November brings not only the cool weather but the countdown to the Holidays. We begin November with All Saints’ Day, November 1st. We commemorate those living and departed who have been the chosen vessels of God. The Eucharist will be celebrated at 10 am in the Chapel on November 1st. November 2nd is All Soul’s Day. We will remember all those loved ones who have gone before us at the 10am Eucharist on Saturday, November 2nd. Also, please remember to fall back one hour on Saturday as the time is here.
November 3rd our Bookstore will host a Holiday Tea. I ask you to invite your friends and neighbors to this wonderful event. Even our youth will have a table at the Holiday Tea. Our Bookstore is part of the ministry of outreach at St. Alban’s. Not only do they offer books and gifts to the Parish and community, profits of items sold at our Bookstore are given to organizations that help the community of Arlington. It is also a great time to do a little shopping for the holidays as well as pick up a new Church Calendar, Advent Candles or wreath. Please join us in supporting this ministry and outreach of St. Alban’s.
On Saturday, November 9th our Altar and Flower Guild will have their annual luncheon. We will gather for the Eucharist at 10 am followed by the luncheon in the Parish Hall. I especially want to thank our Altar and Flower Guild for their ministry to our Lord by preparing the Altar for the celebration of the Eucharist and our Flower Guild for providing beautiful arrangements also for the glory of our Lord. If you are interested in being part of this ministry, please see Janie Lundy for the Altar Guild or Jana Stutler for the Flower Guild.
Diocesan Convention is the next Friday and Saturday at St. Peter and St. Paul, Arlington. Our Delegates will be there representing St. Alban’s as well as our clergy. Bishop Ray Sutton, Bishop Coadjutor of Mid-America will be our guest preacher at the Eucharist Friday evening. Please pray for our Bishop and our Convention as they meet. As far as a report on the lawsuit, late Friday October 18th, TEC appealed to the Texas Supreme Court for a rehearing of their case. We are once again in the “wait” pattern to see if the Supreme Court will agree or deny the rehearing. The odds for a rehearing are very small, as Scott Brister, one of our lawyers and former Texas Supreme Court Judge has written. Please continue your prayers as we wait with patience for the case to move forward.
Sunday, November 17th is a very important day as our Bishop will be with us at the 10am Eucharist. We will have Baptisms, Confirmation, Reception and Renewal of Baptismal Vows celebrated. The children who have been attending First Communion Classes will share in receiving Christ’s Body and Blood for the first time this Sunday. A covered dish potluck reception will follow in the Parish Hall where you may also greet our Bishop. Meat and dessert will be provided by the church. It is an exciting day to welcome our Bishop and celebrate the Sacraments of the Church. Please join us.
November 17th is also the deadline to bring in your Operation Christmas Child Shoebox. If you haven’t picked one up, please do so. You fill the box with small items for a boy or a girl as per the instructions in the box and return it to the Church no later than the 17th as they will be gathered on the 18th for shipping to boys and girls around the world who would not have a Christmas without your help. It is a great ministry to help children know the love of our Lord and Christians around the world.
November is also the month we kick off our Advent Project. Glenda Morgan is leading this ministry and we thank her for her leadership. We ask that you bring in cans of food or give donations to the Advent Project. We can also use your help sorting the food and wrapping boxes to put the food in. Again it is an outreach ministry to those who could not have a holiday season without our help.
Thanksgiving is on November 28th this year. We will anticipate Thanksgiving with a Eucharist at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 27th. It is a great time to bring in food for our Advent Project. Let us give thanks for the bountiful blessings God has poured and is pouring upon us. The Parish Office will be closed for Thanksgiving Day and Friday. There will be no 9:30 am Wednesday Eucharist as we will gather that evening.
December 1st is the beginning of the New Year for the Church. We anticipate our Lord’s coming again as we also anticipate celebrating his Nativity. Since this is usually a very busy time for each one of us, I would like you to mark your calendars for Sunday, December 15th at 5:30 pm. I hope you will join in the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of my Ordination to the Priesthood. We will begin at 5:30 pm with Evensong. Our guest preacher will be a long time priest and friend, The Reverend Larry Bausch from San Diego. Our Bishop will be here and I hope all of our Parish family will be also. A reception in the Parish Hall has been planned with a delicious menu. Babysitting will also be available. If you don’t drive in the evening, please let us know as we will try to find a ride for you. I hope you will join me in this celebration.
Finally, but very important, I encourage everyone to fill out and turn in their commitment card for Stewardship. Writing down our commitment is saying I am accountable for my vows to God. Don’t worry if something might happen that would not allow you to fulfill your decision. God is very aware of what is going on in your life and spirit. As far as the Church goes, you may change your commitment amount any time emergencies or unexpected expenses pop up as they do. Just let Pat Sparks or myself know so we can make the necessary change. Our stewardship is one of the ways we can say yes to God and support the ministry of his Church.
Many opportunities are available for us at St. Alban’s this November. May God bless our endeavors and bless each one of you as we approach this holiday season.