The Spirit of Saint Nicholas!
The E-Newsletter from Saint Nicholas 
Episcopal Chu rch   Hamilton, GA

December 9th - 15th, 2015

Christmas Pageant Practice will be held on  December 13 and the 20th between church services from  9:45- 10:45 AM. Anyone interested in helping out please contact Beth Evans (

Adult Formation

Please come join us in Adult Formation for a book study on prayer December 13th  and 20th .  We'll be reading and discussing Prayer the Great Adventure  by David Jeremiah.  Sheri Cody will be facilitating the study. The book can be purchased through Amazon and Barnes and Nobles websites in both the paperback and kindle/nook options.  Lifeway has the paperback on their website.  The book is divided into three parts, so we will focus our discussion on one part each  Sunday .  If you are unable to obtain the book in time, please let Theresa know and we will make arrangements to provide Part 1 for you to read until your book arrives.  Let's go on an adventure together!

Episcopal 101 Returns! 

Join us weekly in December and January from  12:30pm to 2:00pm  as we explore the basics of Christian faith. Led by Father Jeff, Sue Halmrast, and Bobo Morgan, this class is for anyone who is new, anyone who wants to join the church, anyone who wants to be confirmed, anyone who wants a refresher course in Christianity, or anyone who just wants to ask questions. 

December 13: Loving People - How do we balance God's law and God's love?
December 20: Prayerful People - How do we pray individually and as a community?
December 27: God's People - Who is God, who is Jesus, who is the Holy Spirit to us?
January 3: Sacramental People - How do we experience God's grace in tangible ways?
January 10: Discerning People - How do we hear God's call to us?
January 17 : Bishop Whitmore's visitation, no class
January 24: Committed People - What does it mean to be the Church?

For more information, contact Fr. Jeff at

Gifts from the Heart
The staff at Park Elementary School has let it be known that the families of the children we support through the BackSnacks program will have unmet needs this Christmas. Many groups supply Christmas toys and the children will be assured of having those, but a real need exists for things such as clothing, warm jackets, blankets, diapers and other necessities.

Therefore St. Nicholas is allocating this year's Advent special offering, Gifts from the Heart of St. Nicholas, to help purchase these much needed items.  This is an opportunity for you to make a difference in a child's life not only on Christmas morning, but throughout the coming months.

Gifts from the Heart of St. Nicholas envelopes will be in the pews on Sunday, December 13.  Please be generous and make your check payable to St. Nicholas with Gifts from the Heart indicated on the memo line.  Money collected will be given to Harris County High School student and BackSnacks founder Katelyn Flynn who will shop for the items needed by each family, but all contributions need to be in by Sunday, December 13.

Please know that a gift from your heart, through the Gifts from the Heart of St. Nicholas ministry, to the heart of a family in need will be greatly appreciated and is a wonderful way to celebrate our patron saint, St. Nicholas and this holy season.
Bright Way Services

Worship services continue at Bright Way Personal Care Home  in Pine Mountain. Other  Lay Eucharistic Visitors are needed for this ministry. 

Contact  Bert  if you would like to participate.
"Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, for all the people you can, in every place you can, as long as you can".  

Enjoy the blessings of good stewardship!

Steward of the Month

The hands-down choice for the hardest working man at Saint Nicholas is our Junior Warden, 
Nick Simpson!
Nick has made it his special mission to dig into the church finances. He has been responsible, along with our treasurer Connie Blackmon, for bringing our accounting in-house and for making our financial transactions as transparent and understandable as possible.
Nick has seen to it that our staff has been fully trained on our financial software by first teaching himself how to utilize it, spending hours on end in the process. In addition, Nick has been deeply involved in our recent successful stewardship campaign and is now working with the finance committee on our budget for next year.
When praised for his hard work, Nick has repeatedly simply given all the credit to the love he has for Saint Nicholas and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We at St. Nicholas say thank you Nick. The response from Nick is sure to be "Thanks be to God."

"Sharing our gifts with others brings satisfaction, peace and joy to the giver's heart.  St. Paul once remarked: " . . . we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."


Finding your talent . . .

There are many lay ministry opportunities at  St. Nicholas. Each person  has unique talents to share.Think about yo ur place to joyfully plug into  St Nicholas.

Altar Guild, Flower Guild, Greeter, Ushers, Teacher,  Special  Event Volunteer, Grounds, Choir, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Lector, Stewardship, Communications. . .

More opportunities are available, but begin to think about it. Tailor your lay ministry to your talent and time.

  Most of all, do remember to worship at St Nicholas.

Lectionary Readings 

If you would like to see the readings for Sunday, 

In Thanksgiving
For St Nicholas Episcopal Church
  For those who are ill, recovering or needing special prayers:
Members of St Nicholas:

Kristine Connally
Josh Davis
Chris and Liza Price
Cecelia Rood
Ashley and Nate Taylor
Bill Caudill
Dorothy Webster
Garrett Hinnant
Larry Hinnant
Bill Batastini
Shelley Butzon
Kay Faircloth
Ingrid Cheshire

For Members with Unspoken Prayer Requests
  Family members of members of the community:
Charlie Mae Hudson
Jeri Harris
Ron Hudson
James Daniels
Jack Whitley
Jameson Miers
Julie Raines
Paul Jones
Leanne Croft
Robin Zion
Dale Haynes
Jimmy Dorminy
Jimmi Ann Moore
Erin Kavanaugh Kirkley
Marty Oxford
Stefie Collins
Peggy Singletary

    Prayers for all our veterans, those currently 
serving their country  away from home, 
for their safe return and for their families 
who wait for them.


December Birthdays
  1 Molly Jackson 
5 Barbara Walker 
9 Austin Hubbard
 9 Jeb Brown 
10 Larry Nordin 
13 Chris Butzon 
16 John Winsness 
16 Lynne Taylor 
18 Blanton Whitworth 
19 Samantha Dixon
 26 Sheri Cody
December Anniversaries

2 Ed & Leslie Cooling 
17 Erick & Danielle Whitworth 
18 Dave & Sue Halmrast 
26 Bill & Suzy Eidson 
29 John & Rose Brent

As stewards, we are accountable to God for our time, talent and treasure.  We return to the Lord, the giver of all our gifts, a truly grateful first share of our time, talent and treasure.

Youth Opportunities

DYC | Jan 8-10
Get registered for DYC! Only a few weeks until this awesome weekend retreat is here! DYC is a weekend at Camp Mikell where youth spend their time having fun and learning how to Love Like Jesus. Youth participants and adult chaperones can find registration  here.  The retreat is  January 8-10.  Don't miss out on our only retreat that hosts youth grades 6-12 at Camp Mikell!

Happening 65 | Feb 19-21
Mark your calendar for  February 19-21.  Those are the dates for Happening 65! Team registration can be found  here.  Start recruiting candidates, and let them know the dates! Also, get in your OR nominations! Email them  here.

Above: Jesse Adkins of St. Patrick's with observing rector Hailey Wilson of the Cathedral of St. Philip, right after the exchanging of the giant warm and fuzzy. Happening 65 will be led by Hailey and the youth team in February!

St. Nicholas Writes
our resident writing group, will not meet on 
December 27th, our usual 4th Sunday of every month.  We thought members and their families would appreciate an extension of the holidays.
We will return with hosannas on 
January 24th.That meeting will be devoted to members reading some of their work. We urge you to come and cheer them on!

To hear people's writings about their lives and in their own voice is like opening a window to a new vista. You will, in the words of one member, see and hear an "explosion of life."  You may revise your opinion of the     dignified gentleman in the next pew when you discover he was in a drag race. Or, you find out that a prominent industrial engineer writes poetry about the changes in nature. In short, you will become reacquainted with some members of this parish as you have never known them on a 
Sunday morning in the rector's greeting line.

We hope to see you there, 
9:45 on January 24th, in the Adult Formation classroom. (Refreshments!)  Call or email Dianne Armstrong for inquiries: 706-221-9020.
Annual Parish Meeting January 10, 9:45am: Calling all St. Nicholas members! Join us as we honor those who have served this past year and elect new Vestry members. If you would like to nominate someone for Vestry, including yourself, please see Senior Warden Katherine Johnson. 

  Annual Parish Meeting
January 10th, 2016
9:45 am

FEBRUARY 18, 2016 - FEBRUARY 20, 2016
Presented by Kanuga and the  Episcopal Church Foundation.

Fr. Jeff and the Vestry encourage you to join us as we head up to Kanuga for their annual Church  Leadership Conference . For our annual Vestry retreat, we decided to do something different and attend this  conference  together. Anyone from the parish is welcome to go with us! Details are below:

In many ways, the institutional church has adapted to the secular world. There are business plans and growth charts and the work of church leadership seems to be the bottom line. It is easy to lose sight of the one reason the church exists: to worship God. What would it look like if there were a renewed focus on prayer and liturgy? What could the Church become if leadership were more concerned with spiritual well-being than physical or financial? Join us as we explore how churches can refocus their energies and deepen the faith of their membership.

Keynoters: The Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, is the founder of the online ministry, The Geranium Farm, and now lives in New Jersey; 

The Very Rev. Dr. Neal Michell, Dean and Rector at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Dallas, Texas

Coordinator: Brendon Hunter from the Episcopal Church Foundation, New York, NY

In This Issue
Christmas Pageant Practice
Adult Formation 
Episcopal 101 
Gifts From The Heart
Zion Worship 
Bright Way Ministries
Steward of the Month
Lay Ministry Schedule 
Lay Ministry Opportunities
Vestry Minutes
Lectionary Readings
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Youth Opportunities 
St. Nicholas Writes
Annual Parish Meeting
Church Leadership Conference




Father Jeff's Travel Blog 


Deadline for submitting news items is noon Monday.

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Thank you, St. Nicholas family, for your active involvement in our parish. 

Please help Patty Hamilton keep the church directory as up-to-date as possible.


If you have not yet filled out a form, please pick one up in the cloister room and return to the church office. Or you can send your info via email to Patty Hamilton at

  1. Please include:your names and the names of your minor children,
  2. address,
  3. email addresses,
  4. phone numbers (cell and home),
  5. birthdays and anniversaries.

If you need a new picture or a new name tag, indicate that as well.  Feel free to use a favorite picture. Just send it in jpeg form to


Mobile App Installation Instructions

Church members can view the St. Nicholas Church Directory from their iPhone, iPad, Android or Kindle Fire by downloading the free Instant Church Directory Members App.  

You may search for "Instant Church Directory" in the Apple App Store, Google Play, or Amazon Appstore, or use this link: 

After installation, open the Instant Church Directory icon (it looks like a church).  It will ask for your email address.  If your email address is in our church directory, the program will generate a password for you and email it to you.


This worked great for most, but if you have any problems make sure you first check to see that your email address is in the church directory.  


Please look for these cards in the narthex or in the pews and place them in the alms basin if you give electronically.

Father Jeff will bless them at each service along with the other offerings.

If you or family members will be in a play, concert, sports or school activity please send the information to the church to be printed in the newsletter. St Nicholas members can then know what is happening with their church family and perhaps attend some of the functions. Include the event with dates, times and location. This is for children, teens and adults.

Contact Information

To place information in the newsletter email:
St. Nicholas Episcopal Church