The Weekly News - November 28 2018

Greetings!

In this issue of The Weekly News:

  • Advent Thoughts
  • Common Grounds
  • Prepare the way . . .
  • Advent Lessons and Carols
  • "Advent for All"
  • Return Christmas Outreach Project Totes by December 2
  • Volunteers Needed for Gift-a-Child and Tote Distribution
  • Backpack Ministry
  • Dates for Your Calendar

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

I still have too many books. Before I left my last church fourteen months ago, I decided to downsize the library I had accumulated over many years. I created three piles: 
  • “The toolbox” – the books I expected to use frequently here at St. Christopher’s
  • “The rejects” – the books I didn’t want to move or keep any longer
  • “The rest”– the books that, for various reasons, I couldn’t part with quite yet

“The rejects” went out on tables for my former parishioners to take if they wanted. Most of the books found new homes. “The rest” are in boxes in our living room in Granville (God bless my wife, Terry, for her patience!) “The toolbox” is on the bookshelves in my office. More frequently than I’d like to admit, I’ll go to look for a book in “the toolbox,” only to find that it isn’t here in Carmel.  

So, it was with some trepidation that, just before Thanksgiving, I went to the bookshelves in hopes of finding one of my favorite Advent books called Watch for the Light. The book, published in 2001, is a collection of writings by various authors. The writings are organized so that one reading is assigned for each day beginning on November 24 and ending on January 7 - roughly coinciding with the time between the First Sunday of Advent and Epiphany.  

Some pieces in the anthology are short poems, others are longer excerpts from books, articles or addresses. One day, the selection might be something written by Bernard of Clairvaux, the twelfth century abbot who helped reform Benedictine monasteries. On another, it could be a piece from Madeleine L’Engle whose children’s book, A Wrinkle in Time, was turned into a movie earlier this year.

As one of my spiritual practices this year, I plan to read each day’s excerpt from Watch for the Light during morning prayers and, then, to let whatever the Holy Spirit says to me through it shape the rest of my day. As another practice, I will do my best to be “light” for someone for whom things have become dark. These two practices will serve as my “holiday preparations” this year – letting some light shine into me through regular spiritual reading and then letting some light shine through me to someone else.

What about you? What will be your practice this Advent season? In what way will you let your light shine?  

It could be helping make sure St. Christopher’s has all the items needed to fill the Weekend Backpacks we’ll be providing to children in the Carmel Clay School district who won’t have the school breakfast and lunch programs during their winter break. Or serving as one of the 12 volunteers needed to help parents choose gifts for their families and distribute the holiday food totes at the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center on December 10. (Contact Martha Weissert at IRLteam1@aol.com to help.) 

It could be attending the special Advent series at Sunday morning’s “Common Grounds” sessions that meet in the Parish Hall between the services. Or inviting a neighbor to Advent Lessons & Carols on Sunday, December 2, or to Christmas services here.  

Whatever you decide to do to deepen your relationship with Jesus (a/k/a “The Reason for the Season”), God’s light will shine a little brighter.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine this Advent . . . How about you?

Father Stephen 


Common Grounds
An Adult Formation Forum
December 2, 9:00 - 9:45 am
In the Parish Hall

Sunday's Topic:
Come . . . in Silence
We come to Advent with a history of traditions, events, and rituals that are part of our family, our world, and our church. You probably already hold expectations about what it means to embrace Advent as a time of daily devotion and prayer as you await Christ’s coming.  

The first of three Advent lessons will use carols, scripture, and prayers to influence your experiences and guide your Advent learning. Each lesson can stand alone or be a progressive journey in the first three Sundays of Advent.

Presented by Marty Torrance
The 2019 Stewardship Drive - "Prepare the Way! . . ."

Prepare the way for God's coming . . . make the road smooth and straight! Mark 1:3

If you have made your pledge for the coming year, thank you. If you have not yet made your pledge, now is the time! Help us prepare the way by making your pledge between now and December 2, which is Ingathering Sunday for the 2019 Annual Stewardship Drive. The vestry will begin its work on the 2019 budget early next week.

You can make your pledge in one of three ways:
  • complete the pledge card mailed to your home and mail it to the church or place it in the offering plate on Sunday
  • stop by the church and pick up a pledge card or print one from the pledge online page (link below), then drop it by the church or place it in the offering plate on Sunday
  • pledge online at stchriscarmel.org/make-a-pledge

Each new or increased dollar pledged for 2019 earns a dollar for debt elimination. A matching grant gives everyone the opportunity to help with debt elimination.
Advent Lessons and Carols with Holy Eucharist
Sunday December 2

We will offer a Service of Advent Lessons and Carols during the 10:00 am service on the first Sunday of December. Readings from scripture, seasonal Advent hymns with brass quartet, and choral anthems sung by the choir - all will proclaim the promised coming of the Messiah. The service will include Holy Communion. Please invite family, friends, and neighbors.
"Advent for All"
Sunday, December 2
Following the 10:00 am Service

It can be a challenge to maintain peaceful waiting during December. "Advent for All” is an event that hopes to provide something to help each person who visits with ideas of ways to await the celebration of the birth of Jesus. There will be scripture, questions for reflection, book suggestions, and several simple crafts. All will be designed to help you experience hope, peace, love, and joy. You might even find some tasty treats! Please join us in the Parish Hall immediately following the "late" service and the blessing of the holiday totes.
Blessing of Holiday Totes for
Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center
Sunday, December 2
Following 10:00 am Service

Return filled holiday totes to the church by this Sunday, December 2, 9:30 am. If you return a tote during the week, please note the return on the roster with your tote number in the narthex. If you need help getting your tote into the church, volunteers from St. Christopher's 4Cs will handle the heavy lifting on Sunday morning, between the 7:45 am and 10:00 am services.
A few elves needed!

We are looking for 12 volunteers to help parents choose gifts for their families and distribute the holiday food totes at the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center on December 10. We'll need to have our volunteers identified by December 7. This is a wonderful, enjoyable opportunity to be of service. If you have questions or want to sign up, email Martha Weissert at IRLteam1@aol.com.
Backpack Ministry

In advance of our next delivery date in December, we are asking for donations of canned pasta (We have everything else. Thank you). Bring your donations to church between now and December 9. You will find baskets marked "Backpack Ministry" in the narthex. Please note that we are unable to accept items other than those requested for this program, as all backpacks need to have specific food items.

The packing dates are December 9 and 16. We'll gather immediately after the 10:00 am service in the parish hall.
The Daughters of The King
Saturday, December 8, 10:00 am

All women of the church are welcome to join The Daughters of The King in the bridal parlor on the second floor on the first Saturday of December. We will be making Christmas favors for the December 19 Young at Heart Luncheon.
Important Dates for Your Calendar

The  Save the Date page  of St. Christopher's website is updated weekly. Check this resource for new information. You also may want to review the insert in the Sunday bulletin, as it provides the schedule for the coming week. 

December 2, 11:30 am | Garden Planning Meeting
December 8, 10:00 am | The Daughters of the King
December 9, 11:30 am | Backpack Assembly and Packing
December 10, 6:30 pm | St. Christopher's 4Cs
December 16, 11:30 am | Backpack Assembly and Packing
December 19, 11:30 am | Young at Heart Luncheon

Church Office hours
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 12 noon and 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
The deadline for announcements, news, and articles for The Weekly News is Monday Noon each week. Email announcements to the church office at awalker@stchriscarmel.org with a copy to carolyncparrott@gmail.com.