More pictures below

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley

Thursday MEMO

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!
Blessings, Heidi+

More Christmas pictures follow: