Sandbox Worship, Thursday, Dec. 1, 5:30pm: We will gather for Advent evening worship, and to create prayer gems, a simple project to help us be faithful in prayer for particular people, issues, or situations. All are welcome. Dinner to follow.
Men’s Book Club Meeting, Saturday, December 3, 10am: The book is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. “Essential. A compelling and damning exploration of the abuse of one of our basic human rights: shelter”. From abandoned slums to shelters, eviction courts to ghettoes, Matthew Desmond spent years living with and recording the stories of those struggling to survive – yet who won’t give up. A work of love, care and humanity, Evicted reminds us why, without a home, nothing else is possible. It is one of the most necessary books of our time. For more information, contact Jim Hindle.
Caregivers’ Support Group, Saturday, December 3, 9am: The sessions are planned for the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. This will be a safe space to share concerns with others who have similar situations and to offer support in return. For more information, talk with John Rasmus, Bonnie Magnuson or Joseph Wermeling.
Creation Care meeting, Saturday, December 3, 12-1:30pm: We will discuss how to move ahead with living into our Creation Care Mission Statement. Members of the parish who’d like to get involved are welcome to attend.
Sunday school, Sunday, December 4, 10am: This Sunday, our 3 year olds to kindergarten class will be learning about Advent, while our Elementary classes will explore the prophet Isaiah’s vision of renewal.
Jesus’ Grandmothers – Tamar: In this Advent season, each week we’re hearing from one of the women in Jesus’ lineage – named in Matthew 1:1-17. Matthew names three surprising women in that genealogy – Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth. This week we will hear from Tamar, whose story is found in Genesis chapter 38.
MOM Special Offering, Sunday, December 4: This Sunday, half the cash in our offering plate and any designated checks will be given to Middleton Outreach Ministry’s food pantry. Here are the current top-ten, most needed items: quinoa, farro, barley; various rice (wild, white, black); salt, pepper, spices; cooking oil / butter; honey / maple syrup; holiday foods (cranberries, etc.); canned pumpkin; size 5 & 6 diapers; flour and sugar; low-sugar cereals. Thank you for all your support!
Birthdays and Anniversaries will be will be honored and Healing Prayers will be offered this Sunday, December 4, as is our custom on the first Sunday of every month.
Learning about our Diocesan Haiti Partnership, Sunday, December 4, 9am: Heidi Ropa, the chair of our diocesan partnership with the rural community of Jeannette, Haiti, will be with us on Sunday, Dec. 4, to tell us about Jeannette, and the history and future of that partnership. Our Sunday school classes would like to raise funds this Advent to support a student in Haiti, helping with his or her educational and everyday expenses.
After-Church Outreach Opportunity: Christmas Cards for Jail Inmates, 11:45am, Sunday, December 4: The Falk Food Friends Grocery Packing is on hiatus until January; we’ve packed enough groceries to last for a little while! Instead, those who would like a simple way to reach out in care to those beyond our church walls are invited to gather in the Meeting Room to write some Christmas cards to people in the Dane County Jail.
Evening Eucharist, Sunday, December 4, 6pm: A simple service before the week begins. All are welcome.
Caroling in 2016: Last year a group of singers from St. Dunstan’s had a wonderful time visiting a few of our members and singing Christmas carols. We’d like to do the same this year. All ages are welcome to participate. Possible dates include Saturday, December 17; Sunday afternoon, December 18; and Friday, December 23. Please sign up and indicate your availability in the Gathering Area, or talk with Rev. Miranda.
Military and College Student Care Packages – Addresses Needed! The Youth Group is preparing care packages for military personnel and college students. If you have a college student or service member who you would a care package sent to, please provide name and address to Sharon Henes by Sunday, December 4. Donations of small gifts to include in the packages are also welcome. Thank you for your support!
Christmas Shopping at St. Dunstan’s: This Sunday and in the weeks ahead, pick up something for your Christmas list!
– Haiti Chocolate Bars: Pick up a delicious chocolate bar – or several – made with fairly-traded cocoa from Haiti. The bars are $4 each, and are being sold by our Sunday school kids as part of their fundraising to support school fees for a child in Haiti next year.
– MOM Tribute Cards: For those people on your list who’d prefer a gift to charity. Make a donation of $10 or more, and take a card to give to someone you care about. All proceeds will go to MOM (Middleton Outreach Ministry) to support their work preventing homelessness and feeding the hungry. Make checks out to St. Dunstan’s, with “MOM Card” on the memo line.
Help feed the students! St Francis House Dinner, Sunday, December 11: St. Dunstan’s will provide dinner for the St. Francis House community in a few weeks. We are asked to provide food for up to 15 people, and we are invited to attend worship – a festive Christmas hymn sing – with the students at 5pm. Vegan and gluten-free options are welcome (that’s easier than you think: a veggie stew over rice, bean chili …). Please sign up in the Gathering Area if you can help with the meal, or contact Rev. Miranda.
SHARING CHRISTMAS – Please return gifts by Wednesday, December 7! All the gift tags have been claimed, which is wonderful! If you took a gift tag, please purchase and wrap the requested gift, and return it to church with the gift tag firmly attached to the package. Thank you so much for your generous support of this wonderful Middleton Outreach project that makes Christmas brighter for so many!!
NEXT SUNDAY & BEYOND…
Looking for some child-free time? The middle school youth group (and adult helpers) would love to care for your child on Saturday, December 10th while you do some shopping, or just get coffee and read a good book. Child care will be available from 9:00 a.m. to noon at St. Dunstan’s. There is no charge; however, any tips will go towards the youth group’s summer trip.
Bishop’s Visitation, Sunday, December 11: Our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Steven Miller, will lead worship, preach, and be available between services (at 9am) for conversation about our diocese and about our call as Christians in the world today. It’s an honor to share Advent with our Bishop and we look forward to our time together!
Sunday school, Sunday, December 11, 10am: This Sunday, our 3 year olds to kindergarten class will continue to learn about Advent, while our Elementary classes will reflect together on the Magnificat, Mary’s song of hope.
Children’s Choir, Sunday, December 11, 11:30am: The Children’s Choir will gather for rehearsal. Kids need to be able to read English (not music), and to focus and learn with a group. Please talk to our Organist & Choir Director, Martin Ganschow, with any questions.
Spirituality of Parenting Lunch, Sunday, December 11, 11:30am: All who seek meaning in the journey of parenthood (at any age or stage) are welcome to come for food and conversation. Child care and a simple meal provided.
Bring Christmas Cheer to St. Dunstan’s! Celebrate what’s important to you with a gift that helps us decorate for Christmas and honors a loved one or a special event. Please see the red Christmas Flowers sign-up sheet in the Gathering Area. Write “Christmas Flowers” on the memo line of your check or on the envelope containing cash. Suggested donation is $25.
Vestry nominations are open! Would you be interested in serving on our vestry, our church’s governing body? Is there someone else you think would be a great candidate? Job descriptions and a box for nominations are in the Gathering Area. Open nominations will run throughout December. We will be electing two new vestry members in January 2017. Wardens and Diocesan Convention deputies must be elected every year, so candidates for Junior and Senior Warden may also be nominated.
Madison-Area Julian Gathering, Wednesday, December 14, 7:15-9pm: Thomas Merton called Julian “the greatest theologian for our time.” Come to one of our monthly meetings and find out why—and learn about contemplative prayer. We meet the second Wednesday of each month. We’d love to see you.
Christmas Pageant Practice, Sunday, Dec. 18, 11:30am: All Actors are invited to a practice session for our Christmas Eve pageant. We will order pizza to sustain our team, and will go no later than 12:30pm.
The Longest Night: A Liturgy of Light in Darkness, Thursday, December 22, 6:30pm (dinner at 5:30pm): On December 22th, we will gather together out of the darkness of the season for a quiet, meditative worship service. Feel free to invite friends who might appreciate this time set apart to name the darkness in the world and in our lives, and prepare our hearts for the coming of the light of Christ. Contact Rev. Miranda with any questions.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services:
Family Service with Pageant, Saturday, December 24, 3pm
Festal Eucharist, Saturday, December 24, 9pm
Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, 10am (NO 8am service!)
Christmas Service Helpers Needed! If you would like to be a part of the Christmas services, we need greeters, ushers and refreshments for each of the three services. Please see the sign-up sheet in the Gathering Area or contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org.