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Richmond, Virginia

DECEMBER, 2014

Events at St. Johns this

Christmas

December 3

Advent Reflection Gathering - 7 pm

December 6
Youth Fund Raiser/Parade parking
December 7

Second Sunday of Advent


Worship & Communion - 11 am

December 10

Advent Reflection Gathering- 7 pm

December 14

Third Sunday of Advent


Worship & Communion - 11 am
Richmond PAL Concert here - 2:30 pm

December 17

Advent Reflection Gathering- 7 pm


Guitar Concert here - 7 pm

December 21

Fourth Sunday of Advent


Children telling the Christmas story - 10:15 am
Worship & Communion - 11 am
Christmas Tea - Noon

December 24

Christmas Eve Service/Communion - 10:30 pm

Do you remember the first time you sang Away in the


Manger? For many, it is hard to remember a time
when we didnt know this Christmas song. Do you
have a favorite Christmas carol? Most of us have more
than one and we sing them as often as we can during
Advent and Christmas because they bring back
memories of Christmas past. We love to sing the story
of Christs birth. Each week during this season of
Advent, we will focus on a special song during worship
and reflect at home and together about what each
song means to us. We will also sing many other songs
that tell the story of Jesus birth.

Sunday Mornings

The Sunday worship bulletin will include a


take-home piece with reflections on the focus
hymns and suggestions for exploring the season
of Advent through song.

December 21

On December 21st children of all ages are invited to gather in the Sanctuary at 10:15 am to take part in an active re-telling of the nativity story.
Come and experience Christmas joy with our little shepherds, angels, and
baby Jesus. Worship will begin at 11 am.

Christmas Eve

Join us Christmas Eve at 10:30 pm . We will wrap up our Advent


reflections with congregational singing of Infant Holy as the Christ candle
is lit during the Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service. There will be
special music and Communion

Each Sunday, the children will be putting a few


pieces of the crche in place during worship.
Watch and see who appears each Sunday!

Wednesday Nights

All who are able are also invited to gather on


Wednesday nights, 7-8:30 p.m., to reflect together
on the meaning of singing the Christmas story.

The Messenger | DECEMBER 2014

Week one (November 30)

Week two (December 7)

The Prophets/Hope

The Shepherds/Peace

By: Charles Wesley

African-American spiritual

Come, O Long-Expected Jesus

Come, O long-expected Jesus,


Born to set all people free;
From our fears and sins release us
Grant us your true liberty
.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope to all the earth impart,
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Go, Tell it on the Mountain

Go, tell it on the mountain,


Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.
The shepherds feared and trembled,
When low above the earth,
Rang out the angels chorus
That hailed our Savior's birth.

The third Sunday celebrates the joy


Mary felt when the angel declared she
would have Gods child and sang My
Soul Gives Glory to My God.

Week four (December 21)

The Angels/Joy

Mary & Joseph/Love

By: Miriam Therese Winter

German carol, 15th century

My soul gives glory to my God,


My heart pours out its praise.
God lifted up my lowliness
In many marvelous ways.

My God has done great things for me:


Yes, holy is Gods Name.
All people will declare me blessed,
And blessings they shall claim.

Gentle Joseph, Joseph Dear

Gentle Joseph, Joseph dear,


Stay with me, for the babys near;
God will surely your goodness hear,
As you will love this newborn child,
Says Mary.

The fourth Sunday focuses on Mary and


Joseph as they prepare for the sign of
Gods love and introduces a new hymn,
Gentle Joseph, Joseph Dear.

Gladly Mary, Mary mine,


I will cradle the child divine;
Here will heaven and earth combine,
For you will bear Gods child,
O dearest Mary.

One extra week to order


Poinsettias!
Each year we have lovely poinsettias on display in
the chancel area during the Christmas Season. If
you wish to order a poinsettia in memory of or in
honor of a loved one IT IS NOT TOO LATE!
Please call the church office. The cost is $12.50
per plant, and you may take it home after the
completion of the Christmas Eve Service.

Ordering Deadline:
Sunday,
December 2nd

On the first Sunday of Advent, we will


focus on the hope that the prophets
foretold, which is captured in the words
of Come, O Long-Expected Jesus.
The second Sunday will recall how God
our shepherd wants the world to have
peace and will focus on Go Tell it on the
Mountain!

Week three (December 14)

My Soul Gives Glory to My God

Advent Worship

We will wrap up our Advent reflections with congregational


singing of Infant Holy as the Christ candle is lit during the
Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service.
There will be special music and Communion.

SERVICE
10:30 pm ~ December 24

The Messenger | DECEMBER 2014

Sundays at 9:45
The Christmas Story In
Word and Art
Adults
John August Swanson is known for his
beautiful depictions of the Christmas story.
Come view his artwork and explore the
Advent themes of prophets, shepherds,
angels, and the Holy Family.

Let this Sunday morning


study set the tone for a
Christmas full of beauty.
Class will meet from 9:45-10:40 a.m.
in the Adult classroom in B-2.

Creating a Space for Christs Birth


Advent is a time of anticipation and excitement about the baby
born so long ago in Bethlehem. To heighten our expectation, our
children will help us recreate the first Christmas by putting a few
pieces of the crche in place during worship each week. Watch
and see who appears each Sunday!

The Stories of Christmas

During the season of Advent, children in the Toddler and Primary


classes will listen to a story about Jesus birth and participate in
activities related to the themes of Advent: hope, peace, joy, and
love. On all four Sundays (Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14, and Dec. 21),
children will return to the sanctuary to celebrate communion with
their families. There will be no church school on Dec. 28.

On December 21st children of all ages are invited to gather in the Sanctuary at 10:15 am to take
part in an active re-telling of the nativity story. Come and experience Christmas joy with our little
shepherds, angels, and baby Jesus. Worship will begin at 11 am.

Chrismons

The younger youth will be making Chrismons during Advent. They will explore the various symbols traditionally created in white and
gold for the Chrismon tree. They will return to the sanctuary for communion all four Sundays.

Confirmation

The confirmation class will be up early Saturday morning, (and at the church no later than 8:15 am) on December 6th! As a fund
raiser, the youth will be in our parking lot to collect $5 from cars parking for the Dominion Christmas Parade. The 31st annual
Dominion Christmas parade begins at 10 am starting at the Virginia Science Museum. This beloved Richmond tradition attracts
more than 100,000 spectators each year from everywhere in Virginia. For many Richmonders, the parade kicks off the Christmas
season. Contact Julia if you would like to help with this ministry. Come down and join the fun.

The Messenger | DECEMBER 2014

Christmas Tea December 21


The Fellowship will host the Christmas Tea, a favorite holiday
tradition at St. Johns, on December 21 following worship.
Bring a guest and celebrate the joyous season.
This is a special tradition that brings joy to those who have been
faithful in their love of the church across the years. Volunteers will
be asked to provide food for the occasion.

SPECIAL
CONCERT AT
ST. JOHNS
December 17

Preaching Schedule
Dec. 7: Alexa Slonin
Dec. 14: Andrew Terry
Dec. 21: Alexa Slonin
Dec. 24: Erin Burnette and
Steve Plymale
Dec. 28: Erin Burnette

Classical/flamenco guitarist
Ayman Fanous (a Richmond
resident) and electric guitarist
Anthony Pirog both have
released CDs over the last
year to considerable critical
acclaim. Along with them, an
Osaka native Tatsuya
Nakatani (considered by
critics to be among the most
creative percussionists in improvised music today) will
be preforming in our sanctuary on Wed., December 17
at 7:00 pm. This will be the debut performance
of their trio. All are invited!

Inclement Weather Procedure


Should we get winter weather and are forced to
cancel worship, please watch for our listing on
channel 12 TV, call the churchs main phone
number at (804)358-9291 and listen to the
recording, or check your email for an e-blast.

Florence Cross will be moving to Rhode Island at the end of December . Her e is
her new address: 30 Marsh Drive ~ P.O. Box 1027 ~ Charlestown, RI ~ 02813

The Messenger | DECEMBER 2014

St. Johns UCC

Angel Tree
Donations
Needed

In the spirit of giving


and spreading hope,
again this year, St.
Johns will collect items
for families in need of assistance through our Angel Tree ministry.
The Christmas tree in the Parlor is loaded with ornaments with gift
suggestions. Please take the ornament off the tree, purchase the
item listed, wrap it and use the paper ornament as the gift tag.
Then return the gift to the church placing it under the tree NO
LATER THAN THE DUE DATE ON THE TAG. St. Johns mission
elves will deliver the packages in time for Christmas.
Some of the gifts this year (dishes, pots and pans, and gift cards)
will support families served by CARITAS, a local housing program
for our most vulnerable neighbors.

December Circle Center Offering


Thirty-seven years ago, St. Johns and four other Stuart Circle
churches worked together to create the Circle Center, an adult day
care center that has now grown into the biggest and best organization of its kind in Virginia. The Center provides a way for frail or
functionally impaired older adults to continue living at home with
their families instead of in a residential institution. Its participants
receive professional care during daytime hours, including an innovative, Montessori-based activity program for those with dementia.
The Center uses donations from individuals and organizations to
provide scholarships for Richmond families and to make up the
gap between costs and Medicaid reimbursement.
On Sunday, December 14, Executive Director Lory Phillippo will
be here to tell us more about the Centers ministry and to invite our
financial support. Please listen, pray and be generous!

Christmas Eve Offering


On Christmas Eve, December 24, we
will receive an offering for retired
United Church of Christ ministers and
their surviving loved ones. For 110
years, the Christmas Fund offering for
the Veterans of the Cross and the
Emergency Fund has been a means
by which the members of the United
Church of Christ live out the mandate to be Christs body in the
world. The Christmas Fund is one of four Special Mission
Offerings received annually in the UCC. It is a ministry of
compassion and care to those who have served our church.
Please reflect upon the ways your life has been touched by a
pastor, Christian education director, church secretary or minister of
music, and consider a generous gift to honor and assist others like
them in difficult times.

CARITAS for 2015


February 14 through April 17
CARITAS is a housing and feeding program for the homeless
and one of the outreach activities that St. Johns sponsors each
year. Once again, St. Johns will serve as an intake center
every evening February 14 through April 17, 2015 As an intake
center we offer hospitality during the hour before the participants
are transported to another location where they are fed a meal
and sleep the night.
We will need volunteers for each evening for two hours. We
hope that you will bring some snacks for our guests on the
evening that you volunteer. Watch for sign-up sheets in the
Parlor. If everyone takes one or two nights during this time
period we will make a difference in the lives on these 40 some
men and women!
Thanks for your help and ongoing support of this important
ministry to our vulnerable population.
Richard Bighinatti,
CARITAS Chairman

Richmond PAL
Concert Here
December 14
We hope you will come out and
support the Richmond Police
Athletic Leagues Christmas
Concert which will be held here, in
our sanctuary, on Sunday,
December 14th @ 2:30 pm.

WORLD AIDS DAY


The First Unitarian Universalist
Church of Richmond is hosting this
years World AIDS Day Celebration
and Remembrance Service, which
has been organized by many
supportive and affirming
communities in Richmond.
ALL ARE INVITED TO ATTEND!
Monday, December 1, 2014
6:30 pm Celebration and Remembrance Service
Reception and fellowship to follow the service.
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond
1000 Blanton Avenue
Richmond, VA 23221
804-355-0777

The Messenger | DECEMBER 2014

We welcome the following


new members to our
church:

Chris Ward
Abby Ward
Scott Siefert

Abby Ward was raised in North Carolina but after living in


Richmond since 1999, feels like a Virginian now. She received a
B.A. in Political Science and German Studies from the University of
Richmond and a M.Ed. in Education from the College of William and
Mary. She works in the Office of International Education at the
University of Richmond, managing a portfolio of study abroad
programs and advising students, among other things. She is the
happy wife of Chris and proud mother of Alex, and in her free time
enjoys yoga, craft projects, and wine.

Chris and Abby Ward

Scott Siefert was born in raised in northwest Pennsylvania. After being in


the Navy he rejoined his parents who had relocated to Maine. He
graduated from the University of Maine with a BS in Business
Administration. His father graduated from the University of Maine and
Bangor Theological Seminary during the same time period. He was a
practicing UCC minister until his retirement. Scott relocated to Richmond,
VA in 1995. He works for Dominion Enterprises as an Affiliate Relations
Manager where he purchases supply for their automotive internet marketing
divisions. He enjoys playing tennis, cycling, cooking, and good craft beers.

We are blessed to have you


with us!

Scott Siefert

The Messenger | DECEMBER 2014

...from the Council President


We all said our thanks to Rev. Tom on Sunday, November 16th
and wished him the very best in his new home as Pastor of
South Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. We
are in the process of hiring another Interim to carry us thru the
next 6 months or so until we have a new called Pastor. Our
Search Committee has done a wonderful time, given many hours
to this process and it will be coming to an end in 2015. Please
thank them and show your appreciation for all their hard work
and dedication.

Fridays

Thanks to Bill Watson and all who helped make our 2014 Crop
Walk very successful.

The month of December is upon us and St. Johns Committees


have planned a beautiful Advent Season. My thanks to the
Worship & Music, Christian Formation and Congregational Life
committees who have stepped up and planned a very meaningful
celebration for us in absence of our Interim Pastor. We will have
several guest pastors during this time. Please give all your love
and support to Julia, Shirley and Diane during this period. They
are the angels who will guide us along with the help of our
many dedicated members.
On Sunday, November 16th, we welcomed 3 new members,
Abby & Chris Ward and Scott Siefert. We are delighted to
have them official members of our Congregation. Welcome!
My wishes for you are a Blessed Holiday season and I pray that
God be in your life and heart as we all live out our lives and look
forward to 2015!
Blessings to all

St. Johns United Church of Christ


2015 Pledges

Betsy J. Bighinatti, Council President

GOAL!
$126,000
CURRENT $113,199.00 - 54 pledgers

Please feel free to


contact
Stewardship
Chair Jeff
Jacobs (at
jeff.jacobs@dtiglo
bal.com or
(804) 355-1115;
Finance Chair
Jeff Hetzer (804550-3928 ); or
any member of
Church Council
with any
questions .

The Church office will be closed on Fridays.

In the event of an emergency, you are encouraged to call


Julia Eliades (804-873-0220)
or
Betsy Bighinatti (804-502-1007)

Facility Report for December

The Facilities Committee has accomplished the following


tasks in November...
Repair roof and window leaks
Repaint the leak areas
New toilet and other repairs
Repair rose window
These items are on our agenda for the near future...
New lights on alter still need to be address
Repair brick wall and lawn
Repair floor bathroom need quotes.
New lighting from Dominion Power to look into a lighting
energy pan and will also repair any duct work. The
duct work is free and the T-8 bulbs are free. The
LED bulbs will have a cost; however we will recoup
this expense by the energy savings.
New facility instructions for all facility team members
Facility instruction Manual
Facility Chairman
Richard Bighinatti

Chili Cook-Off and De-Greening Jan. 4


After the Christmas holidays St Johns will
be holding its 4rd Annual Chili Cook-off.
All you need to do is bring a crockpot of
your favorite home-made chili. Come and
enjoy a little friendly competition, yummy
chili, and great fellowship! De-greening
the Church will follow right after the Cook off

The Messenger | DECEMBER 2014

St. Johns Financial Picture YTD as of October 31, 2014


2014 Budget

Budget YTD

Actual YTD

Income
Pledge Payments*
Cash Offerings
Other Income
(Endowment Contributions
Parking Lot Rental, Wedding Income, etc.)

$127,000
$22,000
$122,850

$105,000
$18,333
$117,276

$94,586
$10,933
$125,576

Total Income

$271,850

$240,609

$231,095

Personnel
Committees
Operations/Maintenance
Local Benevolences
Other

166,549
22,191
122,390
7,300
9,600

143,104
18,492
105,353
6,817
7,250

140,940
17,160
91,253
5,572
7,250

Total Expenses

328,030

281,016

262,175

Income/Expenses Total
surplus (deficit)

(56,180)

(40,407)

(31,080)

Expenses

NOTE:
1. Income includes a total of $85,000 annual contribution from Endowment
Fund ($7083 monthly)
2. Annual Deficit to be covered by Endowment Fund and General Reserve
Fund
3. 2014 Pledge Budget is $126,000. To date, 56 pledges for $118,000
have been received.

December 7
Second Sunday of Advent
PEACE

Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

2 Peter 3:8-15a

Mark 1:1-8

December 14
Third Sunday of Advent
JOY

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-10


Luke 1:47-55

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

John 1:6-8, 19-28

December 21
Fourth Sunday of Advent
LOVE

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Romans 16:25-27

Luke 1:26-38

December 28
First Sunday after Christmas

Isaiah 61:10-26:3
Psalm 148

Galatians 4:4-7

Luke 2:22-40

Fellowship Nursery
Welcome Sound Acolytes
Lay
Team
System
Readers Hosts Helpers
Leader
Savannah
Quick
Arthur Dewey Stiegler family
Ashley Quick Bryan Etter

Tellers

Facilities

Altar
Guild

Mark Souza
Betsy
Bighinatti

Bill Watson

Sonny Darnell

Dec.
7

Bill Watson

Mark
Atkinson

Dec.
14

Doug Waldrop

Jeff Michel

Bryan Etter
James Cook

Sal Anselmo
Don Warren

Ward Family

Abby Ward
Chris Ward

Jeff Michel
Denise
Martin

Bud Higgins

Erin Burnette
Geogianne
Stinnett

Dec.
21

Doug Waldrop

Jeff Michel

Bryan Etter
James Cook

Ashley Quick
Bryan Etter

Christmas
Tea

Laura Totty

Jeff Michel
Denise
Martin

Bud Higgins

Erin Burnette
Geogianne
Stinnett

Dec.
28

Justin
Barbour

David
Pittman

Sean
Barbour

Jeff Jacobs
Elisabeth
Burnette

Sarah Allen

Marjorie and
Justin
Barbour

Bud Higgins Justin Barbour


Betsy
Bighinatti

Fellowship Coordinator:
Tellers Coordinator:
Lay Readers Coordinator:
Altar Guild Coordinator:

Sal Anselmo 358-1696


Bud Higgins 301-5059
Sal Anselmo 358-1696
Sonny Darnell 743-7528

Erin Burnette
Geogianne
Stinnett

Please find a substitute if you are unable to perform your ministry and contact
your team coordinator AND the office to let them know who will be filling in for
you. Thank you for making our church ministries run smoothly!

December 7

December 14 December 21

December 28

Poinsettias
To order fresh flowers to be placed on the altar in honor of a special occasion or person or
in remembrance of someone, please sign-up on the flower chart on the bulletin board in the
hallway near the nursery or contact Sonny Darnell at 743-7528 or
kenandsonny@comcast.net
$45.00 for two beautiful bouquets.

2014
1

11:30 am NA Meeting

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

5:30 Search Com

7 pm Advent
Reflection
Gathering

10

9:45 am Faith Formations


7 pm Church Council

11:30 am NA Meeting
5:30 Search Com

11 am Worship /
COMMUNION

12

15

7 pm Advent
Reflection
Gathering

5:30pm Worship/Music
7 pm Choir Rehearsal

Office
Closed

18

19

11:30 am NA Meeting
7 pm Choir Rehearsal

Office
Closed
26

16

17

10 am Staff Mtg.

5 pm Card Ministry

10 am Choir rehearsal

11:30 am NA Meeting

11 am Worship /
COMMUNION
2:30 pm PAL Concert

5:30 Search Com

22

9:45 am Faith Formations


10 am Choir rehearsal
10:30 Childrens Christmas
Story

24

25

10 am Staff Mtg.

10:30 pm
Christmas
Eve
Service

11:30 am NA Meeting

5:30 Search Com

29

7 pm Advent
Reflection
Gathering

23
11:30 am NA Meeting

11 am Worship /
COMMUNION
Noon Christmas Tea

28

11

5 pm Card Ministry

9:45 am Faith Formations

21

7 pm Choir Rehearsal

11:30 am NA Meeting

10 am Choir rehearsal

14

5
Office
Closed

31

13
8:30 am Indian Orthodox
Church

20

27

Office
Closed

31

9:45 am Faith Formations


11:30 am NA Meeting
10 am Choir rehearsal

11 am Worship

Sumer worship time begins June 1


2

3
6
7
9

14

Robert Wieckmann
Ulysses Hall
Jeff Hetzer
Jennifer Erkulwater
Catherine Jacobs
Anita Sharpenstein
Chris Burnette
Patricia Mutia
Logan Vass
Eric Hetzer
Mary Miller

16
21
22
27
28
29
30
31

Julia Eliades
Leigh Caraher
Sharon Machrone
Christine Krausse
Dean Eliades
Gloria Van Houten
Chris Etter
Kyra and Lacy Miller
Melissa Mascher
Iola Miller