To be a Community where all persons will encounter the power and
love of the Living God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.
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 7, 2017
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
In our Advent Study on Saturday mornings, Deacon Martha has been leading us on a wonderful journey through Handel's Messiah. Handel's work is known and recognizable throughout the world. However, studying the pieces of music, listening to the words, the changes in instrumentation give us a new found discovery; God and Jesus themselves become readily accessible and present through Handel's music.
This past Saturday we focused on Isiah's passage "Comfort ye My People" from the 25
th chapter, 'The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek'. It is another of Isaiah's most beautiful images, of God wiping away our pain and sorrow and shame. What pain and sorrow and shame have you suffered?
What pain and sorrow and shame do you suffer now? Can you imagine that suffering - the pain and sorrow and shame you suffer - being wiped away? What would that be like?
Think about this and reflect and notice the hopes and desires in your heart that have come to light through Isaiah. Then intentionally resist letting them sink back, beyond your consciousness and instead nurture those hopes, remember what they are, then speak to the Lord about your hopes and desires. In your own words, as we await the one prophesied about by Isaiah at Christmas, speak to God about what is in your heart.
**Our study on Handel's Messiah begins at 9AM on the next two Saturday's. I hope you will join us.
Blessings this Advent,
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)
* Annual Giving: Last week 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.
Saturday mornings from
9-11:30 AM (12/9 and 12/16).
Where: All Saints Family Life Center Conference Room
Bring: your Bible and yourself
Sign up sheet on bulletin Board so we know how many to plan for
We hope to see you there!
* Cooking for the Army: Our next day to cook will be Friday, December 8th. Parishioners will gather at 5PM to cook approximately 700 meals for The Salvation Army & Cornerstone Ministry. We are always in need of more hands to assist in this life-giving project since "more hands make light work." If you are interested in this ministry, please contact the church office and we will put your name on the monthly e-mail reminder.
$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).
* The Pacesetters
will gather in the Family Life Center on Tuesday December 12th at 10:30am for our Christmas Party. Ham will be provided but sides, rolls, desserts are needed. Please let Jerry Wertz (
) know if you plan to attend and what you will provide. Guests are welcome.
* 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
@ 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
2018: Saturday morning at
and Sunday immediately following the
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 email@example.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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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
* 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: email@example.com
* 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 11th - Team #2. (George Sowersby, Nancy Byers & Alex Haymaker)
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 (email@example.com) or speak to Fr. Gary.
December 8th: Cooking for the Army
December 9th: Advent Bible Study
December 12th: Pacesetters
December 16th: Hanging of the Greens
December 17th: Christmas Pageant Rehearsal
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
erciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
The First Lesson: Isaiah 40:1-11
Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the
double for all her sins.
A voice cries out:
"In the wilderness prepare the way of the
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the
Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the
Lord has spoken."
A voice says, "Cry out!"
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the
Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
"Here is your God!"
See, the Lord
God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.
You have been gracious to your land, O
you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
2 You have forgiven the iniquity of your people *
and blotted out all their sins.
8 I will listen to what the
Lord God is saying, *
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Lord will indeed grant prosperity, *
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him, *
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.
The Epistle: 2 Peter 3:8-15a
Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
"See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,'"
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
Saint Day / Feast of the Week
Martyr at Syracuse, 304
Lucy, or Lucia, was martyred at Syracuse, in Sicily, during Diocletian's
reign of terror of 303-304, among the most dramatic of the
persecutions of early Christians. Her tomb can still be found in the
catacombs at Syracuse. She was venerated soon after her death and
her cult spread quickly throughout the church. She is among the saints
and martyrs named in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
Most of the details of Lucy's life are obscure. In the tradition she is
remembered for the purity of her life and the gentleness of her spirit.
Because her name means "light," she is sometimes thought of as the
patron saint of those who suffer from diseases of the eyes.
In popular piety, Lucy is perhaps most revered because her feast day,
December 13, was for many centuries the shortest day of the year.
(The reform of the calendar by Pope Gregory VIII (1582) would shift
the shortest day to December 21/22, depending upon the year.) It
was on Lucy's day that the light began gradually to return and the
days to lengthen. This was particularly powerful in northern Europe
where the days of winter were quite short. In Scandinavian countries,
particularly Sweden, Lucy's day has long been a festival of light that
is kept as both an ecclesiastical commemoration and a domestic
In the domestic celebration of Lucia-fest, a young girl in the
family dresses in pure white (a symbol of Lucy's faith, purity, and
martyrdom) and wears a crown of lighted candles upon her head (a
sign that on Lucy's day the light is returning) and serves her family
special foods prepared especially for the day. In praise of her service,
the young girl is called Lucy for the day.
December 9th - Laurie Stewart
December 10th - Tony Fugate
December 13th - Glenda Carpenter
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!
Sharon & Bob
Bob & Claudette
Lee & Allison
Lee & Casey Allison
Blessings & Peace,