The year is 1980 and I have a picture perfect life.  I am a stay-at-home mom to one adorable son headed to kindergarten in the fall and another long wished for child is on the way.  My husband is a rising star with an established company and our home is furnished and comfortable.  I have been a member of St. Matthias for two years and things are humming along.

That was the outside.  Inside I was hiding deep shame and unhappiness.  I did not have the vocabulary to speak of the things that were upside down in my life nor did I have a trusted friend to confide in, to listen to my angst or to take my turmoil seriously.  It is a long story and a long journey from despair to hope, and then happiness. 

It began with a book that had the story of my life on its pages and told me I was not alone.  It took finding a trustworthy confident who could listen without judgment but with compassion, empathy and honesty.  For God to put this person in my life made all the Bible stories I had heard as a child come to life.  Now I could understand concepts such as “rebirth”, “new life”, love, joy.  I found the strength to face fears and the courage to solve problems. 

My true life story has evolved into a calling to Stephen Ministry.  If I can help open up the world for someone as it was opened up for me, I shall not have lived in vain.  

Linda Brooks              

December 1—24
Advent Coloring Banners - throughout the campus
 
December 9
7:00 pm - Polar Express Movie - Morrison Hall (FOR ALL AGES)
 
December 10
8:30 am - Holy Communion 
10:00am am - Christian Formation for all ages
11:00am - Holy Communion
 
December 13 - Nave
12:15 pm - Eucharist
 
December 13—While You Wait this Advent Evening Program 1
6:30 pm - Pot-luck Supper (FOR ALL AGES)
7:00 pm - Songs of the Christmas Story
8:00 pm - Eucharist - Nave
 
December 17—10:00 am
Lessons & Carols: God’s Creation and His Plan - Nave
Children/Youth Lessons & Carols Activity - Morrison Hall
 
December 20
12:15 pm - Eucharist, Nave 
 
December 20—While You Wait this Advent Evening Program 2
6:30 pm - Pot-luck Supper (FOR ALL AGES)
7:00 pm - Keepsake Christmas: Making Memories at the Manger
8:00 pm - Eucharist - Nave
 
December 24 Services
9:00 am - Holy Communion—Advent IV (Nursery available)
5:00 pm - Holy Communion with Pageant (Nursery available)
10:00 pm - Holy Communion
 
December 25th Service
11:00am - Holy Communion

APrayerofThanksgivingwithOrnament

Thanksgiving Prayer - 5 Encouraging and Inspiring Prayers!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and reflect on the blessings of the last year.  Many of us experience renewed hope and faith during the Thanksgiving holiday because we turn our eyes onto what is most important.  What if we spent time each day in giving thanks and prayer?  How could God grow out faith and trust if we lived a life of thanks through all seasons and not just Thanksgiving time?  When your heart is filled with gratitude, there is little room to worry or complain.

We would love to encourage and help you along the way toward greater hope and joy!  Below are five thanksgiving prayers you can use not only for Thanksgiving Day but throughout the year.  Start living out the promises of God that Jesus came “that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.

Prayer 1:  A Daily Thanksgiving Prayer

God of all blessings, source of all life, giver of all grace:

We thank you for the gift of life:  for the breath that sustains life, for the food of this earth that nurtures life, for the love of family and friends without which there would be no life.

We thank you for the mystery of creation:  for the beauty that the eye can see, for the joy that the ear may hear, for the unknown that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder, for the expanse of space that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.

We thank you for setting us in communities:  for families who nurture our becoming, for friends who love us by choice, for companions at work, who share our burdens and daily tasks, for strangers who welcome us into their midst, for people from other lands who call us to grow in understanding, for children who lighten our moments with delight, for the unborn, who offer us hope for the future.

We thank you for this day:  for life and one more day to love, for opportunity and one more day to work for justice and peace, for neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be loved, for your grace and one more experience of your presence, for your promise:  to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation.

For these, and all blessings, we give you thanks, eternal, loving God, through Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

- Vienna Cobb Anderson

Prayer 2:  A Short Prayer of Thanks

God, sometimes life gets me down and I find it hard to see things to be thankful for.  Open my eyes to see the gifts you’ve given me in my life.  I’m going to start by thanking you for loving me enough to come to earth and die so we can live together forever.  Amen.

- Wendy van Eyck

Prayer 3:  A Prayer for Our Children

Lord, I pray that the message of Christ and his sacrifice is the root of gratitude in my heart.  That His gracious gift leads me to thankful living, setting an example for my children.  That they will have their own relationship with Jesus one day, and that You would grow gratitude in their hearts out of the acceptance of Jesus as their Savior.  Lead us to do everything in the name of Jesus and give thanks to You through Him.  Amen.

- Marie Osborne

Prayer 4:  A Thanksgiving Prayer

O Heavenly Father:

We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.

We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.

We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.

We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.

May these remembrances stir us to service.

That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.

- “Dear Abby” Columnist

Prayer 5:  Thanksgiving Song

(makes a wonderful prayer!)

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.
From far and near we travel home,
Blessed that we are able.

Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window,
Saying "welcome, welcome, share this feast
Come in away from sorrow."

Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend and friendless;
All together everyone in the gift of loving-kindness.

Grateful for what's understood,
And all that is forgiven;
We try so hard to be good,
To lead a life worth living.

Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend, and friendless;
All together everyone, let grateful days be endless.

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.

- Mary Chapin Carpenter - Thanksgiving Song Lyrics 

May the good things of life be yours in abundance not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year,  Kristen Ketron

CrossOver Healthcare Ministry is one of the largest recipients of Our Congregation's Outreach pledges.

Why is CrossOver needed?

"Despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 60,000 plus low income people in the Greater Richmond Area are without access to affordable healthcare.  This is due to the strict requirements one has to meet to receive Medicaid in Virginia.  CrossOver steps in to provide care for people who might otherwise fall through the cracks of our healthcare system."  Here is one Crossover story:

“I came to Richmond by way of Hurricane Katrina…. back in 2005.crossoverlogo new

We were evacuated from New Orleans a day before the Hurricane made landfall, so we headed to Atlanta where I had some family. Spent 4 days there … and then decided to come to Richmond where my daughter was in college and had an apartment.

I had not planned to be gone for more than a week… and now I have been in Virginia for 12 years.

I needed to see a doctor to renew my prescriptions. I have some chronic illnesses that need regular attention … diabetes, hypertension and thyroid disease … so I wasn’t going to fool around with my health.

I started calling some providers to see where I could find a doctor who could see me soon, and at no cost. You see, I had no proof of medical insurance.

The storm had shut down everything in New Orleans, so all communication down there with doctors and pharmacies was cut off. Even cell towers across the deep south were out.

When I called CrossOver Healthcare Ministry at the Quioccassin Clinic and explained that I was an evacuee from New Orleans, they gave me an appointment to come in the very next day!

I got my prescriptions filled, and I found wonderful care at one of the worst times of my life. In all the uncertainty, I felt so blessed to get the medical care I needed.

Now I work at CrossOver Ministries … I can help others going through their own personal health issues.”

If you have any outreach stories, please submit them to the Channel, so that we can highlight it.

Carrie Deane      

 

Life seems to radiate defining moments. I believe marriage, home ownership, birth of children are “standouts.”  However, nothing will ever be as significant as my decision to visit St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church.

In the early 70’s, Monte and I had already visited several churches. For various reasons, none of these establishments  suited our needs. So, one Sunday, I announced that I was going to visit a fairly new Episcopal church on Huguenot Road.  (Actually, my half sister had been a volunteer organist prior to this visit.) Well, I was greeted by Ed Taylor and other welcoming folks. The order of 

lou and monte

worship was appealing and Father Don Black preached an impressive sermon. Although those were important elements, it was the warmth and inclusiveness by the Congregation that “sealed the deal”  to join St. Matthias’. Monte and I were invited to a very enjoyable casino night. So, from this first association with this Church, the importance of worship and fellowship were obvious! (You may find it interesting that Al Matthews, Nancy’s husband encouraged me to participate in all parish life, especially the Vestry. There, I also enjoyed the friendship of Franck Boynton, Mary’s husband!)

The following assessment of life at St. Matthias’ may not surprise you. In my opinion, over these past 40 plus years,  St. Matthias’ has been the same warm, caring, inclusive community that you witness today. I believe that Bishop Vache’s request in the late 60’s of Don Black to go door-to-door to invite any and everyone to attend this new church set a tone that has persisted through the leadership of Bob Morrison, John Boucher, to our current Priest, Brenda Overfield.

Perhaps you will enjoy this next bit of Parish history. Again with the melding of worship and fellowship, Don Black instituted a Friday night bible study, concluding with a wine and cheese social held at 1225 Salisbury Drive, the Montgomery house.  From there, Bob Morrison saw the value of St. Matthias’ fellowship. So, the bible study became Friday Cheers, an event designed to include “guests” and a venue for our church family to socialize.

Now, back to life’s defining moments. Really and truly, I can not imagine my family life without St. Matthias’ Church.

The Godly privilege of serving others and the friendship/support of our St. Matthias’ family with my Montgomery family is priceless. So, that decision so long ago that seemed so innocent at that time was the most God directed event and defining moment in my life. Monte and I would  not be the people we are today without St. Matthias’ Church.

Louise (aka Lou) Montgomery