Notes from Patmos…Hot off the press!
Hello Parish Family!
I hope and pray everyone had a great Thanksgiving week. These next days are filled to overflowing with parish events. But first I want to thank Mr. Stacey Pickering for speaking at our first Keystone society meeting.  Stacey did a great job, and we had a good turnout who enjoyed the time together.  A tip of the Berritta to Mrs. Judy Pilgrim for baking a chocolate cake for our door prize, and Mrs. Gina Gatewood for providing awesome snacks. Keystone folk, be sure to mark your calendars for next Thursday, when the Saint John’s children come over and sing for us.
Tonight is a very important night for our parish family.  At 6pm we gather for our Loyalty Dinner, at which the vestry will present our Narrative Budget and Stewardship Packets will be handed out. Gina Gatewood has put together some of our favorite comfort foods, and Richard Follis has an eye opening presentation.  I am very proud of the vestry, who are working hard to try and lead the parish.  With all of that said, I ask a personal favor of you all- if there is any way you can make it to the dinner, please come.  We have activities of the kids, and great food, and information that we need to share… so I hope to see as many as possible tonight.
This Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent, and with the changing season comes our annual service of Advent Lessons & Carols at 6pm.  The Bidding Prayer says it best:
“Beloved in Christ, in this season of Advent, let it be our care and delight to prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the Angels, and in heart and mind to go even unto Bethlehem, to see the Babe lying in a manger. Let us read and mark in Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God, and let us look forward to the yearly remembrance of his birth with hymns and songs of praise.”
I ask you to take you preparations for Christmas seriously, and make a good effort at growing in Christ and keeping your focus on the things of God and His kingdom.  Do not waste this season, but make the most of it.
See you all around the parish-

Visit From St. Nicholas
Home Nativity Figurine Blessing

St. Nicholas has scheduled his visit to St.  John’s!!  He will be arriving Sunday, December 10th during the 10:30 Mass to celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas and to hand out gifts to our children.  We are also starting a new tradition on that day!!!  After the Confession and before the Peace, bring your baby Jesus from your nativity scene up for a blessing.  Fr. Jeff will bless the baby Jesus and then you are encouraged to take your baby Jesus home and wrap the baby Jesus and place the wrapped gift under your Christmas tree.  When you open your presents on Christmas morning, unwrap your baby Jesus FIRST!  This helps us all to remember why we are celebrating Christmas in the first place.

Keystone Society
Thursday, December 7th at 10:00am
 The Keystone Society (for members 60+) will have their December meeting on Thursday, December 7th at 10:00am and will feature the 5th and 6th grade students from St. John’s Day School presenting their Christmas musical. Come enjoy a morning filled the the sounds of Christmas!

Good Samaritan Christmas 
I was so happy to discover that over 29% of our Family Connections Christmas families had been ‘adopted’ on the first day they were available! My heart is filled with gratitude, as I am sure theirs will be this Christmas.
Shopping for others is a wonderful experience in generosity for children and a way of ‘feeding His sheep’ for the rest of us.
We have 12 families left and will probably have 1 or 2 more available before next Sunday. One of the families is an adult with 6 children and they are recently homeless! This would be a good family for a group to ‘adopt’. The other available families are  4 people or less. Grab one quick before they are gone!
This is the meaning of the Christian tradition of Christmas giving!
The recipient families have been screened by The Good Samaritan,
a local non-profit agency that St. John’s has supported for many years.

Please choose a family to adopt and write down your name and a number where you can be contacted on the list.

You do not have to purchase every gift on the list and large families can be adopted by multiple people.

Gifts may be wrapped or unwrapped, but please
put the family # and the recipient’s first name on each gift.

The deadline to deliver the gifts to St. John’s or to Becky Jackson is Friday, December 15.

We have 20 families to adopt.
Let’s all participate and spread the joy of Christ’s birth
throughout our community

Good Samaritan staff will deliver to the families.

Contact Becky Jackson @ 601.466.7411 if you have questions.

Advent Concert Series
Wednesday at St. John’s

Greening of the Parish
Wednesday, December 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Calling all hands to “deck the halls!”  Join fellow parishioners, led by Randy Jackson, for the annual decorating of the church for Christmas.  Immediately following the greening, everyone is invited to join us in the parish hall for a catered festive dinner and our Children’s Christmas pageant.  Plan to spend a few hours getting ready for Christmas and enjoying the company of your parish family.

Children’s Choir News
St. Cecilia
St. Gregory
And Youth Ensemble
Rehearsal Schedule
November – December 2017
St. Cecilia and St. Gregory                                 Youth Ensemble
Wednesday – 4:15-5:15 p.m.                   Sunday – 5:15-6:00 p.m.
November  29                                         November 26
December 6                                              December 10
December 13                                            December 17

Wednesday, December 20 – Combined Rehearsal – 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 20 – Christmas Pageant and Dinner – Following Greening of the Parish

2018 Flower Chart
The Altar Flower Chart for 2018 is on the board  in the Sacristy hallway and we need the faithful to sign up to take a Sunday in memory or thanksgiving of someone or an event.  If you are unable to come to the parish to sign up, you are more than welcome to call the parish office with a date you would like and we will try our best to accommodate you.  When a person takes a Sunday, they contact the parish to make known their thanksgiving/memorial wording for the Sunday bulletin. Mr. Randy Jackson of Flowertyme is a communicant, but you may choose which florist you would like to deal with, or you can make the arrangement yourself and place them in the sanctuary.

Sign up to feed our E.Y.C.
We need your help feeding our E.Y.C. members on Sunday evenings.  Their meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. at the parish.  There is a sign up sheet located on the board in the sacristy hallway with dates that are available.  For more information, contact the Parish Office.

An Easy Way to Help St. John’s Day School
Start clipping BOX TOPS for Education!  Hundreds of products participate in the program, and you probably already have several in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator.  For every Box Top you clip, St. John’s Day School will receive 10 cents!!!  That may not sound like a lot, but it adds up quickly. There are no limitations on the money’s use, so St. John’s can spend it as needed.
Grab your scissors and keep an eye out for the Box Tops for Education logo on the products you use every day.  Once you have finished the product, clip the Box Top before you throw it away.  Be sure to look over the whole box.  There is a container labeled for your Box Tops on the table in the hallway.

A Tip O’ The Biretta
  • To State Auditor Stacey Pickering for the informative program he gave to our Keystone Society members about fraud prevention.
  • To Judy Pilgrim for the delicious chocolate cake she donated for the door prize for the Keystone Society Meeting and to the LUCKY winner – Byron Myrick!
  • To Gina Gatewood for the delicious brunch she prepared for our Keystone Society.
Actual Budget Diff
Pledges $ 288,114 $ 304,291 $ 16,177
Plate $   36,454 $   49,959 $ 13,505
Total $ 374,122 $ 420,636 $ 46,514
Expenses $ 419,062 $ 419,279 $    217
Total  $ 44,940 $ 1,357 $46,297
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What donation is for
Pledge Payment Seasonal Flowers Flowers for Altar EYC Choir Rector’s Discretionary Fund Building Fund other


O God, our heavenly Father, make the door of this Church wide enough that all who need human love and fellowship and a Fathers care may find it, and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and uncharitableness.  Here may the tempted find help, and the sorrowing receive comfort.  Here may the careless be awakened to repentance, and the penitent be assured of your mercy.  And here may all your children renew their strength in You, and go on their way rejoicing.  Through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen.
Saint Johns Episcopal Church
541 North 5th Ave./ P.O. Box 1766
Laurel, MS 39441
601.428.7252 Office
601.422.7388 Mobile
Copyright © 2017 Saint John’s Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.