|In This Issue
- Mary’s Message
- Help Wanted
- End of Year Finance Request
- Christmas Caroling
- Christmas Flowers
- Greening of the Church
- Love Thy Neighborhood Dinner
- Advent Giving
- News from Haiti
- Note from Dennis Wisnom
- Vestry Nominations
- Annual Report
- Online Advent Calendar
- Advent Morning Prayer
- Liturgical Calendar
- 2014 Flower Chart
- Sermons & Questions
- December 29 Lessons & Carols
Beyond St. Andrew’s
- Episcopal Diocese of Albany
- Diocese of Central NY
- Campus Ministries
- Capital Area Council of Churches
- Capital Region Theological Center
This Week at St. Andrew’s
Office hours Monday-Friday 9am-12pm
Wednesday Dec 18 8:15am Morning Prayer
Thursday Dec 19 8:15am Morning Prayer 5:30pm Love Thy Neighborhood Dinner 7:00pm Choir Practice
Friday Dec 20 8:15am Morning Prayer
Saturday Dec 21 10:00 am-1:00pm Shop Open 4:00pm Christmas Caroling
Sunday Dec. 22 8:00 am Holy Eucharist 10:00 am Holy Eucharist 11:15 am Greening of the Church 11:20 am High School Youth Group
Monday Dec. 23 8:15am Morning Prayer
Tuesday Dec. 24 4:30pm Christmas Pageant and Eucharist 10pm Christmas Music 10:30pm Festive Eucharist
Wednesday Dec. 25 Christmas Day Parish Office Closed 10am Festive Eucharist
Birthdays (12/22-12/28): Lynne Grugan, David Shapard, John White, Don Bishop, Robert Sager, Mary Scott
Healing Prayer List: Elena
If we missed your birthday or anniversary, please let us know so we can update our records and wish you God’s blessings on your occasion. Thank you!
If you have news you’d like to share with the parish please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Friends, I love many of the traditions of our liturgical year. One of my favorite are the “O Antiphons.” Here is an excellent article from Anglicans Online explaining them. If you feel inspired, try writing your own as a prayer exercise. Stay warm! Advent Blessings, Mary+
O key, O king, O root, O mystical name. O Wisdom, O virgin, O Lord.
They are riddles in prayer, woven around the canticles of the daily office from December 17 (or 16) to December 23 every year. * The O Antiphons come at the end of Advent to tie together the prophetic hopes of a people who have waited not for just three or four weeks for the coming of the Lord, but for whole centuries. There is no knowing now why these particular ancient hints about Bethlehem were chosen instead of any number of others. But there is a kind of perfect internal coherence to the seven (or eight) we have. They tell us to be patient just a little while longer, and describe the wonders in store on the other side of Christmas Eve. At the same time, they implore Jesus-to-be-born to tarry not, come quickly, come soon. We look forward to the antiphons in their own right each year, because their appearance on the calendar means that we can quicken our own hopes in anticipation of the Saviour’s birth. Their arrival is much like seeing a familiar highway exit still just a little way away from home, or a train stop not far from one’s intended destination. They comfort, heighten, calm and focus, but they are also direct and demanding. In English as it is spoken in our communities, the vocative O is never used in the same way we see it here. Thankfully, liturgical language preserves a kind of impatient address for us with the O, opening our mouths and our eyes at the same time as we talk to a person. When we sing and pray, the O is followed often by the petition for someone to come and join us: O come, let us sing unto the Lord. O come, O come, Emmanuel. O come, all ye faithful. The O — and these Os — arranges our mouths and hopes around specific persons and special ends. We had not noticed before this year that in addition to bringing together Hebrew prophecies about the coming of the Christ Child, the antiphons include a substantial pre-Christmas wish-list. When we pray them, we ask — not always disguising our impatience very well — for instruction in the way of prudence; for redemption with an outstretched arm; for deliverance; for the release of prisoners out of the prison house; for enlightenment and for salvation. There is not a bicycle or toy train set in sight, nor a giftcard, nor clothing, nor even an iPod. The Os pull together the Church’s voice of prayer in supplication for prophetic and apocalyptic intangibles. And still, when we are finished praying them, we must wait a little more. Waiting becomes a positive good in the Os, a thing to be undertaken and even enjoyed not for its own sake, but for the sake of the One to be born at the end of the waiting. Yet the Os themselves already contain an answer to the riddled petitions they embody. Written out together across a page in Latin, the initial consonants of the antiphons (Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia) form a reverse acrostic spelling Ero cras — I will be there tomorrow. And so they make for that generous and rare thing, a prayer to God that is its own answer from God. See you next week, when he will be here.
HELP WANTED ADS Vestry Clerk Duties: Attend vestry meetings, take the minutes, and email minutes to the office and vestry members. The Vestry currently meets the 3rd Monday of the month from 6-8pm. The minutes become an official record of the parish’s work and ministry.
Prayer and Squares Coordinator Mona Leslie, after many years of leadership has resigned. Participants in this wonderful ministry meet to make prayer quilts. Meeting arrangements have varied over the years. Most recently, the members of the group met occasionally on Saturdays. Other members make quilts at home. The coordinator would schedule meetings or quilting Saturdays with the other quilters and forward the information to the office. Vestry Members St. Andrew’s is seeking nominations for our vestry. The ministry of the vestry include both leadership and stewardship of St. Andrew’s resources. Vestry members and the rector work together to lead the parish and focus our efforts in living out our Baptismal Covenant and accomplishing our mission statement.
END OF YEAR FINANCE REQUEST As we close out the year at St. Andrew’s, we ask that all parishioners keep up with their pledges. We are hoping a strong December will help balance the budget. Please help our parish help others by giving what you can to help out all. (From the Finance Committee)
THIS SATURDAY! CHRISTMAS CAROLING Caroling! Caroling! We will be going caroling around the neighborhood on Saturday, December 21. Gathering at 4:00pm in Carmichael Hall, we’ll walk around the church neighborhood and then return for pizza and beverages. Song booklets will be provided and no experience needed! Let’s make a joyful noise!
CHRISTMAS FLOWERS Each year members and friends of the Church make donations toward the greens and flowers that will decorate the Church during the Christmas services from Dec 24 -Jan.6. You may use the envelopes marked “Christmas Flowers” found on the tables by the doors to give a donation toward the flowers and greens. You may give in memory of someone or in thanksgiving for a significant event. Please write legibly on the envelope so that the names may be listed in the Christmas Eve/Day service leaflets.
THIS SUNDAY! GREENING OF THE CHURCH Our Annual Greening of the Church will take place on Sunday, December 22 following the 10:00am Service. As always many hands are needed to hang the greens and wreaths as well as set up and decorate the tree. It is always a festive and fun time as we transform the Church from its Advent “apparel” to Christmas! If you can help please consider coming to coffee hour that day and assisting. Questions? Speak to Lorrie Graham, head of Flower Guild.
LOVE THY NEIGHBORHOOD DINNER Join us tomorrow night (Thursday December 19) at 5:30pm for the monthly Love Thy Neighborhood Dinner! This month there will be a festive Christmas carol sing-along, too!
ADVENT GIVING THANKS Thank you to all those who provided Christmas gifts for St. Anne’s Institute and the Mariner’s at Sea Christmas packages. Through the generosity of St. Andrew’s we are able to help others during the Christmas Season. You may continue to give gifts to Episcopal Relief and Development through its website at http://www.episcopalrelief.org/ or a special offering in our offering plates marked “ERD.” Thank you!
NEWS FROM HAITI: Meet Fr. Jack Fr. Jack Deravil as he likes to be called by those in the parishes he oversees and his wife Fienide came to Lascahobas from the west coast region of Haiti in late September. We pray for him every week during our Sunday service and we thought you would like to know a bit more about him and his family Fr. Jack and Fienide are in their early 50’s. They have a 19 year old daughter who is in Trenton, NJ going to college. Her goal is to be a pediatrician. Fienide is an unemployed lab technician and has experience with hotel cooking. Fr. Jack is a math teacher and speaks English quite well. He believes he is a missionary of the churches and that he must work closely with the vestries and lay leaders for the betterment of the people. All the staff that was employed by Fr. Milor went with him so Fr. Jack has hired two helpers: they are Leon who is 20 years old and Marguis who is 23 years old. They help in administer to the six churches and schools under his care. He also hired Idanaise and local man to be the grounds keeper at the church and school in Lascahobas. Check the announcements next week for more information on Haiti!
NOTE FROM DENNIS WISNOM As part of his ongoing health, Dennis Wisnom exercises three days a week at cardiac rehabilitation. The cardiac rehab program that he attends is moving from Albany Medical Center to 400 Patroon Creek in Albany off Washington Avenue. The CDTA bus schedule is such that it isn’t always possible to take the bus home following exercise. Dennis is asking parishioners who might be available during the day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) to provide transportation home. If you find that you might be able to help him out, please email him at email@example.com Thank you.
VESTRY NOMINATION TIME Four positions are open: 3 three year terms and 1 two year term. We also need three delegates for diocesan convention and one for the Deanery. We are seeking people with vision and energy to expand the implementation of St. Andrew’s mission.
ANNUAL REPORT Time for Ministry Leaders to submit their reports for the Annual Report. The deadline is Monday January 5th. Thank you.
ONLINE ADVENT CALENDAR If you are looking for an Advent calendar for December 1st, check out this online version from Society of Saint John the Evangelist’s: http://www.pinterest.com/iamepiscopalian/advent-calendar/
ADVENT MORNING PRAYER During the season of Advent we will be praying Morning Prayer each weekday morning, Monday through Friday at 8:15am in the Chapel. This is a good way to start your day with prayer and centering yourself on the message and meaning of Advent. Come and join us any morning. The service lasts only about 15 minutes. Anyone who would like to take a turn at leading, please speak to Rich Angelo or Rev. Mary.
LITURGICAL CALENDAR 2014 Episcopal Liturgical Calendars are now available for a donation of $3. The Integrity Circle is providing these so that you can know the colors of the Church seasons with special holy days listed as well as the Scripture readings. All donations will go to the FOCUS Food Pantry at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Get yours from the stand at the back of the Church near the doors.
2014 FLOWER CHART The 2014 Flower Chart is now up on the bulletin board in Carmichael Hall. Parishioners are invited to make donations of flowers for the Altar on most Sundays with the exception of Advent and Lent. Flowers may be given as memorials or in thanksgiving for a significant event. The suggested donation is $60/week. Special flower envelopes are available for both Christmas and Easter when many people donate to decorate the Church. Lorrie Graham is the Flower Guild chairperson and can answer any questions, or you may talk with her about special types of flowers you might like for your chosen date.
SERMONS AND QUESTIONS A good sermon challenges us to think about God, our relationships with God and other people, and our lives. A good sermon can raise more question than it answers. You are invited to share your questions as a way of helping us all learn and grow. Each week the person giving the sermon will collect written questions and the answers will appear in the next week’s bulletin. Clipboards with question forms will be near the exits and in Carmichael Hall. Write your questions (no names, please) and leave it in the tray by the door in Carmichael Hall. Help us learn and deepen our faith: Ask a question.
COMING EVENTS AT ST ANDREW’S
DECEMBER 29 : Christmas continues on Sunday, December 29, the First Sunday after Christmas with 8 and 10am Holy Eucharist, as well as Congregational Lessons and Carols as part of the 10am Service. Come and sing some of the best loved Carols of Christmas! EPIPHANY EXTRAVAGANZA You are cordially invited to attend the St. Andrew’s Epiphany Extravaganza on the feast of the Epiphany, Monday January 6. The service of Holy Eucharist begins at 6:00pm, followed by a covered dish supper in Carmichael Hall. Bring a favorite main dish or dessert to share. As this season reminds us, as followers of Jesus, we are called to be the light of the world to others who are searching for hope and love. If you have questions or need more information, please speak to Rev. Mary, Martha Iannacone, or Dennis Wisnom. We look forward to seeing you there!
BEYOND ST ANDREW’S
Coming events in the Diocese of Albany
Women’s Epiphany Retreat Registration Now Open!
On January 3rd – 5th, 2014, take time to come away, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Christ the King Spiritual Life Center
, after the all-too busy holiday season. Visit with friends and meet new women of faith. This year, we’ll be going on a spiritual pilgrimage, so pack your bags and meet us at the Spiritual Life Center as we move further along on our faith journey! The cost for the trip is $185 per person, double occupancy. Limited scholarships are available. Registrations are due December 20th! To register, click here
You are warmly invited to share Christmas Eve on Tuesday, December 24 at 10 o’clock in the Morning for The Celebration of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ in Carols and Scripture and Drama from The Living Gospel Ministry with Christ-mass Communion at The Ecumenical Public Healing Service, Christ the King Spiritual Life Center.
Coming Events from Capital Region Theological Center
Forming Christians: Baptism & Beyond, Paul E. Hoffman, January 23 & January 24, 9am – 4pm, First Church in Albany. How does solid faith formation happen for (old and new) seekers in a contemporary world? Come discover a contemporary adaptation of an ancient pattern of apprenticeship in faith formation and parish renewal called the catechumenate. $150 by December 27; $165 thereafter. Reg. deadline: January 7.
CRTC Distinguished Speaker SARA MILES! City of God: Faith in the Streets, February 1, 9am – 3pm, Delmar Reformed Church, Delmar. Spend an inspiring day as Sara shares her continuing journey of inner city ministry and reveals her vision of the City of God – as it exists now, and as it is being transformed. From her soon-to-released new book of the same title. You will be filled with hope, and stirred to take your place in God’s active community of justice! $75 by January 3; $90 thereafter. Reg. deadline: January 16. Sponsored by FOCUS Churches. Why Can’t We Talk? Civil Discourse as a Habit of the Heart, John Backman, Wednesdays, February 5, 12, 19 & 26, 7 – 9pm, Niskayuna Reformed Church, Niskayuna. Think of an issue that really makes your blood boil. Now imagine lunch with a friend who is just as passionate about it – on the other side! How can the two of you hear each other with compassion and curiosity? Learn to engage dialogue as a habit of the heart. Use this practice as a spiritual discipline during the upcoming weeks of Lent! $105 by January 9; $120 thereafter. Reg. deadline: January 20.
Register by phone at 518-462-2470. Watch our website and our Facebook page for information on these and many other upcoming courses. Scholarships and group discounts available for most classes. New Discount! Bring someone new to CRTC – you both attend for ½ price!