Las Posadas Party, Saturday, Dec. 14, 6pm: Las Posadas (Spanish for “the inns”) is an Advent celebration practiced in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, revolving around the concept of hospitality. We learn from the Posadas that by welcoming the poor and the needy, we are welcoming Jesus in our midst. We’ll celebrate Posadas with an intergenerational gathering for food, fellowship & fireworks! All are welcome.
Sunday School in December: Our Sunday school classes for kids meet during 10am worship on the second and third Sundays of most months. We have three Sunday school classes: for kids age 3 through kindergarten, for grades 1 – 3, and grades 4 – 6. Kids are welcome to try it out at any time, and parents may come along too! This month, on December 8th, Elementary kids will learn about John the Baptist. You could ask them, How did he dress, and what was his message? On December 15, they will talk about Patience, using our lesson from the letter of James.
Caroling 2019 – Call for Singers/Musicians: In recent years, a group of singers from St. Dunstan’s has enjoyed 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. Date will be determined by folks’ availability. Please sign up and indicate your availability in the Gathering Area, or email Rev. Miranda .
Furnishing our Renewed Spaces: Before the renovation, there were benches along the east wall in three sections of the main floor of our main building. Those benches moved out when the new carpet was installed, and we need to decide whether and where they should come back. We can make a different decision for each area: the Gathering Area; the area near the kitchen and restrooms; and the Meeting Room. There are sheets up on the windows in each area where you can share some thoughts! You can also email thoughts to Rev. Miranda at firstname.lastname@example.org . We’ll try to make a decision by the end of December.
THE WEEKS AHEAD…
Christmas Flower Dedications: 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 sheets in the Gathering Area. Write “Christmas Flowers” on the memo line of your check or on the envelope containing cash. Suggested donation is $25.
The Longest Night: A Liturgy of Light in Darkness, Sunday, December 22, 7:00PM: 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.
Christmas Eve Helpers Needed: We are in need of assisting ministers in several positions for our holiday services including: ushers, greeters, and serving refreshments. There are signup sheets in the Gathering Area. Please consider offering a bit of your time to these joyful services.
“A Climate of Hope: Scientists and Faith Communities Addressing the Climate Crisis,” Livestreamed Presentation, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 4:30 – 6:15PM CST: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a noted climate scientist and educator known to some of us from our Bite Sized Climate videos, andThe Right Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Shori, who holds a PhD in oceanography and was recently the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, will discuss climate change, environmental stewardship, and ways faith communities and scientists are working together to address one of today’s most pressing issues. Look for a link to livestream (watch online) here: https://www.aaas.org/events/2019-doser-holiday-lecture.
Vestry Meeting, Wednesday, December 18, 6:45pm: The Vestry is the elected leadership body of our parish. Any members are welcome to attend our meetings, to observe or raise questions or ideas.
Grace Shelter: St.Dunstan’s will be serving dinner on December 22nd. The number of men served has increased to around 140 during this time of year. We have 5 cooks for this date, but we could use some dessert. So if you would like to help out, please leave cookies, brownies and etc. on the bench at church the morning of the 22nd. Thank you for your support! For more information, contact Evy Gildrie-Voyles.
Ladies Night Out, or in reality, Ladies Dinner Out, is held on the fourth Friday of the month. We meet at a restaurant for dinner and conversation. The next gathering is December 27, 6:00 pm, at Nani Restaurant at 518 Grand Canyon Drive. NaniRestaurant.com. Any questions about joining us at the table, please contact Marian Barnes.
Inviting Prayers for Diocesan Search Committee: Back in August, Bishop Miller announced his planned retirement in November 2020. Our Diocesan Standing Committee has now appointed a Search Committee, to begin discerning the needs and gifts of our diocese in preparation for seeking our next bishop. Debra Martinez, of our parish, will serve as one of the members. Please keep the Search Committee in your prayers as they begin their important and demanding work in the months ahead. If you don’t receive email news from the Diocese of Milwaukee, you can join the mailing list by emailing your request to .
Folks with Sewing & Prototyping Skills Needed! In the new year, we hope to make some kneelers/hassocks, and new cushions for the benches at the front of the church, in the same green wool fabric as our pew cushions. We need one or two folks skilled enough to use an old pillow cover as a template to make a new one (OK to destroy the old one). Rev. Miranda could use a couple of people to help develop kneeler prototypes, so we can move that project forward as well. Talk to Rev. Miranda or email her if you’d like to help out!
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 2019. Wardens and Diocesan Convention deputies must be elected every year, so candidates for Junior and Senior Warden may also be nominated.
Reading Genesis In Babylon, Thursday evenings, starting Jan. 16: Genesis 1-11 is the prelude for the Bible’s story, and in regular dialogue with the stories of Babylon. Abraham is said to have come from that region; Jews spent a generation in exile there. So, after Epiphany youth & adults are invited to a six-week study, reading three Babylonian stories (Atrahasis, Enuma Elish, Gilgamesh) and wondering about how Genesis 1-11 interacts with them. Thursday evenings 7-8:30 at St Dunstan’s, Jan 16 – Feb 20, Fr. Tom facilitating. Texts: Gen 1-11, Myths from Mesopotamia translated by Stephanie Dalley, revised edition (Oxford University Press, 2000) – available cheaply online; we’ll also have several copies available to borrow.
Book Club, Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 10 am: Out selections for January will be: Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell and Confident Pluralism by John D. Inazu. We chose both books as two takes on a common issue. Since it’ll be 2 months before the next meeting due to the holidays, at least some of the group were confident they’d have enough time to read both. The public library does not have these books available, but two copies of each will soon be available in our church library. Talking to Strangers is all about what happens when we encounter people we don’t know, why it often goes awry, and what it says about us. Confident Pluralism addresses the question: With such seemingly irresolvable differences in beliefs, values, and identities across the country, how can the people of this nation ever live in peace together?