This Sunday we are entering into the season of Advent, a time of waiting, hope and expectation, as we prepare to celebrate the Birth of Christ. As the days get shorter and the darkness stretches out we are invited to light our Advent candles and keep watch. Please consider joining us for a Service of Celtic Compline, every Thursday in Advent on Zoom at 8:00 p.m. This is a short, meditative service and you are invited to join us in candlelight on your screen for this service. Please see the links and dates elsewhere in this newsletter.
You are invited to join us as we collect Christmas gifts for the clients of Celebrate Re-entry. A link to the list is in this newsletter, and we are collecting items through December 3. No need to wrap the gifts or label them. Please consider purchasing some of the items on the list as you are out shopping during the week and drop them at the church. Please note that we were informed that the needs of REVIVE Gift Program have all been met and we are not collecting gifts for that program this year.
Thank you to everyone who turned in a pledge for 2022. Thank you for your generosity. You can still make a pledge for 2022, and if you need a pledge card please contact the office or pick one up at the back of the church.
Please take note that the church office will be closed Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday for the holiday. I will be around through the holiday and over the weekend, and I will be checking messages should you need anything.
See you on Sunday at our 8:00 or 10:00 a.m. service followed by coffee hour. Ronald Weber, our supply Choir Director/Organist has put together some wonderful Advent Hymns for us to sing. I invite you to read his Advent piece in this newsletter.
May you and your family, friends and loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Advent and Christmas Opportunities and Information
It’s impossible to believe, but this Sunday, November 28, is the First Sunday of Advent! Families or individuals are needed each Sunday to light the Advent wreath at the beginning of the each service. The sign-up sheets are located on a table in the Narthex.
Please note that during Advent, at the 8:00 a.m. service, we will be using Rite 1 (the traditional language service as found in the Book of Common Prayer).
CHRISTMAS FLOWERS/GREENS SIGN-UP
The Christmas Flowers sign-up sheet is posted in the Narthex. If you would like to give flowers to decorate the church for Christmas ($20), please sign up and also note the intention of your gift. Thank you for helping St. Mary’s to look its loveliest this coming Christmas season!
Copies of Living Well Through Advent 2021, are available on a Narthex table. If you wish, please pick up a copy and take it home with you. The booklet is being provided by Living Compass, a faith-based wellness ministry founded by the Rev. Scott Stoner.
You can also download a copy from the Living Compass website. Here you will also find archived readings, and can sign up to receive daily emails, or join a discussion group.
CELEBRATE RE-ENTRY CHRISTMAS GIFTS
Recently we began a partnership with Celebrate Re-Entry, an organization that provides support and guidance to our brothers and sisters leaving jail/prison in McHenry and Lake Counties. They are collecting new, unwrapped gifts to be given to their clients for Christmas. A wish list of needed items can be downloaded here. All donations should be dropped off to the parish office by Friday, December 3. Thank you!!
A CELTIC COMPLINE, ON ZOOM
Beginning next week Thursday, December 2, and continuing every Thursday in Advent, Rev. Fran and Dn. Mike will lead us in A Celtic Compline on Zoom, starting at 8:00 pm. Zoom instructions are below. There are also flyers available on a table in the Narthex with instructions and the service.
Please log on to Zoom about five minutes before 8:00 pm and light your Advent wreath.
You may use a family Advent wreath or you may use a simple candle.
Please enter and remain in silence.
Set your camera so that we can see both you and your Advent wreath.
Dim the lights around you if possible.
Set your Zoom setting to gallery view if you can. If you can’t set it to gallery view it’s okay.
Happy New Year! Advent begins on Sunday, November 28th. Advent is the Church’s New Year and this year we begin year three of the lectionary cycle with Gospel texts from Luke’s narrative.
Advent is a favorite season for me. The Advent hymns found in the Hymnal 1982 are among some of the most profound and hope filled texts in our Christian tradition. Advent is a time to break away from the busy schedules of the world’s calendar. During Advent, we are invited to remember to:
Rejoice that Christ came into the world to model for us the godly life.
Give thanks for the presence of Jesus Christ in our own lives. (Remember that Jesus comes to us in Word and in the Sacrament of Bread and Wine!)
Hope in the promises that Christ will come again in power and majesty as the triumphant King!
Advent is a time to “get ready” – not only for Christmas, but for the second-coming of our Savior. This preparation isn’t with fear and trembling of horrible end-time things, but a preparation of our hearts that are filled in anticipation of the glorious eternal reign of God and the heavenly banquet. For believers in Christ, trusting in God’s promise to be with us always is what is most important.
While we still maintain a busy schedule in our day to day lives, our weekly Advent season worship will help us be prepared and ready. The Advent season encourages our hope and expectation of Christ’s joyful second-coming. The advent wreath in the church and in our homes allows us to mark the time of our four weeks of “second-coming” preparation. The barren tree (or a Jesse tree) helps to visually remind us of waiting, hoping, longing, anticipating. (Almost but Not Yet!)
It is a pleasure and joy to be working with the Saint Mary’s choir in preparing for worship along with joining you on Sundays for Word and Sacrament. It was easy to feel God’s love through the genuine welcome and engaging conversations I’ve had with a number of Saint Mary’s members and I look forward to getting to know more about you in the weeks ahead. God is truly present in the Saint Mary’s faith community.
I also am anticipating joining together to sing the marvelous Advent hymns with you! I am glad that we can rejoice in Christ’s coming as a baby, Christ’s presence among us now, and Christ’s anticipated return in glory. Let us boldly continue our efforts to proclaim Christ in liturgy, in song, and in life!
Joyfully serving Jesus,
In Case You Missed It...
Last Friday evening the 184th Convention of the Diocese of Chicago kicked off with a beautiful worship service. The service included names and photos of all those from the Diocese who have died since the 2020 Convention last November, including all those lost from St. Mary’s. If you missed this lovely service, you can still view it on the Diocesan YouTube channel.
Reminder: Mask Mandate Still in Effect
Please note that St. Mary’s is still following a mask mandate that the Diocese of Chicago and the CDC is requiring. Please wear a mask at all times when inside the building. Lectors may take the mask off when reading. If you attend coffee hour, please know that masks are required and you may remove your mask when you have gotten your food and are seated. Please wear your mask if walking around the hall.
Parishioners: Cindy; El; Edward, John, Kristi, John, and Matthew.
Family/Friends: Brent, son of El & Dorothy Nyberg; Leo, brother of Dn. Mike Choquette; Brynn, grand-niece of Catherine Carroll; Eric, son-in-law of Jean Huismann; Ashton, grandson of Sharon Duffy; Sherri, step-daughter of Roseann Gibertson; Laura; Carelin; Carmen; Dawn; Billy; Betty; Jean; Don; Millie; Nick; Tarsha; John; Pamela; Susan; Ted, Jeff, Tom, Nicholas (infant) and his family; Mark, Chris, Sarah, Douglas, Mark, Andi, Greg, Wayne, Scott, Sue, Sarah, Dave, Brynn, Neil and Des, Kyle, Rick, Sylvia, Jess, Joanne, Kay, Brian, Sarah.
Those Who Have Died
Andrew McLean, husband of Bishop-elect, Paula Clark
Carmen, mother of Lorraine Taylor
Tom, brother-in-law of Missy Spengel
The victims of the tragedy in Waukesha WI
Those Who Mourn
Bishop-elect Paula Clark and her family
The family of Betsy Vargason
Lorraine Taylor and her maternal family
Missy Spengel, her sister Marilyn, and the family of Tom