Apalachicola, Florida....................................................December 13, 2019
God knows exactly where Emmanuel needs to enter in to mend your heart and soul....


Dear Friends in Christ,

Years ago Johnny Mathis sang -

“Haul out the holly; Put up the tree before my spirit falls again. Fill up the stocking, I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now. For we need a little Christmas Right this very minute, Candles in the window, Carols at the spinet. Yes, we need a little Christmas Right this very minute. It hasn't snowed a single flurry, But Santa, dear, we're in a hurry;”    ‘

Yes, many of us are in a hurry for Christmas and, then again, after the year that some of us have had, we could do without Christmas at all…or at least that is how we feel.

Christmas was always a big deal for my wife Cindy. It would take us a week to decorate our house and get it just right, whatever that was. But, she knew it when she saw it. She adored Christmas but I frustrated her because I never wanted anything, and refused to give her a list. I thought that if you lived with me for 365 days a year you should have paid attention and would have known what I like.

This has made me think that God and I have something in common. During the season of Advent our God prepares us for the gift that we need most; the gift of God’s own Son. I know that Christ is what I truly need this Christmas to become whole again. Some of us need more of God’s attention than others at this time of year. This can be the most painful time for those who recently lost loved ones.

That’s why I am so glad that some of members of the congregation will go out Christmas Caroling. What a treat for those who live alone, to have people who are important to us serenade us with the songs proclaiming Christ’s arrival… just the gift that we need.

Throughout these next few weeks, recognize that God knows exactly where Emmanuel needs to enter in to mend your heart and soul and so I suggest that you and I prepare that place to receive him. Some of us have unresolved anger issues, abandonment issues; some us are overwhelmed by loss, some are lonely, others filled with fear, while others still are facing serious medical conditions. Others within our congregation and community must deal with fractured families, while others face the daily struggle of living in poverty. 

My mother used to say if you took everyone’s troubles and threw them up in the air, after a few minutes you’d be happy to get yours back. I know that is true, but I want you to know that as in the hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem:”

         “Yet in thy dark streets shineth
           The everlasting Light
           The hopes and fears of all the years
            Are met in thee tonight”

And later on we sing:

“O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today”

I guess what I’m saying in a longwinded way is to take notice of your family, your body, mind, spirit, and soul and see what area of your very personal life needs the healing power of Christ, and then pray for the Holy Child of Bethlehem to enter in and be born in you on Christmas Day so that he and you may be grafted one to another, where He may dwell in you and you in Him, not just for this very short season of Advent or for the 12 days of Christmas, but forevermore.

Wishing and praying your have a Holy Advent and a Merry Christmas, I am yours in Christ,
                                        Eric+
Readings for Sunday, December 15, 2019 , the Third Sunday of Advent
Readings for Sunday, December 22, 2019 , the Fourth Sunday of Advent
AROUND THE CHURCH
Trinity Annual Meeting & Report -2019
Embracing the Next Generation of Leadership
Trinity's Annual Meeting, held last Sunday, included the election of three new Vestry members; distribution of the 2019 Annual Report ; a review of the 2020 Operations Budget ; and a presentation of a personal Prayer Book to our outgoing Senior Warden, Gary Ulrich. As this transition year draws to a close, Gary shared these thoughts:

This past year, the congregation of Trinity Church said goodbye to The Rev. Donna Gerold and welcomed Father Eric Zile. We now embrace the next generation of leadership to our Parish. Trinity Church has been a “Cornerstone of Faith and Community” for the past 183 years. I trust that we will be able to continue the mission of Trinity Church, under the leadership of Father Zile, for many years to come.

Thank you to the many parishioners and volunteers that work tirelessly, behind the scenes, to make Trinity Church a very special place.

As this year draws to a close and my tenure as Senior Warden ends, I would like to thank the members of the 2019 Vestry for giving me the opportunity to serve the Parish as Senior Warden. It has been an honor to serve.

I am confident that 2020 will bring new and exciting challenges, much joy, and new opportunities to - “Sing a New Song”! 

-- Respectfully, Gary Ulrich - Senior Warden  
Out-going Vestry members are (above) Gary Ulrich, Patti McCartney, & Paul McAbee.
New Vestry members elected to serve a term of three years, beginning January, 2020, are Lee Bettis, Mickey Harris (above) , & Steve Watkins (not pictured) . Vestry members continuing their service are Randy Mims, Charlie Galloway, Betty Fugate, Landy Luther, C.T. Ponder, & Susie Wagoner.
Seasonal Sharing Opportunities

Christmas Flowers
You can memorialize or honor a loved one with a poinsettia this Christmas season at Trinity. Complete the order form in the Sunday bulletin or stop by the church office by Monday, December 16 . Poinsettias are $15.00 each, and will be used for decorating the Altar. Make your checks payable to Trinity Church and mark as 'Christmas Flowers'.
Christmas Dinners
The Franklin County Food Bank is accepting donations of foods for families to make Christmas Dinners. Add canned vegetables such as sweet potatoes, green beans, and corn, as well as boxed/bagged dressing mix, and instant mashed potatoes to your grocery list this weekend. Bring your donations to Trinity’s ‘food wagon’ in the Narthex by Monday, December 16.
Backpack Buddies
The Franklin County School Nutrition Association needs your help to provide children with nutritious food and snacks on the weekends. Backpacks filled with food are given out on Friday and returned on Monday for restocking. A $25.00 donation feeds one child for one month; children are currently on waiting lists . Make your checks payable to Trinity Church and mark as 'Backpack Buddies'.
Franklin County Children Enjoy
Polar Express Adventure
Pre-Kindergarten students at Franklin County School and their families boarded THE POLAR EXPRESS on December 10. In partnership with Bring Me A Book Franklin and Trinity Episcopal
Church, the four-year-olds and their siblings followed an itinerary of seven train stops, including a complimentary supper.

Trinity parishioner volunteers served dinner to close to 100 participants. The “train stops” of educational activities, included a reading of the Caldecott Award Winning book, The Polar Express , by Chris Van Allsburg; a craft project; cookie decorating; writing letters to the North Pole; bingo; and, a visit with Santa. One of his elves gave each child a gift book provided by Bring Me A Book Franklin after they told Santa their wishes for under the tree.

Upon leaving, several parents commented that it was a delight to spend quality time with their kids as well as seeing the joys of the season through their children’s eyes.  
A Musical Tribute to Our New Priest
In honor of the arrival of the Rev. Eric Zile to Trinity, our own Brooks Jones adapted song lyrics which he and Randy Mims performed at the New Ministry Celebration in October.


To enjoy a clip of the performance by Brooks & Randy, click on the photo of Eric (left) .
IMPORTANT DATES IN DECEMBER-JANUARY

Bay Area Choral Society Christmas Concert  --   December 15, 4:00 pm at Trinity

Greening of the Church  – Sunday,   December 22, following the 10:30 am service

Christmas Eve Service  – Tuesday, December 24, 6:00 pm

Christmas Day Service  – Wednesday, December 25, 10:30 am

Feast of the Holy Name  – Wednesday, January 1, 2020, 12 noon

Feast of the Epiphany  – Monday, January 6, 2020, 7:00 pm
Trinity's Traditional Christmas Tree All Decked Out
The next time you enter Trinity, you'll delight in the beautifully adorned Christmas tree.

The tree was delivered and set up by Bill Van Der Tulip and the Boy Scouts,
then decorated by Candace Springer & Patti McCartney (right) , along with Rennie Edwards, Evelyn Ogilvie, & Joy Tracy.
OUR GREATER COMMUNITY
It's a Duke Ellington "Nutcracker" this weekend only at the Chapman Theatre in Apalachicola. It's a jazzy up-tempo dance extravaganza you don't want to miss. See it Friday and Saturday (December 13-14) only at 7:30 p.m. each night. Kids 12 and under get in FREE and adult tickets are $18 online and $20 at the door. Get tickets now .
DECEMBER AT HOLY FAMILY SENIOR CENTER

Dec. 17 - Annual Celebration of Elder Care Community Council (ECCC) - 6 pm, bring a snack to share and a 'Dirty Santa' gift.

Dec. 20 - Christmas Brunch - 11 am (need volunteers to bring a dish). The Apalach Chorus and Ukulele Orchestra will entertain.
The 'Bee Warm Blanket and Sock Drive' needs your donation of new or gently used items. Call ECCC at 850-653-3134 for more information.
LAY MINISTRY SCHEDULE
December 15                                                       
Acolyte: Cindy Clark                                        
Lectors: Ralph Wagoner & Candace Springer               
Prayers: Tom Edwards                                     
Greeters: Ralph & Susie Wagoner                 
Chalice: Penny Marler & Kirk Hadaway                 
Healing: Kristin Anderson                                
Altar Guild: Candace Springer & Rennie Edwards         
Hospitality: ECW    
                          
December 22                                                      
Acolyte: Bill & Fisher Van Der Tulip            
Lectors: Candace Springer & Patti McCartney   
Prayers: Ralph Wagoner                                 
Greeters: Charlie & Brenda Galloway           
Chalice: Brooks Jones & Patti McCartney 
Healing: Kristin Anderson                                
Altar Guild: Susie Wagoner                             
Hospitality: Outreach               

December 24 Christmas Eve
Acolyte: Debbie Flowers
Lectors: Patti McCartney & Candace Springer
Prayers: Ralph Wagoner
Greeters: ralph Wagoner, George Rudo, Steve Watkins & Karen Brown
Chalice: Penny Marler & Kirk Hadaway
Healing: Kristin Anderson
Altar Guild: Jane Harris & Aglaia Dolan                         
CALENDAR
Sunday Services are 8 am & 10:30 am, Eastern time

Church address: 79 6th Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320
Office address: 76 5th Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320
Mailing address: PO Box 667, Apalachicola, Florida 32329

Phone number: (850) 653-9550