My sisters and brothers in Christ:

Greetings from Twentynine Palms, where Kathy and I managed to get our four children and two sons-in-law together for Thanksgiving dinner and, later today, a walk in Joshua Tree National Park. Not to brag, but everyone in my four-wheel, private, non-commercial vehicle will be admitted free of charge thanks to my brand-new national parks lifetime pass. One of the perks of being 62! Another of my perks was being with the wonderful people of St. John’s on Thanksgiving eve. Erin, Steve, and young Duncan were among 100 who joined us for worship and 90 who stayed for pizza. Our thanks to the Grogan family for once again graciously organizing our pre-holiday feast.
This Sunday, Nov. 27, the First Sunday of Advent, we worship at 8 and 10 a.m. We will not offer a service tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 26). During the 9 a.m. Christian formation hour on Sunday in the Bishop’s Room, I’ll offer a reprise of my class “Comfort Ye: The Doorway To Advent in Handel’s Messiah,” featuring the Advent-themed numbers in the magnificent oratorio. Next Sunday, Dec. 4, Pam Kelley will offer a class on “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and on Dec. 11, Pam and I will lead a conversation about spiritual themes in the movie “Arrival,” now in theatrical release. Please see it on your own (twice if possible!), and come with your questions.

Our thanks to all the individuals and families who have submitted their 2017 pledges. On Dec. 14, the Bishop’s Committee gs to work on the budget. We hope to have as many pledges as possible in hand by then.

Yours in Christ’s love,

Fr. John

P.S.: A special message to the St. John’s Twentysomethings: Your steering committee (which is to say Brooke, Bree, Michael, Kathy, and Fr. John hanging out at Starbucks) canceled the meeting on Thursday, Dec. 1 in favor of a movie adventure on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 4. The annual Christmas bowling and pizza party will be Wednesday evening, Dec. 21. Please watch the Facebook page for details.

P.P.S.: Speaking of “Messiah,” I’ll serve as narrator during the annual singalong at St. Cross Episcopal Church this Sunday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. St. Cross’s soloists, choristers, and musicians always do a magnificent job, and you’ll love belting out “Hallelujah!” The address is 1818 Monterey Blvd. in Hermosa Beach.