Share
Preview
Sunday, December 3, 2017
   The First Sunday of Advent
  Welcome to Advent!
                
Welcome to Advent! (and Happy New Year!)

A new church year commences today with the season of Advent (which means coming). More than any season of the church's year, Advent brings into bold relief the fact that the church is counter cultural. I find this to be both bane and blessing. We begin a new church year while the world is busy finishing a calendar year -- and the month is filled with shopping, pageants, and parties beyond what our energy and time can handle. While culture urges us to hurry and spend, scripture and tradition (and reason!) beckon us to slow down and wait. Aaaaaaargh! Can we just surrender?

Last Sunday, the last Sunday of the church’s liturgical year, we acknowledged the reign of Christ over our brokenness and our hope (the children’s message), I mentioned in the sermon that St. John’s is like an “embassy” for the Kingdom of God in a foreign country – the “Kingdom of Me.” And we are emissaries who work and serve on behalf of Christ.  Advent, like no other time, affords us the opportunity to truly BE something different. For some of us, that will mean embarking on a practice of Centering Prayer – when for two periods a day we “set the rushing down,” take a vacation from ourselves and return (repent) to God and rest in God’s presence.

For others, it may mean being more intentional about prioritizing. For others, it will mean preparing and cooking Christmas dinner for the poor, providing food for our food pantry ministry, or socks, gloves, mittens, scarves for others in need. For some of us, we can practice the presence of God in our midst by BEING a respite from the rush. Let someone go ahead of you in the check-out line. Stop for the yellow light. Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk. These intentions serve as reminders to watch and wait, to step aside and create space in the mundane moments of our lives for the presence of Christ to be birthed among us. Come, Lord Jesus!

Faithfully,
Pastor Dana

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

Please note: Pastor Dana will be away for continuing education Sunday afternoon, December 3 through Thursday, December 7.  In case of a pastoral emergency after office hours, call Rev. Julia Huttar-Bailey at 734-649-6689.

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.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS
2018 AUMBRY LIGHT &
ALTAR FLOWER DEDICATIONS


Every Sunday members and friends of St. John’s sign up to dedicate the aumbry light or altar flowers in honor of, in memory of or in celebration of a life event. The 2018 Sign-Up sheets have been posted on the Sign-Me-Up board in the hallway. An Aumbry Light dedication is a $5 donation; Altar Flower dedication is a $50 donation.
SIGN-UP TO BE A COFFEE
FELLOWSHIP HOUR HOST


We are resurrecting 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.
UPCOMING BAPTISM DATE
SUNDAY, JANUARY 7
10:00am SERVICE


To schedule a baptism, please complete a baptism form found outside the office and contact Pastor Dana at 734-765-1141 or pastordana@stjohnsplymouth.org.

ADVENT/CHRISTMAS
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
SCHEDULE

Sundays in Advent
Worship ~ Dec. 3 – Dec. 24 ~  8:00am & 10:00am

Hanging of the Greens & Potluck Lunch    Church Decorating
Sunday, Dec. 10 ~
11:15am

Painting Class
Wednesday, Dec. 6 & Dec. 13 ~ 6:30-8:30pm


Christmas Eve Worship
Sunday, Dec. 24


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   
    
New Year’s Eve Worship & Eucharist
Sunday, Dec. 31

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

SIX WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
ON DECEMBER 24-25?
YES!!!

It’s one of those things. For better or worse:

*The Fourth Sunday of Advent is not to be missed, even when it falls on Christmas Eve.

*A good number of you will be at Crossroads, and still there may be visitors who plan to come that morning for the first time. What a witness to say that you are feeding the hungry.

*Best attended services on Christmas Eve are earliest, followed by mid-evening. Eleven is more sparsely attended as church-goers age. So we are experimenting with a service at 9pm, identical to 11:00. Vote with your feet -- we are not changing this year, just adding. More worship opportunities beget more worshipers. So we’ll see!

*Christmas Eve is one time when people look for what we do best – worship with communal song. So we offer ourselves as gift to the community – and share the life-giving hope of the Word become flesh. 

*St. John’s is one of few churches around that offers worship on Christmas morning.

HOLIDAY FUNDRAISERS

SUNDAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR THE
HAT, SCARF & GLOVE DRIVE

The Youth of St. John's goal is to help 300 people stay warm at Starfish Family Services. Sunday is the last day for the collection. Place your items in the bin in the narthex.                                     
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER
AT CROSSROADS

Ways You Can Help!

Turkeys - We still need 9 turkeys!
Money for Pies - Please remember to make your donation if you have not already done so.
Cookies - The cookie bin is in the hallway if you would like to donate cookies for the children’s Crossroads Christmas Eve dinner.

Find more detailed information in this weeks Journey Pages
(click here)

THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO
CONTRIBUTED TO THE SOCK DRIVE!
                                      
Thank you to all who contributed to the Men’s Group Sock Drive. With the amount collected, we are able to purchase over 2,600 pairs of socks to be distributed to St. Leo’s/ Crossroads participants!

HOLIDAY EVENTS
VOCAL ARTS ENSEMBLE CONCERT
Sunday, December 3 ~ 3pm

The Vocal Arts Ensemble is delighted to share its love of singing great choral literature with St. Johns, as they celebrate the holiday season with Magnificats (songs of Mary) and carols from across the ages. A donation of $10 a person/$25 for families will go to directly to Vocal Arts Ensemble to help support their organization. A reception will follow the concert in the Gathering. As part of this celebration, we are asking for volunteers to bring fingers dessert for the reception.
CHILDREN'S ADVENT WREATHS
Sunday, December 3 at 11:30am

Children are invited to make an Advent wreath after the 10am service at 11:30am on December 3 in the Parish Hall.
ACRYLIC PAINTING CLASSES
Wednesdays, Dec. 6 & Dec. 13

Painting classes are being offered by Danisa Saltarelli again this advent season. Classes are on Wednesdays, Dec. 6 &Dec. 13 from 6:30–8:30pm. Cost is $20 per class. More information is on the Sign-Me-Up board in the hallway.
HANGING OF THE GREENS
AND POTLUCK LUNCH
Sunday, December 10 ~ 11:15am

Decorating for the holidays are exciting! Come help with decorating our church as we await Jesus’ birth! We will meet after the 10am service on Dec. 10 (dress down for church suggested) for a potluck lunch and then decorate the church for the Christmas season. Sign up on the Sign-Me-Up board in the hallway for the potluck.

CAN YOU SPARE AN HOUR
TO HELP GATHER DECORATIONS?
Saturday, December 9 ~ 10am


We are in need of several volunteers with strong muscles and backs to bring Christmas items from the Youth House. If you can help, sign up on the Sign-Me-Up board.

ADVENT CENTERING PRAYER
WORKSHOP II
Saturday, December 16
10am-12pm

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

Please sign up on the Sign-Me-Up board in the hallway. Contact Pastor Dana with questions at 734-765-1141 or pastordana@stjohnsplymouth.org.
POINSETTIA & MUSIC
DEDICATIONS


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 following:
         

    1. Complete half-sheet form in the Narthex
    2. Enclose payment
    3. Return to the office (or offering plate)

    Deadline to sign up: Friday, December 15

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT HELP
Our annual Christmas Pageant will take place on Christmas Eve December 24 at 4:00pm. We are seeking a few volunteers to help prepare props and costume bags, then hand out the bags at the service. Interested? Contact Jayne Watson if interested.
REMINDERS
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.

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, following the women’s bible study. Eucharist will be offered every week.


TUESDAY BIBLE STUDY
Tuesday mornings at 9:30am

WEDNESDAY WOMEN'S  STUDY
Wednesday mornings at 9:00amDEE4F7

SATURDAY MEN'S  STUDY
Saturday mornings at 7:30am