Dear Beloved Church Family,
Christmas is upon us, and our emotions range from ones of great joy and anticipation to anxiety and loneliness. I pray that each of us can focus on and find comfort in the baby Jesus who comes to save us, who comes as God’s gift to us.
This past Sunday, we celebrated women in our Advent lectionary, the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s pronouncement of joy to Mary. We hunger for the kind of visitation enjoyed by them and the joy they both experienced. We yearn for the joy of the coming of the Christ Child.
We have worked together to bring joy and love into our community through ministry to our neighbors. This Thanksgiving, through generous gifts, we provided turkeys to Emmanuel’s Table Food Pantry and GAP. At Christmas, we provided them with special gift certificates and gift cards. Through our Giving Tree we gave new coats, hats, gloves, undergarments, socks and clothes to W.W. Robinson Elementary students in need of them.
Christmas Eve, Christmas and Lessons & Carols services are all this week. Last year our worship was limited to Zoom and Facebook Live. It was unfamiliar to most of us, and it wasn’t easy. We find hope in having vaccines available as we are ready for this pandemic to end. Please encourage all those you know who haven’t to get fully vaccinated and to get their boosters.
This year, we will worship in person, but it is still different. We are concerned about the new variant of the coronavirus; many will continue to worship through Facebook Live rather than risk potential exposure to COVID. For many families, including mine, it is year two of changed holiday plans.
As we transition into the new year, please remember that the Christmas miracle stays with us. It is a gift that can sustain us in our dark days because Christ’s coming can and should nourish us, bringing us peace within ourselves. My faith helps me understand that God is with me every day. I feel God’s love through my relationships with my loved ones. Let us love one another and see the joy in the rich graces of this holy season of love and new birth.
It is important to recognize that some of us enter the holidays missing loved ones or feeling adrift from their church home. For those of you experiencing loss or hardship during this time, I hope you find comfort in knowing our church community counts you as family. We are thankful for the joy you bring into our lives.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come fill us with peace, joy, hope and love.
LESSONS & CAROLS SERVICE DEC. 26
We’re having a joint Lessons and Carols service at 10 a.m. at St. Andrew’s for Sun., Dec. 26. There won’t be any other services that day. The service is going to be live streamed on our Facebook page and the full bulletin can be found on our website.
2021 GIVING TREE
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Giving Tree to support W.W. Robinson! Everything was dropped off by Mother Kathy, Melissa and her husband to the school last Friday. The school is very grateful for everything.
FOOD PANTRY DONATIONS AT ST. ANDREW’S
As a reminder, there is a basket in the parish hall to collect donation for the Open Table Food Pantry in Mt. Jackson. If you have any nonperishables, please drop them off for Jackie Yarnell to take over to the pantry.
SERVER SCHEDULE: ACOLYTES NEEDED
Starting in February, we’ll be including acolytes in the service schedule again. If you’d like to serve as an acolyte, please let Mother Kathy or Melissa know by Mon., Jan. 3.
The reader schedule through January is available on our website and below. If you’re not able to read as scheduled, please find a replacement and let Mother Kathy and Melissa know of the change.
BIBLE STUDY WEDNESDAY: CANCELLED FOR THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK
The Bible study group with the Episcopal churches in our region has started after summer break. It is from 7 to 8 p.m. online via Zoom. every Wednesday. You’re welcome to attend even if you haven’t before or if you miss a few weeks. You can jump in any Wednesday without any problem.
If you have any questions, please let Mother Kathy know.
FOOD PANTRY DRIVE
The W.W. Robinson Student Council set up a food drive for Emmanuel’s Table for their community service project. With a goal of 500lbs, they’ve already surpassed their goal which means all the students are being treated to a school-wide movie day. CHS football players, some student council members and staff, lead by student council advisor Galatea Flugel, made their first drop off last Friday. Tillie, Jonathan, Alice and Mother Kathy were there to help direct the hard-working crew. WWR is making one more drop off in the coming week. A huge thank you to the WWR community for all their hard work and generosity! We’ll let everyone know the final amount donated once the school has a chance to make their official announcement to the kids.
EMMANUEL’S TABLE FOOD PANTRY
The pantry is open the second and fourth Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The next date is Dec. 28.
Our prayer list can be found on our website. If you have folks you’d like added to the prayer list, please email their names to Melissa.
The directory is available on our website. To access the file, you’ll need a password so please email Melissa for it. (You don’t have to sign up for a DropBox account to access the file. If a window pops up asking if you want to sign up for one, you can close that out to continue to the file.)
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASK POLICY
Please see our website for the current information.
Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. Compline on Facebook Live and Zoom
NOTE: This Sun., Dec. 26, there only service is at St. Andrew’s at 10 a.m. for lessons and carols. The schedule below resumes next week.
8 a.m. Emmanuel
9:15 a.m. St. Andrew’s and Facebook Live (as technology permits)
11:15 a.m. Emmanuel and Facebook Live (as technology permits)
The full bulletin is available on our website prior to the service.
All weekly and Sunday services are available to view on Facebook and our website after the services, when available.