Giving during Advent
St. Paul’s offers many opportunities to share your resources and there is no better time of year to give than during the Season of Advent. Here are a few giving opportunities:
- Advent Envelopes – Blue envelopes provided in the pews throughout Advent, and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Funds collected in these envelopes are designated to continue the mission and ministry of St. Paul’s.
- Christmas Plate -All undesignated collections in the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day collections will go to Outreach, specifically toward the Episcopal Build for Habitat for Humanity.
- CHRISTMAS Poinsettias -Honor or memorialize a loved one by donating to the altar guild. Poinsettias are used to decorate the sanctuary on Christmas Eve. Red Poinsettia envelopes are located in the pews. Today is the last day that donations will be accepted. There is a $20 suggested donation for each poinsettia.
- Food Donations for Urban Ministries – Help feed our hungry neighbors by dropping off food items in the Little Red Wagon in the narthex. Food items are collected all year long-not just during Advent.
- Heifer International invites us to honor our friends and loved ones with Christmas gifts that help struggling families lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Our donations placed in the Heifer Ark on Sunday mornings buy working animals for families in need around the world. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Heifer honor cards will be available in the St. Paul’s narthex. Please take a card for each donation of $10, to send to family members or friends you wish to honor with your charitable gift. St. Paul’s donations in 2015 have now surpassed $5000 for the GIFT ARK of animals. With your generosity, we can give life-changing gifts to even more impoverished families and communities this year. Alison Arnold, 919-605-0761, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADULT ED: “Conversation and Community” is a small group discussion which meets in the conference room between the 9:00 and 11:15 services. Selections from Brian McLaren’s book, We Make the Road by Walking, are used to facilitate spiritually focused conversation and to foster friendships. All are welcome to attend and join the discussion. ADULT ED FORUMS will not be held in December.
STEWARDSHIP UPDATE: So far, we have raised $727,036 from 231 pledges with an overall total increase in individual pledge amounts of 8%. Please join your fellow parishioners, and prayerfully consider an increase of your pledge this year. 2016 Budgeting has already begun and your pledge is important to help us plan for the future of St. Paul’s!
COFFEE HOUR MINISTRY HIGHLIGHTS: The Fellowship Events Team and Children’s Ministries will be co-hosting Coffee Hour in the parish hall today following the 9:00 a.m. service. After the Christmas Pageant, come to the parish hall to enjoy coffee and goodies in celebration of this joyous event.
Next week the Men’s Group will be hosting Coffee Hour. This group fosters fellowship while providing various service projects and activities for the parish, including Lobster Fest, Men’s Beach Week, and food for the parish picnic and Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper.
ADVENT BIBLE STUDY: “Understanding Scripture” Trying to understand Scripture can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. This study covers three main questions: Where did the Bible come from? How did we get the Bible we know today? How do we use the Bible in today’s world? Andrew Zawierucha, a St Paul’s parishioner, is teaching this class. Andrew has a background in Biblical languages and literature with a seminary degree in New Testament studies. All are welcome to attend the session on Thursday night, Dec.17, at 7:00 p.m. in the youth wing.
The St. Paul’s Preschool Transitional Kindergarten (TK class) would like to thank the congregation, especially the Pre-EYC, for their contributions to the 2nd annual TK Food Drive. We appreciate your generosity in making our “Be Thankful” project a success!
The Little Red wagon is always ready to take your food contributions for the Urban Ministries food pantry. Last week you broke the bank! We took in 463 pounds of food on Monday, December 7, thanks to the Preschool’s TK food drive. But of course the food is provided to families five days a week, so more is always needed. Right now the biggest needs are dry pasta, spaghetti sauce, dry rice and dry beans. But whatever you have in your pantry that you can spare, or whatever is on sale this week at the grocery store, will be happily accepted and given away. We’re always glad to have your extra paper or plastic grocery bags, too.
End of Year Check Requests: We are beginning our process of closing out our 2015 financial year and we need all checks requests turned in to Christine Ingram or Brandy Satterfield by December 20, 2015. Thank you for your help.
Church Work Day
Volunteers are needed to perform light bulb replacement and upgrades on December 19th starting at 8:30 a.m. in the parish hall. Since this work day is so close to the holiday, the Kids’ Club will be open from 8:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. to provide childcare for the children of work day volunteers. Space is limited. If you are able to attend the work day, please email or call Jason Sayers email@example.com or 919-491-6042.
FAITH ON TAP: Bottle shops! They’ve sprung up everywhere. So let’s try them out! We will meet at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 – Neighborhood Bottle Shop – 1341 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary. Contact Tyrus Cohan, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
CHRISTMAS SERVICE SCHEDULE:
December 24, 2015 Christmas Eve
4:00 p.m. Child-friendly celebration of the Eucharist with a special homily for all the children.
7:00 p.m. A celebration of the Eucharist filled with wonderful Christmas carols.
10:30 p.m. A celebration of the Eucharist that concludes near midnight making this service our “Midnight Mass.”
December 25, 2015 Christmas Day
10:00 a.m. Gather on Christmas for a quiet, contemplative celebration of the Eucharist.
December 27, 2015 First Sunday of Christmas: Two Services Only
7:30 a.m. Eucharist – Rite I
10:00 a.m. Lessons & Carols with Eucharist – Rite II
BARBECUE LUNCH: The Fellowship Team is putting on a festive Barbecue Lunch on Saturday January 16. Tickets are for sale in the Parish Hall at Coffee Hour between services and outside the Narthex after the late service.
FOUND: Class ring, please call the office if you are the owner.
- Thank you to all the children and parents that participated in the 2015 Christmas Pageant. What a wonderful experience for everyone!
- Sunday School, Children’s Chapel and Pre-EYC are all on Christmas Break until January 10, 2016.
- Our Children’s Stewardship Basket is collecting for Stop Hunger Now. Please contribute as the children continue their collection toward our $2900 goal that will sponsor a children’s Stop Hunger Now Day in May 2016. Money for this event will be collected June 1, 2015 through May 15, 2016. To date we have collected $1068.60.
- Sunday School: No classes until January 10, 2016. Enjoy the break.
- EYC Today, 5-7 pm: is our Annual Christmas Party. Come join the fun! Here’s what you need to do/bring:
- Wrapped gift for the gift exchange. Please get something fun (Is it something YOU would want to receive?) and $10 or less. We’ll do the traditional white elephant exchange.
- Wear your tackiest (most festive?) Christmas sweater / outfit for our Annual Contest. Prizes will be awarded.
- No need to bring an appetizer – we have dinner planned.
- Next Week 12/19 & 20: Prepping and Painting the youth wing. Come Saturday the 19th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. to prep the room and then Sunday Dec. 20 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. to do the actual painting. Dress appropriately. There will also be EYC from 6-7 for caroling and cookies.
Please join the children of St. Paul’s as they present “The Story of Christmas” on December 13 at the 9:00 AM service. Angels, shepherds, wise men, animals, soldiers, and the Holy Family will all be ready to share their talents and excitement with you as they tell the story of Jesus’ birth. After the pageant, join us in the Parish Hall for a festive coffee hour.
St. Francis United Methodist Church Men’s Group cooperates with our Men’s Group Lobster Fest efforts by advertising Lobster Fest among their parishioners (a group of them purchase lobsters and rolls). St. Paul’s, in turn, makes our parishioners aware of the St. Francis Christmas Tree Sale. Proceeds go to the Appalachia Service Project and other missions. Sale ends Saturday, Dec 19. St. Here’s the website: www.saintfrancisumc.org/christmas-trees-cary