Full St. Nick's News for February 17, 2024 Dear Friends, On Wednesday, we marked the…
It is common, in the Episcopal Church to name a church after a Saint. We were given the name St. Nicholas. In so many ways, the name St. Nicholas seemed fitting. We were (and are) called to be a church centered in joy and trusting that, no matter our circumstances, our Hope in the Love of God through Jesus will see us through any doubts, fears, anxieties, and challenges life throws our way. We also trust the joy that is prevalent, tangible, and present in our times of happiness and ease.
The Prayer dedicated to the Feast of St. Nicholas reminds us that it is okay to doubt and to grieve, to love, and to serve. Here is the collect (prayer) dedicated to St. Nicholas –
Almighty God, in your love you gave your servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness both on land and sea: Grant, we pray, that your Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
There is, to me, nothing more important than sharing our love of Jesus with the world! Our inclusive, loving, come with your questions, come as you are, come with your surety and come with your doubts way of being in this world is a gift that is desperately needed. Saint Nicholas is a faithful saint and witness of generosity and care for so many. He is well known as the Patron saint of children, but he is also saint to sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, brewers, pawnbrokers, unmarried people, and students. St. Nicholas is clearly important to many people.
Nicholas was born during the third century in the village of Patara in Asia Minor. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. When Nicholas was young, his parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic. Nicholas took the call to discipleship seriously, and obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” he used his inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra when he was a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his philanthropy and generosity to any in need.
His generosity has been so inspirational that even to this day his anonymous gift giving is still celebrated and emulated. Saint Nicholas is the most well-known and joyous saint. The stories of St. Nick’s giving spirit are smile-inducing and live into the life of joy we are trying to share.
I hope you will join me and Bishop Lillibridge in celebrating St. Nicholas the Saint and St. Nicholas our church this coming Sunday. I joke that we are now, as a church, developmentally in preschool – we are 4 years old! We are learning, and giving, and trying so many wonderful things for Jesus. A few new things for this Sunday to be mindful of…
- Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent – the start of our new church year. Our seasonal color is blue.
- Our church space will be decorated, and the orientation will change with the altar near the back wall close to the kitchen.
- Maggie Mae’s Fresh Eats and Grate Graze Boards, the two companies that use our kitchen space, will be providing food for us after the 9:30am worship service.
- Only 1 service this Sunday at 9:30am – we will gather as one community to celebrate our anniversary.
- Come early at 8:45 to join with Bishop Lillibridge for Coffee and Conversation before our worship.
- “St. Nicholas” will leave presents outside for kids and those young at heart. It is a custom around the world for children to find treats in their shoes or stockings left by St. Nicholas. Two lovely parishioners had the idea to make our children booties and place gifts in them. After the service, you can take your child or yourself to gather their treat off the picnic tables.
- Please bring Christmas candy, small monetary gift cards, and trinkets for our gift making party. We will be putting together cups with gift cards, mini-ornaments, candy, and candy canes for the people in our community who need the joy of St. Nicholas. We have some St. Nicholas costumes for photo ops and lots of cups to fill!
I hope to see you on Sunday for our time of worship and celebration. God has done amazing things for us, with us, and through us. I am looking forward to our many more years of spreading joy, sharing generosity, and serving our world with love.
God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,
Thank you to everyone who came out to decorate Christmas Trees
and to the Bulverde Tree Lighting!
The event was too fun with angels, shepherds, Joseph, Mary, the cutest little sheep. People loved our JOY signs, the cookies from parishioners and Maggie Mae’s Fresh Eats, and the animals from Winding Branch Ranch. Our goal was to meet neighbors, support our community and spread joy. Because of you and your work – mission accomplished!