Matthew 25:1-13

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

CYCLE OF PRAYER:  The 233rd Annual Convention of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, meeting Nov. 17 -18 in Greenwich, CT

MEMORIALS:  The flowers near the Altar are in memory of Fr. Frank Wismer, Andy Kish, Phil Marzolf, Ray Durant, Guy Miller and all departed veterans by the Christ Church Parish Family and in loving memory of Brian West by his family.

SPOTLIGHT ON ALAN SINGEWALD:
Catching up with Alan Singewald is as easy as dropping by Christ Church on a weekday and as hard as keeping up with him once you get there.  Most of us parishioners are well aware of the big improvements he is making to the appearance of the church, from volunteer cleaning duties to overseeing bathroom renovations and restoring the overgrown playground.  Check out the full story on the church website.

VESTRY MEETING:The vestry will meet Monday, November 13 at 7:00 pm. All Parishioners are reminded that if they have any concerns or questions they can bring them to a vestry member, or are welcome to attend the meeting themselves.

WOMEN’S GROUP:
The Women’s Group is selling tickets for the Thanksgiving Basket to be raffled off November 19.  The basket is on display in the Guild Room.  The turkey and other perishable items will be added to the basket at that time.

PENNIES FOR HEAVEN:  The Altar Guild is collecting pocket change to purchase food to donate to Person to Person in November.  Please help us make someone’s Thanksgiving truly thankful.  There is a container for change on the display case in the Gathering Place.  Thank you.  Sarah French

BOOK BUNCH:
The next book club meeting is November 14, at 7:30.  The book selection is State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.  Please contact Debbie Ross at DRoss56@aol.com for more details.

CHRISTMAS FAIR:
The Holiday Fair will be held at Christ Church on December 9, from 9:00am to 4:00pm.  In addition to an extensive holiday-themed tag sale, Barbara has hand-picked and organized at least 17 vendors to participate in the fair.  She has also put together a Chinese Auction, featuring fabulous prizes ranging from a Henckels knife set to a movie pass gift packet to a ride on a steam train!  She also has several great restaurant gift certificates.

The fair will also include a bake sale, from our great bakers in the Women’s Group. Baked goods can be delivered Friday night or Saturday morning before 9am. The Women’s Group is also sponsoring a raffle for a gift basket filled with delicious and imaginative items for a great Christmas celebration.

You are invited to help and participate! Barbara will need help on Friday, December 8 from 10am to 2pm and Friday evening from 6pm to 8pm.  She especially needs help cleaning up. Please see Barbara or call her at 203-847-5237 to volunteer for one or more 2-hour blocks of time. Be sure to get yourself on the schedule soon!  Donations of Christmas-themed items for the tag sale are appreciated. Please save your non-Christmas items till next year – storage space in the church is very limited.

BACKPACK CLUBS: You too may join the CT Food Bank in its regular support of Backpack Clubs in the Norwalk Public Schools. Barbara Felter as the point person.  Items may be left in the basket near the pulpit or presented in the same at the offertory.

Items needed:
Juice Boxes
Milk Boxes (same style, like Parmalat, etc.)
Single Serve Cereals
Fruit Snacks
Fruit Cups
Instant Oatmeal Packets (not cardboard cans)
Granola Bars
Chef Boyardee Ravioli Cups w/pull tops
Macaroni and Cheese Cups w/pull tops
Single Serve Chips/Popcorn

THIS WEEK AT WORSHIP:
Organist: Betty Belcher
Altar Guild:  Sarah French
Ushers:  Paul Mordoff and Barbara Felter
Lector:  Jennifer Gormley
Intercessor: Tina Soleng
Presider: The Reverend Laura Queen

Old Testament Reading

Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25

Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many.

“Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” And the people said to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!” Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” The people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.” So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.

Psalm 78:1-7

Attendite, popule

1 Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2 I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.

3 That which we have heard and known,
and what our forefathers have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.

4 We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord, *
and the wonderful works he has done.

5 He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel, *
which he commanded them to teach their children;

6 That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;

7 So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;

New Testament Reading

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

GOSPEL:

Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus said, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

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Ordinary People, Extraordinary Spirit
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