December 14, 2023 | VOLUME 35, ISSUE 47


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Third Sunday of Advent

December 17, 2023


Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

John 1:6-8,19-28

Canticle 15 (Magnificat)

Preacher: The Reverend Jennifer Wagner Pavia

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Saturday, December 16, 3:00 PM: SoB Venue: A Very Merry Vegan Christmas at Murray residence

December 17 - December 24: See below--Advent & Christmas Events

Monday, December 18, 7:00 PM: Vestry


Bible and Breakfast

Tuesdays | 9:30 AM

Luther Hall & Zoom

Midweek Eucharist

Wednesdays | 7:00 PM


Adult Forum: Advent Series

Wednesdays | 7:45 PM

Luther Hall & Zoom

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Good news! There is still room for parishioners and friends to sign up and participate in this lovely and unique Christmas event. You, along with your fiends, are invited to join in the fun and taste foods traditionally featured in a Scandanavian Christmas, vegan style. If you are interested, please email Daphne Moote at [email protected] to let her know how many in your party will be attending.

End of Life ADVANCE PLANNING Seminar

Join us for an educational seminar with Dignity Memorial / Gates Kingsley & Gates Smith Salsbury Funeral Directors [FD 2336]. We will discuss pre-planning, veteran benefits, and provide you with resources in order for you to protect yourself and your family. Our mission is to help create remembrances that reflect the unique values, character and traditions of the families we serve. That is our passion, that is our purpose, that is our promise. Guaranteed. Our short, twenty minute presentation will help you make a more informed decision should you choose to work with our team and our organization in securing your final arrangements and providing protection and peace of mind to your loved ones.


Our Sisters of Bede Christmas Party this year was fantastic! Thanks so much to Liz and Dan Mohler for hosting the party at their beautiful home and thanks to Daphne for providing her lovely Christmas china dinnerware for a touch of elegance. Upon leaving the party, many were heard saying, "This was REALLY FUN!" The atmosphere was lively and festive, the food was delicious, and the white elephant gift exchange was exceptionally entertaining . . . frequently hilarious, with a bit of suspense and lots of laughter thrown in. Many thanks to all for making this event truly joyous, memorable and uplifting.



Visit the St. Bede's website and at the top of every page, look for the "Donate" button. When you click on the "Donate" button, you will be transported to St. Bede's Vanco eGiving and Payment Process Site.

Vanco is an industry leader in online payments. More than 40,000 churches, faith-based groups, nonprofits, schools, and educational organizations trust Vanco to securely complete transactions every day. Vanco complies with PCI Level 1 standards, the highest security standard in the payment processing industry.

You are invited to set up one-time or recurring gifts using credit, debit, or bank transfer on Vanco's secure payment processing platform. Giving online through the Vanco site saves time and the hassle of remembering to bring your offering. In addition, you decrease the expense incurred by St. Bede’s from handling and processing checks and cash.


A newsletter serving the Diocese of LA

A foster family brought together by HFS takes a stroll on the beach.

HFS seeks families to share their lives with foster children

By Pat McCaughan  

Christmas can’t come fast enough for young brothers Jimmy, 7, and 5-year-old Mark. The family tree’s been decorated, they’ve visited Santa at a local park, and now and again St. Nick randomly drops off a note or gift for each of them, says their foster mom, Rebecca Bardales.

“They’re getting more and more excited,” Bardales told The Episcopal News in a recent telephone interview. “Mark wants to hear Christmas songs in the shower. We’re watching the movies, like The Nightmare Before Christmas, for the first time this year.”

And, this year, also for the first time, Jimmy and Mark will receive their very own initialed ornaments to hang on the tree – “red, white and green plaid with crystals” – as part of a family tradition. (The names of the children have been changed to protect their identities.)

“Every ornament has a story to tell,” Bardales said. Each has been collected “from wherever we’ve visited, or else we’ve received them as gifts. Now they’ll have ornaments with their initials, too, and we want them to start sharing their story around the tree.”

In June 2022 HFS (Holy Family Services), an institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, brought the boys into the lives of Rebecca and Luis Bardales who, after a dozen years of marriage, were childless.

HFS Executive Director Julie Brown said that the agency, which will observe its 75th anniversary in 2024, has been training and supervising foster parents since the 1970s, but has been known mostly for adoptions. She aims to change that.



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Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was one of hundreds of people interviewed about the Christian notion of unselfish love for “A Case for Love,” a documentary premiering Jan. 23. Photos: Grace-Based Films

Documentary inspired by presiding bishop’s teachings on love due for nationwide theatrical premiere Jan. 23

'A Case for Love' grew out of Episcopal filmmaking ministry

By David Paulsen

A nonprofit movie company led by Episcopalians is about to unveil its biggest project yet. Its feature-length documentary inspired by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s message of unselfish love is headed for a nationwide theatrical release on Jan. 23.

The film, “A Case for Love,” is expected to appear in at least 1,000 theaters for the one-day initial release, and more dates could be added if large numbers of moviegoers turn out for the premiere. The nonprofit, Grace-Based Films, also hopes to generate interest from streaming services.

“There’s a hunger for stories like this,” director Brian Ide told Episcopal News Service. He founded Grace-Based Films with fellow members of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, California, some of whom worked in the film industry. Grace-Based Films started as an All Saints’ ministry. Now, as an independent nonprofit, it plans to devote revenue from “A Case for Love” to funding future storytelling projects.

Fathom Events arranged for a one-day nationwide theatrical premiere for “A Case for Love” on Jan. 23, and Grace-Based Films is now working to drive turnout.

The new film is structured as seven chapters featuring 14 individual stories of people from a wide range of backgrounds, whom Ide described as “ordinary people doing ordinary-to-extraordinary things.” The stories cover a wide range of experiences, from racial justice issues and the fight for LGBTQ+ rights to the foster care system and the military.


Church members Nancy Brown, left, and Tom Bell, along with rector the Rev. Laurie Garramone, right, stand in front of St. John’s, Johnstown, New York, with One Church Street, the future home for St. John’s food ministries behind them. Garramone is dressed as an astronaut as part of the church’s effort to raise the final $1 million needed to finish renovations of the needed space, which she has dubbed a “space mission.” Photo: Facebook/One Church Street

Small church in upstate New York in final stretch to raise $3 million to meet town’s food-insecurity needs

By Melodie Woerman

For the past 30 years St. John’s Episcopal Church has hosted the only food programs that serve the city of Johnstown, a community of 8,100 people northwest of Albany in upstate New York – a food pantry that was started by the local Interfaith Council and a Sunday noon community meal.

In 2014 they decided those programs needed room to expand and to be accessible to people with disabilities, and in December of that year, St. John’s took the first step in making that dream a reality. For $80,000 they bought the building next door, which had housed the city’s former YMCA. They named it for its address, One Church Street, and saw it as a gift to the community.

“We signed the paperwork on Dec. 20, and the next day we put a red bow over the door of the building with a huge gift tag,” the Rev. Laurie Garramone, the church’s rector for the past 13 years, told Episcopal News Service.

Since then, an initial renovation plan estimated at $1.5 million has increased to more than $3 million, largely fueled by increases in the cost of construction materials that began during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, early on church leaders decided not to have the church take on any debt for this, so renovations are taking place only when funds are available to cover costs.

So far, the church – which has an average Sunday attendance of about 100 – has raised $2 million, all of it given by parishioners, community members, and local businesses and foundations. And Garramone said plans to raise the final $1 million have begun.


Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Lahaina, Hawaiʻi, burned down after wildfires swept through the island of Maui. Photo: Bruce DeGooyer

Episcopal congregation resumes worship services months after Maui wildfires destroyed church

By Shireen Korkzan

Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaiʻi, held its first worship service at a United Methodist Church in nearby Napili nearly four months after a series of deadly wildfires killed 100 people and destroyed the historic church along with hundreds of other buildings.

“Parishioners were happy to be together, to see each other and to give hugs,” the Rev. Sandy Graham, canon to Hawaiʻi Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick, told Episcopal News Service. “There’s a lot to be woeful about … . Some have more tragedy and more heavy hearts than others.”

Between Aug. 8 and 11, separate wildfires across Maui prompted the evacuation of more than 32,000 residents and tourists. The worst of the damage was experienced by Maui’s western community of Lahaina, population 12,700, where Holy Innocents had stood since 1927. One of the victims who died in the wildfires was a parishioner of Holy Innocents, Graham said. 

The church had 30 active parishioners before the fire, but more than double the number of people attended Sunday worship service thanks to tourists, according to Graham. 

The parish’s first service since fires was held on Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent.

“Some of the older members [of Holy Innocents] are not able to inhabit their own homes again, and some of them lamented the fact that they may not worship in their own space again because of how long it might take to rebuild,” Graham said.

The Maui wildfires are the deadliest in U.S. history since the 1918 Cloquet fire that killed 453 people in northern Minnesota and the deadliest natural disaster in Hawaiʻi since the 1946 tsunami that killed more than 150 people.


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