E-newsletter | December 12, 2018
Kedron's Corner
A few years ago I was interviewed for the local paper for a story about Advent. The reporter’s first question was, “Do you think commercialism is overtaking Christmas and what are you doing at your church to combat it?”

We’ll, that’s a bit of a leading question. His question assumed I did think that consumerism is overtaking Christmas. And I don’t. Maybe a better way to say it is, It doesn’t bother me. I think the Church can work with culture and in fact, must work with culture. I think the church has the unique role of holding up the story of the birth of Jesus as the focus of the season and working alongside culture, not against it.

At its worst, culture says we should spend the month of December eating and drinking, spending too much and being happy all the time. At its best, culture encourages us to spend the month sharing meals with one another, loving our family and neighbors by giving gifts and making time for merriment. Either way, the month of December becomes a special time, a different time of the year. And that’s just what the Church wants too. The Church wants us to remember why this time is special—to focus on the gift that is Jesus and the joy his birth brings to the world. The church wants us to mark the month by giving to others, singing praises to God and sharing our faith with the world.

If you haven’t heard me say, “Deck all the halls, hang all the lights and bows, blow up all the Santas” yet, you will. These acts are acts of faith showing we believe in God who came as the light shining in the darkness. These acts are acts of resistance to evil and a proclamation that we believe the darkness will never overcome the light. Is there anything else culture needs to hear more these days?

See you on Sunday for Advent 3—it’s PINK! – Kedron +

Director of Youth Ministries & Community Engagement
Rachel Minick
Since we were snowed out on Sunday, Youth Group will meet this SUNDAY from 5:30pm-7:30pm.
We will meet at the church, take a field trip to Aldi, return to package F2F Grocery Ministry bags and assemble dishcloths for our Assistance Ministries, and play Minute to Win it style games!

Our traveling friends continue to make their way around town and enjoyed the snowfall over the weekend. There are still a few open dates to host them. You can sign up in the commons or by emailing Rachel, stpaulscyfm@gmail.com.
A new way you can be involved in sharing with our neighbors is the Grocery Relief Ministry. We received a $5,000 matching grant from the Diocese through the Human Hurt & Hope Fund to support this program.
The goal is to provide a week's grovery supply for families using the heathy eating choices selected by a nutritionist. Our job will be to shop for the groceries and pack the provided bags for distribution through our Assistance Ministries. On Sunday, December 2nd we will have the bags and lists available in the commons. In addition, a copy of the 501(C)3 letter will be provided to present to the merchant to save taxes on the purchase. As part of the grant, we will be able to provide store gift cards for your use. If you choose to use your own funds, a letter acknowledging your gift will be provided. Because of the grant terms, we have to keep an account of all bags purchased using personal funds or the grant provided funds. For questions about this ministry, please contact JOE & WILLIE BARBER at williebarber@ymail.com or DEACON SUSAN at ridinhabit@gmail.com.
Poinsettia Season - Christmas Remembrances 
Look in the Sunday bulletin for inserts to sign up to give one or more poinsettias in honor or in memory of someone. This helps us fund the purchase of flowers to decorate the church throughout the upcoming year.   The cost is $17.00 per plant.   You can leave the donation in the collection plate with your information or drop it by the church office. You may also mail a check to the office at PO Box 95, Wilkesboro, NC 28697 with your request(s). Please write the check out to St. Paul's and put the person's name that you wish to honor or memorialize in the memo line. Names of the people being honored or memorialized will be published in the Christmas Eve bulletin.
Upcoming Events
Please check the Sunday Servants schedules on our website and make arrangements for coverage during this Advent and Christmas season.
Thank you!
The Wilkes Chamber Singers will hold their first Christmas concert at St. Paul’s on Sunday, Dec. 16th at 3:00pm. This community group which was started by Greg Wright of the First Baptist Church in the early 1990’s consists of choir members of local churches and schools. Ann Fortuna directed the group for many years. Debo Cornett is the current conductor and she is assisted this year by Larissa Leapley, Jim Brooks, and Mike Norman. Members from our choir are George Cox, Steve Reid, Cindy Smith, Nancy Scroggs, and Ramona Curtis . The concert will consist of many beautiful Advent and Christmas pieces. An additional concert will be at the NW Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, Dec. 18th, at 7:30pm. Come and enjoy!
Schedule change:
We will have one service on Sunday, December 23rd at 9:30. Following the service we will have snacks, hot beverages, and place greenery inside the chapel and sanctuary.

Next Week's Calendar
Sunday, December 16:
8:30am- Holy Eucharist in Chapel
9:30am- Coffee Club - Sunday School for Parents
9:30am - Sunday School - Children & Youth
9:45am - Choir Practice
10:15am- Nursery opens for children under 4
10:30am- Holy Eucharist in the Sanctuary

Tuesday, December 18:
7:00pm  - Al-Anon in library
Wednesday, December 19:
6:45pm - Choir Practice
7:00pm  - Dick Underwood Book Club

Thursday, December 20:
11:30-1:00- Crisis Assistance and Step Ahead at Wilkesboro UMC

Next Week's Celebrations

Birthdays This Week  
18– John Oliver
18– Naomi Faw
18– Lisa Beard
20– Caleb Hawkins        

Anniversaries this week
17– Tim and Heather Murphy
20– Bob and Alline Skees

Prayer List
Please remember in your prayers: All those who are ill or unemployed. All those who are on our prayer list.
Rik Absher, Jim Andrews, Joe Barber, Pam Baugh, Wayne Boyd, Jacob Brown, Dan Bumgarner, Ken Canter, Billy Coles, Rancene Cook, LaMar Creasman, Ann Davis, Craig Freas, Ernestine Freas, Gail Gattis, Mike Graf, Ruth Gray, Edward C. Griffith III, Janet Hartzog, Gerald Hendley, Larry Hendley, Margo Hurd, Steve Jackson, John Jacobson, Pat Jones, Joan Knox, Maggie McCann, Kay McCloskey, Susan McManus, Ann McNeill, Glenn Merritt, Donna Moore, Becky Mullins, Bertie Pardue, Curtis Parker, Ryan Rigby, Bob Skees, Ester Small, Carolyn Stephens, Marie Waddell, Robin Walsh, Dick Whittington, Susan Whittington, and Cole Younger.


Armed Forces
Let us pray for the safety of all our troops , especially Rob Beauchaine, Matthew Cage, Alex Cline, Philip Cooney, Karl Duerk, Mike Earley, William Grant, Edward C. Griffith IV, Jacob B. Hall, Jonathan Johnson, Brandon Moore, Russ Necessary, Charlie & Lauren Pendry, Adam Pinkerton, Philip Southwell, Mark Stone, Patrick Szvetitz, Jackson Triplett, Levi Walker, Nathan Wyatt, and all others who serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout
the world.

Please send to the church office the addresses of troops with connections to office@stpaulwilkesboro.org , especially those abroad.
Readings: The Liturgy of the Word for December 9, 2018

Zephaniah 3:14-20
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel! 
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem! 
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,
he has turned away your enemies. 
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more. 
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory; 
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love; 
he will exult over you with loud singing
as on a day of festival. 
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it. 
I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time. 
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast, 
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth. 
At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you; 
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth, 
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.

Canticle 9  Page 86, BCP
The First Song of Isaiah    
Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid. 
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation. 
And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; 
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted. 
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world. 
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

Luke 3:7-18
John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.


St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org