vascript" src="static/js/analytics.js?v=1500596387.0" charset="utf-8"> Family Notes December, 2003

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Episcopal Church of the Holy Family

Family Notes

December 2003 - January  2004
Barbara Lundberg & Ann Burch
Editors
Marty Reynolds
Publisher

Articles on Other Pages
(Please Click Titles)

Notes from the Minister of Music
Acolyte Recognition
Nativity Suites
Nominating Committee
Pastoral Care Ministry
Buildings and Grounds
Holy Family Park


This Page

Cross Task Force

Advent
UTO Gathering
Alleluia in Advent ? You Bet!
A Message from the Senior Warden
Advent Breakfast
Planning Committee
Children’s Church
97th Council of the Diocese of Atlanta
Newcomers Committee
Christmas Outreach at Holy Family
Foyers
Do you really know about Saint Nicholas? 
 

 

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Cross Task Force

The Cross Task Force is busy looking for designs for a permanent cross for the church.  Look for more information and a request for your input soon!  If you have ideas or input you wish to give to the task force now, please contact one of the following persons:  Mary Bracegirdle, Barbara Ellis, Bruce Jones, Tom Lewis, Jennie Payne, Nancy Satterfield or Louise Wilbur. Bill Durrett and Ed Mulkey are our resource persons.

Mary Bracegirdle

 

 

Advent
 

The church year begins with the Advent of Our Lord, the four weeks of getting ready for the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem on Christmas Day.  Advent is a time of joyful preparation for the wonderful time when the Son of God came to earth to live as a person among people.


To help you prepare for this wonderful time in our church year, the Daughters of the King will make available to the congregation this year a set of Advent candles for your Advent Wreath.  Cost will be $5.00 per box - 3 purple and 1 rose candle.  We will only be ordering 72 sets, so please sign up on the poster in the Parish Hall if you want to get a box.

Also, the Christian Education Ministry will make available to the congregation "Advent Meditations" for your use during Advent.

Joyce Faircloth

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UTO Gathering

 The United Thank Offering invites people to offer daily prayers of thanksgiving to God and to offer outward and visible signs of those prayers that will benefit others.  Your thank offering supports grants for ministries at home and overseas as an outreach of the Episcopal Church.  The Daughters of the King will be collecting your Blue Boxes or your UTO envelopes on December 7.

Carolyn Wheeler


 

Alleluia in Advent ?  You Bet !

This is both the title as well as the first line of the chorus of a popular Christian song.  Rather than being an expression of joy that Jesus is here, the phrase, ‘Alleluia, He is coming,’ is a joyous expression of anticipation. Alleluia, something wonderful is about to happen.  Alleluia, something wonderful is expected.  Something wonderful is coming our way.

The church in Advent is the Church Expectant.  We are so anxiously and joyously in such a state waiting that we can hardly contain ourselves.  Jesus is coming!

Advent is that time of year when we anticipate and exalt in the expectation that the Christ child is soon to come into the world.  It is that time of the year when we remember and celebrate this wonderful part of our story.

All of our encounters with the Gospel through this time of Advent (all from the Gospel according to Luke) are pregnant with anticipation:  anticipation of the coming of the kingdom of God, anticipation of the coming of the Messiah, preparation for the time and the One who will usher in the kingdom, and finally Mary shares with her cousin in anticipation of the birth of the child that is within her, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . . .”

Advent is about the joy that is found in the waiting.

The apostle Paul says something of the maturation of our spiritual selves when writing to the Church in Corinth.  He said, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” [1 Cor. 13:11]

Children tend to think of Christmas as a time of receiving gifts, wonderful gifts, an abundance of gifts in the form of presents.  As adults we come to understand (hopefully through the teachings of the church and parents) that the gifts we receive at Christmas pale in comparison to the real gift which we will celebrate at Christmas. And it is the most precious gift imaginable:  Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  The gift of Christmas is God’s gift to us, his children, human kind and his coming into the world is a gift more precious than gold and beyond wonderment.  It is nothing less than the gift of salvation and eternal life.

So, can we say ‘Alleluia’ during the season of Advent?  You bet!  Jesus is coming.  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

The Rev. Frank Wilson
Interim Rector

 

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A Message from the Senior Warden

Our parish has many talented and dedicated members.  God gives everyone gifts and His many gifts of talent are seen every day.  This was certainly true last Sunday at the Parish Town Hall meeting.  Approximately 80 members joined the Nominating Committee for a light lunch, a report, discussion and brainstorming as part of the preparation of our Parish Profile.  This talented and committed group is working weekly to complete the process of searching for our next rector.  Thanks to all on this committee.  They are:  Jeptha Greer, Barbara Ellis, Diane Wells, Carolyn Wheeler, Linda Vickery, Phyllis Seitz, Bud Bedingfield, Miller Andress, and Ed Dewey.

The U.S. Army Ground Forces Brass Quintet performed for the first program in our Concert Series.  It was a success and well attended by the community as well as parishioners.  The next program, the Christmas Cantata, will be on December 6, and I encourage each of you to plan to attend.  Accolades to Pat Peterson and her concert committee for making this a success.

The Vestry met on November 10 for a called meeting and elected Larry Jones to fill the vacancy of David Kumnick who recently resigned.  The Vestry would like to recognize and thank David for his service on the Vestry and his leadership in several ministries.  Larry will assume the liaison with the Hospitality Ministry as a Vestry member.

Al Faircloth, Senior Warden

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Advent Breakfast

The first annual Holy Family Advent Breakfast will be on December 21st between the two services during the Christian Education hour.  Please bring a dish to serve 6-8.  Suggestions: sausage casserole, grits casserole, etc.  Too busy to cook?  -  a coffee cake or doughnuts from Ingles/IGA would be a wonderful offering to the festivities!!

Carolyn Wheeler

 

 

Planning Committee

The move into our new church home has created many new opportunities for parish involvement and community service.  In order to ensure that these opportunities are properly studied before being presented for approval or disapproval, a planning committee has been created by the Vestry of Holy Family.

This committee is charged with the review of all aspects of any proposed project or program and presents its findings directly to the Vestry.  By seeking input from Finance, Hospitality, Worship, Building and Grounds, or any other pertinent ministry, the committee is able to provide the Vestry with a broad view of the new proposal, depicting the overall impact on current and future programs and facilities. This committee serves as a fact-finding group only and makes no recommendations regarding approval of the proposal.

Individuals, groups and/or task forces should be aware that all proposals sent to the Vestry without the prior review by the Planning Committee will be referred to the committee for study before the Vestry undertakes any action on the proposed activity.  Those groups can shorten the time line for Vestry action by taking their requests directly to the Planning Committee before approaching the Vestry.

The committee has the additional charge of providing both a 3-5 year short term plan as well as preparing a longer term plan for our church.  Areas to be looked at will include facility utilization, outreach, program development, staff changes and new construction.  As Holy Family continues to grow, the Vestry has demonstrated its desire to have a plan in effect to facilitate and guide us on our way.

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Children’s Church
 

You’ve seen me with my “Stick” leading the children out for Children’s Church.  Contrary to some opinions, it is not a “stick” to herd them out.  It is a teaching symbol.


The rod is wrapped in colored ribbons, each one representing a Season of the Church Year.  Purple, or blue for Advent and Lent, White for Christmas, Easter and Special Days, Red for Holy Week and the Day of Pentecost and Saint Days, and Green for Epiphany and Pentecost.  The symbolism is that we lead the children through the Seasons of the Church.

If you are curious about our service, there is an outline posted by the Children’s Altar.  The outline is a guide, which has to be a bit flexible as we never know just what age mix we will have.

Anytime you want to observe or participate, please join us.  I may even let you carry the “Stick.”

Joyce Faircloth

 

97th Council of the Diocese of Atlanta

The 97th Council of the Diocese of Atlanta with approximately 500 clergy and lay delegates met November 7 and 8.  Fathers Frank Wilson and Bill Harkins and parishioners John Kiser and John Lundberg were delegates from Holy Family.

The Council considered the 2003 budget and receipts (small but heartening increase over previous years) and approved the 2004 budget.  Members of governing boards and trustees (for the Cathedral, camp Mikell, the University of the South, etc.) were elected.  The council changed canons to facilitate procedures of the Ecclesiastical Trial Court.

The Council passed resolutions for (1) ending racism; (2) inclusive testing, low cost drugs and teaching all methods for prevention of HIV; (3) commending interfaith dialogue; (4) financial support of candidates for the discernment process (decisions to become deacons or priests); (5) endorsing the Mission Goals and Objectives for the Diocese sponsored by the Bishop's Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee - growth in spirit and numbers and outreach (50% of the diocesan budgets by 2008).  The Council approved the Episcopal Diocese of Rio de Janeiro as a Companion Diocese and St. Columba  Mission to become the 93rd parish in the diocese.

The Council defeated a resolution "that the Diocese of Atlanta repudiates the action of the August 2003 General Convention. . . in approving the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual priest to the office of bishop, ...affirm and proclaim that marriage is a holy sacrament of the church intended by God to be the faithful lifelong union of one man and one woman, and that sexual intimacy is to be experienced only within the framework of marriage."

The Council tabled a resolution to "acknowledge the appropriateness of providing adequate Episcopal care for those in disagreement with the Bishop of Atlanta regarding issues of faith and order acknowledged by the Anglican Communion to impair communion."  Bishop Alexander affirmed that this has been done in the past, continues in the present, and will be in the future.

The 18 legislative committees met to consider resolutions and their mission and functions.  Several of the committees are excellent sources for materials and help in our many ministries and activities.

The finest act of the Council was the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Bishop Alexander with chants and hymns.  Led by our Bishop, we were a singing congregation.

John Lundberg

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Newcomers Committee

The purpose of the Newcomer Welcoming and Orientation Ministry is to meet visitors and newcomers and welcome them to church services and other appropriate church-related programs.  In addition, the committee plans to conduct two orientation events this year for those who express interest in becoming continuing members of the parish community.

Phil and Allen Anderson and Steve and Peggy Simmons jointly chair the newcomer’s committee.  Members of the committee serve as greeters and also bring the elements forward for communion during Sunday services.

We would welcome any interested parishioners to participate in this fulfilling ministry.  Please contact Phil, Allen, Steve or Peggy and they will be delighted to get you involved.

Steve Simmons

 

Christmas Outreach at Holy Family

The holiday season would not be the same without our annual Christmas Outreach to families in need in our community.  Holy Family is sponsoring five families with a total of 16 children.  The families were identified by our Emergency Outreach counselors who are a part of the Community Food Pantry.  Gift suggestions and clothing sizes for each child will be listed on sign-up boards in the Parish Hall beginning Sunday, November 23.

In years past our family of parishioners has met the needs of these dear families with loving generosity.  Everyone is encouraged to choose at least one gift.  Look over the list and sign your name by the gift/item you plan to contribute.  Gifts should be wrapped and identified by child number (for example, Child #8).  Gifts may be left in the Parish Hall in designated boxes or under the Christmas tree after December 3.

Please have your gifts at the church by Friday, December 19.  Outreach counselors will deliver them to the families on Saturday, December 20.  Thank you for your loving support.

Melinda Edwards

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Foyers

Foyers are a simple gathering of people in a community. Usually they are groups of eight. 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. Guests may be invited to Foyers. It is especially nice to invite new people to the community. The host or hostess structures the short gathering of about one and one half hours. The guiding principle is hospitality, which is one of the gifts of the spirit. Sign up for Spring Foyers will be the month of January – look for the sign up sheet on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall or call Carolyn Wheeler.

Carolyn Wheeler

 

Do you really know about Saint Nicholas? 

 Well, join us on December 21st, after the 10:30 service  to meet the Bishop of Myra and hear the "rest of the story."

 Bring your children, your neighbor's children, and grandchildren for special treats from Saint Nicholas.  

You can even sit on his lap and have your picture taken.

 And, just as you've heard, treats are only for good little boys and girls.

 

 

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