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Dragon Tales E-News
December 5, 2018
peter new pic
A Note from Peter

John the Baptist comes to us this Sunday, with his call for repentance. It’s not a message most of us are keen to hear. Often times we prefer the voice of God to remind us of our specialness, our uniqueness and how wonderful we are. While we certainly need to hear this voice to combat the ‘not-enoughs’ of this world, we also need to hear the call of the Baptist to turn from other things to a God that wants our attention.

As I told a friend recently, God is a loving God, but God is also a jealous God. He asked, ‘what does that mean?’ I told him that God wants our attention, our focus, and our devotion. When we give those things to other entities (think possessions, accomplishments, power, money), God needs to call us back to attention.

I think this can happen in several ways. How are you hearing this call these days? How is God calling you back to attention?
Schedule Reminder -- The church office will now be open on Fridays by appointment only. This will allow staff to be able to be flexible with their schedule if they need to work on Sundays. You will still be able to communicate through email and voicemail.
Sunday's Service
December 2, 2018
Service Schedule for Jan.-Easter
Our new service schedule for January through Easter Sunday on April 21 is now available on the new online scheduling system. This means you can now begin swapping or asking for subs if you know you cannot complete the duty assigned.

Office Copy Machine Use
Because of the upcoming Christmas season, the office copy machine will be in use even more than usual by staff. We ask that parishioners do not plan to use the copy machine without scheduling a time with staff first. And if you can avoid using the machine or can copy elsewhere this month, please do so.
Missions for Christmas
To help our homeless brothers and sisters, the Missions Commission is once again collecting small value gift cards ($5 or $10) for area restaurants and convenience stores. The gift cards will allow homeless men and women to purchase food or a hot cup of coffee and in some cases get out of the cold for a while. Suggested gift card venues include fast food restaurants, coffee houses, and Wawa. Gift cards can be given to parishioner Christine Feldmann, placed in her mailbox in the church office, or given to clergy on Sunday.
As the St. Margaret’s Youth Group did last year, they will be collecting hats, scarves, gloves (or mittens) and fleece blankets, for local secondary public school students – all neighbors of ours - to stay warmer this year. Their giving tree is located in the narthex and loaded with ornaments made by the Youth Group. The ornaments will list what the requested item is, and whether it is for a boy or a girl, and what grade they are in. Please take an ornament (or several!) home with you and when you go out to do your family Christmas shopping pick up the requested item. We ask that you bring the UNWRAPPED donations – with the ornaments attached– to the narthex by Sunday, December 16. The gifts will be delivered to the schools and students will receive their gifts on the last day of school before the Christmas break. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

NEW-- The Missions Commission is joining our youth's giving tree project by collecting gifts for two local families. Thanks to our contact at Anne Arundel County Public Schools, we've received wish lists for two families that have children ranging in ages between 1 and 12. Please consider taking a tag from the giving tree and returning the unwrapped toy/item under the tree by Sunday, December 16. 
Members of our parish are asked to provide holiday meals to local families and seniors this Christmas. We have received names from our partner schools and the A.A. County Dept. of Social Services of those needing help in purchasing their holiday dinners. The Mission Commission will provide the hams: parishioners are asked to provide the side ingredients for the rest of the meal and deliver the food basket to the recipient a few days BEFORE Christmas. No cooking is involved! Baskets will be available for pick-up in the Parish Hall on Sunday, Dec. 16 or by separate arrangement. In advance, you will receive the name of your recipient and delivery instructions. To participate, contact Barbara Marder at 410-518-9978 or scubaesc@aol.com .

LONGEST NIGHT”HOMELESS PERSONS MEMORIAL SERVICE
for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County
Friday, December 21, 4:30pm
Sunset at 4:47pm
WHITMORE PARK
37 Clay St., Annapolis
just off Calvert St.
Sponsored by 
Arundel House of Hope, Sarah’s House - Catholic Charities,
and Light House Annapolis
 
A 40-minute somber service to remember the lives of homeless sisters and brothers who have died in Anne Arundel County in the previous year.
Guild Poinsettia Sale
The Guild will hold its annual poinsettia sale in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday, Dec. 9 and 16. Prices are $15, $20, and $25 for different sizes. Proceeds go to the Guild's missions efforts.
Decorate for Christmas for Loved Ones
wreath
Parishioners are invited to make a donation to decorate the church for Christmas in honor of or in loving memory of a loved a loved one . Poinsettias are $25 and wreaths are $40. Fill out this form to print and pay by check (put in offertory plate or drop by church office) or pay by credit card online. Orders due by December 16.

The Flower Guild makes its annual request for parishioners to kindly bring in fresh greens, including holly or magnolia, to help decorate the church for Christmas. Please leave outside the Annex building (next to the church) on Dec. 22-Dec. 23 in the am.
St. Nicholas Day on Dec. 16
st nicholas
Mark your calendars for  Dec. 16   as we await a   special visitor in the parish hall during coffeehour (10:15 to 11 a.m.) for a St. Nicholas Day celebration.   There will a special introduction to the legend of St. Nick before a very special guest arrives.  No Sunday School that day!
A Quiet Christmas on Dec. 19
quiet christmas
The Christmas season can be overwhelming, especially for those who are experiencing sadness, loss, or illness. Join us for a special service that allows participants to remember loved ones in a calm and reflective way. Our Quiet Christmas services will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at noon and 7 p.m. Childcare can be provided by emailing elizabeth@st-margaerts.org .
Youth Mission Program on Dec. 17
Kate Riley from the Diocese Youth program is coming down from Baltimore on Monday, Dec. 17 to present information on two summer youth mission opportunities that are open for our students.

The meeting will be Monday, December 17 th , during the 6 o’clock Faith & Fellowship dinner . Youth and their parents will get get food from our Faith & Fellowship meal and move down to the youth room to eat and listen to Kate.

The two mission trips are Brethren Disaster Relief,  July 7-13, 2019, and the Puerto Rico Mission,  July 23-29, 2019.  Click this link - http://episcopalmarylandyouth.weebly.com/missions.html to learn more about them.

While the initial deadline for the Puerto Rico trip has passed, there are still opportunities to participate!  For more information, contact Youth Ministries Leader Jeff Conover at jeff@st-margarets.org .
Christmas Service Times
Christmas Eve Services
4:00 p.m. -- With music from the Spirit Singers
7:30 & 10:30 p.m. -- With music from the combined choirs

Christmas Day Service
10:00 a.m.

First Sunday after Christmas - Dec. 30
7:30 a.m. -- Rite I Service
9:00 & 11:15 a.m. -- Christmas Lessons and Carols

10:20 a.m. -- Parish New Year's Brunch
Bring a breakfast casserole to share!

Year End Giving from the Church Office
end of year giving
Deadlines for contributions to be recorded for 2018 taxes are as follows:

Stock or bond sales need to be given ASAP. This is because it may take 2-3 weeks for the transaction to be processed and for our bank to receive the proceeds from the sale. Please remember to alert the church office of your gift in advance so you can be properly credited.

Automatic drafts from your bank need to be scheduled by you no later than Monday, December 14. It can take six to seven business days to process and then mail the checks to our office.

Please mail your final 2018 contributions so that the office receives them by Thursday, December 27 .

Did you know the IRS requires those over age 70.5 to withdraw a certain amount from their IRAs each year? Talk to your financial planner about possibly giving to St. Margaret’s. You might avoid paying income taxes on the distribution!

NOTE: We will not be mailing pledge giving statements until after the new year. If you would like to request a statement be emailed or mailed to you, please email Elizabeth Radley at
Elizabeth@st-margarets.org before Dec. 20th.
Children's Epiphany Pageant
After the Christmas week is over, the children of St. Margaret's will be offering the story of the Magi in a pageant on Epiphany Sunday, Jan. 6 . There will be no Sunday School that day. Dress rehearsal will be on Saturday, Jan. 5 in the parish hall at 9 a.m.

We are in need of volunteers to help with costume mending (before Christmas) and rehearsal help. We are very happy to announce that parishioner Sierra Mullen will be leading this effort. Since this is her first year, we are in need of many parents to offer her support. Please email Sierra at to let her know if you can help!
Upcoming Diocesan Retreats
The Diocese of Maryland is offering upcoming retreats for men and women at its Claggett Center located near Frederick, Maryland.

Participants across Maryland join together to study and discuss scripture, pray, and celebrate the love of God in a peaceful setting.

Women's Weekend - January 18-20, 2019

Men's Weekend - February 1-3, 2019

Women' Retreat - March 15-17, 2019