December 3, 2023

The First Sunday of Advent

10am Service

The Rev. Mary Claugus Presiding

Pastor Katie Holeman Preaching

& The Rev. Rodney Davis Deacon

5pm Contemplative Prayer Eucharist with Zoom

Christ the King

The Rev. Mary Claugus

Sunday, November 26, 2023

California International Marathon

This Sunday, December 3rd

Road Closures on Fair Oaks Blvd and Watt begin at 7AM.

Road Closure List
Road Closure Map

Amended By Laws

In case you missed it, we are amending our Bylaws. We will vote on these amendments at our Annual Meeting on Sunday January 28, 2024. Save the date! More information and copies of both our current Bylaws and the proposed Amended Bylaws can be found here on our website.

More Info


The start of our new church year, begins with the four weeks of Advent, a time of anticipation for the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas. Advent is a time of reflection and preparation. We prepare our hearts and homes for the new birth of Christ that comes each year when we let it and we prepare our lives for a second coming of Christ, which for many is as mysterious as heaven is compared to earth.


Colors You will notice that in this season we use the liturgical color blue. Advent Wreath You may also notice the Advent Wreath with four candles: Three are blue and one is pink. The third Sunday in advent is called Rose Sunday and we celebrate joy. It is a reprieve from the contemplative nature of the other three weeks of Advent. On the first Sunday of Advent, we light the first candle which represents Hope. The Second Sunday, we light the candle for Hope and a new candle for Peace. The third Sunday, we light the pink colored candle for Joy with the candles for Hope and Peace. The fourth Sunday, we light Hope, Peace, Joy, and the fourth candle for Love. On Christmas Eve, we light the four advent candles and the white Christ candle in the middle. The wreath itself brings greens that represent life in the midst of winter, when all things are dying.

In years past, the liturgical color was purple, like lent and the liturgy took on a solemn tone as well. Today, the tone is more of hope, expectation, and anticipation. We keep the Alleluias, but the service gives space for reflection. I am hoping your home life will afford you the same.


There are many ways to enter into an advent practice of waiting, anticipating, and reflecting; with classes and liturgically in our worship. I offer one more option for you to try out. The Advent Calendar. You can buy any number of advent calendars in the stores. Many of them contain chocolate. It is definitely a fun way to mark the days until Christmas.

Here is a different kind of advent calendar. Advent is broken into 3 weeks, 21 days. If you begin Sunday, there is something for every day. If you begin tomorrow - December 1st, you have a few days to fudge a bit. The theme of this calendar is Inventory: Making room for the gift of Jesus' coming.

The first week of Advent asks you to take inventory of your stuff. It invites you declutter your home of stuff - not just the stuff you do not want - but more importantly - the stuff you do not need that others could use. December 3rd through December 9th.

The second week of Advent asks you to take inventory of your time. It invites you to ask God what you could be doing to bring peace in your life rather than running behind always and feeling that way. December 10th through December 16th.

The third week of Advent asks you to take inventory of your relationships. You are invited to take stock and determine if there is repair to be done, forgiveness to be granted, love to be deepened. December 17th through December 24th.

You can find the first week of the calendar on our blog. It will be a post entitled Advent 2023, Taking Inventory of our Lives - Week One. The second will be like it Advent 2023, Taking Inventory of our Lives - Week Two. The third will be Advent 2023, Taking Inventory of our Lives - Week Three. And we will have a fourth blog post entitled Christmas 2023, Space for Jesus.

I give this to you, in faith and love, Rev. Mary

Advent Calendar Week One
Advent Calendar Week Two
Advent Calendar Week Three
Christmas 2023 Space for Jesus

Advent 2023 Events & Services

Blue Christmas Service

This Sunday, December 3 | 5pm Contemplative Eucharist

A gathering for those who are suffering from grief during a season where we are expected to be filled with joy and peace. Please come and offer your grief and despair to God, honoring the feelings you have while reaching for hope.

More Info
Please RSVP by December 8th
More Info

St. Michael's Children & Youth Connection

A Very Mixed-up Christmas Pageant

Calling all children and adult actors! This Christmas Eve we will be putting on A Very Mixed-Up Christmas Pageant during the 5pm Family worship.

Rehearsals will be December 3, 10, and 17 after the 10am worship. All are invited to join us for this very fun and lighthearted Christmas experience. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Katie.

St. Michael's Serves in the Community

Mercy & Social Justice Grants

Announcing our 2023 Mercy and Social Justice Grants!

St. Michael’s Mercy and Social Justice Committee is excited to announce the 2023 Parishioner Guided Grants Recipients. This year, twice as many applications were submitted relative to past years. We are grateful for the generosity of those who attended the fundraiser and the wisdom of the Vestry who made it possible to give as much as we did. The grants were authored by fourteen parishioners who are each involved in their nominated program - in most cases with other members. This year, one St. Michael's member chose to fund one of the grants and we had another member match a grant that was submitted. In total, we were able to give $24,000 to 14 different programs!

Congratulations to the nominators and recipients. Through these grants, St. Michael’s shows that we love our neighbors and respect the dignity of every human being.

  1. Women's Empowerment Nominated by Mary Ellen Ferguson
  2. The Center at St. Matthew’s Nominated by Mary Ellen Ferguson
  3. St. John's Real Change Nominated by Esta Wiederanders
  4. International Rescue Committee Nominated by Christina Manning        
  5. Golden Valley Quilt Nominated by Jane Samuelson
  6. Sac Blankets / Sac Kids Nominated by Jan Bowdler
  7. Mission at St. Matthews Nominated by Julie Linderman
  8. Carmichael HART Winter Services “Winter Respite Days” Nominated by Julie Linderman      
  9. River City Food Bank Nominated by Eileen Thomas                     
  10. PANC Exhibitor Nominated by Dancy Dobrenick
  11. PANC Respite Care Nominated by Kay Griffin and Marcie Larkey
  12. American River Parkway Education Nominated by Jim Sargent
  13. Loaves & Fishes Nominated by Jim Dodds
  14. Blessings in a Backpack Nominated by Renee Pierce

Gifts from the Heart

Drop Off Days

Thank you so much to all who chose to participate in the GFTH program this year!! Drop off dates and times are Saturday, Dec. 2, 1-4pm and Sunday, Dec. 3, 9am-2pm. If an alternate drop of time is needed, please talk to Laura Quene 916-507-9542 or Holly Yue 916-769-1091.

Volunteers needed:

Winter Respite 2024 Mornings

Wednesdays, 1/10/2024 & 1/31/2024 and Friday 2/2/2024

Christ Community Church,

5025 Manzanita Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608

St Michaels will again be joining with other faith communities in Carmichael to provide meals and a warm place to relax for a few hours during the coldest days of the year for our unhoused neighbors. We will need volunteers to prepare and serve breakfast and a sack lunch or snack each day, plus volunteers to greet and host guests. Please contact me with questions, suggestions and to volunteer, Cindy Dewey 909-921-8855,

Outreach opportunities can be found on our website calendar linked below!


Advent Classes

Living Compass Advent: Practicing Wonder

The Living Compass Advent booklets are available at the church on Sundays, in the office and online at A weekly discussion group facilitated by Lisa and Jim Sargent will be offered on Sunday evenings from 6:30-7:30 on Zoom. We will meet on December 3, 10 and 17Please contact Lisa by e-mail at to sign up. 

More info

A Radiant Birth: Advent Reflections

This Advent season Marilyn McEntyre will be leading reflections on a new collection of Advent daily readings by contemporary Christian writers, A Radiant Birth


Participants are encouraged to follow the daily readings during the week and come to the Sunday gatherings after coffee hour for one hour of reflection. We will begin meeting December 3rd. Discounted copies of the book will be available at coffee hour and from Christian Book Distributors.

More info

Men's Group Work Party

Church Christmas Lights, Saturday, December 2nd

We will be having a Men's Group Work party on Saturday, December 2nd at 9:30am to hang the Christmas lights, wreath and garlands outside and inside the sanctuary. Please contact John Quené if you are interested and able to join the Men's Group as they prepare St. Michael's for the Advent and Christmas Season.

Weekly Services

10am Sunday Morning Worship Eucharist & Choir also Livestreamed

Nursery opens at 9:30am

5pm Sunday Evening Contemplative Eucharist with Zoom

9am Morning Prayer – Zoom, Monday through Thursday nm

11:45am Thursday Noon Day Prayer – Zoom

8:30am Friday Morning Contemplative Eucharist

Christmas Music & Flowers

Give in Thanksgiving & in Memory

You can remember loved ones and celebrate important moments in your life with the gift of flowers and music to the church for Christmas.

Please fill out our online form or you can email the office for what you are grateful for and/or for whom. Please add "Christmas Flowers & Music" to the memo line of checks and mail or drop them off to the office. You can also pay online using the drop down menu by selecting Flowers & Music in Thanksgiving and Remembering.

Please submit your messages for the bulletins by Tuesday, December 19th to be published in the Christmas bulletins.

Names for Christmas Bulletin
Online Donation

Choral Masterworks

by John Cozza, Music Director


Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61 by Bach


To begin our Church Year with the first Sunday of Advent next Sunday, we will begin as J.S. Bach did in 1714, with his unforgettable church cantata, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland ("Now Comes the Gentiles' Savior"), composed in Weimar for the first Sunday in Advent and first performed on 2 December 1714.

The cantata text was provided by Erdmann Neumeister, who quoted the Book of Revelation and framed his work by two hymn stanzas, the beginning of Martin Luther's "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland", the main hymn for Advent with a melody based on Medieval chant, and the end from Philipp Nicolai's "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern". The librettist quoted developed his thoughts like a sermon. Bach structured the cantata in six movements, beginning with a chorale fantasia, followed by a series of alternating recitatives and arias, and concluded by a four-part chorale. He scored it for three vocal soloists (sopranotenor and bass), strings and continuo. 


For more information, here is the Wikipedia entry:


Here is a translation of the German text:


And here is a wonderful YouTube recording with the Viennese original-instruments group Concentus Musicus conducted by their founder and Early-Music pioneer Nikolaus Harnoncourt, recorded live at the amazingly beautiful Benedictine Monastery at Melk, Austria:

On-Going Announcements

St. Michael's Men’s Breakfast

Men's breakfast is on the first Saturday of every month at FlapJacks Diner. The group meets at 8am at the restaurant. FlapJacks Diner is on El Camino Ave. Please reply to Jim Dodds so he will have an idea of the numbers. If you have any additional questions, please contact the office.

Centering Prayer

All are welcome to come and pray! Centering prayer meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month via Zoom. Newcomers are welcome to come at 6:45pm for a Centering Prayer Newcomer Orientation. Centering Prayer begins at 7pm. We will offer a 20 minute centering prayer sit, followed by a variety of contemplative practices. They may include: Lectio Divina, experiential spirituality and occasionally a guest speaker. For more information, please contact the office 916.488.3550 or Chuck Schaller 916.390.3465.

Prayers for Pregnant Women & Their Babies

We have an ongoing relationship with the Episcopal Sisters at the Order of Julian of Norwich monastery who pray daily for pregnant women and their babies. If you have name(s) of loved one(s) who are expecting that you would like to have included in the sisters' prayers, please email Fr. Rod at

Giving Thanks with Flowers!

You can still remember your loved ones and celebrate important moments in your life with the gift of flowers to the church.  

If you would like to give in this way, please let the office know

and what you would like to give thanks for in the bulletin. You can send a check (or drop it off) to the office or pay on-line.  

Name Tags Available

We have name tags available at Sunday morning check in's. Please be sure to grab and wear your name tag before the service. If you are in need of a name tag please let the office know.

St. Michael's Hours

Office Hours: Monday through Friday 9am - 1pm

Sanctuary and Courtyard are open during office hours. Please let the office know you will be coming. Call 916.488.3550 or email.

Pastoral Hours

Rev. Mary will be available on request. Please call the office to schedule.


Pastor Katie will be available on request. Please email to schedule.


Thank you all for generously supporting St. Michael's and our ministries. We are accepting pledge payments through the mail. We are also accepting online giving. You may have to set up an account to do so. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Kate Muris.

St. Michael's Episcopal Church
2140 Mission Avenue, Carmichael CA 95608
Follow Us
Facebook  YouTube  Instagram