December 12, 2018
This Week at St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo
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Upcoming Calendar
Sunday, December 16 - Third 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
11:30am - Vestry Meeting

Tuesday, December 18
2pm to 6pm - Sloatsburg Food Pantry is open

Wednesday, December 19
10am - Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
11am - Chapel for Preschool 3's and 4's

Thursday, December 20
11am - Chapel for Preschool 2's
From the Rector
Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Some years it is more difficult to get into the holiday spirit than others. We are moving headlong into an annual season of parties, dinners, and family gatherings which are supposed to be marked by their joy. It all rings a little hollow, though, when held up against the events we see happening around the world. In France, rioting and gun violence, in the UK and here at home, bitter partisanship on the part of our elected leaders, and right here in New York, the gut-wrenching sight of a baby being torn from its mother's arms as she lay screaming on the floor of a social services office. Where is the light amidst this darkness? O come, Emmanuel!

Amidst all of this, the story of the Nativity can give us solace and strength. From the start, Jesus and the Holy Family had a difficult road (literally). They made an arduous journey to Bethlehem only to find that they would be sleeping in a barn with the animals. That scene has become one of sweetness and serenity to us, but in the moment I imagine it was anything but pleasant. After his birth, Herod tried to kill him, and the family had to make yet another journey to a foreign land in order flee violence in their own (sound familiar?). And finally, for the "crime" of being God's Son, he was brutally executed.

But there is no power in heaven, on earth, or under the earth that can overcome the power of God, for he is love, light, and life. As St. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Through the miracle of Christ's incarnation, death, and resurrection, we have been made one body with him, and he with us. We are the workers in his vineyard and also his brothers and sisters. We proclaim him and all that he is--love, light, and life--in this broken world. And we wait in joyous expectation to share with him in that final victory of resurrection to life eternal. So yes, even though we are tempted to look away from the light and be caught up in "dissipation, drunkenness, and the cares of this life," we do have something to celebrate. God not only created us, but loved us enough to become one of us. Through Christ, he created a new and everlasting covenant with us that cannot be broken. O come, Emmanuel!

Father Rick
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 at 11am, 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.
Christmas Elves Needed
Everyone loves our beautiful array of worship services during the Christmas season. From the fun of the pageant, to the tranquility of Arden, and the solemnity of midnight Mass, we have something for the whole community.

But just like Santa's workshop, our events require many willing hands to make the magic happen. Whatever your talents, we are in need of your help this Christmas. Please contact Fr. Rick or Lisa in the church office if you can help.

Our needs include: Hospitality for the pageant (milk and cookies reception) as well as for midnight Mass (champagne toast--provided by the church). Eucharistic ministers, Ushers, and Acolytes for all three services on Christmas Eve (4pm family service, 5:45pm at St. John's in Arden, 10:30pm midnight Mass). No experience is necessary -- a rehearsal will be held at 11am on Saturday, December 22, for anyone who'd like to run through their role.
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 34 families with 80 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 so far total $1,400. We hope to raise $5,000!

Donations can be made online on St Mary’s website by clicking here . Please 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