We are a welcoming community that seeks to follow Jesus Christ with all that we are and all that we have. Through worship, fellowship, education, and mission we open ourselves to God and our neighbor.
All are welcome to join us on Sunday, December 11, at 4pm for our annual Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols. The Handbell Choir will join the Parish Choir and two youth choirs to tell the story of the birth of Jesus through scripture and song, with congregational singing included. Organist Cyndi Bliss, accompanist Connie Pawelczak, handbell director Debbie Psilopoulos, and harpist Cynthia Col will join Minister of Music, Maggie Marshall in works by Webster, Britten, Willcocks, Caldwell and Ivory, Sleeth, and others. Free will offering, handicapped accessible. Please join us!
Advent 1—Year A
November 27, 2016
Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44
As you know clergy occasionally end up leading funerals for people who haven’t been in church for decades. This doesn’t make them bad people and it certainly does not mean they are not loved by God. But it does mean that the liturgical symbols we use in the burial office to proclaim the power of the good news of God in Christ are largely lost on them. I remember one unchurched family in North Carolina where the widow of the deceased was shocked and upset when I told her that when her husband was brought into the church the American flag draping his casket would be taken off and replaced by the pall—which is a large white cloth with a cross on it that completely covers the casket. She understood the symbol of the flag: it represented patriotism and it honored her husband’s time in the military. But this white cloth meant nothing to her. Continue reading
The poinsettias surrounding the altar on Christmas represent the memorial gifts of parishioners in remembrance of loved ones. You may also donate to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund or to the ‘In Thanksgiving For’ category for donations to the Endowment Fund in memory of a loved one. The names of all those remembered will appear in the Christmas service leaflets.
If you’d like to make a donation in remembrance of a loved one, here’s the form:
The Homespun Holiday Fair is finally here where a wide variety of great stuff awaits and admission’s free! Beside the beautiful Christmas handmade knitted and crocheted gift items, we will have quilted and stitched gift items. Items from Mrs. Claus’ Attic will include gently used Christmas Decorations. Trinkets and Treasures of costume jewelry along with assorted breads and muffins, and cookies galore are yours for the taking. Santa will stop by from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM for a photo op with you and yours. We’ve complied some great gift raffles – lots of large gift baskets will be available for you to take a chance on. Come in from the cold and stay for a bit at Memere’s Café with French inspired baked goods, sours, and hot and cold beverages. Please mark your calendar for this huge event. Plenty of parking and handicap accessible. For more information about Homespun Fair visit www.allsaintschelmsford.org or see the flyer in the link below.
All white tickets are half price, and there are a ton of them. Come on down! We also accept clothing for consignment for the first two weeks of each month, so if you have in-season clothes in good condition (men, women’s, children), we’d love to have them. Thrift Shop hours are Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10-3. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity at All Saints’ and like numbers, we are also looking for a new Treasurer for the Thrift Shop. Amy Hunter has been filling this job nicely, but would like to move on. This is an “at home/on your own time” job. Please let me know if you are interested. Maggie Marshall, Thrift Shop chair.
This week’s music continues the themes of watching, waiting, preparing. The Disco Penguins will sing “Light one candle,” by perennial favorite, Natalie Sleeth. The B# Choir will sing “Come, O thou traveler unknown” by Richard Webster, Music Director at Trinity Church, Copley Place. This is not an easy piece, but once again, this group demonstrates that its tastes and abilities are varied. The Parish Choir will sing “Oh come, the Nations’ Savior,” by Hugo Distler. This piece, as well as the organ voluntaries, will demonstrate how far one can stray from a Martin Luther composed chorale. In this piece, the sopranos have the melody, the altos do the heavy lifting, and the lower part provides resonance. The opening organ voluntary, also by Distler, is from his organ partita on the same tune. Distler (1908-1942), “employed many of the compositional techniques of the 17th and 18th centuries and, with the Lutheran chorale as inspiration, melded all into an original harmonic language.” While composing and teaching in Berlin, in 1937, the Nazi press labeled his music un-German and degenerate. His music was not banned, but he was discouraged from composing and harassed by the Nazi party. This, coupled with his dread of being forced into military service, caused him to commit suicide in 1942, at the age of 34. The closing voluntary, also based on the same chorale, is by Helmut Walcha (1907-1991), a blind German organist and composer who is also known for his recordings of the complete works of J.S. Bach.
Christ the King
November 20, 2016
Jeremiah 23:1-6, Psalm 46, Colossians 1:11-20, Luke 23:33-43
On May 24, 1946 a group called the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, under the leadership of Albert Einstein, sent a telegram to several hundred prominent Americans with an urgent plea that reads in part: “We scientists who released this immense power [of the atom] have an overwhelming responsibility in this world life-and-death struggle to harness the atom for the benefit of mankind and not for humanity’s destruction. We need…a nation-wide campaign to let people know that a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” Einstein, therefore, has been credited with the popular saying, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” http://icarus-falling.blogspot.com/2009/06/einstein-enigma.html Continue reading
Seasonal singers wanted! Our annual Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols is on December 11 at 4pm, and we would welcome those who like to sing, but can’t make a full-time commitment to choir. Our seasonal choir rehearsals will be on November 17, December 1, and December 8 from 7:45-9:15pm, and Saturday, December 10 from 1-3pm. We also welcome our seasonal singers to join us on Christmas eve at 10pm, if possible.
In previous weeks, I have given some reasons to consider joining a church choir. Today, I will excerpt heavily from a 9/23/14 article by Jonathan Aigner that was included in a “Ponder Anew” blog. His article is entitled “9 Reasons to Keep the Church Choir Alive” and represents a lot of what we try to accomplish at All Saints’. Six of his reasons seem most relevant.
- Choirs support good congregational singing. … A choir demonstrates that the voice of the congregation is primary, not secondary.
- Their visual presence is an encouragement to the congregation. … We are there to be together, to worship God with each other, to be community.
- Choirs make a broader repertoire available for a worship service.
- They can offer more difficult and complex music than is possible for the greater congregation. Besides leading in times of corporate singing, since choirs have the benefit of outside rehearsal time, they can offer up musical praises on behalf of the congregation that would otherwise not be possible. In this sense, a choir can be a preaching and praying group, proclaiming God’s self-revelation, to which the congregation can listen, meditate, and respond worshipfully in their hearts.
- Choirs help singers develop and improve their musical gifts. Christians are a singing people. … Giving children opportunities for choral education in the local church setting further primes congregations to be accepting and supportive of choral music.
- Participation in choir ministry can be an avenue for introducing outsiders to the church and the Christian faith. I’ve known many, many people who have come into a church by way of a choral ensemble, have heard the gospel, and have responded with committing their life to Christ. Or, as was the case in my life, choirs can help keep people connected to the faith. I was all but ready to leave the organized church as a teenager, but a move to a new congregation and finding love and acceptance in the choir loft kept me engaged, and ultimately set the stage for me to recognize my calling into vocational church work.
Also important to keep in mind is that in striving to accomplish all of the above, we manage to have FUN in the process! The choirs are open and accepting groups, and new members are always welcome. Please speak to me at any time if you want to know more. The door is always open. Maggie Marshall, Minister of Music.
E-bulletin contributions are welcome from everyone! This is YOUR publication, and the more news, the better. In addition to news from your group, the e-bulletin is also a great place to ask for volunteers. The weekly deadline is Wednesday noon, and articles can be sent to the church office.