December 23, 2017. We decorated the church for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, which was also the fourth Sunday in Advent) we had our usual 10:30 AM Eucharist, and also our traditional Christmas Eve service at 6:30 PM.
November 10-11, 2017. At the annual diocesan council in Gainesville, Bishop Wright announced that a scholarship at the University of Sewanee is being created in honor of Fr. Herschel Atkinson, our rector emeritus, in thanks for his years of service as secretary of Council. Our verger, Natasha Clay, assisted at Eucharist, helped with counting of votes, and performed other general duties.
October 29, 2017. Following a brief Compline service, attendees enjoyed a lasagna dinner and fellowship in the parish hall.
October 15, 2017. Father John joined the Reverend Susan Louttit-Hardaway, rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Hartwell, for the blessing of the animals, an annual event.
October 2017. Marty Barclay became our newest server. He has been acting as greeter on Sunday mornings.
August 26, 2017. Allen Nicas's family threw him a surprise 85th birthday party in the St. Alban's parish hall. Many friends and family members attended.
August 13, 2017. The diocesan Canon for Ministry, John Thompson-Quartey, visited St. Alban's, delivered the sermon at Eucharist, and ate lunch with us in the parish hall. Following lunch, he shared with us his ideas on how to grow a small church.
July 28, 2017. The Hawes family have been long-time supporters of St. Alban's. On July 19, Peyton Hawes Jr. died, and on July 28, a service was held for him at St. Alban's.
June 23, 2017. Our newest acolyte, Thomas Barclay, made his debut.
June 11, 2017. We enjoyed a visit from Bishop Don Wimberly and his wife Wendy.
Photo 1: Bishop and Mrs. Wimberly with Father John at the rear of the church.
Photos 2,3,4: Scenes from lunch in the Parish Hall following the Eucharist.
Photo 5: Tammy Clay, who was received into the church during the service.
April 16, 2017. The church was decorated with beautiful lilies for Easter.
March 2017. Our Lenten soup soup suppers were especially enjoyable this year. We had good food and good guests.
February 26, 2017. Don Beitzel of SafeHouse visited at St. Alban's, and during Eucharist he presented Robyn Keeler with flowers and a Barnes & Noble gift certificate in appreciation of her twenty-year service on the SafeHouse board, her chairmanship of the Walkathon committee, and other valuable services.
January 29, 2017. After the Eucharist, we enjoyed a catered lunch in the Parish Hall, and then had our annual meeting with reports from the rector and wardens, followed by election of three vestry members. Mary Randall (third photo, left), St. Alban's parish administrator, was presented with a gift from the congregation upon the occasion of her retirement from office duties.
December 24, 2016. We had a lovely Christmas Eve service with candles and poinsettias. Grandchildren of members participated in the service, one member sang a solo, and we also had guitar as accompaniment to traditional carols.
Fall 2016. A long-time St. Alban's member, Dolores Jefferson (photo 1) celebrated her 90th birthday on Oct. 20. Then, on Dec. 5, Holman Haley turned 100, and his wife Sara turned 90. On Nov. 26, their family and friends honored them in advance with a birthday party at Magnolia Estates in Elberton. A field representative from US Rep. Doug Collins's office, Bill Kokolay, attended and presented a proclamation in recognition of Mr. Haley's service in the Army Air Corps in World War II. An active duty member of the Air Force presented him with a flag that has flown over the US Capitol (Photos 2 & 3).
October 2, 2016. Fr. John joined the Rev. Susan Louttit-Hardaway, rector of St. Andrew’s (pictured in first photo at right), Hartwell, in providing a blessing of animals service for pets and their owners for the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. The weather was fair and attendance good. The Rev. Susan Louttit Hardaway blessing Bear, a service dog (second image). Bear seems happy with the occasion (third image). This was Bear's second blessing of the day. She and companions Scruffy and Jack had already been blessed at the morning Eucharist at St. Alban’s.
October 1, 2016. Our rector emeritus, Herschel Atkinson, recently posed for a Sewanee School of Theology campaign to encourage giving to scholarships for theology students.
Sunday, June 26, 2016. St. Alban's special day was on June 22 this year, so we celebrated by decorating the base of his statue with flowers.
Sunday, June 19, 2016. Bishop Keith Whitmore and his wife Suzie visited St. Alban's. After the Eucharist, we enjoyed a salad lunch in the Parish Hall.
Lonnie Blackwell, Sr., died on April 11, 2016. He was sexton at St. Alban's for forty-five years. In this photo, taken on August 3, 2014, he is shown receiving from Fr. John a certificate of appreciation for his long service at St. Alban's. Seated beside him is his daughter Monteary Almond, who succeeded him as sexton.
Holy Week, 2016. The photos show the altar and door at St. Alban's, decorated for Palm Sunday. On Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, we participated in joint services with Elberton First Methodist and Holy Trinity Lutheran churches.
Lenten Season, 2016. On the day before Lent (Feb. 9 this year), Charles Duke cooked up the pancakes for twelve attendees at the annual St. Alban’s Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. Bob and Marilyn Slocumbe provided sausage. A good time was had by all.
On Ash Wednesday (Feb. 10), Fr. John was robed and at the church from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to offer members ashes at a time convenient to them. The imposition of ashes was accompanied by a short service of prayers. Seven members availed themselves of the service. At 6:30 p.m., St. Alban’s joined with First Methodist and Holy Trinity Lutheran churches in a joint Ash Wednesday service at First Methodist. The Rev. Karen Schwindler of Holy Trinity delivered the sermon, and estimated attendance was 150.
During Lent, we had a series of four soup suppers on February 17, February 24, March 2, and March 9 (see photos). We enjoyed delicious food and Fr. John's talks on how Episcopalians tell their story as Christians through visual imagery, language, and motion.
Sunday, January 17, 2016. Fr. John Keeler led a special Sunday School class on the results of the recent Anglican Communion meeting in Canterbury and its meaning for us. The photo is of Penny McLanahan, one of those who enjoyed the session.
Sunday, January 10, 2016. The Annual Meeting was held after the Eucharist. Twenty-six enjoyed a catered lunch, following which the church treasurer and rector gave reports, and two vacancies in the vestry were filled by election.
Christmas services, 2015. Twenty-nine people attended the Christmas Eve Eucharist at 6 PM. Candles in the windows and at the altar illuminated the service, and red poinsettias and white lilies graced the altar. On Christmas Day, at 9:30 AM, there was a spoken Eucharist attended by six.
Sunday, December 20, 2015. Heating in the sanctuary stopped working on Friday, December 18, so Fr. John decided that, in view of low temperature forecasts, the Sunday, December 20, service should be moved downstairs to the parish hall, where there was still heat. Members were notified, and a small number enjoyed the novelty of what Fr. John described as a throwback to the home services parishioners attended before St. Alban's was built. The photo shows Fr. John at the improvised altar.
Note: The heating in the sanctuary was repaired on Tuesday, December 22, and now works fine.
Week of December 13, 2015. Early in the week, the granite marker for St. Alban's was knocked off its blocks, probably by a driver taking the corner too fast. Fr. John filed a police report and an insurance claim and found someone to replace the marker on its blocks. The photo on the left shows how far the marker was moved from its blocks, and in the photo on the right, you can see the ruts the vehicle made in the grass.
Sunday, December 6, 2015. St. Alban's joined with the First Methodist Church of Elberton to present a Lessons and Carols service. About 175 to 200 people attended and enjoyed the music and readings.
November 2015. Bo and Mary Minor Brown donated to St. Alban's a set of five scenes from the Holy Land: Nazareth; Jerusalem, site of the Crucifixion in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives; Jerusalem, the Damascus Gate; and Jerusalem, the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock. The scenes are from an art book Mary Minor bought while on a trip to Jerusalem. Before presenting them to the church, she had them matted and framed. They have been hung on two walls of the vestry room, and all members and visitors are invited to view them there.
Sunday, November 1, 2015. St. Alban’s members enjoyed an All Saints dinner in the parish hall after the Eucharist. We would normally have had a fifth Sunday dinner the last Sunday in November, but since Thanksgiving falls at the end of the month, the vestry decided it would be better to have a communal meal on the first Sunday instead.
Renee Hunt catered the meal, and twenty-one went through the food line and ate. We had roast beef, a delicious green salad with fruit mixed in, a broccoli casserole, lima beans, rolls, and banana pudding—plus a sheet cake in honor of the saints and Herschel Atkinson, whose birthday it was.
St. Alban's Episcopal Church 109 Brookside Drive Elberton, GA 30635