. Because it reminds us that we’re not alone. Because it keeps us honest. Because it helps us avoid thinking that this worship thing is all about us. Because it accepts us as we are, but expects our participation in worship and beyond. Because it lets us engage our minds with our spirit." http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ponderanew/2016/01/08/dear-traditional-worshipers/.
+ + + + + + + + +
Meal-for-a-Day Bags for the Homeless will be assembled by the Rite-13 Class in the Parish Hall during Coffee Hour this Sunday. Others (adults and kids) are invited to participate. The meal bags are then taken to St. John’s, Dover to be distributed to homeless people Need more info? Speak to Jane Hayden.
Thanks to everyone who has been donating food or funds to our Twelve Baskets Food Pantry. During the holiday season we have been able to serve many hungry people in Dover – both homeless, and those who have a place to live but are food insecure. We’ve also been able to support a local township family. The food donations that we have received from Whole Foods (from their vendor samples) have supplemented this ministry. Thank you for your on-going participation.
And another way to assist with ministry to and with hungry people? Keep your eyes and ears open to people you know and meet at work/school/neighborhood; people who are food insecure don’t advertise the fact, but may need to talk honestly about their experience with a supportive, non-judgmental person whom they can come to trust. Sometimes affirming another person’s dignity is just as important as giving them something to eat.
Thank you to everyone who helped with this month’s Family Promise Homeless Shelter. Our next turn to serve will be in April. Please speak with Kathy Pfeil to learn more about this ministry.
Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) Knitting & Crocheting – We are always looking for people who would like to knit or crochet caps and scarves for merchant seafarers or river mariners. We have simple patterns to follow, and when we have enough garments gathered we send a box off to Port Newark to be distributed to ships as they come into port in the weeks before Christmas. The caps and scarves are the centerpiece of gift packages that are given to the crews on Christmas Day when they are at sea. Here’s the link to the SCI website: http://seamenschurch.org/christmas-at-sea . Winter is a great time to get involved with this ministry. Speak to Janet Mansfield for details.
All God’s Children Service for kids and families with Special Needs, next Sunday, Jan. 17 at 12 noon.
Quiet Evening and Compline, Thursday, Jan. 21, 8:15 pm
The spiritual practice for this month is Zentangle: a Drawing Meditation. Learn more about this calming, intuitive activity ay www.zentangle.com and then come and try it out!
8:15 – Zentangle
8:45 – Quiet Candlelight Prayer
9:00 – Compline, sung with the Choir; finish by 9:15 pm
Bible Study meets on Wed. 1/13/2016, 10:15-11:30 am in the Rath House. We’ll discuss Sarah, Edna, and Judith, pages 317-336 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 next meet Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 7:30 pm in the Rath House. We’ll talk about Eve: A Novel by Wm. Paul Young (author of The Shack.)
Book Donations – As you are cleaning and organizing in the New Year, please remember our new book donation bin next to the Rath House. All books in good condition that have a bar code are welcome, except for encyclopedias. Text books are good! We get 15% of the income after the books are resold by New Legacy Books. Tell your friends!
Eagle Scout Project: Parish House Coat Room. The doors have been attached to the storage units, and a new ceiling light has been installed (thanks, Roger Mederos!) making the room much brighter, and no longer humming from a bad balast. Sam and Geg Litra will be here on Martin Luther King weekend to finish up the project. Once it is all done we’ll have a fully functional coat rack, and ample storage for parish needs and supplies for the A.A. groups. We are looking forward to its completion. Thanks, Sam!
Troop 56 Eagle Court of Honor – this Sunday afternoon three Scouts from our Boy Scout troop will be receiving their Eagle Award, the highest honor in Boy Scouting: Andrew Jia, Garrett Lukaszek, and Stepehn Tyls. Andrew constructed the trash sheds at the Parish House and Church garage last spring. Congratulations to the new Eagles!
+ + + + + + + + +
1/12 Finance Committee 7:30 pm, Rath House
1/13 Bible Study 10:15 am, Rath House
1/14 Holy Eucharist 7:00 am, Church
Small Saints & Junior Choirs 5:15 pm, Choir Room
Adult Choir 7:30 pm, Choir Room
Save the Date, Jan. 31 for the Parish Annual Meeting
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
Parish Office Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs from 9:30 am-4:00 pm,
Rector’s Sabbath day: Friday
Remember to “Like” us on Facebook: All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Millington, NJ
+ + + + + + + + +
FOR ALL THE SAINTS
Aelred, Abbot of Riveaulx, d. 1167 – January 12
Aelred was born in 1109, of a family which had long been treasurers of the shrine of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne at Durham Cathedral. While still a youth, he was sent for education in upper-class life to the court of King David of Scotland, son of Queen Margaret. The King’s stepsons Simon and Waldef were his models and intimate friends. After intense disillusion and inner struggle, Aelred went to Yorkshire, where he became a Cistercian monk at the abbey of Rievaulx in 1133.
Aelred soon became a major figure in English church life. Sent to Rome on diocesan affairs of Archbishop William of York, he returned by way of Clairvaux. Here he made a deep impression on Bernard, who encouraged the young monk to write his first work, Mirror of Charity, on Christian perfection. In 1143, Aelred led the founding of a new Cistercian house at Revesby. Four years later he was appointed abbot of Rievaulx. By the time of his death from a painful kidney disease in 1167, the abbey had over 600 monks, including Aelred’s biographer and friend, Walter Daniel. During this period, Aelred wrote his best known work, Spiritual Friendship.
Friendship, Aelred teaches, is both a gift from God and a creation of human effort. While love is universal, freely given to all, friendship is a particular love between individuals, of which the example is Jesus and John the Beloved Disciple. As abbot, Aelred allowed his monks to hold hands and give other expressions of friendship. In the spirit of Anselm of Canterbury and Bernard of Clairvaux, Aelred writes:
There are four qualities which characterize a friend: Loyalty, right intention, discretion, and patience. Right intention seeks for nothing other than God and natural good. Discretion brings understanding of what is done on a friend’s behalf, and ability to know when to correct faults. Patience enables one to be justly rebuked, or to bear adversity on another’s behalf. Loyalty guards and protects friendship, in good or bitter times. ~ Holy Women, Holy Men
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
~ Mary Oliver, from Swan: Poems and Prose Poems. © Beacon Press, 2010