During this four weeks before Christmas,
Advent is what Christians are reflecting on, Jesus’s
coming to us. When Jesus comes into the life of the world, it’s something unplanned, overwhelming, something that makes a colossal difference. We long for it, and yet we don’t quite know what it’s going to involve. But this is a bit odd, you might say. Surely, Jesus has come into the world and by now we ought to know what sort of a difference he’s made. But the truth is that we don’t yet know the difference Jesus
might make. We know some of the difference he’s made to our lives as individuals, to the life of the Church, to the whole world.
And yet there’s more. We’re still waiting to see what might happen if Jesus is allowed into our lives that bit more fully, that bit more radically. So Advent is a time when we do a bit of self-examination. Have I allowed Jesus
in yet? Has the Good News really made the full impact it might make, or is my life still locked into old patterns, into darkness, into not being at home with myself, or with God? Welcome to the right place for asking such questions. Welcome to St Stephen's.
See you in church!
THIS SUNDAY, 11:15a
The discussion of Isaiah will conclude this Sunday in the Becker Conference Room at 11:15a.
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT FOR ALL
SUNDAY, 23rd DECEMBER, 10:00a
The Christmas Pageant is for everyone, adults, children, entire families, empty nesters, and singles of all ages. No memorization is necessary. We will have wild animals in the Pageant and a petting zoo before and after the Pageant in the
We will have one rehearsal, Saturday December 22 at 9a for speaking
roles, from 10:30a – 11:30a for everyone else. Costumes will be provided on December 22 at rehearsal, or Sunday December 23 at 8:30 – 9a. If you cannot make the rehearsal you can still be in the
Pageant in a non-speaking role. Please send an email or call Joe Jennings
, 415-279-3637 if you and your family would like to be in the cast or crew of this year’s pageant.
ADVENT WREATH MAKING
NOT JUST FOR KIDS | FOR
, 5 - 7:00p
Potluck supper, wreath making , followed by a short Advent devotional, and lighting of the first Candle of Advent. Donation: $10 to offset the cost of supplies
if you will be attending so that we have plenty of greenery and candles for each wreath made. All ages are welcome to participate. One wreath per family.
Last name beginning with
A- M please bring a main dish,
N-Z please bring a salad, vegetable to share, or dessert.
It will be truly potluck. We will eat what shows up! Questions?
Sunday School classes
2nd, 9th, 16th December.
Sunday School is not in session 23rd December (Christmas Pageant day), and 30th December. Childcare is provided on the 23rd at the 10 o’clock for children under 3.
PK — 1st Grade
2nd — 5th Grade Combined | Victoria Ellsworth
Advent | Gospel of Matthew
Victoria Ellsworth will be teaching a combined elementary and Godly Play Sunday School class this Sunday, and Mike Peters, and Kathy Winkler on the following weeks.
Advent, preparing children for the Mystery of Christmas. We will move toward Bethlehem, guided by the pointing prophets, and focusing on the Holy Family, the shepherds and the Magi.
6th — 12th Grade
The Youth will be in church today to hear David Hirsch preach.
Gift Barrel Christmas gift collection for Ritter House. This will be in lieu of the Family-to-Family Gifts.
Beginning on 25th November a "Giving Tree" will be available in the Parish Hall decorated with name tags and ages. You may take as many tags as desired, but please purchase a quality gift appropriate for the age on the tag. The
wrapped gift complete with securely fastened tab must be returned by 13th December and deposited in a barrel that will be picked up early the next day. Gifts after that date must be taken directly to Ritter House in San Rafael.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT TICKETS |
REMAINING FEW ON SALE THIS SUNDAY FOLLOWING THE 10a SERVICE
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CHOIR CONCERT WITH STRING ORCHESTRA
There are still a few unsold seats for this year's Christmas Concert on Sunday, 9th December at 4p. This is a concert that sells out every year. The few remaining tickets will be on sale in the Narthex this Sunday following the 10a service. Purchased tickets were mailed 20th November.
EXPLORER'S CLUB TO CORNERSTONE
LEAVE BLACKIE's AT 10a
We head to this wine country marketplace that features a collection of world-class shopping, boutique wineries and tasting rooms, artisanal foods, art-inspired gardens, and home to Sunset's Gardens + Outdoor Test Kitchen. We will return around 2:30p.
Located at the gateway of Sonoma and Napa County in California's beautiful Wine Country, Cornerstone is a place to shop, sip, eat , play and explore.
18th DECEMBER, 11:00a
A Music Recital featuring original arrangements by Linda Rice, Carol Sing-A-Long to follow.
Linda Rice grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she began piano lessons at age 9, harp at age 15 and received a Bachelors Degree in Music Education. Linda has been married to Willis for 51 years. After his retirement from the US Air Force, the two traveled for 22 years visiting a thousand prisons in the United States, bringing beautiful music on the harp
and sharing their story of faith.
Currently Linda teaches piano, composition, and music theory at San Quentin Prison. Willis teaches Bible classes to men at San Quentin several days each week.
The Daily Office:
r is said at
5:00p Tuesday and Thursday
SAVE THESE DATES
5th December, Explorer's to
, leave from Blackie's at 10a
18th December Anasazi Luncheon, 11a
26th - 28th April 2019
2 Outside booking: Music Recital 2 - 5p
2 Advent Wreath Making, 5p - 7:00p
2 Adult Education - Isaiah, 11:15a
5 Explorer's Club to Cornerstone, 10a
9 Christmas Choir Concert, 4p
13 Gift Barrel gifts deadline
14 Anasazi Christmas Carols, 11a
16 Adult Education, Paul's Letter, 11:15a
17 Last chance to donate Christmas flowers
22 Pageant Rehearsal,
speaking roles 9a-11:30a, non-speaking roles 10:30 - 11:30a
23 Christmas Pageant, 10a
(pick up costumes 8:45a)
24 Christmas Eve Services, 4p
25 Christmas Day Service, 10a
30 Services at 8a
St Stephen's Choir
PreK – 5th Grades
2nd – 5th
Drop off begins at 9:45a
(This Sunday 12.2 in church)
9:45a – 11:30a
infants through age 3
Confessions are heard by appointment
with the Rector
The First Sunday of Advent
The Second Sunday of Advent
CHRISTMAS FLORAL DONATIONS
Envelopes are now available in the Narthex for contributions to the Christmas Florals. Please send your name and/or dedication to the office no later than
Monday 17th December. These will be printed in the Christmas bulletins. These donations are separate from the Altar Flower sign-ups.
ALTAR FLOWERS 2019
The 2019 Flower Chart is now in the Narthex. Please sign up for your special Sunday. The donation for flowers is $150. You will
be contacted the week prior to your Sunday week for your floral dedication.
Intercessors at the Mary Corner will await those who desire anointing. After receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion, if you desire healing prayers for yourself or for a loved one, make your request know to a healing minister in the Mary Corner (near the entrance to the church.) Your request is kept confidential unless you indicate that it needn't be.
FOR THE HOMELESS DRIVE
2nd DECEMBER 2018
63% of the county’s homeless population is unsheltered. At St Stephens, we collect funds every fall to purchase rain ponchos and wool socks for these homeless, unsheltered children of God. Ponchos cost approximately $20 each and Merino wool camping socks cost about $3. The ponchos and wool socks will be distributed by Ritter Center in San Rafael.
Please make cash and check donations
do not bring
coats and socks.
Checks should be made out to St Stephens Church with Rain Gear in the
. For more information, or to help, contact Joe Jennings at 415-279-3637,
Update: In the last three weeks we have raised $1,883, from 27 donors, and purchased and delivered 104 pairs of wool socks and 99 rain ponchos to Ritter Center. Thank you for your generosity.
PLEDGE APPEAL 2019
St Stephen's thanks all those who have sent in their 2019 pledges.
The Pledge Appeal for 2019 is coming to a close and the final 20% of goal is much needed to continue all of the programs St Stephen's has kept in place over the years.
Please consider sending in your pledge so that the 2019 budget can be planned this month. Pledge cards can be
downloaded by clicking this link
or contact the office.You can fill out, scan and email to
or send by mail to St Stephen's Church, PO Box 97, Belvedere, CA 94920.
We need your help to plan St Stephen’s future by submitting your pledge card as soon as possible.
Currently pledges total
$555,037 or 82%
the goal. Please know that whatever amount you pledge is sincerely appreciated. By simply making a pledge of any amount, you cast your heart and thoughtful support for St Stephen’s and the church community you want it to be.
Kim Portner delivers St Stephen’s donations to Sherry Wallmark, Parish Administrator, St John the Evangelist, Chico. Thank you, Kim!
OTHER SOURCES FOR GIVING
Hams/Turkeys/Gift Cards directly self-delivered
Barrel Gift Collection
25th November through
age/name specific quality gifts
Food Bank Barrel
Classroom level and Hall
Tiburon Thrift Shop
Volunteers Needed - 2 hour shifts
Thursdays and Saturdays
10a – 1p and 1p – 4p
June Campbell 415.797.6142
Knit or crochet hats and scarves for the needy. Second and Fourth Mondays at 10:30a.
RECYCLING MESSAGE | NEW RECYCLING RULES
bottles and only clean
paper to meet the new recycling rules.
Please assist Father Ellsworth to compile the names and dates of the death of family members whom you would like to be remembered in prayers at the altar on, or close to, the anniversary of their death.