St. Gregory's BASIC program—
Bill's Advent Scripture Invitational Challenge—
to establish a daily habit of 15 minutes of Bible reading and introduce all 66 books of the Bible in 33 days!
Here's what the recently retired Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, writes in Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014), pp. 21-39, passim):
"The Bible is . . . God telling us . . . 'this is how people heard me, saw me, responded to me; this is the gift I gave them; this is the response they made . . . Where are you in this?'"
"If in that story we find accounts of the responses of Israel to God that are shocking or hard to accept, we do not have to work on the assumption that God likes those responses. . . .
"If we understand that response is simply part of the story, we see that this is how people thought they were carrying out God's will at the time.
"The point is to look at God, look at yourself, and to ask where you are in the story. Are you capable— in the light of the Bible as a whole— of responding more lovingly or faithfully than ancient Israel?"
"The Bible is not simply saying, 'Here is a story,' but 'here is your story.' Your life began with Noah and Abraham and Moses. . . .
"Reading the Bible is about building analogies between then and now, and recognizing in them your story."
Last Sunday we heard about the locations of some wonderful Bible Chairs and Bible Corners, including a bar stool, and a chair in a corner, and a Junior High School Student's chair.
We'll see who else has identified their Bible Chairs and Bible Corners again this Sunday.
And starting Sunday, November 23, you can pick up hard copies of the BASIC program, or find each upcoming BASIC program readings in our weekly Newsletters.
WANTED: LIGHT CHANGER APPRENTICE
John Welker needs a Light Changer Apprentice to steady the ladder for him when he changes the spotlight bulbs this Saturday, November 15 at 8:30 pm.
John writes: "Applicant must be able to carry one end of the ladder and then hold on to the bottom while I climb it. (I suppose one would not even have to stand up to hold on if standing was too tiring.) Total time needed is 30 minutes. Applicants apply in person at that time."
Please help John so that our Sanctuary is brightened for our Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas celebrations. Bill +
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT SIGNUPS CONTINUE!
a. Sunday School Students: Sign up for roles, like Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, Wise Men, and. . . ?
b. Sunday School Student Musicians: Sign up for showcasing your instruments, like piano, trumpet, harp (?) and. . . ?
c. Adult Parishioners: Sign up to help with the Pageant and with the Pot Luck Brunch following the Pageant.
d. All participation and help is appreciated! Questions? Please ask me. Michele Appelbaum, Pageant Director
CHRISTMAS BASKET REMINDER FROM MARILYN KNILANS
By now, I imagine that you are already purchasing the gifts and other surprises for your Christmas basket.
Remember, they are due at St. Gregory's on Tuesday, December 2nd.
There will be places marked in Founders' Hall for you to drop off your baskets so look for the signs.
Please use the label sample you received for your boxes and if you would mark them as shown in this picture (with your own family code), that would be helpful.
Notice that a marker pen, not a ball point pen, was used to make the label. It makes them easier to read during the distribution process.
COMMUNITY SERVICE OPPORTUNITY WITH PADS AND PRESBYTERIANS!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 1— FEED THE HOMELESS AT FIRST PRES., DEERFIELD
This past March 31 a remarkable group of early rising parishioners, armed with 6 casseroles baked by parishioner chefs, provided a hot breakfast of casseroles, fruits, juices, and hard-boiled eggs for the PADS [Providing Advocacy, Dignity, and Shelter] Program at the First Presbyterian Church in Deerfield.
We have another opportunity, and the Missions Board is once again inviting you sign up to serve breakfast, and/or to provide one of the 6 casseroles we will need.
Casseroles may be dropped off at the church already baked and placed in the refrigerator by 9:00 PM on Sunday, November 30.
Please join us at the crack of dawn to care for our neighbors. Bill Roberts on behalf of the Missions Board
A BIG FEED THE HUNGRY! THANK YOU FROM WEST DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP
Dear St. Gregory's Parishioners,
Thank you for your very generous donation today of approximately 50 bags of food for the West Deerfield Township Food Pantry!
Once again we appreciate the planning, time, and effort that went into making this 2nd collection such a success.
Your continual commitment to helping your fellow community members is truly commendable.
The many bags of food you provided will make a big difference to those the pantry assists.
As you probably know, the Pantry serves over 250 people each month.
Some of these are seniors on fixed incomes, while others are families with children.
The rising cost of food and necessary household items make it increasingly difficult for many of our clients to fulfill their needs.
Donations like yours go a long way in helping us fill the gap.
On behalf of those who will benefit from your kindness, please accept our sincere thanks.
Sincerely, Alyson M. Feiger, Township Supervisor
[and then, in a handwritten note: "We were in need of this food! Thank you so much!]
WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO HOST A PARISHIONER FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER?
Kathy Seghers will be alone this Thanksgiving, and is physically unable to prepare a Thanksgiving meal.
If you would be willing to share your hospitality with Kathy, please call her— she's in the Parish Directory.
CAPTAIN MIKE BUTLER'S RETURN VISIT
Last Sunday, Mike, his wife Ghada and their children Amelie and Martin, and Mike's mother Catherine all joined us for an informative and fascinating update on the efforts to support education among girls as well as boys in Afghanistan.
Many thanks to Cissy Singleton who provided a patriotic and delicious cake for the Adult Forum.
Cissy and Nuala Kurokawa organized our Troop Support Ministry which sent supplies to Mike, and I enjoyed the opportunity to introduce Mike to Cissy before he gave his presentation.
Thanks to Ida Butler for these pictures of Mike's presentation, with his helper:
Thanks also to Meredith Potter for printing copies of Mike's slides when our projector died, and to Art Bielski who came to our rescue with his own projector!
Here is Mike's presentation:
The Missions Board looks forward to supporting this ministry in the New Year, and we hope that Captain Butler and General John and Mrs. Jan Bradley will be able to make a joint appearance next Spring.
GET READY FOR ANOTHER DIALOGUE SERMON THIS SUNDAY!
1. If you were preaching, what would be the first sentence or two of your sermon?
2. Does this passage touch your life today?
3. Is God inviting you to change?
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
Jesus said, "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "
In your prayers this week, please remember the sick, especially Samuel Mobley and Family, Bob Smith, Joanne Dutcher, David Dombrowsky, Michele Price, Beverly Laurell, Richard Babcock, Jessie Roland, Marianne, Steve Swenson, Kenneth, and Maryellen Davis;
and our companion parish in Madagascar, Santa Grégoire, Tolagnaro, and Dean Donné.
Keep on loving and taking care of each other,