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A message from the Priest
December 2 begins the season of Advent and a new church year. Advent is a word that means “coming” or “arrival.” You can find Advent wreaths and calendars outside of the walls of the church, but in general Advent has less popular appeal than Christmas. Advent is a particular kind of holy waiting for the Son of God that is different from the shopping and wrapping, the trees and decorating, parties, music, baking and sending cards that seem to fill every moment of December.
Advent isn’t even just about waiting for Christmas. Only part of our holy Advent waiting anticipates the birth of the baby Jesus. The other waiting of Advent is for the Second Coming of Christ, the mysterious return in power and glory of Our Lord that could happen at any time. This somewhat uncertain aspect of Advent serves as an annual reminder in the church to shake off our weariness and complacency and to boldly be the people God has called us to be.
May he whose second Coming in power and great glory we await, make you steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, and constant in love. May you, who rejoice in the first Advent of our Redeemer, at his second Advent be rewarded with unending life. May the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you and scatter the darkness from before your path.
(From The Book of Occasional Services 2003)
Wishing you Advent blessings and the gift of hopeful expectation,
Lessons and Carols Service
This year, the first Sunday after Christmas (Christmas I) falls within the Christmas season, before the Holy Name Day, or New Years' Day, as we know it. We are planning a service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 30th, inviting all who wish to sing some of the lovely Christmas Carols and to hear the wonderful Christmas readings to join in celebrating together. Maddie McNeil will be singing for this service also. Let's all "sing and rejoice" and worship the Christ Child's birth, at 10:30, December 30th.
A final missive from the Senior Warden
Last January I was elected Senior Warden and began the first of this series of monthly “missives”. I hope they have been somewhat entertaining, informative, and perhaps even enlightening. During this time I have worked under two successive editors of the Cunningham Chronicle, first Caroline Roberts and then Linda Roberts. At this time I want to thank them for their assistance and guidance, and also to thank the Rev. Karin MacPhail and Shirley Ann Mollohan for their support and advice with the newsletter.
The Senior Warden is assigned legal and financial responsibility for the parish, and in addition, as the “rector’s warden”, is responsible to look after the spiritual and physical well-being of the rector. My thanks to Karin for making those daunting tasks such a pleasure, and to Junior Warden Tommy Dunning and the members of the Vestry for helping the parish end this year on solid financial footing.
December ends my term on the Vestry as well as Senior Warden. Also exiting with me will be Terry Chandler and Bob Cullen. At our annual meeting on November 25 the congregation elected 3 excellent candidates to the Vestry Class of 2015 with Nina Randolph, David Burns, and Joe Johnston, and also Shirley Brown to take over the 2014 term of Carol Sellery, who, along with husband Bob, has moved back to Washington, D.C. In January, the Vestry will elect new Junior and Senior Wardens
I would like to continue a role on the Christ Church Committees that I have been active with, especially Stewardship, Food Pantry, and Disaster Preparedness, and would like to propose a congregation-wide discussion of the larger role of outreach in our church and our community, and the role that the Stewardship of Creation plays for ourselves, our families, and the church. I believe these topics are worthy of our serious attention.
See you next year!
Christmas at Old Bethel
Most of our Christmas images, at least the quasi- ecclesiastical ones, derive from writings of the 19th century. "The Night Before Christmas" surfaced in 1823; Charles Dickens introduced us to Scrooge and Tiny Tim in 1843; and "O Holy Night" was composed in 1847. From each of those we conjure up thoughts of what truly is "Merry" about our perception of Christmas.
The current church structure at Bethel in Clarke County was dedicated in 1830 and it is easy to unite the Christmas images of the 1800's to this place and to the people who come there to celebrate the season by hearing the same lessons and singing the same carols under very much the same conditions as our predecessors. Oil lamps, candle light and natural greenery combine with the majesty of the Gospel of Luke and the foot-pedal organ version of "Silent Night" to make this evening a very special one.
While we are free at any moment to allow our holiday season to be dominated by Wal-Mart, "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" playing at Thanksgiving, and Internet shopping, Bethel offers us and our families a soul of Christmas that takes us back to a place and time of serenity, grace and peace.
This years’ service will be held on Sunday, December 16th at 5:00 p.m. The Reverend Karin MacPhail will be the officiant, and Ron Hottle returns to play the organ. As in the past, the Sixth Dimension Hand Bell Choir bring their spectacular music to the event. From start to finish, the service is only about 30 minutes, a duration that lends itself favorably to "children of all ages" looking for the perfect blend of spirituality and brevity.
As in 1830, there is still no heat, no electricity and no running water at Old Bethel, so dress warmly; and it doesn't hurt to have a flash light to help return to your car at the end of the service. Bethel is held in trust through the Circuit Court for the people of Clarke County, and this interdenominational service is open to all. From Route 50, across from the Mountain View Motel, take Route 625 (Kennel Road) south to Route 622 (Swift Shoals Road), turn right, then, within sight, turn left onto Bethel Lane and proceed up the hill to the church. For more information, call Ian Williams at 540-667-1266 or 540-837-1974.
The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Disaster Preparedness and Response (DOVDPR) Ministry Team is charged with preparing our parishes and their congregations for potential disasters, as well as to provide planning resources and institute recovery, and coordinate our responses to disasters. In order to reach out and provide effective response (first 72 hours after the disaster) and recovery (after 72 hours) efforts, we must take care of ourselves. It is in this vein that the DOVDPR ministry team posed the following questions as we prepared for Hurricane Sandy. These questions are meant to get individuals and parishes thinking about some of the seemingly small details which could become critical issues in that first 72 hours. These are excellent questions to ask yourself
anytime a major storm is threatened.
When is your birthday?
We'd like to add your birthday to our parish calendar and prayers! Please call the church office at 837-1112 or e-mail Shirley Ann at email@example.com if we've missed your special day.
Worship Participants December
Please check to see if you are listed as a participant and let the office know if you are not available on the Sunday that you are scheduled so that a replacement can be found for you.
December 2 – HEII
Lector Caroline Roberts
Psalmist Bev McKay
Crucifer Macon Uskurait
Chalicer Anita Pratt & Shawn Morgan
Ushers Fred Underwood & Chuck Roberts
Greeter Tencha Gilpin
SS Teachers Lisa Goshen & Millie Baker
December 9 – MPI
Lector Fred Underwood
Psalmist Bob Randolph
Crucifer Shawn Morgan
Ushers Fred Underwood & Trip Van Wyck
Greeter Nina Randolph
SS Teachers Nina Randolph & Michael Hoffman
December 16 – HEII
Lector Jane Caspar
Psalmist Millie Baker
Crucifer Alex McKay
Chalicers Shawn Morgan & Macon Uskurait
Ushers Bev McKay & Cary Embury
Greeter Linda Roberts
SS Teachers Millie Baker & Lisa Goshen
December 23 – MP II
Lector Cary Embury
Psalmist Millie Baker
Crucifer Shawn Morgan
Ushers Chuck Roberts & Bev McKay
Greeter Linda Roberts
SS Teachers Lisa Goshen & Michael Hoffman
December 24 - Christmas Eve
Worship Participants for these services will be
notified at a later time.
5:00 p.m. HEII with Carols and Children's Sermon
8:30 p.m. Christmas Carol Sing-a-long
9:00 p.m. HEII with Christmas music and Sermon
December 25 - Christmas Morning
10:30 a.m. HEII with Carols and Sermon
December 30 - The First Sunday after Christmas
10:30 a.m. Christmas Lessons and Carols
December 2 – Reader: Michael Hoffman
Chalicer: Bob Cullen
December 9 - Reader & Chalicer: Kathy Smart
December 16 – Reader: Michael Hoffman
Chalicer: Kathy Smart
December 23 – Reader & Chalicer: Shirley Brown
Thank you to...
our parishioners, those who are close to the parish, and for friends and family members of our parishioners and especially for
Mike Bowman, brother-in-law of Anita Bowman
Iris Ely, mother of Stephanie McKay
Ann Brown, parishioner
Ann McIntosh, parishioner
Debbie Vater, sister of Terry Chandler
Glenn McCallister, friend of Anita Bowman
Freddie Hetzel, son of Vaughn and Wendy Clatterbuck
Ken Stock, former parishioner
Edna Cralle’ Johnston, mother of Joseph Johnston
Edie Gilger, grandaughter of Edna and Denny Vaughan
Jeff Jacobs, Anita’s sister-in-law’s son-in-law
Lt. Col. George A. Bowman, Jr., father-in-law of Anita Bowman
Lauren Carter Grimm, daughter of Jim & Melinda Carter
Rosemary Siegel, friend of Jane Caspar
Seth Mackay-Smith, step-grandson of Marilyn MacKay-Smith
Arthur Allen Douglas, 1st cousin of Cora Ohl
Ricky Pendleton, friend of the parish
Delia Large-Hart, granddaughter of Marilyn Mackay-Smith
Mona Alzona, niece of Anne Palmer Johnson
Kimberly Coffey, friend of Anne Johns
Selena Smart, daughter of Kathy Smart
Dan Kopetzky, brother-in-law of Cathleen McCoy & Nick Snow
Beth Cook, friend of Fred Underwood
Vicki Forrest ,sister of Jane Caspar
Lectionary Readings for November
Dec. 9 - Malachi 3:1-4 ~
Dec. 16 - Zephaniah 3:14-20 ~
Dec. 23 - Micah 5:2-5a ~
Dec. 30 – Lessons and Carols
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