Parish News November 16, 2017



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Our Musical Community
By Matt Witherow
Music is important to any liturgical service. A good friend who was a Catholic Bishop said many years ago “If you sing your prayers, God will hear them better.” Although this may be a bit of an overly simplistic way of viewing this, I feel that his sentiment is actually quite true.
The music program at St Mary Magdalene is a unique expression of our community, and has been shaped by everyone who has participated in it over the years.  As it grows and evolves, we continue to stay true to our roots by balancing old and new, traditional and contemporary. The tag line on our home page says it best: “Simple worship, rich tradition.”
I wanted to let you know about what’s happening in the music program at St Mary Magdalene, what to look forward to, and how you can join in the fun.
New, Expanded Songs for Worship
We’re getting ready to publish a new, expanded version of the Songs for Worship book. It will include many new songs in the style of the current SFW, as well as a section containing hymns from the 1982 Hymnal that are relatively easy to sing and fit with our musical style and preferences.
Seasonal Service Music
The flow of the church year at St Mary’s is something important to myself and to Fr. Bruce. Music helps bring out the unique spirituality of each season. Currently in Ordinary Time (aka, the Season After Pentecost) we are speaking most of the service. But when Advent arrives this will change and we will be singing most of it.  Please enjoy the distinctive Service Music as we move from season to season!
The strength of any choir lies primarily in its numbers, not necessarily in the musical background of its singers. Everyone in our congregation is actually qualified to sing! I would like to encourage you to come sing with us!  The choir sings on the 3rd Sunday of each month, and rehearses the two Thursdays prior. Try coming for the 2 Thursday rehearsals and then come sing with us on Sunday. If you are saying to yourself “I am not a singer!” then that is all the more reason to come try!
Weekly Singing 
Aside from “Choir Sunday,” I would also like to invite anyone interested to come sit up by the piano during each Sunday service. These folks help lead the congregation in singing, especially when we’re learning new music.  This does require coming a bit early to prepare.  Please let me know if you are interested.
Praise Band 
If you play an instrument we need you! There has always been a folk, bluegrass, vibe at St Mary’s that has been dwindling in recent years. This is a tragedy!
If you play guitar, banjo, flute, washboard, or any similar instrument please let me know.
Even as we continue with our time-honored traditions, I invite you to look forward to a few changes and to be excited about singing some new music.  Please feel free to contact me anytime ( with suggestions about the music at St. Mary Magdalene.
Thank you all,
Matt Witherow, Music Director

Wednesdays, Nov 29, Dec 6, Dec 13 @ 6:00-7:30pm | Advent Series: “Embodying the Spirit” – Please join us for a  time for fellowship and reflection on the spirit of the Advent Season.  A simple supper will be provided, along with activities for children and inspired table conversations. Email the church office with an RSVP.
Saturday, Dec 2 @ 5:00pm | Blue Christmas – A special service of prayer and healing acknowledging the sorrow and loss that are part of the holiday season for many.
Sunday Dec 3 @ 10:00am | Advent Lessons and Carols
Sundays Dec 3, 10, 17 @ 9:00am | Adult Formation Series: “The Gospel of Mark” – The series will feature a Tony-nominated dramatic reading of the Gospel by Alec McCowen (sessions #1 and #2), and a presentation/discussion led by Fr Spencer (session #3).
Wednesday Dec 20 @ 6:00pm | Christmas Play: “Room at the Inn” – The final Advent supper will include the musical play “Room at the Inn” performed by the SMM Children and Youth Ministries.  Email the church office with an RSVP.
Sunday Dec 24 | 4th Sunday in Advent  – One service at 10:00am.
Sunday Dec 24 | Christmas Eve Services – 4:00pm (Family Service); 7:00pm & 10:00pm (Festival of Lessons and Carols)
Monday Dec 25 @ 10:00am | Feast of the Nativity

(click on event title links for details)

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  • Holden Evensong with Eucharist, Saturday, November 18, 5:00pm
  • Morning Worship, Sunday, November 19, 8:00am (no music) and 10:00am
  • Forum: Caring for the Stranger: Immigrants, Refugees…, Sunday November 19, 9:00am
  • Readings and Reflections, Monday November 20, 5:30pm
  • Centering Prayer, Tuesday, November 21, 9:15am
  • Men’s Discussion Group, Wednesday, November 22, 9:00am
  • Community Thanksgiving Service, Wednesday, November 22, 7:00pm at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
  • Thursday Bible Study, Postponed until December 28
  • Taize’ Eucharist, Saturday, November 25, 5:00pm
  • Sunday Worship Services, Sunday, November 26, 8:00am(no music) and 10:00am
    A new Sign-Up Board is now located on the wall between the kitchen and the fireplace.  Check it out and sign up for providing Altar Flowers or Coffee Hour.
    The church office will close at 2:00pm on Tuesday, November 21
    and reopen at 9:00am on Tuesday, November 28.
Adult Forum Series: 
“Caring for the Stranger: Immigrants, Refugees, and the Church”  
Sunday, November 19, 9:00-9:45am in the Library.
We’ve added a final session to this series, which will include discussion and debrief of the three previous sessions, and brainstorming ways that we might respond to what we’ve learned. All are welcome to attend.
Gift Card Fundraiser for There With Care   
There With Care is an organization in Boulder which offers practical support to families who have a child facing a very serious illness. From November 19 through December 10, we will be collecting gift cards for these families to be able to get specifically what they might need in the midst of caring for their critically ill child and possibly other siblings as well. The need might be for clothes, groceries, gas for their car, or a toy for a child. Gift cards for King Soopers, Safeway, Whole Foods, Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, or gas cards would be very much appreciated. Contact Linda White.

Community Thanksgiving Service

Join us at 7pm on Wednesday, November 22, for the annual Community Thanksgiving service which will be hosted this year at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Gunabarrel.  A pie potluck will follow!  We look forward to seeing you there.
Community Conversation on Outreach
Join us at 6:30pm on Tuesday, November 28, for a community conversation on Outreach hosted by the  St. Mary Magdalene Vestry.
“Outreach” is clearly a core value of our SMM community. It has meant many different things, including grant-making, volunteering, mission trips, and other activities.
What does or should Outreach mean for us today, in our current social/cultural context, and at this point in our history?  How should we invest our labor and our money? Should we consider expanding the term to include other activities, such as social justice and activism?
All are welcome to come listen, learn, and share your thoughts.

Blue Christmas Service

As the Christmas season approaches, there are many within our SMM family, and the larger community around us, experiencing grief, loss, difficulty, and change.  There are also those for whom the holidays are simply hard.  We as a community of faith hold room in our hearts and in our pews for the fullness of the human experience.  Christmas is a time to offer joy and celebration, it is also a time to offer solace and reprieve.  Please join us at 5:00pm on Saturday, December 2, for a simple candlelight service. Holy Communion, gentle music, and soothing scriptures will be offered as balm for our hearts and nourishment for our souls. Contact Courtney Gambrell.

Advent Wreath Making 

Please join us for Advent wreath making on the first Sunday of Advent, all ages welcome.  We will provide the supplies.  Please sign up on the spreadsheet on the “Children & Youth” bulletin board or online here by November 19th.  This will ensure we order enough supplies.  For questions contact Sue Crowley.
Habitat for Humanity Build Day 
Please join us as we partner with Habitat for Humanity of the St. VrainValley in building safe, affordable housing for our neighbors. Saint Mary Magdalene build day December 9, 2017. For more information and sign up please contact Mark Christie.
Room at the Inn: A Christmas Play
The children and youth of St Mary Magdalene will perform “Room at the Inn” at 6pm on Wednesday, December 20th and dinner will be provided.  Sign up to be in and help with the Christmas Pageant on the “Children and Youth” bulletin board.  For details contact Sue Crowley.
Haiti for the Holidays
Come make merry and leave with Christmas gifts that fuel change in Haiti.  Browse through a variety of paintings and other items, all handmade by artists from Haiti and Colorado.  All gift purchases will support education, art, and girls’ empowerment programs in Haiti. Contact Teresa Henry. Event flyer >
SMM Book Club 
Our next book is Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah.  We’ll be hosted by Marge and Ed Szoke at 7pm, Friday, January 5.

Buy Grocery Gift Cards to Support SMM!
With the holidays coming, now is the perfect time to get your grocery gift card!  Grocery cards are an amazingly effortless way to support SMM.  Each time we use them to purchase groceries, the church receives a 5% rebate. So far, this year the grocery cards have generated $4,140 for SMM.   Let’s maximize our effort and see if we can increase that to $10,000 or $15,000 a year! Read more >

Join a Supper Club
Supper Clubs at St. Mary Magdalene are in full swing and growing!  These get-togethers occur once monthly from now until Spring.  A group of 6-8 people gathers for a meal and good conversation, which is a great way of getting to know fellow parishoners.  If you would like to begin attending a Supper Club group, please contact Carmel Hill or Kim Freymiller.

Sign Up for Coffee Hour! 
Please consider providing Coffee Hour treats following the 10:00 service.  Instructions and assistance are available for making coffee and setting up.  If no one has signed up for a given Sunday on the volunteer sheet posted near the fireplace, coffee may be made, but no munchies will be furnished.  Committing to this ministry just once a year will keep us in refreshments every Sunday!  We appreciate your generosity.  Questions?  See Patti Guilford or Jane Rogers, Kitchen Co-Managers.

Bake Communion Bread!
Would you like to bake communion bread? The recipe is simple – making and baking takes about a half hour on Friday evening or early Saturday morning.  Deliver the bread to the church before 10:00 am Saturday.  It is nice too if you present it at the offertory on Sunday morning, but not necessary.  This is a wonderful expression of service and care for your church family!  Find the recipe here!  Contact Janet Poley to volunteer.


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Bishop: The Rt. Reverend Robert O’Neill
Priest in Charge: The Rev. Bruce Swinehart,
Children and Youth: Sue Crowley,
Music Director: Matt Witherow,
Parish Administrator: Brian Gates,
Sr. Warden: Sarah Delaney,
Jr. Warden: Jeff Cantrell,

Worship Service Times
Saturdays 5:00pm
Sundays 8:00am & 10:00am

Office Hours
Mon-Thur 9am-2pm

The office will be closed
Wednesday, November 22 – Monday, November 27

Priest in Charge Hours
Sun Afternoon-Mon – Sabbath
Tues-Thur – Office Hours
Fri-Sat – by appointment

To submit an announcement for the church calendar, Parish News, website, and bulletin, contact the church office no later than 12:00pm on the Tuesday prior to desired publication.  Please limit announcements to 50 words or less.  If more information is needed, a document can be linked to the announcements with a full description.
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