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January 2020
The Christmas Pageant 2019 was a delightful retelling of a wondrous story. Thank you to all who participated 'on stage' and behind the scenes!

(In a personal aside - Stan+ and I attended the Family service at SSSJ for the first time. It was a welcome change from the more traditional later services we have attended in various churches in our 6 Christmases here in SC and Stan's retirement from active ministry. The utter chaos! The bustle of preparation, the laughter and tears of children, the serious faces of the narrators, the anxious parents, the candles near paper, the radiant faces of the children as we sang Away in the Manger, all brought back happy memories of years past when we were in the middle of all that. It was especially wonderful because we were not in charge. We sat back and enjoyed every minute of the joyous evening!)
Fellowship
GEMS will meet on Fri 1/24 from 7-9 pm in the Field Bldg. GEMS  is an adult social hour followed by a covered dish supper.  All adults in the church are invited to attend. BYOB  and a covered dish to share. Appetizers & coffee will be provided by this month’s hosts, Virginia & Jim Burton and Karen & Blount Shepard. Please try to let Virginia (732-4654) or Karen (749-9839) know if you plan to attend so they’ll know how many tables to set up.
Resurrection Needs Your help!
With winter upon us, Resurrections needs donations of coats, blankets, boots, tennis shoes, and sleeping bags. They are also accepting gift cards for local fast food places which will be very much appreciated.  Contact Judy Gallagher if you can help or have questions. 
Keep Us Up To Date!
There is now a Calendar of Events on the bulletin board in the narthex.  Be sure to stop by and see all the wonderful things that are happening in and around Saint Simon and Saint Jude. The current and upcoming months are posted.  
If you or your group have an event that would benefit our church community, send the information to Carol Neuburger (cneuburg@bellsouth.net ).  She would be glad to add it to the calendar.  If the calendar is already up, feel free to write in the event details on the appropriate date.
In Need of a Good Book?
With cooler temps of winter on the way, now would be a good time to browse our own SSSJ library. You may find a book or two to curl up in front of the fire to read. You will notice that our shelves are quite full.  For that  reason, no further donations will be accepted.  We simply do not have room for more. Do stop by and find a book that seems to speak to you. No check out necessary. Just return it when you have finished reading it. If you liked it, sign the paper in the front. You might just find a kindred spirit.
Pastoral Care 
The beginning of a new year is exciting for most of us. Sometimes challenges and difficulties can show up unexpectedly and we are in need of some assistance. If you or someone you know is in need of help from Pastoral Care, contact Michele Lyerly at (803) 261-0911 or michelelyerly@yahoo.com.
Acolytes Needed - An opportunity to serve.
If you are between the ages of Grade 3 and infinity and would be interested in serving at SSSJ as an acolyte, contact Father Mark or Jim Burton (803-732-4654). No experience necessary, training will be provided.
 

The Power of Ritual

We come to church with needs. We come to church each week with expectations that by so doing, something will happen. In the Episcopal Church, we come to participate in a ritual. We become part of a gathered Body-Of-Christ offering prayers of praise, thanksgiving, asking …, musing on several scriptures, confessing where we feel we have missed the mark. Ourselves as a gathered Body and all our doings are laid out on the altar with bread and wine in offering; ‘ourselves, our souls and bodies’ with ‘angels, archangels and all the company of heaven’ with us make the offerings and Praise God singing, ‘Holy, Holy….’.

    Us, all our offerings, the bread and wine, are all transformed into the ‘Body-of-Christ’ to be taken and eaten by the faithful, that resurrected life may be renewed in the worshiping Body and all of creation. 

    Celebrating the Eucharist, (Thanksgiving) is no small thing. As we strive to live into the fullness of Resurrected-Life, we are guided by Jesus’ instructions, “DO THIS”. For us, as Gods People, in Christ, The Holy Communion Service is our way to the fullness of life, the fullness of forgiveness, the fullness of celebration, the fullness of celebrating of life blessings and life tragedies in thanksgiving.

    A little bit each Sunday, week after week, year after year, we are renewed and transformed as imagers-of-God.

    See you in church.   Stan Woolley+


 

My Faith, My Life

The following is a spiritual reflection by The Rt Rev Stephen Charleston, a Native American elder, author, and retired Bishop of Alaska. I follow Bishop Charleston on Facebook and find his writings thought provoking, hope filled, and helpful in my own spiritual life. I invite you to share your thoughts and resources for spiritual nourishment with us.   Pat

Brief Word About Prayer in Times of Conflict:

I have been engaged in peacemaking since the days of the Vietnam War. Over these many years I have called for and participated in prayers for peace in many times of conflict. I have learned that some people hold back from prayer because they think it is futile. Here are their three top reasons and a brief encouraging response. I share this in the hope that many of us will keep praying even as the conflict grows.
1. IT IS TOO LATE. (THE ACTION CANNOT BE TAKEN BACK). History teaches us that after the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, WWI war was almost avoided when a few key leaders hesitated to escalate the situation. Prayer can tip a balance.
2. THE OTHER SIDE IS EVIL AND WILL NOT PRAY WITH US. Demonizing others is not a response in faith. There have been thousands of Iranians courageously demonstrating for change in their country. We can pray with and for them.
3. PRAYER DOESN’T WORK. In the year 452 Attila the Hun came to the gates of an undefended Rome to sack the city. Pope Leo I and the church were praying for peace. The Pope rode out, spoke with Attila, and the Huns left. Prayer works.
Please keep praying. Thank you.

 

Have news to share? Contact Pat Woolley at patwoolley@me.com or (803)662-0504.
Copyright © 2020 The Episcopal Church of St. Simon & St. Jude, All rights reserved.


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