This Week at St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo
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Upcoming Calendar
Sunday, December 9 - Second Sunday in Advent
8am - Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
9:50am - Infant/childcare available and Sunday School begins
10am - Holy Eucharist in the Church with music
Food and fellowship follows in Bentley Hall

Wednesday, December 12
10am - Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
11am - Chapel for Preschool 3's and 4's

Thursday, December 13
11am - Chapel for Preschool 2's
From the Rector
Dear Parishioners and Friends,

"The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." This is one of my most beloved verses of scripture, from the prologue to the Gospel of John. John is decidedly more mystical than the other gospel writers, indeed he also gives us the book of Revelation. And while all of the gospel writers start off with an origin story, it is only John who takes it to the very beginning of time, something we can scarcely comprehend. He makes it very clear to the reader that Jesus Christ, the Word (or Logos in the Greek) "was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God."

I believe that this perspective gives us a much more expansive and eternal view of Jesus than does a genealogical list of "begets and begats," as interesting as that can be. At this time of year, when the focus is sharply on the coming of the Christ child as a human being, it is important to bear in mind that though the Incarnation happened at the precise time and place ordained by the Father, the Word was with him from before creation. How much more astounding does that make the incarnation? That very God, who knew and knows all of us since before we were formed in our mothers' wombs, would deign to become one of us in the very same way is both emblematic and instructive. We can see God's love for us by becoming one of us, but are also called into action in imitation of his loving act. As Jesus would later say to his disciples, "a new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you."

John also writes that "he came unto his own, and his own received him not." This is a struggle that lives on today. Our God, who knows us all intimately, so often goes unrecognized by us. Just think of the post-resurrection stories in which Jesus is mistaken for a gardener, or a stranger on the road by his closest friends and disciples. Think of occasions when we have failed to recognize him in our time. It is very easy to recognize the babe in the manger, but it takes a bit more effort and maturity to see him where he wants us to see him: in the outcast, the poor, the forgotten. As I said in my sermon last Sunday, Advent is not simply a "countdown to Christmas." Mindful of Christ's incarnation, it is an opportunity for us to look deep within ourselves, so that we may see clearly outside ourselves. May the light which cannot be overcome by darkness be your guide, now and throughout the new year.

Father Rick
By now you should have received information on making your 2019 pledge to St. Mary's, either electronically or through a direct mailing. Thank you to those who have already made your pledge for the new year. If you haven't yet made your pledge, remember, as with God's love it is never too late. Please use the buttons below to make a pledge or a one-time donation. You can also drop off an old fashioned paper pledge card at the church office or in the collection plate on Sunday. Forms can be found in the church, chapel, and office.

Please also remember to fulfill your 2018 pledges by year's end, when we must close the books. So far this year, 80% of pledges have been received, but we are still shy of our total pledged amount by about $25,000. As you know, we rely heavily on your generous support to carry out our mission. Thank you for your generosity!
Christmas Pageant
Come and join us! This year's Christmas Pageant will be held on Christmas Eve at the 4pm family service. As always, the entire community is welcome, and children and adults are all needed to participate in the pageant. There are speaking and non-speaking parts available. Rehearsals are limited to one on Saturday morning, December 22 and a quick run-through right before the actual Pageant. So invite friends and relatives in town for Christmas - come one and all. To participate, please just let us know you will come! It promises to be a fun family Christmas experience. For more information and to volunteer, please contact  Jenn Creamer .

The Pageant is followed by a Milk & Cookies Reception in Bentley Hall. Let’s spice up the Milk & Cookies Reception following the Christmas pageant by featuring our special homemade goodies. As you bake your favorite holiday treats, consider making an extra dozen to share. Drop them off at the church office any weekday before Christmas Eve (we’ll freeze them, if necessary), or at the 10 AM service on Sundays.
Outreach Update
It has been our tradition for many years now to reach out to the families in our neighborhood whose incomes make it difficult for them to provide the Christmas extras that brighten this season of love and giving. Our recipient families are those in the Tuxedo Schools whose children are in the free lunch program plus our neighbors down the road who attend the twice weekly English as a Second Language classes that were started several years ago by the Sloatsburg Food Pantry.

This year we are partnering with TPS. St Mary’s will provide a $50 Shoprite gift card for each family and a $50 Kohl’s gift card for each child. The TPS students are making a collection of Winter hats, scarves and gloves before coming to St Mary’s to assemble the decorated gift bags ready for distribution on December 19th.

Our list has 33 families with 75 children! St Mary’s needs your help! Please give generously! Every donation of any amount will add an angel to the St Mary’s Giving Tree with the name of the donor attached.

Donations can be made online on St Mary’s website and select ‘Angel Tree’ in the fund designation of the dropdown menu in the middle of the page. Checks can also be sent to St Mary’s, with Angel Tree in the memo.

On behalf of St Mary’s and our local families, thank you for ensuring that everyone indeed has a Very Merry Christmas!
Christmas Flowers and Music
Once again, St. Mary’s will be transformed into a breathtakingly beautiful space decorated for Christmas beginning with the greenery during Advent. Poinsettias and red bows will be added for Christmas and then on Christmas Eve, we will enjoy outstanding music offered by our choir, Director of Music and a string quartet. All are paid for by YOUR donations. The total cost is over $3000, so we do need a number of generous donors to have this lovely tradition of St. Mary’s continue in 2018. To make this possible, we ask you that you give a special donation for the Christmas decorations and music by using the envelope in your Sunday service bulletin, or by clicking here . Use the dropdown menu and select "Holiday Flowers and Music". Deadline for inclusion of thanksgivings and memorials in our Christmas bulletins is Monday, December 17.
All are truly welcome at St. Mary's, which is located within the historic gates of Tuxedo Park and serves the entire Tuxedo community. Please tell the gatehouse you're going to St. Mary's, proceed thru the gates and we're on the right (plenty of parking available).
How to contact us...
Office: 845.351.5122
PreSchool: 845.351.2389
Physical Address: 10 Fox Hill Rd, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 637, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987