Dear friends in Christ,
I hope all of you are doing well and staying warn as the weather turns colder. We have a busy week coming up as we head towards Thanksgiving and Advent.
Thanksgiving & Consecration Sunday: 11/20
This Sunday 11/20, we’ll be having a special service of Thanksgiving and dedicate our pledges for 2023. We’ll sing some classic Thanksgiving hymns and have special music by our choir.
11/20: Fruit and Vegetable Donations for Middlebury Food Bank
Thanks and giving for the holiday: During our regular pre-Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 20th, we will be inviting everyone to come forward (or place there before the service) gifts of fresh fruits and vegetables that will be shared with the Food Bank to go to those in need. Suggestions are apples, potatoes (sweet and regular), turnips, carrots, onions and celery. Please be as generous as you can in sharing such precious fresh food with those who may typically only get canned.
Middlebury Community Thanksgiving Service: Tuesday 11/22 @7pm
In the spirit of the ecumenical Thanksgiving services of years past, this year we are hosting a Community Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday 11/22 at 7pm here at MCC with St. George’s Episcopal Church. The offering will go to support the Middlebury Food and Fuel Banks and nonperishable food items brought for the service will be donated to GWIM. There will be childcare provided in the nursery.
Here’s a link to the Facebook event to help get the word out: https://fb.me/e/2M5MkxcLs
- Thanksgiving baskets
- Sign up sheets for donations for Thanksgiving dinner baskets for three Middlebury families are up on the bulletin board outside the kitchen near the Social Hall. Those items will be due in the office by November 21.
- Star Tree
- Stars for the Star Tree Children will be available Sunday, November 20. They will be placed on the multiplication table in the front of the sanctuary. Please print your name and phone number next to the child you will be purchasing for and take their Star to affix to their wrapped package which will be due December 12th in the office. Gift Range is between $35.00 to $50.00.
11/27: First Sunday of Advent & Hanging of the Greens
11/27 is the first Sunday of Advent, and after worship, we’ll decorate the sanctuary for the coming Advent and Christmas season. Join us!
Advent and Christmas Readers Needed:
- Advent Wreath Lighting
- We’re looking for volunteers to light the Advent Wreath and lead the prayer during the Sundays of Advent: 12/4, 12/11, and 12/18. Families or groups of friends welcome!
- Christmas Eve: 5pm &11pm
- For our two Christmas Eve services we need a number of readers to read the scripture lessons plus people to light the Advent Wreath at 5pm and 11pm. Please email me if you’re interested in any of these opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org
This past Sunday we had our Advent Workshop, and it was a huge success! Thank you to our Faith Formation Board, our youth, our kids, and everyone who donated materials! I’ve attached some pictures from the event (thank you Valerie!).
I also want to thank our Mission Board and all those who volunteered and made donations towards the lunches for GWIM on Veterans Day. We made 200 lunches! I’ve attached some pictures of everything getting all assembled.
There’s a poem by Robert Herrick I often see around online during the run up to Thanksgiving. Typically you’ll see the title as “Lord ‘tis Thy plenty-dropping hand.” I was looking up more about the poem to share it, and it turns out it’s actually part of a larger poem “A Thanksgiving to God, for his House,” which was written by Herrick as a thanksgiving for the country vicarage/parsonage he lived in. (Herrick was a priest in England during the 17th century.) As one who lives in a parsonage, but with more conveniences than Herrick’s seems to have had, I thought it was a lovely expression of thanksgiving for all the everyday blessings of life and home:
Lord, Thou hast given me a cell
Wherein to dwell,
A little house, whose humble roof
Under the spars of which I lie
Both soft, and dry;
Where Thou my chamber for to ward
Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
Me, while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate,
Both void of state;
And yet the threshold of my door
Is worn by th’ poor,
Who thither come and freely get
Good words, or meat.
Like as my parlour, so my hall
And kitchen’s small;
A little buttery, and therein
A little bin,
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar
Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,
And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine,
The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits, that be
There plac’d by Thee;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent;
And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,
To be more sweet.
‘Tis Thou that crown’st my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth;
And giv’st me wassail-bowls to drink,
Spic’d to the brink.
Lord, ’tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land;
And giv’st me, for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one;
Thou mak’st my teeming hen to lay
Her egg each day;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear
Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
Run cream, for wine.
All these, and better, Thou dost send
Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
A thankful heart,
Which, fir’d with incense, I resign,
As wholly Thine;
But the acceptance, that must be,
My Christ, by Thee.