Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Special Music on Christmas Eve

At the 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service, December 24, the Junior Choir will sing two carols, an arrangement of the French carol Il est né (He Is Born) by Ruth Elaine Schram, and Carol at the Manger by Marty Haugen.

The late service will begin with a special musical prelude at 9:45 p.m. The Women of the Adult Choir will sing selections from Dancing Day, accompanied by Deborah Fabisiewicz, harpist. The prelude will also include Christmas anthems by English composers John Rutter and Bob Chilcott, and American composer Paul Lohman. During the service oboist Charlyn Bethel will join the choir for the Wexford Carol, an Irish carol arranged by Mark Sedio.

Come and celebrate the birth of Christ at these festive services on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Message from Bishop Tom Shaw



Our Christmas Gospel tells us: "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God." (John 1:12-13) Who are we as Christians, Episcopalians, but those who have received Jesus Christ into our lives once we believe in his saving power? Because of this we have the power to become children of God.

How much the world needs us, the children of God, in this time of economic uncertainty, war and global unrest, a deeply threatened environment and all the other challenges we face. How much the world needs, corporately and individually, the prophetic voice we have been given as children of God. How much the world needs our commitment to manifesting the kingdom of God in the darkest places of the globe and in the lives of human beings. How much the world needs the hope, good cheer and joy we have because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

May all of us as those who have been given the power to be children of God spread, in word and deed, the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the Christmas season and in this new year.

The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
Christmas 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Message from El Salvador

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men and women of good will.” (Luke 2:14)

My friends and members of the Episcopal Anglican Church of El Salvador, of the Province of the Anglican Church of the Region of Central America, of the Anglican Communion and, in general, to all who enjoy good will, peace and love in all their dimensions and consequences:

For us Christians, the birth of Jesus or the Incarnation of God in humanity signifies the deepest human expression and, at the same time, the divine expression that God has in God's infinite will of love and accompaniment to God's creation. The human being is especially the central axis of creation.

It is for this reality that, at the knowledge of this event in this moment of history, the Holy Scriptures mention there is great joy and the Angels sing, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men and women of good will.” This message is not only true for Christians; it is also valid for all, because in one form or another all people need to give glory to God.

All religions have expressions of praise and glory to the Holy as each one conceives it. We respect profoundly the ways and expressions of prayer of other religions. We know and are convinced that we are surely giving glory to the same God or the same Divinity that has infinite ways of self-expression with God's sons and daughters. We invite all to fulfill the most sincere expressions of glory to God, especially in these times when we are about to begin a new year, with new decisions and new intentions, that our future plans will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
The text that we have cited says, “and on earth peace to men and women of good will.” This is precisely what we have needed for the past several thousands of years - people of good will, governors, rich and poor… for all people in the world are asking with urgency that we make an effort to be people of good will, that there not be natural disasters, because all disasters are the consequences of the lack of men and women's good will. Unfortunately, we have created a mentality and structures that destroy God's creation.

It is for this reason that in this message, I respectfully invite us to begin to be people of good will. In this way, we will be able to change the injustices and inequalities that there are in the world. If one of these days we decide to give glory to God with the firm will to construct justice, we will have a world where there will be peace, unity and love between all human beings.

May this same God of life bless us and give us the strength to fulfill God's Holy Will, that “ we love one another as ourselves.”

The Most Rev'd Martín Barahona,
San Salvador, 22 December 2008
Bishop of the Episcopal Anglican Church of El Salvador
Primate of the Anglican Church of the Region of Central America (IARCA)
Vice President of Foundation Cristosal
Moderator for Mesoamerica of the World Conference of Religions for Peace

Calendar for Week Starting Sunday, December 28


Sunday, December 28

8:00am Holy Eucharist - Peter Chase
9:45am Childcare
10:00am Holy Eucharist - Peter Chase
No Church School
No Choirs
11:00am Coffee Hour
Monday, December 29
Office Closed
AA (6:30 newcomers)
Thursday, January 1
4:30pm Miracle Kitchen
No Choirs

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Children Without Borders Presentation



Thank you to Dr. George Whitelaw, founder of Children Without Borders, who presented after the 10AM service this morning.(*) Children Without Borders is a non-profit organization that provides life saving medical care to children and preventative health education for families in underserved countries.

A copy of George's presentation can be downloaded here:
CWB_Presentation_at_St_Marys_2008_Dec_21.pdf


(*) And thank you to everyone who braved the snow to make it to church this morning!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Outreach: Local Food Pantries

St. Mary's provides direct financial support to Food Pantries in Newton, Wellesley, and Needham.

Non-perishable food items can also be dropped off in the front of the church, where they will be taken to local food pantries.

If you have food you can provide, please consider doing so this holiday season.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Calendar for the Upcoming Week


Sunday, December 21
ADVENT IV
8:00 am Holy Eucharist
9:45am Childcare
10:00am Holy Eucharist and Baptism
Church School - K - 3 Start in Church School
11:00am Adult Forum
Children Without Borders
Monday, December 22
8:00pm AA (6:30 newcomers)
Wednesday, December 24
Office closes at Noon
5:00pm Christmas Eve Pageant
9:45pm Christmas Eve Service
Thursday, December 25
10:00am Holy Eucharist - Peter Chase
office Closed - Christmas Day
Friday, December 26

office closed
Sunday, December 28
8:00am Holy Eucharist - Peter Chase
No Church School
No Choir rehearsal
9:45am Childcare
10:00am Holy Eucharist - Peter Chase
11:00am Coffee Hour

Adult Forum - Sunday December 21 - Children Without Borders

St. Mary's Outreach supports Children Without Borders and invites you to an adult forum on Sunday December 21 after the 10:00am service to learn more about this wonderful organization. Dr. George Whitelaw, founder of Children Without Borders will tell you about how it started and what it's goals are. Children Without Borders is a non-profit organization that provides life saving medical care to children and preventative health education for families in underserved countries. Feel free to go to their website: www.cwbfoundation.org to learn more--- at present, there is one HEALTH clinic for Children set up in a very poor barrio in Costa Rica and it has been open since April... Come and learn more!

2007 Audit Report

St. Mary's conducts a regular external audit by an external CPA. This report is also submitted to and reviewed by the Diocesan Church Audit group. A copy of the their review can be downloaded below.

2007_NewtonLF_StMarys_Audit_rcpt.pdf

From the Diocesan letter: "Again, thank you for taking the time to conduct and report on your annual audit. This represents in a tangible way an important aspect of your stewardship of the gifts God has entrusted to you and provides for the “due diligence” that is so necessary today for any organization. "

Minutes, November 2008 Vestry Meeting

Minutes from the November 2008 Vestry meeting, as approved at our December Vestry meeting, are available for download:

Vestry_Minutes_2008_Nov_18.pdf

Also available for download is the budget summary from the November Vestry meeting, showing actual vs. projected spending year to date:

St_Marys_Budget_2008_Oct_31.pdf

Please direct any questions to our wardens, Paul Pyzowski and Mary Green.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Video Archive: St. Mary's Christmas Pageant 2005

While preparing for this years family Christmas Service (Wednesday, December 24 at 5:00PM) we discovered the video clip that was used during the 2005 Christmas service (running time about 8 minutes)...

video

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dedication of the New Santa Maria Virgen Church Building (3)

On December 6, our sister parish in El Salvador dedicated their new church building. Our rector, Peter Chase, travelled to El Salvador at the invitation of Bishop Martin Barahona, Primate of the Anglican Church for Central America, to give the sermon at the dedication service. Below are several photos Peter took on the trip:











Dedication of the New Santa Maria Virgen Church Building (2)

On December 6, our sister parish in El Salvador dedicated their new church building. Our rector, Peter Chase, travelled to El Salvador at the invitation of Bishop Martin Barahona, Primate of the Anglican Church for Central America, to give the sermon at the dedication service. Below are several photos Peter took:











Dedication of the New Santa Maria Virgen Church Building (1)

On December 6, our sister parish in El Salvador dedicated their new church building. Our rector, Peter Chase, travelled to El Salvador at the invitation of Bishop Martin Barahona, Primate of the Anglican Church for Central America, to give the sermon at the dedication service. Here is the text of the sermon:

It is an honor to be here with you on this great occasion of consecration, as we dedicate a new sanctuary in the name of our matron, Saint Mary the Virgen.

I come from your sister parish of Saint Mary’s in Newton, Massachusetts and bring greetings to you from our members. We often get telephone calls meant for other churches with a similar name in Newton like: Saint Mary’s, Immaculate of Lourdes, Our Lady of Help, and Saint Mary’s Chapel. In our telephone book the following churches are named after Saint Mary:
The Church of the Annunciation, The Presentation, The Assumption, and The Visitation. In our area there are chapels called Our Lady of the Mountains, Our Lady of the Sea, Our Lady of Victories, Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted, and Our Lady of Mercy. There is even an Our Lady Cafeteria in the Boston, and Our Lady of the Good Voyage Chapel at the airport.

In Los Angeles a poet summed up the importance Saint Mary has had in the lives of people by listing the many ways she has provided support: Mary of the Broken Hearted, Mary of the Shut Ins – Our Lady of the Addicted, Mary of the Infirmed, The Madonna of the homeless, Our Mother of Orphans. Yes, there are places like Los Angeles, Guadalupe, Fatima, Lourdes, Newton and San Bartolo. which all hail the name of Mary.

Mary’s name has been used more often than any other person in the New Testament because she means so much to so many. Mary is a gift to the whole world, an example of God’s gracious purpose in caring for our needs.

When my son was five years old he would ask me when I went to work, “Are you going to Mary’s place?” Mary’s place is a wonderful name for a church because it signifies that she also has a place for us in her heart. Today we not only dedicate this sanctuary in her name, we re-dedicate ourselves to her purpose of bringing Christ into the world. The name of this parish becomes our commission to make Christ known and his presence felt to a world in need.

In the Hymn, God Himself is with us, are the words, “Come abide within me; let my soul, like Mary’s, be thine earthly sanctuary. This is the theme of today’s service. Christian consecration is made by the sign of the cross in the name of the Holy Trinity. Blessings come in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit not only to this church called Saint Mary’s, but to us who are Baptized. What happens here today goes beyond this building.

I was told a story about the Temple in Jerusalem. You know the Old Testament books of I Kings and II Chronicles describe the building of the Temple as a magnificent structure dedicated to God. The Temple was made up of large courtyards each leading into an area of deeper sanctity ending up in a place containing the Holy of Holies. But unlike other great temples of that time, this inner room did not contain statues. This space instead was a reminder of a more miraculous presence. The symbol was that God cannot be contained or boxed up into a room. God is everywhere. God is the creator of all that is.

In a sanctuary of an Anglican seminary in Canada behind the altar there is an inscription of the words from Mark’s gospel. “He is not here. He is risen.” You know an altar is both a full table and an empty tomb. The Latin word Mass comes from the word to leave. We are here to leave to go into the world rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are here to go out and serve others in Christ’s name, to treat each person as a sacred being of worth, as if he or she was Christ. We are here because Jesus is the Saviour of the whole world.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Saint Mary's Church Update for Sunday, December 14


Calendar for the Upcoming Week
Sunday, December 14
Pageant Rehearsal during and after service
Church School as usual
8:00am Holy Eucharist - Peter Chase
9:45am Childcare
10:00am Advent Lessons & Carols w/special music
11:00am Coffee Hour
Monday, December15
8:00pm AA (6:30 newcomers)
Tuesday, December 16
7:30pm Vestry Meeting
Wednesday, December 17
6:30pm Sharing a New Song
Thursday, December 18
6:30pm Junior Choir
7:30pm Adult Choir
Sunday, December 21
Church School as Usual
8:00am Holy Eucharist - Peter Chase
9:45am Childcare
10:00am Holy Eucharist - Peter Chase
11:00am Adult Forum - Children Without Borders

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Outreach: Mission to Maseno



One recent recipient of St. Mary's Outreach funds is Dianne Smith, an Episcopal missionary in Kenya. Dianne is a nurse whose first mission trip was with St. Mary's Paul Pyzowski - they traveled together to El Salvador in 2007. Dianne subsequently led a mission trip from her home parish (St. Andrew's on Martha's Vineyard) to Biloxi, and then volunteered for a one-year extendable stint at the Episcopal Church's Maseno Clinic in Western Kenya.

"I left my heart in... Maseno, Kenya!" It was a privilege to work with Drs. Gerry and Nan Hardison in East Africa in November and December of 2007. The Episcopal Church has commissioned me to return in the fall of 2008 for a longer-term assignment. It will be an honor to work again at Maseno Hospital, the HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Care Center, and with the mobile medical clinics and feeding programs that serve thousands of orphans in Western Province every week. "Love one another," we are so often reminded. I invite you to join me in loving service, holding hearts and hands in communion around the world. Asante sana! (Thank you very much!)"


You can read more about Dianne's work in Kenya on her blog. Below are some pictures.



Monday, December 8, 2008

Special Music Service: Advent Lessons and Carols, Sunday, December 14


During the annual Service of Advent Lessons and Carols, scripture readings from the Old and New Testaments recount the story of salvation from Creation to the Birth of Jesus, interspersed with hymns and carols sung by the congregation and choirs. The Adult and Junior Choirs will sing music of the season, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

St. Mary's Update - Sunday, December 7

Sunday, December 7 - ADVENT II
8:00am Holy Eucharist - Celebrant & Preacher: The Reverend Gwen Buehrens
9:45am Childcare
10:00am Holy Eucharist - Celebrant & Preacher: The Reverend Gwen Buehrens
11:00am Coffee
Monday, December 8
8:00pm AA (6:30pm newcomers)
Tuesday, December 9
6:30pm WSM Christmas Party & Potluck
Wednesday, December 10
6:30pm Sharing a New Song
Thursday, December 11
6:30pm Junior Choir
7:30pm Adult Choir
Saturday, December 13
9:30am Special Music Rehearsal For Advent Lessons & Carols

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Women of St. Mary's Christmas Party – Tuesday, December 9, at 6:30pm

All women at St. Mary’s are invited to a Christmas Supper (Potluck) and Gift Exchange on Tuesday, December 9. Elisabeth Comer and Jane Sabin will be your hostesses. Please bring a covered dish. Sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board. You are invited to bring unwrapped toys for the children at Rosie’s Place and/or giftwrap. Toy suggestions can be found on the bulletin board.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Special Music Services for Thanksgiving and Advent

Advent Lessons and Carols, Sunday, December 14 at 10:00 a.m.
During the annual Service of Advent Lessons and Carols, scripture readings from the Old and New Testaments recount the story of salvation from Creation to the Birth of Jesus, interspersed with hymns and carols sung by the congregation and choirs. The Adult and Junior Choirs will sing music of the season, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.