The Church of the Holy Family Mills River, NC

December 2012 Newsletter
Dear friends, Happy new year! The Church Year always begins 4 Sundays before Christmas with a season of preparation called Advent (that’s December 2 this year). Note that “Advent” is a key part of Adventure. December is always a busy time, which makes it all the more important to observe Advent by making afresh the room in our lives and in our hearts for the One who is always a surprise. And while the feast of the Christ Mass on December 25 always has a comfortable familiarity to it, I encourage you to seek the newness, the freshness, of the celebration this year. Take some time every day to find the adventure in the coming weeks – the surprising way in which Christ breaks in to your life. For that’s how you find your way to the manger. I want to thank everyone who made a financial pledge or gift to Holy Family for 2013! The Stewardship Committee (Dick Bainbridge, Carol Braud, Cissy Ford, and Chair Linda Bregartner) did a wonderful job this fall of inviting our generous investment in our church home, with prayers, presentations and food. With 34 pledges received, we have made a good start to seeing our way forward for next year. And please remember, it is never too late to give (or pledge) to God’s work in the world through Holy Family. I pray for you a most blessed Advent, and suggest that gathering for Sunday worship is an important part of the adventure! Yours in Emmanuel, Rob+

From Raj, one of the students Holy Family supports through the Durgapur Child Development Center in India:

When Christmas Hurts
A service of consolation Sunday, December 23, 5 pm Holy Family Episcopal Church 419 Turnpike Rd Mills River, NC 28759 Sometimes the season doesn’t feel holly and jolly. Sometimes December brings difficult memories of loss and sadness. This candlelight service honors those feelings. All are welcome.
You are invited to bring photos or mementos to lay before the altar.

Christmas Eve at Holy Family
Our Christmas Eve service will begin with music at 7 pm on Monday, December 24.
Our candlelight celebration will be a rich feast of music, prayer and scripture. It’s an ideal time to invite family, friends and neighbors to your church! Child care will be available.

Shopping List
Holy Family is responsible for filling 72 backpacks on the first week of every month for children at the Mills River Elementary School. Every weekend a backpack is sent home with each child who’s at risk of hunger. Here are the ideal items needed for each backpack: Granola bars Peanut butter crackers Pop Tarts Apple sauce Vienna Sausages Fruit snacks Rice Krispies bars Fruit cups Tuna cups Individual peanut butter cups Small Ritz Cracker packs Raisins Nutri-grain bars Pudding cups Individual cereal boxes

You’re welcome to take this list along when you shop for groceries, and to pick up any of these items. There’s a collection box in the hallway at church. Thank you!

In November our Diocese of Western North Carolina held its annual convention at the Kanuga Center in Hendersonville. H oly Family was ably represented by Mary-Frances Burkett and Parker Bailes, Beth Gaffney reading the 2nd lesson at the Convention Eucharist. with Evie Brush and Rita Van Zant serving as alternates. Your clergy were there as well – the Rev Deacon Diane Livington, the Rev Posy Jackson, and the Rev Robert Lundquist. At the Convention Eucharist on Friday, Nov 9, Beth Gaffney read the second lesson. I was very proud of her, for Beth exhibited her usual poise and grace. Parker was elected by Convention to serve on the Diocesan Executive Board. Congratulations, Parker! Holy Family was well represented at convention by some of our youngest members.

Flower Ministry to Home-bound Parishioners
Flowers from the altar will be taken to our parishioners who are homebound, starting in January. The flower fund comes from all of us and this will be a gift from us to our absent friends to let them know we are remembering and missing them. If you might be interested in delivering flowers after the service on a rotating basis (perhaps once a month, depending on how many volunteers we have) please contact Jaye Peterson (ifoundabench@yahoo.com, phone 69878550 or Michele Burnette (jmebur11@gmail.com, phone 242-1338).

New Kitchen Crew On Board
Louise Rooney, Linda Bregartner, and Carol Braud have stepped up to be the Kitchen Crew for 2013. They will take care of sponsoring the Sunday coffee hour (when there is not a host signed up) and ordering supplies for the kitchen. They ask that if you use the last of something let them know –AND- to please rinse and put your coffee mugs in the dishwasher. Thank you!

Three New Year’s resolutions
The Church, ever counter-cultural, begins the new year four Sundays before Christmas. This being the beginning of our new year, perhaps it’s appropriate for us to make our resolutions now, at the beginning of Advent. My friend the Rev H. King Oehmig offered these a few years ago – I find them still relevant. ~ Rob+ I. Show up on Sunday. One of the slogans in AA goes: “It works if you work it.” This saying refers to the 12-step program, of course. The implication for Christians is clear, although frequently denied. If you do not participate in worship, if you do not commit to being part of the Body on the day of the Resurrection – making it the cornerstone of your weekly calendar – you won’t experience the depth of the Christian life God wants for you. Do away with the rationalizations: “I need to sleep in one day a week.” “I don’t get anything out of the sermons.” “I get more spirituality from a Sunday morning walk or doing yoga.” II. Give more than you think you can. Be a committed giver. Make a plan and stick to it. But make it a “faith” plan, which is to say, offer your gift to God as an act of faith, making it larger than you think “prudent.” Break the hold that money has over you by practicing generosity with no strings attached. Give. Give to your parish not because the rector is good with the youth group or because you want a nice place for your daughter to be married or because it is the “charitable” thing to do. Give to God, lay your treasure out, and watch your heart follow. III. Wash somebody’s feet. Get active on behalf of someone who needs your help. Make a resolution to be a footwasher. If it is not apparent what specific need you can fill, pray for guidance on what to do. It won’t take God long to let you know. In the stillness that Advent offers, listen to the “still small voice” of God to lead you into unconditional service. Be awake to opportunity. And stand ready to move. Alert. At attention. Always willing to wind the golden string of the Gospel into the New Birth that is ever at hand.
~From Synthesis, Dec 3, 2000

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Update on Stream Buffer Plantings & Pollinator Patch Expansion
Under the direction of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy's Megan Montgomery, Holy Family and CMLC volunteers turned out on November 8 and 10 to assist in the planting in our stream bed buffer of some 48 trees (large and small), plus 25 shrubs. Recommended by Shaun Moore, Watershed Coordinator for the Henderson County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), these hardy container size trees included an assortment of Red Maples, Alders, Oaks, River Birches, Black Cherry, Dogwoods, Black Willows, Black Gums, Service Berries, Witch Hazesl, and Eastern Redbuds. Shrubs included American Beautyberry, Elderberry, Hydrangea, Chokeberry, Red Buckeye, Sweet Pepperbush, Sweetshrub, American Filbert, Clerthras, and Buttonbush. All these plants are recommended for North Carolina mountain stream buffer restoration areas. This stream restoration project was first begun in 2010, when SWCD excavated the banks on the southern area of Boylston Creek, laid down erosion control matting, and planted riparian plants to help stabilize the banks. This will count as one of our GreenFaith Certification projects. Our November workdays also included preparation of an addition to the Pollinator Patch, where more perennials will be planted next spring. We look forward with anticipation to seeing what spring - and all the seasons - will bring as we continue to improve and add more native plant materials to our stream area. Barbara Neal

You are invited! To the December Holy Family lunch on Wednesday, December 12, at the Tai Spice Restaurant, 220 South King Street, Hendersonville. Please contact Evie Brush for more information – 828-8919326 or jimevie@earthlink.net

2017 Bicentennial History Days Ahead April 20, 2013 St John’s, Fayetteville Diocese of East Carolina May 2, 2014 Holy Cross, Valle Crucis Diocese of Western North Carolina April 2015 St Augustine’s University Diocese of North Carolina April 2016 Gastonia – Charlotte Dioceses of Western North Carolina & North Carolina April 22, 2017 Christ Church, New Bern Diocese of East Carolina 2017 marks the Bicentennial of our shared history in the Dioceses of North Carolina. Each Bishop has appointed representatives to the Planning Committee that will help us look back and learn from that history. Every spring between now and 2017 we will focus on a different era and gather at a site significant to that particular era. Next April 20th in Fayetteville, we turn our attention to the very earliest years of the Diocese, 1817 – 1823, before we even had a bishop of our own. Event details for each History Day – presentation topics, guest speakers, exhibits, local sites, and overnight accommodations, will be announced well in advance. For more information contact one of the Diocesan Historiographers: NC: stmattclergy@embarqmail.com WNC: soxford@stjameswnc.org EC: mamre@ec.rr.com

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