December Connection
St. James Episcopal Church
Amesbury, MA
In this issue: Christmas Services, The Greening of the Church, Christmas Outreach, Christmas Flower Donations, Fellowship Group, Stewardship, Christian Education & more....
Sunday, December 22nd
Advent IV
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
The Greening of the Church will follow after the service.
Tuesday, December 24 th
Christmas Eve
Christmas Pageant and Holy Eucharist, Rite II with
Christmas carols. All children are invited to participate in the pageant, come at 3:00pm for costumes, (see below) .
This is a family-friendly service.
Festal Choral Eucharist, Rite II
(Please note the later time)
Wednesday, December 25th
Christmas Day
One Service at 10:00am
Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Christmas Carols
Sunday, December 29th
The First Sunday after Christmas Day
One Service at 10:00am
Christmas Lessons & Carols

Sunday, January 5, 2020
The Second Sunday After Christmas Day
Services at 8am & 10am
All children and youth are invited to be a part of our Christmas Pageant , Christmas Eve at 4pm.

It's a 2-part pageant, The Symbols of Christmas and "Angels and Dreams" - led by Kimberly Potts and starring all interested children and youth. Come early for costuming (3:00pm), bring friends! All are welcome to help us celebrate the wonder!
The Greening of the Church
December 22nd

The Greening of our Church will be held on Sunday, December 22nd immediately following the 10am service. We will decorate the inside and outside of our church building and grounds with Christmas greenery and decorations. 

All are invited to bring cut greens if you have some available to decorate the outside window sills and pots.

Christmas Flower Donations 
If you would like to make a donation for our Christmas Flowers in "Memory of" or in "Thanksgiving for", please let us know by Sunday, December 22nd, as we will be working on Christmas Bulletins starting early Monday morning. Simply fill out the red Christmas Flowers form at the back of the Church and place it in the offertory plate on Sundays. You may also donate by emailing with the information and submit your donation via mail or at the church. Be sure to let us know the donation is for Christmas Flowers and the additional information ("Memory of" / "Thanksgiving for").
Christmas Outreach

This Christmas St. James has partnered with The Pettengill House in Amesbury to sponsor a local family in need. The family of 4 (mother, father and two daughters age 9 and 11 will receive the gifts donated by us. Their "wish list" will be in Sunday's (12/8) Announcements which is also available on our website under Parish Announcements. Gift cards such as Five Below, Walmart, Dunkin Donuts or of any type to help with essentials is always welcome. Collected items will be brought to the Pettengill House on Tuesday, December 17 th , so if you are able to donate, please bring in your donations by Sunday, December 15 th .

Welcome our New Church Organist Bill Harris
We welcome Bill Harris back to St. James as our new Organist and Music Director. If Bill looks familiar, that is because he sang with the choir a few seasons ago, and he and his partner Paul as well as his mother Judith joined us for our Stewardship service and dinner back in October. Please welcome them among us.
If you have not already done so, please return your treasure pledge cards on Sunday. Completed pledge cards can be placed in the offertory plate or turned into the office.
December Vestry Meeting

St. James' Vestry meets on Wednesday, December 11th at 7pm,
in Fr. John's office. Parish members are welcome to come to the meeting to observe.
Fellowship Group

The Fellowship Group will be attending the Newburyport Choral Society Winter Concert on Sunday, December 8th at 2:30pm. If you plan to meet up with the Fellowship Group, please contact Karen O'Malley at 603-382-7044 for details. The concert is held at Belleville Congregational Church, 300 High Street, Newburyport, MA.

Visit for ticket and outlet information. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the Belleville Church.

December 11th gathering at the Museum of Printing, 15 Thornton Ave, Haverhill. Contact Karen at 603-382-7044 for time and details.

The next Fellowship Group meeting will be on January 8, 2020 from 2pm to 4pm in the Parish Hall. This is a Planning meeting for 2020. Come help chart our course of activities. All are invited.
Our Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 26th in the Parish Hall immediately following the 10am service. Please join us to hear all that happened at St. James in 2019 as well as to cast your vote for new vestry members, Convention delegates and Deanery delegates. Brunch will be provided by our Vestry Members.
There will be no 8am Service this day.
Washington, DC Mission Trip
Everyone, adults and youth, is welcome to join the Mission Trip to Washington DC this summer Sunday July 19-Saturday July 25th. We will carpool down and spend the week as the eyes, hands, feet, as the reflection of Jesus Christ serving in soup kitchens, food banks and preparing and delivering food to the sick and home-bound of our nation's Capital.

We currently have 15 spaces reserved with 12 already filled. If you would like to be a part of this amazing trip please let Fr. John know as soon as possible. More spaces can be reserved as long as they are available. Please visit or speak with Fr. John for more information. 
The Presentation
Saturday, February 1
Please keep Saturday, February 1st available. We will have an Evensong service at 6pm to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation. At this service we will officially commission Bill as our new Church Organist and Music Director, and the Choir.

The liturgy will be followed by a light reception to formally welcome Bill among us as well as to thank and pay tribute to Matt Siess and Ruth Eifert for their years of dedicated ministry in the positions of Organist and Choir Director.
Read the December Christian Education newsletter by clicking here!
To subscribe, drop a note with your email address by clicking here .

ADVENT BLESSINGS! Here's this year's special Advent calendar ,
for all ages, created by the Revs. Mousin and Watters.
Click here to download , or pick up a copy at St James!
St Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, is coming to St James!

After the 10am service on Sunday, December 8 ,
join the bearded Bishop in our Parish Hall.

He'll be seated with cope, mitre, and crozier.
St Nicholas welcomes chats (and selfies!).
We hear he's a quiet but witty fellow, generous,
and devoted to families.
He brings best wishes - and candy!
Las Posadas
Las Posadas: Searching for Shelter
December 21, 6-9pm, at San Lucas, Chelsea
Bishop Gail Harris and the people of San Lucas invite us all to a traditional Advent celebration tracing Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter – a bilingual celebration with processions, prayer of Novenas, music, food and hospitality. All ages are invited! Would you like to carpool? Email Linda Davis Siess to RSVP and plan - by 12/16.
Meet us in the Godly Play classroom!
Children ages 3-9 are invited to this
calm and welcoming space for a
special time of learning, wonder, and play.
Come at 9:45 each Sunday - friends welcome! We join the parish in time for Holy Eucharist.

Every Sunday in the "big" Church" -
there are activities and a rocking chair for babies and children to use and enjoy, while absorbing the rhythms of the church service. Come to church, we love to worship with you!
For Youth, Grades 5-9:
  • Grades 9+ sign up for Las Fronteras by 12/13 - see below!
  • "Las Posadas" at San Lucas, Chelsea, 12//21: carpool?
  • Grades 9+ invited to attend their High School Retreat, Barbara C Harris Camp (February 7-9)
  • EYE20 (Episcopal Youth Event 2020), Washington, DC (July 6-10)
  • The Pilgrimage: Mission Trip (July 20-25) - let us know your interest!
  • & more - at church, in our communities, and beyond. . . let's be the change we want to see!

What have we been up to? Lots!
  • Our Cookie Walk, for Our Neighbors' Table, raised $102! THANKS!
  • On first & third Fridays, 6:30-7:45pm, youth have been meeting for Weaving God's Promises. December = 12/6 class & 12/20 PARTY!

Fr John, Linda, Kimberly, Simone, Malcolm, Molly, Gabby, and Cheyenne represented St James at the Middle School Retreat at the Barbara C. Harris Camp, November 15-17 , accompanied by Dawn, Chelsea, Caela, and Mia. This year's theme, chosen by the Diocesan Youth Council, was "Our World; Our Future..." We considered God's invitation to us all to join in the divine work of creating a better world. . . through play, prayer, and action.
High Schoolers, your retreat is in February! Want to go? Drop Linda a note !

High schoolers - are you called to "Faith in Action" Las Fronteras Pilgrimage, August 2020 at the Borderlands? Connect with Linda to learn more and to sign up by December 13. St James supports this mission trip and our youth with fundraising support and lots of prayers!

Youth: Count on us to help you with community service hours - plus support for whatever interests and concerns yo u! Email Linda - 24/7!
What's next? How about serving hot chocolate at Amesbury's Santa Parade, December 7? And there's Winterfest, December 14 & 15: how about an ornament-making station in front of the church? What do you think? Want to help make this happen? Contact Linda! We love our Amesbury neighbors!
Cherub Chapel
It's playful worship time for "the young and restless" - and a chance for caregivers to mingle: fun prayers, games, songs, a snack, and conversations!
Little ones and caregivers: join us on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 3:30 - 4:15pm in our Parish Hall. Everyone is invited (no registration needed)! Our next get-together is December 10. Questions? Click here to contact Linda.
Our Neighbors' Table

Thank you for your generous donations to ONT all these years. As a gentle reminder, please be sure to check the expiration dates of items being donated.

As always, ONT appreciates all donations and are in special need for Personal Care items (toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, powder, detergent, brushes, combs, etc.) and for these colder months, soup of all kinds.
For your convenience, we offer electronic giving to make a one-time donation or to make recurring donations. It's easy - click the donate button below and donate through a credit card (via PayPal) or through your own PayPal account. You will be directed to the PayPal website to complete the donation, then back to the St. James' website. You also have the option of specifying whether your donation is a general donation, a specific donation, or a donation towards your annual pledge. THANK YOU for your generosity!
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St. James Episcopal Church
120 Main Street, P.O. Box 25
Amesbury, MA 01913
(978) 388-0030