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December 2017 ~ St. Sebastian's by-the-Sea Newsletter

†Greetings from Rev. Garry Edwards
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Greetings my St. Sebastian Family,

The Season of Pentecost has come to an end as we celebrated Christ the King Sunday.

We look forward to Advent as we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus. Let this time of Advent being a time of reflection and prayer for the year that is passing.

Prepare to be a soldier of Jesus Christ through the works of his ministry and the love for all people. May your Christmas be filled with joy and happiness as Lisa and I share our first Christmas with our St. Sebastian Family. Have a happy and blessed New Year as well.

God’s richest blessings be upon us as we give God all praise and thanks.

Peace & Blessings,
Father Garry †

XYZ Luncheon
Our next luncheon is Tuesday, December 12th, at 11:30am. All are invited to join us at Charlie & Jake’s Bar-B-Que on Eau Gallie Blvd. The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall. See you there!!

†Shop of the Gulls
The Shop of the Gulls annual Christmas Party is currently planned to be held on Sunday 17 Dec starting at 2 PM at the home of Robyn and Pete Peterson. All volunteers, please put it on your calendar and save the date.

Just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, the shop donated over 10 cartons of good clothing to Florida Veterans families and homeless people. A letter of appreciation was received at the shop.

†The Giver
Many Christian families struggle with what role — if any — Santa Claus should play in their Christmas celebrations. No matter what you decide, it’s fascinating to know the history of the real-life St. Nicholas.

Born about 270 A.D., Nicholas was a bishop in Myra, or modern-day Turkey. In the year 325, he was part of the Council of Nicaea, which produced the Nicene Creed.

Nicholas, known for his generosity, often gave away his money anonymously. According to tradition, he secretly provided dowries for the three daughters of a bankrupt merchant. Nicholas threw two bags of gold through open windows and placed the third in a stocking hanging by the fireplace to dry. Thus began the Christmas tradition of placing gifts in stockings.

St. Nicholas is quoted as saying, “The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic God’s giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.”

†A Holiness Invasion
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“Advent” means “coming,” of course, and the promise of Advent is that what is coming is an unimaginable invasion. The mythology of our age has to do with flying saucers and invasions from outer space, and that is unimaginable enough. But what is upon us now is even more so — a close encounter not of the third kind but of a different kind altogether. An invasion of holiness. That is what Advent is about.

—Frederick Buechner,
The Clown in the Belfry

†The Perfect Gift
Do you stress about finding just the right gift for everyone on your Christmas list? Does it make the season more a hassle than a joy? Pastor Mike Slaughter reminds us that Christmas isn’t about perfect presents for people, as if it were their birthday — or ours. Christmas is about the perfect presence of Immanuel, God with us, through the birth of Jesus; it’s his birthday, after all!

Christmas Is Not Your Birthday (Abingdon), Slaughter writes, “How funny that it can be so hard to find gifts that will please certain family members or friends — the people who seem to have everything — and yet it is so clear what the Lord of lords and King of kings wants for his birthday. God wants you — your time, your talent and your treasure — used in service to others.”

†Christian Symbol
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Isaiah used the image of a new tree growing from what appears dead to foretell God’s redemption of Israel: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1, NIV). During Advent, this prophecy assures us of the coming of the Messiah, descended from King David, and thus his father, Jesse.

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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:
Deacon George – 723-0069 (home); 890-6712 (cell)