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Sunday, December 17, 2017
   The Third Sunday of Advent
  The Third Week of Advent!
                
Today we light three candles on the Advent wreath. While society goes crazy with Christmas preparations and the northern hemisphere grows darker each day, we gather to wait for God to bring us into peace and light. In the gospel reading (John 1:6-9, 19-28), Jesus is described as the "light of the world." John the Baptist calls us to make a pathway for Christ. Moved by the spirit of the Lord, the prophet Isaiah (61:1-4, 8-11) announces good news for those who are oppressed. Isaiah anticipates what so many among us will be doing next week: preparing and delivering food for the hungry at Crossroads.

In anticipation of that service at Crossroads, and as a companion to this Sunday’s sermon, I encourage you to listen to this podcast interview with Father Greg Boyle by Krista Tippett, from her American Public Radio program On Being: https://onbeing.org/programs/greg-boyle-the-calling-of-delight-gangs-service-and-kinship/.

Father Boyle is a Jesuit famous for gang intervention programs in L.A. His inspiring stories offer connections between service and delight, and compassion and awe.  He heads Homeboy Industries, which employs former gang members. “This is not work of helping,” he says, “but of finding kinship.” The point of Christian service, as he lives it, is about “our common calling to delight in one another.”

As I listened, I couldn’t help but think of St. John’s own Rev. Teresa Wakeen who works out of a similar paradigm as she leads “The Church at Crossroads.” I hope when you are at Crossroads next Sunday you’ll take the opportunity to connect with Teresa and some of the folks who worship there, and even stay for worship in the afternoon.

When it works, bringing good news to the oppressed is an exercise in mutuality. Caring like this is an enduring aspect of St. John’s identity as a community of faith. May it continue!

Faithfully,
Pastor Dana

For pastoral care issues that may arise, please call Pastor Dana Runestad, Interim Rector at 734-765-1141 .

ADVENT/CHRISTMAS
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
SCHEDULE

Sundays in Advent
Worship ~ Dec. 17 – Dec. 24 at 8:00am & 10:00am

Advent Centering Prayer Workshop II
Saturday, Dec. 16 at 10:00am

Christmas Eve Worship
Sunday, Dec. 24
(Sunday Advent Worship at 8am & 10am)

4:00pm
Family Service with Eucharist & Christmas Pageant             

NEW SERVICE TIME!  
8:30am ~ Carols & Anthems Prelude
9:00pm ~ Traditional Liturgy with Eucharist  

10:30pm ~ Carols & Anthems Prelude                     
11:00pm ~ Traditional Liturgy with Eucharist          

Christmas Day Worship 
Monday, Dec. 25

10:00am ~ Worship Service with Eucharist   
    
First Sunday after Christmas
Worship & Eucharist

Sunday, Dec. 31

8:00 & 10:00am ~ Lessons & Carols
(No Sunday School; Children's activity in worship)

New Year's Eve Progressive Dinner
Sunday, Dec. 31

7 - 11pm (see article below for details)   


New Year's Eve Service
Sunday, Dec. 31

11:15pm ~
Readings & Prayers for the New Year

CHRISTMAS ANNOUNCEMENTS
It is a St. John’s tradition that the Christmas story is presented by our youth during the 4:00pm Christmas Eve service. This year is no exception. All children and youth, ages 3 and up, are invited to participate to this “walk-up pageant” (no rehearsal needed). We will have angels, shepherds, sheep, wise men, etc. and each child will be in costume. All children including guests are invited to participate!

CHRISTMAS DEDICATIONS
DEADLINE EXTENDED


Every year, SJP offers poinsettia and music dedications that are inserted in the Christmas Eve bulletin as a way to honor or memorialize a friend or loved one. To donate, complete the half-sheet form in the Narthex, enclose payment and return to the office or offering plate.
Deadline to sign up is this Sunday, Dec. 17!
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER
AT CROSSROADS


Cooked Turkeys
*  We still need 4 turkeys!
*  Deliver your thawed and sliced turkey to St. John's NO LATER THAN Saturday, Dec. 23 at 10:30am
*  If you need turkey instructions, they are on the bulletin board in the hallway

Money for Pies
*  If you signed up to donate and have not yet made your donation, please do so by Sunday, Dec. 17

Cookies
*  The kids at Crossroads don't necessarily like pie so
we are collecting cookies. Please them in the cookies bin in the front hallway.

Volunteers
*  Volunteers for Saturday Prep on Dec. 23 should be at SJP by 9am
*  Volunteers for Sunday, Dec. 24 should be at Crossroads (2424 W. Grand Blvd, Detroit) between 8:30-9:00am

Questions
*  Contact Dick Bass, SJP Crossroads rep at 248-477-8481 or dickbass1943@gmail.com.

IMPROMPTU NEW YEAR'S EVE
PROGRESSIVE DINNER & WORSHIP
Sunday, Dec. 31 from 7pm-12:15am

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? Attend the SJP New Year’s Eve Progressive Dinner and Worship. We will begin with appetizers, then soup/salad, then a light main course, then dessert at Pastor Dana & Barry’s home. After dessert we will head to the church for a “Readings and Prayers for the New Year and Eucharist” service at 11:15pm.

We will need a volunteer to host “Appetizers” at their home beginning at 7pm, a volunteer to host “Soup/Salad” at their home at 8pm, a volunteer to host “a light main course” at their home at 9pm. Desserts will be hosted by Pr. Dana and Barry in their home at 10pm.

Come usher in the New Year at St. John’s! If you will be attending or would like to host a course in your home, please click here to sign-up online.

And if you can’t make dinner, join us at church at 11:15pm for worship!

YOUR 2017 GIVING
SJP Giving Statements for the period of January-November 2017 were mailed to your home last week. Please take a few minutes to review the giving history in this statement. This is also a good time to make sure you are up to date on your 2017 pledge.

If you believe any portion of this statement to be in error, please contact the St. John’s Treasurer Beth Frolick-Rapson at 248-765-0889 or elizabeth.frolick@ally.com with questions. 

Please note ~ if you are submitting donations toward your 2018 pledge before years end, please write “2018 pledge” on the memo line of your check or on the comment area of your SecureGive account.

We thank you for your generous support of the mission and ministry of St. John’s.


ADVENT CENTERING PRAYER
WORKSHOP II

Saturday, Dec. 16
10am - 12pm

Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed...
Isaiah 40: 3-5a



The voices of Advent belong to Isaiah and John the Baptist: “Prepare the way of the Lord!” And the practices of Advent belong to us. Centering Prayer is a fruitful way to practice preparing for the birth of Christ’s presence in you. Episcopal priest and Centering Prayer teacher Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault says “the most important thing in learning Centering Prayer is to forget everything you think you know about meditation…Centering Prayer is not about developing concentration, attaining clear mind, conscious presence, a strong witnessing ‘I,’ or some desired state. In Centering Prayer, you merely practice and practice the core…motion: ‘let go, make space, unclench’ – thought by thought by thought…”  It is a method that “frees us from obstacles that prevent faith, hope, and love from unfolding within us.”

This second workshop will reinforce concepts introduced in the December 2 workshop, and provide opportunity for reflecting together on your experience if you have started a CP practice. First-timers and repeaters are welcome. Questions may be directed to Pastor Dana.
CONGREGATIONAL NEWS
SCHEDULE YOUR BAPTISM NOW
SUNDAY, JANUARY 7
10:00am SERVICE


To schedule a baptism, please complete a baptism form found outside the office and contact Pastor Dana at pastordana@stjohnsplymouth.org or 734-765-1141. Deadline for scheduling is this Sunday, December 17.
WEDNESDAY HEALING SERVICE
AND WOMEN'S BIBLE STUDY
TO CHANGE TIMES BEGINNING
Wednesday, January 3


Moving to 11:00am
Moving to 9:30am
SIGN-UP TO BE A COFFEE
FELLOWSHIP HOUR HOST


We have resurrected our Coffee Fellowship Hour and need hosts to sign up to prepare coffee, beverages & snacks each Sunday. A hosts’ responsibility is to arrive early to make coffee, beverages and lay out snacks in the Gathering for coffee hour after the 10am service. Please sign-up on the bulletin board in the hallway.
Save the Date!

SJP ANNUAL MEETING
SUNDAY, JAN. 21, 2018 at 11:15am


There will be only one worship service at 10:00am. We will gather afterwards for a potluck lunch to celebrate the past year and look forward to the future. Please plan to attend this important ministry meeting!

Ministry Chairs ~ We are in the beginning stages of laying out this year’s Annual Report. Please be on the lookout for an email inviting you to update your ministry description to be placed in the Annual Meeting Booklet. Reports will be due to the Parish Administrator by January 7, 2018.

WORSHIP TIMES
SUNDAY HOLY EUCHARIST
8:00 & 10:00am

SUNDAY NURSERY (infant-age three) is open year-round 9:45-11:45am. The nursery is located in room 2 in the Sunday School hallway (Sunday School will not meet on Dec. 24 & 31).

WEDNESDAY PRAYER SERVICE 
This mid-week opportunity to gather and pray for the needs of those in our parish, our community and the world. Join us in the Sanctuary at 10:30am Eucharist is offered every week.

Please note:
*  There will be no service on Wed., Dec. 27
*  This service is changing to 11am beginning January 3



TUESDAY BIBLE STUDY
Tuesday mornings at 9:30am

WEDNESDAY WOMEN'S  STUDY
Wednesday mornings at 9:00am (changing to 9:30am beginning January 3)

SATURDAY MEN'S  STUDY
Saturday mornings at 7:30am
ANNUAL GIVING CAMPAIGN
2018 pledges continue to be accepted. You may enter your pledge in a variety of ways:

1) Pledge Card - Use the printed pledge card available on the table in the entrance hall or click HERE to download the card.  Fill in and return it to St. John’s via postal mail or by placing it into the baskets during Sunday services. 

2) SecureGive - For those who donate their offerings through SecureGive, you can enter your 2018 pledge online. Click HERE to log into SecureGive. 

Questions or comments can be directed to our SJP Treasurer, Beth Frolick-Rapson, at 248-765-0889 or elizabeth.frolick@ally.com.


ONLINE GIVING IS
EASY & SECURE!


Online giving is as easy as paying your monthly bills via EFT! Choose recurring or one-time donations. Especially during this time of transition, it is a perfect time to set up your automated and recurring donation. Just click here and then click on Create an account to set up.