December 31, 2015

The Eve of the Feast of the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ*

Don’t miss the Christmas picture Gallery at the end of the MEMO

We will have ONE service only, at 10 AM, this coming Sunday, January 3rd, and the Second Sunday after Christmas. We will be celebrating the day and the season with a special service of Seven Lessons and Carols for Christmas and Epiphany with Holy Eucharist. Our music will be enriched by the recorder and vocal ensemble “The Treble Makers,” with organ and choir as well to support the congregation’s carol singing. We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship. The coffee hour following the service will be hosted by the Pastoral Care team.

The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord will be celebrated with a special service of Holy Eucharist at 9 AM this coming Wednesday, January 6, (in place of our regular service of Morning Prayer). Please join us for this principal feast of the church year celebrating the arrival of the Magi to Bethlehem and the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.

Reminder: January 15th is the due date for annual reports by committee chairs to be submitted to Debra in the office. Email submissions are preferred. Hard copy may be left in Debra’s box in the office. Please honor this date, since compiling the full report takes time, and the reports should be available for distribution by January 22. And mark your calendar for our Annual Meeting on February 7, following the 9 o’clock service.

Special thanks to our team of three lay worship leaders – Cathie Lewis, Gretchen Behr-Svendsen, and Lisa Thompson  for leading the service of Morning Prayer last Sunday in my absence. The rector’s letter of agreement provides the Sunday following Christmas and Easter as Sabbath Sundays. We are fortunate indeed to have such an able lay team available to officiate in the absence of a priest. Duane and I were able to spend the day with our son, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters at their new home in Harvard, Massachusetts celebrating Christmas together.

 *Curious about the designation of today as the Eve of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus? January First (New Year’s Day in the secular calendar) is the eighth day of Christmas. In Jewish tradition it is on the eighth day after birth that a male child is circumcised, an event recorded in the Gospel according to Luke – that on the eighth day Jesus was circumcised and given his name, Jesus. The liturgical commemoration of the Circumcision was of Gallican (French) origin, and a Council in Tours declared that the day be kept as a fast day to counteract the pagan festivities connected to the New Year. In Roman tradition at that time the day was specially devoted to the Virgin Mary. Historically, Jews have always considered the circumcision and naming of a son to be a day of celebration and joy. In Anglican tradition the day has long been known as “the Feast of the Circumcision,” but the designation of “Holy Name Day” which was new with the 1979 Prayer Book revision shifts the emphasis to focus on the importance of the name given to Jesus, as the angel explained to Joseph, because he would “save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21), since the Hebrew word means “Savior” or “Deliverer.”

Winter returned to welcome the New Year!

Food for thought from Dianne Bergant 
(Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies at Catholic 
Theological Union in Chicago)

The mystery of the Incarnation comes to ordinary people living ordinary lives. All that is required is openness to do God's will, willingness to respond to God's call. According to the author of Hebrews, such obedience was the motivating force in Jesus' life: "I come to do your will." In this festal season, we begin to realize that the radiance of God can shine forth through faithfulness in the ordinary events of life. 

Continue blessings in the holy season.
Happy New Year!

The five o'clock service on Christmas Eve

Thank you to our acolytes and servers!

Telling the Christmas story together

Setting the creche with care, 



thoughtful assistance,

attention to detail,


and great love.

The hibernating cub in his cave woke up enough to be curious.

The moose and the camel, intentionally placed together,
"because I think they would like each other."

The Christmas Feast: Special thanks 
to Jen and Tom Huckman for organizing!

Thanks also to Mark and Roger, our carvers!


And to Carol, Ann, Sarah, Jim, and Tim for serving and waiting on tables!

And, of course, thanks to all our diners, with whom it wouldn't have been a community feast!

May 2016 be a blessed year for all of us!

Christmas Eve 2015

Christmas Eve
December 24, 2015

Don't miss the album of photos at the bottom from the Greening of the Church last Sunday

Christmas Eve Services at Saint Andrew’s
We hope you will join us to celebrate!

5 pm Christmas Eve, preceded by Carols at 4:45. This is our inter-generational service with an interactive children’s sermon and setting of the crèche, followed by holy eucharist. Music includes trumpet, organ, and choir, as well as congregational carol singing.

The “Midnight” candlelight service begins at 11 PM, with organ, choir, carols, a brief homily, communion, and much rejoicing! Prelude music and carol singing begin at 10:45.

Or join us on Christmas Day at 11:30 AM for a quiet celebration of the day with carols, a homily, and holy eucharist.

Our free Christmas Feast follows: appetizers from noon on, with the meal at about 1 PM. Food contributions to the appetizer and dessert tables are welcome, though not required.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Worth tuning in: Every December 24th from 10 to 11 AM (our time) King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England, broadcasts their Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols around the world. It is carried by New Hampshire Public Radio (FM 99.5) or Don't miss this rich and wonderful beginning to Christmas.
The program booklet is available now on line and can be downloaded. 

Cover of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols booklet 2015
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was introduced in 1918 to bring a more imaginative approach to worship. It was first broadcast in 1928 and is now broadcast to millions of people around the world.
The service includes carols and readings from the Bible. The opening carol is always 'Once in Royal David's City', and there is always a new, specially commissioned carol.

Food for thought on this Eve of the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord…
From e. e. cummings…
…mind without soul
may blast some universe
to might have been
and stop
ten thousand stars
but not one heartbeat
of this child;
nor shall even prevail
a million
against the
of his mother’s
– whose only secret

 Blessings for peaceful and joyful Christmastide,

Photo Gallery: Fourth Advent & The Greening of the Church
Moving together from Advent to Christmas

December 17, 2015

Don’t miss the Advent III picture gallery at the end of the MEMO.

There will be ONE service, at 10 AM, this coming Sunday, December 20th, 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 Micah 5:2-5a, Canticle 15, The Song of Mary, Hebrews 10:5-10, Luke 1:39-4.

Greening of the Church 2014
Greening of the Church 2014   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.)
HERE TONIGHT at 7:30: Sandwich Singers’ Christmas Concert (Thursday, Dec. 17).

Visit Saint Andrew’s table at the Tamworth Christmas Farmers’ Market at the Brett School, held this Saturday, Dec. 19, from 9 to 1. Support the church and pick up some last-minute stocking stuffers, homemade jams and jellies!

Saint Andrew’s Famous Christmas Day Feast: Hors d’oeuvres at noon, dinner at 1! Everyone is invited, including you! This event is always a wonderful festive mix of parishioners, Dinner Bell regulars, and members of the wider community. The meal is preceded by a service of Holy Eucharist for Christmas Day at 11:30.
After years as organizer and chief worker for this wonderful community and parish event, Carol is stepping back a bit and the Huckman family is stepping forward! Thanks in advance to all five of them and to Carol for all her work! This meal may seem to appear as if by magic, but it is really based on many simple contributions from many people. Can you help? Financial donations are welcome, but so are specific foods.

Hors d’ouevres needed:
Shrimp (looking for a total of 4 – 5 pounds)
Cheese and crackers (cheese can be cut/prepared by kitchen)
Veggies and dip
Deviled eggs

Selzers, fruit juices

We have trifle and cheesecakes.
Looking for candies, cookies, small dessert pieces
Fresh fruit – pineapple, berries, etc.  (will be prepared by kitchen)

If you are able to contribute something, please contact or call her at 603-452-4110. Many thanks! Happy Christmas!

We’ve had several wonderful Advent offerings in the past week! Thanks go to Judy Grace for initiating a lovely Pre-Christmas Tea last Thursday. Billed as “Tea with cookies, conversation, and carols,” we were so engaged in our conversation and cookies that we never got to the carols. It was lovely to sit in the Prince Room as parlor, enjoy several splendid artisan imported teas and a wonderful array of Christmas cookies … and we all went home with a plate of cookie-swap cookies!
And thank you, Bev! last Saturday, 11 of us (including several from the wider community) gathered for physically refreshing, spiritually centering, Quiet Day led by Beverly Hammond, who led us in meditative breathing practices, yoga, and mindful walking meditation. Thanks to the mild temperature, our walking meditation made use of our labyrinth. It was a reminder to each of us of the treasure we have in our labyrinth. Consider taking 20 minutes before the snow falls to enjoy the spectacular beauty underfoot in this special place in the field behind the church.

Food for thought in this Advent season…
This Sunday we will all chant together what is probably the best-known canticle of all time, “The Song of Mary,” The Magnificat. We will hear as our Gospel the account Mary going to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth who is pregnant (with John the Baptist), when the child in Elizabeth’s womb is said to leap for joy at the approach of the fulfillment of the promise “hidden beneath the folds of Mary’s gown.”
Mary’s words of response echo through all of time:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant….

For generations, Christians have proclaimed Mary in word and song as a symbol of redeemed humanity and sign of creation renewed. Today, I offer you this Greek hymn to Mary from the 6th century:

Hail, thou, the restoration of the fallen Adam;
hail, thou, the redemption of the tears of Eve.
Hail, heavenly ladder by which God came down;
hail, bridge leading from earth to heaven.
Hail, thou who revives the green fields of joy;
hail, thou who prepares a haven for souls.
Hail, land of promise; hail, thou from whom
flows forth milk and honey.
Hail, space for the uncontained God;
hail, door to solemn mystery.
Hail! Hail! Hail!

May these coming days open you in new ways to the mysteries of God with us!
Blessings, Heidi+

Picture Gallery from the Third Sunday of Advent

December 10, 2015

Torch-bearers prepare to process
 Don’t miss the photo gallery at the end with pictures from Acolyte Commissioning last Sunday.

We will have services at 8 and 10 AM this coming Sunday, December 13th and the Third Sunday of Advent.  We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship.

The readings for this Sunday: Zephaniah 3:14-20, Canticle 9 (The First Song of Isaiah), Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18.

LAST-MINUTE REMINDER: TODAY (Thursday) FROM 1 TO 3 IN THE Prince Room …A pre-Christmas Tea: Cookies, Carols, and Conversation. Take a break from your busy life and come to tea.

SLOW DOWN. QUIET. IT’S ADVENT! If slowing down seems like an impossibility to you, consider it a sign that the Quiet Day being offered this coming Saturday, December 12, from 1 to 5 may be just what’s needed for your soul and your body. What better way to still yourself than to join us for this time of Mindfulness Meditation, Gentle Yoga, and a Silent Tea Ceremony led by Beverly Hammond. Beverly is an experienced yoga instructor and mediation teacher. And remember...if you can breathe, you can do yoga! Experience living in the moment.

 Enrich your season by enjoying the performances of Saint Andrew’s members:
Dicken’s Christmas Carol: Sunday, Dec. 13, This staged reading will take place at 3:30  in  Runnells Hall, Chocorua. Come earlier from 2:30 for mince pies, sausage rolls, Smoking Bishop and other Dickensan favorites at the adjacent library.

Sandwich Singers’ Christmas Concerts:
Sunday, Dec. 13,
Methodist Mtg Hse, Center Sandwich at 7:30
Wed., Dec. 16, Melvin Village Community Church at 7:30
Thursday, Dec. 17, Saint Andrew’s-in-the-Valley at 7:30

Looking ahead to 4th Sunday of Advent and the Greening of the Church for Christmas: We will have ONE service only at 10:00 AM, so that all of us together can participate liturgically as we transform our sanctuary from Advent to Christmas! Plan on being part of it.

New at Saint Andrew’s: The Sunday Paper: This is a weekly activity sheet designed for children. We will be running off enough Sunday Papers for our children, as well as a few extras of the “Notes for Parents and putting them on the bulletin table in the transept. Please take a look if you’re interested. Extras from previous weeks are in the Parish Hall.
Copies of the latest issue of The Episcopal Journal are available on the table in front of the Parish Bulletin Board. If you do not have a subscription of your own, help yourself to a copy and discover how many ways the Episcopal Church is active in the world.

Would you like to provide some extra financial support to our designated outreach recipients? With fewer fundraising events this year, we have about $500 less than last year to give away, meaning most organizations will receive less from us this year. If you would like to help, make your contribution with a memo line note to “Outreach” by December 20th. Thanks.

13 of us gathered after church last Sunday for our Annual Parish Outreach Fund distribution conversation.
Special thanks to Sammie who led the discussion and to participants in the conversation: Sammie, Beverly, Sarah, Carol, Lisa, Joan, Duane, Marty, Dale, Gretchen, Grete, Bob, Heidi.
Support ranges from $50 to $300 per organization, for a total available this year of about $3,000. Final distribution numbers will be posted after the Vestry meeting on Dec. 22nd.
Here at St. Andrew’s we have been committed to a 50/50 distribution (50% to outreach, 50% to parish general fund) of the proceeds from our fundraising events. On the first Sunday of December each year, we gather to discuss the programs we have been supporting and make decisions about continuing, dropping, or adding. Priority is given 1) to projects in which parishioners are actively involved 2) projects that support the healthy wellbeing of children 3) projects that lead to lasting change. We consider a balance among programs with local, regional, national, and international impact. We understand our outreach as being an extension of our ourselves, reaching out as the heart and hands of Christ to the needs of the world. The discussion results are then reviewed (confirmed or tweaked) by the Vestry at their December meeting, then checks in the designated amounts are sent out.
Information about many of these organizations is available on the Parish Hall bulletin board table. Perhaps our shared support will encourage your additional support in these groups through your own giving, advocacy, and prayer.

Tamworth Community Christmas Project
Bearcamp Valley School and Children’s Center
Ossipee Children’s Fund
Starting Point (domestic abuse hotline and protection)
Community Food Pantry
Tamworth Community Nurse Association
Agapé Ministries
Tamworth Caregivers
Ossipee Concerned Citizens

NH Community Loan Fund (low-interest loans for affordable housing)
CASA of NH (court-appointed child advocates)
Conway ALC Support (NAMI, peer support for dealing with mental illness for individuals and families)

Camp Aranutiq (for trans and gender-variant youth)

ERD (Episcopal Relief & Development)
Nets for Life (a subset of ERD)
Eleanore’s Project: sponsoring a wheelchair (for Peruvian child)

Thanks, Pat, for hosting the Women’s Lunch Bunch!
Food for thought in this Advent season…
Liturgical participation is at the heart of our life together. We are blessed by all who serve.
A picture is worth 1000 words!
Lexi, Albert, Sarah

Commissioning of Acolytes

Commissioning of Eucharistic Ministers