December 3, 2015

We will have ONE service only, at 9 AM this coming Sunday, December 6th and the Second Sunday of Advent. The liturgy will include the commissioning of our acolytes and eucharistic ministers.  We hope you will join us for worship and fellowship. The coffee hour following the service will be hosted by the Vestry.

Annual Outreach Discussion: At about 10:30 on Sunday, all who are interested are invited to gather for our annual outreach discussion. This is the opportunity for us as a parish to review the organizations that we have supported in the past, consider new organizations, and make recommendation to the Vestry. We have a strong history of support for organizations in which members of the parish take an active role, so if you have quietly been being the heart and hands of Christ in the world and would recommend that the parish provide some additional support, your suggestions would be welcome. Please come prepared to speak briefly and accurately about that project.
We currently have a parish policy that 50% of the proceeds from our fundraisers is directed towards mission and outreach. This year, we will have about $3,000 to give. Come, be part of the conversation and enjoy participating in this corporate act of generosity.

The readings for this Sunday: Baruch 5:1-9, Canticle 16 (The Song of Zechariah), Philippians 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6.

Mark your calendars for these St. Andrew’s events:

Priscilla Browning’s Memorial Service will be Friday afternoon, December 4th, at 4 pm. Immediately following the service, the family has invited the congregation to a gathering at Priscilla's home overlooking Silver Lake, about a 15-minute drive from the church. Priscilla loved to entertain, and her family generously sees this as one more way to celebrate Priscilla’s spirit. (Driving directions will be provided at the service.)

Pat Adams has invited the Women’s Lunch to meet at her home on Wednesday, December 9th, at noon. Please bring something for our shared meal. Questions and to RSVP: Call Pat at 539-6737. Her address is 3 Mill high Circle, in Souring Heights, off of Ossipee Lake Road.
Directions: Go north on Rte 16 from Yankee Smoke House. Take a right at the blinking light onto Rte 42. Drive ½ mile and take a right onto Ossipee Lake Rd. Go another ½ mile and take a right into Souring Heights. You will be on Logan Way. Continue on Logan, take the first left onto Mill High Circle. #3 is on the left.

Cookies, Carols, and Conversation: a Pre-Christmas Tea.  Gather in the Prince Room on Thursday, December 10th from 1 to 3: You are encouraged to brings some cookies for the table. Thanks go to Judy Grace for taking the initiative for this gathering.

Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent! An Advent Quiet Day on Saturday, December 12th from 1 to 5pm: 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. See the post on the bulletin board for more details and to sign up. And remember...if you can breathe, you can do yoga!

Dana Cunningham, friend of the parish and well-known area pianist and composer, will be offering her annual December afternoon concert at the Little White Church in Eaton on Sunday, 
December 6 at 4 pm. She has just completed work on a new CD which will be available for purchase, along with her other CDs. For more details, see the poster in the Parish Hall. Tickets are available at White Birch Books (356-3200).

New at Saint Andrew’s: The Sunday Paper: Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent and the new church liturgical year, we have just subscribed to this weekly hand-out/activity sheet creatively designed to provide our kids with something to focus their church experience each Sunday. While definitely designed for younger grade-school children, they include a “Notes to Parents” page that many of you might find engaging and informative! We will be running off enough Sunday Papers for our children, but I will also provide a few extras of the “Notes for Parents. Please take a look if you’re interested.

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.

Food for thought in this Advent season…
from Frank Fornaro, Acting Dean of Episcopal Divinity School
What are we waiting for? If we think about the second Advent as only a Christian experience, then we are confined to wait only for a person, Jesus, to return. We are, however, waiting for more than just a person – we are awaiting a larger transformation, and if, in our anticipation, we think of our hopes for the world, we are likely to grasp our responsibility for the dream of the Messiah shared by our ancestors in Israel.
What are we hoping for? What are we expecting of the Messiah?
We live in hope. In Advent we wait in joyful expectation of Jesus, a joyful expectation of a new world. This waiting in which we all participate in one way or another, regardless of religion, is a faith-filled hopefulness. It is a waiting with a certainty of God’s hope for us and for the world.
The church sets aside four weeks to commemorate this waiting, but we actually live in constant Advent. We wait for peace on earth every day. We wait for justice for all, a justice realized by unity, compassion, and satisfaction for all people. We wait for mercy that extends to all without boundaries or borders, without exclusion, without vetting. Mercy for all.
In this joyful, expectant waiting, each of us is called to work toward the reality of the hoped-for Messiah. What do we do as we wait? Look for the places that do not offer justice for the poor, oppressed, and disenfranchised. And not to simply look, but to act. It is in this broken world that we have a true faith that God’s will shall prevail.
With our help, God’s hope for a creation of total peace for all people will emerge on earth. God’s hope that we embrace one another with sincere respect and compassionate love will save the world.
We will see the end of this joyful, hopeful waiting in this world of joy and strife, peace and war, exclusion and inclusion, when we become a world in which the dignity of every human being is fully and openly honored.

Trusting God’s grace, we wait in joyful expectation for peace and tranquility for all.  

See you in church!
Blessings, Heidi+