December 28, 2010
St. Luke Episcopal Church
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Padre's ponderings


The Christmas services were glorious in a church beautifully adorned.  Many thanks to all who contributed to both.  At the expense of slighting decorators, which is not my intent, I want to especially commend Michael and those who made music.  Good looks, good sounds, great God and Savior.


Next Sunday, 5:30, is lessons and carols followed by wassailing.  Most churches do lessons and carols before Christmas but circumstances prevented that here this year.  I think liturgically this service should be in the Christmas season anyway, rather than Advent, not-with-standing what they do in the chapel at King's College, Cambridge.  In addition, post-Christmas is easier on the musicians, and in a way all of us, given how cluttered Advent can get.


Wassailing is an ancient southern English tradition that is performed with the intention of ensuring a good crop of cider apples for the next year's harvest.  Wassail, which means literally "good health" is a hot mulled cider (or ale) drunk as an integral part of the ceremony.  Over the years wassailing has evolved into any happy occasion where good heath is wished, including caroling from door to door, always at Christmas time.  If you have left over Christmas goodies you'd like to put to good use, bring them along.


Judith and I are grateful for the cards, gifts, and good wishes of the season.  We hope you had and are having a blessed Christmas, and that it extends throughout the New Year.


Denis Baum, Interim Rector   

Wednesday - December 29, 2010
12:00 noon   Healing Eucharist in Chapel
II Christmas  - January 2, 2011
8:00 AM  Holy Eucharist Rite I
9:20 AM   Christian Formation
10:30 AM  Holy Eucharist Rite II
5:30PM    Lessons and Carols -
              following Wassailing in Parish Hall
Monday, January 3, 2011
7:00 PM  Community Group - Hodge's House 

Christi Blain, Kay Gay, Annette Gerace, Teddy Brehm, Penny Jenkins, Louis Jenkins, David, Maynard Gonterman, Anne Gonterman, Carolyn Ford, Fr. Lawson Anderson,  Lance Lockridge,  Austin Edwards, Corey Moses, Antoinette & Quincy Mims, Ella Edwards, 
Suzi Martinka and family, Mindy Wertz, Naedean Mayland, Sophie Papi, Mildred Ford, Jim Howell, Tabitha Murphy, Search Committee.  

Special Concerns:  for all the men and women of our Armed Forces, especially Lance, Jake, Bret, Brian, Parker, Justin, Morgan, Matt, Joshua, Mark.

Expectant Mother:  Kelsey


I hope this missive finds you all happy and healthy. 

I wanted to invite you to our Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carol which we will have at 5:30pm Sunday January 2, 2011.

The Service of Lessons and Carols has become a beloved tradition of Christmas in the 127 years since it was first conceived.  The original order of service was drawn up in 1880 by the then Bishop of Truro, EW Benson, for use in the wooden shed that predated Pearson's wonderful neo-Gothic Cathedral.

In 1918, Eric Milner-White, the then newly appointed Dean of King's College, Cambridge, adapted Benson's order and after revision in 1919 the modern form of the Nine Lessons and Carols was established.

The lessons tell the story of our redemption, starting with the Fall, moving through the promises of God to Abraham and the prophets before narrating the events in Nazareth and Bethlehem.  The final lesson, John's great summation of the Incarnation, draws all our thoughts together as we celebrate the "Word made Flesh."

Music is an important part of the service through the great congregational carols and the choral pieces that provide an opportunity for reflection and meditation.  We invite you to sing the well-loved carols heartily.

I also wanted to point out a new feature at St. Luke's.  We have a facebook presence.  To find it, just search for St. Luke's Episcopal Church North Little Rock and see what is new and exciting coming up next at our church during this dynamic time.

Have a wonderful New Year.


CONVOCATIONAL EPIPHANY SERVICE - On Thursday, January 6, at 7 p.m. St. Mark's will host the Central Convocational Epiphany service.  The preacher will be the Very Rev. Jonathon Jensen, and the service will feature the traditional procession of the three kings and choir members and lectors from churches of the Convocation.  A dessert reception in the Parish Hall will follow the service.

In order to be in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service, any contribution which donors wish to be credited to their 2010 tax year must be received in the church office no later than Friday December 31 , or postmarked no later than December 31, 2010 . Contributions received after this date, regardless of the date on the check, must be reported as 2011 contributions.

Giving is Not about how much tax we pay or do not pay. However, the government has sought to encourage Americans to give to their churches and charities by making contributions tax deductible for those who itemize their donations. Why not take advantage of this wonderful provision.

Shepherd Center's winter schedule starts January 12th and runs through March 2nd.  We have exciting programs planned for this eight week session.  One of our newest and, hopefully, well received by our participants, is an exercise class for ZUMBA GOLD WHICH WILL BE HELD AT 9:15 A.M. EACH WEDNESDAY of the winter session.  This is a class that is a Latin-inspired dance fitness program, easy to follow and geared for the older adult.  For only $20 for each 8 week session, Shepherd Center is a wonderful way to spend your Wednesdays and make new friends.  For further information on enrollment call  Sheila Whitfield at 771-0774.  As usual, all classes will be held at Park Hill Christian Church on JFK. 

The Annual Meeting will be January 16, 2011.  All reports need to be in to the office no later than January 12. 

GUILD OF THE CHRIST CHILD is in need of members of the church who enjoy knitting and crocheting!  We would like to begin giving blessed blankets to the babies of our congregation and need assistance.  If you are interested in contributing to the wonderful cause, please contact Gwynne Collins at (501) 339-4866 or

DOK Prayer Cards

 During this Advent and Christmas season, St. Luke's Daughters of the King realize so many are in need of daily prayer for healing, guidance, strength, comfort, or protection.  Please write any prayer requests you may have on prayer cards found in the pew racks.  Then drop the card in the white box on the shelf inside the church entrance.  All prayer requests are held in confidence and offered to our Lord for one month, or longer as the need exists.  Psalm 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Episcopal Children's Curriculum.  The program consists of three areas, Shell, Cross and Chalice as the theme.  We will be using the "Chalice".  The classes are as follows:

3 and 4 year olds (Teachers Brouke Reynolds & a parent)

K through Grade 2  (Teachers: Becky Rice & Jenny Heard) 

Tweeners - (Teachers: Ginna Simmons & Ellen Moses)

Young Adults Forum - Ages 25+ (Teachers: Wanda & Gary Dunwoody) The Return of the Prodigal SonHenri Nouwen

Seizing the inspiration that came to him through a reproduction of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son, the author probes in this book the several movements of this powerful Gospel story:  the younger son's return, the father's restoration to sonship, the elder son's vengefulness and the father's compassion.  The themes of homecoming, affirmation and reconciliation will be newly discovered and this study will lead to the answer of  "Where has my struggle led me?"