Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I hope that your journey through Advent has been a time to draw closer to God, to see and know more of the fullness of Christ – for yourself and for God’s world. Our Christmas services are listed below, along with some announcements. I pray that they will not only help you to “be in the spirit of the season”, but that they will be a time of refreshment of your love for God, of your commitment to be a follower of Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit’s enlivening and renewing work in you and through you. Invite someone who needs to know God’s love and care to come to Church with you, or to share a meal or a cup of coffee with you. A most blessed and joyous Christmas to you and those you love…. all twelve days! ~ VGM+
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!
Please look below for the announcements.
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 – or you can RSVP via e-mail to email@example.com. 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!
Bible Study, Wed., Jan. 3 at 10:15 am in the Rath House. In this session we’ll read and discuss 1 Corinthians, chapter 14. Start the New Year off right by learning and growing in faith with others. We’ll be glad to have you.
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).
FUN & FRIENDSHIP
All Saints’ Church will offer beginning Mah Jongg lessons – a series of three lessons, for a small fee benefitting the church. The dates are Saturdays 1/6, 1/13, and 1/20 from 1:00-2:30 pm at Kathy Pfeil’s house in Millington (call or email for the address). No need to bring anything, except your sense of fun! Eight people have signed up already and there is room for more. Mah jongg is a game of skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance. Contact Kathy with questions or to let her know you are coming: 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. And a reminder: pledges are the largest and most reliable portion of our parish 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, and are a blessing to your fellow parishioners and to all those All Saints’ ministers to. Thank you!
First Sunday after Christmas, December 31st
8:00 am, Holy Eucharist II
10:00 am, Lessons and Carols
Please note that the Parish Offices will be closed until Tuesday, Jan. 2 to give our parish staff and office volunteers a well-deserved rest!
Advent Reflection 36 (12/24)
The final two Great O Antiphons:
O Rex gentium
O King of the nations, and their desire, the cornerstone making both one;
Come and save the human race, which you fashioned from clay.
O Emmanuel, our King and our Lord, the Anointed for the nations and their Savior:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.
Both antiphons pray “Come and save…the human race/us.” How will the celebration of Christ’s coming save you this Christmas, and (through you and all others who follow Jesus) the human race?
Advent blessings, Vicki+