The Church Messenger
November 29, 2019
Message from Rev. Tom Ferguson
Dear Friends,

I'm writing these words on Thanksgiving night, after a wonderful -- if damp -- day spent with family. As is the custom in our family, as we gathered for dinner, in addition to saying grace, we go around the table and each person gives thanks for something in their lives in the past year. This has been our custom for some time, and I'll admit some years it has been easier to think of something to give thanks for than others.

I give thanks for many things: the gift and honor to serve God with minister with you all as try to live in Jesus' command to love the Lord with all our heart, and our neighbors as ourselves and for family and friends, just to name two things. I give thanks even in the midst of a world which is still full of injustice and suffering, and I do so because as a follower of Jesus I know that light shines in the darkness.

This Sunday if the First Sunday of Advent, the four-week period where the Church prepares for the coming of Christ into the world. As we move into this Advent Season, in the midst of a world that can be full of darkness, as we prepare for the coming of Jesus on Christmas Day, may we also take time to see where the light shines in our darkness: because, as Scripture tells us, "The light shines in the darkness...and the darkness did not overcome it."


In Christ the Servant,

Fr. Tom
CAPE KIDS MEALS
St. John's Church members will be packing meals for those children in the Bourne and Sandwich elementary schools who receive free or reduced lunches during the school week, and who may go home to little or no food on the weekends. We pack on the 2nd Wednesday of each month (December 11 ) at Upper Cape Tech High School in Bourne, in the cafeteria. We begin packing promptly at 5:30PM and will be finished by 6:00PM. Parking can be tricky. There is a small parking lot at the top of the drive on your right, but if it is full, you'll need to go to the back parking lot and then walk through the building to the cafeteria. Please feel free to email Mary Carlson at mcarlson3159@gmail.com or call 508-681-8047 with questions.
CHRISTMAS CAROLING
It is a long standing tradition for our youth to go Caroling to homes of parishoners. This year the youth are extending an invitation for everyone to join in the fun. Please join us on December 22 at 1 PM. Please RSVP to Christine .
CHRISTMAS FAIR . . . .
is this weekend, tonight, Friday November 29 from 4-7PM and tomorrow, Saturday, November 30 from 10AM - 2PM. Come see what we have for you!! Pick up something for your gift list, have a cup of chowder, a lobster roll, mac & cheese, or maybe a grilled cheese sandwich in the cafe, then browse the crafters' tables, raffle and auction items, baked goods and greenery tables. We really put on a great Christmas Fair!!

MEN'S GROUP
We’re going on a Road Trip to the beautiful Laurelwood at the Pinehills in Plymouth to have breakfast with Tony Correia! Tony is a member of our Men’s Group who hasn’t been able to join us in our usual location of late so we’d like to take our meeting to him. Wendela and Tony have invited us to his place starting at 8:00am on December 7 th .

You can’t beat this arrangement and according to Wendela: “People can always order off the menu: eggs, toast, cereal, whatever and of course juices, coffee, and tea. Usually there is something special that the chef is making on any particular day such as French Toast. The total fee for breakfast is $7.00. **Please let me know if you plan to attend so we can give Wendela a head count**

If anyone wants to carpool from Sandwich, you can all park at my house – 48 Dexter Avenue, Sandwich. We’re in the Town Neck area so plan on being here by 7:30AM at the very latest. Any questions, please call or email Robbi Laak at 508-737-8611, capecodrob@outlook.com.
WOMEN'S GROUP
Many thanks to all of you for your generosity for “Women at Leisure” Christmas Fair raffle basket. All women are invited to join our next Women’s Group meeting on Thursday, December 5 th at 5:15PM in the Parish Hall. Bring your bag dinner and desserts magically appear. Let’s discuss finding peace during busy holiday preparations! Looking forward to seeing you. Jan Greene

CARING FOR CREATION

"The Episcopal Church and Climate Change: Through the care of creation, we safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth." ( https://www.episcopalchurch.org/creation-care )

Creation Quote for your Meditation
The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious Creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth now to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age

. -- John Woolman (1720-1772)

Suggestion for Personal Action
Iron is a naturally occurring ingredient in the human body & bloodstream. Teflon is not. The most prominent sources of PTFE, the chemical name for Teflon, are nonstick pans and utensils.
Progress is being made to ban and phase out Teflon. However, use of similar chemicals continue in fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn containers. The chemicals can migrate into the food and then into the human body. Check out the following website for other sources of these “forever chemicals.”

YOUTH NEWS
We recently started a new newsletter targeted toward families to keep them up to date on Sunday School, youth and other family activities. See it here. This newsletter will come out every other Friday. Please email Christine if you would like to be added to the distribution list.
HUGS FROM HOME UPDATE

 Quilting and Crafting groups are finished for 2019! We will be taking the month of December off and plan to resume in January. Thanks to each and every one who contributed throughout the year, and a special thank you to our Christmas elves who crafted some very unique items for our Christmas Fair 



PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY

Prayer Shawls are one of the many ways that a congregation helps share the healing presence of God. We have revived this pastoral ministry here at St. John's and will meet monthly on Mondays, with our next,, and last of this year, meeting to be held in the Parish Hall on December 2 . Prayer Shawls can be either knitted or crocheted and we have patterns available. The pattern for knitting recommends 3 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun Yarn and size 11 or 13 needles. Once we have some finished shawls, we will bless them during our worship service.

Shawls will be given to people by Father Tom when he is aware of someone, or a member of our congregation makes him aware of someone who could benefit by a physical reminder of God's love.

If you have any questions or are unable to come on Mondays, please talk with Rev. Barbara Peterson at 781-910-1323 or email her at revbap@aol.com.
FAMILY WORSHIP SPACE

Our nursery is now equipped with video and sound! This allows families to stay together with space for children to explore and play while the parents are still able to see and hear worship and be able to know when to come upstairs to receive communion.
Connect with God - Bible Reading Plan
The best way to connect with God is through reading the bible. The 'Bible Challenge' is a convenient, online way to engage in daily Bible study, go to the  Bible Challenge website .

You can also access a list of easily accessible background materials to the books of the Bible, go to the  Center for Biblical Studies website .
Give to St. John’s While Shopping Online Through Amazon!!
St. John’s is now registered through Amazon Smile! Every time you purchase something through Amazon, they will donate an amount to St. John’s Episcopal Church. We have already started earning money in our Amazon account based on purchases you are making already! But you must sign up!
How does it work? Go to  smile.amazon.com . It will ask you what organization you would like to designate. Type St. John’s Episcopal Church into the search box, and look for St. John’s Episcopal Church, Sandwich, MA. Click on that.
It’s that easy! There’s only one catch: For St. John’s to be the beneficiary of your shopping,  you must shop through smile.amazon.com , not through the regular amazon.com portal. (The prices are the same!)
UPCOMING EVENTS

Fri., Nov. 29, 4-7PM CHRISTMAS FAIR - Church and Hall
Sat., Nov. 30, 10AM-2PM CHRISTMAS FAIR - Church and Hall
Mon., Dec. 2, 2:00PM Prayer Shawl Ministry - Parish Hall
Thurs., Dec. 5, 5:15PM Women's Group - Parish Hall
Thurs., Dec, 5, 7PM Choir Practice
Sat., Dec. 7, 8AM Men's Group @ Laurelwood, The Pinehills
Sat., Dec. 7, 9:30AM-2PM Companions of the Holy Cross, Parish Hall
Wed., Dec. 11, 5:30-6PM Cape Kids Meals packing @ Upper Cape Tech
Thurs., Dec. 12, 7PM Choir Practice