This issue includes news about XYZ, Christmas Carol-sing,
Vestry and financial reports...and more
A Seasonal Invitation

I love returning to these words from Fleming Rutledge at the beginning of Advent,

No other denomination does Advent as conscientiously as we do. It is one of the most important, most cherished contributions that the Episcopal Church has made to Christian worship. Advent teaches us to delay Christmas in order to experience it truly when it finally comes. Advent is designed to show that the meaning of Christmas is diminished to the vanishing point if we are not willing to take a fearless inventory of the darkness. [1]
 
The hope in Advent is that God sees the darkness -- in us and in our world -- and does not look away. God looks straight into the darkness and responds with the world's brightest light. To celebrate the light without first acknowledging the darkness dims the brilliance of God's radiance.
During this holy season, I invite you deeper into prayer, scripture, and conversation about darkness. There will be an abundance of programmatic and worship opportunities through St. Michael's. If those offerings are not calling to you, simply take time to sit in darkness with a single candle and observe what happens -- observe the power of a small light in a space overwhelmed with darkness. Make space for God in the darkness that surrounds us this holy season.

Faithfully,
Beth

[1] Fleming Rutledge, The Bible and the New York Times, Advent Begins in the Dark, 1996, p. 26.
Advent Morning Prayer

From Dec. 3-20, Advent Morning Prayer will be offered at 12:05 PM, Monday through Thursday, in the Main Sanctuary.  Prayers will be drawn from The Church of England's  Common Worship , for Advent.

XYZ Lunch: Spice It Up!
 
Join us, Thu., Dec. 6, for a potluck lunch in the Parish Hall. Pretzels and punch at noon. Parishioner Lalitha Samuel will present a demonstration and discussion of the basics of various spices, how they can be used in cooking, and how they can benefit one's health.  Lunch at 12:30. All are welcome, especially seniors. Contact: Evelyn Bence or Jane Cook.
Thank you, Mary & Rob! 
 
A tremendous thanks to Mary Thorne and Rob Vigfusson for completing St. Michael's Audit. This is a yearly undertaking to ensure we are in full compliance with all Diocesan financial guidelines. We are incredibly thankful for the time and expertise Rob and Mary shared in successfully completing this year's audit!
RSVP Now: A Toast to Beth & Nic
 
Come one, come all! We'll be toasting the
newlyweds on Sun., Dec. 2 from 4 until 6 PM in the Parish Hall. For planning purposes, it would be helpful to know how many to expect, so please let us know if you're planning to attend (no need to RSVP if you're not). Please RSVP here or send an email to Cindy Matlack no later than Fri., Nov 30.
November Financial Report
  
Our income as of Oct. 31, 2018 was ahead of our projected budget by 3%. For the same period, our expenses were less than our projected budget by about 5%. St. Michael's currently has 67 pledges totaling $243K in 2018. Twenty-one of these pledges are now complete. As of Nov. 11, 2018 (86% of the year completed), we have received $212.6K, which is 87% of the pledged total. St. Michael's has received 36 pledges for 2019, and one of them is already completed. The 2019 Pledge Campaign finished on Nov. 18, however pledges for 2019 can still be turned in!

Read the full treasurer's report (which includes the Outreach collection figures)  here.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Dean Scribner, Treasurer
Advent: The Greatest Story Never Told

The season of Advent is a time for preparation --  preparation of our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ. But there is often much that overtakes this ancient narrative full of wonder and mystery. During this season of Advent, join with us as we explore the familiar Christmas narrative with fresh questions. How do we retell this story in a way that matters for our life, today?  
 
On December 9, 16 & 23, each program begins at 4 PM followed by a simple supper and conversation at 5 PM. We'll finish with Compline from 5:45 to 6 PM. 

December 2 , What's in a Word?    
Participate in an Episcopal digital movement reflecting on a single word in preparation for the coming of Christ. How does today's word resonate with your Advent journey? Words will be posted daily throughout Advent to the St. Michael's website and Facebook page. Due to a previously scheduled event, there will be no program at church on Dec. 2; participation is online only. 
 
December 9 , Cups of Wonder: How does the way in which we tell this story matter?
A time for individual reflection and guided meditation  
 
December 16 , Debunking the Hollywood depiction of the Christmas Story
Interactive events designed especially with families in mind   
 
December 23, How Does Music Tell the Christmas Story: A Concert and Hymn Sing
Christmas Carol-sing
 
We invite children of all ages (that means EVERYONE) to join us for carols, crafts, food, and fun, Sat., Dec. 8, 2-4 PM in the Parish Hall. Bring your singing voice, and come for good Christmas fellowship!
October Vestry Meeting Minutes

Please be aware that the content contained in these meeting minutes was accurate at the time of transcription. Some details may have since been updated.

Read the full report  here .
 
Michele Casciano, Registrar
On our new website
 
 
Common Cents 
 
St. Michael's volunteers conduct a lay church service each Sunday morning at Regency Care of Arlington nursing home in Pentagon City. Typical attendance is 20-30 residents. The number of volunteer hours expended is over 150 per year, but our material costs are less than $550 per year.

Dean Scribner, Treasurer
Communication Deadlines
 
Please submit short announcements of a timely nature to Wil Harkins, parish administrator, by noon on Thursday prior to the Sunday that you'd like it included in the service bulletin. 
 
Longer articles and items that are not time sensitive should be submitted to The Guardian newsletter staff by the 1st or 15th of the month. The newsletter is published on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. All submissions are subject to edit and approval.
 
 
Support St. Michael's

 

You can make single gifts and recurring donations (pledges) through our online service  Network for Good.
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
 1132 N. Ivanhoe Street  | Arlington, VA 22205-2445
 

Our mission is to provide a nurturing spiritual community in Christ Jesus as the foundation 

from which we strive to go forth and serve God by the power of the Holy Spirit.