Messenger Header

Purpose

 

To be a Community where all persons will encounter the power and 

love of the Living God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Vision

 

All Saints Episcopal Church is called by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to...

 

·     Worship Jesus Christ

·     Learn and Teach His Word

·     Minister in His Name

·     Proclaim Him and Share the Blessing of His Love

·     Welcome All in His Name

      

The All Saints Messenger
December 14, 2017
In This Issue
  

Gary
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Those of us who live in community, (that is all of us)--particularly those of us who are leaders in our Christian community (that is most of us)--can all too easily fall into the trap of thinking it is up to us to be the heroic individual who does it all, responds to every crisis, is always there and always volunteering (we appreciate you) or feels they need to rescue us from whatever has befallen it. Sunday's Gospel reminds us vividly that just as John was not the Messiah, so too we are not. We can be, however, a voice crying out in the wilderness. We can be a voice for those who are suffering, a voice who cries out that there is a way to deep compassion and a voice who testifies to the illuminating path of radical hospitality and love.

Spirit of God, rest upon us with the power that draws us through our arrogance and self-deception into the light of your love and the deep compassion of your mercy. Empower us to live into the questions that draw us ever more closely into our community, your peace and your love rather than seeking the answers that drive us apart. Amen.


Blessings this Advent,
Fr. Gary+

See ya Sunday!
Holiday Worship Schedule
  • December 20th  - Blue Liturgy at 7:00 PM
  • December 24th  - Fourth Sunday of Advent at 9:30 AM
    • Note:  This is a joint simple Eucharist service for both 8 & 10:30 attendees.
  • December 24th  - Children's Christmas Eve Service at 5:00 PM
  • December 24th  - Traditional Christmas Eve Service at 11:00PM (music starts at  10:30 PM)
  • December 25th  - A simple Christmas Morning Service at 9:30 AM
  • December 31st - 8:00 AM Service, 10:30 AM Lessons & Carols
  • December 31st  - A New Year's Eve Eucharist at 11:30 PM (followed by a Chocolate and Champagne reception)  
ANNOUNCEMENTS  

*  Annual Giving: The first Sunday of December was our ingathering of financial pledges for 2018. We thank everyone for their generosity. If you have not returned your pledge sheets we encourage you to do so. We appreciate your gifts in our corner of God's Kingdom.

*  Christmas Altar Flowers :  If you would like to contribute to the Christmas Altar Flower arrangement, please fill out the form enclosed in Sunday's bulletin.

*  Advent Bible Study:   We are doing something different this advent! Our bible study will be based on the first part of Handel's Messiah, the Christmas Messiah. Not only will we look at the biblical texts which make up its lyrics, we will also listen to the wonderful music and discover the story of how it was written and initially performed.
When: 4  Saturday mornings from  9-11:30 AM (12/16).
Where: All Saints Family Life Center Conference Room
Bring: your Bible and yourself
Snacks provided
We hope to see you there!

* Cookbooks :   $5.00   If you don't need a cookbook, but would like to help our Outreach committee reach their budget goal, consider buying a cookbook to donate to our newcomers committee. Any donated cookbooks will be included in the welcome bag we hand out to newcomers. 

*   Hanging of the Greens:  Please join members of the Altar Guild in making wreaths and hanging of the greens on Saturday, Dec. 16th. We'll meet at 9am in the Family Life Center. Bring garden gloves and hand shears. All are welcome and we need lots of help. If you have any questions, please see Allison Wells or Gay Lindsey.

*  Christmas Pageant:  All children who would like to be in the Christmas pageant are welcome.  Practice will be on Sunday, December 17th after the 10:30 service.  Questions contact Eileen Klimkowski (803-619-4053) or Judy Mullins (704-718-1522).

*  Christmas Ministry Schedule:  During Christmas week we have more services and a need for more people to serve.  There is a ministry schedule sign-up sheet in the Life Center.  Please sign up for the times and services you are available so we don't have to "assign" people.  Blessings on all of you who serve in this very important ministry.

*  A Blue Liturgy : ­ For many of our brothers and sisters, this time of year brings back memories of past pain, sorrow, and loss. It highlights and heightens new experiences of suffering. For our sisters and brothers who are struggling, this time of year is no holiday at all. It is often filled with difficult times, humps to get over, gatherings to endure, varieties of pressures and a flood of memories that darken and dampen their days.  All Saints Episcopal will offer a "Blue Service" allowing for some time to recognize that this season is not a joy for everyone. When others are going "merrily along" there are many of us who would rather have the season just go away.  In this service, we will be given a chance to sing and to pray. We will be invited to offer up the pain, the loneliness, the sad and dark memories, and the anxiety and fear to the one whose birth we eagerly await...Jesus Christ. We pray that you will find hope and peace in this service and comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  Please join us and bring any friend or acquaintance who may be struggling this season on Wednesday, December 20 th @ 7 PM. 

*  Episcopal 101: Beginning on Sunday, January 7th and continuing for 6-8 weeks, from  9:30-10:15 Fr. Gary will offer an introductory course, Episcopal 101, for new and established members of the Episcopal Tradition. We are a tradition rich in scripture, history, heritage, literature, art and so much more. Fr. Gary's class will journey through our history, the Sacraments, prayer and how they intersect with our world today. Please mark your calendar to attend these classes and learn some new things about our tradition.

*   Server, Acolyte & Eucharistic Visitor (EV) Training : Servers, Acolytes and EVs have a unique and important history in our tradition. Each fills a unique calling in worship that goes back thousands of years. It has been a while since we have had dedicated training for these ministries. We know that in worship everyone wants to do things correct and uniformly. Thus, we will have two training sessions on the weekend of January 27-28 th ,   2018: Saturday morning at  9 AM  and Sunday immediately following the  10:30  service. Please mark your calendars now for this important training. We thank each of you who serve for your time and dedication. We also invite anyone who desires to serve or has questions to join us on this training weekend.

*  Family Promise: The dates that we will be hosting Family Promise for 2018 are 1/7, 4/8, 8/12 and 11/4. Family Promise is a community program that provides housing and support to families that are less fortunate. Our Family Promise guest will once again be with us starting Sunday January 7th , and will be with us the entire week until Sunday, January 14th. On the Sunday they arrive, we need individuals to assist in unloading the trailer that contains the families' belongings, and on the following Sunday we need volunteers to load the trailer. During the week, we like to have volunteers at the Fellowship Center when the guests arrive at 5pm. Then from 5:30pm to 6:30pm we find it rewarding to engage the children by  playing games, coloring and other types of entertaining activities. Dinner is served to the families starting from 6pm, and each evening we need volunteers to prepare and serve meals. One of the most important duties that we require during the week is that someone be on the church premises from 8pm to 7am to ensure the families' safety and to assist in case of an emergency. The other way that parishioners can assist these families is to donate items that our guests need. This program is a wonderful opportunity to give families without a place that they can call home, a temporary sanctuary by providing shelter, substance and a bit of compassion. Any assistance that you might offer, rather it be in time, donations or other types of resources is greatly appreciated. For more information, or to volunteer please contact Marc Dudley at 704-718-4044 or marcdudleync@gmail.com.

*  Bishop's Visitation: Our bishop, The Rt. Rev. José McLoughlin, will make his parochial visit on  Sunday, March 4, 2018. A bishop's visit is time for celebration as well as Baptism, Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation. For new members this is a time for being received or confirmed into your new faith community. Fr. Gary will offer a course, Episcopal 101, to assist anyone interested in better understanding our tradition.

*  Bible Study:   The  Wednesday Bible Study Group is reading the book, Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan.  If you are interested and need to order a copy of the book, contact Jerry Wertz 704-577-9699 or jerrywertz@att.net.  The group meets at 10 AM in the Family Life Center.   We don't rush through a book and have excellent discussions during the meeting.  Afterwards, we usually go to lunch together.  We hope to see a lot of you there on Wednesday.

*  Parish Lunch :  Thanks to all who helped with the 3rd Sunday luncheon, especially Helene Goulet who cooked with Linda Boyd helping.  We made $58.05 for Outreach from the November luncheon.  (This is after expenses were removed.)  The 3rd  Sunday luncheon now has a committee to prepare and cook.  We can always use more help.  The proceeds from the luncheon goes to Outreach.  If this is something you would like to help with, please contact Jerry Wertz at  jerrywertz@att.net.

*  Needed:  Monetary donations for lettuce and carrots for the Salvation Army salads on Mondays.  Each week, we use up one large bag of sliced carrots and 6 heads of lettuce.  Cost is about $20 a week.  Donations are needed to offset this cost.  Anyone willing to donate cash or a gift card to the project, please see Linda Klocker, 704-827-3901.  Checks should be made out to All Saints, garden fund.  Thanks for your generosity.  The clients at the Salvation Army really enjoy a fresh salad.  UPDATE:  Our salad fund is in the black at $91.20. Thanks to the many people who continue to regularly contribute.  It is much appreciated.

*  Garden re-cycling of leaves and grass clippings:  If you bag your leaves or grass clippings, we would like to have them for organic mulch for the garden.  If you can haul them to the garden area, please do.  If you have bagged leaves or grass and cannot haul them, call Charlie Jenkins at 704-739-5332 or email:  jenkinscharlesl@bellsouth.net

*  Zumba:  Now being offered 3 days a week in the Family Life Center!  $5/class
     - Tuesday & Thursday at 7:15PM:  Please join Dana Wolfe for a fun workout made for everyone.  The class that started the dance-fitness revolution and changed the way we look at a "workout" forever. It's fun, effective and best of all? Made for everyone!
     - Friday at 9AM:  Taught by certified instructor Barbara Mooradian who has been teaching for 6 years. Especially suited to older adults or those with mobility issues or restrictions, Zumba Gold has all of the liveliness and fun of Zumba while being low impact and easier on the body. It can even be done while sitting!  

*  Adult Christian Formation: The 9:30 formation class will be learning about Islam. Our guide on this journey is professor John Esposito of Georgetown University. Please join us in The Life Center for this tour into one of the Great World Religions.
 
*  First Sunday of the month Coffee Hour:  We need someone to set up and clean up only
for Coffee Hour on Parish Breakfast Sunday.  You do not have to provide any food, just set out the food left from breakfast.  Please sign up for this on the Coffee Hour sign-up sheet.

*  Youth Christian Formation: Christian Formation for our young people begins at 9:30 sharp. Our new program is an Episcopal curriculum. We have 11 dedicated teachers and three dedicated musicians who will be guiding our young people. Please bring your children and let them experience God and Jesus with others.

*  Towel Ministry Coordinator :  All Saints Towel Ministry funds and builds handicap ramps and does other small building projects for those in Gaston County who have a need.  If you are a good organizer and understand basic building techniques All Saints could use your services as our new Towel Ministry Coordinator.  You are not expected to do all the work, just take requests, assemble the teams and help out the citizens in our community who need help.  If interested please speak to Fr. Gary.

* Choir Rehearsal:  Sunday mornings at 9:25 am

*  Food Pantry:  Please help us restock the shelves by bringing in the following items: canned meats only (chicken, ham, vienna sausages, spam, salmon, etc.). Through your generosity, we have been able to help many families and individuals. 

*  Preaching ROTA (rotation) at All Saints: We are blessed at All Saints to hear three different voices in preaching. Each one of our clergy; Gary, Cris and Martha, have experienced the world and see the world differently and through different lenses.  Because our community is made up of different people from different experiences we need to hear different voices. At All Saints, Deacon Cris preaches on the 3rd  Sunday of each month, Deacon Martha preaches on the 1st  Sunday of alternate months (next time is in September) and Fr. Gary preaches the other Sundays. We hope you find the different voices fulfilling in your spiritual journey.

* Parish Nurse Ministry will be taking blood pressures after the 8:00 and 10:30 services on the second Sunday of the month.  Nurses interested in the parish nurse ministry please contact Cheryl Saylor, MSN. 

*  Sign Up Sheets for coffee hour, altar guild and altar flowers are on the bulletin board in the Family Life Center.  Coffee Hour hosting can be as simple as drinks and cookies.  Coffee hour is provided to have fellowship with our parish family.  Please sign up or call the church office to add your name to the list (704-864-7201).

*  Salvation Army Service Schedule:  Monday, December 18th - Team #3.  (William Graham, Pete Laine & Milton Halley)

*  Church Financials: The Vestry wants to make sure that all parishioners are aware that the monthly financial reports are posted on the bulletin boards in The Family Life Center. If you have any concerns or questions please contact Phill Wertz or Fr. Gary.  Thank You!

*  Why Do You Love All Saints?  Who here loves All Saints?  Do you want to tell the world why you love being a part of the All Saints family?  Please help us spread the word about our congregation by telling your All Saints Story.  All Saints Stories will be published on our website:  AllSaintsGastonia.org as well as our facebook and twitter pages.  To submit your story, go to AllSaintsGastonia.org and click "All Saints Stories" under the Parish Life tab.  If you can, please submit a photo with your story.  

* Prayer List:  Our prayer list grows rapidly.  We ask all parishioners to keep the office informed so that our prayer list remains current and manageable.

*  Partnership: All Saints has entered into a relationship with the YMCA's Resource Connection Gateway.  This relationship enables us to help those in need more rapidly and efficiently while also addressing long-term needs versus only addressing immediate concerns.  If you would like more information please see Fr. Gary.

*  Salvation Army Serving:   If anyone is interested in serving at the Salvation Army on Mon. nights from 5:00 to 6:00, please contact Candy Albergine at 704-868-8691 or email calbergine@gmail.com. We have a couple of spots open and you will find this ministry is a true blessing to all involved. The schedule is on bulletin board in Family Life Center.

*  All Saints Sermons online: Thanks to John Woodward, our sermons are available in audio and video on our website at:  www.allsaintsgastonia.org/sermons
  
*  Free Mulch:  There are several piles of mulch in the upper parking lot that you are welcome to take.  We need to free up some parking spaces in that upper lot.  Please do not take the mulch by the shed as that is intended for the garden.  

*  Building Use Policy:  Our buildings are being used more and more and scheduling conflicts are occurring.  Effective immediately, all rooms/buildings will be scheduled by the Parish Administrator by the submission of a form which is available at the office and will soon be available on the web site.  We appreciate your understanding realizing that this will improve our ability to serve our parishioners and ministries.

* Planned Giving: Programs for Outreach Ministries are an important part of our parish. You can ensure the continuation of these programs by setting up an endowment or including a bequest in your will. The Episcopal Foundation of Western Carolina has set up "The Living Stones Society" to provide Education and training to all clergy and parishioners about setting up a program. For more information see Fr. Gary or call the foundation at 828-225-6656.
  
* Ministry Opportunities: There are a variety of Ministries available at All Saints including feeding at The Salvation Army, tending the Garden, Family Promise where we take care of those without a home for a week at a time, Altar Guild, Readers, Lectors, Acolytes, Chalicers, and many more. Everyone at All Saints is encouraged to serve in some way. Please let us know what you are interested in and we will put you in touch with the ministry coordinator. You can call the office (704-864-7201), email (secretaryallsaintsgastonianc@gmail.com) or speak to Fr. Gary.

 Upcoming Schedule  

 

December 16th:  Advent Bible Study

December 16th:  Hanging of the Greens

December 17th:  Christmas Pageant Rehearsal

December 19th:  Vestry Meeting

December 20th:  Blue Liturgy

January 7th:  Episcopal 101

January 7th:  Family Promise

January 27 & 28th:  Server, Acolyte & EV Training

March 4th:  Bishop's Visitation

This Sunday's Scripture Readings

The Collect

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

The First Lesson:  Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

The spirit of the Lord  God is upon me,
     because the  Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
     to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
     and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the  Lord's favor,
     and the day of vengeance of our God; 
     to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion-
     to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
     the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
     the planting of the  Lord, to display his glory.
They shall build up the ancient ruins,
     they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
     the devastations of many generations.
For I the  Lord love justice,
     I hate robbery and wrongdoing;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
     and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants shall be known among the nations,
     and their offspring among the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge
     that they are a people whom the  Lord has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
     my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
     he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
     and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
     and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord  God will cause righteousness and praise
     to spring up before all the nations.

Canticle 15

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; * 
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

The Gospel:  John 1:6-8, 19-28

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
Saint Day / Feast of the Week

William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Stewart
Prophetic Witnesses, 1879

William Lloyd Garrison was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in
1805. His father, a sailor, had abandoned the family when he was five
years old. His experience of poverty at a young age awakened in him
a religious zeal for justice and a hatred for slavery. After working on a
Quaker periodical in Baltimore, Garrison returned to Boston and, with
the help of the black community, started his own antislavery paper,
The Liberator.

His proclamation of purpose in the first issue became famous around
the country: "On [the subject of slavery] I do not wish to think, or
speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is
on fire to give a moderate alarm ... but urge me not to use moderation
in a cause like the present."

The Liberator came to be the dominant voice in the abolitionist
movement demanding immediate emancipation without compensation
to slave owners. Garrison invoked the ire and rage of people all over
the country, particularly in slaveholding states. In 1835 an angry mob
attacked Garrison who was jailed for his own safety.

In what was a radical policy for the time, Garrison opened up his
columns to black and female writers. Among those to respond to his
call was Maria W. Stewart, a freeborn African-American woman who
showed up at his office in 1831 with several essays that were published
in The Liberator.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Stewart was orphaned at the age of
five and grew up in the home of a white minister. She married James
W. Stewart, a successful shipping outfitter, but was widowed just three
years later. Soon after she experienced a religious conversion and
responded with her vigorous antislavery advocacy. Her efforts called
upon African Americans in the south to rise up against slavery and for
northern blacks to resist racial restrictions. When her speaking career
ended after three years, she became a schoolteacher and then Head
Matron of Freedom's Hospital in Washington D.C., which was later to
become Howard University.


December 15th - Emily Solis
December 18th - Diane King
December 19th - Judy Cheek
December 21st - Linda Klocker
December 23rd - Christine Borner
December 25th - Barbara Mooradian
December 26th - Noelle Martin
December 30th - Helene Goulet
January 2nd - Priscilla Graham
January 3rd - Michelle Dudley
January 4th - Marc Dudley
January 4th - Denise Whittaker
January 7th - Marsha Ellison
January 10th - Jim Carpenter
January 11th - Terry Eckard
January 18th - Gary Butterworth
January 18th - Brad Frazier
January 18th - Jim McCarthy
January 21st - Erik Jager
January 22nd - Cathy Webster
January 26th - Kelly Halley
January 26th - David Smith
January 31st - Jay Oden

Please let the office know if we have missed your birthday!
MINISTRY SCHEDULE  

2017
December 17
December 24
9:30AM
CHALICE/LECTOR
8:00 AM
Don Stine
N/A
CHALICE 
10:30 AM
Cheryl Richard
Adam Nygren
Jim & Flo McCarthy
LECTOR
Susan Stroud
William Graham
ACOLYTES
Sydney Wertz
Noelle Martin
Sophie Martin
Phill Wertz
Sydney Wertz
GREETER/USHER
8:00 AM
Linda Boyd
N/A
GREETERS/USHERS
10:30 AM
Bob & Claudette Forbes
William & Priscilla Gaham
ALTAR GUILD
Marc Dudley
Altar Guild
BREAD
December
Allison Wells
January
Kelly Halley
ALTAR FLOWERS
Advent Greens
Advent Greens
COFFEE HOUR
Parish Lunch
Erin Balco
MORNINGSIDE
10:30 AM
Lee & Allison
Wells
Pete Laine
Judy Mullins
SOUND TECH
Marc Dudley
William Graham
EUCHARISTIC
VISITORS
Jerry Wertz
David Klocker
William & Priscilla Graham
YOUTH 
FORMATION
Sharon Tatlock
Eileen Klimkowski

VPOD 8:00
10:30
Jerry Wertz
Lee Wells
N/A
Adam Nygren

Blessings & Peace,
Fr. Gary+

phone: 704-864-7201
e-mail: secretaryallsaintsgastonianc@gmail.com
Fr. Gary's blog: