Christmas is one of the Church’s great feasts. We celebrate God’s decision to dwell with us, to come among us in the person of Jesus. This year, we will mark the whole season of Christmas with special services. Join us as we celebrate.
Because Christmas Eve this year is a Sunday morning, we have a morning service. We’re taking this chance to observe a Blue(s) Christmas. We’ll have a Blue Christmas service this morning as comfort for those away from family or those missing loved ones no longer with us.
December 24 Christmas Eve
5:00 pm Carol Sing, Pageant, and Holy Eucharist
All children are invited to participate in our pageant. Children who want to participate are encouraged to come a little early (about 4:45p). The older children who are regulars at Holy Communion will lead the telling of the story, and any child that arrives (and who wants to participate) will be issued angel or shepherd costumes to join the holy band around the manger during the service. Read more and sign up for the pageant here.
10:00pm Carol Sing and Festival Holy Eucharist
On the Eve of the Nativity we gather in the dark night to hear the news that Christ has been born. The Choir and guest musicians will present Mårten Jansson’s festive Missa Popularis (which our choir gave its North American premiere this past Spring) and we will sing Silent Night by candlelight in the darkened church. Join us as we mark the coming of Emmanuel, God with us.
December 25 Christmas Day:
10:30am Holy Eucharist with Carols
Christmas day we have a single Christmas day service at 10:30am. There will be a simple spoken Eucharist.
December 30 First Sunday after Christmas
We will have our regular schedule of Sunday services at 8am and 10:30am. Adult Education and Sunday School will remain in recess.
January 6 Epiphany Sunday with Visitation of the Magi
9:15am Intergenerational Formation for Epiphany
10:30am Holy Eucharist with Procession of the Three Kings
On January 7 we resume our regular schedule of Sunday Services. Christian Education returns with an Intergenerational activity with crafts and breakfast focusing on the visitation of the Wise Men. The 10:30 service includes a procession of the Magi and their gifts, following the star. After the 10:30a service, the children get to break open the star (piñata).
All gifts need to be turned in by December 16. Please turn gift cards into the parish office, or place them in an envelope in the offering plate.
You can find baskets ready to receive gifts in the main entryway. Please do not wrap the gifts, to make work easier for our sorters. Thank you for helping brighten this holiday season for someone in need.
We are looking for angels, shepherds, and friendly beasts for our 2018 Christmas pageant. Sign up your children, grandchildren, (you can even invite your neighbors’ children to participate).
The pageant will be held during our 5pm service on Christmas Eve. All children will be invited to participate as they arrive at church, but if you can arrive 10 minutes or more before 5pm, it would be helpful.
The Season of Advent is a time of waiting, watching, and expectation. In counter to the cultural season of frantic preparation for Christmas by buying, shopping, and rushing, Advent invites us to slow down. This season asks us to think about our hopes and dreams for the world.
Engage in this season of hope and expectation in prayer.
Starting December 6th and each following Wednesday evening of Advent, you are invited to step away from the busy holiday pace for a shared meal and some quiet prayer time. We will gather at 6:00 p.m. contemplative prayer, and then those who can stay will share a simple soup supper.
This year Holy Communion has set a goal of learning from and advocating with our trans/gender expansive community. We are currently working to develop programming and reaching out to potential partners in our region. There are already members of our congregation who identify as trans or nonbinary, but this conversation is new to many of us. Learning language and behavior that helps more fully welcome folks who identify beyond the binary will take work. Learning to stand up with the community will take commitment. We will do this work.
We will do this work because we believe every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. Too often faith is used as a reason for exclusion, for discrimination. Most importantly, we will do this work because our kids’ lives depend on this work. Our neighbors lives depend on our voices. Suicide rates in the trans community are among the highest of any group.
Jesus told his friends, “I came that you might have life, and have it in abundance.” At Holy Communion we believe diversity is an expression of God’s abundance. That is true of race. It is true of color. And it is true of gender expression. Diversity of gender expression and identity is a gift from God. Trans people are loved by God. Trans lives matter. Trans lives are a witness to the abundant love of God.
As we are working to develop our own programming for Holy Communion. We encourage folks to engage with Metro Trans Umbrella Group:
Across the Church
TransEpiscopal is a group of transgender and allied Episcopalians dedicated to fostering the full embrace of trans and nonbinary people, and our loved ones within the Episcopal Church and to inspiring faith-based advocacy for trans justice in the wider world. Their site holds all sorts of resources for people of faith to learn more about the inclusion of gender expansive folks.
In Latin America, the dead are remembered – and celebrated – in a unique way every year. Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is celebrated on November 2, All Soul’s Day, with colorful, joyous altars filled with mementos and photos of the beloved to honor and remember those who have died.
Over the next weeks at Holy Communion, we will be decorating the chapel altar as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of All Saints and Dia De Los Muertos.
All are encouraged to bring a photo or other memento of a loved one who has died and place it on the altar. You are also welcome to light a candle in this special place. and take a few minutes to rest and remember all those important people who have graced our lives for such a short time.
We’ll bless the “ofrenda” on All Saints Sunday, November 4 during both services. Join us that Sunday at 9:15am for an intergenerational formation activity, exploring the roots of the holiday and finishing our decorations.
Our parish is considering a capital campaign. In order to assess the level of support for
campaign, we are asking members and friends of Holy Communion to compete a survey.
All answers will be kept confidential and at no time will you be asked for a binding pledge.
In order to fill out the survey, you will need your Unique ID number. You should will received the ID in a packet picked up at church on Sunday September 23, or mailed to your house with the paper questionnaire. (The goal of the unique ID is to ensure we receive one questionnaire response per household). If you need your unique ID, or any other help contact the parish office: 314-721-7401 or email@example.com.
Answers from the congregation to this survey will directly impact the leadership’s
decisions. Your thoughts and opinions matter.
This year, we will celebrate our partnership with Cristosal and El Salvador October 7-8. There are many opportunities for folks to get involved.
On Sunday October 7 Noah Bullock, executive director of Cristosal, will be our guest preacher and the speaker at our Adult Forum.
Columbus day has come into controversy in recent years. We thought there was no better time to look at issues of justice that continue to connect North America and Central America, and to talk about Human Rights. Noah Bullock, executive director of Cristosal, will talk about the Human Rights based approach his organization has been taking in the region, and will talk about ways that people of faith can make a difference.
On Monday October 8, Noah will present at a forum co-hosted by Holy Communion and Washington University’s Danforth Center:
Please join us when Noah Bullock, Executive Director of Cristosal, discusses how a human rights-based approach, grounded in faith systems, informs work in El Salvador and with U.S. Policy. How are the systems of economics, migration, and violence connected between Central America and the U.S., and what can people of faith can do in response?
A panel of local leaders will join the conversation to discuss some of the promise and challenges to implementing these strategies in the St. Louis area.
On Sunday September 16, The Rev. Melanie Mullen WAS our guest preacher, and presented at our Adult Forum. Melanie serves as the Presiding Bishop’s Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation-care. In this role she lead the Episcopal Church’s work on racial reconciliation and justice, domestic poverty, stewardship of creation, and the United Thank Offering. She talked with the congregation about ways our “Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement” is working practically across the world, for justice, reconciliation, and God’s dream. How can we be involved in the wider work?