This Week's Announcements
Our Schedule of Services:

Here is our schedule;
more information may be found by downloading the bulletin.


Sunday November 28:


8:30 am In Person Eucharist


9:40-10:20 am Sunday School
& Adult/Youth Group Advent in the Way of Love Class(in the Parish Hall)


10:30 am In Person(also streamed virtually) Eucharist


Wednesday, December 1:

12:00 pm Midday Prayer

Advent
Worship During Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

Please Save the Date for our Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany services as we plan for the holidays together!

Advent I, Sunday, 11/28:                             8:30 and 10:30 services as usual
Advent II, Sunday, 12/5:                             8:30 and 10:30 services as usual
Blue Christmas Saturday 12/12: 4:00 pm, A service to remember loved ones
Advent III, Sunday, 12/12:                          8:30 and 10:30 services as usual
Advent IV, Sunday, 12/19:                          10:30 Combined Service of Lessons and
Carols
Christmas Eve, Friday 12/23: 3:00     A Christmas Eve Eucharistic service
led by our Praise Band, which will be
streamed online and available to view
later in the evening for anyone unable
to attend. This will include singing the
Candlelit Carol of Silent Night.

9:30     A hymn-sing of Christmas carols as
we prepare for the late night service.

10:00  A late night Christmas Eve Eucharistic
service with the organ and choir,
including the singing of the Candlelit
Carol.

Christmas Day, Saturday, 12/25                 No Services Scheduled
First Sunday of Christmas, 12/26:             10:30 Combined Service
Feast of the Epiphany, 1/2/2022:               8:30 and 10:30 services, observing the Feast
of the Epiphany (from
January 6th) by parish custom
Outreach
Thistle Lights and Magdalene Omaha Sale December 4th – 5th

Magdalene Omaha is an Episcopal Church ministry that seeks to “deliver hope, healing, and economic self-empowerment for survivors of sex trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.” Part of their efforts at economic empowerment is through the Thistle Lights shop and the Voila! Magdalene Blooms shop here in town, which create and sell handmade products including teas, body washes, clothing, and more.

Please tell friends about this shopping opportunity for holiday gifts and supporting healing ministries!

Products can also be viewed or purchased at https://www.magdaleneomaha.org/shop

Hours:
December 4th, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
December 5th, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (during coffee hour)
Pastoral Conversations?
One of the roles of our priest, Fr Ben, is to listen, support, and encourage our community by helping us bring our faith to bear on the events of our lives. In a season of busyness and anxieties, if a conversation about faith and what’s going on would be helpful to you, please contact Fr Ben through our office (402-289-4058) to set up a conversation during office hours (M-Th 9:00 am to noon) or by appointment.
Opportunities to Get Involved
October Vestry Notes
Parish Office Nominations

Each year, we accept nominations for several parish offices. This year, Fr Ben has asked the outgoing class of Vestry members (Anja Armitage , Lynette Kautz , and Bill Smith ) to serve as our Nominations Committee to receive names. Nominations may also be sent to Fr Ben – this committee will review any nomination with the nominee and create a slate or schedule of candidates for the parish Annual Meeting in January (date TBD).

The following parish offices will be elected at our parish Annual Meeting:

Vestry, 3 seats, class of 2025: The Vestry is the parish board, and is a 3-year term elected by our Annual Meeting. Vestry members must be Confirmed (or had a confirmation Received) in the Episcopal Church, or be willing to do so this coming Spring. The Vestry meets monthly and reviews our church projects, policies, and finances, and collaborates with Fr Ben for major goals and initiatives. It is important that our Vestry reflect people from different kinds of families and groups throughout our parish to help us listen well to the call God places on our church community as we carry out our mission to “be a growing, faithful, inclusive, and caring community committed to the ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Vestry, 1 seat, class of 2022: Bill Kimme will need to step down from Vestry after this year, and our Annual Meeting can act to fill this seat as well (otherwise, it will be nominated by the rector and confirmed by the Vestry as part of their usual work). This represents an interim-year seat, which can be renewed for a standard 3-year term through the following year’s voting process. This is a good way for someone to learn more about how our vestry works or to serve for a brief term.

Annual Council Representative: Each year, the Annual Council of the Diocese of Nebraska meets in October (typically during bye-week for the Huskers!) to gather in worship and counsel and plan for the year ahead. This includes hearing from Bishop Barker, reviewing a draft budget, learning about ministry programs and goals, and may include legislative resolutions. The Annual Council in 2022 will be held in Kearney from Thursday evening to Saturday morning on a week in October.

Legacy Society Director: Our parish Legacy Society is a way to receive structured gifts, especially from estates, and has policies that govern how those gifts may be invested and used so that they continue to support our church and its ministries, especially in Outreach, Formation, and a small portion of budget. Each year we elect one member to a 3-year term, and this group meets four times each year, chaired by the senior member, to review the status of these investments and create any parish education about legacy planning.
Construction Wrap Up
End of Year Giving
2022 is just around the corner!!
Have you thought about completing your 2021 pledge, prepaying your 2022 pledge or just making that additional contribution to St. Augustine’s for tax purposes? All money must be deposited by December 31, 2021, in order for you to be able to deduct your charitable contribution on your 2021 tax return.
Considering holidays and office closures, we have some options for you and deadlines to consider.
 If you want to use our PayPal system, you need to have it in no later than December 24, as it takes 2-3 business days to reach our account after we initiate transfer.
 If you are paying by check, please make sure it is to the office by December 30.
If you want to take advantage of our brokerage account through Charles Schwab, plan early!!! With the transfer from your account to our account and then taking into consideration the sale time and not to mention getting the check written to St. Augustine’s and getting it deposited by December 31 – well do we need to say more?? Please contact treasurer, Maggie Wellman, for the needed information to access our account.

If you need to know your pledge balance for 2021, please contact Jay as she has all the updated information. Thank you for working with us to meet our deadlines and to make the end of the year a smooth transition into 2022!!
Elaine Randall Book Club
Volunteers
Friday, November 26

  • 8:00 AM -Men's Bible Study, for Zoom, CLICK HERE
  • Meeting ID: 725 959 1126


Sunday, November 28

  • 8:30 AM -Eucharist in person

  • 9:40 AM -Sunday School
  • 9:40 AM -Adult/Youth Group Advent Class

  • 10:30 AM -Eucharist in person & via Facebook Live CLICK HERE

  • 11:30 AM -Greening of the Church


Monday, November 22

  • 6:15 PM -The Order of the Daughters of the King Prayer and Bible Study


Tuesday, November 23

  • 6:30 PM -EFM (Contact Jack for Zoom Link)


Wednesday, November 24

  • 12:00 PM -Midday Prayer

  • 6:00 PM -NO Youth Group


  • Dec. 4 & 5 Thistle Lights & Thistle Blooms Sale in the Parish Hall
  • Dec. 12 Sunday School Youth Recording Epiphany Project
  • Dec. 19 Lessons and Carols
  • Dec. 24 Christmas Eve services
  • Jan. 2 Epiphany Services
  • Jan. 23 Sunday School Parent Meeting
Rector's Reflection
Thursday, 11/25/21

Thanksgiving

If you’ve ever heard me begin an off-the-cuff prayer, it’s probably started this way: “Good and gracious God, thank you for the gift of today.”

I can’t recall exactly when that settled in for me as my “go-to.” But I do remember praying as a child and feeling like making the sign of the cross was like picking up a phone and hearing a dial tone (you have to understand, it was a different time …). In the finest tradition of “Hello, this is Ben; is so-and-so there,” beginning a prayer has always felt like beginning a conversation with God, not by reaching out to someone far off in some other house, but by stopping my own awareness, which drifts and rambles far off throughout Creation, and calling it back to attention about who it is that is always with me.

Back in seminary, I’m pretty sure I began my prayers with “Almighty God.” There’s a whole catalogue of names, descriptions, and “titles of direct address” (or some such thing) that you can use when you pray. But at some point, Almighty God just seemed a bit too distant to me. It’s powerful language for sacramental prayers. It’s a way of remembering that the one who blesses and restores us is greater than the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that trouble us in this world. It’s absolutely part of who God is.

But at some point I realized that when I pray, I’m also praying to someone to whom I am overwhelmingly grateful.

I’m grateful to God for my life, and my stewardship of it. For Creation, and my chance to live in the daily awe of this world and God’s people in it, who I can meet and know and learn from. I’m grateful that the Gospel is something I learned early enough in my life that it could stand as an alternative to a lot of temptations I might have been suckered into along the way, especially to dismiss and mock neighbors I never would have met or learned to love, if I hadn’t been a Christian. I’m grateful that God’s saving work in my life keeps me focused on the reconciliation of all people, and the restoration of our world, and gives me hope for both small and mighty moments of grace in our community and our world.

When I pray to God, to whom I’m so grateful, I’ve found myself – for years now – taking up instead the words, “Good and gracious God, thank you for the gift of today.” And when I begin there, I can trust that I have at least some part of the right posture to be in before the Holy One who continues to bless and guide me.

Our national holiday of Thanksgiving is a beautifully human affair. It’s a time when our usual tables are made larger, and often have a guest or two even beyond what we expected. It’s a moment when we take up abundance with gusto and intention, making sure – as Charles Dickens once wrote – “that everybody had enough.”

Even the dry jokes we make of it – about the “crazy uncle” you have to put up with – are, in their own way, a quiet sign that for all the pain and chaos of our disagreements now, some piece of us understands in our depths that ultimately God will gather everyone at a common table, the great Feast that we catch a glimpse of at the altar of Holy Communion, the Eucharist, the Table of Christ.

And remembering the history of Thanksgiving – the table that members of the Wampanoag tribe set before starving Plymouth settlers, half of whom had already died in their first winter in the unfamiliar land of this other people – can be a somber reminder of a different way of caring across our differences, and other histories we might have had together, if things had only been a bit different. Here, too, is a place that Christians might ask for the grace of God – and here, perhaps, we need Almighty God – to let our generations be generations of reconcilers, committed to the kind of care for the stranger that once rescued starving pilgrims.

For all that the history might be fraught, the practice of giving thanks should be a deeply faithful one. It is a chance to take stock of blessings in our lives, and also to commit ourselves to the real and lifelong Christian discipline of making ourselves a blessing to others, and to do it, as we’re able, in the company of both those we love most deeply and the newest stranger at our table.

And I will happily lift a plate of pie in toast to that.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Fr Ben +
St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
285 S 208th Street
Elkhorn, NE 68022
402-289-4058
Church Communication and Announcements
Those of you who need to share information with the parish, please be sure to send it to parish@sainta.net as well as ministries@sainta.net  Jay and Kate will need to have this information by Wednesday at 10:00 am to be included in that week's communication for bulletin and newsletter. We appreciate your support.
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