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.
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
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!
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES
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.
FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY EUCHARIST ON JANUARY 6TH
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!
ANNUAL MEETING JANUARY 7TH 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.
ANNUAL REPORTS 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!
ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS 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
CHRISTMAS FAMILY PROGRAM: SYMBOLS OF CHRISTMAS.
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.
EYC – WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 6:00 p.m.
Open to all Middle School and High School age youth.
For all groups: Christmas Pageant
PARISH RETREAT MAY 11-13, 2018 - MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW!
Opportunities for Fellowship
MUSIC DEPARTMENT CHRISTMAS PRESENTATION
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)
FLOWER GUILD WORKSHOP
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.
CHRYSLER MUSEUM TOUR
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-1298.
FAITH IN FICTION 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
BEANIES FOR BEACH BAGS
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.
BEACH BAG NEWS
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.
NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE 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.
A weekly publication
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
5181 Singleton Way
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
mmanuel Clergy & Staff
The Rev. Mary C. (Mimi) Lacy, Rector email email@example.com
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