Reflection & Blessing for the Longest Night

The Winter Solstice on December 21st is the longest and darkest night of the year. It can be uncomfortable being in the dark, and we feel that discomfort living in these dark times of uncertainty, confusion, chaos and change in our own lives, the life of our community and in our world. The darkness may seem more intense as we live in the midst of what, for many, is a joyous festive season. We wait for and long for light, healing and renewed hope in our hearts. On Tuesday, December 20, at 7:00 pm we will come together to celebrate the Longest Night Service and pause to honor the fullness of the darkness in our lives at this time and our dream of returning light.

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Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Services

All are invited to attend one of our Christmas services coming up in just a few days. Our Christmas Eve services will all be live-streamed for those who prefer to watch online. But if you can come in person, the beauty of the services and music will be unmatched! All services will be followed by festive receptions in the Parish Hall; it’s been three long years since we were able to be fully together and in community all evening. Masks are recommended (and extras provided) for the indoor services but not required. We hope to see you here!

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Christmas Season Youth Events

All youth in middle and high school are invited next Sunday, December 18, for the Annual Youth Group Christmas Party. It will be happening in St. Michael’s House from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. There will be a gingerbread decorating contest and, back by popular demand, a White Elephant gift exchange.

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An Advent Message

Advent has much wisdom to share with us as we journey through this season of darkness, seeking light and hope. Thomas Merton is known for his prayer which begins, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.” This uncertainty is familiar to us. But, this uncertainty about our vocation, our path, about our life and the future life of our community is comforted in the hope we find in Advent. Merton trusted that though he didn’t have all the answers, God would not leave him to face his life journey alone. This is the meaning of Advent. We are not alone.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe/Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

All members of St. Michael’s are invited to a special Misa on Sunday, December 11, at 1:00 pm to celebrate The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A potluck convivio, or special meal, will be held immediately following the Misa. Please meet in the Gallery where the procession will begin.

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A Note from the Interim Rector

One thing I learned writing a grant for the Lake Oswego Public Library for an Everybody Reads program: one hour of a volunteer’s time was valued at $17.65 – in 2007! Given the hundreds of volunteer hours donated by the St Michael’s community—including but not limited to choir members, bathroom remodelers, Vestry and Search/Profile Committee members, Wednesday volunteers, liturgical ministers, community meals—we are able to accomplish far more than what our budget alone can support.

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Advent Giving Tree

The Advent Giving Tree is back! Thank you to all of you who have already brought in items from the tree. The Advent Giving Tree is in the Gallery; please take a tag or two to lend a hand. The Outreach & Justice Council has chosen three ways we can help others in this season of expectation.

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Outreach & Justice Forum

On Sunday, November 20, our Outreach & Justice Council is hosting a forum between the services entitled “Together, We Can End Unsheltered Homelessness.” Please join us at 10:10 am in the Nativity Hall, or check your eblast for the Zoom link information.

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Bathroom Remodel Complete!

Most of you are aware that the women’s bathroom downstairs has been in the process of remodel for several months. It’s been quietly used for the past few weeks, but it’s now officially completed – and it’s beautiful! We are very grateful first of all to Jan P., who donated ample funds for the project in memory of Mickey Harnage. Sheri O. also donated the profits from the Red Door Artisan Fair (around $1,000) to the bathroom fund.

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This I Believe: Children & Families

There is no one right way to “do church” with your kids. Getting everyone out the door and going to church as a family can be a lot of work, and it’s worth it! Families with children and youth are life-giving to other families and to the entire faith community – like water in the desert.

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