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|➤Parish Post, December, 2010||December 1, 2010|
Parish Post, December, 2010
ST.PETER’S PARISH POST
The Season of Advent
A time of “Waiting”
One of the many blessings of our Anglican tradition is our church year. Our church year serves as a container, holding our time and God’s time together, and in this container an amazing alchemy occurs, an alchemy in which God transforms us from the dust from which we were made into children of light. When we take the time to dwell in God’s time and open ourselves to God’s electrifying and transforming love, even we, as imperfect as we are, can reflect the light of God’s glory into the darkness of our broken world.
During the season of Advent, we bring our humanity, our brokenness, and our exhaustion to God and start over again. We throw ourselves into God’s time, and we wait. We wait to be transformed as we wait for God to transform the entire cosmos by entering time and space as a newborn child, one who will grow up to share in our joys and our sorrows, who will live and die as one of us.
While we wait and hope with anticipation for the birth of this child, whose journey to earth was lit by a great star, and whose birth was heralded by the songs of angels, we remember that our journeys here on earth will ultimately take us back to God, and so we spend this time not only in preparing for the birth of the infant Jesus, but we look ahead to His return to earth as Christ the King. He is the One who will come in mercy and in judgment. He is the One who will forgive our sins and who will bring us into our new resurrection bodies. He is the One who will lead us into life everlasting.
And so for these next several weeks, as we wait in hope and with longing for His birth, and for His return in glory, we pray that we may find the time to enter into God’s time, so that we can be transformed, and be born anew as children of light.
Peace and love,
Celebrate the Advent Season with St Nicholas
And enjoy Evensong on Sunday, December 5, at 5PM.
As part of our year long 175th anniversary celebration, we will be celebrating the Feast of St Nicholas and enjoying a service of Evensong on December 5, beginning at 5PM.
At 5PM, we will gather in the Parish Hall and meet St Nicholas himself. We’ll find out more about the tradition of gift-giving that grew out of the actions of this most generous of saints. We will enjoy some of the wonderful European traditions that have come to be part of celebrating the feast day of St Nicholas. These traditions include filling shoes with small gifts, (bring a shoe if you would like to participate in this tradition!), drinking Bishop’s wine, and eating the special stollens and cookies that are traditionally eaten on St Nicholas’ Day. We’ll also have cheese and crackers, chocolate, and cider.
At 7PM, we’ll go over to the church, and join the choir for a service of Evensong. This beautiful service of music and candlelight will be led by The Rev. Charles Sydnor, who has graciously agreed to officiate and to lead us in this sung service. For those who attend, this service will be a true Advent gift and blessing!
What is Evensong?
Evensong is said or sung in cathedrals, chapels and churches around the Anglican Communion every evening throughout the year. Its roots lie in monastic worship: Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556) created the service for the Book of Common Prayer by fusing together the monastic evening offices of Vespers and Compline. Evensong celebrates the Incarnation of Jesus, that moment when God took human form and became a part of daily, earthly life. The service includes psalms, a part of the Jewish worship in which Jesus participated, and integral to a community looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. This service also includes the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, songs from the New Testament. The Magnificat, the Song of Mary from the Gospel of Luke, is a prophetic hymn by Jesus’ mother, the “God-Bearer,” about the world that would emerge with the birth of her child. The Nunc Dimittis, also from Luke, is the Song of Simeon, the man who waited devoutly in the temple for the expected Messiah. There are also readings and prayers. Throughout the service, word and music join together: each enriches the other so that our senses and intellects, our hearts and minds, work together to draw us closer to God, give us a glimpse of God’s glory and learn the pattern of love at the heart of Christian discipleship.
We are very fortunate to have the Rev. Charles Sydnor serve as our officiant for Evensong at St Peter’s on Sunday evening, December 5, at PM.
Ecumenical Wednesday Morning Bible Study to begin new material on Wednesday, December 1 at 10AM
As we enter a new church year, our lectionary readings change. This past year we have focused on the gospel according to Luke. Beginning on the first Sunday in Advent, our readings will come from the gospel according to Matthew. Our Old Testament readings will be from the great prophet Isaiah.
In our midweek Bible study, we will be broadening our focus, using not only the lectionary readings, but also taking a broader look at the Gospel according to Matthew and the work of the prophet Isaiah. In addition we will periodically consider some thematic topics that tie in to the lectionary themes for that particular week.
Those of us who attend the Wednesday Bible Study have a great time together. We’d love to share this time with all of you, so please plan to join us! Call Catherine Hicks (540) 898-1586, for more information.
New Adult Education Program at 10:00 am
Focus: Advent—John Westerhoff has said that Advent is a time to renew our relationship with God when we are weary and discouraged by darkness. Advent is a time not only to prepare for Jesus’ incarnation as an infant in a manger, but also to prepare for the second coming of Christ. Advent is a season to focus on the rebirth of our individual spiritual lives as we make space for Jesus to be born in our hearts.
In this season of Advent, we will focus on prayer as a way of making space for God in our lives.
Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, by Richard J. Foster, provides the background material for this Advent program.
Sunday, November 28
Expectant Anticipation—Simple Prayer
“Pray as you can, not as you can’t.” Dom John Chapman
Richard Foster says that simple prayer is the most common form of prayer in the Bible. On the first Sunday in Advent, we will explore how our own simple prayers can help us form an ongoing and growing love relationship with Jesus, who loved us enough to be born in a stable, who walked on earth as one of us while staying in constant contact with God.
Sunday, December 5
Changing our Perceptions—The Prayer of Examen
“Prayer is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself.” St. John Vianney
As we prepare for God’s coming into our hearts, we can benefit from the prayer of examen. This prayer has two sides. The first is to examine how God is present to us throughout our days and how we’ve responded to God’s presence. The second side is to examine ourselves to see what we need to work on—what in our lives needs cleaning up, purifying, or healing?
Sunday, December 12
Waiting Patiently in Hope—The Prayer of Adoration
“In the prayer of adoration we love God for himself, for his very being, for his radiant joy.” Douglas Steere
We are so busy at this time of year that finding time to offer praise and thanksgiving to God seems almost impossible. Life is a blur, we get frustrated. We feel we need more and more—time, money, love– and this greed for more keeps us from loving God fully. Waiting patiently in hope depends on cultivating a habit of prayerful gratitude to God.
Sunday, December 19
Giving up Control –The Prayer of Rest
“Rest. Rest. Rest in God’s love. The only work you are required now to do is to give your most intense attention to His still, small voice within.” Madame Jeanne Guyon
As Christmas draws nearer, our days become more frantic as we take care of all that needs to be done to prepare for the holidays. We want everything to be perfect, to control everything around us, to have others follow our script. But when we are so busy at work, God is unable to work in us. The prayer of rest helps us to let go of all of the things that distract us, so we can regain tranquility in our hearts, minds and spirits.
AN INVITATION-CATHERINE’S ORDINATION
You are invited to attend this wonderful service on Saturday morning, December 11th at 10:30 am at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on River Road. (Call Cookie if you need more information.)
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
DoverParish in the Diocese of Virginia
12291 River Road
Richmond, VA 23238 Phone: (804) 784-5678
From the South, take I-95 North to I-64W (toward Charlottesville)
Travel 7.2 miles
Take the 2nd Gaskins Rd exit, Gaskins Rd South
Travel 4 miles on Gaskins Rd to the traffic light at River Rd
Turn right on River Rd.
Go 1.4 miles to St Mary’s Church on the left.
From the North, take I-95S to I-64W (toward Charlottesville)
Proceed with the same directions as above.
CHRISTMAS AS A TIME OF GIVING
This year the church will adopt a family of three – A single parent with two girls. The Giving Tree will be up by Sunday the 5th with the suggested gifts and sizes written on the Christmas balls. If you would like to make a monetary donation, I will be happy to shop for you. As in the past, we do not give our family money, but we do make contributions of Gift Cards in varying amounts. A money card from the Walmart would be wonderful. Walmart is close by and this allows the family to not only shop for much needed clothes, but food as well. The wrapped gifts will be due by Sunday the 19th of December. Please remember to put the Christmas ball on the package. Joan & Dutchy
It is that time of year again when we are able to help others not as fortunate as we at St. Peter’s. Please consider all of them in your giving and planning.
First, The FOOD PANTRY. Please bring in foods that will be wholesome for the families of our community. Many families will not have a Christmas dinner because of their situations. We can help. All your contributions will be gratefully accepted. Fred continues to deliver for us.
Second, Once again I ask you to remember the CHILDREN of ST. JUDE’S RANCH in Bolder City Nevada. As you receive your Christmas cards from friends and family, please save them for me to send to the ranch. The children take your old cards and turn them into a money making project for the ranch. This is wonderful therapy for these young people as they heal from their illnesses.
Third, I ask you to save your CAMPBELL SOUP LABELS to buy books and school supplies for the abused mountain children now living at Crossnore School in NC. These labels represent dollars and can buy so many books with this project that Campbell Soups support. All I need is the bar codes from each Campbell can of beans, soups etc.
A big THANK YOU all who gave coats and other items of clothing for the homeless in our community. I delivered a car full for the Bragg Hill Shelter in St Peter’s name. I cannot tell you how grateful they were. And lastly, a huge box of items was delivered from St. Peter’s for our veterans at McGuireHospital. These items will be distributed to those who are not as fortunate as our grandson. Many of these young people have no family in the area. McGuire was overjoyed to receive them.
I feel this mission of outreach is well supported by you and I do appreciate your help in its fulfillment.
Church Christmas Luncheon at Mimi’s at Cosner’s Corner
The ECW and Wed. Morning Bible Study invite everyone to join them at Mimi’s for our Christmas Luncheon on Wed. December 15th at 12:30. Call Marion to make reservations. It is a lovely restaurant with good food and it is easy to get to also. Hope to see you there!
Poinsettias Available for Church Windows
Give a flower in memory of a loved one and help decorate the church for the holiday! Put $10 for each poinsettia in an envelope and the name of the person remembered. Place in offering plate by Dec. 19th See Nancy Long if you have questions. She coordinates this wonderful ministry.
ECW Gives $5000 to Charities
The November meeting of the women of St. Peter’s focused on the charities we support and money was designated for needy projects both locally and nationally. Five hundred dollars was also given to the St. Peter’s Steeple fund in honor of those who have worked so hard over the years to support our church. Other charities include Covington Boys Home, Jackson-Field for Girls, St. Andrew’s School, Native American Project, The Dominican Republic Mission Project, Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, Bragg Hill Family Center, Five Talents, CERVE, World Vision and Our Little Roses in Honduras. Many thanks to all who have supported ECW fundraisers!
Village Dinner – December 1st
December’s meal will include beef pot roast, tossed salad and homemade coconut cake.! Yum!
Third Annual Tree Lighting
on the Town Green
Please plan to gather around the tree for our third annual
Tree Lighting on the Town Green.
419 King Street
Port Royal Virginia
Date: December 10th, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm
The evening will begin with a prayer led by Oliver Fortune, the tree will be lit, and carols will be sung around the tree.
If weather permits we will do some caroling around town.
Hot Cocoa and Cookies will be served in the town hall.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Our Friends from Memorial Baptist Church & Shiloh Baptist Church have also been invited.
If you have questions, please contact Terri Harrison,
Town Clerk at 742-5188
Did you know that currently diabetes kills more people than breast cancer and aids combined? Estimates, recently published, are that by the year 2025, one in every three people will have diabetes. In January, you will have an opportunity to attend lunch time "Healthy For Life" classes on Wednesdays at the St. Peter’s Fall Hall. Please spread the word if you or others you know would be interested in lowering their cholesterol, reducing their blood pressure, need to loose weight or have problems with diabetes. It should also go without saying that the class is also just plain fun if you enjoy learning about proper nutrition or the camaraderie of participants that happens naturally. An overview of the program can be viewed at www.trinityhealthweightloss.com so please feel free to direct persons that might be interested to that site to hear details. The fee for the 12 week class is $20.00 which covers the cost of the student workbooks and paper products used for the lunch portion of the meetings. Call Eunice Key at 804-241-5395 to register.
A Special Thank You!
Thank you to all who took part in the Shoebox Ministry.
We delivered 25 boxes! Great Job!
Dear St. Peter’s Family:
On Jan. 2, Catherine will Christen our Granddaughter – Mckenna Rylee Long during the morning service. Please plan to join us for lunch at "Townfield" following the service.
(No coffee hour at the Fall Hall)
We have so much to celebrate! A newly ordained Priest, a new Church
member, a New Year! Those of you who know our son, Alex, this will
give you chance to see him before he deploys in February. Laura and Justin will also be home.
We hope you’ll be able to celebrate with us.
Alex and Nancy Long
REGRETS ONLY: 540-226-4487 OR 742-5612
New Year’s Eve Gala at Parish House
The ECW will again sponsor a social on New Year’s Eve at 6 pm at Fall Hall. Bring a dish and your favorite drink. We will enjoy toasting the new year together, and be home in time to watch the 12 o’clock festivities on TV!
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All