December 2017 NEWSLETTER

Hope St. John’s Parish

223 E. Mill Street, PO Box 338, Oscoda, MI 48750

Sunday Worship Service 9:30 a.m.


A shared ministry of St. John’s Episcopal Church and Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church


~ Glorifying God as faithful servants of Christ ~



Pearl Harbor Day December 7

Hanukkah December 13

Christmas Day December 25

Boxing Day December 26

Kwanzaa December 26

Read a New Book Month

Human Rights Month

Calendar Awareness Month

National Handwashing Awareness Week

National Fruit Cake Month

Symbols of December

Birthstone: Turquoise, zircon, or tanzanite

Flower: Narcissus or Holly

Zodiac signs: Sagittarius or Capricorn History:

Fun Facts about December

It is the first month of winter and the last month of the year.

National Cookie Day is December 4th.

Other snacks celebrated this month include pie, cotton candy, chocolate brownies (mmm!), cocoa, and cupcakes.

December often marks the beginning of rain, snow, and cold weather.

In the United States the month is associated with Christmas. There are Christmas decorations, sales, musicals, and parties. Many people spend their time Christmas shopping. A lot of people have days off around Christmas and before New Year's Eve.

The first day of Winter is on either December 21 or 22. This is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It is called the Winter or Southern solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.


December Birthdays

December 6 Bill Parsons

December 16 Bill Underwood

December 22 Carol Frisbie

December 25 Kelly Dorcey



Bill and Julie Dorcey December 24

Monthly Schedule

December 3 Christmas Potluck &


Discretionary Fund

December 6,13 Bible Study

December 17 Joint Council

December 12 Grocery Give away



Pam Black, Barb Blair, Nora & Jackie Brundt, Robert Christianson, Dick Davis, Dr. Jim Deering, Kelly Dorcey, Neil Frisbie, Nevin Gagstedder,Bev.Gardner,

John Garside, Keegan Harrington, Rick Harrington, Chris Honsa, Priscilla Howey, Danielle Huffman, Chari Johnson, Bob Kleinbrook, Paul Krause, Carel LeCureux, Norma Lee, Rev. Richard Lee, The Luoma Family, RoseMarie and Fr. John MacDonald, Diane Martenez, Ava Nordeen, Kenny Patty, Rosalie Peterson, Christine Purnell, David Pettinga, Shirley Sproul, Jessica Taylor, Tommie Wise.

We also pray for our family members in the military.

Jay Bergstresser, Tim Callaham, Mitchell Curley, Aaron and Melanie Engles, Jarred Loveless, Brook Morris, Christopher

Morris, Patrick Morris, Jayson and Tonya Raymer, Cory Rick, Christopher Scott, Kyle Shepherd, Anthony Sidoti, Bryan Szucs, Stephany and Joel Therrion.


On The Light


A church in a rural area was badly in need of repairs, and parishoners met to discuss what could to be done to raise the necessary funds. One of the wealthiest – and stingiest – of the members rose and said he would give $500.00, then sat down

Suddenly a large chunk of plastering fell from the ceiling and hit him on the head. He jumped up, looking around, and said, “Did I say $500? I meant $5,000.00!” Then he sat down

Aftet a moment a voice said from the back of the church, “Hit him again, Lord!”

A SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER asked a little boy “Do you know what happens to boys who

use bad language when they play marbles?”

“Oh yes” the boy replied. They grow up and

play golf.”




Here are four tips to help you take control of

your shopping.

1. Write it down. Before you begin

shopping, make a list and check it twice.Determine what you need to

buy and how much you’ll pay for it.

This can work with your day to day

spending as well. Perception can be

much different from reality – by tracking

your spending you can get a clearer

picture of where your money is going

and how you can make adjustments, if necessary.

2, Think outside the gift box. A good way

to stretch your budget is to give of your

time and talent. For example your

nephew might have a day at the park

with you instead of another toy. Rather

than giving your grandmother anothet

pair of slippers, you could make her a

family scrapbook.

3 Watch your credit. Crdit cards are

spending tools not borrowing tools. The s

sooner you can pay off this debt. the

more you’ll save in monthly interest


4. Stay the course! Try to stick to your

spending limit, if possible. This can

help you start the new year without a

lot of debt.



Bishop’s Newsletter November 2017


Christmas is the number one time when people who are unchurched come through church doors. Christmas brings families together. Christmas brings sentimentality. Christmas brings young families with children searching for meaning and an alternative to consumerism.

What can we do to increase our Christmas connection with new people and how can we remain connected to them? It is vital to do Christmas advertising.\


Many local newspapers do articles on Christmas services of worship. Write up your schedule and email it in. It usually is free

Print a card or brochure that church members can hand out to family and friends with the complete Christmas season schedule

Make that schedule digital with graphics so that members can post on Facebook, or Twitter

Have it on the church webpage and Facebook page

Consider a Facebook ad for the Christmas season

Start advertising by Dec. 1 on road signs or banners in the church yard Once the advertising is set then there have to be special plans for the services themselves. Make them user friendly.

Don’t try to make Christmas the time to roll out new liturgies and fancy new songs no one knows. Christmas is about tradition, and our church and liturgical traditions are rich for Advent and Christmas. That is what many are coming for

Pay special attention to welcoming. Make sure ushers and greeters are extra attentive to visitors. Consider parking lot greeters

*Christmas Eve is the high point. Candles, carols, and visuals are essential

Don’t bog down with extensive announcements

Think about special music before the service and not so much during

Pay attention to the length of the service – longer is not usually better

Have parts of the service for kids

Memorize and tell the Gospel story and don’t try to out preach the Gospel. A sermonette highlighting “God comes to earth for us” is the heart of the message

Have a way to get name, phone, and email of guests and follow up quickly

Christmas is the best time to connect with folks that don’t normally go to church. Give them something that will make them want to come back. January is a peak time for visitors looking for a church. People make New Year’s resolutions to get back to church. Surprise them with your welcome. Surprise them with your openness to listen, learn, and discuss questions. And love them.

I have posted two articles on the webpage that follow up on this subject with more details:

6 Essentials for Advertising: http://mittensynod.server303.com/six-essentials-for-advertising-on-facebook-this-christmas/ \

5 Reasons A Christmas Eve Service Reaches the Unchurched: http://mittensynod.server303.com/?ve-reasons-a-christmas-eve-service-reachers-the-unchurched/

Rev. David E. Sprang

Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission

The following has been in a previous newsletter, it is a wonderful story so worth reading one more time and perhaps starting the tradition in our homes.

The White Envelope

Christmas Story:
For the Man Who Hated Christmas
By Nancy W. Gavin

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it—overspending and the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma—the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was on the wrestling team at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.

As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. them. We took every weight class. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids—all kids. He so enjoyed coaching little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came.

That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed a small, white envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me.

Mike’s smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year. And that same bright smile lit up succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition—one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The white envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children—ignoring their new toys—would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the small, white envelope never lost its allure.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree. And the next morning, I found it was magically joined by three more. Unbeknownst to the others, each of our three children had for the first time placed a white envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down that special envelope..


The Shepherd became a Sheep

By Sharon Jaynes


The angels appeared and called to me
“Be not afraid, dear one.
For you are now a lowly sheep
For you God sent His Son.”

“Go to the babe and see him there
We will lead the way.
The shepherd has chosen you—a sheep
To celebrate this day.”

We ran and saw the baby there
I’ll never be the same.
He raised his eyes, said not a word,
And yet he spoke my name.

Years have passed and now I know
This babe became a man.
He lived and died and rose again
And now I understand.

“Follow me,” Jesus said,
“And I will lead the way.”
“My sheep listen, know my voice
And with me they will stay.”

I was a shepherd, to be sure.
My sheep slept at my feet.
But on that night the babe was born,
I became a sheep.

Thirteen Amazing Facts about Your Eyes

1. You blink about 12 times every minute. The average blink lasts for about 1/10th of a second.

2. Out of all the muscles in your body, the muscles that control your eyes are the most active.

3. An eye is composed of more than 2 million working parts. Eyes are the second-most complex organ after the brain.

4. Each of your eyeballs are about 1 inch across and weighs about 0.25 ounce. Your eyeballs stay the same size from birth to death, while your nose and ears continue to grow.

5. Your eyes start to develop two weeks after you are conceived. Newborns don't produce tears. They make crying sounds, but tears don't start flowing until they are about 4-13 weeks old.

6. For protection, our eyes are positioned in a hollowed socket. Eyebrows prevent sweat dripping into our eyes and eyelashes keep out dirt. Only 1/6 of the human eyeball is exposed.

7. The combined length of all the eyelashes shed during an average human lifetime is over 98 feet, with each lash having a life span of about 5 months.

8. Corneas are the only human tissues that don't contain blood.

9. Each of your eyes has a small blind spot in the back of the retina where the optic nerve attaches. You don't notice the hole in your vision because your eyes work together to fill in each other's blind spot.

10. Doctors have yet to find a way to transplant an eyeball. The optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain is too complex to reconstruct successfully.

11. 80% of what we learn is perceived through our eyes, and 80% of our memories are determined by what we see. Seeing is such a big part of everyday life that it requires the involvement of approximately half of the brain.

12. Humans and dogs are the only species known to seek visual cues from another individual's eyes, and dogs only do this when interacting with humans.

13. A fingerprint has 40 unique characteristics, but an iris has 256, a reason retina scans are increasingly being used for security purposes..Quiz for December





This comedy TV show starring Carroll O’Connor & Jean Stapleton pushed the envelope for what was suitable for network TV in the 70s.
Bonanza All in the Family The Six Million Dollar Man



This sitcom initially starred Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers, and a pretending to be gay John Ritter.
Three’s Company, The Love Love Boat, Dallas



This American crime drama starring Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Jaclyn Smith first aired in 1976.
Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy Island,

Hawaii Five-0






This influential comedy show revolved around a 30 year old single woman TV show producer
Wonder Woman, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Alice



Launched as a spin-off of “All in the Family,” this show starred Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford.
Different strokes, The Bionic Woman,

The Jeffersons



This American television adapted from the 1970 film of the same name had an instrumental version of “Suicide Is Painless” for its title sequence.
Taxi, M*A*S*H*, The Facts of Life



This American sitcom starring the two characters Fred & Lamont was actually based on a BBC sitcom.
Sanford and Son, The Bob Newhart Show, Three’s Company



This TV show centered on the Evans family from Chicago, especially on one of their son’s James Jr.
Good Times. Little House on the Prairie, The Jeffersons



This syndicated comedy show about a blended family had two pets, Tiger and Fluffy, that had extremely limited screen time.

All In The Family, The Brady Bunch, Sanford and Son



This 11 season classic that first aired in 1974 was actor/director Ron Howard’s longest duration role.
Gunsmoke, Happy days, One Day at a





On the 5th of November we were blessed with a visit from Bishop Satterlee and his lovely wife, Cathie. He was our officiant also and gave a wonderful sermon. Mandy Carpenter, our intern, assisted the bishop at the altar.

Following the service they had enough time before they had to leave for their next engagement that they could partake in our delicious potluck.

On December 2nd there are plans to decorate the fellowship hall for Christmas. Time to gather 10 a.m.---lunch will be provided . Please make every effort to be there. Many hands make the work easier and fun!!

Answers for quiz

1. All in the Family

2. Threes company

3. Charlie’s Angels

4. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

5. The Jeffersons

6. Sanford and Son

7. Good Time

8. M*A*S*H*

9. The Brady Bunch

10. Happy Days


“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough!”


Oprah Winfrey






Wishing you a holiday warmed by the love of family and friends and blessed by the love of God.

Merry Christmas and a very happy

New Year


Margaret Krause, Editor

Ignore the typos and grammar, I did!

Corrections or complaints 724-5203