Weekly Announcements, December 18, 2020

December 18, 2020

Christmas service update: You should have received an email with a detailed plan for our Christmas Eve services. We will be holding two in-person outdoor services at 3pm and 4pm on Christmas Eve, as well as an online only service at 8pm. Please consult your email to register for the in-person outdoor services, and note that space is limited to 40 attendees per service. There will be no service on Christmas morning, December 25.

Diocesan Virtual Service for Christmas 1: As a gift to the Diocese, the Diocesan Office staff in conjunction with Diocesan liturgists will be offering worship on Christmas 1, December 27. Our worship service will be offered virtually to the entire Diocese and can be accessed via the Diocesan websiteYouTube channel and Facebook. It will also be an opportunity for the Diocese to worship together during one of the most joyful times of the year. The service recording will be available for on-demand viewing after December 27. O Come Let Us Adore Him!

No Christmas Compline: There will be no compline on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

“Christmas Star” to light up the winter sky: Within days of Christmas, on the winter solstice itself, an event nearly 800 years in the making will greet those who look up in the nighttime sky. It is being called the “Christmas Star,” as Jupiter and Saturn will look like a double planet in the sky as they make their closest approach to one another since 1226! On December 21, 2020, they’re going to almost appear to collide to become one super-bright point of light. You will be able to see this with your own two eyes (weather permitting). All you need is an unobstructed view to the southwest; best viewing is from about 45 minutes after sunset at 4:51 PM until about 7:30PM. Fittingly, here is a reading appointed for the Feast of Christmas Day: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness–on them light has shined”-Isaiah 9:2.

Pledge Envelopes: Thank you to those of you who have already pledged. If you have requested envelopes, there are three options for you to receive them:1.) You can pick them up after Sunday morning’s online service in the church parking lot where we will also be offering drive up communion.2.) You pick them up in the parish house during regular office hours (9am-3pm weekdays).3.) We can hand deliver them if you are a Hampton resident. Please contact the church office if you are interested in this option.

Vestry Nominations: If you would like to nominate someone for the Vestry of St. John’s Church, prior to the Vestry Elections on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at the Annual Meeting, please fill out this form. This year we will be electing three persons to serve a three-year term from 2021-2024. There will be no nominations from the floor. We ask for these nominations in advance so we can get information on the candidates to the parish ahead of time. You may nominate yourself. Nominees for Vestry must be active, confirmed, pledging members of the congregation. The deadline for submission is Thursday, January 14, 2021.

Confederate Memorial: Our committee met with a small group of African American pastors on December 16. It was a fruitful dialogue and we are grateful to all who participated. The committee will meet next on January 6. The hope is for the work of the committee to be completed in June of 2021. 

Advent at Home: We know that many of you will not be venturing to church this Advent. However, you can still find ways to observe Advent from home. Follow this link to see the prayers that we are using on Sundays when we light the Advent candles. We hope you will use these same prayers with us. Additionally, Virginia Theological Seminary is offering meditations and images during this holy season beginning Sunday, November 29. Images and meditations can be experienced via the #AdventWord website, direct daily emails, as well as on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube.

Communion To-Go: Have you missed communion but don’t feel comfortable attending church because of COVID? We will be creating bags with consecrated bread and wine, as well as the prayers we use for at home communion. We will even deliver them to you if you can’t come to pick it up. If you are interested, please contact the office at gro.notpmahhsnhojts@eciffo. You can also call between 9am and 3pm on weekdays at 722-2567.

Prayers for our Nation: A St. John’s parishioner suggested that we pray for our nation every day at noon. You can do this anywhere with any words that you choose. The idea is that we know somewhere, other members of St. John’s are praying for our country. While you can pray in any way that you would like, the Book of Common Prayer is a treasure trove of prayers. Therefore, we will be providing a different one every week. Here is this week’s: Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.