December News from Saint Peter's
A New Rector

On 19 November, the Vestry selected Elaine S. Caldbeck to be our new permanent, full-time Rector.  She brings to us a wealth of experience from work with the Diocese of Chicago, Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension; Middletown, Ohio; as well as tours as an Assisting Priest and a Reference, Research and Curriculum Librarian in the Chicago area and much, much more.

She is currently the Interim Rector for St. Mark's Episcopal Church and Good Shepherd in Fort Dodge, Iowa and Webster City, Iowa; respectively. She has a Doctorate in Religious and Theological Studies from Northwestern University, a Master of Theological Studies and a Master of Divinity.  She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Iowa State University as well.

She is a warm, outgoing person with an engaging personality and is super excited to be coming to St. Peter's.  Her first service at St. Peter's is scheduled for 8 Jan 2017, after which, the Vestry is hosting a welcome party in the downstairs parish hall.  Please join us in welcoming Elaine and demonstrating that heartfelt St. Peter's hospitality, love and caring which she has heard so much about.
 
Larry Johnsen
Senior Warden
Prepare Ye the Way

The Worship Committee has prepared a variety of offerings  to help celebrate Advent and get into the Christmas spirit.  Please join us as we give thanks for our blessings and remember
all in our hearts as we prepare to celebrate the Lord's birth.

Advent Wreath Making
November 27 at 9:00 a.m.
Join friends and family in the Parish Hall to make a live evergreen Advent wreath for your home and enjoy treats, hot cider, and Advent music!  Please bring $25.00 to cover the cost of the materials.  You will take home your wreath, candles, a book of prayers & readings, and an Advent calendar!
 
Cocoa and Carols
December 4 at 9:00 a.m.
Join us to sing your favorite Christmas hymns, enjoy the story of St. Nicholas, hot cocoa and treats as we celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Don't miss this wonderful event and bring some canned goods for the Food Pantry along with you.

Blue Christmas
Tuesday, December 6, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
You're invited into the St. Peter's sanctuary for a Blue Christmas service.  The Christmas season is not always a time of joy and cheer for people, especially if they have suffered losses of family, friends, jobs or other life crisis. Join us for a service that draws upon the hope of the Advent season, with prayers for comfort and healing. The service mixes scripture, music, poetry and time for personal prayer and laying on of hands and anointing.
 
Hanging of the Greens
December 18 following the 10:00 a.m. service
The tall and the small are invited to help decorate the church for Christmas.  Help hang the greenery, set out the poinsettias, and ready the church for  the celebration of Christ's birth!

On this date there will also be a special reception to wish  our Interim Rector, Meg Wagner farewell.


Adult Formation in Advent
December 11 & 18 at 9:00 a.m.
 
Join us for two sessions using excerpts (provided) from the book 
Run Shepherds, Run: Poems for Advent and Christmas to explore the intersection of poetry and Christian faith. The Advent season is filled with rich themes that have fascinated poets and we will explore some of those themes through several poems.
Adopt a family for Christmas
St. Peter's congregation adopts families annually for Christmas through the Bettendorf Police Department. This year we are adopting four families with young children. W e will have ornaments on the Christmas tree in the back of the church.  Each ornament has the wish list of the children or the family. The gifts will be delivered on Dec 17th and 18th, so please have your wrapped presents back to the church by December 16.
Outreach for Guatamala

On Sunday, November 27, Jeanne Nakamaru, Director of the Centro Maya Project will have a booth set up in the Parlor after the 10:00 service. The Centro Maya Project is a social justice effort providing food assisitance to 26 families with 94 children, emergency and long term medical care, scholarships for children attending school, kindergarten through high school, hearing aids and small micro credit loans. The sale on Sunday really helps women/mothers. They weave these beautiful shawls, scarves and table runners and make jewelry to pay for day to day living expenses. Your purchase of these items makes an enormous difference for their families. We buy directly from the weavers. A man's daily is income is about $4 a day. Women gain prestige within their family when they sell a scarf to me for $20 or $30. You are not just buying a beautiful handmade gift for someone or yourself you are improving the quality of life of a family in San Juan La Laguna Guatemala.

Worship Services for Christmas

December 24 at 5 p.m. Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist 
Join the children and youth of St. Peter's as they bring the Christmas story alive through words and music. We hope that you can be with us for this holy observance of Christ's birth.  Be with us in prayer, in joyful singing of Christmas hymns, and in the breaking of the bread.
 
December 25 at 10:00 a.m. Christmas Day
Join us on Christmas morning at 10:00 for spoken Holy Eucharist.

January 1 at 10:00 a.m New Year's Day
Join us on New Year's Day for Morning Prayer.

Advent Prayer

Lord, Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!" Amen.
- Henry J. M. Nouwen
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