Coming up on Grace Street
Christmas is Coming!
This Week  at a Glance

Sunday, 12/23
  • 9:00 a.m. Faith Formation with Rev. Sue Eaves (Norwood Room)
  • 9:00 a.m. Parent's Group Meetup (Youth Room)
  • 9:00 a.m. Godly Play and Spark (Children's Center) 
  • 10:00 a.m. Service of the Holy Eucharist (Scott Hall)
  • 11:15/directly after worship service: Rehearsal for the Christmas Pageant (meet in Atrium)
** CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE **

Monday, 12/24 (Christmas Eve Day)
  • 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Pageant 
  • 9:30 p.m. Musical Prelude
  • 10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service of the Holy Eucharist
Tuesday, 12/25 (Christmas Day)
  • 10:00 a.m. Christmas Day service of the Holy Eucharist 
** Please Note: there will be no Daily Eucharist or Emmaus Lunch Program during the week of Christmas. **

CLOSED Wednesday, 12/26

Thursday, 12/27: Church Office Open 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

Friday, 12/28: Church Office Open 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

CLOSED Saturday, 12/29

Sunday, 12/30
  • 10:00 a.m. Service of the Holy Eucharist (Scott Hall)
Worship & General Announcements
Words from our Interim Rector 

To read a reflection on the Gospel in our everyday lives, take a peek at the most recent  Jottings from Grace Street   post,  a weekly blog by the Rev. Sue Eaves, our interim rector. 

It must be noted that Sue does not receive these responses directly, but they are forwarded her way and she does read each of them. Thank you for your kind and intelligent replies, and please continue to share your thoughts with us.
A Christmas Message 
from  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

This Christmas, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has some words of wisdom for us as Episcopalians: 

"Help ALL refugees. All people who suffer. Anyone who is alone. Everyone who is in need."

To see the video of the full address, please click here

To read the address' full text on our website, click here.
Acolytes Needed for Christmas Eve Service 


If you have "graduated" from the acolyte program,  we are inviting you to join our current acolytes to participate in the 10:00 PM Christmas Eve service. Congregation and choir singing will start at 9:30PM, prior to the service at 10:00 PM. (Please note, these are NEW times.)  

Please let Stephen Peple know if you would like to participate. Assembly time is 9:00 PM. in the Atrium.  You can reach Stephen at (804) 285-0701 (land line) or at peplesg.va@netzero.net. Please let Stephen know by December 22nd via email, phone, or parents.
A Special Christmas Music Offering

Join us in celebrating and supporting our amazing music ministry at St. Paul's through this year's Christmas Music Special Offering. Your gift will be used to enhance the music for our Christmas worship with additional instrumentalists and support of our wonderful choir, making this day even more radiant and glorious.

Please make your check out to St. Paul's and write "Special Music" in the memo line. You can put your check in Sunday's offering or mail to: St. Paul's Episcopal Church ATTN: Aliesha Hart 815 East Grace St. Richmond, VA 23219.  You can also make an online donation through our online giving portal HERE and choose "Music Program" from the drop down menu.

Faith Formation + Adult Education
Advent Faith Formation: 
The Way of Love as a Rule of life

You are invited to participate in our final session regarding the journey of discovery that is Advent this Sunday morning at 9:00 am, in the Norwood Room.
This week's theme will be:
  • 12/23: The Birth of Jesus: Journeying with the World (led by Sue)
We hope you can join us as we close this season of searching, waiting, and journeying together.
Youth, Youngish Adults, 
and Children + Family Ministries
Christmas Eve Pageant @ 4pm: 
 All Ages Welcome! 

 
Is your little angel (or shepherd, or barnyard animal) ready for the stage? Please consider taking part in our Christmas Eve Pageant this year! We will have a small rehearsal directly after the worship service this coming Sunday, the 23rd.  To choose a costume, please connect with Linda Willis at  lwillis@stpaulsrva.org

We are also looking for youth and/or youngish adults to help us with getting angels, sheep etc. in place and getting kids ready in their costumes on the eve of the Pageant. If you are interested, or know of others who might be, please let us know and spread the word! 

Let's ring in the birth of the Lord in truly dramatic style!
Youth AND Youngish Adults: 
Be on the Lookout for the 2019 Schedule(s)!

We have some fun events coming up in the new year... please stay tuned for the 2019 schedules for Youth and Youngish Adults! 

Please let Keli Cooper know if you'd like to sign up for the weekly breakdown of all the fun opportunities for either of these ministries at kshipleycooper@stpaulsrva.org . Thanks!
Outreach Announcements
Christmas in  Mwitikira: 
A Word from Father Erasto

What does Christmas look like in the village of Mwitikira, Tanzania? According to the Rev. Canon Erasto Ndahani, it looks something like this:

"On Christmas Day in the church, there are a lot of events. Many families want to baptize their kids, so always there are more than 20 kids baptized each Christmas. 

This is a day when many people come to the church, even those who are not likely to come for the regular services, so usually the church is so full. There are songs, poems, and a lot of dancing in the church. "


To read the full Christmas message, please visit our website posting here
  "Put Happy on a Face": Give the Gift of Dreams!
  

This Christmas, give the gift of a DREAM by donating to the
"Put Happy on a Face" campaign, a part of the MICAH initiative that enables kids from our partner school, Woodville ES, to go to camp! These residential camps help Woodville students expand their horizons by introducing them to new people and environments all while having a ton of fun! 

You can buy a day or a week's worth of camp in honor or memory of family or friends, all while supporting a student's dream. One Week of Camp is  $100, and One Day of Camp is $25. 

To purchase your cards and help contribute to this awesome campaign, please visit the Put Happy on a Face table in the gathering space this Sunday. You can also donate by visiting the MICAH page on our website  here, and follow the instructions for contributing from there.

Thank you for giving the gift of dreams this year! 
O Giving Tree, O Giving Tree...

We are still accepting donations for our Emmaus ministry and for the children at Woodville Elementary under our "Giving Tree"! Please consider bringing one of the following items for donation:

For adults: 

-socks 

-travel size toiletries


For kids: 
-belts (medium or large youth sizes)
-new stretchy pants (like joggers, leggings, sweatpants in all sizes)
-new tee shirts (all youth sizes, especially girls)

Thank you for your generosity! 
Parish Life + Stewardship 
A Call to Community: Save the date for a four-part dialogue experience sponsored by HRI 
(to be held in February)

Save the date for a four-part dialogue experience coming up in the new year. Sponsored by HRI, this event is to be held in February. A Call to Community: Honest Conversations on Racial Healing and Equity will offer small group dialogues for parishioners, facilitated by parishioner and HRI Steering Committee member Rob Corcoran and an experienced team from Initiatives of Change, and will focus on trustbuilding, self-awareness, and healing within the congregation. 

These sessions will take place on Tuesdays in February (5, 12, 19, 26), with refreshments at 6 pm and dialogue 6:30-8:30. Suggested donation is $40 for all four; scholarships are available. More information is forthcoming.  Registration begins in January. We hope to see you there! 
A Big Thank You to Those Who Have Given

With pledges totaling $658,000, we are very close to meeting our goal of $715,000. That is truly incredible ( we are almost there!) and we want thank everyone for your participation in this year's Stewardship Campaign for the 2019 program year. 

 If you haven't turned your pledge card in, you can pick one up on the welcome table next to the stairs or fill out our pledge form online at www.stpaulsrva.org/giving/pledging.

Your pledge is so important and it makes a difference in the life and ministry of St. Paul's church. THANK YOU!
St. Paul's Prayers
We pray for the families of Metropolitan Richmond: For an end to child abuse; for healthy relationships between children and their caregivers; for families going through divorce; and for all in the midst of life transitions.

We pray for all the Baptized in their daily work, especially those of our congregation and community who are in in the health care profession especially nurses, doctors, midwives, dentists, therapists, pharmacists and aides.

We pray for those who are ill: for Mike Cizenski, son-in-law of Lynn and Peter Blankman; Elizabeth Hess, mother of James Hess, and for James Hess, husband of Erin.  We also pray for those who are no longer with us: for Doug Tyndall, for Matthew Mackay-Smith, step-brother of David Romaine, for Eleanor Green, and for Phil Schwarz.

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to your never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that you are doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We would also like to extend a special prayer for the St. Paul's Search Committee:

Almighty God, look graciously on the people of St. Paul's. Be with us and lead us as we seek the next rector for our church. We ask your direction and guidance for those who shall choose our new spirtual leader; that we may receive an upright and faithful pastor who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries, breaking down the walls that separate us from our neighbors, uniting us in bonds of love, and working through our struggle and confusion to seek reconciliation in Richmond and the world. Grant us perception, faithfulness and joy, so that we may hear your voice in all our deliberations; that in our diversity we may be all of one heart & soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity. Grant us also the desire and the ability to truly hear each other and those who have entrusted us with this process. Give us courage to respond and act as you lead us. Come Holy Spirit. 

We pray this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

If you would like to add a name to the prayer list, please contact Parish Administrative Assistant Carter Johann at cjohann@stpaulsrva.org or (804) 643-3589.
Connect with 
St. Paul's:
815 E. Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23219