Emmanuel Episcopal Church The Epistle


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Emmanuel Episcopal Church

The Epistle

Sharing the Joy and Power of Life in Christ

December 17, 24, & 31, 2017

It is a miracle if you can find true friends,

and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat,

and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings

doing whatever it is you like to do,

and the holiday season—like all the other seasons—

is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles,

but to think about the miracles in your own life,

and to be grateful for them.”

Lemony Snicket, “The Lump of Coal”

OK, so this isn’t your classic source for inspiration—the Lemony Snicket series of children’s books are stories which are definitely off the beaten path. However, this particular quote struck me as quite appropriate for marking the seasons of Advent and Christmas, as they are a time of hope, expectation, joy… and miracles.

Advent began on December 3rd, and took us into a time of reflection and anticipation. We have once again heard stories of John the Baptist and we have been asked to contemplate the second coming of Christ. The Advent Wreath reminds us every week of the light of Christ breaking into the world, and on the shortest day/longest night of the year we will mark a “Blue Christmas” service, for those who seek the strength and peace of that light. So, it is important to take note of and participate in the season of Advent, as it provides a respite from the cultural craziness that is “the holiday season.”

As for Christmas, we must make every effort to avoid (although it’s almost impossible!) the busyness/craziness that can descend and that removes all joy from the season. So here’s the alternative: tell stories of miracles! And what is a miracle? In this season, it’s any good thing in our lives: family, friends, Christmas cards, chilly weather, warm blankets, good food, great company, a baby’s smile, belly laughs, a furry pet, scented candles, twinkling lights…the list goes on. The point is: we are awash in miracles! We are surrounded by grace and blessing! And over the next few weeks we in the church are encouraged to take the time to mark this miraculous time of blessing in worship, song and prayer. So join us in this holy and blessed season of Advent, and abide with us as we contemplate the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Faithfully yours,


The fourth Sunday of Advent is also Christmas Eve day, which makes for a busy time at church! In recognition of this, there will be only one service on Sunday morning, December 24th, at 10:00. There will be no music, which gives Bobby and the choir a break before the three services that evening!

5:00pm: Great for families! Have your child bring a small stuffed animal; they will be participating in the sermon.

8:00pm: A beautiful celebration ending with candlelight.

10:15pm: The music department will begin 30 minutes of Christmas music.

11:00pm: A beautiful celebration ending with candlelight.


After the solemnity of Advent, the Christmas liturgy will be a welcome change as it will be livelier and full of familiar tunes.

Our "Song of Praise" at the beginning of the service will be #96 from the Hymnal: "Angels we have heard on high;" what a great way to sing "Gloria!" The rest of the service music will be similar to what was used in the fall. And we will return to Eucharistic Prayer B, from The Book of Common Prayer, which references the incarnation and Mary, and reminds us of God's goodness in sending his Son into the world. We will be sent out with the “The Three-fold Christmas Blessing,” and the proclamation to rejoice in the birth of Jesus.

Epiphany is a major feast day of the Church, and always falls on January 6th. There will be a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, Rite II, at 7:00 that evening. A gathering with hot chocolate and King's Cake will follow. So if you have a yen to sing "We three Kings" join us!

Mark your calendars now for this very important date! There will be one service that day at 10:00, immediately followed by the Annual Meeting. We will conduct the “business” of the church as well as have the election of new vestry members and the chance to say thanks to those ending their term. After the meeting will be a festive pot luck lunch—plan to be there! Please sign up in the parish hall on the pre-printed menu sheets indicating what you will be bringing. Also note how many will be attending.

At the Annual Meeting in January, all Commissions turn in a written “Annual Report,” meaning that the head of each commission summarizes the work that has gone on in the previous year. This year we are offering an opportunity for individual groups to give their own Annual Report, as it offers each group a chance to highlight their particular ministry, thank participants, and offer plans for the coming year. So if you are in charge of, or part of, a group that should highlight its work, watch for an email from your Commission Vestryperson to ask for your report and give you directions on how to turn it in. And be sure to let the wardens or clergy know if you have any questions!
During the season of Advent, you will notice we have the Advent wreath and candles in church but no flowers. For Christmas we want the church to be bright with poinsettias, berries, and candles.

You can help with a $10 donation. There are sign-up sheets in the Parish Hall and Narthex. Make check to Emmanuel with Flower Guild Christmas on the memo line.

Happy Holidays from your Muslim Neighbors

Friday, December 15, 2017 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

at The Islamic Center of Tidewater

1442 W. 49th Street, Norfolk, VA

Come and celebrate with us. We will be outside our mosque waiting for you with refreshments

and messages of love and peace!

Contact Marianne Manning (495-6404) if you wish to go

Opportunities for Formation



Sunday, December 17 at 9:00 a.m.  Join us for a Christmas play filled with songs and joy. We will have cookies and milk afterwards in the Parish Hall. 

We are using Episcopal Children’s Curriculum. It is a thematic program that will be accessible online via the Virginian Theological Seminary website. The lessons are very well organized, concise, and offer several activity options. This is the perfect format for both returning teachers and new ones—consider joining our team!

NURSERY care is available from 8:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

PRE-K; Age 3 THROUGH 5TH GRADE 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. in the Day School.

CHILDREN'S CHAPEL during the 10:00 a.m. service. 

Children worship with Bible stories, discussion, games, and Felicia our prayer frog. Based on the book Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercise for Kids  by Eline Snel, Felicia is teaching us how to take time to pray and have a relationship with God. Felicia went home with a friend today. We can’t wait for her to be back and read her prayer journal!


Thanks to the generous contribution of parishioners, we have raised enough money to buy 2 llamas. Thank YOU! The children are brainstorming to name them, and we will celebrate this wonderful event on Epiphany Sunday.  


Open to all Middle School and High School age youth.


December 17

For all groups: Christmas Pageant


Opportunities for Fellowship


Sunday, December 17, 7:00 p.m.

“Children’s choir, Adult choir

Joyful Noise Handbells,

December the seventeenth at seven o’clock pm

Music sung, bells are rung, joyous jubilee”

All the choirs will celebrate for our Lord’s Nativity!”

(Tune: Jingle Bells chorus)


“The new year is time to resolve

To join one of our choirs

No reading music is required

Just a musical desire

Thursdays for handbells and adults

At half past six and seven

Children, Sundays after service

At half past eleven.”

(Tune: Auld Lang Syne)




Looking for something to do after Christmas?

Learn how to arrange flowers!

Emmanuel’s Flower Guild invites you to attend a workshop at Emmanuel on

Saturday, January 20, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. The class will be taught by the experienced flower arranger and long-time owner of Fairfield Flowers, Charlene Wesseler.

You will learn how to make a cube flower arrangement to take home in your very own cube vase provided for you. The cost of the workshop is $25, which is a bargain! If you want to see a listing of classes and prices of classes taught go online to www.fairfieldflowers.net.

Register for the class by giving a check made out to Fairfield Flowers to Nancy Larmore (757-424-9612) or Patty Rapp (757-474-0954). The deadline to register is January 16 by noon. Charlene’s policy is no refunds unless class is cancelled.


Some of the Chrysler Museum’s greatest masterpieces come from its collection of religious art. Enjoy a guided tour of these works to celebrate the season, led by the Rev. Canon Win Lewis, of Christ & Saint Luke's Episcopal Church Norfolk. Free and open to all. Tour will meet at the Welcome Desk at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23. If you plan to go, please contact Diann Nickelsburg at tutorlatin@icloud.com or 647-1298.

Next meeting: Tuesday, January 9 at 1:00 p.m. in the church library.

Faith in Fiction is a group that enjoys reading and discussing novels. We focus on the spiritual thread and/or social consciousness running through the story line of a novel. Anyone who has read the book is welcome. Our book for January is A Hundred Flowers by Gail Tsukiyama. Please join us – all are welcome!


The next Men's Breakfast is December 16, 2017 at 7:30 a.m.

Please sign up in the Parish Hall.


Children's Choir meets at 11:15 after the 10:00 a.m. service each Sunday. Plans are to sing

in the 10:00 a.m. service once per month. Children in grades 2-6 are welcome and needed!

Bring your voices and friends with voices to join in the fun!

Opportunities for Outreach


Winter is coming, and children need to wear a hat to stay warm.

Thank you to everyone who donated warm beanies for the Beach Bags!

They will be delivered to Arrowhead Elementary School the day before school lets out for winter break.


We deliver 36 bags of food to Arrowhead Elementary School every week! There are signup sheets in the Parish Hall if you or a group wants to pack bags or make the delivery to Arrowhead. Instructions or assistance are available if you want to help and aren’t sure about how/when, etc. Our supplies were boosted tremendously over the summer. At the moment we have a significant stockpile of snacks and juice boxes/fruit cups, so the most needed donations are shelf ready milk (Horizon is one brand) and individual meals (mac’n cheese, Vienna sausages, single serving soups or ravioli). You are welcome to donate anything off the list below however:

  • Individual cereal boxes

  • 8 oz. cartons of shelf stable milk (Horizon organic is one brand that works)

  • Individual mac 'n cheese, ravioli, tuna, chicken, soups etc.

  • Individual fruit cups or 100% juice boxes

  • Individual snack items (pudding cups, granola bars, raisins, snack crackers, pretzels etc.)

Your new envelopes will be arriving the week before Christmas. Do not use these 2018 envelopes before January 1. The new envelope numbers will not be loaded into the system yet. Also do not use 2017 envelopes after January 1; these envelope numbers no longer exist. All cash or asset contributions for 2017 must be received by the church or postmarked by December 31, 2017 in order for you to deduct the gifts on your 2017 tax return. You can prepay all or a portion of your 2018 pledge. Any financial gifts received after December 31 will be on your 2018 quarterly giving statement. Thank you for your financial support and your gifts of time to the Emmanuel family.

Please pray for:

Peace in the world; Mimi our rector, Carter our deacon in training, and Emily our Pastoral Intern in their daily life and work.

Please pray for: Loretta, Maggie, Emily, June, Herb, James, Bennett, Janie, Dorothy, Martha, Marti, Kim, Nancy, Maryellen, Zeno, Glynnis, Pat, Garrett, Dave, Tom, Lope, Betty, Al, Marianne, Suzanne, and Dedra.

All those in our armed forces and their families at home and abroad: Will, Steven, James, Scott, Christian, Elly, Josh, Jimmy, and Mike.

Those in prison: Aki, Anthony, James, John.

The Epistle

A weekly publication

Emmanuel Episcopal Church

5181 Singleton Way

Virginia Beach, VA 23462

mmanuel Clergy & Staff

The Rev. Mary C. (Mimi) Lacy, Rector email rector@emmanuelvb.org

Carter Sinclair, Deacon in Training Pastoral Intern: Emily Zimbrick-Rogers

Parish Administrator Donna Clark Finance Director Gale Nicholson

Day School Director Karen Kearse Music Director Bob Sullivan

Coords. Christian Formation Melissa Thomas Technology Coord. Martha Hufford

Misty Thomas Custodian Greg Goodman

Phone: 757-499-1271; Fax: 757-499-4953; Day School: 499-7393

Schedule – December 17, 2017
8:00 a.m.

LAY READER: Marti Mansfield

USHER: Dave Brown



WELCOMERS: Barb Acela, Nancy Snell

10:00 a.m.

LAY READERS: Joan Raybourn, Ted Shrader

USHERS: Bob & Nancy Larmore, Bob Paull

ACOLYTES: Mason Barbour (C), Alyssa Gardner (TB),

Jaqelynn Gardner (TB)

HEALING MINISTERS: Pam Abadie, Patty Rapp

VESTRY GREETER: Marianne Manning

COFFEE HOUR HOST: Steve Chandler

WELCOMERS: Gary & Linda Ardison

EUCHARISTIC VISITOR: Walt Altice, Alison Leclaire

COUNTERS: (12/18) Dick Wilk, Loretta Jensen, Bill Clegg, Carole Seal, Ray Lewis

ALTAR GUILD: (12/16-12/29)) Marti & Dave Mansfield, Marlyn Lam, Beth Orr, Pam Abadie

FLOWER GUILD (12/17) Ruth Bates, Joan Maher,

Judy Totten

Schedule – December 24, 2017
10:00 a.m.

LAY READERS: Mary Lynn Slough, Janet White, Phil Slough

USHER: Arun Raju

ACOLYTES: Jordan Strawbridge (SS), Sydney Strawbridge (C)

Carson Strawbridge (TB), Wyatt Strawbridge (TB)

HEALING MINISTERS: Bob Larmore, Elaine Shrader


COFFEE HOUR HOSTS: John & Marlyn Lam,

Betty Snellenberg

WELCOMERS: Dwain Emry, Rose Lavinder


COUNTERS: (12/25) Bill O’Connor, Tom Sugg,

Mary Lynn & Phil Slough

ALTAR GUILD: (12/16-12/29)) Marti & Dave Mansfield, Marlyn Lam, Beth Orr, Pam Abadie

FLOWER GUILD (12/24) After 10a.m. service entire Flower Guild to work on Christmas decorations
December 24 - Christmas Eve
5:00 p.m.

LAY READERS: Pam Abadie, Nina Joyner

USHERS: Doug Lewis, Jada Ramos

ACOLYTES: Lauren Sutton (SS), Amanda Von St. Paul(C)

Gabby Duesberry (TB), Braydon Duesberry (TB)

VESTRY GREETER: Diann Nickelsburg

8:00 p.m.

LAY READERS: Diann Nickelsburg, Loretta Mann

USHERS: Bob & Nancy Larmore, Steve Furman


11:00 p.m.

LAY READERS: Cindy Barnhurst, Dick Wilk

USHERS: Mike & Diann Nickelsburg, Nina Joyner


Schedule – December 31

8:00 a.m.

LAY READER: Paul Peter

USHER: Bill Smith



WELCOMERS: Jeff & Kathy Peters

10:00 a.m.

LAY READERS: Delores Wilson, Pam Abadie

USHERS: Tom Lacy, Loretta Mann, Thomas Coates

ACOLYTES: Mason Barbour (C), Griffin Barbour (TB),

Kelsey Martin (TB)

HEALING MINISTERS: Lynne Coates, Nancy Snell


COFFEE HOUR HOSTS: Darla & Steve Furman

WELCOMER: Patricia Young

EUCHARISTIC VISITORS: Dick Wilk, Alison Leclaire

COUNTERS: (1/1/18) Martha Hufford, Nancy Snell, Lynne Coates, Gloria White

ALTAR GUILD: (12/30/17-1/12/18) Joan Maher, Ruth Bates, Paul & Camile Peter, Gloria White, Lisa Hahn

FLOWER GUILD (12/ 31) Patty Rapp, Marianne Manning, Donna Lewis


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