Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road
Blue Springs, Missouri  64015
(816) 228-4220
AdventThursday, December 6, 2018 St. Nicholas

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St. Nicholas will be here this Sunday at the 10:30 am service
FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT          The Polar Express Movie
This Friday, December 7 at 6:30 pm 
Join us this Friday, December 7 at the church in the undercroft for a Family Movie Night.  We'll have pizza, cookies and beverages for you to enjoy.  Eat at 6:30 with the movie beginning at 7:00.

Our movie feature will be The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks.  Watch an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe!
Fr. Lynch _
Sharing a St. Nicholas Story 
Celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas by Carrie Willard
December 6, 2018
I once knew an Episcopal priest who was also a dad of young children. One of his daughters disliked their diocesan bishop greatly, and the priest/dad was trying to bring her around to liking him. "You know," he told her. "Santa Claus is really a bishop."   "Daddy!" she said. "Don't say such a mean thing."

That dad is now a bishop himself, and his daughter is all grown up. I haven't asked them lately if she's made her peace with Saint Nick, but I can't blame her dad for trying to tie the always-popular Santa with the bishop in the early Church. As it turns out, Saint Nicholas might have been a bit of a reluctant bishop himself. Unlike the slates and walkabouts of today's elections, legend has it that Nicholas became bishop because he was the first person to enter the church one morning. Other legends say it was because he was the first person named "Nicholas" to enter the church that morning, but either way, it's a far cry from the background checks and multiple ballots of today's church. I have to wonder if Saint Nicholas knew what he was getting into when he rose for prayer that morning.

Christians all over the world celebrate Saint Nicholas in different ways, and there are seemingly as many legends about the man as there are ways to celebrate him. Most of us think of him as a kindly bishop dressed in red robes giving gifts to small children. If we didn't grow up receiving gifts of candy left in empty shoes on his feast day of December 6, we've probably at least heard of that tradition in many Catholic communities.   My husband and I once struggled with managing our conflicting ideas of how to celebrate Christmas with Santa in a grace-oriented Christian family. We toyed with the idea of bridging the gap with Saint Nicholas, but his feast day is wedged awkwardly in the first week of December, when we're just getting into the groove of Advent. Sorry, Nick. My complicated feelings about the saint's day celebration have been compounded by a few disappointing (ahem, hungover) Saint Nicholas impersonators at churches we've attended.
It turns out that there's more to Saint Nicholas than early December candy in shoes. Saint Nicholas may or may not have been one of the original signers of the Nicene Creed, and he may or may not have struck Arius in the face for being a heretic. And more than being known for giving gifts to children, he was known for being a rescuer. Legends say that he rescued children from being sold into prostitution, and even raised children from the dead after they were killed for food during a famine.
These accounts are more dangerous and more serious than a bowl full of jelly and some sweets tucked inside footwear. It's understandable why these stories didn't make it into the cheery family lexicon of family Christmas preparations. But these rescue stories may be just what we need in Advent. They remind us of a Jesus who was sent to rescue us from our sin ("He to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood"). These have echoes of Sally Lloyd-Jones'   Jesus Storybook Bible, when she describes Jesus as a great rescuer, and the unfolding of His birth story as God's great rescue story. She even describes God's revelations to Isaiah as "God's Great Rescue Plan."
God willing, our family Advent preparations won't include saving children from prostitution and certain death, as Saint Nicholas did. But there is still plenty of rescuing that needs to be done in this broken world. As parents, we might need rescuing from the heavy weight of expectations of a perfect Christmas. As Christians, we might need rescuing from the tyranny of the expectation of a   peaceful, calm, not-too-joyful-yet Advent. Holidays are heavy as we grieve for those who have died, and for those who might just be absent for other reasons. We grieve for the Norman Rockwell Christmases that never were. We still need a Rescuer. If you're not sure we need a Rescuer, you might want to check out the headlines.

Saint Nicholas Day traditions can be a sweet, joyful reminder that we have a Rescuer who comes to us at Christmas. Jesus rescues us from our sins, and we celebrate His birth even if we haven't gotten the Advent wreath just right, or have the right spreadsheet-balanced number of gifts for each child under the tree. Jesus is born for us whether we couldn't scrape up enough to provide what we wanted to give to our loved ones, or if we overspent to fill in some need we don't know how to fill.
We can celebrate Saint Nicholas by volunteering at a children's charity, or donating toys to children who might not otherwise have something to open on Christmas morning. These are all worthy ways to celebrate the man who reminded us of the breathtakingly generous gift of Christmas, and a great way to teach our children about the example of Saint Nicholas.
My family does these things in gratitude for the gifts we've been given, but I'm careful when I talk with my children about these acts of generosity on our part: that we are not doing them to gain favor in heaven, or to earn God's goodwill. When we follow in the footsteps of Saint Nicholas, we help others in the name of the Rescuer, knowing that we still need to be rescued ourselves. These acts are small tokens of our gratitude for the generosity that has already been shown to us.

Dear God, we pray that we can follow in the footsteps of St. Nicholas, being mindful of the needs of children, the powerless, and all those who need to be rescued. We live in gratitude that you sent your son Jesus to rescue us and love us. Amen.

A lmighty God, in your love you gave your servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness both on land and sea: Grant, we pray, that your Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

MAVERICK'S GAME OUTING      Mavericks Hockey
Friday, December 21 at 7 pm 

Attend the Maverick's game on Friday evening, December 21 with the Men's Group .  The Mav's will be playing the Tulsa Oilers.  We have secured 20 seats at $18.00 each.  This should be a great outing and the Mav's are doing great!   Please RSVP to John Biggs or Fr. David and invite a neighbor to come! 

Mitten Tree
Donations accepted through January 6 
Once again this year the Outreach Committee will collect hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and other warm items for the Community Services League(CSL) to help keep the less fortunate and homeless warm this cold weather season. From this Sunday through January 6th, 2019 the "Mitten Tree" will remain in the narthex.  Blessings to all who contribute and help our community!

At Sinclairs Restaurant on January 7 
Plan ahead for the new year!  The ladies of Resurrection are invited to join the LunchBunch, a now forming monthly lunch group that will gather at various local restaurants for fun and conversation.

The first meeting will be at Sinclairs Restaurant in Blue Springs on Monday, January 7, 2019.  Look for a sign-up sheet in the near future.
Nominations end December 29
Nominations for Vestry members are underway and will end on December 29, 2018.  Anyone i nterested in serving on the Vestry should contact a member of the Nomination Committee (Meg Swant, Buzz Atkinson, or Les Woodward.) There are 3 vacancies that will need to be filled with terms beginning immediately following the Annual Meeting held in January 2019. 

Important events and dates

Weekly Bible Study every Wednesday at 1:00 pm

Friday, December 7:  Family Movie Night at 6:30 pm
Sunday, December 9:  Advent 2-Lessons and Carols; St. Nicholas visits
Monday, December 10:  Uplift Meal preparation (please sign-up)
Wednesday, December 12:  Vestry meeting at 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 13:  CSL Christmas Store (please sign-up); Bridge Club at 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 15:  Cookie Exchange at 9:30 am
Sunday, December 16:  Necessity Pantry in-gathering
Monday, December 17:  DOK meeting at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, December 19:  Bible Study at 7:00 pm