November 2020
Thanking God for Grace-Filled Moments
by Peggy Eastman, Poet-in-Residence
Like many of us, I love the Thanksgiving holiday, our national day of gratitude. I love sitting around a big table and seeing the faces of family members and friends as we enjoy roast turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans with slivered almonds, rolls and two kinds of pie, pumpkin and apple.

It’s not going to happen this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We all have a human tendency to think about returning to our normal lives “post-pandemic.” But instead of mourning what is not to be this year, I am consciously trying to thank God for all the daily grace-filled moments that make up the fabric of our lives, here and now.  I give thanks for:

  • Hearing the welcome whoosh of my furnace kicking in on crisp fall mornings;
  • Watching a robin bathe in my birdbath and sit on the edge to fluff her feathers;
  • Appreciating the intricate designs on the homemade fabric masks that came to me as gifts and the loving hands that crafted them;
  • Walking to the outdoor farmer’s market near my home on Saturday morning to buy kale, rainbow carrots, and apples and thinking of the hard-working farmers that grew them;
  • Raking fallen leaves into a pile that will become rich mulch to nourish my plants;
  • Savoring the aroma of vegetable stew simmering in a pot on my stove;
  • Picking up mail for a neighbor who is away and being glad I can perform this small service;
  • Sending a get-well card and prayer for healing to a friend who is recovering from an illness, even though I can’t visit her in person;
  • Looking up at the dark night sky and seeing the stars strewn across it like little diamond chips scattered by a generous Creator. 

All of these grace-filled moments are the small, daily blessings that remind me how much God loves and cares for each of us, no matter what the outside world denies us or demands of us.  

They’re really not so small, are they?
Blessings through Family Ministry!
by Rev. Matthew Kozlowski
Have you noticed that Family ministry has been doing something new this Fall? Each week, there is a new theme that children, students, and adults study, talk about together, and wrestle with. It might be a question, a thought to ponder, or an important aspect of the Christian faith.

Some examples that we've pondered include:
  • The Power of Prayer
  • What To Do When You Make a Mistake?
  • Why Should I Trust God?
  • How To Face Challenges With Courage

We are excited that these themes show up in three places each week. Our student ministry groups (middle school & high school) tackle the theme, talking about them and wrestling with the serious implications of sometimes difficult realities in their lives. In addition, the preacher for the Family Table service uses the same theme as the basis for the sermon. Finally, the children’s Sunday School classes match that week’s theme with an age-appropriate Bible story and lesson.

The results have been exciting!  The Lord has blessed us! Our ministry feels more unified across all the age groups and within families. Plus, we are addressing questions and ideas that really matter, and are relevant to the lives of our children, students, and adults.

Keep an eye out for these weekly themes in our Friday E-Blast and Sunday worship email. We have a feeling that God will continue to speak to us and to our hearts through these themes in the days and months ahead!


Father Mathew with a bike - giving the Family Table sermon on "How to Face Challenges With Courage."
ASC Gratitude Jar
What are YOU grateful for? We asked this question of the parish, and were blessed to hear from so many of you about what you are grateful for and those things - large and small - we thank God for every day. (Some submissions edited for brevity.)

I am full of gratitude for …

God’s eternal faithfulness, despite our human frailties.

Spiritual growth via virtual prayer and Bible study.

A God who loves us unconditionally and without end! He knows our names, He sings over us, AND knows the number of hairs on our heads! 

All Saints leading me on a creative journey and opening me up to God’s generous grace.

Each morning, which brings new opportunities.

Our All Saints clergy, ministry leaders, staff, and their families, who have blessed us, day by day, in full measure. For all that they do to bring All Saints to us virtually. And for their love, prayers, and care for the whole church and beyond.
"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:12)

Deepening Christian friendship despite social distance.

How loving, good, and gracious God is.

That All Saints Preschool is open in-person this year. It has been life-changing for my family!

The Daily Moments with God devotionals.

For the beautiful parish roof replacement in 2018, that increased safety and helped prevent leaks during this very wet year! (Click HERE to see a fun and informative video from our roofing contractor about the replacement!)

The stunning beauty of this fall season.

Less traffic, less pollution, a less busy calendar, more family time, and new friends I’ve made during quarantine.

Funny Zoom backgrounds!

Gods everlasting love, despite being in a pandemic! And for the time He has provided for us to slow down and be able to have intimate moments with family and friends, even if from a distance. This is from a favorite song: I am Grateful for the things that you have done. Yes, I'm grateful for the victories we've won. I could go on and on and on about your works. Because I'm grateful, grateful, so grateful just to praise you Lord. Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart…It's gratefulness. Written by: Eric Davis, James Hairston, Deon Earl Maurice Kipping.

Educators and teachers who serve us and our children.

Our families and friends.

All who supported and contributed to the new playground, investing in the future of the children of the parish and the Preschool who will use it.

That our redeemer lives! 

Computers and 21st century technology that allows us to stay in touch, to worship and be together, despite being apart physically

Birthdays and anniversaries to honor and celebrate.

All Saints Church!
New Playground Taking Shape
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of the ASP families (former and current) for their endless support in contributing to the playground project. PRAISE GOD, we broke ground on October 20th, and the project is nearing completion! We are also especially thankful to Father Kelaher, Bill Garner, the Vestry, the Building and Grounds Committee, the Preschool Advisory Board, Ginny Leachman, Kingsley McAdam, and the entire staff of All Saints and All Saints Preschool who have steadfastly stood by us over several years in consulting, advising, raising funds, and ultimately seeing this through to its inception. We are still under construction, but please bear with us through this phase. It will all be worth it in the end!
 
With Thanks and Appreciation,
 
Lisa Hollingsworth, Director
Sara Tobin, Assistant Director
ASP Staff
Kingdom Moments!
Even during COVID - we had a beautiful outdoor
Blessing of the Animals service on October 24th!
Preschool Outdoor Halloween Activity
The Men's Ministry had a productive work day on October 24th - cleaning out lots of brush and debris around the church building!
Kids learn and play at the same time!
Did you miss the October issue? We focused on how God's grace to us at All Saints has enabled us to share our many blessings with those in need and participate in extending peace and reconciliation in His world.

Click below for other previous issues of the Connect!, celebrating God's faithfulness to us:


Please join us in continuing to celebrate the good news of God working in our midst - ideas for the Connect newsletter are always welcome! You may submit possible topics, photos, or short (1 - 3 paragraph) articles to Communications Manager Teri Ballou. Deadline for the December issue is Friday, November 20. Theme for December is "Waiting on the Lord."
How may we help?
We are here for you. If you need help, 
please call (301) 654-2488 or email info@allsaintschurch.net. All inquiries confidential.
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