The Lower Lights

CHRIST-MASS SCHEDULE. Sunday morning, December 24, is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. We will have our usual sung Mass at 10 a.m. At 5 p.m. that day is our traditional Family Mass, a sung Mass. In place of a homily we will have the dramatization of the lovely Christmas story based upon Father Martin Bell's book, Barrington Bunny. (See the following article, Christmas!) Two members of our parish are in the cast, along with Andy and Hilary Erikson and their two children, Addison and Eli.

Following the Christmas Eve Mass there will be a reception in the Parish House. Everyone is invited to bring an hors d'oeuvre.

On Christmas morning (Monday) there will be a said Mass at 10 a.m. The following Sunday, December 31, we will have our annual Festival of Christmas Carols and Lessons. Patti Gould will be our guest organist that Sunday.

CHRISTMAS! A clear, star-studed night! And the star! A holy child placed in a manger amidst the gentle sounds of contented animals. Shepherds sleeping near their sheep on a gentle, sloping hillside. And suddenly, angels! A chorus of angels! Joy to the world, the Lord has come! 

Eight days later an old man, whose name is Simeon, finds Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. God promised Simeon that he would see the expected Messiah before he died. Looking into the face of Jesus, he knows that his hope is fulfilled. He blesses Mary and Joseph, and then says to Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed - and a sword will pierce your own soul too." (Luke 2: 34-35.)

Her baby is only eight days old. She is giddy with happiness. Now she hears that there will be those who will be against him. And just as a sword pierces his side when he hangs upon the cross, so a sword of grief will pierce her soul. This will happen when she sees him die upon the cross.

Christmas cannot be separated from the cross, nor the cross from Christmas. On Christmas Eve you will see and hear dramatized a Christmas story. This story takes place on Christmas Eve a long time ago. You will see and hear animals of the forest. In them you will see the infant Jesus and God the Father. You will feel the joy of birth and love and giving. You will see the love that leads to a sacrifice that brings you and me and all the faithful the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of eternal life. Christmas is the beginning of that Story. Christmas is the end of that Story, too. On Christmas Eve, you and I will see and hear that story. DLT+

ANNUAL PARISH CLEAN UP DAY (which hasn't been very "annual" for some years) will be Saturday, December 2. We are going all out this year, with dumpster and shredder on the premises. Breakfast will be served by Candace Turner in honor of the Vicar's birthday. We will gather at 9 a.m. at the Parish House.

WHEN OUR ORGANIST BEGINS THE PRELUDE at the time of our Mass, that is a call to silence as we prepare to worship God. Father Turner and Candace worshipped at St. James Church, Wooster, Ohio on November 26. The call to silence at the beginning of the prelude was printed at the top of their worship bulletin. Folks, this is not an option. The Vicar and others are uneasy about the continuing chatter that occurs right up to the Entrance Hymn. Psalm 11: 4 says, "The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him." We don't want the Vicar to remind us of this just before Mass begins. Conversation is fine up to the time of the prelude, and certainly after we are bid "to go in peace to love and serve the Lord."

EVERY WEEK, ONE OF THE MEMBERS of the Mission Committee assists our treasurer, Ron Diamond, by counting the donation in our offering plates. We require two counters, and we need volunteers. Please consider assisting by volunteering for a Sunday. It is not difficult, and your help would be greatly appreciated.

ST. PETER'S IS OPEN DAILY for prayer and meditation from 9:15 a.m. (the beginning of Morning Prayer) until 5:35 p.m. (following Evening Prayer). Considering the number if votive candles that are lighted each day, the church attracts many people. On Sundays the church is open from 9 a.m. until 5:35 p.m.

DECEMBER DATES . . . BIRTHDAYS! Father Donald Turner (2); Joseph Griffin (10); Kay Giberson (18); Cynthia Clarke (26); Allacen Rathbun (30); and Alice Walters (31). Update the list? Notify Fr. Turner (609) 494-5048 or

THE MISSION COMMITTEE ACTING AS THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE places in nomination the following names for vacancies occurring on the Mission Committee and Deputies and Alternate Deputies to Diocesan Convention in 2018. For the People's (Junior) Warden, James Girgenti; for Mission Committee member, Joanne Kranch and Sue Hofer; for Deputies to Diocesan Convention, James Girgenti, Joanne Kranch, and Julie Grace; for Alternate Deputies, Walter Whimpenny, Ronald Diamond, and Susanne Gilbert. There is a procedure for nominating persons at large from the congregation. Please see Julie Grace, Clerk, for details. No nominations are accepted from the floor at our Annual Meeting, which is the fourth Sunday in January.

A blessed Christmas to all!


The Rev'd Donald Turner, Vicar   Vicarage: (609) 494-5048  Cell phone: (609) 661-1663
Ronald Kolla, Organist (215) 704-4568