Mission Tidings Newsletter

December 2012 

In This Issue
Harvest Fair Thanks
Christmas Tea
Advent Comes
Christmas Flowers
Reverend's Reflections
Christmas Services
Chris. Ed Calendar
Pageant Rehearsals
Giving Tree
Pageant & Soup Dinner
Community Dinner
Stewardship Drive
Friends of the Table
Wiggly children
Give Camp for Xmas
Thank You
Saturday Service

St. Luke's Links


Got News? 

A Harvest Fair of Thanks
indian corn
We are sending a sincere message of gratitude to all of our St. Luke's parishioners for all of your help with the Harvest Fair.  The Fair was a tremendous financial success.  However, the larger benefit of the Fair was all of the wonderful fun we had together and all of the hours working together towards our common goal of helping to support our church.  Through the hard work new friendships were made, others were reinforced.  It was a team effort, teens, senior citizens and everyone in between.   The Harvest Fair opened our doors and let others see the parish we proudly belong to.
With sincere thanks,
Maureen Keys and Susanna Dietz

A special note of appreciation to Maureen & Susanna, our longstanding Co-Chairs for their extraordinary commitment to this amazing event.
 A Victorian Christmas Tea, Sat., Dec.1st
Join us for fellowship and a wonderful program from 2 - 4 PM in Dutton Hall presented by Donna & Ron Lasko of Courtship Tea. Through their educational entertainment approach you will discover how to put more fun, joy, hope and peace into your holiday by fully understanding the meanings behind what we do and why we do them. Contact Tracy Dieselman for more information at 781-545-5454, email: [email protected]
ADVENT Comes to Dutton Hall
Christmas tree

Come and See!


*Big Purple Banners made by our children and youth in our Advent Workshop last year.


*Jesse Tree bulletin board - showing the Jesse Tree with all the color symbols.

Kits are available for families to make a Jesse Tree at home during Advent.

These are especially nice to share with visiting cousins.


 *Advent Wreath - for church school each week to match the one in the big church.


 * A Simple Evergreen Tree - with white lights as we wait to decorate it fully on Christmas.

Christmas Flowers
Envelopes for Christmas flowers can be found in the pews. If you would like to make a dedication to a loved one, please complete the form and return it with the offering. The cut off date will be December 16th in order to get the list ready for the Christmas bulletins.
Thank you!
Reverend's Reflections
St. Luke's Mariner's Cross
Dear People of God at St. Luke's,

In a previous position we had moved back to southern Ohio, near Cincinnati and where I grew up. We were able to be close to family.


I remember that for the first two Christmases I heard from my mother that the family was gathering for a dinner celebration on Christmas eve around 6 p.m. "Mom," I replied, "I work then."(My mother was raised Presbyterian and later became Episcopalian.; Christmas eve services were not a novelty.) So the family gathered on Christmas day instead, my eyes held open by caffeine and toothpicks...but we were there.


After six years my (divorced) parents and grandmother had died. What a privilege to have been able to spend time with them.


Earlier this fall I asked people to write down what sort of questions they have for God, and these were given in the offering plate. I promised I would do my best to come up with some answers if I could, although just about every day of every week I'm reminded that I am as far from God as anyone else, but I've given some thought and prayerful reflection to matters over the past 26 years of active ministry. Seminary, by the way, is both a help and an impediment in different ways to dealing with lived matters of faith.


One question was raised by many people, each taking some form of "where is my loved one now that s/he has died; do they know what I'm doing; will I ever see them again?"


I think of these questions myself when I recall past holidays, as a child and as an adult. I think of my grandmother on her death bed, when I told her that she would soon see Paul , her first husband, Herman her second one (Ba lived to 95 and so out-lived both of them), her parents, and her sister Holly. To that last person's name she responded, "There are other people I'd rather see." It was funny then and funny now, but underscores part of what is at stake in the important questions you raised.


I am convinced that yes, we will see our loved ones as we are reunited, and reconciled to those with whom we have been in conflict or unease.


I can give you some of the answers provided by holy people of the past. First, we are united to Jesus, who died and rose again,; because we belong to him we too will rise. Second, Paul tells us that we can not imagine or dream what that reality will look and feel like, but it will be one of joy. We do not lose our individuality; our dignity as persons will be honored by the God who made us. Finally, when we say we believe in the communion of saints it means that somehow we are united with those who have died, with the difference that they no longer need the phone or internet to keep us with us.


Those are the statements of faith that we share. I hope they are of some help and comfort.


Story telling though is usually a more powerful way of apprehending such promises.


In my first job we had a family that did pretty well financially. The parents first started attending; they had four children, three of whom were married. One son was a school teacher and was recently married to another school teacher. A second child, a daughter, had lost her first child just after child-birth, a terrible situation. After the funeral for that child the school teachers and a sister who was single, along with her boyfriend, decided to get away for some distance and relief from the sorrow. One flew a plane, so they went from CT to NH to a place they knew. On their return the plane crashed for reasons never discovered, and there were no survivors.


So within a week's time after burying the newborn, we were in the same cemetery burying three adults, with the parents of the newborn and all the siblings' parents in attendance as well.


I don't know how people survive such devastating losses at times. But the mother of the family, the matriarch, was out in her garden not too long afterward and she was thinking about her lost loved ones, and she saw three butterflies settle down just in front of her. She wept, and laughed, and connected with promise that her family was still all alive, if not all in the earthly here and now.


OK, do I detect some eye-rolling out there? Is that the way God works, to send reassurance? Can't prove that scientifically, and those more 'rational' minded suggest we look for coincidental events to fit into our own pattern of understanding. But faith isn't confined to our rational selves, and in her heart this mother knew that her lost ones were safe.


I close by recommending a  book just out in paperback recently, Proof of Heaven, by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who trained and worked at Harvard Medical School and Boston area hospitals. After many years of surgery and research about how the brain works he experienced his own dramatic health crisis as his brain shut down from meningitis. He was effectively brain dead for several days in ICU. Everything that makes a person a self-aware self was gone physically. He reports that his one-time skepticism was answered by a trip to heaven which he tries to explain in his book.


Christmas is a time of gathering loved ones together. I can't think of any more fitting way of knowing that Jesus Incarnate, the Word made Flesh, the Infinite made finite, is a time of celebration than the assurance that our deepest longings are met by God.


Peace be with you.



Christmas Services
Christmas Services
Christmas Eve
4 PM: Family oriented service with communion

9 PM: Festal Eucharist with Carols

Christmas Day
10 AM: Simple service, no music
Christian Ed Calendar
Dec. 2- First Sunday in Advent
Advent Workshop

Dec. 9- Second Sunday in Advent
Regular Classes
(Rev. Joyce preaching at St. Andrews Hanover for Regional Youth Ministry)

Dec. 16- Third Sunday in Advent
Regular Classes
Christmas Pageant in Evening
Barber's Soup Dinner

Dec. 23- Fourth Sunday in Advent
Christmas Vacation  begins

Dec. 30- Baptism
Christmas Vacation
Pageant Rehearsal Schedule
Please see the blue sign up sheets on the table in the narthex.
Rehearsal times are: Saturday, December 8 from 10 AM to 12 noon, Saturday, December 15 from 10 AM to 12 noon, and Sunday, December 16 from 3 PM to 3:30 PM.
Giving Tree Thank You
Giving Tree
Thank you St. Luke's for opening your hearts and participating in the Giving Tree. Nearly 140 tags were adopted and we couldn't be more excited and grateful. Please remember that all items are due back by Saturday, December 8th by NOON. Items should be unwrapped with the Giving Tree tag attached. Items should be placed under the Christmas tree in the narthex. We will also gladly accept donations of wrapping paper, ribbon and tape. On behalf of the Outreach Committee, again thank you for your caring and support. For questions please contact Christine Hudanich or Maureen Keys.

Christmas Pageant & Soup Dinner
Christmas Pageant Nativity


You're invited for a fun-filled evening of fellowship, great performances, and good food!


The festivities begin at 4 PM on Sunday, December 16 with St. Luke's Annual Christmas Pageant, always a treat!


Immediately following the pageant join us for soups, salad, and breads (pizza will also be ordered) prepared by the Barbers for their annual Soup Dinner. We invite everyone to join us in Dutton Hall. There will be at least four soups to choose from again this year - all guaranteed to tempt you!


We're asking that everyone bring a dessert to share this year. It can be cookies or some other sweet treat. But don't fret if you forget - there's always lots of food for sharing.


What a great night it will be - we hope you'll come - for some or all of the fun!


Please contact Grant or Denise Barber with any questions. 781-974-3210 or [email protected] or [email protected]  

Community Dinner- Sunday, Dec. 23rd
Please join us at 5 PM  for this very special dinner as we share the Christmas season with our community. The menu is homemade soup, breads, traditional baked ham with Pennsylvania Dutch potatoes, green beans and holiday desserts. Should you wish to bake and help with the food, sign ups are posted in the Narthex. We look forward to seeing you.
Stewardship Drive
Please remember to return your 2013 Pledge Card as soon as possible. Thank you!
Friends of The Table, Brockton: Dec. 29th
We need volunteers to go to The Table on Saturday, December 29th. We will meet at 10 AM and get back by 3PM. This is considered community service for high school students.There will be a sign up sheet. For information call  Joan Powers at 781-545-9650.
Wiggly children in church?

KIDSWORD can help! 


Pick up a free copy of KIDSWORD at the back of church at anytime during the service. Crayons or colored pencils are provided.


KIDSWORD is a Children's Worship Bulletin designed for two age groups. "Little KIDSWORD" is for Kindergarten through grade 3. KIDSWORD is for grades 4-6 (and older). The bulletins feature puzzles, word searches, and kid-friendly graphics. The Gospel or Old Testament reading is pictured and explained in simple words.


Take KIDSWORD home for a fun midweek family activity with your children.

Give Camp for Christmas!

Camp Barbara Harris is a great place for children, youth, and family camp! The Camp also offers a retreat for high school ages on Feb 1-3, 2013, and pre-confirmation retreats March 22-23, 2013 and April 5-6, 2013. Rev Joyce will be at camp for these retreats and also for some summer weeks.


Gifts of full or partial camp fees open the door for a lifetime of fun and friendship. A summer week at our Diocesan camp was $575 in 2012 plus transportation. Scholarships are available to match whatever a child can afford. Registration begins in March and fees are due by end of April.


Contact Rev Joyce to make custom gift certificates or to get a brochures from previous year to wrap for under the tree. More details can be found online at Diocese of Massachusetts Youth program page.

Thank you from the O'Grady family
The outpouring of care and support from our St. Luke's family has been heartwarming and exceptional. We all know how very special this parish family is, yet, receiving first hand the abundant and consistent love and care from so many of you affirms this! As our daughter said at the memorial service for our son, Timothy, we consider ourselves as givers and it is not the norm for any of us to be recipients. As we have rotated into this suddenly new world, we have been comforted by so many of you. This year has found us looking at illness and death first hand and the possibility of testing faith was evident for sure. By your hands, we were held in prayer, support, comfort and friendship that can only come from the conviction of God's love manifested in each of us. We give thanks for our spiritual family of St. Luke's and know that by God's will we are here for each other. Our heartfelt appreciation and the Lord's Blessings to you all.

Cheryl, Jim and family
Saturday 4:30 PM Service
Will resume on January 12.
Come enjoy the Fireplace
The fireplace in the Gordon Room has been cleaned and is usable. See Rev. Joyce for instruction. Funded by 2012 Youth Expansion Grant.