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Dear Friends,  

I'm so thankful that Bishop John was able to be with us this past weekend. Thanks to those of you that were able to make it out Saturday evening for our discussion and thanks to Irene for making delightful treats; also thanks to those who set up and cleaned up. We look forward to seeing Bishop John again on the occasion of St. Thomas' 150th anniversary next November!  For a fuller report of Bishop John's time with us, please see Rev. Lorie's report here.

I also want to thank those of you that expressed thanks for my ministry in light of my announcement that I'll be leaving the parish as of Feb. At this point, it looks like my last service will be on February 12th. If you would like to chat by phone or in person sometime in the next couple of months please drop me an email, a phone call, or a text and I'll do my best to make that happen. I'm in the parish Mondays and Wednesdays with some flexibility on Saturdays. I am also attaching the note of my announcement as a Word Doc to this email in case you're interested in where Denise and I will be serving next.  

On to the matters at hand. As we move deeper into Advent, the themes continue to build on each other (week one: Hope; week two: Peace) and become more attractive. This coming Sunday we're privileged to read and reflect on a text from Isaiah that almost literally vibrates with joy, the theme of the day. I hope to see you as we gather around the Lord's Table.  

We are excited to offer Godly Play at our services. If you have children or grandchildren between the ages of 4-11 bring they will find this program very helpful in engaging children's imagination and wonder.  

As well, this coming Saturday Rev. Lorie will be leading our first Fun&Family Eucharist from 4:30-6:30. Please bring your children or grandchildren. This is not a "drop-off event." If you're planning on bringing children or grandchildren please stay and participate with them. Food will be served!  

As well, the Friday Healing Eucharist is focused on special Advent themes and practices for the next few weeks. The next one is Dec 9th at 10 am. We hope to see you there!  

And finally, the big day is coming. This year St. Thomas will be having a Christmas Eve service at 10 pm on Dec 24th and a Christmas Morning Service (children friendly) at 9 am on the 25th.  

Advent Blessings,

Fr. Allen Doerksen