If you would like a full copy of the Tidings for this month, please email or visit Annie in the office.
FROM THE PRIEST-IN-CHARGE
Come God, scatter the darkness from our paths to refresh, renew and transform us.
During Advent we often hear the stories that generally get referred to as ‘apocalyptic’ or ‘Second Coming,’ and these stories are challenging. The theological understanding are these stories tell of God fulfilling the promise of salvation, Christ returning in glory, or as Paul often says, the time when ‘God will be all in all.’ Many of these stories tell of impeding destruction, total devastation at times, and in the midst of it Christ will be returning from the heavens, in chariots or clouds. These stories spark imagination and wondering. They are stories that can captivate us and can easily be used to fuel us to change our ways. Fear about things ending with fire and destruction tend to make us pay attention.
The Church in its wisdom realized fairly early on that God’s promise of fulfilling salvation was also one of hope. Even Paul, who writes often of Christ’s coming and for Paul was something he expected in his lifetime, points to hope:
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:8-11)
Often times in our way of life in Christ things feel like they are falling apart, being destroyed. Sometimes these things are not in our control, such as the sudden death of a loved one, while other things we can have agency in, like starting new routines such as dieting, exercising, meeting a friend for coffee and not just Facebook with them. In times of change and transition, things will indeed shift and sometimes need to fall apart or be let go of and it is sobering. It is times like these where I hear loudly my grandmother say: ‘put on the armor of God: the breastplate of faith and love, and a helmet of salvation.’
So in the Advent season, where we hear the stories that can cause alarm and create fear, we put on our armor and hold to the hope of God’s promise of salvation. It is a salvation that has already begun and at some point, will be fully fulfilled. This what the Church focused on early as well. It is a hope we all continue to strive for in our way of life in this day and age. We put on the armor so that we can all continue our prayerful work as we participate in God’s promise to be ‘all in all.’ In this Advent season we practice and focus on the disciplines of waiting, watching, and scattering the darkness from our paths, by placing on our helmets of salvation and breastplates of faith and love as our guide.
YOU KEEP US GOING
Get ready for a couple of financial “articles” because I have some big thank you’s to share for this year!
Thank you to each and every one of you for your support of St. Barnabas in 2021. Through pledging, donations to administration and ministries, and volunteerism, you have kept us thriving and ready to continue worshiping, serving, and growing in 2022.
Grace’s Kitchen continued with an increased take-out program budget thanks almost entirely to community donations. Montezuma Youth Pride provided field trips and connective opportunities for students despite unprecedented community homophobia and transphobia directed towards the programs. The grounds look beautiful, and the building is simply gorgeous. Not only that, but Father Doug has been able to assist at least 50 local families with needs for rent, transportation, and more.
Not only that, congregation and community members have contributed over 3,500 volunteer hours to St. Barnabas and its ministries this year! An estimated value of this contribution of time and energy would be almost $100,000, which is more than all of our general donations combined. It is simply incredible what this community does.
Preparing for tax season and worried about finding all those pesky donation receipts I’ve sent you? Each one of you will receive a 2021 donation summary in January reflecting both payments made towards your pledge and all your other donations towards the general fund and St. Barnabas’ ministries.
Thank you to all of our pledgers for 2022! Pledging helps us to be able to budget accurately for each upcoming year, and money received through pledges accounts for around 70% of our annual income. These funds support the backbone of the church – maintaining our facility, paying utilities and other ongoing bills, and covering salaries. Paying our electric bill is not the most thrilling thing that we do here at St. Barnabas, but covering these needs ensures our continued existence and allows us to continue serving the congregation and community in such powerful ways.
If you would still like to pledge for 2022, or are unsure if you’ve done it already, please contact Annie in the office!
We are tentatively scheduling our Christmas Vigil for Friday, December 24th at 5:00pm. These days, of course, we are always prepared for a need for flexibility and changing conditions, so please pencil it in and keep your eyes out for any further confirmation or changes.
GIVE A GIFT OF LOVE
Show your appreciation for someone in your life by making our community a healthier and more loving place! Give to Grace’s Kitchen or Montezuma Youth Pride in honor of a loved one this Christmas. All donations go straight to these programs.
Contact the office for more information and to arrange for a special giving certificate!
This year Grace’s Kitchen once again served over 350 community members in need of a Thanksgiving meal (including your humble priest and administrator!). We have already received emails and letters about how delicious the food was, and how meaningful to receive support and care on this day. Here are some notes we received from the community:
“To all the Thanksgiving Day Saints at St. Barnabas: Thank you for the Feast.”
“I want to say Thanks to you and all the volunteers for the Thanksgiving dinners yesterday. It was an incredible meal, one of the best I've had in years. My husband agrees. We even got pecan pie - my favorite and it was delicious! What a wonderful service to the community. Maybe next year I will be able to volunteer my help.”
“Thank-you for welcoming the stranger at your door. I'm far away from my family. Your kindness and generosity touched me. Plus the food was delicious and the dressing was out of this world.”
Whether you helped to organize, cooked, volunteered, spread the word or donated food or money, you were an integral part of this very meaningful service to the community.
Thanks especially to our community and St. B’s volunteers and donors, including: Janice, Judy P, Judy O, Brent, Helen & Wade, the Mischke family, Kathleen, Debbie, Walt & Chris, Ann & Chuck, Beth, Carolyn, Sue, Fred & Erin, Jack & Judy, Roxanne & Jim, Amelia & Eric, and Sylvia!
We especially want to thank the Snyder Family for heading up our cooking team this year, and Victoria for her all-around organizing. They did an incredible job, and every year it just gets better.
DECEMBER BOOK GROUP: RUNNING WITH SHERMAN
This month’s book club pick is Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of Hero. by Christopher McDougall. All are welcome to join for a discussion on Friday, December 17th at 10:30am.
From the best-selling author of Born to Run, a heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America, and, in the process, discovering the life-changing power of the human-animal connection.
When Chris McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder, he thought it would be no harder than the rest of the adjustments he and his family had made after moving from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. But when he arrived, Sherman was in such bad shape he could barely move, and his hair was coming out in clumps. Chris decided to undertake a radical rehabilitation program designed not only to heal Sherman's body but to heal his mind as well. It turns out the best way to soothe a donkey is to give it a job, and so Chris decided to teach Sherman how to run. He'd heard about burro racing--a unique type of race where humans and donkeys run together in a call-back to mining days--and decided he and Sherman would enter the World Championship in Colorado. From the best-selling author of Born to Run, a heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America, and, in the process, discovering the life-changing power of the human-animal connection.
OUR BEAUTIFUL BUILDING
Thanks to almost every single one of you, we were able to undertake a series of large improvement projects to our building’s exterior! The new roof was finished late in the summer and our painters just wrapped up at the end of November. The building looks fresh, clean, and inviting. Coupled with the hard work of our grounds volunteers, St. Barnabas is looking beautiful.
Together you raised over $33,000 to support this work, and so many pitched in to make it happen.
OUR 2021 COMMITTEES
Okay, I have just one more thank you for the year (I know, I’ve been quite verbose this time around). I want to say thank you to our two new(ish) committees for their hard work this year.
In 2021 the Finance Committee has engaged in a process of review over our ongoing financials, overseen thoughtful use of our accounts and investments, and started strategizing for the long-term financial stability of St. Barnabas. It is such a gift to the church to have a group of such thoughtful and experienced people caring for its financial future.
The Records Committee has been poring over church record-keeping practices, scanning and archiving historical documents, and generally taking on the daunting task of figuring out what the heck to do with it all! Their patience, dedication, and optimism in the face of so many pieces of paper is truly inspiring!
There will be no Women’s Lunch in December.
The office will be closed this month from December 17-27.
JOIN US FOR MORNING PRAYER
Morning Prayer is now being held each Sunday at 10am both in person and via Zoom! If you would like to attend in person, we do ask that you wear your mask and practice physical distancing within the space.
Contact the office for Zoom access information.
Out of a concern for the most vulnerable in our community, we are once again asking all in-person visitors and attendees at St. Barnabas to wear a mask. We have extras on site, so no worries if you forget yours!
We have created a special page on our website specifically about COVID-19, so please visit there or contact the office for more information: www.stbarnabascortez.org/covid-19.
ARTICLES OR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE TIDINGS
If you would like to submit an article or announcement for the Tidings, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10:00am on the last Wednesday of the month!
MINISTRY & OUTREACH SUPPORT
January thru October 2021
Good Samaritan Food Pantry: $1,000
The Bridge Emergency Shelter: $1,000
Montezuma Youth Pride: $5,506**
Grace’s Kitchen: $23,479**
Sanctuary at Mancos United Methodist Church: $250*
Rector’s Ministry to Community: $7,717
*Ministry is funded solely by donation
**Ministry funded solely by donation and grant income
August 2021: 648 Meals Served
So Far in 2021: 5,916 Meals Served
Total Meals Served Since 1998: 229,866
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“That night, in the fields nearby, shepherds were keeping watch over their sheep. Suddenly, a great light from above was shining all around them. A spirit-messenger from Creator appeared to them. They shook with fear and trembled as the messenger said to them, “Do not fear! I bring you the good story that will be told to all nations. Today in the village of Much Loved One (David) an Honored Chief has been born who will set his people free. He is the Chosen One!”
From the Native American Gospel
We would like to express great appreciation to the following people:
Jan, Bob, Victoria, and everyone else who organized and consulted on our exterior painting
Sylvia, Noel, Gail, Victoria, Doug, Ann & Chuck, Dot, and Lydia & Ryan for going above and beyond in their support of Grace’s Kitchen this past month
Fred B, for leaf-blowing in the courtyard
Our community member, Mike, for all his skilled support with the painting!
Everyone who supported our Community Thanksgiving meal (see article above)
Ann, Helen, Roxanne, and Sue, for donating their time and musical talent to our services
Our ongoing donors of bottled water and plastic bags for Grace’s Kitchen
Thank you for the support from the congregation with gift giving in time, talent, and treasure to the Church in its ministries