December 9, 2022 (Second Week of Advent)
FROM ST. CHRISTOPHER’S RANTOUL
This past month the congregation of St. Christopher’s came together with generous support from Emmanuel Memorial (Champaign), St. John the Divine (Champaign), and the Bishop’s Discretionary fund to give away 294
sets of pajamas. With the help of Scout Troop 30 and Deacon Meb, this pajama giveaway brought 400 people to St. Christopher’s for those in need this holiday season and even made the WAND 17 nightly news! “It was a joy to see the children smile and pick out their new pj’s.” Thank you to the faithful saints of St. Christopher’s for coming together to support their community by being the hands and feet of our Lord.
A special congratulations to Father Dante Anglin on receiving EPF Preaching award. The Episcopal Preaching Foundation (EPF) is an organization
that seeks to “improve, support, and enhance the level of preaching in the Episcopal Church” (preachingfoundation.org). The preaching award is designated to a graduating student of four Episcopal-supported seminaries which include Sewanee, Nashotah House, Virginia Theological, and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. The award is determined by the dean and homiletical faculty based on the student who has shown the most improvement in preaching during their time in seminary. Please join the Office of the Bishop in congratulating Father Anglin on his accomplishment and service to this diocese.
EASTERN DEANERY FACEBOOK
If you are located in the Eastern Deanery, check out the new Facebook page where you can keep up to date and connect with one another. The purpose of the page is to help all the parishes in this Deanery stay connected to one another. An upcoming event can be shared on this page so that all parishes in the area can be invited to participate. Follow the page here.
FROM ST. MICHAEL’S O’FALLEN
O’Fallon Community Food Pantry: Boy Scouts of America had a food drive on Saturday, November 19 in the Township Building in O’Fallon. This is one of St. Michael’s important Outreach Projects, helping the Food Pantry by volunteering and collecting non-perishable food items to donate on a regular basis. On Saturday, our community again came together to sort and shelf the collected items.
It was amazing to see everyone working so diligently; church volunteers, schools, and the scouts all put in many hours to accomplish this project. and Yasemin Koss, Jan Wilde, and Narni Cahill from St. Michael’s participated in this event. Many thanks to those who assisted with this feat and also those who donated the items.
AN ADVENT REFLECTION FROM ST. GEORGE’S BELLEVILLE
The season of Advent is punctuated by a sense of preparation, both in a secular sense and in a spiritual sense. We madly prepare for the holiday season, scrambling to find that last-minute Christmas gift, getting the house all decorated for the festive occasion, and obtaining all the ingredients necessary for our family meals. Our busy agendas tend to keep us hopping, rushing from one thing to the next in order to take in all the glory and fellowship of the season.
Liturgically, however, our Sunday morning scripture readings focus on preparing not only for our commemoration of the Nativity but also looking toward the end times when the Lord will return to judge the world. We live every day in that tenuous moment between the incarnation and the final judgment, a tension that is highlighted during the season of Advent with a relentless call to stay awake and be prepared. We need to prepare ourselves spiritually, for we know neither the day nor the hour of Christ’s return.
So before you travel from store to store to find that “perfect” gift, I encourage you to take time to perfect yourself in daily prayer and meditation. Before you sit down to enjoy a wonderful family meal, remember to give of yourself to someone who is hungry, cold, or lonely. Before you adorn your home with beautiful Christmas lights, be sure to clothe yourself with the glorious light of Christ. Only when we commit ourselves to the observance of a holy Advent can we then begin to prepare ourselves for both a joyous celebration of Christmas and to be ready for the day when our Lord returns in glory. – Father Mark Ohlemeier
FALL UTO INGATHERING
Fourteen churches in the Diocese participated in the Fall Ingathering. Total Fall Ingathering $2,967.00. Blessings to all during the season of Advent.
Joyce C. Wright
FROM ST. MATTHEW’S BLOOMINGTON
The Feast of the Nativity Candlelight Service this year will begin at 9:00 PM on Saturday, December 24th, 2022. This is one of the highest feast days in our catholic tradition as Episcopalians. Let us come together to gloriously praise our God and encourage one another to faithfulness in the year to come!
On Sunday, December 25th, we will have one combined service of Holy Communion together at 9:30 AM as we continue our celebration of the Christ-child in the Christmas Season.
There will be a Service of Holy Communion on Friday, January 6th, celebrating The Feast of the Epiphany. The service will begin at 11 AM in our sanctuary. We are asking that participants only use the first three rows in the Nave (cong. area of seating). The consecrated elements will be distributed at the altar rail. We hope you will make plans ahead of time to join us.
ECW SAVE THE DATE
The Episcopal Church Women will have their Lenten Retreat March 24-26, 2023.
The retreat will be held at Toddhall. Bishop Brian K. Burgess will be the keynote speaker and Claudia Byrne will be the guest worship leader on Saturday evening. We hope you will join us.
PROVINCE V EVENT
Province V is hosting a Human Trafficking Prevention Day event on January 11, 2023, at
6 pm (CT). “Join us to pray to end human trafficking. Hear from trafficking survivors. Learn about resources available across the province (and country) and how you might take action.” Register for this online prayer service here.
Click here to learn more about human trafficking prevention.
Please include those in our Diocese who are discerning Holy Orders:
Parker Asplin, Postulant – Trinity, Lincoln
Pete Sherman, Postulant – St. Luke’s, Springfield
Danny Shuler, Postulant – St. Thomas, Salem