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St. James' Glastonbury
Episcopal Church

Update 12/21/22

 

It’s finally here.  Christmas and Christmas Eve worship celebrations are down to a couple of details and perhaps the weather will even cooperate. I think that seeing baby Daniel Perrelli as Jesus in the Christmas Pageant at the stable on Sunday clinched my thoughts about Christmas really happening.  Thanks to all of the adults, kids, angels, shepherds, sheep, kings, and innkeepers (amongst numerous real animals) who managed a flawless pageant with three churches. What a wonderful learning experience of the Christmas story for our children.

 

Please look a bit ahead now, because Bishop Laura Aherns visits St. James’ on Sunday, January 22, 2023. We are grateful for her visit and her spotlight on St. James’. There will be more details as we turn the page on the calendar.  Please remember that the church office is closed next week.  There will be a service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day but they will not be streamed.  Next week is also the end of our fiscal year.  Our bookkeeper, Joanna, and treasurer, Bob Dugger, will be in to close the books for 2022 next week, so please rectify any loose (financial) ends you have with the church.

 

At this special time of year, I want to recognize the tremendous effect the Reverend Dr. Don Hamer has had on our St. James’ church.  Very few days go by without someone proclaiming to me how fortunate we are that the Rev. Don is leading our worship and our growth as a spiritual community.  As your lay leadership and countless volunteers try to figure out how to keep our church moving forward, Don Hamer is focused on how to keep us growing in a positive, deepening, spiritual direction.  The warm, loving light he sets at St. James’ is a welcome gift to us. Thank you.

 

Spread peace and hold those you love extra tight, 

Debbie O’Donnell,   Senior Warden

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I was speaking this week with our Parish Administrator, Dawn Hardwick, she shared with me an editorial cartoon she had seen by San Diego Union Tribune cartoonist Steve Breen. It showed a father walking hand-in-hand with his small child down a street decorated with holiday lights. Huddled against a stone wall in blankets were a man, a woman and an infant. The caption read, “No, honey, that’s not a manger scene.”

On this festival of great joy for the Christian world, the world around us serves as a reminder that the dream of God in sending Jesus into the world has yet to be understood, let alone be realized. As we rejoice in this season of love, hope, peace and joy, let’s remember that our celebration is only the beginning of the story -- the celebration of a possibility that Jesus depends on us to bring to reality. May this Christmas season be a reminder to us that the Jesus who had humble beginnings in a manger still calls each of us, and our congregation, to be a source of welcome, hope and healing for all of God’s creation.

For those of you who will be travelling over the Christmas holiday, I pray that you enjoy your time away with friends and family and that you return to us in safety. For everyone else, I pray that your holiday is also blessed, and that you will be able to join us either in person or remotely for one of our worship services celebrating our Savior’s birth. Blessed Christmastide!

                                                            Your brother in Christ,  Don+            

Music Notes

Thank you to all the musicians who are providing music Christmas Eve. At 4:45 there will be a harp prelude before the 5 pm service – please come, listen, and enjoy some carols played by our guest, Olivia. The prelude at 9 pm will include the women of the Adult Choir.

At both services we sing A stable lamp is lighted (Hymn 104), recently introduced to this congregation. The author is Richard Purdy Wilbur (1921-2017), American poet and literary translator. He was appointed in 1987 as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry (Library of Congress) and received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1957 & 1989). David Hurd (b. 1950), American organist and composer wrote the tune Andújar that elegantly captures the meaning of the text.

Choir will be on break December 25th and January 1st; carols will be sung by the congregation. Sue Hertel will be the guest organist both Sundays. 

 

Special Ministry Updates:

 2022 Carol’s Closet 

  • Has served 51 guests this month, serving 76 individuals based on household size; two of them were with us for the first time.

  • In 2022 we had 802 guests attend Carol’s Closet, serving 1,498 individuals based on household size.

  • Since September we had 15 new guests.

  • We gave 818 bags.

  • The average served each month based on household size was 136 individuals.

 

Carol’s Closet is making a difference in the lives of our neighbors.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!

 

Fondly,  Marie Dixon

 

Faith in Action - "Food Pantry" and "Lunch in the Park" - We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to:

  • · everyone who donated non-perishable items to our "Food Pantry" ministry this year to support food insecure area families and individuals who are struggling to put food on their tables due to the rising food prices. Over the past three months we delivered more than 500 pounds of food to the Manna Food Pantry sponsored by Hands on Hartford.

  • · all the "Lunch in the Park" volunteers who twice this year prepared and distributed 50 bag lunches containing two sandwiches, homemade cookies, chips, fruit and bottled water for the people attending Church by the Pond (a weekly outdoor service near the Bushnell Park carousel in Hartford coordinated by Christ Church Cathedral) and others gathered just for lunch. 

 

Ongoing:  

Adult Bible Study –There will be no session Wednesday December 28, our next session after 12/21/22, is January 4, 2023.

 

Carol’s Closet – Is in need of full-size tooth paste.  Please place them in the Carol’s Closet donation bin near the door of the Atrium.

 

Church Directory – You can now access the Parish Directory on the St. James’ website.  It is password protected.  If you are having difficulty signing in, pleas call the Church Office.

 

No Freeze in Willimantic - is in desperate need of toilet paper, paper towels, bath towels, and inexpensive ear buds. Donations can be dropped off between 1 and 4pm any day. Volunteers are also needed - it's a very rewarding service opportunity. For more information or an alternative drop off time, email windham.nofreeze@gmail.com . And thank you!

  

Readings:

Christmas Eve Service(s):

Christmas Day Service:

 

***There will be no Eblast sent out next week and the Church Office will be closed from Monday Dec 26 – January 2***

 

LINKS

 

Sunday Live stream on YouTube – Sundays at 10:00 am

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa_CMV_a7oVHxZA1h750d8Q

 

Adult Bible Study 

Time: Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84395139867?pwd=MCs3QTFqanFTeCtVVzhRNjRoUlpEQT09

  

Thursday Book Group

 

Time: Alternate Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85329105067?pwd=Si9XRkYrYUx5MXhsYmZvVlBGc3FSUT09