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this is technically the December Crier, I know it is going into the
mail in time for it to arrive in many people's homes before the end
of November. So "thanksgiving" is the theme I have chosen
for this reflection.
as a once a year holiday can certainly be a helpful reminder of how
important it is to live with a spirit of gratitude. It can be great
to connect with family members and friends by gathering for a turkey
dinner with all the fixings, enjoying conversation and laughter
around the table, and having some relaxed time for watching football
or playing a board game or taking a walk together. Such an experience
can renew our appreciation for how those relationships add meaning
and purpose to our lives -- how richly we are blessed by those with
whom we share friendship and family ties.
wonderful as the Thanksgiving holiday can be, though, living with a
spirit of gratitude is so much more than just an annual observance.
It is, instead, an attitude and orientation toward life that can be
practiced on a daily basis. Not because everything goes well for us
everyday, with no problems or difficulties with which to contend. But
because we live from each day to the next in relationship with our
heavenly Father, through faith in his son Jesus. The undeserved love,
grace, and forgiveness that God freely bestows upon us, is what
inspires and fuels a thankful heart.
are many places in Scripture where such a heart is given voice: "I
will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving."
(Ps 69:30) "Let us come before God with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song." (Ps 95:2) "Enter the
Lord's gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise; give thanks
to him and praise his name." (Ps 100:4) "Do not be anxious
about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
present your requests to God." (Phil 4:6) (Emphasis mine)
the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday be one that doesn't quickly
fade away, but instead continues to burn brightly within each of us.
May a spirit of gratitude be renewed and strengthened in our lives,
as we come to appreciate more fully the magnitude of God's grace. May
our own hearts give voice to songs of praise and thanksgiving, in
response to the many blessings we receive from our heavenly Father.
we move from late November into the month of December, we certainly
have good reason for continued thankfulness. Throughout the weeks of
Advent we prepare to celebrate again the birth of Jesus. An event of
epic proportions in the history of humankind. An action on the part
of God that fills us to overflowing with thanksgiving, as we consider
the lengths to which God was willing to go in order to save us --
actually taking on human flesh and living amongst us. As the Prophet
Isaiah writes: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is
given.... And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
be to God! Pastor Rich
FROM THE VICAR
my internship for ordained ministry draws to a close at the end of
this month, I want to thank the people of Holy Cross for your
generous support and helpful guidance. I have served as an Associate
in Ministry and then as an Intern for almost six wonderful years. I
know that the Holy Spirit has been moving in this congregation and is
evidenced by the ways in which we worship together, support one
another, and reach out to others with welcoming hands and big hearts.
I think back to major events in my ministry such as the Steel Drum
Orchestra and the worship renewal grants and Saturday Service, as
well as some of the important everyday ministries such as committee
support, Bible studies and other classes, Young at Heart, LOGOS, and
whatever time I have left at Holy Cross, I will serve you faithfully.
I don’t know what the future will hold or where the Spirit is
leading. I have one more semester of seminary and will graduate in
May. I will then be eligible for a call to ordained ministry. But you
will always remain loved, and near and dear to my heart. Serving
you in Christ’s love,
house, a white stucco building, was four stories high countin’ the
cellar and the attic full of wonderful treasures. It was perched on a
corner lot in a quiet neighborhood right on the bus line that took
you into Cincinnati on occasion.
front yard, shaded by a pair of huge maple trees, and the front walk,
fringed in rose of Sharon bushes, kept passersby from peekin’ in. A
small roofed-over porch by the front door was big enough for the
glider swing where Mammaw and I sat on dark green cushions snapping
green beans from the Kroger store.
as how the grocery was closed on Sundays, Mammaw always bought fresh
produce and deli meats at discount on Saturday afternoon. We’d
glide on the seat (Actually Mammaw would glide. My legs hadn’t
grown long enough to touch the floor.); and we’d snap beans until
we had enough for supper.
always managed to feed us all, my cousins and me, my mom, my Uncle
Bill, and anyone else who showed up at meal time. She had a heart of
gold, a strict Methodist upbringing, and the ability to feed and
clothe all of us with next to nothing in her pocket.
Sunday I remember there were 26 of us around the table for breakfast.
Most of us young enough to sit like peas in a pod along wooden planks
stretched between a couple of chairs. Her dining room was filled with
laughter and the table laden with a big pot of white gravy, a platter
full of baking powder biscuits, a tray of bacon cooked crisp, a plate
of eggs fried on both sides, and skillet fresh fried mush.
in the bay window of Mammaw’s dining room stood a treadle sewing
machine. Mammaw made us stiff crinoline slips and organdy sundresses
with sashes tied into big fancy bows. Saturday nights after our
required baths, she’d patiently tie our hair up in rags. By Sunday
morning with our organdy dresses, polished shoes and rope curl
tresses, she’d walk us to church five blocks away. I begrudged
having to walk when my older cousins drove their cars; but Mammaw
ignored my pout. She said if we were meant to ride to church, God
would’ve given us wheels instead of feet.
was a mischievous hoyden, I was told, at heart a rebel like my mom.
On hot summer days, I played hide and seek in the coal bin, snooped
in the eaves of the attic, and splashed down into the new galvanized
trashcan full of water from the garden hose. Out in Mammaw’s back
yard, I could smell the mint growing by her kitchen door, hear the
crickets chirping, and watch the fire flies dance when it got dark.
didn’t realize it then, but my time with Mammaw was special. No
matter what the season, or the struggles she endured, she never let
go of her faith in God. She taught me about honor, right and wrong,
and the joy of singing to praise the Lord. She taught me thrift and
how to persevere when life is hard. She taught me how to love.
wish all of you Love and Peace this Christmas Season, Donna Simmons
may not realize this but we have the most amazing, talented people at
Holy Cross...and you are one of them! We also have the most faithful
people...and you are one of them!
are looking for people to share their talents and share their stories
of faith. Please think about how your faith has grown in your life.
Who influenced your faith? Were you raised in a church? How did that
impact your life? Did you come to church as an adult? How did that
impact your life? Have you known one, two or more people in your
life who you think are living angels on earth?
thinking about all this, please consider sharing this as a story of
faith. Write one, two or more paragraphs describing your faith
journey and/or about the faithful people in your life to be published
in future Criers. If you have noticed, we do have articles such as
this in each Crier but we would like to expand in this regard by
inviting others in the congregation to share in a similar manner. We
believe that everyone has stories such as this in their lives and we
would love to hear about them.
submit your stories to Julie Clapp. One or two will be published
each month and you will be told when your story will appear. If you
need help or have any questions, please see Julie. Thank you!
lunch" is held the second Monday of each month. The next one
will be Monday, Dec. 14th at noon. Our first one had 26 people attend
and this one in November we had 48! We are looking for volunteers to
make food and/ or help during the luncheon. Please contact Mary
Keating or Vi Stephens if you are interested! We are also collecting
gently used coats and sweaters to have available for anyone who may
need one. There is a collection box in Luther hall for these items.
– SIGN UP NOW
you have children attending the Logos program, now is the time to
sign up to help with the meals. The sign up sheets are on the
Logos Bulletin Board in Luther Hall – a wide selection of dates are
available. Pick your dates and have a wonderful experience. Any
questions speak to Pastor, Deadra or Jack and Mary Bates.
join us on November 21, 2009, after the 4:30 Saturday Service for a
Harvest Dinner, consisting of Smoked Shoulder, roasted vegetables (
potatoes, turnip, carrots, onions etc.), cornbread, assorted pies and
apple crisp. Absolutely – no Turkey!!!
would like to help, a sign sheet will be in the Narthex. Don’t
miss out on a chance to enjoy a hearty fall meal with old friends
and friends you haven’t met yet.
at Holy Cross have become known for our free meals and other
community projects and we have another one in the works. It's called
Sharing Smiles. This has been re-scheduled for Saturday, January 9th
. This was originally scheduled for November 7th
but, while planning, it was decided that in order for this to be the
incredible event we would like it to be, more planning was needed.
what we have planned so far: we will gather at church first thing in
the morning for 12 hours of random acts of kindness and making people
smile. You don't have to volunteer for the full 12 hours. There will
be opportunities to serve in smaller segments of time (1 hour, 2
hours, etc.). The projects in the works include visiting the
children's ward at the hospital to brighten the lives of the kids
there; visiting nursing homes to hand out flowers, read to the
residents or just sit and visit for a while; help the homeless; or
other fun projects that are sure to bring smiles to people's faces.
As the plans come to fruition, there will be more information
forthcoming. This is a self-funding project, as in it will not be
funded from the church budget, so donations will be welcome. Keep
Saturday, January 9, 2010 open for a great day of putting smiles on
people's faces and putting smiles on our own faces. If you have any
questions, please speak with Julie Clapp, Pastor Rich, or Vicar
Karen. Thank you!!
TO OUR NEW MEMBERS
we welcomed the following persons into membership in the
congregation. Please take time to get to know them.
grew up near Pittsburgh and went to Grove City College. He served in
the Air Force and was stationed in Norway when he met his wife Diane.
He currently works as a project engineer at Pratt & Whitney and
lives in South Berwick.
is married to Burnell. She grew up in Illinois and graduated from the
University of Wisconsin. She was teaching comparative literature in
Norway when she met her husband. Diane and Burnell have two grown
children. Jens is in the Army and Rachel attends Gettysburg College.
grew up in Stowe, PA and graduated from Susquehanna University. He
recently retired as a high school music teacher in New Jersey, moving
to Maine. He plays an awesome sax and clarinet during our worship
services and at community venues.
is married to Jack. She grew up in NJ and also graduated from
Susquehanna University where she met her husband. She recently
retired as an elementary school music teacher in NJ, and loves Maine.
She and Jack have a grown son and daughter and two grandchildren whom
has recently retired with her husband Ron to Acton. She graduated
from Rivier College in Nashua, NH, where she later taught and
supervised student practicums in early childhood education.
is married to Bea. He is a retired electrical engineer. He grew up in
Michigan and attended Wayne State, Wright State, and NH College. The
Markos lived in Nashua and then NJ before their retirement. They have
three sons and two grandchildren. They are happy to be Mainers!
is from Pittsburgh and is working on her doctoral dissertation in
literature from Duquesne University. She was just married on August 8th
to Matt. They live in Arundel.
is from Allentown, PA and attended Lock Haven College. He was working
with high school theatre students before moving to Maine to attend
The Landing Boat School. They would not mind staying in Maine once
is a Mainer who attended Kennebunk High and graduated college from
SUNY Oneonta, majoring in music. He is a wonderful drummer who plays
at our Saturday service. He works in short term disability at UNUM.
Bicycling and golf are two of his favorite pastimes.
Concert at Holy Cross
Beverly Heald, President, Seaglass Chorale
Chorale, under the Direction of Jean Strazdes, is most pleased to
call Holy Cross Lutheran Church its new home. The rehearsal space is
perfect for our 60 member chorus, offering adequate space, plentiful
parking, and good lighting. Seaglass has been made to feel welcome,
by everyone at Holy Cross, and especially Jane and Warren King, who
smoothed the way for our move.
had been at Seaglass Place in Arundel for nine years. We enjoyed
having it all to ourselves, but the cost of staying there became
prohibitive. We wanted to stay in the Kennebunk area, and feel
blessed to have found and been welcomed by Holy Cross Lutheran
Church. We want to be good stewards of the church, and have a long
Saturday December 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm. the Seaglass Chorale will
to the Nativity”
by Ottorino Respighi, at Holy Cross. This work will be sung by the
Chorale and guest soloists, and accompanied by Kim Karchenes, long
time accompanist of Seaglass Chorale. The concert will also include
selections from Handel's Messiah, and a festive Carol Sing-along.
Admission will be $10.00, and the Chorale will compensate Holy Cross
for use of the space.
next Welcome Weekend is December 19/20. Refreshments will be served
after each service. A slide show at the beginning of worship
highlights some of the ministries that are happening at Holy Cross.
Please stay for a few minutes after worship to visit with one
another. This is also a good time to consider inviting someone new to
CONCERNS GIVING TREE
holidays are always a time for reaching out to those in need. Local
churches will be gathering donations for holiday food baskets. The
Social Concerns Committee will be sponsoring their annual giving tree
that will be displayed in Luther Hall during Advent. Consider taking
an ornament from the tree and purchasing a simple unwrapped gift item
for someone at the York County Shelter in Alfred.
FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS
Wednesday morning Bible study group will once again be packing and
shipping cookies to our college students to enjoy during their final
exams prior to their Christmas break. If you have a child in college,
please give their name and mailing information to Vicar Karen. We
will be packing and shipping on December 2. Donations of cookies,
brownies, and other goodies are welcome, as is money for postage. We
have been sending out about 25-30 packages each year. This is a
wonderful way to let our young adults know that their church family
is thinking of them.
congregation is now offering two complimentary meals for our members
and for the community. On the first Saturday of the month, we have
our popular bean supper from 4:00-6:00. Homemade beans and pies are
featured, along with entertainment.
the second Monday of the month, a Friendship Lunch of soup and bread
is held from 12:00-1:00.
are also holding quarterly suppers after the Saturday Service.
Café serves a meal at Holy Cross on the third Thursday of the month
TEAM DOOR KNOB HANGERS
to an anonymous donation, the very active Evangelism Team has been
able to print doorknob hangers that welcome people to worship with us
during Advent and Christmas. We will be distributing them to several
areas in Kennebunk and Wells on Saturday, November 28th.
There is also a supply available in the Narthex if you would like to
take some for your neighborhood. Please contact Vicar Karen if you
would like more information or if you could help us out on November 28th..
you have not turned in your 2010 Commitment Card, please do so as
soon as possible so that we can have accurate figures for the budget
hearing, which will be held between services on December 6th.
Extra cards are available from an usher. They can be put in the
offering plate or mailed to the church office.
Three Wise Women
You do know what would
have happened if it had been three wise Women instead of men, don’t
you? They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped
deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought
disposable diapers as gifts!
Children's Christmas Pageant during the 10:45 am service
Candlelight Christmas Eve Communion services at 7:00pm (with
children's message) and 11:00 pm.
4:30 informal service with Christmas carols;
8am and 10:45am services with Christmas carols and special reception
in honor of Vicar Karen at 9:30am.
GOOD GIFTS CATALOGUE
the season for giving gifts. How often have you wondered about
whether your gift is the right size or color, whether it is
appreciated or re-gifted, if you spent too much or too little, or if
Christmas needs to be simplified and less about materialism and more
about Jesus. A wonderful solution to these problems can be found in
the ELCA Good Gifts Catalogue, copies of which can be found in the
rack in the entry hallway. The concept is that instead of buying
another toy, tie, fruitcake or CD for someone, use that money to
purchase a “good gift” or donation in the name of the intended
receiver. The catalogue is filled with suggestions for helping those
who are living in poverty, from goats and chickens to school supplies
to medical equipment to funds for world hunger or disaster relief. It
even includes a card that you can send announcing your donation. Have
fun shopping – in the Good Gifts Catalogue!
we welcomed four of our youth to Holy Communion. Joshua Bois, Ryleigh
Bois, Natalie Gustafson, and Brendan McBrine completed Holy Communion
instruction with Vicar Karen. They each wrote a short prayer which
was used as part of the prayer of the church and is printed below.
The most important thing they learned in the class is that God loves
God, thank you for church so I can talk to you because you will
understand and forgive me. Please help me to do good things when I
grow up. Amen.
God, thank you for this cool day. And thank you especially for my dog
God, thank you for giving us your son Jesus in the bread and wine.
God, I am sorry for the mistakes I made and I am grateful for what I
did right. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. Amen.
IS THERE BASEBALL IN
Submitted by Sharon
old men had been best friends for years, and they both lived to
their early 90's when one of them suddenly fell deathly ill. His
friend comes to visit him on his deathbed, and they're reminiscing
about their long friendship, when the dying man's friend asks,
“Listen, when you die, do me a favor. I want to know if there's
baseball in heaven.”
dying man said, “We've been friends for years, this I'll do for
you.” And then he died.
couple of days later, his surviving friend is sleeping when he
hears his friend's voice. The voice says, “I've got some good
news and some bad news. The good news is that there's baseball in
the bad news?”
pitching on Wednesday.”
unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is
Christ the Lord.
this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
2:11-12 (King James Version)