Midweek Update: First Sunday of Advent

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing well heading into Thanksgiving! The church office will be closed on Thanksgiving and on Friday. As we head into the season of Advent this Sunday, there are a number of things going on in the life of the church:

12/7: Presentation on Managing the Stress of the Holidays

Janine SW has graciously offered to give a presentation on dealing with the stress of the holiday season on 12/7@7pm in the church social hall. I’ve attached a flyer, and here’s the link to the Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/1s3ytwf8l

This is a resource we’re offering for anyone in the area who might find it beneficial, so be sure to spread the word. Thank you Janine!

12/19: Christmas Pageant

Our annual Christmas Pageant is back!  It will be held on Sunday, December 19th during the worship service.  We are looking for volunteers of all ages to participate in various roles and also as readers and singers.  We will not be having the traditional choir due to covid safety, but rather having small groups or soloists sing some of our favorite hymns (also available for sign up!).  Rehearsal will be Saturday, 12/18 from 10am-12pm  If you’d like to participate, please sign up here:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0F48AAAF2FA7FC1-christmas or email Valerie B for more information.

Advent Wreath Craft

As a way to create some intergenerational fun, we have created an easy wreath making craft open to both kids and adults.  Kits are available in the Social Hall.  Please take one, and enjoy the quick craft and accompanying weekly prayers, good for all ages!

December Mission Projects

  • Star Tree: Stars are available in the sanctuary. Through our Covenant to Care program, we have agreed to provide gifts to 60 children at Christmas in the Wellmore program in Waterbury.  Ages for these children range from newborns to teenagers.  Please pick a star, purchase the requested gift(s) (at a cost of no more than $35 per gift), and place the wrapped gift(s) with the star attached to the outside under the tree in the sanctuary (or the office) before December 16th at 10:00 am.  You are more than welcome to choose more than one star!  Stars for family members are grouped together and by color on the list.
    • Out of 60 stars, we have about a dozen left. Thank you to everyone who has signed up for a star!
  • Christmas Baskets: We are sponsoring three local families (the same families we sponsored for Thanksgiving) and providing them with a Christmas dinner! To help make this family’s holiday a little better, sign up to donate something (you are more than welcome to take more than one item) on the sheet on the bulletin board outside the kitchen. As with other sign-ups, if you can’t sign up in person, let Jeanine know and she will help you! We need to have all donations in by December 20th.

Advent and Christmas Worship Volunteers Needed

  • Advent Wreath Lighting: Volunteers needed to light the Advent Wreath for 12/5 and 5pm and 11pm on Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Eve Readers for 5pm and 11pm: I’m looking for readers for the  scripture lessons on Christmas Eve. Let me know if you’re interested!
  • Christmas Eve Ushers for 11pm: When I last checked with our Head Usher, Malcolm, he was looking for some volunteers for the 11pm Service. Let Malcolm or me know if you’re available!

General Comments

I want to thank our Board of Stewardship for all their work on this year’s Pledge Campaign (and for the time they’ve yet to put in!) I also want to thank everyone who has made a pledge and for everyone who has volunteered or donated to our mission projects this past month. The contributions from all of us, whether time or treasure, is what makes everything work here at the church. Thank you.

The MCC staff and I wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving tomorrow, and here’s Thanksgiving prayer from the Anglican Church of Canada:

“Creator of the fruitful earth, you made us stewards of all things. Give us grateful hearts for all your goodness, and steadfast wills to use your bounty well, that the whole human family, today and in generations to come, may with us give thanks for the riches of your creation. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord Amen.”

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Midweek Update: Thanksgiving/Consecration Sunday

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing well this week. As we turn towards Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, we have a number of things going on in the life of the church:

Sunday 11/21: Thanksgiving/Consecration Sunday

This Sunday we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving, and we’ll also be dedicating our pledges. Please turn in your pledge card ASAP for it to be included. We’ll of course still accept pledge cards that come in after this Sunday. As of right now, about one third of cards have come in. Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge, will make a pledge, and for all the ways everyone contributes to this community.

Decorating for Advent: After Church 11/21

The first Sunday of Advent is 11/28, and we need to hang the greens to make our sanctuary ready for the coming season. Stay after church this Sunday to help make everything ready for Advent!

Mission Projects

Thanksgiving Basket for Middlebury Families:  Thank you so much to everyone who signed up to donate something for our Thanksgiving Baskets.  We need to have all donations in by Monday, November 22nd at 10:00 am.

Star Tree:  Stars will be available in the sanctuary on November 21st (This Sunday!) Through our Covenant to Care program, we have agreed to provide gifts to 60 children at Christmas in the Wellmore program in Waterbury.  Ages for these children range from newborns to teenagers.  Please pick a star, purchase the requested gift(s) (at a cost of no more than $35 per gift), and place the wrapped gift(s) with the star attached to the outside under the tree in the sanctuary (or the office) before December 16th at 10:00 am.  You are more than welcome to choose more than one star!  Stars for family members are grouped together on the tree and by color on the list.

Vegetables for the Middlebury Food Bank:  The Middlebury Food Bank has asked for people to donate onion, potatoes, carrots, squash, and other vegetables that don’t require refrigeration to supplement the canned goods that are regularly donated.  You can bring vegetables on Sundays, and volunteers will make sure to bring them to the Middlebury Food Bank.

Sock-It-To . . . Homelessness!:  We are collecting socks through the winter months, to be donated to GWIM, for the homeless.  We are collecting new or gently used socks for all ages and all sizes.  We will accept mismatched socks you may have at home, but please match them up as best you can to make a pair before you donate them.  You will find a basket on the Multiplication table where you can put your donations.

Advent and Christmas Plans

Advent Wreath Lighting; Each year we have members and friends of our church light the Advent Wreath on the four Sundays of Advent and during the two services on Christmas Eve. Please let me know if you’re interested in lighting the Advent wreath. People of all ages and family/life situations welcome.

Christmas Pageant 12/19: This year we’re able to have a Christmas Pageant on Sunday December 19th! So, I’m certainly looking forward to being able to enjoy that MCC tradition again.

Christmas Eve Services 5pm and 11pm: This year we’re also able to resume having indoor Christmas Eve services! The 11pm service will have communion. We’re planning to have Christmas Eve worship look relatively close to our pre-pandemic Christmas Eves, and that means we need volunteers to read the Christmas lessons. If you’re interested in reading, please let me know.

General Comments

I’ve attached some pictures of the views on the green from the past week or so. In some of them, you can see how nice the front of the meetinghouse looks. Bob and Bill have finished repainting all the front of the church we’re doing this season, and it looks fantastic, especially on a sunny day. Someone noted recently at a meeting that when the light hits it the right way, you almost need sunglasses. Thank you Bob and Bill!

As we approach Thanksgiving next week, I made a playlist of Thanksgiving hymns and anthems from our church if you want to listen to some music from the season and see some familiar faces: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLckQ_4M4FSl2qymvT0YMyRizSMPscUiZf

This Sunday, I’m going to be preaching on the part of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says to consider the lilies, so I wanted to share this Thanksgiving blessing/prayer by Trevor Lloyd that references the gospel lesson for Sunday:

“May God who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds of the sky,
who leads the lambs to pasture and the deer to water,
who multiplied loaves and fishes and changed water into wine,
lead us, feed us, multiply us,
and charge us to reflect the glory of our Creator
through all eternity.”

Peace,

Pastor Katrina

Join us for worship every Sunday!

Join us in person or online every week at 10 a.m. Services are in our sanctuary at 1242 Whittemore Road, Middlebury, CT; please use the main entrances on the street side.

We practice social distancing in our well-ventilated sanctuary, and wear masks during the service to protect vulnerable children and seniors. We review these practices regularly as pandemic conditions change.

We serve Communion on the first Sunday of each month.

Online worship is presented live on our YouTube channel, where you can also see an archive of previous services, sermons, and musical highlights.

Sunday, December 5, 2021
Second Sunday of Advent

Sermon: Zechariah and Elizabeth
Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, Luke 1:5-20

Midweek Update: All Saints’ Sunday

Dear friends in Christ,

I hope you’re all doing well this week! There are a number of things going on in the church to highlight:

All Saints’ Sunday 11/7

This Sunday during communion we’ll be remembering some of the regular saints from our lives who have died. Please email me the names of any friends, family, colleagues, etc. that you’d like remembered in worship. I’ve already included all the names of people who died in 2020 and 2021 where I officiated the funeral/memorial service.

November Mission Projects

  • Veteran’s Day Lunches
    • We will be collecting donations for our Veteran’s Day lunches. This year we will have Cub Scout Pack 6 come and help us pack up the 200 lunches we will donate to GWIM. Here is a sign up link for anyone who’d like to sign up to help: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0548A4A82DABF58-veterans! Can’t sign up online? Call Jeanine and she will sign up you for some slots! We’ll also have a sign up sheet on Sundays. We would love any donation you are able to provide! We would love to have all donations in by November 8th. 
  • Thanksgiving Baskets
    • We are sponsoring three local families and providing them with a Thanksgiving dinner! You can sign up here to help make these families’ Thanksgiving a little brighter: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0548A4A82DABF58-thanksgiving  As with the Veteran’s day lunches, if you can’t sign up online, let Jeanine know and she will help you! We’ll also have a sign up sheet on Sundays. We would love to have all donations in by November 22nd. 

Ongoing and Upcoming Mission Projects

  • Vegetables for the Middlebury Food Bank
    • The Middlebury Food Bank has asked for people to donate onion, potatoes, carrots, squash, and other vegetables that don’t require refrigeration to supplement the canned goods that are regularly donated. You can bring vegetables on Sundays, and volunteers will make sure to bring them to the Middlebury Food Bank.
  • Sock-It-To-Homelessness
    • Through the winter months, we’re collecting socks that will be donated to GWIM for the homeless. Socks are one of the most needed items for people who are homeless. We’re collecting new or gently used socks of all sizes. Socks can be donated in the laundry basket next to the Multiplication Table in the sanctuary.
  • Star Tree
    • Each year we work Covenant to Care/Wellmore to provide Christmas gifts to families in need in our wider community. This year we’re going to be providing gifts for 60 children. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving 11/21, we’ll have the stars/sign ups available for anyone who is doing their shopping on Black Friday.
  • GWIM Food Pantry
    • All year round we collect nonperishable food items for GWIM. Donations can be dropped off in the bin outside the church office or on the Multiplication Table in the sanctuary.

Advent, Christmas, and Worship Plans

With the recent approval of COVID vaccines for all but the youngest children, we are in the process of planning out the Advent and Christmas season and looking forward to being able to resume many of our beloved traditions relatively safely. We’re also working towards restoring more music and singing to our services. So, stay posted in the coming weeks for updates and good news!

Stewardship Mailings

The mailings from the Stewardship Campaign are going out soon, so please be on the lookout. We’ll bless all the pledges we’ve received on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 21st.

General Comments

I’ve attached a picture of the Sunday School kids from this past Sunday in all their Halloween finery in case anyone missed them!

As we head towards All Saints’ Sunday, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite poems from 17th century English clergyman and poet John Donne.

Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud
“Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.”

Peace,

Pastor Katrina