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Episcopal Church of the Holy Family
Donnycharles may not have been the most popular “hanger” on the back porch of my family’s restaurant, but he came close. Black people couldn’t come to the front of restaurants in those days, so we “served” them out the back door. Donnycharles was surely my Mom’s favorite “hanger”, though Dad said he was a “bit too much sweetness”.
Donnycharles was sweet. He talked sweet, hummed sweet songs and acted like the world was just a sweet place to be. Brother Jim and I liked him because he told funny wild stories about himself – like the time he found a million dollars in a Pet Milk can in a dump and bought himself a bright red Cadillac and a chicken ranch. The chickens liked to ride in his Cadillac so much they ended up living in the car while he lived in the chicken house. So he gave the farm to the chickens and went back to the poor house.
Anyway, Christmas was just around the corner one year, and Mom decided to give Donnycharles a Christmas turkey with all the trimmings as a present. Donnycharles thought that was surely the sweetest thing that had ever happened to him since he found a million dollars. He went off proud and pompous with the big box full of goodies.
Next door to our restaurant was a little narrow shop where old Mr. Cox sold pens and pencils and greeting cards and a few little knickknacks. Actually, he didn’t sell very many, and it was a wonder he lasted at all, with Kresge’s five and dime just across the street. Dad said he couldn’t figure how he ever made his rent and had anything left over.
Just before Christmas, Donnycharles showed up on the back porch and asked to see Mom. When she went to the door he handed her a little package with a Christmas bow on it and said, “Merry Christmas!” surrounded by his sweetest smile. Mom was really surprised – and then was really taken when she opened it and found a gold pen just looking at her. A gold pen!
We all talked about how we thought he might have come across such a nice gift for Mom. She just hoped he got it honestly and would not be in trouble.
Then Dad solved the mystery. He came in from Mr. Cox’s carrying a big box of food. It was the food Mom had given Donnycharles earlier! “Mr. Cox sent this over for our Christmas dinner, “he said, “ and wanted to thank us for being his friend all year.”
We immediately knew where Donnycharles had found the pen. But something was not right about it all, it seemed to me. I said, “This is awful! Now neither Mr. Cox nor Donnycharles has a Christmas present! Now they don’t have any Christmas presents and we have them all!”
Dad shook his head and grinned. “Maybe not, son. Maybe they have the best Christmas present of all. They have the gift of having given without expecting anything in return. I guess that’s really what Christmas is all about – like God’s gift of Jesus, right Mom?” Mom blinked back a tear. “Right,” she said.
Dr. Jerry Zeller
Each year the Outreach Ministries Team (formally the Outreach Committee) helps several families to provide a Christmas for children who otherwise would have little to look forward to in terms of presents under the tree. This year is no exception. The Outreach Ministry Team, working in concert with the Outreach Counselors of the Community Food Pantry, will be identifying several families to assist this Christmas.
Parishioners will be given an opportunity to purchase clothing, toys, and other items which the families have indicated the children need or want. Lists will be posted in the Parish Hall. Look for more details and announcements over the next few weeks about how you can be a part of making this Christmas special for a needy child.
Father Frank Wilson
What a wonderful year! We've had the completion of the church building, first service, first baptism, first wedding, first organ recital, dedication and consecration, first parish luncheon and meeting.
On November 8 and 9, the Diocese of Atlanta held their Ninety-Sixth Council meeting in Columbus, GA. It was hosted by the clergy and lay people of the Chattahoochee Valley convocation.
Peggy Woodward and I, together with our clergy, joined more than 400 delegates representing the 10 convocations, 92 churches and 56,000 members in the diocese which considered resolutions, canonical changes and other business. Council delegates consist of all clergy canonically resident in this diocese, plus between two and five lay people from each parish, according to the size of the parish.
Our Verger and his wife, Jim and Louise Wilbur, were both tellers who joined other Vergers from the diocese to count the many ballots taken.
One component of the council meeting was workshops that featured locally flavored ministries. The highlight was Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry (CVEM) Field Trip-The Episcopal Church’s Regional Outreach. This guided tour, on comfortable buses, visited some of the nationally recognized projects of this Jubilee Center. It included: Beallwood Area Neighborhood Development- a community development venture which has turned a slum neighborhood around. Chattahoochee Federal Credit Union- a capital empowerment venture to offer low interest loans to the poor. St. Mary’s Woods- low-income retirement homes created by a small Episcopal congregation.
A second highlight was the Church’s Ministry to those who serve. Columbus is home of one of the largest military bases in the nation and our churches are especially aware of the challenges of ministry issues in such a setting.
Our guest, Bishop George E. Packard, Bishop Suffragan for Armed Services, Healthcare and Prison ministries along with his staff, led a program addressing the issues facing the ministry in this time of crisis.
Please look for the next issue of DioLog for a full report. Thank you for allowing Peggy and me to represent you.
Sunday, December 8
10:30—Lessons and Carols
featuring the choir of Holy Family
Sunday, December 8 at 6:00 p.m.
Annual Christmas Party
Wednesday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 24
5:00 p.m.—Family Service—nursery provided
11:00 p.m.—Festive Holy Eucharist—no nursery provided
Wednesday, December 25
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist—no nursery provided
Holy Family has two decorated Christmas trees in the Pickens County Library for the Annual Festival of Trees display! One tree represents the Community Food Pantry and the other Holy Family Church.
Many thanks to Carol Tholen and Rachel Cangemi for a job well done!
Be sure to stop by the Library and check them out!
As of November
18, we have received a total pledged amount of $286,500. Thank you
to the 104 pledging units who have made their commitment for sharing
and growing God's kingdom through the people and ministries of Holy
Plans began formulating in early August for a library at Holy Family. During Phase I, several books were ordered to provide guidance in establishing a good church library. Meanwhile a work area was designated in the old church for grouping and sorting the books and other materials on hand.
Phase II has just begun with plans to order supplies and computer software to catalog and process library items (books, videos, documents, tapes, CD’s, etc.). The computer software being considered for purchase also has: name and date check out/in; viewer mode for online catalog; indexed key words and phrases for research and a large comments field. Library 1.7 prints catalog cards and spine labels, total library value and overdue reports. This program is also networkable for multi-users. Because a computer is necessary to run this library software, we will be faced with deciding how to procure one for our needs. It has been suggested we first ask parishioners for a computer donation. Once we have the new software and a computer on which to work, we will begin Phase III of readying the materials and making them available for parishioner’s use.
In the future the library committee will be asking for volunteers to help with this work. If you feel you might be able to spare time weekly or monthly you might consider volunteering your time. We will train any volunteers and no prior library knowledge will be necessary! Also, you might begin considering donations of books from your own home collections. At a later time we will notify members of the qualifications necessary for library donations.
Here is your opportunity to Honor or Remember those special people in your life…..
The Altar Guild and Flower Guild will be decorating the church for Advent and Christmas. You are invited to make a financial contribution for these decorations in honor of or memory of a relative, loved one or friend. Names will be printed in the bulletin for the Christmas Eve Service. Please call the church office to make arrangements by December 18th.
Please help the J2A Youth raise funds for their upcoming
It’s a SPAGHETTI LUNCHEON
Sunday, December 22, at 12:30 p.m.
The meal will include: Salad, Spaghetti, Bread, Dessert and Beverage $5.00 per person. Be sure to sign your name (and the number in your party) on the sheet in the Parish Hall to let us know you would like to dine with us!
December 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall
Make plans to attend the annual Holy Family Christmas party to be held on December 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. This year the meal will be a lasagna dinner catered by A MATTER OF TASTE at a cost of $10.00 per adult. Children are free. R.S.V.P.’s (including the number in your party) are needed by December 1. There is a sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall or you may call Queenie Campbell (706-268-1088).
This is a perfect opportunity to begin this holiday season with lots of fun, food and great fellowship! Come celebrate with the family!
We welcome the following folks who have joined the church (by Letter of Transfer, Baptism, or Request) in the year 2002:
Martha Jane McCullough * Larry and Emily Hubbard * Claude and Mary Castell
Lee, Teresa, Amber, Zachary, and Emily Frazier * Steve and Margaret Simmons
Brian and Faith Holley * Chad and Dorothy Moser * Lee and Jennie Payne
Brenda Farr * Spencer and Carolyn Maddux * Shirley Kinsey
C.J. and Carol VerSteeg * LeaMarie True * Christopher and Deborah Todd
Jim and Lydia Decker * Douglas and Ann Burch * Ric Sanchez
Ed Herrington * Andrew, Shannon and Jameson Cobourn
Sidney Goss * Donald and Janice Ross. * John and Pam Roberts * Nancy Thurber
What a blessing to see our parish family grow! It’s also exciting to see how many of these new members have already become active in the activities and ministries of Holy Family!
To learn more about how to transfer your letter of membership from another church, please don’t hesitate to call the church office and speak with Kathy (770-893-4525 ext 43)
Building Presence, Building Peace
By Kathryn Floyd
you watch and read reports about the death and destruction and
endless cycle of violence in the Middle East, do you shake your head
and wonder how you could help end the hatred and killing? Can you go
there and be an example of God's compassion, forgiveness, and loving
acceptance in that conflicted, turbulent land? Likely not. So, if
you can't go there personally, what can you do?
One of the
churches Jerusalem 2000 would assist is Holy Family Episcopal Church
in Raineh, Israel—our sister church, perhaps! There are projects
that lend themselves to “restricted” funding, if you are interested:
for example, $16,000 will equip a kindergarten playground and
classroom at the Episcopal Church in Marka, Jordan, that serves
children from the nearby refugee camp.
Holy Family will participate in this rewarding outreach program again this year. Be sure to watch future TouchStones for more information about how you can bring Christmas JOY to a child!
Foyers are a simple gathering of people in a community. Usually they are groups of eight to ten, and where there are several groups the Foyers are re-formed each year. They are not study groups or task groups. They are "porches of welcome" where people gather in an open and receptive way as in prayer. Because they are gentle, non-judgmental gatherings where one is not worried by "what shall we do" or "what do you think", they teach us the kind of openness that makes us available to God's gracious movement in our lives. Foyers are a way to learn about being open and receptive. These groups do not need to have an agenda. The guiding principle is hospitality, which is one of the gifts of the spirit.
January is sign-up month for the Spring Foyers, so look for the sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall the first week in January.
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