Dear friends,

This Sunday we turn the page to the beginning of a new church year. Advent is one of my favorite seasons on our liturgical calendar. Those who are new to the Episcopal Church may be surprised that we aren’t singing Christmas carols or putting up Christmas decorations. Those things will come, of course, but not until we actually get to Christmas Eve. Advent has its own music, its own prayers and rituals. The four Sundays before Christmas (and the intervening weekdays) are a time of waiting and preparation for Christ to be born among us yet again.

This year that time of preparation is short than usual. That’s because the Fourth Sunday of Advent is also Christmas Eve. Logic might suggest that we back everything up a week so that two big things don’t happen on the same day. But that’s not the way the Church works. 

That means that Sunday morning, December 24, at 10 a.m. we will celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Then the altar and flower guilds will scramble to make the switch to a fully decorated church for the Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. Actually I think there is something special about the years when this happens. Babies come when they come; not when it’s convenient of when everything is ready. This baby God in human flesh is acting like a regular baby that way.

Part of the preparation for Christmas involves buying presents for the people we love. As Christians we extend that love beyond our immediate families and church walls. This year there are two opportunities to do that. We are providing Christmas gifts for three families who are regular users of the Solidarity food pantry. Below is a link to the SIgnUp Genius that details what each member of those families want or need. Gifts should be here no later than December 8, to be delivered to Solidarity the next day.

The other opportunity is to help our refugee family from Myanmar set up their new American home. Again, below is a link to the SignUp Genius for them.

Secret Santa:

Refugee family:

The church schedule of events from mid-December to early January will be different. Here is the schedule:

  • December 3 — First Sunday of Advent. Two services and Sunday School as usual.
  • December 10 — Second Sunday of Advent — Two services and Sunday School as usual.
    At 4 p.m. we invite you back for a service of Advent Lessons & Carols. Give yourself the treat of an hour of beautiful music, scripture readings, and prayer in the midst of a busy season.
  • December 17 — Third Sunday of Advent — There will be ONE SERVICE at 10:45Bishop Rob Wright will be with us to preach, confirm, and celebrate. Bishop Wright will teach Sunday School at 9:30. After the service there will be a potluck lunch. Bring your favorite comfort food.
  • December 24 — Fourth Sunday of Advent service at 10 a.m.
    Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m.
  • December 25 — Christmas Day service (no music) at 10 a.m.
  • December 31 — One service of Christmas Lessons & Carols at 10 a.m.
  • January 7 — One service at 10 a.m. (because JH and I will be returning that day  from two weeks in Italy)
  • January 14 — Back to our usual schedule.

Finally, one of St. Dunstan’s founding members, Cleone Elrod, died recently. We give thanks for her life and vision that are part of the reason we are here today. Here is a link to her obituary. 

With love,


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