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Advent 2014 Events

Sunday, November 30          First Sunday of Advent
9 and 11 a.m.
Rev. Paul Escamilla delivers the message A World Awaits: Awakening based on Mark 13. The Chancel Choir offers music at both services.

Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7
Alternative Gift Market
Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday, December 7, noon-3 p.m.
Myriad gifts supporting non-profit organizations, hand-made items and delectable home-baked goodies in the Saint John’s Bake Shop. 

Saturday, December 6
Family Advent Workshop*
10-11 a.m.
Families with children ages 3-12 are invited to create their own Advent wreaths and other seasonal items. Children can make a gift for someone special. Sign up in the Gallery or send an email to
Amy Villwock at 
Sunday, December 7        Second Sunday of Advent
9 and 11 a.m.
Rev. Paul Escamilla delivers the message A World Awaits: A Door Set Open based on Mark 1:1-8. 
The Saint John’s Singers offer music at both services.
Sunday, December 7
African Children’s Choir with Sara Hickman*
6:30 p.m.
The African Children's Choir returns to Saint John’s for a free concert in the sanctuary celebrating the release of the group’s new CD with singer-songwriter Sara Hickman. All ages invited. A love offering will be collected.
Friday, December 12
Tidings of Joy*
7 p.m.
Bring the entire family for this rollicking evening of seasonal favorites presented by Saint John's musicians and friends. This will be the 8th annual gathering of the Saint John's family to boisterously sing out the music we all have grown up with. 
 Sunday, December 14          Third Sunday of Advent
9 and 11 a.m.
Rev. Hilary Marchbanks will share the message A World Awaits: A Song Awaits based on the
Magnificat, Luke 1:26-38 and 46b-55. The children will arrange Chrismons on the tree at both services; the Spirit Singers, our children’s choir, will offer special music in both services.
Thursday, December 18   
The Service of the Longest Night: The Light Shines in the Darkness*
7 p.m.
A grace-filled hour of reflection in a setting of candlelight and quiet music. Thoughtfully chosen
readings of scripture and prayers acknowledge the existence of sadness, or loneliness or isolation
yet offer healing and the hope of a new day as the light of Christ draws near.
Friday, December 19
Saint John’s Annual Christmas Caroling
5:30 p.m.
All ages are invited to meet at 5900 Wynona, then join in bringing music and joy to Saint John’s members who are homebound. Afterward, we will return to 5900 Wynona for food and fellowship.
Sunday, December 21          Fourth Sunday of Advent
9 and 11 a.m.
In the Festival of Lessons and Carols, we experience the story of “God with us” through scripture and song.
This Saint John’s tradition features music from the Chancel Choir, the Jones Handbell Choir and
the Trinity Singers along with a special children’s time with Pastor Paul. The Spirit Singers share
music at 11 a.m.
Wednesday, December 24             Christmas Eve
5 p.m.* - A child-friendly Christmas Eve service with Communion. Rev. Amy Villwock and
Rev. Paul Escamilla will share messages based on the Christmas Story found in Luke 2:1-20. A shuttle bus will be available for transport from the north end of Lamar Middle School to Saint John’s.
7 p.m.* - A traditional service of carols, candlelight and Communion with special music from the Chancel Choir. Rev. Paul Escamilla will deliver the message A World Awaits: A song in the night based on Luke 2:1-20.
Rev. Hilary Marchbanks will lead prayers of the people. A shuttle bus will be available for transport from the north end of Lamar Middle School to Saint John’s.
11 p.m. - A candlelight service with Communion, music from a vocal ensemble and congregational
singing of traditional carols, with the message A World Awaits: A Song in the Night by Rev. Paul
Escamilla based on Luke 2:1-20.
For more information, call (512) 452-5737.
*Childcare is available in Room 101 for this special event or service.

Advent Workshop

Families with children ages 3-12 are invited to create their own Advent wreaths and other items to enrich their experience of the season. Children can make a gift for someone special.  Sign up in the Gallery on Sunday or email Amy Villwock  Childcare is available in Room 101 during the workshop for little ones, and it will be extended until 1 p.m. so that families might enjoy a little shopping at the Alternative Gift Market afterwards.  10 a.m. Saturday, December 6, Fellowship Hall.

African Children's Choir - Dec. 7

Mark your calendars for a very special music event! The African Children's Choir returns to Saint John's on Sunday, December 7, for a concert celebrating the release of the group's new CD collaboration with Austin musician Sara Hickman. The CD, Love is a Journey, will be released in December.
Sara, who is a member of Saint John's, performs with the the current touring choir, Choir 42, on the CD, which is executive produced by another Saint John's member, Lynne Dobson. The two visited Uganda this past summer to volunteer and collaborate with the choir on the songs.
The African Children's Choir is composed of children ages 7 to 10. Many have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease. They represent all the children of the continent and demonstrate the potential of African children to become strong leaders for a better future in their land. Over the past 20 years, the children have appeared in thousands of concerts around the world.


Tidings of Joy

Bring the entire family for the 8th Annual Tidings of Joy concert, a rollicking evening of seasonal favorites presented by Saint John's musicians and friends at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 12, in the sanctuary. Join the Saint John's family as we boisterously sing out the music we all have grown up with. Childcare provided in Room 101.

Alternative Gift Market

Gifts of Hope, Saint John's Alternative Gift Market, is slated for Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7. Two of the most popular booths at the Market are the Saint John's Mission Booth and the Bake Shop. Once again, all bakers and crafters are called into action! For more information about providing craft items for the Market, please e-mail Nancy Williams at

If you love to bake, The Bake Shop may be the perfect way for you to contribute. Please consider sharing your specialty with Market shoppers. For more information about the Bake Shop, email Eva Jordan at or call her at 512-619-7118.

If you have a friend who loves to bake or to craft and doesn't get the newsletter, please help them get in touch with Nancy or Eva to learn how to get involved.

Click here to visit the Alternative Gift Market page.

Reconciling Ministries Team

The Reconciling Ministries Team (RM Team) at Saint John's was formed in November 2010 by a group of Saint John’s members who wanted to raise awareness about Reconciling Ministries at our church. The RM Team became a recognized church committee (affiliated with Intentional Faith Development committee) by church council vote in 2011. We currently have seven active RM Team members and many RM Team Friends in our congregation.  Interested in joining us?  See contact info below.

We currently host a monthly Rainbow Potluck, usually after the late service on Second Sundays, the same day we encourage our congregation to wear rainbows to church in the form of stoles, pins and more.  The rainbow stoles specifically remind us of those who have not been ordained and those who have lost ordination due to sexual orientation or gender identity.  All of our rainbows are a visible and affirming welcome to the many who have historically been made to feel unwelcome at church.

CLICK HERE to visit our home page.

Active Team Members (updated November 2013):

Joy Butler – Chair
email:  Joy L Butler @ gmail . com

Liza Chigos

Janice Curry

Rowland Curry

Brad Howe

Joan Hudson

John Thomason

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Hilary Marchbanks, Assistant Minister - Staff Liasion