Prepare to be Incarnational
This month on the first Sunday of Advent (November 28), we once again enter a season of preparing ourselves for the incarnation of our Lord at his most blessed birth in Bethlehem on that holy night. Through the retelling of that story, we celebrate the incarnation each year, but the best way to tell the story is with our very lives, to be incarnational in our life, our work, our ministry. By that, I mean that our faith needs expression if it is to have as much meaning as our Christmas story begs. 
 
A story of intense mystery, challenge to social mores, unfathomable trust, an arduous journey, rejection, and ultimately a revelation in a most unexpected way, we need not to just come and receive the sacrament whenever we come for worship, but to actually be sacramental – an outward and visible sign of the light of God's grace working in and through us in the midst of a world fraught with intensely arduous challenges. 
 
This month, as we once again prepare ourselves for the incarnation of our Lord at his most blessed birth in Bethlehem on that holy night, now more than ever, this ol’ world needs us to be incarnational, to bear the Divine Light of Christ, in our work for God’s kingdom this side of heaven.

Marc
Happy Thanksgiving! Join us today at 11 AM for Thanksgiving Service
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Please join us for our annual Thanksgiving service TODAY, Wednesday, November 24, at 11:00 AM.  

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Advent: New, blue beginnings!
On November 28, the first Sunday of Advent, we have the privilege of blessing beautiful liturgical items given in loving memory of St. Andrew’s parishioner William Haughwout Forrest, Jr. We will mark the beginning of the Advent season with a new set of hangings, vestments, and Advent candles, all in blue. 
 
Why blue, you may wonder, instead of purple? Good question! There’s huge theological significance to the change in color. Purple is the color of penitence, which is why we use purple in Lent as we prepare ourselves to remember Jesus’ crucifixion and celebrate his resurrection. But Advent is not primarily a season of penitence; the Church hasn’t seen it that way in many, many years. Rather, Advent is a season of joyous hope and expectation. The color blue reminds us of the heavenly nature of Advent, just as blue in stained glass windows points us to the sky.
 
The use of blue in Advent is actually an older tradition than the use of purple! Because we are now focusing on hope rather than penitence, all four candles on our Advent wreath are the same color, blue. (The rose candle was included in the purple color scheme as a break from the penitential focus; its purpose was to remind us of the joy coming our way even in the midst of penitence. Without the sober penitential focus, we no longer need that “break” built into the Advent wreath.)
 
We are so grateful to those whose generous memorial gifts make possible the beauty of our worship. May these new blue candles, vestments, and hangings help you to remember and experience the growing hope of Advent, this year and in the years to come.
Advent Gift from Anne - Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent!

As a gift to the congregation, Anne has purchased Advent calendars for all of us to use this December as we prepare once again for the coming of Christ. They will be available at church beginning this Sunday, Nov. 28. 
Adult Forum takes a break this Sunday, returns on Dec. 5

There is no Adult Forum on Sunday, November 28. Join us on December 5 at 9:15 AM in the Parish Hall as Margaret Bivins leads the discussion on Long Expected Messiah, Unexpected Jesus.
Something to do at home: lighting your Advent wreath or just candles to symbolize Advent
Each Sunday in Advent and on Christmas Eve we will be lighting the Advent candles during the service. We invite those watching at home to have your candles ready so that you can light yours each week as we light ours. This Sunday, November 28, we will light the first candle.
Farewell to Tonia & Ron Graves

This Sunday we bid farewell to Tonia and Ron Graves as they are moving to Winchester, Virginia. The Graves have been a part of our church family for almost 20 years and deeply engaged in the life and work of the church. Ron has helped to lead our Response to Racism Team and has served as church treasurer. Tonia has been a lay reader and a VBS volunteer. She served on the Altar Guild and as a member of our Vestry. Ron and Tonia's children, Eric and Kathryn grew up at St. Andrew's, serving as acolytes. Even though Eric and Kathryn are grown and on their own now, Tonia has continued to assist with acolyte scheduling. Ron and Tonia will be greatly missed, but their presence among us leaves a lasting, loving impression and has made St. Andrew's a richer community.
Our love and sympathy
are extended to the family and friends of
David Lee Short
who died November 23, 2021.
“Let light perpetual shine on him, O Lord.”
Seeking Vestry nominees

Even in the midst of the pandemic, the life of the church continues on. We will hold our Annual Congregational Meeting on December 5. Now is the time to submit names for vestry nominees. We need four people to become the vestry class of 2024, and one of them may be you. Nominations need to be submitted by November 10. Information about eligibility, expectations, and how to nominate yourself or someone else is on the nomination form. Click here for a nomination form.
St. Andrew’s Young Adult Ministry Team (YAMT) seeking more members—possibly YOU??
 
How can we as a parish minister to young adults—those who are parishioners, and those outside of our doors? That’s the central question that guides the work of St. Andrew’s Young Adult Ministry Team. In addition to the Covid pandemic, there is a pandemic of despair, depression, and hopelessness gripping the world’s young people. As Dan Waddill pointed out so eloquently in his recent forum series, the Church is in the business of hope and light, gifts from God that our world and our young people desperately need.
 
Over the past year, the members of the YAMT (Dan Waddill, Melissa Sale, Elizabeth Mayo, Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney, and Anne Kirchmier), with your help, have engaged in a number of projects to reach out to young adults near and far: a letter-writing campaign; regular text messages; phone calls; an in-person gathering; provision of gift bags for CNU students; consultation with the United Campus Ministries minister at CNU, etc. We promoted the Fire Pit gatherings to our local young adults and will also be encouraging them to take part in the parish Fellowship Groups currently being formed. 
 
What can you do? We would love to have you join us in our efforts to reach out to young folks in Jesus’ name. Our next meeting will be Tuesday night, November 30 at 7 PM via ZoomClick here to join the meeting. Please come! Meanwhile, feel free to reach out to any member of our team if you have any questions about this ministry. And please keep our world’s young adults in your prayers.
Preparing for St. Andrew’s December 5 Annual Meeting, immediately following 10:30 service

Dear friends,

As you know, we gather every year in early December for an annual parish meeting, at which we elect new vestry members and thank those who are retiring. Current vestry members report on our accomplishments, challenges, and hopes as we look to the future; those reports are collected into a document that will go out electronically and will also be available as a hard copy. This year, there will be a new element to our congregational meeting, and I wanted to let you know about it so that you can prepare.

Our recent practice with annual meetings has not included time for conversation among parishioners and parish leaders. Beginning with the December meeting, we are going to change that. The vestry wants and needs to hear your thoughts; and then to use your hopes, suggestions, and concerns to help shape our priorities for the coming months. To that end, we have developed a set of questions for you to consider prior to December 5 so that we can talk about them together at the annual meeting.

As you know, our parish mission statement is: St. Andrew’s: Building God’s kingdom through worship, outreach, and fellowship. Please prayerfully spend some time with the questions below and come prepared on December 5 to engage in a dialogue about them:
  1. How are we doing at living into our mission? What’s going well? What’s not going well?
  2. What should we do to address the challenges we are facing?
  3. How are we doing at loving one another – offering each other grace and forgiveness; reaching out across our political/social/economic divides; not only welcoming but also intentionally including new or unfamiliar people in our parish activities and fellowship?

Beginning in 2022, there will be two congregational meetings each year, spread six months apart. That will give us a chance to engage in a long-term conversation, with vestry leaders listening closely to your input at each meeting and then reporting back to you six months later about how we have addressed your comments. I am excited about engaging in this new process, and I look forward to our time together on December 5.

Blessings. - Anne
Tidewater Community Writing Center opens Dec. 5 in the Outreach Center
The Tidewater Community Writing Center (TCWC) has moved into St. Andrew's Outreach Center and will hold its grand opening on Sunday, December 5 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM. TCWC is a partnership with Christopher Newport University’s Alice F. Randall Writing Center and the Center for Community Engagement, and will offer support for writers of all backgrounds and abilities, for writers working in professional, creative, or personal capacities. It will be open every Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 PM. To book an appointment or if you have questions, please email tidewaterwritingcenter@gmail.com.
Adult Parish Advent Party on December 5

The Adult Parish Advent Party will be on December 5 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the home of Al and Rachel Roby, 900 River Road, Newport News. Bring a holiday hors d'oeuvres to share and your favorite holiday beverage. If you are new to St. Andrew’s, you do not need to bring anything – just come and join us!
Yearning for connection? Sign up for a Fellowship Group!
In 2022, we will be offering a new opportunity for Christian fellowship, this time in people’s homes: Fellowship Groups. Each Fellowship Group will consist of 8 to 12 St. Andrew’s parishioners who meet together once a month for six months simply to share a meal and get to know each other.  Individuals, couples, and families are all welcome to sign up to take part in the Fellowship Groups, which will then be randomly assigned in order to ensure a mix of ages, new and longtime parishioners, men and women, and as much racial diversity as we can muster. Once members have been assigned, each group will decide on its own calendar of gatherings and pick their own sites. Members might decide to take turns hosting dinner at their homes or to meet at restaurants. The goal of Fellowship Groups is simply to deepen our fellowship with each other, which inevitably strengthens the Body of Christ. Please take part! To indicate your interest, simply call or email Ann Turner, parish.admin@standrews-episcopal.org or 595-0371, by December 12. 
Christmas Memorial Flowers

For those who traditionally donate for our Christmas memorial flowers (poinsettias), your reminder letters were mailed on Monday, November 22. If you would like to have the names of loved ones or friends added to the memorial list this year, please use this form – 2021 Christmas Memorial Flowers – and return it to the church with your check no later than Monday, December 13.
Helping children at the Refugio in Ecuador
 
The Refugio in Ecuador is similar to our Families in Transition in that students can come before and after their day in school for food, clothing, and other assistance, none of which is provided by the Ecuadorian government. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in York County has been providing financial assistance to the Refugio for a number of years including the resources for young men and women to go to college after high school.
 
As we were cleaning out some of the items from the day school, we contacted St. Mark’s. With their hard work of removing the items and disposing of them, $348.44 will be sent to the Refugio.
It was a great afternoon around the fire pit with Marc this past Sunday. Parishioners and neighbors of all ages stopped by for s'mores, warm beverages, and good conversation.
Anne and John at Biblical Literature Conference

Anne and John will be in San Antonio, Texas, from November 18-26. As part of Anne’s Continuing Education, she will join John for the Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion annual conference. After the conference, Anne and John will spend Thanksgiving with dear friends in San Antonio before flying home the next day. 
Upcoming at St. Andrew’s
The church calendar is available on our website here.

Wednesday, November 24
5:15 PM - Centering Prayer (Parish Library)

Thursday, November 25 & Friday, November 26
Church office closed for Thanksgiving holiday

Sunday, November 28
8:00 AM - Holy Eucharist (in person)
10:15 AM - Children's Chapel (Playground)
10:30 AM - Holy Eucharist (in-person and live-streamed)

Tuesday, November 30
1:00 PM - Crafters Group (Parish Library)

Wednesday, December 1
11:00 - Holy Eucharist with Healing
5:15 PM - Centering Prayer (Parish Library)
6:00 PM - Choir rehearsal (church)

Thursday, December 2
7:30 AM - Centering Prayer (Parish Library)
10:00 AM - Bible Study (Parish Library)
2:00 PM - Holy Eucharist at The Chesapeake
Service Participants – Sunday, November 28
 
8:00 AM Service
Lector & Prayers: Anne Fowler
Acolyte: Bill Wilds
Greeters: John Whitley
Ushers: Conway Sheild, Terry Wolak
Sound: Ann Turner
 
10:30 AM Service
Lector: Vera Horne
Prayers: Fritz Horne
Acolyte: Cris Oman
Greeters: Danny Switzer and Diana Skelton
Ushers: Graham Ferguson, Walter Deal, Kirk Klinger
Sound: Doug Burgoyne
Camera: Laura Harper
 
November Altar Guild:
Becki Shamblen, Al Roby, Diana Skelton, Tonia Graves, Danny Switzer
November Flower Guild:
Nancy Boxx, Martha Sides, Martha Smith, Deborah Smith
We're here for you!

What if I need to reach the parish clergy or staff?

What if I have a pastoral emergency or know of someone else who is ill?
Call or text Anne directly at 804-687-5396.