Bishop Smith’s E-Pistle December 18, 2015

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December 18, 2015
This publication will be on hiatus until 2016.
Wishing everyone a safe and blessed Christmas and New Year!

I’ve noticed that a number of Episcopal churches, both here in Arizona and elsewhere, are now offering a “Blue Christmas” service in these days leading up to the holiday. The purpose of these services is to minister to those people who find the holidays emotionally difficult. Such services steer away from tinsel and familiar upbeat carols and focus on music and meditations that might appeal to people who are depressed or grieving. One Presbyterian church I found online offers a service designed not by the clergy but the parish nurse.


Prepare the Way…For Visitors

[EVP] Last weekend, over dinner, a friend bemoaned how hard it was to find a good place to go for a Christmas Eve service with her parents. Neither an Episcopalian nor a regular churchgoer, she is one of the many people who are asking friends and going online to find a place to worship. Read more.

Enriching Your Retirement
Maintaining your overall well-being is so important at this stage of life. The “Enriching Your Retirement” presentation is a unique opportunity to learn about your pension and medical benefits, how to stay healthy, and the programs and services that can support you. You’ll also hear how your colleagues are doing as they transition into retirement. This presentation is for beneficiaries of The Church Pension Fund. Presentations will be offered on Tuesday, January 12 in Phoenix and on Thursday, January 14 in Tucson. Learn more and register here.



There Is No Other: Islam as Nonviolence
Sufi Brother Moji Agha will be the guest speaker for an adult forum at St. Philip’s In the Hills (Tucson) on Sunday, December 20 at 10:15 a.m. Founder of the Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives initiative (endorsed by Noam Chomsky), Moji Agha is an Iranian-American Muslim sufi monk (dervish), bilingual poet, and long-time “civility” activist, with extensive education and experience in psychology, cultural studies, and conflict resolution.

Longest Night Services

Christmas can be a challenging time, especially for those experiencing grief or loss. On Tuesday, December 22, two churches will offer a service that makes room for sorrow in the midst of cheer. St. Barnabas on the Desert (Scottsdale) will meet at 4:30 p.m. and St. Andrew’s (Tucson) will gather at 6:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Interfaith Gathering

Trinity Church (Kingman) will be hosting an Interfaith Day of Peace and Unity service on Friday, January 8 at 6:00 p.m. Those in attendance will include representatives from Masjid Ibrahim Mosque, Divine Savior Catholic Community (an independent Catholic Church), Grace Lutheran Church, and Trinity Episcopal Church. The service is open to the public. All are welcome and invited to attend.





Please go to the Diocesan Calendar for more detailed information about these events and others including services such as Taizé and Compline. Use our Find a Church feature to locate a church listed below.

Saturday, December 19

  • Contemplative Group Prayer
    @ St. Michael & All Angels, Tucson
  • Yuletide with Bartholomew Faire
    @ Church of the Nativity, Scottsdale
  • Downtown Parade of Lights Pre-Game @ St. Andrew’s, Tucson
  • Posada @ Iglesia Episcopal de San Pablo, Phoenix
  • Taizé @ St. Andrew’s, Sedona

Sunday, December 20

  • Bishop’s Visitation @ Church of the Nativity, Scottsdale
  • 2nd Annual Daughters of the King Advent Meditation
    @ Christ Church of the Ascension, Paradise Valley
  • There Is No Other: Islam as Nonviolence @ St. Philip’s, Tucson
  • Posada @ St. Mark’s, Mesa
  • Film Screening: Salam Neighbor @ St. Peter’s, Litchfield Park
  • Annual Live Nativity @ St. Michael’s, Coolidge
  • Posada @ Good Shepherd of the Hills, Cave Creek
  • Taizé @ St. Stephen’s, Phoenix

Tuesday, December 22

  • Longest Night Service @ St. Barnabas, Scottsdale
  • Longest Night Service @ St. Andrew’s, Tucson
Wednesday, December 23
  • Intercessory Prayers @ St. Stephen’s, Sierra Vista
  • Healing Service & Eucharist @ St. Matthew’s, Chandler
Thursday, December 24
  • Christmas Eve – Diocesan Office closes at noon
  • Bishop Smith Preaches at Christmas Eve Services
    @ Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix
Friday, December 25
  • Christmas – Diocesan Office closed until January 4


[click on the link above for the complete calendar]

20  Iglesia Episcopal de San Pablo, Phoenix
27  Santa Maria Episcopal Church, Phoenix

3  St. Jude’s, Phoenix
19  St. Luke’s at the Mountain, Phoenix

Remember in your Prayers of the People:

Our companion Diocese:

And those who have asked for our prayers:

  • The Rev. Brigid Waszczak,
    who is receiving treatment for diverticulitis
  • John Bloxham, husband of The Rev. Sheila Hagan-Bloxham,
    who is recovering from surgery
  • The Rev. Robin Hollis,
    who is recovering at home
  • The Rev. Robert Williams,
    who is suffering from chronic lumbar muscle spasms
  • The Rev. Jeffrey Reed,
    who is undergoing treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
  • Pat Thompson, Lay Vicar,
    who is recovering from a serious car accident
  • The Rev. Channing Johnson,
    who is receiving treatment for melanoma
  • Nancy Dugan, wife of The Rev. Ray Dugan,
    who is recovering at home
  • All members of the Armed Forces,
    especially those who are serving overseas
  • Those affected by recent weather, natural disasters, and
    civil unrest

The above names will stay on this list for up to four weeks. If someone needs to remain on this list for a longer period, or to have others added to this list, please contact Nicole Krug at



Contact Information

Phone: 602-254-0976



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