November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving Day

We will have ONE service only at 9 a.m. this coming Sunday, December 1 and the First Sunday of Advent. The first Advent candle will be processed and altar ministers and eucharistic visitors will be commissioned. The coffee hour will be hosted by the Vestry.

At about 10:20, all who are interested are invited to gather in the Parish Hall to discuss our annual distribution of outreach funds. While the Vestry will make the final decision, this open parish conversation provides advice. In 2012 we supported about 18 different organizations that serve God’s mission in the world (locally and globally) with donations ranging from $50 to $300. Priority is given to organizations and projects in which parishioners are personally involved. If you have an organization that you would like to see our church support, please come prepared to “introduce” it to us through your description and perhaps some printed materials.

Advent calendars are available for children.  Poster/calendars with the "Slow Down. Quiet. It’s Advent." theme are available for anyone wanting to enrich their Advent season.

As we look ahead to Christmas… Envelopes are now in the pews for the poinsettias and laurel roping that Christmas that will decorate our church. Contributions of any amount may be made in memory or in thanksgiving and placed in the offering plate or mailed to the church.

Boughs & Bonbons, our Christmas Fair, will be held on Saturday, December 7 from 9 to 1. Mark your calendar and invite your friends. To make this event a continued success, we need your help:
         Bake cookies
         Make candy
         Bake bread or make preserves
         Deliver posters
         Come decorate the wreaths on Thurs. Dec. 5 at 9 a.m.
         Set up and clean up
         Work at the fair
Please contact co-chairs Lynne Clough (323-7046) or Patti Rau (367-8223) with questions or offers of help.  Let’s make this Boughs & Bonbons a continued success!

Blooming in the Wilderness: An Advent Quiet Day will be held at Saint Andrew’s on Saturday, December 14th from 9 to 1. Take a little time out of Advent to contemplate the joy-filled mystery that lies beneath all the busyness of the weeks before Christmas. We will gather in periods of silent prayer and invite the Spirit into our midst through a variety of creative expressions. We will be led by the Rev. Susan Ackley, who has explored the relationship between prayer and creativity in a variety of quiet days and other venues. She served as priest/artist-in-residence at Emmanuel Church in Boston last spring and was a member of the clergy team here during Heidi’s sabbatical in 2011. Please call or email the church office to register.

Thank you for your prayers and understanding last Sunday when I was called away unexpectedly to attend to my hospitalized elderly father. He has regained some strength and is now in skilled nursing care at the Rhode Island facility where he and his wife have their apartment. My sincere thanks go to Carol, our senior warden, who urged me to go and “be a daughter,” and to Lisa, Gretchen, and Ellie+ who graciously officiated for the services. And thanks to all of you who valiantly braved the chill of our unheated church! Toes and fingers may have been cold, but I gather the Spirit was warm and present. I sincerely hope that our furnace technicians have now solved the problems.

Food for thought and reflection…
This is a time to give thanks, and I give thanks for your presence in my life and the life of this parish family.  I wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
While we will not all be together for worship on Thanksgiving Day, I hope you will set some time aside both privately and at your table with others to give thanks to God for the many blessings of your life.

The Collect for Thanksgiving Day
Almighty and gracious God, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [BCP p. 246]

And, lest Saint Andrew be overlooked in the fullness of this coming weekend…
The Collect for the Feast Day of Saint Andrew, November 30th
Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
[BCP p. 237]

Yours in Christ,