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