... winter. For the record, there's a crust of icy snow over everything this morning and the high at 4:49 a.m. is 23. Wait, it gets better. Saturday night's projected low is 7 in Chariton, zero up in Mason City where I used to hang out. Brrr.
Thanksgiving, too. And Christmas.
Out at the museum, the Grounds Committee has loaded our sleigh aboard a trailer and decked it out in garland and lights. Next will come a pickup to haul the sleigh and a generator to power aforementioned lights. So we're almost ready for the lighted Christmas parade and other activities scheduled for Nov. 29 on the square, the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The parade begins at 7 p.m. and the newly re-installed Hotel Charitone sign will be officially relighted just before.
Some have asked if we'll be holding, with assistance from our friends at First Lutheran and others, the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols this year at St. Andrew's, usually scheduled for late afternoon on the first or second Sunday in Advent (Advent begins on Sunday, Dec. 1).
The answer, regrettably, is "no," although we expect to follow that form in a lower-key sort of way on Christmas Eve and bring the full festival back during 2014.
The big deal at St. Andrew's this year during early December will be the ordination as a transitional deacon of Fred Steinbach who, if everything goes according to plan, will be ordained an Episcopal priest during late 2014 and then succeed the late Rev. Sue Palmer as our vicar.
The ordination service, also involving three other candidates for the transitional diaconate, will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in downtown Des Moines. All are welcome. Be sure to wear red! It's a festive occasion and you'll be attired in the liturgically correct color.
We thought about trying to pull off both the festival and the ordination, then primarily because we're a small parish, decided that there was some danger our collective head would explode.
In the meantime, the Rev. Paul Walker of Burlington will be serving as Fred's mentor during the transition and also will continue to rise at the crack of dawn to make the trek at least once a month to Chariton with daughter Heather for a Sunday service. Other Sundays, Fred leads us in what used to be called in Episcopal circles GOMP --- Good Old Morning Prayer.
Christmas Eve at St. Andrew's will begin at 6 p.m. this year with a potluck supper, heavy on soup, following for all to share.