December 18, 2014

Receive the light of Christ!
See picture Gallery below
 There will be ONE service, at 10 AM, this coming Sunday, December 21st, the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Greening of the Church, at which, within the liturgy, we prepare the church for Christmas. This is a wonderful opportunity for those who will be out of town for the actual Christmas holiday to share in the joys of the season here at home. In the words of the familiar hymn, “People, look East, 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! Love, the guest, is on the way! This service has become quite a treasured tradition here. Come, be part of it!
The readings for this Sunday are 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16, Psalm 132:8-15, Romans 16:25-2, Luke 1:26-38.
Want to lend in hand in preparation for The Greening? We need a variety of cut greens – spruce, pine, balsam, box – to decorate the window ledges of the church and for the “pew end swags.” A team will gather at 9:00 Saturday morning in the Prince Room to do the swags, so we need the greens by them and would welcome you to help if you’d like. Please email or call Heidi+ (367-8220) Friday if you have greens to provide.  The Altar Guild thanks you.
Last chance to make donations to Christmas Flowers. Any amount gratefully received, given “in memory of” or “in thanksgiving for”. Envelopes are in the pews and on the bulletin table. All info needs to be to Debra at the office (323-8515) by Tuesday if it is to be listed in the Christmas bulletin insert. (And thank you to those who have done so already.)
Thank you to all who made last Sunday’s visit by our bishop such a joy: the choir, Preston (who was baptized), Dan (who was received), the altar guild for preparing the church, the heroic Hospitality Team (headed by Sally and Carol), all of you who contributed food for the table, and all whose presence, prayer, and songs of praise filled this place with warmth, love, and spirit. Thank you, Bp. Rob, for being with us!
Bishop’s Discretionary Fund: All “loose plate” money offered last weekend, along with contributions in the designated envelopes, has been directed to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. If you did not contribute and would like to, it’s not too late! Just designate it in the memo line of your check.
Saint Andrew’s Christmas Feast!!! You are invited to be part of the magic! Each year something of a miracle takes place under our roof in the form of a bounteous true Christmas Feast to which everyone is invited – about 70 parishioners, Dinner Bell regulars, and folks from the area who want a good, wholesome Christmas feast! God works wonders through the work of many (most especially Carol) and the generosity of many. The guests who feast at our table(s) often bring something, but others graciously provide food or cash even though they celebrate their own family feast at home.
A strong team has already volunteered for clean-up. Could you contribute a cheese and cracker plate or other appetizer? Or maybe a dessert? We will have two turkeys, as well as a roast beef; would you like to volunteer to roast one (unstuffed) bird in your oven and bring it over? Or consider making a financial contribution to this amazing annual event? Call the office (323-8515) if you’d like to make a reservation.
The Feast is preceded by a simple Christmas Morning Eucharist at 11:30. The feasting begins at 12:30!
Gratitude from The Sandwich Singers and Peggy Johnson, director: We had a packed house for the concert here on Wednesday evening. Peggy thanks us for so generously hosting the concert “in this wonderful space.” All who attended were gifted with music inviting “the listener to ponder the natural and historical mysteries, and to meditate on the unexpected ways in which great and small mysteries surround us, our lives, and our loved ones.” The concert included two commissioned pieces – a suite by Kyle Quirion, a senior music ed. major at Plymouth State, and a new carol by Jonathan Santori, Plymouth State music professor. Both were settings of poetry by Peggy Johnson.
Food for thought as we move from Advent to Christmas…
As we come to the moment in the year when the days again begin to lengthen, encouraging us in our lives to leave darkness behind and move toward that greater light that has come into the world, I offer three verses from a hymn, sung at the concert on Wednesday, by John Keble (1792-1866)…

 New every morning is the love our wakening and uprising prove;
through sleep and darkness safely brought, restored to life and power and thought.
New mercies, each returning day, around us hover while we pray;
new perils past, new sins forgiven, new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.
Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be, as more of heaven in each we see;
some soften gleam of love and prayer shall dawn on every cross and care
The trivial round, the common task, will furnish all we ought to ask;
room to deny ourselves; a road to bring us daily nearer God
See you in church.
Advent Blessings!

Celebrate The Season at St. Andrew’s

December 21,  Fourth Sunday of Advent
The Greening of the Church
One Service only at 10 am
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
Family service with Organ, Choir, and trumpet:
4:45 pm Carol Sing
5:00 pm Blessing of the Créche & Holy Eucharist~

“Midnight” Service with Organ, Choir, and trumpet
10:45 pm Carol Sing
11:00 pm Festival Eucharist
Christmas Day, December 25
11:30 am Holy Eucharist followed by Christmas Dinner 
Free Traditional Christmas Dinner
At Saint Andrew’s-in-the-Valley
Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec 25
Gather at 12:30 * Dinner served at 1:00 pm
For reservations, call the church at 323-8515

December 28, the First Sunday of Christmas
A Service of Lessons (Readings) & Carols and Eucharist
Note: There will be only ONE service, at 10 o’clock
Followed by reception honoring
   June & George Donovan on their 70th Anniversary!

 St. Andrews-in-the-Valley, P.O. Box 436, Tamworth, NH 03886
Office hours: Tuesday-Friday 9-Noon
Phone: 603-323-8515
Office Administrator: Debra Hoyt