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Community Life & Service

December 6, 2018
St. Nicholas

| This Week | Spirit | Faith | Church | Classifieds |

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This Week

On the First Sunday of Advent, St. Nicholas visits the children
and reminds them of the importance of serving others.

Photo by Terry Peck

Click here to see more photos from this past Sunday

Partners in Grace

from the Rector

For God has ordered that every high mountain
and the everlasting hills be made low
and the valleys filled up,
to make level ground,
so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.
- Baruch 5:1-9

This Sunday’s prophetic reading is drawn from Baruch, a second-century BCE text attributed to the prophet Jeremiah’s secretary and companion. Baruch’s poem concludes with an image of God leveling the valleys and hills, a metaphor that John the Baptist echoes in Luke:

Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

The contrast between the two prophets’ handling of the metaphor is striking: 

In Baruch, God is making the way for God’s people. In Luke, John the Baptist seems to be saying we must make the way for God. So which is it?

Deep in our tradition is buried a fundamental tension about how salvation is meant to unfold: Is it God’s action or ours that ushers in what Jesus calls the kingdom? Do we make way for God, or does God make way for us? Do we rely on God’s grace or on our works?

Advent reminds us that our calling is never passive, but active, alert, awake. An answer to the age-old tension between grace and works might be found in a sense of our call to partner with God in the unfolding of salvation. When we set out to make way for Christ in service to others, in prayer, and in the amendment of our own lives, we discover that God is already there helping make the way for us.

We only have to show up and pitch in, partners in grace, partners in compassion, partners in the coming of Christ.

How are you being partners in Christ’s coming at this time?

Quick reminders:

With Advent blessings to all of you,

- Br. Richard Edward+

Learn more now about our Sunday readings:

Preparing for Sunday

This Sunday, December 9: Pageant Rehearsal

Children involved in the Pageant will gather in the nave at around 11:30 am this Sunday for our first Pageant rehearsal (no costumes this time!), which we anticipate will last no longer than thirty minutes. Parents, please join us for a brief orientation at the opening of rehearsal. 

Calling All Bakers and Chefs!!

christmasbakesale4The Church of Our Saviour Holiday Bake Sale is this Sunday, December 9th, during Coffee Hour.
We are hoping that each of you will be able to contribute something for the sale - baked goods, canned goods, savory dishes or snacks - whatever you feel like making. As usual, we will be repeating our successful “Decorate Your Own Cupcake” section for the kids and also be selling Christmas Crackers “hand crafted” by our Faith Quest and Middle Saints. Joan will be on hand serving her delicious hot cider and there will be Coffee Hour foods as well.

All monies raised from this sale will benefit the Parish Discretionary Fund which helps people in need in our community. We also have a matching grant which will match up to the first $500 raised by this sale. Want to get involved? Contact Tiana Wimmer.

Christmas Giving Tree 2018

Thank you to everyone who took an ornament in support of our gift drive for residents of Episcopal Community Services in San Francisco. Please wrap the gift, attach the ornament, and place it under the Tree by Sunday, December 16th. 

Questions? Contact Tiana Wimmer.

Christmas Poinsettias for the Parish Discretionary Fund

poinsettiaThe Altar Guild of the Church of Our Saviour will decorate the sanctuary with poinsettias and other holiday greenery this Christmas with your memorial gifts and thank offerings. The funds raised beyond the expense of the floral decoration will be donated to the Parish Discretionary Fund to help those in need in our community. If you would like to remember a loved one or give thanks in this way, please fill out the green form in your bulletin, attach a check marked “Christmas Poinsettias” and return it by December 16 for your dedication to be included in the Christmas bulletins. Or contact the office at 415-388-1907.

Youth Faith-in Action Volunteer Projects
Fall Semester 2018

Tutoring - Bayside Martin Luther King Academy – Mondays 3:15 – 4:30 pm
200 Phillips Dr, Sausalito – begins September 17 and continuing

pledgePledge Envelopes are here!

If you would like to have envelopes for your pledge for 2019, please let our bookkeeper, Gay Johnson, or the office know or call 415-388-1907. After we receive your request, your envelopes will be on the ledge in the Fireside Room.

Sunday School Registration: Ongoing!

childrenyouthDid you know . . . Sunday School Registration is open year-round on-line? Click here for the brief form. (Paper registration forms are also available from Children's and Youth Ministry Leaders and the Church Office.)

If you are a parent or grandparent bringing children and youth to Church of Our Saviour for any programs on-site or off-site, please complete the registration and photo permission so that we can continue to organize our programs to best serve our children, youth, and families! Thank you!

Join the Our Saviour Choir for Christmas

choirCan't commit to choir every week? How about joining for the Advent/Christmas season?

This fun-loving group of parishioners leads our congregational singing during our primary Sunday and Holy Day services of the year and presents a wide variety of anthems ranging from Renaissance music to Gospel. Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings from 7-9 pm and Sunday mornings at 9:15 am.

For more information, contact our Music Director, Albert Campbell.

Coming Up

Throckmorton Chorus Winter 2018 Concert

Several members of COS are part of the Throckmorton Chorus and they would love to see you at their Winter 2018 Concert.  It includes works by Handel, Mendelssohn, Trotta, Reger, Gjello, T. Louise de Victoria and others, and includes a Holiday Sing-a-Long. Following the concert stay for a meet and greet and complimentary champagne reception!
Throckmorton Chorus celebrates the art of choral music and the pursuit of choral excellence in repertoire and performance. The chorus is directed by Marie Plette and accompanied by pianist Allegra Chapman. Section Leaders are Jonah Hopton, Britt La Gatta, Tim Silva, Anayana White and Katarina Zosseder.
When: Wednesday, December 12, 8 pm
Where: Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley
Cost: Free  

Contemplative Prayer Group Continues

prayerAll who are interested are invited to join Nancy Cone for contemplative prayer practice in the parish library from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm following coffee hour.

This ancient Christian practice helps calm the mind, reduce stress, and center us in God’s presence, paralleling meditation practices in many other spiritual traditions.

No experience necessary, no sign up necessary, just join us!

Mark you calendars for December 16th for the next meeting.

Coming Up at Church of Our Saviour

See below for the Advent and Christmas calendar

Thursday – December 6:
Noon – Youth & Family Ministries Meeting – Fireside Room
7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Saturday – December 8 – 9 am-Noon – Godly Play Teacher Training – Godly Play rooms

Thursday – December 13:
2 pm – Staff Meeting – Office
7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Tuesday – December 18 – 9:30 am – Mt. Carmel Hot Lunch Program – Greenwood School Gym across from Mt. Carmel Church

Thursday – December 20 – 7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Sunday – December 30 – No Sunday School

Thursday – January 3:
2 pm – Staff Meeting – Office
7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Sunday – January 6 – Epiphany and Community SundayThursday – December 13:
2 pm – Staff Meeting – Office
7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Tuesday – December 18 – 9:30 am – Mt. Carmel Hot Lunch Program – Greenwood School Gym across from Mt. Carmel Church

Thursday – December 20 – 7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Sunday – December 30 – No Sunday School

Thursday – January 3:
2 pm – Staff Meeting – Office
7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Sunday – January 6 – Epiphany and Community Sunday


9 December     Second Sunday of Advent
8 am Eucharist Rite I
10 am Choral Eucharist
After 10 am Service
Pageant Rehearsal
Christmas Bake Sale

16 December     Third Sunday of Advent                    
8 am Eucharist Rite I
10 am Lessons and Carols
After 10 am Service
Pageant Rehearsal

19 December     Wednesday                                        
7 pm Blue Christmas Service

23 December     Fourth Sunday of Advent
8 am Eucharist Rite I
10 am Choral Eucharist
After 10 am Service
Pageant Dress Rehearsal
Greenswinding/Stone Soup

24 December     Christmas Eve
Children’s Christmas Pageant       4 pm
Choral Christmas Eve Service   8:45 pm

25 December     Christmas Day
Redwoods Christmas Service       10 am

Seeking the Spirit

Gerry CaprioListen to a Recent Sermon

Knowing the Place for the First Time

Proper 29 [Track 1]
November 25th

by The Rev. Gerald Caprio

As the cycle of the Church year comes to an end, it begins again, reminding us not only of the cycle of time, but the cycles of Christ's coming among us, and as Ruler of All.

The Feast Day of St. Nicholas

by Laurie Gudrin
Someone dear to me once played Santa in a delightful way. At Christmastime a family that lived near to her was struggling. She was not well off herself, but she had come into a small windfall. She secretly purchased bicycles for the children and sneaked over near midnight on Christmas eve to leave them on the family’s porch.
This is the kind of generosity embodied by the saint whose feast day we celebrate today. The image above is “Jolly old St. Nicholas” in his original form. He was bishop of Myra, which is in current day Turkey, back in the Fourth Century. He was a sneak. He would observe the needs of the people of his town and lurk about their homes at night, secretly gifting them with resources that changed their fortune.
Because he was the patron saint of sailors, having calmed a storm on a journey he once made to the Holy Land, his story was carried all across Europe. He became the archetypal embodiment of the unearned and utterly surprising generosity that sometimes comes into our lives at the bleakest moments.
Perhaps it’s a small step to link the generous Christian saint with Christ himself, who gave everything for us in his incarnation.  But it also makes us crazy. We bemoan the commercialization of Christmas even as we rush around finding just the right gifts for all our loved ones, hoping to surprise them with delight and wonder. Hoping they will feel loved.
In Europe there is no conflict between the gifting that is the province of St. Nicholas and the holy celebration of the birth of Christ. St. Nicholas’s day is celebrated all on its own, today, December 6, and this is when gifts are given. It is apparently a highly festive and boisterous time of generosity and surprise.
The Anglican tradition, honoring the quiet and solemnity of Advent as it does, downplays this happy holiday. And in America – except among Eastern Orthodox folk – St. Nicholas has been swallowed up by Santa Claus. As my friend, Ann Fontaine, used to say, we can often find the Christ child in Christmas yard displays off in a corner somewhere, quietly going about the business of being born while all the focus is on the hoopla of the pulsing lights, laughing Santas, glamorous reindeer and industrious elves. (He is still there, she would say.)
The goal of Advent is that we clear away room in our hearts for the mind-boggling miracle of God’s birth into the world. Gift-giving can actually be part of it all, reflecting how we are tugged by God out of complacent self-centeredness and made the hands and heart of Christ in the world.
Perhaps there is some middle way. Let’s pray for the help of St. Nicholas, who stands for that impulse to give in the most holy of ways. In this time of watching and waiting there is room for our generous souls.

 From Episcopal Cafe

Join the Quiet Days of Advent
December 7th-14th

Chapel of St. GeorgeThis annual retreat at the Bishop's Ranch offers quietude and reflection as part of our Advent preparation for the coming of Christ.

Join Br. Richard Edward, who will be helping facilitate the retreat on Monday and Tuesday, December 10th & 11th, or come for other days as your schedule allows.

Join The Bishop’s Ranch in setting aside days of silence in which to observe Advent in an individual yet collective, self-directed retreat. The Society of St. Francis and friends provide a meditative framework in which you can experience the mystical, prepare for the coming of the Christ child, and refresh and renew yourself through the Holy Spirit. We invite you to participate in this special week for as many days as your time permits.

Register online here.

Prayers this Week

In our Church of Our Saviour Cycle of Prayer, we pray today for the Roberts family, Rosine Reynolds and the Curtis family, and for the ministry of Eucharistic Ministers, and for those who celebrate their birthdays, especially Stephen Johnson. In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we pray for The Falkland Islands (Extra-Provincial to Canterbury). Please pray for those who are ill and in need of comfort, especially Will, Elessar, Kern, Barry, Murray, Will P., Scott, Maggi, Tim, John, Mary-Jean, Margot, Lisa, Elizabeth and Michele; those serving in the military and overseas, especially Leif, Steven, Quinn, Christopher, Andrew and Taylor; and those who have died, especially Flossie, Adam and Dorothy. We pray for all who are struggling with the effects of war and natural disaster at home and around the world. We especially for the people of Paradise, Thousand Oaks, Malibu, and all affected by wildfires in California, the Tree of Life Community in Pittsburgh, and the people of Yemen this week. We pray for all those fighting wildfires at this time and all emergency responders. Help us to address a climate in crisis and to pass on a better world than we inherited. In the Bay Area, we pray for those seeking stable housing and for all who organize to address the housing crisis.

Prayers of the People are updated weekly. Names of those desiring prayers may be added to the Sunday prayers or to this bulletin, with their permission, by contacting the church office.

Faith in Action

Come Feed the Hungry at our Monthly Free Lunch

mtcarmelhotlunchOn the third Tuesday of every month, Church of Our Saviour sponsors a free hot lunch to all comers at the Mt. Carmel Church in Mill Valley. Many struggling with homelessness and others in need depend on this meal. The lunch is also a time for them to enjoy some peace and fellowship.

Volunteers are needed to drop off a salad, hot vegetable, or starch or to stay and help prep and serve the lunch - or both! (No need to volunteer every month, just the dates that are convenient for you.) There is a lot of camaraderie in the kitchen and the entire experience is very gratifying. If you are interested in volunteering, please email your name and email address to Tiana Wimmer. She will send you a monthly sign-up request or use this link.

The lunch is held in the gymnasium of the Greenwood School which is across Oakdale from Mt. Carmel church. You can park in the large church parking lot and enter the gym from the back of the Greenwood School building. The cross streets are Buena Vista and East Blithedale but the closer entrance is on Oakdale.

Thank you in advance for volunteering and supporting this important ministry!

Third Tuesdays in 2018: December 18.

The Wider Church


To see what's going on in the Diocese, click here.


This Fall At The Bishop’s Ranch

Click here.


Holy Hikes 2018 Schedule here

Parishioner Classifieds

Need a House-sitter and/or Pet-Sitter?

housepetsittingIf you need someone to take care of your house and/or animals while you are on vacation, COS has two trusted options for you!

Debbie Lewis (parishioner) is available to hire for house-sitting and/or pet-sitting; lives in Mill Valley, contact at telephone (415) 819-8712; references available.

Rose Scarff (parish administrator) is also available for house-sitting and/or pet-sitting. Contact at or 415-887-8768; references available.


Send in your work, service, or spirituality-related classifieds for the parish. Postings will be retained for one month, after which you may refresh them for re-posting.


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The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour · 10 Old Mill St · Mill Valley, CA 94941-1813 · USA

Weekly Archives


Through November, 2018


December 13th

Staff Meeting
2:00 pm

December 13th

Choir Practice
7:00 pm
Choir Room

December 16th

Lessons & Carols
10:00 am

December 18th

Mt. Carmel Hot Lunch Program
9:30 am
Greenwood School, Mt. Carmel

December 20th

Choir Practice
7:00 pm
Choir Room

December 23rd

11:00 am

December 23rd

Contemplative Prayer
11:30 am

December 24th

Children's Christmas Pageant
4:00 pm

December 24th

Choral Christmas Eve Service
8:45 pm

December 25th

Christmas Service
10:00 am
The Redwoods

December 27th

Staff Meeting
2:00 pm

January 27th

Parish Annual Meeting
11:15 am

February 2nd

Vestry Retreat
9:00 am

Monthly Calendar

©2018 Church of Our Saviour