A Joyous Advent 

          Advent is a time for preparation. As the word suggests, we are getting ready for the advent or coming or arrival of the Lord. We can talk about Christmas and celebrating the birth of Jesus or we can talk about that moment when Christ returns. Advent as a season covers a veritable cacophony of conflicting hopes and ideas in one four-Sunday period. What holds them together is this idea of getting our home in order. To be clear, preparation for Advent is not decorating our house, buying presents, or cooking the roast beast. It is about celebrating what is truly important in our lives and re-ordering things to make sure that the ideals and hopes and priorities we value get the resources and respect that they are due.

            This Sunday we are going to do things the right way. We will be celebrating the extraordinary ministry of the Rev. John Porter. Yes, he has been at the church and school for some 40 years. He has been ordained for 56 years as a priest. Those are both impressive milestones. What we will truly be celebrating is the gregarious, loving, faithful, stalwart raconteur that is John Porter.  I know lots of folks who pass milestones of service with dutiful drudgery. John’s impish and infectious delight in preaching and teaching after 56 years is the miracle that we celebrate in our midst. To make sure that we mark such an occasion appropriately, we made sure that Paul Mealor, composer to Queen Elizabeth II, was on hand to compose a work for the church. Only a royal fete would be appropriate to ensure that our ideals and hopes and priorities get the resources and respect that they are due. Just don’t tell John that we are celebrating him like a king - he would be insufferable.

            Advent is a time for preparation and celebration. We will delight in learning more from Paul Mealor about the creative process of turning a cacophony of different ideas like composing and poetry and worship and faith into the melodious and sublime. Dr. Mealor will be featured during the Forum from 9:00-10:00 AM in Inglett Hall. Come and meet the composer to the Queen. Then, we will celebrate the Rev. John Porter. We will have time after the service to visit and eat cookies and rejoice at the gifts God has shared with us through John. And, if you listen closely to the words, the prayers, the music, and the celebration, you will see that what we value is God’s presence among us. You will see and likely feel that Jesus’ advent is a constant, weekly process experienced through friends, through family, through ministry, through music, through prayers, and, yes, through the people gathered together at Holy Innocents’ in God’s name.

The Rev. Dr. Bill Murray

P.S. It was nice to celebrate my birthday with the folks at Mt. Vernon Towers. Thanks for all the happy greetings!

Also, some of you may have gotten another spam email supposedly from me asking for assistance. My email address is only 


Fond Farewell

We bid a heartfelt farewell to Dr. Hannah Byun who is leaving us sooner than expected. Her mother in South Korea has been diagnosed with dementia and Hannah will be leaving her degree program at Georgia State and Holy Innocents early to care for her. Thank you for all you have done for the music ministry in our parish Dr. Hannah. You will be sorely missed. Traveling mercies. Please join us on Sunday after the 10:15 am service as we give thanks for her ministry among us.
           Sean Vogt, Director of Music

Other Notes

  • DONATE... If you would like to donate toward our Christmas Flowers in the church in honor or in memory of someone, please make a check to the church with the information provided or give online here.
  • WAIT... Stay tuned for a NEW WEBSITE to debut before Christmas. We are VERY excited and grateful for your patience.
  • LIKE... It really does make a difference when you follow our Facebook and Intstagram accounts. This is the easiest possible evangelism method to share what's going on here at HI and spread the love of God.
  • FIND... We have a HI-lights Archive here where you can refer back to earlier versions of this weekly newsletter. If you did not get the November/December Good News in the mail, please email us. The mailing can still be found here.
  • Register... Ruth is leading an Advent Retreat here at the church on December 14 & 15. We had the dates incorrect in earlier publications. Scroll down for more. Registration for the Annual Parish Retreat at Amicalola Falls is also open now. Please save the dates of February 10-12 and sign up here now.
Stewardship Update

We are so thankful for the pledges and donations that we have recently received. You have generously pledged over $1,783,600 to pay off our capital debt. 

The interest rate on the loan has increased to 5.88% from 2.35% in April, so principal payments make a big difference. As for our 2023 operating budget, we have over $1,030,000! 

Please consider pledging if you have not pledged as we plan for the 2023 budget. Any amount you can give over the next three years will help us to be Set Free to Serve! If you have pledged already, thank you for your support! Make a pledge here. If you have questions please contact Caroline Fleming.
A Royal Visit | December 4
Join us for Formation at 9:00 AM with a visit from one of England's royal composers, Dr. Paul Mealor. In addition to being commissioned to write music for multiple royal occasions across the British royal family, Dr. Mealor is also a professor at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He will speak on one of his favorite topics: the intersection of faith and music. Seating will be at capacity, as the choir is also attending this talk, so we encourage you to come early. Then stay to hear the world premiere of his latest work at the 10:15 am service.
CAC Adopt a Family for Christmas | December 4
Thank you to all who helped adopt a family this holiday season. Gifts (unwrapped) must be brought to HI by this Sunday evening. Contact Doug Peterson |
Contact Doug Peterson.
St. Nicholas Sunday | December 4
On Sunday, December 4 we will celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas with a special Children's Chapel and then leave our shoes out for a fun treat from St. Nicholas! 
Youth: Small Group Sunday at Six Flags | December 4
All 6th-12th graders are invited to join us on December 4th for a special Small Group Sunday gathering as we head to Six Flags for their Holiday in the Park experience. Our small groups will stick together while they brave the roller coasters and enjoy the Christmas lights. We'll leave after the worship service and be back by 5:30 PM. The cost is $50 and includes transportation and your ticket. Please RSVP by December 1 at noon. 
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GLOW | December 7
Join us for Wednesday Night GLOW. We have a fun Grinch-themed hour planned to talk about what fills and grows our hearts. Children age PreK – 5th grade. Meet in Parish Hall 110 from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. Let Ms. Renee know you are coming by signing up below!

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Children: Polar Express Party | December 10
Step onto the Polar Express at Holy Innocents and remember that we all believe! Join us on Saturday, December 10 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM for a very special Children’s Christmas event! Enjoy hot chocolate, cookie decorating, crafts, playing with snow, Christmas games, and letters to Santa. All Aboard! Cost $20, register below!
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Lessons and Carols with the Georgia Boy Choir | December 11 
Friends of Music is proud to welcome the Georgia Boy Choir this advent season. Please join us for lessons and carols at 7:00 PM on December 11. 

Advent Retreat | December 14 & 15
      As we inch our way toward the winter solstice, Advent beckons us into the dark to play with shadows and ponder the light. Ruth Pattison's book Celtic Ways to Pray, Finding God in the Natural Elements,* will provide the basis for the retreat, as we venture into this experiential moment apart from the daily stress of our demanding routines.
     Please email the session you would like to attend. Wednesday, December 14, 4:00-6:00 PM, or Thursday, December 15, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM.
     *no purchase necessary, but the first 3 people to sign up for each of the retreat options, will receive a free book, compliments of your author-leader! Or purchase it online here.

Ventulett Gallery Opening | December 15
The Ventulett Gallery provides a venue of visual expression for Holy Innocents’ parish and the local community to inspire and promote curiosity. Witness the colorful Heaven & Nature Sing exhibit featuring works of art by Lorraine Kimsey and Beth Blackwell Cullen. Join us from 6:00-8:00 PM for wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a live performance by guitarist John Martin. Heaven & Nature Sing will run through January 23rd. You don’t want to miss it!

Children's Christmas Pageant | December 24 
The children have been practicing and are so excited to perform on Christmas Eve! Family, friends, and guests are invited to the pageant and worship at 3:00 PM in the Nave.  
Men's Dinner and a Book | January 10
The next Men's Dinner and a Book is Tuesday, January 10 at 6:30 pm and the book is "Never” by Ken Follett.  Donley Klein is hosting.  If you would like to attend, please contact Jeremy Webber at for details.  All men at Holy Innocents are included and invited.
Lift Every Voice and Sing | January 20 
Postponed from the pandemic, this interfaith event will feature a new Spelman College arrangement on “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by Dr. Kevin Johnson, Director of the Spelman College Glee Club. We will be joined by multiple choral ensembles for this event, accompanied by gospel instrumentalists. Join us at 7:00 PM at Sisters Chapel, Spelman College. 
Annual Parish Retreat | February 10-12
Each year we get away for fellowship, worship, and fun together at Amicalola Falls. Registration coming soon, but mark your calendars now! 
Click above to watch Seminarian Taylor Irwin preach last Sunday.

This Sunday
8:00 AM: Worship, Christ Chapel
9:00 AM: Formation with Dr. Paul Mealor, Inglett Hall
10:15 AM: Christmas Cantata, Nave
11:15 AM: Reception, Bishop Commons
11:30 AM: Youth Small Group Sunday, Six Flags

5:00 PM: Spanish-speaking Worship, Nave
6:00 PM: Celtic-style Worship, Christ Chapel
All Day: Still Processing, Ventulett Gallery 

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