Mission Tidings Newsletter

December 2015 

In This Issue
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Reverend's Reflections
St. Luke's Mariner's Cross
Dear People of God at St. Luke's,

I just had a great conversation with one of the Muslims who live in Scituate. We're planning on convening an intro class on understanding how Islam and Christianity do and don't understand matters of faith in like fashion. It will start in January; look for announcements.
As an add-on final question I had for him I asked him about Muslim prayer, especially the almost universal pop-culture TV and movie portrayal, that shows men rising up from a prostration, then looking first over their right shoulder, then looking over their left. It's a quite distinctive physical way of engaging in spirituality. So my question was, "why the looking over the shoulder parts?"
It's great learning something new. He explained that in his faith they understood themselves to be watched over by angels. The angel to the right is noting all the good deeds; the one on the left, recording all the bad ones. So looking over both shoulders is a reminder and acknowledgement.
Christianity does not teach the same about angelic companionship, nor the implied judgement. That doesn't mean I won't be meditating about and thinking through the spiritual realities in the Muslim practice that I can affirm, and those seem quite fitting for our Advent season.
Regardless of the means-angels, the Holy Spirit, Jesus the Companion-we know ourselves to be in the presence and companionship of God, at all times. God wants for us life that is blessed even in its uncertainties. God's grace goes beyond our failings (so the Islamic recording angel of bad deeds is not representative of our relationship with God). But God does want us to follow Jesus: in loving our neighbor, following the commandments.
Advent: from now until December 24th. It's a good time to think about these matters, deliberately, daily, with thankful hearts, amendment of life where needed, compassion for others.

In Christ,

Mini Fair- Sunday, Dec. 6th 
A Mini Fair will be held in the Narthex this Sunday after both services. We have many gift items to offer including: preserves, hostess gifts, warm hats and ornaments. Stop by and browse the offerings.
Stewardship Reflection     
If you have already pledged, thank you. If you have not pledged, please pledge so that we can wrap up the 2016 drive.  Pledge forms are in the pews, in the narthex and on our website.
Stewardship thought of the week:
"Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege." - John D. Rockefeller, Jr.(1874-1960), American industrialist and philanthropist
We now have over 65 pledges totaling in excess of $168,000. Please help us reach our goal of 100 pledges.
All pledges in any amount are greatly appreciated. Please pledge!
Christian Education Calendar                   
Dec. 6                         Regular Classes
Dec. 13                       Regular Classes
Dec. 20                       Pageant Sunday
Dec. 27                       NO CLASSES
Church School News
The Christmas Pageant is on Sunday, December 20th at the 10 AM service.
Rehearsals will be held after church on 12/6 ad 12/13 for about a half hour.

Powerful Learning:
Check out the photo of our 5th and 6th graders as they pummeled Goliath with their homemade slingshots and ping pong balls. What did Goliath represent to each of them...?  Their motto is "With God on your side you can do anything!"
Helping Hands:
Please help our 5th and 6th grade class reach out to those in need. They are collecting shoes, boots, hats, gloves, and food items now through January. There will be a box available for your donations.
The 3rd and 4th graders will be spreading Christmas cheer by making miniature Christmas trees to give to nursing home residents. Hopefully we will all get to see them before they are delivered!
Advent Meditations   
If you're looking for a way to set aside a few minutes each day to observe Advent I invite you to visit the St. Luke's Facebook page  (and as of this writing, I hope to have a link to a page on our webpage). Each day I'll be posting a short verse from one of the canticles (songs) unique to the season, my own brief reflection, and an invitation of how you might proceed from there.
O Come Let Us Adore Him
Christmas Services                                  
Thursday, December 24th,
Christmas Eve:
4 p.m. Family Service- focus on children, so 45 minute service, includes decorating the cr�che, carols and Holy Communion
9 p.m. Choral Festal Eucharist, Candlelit
Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist, no music
Calling All Youth                               
You are part of the church, just as your parents are(parents...could you draw attention to your youth to this please). We want, need, invite your participation. Some, especially Young Adult Choir members, help out with the Adult Choir. Would you feel comfortable helping read the Bible lessons on a Sunday? How about ushering? Or helping distribute communion by handing people the chalice of wine? Training of course offered. Please let Fr. Grant or Fr Michael know!
Giving Tree                 
For a second year we are working with town social workers to help meet needs that aren't already addressed by other means (e.g. Community Christmas). Sunday, December 6th the Giving Tree will be up in the narthex. More items may be added, but for now please count on tags asking for gift cards for auto gas and for grocery stores. $5, $10, and $20 increments will be requested. Those cards will go to the town social workers who are already working with individuals and families who need help now and into 2016. Often having gas and/or food needs addressed helps those facing financial hardship redirect their financial resources to rent, prescriptions, utilities and so forth. Additional tag items may very well be added to make comfort baskets for isolated persons who might not otherwise receive much for the holiday, and for older high school students whose wants/needs aren't as easily addressed as they are for younger children.
It Happened Again, and It's So Great!
I walked into Victoria's for a to go sandwich. Not much of a crowd. I usually scan it though to see if there are any parishioners. There was a table of high schoolers in the middle...I didn't look too hard at them (staring and all...very awkward). And I hear "Hi Fr. Grant!" One of our high school seniors was there. With a beard! He even noticed my confused face and said his name. It is so fantastic to run into kids out and about like that. Consistently the ones from St. Luke's do the same...socially appropriate, confident. He didn't have to say anything to me, but chose to. Just a joy. (And wait until they come back from college their first break!).
St. Luke's Hoodies
A comfy, cozy way to stay warm this winter.
See the order form in the narthex and sign up soon! $25.
P.S. Grant reports that two winters ago when we had no electricity for 5 days, he almost lived in his, hood up!
Community Dinner- Dec. 27th                 
Please join us for meal of Meatloaf, Hash brown potato casserole, Green beans with almonds, Salad and rolls with Peppermint stick ice cream, chocolate sauce and a chocolate cookie for dessert. More details to come.