Monday, December 20, 2004

Sharon's Christmas Prayer

She was five, and
sure of the facts,
and recited them
with solemn solemnity,
convinced every word
was revelation.
She said
they were so poor
they had only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
to eat
and they went a long way from home
without getting lost. The lady rode
a donkey, the man walked, and the baby
was inside the lady.
They had to stay in a stable
with an ox and an ass (hee-hee)
but the Three Rich Men found them
because a star lited the roof.
Shepherds came and you could
pet the sheep but not feed them.
Then the baby was borned.
And do you know who he was?
Her quarter eyes inflated
to silver dollars.
The baby was God.
And she jumped in the air,
whirled round, dove into the sofa,
and buried her head under the cushion
which is the only proper response
to the Good News of the Incarnation.

by: John Shea, from his book, The Hour of the Unexpected
with thanks to The Rev'd Stacey Grossman

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Pray for Peace

The reading from Isaiah for the First Sunday of Advent uses the image of beating swords into plowshares. We might say in our time, “One day, we will make tanks into tractors.” These words remind us that peace is a precious thing. The kingdom of God, when it comes, will be a place of peace and it is our charge to help bring that kingdom.

This year, as we prepare our hearts for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came into this world to reconcile us to God and to one another, let us pray for peace. May we join our voices with the heavenly chorus that sang on the night Jesus was born, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men and women.”

Note: Prayers for Peace can be found in The Book of Common Prayer on pages 815 and 816.

Christmas Liturgies

Join us at St. Andrew’s and Church of the Redeemer as we celebrate Christmas, the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Please refer to the list of times below – we are sure you can find a worship time that will fit your holiday schedule.

Holy Communion at 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve – with reception - Church of the Redeemer, Oak Ridge.

Christmas Eve Midnight Mass - St. Andrew’s. Christmas hymns begin at 10:45 p.m. Holy Communion begins at 11:00 p.m.

Christmas Day - Holy Communion at 11:00 a.m. – St. Andrew’s.

Advent Calendar

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington unveiled its first online Advent calendar today as a joint venture with the National Cathedral's Visitor Programs office. The Calendar can be found on-line at:

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Happy Father's Day

Gracious God, we remember and pray today for fathers everywhere. We ask your blessing on our own fathers, for the fathers of those we love, and for the grace to be fathers ourselves to those who are in need. We ask this and all our prayers in the name of God our Father, through Jesus Christ his child, with the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thanks to The Rev. Stacey Grossman for this wonderful prayer found on From the Hilltop, the weblog of The Episcopal Church of the Nativity, San Rafael, California.

Monday, June 07, 2004


The first of June marks two anniversaries for our rector. On June 1, 1996, Whit was ordained a deacon in the Church and on June 7, 1997, he was ordained priest. So, today marks Whit's 7th anniversary as a priest.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Education for Ministry Program

Education for Ministry, affectionately known as EFM, is a program of theological education-at-a-distance of the School of Theology of the University of the South. Students sign up one year at a time for this four-year program. It covers the basics of a theological education in the Old and New Testaments, church history, liturgy, and theology. Students meet regularly, usually once a week, in seminars under the guidance of trained mentors. To see a prospectus, click here.

St. Andrew's hopes to have a group this fall. If you are interested, please contact Fr. Whit or a former EFM student.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Memorial Day

This prayer is from The Book of Common Prayer, page 839.

For Heroic Service

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Rogation Sunday Celebration

On Sunday, May 16th, Church of the Redeemer will have its annual Rogation Sunday Celebration and blessing of the fields. Crosses will also be blessed for all to take home to their own fields or gardens. The Holy Eucharist begins at 11:00 a.m. Following the Eucharist and blessing, a brunch will be held. Please make plans to join us.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Holy Week and Easter

We hope that Holy Week and Easter will be exciting and meaningful time.
We have many things planned. Please join us!

Holy Wednesday:
Holy Eucharist, Rite Two – 6:00 p.m.
Adult Education Class - 6:30 p.m. – Meets in the parish hall.

Maundy Thursday:
Holy Eucharist and Foot Washing - 7:00 p.m. - The Maundy Thursday Liturgy is a beautiful service that includes foot washing where we remember Jesus’ example of servant hood.

Good Friday:
Good Friday Liturgy – Noon
The Good Friday Liturgy remembers the death of our Lord.
Stations of the Cross – 6:30 p.m.
This is a very moving service of prayer and contemplation. Come see where The Passion of the Christ gets many of its images.

Holy Saturday:
Community Egg Hunt – 10:00 a.m. - Join us in Oak Ridge for the hunt!
The Great Vigil of Easter - 7:00 p.m. - This year, we’ve been invited by Father Bill Bryant to join with St. Alban’s Church in Monroe to participate in this ancient Easter celebration. The Rev’d Dale Farley of Messiah Lutheran will preach, and Father Whit will celebrate at the Eucharist.

Easter Day:
Easter Day Holy Eucharist – 9:30 a.m. - A wonderful celebration with
wonderful music!

Bring a friend!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

The Presiding Bishop’s Easter Message 2004

There is no evil that humankind can commit that Jesus has not taken upon himself and carried freely to the Cross. Through the Cross, evil has been defeated, and life in all its unimagined fullness–-animated by God’s mercy and truth, God’s justness and peace--has been unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.

Such is the power of the resurrection. Such is the ground of our hope. Such is the root of our confidence. Such is the source of our courage and our capacity to wage reconciliation in the face of seeming endless cycles of violence, battle and murder that destroy life around the globe.

Alleluia is our Easter song. As we sing alleluia we are crying no to the poverty, disease, and injustice which afflict millions who, like ourselves, are made in God’s image. We are refusing to accept things the way they are. As we sing Alleluia we are proclaiming an unequivocal yes to the vision of a world transformed, healed and reconciled in the One who has drawn all to himself. Alleluia is our acknowledgement that we have been caught up into Christ, and Christ’s continuing work of binding up and making all things whole and new has become our own.

As we sing Alleluia this Easter may we do so willing to live the deep meaning of our Easter song not only with our lips but in our lives-–for the sake of the world.

The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church, USA

(Posted April 1, 2004 on the Episcopal News Service)

Monday, March 15, 2004

Clothes, clothes, clothes!

For the past few days a steady stream of clothes have been arriving at St. Andrew's by mail. We have received four big boxes. The clothes are being sent from Ruth's House Thrift Store in Haverhill, Massachusetts. They are to a gift to be forwarded to the Sanyu Babies' Home in Africa.

We are planning on sending them on to Africa this week. We really appreciate the help we have received from Ruth's House on this special ministry.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

A Word to the Episcopal Church

There is an excellent letter on the Episcopal News Service from our Presiding Bishop and Primate, Frank Griswold, about the state of the Church. I encourage you all to read it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Annual Meeting Time

St. Andrew's will hold its Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 25th. Following the liturgy, we will have a short break for coffee and then gather in the church for our 2004 meeting. One vestry-person will be elected along with a slate of new convention delegates. Preparations for our 150th Anniversary celebration will also be discussed. Following the meeting, we will gather for a potluck luncheon in the parish hall. Please join us!

Church of the Redeemer will hold its Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 1st following the liturgy. Elections will be held for Bishop's Committee and delegates and our 2004 outreach programs will be discussed. Please plan to attend!

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Happening #42

Happening is a program designed for high school youth. The weekend retreat seeks to bring young persons to a fuller knowledge of what it means to be a Christian and to a deeper level of commitment to doing God’s work. During the weekend, participants experience the love of our Lord Jesus Christ as shown through the sacraments and the ministry of fellow students, clergy, and lay adults. Teens are encouraged to take a renewed faith back into their worlds. Father Whit will serve as spiritual director for Happening #42 in the Diocese of Western Louisiana. Happening #42 will be held a Camp Hardtner on the weekend of January 16th, 17th and 18th. Please keep the candidates, youth staff and adult team in your prayers.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Sawdust is Flying

Renovation of St. Andrew's kitchen is well underway. All of the appliances are being replaced, cabinets and countertops reworked, a dishwasher added and much more. But, that's not all... Painting of the nave and chancel will soon be underway and the restroom renovation will be completed. Come take a look around - but watch out for the dust!

Monday, January 05, 2004

The Epiphany

Each year on January 6th, we celebrate The Epiphany. It is the day when we remember that Jesus was recognized not only by the his own people, the Jews, as special, but also by the people of of the nations, or gentiles. The wise men symbolize this recognition by their coming to visit the child and their presentation of gifts.

May each of us come to our own epiphany about who Jesus is and what he means to us.

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(The collect for The Epiphany, from The Book of Common Prayer, page 214.)

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Thanks to Ruth's House

Shortly after Christmas, we received and e-mail from a volunteer at Ruth's House Thrift Store in Haverhill, Massachusetts. They had been searching around on the world wide web looking for a place that needed some children and babies' clothing and found our article about the Sanyu Babies' Home in At the Crossroads - Online. After a couple of e-mails, to work out the details, they are sending us about five boxes of clothing for the children and babies at the home. Our small local project, has grown into something truly special thanks to the support of the good people at Ruth's House! We thank them for their generosity.

There is still time for you to make a donation too! Join us in this exciting work.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Black Eyed Peas

Everybody knows the old southern tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day. It is supposed to bring a good new year, good luck and prosperity. It you feel like you need a little help this year, click here for some good recipes, or better yet - make it your new year's resolution to come to church. Prayer, study and good friends will surely help you more than a few peas once a year!