Preparing for Christmas 2023
Greening the Church
On December 18th , 19th , and 20th the church will be adorned for Christmas. If you would like to help with setting up trees and other decorations, please speak with Fr. Craig about times and tasks.
Special Visitor December 10th
We are expecting a visit from the Bishop of Myra (also known as St. Nicholas) next Sunday following Mass. He will share with us stories of his adventures and perhaps some treats as well.
The Santa Maria congregation will be hosting a Posada Monday, December 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the church. This traditional Latin American celebration commemorates the journey of the Holy Family to Bethlehem and their arrival at the inn (posada in Spanish). In the Diocese of Arizona each Spanish language congregation takes a turn hosting the event in the days leading up to Christmas. Speak with Karen for more information.
See also the Diocesan website at https://azdiocese.org/2023/11/la-posadas-around-the-diocese/ for other dates and locations if you wish to make the entire pilgrimage.
Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. by Zoom
Exploring the Gospel of John
Anglicanism places a strong emphasis on Scripture as a primary source of authority, and the Gospel of John is revered for its portrayal of the life, teachings, and redemptive work of Jesus. Its central theme of God's love and the call to faith resonates deeply with Anglican theology, highlighting the transformative power of God's grace. Anglican theologians and scholars engage with the Gospel of John in understanding of its profound teachings. Overall, the Gospel of John holds a cherished place in Anglicanism, guiding the faith, worship, and theological exploration of Anglicans around the world.
Read more here. Everyone is welcome!
Children and Youth
Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
Lectionary-based Montessori-style learning and activities for children and youth are available during the Liturgy of the Word all year round Young people join the service during the Exchange of the Peace.
Class for confirmation will be forming soon. Please speak with Mrs. Boddy for more information.
On many occasions in the past the priest would begin The Holy Communion with the offertory sentence found on page 377 of The Book of Common Prayer, “Let us with gladness present the offerings and oblations of our life and labor to the Lord.” Alms basins would then be passed throughout the pews to receive the congregation’s gifts which would be brought to the altar and placed there along with the bread and wine. This practice had to be suspended during the pandemic over concerns that germs may
be passed along with the plates. But there is no denying the importance of the symbolism of seeing your sacrifice received at the altar and so we are now returning to this practice.
However, many parishioners combine their weekly offerings into one made monthly or quarterly or on-line and might miss the opportunity to participate in the weekly reception of offerings. For this reason we will have preprinted cards available on the
table in the back of the church for parishioners to take as they enter the church and place into the alms basin as it is passed to them.
Please give prayerful consideration to your support of the parish as we give thanks to all those past and present who have contributed to Saint Mary’s ministry.
The Alms Fund :: Helping parishioners and others in immediate need
The number of people calling—or appearing at our doors—needing help with rent, water or electric or gas bills, food, auto repair, etc., has greatly increased since the height of the pandemic. These are tough times for many of us, and the Alms Fund is there to help...sometimes. You can help us help those who despair that their electricity will be cut off, or that they will be evicted, or that their children won't have the nourishment they need to grow and flourish, or they need a nice outfit in order to interview for a job, or...or...or...
You can help St. Mary's respond in ways Jesus commanded us to respond by donating to St. Mary's Alms Fund. Just write a check with a memo "Alms Fund," or if you make your donations electronically, you can designate an extra donation to St. Mary's with a similar memo. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Parish Administrator, Karen Dura, at email@example.com
Help us help St. Mary's People and many others in immediate need so they have time to seek longer term solutions.
Thank you so very much!
Vestry – 2024
Our parish annual meeting date has been scheduled for Sunday, February 2, 2024. At that time we will be electing two parishioners to serve on the Vestry, our parish leadership council. In order to serve on the Vestry one must be a member in good
standing of the parish, and be willing to complete two mandatory diocesan trainings, one on racial reconciliation and one on sexual abuse prevention. To be a member in good standing of the parish you must have been confirmed by the bishop, to have received communion three times in the past year, and be a giver of record. If you are interested in this important leadership position, please speak with Pat Bell or Holly Heckart.
Sign Up for Diocesan News
The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona publishes a weekly email news letter—which includes thoughts about a variety of topics by Bishop Reddall—and a quarterly magazine. These are free to anyone in our congregation who wishes to receive them. All you have to do is sign up!
Just enter azdiocese.org/newsletter/ in your web browser and follow the link. These are excellent ways to keep abreast of happenings around the diocese and the larger church.
Subscribe to our email list for once-a-week announcements, reflections, and news items from St. Mary's. It's a great way to stay in touch with what's happening around the parish!