THE NETWORK News from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Albany December 23, 2013
|In This Issue
Beyond St. Andrew’s
This Week at St. Andrew’s
Office hours Monday-Friday 9am-12pm
Monday Dec. 23 8:15am Morning Prayer
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
Join us for Christmas!
4:30pm Christmas Pageant and Eucharist 10:00pm Christmas Carols in the Church 10:30pm Festival Eucharist
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE from the Bishop
Christmas Message to the Diocese 2013 Dear Friends in Central New York, Mary and Joseph found no place of comfort to rest from their journey and resorted to a stable. The message of the angels was sung to a group of shepherds out in the fields, beyond notice and at the edge of respectable society. No wonder Jesus would end up teaching that the place to see his presence most clearly was among the poor and marginalized – the least of these. When I was a teenager the rector of my parish challenged us in a sermon. He wondered with us if the people of the streets of Baltimore were welcome at the altar of our parish. Memory tells me that most of us, even if with some trepidation, wanted God’s altar open to all. Then it got more serious. He went on to wonder if those same people, welcome at God’s table, would be welcome to dine at the family tables of our homes. Can you detect a little squirming? The Good News of the Christmas Gospel is that God is available to us as shown forth in the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem. His presence among us is a sign of hope that God desires to be in relationship with everyone and everything. No one is beyond God’s all-encompassing embrace. We are now called to live the Christmas truth. How will we see Christ in those who have no place to stay and find comfort? How will we sing “Glory to God” on the edges of our world through the unwelcome, the dispossessed and those most different from us? This is scary territory for sure. The great promise is that it is precisely there that it is most likely we will find Christ himself, in a manger not of our own making. Blessings to all for a most holy Nativity with gratefulness for you and your faithfulness. +Skip The Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III Bishop of Central New York
DECEMBER 29 Lessons & Carols: 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!
NEWS FROM PROVINCE II Click here for the latest newsletter from Province II of the Episcopal Church.
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)
NEWS FROM HAITI: Fr. Jack has a mixed report from Lahoye: he says that although there is much enthusiasm form the school and the church about the partnership between St. Andrew’s, St. Paul’s and Christ the King, there is discontent within the church and school itself. He feels that much of this comes from a lack of communication, poor accounting, inferior reports, and mediocre maintenance of the grounds. He is working with Franz to improve this and hopes to work with us on two projects to help them raise funds for the school, church, and community. The two programs are a micro-loan program and worm farming. St Andrew’s and St. Paul’s pays teachers $4,000 Haitian dollars ($400) each month, plus we give $200 to enhance the daily canteen food program that is sponsored by World Vision. Lahoye remains a very poor community. People ask for clothes and food all the time. They hope to build walls on the main church/school structure and create a stable roof over the pre-school area. The church has a list of needs. They ask that we do not spend money to get these items but if there is a way to get them donated it would be very helpful. This list includes: Choir robes, Vestments, Church Christmas decorations (they will use many of the Christmas Cards we sent for this); fabric, and wall hangings. With our November/December letter to the parish with the teacher salaries and food program money, St. Andrew’s added an extra $200 for Fr. Jack to use for Lahoye at Christmas, to buy a treat for the children. St. Paul’s purchased and sent some music and music folders for the choir. At this Christmas time they hold us in their prayers and wish the best for all the people at St. Andrew’s and St. Paul’s. We are planning a mission trip for February 2014. If you would like to donate to our partnership fund you can do so on the front page of the St. Andrew’s Website.
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.
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.
UPCOMING EVENTS FROM ST. ANDREW’S 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
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.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Albany, New York Call us at 489-4747 Parish Office hours are Monday-Friday 9am – 12:00pm www.standrewsalbany.org
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church is an inclusive community…
Affirming God’s Grace
Open and Growing in Heart, Mind and Spirit
Called to Love and Serve all in Jesus’ name