Issue: #3 December 2012
Click On Article Title Below for Direct Link to the Article
In This Issue
Calendar of Events
A Preists Prespective
Sr. Warden's Notes
Financial Update
Pre-School Update
Pray With Us

Welcome to this month's edition of the St. Andrew's Church Newsletter. You will note a new format this month. We are trying to increase our communication in an easy to read and efficient method.  
"The Messenger" is provided to keep you informed regarding the important work being accomplished by our parish. We encourage you to read this newsletter and remain involved in the active life of our church. Feel free to forward this e-mail to friends, family and neighbors and as always invite them in as we stand and act in witness to the life of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Please contact us with any questions or needs you have. 
Calendar Highlights
Please check the various calendar highlights in bold red throughout this newsletter and join us for one of the many wonderful advent celebrations we have planned this year. 

Highlight of the Month

                  Christmas Music



What is your favorite piece of Christmas music?... What was the first music that came to mind? Now think a little more about Christmas music...., what are the melodies, and lyrics that make you feel something special?


Music is one of the defining elements of the holiday season. Think of all the genres and moods holiday music gives to you. Yes music, especially Christmas music is a gift, a gift that is given and received each year.


That feeling, that almost indescribable feeling that gives you a sense of excitement, anticipation, and hope. That is the spirit passing through you, touching you, being present in you. Music, especially Christmas music, your favorite Christmas music has a way of connecting you with the Holy Spirit in a unique way that only music can do.  


When we sing and play each week in church, once in while that overwhelming feeling of the presence of the Holy Spirit happens. It happens more often during Advent and at Christmas.


So make yourself a note right now to find your favorite Christmas music and listen to it, sing it, play it. If there is a favorite piece of music you would like to sing or hear at church this Christmas season let us know.  Consider singing with the choir, or sing a little more confidently in the pew, in the car, in the shower, with your kids. You never know when the spirit might pass through you.


Wherever the Christmas season takes you this year, find your favorite Christmas music and give your self the gift that fills you with the spirit of Christ that is the Christmas season.  Then find a way to give that back to someone else.



Steve and Jaime

ation that you may have hosted on your website
A Priests Prespective


Parish Dinners a Success!


Throughout September and October we invited everyone to attend one of 12 parish wide dinners. Thank you to all who hosted a one of these gatherings in your home - they were a huge success! We had a total of 126 people who participated in these events so thank you for coming to break bread with us and share your thoughts about St. Andrew's!


Everyone was asked the same set of questions and we have compiled all of the feedback into a document that may be found on our church website, please follow this link to see the results. Also on this page you will find the goals and objectives that were developed at our parish retreat on November 10. Even though we had to change the date of this retreat due to the storm, over 50 people showed up for this half-day gathering to review all the data and guide the next step of this process. The vestry has been charged with moving these goals and action steps forward in 2013, so stay tuned to what will be unfolding!



Inter-Faith Thanksgiving Music Service draws record crowd!


On November 18th, St. Andrew's hosted the annual Thanksgiving Service that was sponsored by the clergy association of Madison and Guilford. Seven different congregations provided their choirs and music directors to share with us music of thanksgiving and gratitude. Grant Underwood coordinated all of the music and directed the combined choirs in a rousing Thanksgiving Song - Thank you to Grant for all the hard work, time and commitment to make this service so beautiful. The pews were packed and I heard nothing but wonderful comments from attendees. If you missed this gathering, please mark your calendars now to join us next year!



Advent Thoughts


For most of us, the weeks leading up to Christmas are already full of preparations. There is a great flurry of activity during this season that is often dominated by overscheduled calendars, frantic shopping and frazzled people. But this is not what true Advent preparations are about. The word "advent" means coming or arrival. The season of Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas when we prepare our hearts and lives for the coming of Christ.


And bringing light into the dark is also what Advent is about. We celebrate the coming of Jesus as the Light of the world. When we light our Advent wreath candles, and when we gather around the table as a community, we are testifying that the Light of Christ has come into the world - not only into our broken, darkened society, but into even the furthest reaches of our personal darkness. We gather together to watch and to wait and we hold out the Christ light to each other and for each other - as a sign of hope.


Paying attention to the deeper meanings of Advent gives us opportunity to find quiet and holy spots amidst the increasing frenzy of a commercialized Christmas season... to find an oasis of calm where we can stop to contemplate and meditate and hope.


My prayer for all of us is that we find that quiet place within to hear the voice of God beckoning to us a midst all the distractions that surround us during this time of year. 


Sr. Warden Reflection

Sometimes shorter is better, so as we wind down 2012, I will try to make my comments brief.  We have just concluded wonderful Thanksgiving activities that included many family and friends.  The special concert hosted by St. Andrew's and led by our own Grant Underwood, with 7 choirs and over 200 people in attendance was especially touching.  The Vestry continues to have a full plate, getting ready to finalize the budget for 2013, follow up on many of the great ideas initiated at our parish-wide retreat, continue to work on the process of transitioning to a full time rector ........... and all of this while we invite and welcome four new members.


In today's world there will never be a shortage of challenges for churches like ours, but there will also never be a shortage of opportunities.  As Christmas approaches, I hope that you will all take the time to step back from your daily activities and just let the beauty and magic of the season wash over you.  Maybe it will be one of Bea's delicious pies, or watching one of Joy's youngest thespians sing a solo for the very first time, seeing all of the poinsettias covering the church, having your child dress up like a lamb on Christmas eve, or waiting all day to come to the late service just to join all of your friends in a candle lit version of Silent Night.  Take it all in and remember how very lucky we are to have each other, to worship together and to be part of the very special place that is St. Andrew's.  Merry Christmas.


Music In Our Worship: December 2012


"Ceilings of cedar, lampstands of gold... dreams of Messiah, beauty untold..."

- Advent Kyrie, sung by Chancel Choir, 12/2/12


As we watch and wait for Christ's birth, we make music to anticipate and glorify his coming. Here are some ways we will do that together in December:


The 8 am Service will include Advent Hymns from the 1982 hymnal as well as a lighting of the Advent wreath. As we prepare to worship, the organ prelude will include songs of familiar Advent hymnody, an organ arrangement of the Pastoral Symphony from Messiah, and others.


The 9:15 Service will celebrate Christ's coming with families, children, and adults together. The Spirit Choir and several instrumentalists and soloists will lead us in music, liturgy, and worship. Throughout Advent we will be using a new liturgy composed by Marty Haugen (including a new Kyrie, Gloria, Presentation Hymn, Sanctus, Fraction Anthem, and the spoken Nicene Creed and Lord's prayer.) The guitarists will provide Advent music during the Prayers of the People. A few others notes on the music:


On December 2, we will sing "How Great Thou Art" to celebrate the new liturgical hangings.


On December 9, we'll hear The Joy Story told by many of our congregation's youngest, led by Joy Weaver and Meggie Stewart.


One December 16, student musician Sarah Conroy will join us to provide classical guitar music for pre-service and communion.


The 11am Service will also have a distinct liturgical setting for Advent that includes many favorites from the 1982 Hymnal. Together, the congregation will sing a call to worship each week fittingly titled, "Prepare the Way" (We will grow more comfortable with it as we get closer to Christmas!) We are fortunate to have the Chancel Choir, the Youth Choir, soloists, and instrumentalists lead us in music this month. A few other highlights in worship:


On December 2, Chancel Choir will sing "Advent Kyrie," a contemplative piece focusing on our need for God's guidance and mercy throughout Advent.

On December 9, we will listen to an anthem called, "Will You Make Room?" that invites us to focus and reflect upon our openness to Christ, God, and the Spirit during this season.

On December 16, the Youth Choir will sing "If This Child Were Born Today."


Music in our Parish: Upcoming Special Events and Services in December

"We're bringing Joy To the World all year!"

- Lyrics from A Joy Story, 12/9/12


9:15 am Sunday, December 9: A Joy Story, a play about Christmas performed by children of our congregation. Email Joy ( for questions.

2 pm Sunday, December 9: Community Sing-Along, Hosted by St. Andrew's and Madison Academy of Music (in our sanctuary): Come sing familiar Christmas and Advent hymns as students at Madison Academy of Music accompany us. We will also sing along to three verses of "O Come, All Ye Faithful." Light reception to follow. Email Vanessa Pentz at for more information.  

1pm - 3pm Sunday, December 16: Family Caroling (meet at church).  All are welcome!This should be a fun-filled event for singers and listeners alike. Together, we will visit several residences and nursing homes to bring Christmas songs across the town. Middle and High Schoolers, this constitutes 1.5 hours of community service. Hot chocolate reception to follow at 2:30 at the church! Email Grant ( for documentation or more information.

4pm, 6pm, 10:30pm, 11pm Monday, December 24: Christmas Eve Services, all including music.

Our elementary children will lead the 4pm Service with the Christmas Pageant. For more information, email Laura Miller, pageant director, at

Our 6pm Service will be led primarily by high school and college students with guitars and piano. Email Steve Van Ness, Music Committee, co-chair ( for more information.

Our 11pm Service will begin with pre-service music at 10:30pm. The service will be primarily led by organ, instrumentalists, and our Combined Adult Choir. Email Jaime Polk, Music Committee co-chair, ( for more information.


Opportunities for Music Ministry at St. Andrew's: December 2012

Join the Adult Choirs for Christmas! Even if you are not or cannot be an active member, you are invited to join us for December 24. We will rehearse Christmas Eve music at 7:00 pm on Thursday, December 6, December 13, and December 20, and then we'll meet before the final service on Christmas Eve to contribute to worship in song. Contact choir leaders Jaime ( or Grant ( if you're interested in lifting your voices with us on these dates! 

College Student Singers on Christmas Eve: So many of us look forward to welcoming our college students home for winter break! If you know of a college student would share their passion and gifts in music while they're home, please contact Barb in the main office or Grant. 

Brass and More for Christmas Eve: Have you ever wanted to dust off your instrument case and crack it open again, just like you did way back when?Now's your chance! For Christmas Eve, several members and attendees among us have already generously offered to play and accompany for our final service. If you'd like to join the ensemble, the more the merrier! While brass is a special focus for Christmas, any classical woodwind, brass, or string instrument is welcome. We will meet only once on Christmas Eve night (between the second and third services), but you'll get the music ahead of time so you can practice. Contact Barb in the main office or email Grant to get involved.  

Vacancies Now Open for Youth Choir in 2013: Our vibrant, hardworking, and boisterous youth choir has boy and girl singers from grades 1-6 with a current active membership of 14. Most recently, they sang "Here I Am" (by Allen Pote) in front of almost two-hundred other adult musicians during the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service! Small-group auditions and an optional meet-and-greet (and sing! J) with the current choir will be held in early January. Email co-directors Heather ( or Grant by December 31 if your aspiring singer is interested! 

Out reach
- St. Andrews help's victims of Hurricane Sandy
 Thank you to everyone that responded to the call to help those in NY displaced from the super storm. Carloads of supplies have been brought to a shelter on Long Island (see picture for the first batch of supplies!) and approximately $1000 has been donated to a shelter in Staten Island. Your generous outpouring of love and compassion is inspiring!

- We held the 3rd annual U2Charist in October. It was a rockin good time!  Thank you to all the musicians and organizers who put in aBono-esque effort. It was indeed a Beautiful Day! Approximately $1400 was collected and donated to organizations that support efforts in the Third World, namely Haitian Health Foundation, UCan2, Call to Care Uganda and we also support the efforts of Christ Church in Bethany, CT to purchase materials for a school in Kenya

- Please watch for announcements early in January. We are looking for more people to get involved in Outreach and we continue to expand the reach of the love and caring of our parish community to the needs of the local, regional and international communities


Financial Update


Treasurer's Report October 2012



 October 2012 Income

 Year to Date

 YTD Budget

 Annual Budget

 Total Pledges





 Other Income




 $ 46,389.00

 Total Income

 $ 28,715.05

 $ 264,171.47

 $ 310,241.50

 $ 372,289.95







 $ 26,366.81

 $ 283,895.83

 $ 310,132.55

 $ 372,289.95







 $ 2,348.24

 $ (19,724.36)

 $ 108.95

 $     -  

Endowment Fund

Beginning Balance


Monthly Transfer

Loan Payments

Ending Balance









* 4% of Endowment Balance is transferred into the operations budget each year to cover expenses (1286.58 per month)

** Loan Payments are for 2003 Church Renovations and 2008 Rectory Renovation.  This money is transferred from the Endowment each month to cover this expense.



The preschool class is preparing for the upcoming season by discussing 'Friends and Family'. We will talk about ways to be a good friend to others, how to show kindness and caring to those we know and others we have yet to meet.


We are collecting donations of non-perishable food items to help replenish empty shelves in our local food banks following our wild October weather. The Preschool class will also make ornaments to help decorate the Tree in Training on the Green in Madison, a yearly contribution by our classes and a great community project. Our activities will include partner paintings, when friends are aspired together to create art work; games that require teams of 2 or more to work together in order to participate and finally, making cards and writing letters to classroom pen pals just to send a note of cheer whether it be to someone near or far.


St. Andrew's Preschool is hosting a Polar Express Party on December 7th from 6:30pm-8:00pm. All parishioners with preschool aged children are invited to attend. Take a picture with Santa, watch the Polar Express Movie on a big screen, have hot chocolate and popcorn and make holiday crafts! This is a fun event for the whole family. Hope to see you there.


Judy Goldberg, Preschool Director 

Prayful Reflection

O Wisdom,
O Holy Word of God,
You govern all creation with your strong, yet tender care.
Come, and show your people the way to salvation.


St. Andrew's Episcopal Church