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!