Sunday, December 20
The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Masks and social distancing required for all services.
Holy Eucharist Rite I, 8 a.m.
In-person attendance for up to 10 worshippers
Please sign up in advance here.
Holy Eucharist Rite II, 10 a.m.
In-person attendance for up to 10 worshippers
Please sign up in advance here.
Also live-streamed at 10 a.m.
Worship Notes, Sunday, December 20, 10 a.m.
Fr. Ben Hankinson, officiating, Henry H. Evans, Organist

Coffee Hour via Zoom, following the 10 a.m. service.

Communion station at 12 p.m. on the rear church lawn.
Church School Music Program
Sunday, December 20, 1 p.m.

Missing the Church School Pageant? A special Christmas video from the Church School will arrive in your inbox at 1 p.m. this Sunday. Don't miss it!
Readings for December 20
  • Old Testament - 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
  • Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
  • The Epistle - Romans 16:25-27
  • The Holy Gospel - Luke 1:26-38
The Holy Gospel | Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
(Image: Detail from The Annunciation by Fra Angelico, 1453)
Make Your Offering!
Christmas Eve Service, December 24, 7 p.m.
Holy Eucharist with music. Musical prelude at 6:45 p.m.
In-person attendance is limited to 10 persons but signups are full.
This service will be live-streamed from Facebook.
Service leaflet will be emailed December 22.
Christmas Day Service, December 25, 10 a.m.
Holy Eucharist without music, followed by communion station at 11 a.m.
In-person attendance is limited to 10 persons and spaces are available.
Signup is required. Link to sign up is below.
This service will be live-streamed from Facebook.
Service leaflet will be emailed December 22.
Schedule for the Week of December 20

  • Evening Prayer, Sunday, 7 p.m.
  • Holy Eucharist, Feast of St. Thomas, Monday, 7 p.m. +
  • Noonday Prayer, Tuesday, 12:05 p.m.
  • Advent Discussion Series via Zoom, 6 p.7 pm. (Link and info below.)
  • Noonday Prayer, Wednesday, 12:05 p.m.
  • Noonday Prayer, Thursday, 12:05 p.m.
  • Christmas Eve, Thursday, service prelude music, 6:45 p.m. +
  • Christmas Eve, Thursday, Holy Eucharist, 7 p.m. +
  • Christmas Day, Friday, Holy Eucharist, 10 a.m. +
  • Christmas Day, Friday, Communion Station, 11 a.m. (Back of church)
  • Holy Eucharist, Feast of St. Stephen, Saturday, 10 a.m. +
+ Designates an in-person and Facebook live service.

Looking Ahead
  • Feast of The Holy Name, Holy Eucharist, January 1, 7 p.m.
  • Feast of The Epiphany, Holy Eucharist, January 6, 7 p.m.
  • Annual Meeting, first or second Sunday in May (tbd)
From the Rector: An Advent Message

During Advent, we use a wreath to mark the passage of time. The candles are nestled in evergreens in the midst of the cold and darkness of winter, as we watch the light grow from week to week. Life in the season of death, light as the days grow darker. 

  • The first candle lit is often referred to as the Prophecy Candle or the Candle of Hope. By its light, we remember that God is faithful to his promises. Just as the birth of Jesus was foretold by the prophets of old, we wait in hope for his promised return.
  • The second candle lit is sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle. As we prepare to gather around a lowly manger, we remember the faith by which Mary and Joseph journeyed to Bethlehem, there to see the grandeur of God’s love in the willing humility by which His Son came among us while we were yet sinners.
  • On the third candle, the Shepherd’s Candle, we remember their joy upon receiving news of the Messiah’s birth. The Gospel of Immanuel, God with us, is good news not only to the shepherds but to all mankind and for which we all may rejoice.
  • The fourth candle is symbolic of Peace. It is also known as the Angel’s Candle. By its light we remember the message of the angels to the shepherds in the field that night so long ago, that what was announced to the Blessed Mother had been fulfilled in Bethlehem: “Peace of Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”

As we approach Christmas and light the last of the Advent candles this week, may we indeed find hope, faith, joy, and peace at the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
-Fr. Ben



The Vestry met on Thursday, December 17, via Zoom. The focus of the meeting was the 2021 budget. Treasurer Riley Atwood forwarded budget information from the prior Sunday's Finance Committee meeting for the Vestry's consideration. The Vestry determined that the 2021 budget would include cost of living increases for the Rector and Music Director and recommended some minor changes to the budget information presented from the Finance meeting. After making the recommended changes, the Treasurer will send the budget to the Vestry for approval. The detail of the final budget will be shared with the parish before the end of December.
My Bethlehem
by Jim Weingartner

I was born in Bethlehem. My Bethlehem was a small city in Pennsylvania about 60 miles north of Philadelphia. When I was a kid, Bethlehem was a place of dramatic contrasts. Its heart was the gigantic Bethlehem Steel plant which brought to mind William Blake’s forbidding image of “dark, satanic mills.” The stench from its coke ovens might well have been the exhalations of hell. But Bethlehem’s soul was the much older part of town where the original Moravian settlers had put down their roots.

Bethlehem’s Moravians, spiritual descendants of the Christian reform movement founded in the 15th century by Jan Hus, had immigrated to America from Germany with the support of Count Nicholas Ludwig Zinzendorf. On Christmas Eve 1741, Zinzendorf and a group of about 30 Moravians began the celebration of Christ’s birth in the still unfinished Gemeinhaus (community house).

As services were ending, Zinzendorf guided the tiny congregation into an adjacent stable, where he led them in the singing of a hymn that began, “Nicht Jerusalem, sondern Bethlehem, aus dir kommet was mir frommet” (“Not Jerusalem, but Bethlehem, from you comes what avails me”). “Bethlehem” was adopted as the name of the new settlement.

Today, the Bethlehem Steel Company is no more, but Bethlehem’s Moravian soul is very much alive in the form of the beautiful Central Moravian Church, its cemetery (“God’s Acre”) with its 18th century gravestones, Moravian College, and in the love of music which, along with all the arts, Moravians consider means for the worship of Christ.

Mental images of my birthplace are particularly vivid at this season of the year. I remember the ninety-foot tall illuminated Christmas star that overlooked the town from South Mountain, the brass choir that played Christmas music on Christmas Eve from the steeple of the church, and the candles that flickered from the windows of the 18th and early 19th century stone structures in the historic center of town.

These are treasured memories. Bethlehem is not only where I was born, but a place where to me the veil separating this world from the eternal seems thin.
(Image above: Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.)
Advent Series on Tuesdays:
Becoming a Beloved Community

Fr. Ben and Dr. Liz McKenney will lead the last Zoom discussion of this Advent series on December 22 at 6 p.m. Join the group Tuesday at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5094879945 .
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Newsletter Editor-in-Chief and Designer, Marian Smithson
Newsletter Editor Jane Weingartner | Newsletter Editor, Marianne Cavanaugh