Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks to all the people who prepared for and participated in all the Christmas services—the altar guild, the choir, the children’s Christmas Pageant offering, acolytes, LEMS, Lectors, Ushers and anyone else who helped. Our Blue Christmas this year was very meaningful to the small group who braved the snow on December 11th. Thanks to all who created and participated (and bought) at our Advent Craft Boutique. It made approximately $1400 to be used for the new windows!
I look forward to our Epiphany offering of Lessons and Carols on January 15. A special thank you to the choir under the direction of Dr. Tom Hoekstra for its wonderful music offerings at Christmas and the whole year. Thank you to all the volunteers who help all year round in all of our ministries. I want to especially thank my office manager Charles Pinkham, Jim Murchison our Sexton, Sue Anderson our Treasurer, and Bill Dani who covered for Jim while he was recovering, for all their hard work this year.
Special thanks to our 2016 Vestry led by Jim Walsh & Mike Rollins, Wardens, and members PJ Jarvis, Glory Kosmatka, Jim Jobes, Jim George, Mike Cummings, Bill Gatewood, and Sheila Hoekstra. Thank you to Deb Walsh, the Acolyte Coordinator and Scrip program coordinator.
Thank you also to John Jameson who schedules our Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEM) and to Colleen Rollins who is in charge of our Lectors. Thank you also to Gary Buschman who schedules our ushers. Thank you to Lori Miller who leads our Altar Guild. Thank you to all who care for our grounds and building. Thank you to all who lead and to all those who volunteer for all the ministries that make St. Andrew work.
Elijah’s Mantle has done an amazing job with their coat ministry again this year. So many of you (and others outside our church) donated good new and used coats that we were able to provide many children with warm coats, hats, gloves, and some scarves over the last two months. Thanks to all who donated and all the Elijah’s Mantle volunteers led by Margie Jobes from here and the UP volunteers that work year round for this wonderful ministry.
Mark your calendar now for our annual church meeting on Sunday January 29—we will have a combined service at 9:00am followed by brunch coordinated by Denise Sawyer and meeting in the Parish Hall. All pledging members can vote and we will be selecting new Vestry representatives and a new Jr. Warden for 2017.
This year we will be having a confirmation class for youth in 7th grade and above and for adults who are interested in being confirmed or received. Please let Mother Jane know if you are interested soon so she can set the dates for education.
Please also watch for upcoming information on special services and classes. As usual in the winter we schedule annual acolyte, LEM, lector and usher training. More info to come but if you are interested in any of these ministries let me know.
I am looking forward to 2017. We will be celebrating 110 years of St. Andrew Episcopal Church October 20th and will have the Bishop visit with confirmation & celebration at the Saturday 5pm evening service October 21st with a meal to follow.
Mark your calendar for Italian Feast on March 18 and Easter on April 16.
Please make a commitment to regularly attend and participate in our worship and life here at St. Andrew. I am excited about what opportunities God is bringing us to worship and serve here at St. Andrew Episcopal Church. I thank God for all of you.
Peace and may God bless you in 2017.