All Saints Episcopal Church Newsletter
All Saints Episcopal Parish, San Leandro, California
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Whatever you believe, whatever your experience of organized religion has been and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome in this place.
From The Rev. Karen Swanson
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Advent has begun, and we are in the process of preparing ourselves for our celebration of the birth of Jesus and, more profoundly, for the coming of Christ more fully into our personal, family, and church life. With respect to preparing ourselves for the celebrations to come, pageant practices are being organized with speaking and nonspeaking parts for youth and children. Please let Rev. Karen know how your child or children would like to participate if you have not yet done so. Youth or adults are also needed to help with rehearsals, to organize costumes, and to prepare simple, child friendly lunches. Please sign up in the narthex if you can lend a hand. The pageant will form the center piece of the 4 p.m. service on Christmas Eve.
We will also prepare for our celebration of the birth of Jesus by decorating the church for Christmas on Sunday, December 21 after the worship service. All are welcome to help. Those who would like to contribute a poinsettia plant for the decorations in honor of a loved one are encouraged to use the form inserted in the Advent worship programs for this purpose. The cost is $25.
Another way to prepare for our celebration of the birth of Christ, is to pray about who among your family members or friends may be inspired by, or receive spiritual nurture from one of our Christmas services, and then invite them to join you in worship. We will also have door hangers available for those who would like to share with their neighbors our holiday worship schedule, and food pantry dates.
One way to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ into our personal and communal lives is to take part in the Advent quiet morning on Saturday, December 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. The quiet morning will be led by Lindsay Ralphs, interfaith spiritual director, and the Rev. Karen Swanson, interim priest. The theme will be "Creating a Welcoming Space Within." The quiet morning will include a guided meditation, contemplative prayer, art work and/or journaling, a meditative walk, and intercessory prayer.
A final way to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ more fully into our personal and communal lives is by special outreach projects for those in need during this holiday season. Opportunities to support the new Warming Center project and the Angel Tree project are described in other articles in this newsletter.
With these, and other opportunities before you, I pray that you will have a happy and holy Advent.
Yours in Christ,
December 24 4 p.m. Children's Pageant and Family Eucharist
December 24 10:30 p.m. Christmas Carols and Music
December 24 11 p.m. Choral Holy Eucharist
December 25 10:15 a.m. Festival of Lessons and Carols
with Homily and Holy Eucharist
Come to one or more services!
Invite your family and friends to join you for this special time!
A Message from Our Rector's Warden
It's now December and close to the end of the year. We all seem to be involved in the traditional Christmas rush. I do hope you all are taking the time to remember the Advent season and why it is so important. Advent is at least as important to me as Christmas, which lasts just 12 days and begins at midnight between December 24 and 25.
The New Year will not be far behind , so I have one more chance to remind you, if you haven't turned in your pledge card, to please do so. The Finance Committee and Vestry are, even now, in the process of establishing a working budget for 2015. Thus the theme goes from Advent to a blessed Christmas to a Happy New Year.
Year-to-Date as of October 31, 2014
The financial results reported here are for the ten months ended October 31, 2014. Year-to-date, there is a moderate accumulated surplus of $9,300 - the result of actual expenses being held below our income. This was $7,700 favorable to the budget. In contrast, last year we had a deficit of $10,400.
Operating Income ($172,700 vs. $182,300 budgeted) $9,600 unfavorable
Although the month-end financials reflected pledge income falling short by $3,200, several pledges formerly in arrears were brought current at the beginning of November. With donations reports being mailed this week, we expect that others will be similarly encouraged.
We are analyzing the Neighborhood Center results vs. budget ($5,300) and vs. last year to determine where the fall-off in utilization occurred.
Operating Expenses ($150,200 vs. $162,300 budgeted) $12,100 favorable
Total salaries and benefits are lower than budget, year-to-date, due to our not having a priest on-staff during the month of August. This contributed $7,700 to the surplus.
Facilities expenses were favorable by $2,300 but most of the variance is timing-related.
Operations expenses, in aggregate, were $1,300 lower than planned.
Non-Operating Income ($6,500 vs $2,100 budgeted) $4,400 favorable
Contributions to the Social Ministries programs continue at historical levels, eliminating the need for subsidies from the operating budget.
Other Non-Operating Expenses ($19,700 vs. $20,500 budgeted) $800 favorable
Expenses associated with the Nursery, All Saints Kids and the Fireside Youth are on plan. Social Ministries expenses are favorable to budget.
2014 Special Events Fundraising
We are thankful for the many volunteers who conceive, plan and produce these special events. This year, our goal was to raise $16,000 for the year. By the end of October, we have exceeded the goal - raising $16,500 from the following:
This popular All Saints tradition was organized by the Pendletons and the Wrights, and produced with an array of other helpers. Our Fireside Youth assisted with serving and hundreds of tasty crabs were consumed. This February event netted $3,100.
Connie Camp generously created and donated a beautifully crafted king-size quilt as a raffle prize. $10 tickets were sold by parishioners, and the "opportunity drawing" occurred on Pentecost. Net proceeds from this activity were $4,100.
Claire Burke developed the theme of this event, and then recruited and organized an array of volunteers to assist. And what a night we had! A delicious dinner was prepared by the Waters-Leigas, with the Kincaids behind-the-scenes and Fireside Youth serving. We were entertained by cabaret singer, Michele Jasso, with Dylan Snodgrass on piano and Jeffrey Korst as MC. A lively live auction was called by the husband of the Rev. Joyce Parry-Moore, from St. Bart's Livermore. Wines - carefully selected by Mssrs. Burke, Korst, and Knights -- were available for purchase. Many beautiful items were offered on the silent auction tables as well. Brad Troutman served as event bookkeeper, and also provided credit card processing capability throughout the event. An extraordinary amount of effort went into the September Soiree - and an impressive $9,000 was raised, net of expenses.
We had a successful and fun Cinco de Mayo dinner to raise money for the Corazon house-build in Tijuana. The Waters-Leiga chefs prepared a delicious repast and spoke about their experiences south-of-the-border with this organization. All funds raised were designated for Corazon.
Additionally, a couple of smaller events - including the movie screening coordinated by the Korsts - generated a net of $300
Social Ministries Report
Social Ministries Team Leader
Join in Support of the New Warming Center
Last winter, seven people died of exposure on the streets of the Bay Area. This winter, we're doing something about it.
All Saints will join with other faith communities in supporting a "warming center" for the homeless this winter. The three-month pilot project - the first of its kind in San Leandro - has been developed by Building Futures with Women and Children (BFWC), the City of San Leandro, and the Interfaith Homelessness Network/April Showers. BFWC is pre-registering guests (thus the warming center will not be a drop-in center) and will provide professional supervision at the warming center itself. First United Methodist Church will be the first center.
At an organizational meeting on November 22nd, Social Ministries Team members agreed to support the warming center initially by gathering items needed for the warming center and the homeless. We also committed All Saints to provide meals once per week when the center is open, and to contribute a donation from the Social Ministries fund to support operations. Becoming a warming center is under consideration for the future.
We invite the congregation to provide what they are able in the collection boxes in the Wicker Room, where you can pick up a wish list. The warming center will begin operating on cold and rainy days in December, so contributions are needed as soon as we can collect them.
Food Pantry News
November 15th was our busiest pantry of the year - 115 guests took home food for 433 people. And thanks to your generosity, every guest went home with a chicken!
In December, we'll follow our regular schedule on the 6th, and then have a special schedule for Chicken Drive the Sequel, on the 20th:
2:00-3:00 set up; 3:00-4:00 distribution; 4:00-4:30 clean up
no hospitality room; no volunteer lunch
If you can, please bring chickens to the pantry 2:00 to 3:00 on the 20th, or donate cash in Social Ministries envelopes. Your generous support of this feeding program has made a huge difference to so many. Blessings to you all.
Angel Tree Gifts For Children Prisoners
The Angel Tree is up on the parish hall with the names, gender and ages of children whose parent or parents are incarcerated. You may take a name and purchase a gift for a child who might otherwise not receive one at Christmas. Gifts may be turned in on Sundays or to the church office between 10 and 2, Monday through Thursday. The deadline to turn in gifts is at noon on Sunday, December 21.
Anne Phillips is the coordinator for this wonderful outreach program. She would like help delivering the gifts. Please call her at 510:562-3856 if you can assist her.
Celebrate the Holiday!
December 6 at 7:30
Simple circle dancing, luscious desserts, and a concert of Celtic, Medieval, Renaissance and American music will be performed in the Parish Hall. Margaret and Kristoph, a local Celtic/Medieval duo will sing and play harp, guitar and flute. Our own Maureen Atkins will lead the dancing.
Tickets are $15 each and any profit will support All Saints. A children's holiday movie will be shown simultaneously in the fireside Room. There is no charge for this part of the program. Come. Enjoy the fun of music and dancing in the fellowship of friends and family.
Altar Guild News
New Members Needed
Please contact Connie Camp or Rev. Karen if you are able to donate a few hours every few months to help with setting the holy table for services both at 8 and 10:15. Several of our current members are undergoing life transitions and are no longer able to serve as frequently as before. Your help would be much appreciated.
Thank you to Rev Karen, Nancy Churchill, Mary and Jack Kincaid, and Claire Burke for decorating the church for Advent. It is lovely. Are there others who are willing to take a season to help decorate the church? We particularly need some to help with flowers for Christmas Eve to to decorate the Sanctuary tree. Please contact Rev. Karen if you can help.
In Other News
Anna Libet to be Baptized
Anna Libet, the adult daughter of Claire Burke and stepdaughter of Richard Burke, will be baptized on Sunday, December 28 at the 10:15 a.m. service. Anna has made many contributions to All Saints as a former choir member and musician. She now lives in Florida, where she is seeking an Episcopal Church in which to worship. Anna will be sponsored for baptism by her mother. Claire and Anna will offer a Christmas duet on the day of Anna's baptism.
Parish Meeting to Elect Vestry Members
A parish meeting will be held at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, January 11 for the sole purpose of electing members of the Vestry and representatives to the deanery and diocesan convention. Electing at this time allows new Vestry members the opportunity to participate in the Vestry retreat of the Southern Alameda deanery on January 23, 24 and 25. The Annual Meeting of the parish will be held in early February with a full review of parish activities, introduction of new Vestry members and staff, and new business.
If you would like to serve on the Vestry please let Rector's Warden Karen Taylor know of your interest on or before January 5, 2015 so that your name may be included on the ballot.