Mark your calendar for these important Advent and Christmas dates:
December 3: First Sunday in Advent 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist; 10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist with Music 10:30 p.m. Celtic Service with Eucharist at 5:30 p.m.
December 16: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Advent Quiet Day
December 17: 5:30 p.m. Community Festival Service of Nine Lessons and Carols; no Celtic Service on this Sunday.
December 24: 9 a.m. Holy Eucharist with Music (Fourth Sunday of Advent); 5:30 p.m. Celtic Eucharist, with Music and Reflection; 8:00 p.m. Choral Candlelight Service with Sermon and Holy Eucharist
January 1: Feast of the Holy Name, with Services at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Celtic Service with Eucharist
January 6: 5:30 p.m., Twelfth Night, the Feast of the Epiphany, with Music, Sermon, Holy Eucharist and Reception following in the Parish Hall.
ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY to learn/practice Contemplative Prayer – Judy Mullins will again be leading a four-session introduction to Christian contemplative prayer this Advent. This will be a repeat of her offering this past summer(which led to a regular 2nd and 4th Saturday meeting each mont (see below) designed especially for those who could not join the group in July but open to all, including those who would welcome a refresher. The four 90-minute Advent sessions begin at 9:00am and will be held on Tuesday and Friday mornings on December 5, 8, 19, and 22. Because of the nature of contemplative prayer, participants should plan to attend all sessions; no drop-ins, please.
Ongoing Group :Those who attend who are interested in being part of an ongoing Centering Prayer group are encouraged to join the St. Peter’s Centering Prayer group regularly meeting the 2nd and 4th Saturday morning of each month from 8:30 – 9:30 in the reception area outside the Rectors office. Newcomers are asked to arrive at 8:15 am for an overview of how the Saturday session functions. For more information about the Advent worksop, contact the Church Office at 594-8191.
Dec. 12, at Noon in the Parlor: LUNCH AND OPENING CONVERSATION ON OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEYS IN THE SECOND HALF OF LIFE. Lael, our rector, is scheduling a series of programs in coming months that address the our spiritual journeys as we age. This is an opportunity for us as members of St. Peter’s to invite friends to join us for a light lunch and on open-ended, facilitated conversation (Mary Alice Bird, facilitator) to share thoughts and topics we would like to see addressed in this upcoming series. As aging children, parents, friends, or children – our shared life experiences – whether small or large, practical or theological – all open avenues to deeper communication with God and one another. Lunch provided, but to help plan for for the day, please sign up on the church bulletin board or call the office or let Mary Alice or Lael know you are coming. And bring a friend.
(photo from 2014 Christmas Fair). Saturday, November 18, St. Peter’s will hold a Christmas Fair with foods, crafts, and gift quality recyclable items on sale. The Episcopal Church Women will have a Cookie Walk (your chance to buy a dozen of different home made Christmas cookies) and frozen foods. Individual crafters will offer theme-decorated table top trees and artificial wreaths, fresh greens wreaths, hand made accessories, church mice and heart sachets, mittens, scarves, hats, and other items. There will also be a table of those select white elephant’s that just might be the perfect gift. Join us for the fun, fellowship and chance to purchase “unique boutique” items for family and friends.
Thanksgiving Community Meal November 23rd. Once again, St. Peter’s is hosting and coordinating a Community-wide Thanksgiving Dinner. Turkey Dinner with all the traditional dishes and trimmings.
Join with us to help prepare this meal or to share the dinner with others. Last year, over 400 meals were served. Donations to help support the cost, provide food, or help prepare and serve are needed and welcome. Call the Church Office (594-8191) if you want to volunteer and the Administrative Assistant will put you in touch with the coordinator of the Dinner. You can also check the bulletin board in the parish hall for needs, and sign up as you are able. To make an online donation, use the DONATE button at the top of this page or send your contribution, earmarked Thanksgiving Dinner, to the church office, 11 White St., Rockland, 04841.
A Thanksgiving Day Eucharist service also will be offered in the sanctuary at 10:30 am ( followed by the Community Meal).
November 2 – All Souls’ Evensong, 5:30 pm, A service of music and prayer to remember deceased family and friends, is particularly dedicated to those whose lives have been touched by suicide: family members, friends, healthcare workers, police, social workers. As a community, we will remember all who have died by their own hand and to share of the mourning of all people touched by the loss of friends, family, and community members. Together we will acknowledge our collective reluctance to reach out to those who suffer, and will stand in witness to God’s redeeming love for all. Although this service will draw on the Anglican tradition of Evensong and the centuries old Christian All Souls tradition to remember those who have died, this service is purposefully intended to encompass people of all faiths., and we invite all persons mourning those who have died to join us for this service of remembrance.
Join members and friends Saturday, October 21st at 5:00pm for the Annual Harvest Dinner. This is a time for fun, fellowship, food, and an opportunity to give thanks. It is also a great time for those new to St. Peter’s or or normally only attend one of the two Sunday services, to have fellowship and conversation about Christian live with everyone connected with the church. The Vestry will provide main dishes; all others, as able, are asked to bring a side dish (salad, veg, bread, or dessert). But don’t stay a way if you have a busy schedule or no longer cook much, there is always more than enough food. It is helpful to let the office (594-8191) know if you plan to attend, so we are sure to set up enough tables.
Looking for a worship service? We have introduced a Sunday evening Celtic worship service at 5:30 pm. Our Celtic worship, drawn from the liturgical traditions of Iona and Northumbria, combines meditative silence and music, simplicity of utterance, and faithful commitment of care for the earth. This way of prayer, of opening oneself to God’s love, God’s forgiveness, and God’s hope – to the fullness of God’s presence in our lives – is hundreds of years old but speaks with immediacy to the yearning of our hearts now. This service encourages participation from all seeking to deepen their spiritual journey and through shared prayer to break down barriers between different faith traditions and seekers. A brief fellowship period with light refreshments follows the service.
St. Peter’s invites the community to share a “Blessing of Animals,” on Saturday, September 30th at 10 a.m. on the grounds between St. Peter’s and the adjacent public playground. St Francis loved all of God’s creatures, and so do we. Around the traditional St. Francis’s fall feast day – many churches observe a similar “blessing of animals,'” to honor St. Francis and God’s love of all creatures. This simple service is a meaningful way to celebrate your own relationship with the pets and animals that give deep meaning to your life. It is a particularly enjoyable event for children. So bring your pets (or favorite stuffed animals) and join us a blessing at this brief outdoor service. All welcome! In the event of rain, the service will happen in St. Peter’s parish hall.
Bishop Lane’s response to the events in Charlottesville is among a crop of very fine responses from the Episcopal Church: “… white supremacy is a corruption of our fundamental beliefs as Christians: that all of us are created in the image of God and, in Christ, are brothers and sisters.” You may read Bishop Lane’s entire response HERE Printed copies will also be available in the narthex on Sunday.