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THE CANTICLE December 2012   


CALENDAR December 23 12 Noon - Greening of the Church & the Festival of the Crèche bring a non –breakable crèche for display in the education wing that day

December 24 5 pm -Children’s Christmas Pageant & Communion Service with Birthday Party for Jesus Presider: the Rev. Canon Jose McLoughlin; Preacher: The Rev. Joseph Alsay & Children’s Pageant directed by Laurel McLoughlin & Anne Byrd 10 pm - Traditional Candlelight Communion Service (with incense), String Trio, Brass, & Organ. Presider: The Right Rev. Steven Charleston; Preacher: The Rev. Joseph Alsay

December 25 & 26 There will be no services & office is closed

December 30 8:30 am – Rite I Communion from Reserved Sacrament 10:45 am – Rite III Lessons & Carols with Eucharist

January 6 10:45 am Epiphany Celebration with Three Kings & Camels (weather permitting)

Once again many have raised their voices regarding the “secularization” of Christmas. Armed with slogans such as “Keep Christ in Christmas,” they ensure we don’t forget that this is a holiday about Jesus of Nazareth. Common greetings such as, “Happy Holidays” are met with the defensive counter-greeting of “and Merry Christmas to you too.” Try using the abbreviation “X mas.” Some folks believe this is literally “X-ing” Jesus out of the Christmas. What seems to be glaringly absent from these vocal Christmas Crusaders is any protest against gross consumerism, greed and selfishness that arrives every year with the holiday season. Retailers push gift buying for two months every year to cushion their bottom lines. Herds of people stampede one another in the name of saving a buck on Black Friday. People party and travel to the extent that they barely notice the holiday — the one they’re so concerned about keeping Christ in — has come and gone. You have to stop and ask the question, “Is this what the ChristMass is all about?” The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope and a revolutionary love. So what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of God-with-us has turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it’s all over, many of us are left with gifts to return, debt that will take months to pay off, and an empty feeling. Is this what we really want out of Christmas? So what would it look like if we lived out the real meaning of Christmas? It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God has in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated in each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of Advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship God to the fullest. Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you 14700 North May Ave.  Oklahoma City, OK 73134 405.751.7874

received a gift out of that same obligation? Consider buying ONE LESS GIFT this Christmas — just one. Sounds insignificant, yet many who have made a small sacrifice have experienced something like a miracle: they’ve been more available to celebrate Christ during the Advent season. God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder that we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends our family in the most memorable ways possible. Time to: take the grandkids sledding; bake really good cookies, sing really bad Christmas carols; time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right? When Jesus loved, he loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join him in giving resources to those who need help the most. Keeping Christ in Christmas has nothing to do with greetings. Rather, it is about the people of God being Christ in Christmas. In imitation of the God we celebrate on this holiday, we must make ourselves nothing and take on the nature of servants. In giving our time, presence, and resources to the hurting and broken, we will remind the world that Christ is still here with us.  Father Joseph


BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES Starting with the January 2013 issue of the St. Augustine Canticle we would like to include a list of Birthdays and Anniversaries for parishioners. Please use your Sunday service attendance slip to make sure we have the correct information for you and your family or email your information to Sarah Kelley

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT New members as well as old member make up our church family. We will spot light four families in each upcoming newsletter pulling from both sets of members.

Karen and Pete Mather Karen and Pete are new members. Cradle Anglicans, the Mathers were searching for a more meaningful and welcoming church home when they found St. Augustine’s. The Mather’s have three grown children, Robert, Jennifer and Jessica. Pete is a board member for the Quik Trip Corporation, an audit committee chair, church treasurer, consultant and retired from CIO Air Products and Chemicals; enough to keep anyone busy yet he still finds time to enjoy traveling with Karen, walking, reading and cross word puzzles. Equally involved, Karen is President of the Payne Education Center, Co-Chair of the Church Stewardship committee and a member of the Parish Health Team. Additionally she is a past president of the Oklahoma Outreach Foundation. Gardening, reading, and travel are her other pursuits. The Mathers enjoy all of the St. Augustine church service but their favorite portions are the candle lighting, praise music, sharing the Peace and the meaningful sermons. Their vision for the future of St. Augustine is for it to become a “growing and vibrant community of believers who are radically welcoming, spreading our gifts outside of the church, and offering opportunities for younger people to see what God has to offer.” 

Claren and Carl Denning Having joined the church in 1996 Claren and Carl have seen many changes at St. Augustine. Claren taught school for 34 years but is retired now while Claren is still an active CPA for M.A.A. Hobbies for Claren are stained glass, gardening, cooking and working with their

14700 North May Ave.  Oklahoma City, OK 73134 405.751.7874

dogs while Carl enjoys riding his motorcycle, working on his salt water reef aquarium, and expanding his knowledge of guns and knives. While their favorite part of the service is the sermon each week they would love to see continued growth at St. Augustine with more opportunity for Bible studies. They want their Church home to continue to be “a loving and helpful church to all the church families”. 

Christine & Ken Gasper

Over the years Lyla has relished many different careers, albeit unpaid. While Art keeps a private psychiatric practice. They greatly enjoy their grandchildren and anything else family related but will divide their attention to support the Thunder and OSU. They are currently enjoying the growth in membership at St. Augustine and would like to see the trend continue…as long as it doesn’t get TOO big. 


At St. Augustine’s it feels like everyone is accepted and that’s what the Gaspers were looking for when they began attending in December of 2011. Christine appreciates the lingering aroma of incense after the first service while they enjoy the praise team and contemporary nature of the second service on Sundays. They attended a charismatic Episcopal church in the past and would enjoy seeing additional instruments added to the mix and continued development of the praise team in the future. With three growing children, Joshua, Ellie, and Aidan, the Gaspers stay very busy. As time allows Christine enjoys practicing Yoga, reading and scrapbooking and Ken plays the drums and likes woodworking. Ken is a computer engineer for the FAA and Christine has been a very active stay at home mom for the last 10 years but is looking to re-enter the work force. 

Episcopal Church Women (ECW) If you would like to get involved with ECW and its ministry, please contact Jan Pope at or talk to her at church.

        the Brotherhood If you would like to get involved with the Brotherhood please contact Chad Yarbrough at, 621.9905.


Art & Lyla Rousseau The Rousseaus were looking for a fresh start and were happy to find it at closer to home at St. Augustine in 1987. They enjoy the 8:30am service on Sunday mornings Art thought Father Joseph would be happy to know that the Homily is his favorite part of the service. Lyla’s appreciates the forgiveness aspect of the weekly confession for all who attend and participate. They have three grown and married children; Lauren with husband Steve, Justin and wife Jessica, and Jordan with wife Laura.

LAS POSADAS We in the church are once again honoring the Advent season with a loosely based reenactment of the search for lodging Mary and Joseph struggled through prior to the birth of Jesus. Members of the church are hosting our very own Mary and Joseph in a different home each day of the advent season. A journal travels with the statues for family members to make note of the activities their three foot tall “guests” were treated to.

14700 North May Ave.  Oklahoma City, OK 73134 405.751.7874

This tradition dates back to the sixteenth century and St. Ignatius Loyola who hijacked an Aztec festival in order to teach about the birth of Christ. We opened our celebration this year with dancers from Santa Maria Virgen, Oklahoma City. Traditional dance and food were enjoyed by all who attended the feast after the 10:45 am service.

Sarah Kelley Administrative Assistant 9 am – 12 noon Monday – Wednesday 1 pm – 4pm Thursday Staff Directory The Reverend Joseph Alsay, The Reverend Robby Trammell, Deacon The Reverend Tony Moon, Deacon Sarah Kelley, Secretary (Sunday Bulletins) Linda Trammell, Choir Director Bishop’s Committee (meetings second Tuesdays of the month) Rev. Joseph Alsay Senior Warden Judy Moon

We recognize all of our members who are including Mary and Joseph into their Christmas preparations this year. Pamela Castor  Carl & Claren Denning  Beth Buchinger  Heather Leonard  Marsha & Mark Tygret  Rick Inselman  Bill & Stacy Holleman  Yvette Walker  Bishop Ed & Debbie Konieczny  Bill & Sandy Collins  Tom & Anne Byrd  Terry & Melanie Cannon  Melva Hall  Don & Judy Moon  Darin & Kathy Herndon  Polly Spencer  Ted & Isobel Zweifel  Ted & Ann Owens  Steve & Renee Bauer  Laurel & Canon Jose McLoughlin  the Gasper family  Jo Rott

Co-Junior Wardens Jackie Ballinger—Gardens & Grounds Pete Mather—Treasurer Chad Yarbrough—Church Building Committee members Rick Inselman Kenny Koch Carol Shanahan Mike Starcevich Jan Tipton

CONTACT INFORMATION Service Times Wednesday — noon for Holy Eucharist Sunday — 8:30 am Contemplative Service (Holy Word and Eucharist, reflective, incense) Sunday — 10:45 am Celebratory service (Holy Word and song, Eucharist, peoplecentered) Office Hours Father Joseph Alsay 9 am – 12 noon Monday – Thursday

14700 North May Ave.  Oklahoma City, OK 73134 405.751.7874

The Canticle  

The newsletter of St.Augustine's Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, OK