Newsletter December 19, 2019

Sunday, December 22 – Fourth Sunday of Advent
8:00 a.m. – Spoken Holy Eucharist with sermon by the Reverend Margie Baker
9:30 a.m. – Final prep for the Christmas pageant
10:30 a.m. – Choral Holy Eucharist with Christmas Pageant, sung by the Youth & Choirs
5 p.m. – Youth Group: Cupcake Wars! (please RSVP below)
There will be no nursery care during the 10:30 service because our nursery workers are involved in the pageant. Children of all ages are always welcome to stay in church with their families.
If you have requested weekly numbered offering envelopes for 2020, they will be available to pick up in Hubbard Hall through Sunday, December 29. Any that are not picked up by then will be mailed.
The parish office will be CLOSED from Tuesday 12/24 through Thursday 12/26, and again from Monday 12/30 through Wednesday 1/1. The office will be open for limited hours on Monday 12/23 and Friday 12/27. Please see the important note below about the timing of year-end contributions to ensure that they are included on your 2019 giving statement.
Education for all ages, Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Sunday, December 22: Pageant Rehearsal/No Faith Forum or Sunday School. During the education hour, we’ll have final preparations for the pageant to be presented at the 10:30 service. Adults are welcome to come lend a hand, or just enjoy a cup of coffee and a bagel in the midst of the chaos!
Sunday, December 29: Our fall/winter Faith Forum schedule listed a brunch on 12/29 for returning college students/young adults. We have decided to cancel this event, and instead invite young adults who are home for the holidays to attend our First Sunday Lunch on Sunday, January 5 after the 10:30 service.
Christmas flower memorials
Flower offering envelopes are available in the pews on Sunday for those who wish to contribute toward Christmas poinsettias in honor or memory of a loved one. Please place a contribution in any amount in the envelope, and clearly print the name(s) of your loved one(s) on the envelopes. You may also email names to Ellen in the parish office and mail in or drop off your contribution. Names will be listed in the bulletins for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. Flower memorial names must be received in the parish office by this Monday, December 23.
Youth Group Cupcake Wars this Sunday at 5 p.m. – Please RSVP!
Start your Christmas Break with fun, sugar, and healthy competition!
We will break into teams to make and decorate cupcakes based on the theme of Winter Fun.
What do you need to bring?
  • Yourself!
  • A Friend! (optional)
  • A cupcake pan (if you have one)
  • Decorations for your cupcake (also optional)
Since this is technically during Christmas Break, please RSVP by Friday (tomorrow!). We need to have at least ten kids to make this work.
Donate nonperishable food and winter accessories
Please bring in any of these items when you are able, on any Sunday!
Nonperishable food donations go the Grace Seventh Day Adventist Church food pantry on Prospect Avenue. They are always in need of high-protein foods (such as peanut butter, legumes and tuna), along with cereal, canned goods, rice, pasta, and other staples.
Cold weather accessories are given to people in need who come to the church looking for help. We need heavy insulated or fleece gloves, warm socks (such as wool boot socks), winter hats, and umbrellas. Items for both men and women are needed, but we tend to see more men in need, so larger sizes are especially helpful.
High school students: Sign up to work in the nursery
We have a new sign-up for high school-age youth to care for our youngest members in the nursery. This sign-up covers Sunday mornings in January and February. We ask that each volunteer sign up for no more than two slots per month. Thank you!
Important note about year-end contributions to St. John’s
For your contributions of cash or checks to appear on your 2019 year-end giving statement, they must be received in St. John’s office/offering plate by December 25.Due to holiday staff schedules, contributions received after December 25, 2019, will get posted to St. John’s bank account in January, in which case they will appear on your 2020 giving statement (even if they are in payment of a 2019 pledge).
If you would like to make an online pledge payment with your credit card and have it appear on your 2019 giving statement, please also do so by December 25, so there is plenty of time for your contribution to clear the merchant account and our bank account in December.
If you plan to donate stock to St. John’s, please contact Financial Administrator Peggy O’Toole at or 860-523-5201 x311, before you or your broker initiate the stock transfer.
Margie Baker’s ordination to the priesthood, January 4 at 2 p.m.
All are welcome to participate in this wonderful day in Margie’s life and the life of our parish. Following the service of ordination with the bishops of Connecticut and North Carolina, we will have a reception in Margie’s honor; please sign up here to help with the reception. Everyone is invited to come celebrate!
Church school is collecting Legos!
If you have gently used Lego sets that you no longer need, our church school would love to have them to use for a variety of educational and fun activities. Please bring them in and give them to Margie. Thank you!
Prayer shawls available for anyone who is sick or struggling
Our Prayer Shawl Ministry makes gorgeous knitted prayer shawls that are then blessed during a Sunday morning service. Anyone is welcome to take a prayer shawl for yourself or to share with a friend or family member who is sick or otherwise in need of prayer and comfort. You may ask for a shawl from a clergy member on Sunday morning, or stop in the office during the week to pick one out. We have a variety of colors available.
Fall 2020 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land has slots available
The Reverend Whitney Altopp of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ridgefield is organizing a Holy Land Pilgrimage led by guide Iyad Qumri, who also led the St. John’s pilgrimage in 2018. Any St. John’s members who might like to join them are invited to contact Reverend Altopp at or 203-438-3789 x13. The pilgrimage is August 28 to September 8, 2020, and the cost is $3,699 per person, double occupancy.
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