FIRST SUNDAY of ADVENT
November 29
(Hartford, CT; Wadsworth Atheneum, 1774), oil on canvas.
COLLECT
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The readings may be found here.
Communion Hymn
Abba, Father (A3#145)





Recessional Hymn
Rector's Report
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that y’all had a good Thanksgiving. A silver lining of the cloud of 2020 is that we can see how many things we have to be grateful for. We remained blessed to live in an area less impacted by COVID-19. We can also rejoice that our state understands that the worship of Almighty God is an essential activity and that adults can make informed decisions about getting together.

I especially want to thank those who officiated Morning Prayer for the last two Sundays and the Tech Team for continuing to broadcast the service (even when it was in the chilly breezeway). We remain blessed to have family and friends who stand with us in sickness and health, joys and pains, and in triumph and failure.

This Thanksgiving I particularly give thanks for the ease of my wife’s and my recovery from COVID-19. I would characterize my experience as that of a mild flu. This downtime allowed me to finish James Michener’s tome Texas. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it. I did buy the movie too but haven’t watched it yet.

Laura and I have followed the CDC procedures of quarantining after catching COVID-19. To get the details of what that means, go to the website “When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19” at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html. The CDC also lists some advantages to having COVID-19 antibodies. For example, if exposed again, there is no need to quarantine. Another thing someone who’s had COVID-19 can do is to donate their plasma to help others (https://www.carterbloodcare.org).

It is too bad that Europe still has a blanket quarantine on travelers, or with the cheap airfare, Laura and I might take a fun trip after Christmas. One thing that my illness did take away was the opportunity for me to do some deer hunting during doe season. Since I hunt for meat, not trophies, I am quite happy with a two-year-old doe or spike. Maybe next year.

Now Advent is upon us, and to help us prepare for Christmas we will be having an Advent program beginning Thursday, December 3rd. This year it will be “Jesus among other gods: the absolute claims of the Christian message” by Ravi Zacharias. It will follow the same format as previous years: dinner at 6:00 pm with the program and small group discussion from 6:30-7:30 pm.

Our Bishop has an Advent present for us, and he writes, “Dear Brothers and Sisters, Greeting in our coming Lord Jesus. Click to view the link to a video for the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s sermon for the diocese. While fitting this Sunday best, it would work at any point in the season.

Enjoy! I am looking forward to seeing y’all, leading worship, and preaching in-person on Sunday!
A Morsel for Meditation
"Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who as a heaven for everybody, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and broad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all."
Bishop J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion
(1878; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2018), 345.
Additional Advent Activities
Zoom Morning Prayer Wednesdays at 10:30am

Wednesday before Thanksgiving
Join Us at St. Paul’s Zoom Meeting:
https://zoom.us/j/9037772020. Our Meeting ID is: 903 777 2020.
To call in, use one tap mobile: +13462487799,,9037772020#
or to dial: +1 346 248 7799. 
Giving
Stewardship Today
Jennifer Faunce

From Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth: “For we are God’s fellow workers… “ (1. Cor. 3:9). Elsewhere, Paul mentions that we are “working together with him… “ (2 Cor. 6:1). God is at work in your life and around the world, and you have the privilege of participating in his work. Stewardship is the time to think about what you can give back with thanksgiving; the many blessings God has given you.

You can make your checks payable to "St. Paul's Episcopal Church" and mail them to:

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
8320 Jack Finney Blvd. 
Greenville, TX 75402
You can also make your donations at http://stpaulstx.org/giving/ to make a donation using your credit or debit card via PayPal or Tithe.ly.
Pray for the Church, the Body of Christ
Please pray for those on our prayer list this week:
Hospitalized, Rehab, or recovering at home:
Bill Rolston, Ken Gunter

Prayers: Marie Aughtry, Robb Horn, Dana Medford Marcy Walsh, Paula Reeves, Judy Shaddox,
Dolores & Father Gordon,
Mike Lavigne, Faye Hamann



Contact our church office to add
a name to our prayer list: 903-455-5030. Names remain
for one month unless renewed or canceled.
We also pray for our Daughters of the King Ministry as they bring their strength and service together by praying for friends and for the people.

You may also add people to the list by filling out a DOK confidential prayer card and putting them in the blue box located in the Narthex.
DOK PRAYER REQUESTS & BOX

The Daughters of the King support your prayer needs and wishes. Each Sunday a prayer team will be available to pray with you after the Worship Service in the choir area after the 10:30 service. If you would like additional information, please see a DOK member.

They also have a intercessory prayer box on the table in the Narthex to deposit prayer requests. Prayer request cards may be found in the pews and beside the box in the Narthex. Daughters pray daily. All prayers are confidential. Each person is prayed for one month. If you wish for continued prayers, please complete another request card or contact a Daughter.

You may call the church office (903-455-5030) and specify it is for the DOK intercessory prayer list. You can hand the card to a Daughter (she is always wearing her cross).
Just For Laughs
Streaming:
Since we’re doing so much online our Google, YouTube, Facebook reviews are particularly important. Please take the time to give us a 5-star review! : https://g.page/r/CfEFxlXVrQvbEAg/review

  • Our Sunday services are available live at 10:25 am (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCmlrRFxbQF7CSAnFS8H9FA) and Facebook (https://facebook.com/stpaulsepiscopalgreenville). Our recorded Sunday service is broadcast on the GEUS community Channel (Channel 34) on Wednesdays at 8 am and 6 pm. Previously recorded services may be accessed anytime on our Facebook and YouTube pages. The recorded sermons may be found on our website as MP3s.
  • Remote Eucharist continues, and a few parishioners are helping me to distribute the Eucharist to parishioners’ homes on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please let me know by email if you’d like to receive the Holy Sacrament remotely. The best way to contact me is fathernickfunk@gmail.com.
  • The Parish office remains closed; however we continue to check voicemails and emails regularly.
  • The St. Paul’s Zoom Meeting may be found at https://zoom.us/j/9037772020. Our Meeting ID is: 903 777 2020. To call in, use one tap mobile: +13462487799,,9037772020# or to dial: +1 346 248 7799.
  • Morning Prayer on Wednesdays at 10:30 via a Zoom meeting, and upload it live if Zoom and Facebook work together (about 75% success rate).


Masks worn by all at worship. Please bring your own!
 
Only one entrance. Sanitizers
will be located there.
 
Worshippers/households
separated by 6 feet.

No tactile passing of the Peace
Indoor services will not have congregational singing.
 
Collection plate placed at
entrance to the Nave
 
Bread only communion distributed within Diocesan protocols.
 
Join us for coffee hour
Explore the Diocese
In The Divine Alphabet, O Is For Ornery

And I don’t mean the election results (whatever they are) (I am writing this before the polls close). And I don’t mean the ice-broken trees and power outages of Oklahoma City, or the hurricanes, or the fires. And I don’t mean the resurgence of violent ideologies. And I don’t mean the Blasted Virus.

I mean dear old Job. He was a righteous man, Job was. People who knew him respected his quiet wisdom. When he came into a room, conversation slowed down and stopped so that people could hear what he might say. He treated everyone fairly: although well-off, there was no suspicion that he had acquired his wealth in bad ways. He was generous. He was pious, beginning every day with prayer, for instance.

God did not exaggerate when he said there was no one like him. When challenged with the claim that Job’s righteousness was rewarded by God’s good treatment, God said it was not so. God allowed the accuser to test Job, to take away his wealth and his health and everything else except his life. And, as we know, it turned out God was right. Job’s righteousness did not depend on Job getting a good deal in life.

But what a strange thing, it seems to us, for God to allow those awful afflictions. We think, Doesn’t God care for Job? (click to continue reading)
SUPPORT ST. PAUL'S WITH YOUR SHOPPING

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates.