SMS Press

November/December 2015

Operation Christmas Project

Operation Christmas Child is a Christmas program where you send shoeboxes to people in countries who don’t have enough things to stay healthy. When you pack your shoebox, you can put in toys, school supplies, hygiene items, a personal note, etc. You can make a shoebox for a boy or for a girl. Or you can make a shoebox for both. There are age groups for your shoebox. You can choose 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. DO NOT INCLUDE: used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures, chocolate or food , out-of-date candy, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers, or even aerosal cans. Don’t forget to include $7 per box.


Each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family. While today’s Thanksgiving celebrations would likely be unrecognizable to attendees of the original 1621 harvest meal, it continues to be a day for Americans to come together around the table—albeit with some updates to pilgrim’s menu.

I like Thanksgiving because I get to see my family and friends. This year I hope to see my favorite cousin, Ethan. My great grandma makes the best mashed potatoes. This year I am probably going to my grandma’s house. We usually do some fun stuff before winter comes, or go get ready for Christmas. - Aiden Parish

Family Health and Wellness Fair

5 Favorites of the St Mary School Family Health and Wellness Fair

1 Yoga

2 Physical Therapy

3 Door Prizes

4 Dentist

5 Rethink Your Drink

St. Mary Health and Wellness Fair

Scholastic Book Fair comes to our school!


Advent Season

  • What does the word "Advent" mean?

    • When capitalized, "Advent" usually refers to "the coming of Christ into the world" or to "the liturgical period preceding Christmas"; it may also refer to the "Second Coming" of Christ (the "Advent of our Lord").

    • In secular English, "advent" (not capitalized) may refer to any "coming" or "arrival," especially of something so important that it radically changed a whole culture (e.g., "The advent of electricity" or "The advent of the computer age").

    • The word is derived from the Latin adventus ("arrival, approach"), made up of the preposition ad- ("to, towards"), the verbal root ven- (from venire, "to come"), and the suffix -tus (indicating verbal action).

    • The word is very similar in many other European languages: Advent, Advento, Avent, Avvento, Adviento, etc.

  • What are the traditional colors of Advent?

    • In the Roman Catholic Church, the official liturgical color for most of the Season of Advent is violet. Only on the Third Sunday of Advent is a rose (pink) colored candle lit, as a symbol of joy; the priest may also wear rose vestments on this Sunday.

    • Many Anglicans and some Protestant Churches use blue instead of violet throughout Advent, although they may also use rose/pink on the Third Sunday.

    • Other church decorations (altar cloths, banners, etc.) will often have combinations of violet, pink, and blue throughout the season. Liturgically-minded churches will avoid greens and reds (the secular Christmas colors), and will wait until the Christmas season to use decorations with white, silver, and gold colors.

And advent starts 11/29 and ends 12/24

Altar serving in Advent

As an altar server you need to wear a purple cincher you have to light the advent candles which have three purple candles and one pink candle.The order the candles are purple,purple,pink,and purple.

Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown.

The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life.

This is an Advent symbol of Jesus from Rev 1:8 and 22:13: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega [the first and the last, the beginning and the end],' says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (see also Isaiah 44:6).

The blue letter is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, and the purple is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega. Not only does this symbolize the One who has come and will come again, it also emphasizes the continuity of God's work in history throughout both the Old and New Testament.

Advent is the period preceding the Christmas season. It begins on the Sunday nearest November 30, the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and covers four Sundays. Because the day it begins changes from year to year, so does the length of each Advent season. In 2015, Advent begins on November 29.

The Giving Tree Project

A Gift From the Heart

Each year, St. Mary Parish generously joins the community of area churches by taking part in the Charlevoix Christmas Project. The Project serves the seasonal needs of our most vulnerable individuals and families. Last year approximately 200 families, including 400 children received Christmas gifts. Our Giving Tree provided over half those children with toys and clothing. The children’s ‘’wishes’’ come true when you choose a name from the tree and shop for the desired items, returning the gifts with the tag, but unwrapped, to be added to the family’s bag on distribution day at Bethany Lutheran Church. The Project has been in existence for many years, dating back to an effort initially spearheaded by Mary Helen Riggle and Rita Orlowski. This year you will find the Giving Tree up starting on the weekend of November 14th and 15th. We ask that gifts be returned to the church by December 6th, so that they can be processed.


Christmas is not just about presents. Christmas is about Jesus. Jesus was born on December 25th, which we call Christmas. He was born in Bethlehem. God sent his son to be born and to die on the cross. Jesus died on the cross so we can go to Heaven. Jesus opened the gates of Heaven with his pure heart. Jesus's mother Mary, was a young virgin who gave birth to the son of Christ. Jesus had a foster father named, Joseph. Joseph was a carpenter. When Jesus was a little boy, his foster father Joseph taught him how to construct things with wood. Jesus wasn’t born in a hospital like all of us, he was born in a stable. Mary went into a inn and was told there was no more room.The innkeeper told Joseph and Mary that they could use the stable. They were surrounded by animals. Three Wise Men came and gave them gold, frankincense, and meir. They gave them that because he was the Son of God.