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The Trailblazer

"Sanctifying Time": New Year's Eve at St. Dunstan's- December 31, 2020

Posted 4:57 PM
 
 
The News from
St. Dunstan's
 
December 31, 2020
Thursday ~ New Year's Eve
 
From the Rector
 
Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time...There are no two hours alike. Every hour is unique and the only one given at the moment, exclusive and endlessly precious.
The Sabbath
 
Dear friends,
 
Today, of course, we bid farewell to 2020 and prepare to enter into another new year (according to the secular calendar, at least...the new Church year began back on the First Sunday of Advent!). Many of us, I suspect, are eager to kick this year to the curb, and while tomorrow is likely to look much the same in many respects, there is no doubt some psychological benefit to turning the page to 2021 in a spirit of hope and anticipation. (I confess that I took great delight in tossing my 2020 calendar ceremoniously into the recycling bin a few days ago!)
 
That said, as people of faith we are called to understand time differently than does the secular world - not as something to be squandered recklessly, but as an inherently holy gift from God. Along with our Jewish sisters and brothers, we, too, are invited to what Rabbi Heschel terms the sanctification of every "exclusive and endlessly precious" hour. We are reminded, as Rabbi Heschel also wrote, that “Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” The challenge is to learn to live in light of this reality.
 
In my own end-of-year reflections over the past few days, I have found myself asking just how faithful it is for me to wish 2020 away without pausing to give thanks for the blessing of being. For all of the struggles of the past many months (struggles which will not, in fact, go away magically at midnight tonight), we each have been given the sacred gift of life - a life overflowing with the abundance of God's grace. Life itself is, in fact, a miracle, and if this year has taught us anything it is that we must not take that miracle for granted. Rather, as we stand on the threshold of this new year, may we savor and give thanks for every precious minute and hour that has passed and is yet to come.
 
I wish you and all those you love a blessed and holy remainder of 2020 and a peaceful start to 2021.
 
Your Sister in Christ,
 
Patty+
914.882.4221
 
This Sunday's Worship
 
Sunday, January 3, 2021:
The Second Sunday of Christmas
 
Join us this week at 10:00 a.m. for a Service of
Spiritual Communion on Zoom!
 
Please use this Zoom link to join the service:
(Meeting ID: 848 0673 6915; Passcode: 074803).
 
Having learned a great deal from the two services that were live streamed from the church in December, we are working on improving our broadcast experience even more and - God willing - plan to live stream from the church again next week. (January 10). In order for us to be able to do so on a regular basis, we need to recruit and train a team of "Live Stream Managers" to run the camera and monitor the video feed from the organ loft during the service. If you would be willing to serve St. Dunstan's in this capacity, please reach out to Patty Alexander as soon as possible!
 
 
End-of-Year Donations
 
Today (Thursday, December 31) is the last day for your gift to St. Dunstan's to be counted for 2020. If you have not yet completed your pledge for this year, and/or if you would like to give an additional end-of-year contribution, please use this link to make a secure donation online by midnight tonight.
 
(If you are paying by check, please make sure that it is dated and postmarked December 31, 202o in order for it to count for this year. You also may drop a check in our locked mailbox at the church.)
 
We understand that, this year in particular, some folks may not be able to fulfill their 2020 pledge. If that is the case, please just reach out to the Rev. Patty Alexander to let her know.
 
Thank you all for your support this year, and may God continue to bless you richly in 2021 and beyond!
 
 
Stewardship 2021: "What Can Love Do?"
 
 
The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Dunstan’s
joyfully thank all those who have pledged to the
2021 Stewardship Campaign 
(as of December 29, 2020):

 
 
Carl Adams
Patty and Randy Alexander
Donna Alvarez
Julie Anderson and Tony Gomez
Jessica Ault
Marsha Barnes
Alexa and Tom Barnett
Rosemarie and Tom Barrett
Bethany and Fred Bentley
Mimi and Bob Betz
Elin Botha
Susan Burkhalter and
Curtis Shiveley
Sue Carroll and Ray Donnelly
Jane Chase
Joanne Comstock and John Wyss
Janet Crampton
Nancy and Walter Douglas
Karen Edwards
Nancy Fassett
Frenchie and Costa Gogos
Dalton Hamilton
Donald and Beatrice Hamilton
Donald Hamilton, Jr.
Dontrice Hamilton
 
 
Fergie and Gary Horvath
Jackie Jones and
Charles Cash
Ann Johnson
Lynne and Vince Leonard
Mark MacCarthy
Lisa and Norman Martin
Maggie and Bradley Mellor
Cathie Morton
Susan Newman
Behram Nowzad
Andrew O'Brien
Kristalee and Nils Overdahl
Cary and Ron Poropatich
Robin Reed and Mike Brown
Janet and David Repka
Louise and Fred Smoak
Joan Steyaert
Trudy Surut
Rosi Sweeney
Sue von Rautenkranz
James Wachob
Marta and Pat Waldo
Debbie and Cliff White
Kiska Williams
 
 
As of this week, we have surpassed our 2020 Stewardship goal ($250,000), with a current pledge total of $254,310.00. This is a very encouraging sign (especially this year), and we thank God for the faithfulness and generosity of St. Dunstan's parishioners and friends!
 
We are still hoping that all those who consider St. Dunstan's their spiritual home will make a commitment of financial support to the parish for 2021. If you have not yet pledged, please give prayerful consideration to doing so in the coming days.
 
To pledge online, please use this pledge form. 
 
If you would prefer to print a paper pledge card and mail it to the Parish Office (5450 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda, 20816),
please click on this link.
 
For more information about Stewardship at St. Dunstan's,
please contact the Rector.
 
For Your Prayers
 
For healing, strength, and protection:
 
Betty Almon, Nancy Bancroft, Richard and Florence Banks,
Sydney Betz, Phil Carroll, Wendy and Suzie Coughlan, 
Bill Darnell, Mike Donnelly, Kenny Farnsworth,
Maddie Fennell, Warren Green, Barbara Hocker,
Fergie Horvath, Ric Huttenlocher, Isabel Krum,
Eleanor Neiman, Joyce Nugent, Dorothy Phaneuf,
Pam Plaisance, Curt Shively, Allison Spaulding, Kevin Sullivan, Lina Verville, Don Wasseman, Trudy Wood, Charlie Wooters, Anne Zbinden, Hanson, and Katherine
 
All those impacted in body, mind, or spirit by COVID-19
 
The Vivanco Family (missionaries in Quito, Ecuador)
 
All seminarians preparing to take the General Ordination Exams beginning next Monday
(especially our own Senior Seminarian Intern, Robin Reed!)
 
 
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