More pictures below
December 30, 2010
The Bishop is coming! This coming Sunday, January 2nd,we will have ONE service only at 10:00. The Rt. Reverend Gene Robinson will be with us for his biennial visit -- presiding, preaching, and sacramentally welcoming Kathy Bunker and Marty Cloran into this branch of Christ's church, and laying hands on Tom Reinfus, Peg Reinfus, and Lisa Thompson as they make public reaffirmations of their faith. The liturgy will be followed by a reception then an open, sit-down conversation with the bishop. The liturgy will open with a lively, brief choral offering by a small group of area singers who want to express their welcome to him as well. It is always a joy to have Bishop Gene with us. I hope you will among us as we celebrate together.
Celebrating the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ: On the church's calendar, while still in the Christmas season, New Year's Day (January 1) is devoted to the Holy Name of Jesus (the day, eight days after the birth, on which a Jewish child receives his name). At the bishop's request, we will be "transferring" the readings appointed for January 1 to our Sunday celebration. So...heads up, readers! The readings for this Sunday will be Exodus 34:1-8, Psalm 8, Philippians 2:9-13, and Luke 2:15-21.
The Bishop’s Discretionary Fund: It is the practice of the church that contributions to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund be encouraged at the time of the Bishop’s visit to a parish. Through this fund, Bishop Robinson has been extremely generous with his support of many needs and ministries, particularly in New Hampshire. Our own Community Food Pantry recently received a gift of $1000 from his Discretionary Fund. All loose plate offerings (i.e. money that is not designated toward your pledge or toward some other specific purpose, such as Special Christmas Offerings) will go to the Bishop's discretionary Fund, and special envelopes will be included in the service leaflets for your convenience.
Christmas at Saint Andrew's continues...For those of you who were not with us in person, I have good news! By popular demand, we are able to provide a video of the interactive children's sermon from the 5:00 Christmas Eve service and also an audio recording of the homily from 1st Sunday after Christmas -- a musical reflection by Valerie May on harp "in dialogue" with the Gospel reading from John 1.
Play the video and the audio by clicking here: 2010 Blog. (Return here by using the back arrow on your browser -- probably a left-pointing arrow at the top-left of your screen.)
My gratitude goes to all who helped make those four liturgies in three days so deeply satisfying -- those who helped with the "greening," our musicians (Bernice, Val, and choir members), altar guild members, those who served at the altar, including first-time book-bearer Jasmine. AND to Carol Tubman and her amazing team who once again put on a grand Christmas feast for about 60 guests at that other sacred table -- our dining room!!!
Annual Meeting Preparations: Please mark your calendars. Our Annual Parish Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 30th. The list of active parish members who are eligible to vote has been posted on the Parish Bulletin Board. Please check the list to be sure you are listed. The primary criteria for voting (apart from regular attendance and support and being 16 years of age or over) is that your baptism be registered in our Parish Register and your membership. transferred here from your previous church. If you would like to become a registered member at Saint Andrew's, please speak to the rector or the clerk (Gretchen Behr-Svendsen).
Get ready reminder: January 17th is the due date for annual reports to be turned in to Debra in the office. Please see Debra if you need a copy of your report from last year. As always the earlier the better. Thank you.
A prayer too valuable to overlook:
Since this coming Sunday we will be using the propers for The Holy Name, we will not being praying the Collect for the Second Sunday after Christmas together. Interestingly enough, we will hear it again at the Easter Vigil, following the creation story. I offer it to you here for your own devotions.
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Happy New Year!
See you in church!
More Christmas pictures follow:
Nativity window of the Basilica of Santa Maria within the Benedictine Monastery at Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain.
December 23, 2010
The church is ready!
Here's our Christmas Service Schedule:
Friday, December 24th, Christmas Eve:
4:45 Carol Sing; 5:00 PM Service with an interactive children's sermon and the setting and blessing of the creche, a choir anthem, Christmas hymns and Holy Eucharist.
10:45 Carol Sing; 11:00 PM Candlelight Service with sermon, choir anthem, Christmas hymns, and Holy Eucharist.
Saturday, December 25th, Christmas Day:
11:30 AM: Service of Holy Eucharist
12:30 PM: The Christmas Feast in the Parish Hall. All are welcome!
Sunday, December 26th, the First Sunday after Christmas:
9:00 AM [ONE service only] A contemplative Holy Eucharist with harp.
Sunday, January 2nd, the Second Sunday after Christmas and the Bishop's Visit:
10:00 AM [ONE service only] The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson will preach and preside. the liturgy will be followed by a reception and an open conversation with the bishop. Spread the word and encourage friends and family members to join us that day. Bishop Robinson will be retiring at the beginning of 2013, so this may very well be his last official visit with us.
The church has been humming this week!
103 Christmas meal boxes (an all-time record!) have been prepared and distributed to needy families, thanks to Fred, Donna, Peggy R, Gretchen, Joan, and the Food Pantry team. The office copier and Debra have been producing our four orders-of-service for the next three days! Sally and Victor have installed a dozen replacement tiles in our kitchen floor. Jim Leavens, our volunteer painter, is now completing the interior Parish Hall entry area, the ramp, and "the stage." (the bathrooms were done last week!) The choir has been preparing special music. Dale, Sammie, Lisa, Cathie, Marie, Ed, Duane, Val, Bernice, and I participated in the Greening of the Church last night. Food preparations for our Christmas feast are already underway! What an amazing "hive" this church is! Thank you, All!
Have a blessed Christmas!
Aislinn and Ronan process Advent wreath candles.
December 16, 2010
Services for Sunday, December 19th, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, will be at 8 and 10 AM. with coffee hours following both services. We hope you will join us for worship.
Join us for of the Greening of the Church this coming Wednesday! The wonderful Advent carol "People, look East" reminds us, "the time is near of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able. Trim the hearth and set the table. People, look East and sing today: Love the guest is on the way!" The church is the house of this parish family. Come, be part of the family as we prepare together. No special skills are required. On-lookers welcome! Children welcome!
4:00 Creating the sprigs of greens for the ends of the pews
5:30 Simple shared Soup and Salad Supper
6:00 “Greening the Church” with laurel roping, poinsettias, pew sprigs, and candles!
We will close the evening with Compline, a brief service of prayer for the end of the day.
Christmas Flower contributions: We count on your contributions -- made in memory, in thanksgiving, or in honor -- to cover the expenses of the poinsettias and laurel roping that so enhance our Christmas worship. PLEASE use the envelopes that are in the pews, or call or email the church office asap (and definitively by Tuesday) with the details of your offering. Thanks.
Our Traditional Christmas Feast -- rib roast, turkey, ham, and all the fixings! The magnificent meal that we offer at 12:30 on Christmas Day does not come to us by magic. It counts on the participation of many generous people from both within and outside the parish in the form of food prepared at home, money contributions toward specific items, as well as the labors of many -- from set-up to clean-up.
Click here for details of how you can help.
We offer the meal for free to the community, which includes you, as well as many others. The party is always a wonderful mix of people who are grateful to spend a few hours of Christmas Day at such a festive event. Please call the church office to let us know you are coming.
December 24th: Christmas Eve Services of Holy Eucharist will be at 5 PM and 11 PM, each preceded with 15 minutes of carol singing. The 5:00 service will include the setting and blessing of the crèche, which will include the children.
December 25th: Our Christmas Day service will be at 11:30 AM, followed by our traditional Christmas Community Feast at 12:30, to which all (including you!) are welcome. Please call the office to let us know how many of you are coming.
December 26th, the 1st Sunday after Christmas: We will have ONE service only at 9 AM. This will be a quiet, contemplative liturgy with harp music.
And don't forget: Our Bishop is coming!!! On January 2nd, the 2nd Sunday of Christmas, ONE service only at 10 AM. Bishop Gene Robinson will be with us for our biennial parish visit. Please join us as we welcome Kathy Bunker and Marty Cloran who will be received into this branch of Christ's church. Following our worship together, we will greet our bishop and each other with a festive reception, followed by a time of conversation with him. I hope you will make every effort to be at Saint Andrew's for this special event. Spread the word, and encourage friends and family members to join us that day. Bishop Robinson will be retiring at the beginning of 2013, so this may very well be his last official visit with us.
Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A: Isaiah 7:10-16, Psalm 80: 1-7, 16-18, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-25.
Food for contemplation on familiar words from Richard, Bishop of Chichester, who died in 1253...
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly.
Look around for God sightings!
Think about where you are giving your heart these days!
Get moving, so that you can follow more nearly!
See you in church!
Blessings in this holy season,
December 9, 2010
Services for Sunday, December 12th, the Third Sunday of Advent, will be at 8 and 10 AM, with coffee hours following both services. We hope you will join us for worship.
Dana Cunningham will be with us as a special guest at the 10 o'clock service, offering her piano music as prelude, postlude, and during communion.
For those of you who do not yet know her, Dana is a pianist, composer, and friend of the parish. Her music offers a special window into this contemplative Advent season. She describes contemplation as “ 'immediate open presence in the world, directly perceiving and lovingly responding to things as they really are.' It is about becoming truly present. Finding this capacity for loving presence and for responding to people and things ‘just as they are’ takes practice and attention. It also requires a movement away from the dominance of the mind and all its activity, and toward its integration with the heart and body. When mind, heart, and body are in balance, life seems to flow. And this is where music can be so helpful. Music has a way of evoking our emotions that might otherwise remain hidden and can give us access to the heart of the matter. What a gate these emotions can be for us when we attend to them. It seems to me that it is only when we truly honor what arises within us — making space for the truth of what “is” — that its energy can be transformed."
Christmas Flowers -- A reminder from the office: Don't forget, we count on your contributions -- made in memory, in thanksgiving, or in honor of someone -- toward the purchase of our poinsettias and laurel roping. There are envelopes in the pews, or you can notify Debra in the office by phone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with names and amount. Information is needed by December 17th to assure inclusion in the Christmas bulletins. Thanks.
Boughs and Bonbons Report: We had a wonderfully successful event last Saturday, raising over $1,300 and having a good time in the process! Hearty thanks go to many, many people, starting with Lynne and Patti who co-chaired the overall event. Thanks also Judy and Elaine as wreath coordinators, Peggy R. and George who drove to Dover to collect the plain wreaths, Barbara and Dale on cookie plates, Chris, Juli, and Aislinn who created and staffed our new Children's Tables, Claudia at the plant table, Peg Cade and Diane as cashiers, Cathie and Gretchen on Fair Traded gifts, Carol, Grete, and others who cooked up jams and jellies and brought in items created by their friends and family members (including, fudge, soaps, and scarves), Val and Janet (independent vendors who contributed a percentage of their sales), Fred and Donna who provided hospitality in the form of coffee, goodies, and conversation, and ALL of you who assisted with wreath decorating and baked cookies for those fabulous, quick-selling cookie plates! And apologies and thanks to anyone whose name I missed! (More pictures below.)
Looking ahead to Christmas preparations:
Since this year the 4th Sunday of Advent falls almost a full week before Christmas Day, we will not be doing the Greening of the Church as part of the liturgy on the 19th. Instead, please consider joining with altar guild members and others on Wednesday, December 22nd: At 4:00 we will put together the sprigs of greens that will grace the ends of the pews. At 5:30 we will gather for a simple soup and salad supper. At about 6:00 we will go into the church to hang the laurel roping, bring in the poinsettias, attach the pew sprigs, and ready the church for Christmas Eve. We will close the evening with the brief service of Compline in the candle-lit church. We need helpers -- large and small, short and tall. Come one, come all!
December 24th: Christmas Eve Services of Holy Eucharist will be at 5 PM and 11 PM, each preceded with 15 minutes of carol singing. The 5:00 service will include the setting and blessing of the creche, which will include the children.
December 25th: Our Christmas Day service will be at 11:30 AM, followed by our traditional Christmas Community Feast at 12:30, to which all (including you!) are welcome. Further details will be forthcoming later this week.
December 26th, the 1st Sunday after Christmas: We will have ONE service only at 9 AM. This will be a quiet, contemplative liturgy with harp music.
Our Bishop is coming!!! On January 2nd, the 2nd Sunday of Christmas, Bishop Gene Robinson will be with us for our biennial parish visit. Please join us as we welcome Kathy Bunker and Marty Cloran who will be received into this branch of Christ's church. We will have ONE service only at 10 AM. Following our worship together, we will greet our bishop and each other with a festive reception, followed by a time of conversation with him. I hope you will make every effort to be at Saint Andrew's for this special event. Spread the word, and encourage friends and family members to join us that day. Bishop Robinson will be retiring at the beginning of 2013, so this may very well be his last official visit with us.
Readings for the Third Sunday of Advent, Year A: Isaiah 35:1-10, Psalm 146:4-9; James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11
Food for thought: As we enter these next two, very busy weeks, I encourage you to find time to still yourself, perhaps contemplating what a "genuine" Christmas might mean for you. I offer this poem from Oscar Romero (Archbishop of San Salvador and Martyr, 1980) for your reflection....
The God We Hardly Knew
No one can celebrate
a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud,
those who, because they have
everything, look down on others,
those who have no need
even of God -- for them there
will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry,
those who need someone
to come on their behalf,
will have that someone.
That someone is God.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.
May these days of preparation be blessed for you.
Val and Bill May's daughter, Shannon, and her young son Joseph process the first Advent candle.
December 2, 2010
There will be ONE service at 9 AM this coming Sunday, December 5th, the Second Sunday of Advent. It will include the commissioning of Altar ministers (LEMs and LEVs) and will be followed by Coffee Hour hosted by the Vestry. A slide presentation by Sammie Wakefield of her work last spring with Eleanore's Project, providing custom wheel chairs to children in rural Peru will begin at about 10:20.
The time for Boughs and Bonbons Christmas Fair has arrived: This Saturday from 9 to 1! Bring your family. Bring your friends. this year's offerings will include a children's table, jams and jellies, scarves, and alternative giving through episcopal Relief and Development. The wreath artisans have been hard at work decorating dozens of fresh balsam wreaths.
Barbara will be creating our famous "cookie plates" on Friday morning. PLEASE get your cookies to her at church by 9 Friday morning. thanks to those of you who have done so already.
There will also be a single item silent auction of a brand new (still in it's packing) set of very attractive white and gold dinnerware for 8 -- bidding to begin at $30.
Mission Center Day with our bishop Wednesday, December 8th with Holy Eucharist at noon at Trinity Church, Meredith. Mission Center Days are opportunities several times each year for informal regional gatherings with our bishop, Gene Robinson. The Meredith location (on the left as you head down hill into Meredith, directly on route 25) is a convenient gathering point for the churches in the Lakes Region Convocation. At least two of us from Saint Andrew's plan to attend.
At 11 AM on Saturday, December 11th, the Diocese of New Hampshire will have a memorial service for the Rt. Rev. Phillip Smith, former bishop of New Hampshire, to be held at St. Paul's Church, Concord. If anyone would like a ride, please call the church office.
Looking ahead to next Sunday, December 12th: Dana Cunningham, area composer and pianist and good friend of St. Andrew's, will be with us to play piano at the 10 o'clock service. Dana's music is lyrical and contemplative. What does she mean by contemplative? As she puts it, "I believe that being contemplative is the same as being deeply attentive, and that its practice in our daily lives, in all that we do, allows us to "wake up." What could be more appropriate to the Advent season? She will also have her CDs available for sale following the service.
Thank you to all who made our Pie Auction such a remarkable success two weeks ago. the pie-providers were: Patti Rau, Lynne Clough, Peg Reinfuss, Cathie Lewis, Kim and Asa Grace, Chris Mills, Carol Tubman, Trish Hodge, Dale Appleton, Peggy Cannon, Sammie Wakefield, Gretchen Behr-Svendsen, Marie Walters, Elaine South, ginger Heard, Joan Wright, Claudia Kennedy, Gabriele Wallace, Lisa Thompson Heidi Frantz-Dale, Barbara Lloyd, Marilyn Cloran, Val May, Bonnie Slader, Diane Lombardi, and Grete Plender.
And the kitchen crew and wait staff:Judy Grace, Gretchen Behr-Svendsen, Diane Lombardi, Chris Mills, Lynne Clough, Peg and Tom Reinfuss, Heidi Frantz-Dale, Cathie Lewis, Peg Cade, and Carol Tubman, meal-coordinator-in-chief. (With apologies if we have neglected to list your name.)
Readings for this Sunday: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12
Advent food for thought from Archbishop Dom Helder Camara:
that upset your plans,
shatter your dreams,
give a completely different turn to your day
and -- who knows? --
to your life.
It is not chance.
Leave God free
to weave the patterns of your days.
See you at church!