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November 2016 ~ St. Sebastian's by-the-Sea Newsletter

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November always brings many things to mind. It is the final month of our hurricane season with so many breathing a sigh of relief that the impact by major storms this year has been minimal for most of us. It also reminds us that Halloween has just finished, the remaining candy is being consumed or brought to coffee hour at the church and the Saints of God are remembered as we celebrate All Soul’s Day.

It also marks the beginning of our very busy holiday season. Thanksgiving preparations are being made. Many of us will host family members over the holidays. The wonderful smells of the season will fill our kitchens. Gift buying will pick up in a flurry of activity as we prepare for Christmas. There is so much before us that we may lose sight of some of the real special times the season has to offer.

We are also reminded that on November 11th, we celebrate Veteran’s Day, a special time set aside for those in our family who served their country with pride. Many will think of family members still in uniform around the world, maintaining peace while others sleep. Sacrifices of life and limb have been a part of veterans’ experience for years. While we remember the Saints of God this year, let us not forget those saints who gave us the world that we enjoy and appreciate. Take time in this busy season to pause and thank a vet for the service they provided and the sacrifice they and their families have made. Stop when you see someone selling poppies in front of Publix or other public places as a way to raise funds for our Vets. Maybe then we can take time to focus on the real reason we need to be thankful. We enjoy so much prosperity on the labors of others. We set time aside to thank God for our families and friends as we break bread at the table of plenty. Let us not forget those who continue to make all this possible.

I pray that your holiday season will be filled with wonderful memories and special moments. God wants us to celebrate what we have and to share from our abundance with those who have little or nothing. May we be a church family who leads the way in supporting others in our community and help make it a special season for them also. I know God will bless you in special ways when you do.

Fr. Norman†
Our next luncheon is on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8th, at 11:30 am. All are invited to join us at New England Eatery located at 5670 S Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach. Vote early or late; come celebrate THE END OF THE CAMPAIGNING! The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall. See you there!

Thursday, December 15, 6 pm in Smodell Hall.
More information to be provided at a future date.

ECW Gift Bags: Once a year, baskets are delivered to our home bound/hospital/nursing home parishioners. The baskets are decorated festively and filled with items such as tissue packets, hand lotions, perfume, scarfs (male & female), socks, festive jewelry, playing cards, word search books, crossword puzzle books, stationary items, pens, adult coloring books, coloring pencils, small boxes of candies (hard candies & chocolates), etc., etc.  If you would like to assist in this wonderful outreach, please feel free to drop off your items to Smodell Hall, where there's a table set up to accept your donations. We will be accepting these items until Sunday, December 4th.
On Monday, December 5th, the ECW will be putting the baskets together.  If you would like to assist, please feel free to join us in Smodell Hall at 6 pm.  "Many hands make light work!" Deacon George will be delivering the baskets the following week. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call either Valerie Coles @ 321/258-0876 or Kay Ives @ 321/544-5074. Thanking you in advance for your participation! God bless you!!!

Salvation Army Bell Ringers: St. Sebastian’s will be ringing the bell for Salvation Army on Thursday, December 1, 2016 in front of Publix, on Eau Gallie Blvd., Indian Harbour Beach. The Volunteer sign-up sheet will be in Smodell Hall beginning November 5. We will have 2 volunteers per shift, and each shift is one hour. You will be reminded the week prior to the event of the date and time you volunteered. If you have any questions, please contact Valerie Lewis Coles at 321.258.0876.

Salvation Army Angel Tree: Support our local seniors this Christmas, by selecting a Senior Angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree in Smodell Hall. Each Angel tag lists the first name, age and gender of the Angel, along with their Gift Wish and sizes if appropriate. Shop for your Angel and return your gifts, unwrapped, in the gift bag supplied when you selected your Angel. Tie the entire Angel Tag to the handles of the gift bag, keeping the small receipt at the bottom for your records. All Angel bags will need to be returned no later than Sunday, December 4.

ECW Save the Dates:
  • January 6, 2017 – Epiphany Party for the Ladies of St. Sebastian’s.
  • March 25, 2017 – ECW Annual Card and Game Party.
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Miles of Pennies (MOP) provides free Christian literature to needy children worldwide. MOP also designates grants to allow for the distribution of recycled children’s books. St. Sebastian’s By-The-Sea has set a goal to donate one “mile” of pennies to MOP, which equates to $844.80. With our contributions to date totaling $187.77, we have just over $650 to go to meet our overall goal. Colorful collection jars are located in Smodell Hall, the Narthex, and the church office for your convenience. Let’s continue to fill them with our spare change so we can reach our donation goal of one “mile” of pennies. Thank you so much for your support of this important ministry.
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Our book for November is Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton. We will meet on November 19th from Noon - 2 PM at Judy Divine's home. Please RSVP to Judy to let her know if you can attend. Bring a brown bag lunch and drinks and dessert will be provided. Mark your calendars for December 10th as we will have our annual Christmas Book Club Luncheon at The Dove in downtown Melbourne that day. Details to follow at November meeting.
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On Sunday, October 16th, Dylan Zito received a “Colors of the Cross” Cub Scout pin during the 10:30 AM service.

“Working on this adventure helped me think about the Scout Oath and what it means to do my duty to God. I learned that showing kindness and respect for family members and remembering to thank God is (to) be reverent. Doing what is right is another way I can do my duty to God. I learned this with the help of my Sunday school teachers and I want to say thank you for helping me earn this special pin and learn more about what duty to God means in my family.” - Dylan
As a result of your generosity KO received these items for the weekend that was held on Oct. 28th in Ocala:

  • 25 teddy bears - House of the Gulls Thrift Shop (Robin and Sarah)
  • 101 meals for the guests ($5.00 donation per meal)
  • 38 praying for the weekend including Daughters of the King

Being part of a church family allows us to do ministry far beyond that which we can do alone.

Thank you and God's Blessings,
Renee' Koenig
About two-thirds of Americans say eating Thanksgiving leftovers is more important than eating the actual holiday meal. That’s one of the few times people hope food is left on the table.

When it comes to giving out blessings, God doesn’t want any leftovers to remain. In Genesis 12:2, God blesses Abraham so he will be a blessing to others.

Charles Stanley writes: “A hoarded blessing is never enjoyed as richly as a shared one. Using your gift to meet someone else’s need glorifies God by demonstrating his grace at work in your life. Don’t let his generous provisions end with you. Pass them on and discover the joy of a never-ending cycle of blessings.”
Dear Parish Family:

Please know that God is alive and well at Central Florida Reception Center, the prison where we go as the Kairos Prison Ministry team every 6 months. November 10-13 will be our seventh weekend spent with 36-42 inmates.

It is interesting to see the growing number of inmates attending our “Prayer and Share” meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month to support their walk with Christ. There is, of course attrition; those who are transferred to other prisons, released, and yes, those who are not following through with their new found faith.

However, the numbers reflect a growing group of men living with Jesus as they share their faith with Kairos alumni and others in the compound. When I started, about 2 1/2 years ago, we had as few as 25-30 meet with us. At the last meeting, held 10/18/2016, there were 135 inmates praising God. That represents 10% of the permanent prisoners in the East Compound where we serve.

Statics show that the recidivism rate of those inmates attending a Kairos weekend and go to one meeting after their weekend are less than half of the general prison population (15% vs 40%). That means less than half of those men released from prison with a history with Kairos will commit crimes to be incarcerated again. It is one thing to know that and still another to see it, happen.

They come to the weekend, for the cookies and food, and leave with a heart full of God and his goodness. They were alone, defensive, hardened angry, and had given up on themselves. Now they are working through those issues.

You, yes you, have been a major part of that. God does the conversions, and you send your love through prayer, money and cookies. I thank you and I am sure that God thanks you. Please continue to pray for the weekend from 4 PM Thursday and 3 PM on Sunday, November 10-13.

Thank you,
Walt Koenig
Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was said to never hold grudges. One day someone reminded her of an offense that another person had committed against her. “Don’t you remember?” the friend pressed. “No,” Barton replied. “I distinctly remember forgetting that.”

Forgiving and forgetting are not precisely the same. While God declares that he’ll “remember [our] sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34), it’s tough for humans to completely forget harm done to us, even when we want to forgive. On the other hand, like Barton, we can consciously choose not to ruminate on an offense, as a cow does its cud. We can opt not to bring up past hurts during present disagreements, and we can intentionally not recount someone’s sin to a third party, hoping they’ll take our side. In the process of “choosing to forget” the wrong done to us, surely we’ll also find it easier to forgive.
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4th - David & Pat Claycomb
6th - David & Joyce Lehr
7th - Connie & Priscilla Blyseth
11th - Chuck & Nance Ellen Reisinger
19th - Dick & Ann Seitzer
21st - Dwight & Judy Divine
30th - Gary & Janie Conner

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5th - Lucretia Braddock
5th - Ellie Wanback
6th - Ann Seitzer
9th - Joyce Lehr
9th - Vivian Ritter
10th - Don Way
16th - Cara Boyd
22nd - Jerry May
26th - Thanh Edwards
27th - Nancy Bass
29th - Helen Felberg


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The church office is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 AM – 1 PM.
Phone number - (321) 723-3015, Fax - (321) 723-0009
Email -
Office -
Web site:
In case of emergency, you may call:
Priest: Fr. Norman Desrosiers – 321-243-4815 (cell)
Deacon George – 723-0069 (home); 890-6712 (cell)